Friday 8 April 2011

The tide of spring . . .

A beautiful wave of green has broken on the April countryside . . . sweeping around the woods and hedgerows like the rising tide in a river's estuary . . .

Like a mounting wave of green, it rolls around the whole world it seems . . . as every twig and branch unfurls new leaves, so tender and sweet as they uncurl . . .

Loveliest of all are the cherry trees . . . a shower of blossom . . . like the white sails of a galleon riding upon a restless sea; adrift before the wind, fair and graceful . . . rolling into the harbour on those full green waters . . . on the tide of spring.

Oh, I do so love this time of year . . . it is so filled with beauty and promise . . . and peace.

We went into Chester City yesterday on the bus, and had a lovely afternoon walking around. We paid a few bills and then just wandered at will. The air was filled with laughter and music. There were buskers all over the place and it was so lovely! There were two elderly men, one was playing the piano whilst the other played the trumpet. So fun to watch. A Spanish looking gentleman was playing the guitar beautifully on another corner . . . and then in yet another space was a young man, also with is guitar, but also singing beautifully. It all added an air of festivity to what was really a beautiful day. I realized how very much I had missed Chester all those years we lived down South and how very glad I was to be back! My knee and back held out for most of the day and it was only when we got home that I felt sore and tired. That's a vast improvement!

Here are some lovely cookies that I do so enjoy. Rich and chocolatey, and moreishly scrummy!

*Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies*
Printable Recipe
Makes 2 dozen

Outrageously deliciously chocolately cookies. Need I say more?? Be careful not to overbake these. You want them gooey and chewy.

8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 TBS butter
2/3 cup of plain flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large free range eggs
3/4 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp pure vanilla
12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Lightly butter two baking sheets, or line with baking parchment. Set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate and butter into a microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between until almost melted, without overheating then. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in another bowl.

Beat the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla together with an electric whisk on high speed, until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate. Stir in the flour mixture just to combine. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Drop by heaped tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 to 3 inches in between each. Bake in the heated oven, rotating the baking sheets, halfway through the baking time, for 12 to 15 minutes. They should be shiny and crackly looking, but still soft in the centres. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Over in The English Kitchen today, some delicious Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Artichokes.


  1. What beautiful pictures, Marie. i love spring too but I do wish it was not so quite unpredictable this year. Jen and her Little Women are driving from Utah to Ca on Saturday and I do so pray they do not hit any snow.

    It sound s like you had a nice day in Chester. I was wishing I was as close to Wales as you are the other day when I was trying to figure out my genealogy in that area. Do you know how many Mary Davies there are in Wales? Too many to count.

    I am so happy you were able to walk around pain free. That is good. Have a great day, I am heading to bed in a minute.

    XOXO B

  2. I wish our spring would hurry up. It's still so dead looking at the moment, though I take delight in those first snowdrops and the returning birds while I wait for that heady spring explosion. I'm glad to see you have yours already and to see that you are out and about and enjoying yourself.

    Those biscuits look beautiful. I'll try them next weekend for a family get together. I made brownies last time and I thought they were a bit much - but then I don't really care for chocolate, especially really rich chocolatey dishes. These sound much more my cup of tea.

    Enjoy your day - I hope it's another sunny one.

  3. What beautiful photos, Marie. Lovely bokeh.
    Thank you for the scrummy recipe for those Choc Chunk Cookies. My big girl is coming home from Uni for 5 days so they are on the list the make on Sunday for her and Brianna. Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons.

    Cheers - Joolz

  4. Those cookies look perfect for the weekend! xxxxx

  5. I can imagine you and Todd doing a walkabout in Chester. I love walking around there myself. So glad to read that you only suffered once you got home. Now that was a blessing! Spring has brought out the 'Muse'in you for sure. Isn't it a magical time of year?

    Jeanie xxxx

  6. Spring musings... oh, I just love spring when she's sprung...LOL! We're just really seeing the first real signs of spring here now, and it's been great this week. And best of all--almost all the snow is melted away...hooray! VERY glad you both had such a nice day out & about in Chester yesterday, and that you held out--super news! These cookies look dangerously good. Now that we have the cooker and such in place in the kitchen again, I may bake this weekend. ;o) Happy Weekend to you all there--LOVE YOU LOTS, dear friend ((BIG HUGS))

  7. Noo!! I just started eating Paleo--no flour no sugar--and I come to your blog and see DELICIOUS cookies!!!

    Good thing I get a cheat day. I think I'm making these!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Oh Marie, you know my heart. It aches to be near Lura and to take care of her. She is so alone now. Sil is gone, Erin is too busy to get to see her and/or bring John, and I think Lura was transferred to a regular room yesterday. She can't do anything without assistance, and these nurses have lots of people to attend to. John flies home Sunday. She's down and I'm not in a position to help and it's killing me. My heart just keeps breaking for her. I love her so much, and I love you and I long for the time we will all sit down together to tea!!! Hugs, Jan


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