Visions of Zarua #bookreview and Honey Cake recipe

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Originally posted on BARBED WORDS:
So today we have a guest post from the lovely Suzanne Rogerson as part of her World Blog Tour to promote her epic fantasy book, Visions of Zarua. Suzanne is a real life friend of mine (I…

#AtoZchallenge Z – Zucchini Cake – #glutenfree #dairyfree

On the last day of the AtoZ challenge, I am really pleased to share my recipe for Zucchini cake. It’s my favourite cake of all time, and it’s almost healthy!

Think about the vitamins and minerals from those fresh ingredients, and it’s gluten/dairy free as well.

Cake Ingredients

I’ve tweaked this recipe over the years and think I’ve finally found the perfect mix of ingredients. Recently both my kids have used this cake for homework assignments. Here is my daughter’s instructions on how to cook it.

Ingredients

3 eggs

400g of self-raising gluten free flour

100g of ground almonds

1tsp of salt

1tsp of ginger powder

150g of raisins

250g of brown sugar

150g of rapeseed oil

50g of caster sugar

Zest of a large orange

500g of grated carrot and courgette

3cm piece of ginger grated

 Instructions

  1. First you need to get a bowl and scales. Put the bowl on the scales and measure 400g of self-raising flour.
  2. Secondly add the rest of the dry ingredients which are ground almonds, salt, ginger powder and raisins.
  3. Now get another bowl and put in the wet ingredients which are the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Next tip a quarter of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl and stir. Then repeat until there is no more dry mixture left.
  5. Now line and grease 2 cake moulds and share the mixture between both.
  6. Next put in the oven at 170 degrees fan oven and cook for an hour.
  7. Lastly leave it to cool then enjoy.

(Do I have the new Delia on my hands?)

 

The kids love this cake and ask for it every birthday. They also love to help with the making; cracking eggs, grating, weighing ingredients, mixing, and eating it still warm from the oven.

P1150942

It’s a wonderful cake for any time of year, especially in the summer when there are plenty of Zucchinis / courgettes to spare. It works for breakfast, lunch or tea, and is surprisingly good with custard. (I’m actually making this cake to take to a family BBQ tomorrow. Because it’s not too sweet, it goes perfectly as a dessert with alcohol!)

The cake freezes well, and fresh it last for a few days, but it does become drier the longer you keep it. No chance of that in this house.

P1150956 (2)

Thanks for joining me on  my A-Z Challenge. It’s been fun, but I need a rest. Now to switch off the internet, flick on the kettle and resume editing my WIP.

Cake anyone?

Find links to all my other atoz posts here.

#AtoZChallenge X – Xtremely Healthy Lunch

One of the perks of working from home is homemade, warm and healthy lunches. I still want it to be fast and easy to prepare, I can’t stand to waste my precious writing hours cooking.

A stir fry is quick and easy, and can use up whatever’s in the fridge. The small amount of oil needed must surely be countered by the lovely fresh vegetables. I prefer to use olive oil or rapeseed oil

I like a combo of coloured peppers, courgettes, onions or leek, mushrooms, tomato puree and whatever else needs using. You could even use cabbage or broccoli. I also like to add some tinned and or fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs towards the end of cooking. You just chop it all up and chuck it in the frying pan. Easy.

Top with a few cubes of crumbled feta cheese (available low fat), a couple of handfuls of tortilla chips (available gluten free) and it’s a healthy delight.

WP_20160222_13_45_29_Pro

You could finish the meal with a slice of Gluten free Carrot cake or the Ultimate Flapjack.

Of course you may want to keep it healthy and have an Orange Vitamin Shake or a hot cup of Elderberry syrup instead.

But I recommend waiting until Z… That’s a real winner.

Now you’re all set for an afternoon of writing, editing or proofreading (check posts on E & P if you need a helping hand). Good luck.

Do you have any Xtremely healthy lunch ideas?

***

Tomorrow a little something for the birds….

Check out the rest of my a to z posts here.

#AtoZChallenge O – Orange (a celebration of colour)

Orange is a special colour in my household. My daughter’s name, Amber is on the colour wheel between gold and orange (according to Wikipedia) and my son used to have an obsession with the colour. The obsession controlled him and the choices he made, and if he didn’t get the orange cup or plate at nursery all hell would break loose.  Thankfully he’s calmed down a bit now. Now some pictures to celebrate orange.

Orange sky at our favourite family holiday destination, Worcestershire.

pitlands holiday 103

Butterflies

P1120961 (3)

P1150461 (3)

Orange flower technically red but looks orange(ish)

P1150058

P1080335 (2)

I’ve taken better Robin shots, but this scruffy fellow is kind of sweet.

P1150070 (3)

The next pictures are not great quality but I was sitting across the river, in the rain. I was so happy to capture the Kingfisher and his/her young. This year I promise myself I’ll get better shots.

P1150174 (4)P1150186 (3)

Battle of the orange beaks

P1140824

swan close up

P1010442 (2)

Orange scents

photos apr to july 2012 035P1160541

The rose smells beautiful, but I’ve no idea what variety it is. The Mexican Orange blossom (Choisya) above will soon be awash with small white flowers that smell gorgeous. It’s a wonderful shrub that flowers at least twice a year.

Feel the heat and hear the crackle of the fire

P1090835

P1090842 (2)

Finally orange taste

Orange Vitamin C shake

I really enjoy making things with fresh ingredients. Whether I have grown them myself, or bought them from the shop. This is a little vitamin pick me up drink. It tastes really good drunk straight away.

  1. Start with:P1160418
  2. Chop it up (only used half a carrot)P1160421
  3. Stick it in the blender. And this is the result.P1160425

It’s really good with a bit of ice, but even better with a shot or two of vodka!

***

Next time Proof reading.

Check out the other A-Z blog posts here

#AtoZChallenge G – Gluten Free Carrot Cake

I wanted share my favourite carrot cake recipes. Its gluten, wheat and dairy free, but does use ground almonds instead of flour so no good for those with a nut allergy.

It’s a very moist cake, which gets even more moist over time. Of course it doesn’t last very long in this house. I save calories by leaving out the topping. It’s so delicious, it doesn’t need anything added.

P1160427

Original recipe from ‘Beat IBS through Diet’ by Maryon Stewart & Dr Alan Stewart. I’ve added my own twist to this delicious recipe by adding cinnamon, raisins and using orange peel instead of lemon.

 

Ingredients

225g grated carrot

225g ground almonds

225g sugar (I’ve used Demerara sugar, which really changes the flavour. I love the slight crunch it gives)

4 eggs.

rind of an orange or lemon

80g raisins

1 & 1/2 tbsp rice flour

1tsp w/f baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon (could easily add more)

 

Instructions

1. Add the egg yolks, sugar and peel to a bowl and beat.

2. Add the carrot, ground almonds and raisins and mix.

3. Add the rice flour, baking powder and cinnamon and mix.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

5. Gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the mixture.

6. Add to a lined and greased loaf tin or high-sided baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes at 160/170 fan.

P1160464

Delicious, and the kids love it.

I love finding healthy (ish) gluten free recipes. Have you any to share?

***

Tomorrow Hampton Court.

Links to previous posts can be found here

Take a break and eat cake!

Every writer needs a break from their computers once in a while. Something I’ve found always relaxes me is baking my favourite cake. This is not just any cake. It’s gluten and dairy free and has a few secret ingredients that make it tasty and healthy.

How can a cake with these ingredients be anything but good for you!

Cake Ingredients

Time for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

P1150475

What better way to spend a rainy day than making Plumberry Jam.

plumberry ingredients

Blackberries and plums from the garden.

225g cooking apples, 225g plums, 225g blackberries, 3tbsp of water, 2tbsp lemon juice, 600g sugar.

Cook apples and plums for 10min (until soft). Add blackberries and lemon juice and cook until soft. Then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil until a jam consistency is reached.

plumberry results

Tasty results.