How to make a Rhubarb Crumble taste of Summer!

crumble

I decided a couple of years ago to grow my own rhubarb not quite knowing how successful this would be!

I started collecting my juicy stalks at the beginning of May and they are still going strong, needless to say I have become a bit of a whiz at the ole crumble and thought I would share my recipe for you all to enjoy!

I’ve turned the traditional rhubarb crumble into a delicious summer dessert by introducing strawberries and ginger. Ginger is the perfect partner for the fruit as it adds a spice to the sweetness but you can replace this with cinnamon if you prefer. (I actually like both so have to do an eeny meeny miny mo each time I cook!).

I’ve also added oats to my topping to offer a healthier alternative to your traditional fruit crumble and give it an extra crunch. If you want to go one step further add 30g of chopped almonds too!

One of my pet hates is a soggy bottom and to stop this from happening I prefer to bake my fruit and topping separately and assemble just before serving, this ensures you will have the perfect crunch with every mouthful. It’s also a great way to store your excess fruit, simply bake your filing in bulk, freeze it in batches and when you fancy a pud simply defrost a portion, rustle up a fresh crumble topping, and voila! The perfect homemade crumble every time!

Ingredients for Crumble topping

  • 140g plain flour
  • 30g oatmeal
  • 30g jumbo oats
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2tsp ground ginger

Ingredients for the filling

  • 50g strawberries
  • 2tsp ginger
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 100ml cold water
  • 9 sticks of juicy rhubarb

Method

  1. Preheat the oven 170°
  2. Add all of the topping ingredients (apart from oats) to a large mixing bowl and rub together using your fingertips, when the mixture resembles large breadcrumbs stir in the oats and transfer to a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until lightly golden.
  3. Whilst the topping is baking prepare the rhubarb by peeling away the skin and chop into 2cm chunks and place the rhubarb and strawberries in to a large ovenproof dish. Mix the sugar, ground ginger and water in a jug and pour over the fruit. Bake in the oven for approx 30 mins until fruit is soft.
  4. To serve, drain any excess juice away from the fruit, add the crumble topping and serve with custard, clotted cream or ice cream.
  5. Sit back & enjoy x

Are you ready for summer?

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We are famous for our British summers aren’t we? Rain, sunshine and more rain! But our keep calm and carry on attitude gets us through as will our fabulous new range of casual dining sets, perfect for eating, entertaining and watching the sun going down.

Whatever the weather the beauty of our outdoor furniture is that it can be left outside all summer long, come rain and shine. Fantastic for family get-togethers, birthday parties, romantic evening meals and leisurely breakfasts, simply re-arrange on the patio in the formation that best suits your occasion and enjoy al-fresco dining to the max.

The beauty of modern materials is that they look like a traditional design but are actually built to endure years of British summers! Our Bosham Corner Sofa Set is manufactured from polywood, a timber-styled material that is made from recycled plastic, not only it is perfect for all weathers but it is environmentally friendly and requires no maintenance either! The showerproof cushions partner the driftwood style furniture beautifully and will make any patio the envy of the Jones’!

If it’s more of a rattan furniture you prefer then why not go for a PE rattan? This really is the new kid on the block as far as outdoor furniture goes. It looks like natural rattan but is UV resistant and weatherproof and our Lolsworth Corner Sofa Set comes complete with showerproof linen-look cushions too.

With your artistic flair running free why not spruce up your patio area and add some decorative pots and containers to make it a real showpiece, big pots full of colour work well against large pieces of furniture whilst smaller pots really come into their own when dotted against walls or used as a table centrepiece.

Whatever you use to create your oasis, just remember it’s all about having somewhere to comfortably sit back, eat, entertain and watch the sun go down, with G & T in hand of course x

How to spice up your BBQ!

BBQ foodI’m sure your nostrils have had the delicious waft of your neighbours al fresco cooking and you’ve often wondered why your chargrilled sausages don’t smell quite that good! Well wonder no more simply follow my mouth watering recipes below and you will have your taste buds trembling with delight!

Grilled Corn

Boil the corn for 5 minutes until bright yellow but not yet cooked through; cool under cold water and drain well. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and kept in the fridge). For cooking the coals should be white and glowing before you begin cooking. Cook for 10 mins, turning often, until the corn is tender and golden. Brush with a little soft butter (garlic butter is perfect) as it cooks. Transfer to a dish, top with more of the butter and let it melt.

Burgers – Aussie Style!

  • 1kg minced beef
  • 2 finely chopped red onions
  • 5 crushed garlic cloves
  • large handful of chopped parsley
  • 75ml tomato ketchup
  • 50ml oyster sauce
  • 2 egg yolks

To make the burgers, mix together all the ingredients and knead well so everything is thoroughly mixed. Separate the mix into 6 large balls, then shape into burgers. Put them in the fridge and, if possible, leave to chill for at least 1 hr.

