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Somerset Apple Cake – Honestly It’s Easy! November 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — rockitupphotography @ 12:24 pm

Last week I made a Somerset Apple cake, I got the recipe from the beautifully written and photographed book ‘Gorgeous Cales’ by Annie Bell. (photographs by Chris Alack).


This is how it was in the book

Somerset Apple Cake


2 Granny Smith Apples

A couple of squeezes of lemon juice

175g golden caster sugar

175g unsalted butter, diced

3 medium eggs, separated

175g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons of apple brandy or calvados (optional)

Makes 1 x 20cm cake

Peel, quarter and core the apples.  Slice two of the quarters wafer thin, toss with a squeeze of lemon juice in a bowl and set aside.  Slice the remaining apple quarters more thickly.  Transfer into a bowl, toss again with a squeeze of lemon, and sprinkle over 1 tablespoon sugar.  Toss to coat the slices and put aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the cake mixture.

Preheat the oven to 140 oC fan / 160 oC / gas mark 3 and butter a 20cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base.  Cream the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy in a food processor.  Beat in the egg yolks, then incorporate the ground almonds and baking powder, working with the mixture as little as possible, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Stiffly whisk the egg whites in another bowl and fold them in two goes into the cake mixture.  Add the apple brandy or calvados, if using, and any juice given out by the thickly sliced apples.  Darin these thoroughly on kitchen paper and gently fold them into the mixture.  Transfer it to the prepared cake tin and smooth the surfaces.  Drain the reserved finely sliced apple and arrange on top of the cake, sticking some of the slices in at an angle.  Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to cool for several hours.  Dust with icing sugar.  Being such a moist cake it keeps well in a covered container, and can be reheated if you want to serve it warm.

Recipe taken from Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell

As with everything I try and make when I go to the cupboard I don’t always have the right ingredients so I did substitute a few things, namely being 2 Granny Smith Apples, and 175g golden caster sugar.  I used the apples I had from our Riverfood fruit and veg box (can’t remember the variety I’m afraid, but crunchy and juicy!). Instead of Golden caster sugar I used a soft brown sugar instead.

Here is a picture of how it came out

I know from the picture it looks like it a slightly burnt, but believe me it wasn’t think the lighting was a bit odd.  Spen loved it and the while thing got demolished in as little as a 2 days!  Glad to see I can get something right! Lol!

Anyhow the recipe was a great success so I thought I would share it with you all, as usual I haven’t been posting as much as I should have but I’ll be doing some crafty Christmas bits over the next few weeks so will be updating things a bit more regularly!




Arriba Arriba!!! August 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — tikobear @ 6:40 pm

I love Mexican food however recreating it in my home can be difficult with two small boys who on some days can be quite fussy!

However – Their one favourite dish has got to be Fajitas! Its easy & quick to make, its messy to eat and it tastes great!

You can buy those ready prepared boxes from Old El Paso http://www.oldelpaso.co.uk/mexican-recipes/Fajitas.htm  but I do like to have a go at making things from scratch!

Sooo here’s how I made the Fajita spice mix & salsa…

Fajita Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp homemade cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Mix it all together. Use about 2 tablespoons (which is about the equivalent to what you get in the packets) when frying your chosen meat/vegetarian filling .


  • 2 – 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 red or green chilli/jalepeno (depending on how brave you feel), finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix it all together – Voila!

Use the above two receipes instead of what comes in the box – you will need to buy some tortilla wraps obviously.

Now have fun making your very own fajitas for possibly half the price!!!

Nom Nom Nom!





Quiet? No…just busy! August 15, 2012

Filed under: 2012,christmas. vintage,eat it,edible,fresh,fruit,garden,gardening,gardens — tikobear @ 10:17 pm

Well it’s been a while since I have blogged and it’s not because I haven’t been up to much, in fact I have been bloody super busy!

We’ve been busy in the garden with constant weeding/mowing/planting and harvesting (will pop some pics up soon – my laptop doesn’t seem to like uploading them to this site!) We’ve been getting an abundance of Golden Nugget tomatoes which the kids have loved as they are bright yellow! We’re now waiting for the Black Cherry tomatoes to ripen which again my boys are very excited about – seeing a “black” tomato!

Potatoes & Peas have also been going crazy this year and so far we have had a fab harvest..they taste lush freshly picked from the ground/pod and even better with a splash of gravy on your sunday roast!

The Raspberries are going strong and we’ve had a huge patch of new growth ready for next year fruit and have managed about an ice cream tubs worth of fruit this year which isn’t bad, they are still ripening too so hoping we get a few more. (Have also just started some more wine with them!!)

Strawberries didn’t do so well this year, possibly due to the weather, however our Alpine/Wild strawberries have been fruiting since May! (Though they just aren’t the same as your usual house strawberry!)

All our other fruit & veg aren’t doing too bad, unfortunately a lot of it has bolted or been desimated by the slugs, which is dissapointing and soul destroying some days, but after hearing/reading that most people in the UK are having the same problem I think we just need to write this year off and hope for a better one next year!

So now onto the wedding planning, this again takes alot of my time as I am one for a bargain which involves ALOT of researching on the internet/shops to get the best price for things. I have managed to make the two ring pillows for my gorgeous little ring bearers, designed and printed the evening invites, shopped aorund for other bits and designed my first draft of the day invite – however I have now changed my mind on the design! Typical woman! Still LOADS to do but I have my whip cracking MOH Claire to keep my on track!

What else is there? Oh yeah – creating crafts for the craft fair I am helping with in November for my village to help raise funds for the village hall. Things from plastic bag sausages, vintage heart decorations, tree decorations, friendship bracelets, draft excluders and placemat & coaster sets! I will be posting how to make some of these in the months to come and again will upload some pics!

So as you can see as well as being a full time worker/mum/housewife I have also managed to fit in the above hence why the blog has taken a side step!

Anyways, how are your gardens doing? What problems have you faced so far this yr?




Is it a Jungle or a Garden? July 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — rockitupphotography @ 10:07 am

Good grief I ventured out into the garden for the first time in long time yesterday and discovered weeds and thistles which are as tall as me! (Which anyone who has met me will tell you is not that tall but still it looked like a jungle at the bottom of the garden!)


With all the rain and work commitments over the last few weeks the garden really has just slipped to the bottom of the priority list.  So the mission for this week is to do a little bit everyday – and I’m quite lucky to have Friday off work so the I may actually get some of the jobs on my to do list ticked off.

I still need to get 3 replacement bits of glass for the greenhouse sorted out as well so I can finish that – bit late for this season but at least I’ll be ready and raring to go for the future!

Has anyone else let their gardens go a little bit due to the horrific and constant rain we have been having?  Please tell me I’m not on my own! 😉

This is a picture of a field down the road a couple of weeks ago –yes – it’s meant to be a field not a reservoir!


But it appears the sun has decided to finally make an appearance – and the other half of honestly it’s easy has been as jammy as usual and got this whole week booked off work!  I must remember to book the same weeks off as she does – it always seems to be fab weather!

Will update on you on how I’m doing getting through the jungle later this week! 😉

All the best!




I haven’t been sat around drinking tea all day I promise! June 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — honestlyitseasy @ 8:31 am

Good Morning!

I have so much to fill you all in on, where do I begin?

We have been very busy in the garden, I will post about it later on this week though because basically we have half built our new greenhouse and the glass is going in tomorrow so I’ll make sure I print all the before, during and after piccies up so you can see how much of a difference its all made.

The potatoes are going crazy at the moment, there really isn’t anything like digging up and eating your own spuds, it’s all very exciting.  With all the rain we have been having as well the strawberry plants, and fruit bed in general have all sprouted up quicker than you can say the words ‘jam sandwich!’.

My comfrey plant has also returned, I honestly thought that I had killed it off, I’m so happy to see it back again.

The chickens are starting to get a bit happier now that the rain has taken a break, poor old things, they looked more like drowned swamp rats rather than chickens at some points over the last few weeks, I know we shouldn’t moan about the rain because it was very much needed but it would be nice to just have a couple of weeks of half decent weather.

Fellow blogger Mel and her mum Monica and I went on our, what is turning out to be ‘annual’ national garden scheme trek around Preston Capes and saw some wonderful gardens.  Here are a few pictures from the lovely afternoon.




This year it was held slightly earlier so unfortunately the roses were not quite ready to show themselves which was a great shame because there is one house that has a beautiful rose growing up and around a tree, and the scent is incredible and it just looks absolutely stunning!  We shall have to keep an eye out for that again next year – hopefully it wont clash with the wedding of the year ! 😉

I am now going to sign off, but I will return probably on Thursday with some pictures of the new greenhouse (because obviously none of you have ever seen a greenhouse before ;)) and garden etc so you can see that while I haven’t been blogging that regularly, I haven’t been sat on my bum drinking tea all day either, I have actually been very hard at work! Lol!

Oh and I also have joined Instagram as well just search for RockItUpPhotography or Claire Steels – hopefully you’ll be able to find me?  I’m pretty new to it but try and post something on there every couple of days or so.

All the best!




Do you get your 5 a day? May 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — tikobear @ 8:32 pm

I know I probably don’t so I have decided that we need to grow more fruit in our garden in the hope to spur on more fruit munching!

We’ve always grown the common strawberries, blackcurrents & raspberries, but we have found a patch in our garden for a specific fruit area, so with the help of some free fruit bushes from our regular magazine and an offer at the garden centre, we now have:


Red Gooseberry

Green Gooseberry




We also have our fruit trees (Cherry, Pear & Apple) which we got last year but they never really did anything, so we’re hoping this year they may bear us some juicy fruits!

Fingers crossed this helps with my 5 a day, do you get yours???







Grenhouse is on its way! May 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — rockitupphotography @ 12:42 pm

Right so the weather man seems to think that the sun is going to make an appearance next week! Woo Hoo!  At last!  Let’s just hope he is right for a change!:)

In celebration of the impending sunshine we have ordered our greenhouse today!  It should arrive by next saturday !  It really can’t come soon enough to be honest – as I have blogged previously my house is turning into a greenhouse at the moment – really need to get some of this jungle out of our living space! lol!

Due to the weather being so miserable we still haven’t been able mow the grass, on the days it has been dry enough to cut it we have both been working, so frustrating and now its getting a little embarassing as well.  It looks so untidy and unloved!

Next weekend is the weekend we are going to attack it – I only have two jobs on over that weekend so should be able to spend some time int he garden and Spen only has a days work booked in so far.  So I’m hoping that this time next week things will look completely different out there.

All this rain we have had has however been welcomed by our strawberries, potatoes and onions that are in the ground!  Check out these beauties!








All the best!