Summery warm lemon potato salad with fresh chives and crispy bacon

 This warm lemon and chive potato salad recipe with crispy bacon makes a really easy side dish that packs a flavourful punch. It’s a firm favourite at all our bbq’s and picnics and is much healthier and tastier than the usual potato and mayonnaise combination that normally gets left to the side. Fresh, zingy and perfectly summery, I usually have to double up this recipe because it goes so quickly!

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Ingredients

2lbs/900g new potatoes, skin on and washed
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp whole grain mustard
4tbsp olive oil (extra virgin is the best)
a sprinkle of black pepper
2 tbsp freshly chopped chives
6 spring onions
6 slices of bacon (smoked will add the most flavour)

Method

Firstly place the potatoes in a saucepan with enough boiling water just to cover them, add some salt, and simmer them for about 15-20 minutes until they are soft when cut with a knife.

Meanwhile, slice the bacon into small strips then fry slowly on a medium to low heat until they turn dark and crispy. Once they’re crispy I always take them out of the pan and lie them on some kitchen towel so that the grease can drain out.

To make the vinaigrette, finely chop the garlic then whisk in all the other dressing ingredients. You can use pre squeezed lemon juice if you like but it won’t have the same punchy flavour as fresh lemon. Roughly chop the spring onions and chives ready to garnish with the bacon.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and transfer them to a serving bowl. Pour on the vinaigrette dressing while they are still hot, toss them around in the dressing to get a good coating, then finally scatter in the crispy bacon, chopped chives and spring onions and serve.

Zesty Lemon and Raspberry Cupcakes

 After a quick break to sit my final year law exams at university I’m back! Seeing as it’s now officially summer time and raspberries are in season, I thought I’d upload my recipe for raspberry and lemon cupcakes. These cupcakes were inspired by the Hummingbird Bakery recipe but I’ve adapted it a little and made them my own way. I baked these cupcakes originally for my husband’s birthday and they turned out a treat! The sweet, juicy raspberries are a perfect pairing to the zesty lemon and together they add a yummy twist to the usual vanilla cupcake. They’re most certainly at the top of my list of favourite things to eat and they stayed moist for ages, not that they lasted very long with my husband around! You could also make this recipe into a large cake but I thought that cupcakes were more fun and less messy! Enjoy!

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Ingredients

110g softened butter or margarine
110g caster sugar (or xylitol for a sugar free version)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g sifted self raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
the zest of 1 lemon

For the Icing:

140g softened butter
280g sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
a few spoonfuls of raspberry jam
fresh raspberries or dried raspberries to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and fill your cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and add in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
Fold in the flour. Then little by little, pour in the milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases until they are half full.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a knife or skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

For the buttercream lemon icing, melt the butter and milk in a sauce pan. Once melted pour the mixture little by little, stirring continuously into a bowl with the icing sugar in it and beat until smooth.
Then fold in the lemon juice, adding more milk or icing sugar if necessary, until the mix is silky and creamy.
Once the cakes have cooled, cut a small hole in the tops of the cakes, and add some raspberry jam!
Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto the cakes using a spiralling motion. I decided to colour half of my icing with blue food colouring but you can use any colour icing you like or just leave it as it is!
I then decorated half of the cupcakes with fresh raspberries and the other with dried raspberries.

These are perfect for a summer garden party or for an afternoon tea sat outside in the sunshine.

Kachumber Indian Spiced Salad

I’ve always loved this simple salad when it’s been served to me with poppadoms in an Indian restaurant, so when I was planning to throw my own curry night I decided to try and make my own. It’s a beautifully fresh and crunchy salad that goes perfectly with almost any Indian dish. Recently, I’ve become rather interested in the art of curry making and how to combine the different spices to create the waves of flavours that come with any well made curry. My dad has always made fantastic indian dishes and steers clear of the shop bought curry pastes so I thought it was time that I did too! This salad is a great starting point to introducing yourself to Indian recipes and is also a great way of getting a good kick of nutritional veggies!

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Ingredients

1 medium sized white onion, diced
Half a large cucumber, diced
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced with the seeds removed
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt

Method

After chopping all of the vegetables up, throw them into a bowl together and mix well. Then add in the cumin, coriander, lemon juice and salt and mix well until the vegetables are nicely coated. Taste to check the seasoning and if you like add some more lemon juice or salt!

Serve with poppadoms and mango chutney or as a side to your favourite curry!