Monday, 30 January 2012

Shake Up Your Wake Up! Greek Yoghurt with Banana & Pistachio

Continuing with the breakfast theme of my latest posts, here is another idea for a healthy Greek yoghurt breakfast. It's so simple to create:

First stir a few drops of vanilla essence into a small bowl of Greek Yoghurt. Top with chopped banana slices & shelled pistachio nuts, drizzle with maple syrup (or golden syrup) and top with grated nutmeg. Enjoy! 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Shake Up Your Wake Up! Golden Corn Breakfast Rolls

At the moment I can't get enough of this next recipe! These are slightly sweet corn rolls, perfect warm with butter or in this case topped with scrambled egg, herbs and cheese for breakfast. I have also been eating them for lunch with cheese and salad. The rolls hold their shape well when filled.

Makes 8 large or 12 small rolls

2tbsp golden syrup
40g melted butter
30g yeast
450g strong white plain flour
140g polenta (cornmeal)
350ml warm water
1tsp salt

- Cream the yeast and dissolve it in the warm water in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the salt, golden syrup, melted butter, polenta and half the flour.
- Beat using a wooden spoon until smooth and combined.
- Add the remaining flour, a little at a time to make a smooth and moist dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5.
- Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly. Shape the rolls and place them on lightly greased baking sheets.
- Allow the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes.
- Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes until the rolls sound hollow when tapped underneath.
- Turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Shake Up Your Wake Up! Blueberry Twist Yoghurt

This week is Farmhouse Breakfast Week, this year named 'Shake Up Your Wake Up!' The annual campaign highlights the importance of eating a healthy breakfast.

And why should breakfast be the same every day?! A simple base of natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt can be dressed up in so many ways to make a healthy breakfast.

To get into the spirit of breakfast week I thought I would share one of my favourite greek yoghurt breakfasts.

Blueberry Twist

Take 1 portion of Greek yoghurt (or natural yoghurt), then add a handful of blueberries and black grapes (cut in half lengthways).

Next chop a small handful of pecans and add these to the centre of the bowl.

Drizzle the bowl with approximately 2 generous tsps of honey.

Finally use a small sieve to dust the dish with cinnamon.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ever Reliable Wholemeal Bread

We all need a reliable wholemeal bread recipe and this one does the trick. It uses a mixture of white and stoneground flour to create a palatable wholemeal loaf. The crust is tasty but not too hard or chewy, it slices well and body of the loaf is soft and tasty. Remember that when making bread the dough should be fairly soft, if necessary add a little more water, otherwise your finished loaf will be hard.

Makes 12 medium sized rolls and a 1lb loaf

1 lb stone ground flour
1 lb plain flour
½tsp salt
2oz butter (I used Clover)
1oz fresh yeast (refer to Tip of the Week dated 17/09/11 regarding yeast if you don’t know how to source this)
1tsp sugar
1 pint water (tepid)

- Place the two flours in a large bowl and mix well. Rub in the butter and place the bowl in a warm place.
- Cream the yeast and sugar and add half the tepid liquid. Leave in a warm place.
- Make a well in the flour and add the yeast and enough water to give a rather soft dough. 
- Knead well, then put to rise till it doubles in size. 

- Knock back and re-knead. Just under half of the dough should be shaped and placed into the 1lb loaf tin. The remaining dough should be shaped into 12 equal sized rolls and placed onto baking sheets. Ensure the baking sheets have first been greased and floured.
- Allow the loaf and rolls to prove in a warm place for around 20 minutes and then bake in a hot oven at Gas Mark 7/220oC/425oF. Check the loaves after 15 minutes and remove loaves when they are brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath. The rolls will need to be removed from the oven before the loaf.

Remember, wholemeal flours generally require more moisture than white flour and will take longer to cook.

