Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Magic of the Water

I consider myself to be very lucky to live two minutes’ walk from a canal.

We get so much pleasure from watching the water-dwelling wildlife, wandering (or doing an embarrassing attempt at jogging in my case) along the towpath as well as watching the boats go by.

In Britain, most of us are never too far from an inland waterway – there are 2,000 miles of canals and navigable rivers that flow through our towns, villages and countryside.



Man-made structures, essential to keep the waterways working, are well to the fore. Many of them are evidence of an innovative industrial past and represent engineering breakthroughs, including aqueducts, locks, bridges and tunnels. The Standedge tunnel, which takes the Huddersfield Canal beneath the Pennines, is the longest in Britain at 16,499ft (5,029m). You can take a boat trip along it, or, if enclosed spaces are not for you, linger in the pub or visitor centre and hear about it from the rest of the day-outers.

Nowadays, our inland waterways are undergoing a renaissance as a means of leisure and recreation, but their original purpose, in the absence of substantial road and rail networks, was as a means of freight transport.

The Bridgewater Canal is usually regarded as the one that started the rush of canal building in the 18th century. It was the brainchild of the Duke of Bridgewater, inspired by a visit to the Canal du Midi in France. His mines in Worsley supplied coal to Manchester and once the canal was finished, in 1776, the price of coal in that city practically halved. Others took note and more canals were built, especially in the north and midlands where heavy industries were king and goods needed to be transported to cities and ports as cheaply as possible. Interestingly, canals were not financed by the government but by industrialists, mine and mill owners, textile manufacturers and banks, and each one required an Act of Parliament to enable it to go ahead.


Dairy Diary 2016For more information on British waterways
see the feature in the 2016 Dairy Diary
and/or visit

You can buy the 2016 Dairy Diary
now for just £7.99.

Recipe of the Week: Spicy Sausage & Tomato Pasta

Spicy Sausage & Tomato Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 832 per portion
Fat 20g (11g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing


  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • Pork sausages 4-6, cut into chunks
  • Onion 1 small, peeled and finely chopped
  • Garlic 1 clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • Dried chilli flakes ¼-½ tsp
  • Chopped tomatoes 400g can
  • Red kidney beans 215g can, rinsed and drained
  • Dried fusilli 150g (5oz)
  • Grated Parmesan and basil leaves to serve, optional


  1. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook sausage for 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and dried chilli flakes and cook for a further minute.
  2. Pour in tomatoes and beans. Bring up to boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened and sausages are cooked, stirring often.
  3. Meanwhile, cook fusilli in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to packet’s instructions. When pasta is al dente, drain well.
  4. Tip pasta into frying pan with sausage. Stir well to coat and season. Spoon onto plates and sprinkle with Parmesan and basil leaves, if using.

Read Spicy Sausage & Tomato Pasta on the Dairy Diary website

Dairy Diary 2016A Dairy Diary recipe.

Spicy Sausage & Tomato Pasta is one of the weekly recipes in Britain’s favourite diary.

Now available for just £7.99.











5 Fabulous Recipes for Autumn

5 Fabulous Recipes for Autumn

To celebrate the start of autumn on Wednesday I’d like to share with you this gorgeous collection of recipes from the 2016 Dairy Diary.

Each recipe is, of course, triple-tested and perfect for the season.

Recipes taken from Dairy Diary 2016.


Win a fabulous Cooking Set

WIN an amazing cooking set from Lakeland

To help you cook all these recipes in style we have a fabulous give-away:

  • Non-stick lidded frying pan
  • Professional non-stick oven tray
  • Oven-to-table casserole dish.

The competition is easy to enter…





You can buy the 2016 Dairy Diary here.

#dairydiary #britainsfavouritediary #tripletestedrecipes

Recipe of the week: Chorizo & Cheddar Scones

Chorizo & Cheddar Scones

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 151 per portion
Fat 7.3g (4.3g sat) per portion
Suitable for frezezing


  • Self-raising flour 225g (8oz)
  • Butter 50g (2oz)
  • Cheddar cheese 50g (2oz), grated
  • Chorizo 40g (1½oz), chopped
  • Milk 150ml (¼ pint) plus extra to glaze


  1. Preheat oven to 230°C(210°fan)/450°F/Gas 8. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour into a large bowl, then rub in butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir cheese and chorizo into flour. Then add milk and mix to a soft but not sticky dough.
  4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  5. Roll out to 2cm (¾in) thick and cut out rounds with a 7.5cm (3in) circular cutter. Repeat until dough is used up.
  6. Place on baking sheet and brush tops with milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

Recipe taken from Dairy Diary 2016.

Take a Pizza the Action Fun Quiz!

Win a Pizza Baking Set


Take a Pizza the Action Fun Quiz!

plus WIN a fabulous Joseph Joseph rolling pin, pizza wheel & cutter

This week we’re going to have a bit of fun with a quiz!

What started off as a humble dish consumed by peasants in the fields of the Mediterranean is now the UK’s favourite. We are talking of course about pizza, the most popular food purchased in British restaurants today, and the second most popular item bought in supermarkets for dinner.

But how much do you know about our favourite food?

Take the quiz…

Continue reading

Recipe of the week: Pear & Ginger Sorbet

Pear & Ginger Sorbet

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 142 per portion
Fat 0.1g (0g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for frezezing


  • Caster sugar 150g (5oz)
  • Canned pears in natural juice 2 x 420g cans
  • Stem ginger in syrup 2 pieces, drained
  • Lemon 1, zest only
  • Amaretti biscuits to serve, optional


  1. Put sugar in a small pan with 150ml (¼ pint) of juice from pears. Bring up to boil and then boil for 5 minutes. Leave to cool slightly.
  2. Place pears, stem ginger and lemon zest in a food processor. Add cooled sugar syrup and purée until smooth.
  3. Spoon into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2 hours. Mash with a fork and return to freezer. Repeat until softly frozen (about 6 hours).
  4. Serve with Amaretti biscuits, if using.

A Dairy Diary recipe

#2016diary #recipes

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