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IMG_7891This recipe has a little story… it was given to me by my friend’s sister. Her family home was always a joy to visit. She had two young children and the kitchen was a constant hive of activity. Glueing and sticking craft sessions going on one minute, to baking cakes the next, before turning everything around to create lunches that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Breakfast was no different. An array of delights would be laid out, from yoghurts, to fruit, criossant and toasts. This granola in all its glory, full of apricots, coconut, nuts and seeds, was always present. (more…)


Blackberry & coconut squares

IMG_7806 I happened upon this recipe last year when I got a bit carried away with the old blackberry picking and after making endless jars of jam and numerous pies I still had a glut of berries left over. This recipe is from the Good Food website and the squares make a perfect afternoon snack or as a dessert served with cream. You can use this recipe in the summer by substituting the blackberries for strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. (more…)


Raw Chocolate Balls

IMG_7752ZestlifeThese chocolate balls are pure indulgence when you need that chocolate fix. They also make perfect gifts, or as an after dinner sweetness. What is great is that there is no junk in them, all the ingredients are so good for you and they are so simple to make. Over the years of making these chocolate balls, I have adapted the basic recipe, experimenting with different flavours to the basic mix. I like to keep the flavours seasonal and love adding a tablespoon of mince meat for a christmas twist. (more…)


Elderberry Flu Remedy

IMG_7617ZestlifeIt was our first foraging and cooking weekend last week. We woke to sun streaming across the fields, trees glowing in the morning light, it was the perfect Autumn morning.  We started the course by exploring the hedgerows, fields and lanes on the Clwydian range. I have grown up roaming this area and it gave me great pleasure to share this beautiful part of the world with my guests. We tromped up the fields from the back of the farm, stopping to chat and discuss the various hedgerow shrubs and trees. We looked at their habitat, their leaf structures, discussed the traditional folklore tales behind the trees and and most importantly we harvested their fruit.

IMG_7669ZestlifeBasket loads of fruit infact, to take home to the country kitchen. Rosehip, Rowan, Blackberry, Hawthorn and Elderberry were the main focus. We nibbled on various plants along the way, including chickweed which makes for a fabulous addition to salads. After a wonderful alfresco lunch back at the farm, it was into the kitchen to turn our harvest into culinary delights. My favourite being the Elderberry Flu Remedy.