The flour I used today was sourced from Pann Mill Watermill and was very reasonably priced at £1 per bag:

For anyone living in Buckinghamshire or the surrounding area I would recommend a trip to Pan Mill Watermill when they hold a milling demonstration. Pann Mill is at the eastern side of High Wycombe at the edge of the Rye park. It is the last operating water mill on the river Wye, a tributary of the Thames. There have been mills on the site since at least 1086, and probably earlier. The previous Victorian mill was substantially altered in the early 20th century and mostly demolished in 1971. However, the High Wycombe Society saved the remains and the site, which is owned by High Wycombe Council, and a restoration project was started which continues to this day.

The mill is run entirely by volunteers and opens several days each year to hold demonstrations. It is possible to go inside the mill to see how everything works and the gardens surrounding the mill are lovingly kept. All in all a good afternoon out!

The next Pann Mill open day will be held on Sunday 13th May 2012 between 11.00am - 5.00pm.

Spicy Chickpea Stew

On this blog you won’t usually find many spicy recipes, simply because this is not my style. I love using fresh home-grown ingredients and prefer actually being able to taste them! Occasionally though I fancy something a little hotter. If you like your food spicy you will probably want to ramp up the quantities of spices in this recipe as it should be fairly mild otherwise.

Serves 4

225g dried chickpeas (soaked, cooked until tender, then drained)
2 onions, peeled and chopped
225g carrots, peeled and sliced
100g sweetcorn
175g broad beans
2tsp ground coriander
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
600ml water
3tbsp tomato puree
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

- Heat approximately 2 tsps olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and carrots and fry gently for 10 minutes.

- Stir in the spices and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring.
- Stir in the sweetcorn, broad beans, chickpeas, then add the water and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down so that the chickpea stew simmers.

- Simmer the mixture for approximately 1 hour, covered with the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. After 1 hour remove the lid and turn up the heat, allowing the mixture to reduce as you wish. 
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with brown rice and garnish with fresh coriander or parsley.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Poppy Seed Cake Bars

After over indulging at Christmas I fancied a less rich cake to eat over the weekend; something that would be satisfying with a cup of tea but would not feel too heavy. So I decided on the recipe below which was also great for using up the poppy seeds I collected from my allotment last summer.

100g poppy seeds
225ml milk
225g butter
225g light brown sugar
350g plain flour
3 eggs (separated)
2 1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lemon

- Add poppy seeds to milk in a saucepan. Heat to boiling point only. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

- Cream butter with light brown sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in 3 egg yolks (save whites).

- Sift in plain flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.

- Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into butter-flour mixture (it will be stiff).

- Fold in poppy seeds and milk. Mix until just blended. Mix in juice of half lemon. 

- Spread into greased tray (9x13inch baking tray)
- Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tray, then slice into cake bars and store in an airtight container.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Traditional Austrian Baked Cheesecake

This traditional Austrian cheesecake slices well and can be prepared in advance and frozen for up to two months. It has a fresh lemony taste and is lovely served with strong coffee.

You may notice that the recipe specifies Ricotta cheese which is of course Italian! The recipe would have been traditionally made with curd cheese. This is hard to find in my local shops but you may be able to locate a supply. Alternatively for the most authentic likeness to curd cheese you could use equal quantities of cream cheese and cottage cheese, but take care to drain both of them well before using.

Serves 6

100g (4oz) butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar
4 eggs (separated)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
100g (4oz) ricotta cheese
100g (4oz) ground almonds
icing sugar, to decorate

- Beat the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and egg yolks, one at a time.

- Mix in the lemon zest, ricotta cheese and ground almonds.

-Whip the egg whites until stiff. Whisk 2 tablespoons of beaten egg white into the mixture then fold in the remainder.

- Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 24cm (9 1/2 inch) springform tin.

- Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at Gas Mark 4/350oF/180oC until well risen and golden. Cool in the tin on a wire tray.

- Carefully remove the sides of the tin and set the cheesecake on a serving plate.

- Place a paper doily or cut out paper snowflake on top of the cake. Sprinkle icing sugar over the paper. Carefully remove the paper or doily without disturbing the pattern.