To cook the burgers, get the barbecue good and hot with the coals glowing. You don’t need to add any oil to the burgers. Put them on the barbecue and leave for a few minutes until the edges start to colour, then turn over. Repeat the process, then turn again. Remove to the cooler side of the barbecue and leave to cook for a good 15 minutes if you like them well cooked.

To serve:

  • 6 smoked back bacon rashers
  • 6 slices fresh pineapple
  • 6 slices good melting cheese, such as cheddar
  • 6 burger baps, split in half
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 12 slices pickled beetroot
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Cos lettuce, separated into leaves

While the burgers are cooking, BBQ the bacon and pineapple. Top the burgers with the bacon, then add the cheese and put back on the barbecue to melt. Warm the baps over the barbecue, too, if you like. Divide the mayo between the bap bases and top with the burgers. Add the pineapple, beetroot, tomato and lettuce, then put the lids on top.

Frango churrasco (Grilled lemon & garlic chicken)

  • 900g boneless chicken thighs (skin-on if possible)
  • zest and juice 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp mild piri-piri sauce
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

Place the chicken in a shallow, non-metallic dish and cover with all the other ingredients and mix everything together. Cover and chill for at least 2 hrs, orovernight if possible. Bring to room temperature 1 hr before grilling.

Thread half the thighs onto 2 large metal skewers, or wooden ones soaked in water for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining thighs and another 2 skewers. Heat an outdoor barbecue until very hot. Place on the grill for 6 minutes on one side, then turn over and cook for 4 minutes. Cook for a few minutes more on each side if they are large – keep the heat on medium so they don’t burn. Remove and keep warm under foil.

That’s it folks! Easy!

All you need to do is serve the above with a fresh crispy green salad and a nice chilled beer, your guests will be amazed and your neighbours nostrils will be twitching for hours!

Recipes courtesy of BBC good food guide http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/barbecue

How to make refreshing Raspberry Cordial!

raspberry cordial

It will soon be that time of year when your tummies will be full and your fingers will be flushed from picking ripe summer berries. July is the best month for harvesting raspberries; a wonderful sweet treat that is high in fibre, low in calories and jam packed full of vitamin C!

Of course you can use them in baking, serve them with cream or why not make our simple cordial? Perfect for adding to lemonade or soda to make an ice-cold refreshing drink, drizzled over fruit and ice-cream for a summer treat or even used as a cocktail mixer if you’re feeling indulgent!

*Ingredients

  • 500g raspberries
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Method

  1. Put the raspberries in a pan with the sugar and vinegar. Mash over a low heat for 10 mins until smooth and syrupy. Rub through a sieve into a clean pan.
  2. Tip the seeds from the sieve into a bowl and stir in 300ml water, then sieve again to remove the last of the pulp from seeds. Pour the liquid into the pan with the sieved pulp, stir well and boil for 1 min. Pour into small sterilised bottles and seal. The cordial will keep unopened for a few months, however once opened, store in the fridge.
  3. Add ice to long glass, fill with lemonade, top with raspberry cordial and make your way outside, book optional! Enjoy x

*Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food Guide.

Spring is in the air!

spring is in the air

March the 29th is just around the corner and probably one of the happiest times of the year for most of us. Why? I hear you cry. Simple, the clocks go forward and officially summer time begins.

Now we all know it takes a while for the temperature to rise but at least we are at the beginning, Spring is in the air and Winter will soon be a distant memory.

The best way to embrace this time of year is to get out in the garden, start ridding your vegetable patch of leaves and debris, give the lawn its first trim and start planning for the summer. It won’t be long before the weeds start growing so this is probably a gardeners busiest time of year and every minute counts.

Early spring is the best time to prune shrubs and trees, and cut back your hydrangeas to a healthy bud. And if you want the garden to look tip top, a good idea is to edge your beds and borders with shears for a nice clean line. This is the perfect time to plant your hardy annuals like Pot Marigolds and Californian Poppies for some spectacular Summer colour.

When it comes to your organic vegetable plot now is the time to sow Broad Beans, Parsnips, Carrots and Peas. Sow straight into a well-prepared soil, no need to add manure just fork over lightly and apply a top dressing of general fertiliser, and if you are fortunate enough to live in a milder area you can plant your potatoes too!

With all this work going on you will need to make sure your tools are up to the job, how about treating yourself to a lovely set of Joules gardening tools and why not go the whole hog and throw in a pair of matching Joules gardening gloves, after all with all your hard work you deserve a treat!

And talking of treats don’t forget Easter is fast approaching so you can take a well earned rest, put your feet up and munch away on chocolate Easter eggs!

Happy Gardening x