Sunday Recipe: Turkey & Rosemary Skewers

I love turkey, I dont think it has to be saved just for Christmas and these Turkey & Rosemary Skewers taste lovely.

You will need:
  • 450g / 14.5oz of turkey breast steaks
  • 8 Sprigs of rosemary
  • 1.5 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 tblsp honey
  • 3tblsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove - crushed - optional
And this is what you do:
  1. Cut the turkey steaks into long thin strips
  2. Pull all but the top leaves off of the rosemary springs, chop some of the removed leaves to go into the marinade
  3. Thread the turkey onto the woody stems of the rosemary
  4. Place in a shallow non-metallic bowl and sprinkle with the lemon zest
  5. Mix the lemon juice, honey and olive oil - and garlic if you are using it - and pour half over the turkey
  6. Leave to marinate for at least 15mins or longer if you have the time
  7. Prepare a salad of leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, fresh mint and flat leaved parsley and mix in the remaining lemon oil mixture.
  8. Grill the turkey on a hot grill or barbeque for 5-7 minutes turning once, until cooked through
  9. Serve with the salad.

Sunday, 29 May 2011 | 0 Comments

Puckeridge Arts, Crafts & Gift Fair

I love attending craft fairs, not only as a shopper but also as an exhibitor. I love them because I can interact with my customers, see familiar faces and greet new customers, show off my products to new audiences and engage with other crafts people. I am also a very strong advocate for the handmade community and think that it is important people are given the opportunity to purchase handmade items and for that shopping experience to be made as easy as possible. It was because of this that on May 14th I organised the Puckeridge Arts, Crafts & Gift fair in the village where I live.

The day was a long one, my parents and I were at the hall before 8am to get the keys and start setting the tables up. There would be 23 of us in total with other stall holders arriving from about 9.15 ready for the doors to open at 10.30am. I was as prepared as I could be with a floor plan of the room, but it was a juggle to fit everyone in, Dad and I managed it though – we just didn’t have many tables for the tea and coffee area although luckily the bar was open to sit in.

10.30 came around very quickly and I think the first visitors must have been waiting outside as there were people looking around straight away! The visitors were treated to a delight of stalls including woodware, fabric gifts, jewellery, cupcakes, plus-sized clothes, peg dolls, plant pots, painted glass, crochet and knitting and more alongside three non-handmade stalls selling giftware. I had a stall too, in fact I had almost 18ft of space with Mum beside me selling plants she grows.

The visitor flow was steady throughout the day with only a quiet “blip” over lunchtime. The FA Cup final didn’t put the ladies off and the stall holders I spoke to seemed happy with the day. My parents and I certainly couldn’t have tried any harder with the promotion!

I was happy with the overall success of the day, I am waiting to find out if we will have coverage in the local paper (they did ask for photos!) but I have had good comments from visitors. So much so that I am planning the next fair for later on in the year, the only difference being that it will be a 100% handcrafted stalls only event! – perhaps we will see you in November!

Saturday, 28 May 2011 | 0 Comments

Sunday Recipe: Baked Lime Cheesecake

I love the zingy-ness of limes, I have the most gorgeous smelling lime showergel and soap that really are great to wake me up in the morning shower. I've never cooked with lime, except as "ice and a slice" in a glass of water and so I wanted to find a recipe with limes. I have to confess I have never cooked this recipe but it sounds great so I thought I would share it.

You will need:
For the base
  • 10 large digestive biscuits
  • 6 ginger biscuits
  • 85g/3oz butter
For the filling
  • 675g/1½lb cream cheese
  • 150ml/¼ pint double cream
  • 140g/5oz caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 3 limes, zest only
For the topping
  • ½ pineapple
  • 4 passion fruit
  • 300ml/½ pint double cream
  • icing sugar to taste, plus extra for dusting
And this is what you need to do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Break up the digestive biscuits and the ginger biscuits and place them into the bowl of a food processor.

  2. Place the butter in a heavy-based pan and melt gently.

  3. Process the biscuits in the food processor, until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

  4. Line the base of a 24cm/9in-10in loose-based spring-form cake tin with a round of greaseproof paper. Brush the bottom of the tin with some of the melted butter and place the round of greaseproof paper in the base.

  5. Add the remaining melted butter to the biscuit crumbs in the food processor and process again briefly.

  6. Tip the crumbs into the bottom of the cake tin. Using the back of a spoon, gently push the crumbs from the centre outward, until smooth and level. This will form the base of the cheesecake.

  7. Bake the cheesecake base in the oven for 10-15 minutes until it's lightly browned and just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the cream cheese, cream, sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Using a grater, grate in the zest of the limes. Using an electric whisk, beat together on a low speed, until smooth.

  9. Carefully pour the filling onto the cooled base. If making the cheesecake in advance, you can prepare it to this stage, then chill in the refrigerator and bake the next day (allowing it to first reach room temperature).

  10. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for about one hour, or until just set. Allow to cool completely, then place in the fridge and chill for about an hour.

  11. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate, using a palette knife to loosen the cake base from the bottom of the tin.

  12. For the topping, use a sharp serrated knife to remove the top and bottom of the pineapple. Cut away the tough outer skin from the pineapple and cut in half lengthways. Using a mandoline, thinly slice half of the pineapple (be sure to use the finger guard if the mandoline has one). Reserve the other half for use in another dish. Place the pineapple slices into a bowl.

  13. Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the pulp with a teaspoon. Add to the bowl with the pineapple and toss together well.

  14. Whip the cream in a clean bowl with a hand whisk. When soft peaks form, add icing sugar, to taste, and whisk gently until well blended.

  15. To serve, spread the sweetened cream over the surface of the cheesecake and pile on the fresh fruit. Pour over the passion fruit juice from the bowl. Dust with icing sugar and serve in generous slices.

Do let me know how you get on!!

Sunday, 8 May 2011 | 1 Comment

Thrifty Tips Coming Soon

Most people I know are finding ways to try and economise and save some money and cut-back where possible. I have always tried to live economically but with focusing hard on saving up a house deposit it is even more important now.

From mid-May I plan to add a weekly "thrifty-tip" to my blog known as Thrifty Thursdays and it would be great to include as many ideas as possible, initially just one a week but I may group ideas by theme etc. I really would like to include ideas from other people and have created a really short form for ideas if you would like to take five minutes and share your thriftyness with others.

The form is here: and in a couple of weeks it will magically appear over on the righthand side as a box to click into.

I hope you will share lots of ideas and stay tuned for Thrifty Thursdays!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011 | 2 Comments