A Very Green Smoothie

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It’s a new week and as all new weeks come with good intentions, I bring you a smoothie.  An extremely green smoothie at that.  Don’t be put off though, it tastes delicious, and the (not so) hidden spinach in there will do your body good without you even noticing you’re drinking a vegetable!

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My weekend was a much needed recharge, after a rather stressful week, and was filled with lots of food (always), long walks (which resulted in my being  slightly afraid for my life), shopping (pay day weekend) and a nostalgic concert (McFly!).

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Popcorn Peanut Butter & M&M’s Cookies

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It’s the weekend…finally! I have not had the best working week of my life so I cannot wait to enjoy the next two days as much as possible with friends, food and music.

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Working in an office, as I do, takes a bucket load of patience at times. The answer? Go to the kitchen, make a cup of tea, count to ten and eat some chocolate. I currently have a big bag of peanut M & M’s on my desk which have been helping me in my most stressful moments, and they inspired me to adapt this already ridiculously awesome cookie recipe from the newly released (in the UK anyway) Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

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These cookies bring together popcorn, chocolate and peanut butter….really there is nothing better than that. They are crispy at the edges with a slightly chewy centre. The popcorn adds crunch, M & M’s colour and, most importantly, chocolate and there is a background peanut butter flavour to finish things off.

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Yum.

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Rhubarb Lavendar Crumble

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Lavender smells lovely and looks totally pretty, but eating it…really?  I was in a farm shop a couple of weekends ago just outside Perth, which sells all sorts of goodies for cooking and baking, when I came across a too-adorable-not-to-buy jar of lavender.  I’ve also always wanted to try baking with lavender, even though after opening the jar it still reminded me of perfume.

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After doing some research online I discovered that lavender goes really well with rhubarb…only one of my favourite fruits!  What better vehicle for consuming rhubarb is there than crumble?  That would be none, you’re dead right.

Here the lavender provides background notes of floral sweetness which mellows out the tartness of the rhubarb.  The lavender is incorporated into the mix with the rhubarb and sugar, before the whole lot is topped with a simple crumble mixture flavoured with some orange zest.  (Talking of oranges, I have also found out during my research that lavender goes really well with citrus and have an orangeage recipe in mind to try it out further..experimentation! )

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Chamomile Cupcakes with Lemon & Honey Icing

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I’ve wanted to create a honey and lemon flavoured baked good for the past few weeks, ever since I was ill and drank nothing but hot water, with a teaspoon of honey and a wedge of lemon for three days straight. I figured something good should come of my sore throat!
Enter these adorable little cupcakes that I adapted ever so slightly from the Joy the Baker cookbook. The cakes are delicately flavoured with chamomile and complimented with the creamy honey icing, which is given a kick of spring-time with some lemon zest.

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The batter is really easy to make up, using the Hummingbird Bakery technique of wet ingredients in to dry. The icing, also very simple, is double cream lightly whipped with honey, icing sugar and zest – trust me, it’s delicious, and I don’t even like cream.

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