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Gorgeous Fresh Vegetables from Kent Veg Box

By 28 November 2013 Food, Fresh produce
Kent Veg Box

Yummy vegetables from farms in Kent

Last week I was lucky enough to be sent a free box of gorgeous Kentish veg from the lovely people at Kent Veg Box.  This is the medium veg box that would normally cost £12. The box was delivered to my work and was bursting with vegetables, which were covered in mud, as if to prove that they were farm fresh! Inside the box I had potatoes, parsnips, red onions, a red cabbage, carrots, greens, brussel sprouts and a swede. I also got a box of six free range eggs but they’re not normally included in the box.

The challenge was to work out how to use up all the veggies because I already had all my meals planned out. With a family gathering coming up, I decided to make carrot cupcakes using the scrummy little carrots and some of the fresh eggs. I had to buy another carrot from the supermarket to make up the recipe but this was no hardship.

Carrot cupcake

I found the recipe on HonieMummy Blog

It made 13 large muffins but could definitely have made more, it’s just that I had 13 people to feed! I used the cup measurements (except for the carrot, which I measured out in grams).

Carrot Cupcake Recipe

175g / 6 oz / 1 cup soft brown sugar
175ml / 6 fl oz sunflower oil
3 free range eggs
150g / 5 oz / 1 1/4 cups of plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg – I used mixed spice
240g / 8 1/2 oz / 1 3/4 cups grated carrot
1 tsp of orange essence / 1 tbsp of orange juice – I used freshly squeezed satsuma juice as that’s all I had in the house!

Cream Cheese Frosting

200g soft cheese
500g icing sugar

I decorated the cupcakes with chocolate carrots from Sainsbury’s baking aisle.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Mix the sugar and the oil.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the mix and beat together until combined.
  5. Add the grated carrots to the batter and mix well.
  6. Add 1 scoop (45ml / 3 tbsp) of mix to each of the muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20 mins.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the frosting and decoration.

I then took the veg box to my mother-in-law’s so that she and my father-in-law could use what they wanted for our roast dinner. And what a roast dinner it was! We had a delicious roast chicken with roast potatoes (not actually from the veg box but bought from a farm in Sellinge), honey roast parsnips, brussel sprouts with bacon, mashed swede and carrots. Fresh vegetables taste so much better than frozen ones and it was great to know that these are grown here in the Garden of England.

We’ve still got the red cabbage and some spuds and onions left! Please feel free to suggest what I can use them for! I’m thinking of doing a trial run of braised cabbage for Christmas. If it’s nice I think it’s freezable so I could just pop it in the freezer and take it with me to my Mum’s on Christmas day. And for the spuds and onions – rostis? Think I might have a recipe for potato rostis and poached egg somewhere….

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Exploring Sandgate Sea and Food Festival 2013

By 27 August 2013 Folkestone, Food Festivals, Kent
Sandgate Food and Drink Festival 2013

An extremely wet Saturday was an inauspicious start to the Bank Holiday weekend but the foodie gods played their part and the clouds dispersed to allow the sun to shine down on the Sandgate Sea and Food Festival.  This annual festival started in 2004 and takes place on the seafront behind the historic Sandgate High Street.  There were a variety of stalls including a contingent from France who were serving a hoppy lager from the Boulogne-sur-Mer region of northern France.

There were a choice of food stalls from which to choose our lunch. All were tempting, including a very large piece of Spanish tortilla from Fresh and Easy (a patisserie and cafe and Folkestone) and a tapas stall. We plumped for burritos from Escondido, a Mexican restaurant in Sandgate itself. I went for a chicken burrito and Marc went for a pork and green chili burrito. They were served from a chafing dish that actually meant the tortillas were a bit hard, almost crunchy. This isn’t how burritos are normally served but actually it made for excellent street food. The burrito was easy to pick up and eat without the filling falling out, which is was normally happens. The filling was very tasty but not at all spicy. That’s good for me though because I can’t eat spicy food. The burrito contained chicken in a tomato based sauce, rice and re-fried beans. I added guacamole, salsa and sour cream. The first two tasted homemade and were delicious. Guacamole is one of my favourite dips and I always prefer homemade to shop bought. We tucked into our burritos while sitting on the beach.

Chicken burrito from Escondido Sandgate

Unfortunately we didn’t have long to look round the festival because I had to get home to cook Sunday lunch for my in-laws (braised beef with shallots and mushrooms, followed by tropical pineapple pudding). I saw on Twitter that a lady was planning to make peanut butter cupcakes and I was very excited! We managed to find the cupcake stall before going home but I was disappointed to learn she didn’t have peanut butter flavour. My mood soon lifted when I picked out a divine gingerbread latte cupcake. The cake was flavoured with both coffee and ginger, with a vanilla frosting. The sprinkles are tiny gingerbread men! So cute!

Gingerbread Latte Cupcake

It was a pretty good weekend all in all. Yummy treats on Sunday followed by a healthy dinner, and a naughty BBQ on Monday with friends. Only one month until the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival on 27th to 29th September. I’m really looking forward to that as it’s a proper big festival held in the Dane John Gardens. I’ve not been since I was at college about ten years ago! I remember buying a lovely rhubarb and ginger pie.

By Rachel Birchley x

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