As many of you know I take part in amateur dramatics and have performed with a company called Epsom Light Opera Company in Surrey for several years now. October is always a show month and this year we really do have a fantastic show that we are putting on! The show is called ‘Lend Me a Tenor‘ and tells the story of when world famous tenor Tito Merelli is set to perform for the Cleveland Grand Opera Company but things don’t quite go to plan. The show is funny, full of great songs, plenty of dancing and has an absolutely fabulous cast – it will make the perfect night out for those of you in Surrey! Have a look at the ELOC website for more details and information on how to buy tickets, tickets can also be bought from the Epsom Playhouse website.
Here is a taster of what you can expect with some photos I have taken during recent rehearsals!
And here is our promo video filmed in rehearsals to give you another little taster!
Get your tickets now – Lend Me a Tenor will be on at the Epsom Playhouse, Surrey from 28th October – 1st November! You don’t want to miss it!
I’m a big fan of vegetable cakes and nothing beats a good carrot cake on a Sunday afternoon. I have ventured into the world of vegetable cakes a few times, with these sweet potato scones, this lemon and mashed potato cake and I actually had my chocolate and beetroot cake recipe published in the Macmillan Recipe Book that was sold in Marks and Spencer Cafes. Recently my love of vegetables in cakes has been reignited by the absolute beauty of a book that is Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache. The book is full of absolutely gorgeous look and sounding cakes, made with everything from butternut squash to swede to aubergine. You wouldn’t believe the cakes you can make from vegetables. The good news is they are actually healthier too, often the vegetable is used to replace the butter or oil in a cake, healthier baking! Perfect!
This is a recipe from the book, it is a sunken apricot and almond cake made with butternut squash and it really is truly delicious. Grating the butternut squash is a bit laborious and tedious but you soon forget about that when you take a beautiful looking cake out of the oven. If you are thinking of treating yourself to a new recipe book, then may I recommend this book.
Preheat the oven to 180C to start and then grease and line a large tart tin or cake tin. Alternatively you could make individual cakes with mini tart tins. If you are greasing a fluted tin make sure you throughly grease the flutes.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until fluffy and then stir in the butternut squash and almond extract. Next add the flour, ground almonds, mixed spice, baking powder and salt and stir well. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and place the apricot halves onto the cake mixture. Bake the cake for approx 45 minutes.
After baking leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and dusting with icing sugar.
If you missed out on visiting the absolutely gorgeous Mayfield Lavender Fields in Banstead this year then this is something you need to put on your to-do list for 2015 immediately! Mayfield Lavender is a 25 acre lavender field in Banstead, just around the corner from where I grew up and really is just stunning. At it’s peak it is a field of glorious purple with rows and rows of gorgeous lavender, and just driving past the field you are hit by the fabulous lavender scent. It is also the most perfect place to practice your photography skills providing you with something absolutely beautiful to photograph! Here are some of my favourite Lavender Field shots that I have taken:
First post of 2012! And it is a Christmas post! Just one last Christmassy post before Christmas really is over until December! Tomorrow will be tree taking down time, a very sad day. I feel sorry for those skeletons of Christmas trees that you see scattered along the street after Christmas. They look so sad and lonely. I don’t want my beautiful tree to be one of those! But it has to happen, Christmas has to end for the year at some point, I figured that after today it might start getting a bit late to post about mince pies, so here they are now!
Without mince pies Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas, they are Santa’s favourite after all. So this year was no exception, out came the mince pies! I used shop bought mincemeat for mine, but added some dried cranberries to jazz it up a little. For the pastry I used Edd Kimber’s recipe from The Boy Who Bakes, but instead of adding vanilla I added the zest of an orange and a tablespoon of orange juice to make an orange and almond pastry. It was delicious and had a lovely colour too. Being food processor-less I did it all by hand – hard work! And it made an awful lot of mince pies, I was making them for days from this pastry!