Homemade Strawberry Jam


  • 1kg strawberries, hulled
  • 1kg jam sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  1. Wash, drain and hull the fruit and place into a non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle over lemon juice and sugar, gentle mix until fruit is well coated. Cover with a tea-towel and leave overnight.
  2. Tip the fruit and sugar into a heavy based pan. Heat gently until the sugar melts completely, don't let the mixture come to the boil before all the sugar has melted.
  3. Turn up the heat and boil hard for exactly 4 minutes. Take off the heat and do the saucer test*. If jam is not ready then return to the boil for another 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and swirl in the butter. Skim of any scum that forms. Cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Stir gently and pour into sterilised jars. Seal.
    Keeps for approximately 3 months.

*The saucer test: place a suacer into the freezer for about 5 minutes. When ready for the test, remove from the freezer. Drop a spoonful of the jam onto the saucer. Leave for about 5 minutes. Run your finger through the mixture, if it wrinkles then the jam is ready.

My Recipe Features on Foodista!

Hot Cross Buns

It's nearly Easter and what is more Easter-esque than Hot Cross Buns! Toast 'em and get the kettle on....

450g (1lb) flour (I used white bread flour but feel free to use whatever flour you like, even gluten and/or wheat free)
1tsp salt
7g of yeast
50g (2oz) caster sugar
1 1/2tsp mixed spice
150g (5oz) dried mixed fruit
325ml (11fl oz) lukewarm milk
1tsp white wine vinegar
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
90ml (3 1/2fl oz) sunflower oil

3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp milk
4 tbsp milk
3 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Mix the flour, salt, yest, sugar, mixed spice and fruit in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk, eggs and vinegar. Mix with a wooden spoon until almost combined then work in the oil to make a soft, sticky mixture. Spoon into a bun tray and gently mould each bun with the back of a spoon.
  2. Cover the tray and leave in a warm place for about an hour for the buns to rise slightly. Make sure the cover doesn't touch the mixture. Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 220oC/Gas 7.
  3. Make the decoration by combining the flour and milk in a bowl and put into a a piping bag. Pipe a cross loosely over each bun. Cook for 20 minutes until golden, well risen and firm.
  4. Make the glaze by heating the milk and the sugar. Brush the buns when they come out of the oven and leave to cool.
  5. Serve, toasted with butter.. yum yum!

    Hey! I'd love to know if people are using my recipes!! If you are leave a wee comment on the recipes post! Also, why not head back and let me know how you got on!!?

Fondant Filled Chocolates

Hey!! Wonder where I had got to? Well, I am back and I have a great and SO easy recipe for you to try!


3oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups (10 oz) icing sugar
4-6 drops of food colouring
4-6 drops of flavouring

  1. Mix the cream cheese and the icing sugar together.
  2. Start with four drops of food flavouring and then carefully add flavouring and colour as desired.
  3. Mix until the mixture is an even colour. You may wish to add more icing sugar if your mixture seems a bit thin.
  4. Melt the milk chocolate and half fill your moulds. (depending on your moulds you may want to experiment with the following method but this worked perfectly for me.
  5. Using a icing piping bag put a blob of the mixture into the centre of the chocolate (see picture below).
  6. Spoon a small amount of chocolate onto the top to seal and then place in the fridge.
  7. Turn out when set.
  8. Keep in the fridge until needed.

I used low fat cream cheese, just to try and convince myself that these are healthier! Put full fat os fine also. I had to go to eBay for the flavouring, I was struggling to find sweet flavourings but found an American company LorAnn Oils which do a great range and are very reasonably priced.

Hey! I'd love to know if people are using my recipes!! If you are leave a wee comment on the recipes post! Also, why not head back and let me know how you got on!!?

Chocolate Moulds

Have you ever tried making your own chocolates? I tried a while ago with some moulds from my mums coffee shop gift shop. At the time they were top of the range, plastic affairs and to be honest they made a decent chocolate, if you could get the silly things out! Although, that did make for a lot of wastage and somebody has to eat it!!!
Well, one of the Christmas presents I bought for my self last year was one of the moulds pictured. In fact the one at the top, and I am definately going to be adding the others to my collection!
They are silicone moulds which means they are all bendy so each little 'insert' can be turned completely inside out! This means the chocolates can be popped out cleanly and easily and there is no broken chocolate.
I rustled out a batch last weekend as a present for my mum as we were visiting. (Well, I had made dog biscuits for the dog, it seemed only fair.) It is a great way to use up all that left over chocolate and nuts. I used both dark and white chocolate and layered it. White chocolate filled to half way, pop in a hazelnut, dark chocolate to finish, pop them in the fridge to set then he presto! they are ready.
I will be experimenting with different fillings and additions to the chocolate over the coming weeks so watch this space.
I do recommend these moulds but I would say, for the frugal kitchen equipment buyer destined to only buy one for emergencies, go for a generic shape, like the square, as this will cover a range of events. Hearts are nice but a bit limited to their usage.
Hey! I'd love to know if people are using my recipes!! If you are leave a wee comment on the recipes post! Also, why not head back and let me know how you got on!!?

Check Out My New Blog Site...

Want to read about my exploits into the country? Well check out my other blog site, its new so don't laugh at it :) www.realisingthedream.blogspot.com
It is to be my online diary as my husband and me set off to try and make a life in the country. We want to try an start a home business, as well as have all the peaceful surroundings of the countryside. I am also going to attempt a bit of self-sufficiency too, get a proper vegetable garden going, fruit bushes and definately some chickens. I will then be able to get some nice 'Farmhouse Kitchen' recipes going!!
There have been so many days since my last post, I apologise, regular service will be resumed shortly.
So please, check out the new blog, let me know what you think, what you think I can do to improve, what you'd like to see.