How to Extend the Life of Cut Flowers


The Chalk Hills Kitchen

Homemade Cut Flower Extender. This mixture is comparable to the little packets that you get with cut flowers. Works a charm!


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 drops bleach


  1. Add all ingredients to a vase 3/4 full of cool water. Mix to blend.
  2. Add fresh cut flowers to water making sure there are no leaves in the water.

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Amazing Chocolate Brownies



I made chocolate brownies the other day from a recipe I found on Cake in the Country’s fab blog. I did cheat a bit and only used 3 eggs instead of 4, drinking chocolate instead of cocoa and vanilla essence instead of extract (sorry Sarah I know it’s ‘illegal’ in any good kitchen but mine is a bad kitchen 😉 )


This was the chocolate and butter melting. I was bold after this part. Not only did I not sift the dry ingredients I also just threw them in with the melted mixture. Life’s too short and it saves on washing up!


This was the mixture ready to go into the oven. I think I had the oven too high (I keep forgetting it’s fan assisted) because the edges were a bit dry. Also I just used a loose bottomed (sounds like me!) cake tin. It’s a really easy recipe…

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Cherry Cardamom Quick Bread


Doesn’t this look wonderful. I am thinking of trying it with blackberries which will soon be ready to pick.


This is an easy quick bread to celebrate cherry season. Double the recipe and make an extra loaf for the freezer. Fresh ground cardamom seeds really enhance the flavour of the cherries, not that they need any enhancement. They are so good just right from the tree. If you don’t like cardamom, you could substitute cinnamon.
Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs and extract.

Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients. Stir in the cherries gently (to avoid creating pink batter!) and mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into…

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Strawberry and blueberry crumbles for two


Oh I just love this


I am literally obsessed with bargain shopping.

I used to stick to the ‘it’s only a good deal if you really need it’ motto, but not anything and everything that has a reduction sticker on it goes into the shopping trolley.

So naturally, when I found a punnet of blueberries originally £4 for 65p, and strawberries originally £1.50 for 55p, I couldn’t resist.

For the most part they were perfectly fine to just eat fresh, but a few of the strawberries were starting to look a little past their best, so I decided to whip up a couple of quick, individual crumbles for a really easy weeknight dessert.

This is so ridiculously easy that it may become a bit of a regular habit whenever I see bargain fruits, particularly when it’s as miserable and rainy as it has been this week…

Strawberry and blueberry crumbles for two

  • 125g strawberries
  • 100g…

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Loving the sound of this – definitely a must try.


I love cooking with apples! The aroma of apples baking in the oven reminds me of the delicious homemade apple pies my mom makes. This apple crumble is high in fibre and can be made gluten-free (if a gluten-free flour is used) and vegan-friendly (if oil is used in place of butter).


  • 4 large apples, (peeling optional), cored and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or other berries)


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or less if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup flour (any type)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, ground (or 1 cup pre-ground)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (if using oil or unsalted butter)
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 4 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds (optional)


Place the apples and blueberries into an appropriately sized baking dish.  In a separate bowl, mix the ground almonds, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and flax…

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