Chocolate damson cake

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I am typing this to the sound of rather loud drilling, for as I type our kitchen is currently being dismantled – well more than dismantled it’s pretty much non-existant at the moment. No sink, no oven, nothing. We’re knocking through to make a kitchen/diner and having very lovely, sleek grey units put in along with new flooring. Blogging over the next couple of weeks could be interesting…time to investigate some no bake, microwave and slow cooker recipes I think!
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Pizza – Take Two

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Oh where has the summer gone? It seems to have passed us by and it’s already starting to feel quite autumnal. As I type this the sky is grey and there’s not a hint of sunshine to be seen. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago we went to Crete a few weeks ago. This is a distant memory now and I’m already hankering after sunshine, warmth and alfresco dining. ‘Why I am I wittering on about this?’ you may ask. Well, today’s post reminds of sunnier times. We each had huge pizzas down by the quay in Elounda in Crete which were so big we had to ask for boxes to take it away (which came in very handy for lunch the next day). (I think I spoke too soon when I started typing this this morning. Obviously the weather heard about my grumblings as we have been treated to a glorious sunny day here in Hampshire – hurray! I am sat finishing this in the remaining sunshine in the garden. )
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Lemon & elderflower loaf cake

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This is a recipe I spotted a couple of days ago as I was having a recipe sort-out. I am a terrible hoarder (as Mr Birdie will confirm) and hold on to all sorts of magazines thinking I might make a recipe from them one day. Periodically I go through them all cutting out the recipes I want to keep. This recipe was from a Waitrose Weekend newspaper back in March and is by Martha Collison (one of last year’s GBBO contestants). As we were off on a picnic with my university friends I thought this would be a good bake to take along as it would be easy to cut and would hopefully survive the journey intact. It would also make good use of the elderflower cordial that I made.
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Cheese & pesto whirls

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I should probably start by saying the photo doesn’t do these rolls justice – they look burnt in these photos but they definitely weren’t!

This summer it is 12 (yes, 12!) years since myself and my friends left university. How time does indeed fly by. It seems like only yesterday that we were graduating and looking forward to what the future held. Fast forward 12 years and we are all successful in a wide variety of different jobs. Our group has grown, thanks to partners and the addition of children but we still try to meet as regularly as bumps, babies, children and life in general allows. Yesterday was one of our gatherings. We decided to meet at Knole Park, a National Trust property in Sevenoaks for a picnic where we were blessed with lovely weather for our picnic. The park has a large herd of exteremely tame deer who are very interested in any opportunity to grab some food from you. They come right up to you and one decided to just flop down and join our group.
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Chilli chocolate cookies

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Ah the summer holidays. The chance to relax, enjoy the sunshine (sometimes!) and catch up with friends you haven’t seen for a long time. We got back this week from a week in Crete (which was lovely), which is why it has been a little quiet on the blog front. But never fear, I have more than made up for it this week with three bakes over the last few days! I caught up with one of my friends Kathryn on Thursday. She doesn’t eat egg so I always keep my eyes open for egg free bakes which I can make. I’ve made double chocolate shortbread and Mary Berry’s cranberry and white chocolate shortbread for our catch ups before.
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