Tip of the Week: Permaculture Magazine

For this week’s Tip of the Week I thought I would recommend my favourite magazine Permaculture. It’s full of inspirational yet practical and affordable ideas for a more self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.

For those not familiar with Permaculture I will attempt to explain the concept! Permaculture is a way of working with nature to sustain human activities in the long term to provide for our needs of food, shelter, energy and community in ways that are healthy and efficient. It is about designing systems which are light on the planet; preserving the Earth’s resources whilst increasing soil fertility and agricultural yield. So an example of this could be my willow windbreaks. Instead of purchasing a plastic windbreak (created and transported using fossil fuels etc), I am using a sustainable wood resource in my local area. The permaculture application of this would be teaching others on my allotment site how to make windbreaks to improve the overall efficiency and resilience of the site. In the future strong local communities will be best placed to weather the problems caused by peak oil.

Interesting articles in the winter edition of Permaculture magazine 2011 include:

-        The history and uses of charcoal
-        How to make a pottery kiln from newspapers
-        Book reviews including Alys Fowler’s The Thrifty Forager
-        An interview with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas
-        A feature on composting toilets
-        Instructions on how to make Sauerkraut
-        A wonderful description of the Karuna forest garden  

Happy New Year! Winter Blog Update

Happy New Year to all who read this little blog of mine! I hope everyone has enjoyed the Christmas break and is ready for another hectic and exciting year. In church yesterday we were asked to think of good things that have happened in the last year and hopes that we have for 2012. One of my highlights of last year was definitely setting up this blog and I hope that in 2012 it continues to grow. At some point in the near future I will be organising a giveaway and I have lots of recipe ideas which fingers crossed I will find the time to try out!

This blog has been quiet over the last few weeks but I have been busier than ever! In the run up to Christmas I was gathering materials for my Christmas wreaths and getting out the boxes of dried flowers/seed heads that I collected over the summer. I made 3 Christmas wreaths this year, one for our own house and 2 for my grandparents. It is incredibly satisfying to make something like this which has cost next to nothing and looks so much better than the simple holly wreaths you can buy. The picture below shows one of the Christmas wreaths. As most of the materials are dried it is designed to be hung up indoors over a mantelpiece or doorway.

Although the wreath looks complex it is really quite simple to make. First a base is made of two strong wire bands which will hold their shape. A smaller wire band is set inside the larger wire band. The two wire circles and tied together with garden twine so that they are set in position. A hay band is then laid over the wire base and fixed in place with florists' wire. It is then a simple task to fix the fresh and dried materials to the base, again using short pieces of florists' wire.

The wreath includes:
Red berried shrub
Teasel seed heads
Ornamental & California Poppy seed heads
Clematis seed heads
Burdock seed heads
Tea rose flowers
Lavender flower sprigs
Chamomile flowers
Sea holly flower heads
Calendula flower heads
Straw flowers
Yarrow (Achillea) flower heads, broken into smaller pieces

Following Christmas I started another seasonal project, making willow windbreak hurdles. These should give great protection down at the allotment when I plant out crops such as beans, cucumbers etc.

The first windbreak starting to take shape:

I was lucky enough to get some great presents over Christmas, including a new Nikon camera to enable me to take better pictures for this blog. I got a chance yesterday to try it out on some birds at the local reservoir, the picture below shows a pretty grey wagtail in a stream:

I am also very excited to have been gifted a year's membership to the Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library. It will be great to grow and taste some of the very old vegetable varieties such as the Victorian era purple podded pea:

Happy 2012!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Pecan & Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies

The cold weather outside is a great excuse to stay inside and start baking! These cheesecake brownies are rich and sticky, the perfect antidote to shivery nights.

Makes 16


Filling 1:
100g (4oz) cream cheese or similar (I used Ricotta)
25g (1oz) butter, softened
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or few drops vanilla essence
1 egg
25g (1oz) plain flour 
Filling 2:
100g (4oz) dark dessert chocolate, broken into pieces
40g (1 ½oz)  unsalted butter
2 eggs
150g (5oz) caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g (5oz) pecan nuts


-    To make Filling 1, thoroughly cream the cheese and butter. Beat in the caster sugar, vanilla sugar (or vanilla essence), egg and flour. Set aside.

