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Simple and delicious recipes for a relaxed Easter lunch

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Simple and delicious recipes for a relaxed Easter lunch

Enjoy a lovely long weekend, and gather with friends or family to celebrate Easter.

Treat your loved ones to a delicious lunch, it’s simple to prepare and can be left to cook while you socialise.

 

Broccoli & Apple Soup

Broccoli & Apple SoupThis surprising combination of ingredients, work beautifully together to create a light soup with subtle flavour.

Time 25 mins
Serves 4
Calories 107
Fat 4g of which 0.4g is saturated
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

Olive oil 1 tbsp
Red onion 1, peeled and chopped
Dessert apples 2, peeled, cored and chopped
Vegetable stock 750ml (1¼ pints)
Broccoli 1 large head, trimmed and roughly chopped
Low fat natural fromage frais 4 tbsp, optional
Granary bread and Cheddar cheese to serve, optional

1 Heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add onion and apples, cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2 Pour stock into pan and add broccoli. Bring up to boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat, season with black pepper and purée with a hand-held whisk. Serve immediately with a spoonful of fromage frais, and a chunk of bread and Cheddar, if using.

 

Simple Roast Lamb

Simple roast lambPerfect for a social occasion, everything is cooked in the oven giving you time to enjoy with your guests.

Serves 6
Time 2½–3 hrs plus resting
Calories 625
Fat 34g of which 13g is saturated

Half leg of lamb weighing about 1.8kg (4lb)
Garlic 4 cloves, peeled and chopped
Fresh rosemary 4 sprigs, leaves plucked and chopped
Olive oil 6 tbsp
Small new potatoes 750g (1lb 10oz), scrubbed
Chantenay carrots 500g (1lb 2oz), trimmed and scrubbed
Asparagus 2 bundles weighing about 500g (1lb 2oz), trimmed

1 Preheat oven to 190ºC/Gas 5. Place lamb in a roasting tin. Mix together garlic, rosemary and 2 tablespoons of olive oil with freshly ground black pepper. Spread all over lamb. Roast for 2–2½ hours, depending on how you like your meat cooked.

2 When lamb has an hour left to cook, bring potatoes (cut any big ones in half) and carrots up to boil in pan of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put remaining oil in a roasting tin in the oven above lamb to heat up. Drain vegetables, add to hot oil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add asparagus. Stir well and cook for a further 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3 Leave lamb to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with gravy made from juices.

 

Cranberry & Raisin Spotted Dick

Spotted DickA classic pud with a deliciously modern twist. This recipe steams slowly on the hob while you have fun!

Time 1¾ hrs
Serves 6
Calories 442
Fat 19 of which 8.9g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Self-raising flour 250g (9oz)
Ground cinnamon ¼ tsp
Shredded suet 125g (4½oz)
Orange 1, grated rind only
Milk 175ml-200ml (6-7fl oz)
Dried cranberries 75g (3oz)
Raisins 75g (3oz)
Caster sugar 75g (3oz)
Custard or cream to serve

1 Stir together flour, cinnamon, suet and orange rind in a bowl. Pour in milk, starting with 175ml (6fl oz), and adding a little more at a time until you have a moist but firm dough.

2 On a lightly floured surface roll dough out to a rectangle 20x28cm (8x11in). Mix together remaining ingredients and scatter over dough. Roll up as if making a Swiss roll from narrow end. Push any fruit that falls out back into the ends. Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, making a pleat in each, twisting the ends to form a seal (like a cracker) and tie with string.

3 Cook in a large steamer set over a pan of boiling water for 1½ hours. Check water level.

4 Allow to cool slightly before unwrapping. Serve in thick slices with custard or cream.

 

Win a set of Denby Monsoon MugsWIN A SET OF GORGEOUS DENBY MUGS

If you’re entertaining with a motley collection of mismatching mugs, why not enter our prize draw to win a set of gorgeous Denby china?

Win a set of Denby Mugs

 

 

 

Happy Easter everyone!

 

 

#easterrecipes #win

Daylight Saving Time starts

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Don’t forget to put your clocks forward 1 hour tonight

In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.

The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).

When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

 


 

 

Daylight Saving Time starts
Clocks go forward 29 March 2015 at 1am

Daylight Saving Time ends
Clocks go back 25 October 2015 at 2am

 


 

 

#clockschange #daylightsaving

How to make laundry easy: part 2

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Create a fabulous laundry space for less than £15!

Laundry must be one of the most mundane household tasks, but one that has to be done with the most frequency!

Our tips in this series will
help to make things a little
easier and speedier.

This week, we tackle your laundry space. Having somewhere pleasant to work, with everything you need close to hand will make the task much more bearable, and quicker too.

