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Trick or Treat Popcorn

 Trick or Treat Popcorn

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Trick or Treat Popcorn

Time 15 mins
Makes 2 large pans
Per portion: Calories 149
Fat 6g of which 1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Popcorn 200g (7oz)
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Salt pinch
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Golden caster sugar 1-2 tbsp

1 Cook two panfuls of popcorn one after the other: For the first batch place 100g (3½oz) of popcorn, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and chilli powder into a pan and stir thoroughly. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat gently. Shake occasionally to prevent burning, and continue heating until popping subsides.

2 Remove from heat and leave to stand until no more popping can be heard. Stir thoroughly, taste and add a little more chilli powder if necessary.

3 Repeat with remaining popcorn (without salt or chilli) but add sugar at the end of the cooking time when leaving pan to stand. Leave to cool slightly before popping into bowls and serving to your trick or treaters!

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots more recipes on the Dairy Diary website.

Competition

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Win these truly beautiful Accessorize tea cups & petit fours plates

To celebrate the launch of Dairy Diary 2015 – Britain’s best-selling A5, home and kitchen diary – we are offering you the chance to treat your favourite friends to a cuppa and a tasty morsel served in these truly beautiful Accessorize tea cups and petits fours plates.

Dairy Diary 2015You’ll also receive a fabulous 2015 Dairy Diary, which offers you plenty of inspiration for gorgeous cakes, bakes and much much more. .

For your chance to win simply answer the question: 
The Dairy Diary comes with a sheet of stickers. What are they for?

Hint: you can find the answer on the Dairy Diary 2015 page.

Good luck.

Enter competition

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Halloween-dressing-up

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Is it a treat or is it a trick? 
A Clever Halloween Recipe.

Having deprived my children for the past six years (a goulish excuse to beg for Enumber-laden sweets!), I have finally succumbed to Halloween.

My fellow villagers know which residents welcome trick or treaters and, as the children all go together in one group, it’s not an evening-long intrusion. So, I have decided to allow my little ones to dress up (in cute non gory costumes of course!) and participate.

We have stocked up on goodies and I
plan to make some of this wicked popcorn –
which will give the little spooks either a
trick (one is spiced with chilli) or a treat!

I think the youngsters will love this Russian-roulette chance to giggle at their friends who choose chilli.

Don’t worry though, we’ll have glasses of water at the ready!

Have fun and stay safe everyone!

 

Trick or Treat Popcorn

Trick or Treat Popcorn

Time 15 mins
Makes 2 large pans
Per portion: Calories 149
Fat 6g of which 1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Popcorn 200g (7oz)
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Salt pinch
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Golden caster sugar 1-2 tbsp

1 Cook two panfuls of popcorn one after the other: For the first batch place 100g (3½oz) of popcorn, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and chilli powder into a pan and stir thoroughly. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and heat gently. Shake occasionally to prevent burning, and continue heating until popping subsides.

2 Remove from heat and leave to stand until no more popping can be heard. Stir thoroughly, taste and add a little more chilli powder if necessary.

3 Repeat with remaining popcorn (without salt or chilli) but add sugar at the end of the cooking time when leaving pan to stand. Leave to cool slightly before popping into bowls and serving to your trick or treaters!

A Dairy Diary recipe.

Competition

.

Win these truly beautiful Accessorize tea cups and petits fours plates

To celebrate the launch of Dairy Diary 2015 – Britain’s best-selling A5, home and kitchen diary – we are offering you the chance to treat your favourite friends to a cuppa and a tasty morsel served in these truly beautiful Accessorize tea cups and petits fours plates.

Dairy Diary 2015You’ll also receive a fabulous 2015 Dairy Diary, which offers you plenty of inspiration for gorgeous cakes, bakes and much much more. .

For your chance to win simply answer the question: 
The Dairy Diary comes with a sheet of stickers. What are they for?

Hint: you can find the answer on the Dairy Diary 2015 page.

Good luck.

Gorgonzola Bruschetta with Balsamic Figs recipe

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Gorgonzola Bruschetta with Balsamic Figs

Time 20 mins plus standing
Makes 4
Calories 193
Fat 10g of which 2.9g is saturated

Brown sugar 1 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp, plus extra to serve
Figs 2, cut into eight
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Ciabatta 4 slices
Garlic ½ clove, peeled
Watercress 2 small handfuls
Mint leaves 2 tbsp
Gorgonzola piccante 50g (2oz), crumbled

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Combine sugar and vinegar and coat figs in this mixture. Leave for 15 minutes and then transfer to a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes until soft.

2 Meanwhile, brush oil over ciabatta slices and toast for 1-2 minutes each side. Rub lightly with garlic.

3 Top ciabatta with watercress, mint, figs, a little black pepper and Gorgonzola. Drizzle with a little oil and vinegar before serving.

A Dairy Diary 2015 recipe.

 

 

 

 

Read the blogs on our website.

