March

March is finally here, meaning that Spring is on its way! It’s also St David’s Day so in honour of all the Welshies (my family live in Wales) I decided to make a batch of gluten-free Welsh cakes. For those of you that have never had Welsh cakes, they are rather like drop scones and usually served warm and with a generous slather of butter.

I found a recipe for a gluten-free version in a great cookbook on my shelf: Gluten-Free Baking by Phil Vickery. I do have another of his books Gluten-Free Cooking which is also pretty good with more ideas for meals etc.

Gluten-free Baking...yummy!

Gluten-free Baking…yummy!

Here’s my slight adaptation of his recipe:

Phil Vickery’s Gluten-Free Welsh Cakes

Makes about 10-15 (I got 15 cakes out of this recipe but it depends on the size of your cutter)

Prep time: About 10 mins

Cooking time: 15-20 mins

225g Gluten-Free flour (Phil uses a blend made up of rice, potato and tapioca flour that you can make up yourself, I have done this in the past but now find Dove’s Farm brand much quicker and easier)

1 teaspoon mixed spice

100g butter (Phil suggests cooking margarine but I’m not a fan, feel free to use any fat that works for you)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon of glycerine

80g fairtrade unrefined caster sugar (Obviously sugar is not great for you but at least if its unrefined, there is some goodness in it and buying fairtrade is something we should all aim for if we can!)

80g sultanas (I had to use raisins as that’s what I had in but I think sultanas or even currants are actually more traditional)

1 medium egg, beaten

1.Put the flour, spice, butter, xanthan gum and bicarb in a bowl and rub through gently until you get the consistency of fine breadcumbs.

2. Add the glycerine, sugar, sultanas and egg and mix through till you get a soft douch

3. Dust a work surface with some flour or corn flour and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 5mm. Using a cutter, cut out as many little cakes as you can get out of the dough.

4. Heat a griddle pan or normal frying pan over a medium heat. Add 4 cakes to the pan at a time and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are lightly coloured and puffed.

5. Once cooked, remove from the pan and serve warm. (Phil suggests sprinkling with caster sugar but to my taste they are quite sweet already).

Storage: Can be kept for 2 days stored in an airtight container. Warm them through for 10 seconds in the microwave before serving. They can also be frozen in an airtight container. Defrost for an hour and pop in the microwave for 10 seconds before serving.

Welsh cakes and daffodils for St. David's Day!

Welsh cakes and daffodils for St. David’s Day!

Ta da! They’re quite yummy! I am going to have to get some in the freezer straight away as otherwise I can see me scoffing them all at once. Have you got any baking plans for this weekend?x

Slow

As I write this, the snow is coming down thick and fast again and you can feel everything take on a slower pace. In fact it’s been a slow few days around here, with both of us a bit tired and sniffly and feeling the need to just nest and rest and recuperate. This weekend was perfect, where the most arduous chore was taking the dog to the park and marveling at how different the park looks without the thick coating of snow it had just a few days before.

Do you think Pepper might want to go and play in the snow?

Do you think Pepper might want to go and play in the snow?

A bit of gentle de-cluttering in the house meant a trip to the nearest charity shops, the only kind of shops other than wool and book shops that I could happily lose a few hours in. (In fact, so enduring is my love for the chazza shops that I remember being told as a small child that I could have some money to spend in a shop of my choice as a gift and I asked to go to the charity shop…bless my weird little self!) Happily, the shops are next to one of my other favourite places, the library, so I grabbed some new books to take home with me.

Then there was reading under cosy blankets with lots of cups of tea, a bit of baking, a bit of knitting, but all at a wonderful, leisurely pace.

There was pie...

There was pie…

Seeing friends and doing stuff is obviously lovely too but that feeling of being able to do exactly what you want, with no rush and no demands on your time is just delicious. I’m trying to keep that feeling in mind as all too often I end up working at weekends and really need to keep them a bit more sacred so there can be more weekends like this.

I loved seeing that my friend Jess thinks the same about staying in. I’ve known Jess since I moved secondary schools when I was about 14 and I believe our first ‘friend date’ was to see Flintstones the Movie…Jess, is that right?! Anyway, Jess has a lovely blog here┬ácalled Once upon a Home, all about the ups and downs of renovating a home and definitely worth a read.

As for today, today is slow too. The falling snow means that I can’t take any decent photos of new knits for the shop and I’ve just realised that all the blog posts I thought I had scheduled for last week haven’t actually posted. But you know what, it’ll all get done eventually so for now, I’m going to make a lovely cup of tea, stare out of the window at the snow (and the little field mouse that is currently munching on the bird feeder!) and snaffle up the last bit of that pie before Mr PQ gets his mitts on it. Hope you all have some slow time in your day too x