Monthly Archives: March 2015

Eat Out, In: Easter lunch

Simple and delicious recipes for a relaxed Easter lunch


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

British Summer Time | Daylight Saving Time starts

Daylight Saving Time starts


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 easier, simpler and faster part 2: Create a fabulous laundry space for less than £15!

How to make laundry easy: part 2

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








Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes


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



Competition: Win a set of Denby Monsoon Mugs

Win a set of Denby Monsoon Mugs


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

Recipe of the week: Luxury Coffee Truffles

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.


A Dairy Diary recipe.


Read the Dairy Diary blog on the website.






%d bloggers like this: