Happy Easter!

Hop..hop……hop………shhh! The Easter Bunny is in town and has come to visit with a host of decadent chocolate treats for all!

easter eggs

Easter marks the end of Lent, a period of 40 days fasting and a time that symbolises rebirth and new life.

Oh, how I love this time of year: Spring…my most favourite season of all…after Winter’s wanton, cold stark baroness has cast off his grey, heavy and laborious overcoat that bought its demise to all that life had to offer…Spring gently breathes her warm and soft breath over all that lies before her, tantalisingly kissing life into the habitually dormant and cold semblances of once-alive flora and fauna…

Easter eggs date back to the early 1800s and remain an ever popular expression of the joy and celebration of this special time.

Don’t forget they are a treat and offer very little nutritional value so think about building in a long Sunday walk or a bike ride to burn off those extra calories or conjure up a creative Easter Egg Trail in your very own back garden…hiding those wee Easter eggs where only the wondrous fairies, dancing and a-prancing under their dark emerald green umbrella canopies, fanning their translucent, glistening wings in a show of pure magic know where you’ve hidden the treasure trove…

or simply spread eating them across a number of days so you don’t over indulge*.

Whatever you decide, have a EGG-tra (get it?) special beautiful Springtime and sunshine filled Easter.

* Come close…let me whisper…shhh…I like the fairies knowing your secret! ;O)

Indulgently, Easter best wishes and good fortune to you all,

Dawn

And don’t forget that eggs are a great form of protein and can be boiled, poached and scrambled along with a host of other ways of incorporating them into our diets, healthily. 

For easy to make and simple to follow recipes, then follow this blog at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and hop over (get it? Easter Bunny…hop…?) at Twitter @Love_Food_UK. The Cooking Whiz is also on Mumsnet and Facebook.

What’s in the cupboard? Muesli

Making nutritious muesli with ingredients already at home is easy, quick and provides a great, filling meal for either breakfast or as a Saturday lunchtime quick-fix meal.

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Ingredients

Serves 1

60g porridge oats

15g brazil nuts, roughly chopped

30g dates, chopped

30g blueberries, washed

1 banana, peeled and chopped

150ml milk

Method

  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  • Add milk.

Dawn: And eat! It’s this simple!

You can use whatever ingredients you may have in the kitchen cupboards and fridge. Apples, grated. Sliced pears. Cranberries – fresh or dried. Dried fruit of any kind including raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed fruit, apricots. All count towards the UK Government’s recommended “5-A-Day” and make for a healthy breakfast or alternative lunchtime meal. 

And remember: only include nuts of any variety if you’re not allergic to them! 

For more easy to make and oh-so simple to follow recipes, then follow this blog at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and over at Twitter @Love_Food_UK. The Cooking Whiz is also on Mumsnet and Facebook. 

How to Make Pancakes

Pancake Day – also known as Shrove Tuesday – is celebrated in February or March and precedes Ash Wednesday which is the start of Lent.

Dawn: More on the origins of Pancake Day in a bit…for now, let’s crack on with the recipe!

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Ingredients

Serves 4

100g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

300ml milk

Splash of vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

Sugar and lemon juice (fresh or bottled) to serve

Lemon wedges (optional)

Method

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour the egg in, beating well with a fork or balloon whisk until the mixture resembles a thick paste in appearance without lumps.
  • Next, gradually add the milk, mixing into the ingredients to make a smooth batter.

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Dawn: The batter now resembles white, frothy water and is relatively runny in appearance looking similar to a bubbling brook as it crashes against the rocky outcrops hurling itself ever forward…so it’s quite thin in consistency. But I digress!

There are two main types of batter used for puddings. One is pouring batter like this one for pancakes and the other is coating batter used for fritters which is thicker for deep-frying. 

  • Heat a little of the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan, running the liquid around its surface until it is very hot. Any excess oil can be drained off into a cup for use later.
  • Pour in just enough batter to create a thin coat on the base of the frying pan, tilting the frying pan to help the batter evenly cover the base. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

Dawn: To find out if the pancake is cooked, simply take a fish slice or palette knife and lift an edge of the pancake up; if the underside has turned golden brown it’s cooked that one side. 

  • Flip with a fish slice or toss in the air and cook the other side until it too has become golden brown.

Dawn: I can’t toss! I always turn my pancakes and carry on cooking them. No comments, please!

  • Put the pancake on a plate and place a sheet of greaseproof paper on top of it, placing the plate on top of a saucepan of boiling water to help keep it warm. Repeat with the remaining batter and place a piece of greaseproof paper between each pancake.
  • When finished making the pancakes, serve sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice.

Dawn: As a variation, if you’re using fresh lemons for the juice then you may wish to grate some of the rind and add it to the batter, stirring well before cooking. 

The origins of Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is centred upon Lent and Easter. Shrove is derived from the word “shrive” which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of confession and doing penance. Many Christians including Anglicans, Methodists and Roman Catholics observe self-examination including any mis-doings with a view to repenting and look at what in their lives they need to seek God’s help with.

Pancake Day is usually in February or March and precedes Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent, being a period of forty days of fasting omissions and religious obligations that can include going without chocolate or cake, etc in recognition of a person’s sacrifice to mark their repentance.

In pagan times, before the Christian era, the most important part of the Shrovetide week was the making and eating pancakes which symbolised the hot sun, bringing forth its power, light and warmth to the Slavs (European ethno-linguistic peoples living throughout Europe, North and Central Asia). The first pancake was put out for the spirits of the ancestors and on the last day, some pancakes amongst other foods were burnt as a sacrifice to the pagan gods.

For more delicious cooking ideas, cheap meal ideas and food tips, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – Twitter @Love_Food_UK we’re also on MumsNet Bloggers Network. See you over there!