Healthier Lemon Tart

My 2016 entry for the Eurovision party was this lower fat lemon tart on BBC Good Food, or tarte au citron seeing as I was bringing a French themed morsel to the party table. It uses low fat creme fraiche instead of cream but none of the party guests could tell it was a healthier take on the tart. I employed the services of Burford Brown eggs as I love the bright colour of their yolks and hope it produced a punchier looking dessert. I also increased the amount of pastry as in many of the comments people said they struggled to line the tart tin although I think my pastry could have been a little thinner.


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Movin’ to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches


I’ve had this song in my head for a while now. Some of you may remember I was kicked out of my home of 8 and a half years so that my landlord could sell it for double what he bought it for 11 years ago. Tomorrow I will be 8 weeks in on my own house purchase in the relative countryside of North Kent. 

I am having serious first time buyer wobbles. I don’t really want to leave my familiar leafy South West London surrounds but the rent is so high now and I certainly could never dream of buying in London anymore. The choice was a grotty studio flat in Croydon or a Victorian cottage in Gillingham, Kent. 

My little house is lovely, very well maintained with period features, a south facing garden and hard won after it was the fifth property I offered on in four months of looking and by far the best I had seen. I will also be 30 minutes away from my aunt, uncle and nan. 

So why the hesitation? By buying in Kent I will be reducing my outgoings whilst still being within commuting distance of London. This was my primary goal if I am to get my assisting career off the ground. On paper the plan seems perfect but why do I already feel like this house is a millstone round my neck shackling me to the 9-5 world that I hate, a job that has begun to make me feel ill and saps me of my energy.

Thoughts of growing my own veg, getting another cat, turning the house into a Farrow & Ball coloured dream home after renting forever and finally being able to buy commercial sized polyboards and blackout blinds to manipulate light in a way I’ve so far not been able to do in rented properties are countered by the fear of the unfamiliar, the burden of being a home owner and the mortgage company forcing me to sell the house 2 years from now should I dare to become a freelancer in the interim years of my fixed rate deal.

For now I shall bounce between fear and excitement as I wait to hear news of exchange and completion dates from my solicitor and make the most of photographing the contents of my housemates organic veg boxes. 


Carrot and Caraway Dog Biscuits

In a desperate attempt to do some baking without having something irresistible in the house afterwards to scupper my pre holiday healthy eating, I have turned to canine baking! This recipe for carrot and caraway dog biscuits is from River Cottage: Cakes and the biscuits have been well received by my friends dogs. My workmates weren’t so sure and thought they were a bit dry but 50 mins in the oven will do that!

River Cottage Dog Biscuits

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So here I am about to embark on sharing my kitchen adventures. Triumphs and no doubt a few disasters….Hmmmm I probably won’t photograph them!

Growing up, I used to annoy my mum no end because I couldn’t just follow a recipe, I had to tweek or change it a bit. Sometimes the tweeks worked and other times they didn’t. Even now when I research classic recipes I take elements from two or three to create my own version. They are not wildly different but I hope I can become braver in creating recipes on this journey.

For the last 2 and a half years I have been baking for a friends stall and my savoury cooking has been very neglected so I thought I’d use this opportunity to start wading though the pile of recipes I have earmarked or torn out of magazines, don’t worry there are lots of cakes in the pile too!