Tuesday, 26 June 2012


If you are of a certain age,  like myself, you will probably have grown up with the concept of Friday being fish day.
Before writing this post i googled Fish Friday to look at where it originated from. There seems to be lots of theories, all of which lead back to religious reasons, so probably best for me to stop my curiosity there!!
Now that Sunday Lunch at Skylark Farm seems to be quite well established my attention has turned to build regular "theme" days on our specials board to gain a more steady clientele through the week. A lot of food establishments these days offer deals, like 2 for 1 but we dont really want to go down that route and are looking to offer something a bit different.
So we have decided Friday will be fish day.
Each Friday you will always find scampi on the specials board and fresh beer battered cod, using local Nobby's Ale in the batter mix.

To add to these i will also be on the lookout each week for good, homemade, fish recipes so that the choice we offer will always be varied.
This week i journeyed back into The Hairy Bikers Perfect Pie book for inspiration and found this great recipe for Salmon,Dill and New PotatoTart.

The Hairy Bikers PERFECT PIES from Amazon

First job was to make some shortcrust pastry, roll and line my tart cases and bake blind.
Whilst they baked I boiled some new potatoes  until tender, then cut into thick slices.
When the pastry cases were baked I lay my potato slices within them and added flaked, raw salmon and finely chopped spring onions. I then snipped some fresh dill over the top.
Salmon,Dill And New Potato Tarts
 Beat together 200ml double cream,200ml creme fraiche and 3 large (beaten) eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into each tart and return to the oven to bake for 35-40 mins on 170C/Fan 150C/Gas Mark 3.5 until the filling is just set and the top beginning to brown

Salmon,Dill And New Potato Tart.
Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing and serving.
I would love to show you a photo after baking but like a numpty i let the battery in my camera run out!!
Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions of other tasty meals for Fish Friday and thank you for popping by.

Monday, 11 June 2012


SUNDAY ROAST is getting popular here at Skylark Farm and i like to keep as fresh with ideas for desserts as i can.
Having been given some soft lemons from the farmshop at the weekend i googled recipes with lemon in and came up with BANANA LEMON TART.

First thing needed is sweet shortcrust pastry.
*250g Plain Flour
*50g Icing Sugar
*125g Butter
*1 Large Free Range Egg (beaten)
*Splash Milk

Sieve the flour and sugar.
Rub in the butter.
Add the egg and milk to form a dough.
Wrap in clingfilm and rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
The lemon flavouring in the tart comes in the form of lemon curd so whilst the sweet pastry was chilling i popped over to one of my favourite blogs RosMadeMe where i knew Ros had a recipe for making lemon curd. You can find that recipe here
SO, having made my lemon curd i began on the tart.

First roll out the pastry dough and lay into a 9ins flan dish. Prick the bottom of the tart case. Bake blind on 160C (Fan Oven)/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans. Bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Spread 4Tbsps Strawberry Jam over the base of the pastry case.

Slice 3 Ripe Bananas and arrange evenly on the top.
Take your Lemon Curd from the chiller and measure out 5Tbsps.
Whisk in 2 beaten Free Range Eggs and 250g Creme Fraiche or Fromage Frais (entirely your preference).
Pour over the bananas.
Pop it back in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the filling is set and slightly browned.

Banana Lemon Tart

Leave to cool to room temperature before serving.
Once again i'm entering into Handmade Monday to see what the crafting community have been up to this week.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


WE use such a huge amount of bread at Skylark for our breakfasts each week that we end up with a pile of crusts from the ends of the loaves.
I tend to store them in the fridge for a week then process them into a big batch of breadcrumbs. I never realised until starting this job just how many things breadcrumbs can be used for. Our main use most weeks are for the sage and onion stuffing for Sunday lunch or our Homemade scotch eggs. Meatballs are a firm favourite too!

For our fruit crumbles i usually just make a topping from flour,sugar and rubbed in butter but this week discovered a new method using breadcrumbs so i decided to try it out and so glad i did.

Today the farm's shop had given me some soft strawberries, plums and peaches that couldnt be sold so i chopped them all up and put in a heatproof dish with a sprinkle of water and a shaking of sugar over the top. I put this in the oven for 10 minutes for the fruit to soften.
In a bowl i measured out 100g breadcrumbs, 100g oats, 100g sugar and then rubbed into the mixture 60g butter.
I took the fruit out of the oven and covered with my crumble topping and baked for a further 15 minutes.
Served with some gorgeous homemade custard this deliciously crunchy crumble sold on the specials board in no time at all!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


IT'S been a special weekend in the UK with the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations. On any royal occasion i always get a lump in my throat and a real sense of British pride when seeing The Mall, leading up to Buckingham Palace, packed with supporters.
The Mall on Diamond Jubilee Weekend

It wasnt such a big crowd at Skylark this weekend but we also celebrated a 60th occasion. The cafe was hired Saturday for it's first evening event, a 60th birthday party. The buffet was to be all handmade so it was a long day for me.
Buffet Food
I prepared 5 vegetable quiches, Scotch Eggs, my own square vol-au-vents (filled with prawns and coronation chicken) and sausage rolls.
Buffet Food
Wraps filled with ham and mustard mayonnaise, beef and horseradish mayonnaise, and cheese and farmhouse chutney.
Even homemade breaded mushrooms. Coleslaw and savoury rice accompanied the finger food.
Buffet Food

After the savouries we served homemade strawberry cheesecake, banoffee pie and chocolate orange trifle but unfortunately i didnt manage photos of these.
It was hard work but a successful evening and hopefully the first of many.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Malteser Tree

I'm rather proud of my youngest son.
He's one of those kids that excels in everything he does,and he DOES everything! Football,rugby,saxaphone, clarinet,golf,pool,snooker,fishing,scouts, to mention but a few.
 He also knows you have to work hard for things and since January has washed the plates and pots on a Saturday at Skylark Farm to earn his own money. Here he is on the right of the photo with one of my chefs.
Today he even came the other side of the kitchen as we were short staffed and i taught him the basics so he could help out.
So in the week when he asked me to help him make a malteser tree, similar to one my sister had made me at christmas,as a gift for his English teacher, who was leaving, i was happy to help.

We started with a terracotta pot and filled it with melted chocolate and put a stick in the middle topped with a polystyrene ball and left it to set.

We then poured some melted chocolate on the ball and stuck maltesers on it.
We carried on until the ball was covered.
We colured some fondant icing orange and green and made lots of flowers.
Which we stuck between the maltesers.
I tied some ribbon around the stick for decoration.
Made a gift tag.
And the end result, a gorgeous Malteser Tree.
His English teacher was extremely "touched" by the gesture and loved it.

I'm entering this post in this weeks Handmade Monday which can be found on Handmade Harbour blog organised by Wendy of 1st Unique Gifts.
 I'm off there now to see what other crafters have been up to this week.

Friday, 1 June 2012


We had a BBC camera crew in just over a week ago doing a feature on free range eggs and EU rules.
Here is my boss on the news

Unfortunately they didnt film the cafe so my 5 minutes of fame will have to wait!