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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Blueberry, lemon and elderflower drizzle cake.

Baking with my favourite toddler last week, we ended up inventing our own cake as we didn't have the ingredients to follow the recipe planned. So here it is The Rowley Girls' Blueberry, Lemon and Elderflower Drizzle Cake.

It was an unexpected success. Enjoyable and a great way to take a break from the midday sunshine, with a summery flavour combination inside. Thankfully, Baby A slept peacefully until the cake was in the oven so it was a quick cake to hold a toddler's short attention and complete in a nap time for added satisfaction. It couldn't have been planned this way.

Makes 10 large rectangles of surprisingly light cake.

You will need:

300g self raising flour
250g unsalted butter, soft, or very soft in this heat
250g caster sugar
150g blueberries, washed 
4 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice and zest of one lemon  
A glug of semi skimmed milk. 

What to do.

Combine all ingredients except the blueberries thoroughly by hand (E took this very literally) or in a mixer. 

Zest of one lemon.

Juice of one lemon.

Two eggs

and then another two.

Pour it in.

Have a sneaky taste test when you think no one's looking.

A helping hand.

Hide 150g blueberries in the mixture by poking or stirring.

Pour into a greased and lined brownie tin and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.

For the drizzle, mix 75ml elderflower cordial, 75g granulated sugar and the zest and juice of two lemons. Prick the cake gently all over and pour over syrup. Then cool thoroughly in the tin before slicing. 

Make a hot mug of tea and enjoy at the kitchen table; ignore the washing up while your toddler watching another episode of Postman Pat.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Fast tuna salad, with love.

The only blog posts I’ve written recently have been in my head or at best a couple of scrappy notes on my phone. Today, I received a text from a dear friend, a new mum, wondering if I had any suggestions for quick suppers as she has been “living on pasta and pizza at ten o’clock”.

As the silence here has been mainly because we have also been adjusting to life with a new member of our family, it seemed apt that my first post in months would relate to that. It also struck me that of all the advice I was offered as a pregnant lady and new mum and of all the advice I have offered to others about parenthood, I have never handed anyone a quick, tasty recipe which might just save the day.  It won’t stop your baby from crying or magically help them sleep through the night but it will make you feel better even if you only eat half of it one handed.

Of course, this type of recipe is not just perfect for new mums or busy families, it’s great for busy people or new inspiration which hopefully covers everyone reading.

Fast Tuna Salad

This is so simple it’s hardly a recipe. We first ate it during a brief introduction to the 5:2 diet. That's another story. I was pretty scathing but it tastes delicious, is seriously quick to make and goes well with a side of soy-dressed or stir-fried noodles. Also great al fresco during this current Summer we’re experiencing. Edinburgh was 28 degrees C today.

Serves 2.

You will need:

2 tuna steaks
4 tablespoons soy sauce (light or dark, both work)
1 lime, juice and zest
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (if you have it, not essential)
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon wasabi, chopped red chilli or peeled, grated ginger
Salad leaves
Half a cucumber, in strips or ribbons
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
4 spring onions, finely chopped

What to do:

Make the dressing by mixing or shaking the soy sauce, lime, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar and chosen hot stuff together.
If you have time, marinade the tuna for up to half an hour, ten minutes is good enough.
Wash, chop and arrange the salad leaves, cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions on the plates.
Sear the tuna in a frying pan. Cooking time depends on size of steaks and whether you decide to serve as a whole steak or in strips. As a rough guide, if you like it rare, a couple of minutes each side or 20 seconds for strips.
Top the salad with the tuna and eat, with one hand or two.

And, as I’m easing myself back to blogging maybe you can help. If you have a simple, delicious recipe that you make on evenings when you’re low on energy and time but need to eat well and would like to share it here please email us rachelandchrisrowley@gmail.com and watch this space for a some simple suppers guest posts.

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