One of the great things when growing your own vegetables is making things with them once they are ready. This recipe is typical of the things you can make.

These Beetroot Wedge’s are tasty and will melt in the mouth especially when you use your own home grown beetroots.

Ingredients

  • 500g beetroot
  • 200g spinach
  • 70g Cheddar cheese
  • 2 squares of puff pastry
  • 2tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sesame seeds

Method

  • Clean the beets and cut the ends away but DO NOT PEEL.
  • Cook them in lightly salted water until soft and tender then rinse under cold water.
  • Scrape away the peel.
  • Fry the spinach in olive oil until all the water in the spinach has dissipated then let the spinach cool.
  • Cut the beetroots into cubes and mix with the cheese and spinach. Season with black pepper and salt (if required)
  • Set the oven on 225C or gas mark 6.
  • Take the puff pastry and roll out into small squares. Remember you will be turning them into triangles so not too large.
  • Fill the squares with the mixture.
  • Take one edge of the pastry and fold creating a triangle. Firm the edges with a fork.
  • Brush with the egg and sprinkle sesame seeds liberally over the triangles.
  • Cook in the oven for 18-20 minutes depending on the type of oven you have, or until light brown.
  • Leave to cool before enjoying.

These beetroot wedges are great with honey baked red onions!

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Everyone loves apple pie, if you don’t then I will eat it as I love it, providing there’s no cinnamon in it!

What will make this pie taste even more delicious is to use your own, homegrown apples picked fresh from your own trees. I am beginning to slaver just thinking about that.

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 400g plain flour
  • 200g butter or 100g butter and 100g lard
  • 4 tbsp. ice cold water

Filling

  • 1.5-2.0kg apples preferably Bramley. Peeled, de-cored and cut into slices

    Use whatever apples you have grown

  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp. water

Ingredients Shortcrust Pastry

  • 400g Plain flour
  • 100g Lard at room temperature
  • 100g Butter at room temperature
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 4tbsp. Ice cold water

Method Shortcrust Pastry

  1. Sieve the salt and flour into a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut the lard and butter into small manageable pieces and add to the flour in the bowl.
  3. With a round edged knife (butter knife is good for this) mix the ingredients together until they are fairly mixed together. Then with your fingertips lightly rub the ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs.
  4. Sprinkle 1tbsp. of cold water over the ingredients and rub in.
  5. Repeat until you have used the water then with the knife bring the ingredients together to make a dough. You want the dough that’s not to sticky or dry so you may have to add or reduce the water you use.
  6. Finally with your fingertips once more, bring the dough together to form a smooth dough. Add cold water if needed as you bring the dough together.
  7. Put the dough in a plastic bag or Clingfilm and leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. This is important as it gives the dough time to get more elastic, making it easier to roll out.
  8. After 30 minutes roll out to the desired size on a floured surface.

Method Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C or gas Mark 5.
  2. Put the apples and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix together.
  3. Get a large pie tin or ovenproof plate and grease.
  4. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut in half. Roll one half out on a floured surface. You want the pastry to be slightly bigger than the tin or

    Rolling out the shortcrust pastry

    plate.

  5. Gently put the pastry on the tin pressing down into all the nooks and crannies. Trim away the edges and brush the edge with milk.
  6. Take the apples and spread them all over the base leaving about 2cm’s free at the edge so you can seal the pie.
  7. Roll out the 2nd half of pastry. Again you want the pastry to be slightly bigger than the plate.
  8. Carefully put the pastry over a plate

    Place the lid over the apples and press it down at the edges making a seal. Trim away the edges then with your fingers finish it off by crimping the edges all way round sealing the apples in.

  9. Make 3 slits on top of the lid so steam can escape. Brush the finished pie with milk then put in the oven.

    With a knife, carefully remove any excess pastry

    Ready for the oven

  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is a golden colour. Remove and leave to cool before serving with ice cream, custard or cream.

 

 

 

 

 

We all know about climate change. The use of products that produce dangerous gases and pollute the air we breathe, resulting in warmer temperatures. But do many of you know how you can do just a little bit which will make a big impact to the climate and environment around you?

Turning off unwanted electrical items like chargers and computers, walking or cycling instead of using the car, planting trees and growing your own vegetables. All these things can be done quite easily, but will make a big change to the way in which we all live.

Below is a small list of things one can do to live a greener life but there are many more things one can do.