Here’s how to create the laundry/utility space that best suits you in just 5 steps:

  1. Make a list of the items that you actually need in your utility or laundry room.
  2. Empty everything out of the room and sort through your belongings. Throw or donate anything that’s not useful or beautiful. Find a more appropriate place for anything not on your list from step 1.
  3. Clean! Scrub all surfaces and the floor and clean your washing machine by adding a cup of bleach and washing (empty) on its hottest setting.
  4. If necessary, give everything a fresh lick of paint. If you have a small space, choose white to give a lighter brighter feel. You can add colour with accessories.
  5. For a pleasing space choose a colour scheme of two or three colours (perhaps taken from a picture you wish to use). Sort your belongings into types and pop into baskets, boxes or bags in your chosen colour scheme. Move or fit shelving and/or hooks to accommodate these baskets or boxes and larger items such as an ironing board and mop.
  6. Put everything in its new place and accessorise with pictures and ornaments.

When we moved into our current home we inherited a truly horrible utility room. I despised it and had grand plans to demolish it.

However, after a little planning, one day’s work and a spend of only £14.49, I transformed the space into a pretty and practical laundry space.

Utility refurbishment

I followed the steps above, with (a lot) of scrubbing and a fresh coat of white paint. After a huge sort-out, I housed essential items in boxes and baskets.

  • I re-used a few baskets/boxes that I already had and bought six new boxes from Home Bargains.
  • I re-used my household box, filling it with laundry liquid etc. As it’s attractive and houses the items that I use most frequently, I have left this out on the worktop.
  • A new over-door hook and pretty re-usable bag is now a handy store for carrier bags on the back of the utility door. I also hung all the keys on a hook on the wall.
  • A new wall hook bought for a couple of pounds from Home Bargains is perfect for the ironing board and mop.

And voila from gross to gorgeous (well, almost) in just a day and with less than £15 spent.

You might also be interested in How to make laundry easier, simpler and faster part 1

#organise #organize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

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Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

It’s St Patrick’s Day tomorrow and to celebrate, why not make these rich gooey chocolate cupcakes.

They are divine!

Time 1 hr
Makes 16
Calories 373
Fat 24g of which 13.6g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Cocoa powder 60g (2½oz)
Guinness 200ml (7fl oz)
Butter 250g (9oz), softened
Caster sugar 300g (11oz)
Eggs 2 large, beaten
Self-raising flour 225g (8oz), sifted
Baking powder 1 tsp
Buttermilk 75ml (2½fl oz)
Double cream 150ml (¼ pint)
Cook’s dark chocolate 150g (5oz), finely chopped
Green sugar and grated white chocolate to decorate, optional

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line 16 muffin tin holes with paper muffin cases.

2 Sift cocoa into a pan, add Guinness and bring up to boil, stirring. Cool for 10 minutes.

3 Using an electric mixer, cream 225g (8oz) butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour, baking powder, buttermilk and cocoa. Mix until blended. Divide mixture between cases, then bake for 25-30 minutes until firm. Leave to cool in tins for a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

4 Heat cream until almost boiling, then pour onto chocolate and remaining butter. Mix well. Spread onto each muffin and decorate if wished.

A Dairy Diary recipe

 

#stpatricksday

Win a set of Denby Monsoon Mugs

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Win a set of 4 Denby Monsoon mugs in glorious reds and blues

These gorgeous fine china mugs will cheer up anyone’s morning coffee.

To enter simply choose your favourite Fantastic Food For Less pudding recipe from the three shown on the competition webpage.

The recipes can be found in the new Fantastic Food For Less coobook.

Win a set of Denby Mugs

Luxury Coffee Truffles

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Luxury Coffee Truffles

Time 30 mins plus chilling
Makes 20-25
Calories 66
Fat 6g of which 3.1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Cook’s dark chocolate 150g (5oz), chopped
Double cream 4 tbsp
Butter 50g (2oz), softened
Instant coffee 1 tsp, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
Cocoa 25g (1oz), sifted
Petit four cases

1 Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in cream, butter and coffee. Mix well, until smooth. If butter doesn’t melt, return bowl to stand over the pan of hot water and stir until melted. Cool, then cover and refrigerate for 1-1½ hours until firm, not solid.

2 Scatter cocoa onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Scoop teaspoons of chocolate and then, using your fingertips, roll into little balls, coating with cocoa. Place truffles in petit four cases. If they are Mother’s Day gifts, pop into a pretty gift bag or box.

 

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

Read the Dairy Diary blog on the website.

 

 

 

 

 

5 easy homemade gifts for mums on Mothering Sunday

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5 easy homemade gifts for mums
on Mothering Sunday

You may want to treat your own mum, or make for another mum who does a fabulous job.

Here are five easy and accessible ideas for anyone to try – young or old. Children will love helping to make any of these lovely gifts, and mums will adore them no matter how well made (or not! – my own mum has had some ‘interesting’ Blue Peter creations in the past). After all, it’s always the thought that counts.

