We've been busy again. :)
My dear friends, despite the hot weather, the Little One and I found ourselves rushing into the kitchen yesterday to concoct an exciting recipe, something of an experiment ~ which was to become Lemon Shortbread.
It all started with a punnet of raspberries and a bag of apricots that I'd brought home the previous day.
I found my mind wandering to them at intervals and suddenley an idea was born, to eat these delicious, soft summer fruits with a generous daub of creme fraiche and a little shortbread biscuit, flavoured with the essence of the warm Mediterranean: Lemon.
Searching high and low for a recipe proved a little difficult believe it or not. And so, after some pondering and some musing, we decided to forge ahead and make up our own, adding zingy lemon zest to a long standing family shortbread recipe which I will share with you today...
Just look...what do you think?
Dear souls, I cannot describe how deliciously Melt-In-The-Mouth these little biscuits are, you will just have to try them for yourself and see. The lemon is a wonderfully subtle flavour that seems to emerge at the end of each mouthful, and seems to work beautifully with that buttery flavour without being too rich.
Ok, here is the recipe :D
150g plain flour
100g lightly salted butter
100g unsalted butter & a pinch of salt
50g golden caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon (add more if you prefer a stronger flavour)
sugar for sprinkling
How to make:
Preheat your oven: 150c/130c fan/Gas 2
Put the flour and the butter (and salt if using) into a mixing bowl and rub together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Mix in the sugar and lemon rind and knead until it all becomes nice and soft.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface about 5mm thick.
You can then cut out biscuit shapes, or if you prefer smooth the shape into a circle and mark triangles out.
Prick the surface with a fork, and pop in the oven for about 25-35 mins. The shortbread will retain its nice pale colour when cooked.
Sprinkle sugar on top when you take them out of the oven!
Eat when cool.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did - in fact, we have none left and I can feel another batch coming on pretty soon!
Well, the sun has shone relentlessly this last week, just a bit of cloud now and then but almost continental temperatures that have left us all a bit weary not to mention hot and bothered. It's a faff to do much when it's like this but I'm not complaining at all - I love the warm weather and love getting out to enjoy it (pity there's a pile of ironing about 5 feet high crawling up the wall but c'est la vie...life is to be enjoyed, and we can iron when it rains!! Ha!)
So, yesterday - ignoring the ironing pile and walking hurriedly past the hoover, the Little One and I decamped outside with our paints and whiled away an hour under the parasol painting Lemons and Things.
I dug out my old watercolour paintbox from my college days and presented them to the Small Person who asked what all the holes were in the paint pans! I hastily explained that Mummy had painted lots of pictures when she was younger with these paints to which she proclaimed me to be a 'Naughty Girl' for making such a mess of them. Anyhow, she seemed quite taken with the fact that she'd been gifted with some real Big Girl paints and set to work.
It wasn't long before she wanted to do what Mummy was doing, which at that moment was painting a lemon (which you can see at the top of this post) and this is her effort here!
Bless her, she's even managed to do the paint splatters and was enormously pleased with it.
Talking of finished paintings, I have completed the watercolour piece I started last week. I must say a big thank you for all your nice comments about the sneaky peek I showed you, but I appear to have misled you all a bit. I was telling you about my tree problem if you remember and bless you, you all said how smashing they looked thinking I meant the small background ones....little did you know I had not taken a shot of the culprits who were causing me so much grief, they were the big beasties at the front of the woodland scene!! However, after much messing about, I'm happy with the final outcome and can now show you what it all looks like!
This will be finding its way to the printers in the next day or so, and then on to the Agency. I've been fretting a bit lately that I just don't have enough time to create as much work as I would like (I think I've always set high standards for myself and sometimes suffer because of it). I suppose I just want to make the best of what is a wonderful opportunity and not blow it, it's my absolute dream to eventually have a book to illustrate.
Well, the day is still young and there is still oodles of time to start work on another painting, or perhaps begin some more line drawings. Must make the most of my time as I'm being whisked out to Cafe Rouge for something to eat en-route to picking up the child from Mums house later on, and I'm really looking forward to that...moules et frites are calling me...
Have a wonderful weekend folks, thanks for stopping by!