There are different shades of green in spring; the deep greens of kale and purple sprouting broccoli and the vibrant greens of asparagus and wild garlic. It is around this time each year that things seem to come alive, the evenings are getting longer and the days warmer. Trees are blossoming and everyone seems to awaken from a winter slumber to shake off those cobwebs (literally and figuratively). I start to cook lighter meals at this time of year
When I cut into a lemon I can't help but give it a good sniff. It's the same with lime and grapefruit. There's something about that citrus smell that I just can't wait to inhale; especially if it's a drizzly day. I also love tropical flavours at this time of year: coconut, passion fruit, mango, you name it! Combining a bit of citrus and a bit of tropical was the idea here so I set about baking some lemon and coconut flapjacks.
You know those bananas that you keep avoiding in the fruit bowl? The ones which got a bit speckled a few days ago and now are fully fledged brown? Well, throw out your normal go-to recipe because my banana bread with chocolate, oats and honey is the way to go. Adding a few extra ingredients gives it a delicious flavour and texture and I have been very much enjoying having a slice for breakfast each morning. Any excuse to start the day with chocolate.
When there's strawberries in the house that's how I know it's summer. I never eat them out of season; I feel like it's worth the wait to abstain from eating strawberries for nine or ten months of the year and then gorge on them from late May until they disappear again. Mostly I just eat them as they are but sometimes I like to make something a little more interesting. This Strawberry, Basil and Shortbread Mess is exactly that. Something that doesn't
Adding herbs to bakes and drinks is something I really like to do. I like the botanical flavour that herbs can bring to various dishes and I think woody herbs really suit being paired with chocolate. These chocolate, thyme and lemon shortbread biscuits are a delicious combination of flavours if I do say so myself and if you're unsure about adding herbs to a biscuit you'll just have to give it a try!
You will need (for 12 squares):
There are so many delicious cakes and biscuits which appear from the recipe books ready for Easter. Simnel cakes, hot cross buns and Easter egg nest cakes to name a few. Frankly I think it's shameful that all the Easter treats aren't served all at the same time with a huge pot of tea and some excellent company. So that's exactly what an Easter afternoon tea is all about. An excuse to scoff all the tasty cakes and biscuits along with some sandwiches