-     To make Filling 2, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simming water. Stir until well blended then remove the bowl and allow to cool.

-     Lightly whisk the eggs and gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is creamy and thick. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, and stir it into the mixture.

-     Stir 100g of the chopped pecans into Filling 2.

-     Spread half of filling 2 over the base of a 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin. Spread Filling 1 on top, then top with the remaining portion of Filling 2.

-     Draw a knife or cocktail stick through the mixture with a zig zag motion to produce a marbled effect and scatter the remaining nuts on top.

-     Bake in a preheated oven at 180oc/350oF/Gas Mark 4  for 35-40 minutes until almost dry and firm to the touch.

-     Cut into approximately 16 squares whilst still warm. Leave to cool in the tin, placing it on a wire tray.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Why I am in love with leaves!

If this blog has been quiet over the past couple of weeks it’s because I’ve been a woman on a mission! What is the mission you may ask? Well I have spent the majority of my spare time out collecting fallen leaves wherever I can find them. This has included my garden, neighbours’ gardens and local areas. The picture below shows my leaf stack early on Saturday 26th November and since then I have completely filled the bin and have 8 further sacks stacked underneath to add to the heap as it starts to settle and flatten.

I thought I would share the reasons why I am so passionate about collecting leaves at this time of year. Truly, dead leaves are the most wasted source of lasting, organic material and in most towns it should be possible to obtain an extra supply to supplement the leaves from your garden. Leaf mass improves soil structure, adds some nutrients and improves water retention.

Five reasons why I love leaf mould:
1.   It is completely free! I am constantly looking for ways to spend less on compost and leaves are a completely free natural resource.
2.   Leaves are clean and lightweight to handle. At this time of year I am also digging manure into my allotment. Leaves are so much more pleasant to handle.
3.   A low maintenance product. Once you have collected your leaves you simply wait 1-2 years then use the end product. You do not need to add materials or turn the heap like traditional compost.
4.   It helps to lighten my heavy clay allotment soil. It is also a great addition to sandy soils, adding organic matter and improving water retention.
5.   Using leaves diverts material from landfill. Once leaves decompose in a landfill site their goodness cannot be utilised, contributing to a loss of soil health and land degradation.

Two ways to make leaf mould:
-     If you have a small quantity of leaves in your garden place them in a sack adding water if the leaves are dry. Tie up the sack and pierce it several times with a garden fork. Leave the sack for 1-2 years and you should have a good quality leaf mould. If you have placed the sack in a dry place you may need to add extra water to help the leaves rot down.

-     For a larger quantity of leaves it is easy to make a simple container. The most basic structure would be 4 poles stuck into the ground with chicken wire stapled around the structure. My leaf mould bin is of a wood construction with a plastic netting covering. It is important to consider that leaves will exert pressure on the sides of the container especially when wet .

If you feel inspired to create your own leaf mould at home the following frequently asked questions may be of interest.

How do leaves decompose?
The decay of leaves is carried out by fungi and the process requires no oxygen.

Can I use any leaves?
Yes you can mix autumn leaves together in any combination, some leaves such as horse chestnut may take longer to decompose. Never add weeds or ivy leaves to the leaf mould heap.

Where should I site my leaf mould bin?
A leaf mould heap can go in a shady spot where nothing much will grow. The fungal decomposition process does not require heat like a normal compost heap meaning it will be quite happy in a dark corner of your garden. The leaf mould container pictured above is at the end of my allotment where tough tree roots make cultivation impossible. My leaf mould heap at home is placed under shady conifers and does very well every year.

Should I water my leaf mould heap?
If it is a dry summer or you have sited your leaf mould bin under cover it would be beneficial to water the heap once or twice during the summer. From personal experience I have found this to be very beneficial as it helps the leaves to rot.