 

Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Mother's Day CupcakesMakes 9
Time 45 mins
Calories 485 Fat 27g of which 16.9g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Butter, at room temperature and very soft 110g (4oz)
Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
Lemon extract 1 tsp
Eggs 2 large, beaten
Self-raising flour 110g (4oz)
Baking powder 1 tsp
Milk 1 tbsp

For the topping
Butter, softened 175g (6oz)
Icing sugar 300g (11oz), sifted
Lemon extract 1 tsp
Sugar flowers and sugar sprinkles (glimmer) to decorate

1 Preheat oven to 180ºC/ Gas 4 and place cupcake cases in a muffin tin. Put butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add lemon extract with eggs, flour, baking powder and milk. Using beater attachment, mix batter well until you have a smooth pale cake mixture.

2 Divide mixture between cupcake cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm to touch. Leave in the tin to cool.

3 Beat butter, using an electric whisk, until pale then add icing sugar and mix on lowest setting until blended. Then blend on full speed for a minute. Add lemon extract and beat again. Spoon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe swirls onto cupcakes. Decorate with sugar flowers and glimmer.

 

Crunchy Peanut Brittle

Crunchy Nut BrittleMakes 425g (15oz)
Time 20 mins
Calories 72/15g Fat 3g of which 0.8g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Golden syrup 75g (3oz)
Unsalted peanuts 175g (6oz)
Unsalted butter 15g (½ oz)

1 Place sugar and syrup into a heavy-based saucepan and add 125ml (4fl oz) cold water. Fill a jug with boiling water.

2 Heat gently, stirring continuously, until sugar is completely dissolved, brushing sides of pan with hot water occasionally.

3 Add peanuts to sugar syrup and bring up to boil. Boil, without stirring, for 7-10 minutes until mixture turns to a rich golden caramel colour.

4 Immediately remove from heat and add butter. Mix into caramel by tilting pan – do not stir. Quickly pour onto an oiled baked sheet. Leave to cool and set hard.

5 When cold, break into pieces and store in a tin, interleaved with baking paper.

 

Luxury Coffee Truffles

Luxury Coffee Truffles Time 30 mins plus chilling
Makes 20-25
Calories 66
Fat 6g of which 3.1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Cook’s dark chocolate 150g (5oz), chopped
Double cream 4 tbsp
Butter 50g (2oz), softened
Instant coffee 1 tsp, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
Cocoa 25g (1oz), sifted
Petit four cases

1 Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in cream, butter and coffee. Mix well, until smooth. If butter doesn’t melt, return bowl to stand over the pan of hot water and stir until melted. Cool, then cover and refrigerate for 1-1½ hours until firm, not solid.

2 Scatter cocoa onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Scoop teaspoons of chocolate and then, using your fingertips, roll into little balls, coating with cocoa. Place truffles in petit four cases. If they are Mother’s Day gifts, pop into a pretty gift bag or box.

 

Spa in a Jar

Spa in a JarI came across this charming idea for a homemade gift on Pinterest. I have to say, I am totally hooked… the possibilities for personalised gifts are endless. In essence, you fill a jar with small items that you know a friend will love or find useful. Make it pretty and voila – a gorgeous and thoughtful gift, which can be very inexpensive to put together.

Here’s how I made it:

1 From Boots I bought a selection of miniature goodies from their travel section.

2 I pilfered a (clean) good-sized jar from the recycling bin and filled it with the spa goodies.

3 Then I wrapped a ribbon around the centre and a smaller ribbon around the lid, securing with double-sided tape.

4 The Spa in a Jar label is cut from a piece of patterened card and attached with double-sided tape.

Easy peasey!

Your ‘in a jar’ gift could be anything you like –  seeds, handcream, twine and gloves for a  garden lover or possibly cookie in a jar with  all the ingredients to make some fabulous biscuits?

 

Lime & Mint Sugar Scrub

Lamb & Mint Sugar ScrubI am a huge fan of Soap & Glory Products but after a spectacularly horrific garage bill we are tightening our belts quite considerably. So, when my gorgeous sugar scrub ran out, I decided to be uber-sensible and make my own.

Here’s how to make it:

Coconut oil 110g (4oz) (available from Holland & Barratt)
Granulated sugar 110g (4oz)
Lime 1, zest and juice
Spearmint or peppermint oil 10 drops

1 In a saucepan, heat coconut oil gently until melted. Stir in sugar, lime zest and juice, and oil.

2 Decant into a jar and store in the fridge.

Use twice a week for invigorated and super-soft skin.

Tip: You could use olive oil in place of the coconut oil (it doesn’t need to be heated). Simply add enough to the sugar to make a thick paste.

 

Whether you’re a daughter, or a mum or a grandma, have a wonderful day!

 

#mothersday

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