  • When making coffee or tea use enough water for the number of cups you need.
  • Make sure the pan you are using is the right size for the job and the ring you are going to use on the cooker.
  • How about making your own meals instead of shop brought rubbish? Making your own meals means you know exactly what goes into them. If you use your own home-grown veg, fruit, herbs and other edible items, you will have a great tasting, healthy meal.
  • Always open the windows around the house to let in fresh air and dispel any old, stale air which can be bad for you. Even in winter a few minutes makes a difference.
  • Never leave the TV, satellite receiver or any other electrical device on standby. Leaving it on standby means you are still using electricity to keep it on standby and raising your electricity bills.
  • Planting trees is an excellent way of helping the planet deal with pollutants which we pump into the air like carbon monoxide and turn it into oxygen which we need.
  • Never buy bottled water. Yes it is an invaluable source in emergency situations where the local supply has been cut off or contaminated, BUT there are ways for these companies to distribute water without using plastic. Cardboard cartons and bottles is one way in which they could distribute water needed in times of disaster. Plus the transporting and making is incredibly expensive and bad for the environment.
  • Growing your own food like vegetables, fruit and herbs are another great way for you to live greener lives and conserve the environment. Not using pesticides will greatly improve the air and the soil in which you have planted your vegetables and they will taste delicious too.
  • Conserving rain water is a great way of living a green life and there are many ways in which one could utilise the collected water. First off is the garden. Water the plants, trees, and all those vegetables with rain water which is free from chlorine, fluorides and other chemicals water companies pump into our drinking water. Some plants like Venus Fly Traps should only be watered with rain water as the chemicals in drinking water will rot and kill it outright. Other good ways for using rainwater is the toilet and if you can have the correct filters in place, the shower.
  • Composting. When you are preparing your vegetables and fruit why not have a small compost bin in the kitchen with a lid on. When it’s full take it outside and put that waste into a compost bin. This will rot down over time thanks to the beneficial insects and worms, leaving you with beautiful compost which you can use in your garden. The plants will thank you for it too.
  • Try to recycle as much as you can. From paper to plastic, metals and even batteries can be recycled. No longer working electrical items like fridges and freezers can all be recycled. Furniture you no longer require and old clothes can be recycled to. Just give the local charity shop a ring or go visit them and see if they will collect you’re unwanted items. I save some containers to use in and around the house and in the garden. Old yoghurt pots can be great emergency plant pots, so can tin cans. Plastic egg cartons can be used as seed trays. If they have a lid then you have a mini propagator. Just think about it, the possibilities for recycling are endless.
  • When washing clothes use the coldest setting possible and try to hang them up to dry instead of using a tumble dryer. Bad for the environment and the pocket.
  • Other more common things to do to live a greener life include leaving the car at home instead replacing it with either walking, cycling or getting public transport to work and wherever else you may be going. If you need to use the car make sure it is as environmentally friendly as possible and always make sure the tyres are at the correct pressure. Turn off lights when not needed and even turning down the thermometer by 1 degree makes a difference.

As one can see these changes are nothing major, most of them you will already know and, hopefully already implement. But they will make a big difference to the environment and climate, especially if everyone practices these simple procedures. It’s not hard or even rocket science, just common sense.

Would you like to write a blog post for my blog?

I am looking for a number of bloggers who are willing to write guest blog posts so I can post them on here. Most topics can be catered for but I would prefer the posts to be on frugal living, cooking and baking, technology, wildlife, gardening or writing.

I am sorry but I can’t pay you to write a guest post, but you can put link backs to your website or blog in the post. I will also include a link back in the Favourite Links section for more exposure for you.

I am also available to write guest blog posts for your blog or website, with a wide range of topics catered for. If you want me to write a blog post then all I ask in return is a link back to this blog and my business website, www.wayne-anthony.com.

If you are interested then please Contact Me.

Are your strawberriesready yet? If not a well known supermarket in the UK are selling them for £1 for 227g. The strawberries are also grown in the UK so you will be eating our wonderful produce and keeping our farmers and growers in business. I won’t name the supermarket but the first letter is A. The name is also very short, 4 letters to be exact!!!

Strawberry’s and chocolate are the food of love so why not mix both and create a lovely dip to dip the strawberry’s in?

Ingredients

100g bar of chocolate like Dairy Milk or other quality chocolate

500g home-grown strawberries

1 carton of double cream

Method

1. Break the chocolate into smallish pieces.

2. Heat a pan of water on the cooker. As the water is heating up get a Pyrex or other ovenproof dish and place on top of the water.

3. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put into the ovenproof dish and allow to melt. As the chocolate is almost melted add the cream and gently stir the ingredients together.

4. Stir both ingredients together until creamy. Don’t let the mixture boil or go lumpy.

5. Remove from the cooker and allow to cool for a few minutes. Don’t let the chocolate set!

6. Serve in a bowl with strawberry’s on the side to dip in.

Another way to use this recipe is if you have kids round and you want to give them something different. Or at the end of a dinner party strawberry’s and chocolate are a great way of finishing off the evening with friends. How about after a romantic meal for two? Now that would give you a few good points, need I say more chaps?!

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Before I go shopping I always write a list. I then check my shopping prices online to see how much my shopping is going to cost at my favourite supermarket. The list is an invaluable tool for me in that it does save me money. When I walk around the supermarket I only look what is on the list, not at all those tempting items on special offer conveniently placed around the isles. I have a copy to hand on my computer desk and add to it whenever I see I need something like toothpaste, soap, meats, bread etc.

If you would like to use my copy of the shopping list then please do so. Click on the image and it will load up. It’s a .PDF file so you will need Adobe Reader which most computers have nowadays.