sampling Cawston Press juices

Cawston Juice_E 4BAfter our experiments with adding beetroot juice to icepops last month we’ve become big fans of Cawston Press juices.  Picked and pressed immediately they have such vibrant, fresh flavours so I was really excited when they sent us some other flavours to try.  I had the best of intentions to create something in the kitchen using apple juice to sweeten instead of sugar but we simply couldn’t stop returning to the fridge to top up our glasses.  Woops, before we knew it we had drank them all! (and G got a telling off for drinking the can of sparkling rhubarb while I was out knowing it’s my favourite).Cawston Juice 4B
E was good enough to share his kids blend juices after racing round the park with his buddy. A straw is our best friend when it comes to getting E to drink and for a boy who rejects water in favour of smoothies the lower sugar option of pressed juice and spring water is perfect.  Just as well they come in a pack of 3 – ”another one please Mum, I’m a big boy, I need two”.Cawston juice_sharing with Noah 4B

Back in the kitchen, with a newly purchased carton of Apple and Ginger juice, cake was back on the agenda!  This recipe for Molly Cake from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook is sugar free but totally sweet and moorish from soaking dried fruit in juice.  The original recipe uses orange juice but you could experiment with all sorts of different juice and fruit combinations.  The texture reminded me of bread and butter pudding which was just lovely for someone who generally steers clear of bread!  A little surprising too since it has no fat or egg in it.  It’s so wonderfully moist it would be a good recipe for experimenting with gluten free flours (which I find usually make for a dry cake).  The beauty of a recipe like this is that you can bung in just about anythingmolly cake sliced 4B, mixing up the recipe each time you make it.

To make Molly Cake

100g dried apricots
100g stoned dates
2 oranges or 350ml fruit  juice
125g plain flour
100g spelt or wholemeal flour
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice or just ground cinnamon
50g ground almonds
375g raisins or sultanas

  • Preheat the oven to 170c/gas 3.  Line a large 1ltr loaf tin with greaseproof paper
  • Chop apricots and dates and put in pan.  Add 350ml apple juice, bring to the boil then remove and set aside. (If using oranges as per original recipe finely grate zest of one orange and add to dried fruit in pan.  Squeeze juice of both oranges into a measuring jug and top up with water to come to 350ml).
  • Combine flours, baking powder, ground almonds and raisins in a large bowl.  Add the soaked fruit with their liquid and mix thoroughly.
  • Scoop the mixture into the loaf tin and gently smooth out.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Store the cake in an airtight tin where it will keep for several daysmolly cake 4B

Disclosure:  I was sent the juice samples to review.  I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

September 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

a berry nice bowl

23-8-14 - Oxo bowl_blackberries in bowl 4BIt was a bit too early for blackberries when we went foraging last month but we were itching to try the new Oxo Good Grips 3 piece berry bowl and colander set our friends at OXO sent to us.  Our meagre blackberry pickings were topped up with damsons found at my childhood park.23-8-14 - Oxo bowl_damsons and blackberries 4B
E played with Nana while I went picking then ate most of the blackberries I found!
23-8-14 - Oxo bowl_eating on see saw
Some of the blackberries made it home (safely stored in our bowl with it’s clear lid) and we boiled them up with the damsons and an apple to make cordial.
Totally delicious!

The third piece of the berry bowl set is a colander that sits neatly inside the bowl and has long slits for faster drainage. E tested it for strength and style and it passed with flying colours on both counts.Collage - berry bowl 4B

Next we shelled peas.  Not allotment grown sadly but delicious and a lovely way to pass the time on a grey day. 23-8-14 - Oxo bowl_shelling peas 4B23-8-14 - Oxo bowl_shelling peas profile 4B
Finally it made a terrific container for E’s treasure from his walk in the gardens with it’s non-slip base, durable plastic and attractive two-tone colour. We’ve come to expect nothing less from the Good Grips range.Collage - Oxo bowl_conkers 4B
For other great Damson recipes check out 5 ways with a ton of Damsons

Disclosure: I was sent the bowl set to review. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

September 17, 2014 at 8:57 pm Leave a comment

wordless wednesday

23-8-14 - Oxo bowl_blackberries

September 17, 2014 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

buried treasure

Our favourite tree stump in our favourite gardens. Last autumn E filled it with pine cones. A few weeks later a friend told us about her dog taking them all out, little realising he was undoing E’s handiwork. I wonder who will happen upon his latest stash or what he will find in there next time we visit…

September 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment


Voices in my head,
Chanting Kisses.  Bread.
Prove yourself.  Fight.  Shove.
Learn.  Earn.  Look for love.’

Drown a lesser voice,
Silent now of choice
‘Breathe in peace, and be
Still, for once, like me’.
G isle of wight 4B
Voices by Vikram Seth

September 8, 2014 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

making yoghurt icepops

icepop boy 4BE has his Dad’s tooth when it comes to a love of ice-cream. During the heatwave in July the occasional Twister or Fab ice lolly started to become a daily request for one. So we decided to make our own ice-pops using Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Coconut yoghurt.Collage - icepops 4B
We pinked up our lollies using Cawston Press Brilliant Beetroot Juice so not only were they naturally sweet but they got a little punch of vitamins too.  E with yoghurt lolly_close up 4B
”Want a lolly” requests no longer a problem!icepop face 4B
Disclosure: I received a free sample of Rachel’s Organic Yoghurt for the purposes of this review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

September 6, 2014 at 9:00 am 2 comments

a silver holloware wedding anniversary

31-5-14 Nature in Art_george and Nic 4B
16 years of marriage should be marked by gifts of silver Holloware apparently! Who knew? I missed that memo. I didn’t even know what holloware was until 5 minutes ago (sugar bowls, creamers, coffee pots, teapots, soup tureens, hot food covers, water jugs, platters and butter dishes for the curious among you).

Last year I wrote of not needing gifts and cards and being oh so thankful for our sweet baby boy. This year we did exchange cards and are oh so thankful for our fiesty sweet toddler who’s as excited about his sleepover at Nana and Grandads as we are about going to cinema!

Not doing too badly to have spent half our life together and still be smiling!

September 5, 2014 at 7:00 am 4 comments

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