Do I need to turn a leaf mould heap?
No. A standard compost heap is turned to add oxygen and increase the heat of the mixture. The production of leaf mould requires no oxygen so a settled, compacted heap of leaves poses no problem. There would be no advantage to turning the heap.

How can I make more nutritious leaf mould?
Leaf mould is normally seen as a soil conditioner and although it does add some goodness it is not as rich in nutrients as good quality home made compost. A very good compost can be produced by mixing fresh lawn mowings (high in nitrogen) evenly throughout a leaf mould heap in spring. The result is a nutritious mix which has the advantage of being free of weed seeds.

How long do I have to wait before I can use my leaf mould?
After one year the leaf mould should be good enough to dig into a sandy soil or to lighten clay soil. The picture below shows one year old leaf mould. It is mostly decomposed but some pieces of leaf remain. To create a potting mixture the leaf mould should be left for at least another year until it is rich and crumbly.

Should I worry about collecting leaves near a road?
No. The following is a quote from Lawrence D Hills (Founder of the Henry Doubleday Research Association, now known as Garden Organic):
‘Trees operate a ‘giro system’, throwing away surplus minerals they draw through their roots through their leaves, from which other trees select the trace elements they require. This is how they can grow for centuries in the same place without running out of something scarce. No tree is looking for lead, cadmium, mercury or any of the metals which industry pollutes the air, so that which falls on their leaves washes off and down in rain.’
We no longer have lead cars but the principle remains the same. My interpretation of this guidance is that I do collect fresh leaves which have fallen near roads. If any pollution is transferred to the soil only a tiny fraction would be absorbed into the crop. We absorb more pollution in the air we breathe than the tiny amount that would be present in the crop. This being said I would avoid leaves which have been lying for weeks next to a road and always avoid areas popular with dog walkers for obvious reasons!

Will my leaf mould smell or attract pests?
No! The leaf mould should have a lovely earthy smell which is not unpleasant. The leaves will not attract any unwanted visitors such as vermin to your garden.

P.S If anyone out there is also collecting leaves at this time of year I would be greatly inspired to hear about your ideas and experiences...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Slow cooked sweet peppers with butternut squash & sweet potato

Now that the days are drawing in I have dusted off the slower cooker to create a rich, colourful and warming winter feast. If you do not have a slow cooker at home the recipe would work just as well in a long slow oven with the ingredients layered in a casserole dish.

Serves 4

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into bite size cubes
Half a medium butternut squash, cut into small chunks
1 red, 1 green & 1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
4 spring onions, coarsely chopped
50g grated cheddar
2 tbsp cream
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed & roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs (I used Marjoram & Oregano ‘Hot & Spicy’ picked and dried from my garden earlier this year)
1 generous tbsp tomato puree
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika or more to taste

-      Use a little amount of olive oil to lightly grease the base of the cooking pot.
-      For the first layer add the sweet potato and butter nut squash chunks. Sprinkle over the cheese, cream and rosemary. Add a little salt & pepper to taste.  
-      For the next layer add the sliced onions (leave the spring onions aside).
-      Next add the sliced peppers followed by the spring onions.
-      Sprinkle 2tbsp of milk and 2tbsp of water over the dish (This should prevent the meal from drying out as it cooks).
-      Top the meal with the tomato puree, evenly dotted over the surface.
-      Drizzle a little olive oil over the dish and sprinkle on the Italian herbs and paprika. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

-      Cook for 1 hour on the high heat setting then reduce to low and leave to cook for several hours. Approximately 1 hour before you plan to serve the dish check the moisture level, if there is too much liquid turn the pot to high heat and this should reduce the mixture nicely.
-      Try serving this strongly flavoured dish with something plain such as rice or green vegetables.

Ten Questions

I've been tagged by Jade of Bunnykind to answer 10 questions about myself.

What you have to do if you want to join in, is:
1) Answer the 10 questions below.
2) Tag someone to do the same.
3) Go and leave a comment on the original blog post over at
Super Amazing Mum to say that you’ve joined in, to find out who else has been tagged and to compare answers!

So here goes….

1. Describe yourself in seven words
Christian veggie who loves the great outdoors

2. What keeps you awake at night?
Daydreams of the sea, hiking, birds, camping, beekeeping, coppicing and smallholding...

3. If you could be anyone for day, who would you be and why?
Nick Clegg so for one day David Cameron would actually listen to the views of the ordinary working Briton.

4. What are you wearing now?
Teddy bear PJs which say 'I need a hug'.

5. What scares you?
Earwigs, my garden and allotment seem to be infested with them this year. Having earwigs in my hair and inside my clothes wasn't quite what I imagined when I encouraged polyculture on my plot!

6. What is the best and the worst thing about blogging?
Best thing - I love being part of the blogging community- it connects me with likeminded people and gives me more recipe ideas than I can ever get around to trying!
Worse thing - There are never enough hours in a day to put everything on here that I would like. Between working full time, working an allotment, looking after pets and cooking it's amazing that I ever find time to write anything!

7. What was the last website you looked at?
4OD to catch up on The Closer - the best cop show on TV (closely followed by The Mentalist & The Killing)

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I would love to be less shy when meeting new people.

9. Slankets – Yes or no?
No! Throughout the winter I rely on a Pifco heated throw to keep me warm.

10. Tell us something about the person who tagged you?
In a world of convenience, cruelty and selfishness Jade of Bunnykind blog has made the selfless decision to put animals first by changing her eating & buying habits.

I'm tagging:


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Beetroot Pancakes with a Mushroom, Spring Onion and Cashew Filling

After a very successful year for growing beetroot it's great to still be harvesting a good sized crop in early November. At this time of year the more mature beetroot is not as sweet as it was earlier in the season so I have stopped using the larger beets for salads and sandwiches, however it's still good for cooked dishes. The recipe below is a fun and inventive way to use beetroot. The pancake intentionally has a mild flavour to compliment the cheesy filling.

Makes 4
For the pancakes:
50g cooked beetroot finely grated
1 egg
150ml whole or semi skimmed milk
50g plain flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying

For the filling:
8 Spring onions
400g  mushrooms
100g cashews
4 tbs crème fraiche
50g butter or margarine
2 tsp plain flour
Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
50g mature cheddar cheese finely grated for garnish

Accompanying salad
Bag of prepared baby leaf salad, broad beans and cherry tomatoes with fresh herb dressing

For the dressing:
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbs olive oil
¼ tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp clear honey
1 tbs of finely chopped fresh basil, oregano and parsley
1.   First make the batter. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the egg and milk.  Using an electric or hand whisk, whisk until batter is smooth.

2.   Stir in the finely grated beetroot and seasoning.  Cover and set aside.

3.   While batter is resting, clean and slice spring onions and mushrooms and chop cashews.

4.   Heat a very little oil in an 18cm/7 inch frying pan.  Remove from heat, pour 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan and tilt pan until batter evenly covers base.

5.   Return pan to heat and cook until the top looks dry. Loosen edge gently with palette knife and shake pan, then toss or turn over and cook on the other side for a further 20-30 seconds.  Lift pancake out and place on plate in low oven to keep warm.

6.   Repeat process to make a further 3 pancakes.

7.   Next make the filling. Melt the butter or margarine in a medium sized frying pan and add the sliced spring onions.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

8.   Add the mushrooms and cashews and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.

9.   Stir 2 tsp plain flour into the crème fraiche, mixing thoroughly.  Stir into mushroom mixture and heat gently, stirring frequently until sauce thickens. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

10. Take pancakes out of the oven, divide the mushroom mixture evenly between the pancakes, placing filling in centre, and roll the pancakes around the filling.

11. Sprinkle finely grated cheese onto warm pancakes

12. Serve salad with herb dressing. To make the dressing: Put all ingredients into bowl or jug and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Another beetroot idea: For tonight's dinner I have layered potatoes and uncooked beetroot slices for a bake which also includes cheese and spring onions. It is cooked in a long slow oven with a little milk and butter.