Dairy Diary 2015 brain training article

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Why classical music is good for the brain

Did you know that listening to Mozart can help to boost your brain power, but watching too much television can have the opposite effect?

This is music to my ears (sorry!!) as I have just discovered that my eldest child has a real passion for piano. Our piano has sat forlorn for years as I no longer ever seem to find the time (or talent) to play but now it is regularly favoured over children’s TV, which is wonderful (let’s hope it lasts!)

It’s not just classical music that can improve our
brain power though, in the Brain Training feature
in the 2015 Dairy Diary we reveal lots of tips on
how to keep your brain active.

Anything that engages different parts of the brain at the same time is especially effective. The left side is concerned with logic, sequential thinking and decision making; the right side with creativity, imagination and random ideas.

Here are seven tips for boosting brain power taken from the 2015 Dairy Diary:

  1. Tackle crosswords, sudokus, quizzes and puzzles, or take up bridge. Solving cryptic puzzles involves several parts of your brain – logic, recall, creative thought, analysis, deciding on likely options, dealing with frustration – and the benefits increase if you do it with someone else.
  2. Learn something new and challenging e.g. chess, crochet, a musical instrument. Learning another language may seem ambitious but is especially good because it forces your brain to switch tracks continuously, which is one of the most mentally demanding things you can do. It helps hone the frontal lobes, the brain’s mind managers, which tend to shrink as part of the ageing process.
  3. Study a subject that you find interesting e.g. botany, nutrition, a specific era of history.
  4. Read, and maybe join or start a book club. Discussing books with others hones your critical/analytical skills.
  5. Make up brain games to play with friends e.g. think of an animal or food for every letter of the alphabet. Focusing on simple tasks helps to improve concentration as well as boosting brain power. Include memory games, so that each person has to repeat what has already been said.
  6. Listen to music. Listening to Mozart has been shown to improve spatial and mathematical reasoning.
  7. An exercise to help improve your concentration is to spend a few minutes every day emptying your mind and thinking of nothing but your breathing. Practising focusing on one thing will help you to de-clutter and calm your thoughts, so you can concentrate better the rest of the time.

I think I had better turn our Friday Film Night into a board games and Beethoven evening!

We can tuck in to these absolutely gorgeous Bruchetta instead of the obligatory popcorn.

Gorgonzola Bruschetta with Balsamic Figs recipe

Gorgonzola Bruschetta with Balsamic Figs

Time 20 mins plus standing
Makes 4
Calories 193
Fat 10g of which 2.9g is saturated

Brown sugar 1 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp, plus extra to serve
Figs 2, cut into eight
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Ciabatta 4 slices
Garlic ½ clove, peeled
Watercress 2 small handfuls
Mint leaves 2 tbsp
Gorgonzola piccante 50g (2oz), crumbled

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Combine sugar and vinegar and coat figs in this mixture. Leave for 15 minutes and then transfer to a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes until soft.

2 Meanwhile, brush oil over ciabatta slices and toast for 1-2 minutes each side. Rub lightly with garlic.

3 Top ciabatta with watercress, mint, figs, a little black pepper and Gorgonzola. Drizzle with a little oil and vinegar before serving.

A Dairy Diary 2015 recipe.

 

 

 

 

Read the blogs on our website.

Iced Lavender Loaf

Afternoon Tea Iced Lavender Loaf

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Iced Lavender Loaf

Time: 35 mins
Makes 2 loaves
Per loaf:
Calories 176/slice
Fat 10g of which 6g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Milk 75ml (3fl oz)
Fresh lavender flower heads 6, plus extra for decoration, or 1 tsp dried lavender
Unsalted butter 175g (6oz) softened
Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Lemon 1, finely grated zest
Eggs 3, beaten
Self-raising flour 175g (6oz)
Icing sugar 225g (8oz)
Violet food colouring

1 Put milk and flower heads, or dried lavender, in a small pan and bring slowly to simmering point over a low heat. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

2 Strain milk into a bowl and discard lavender.

3 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

4 Beat butter, caster sugar and lemon zest together until soft and creamy. Beat in eggs a little at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour with each egg. Fold in remaining flour and 2 tablespoons of lavender milk.

5 Spoon the mixture into two loaf tins and level the top of each one. Stand the tins on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

6 Leave to cool in tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

7 Sieve icing sugar into a bowl and stir in enough lavender milk to make a smooth paste that just holds its shape. Tint icing by mixing in a little violet food colouring and then spread it over tops of cakes with a palette knife. Decorate each cake with small sprigs of lavender flowers. Leave to set before serving.

A Dairy Diary recipe.

 

 Read the blogs on the Dairy Diary website.

 

 

 

Win a three-teir china cake standWin a gorgeous
china cake stand

I would also LOVE this fabulous
cake stand (though sadly I am
not allowed to enter).

Enter our prize draw to be in a
chance to win it and a 2015 Dairy Diary.

ENTER NOW

 

 

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