Monthly Archives: February 2016

Recipe of the Week

Cherry Bread Pudding

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Cherry Bread Pudding

 

Moist and sticky with glistening succulent fruit.

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories per square 228 Kcal
Fat per square 9.8g of which saturated 5.6g
Makes 16 squares
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

White bread 2–3 days old, crust removed: 225g (8oz), bread torn into small pieces
Milk 375ml (13fl oz)
Oranges 2, grated rind of both, juice of 1
Mixed ground spice 1 tbsp
Seedless raisins 175g (6oz)
Sultanas 150g (5oz)
Mixed chopped peel 50g (2oz)
Ready-to-eat prunes 75g (3oz), chopped
Ready-to-eat dried apricots 75g (3oz), chopped
Glacé cherries 75g (3oz), quartered
Eggs 3, beaten
Butter 150g (5oz), melted
Black treacle 1–2 tbsp
Granulated sugar

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and grease a 23cm (9in) square shallow baking dish.

2 Soak the bread with the milk in a bowl for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sugar, and mix well.

3 Transfer to the baking dish, spread evenly and bake for 45–50 minutes until the pudding is lightly browned and set in the centre.

4 Sprinkle with the granulated sugar and serve hot with custard. Or leave to cool, cut into squares, cover and refrigerate.

COOK’S TIP
If serving warm with custard, stir a little extra grated orange rind and a tablespoon or two of sherry into the custard when reheating.

 

 

 

 

#tripletested

#recipeoftheweek

Leap Day 29 February 2016.

Leap Day

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Leap Day – to propose or not to propose, that is the question

Leap Days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun.

It takes the Earth 365.242199 days to circle once around the Sun. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days in relation to the seasons.

As this day only comes around every four years I feel as though I should do something radical today. But what?

It’s tradition for women to propose to their boyfriends on leap days but as my fiancé beat me to it 7 years ago I can’t do that.

So instead, I have decided
to (finally) book our wedding.

The next 12 months will be a whirling dervish of penny-pinching and organising so I had better keep my trusty Dairy Diary to hand – the budget planner and notes pages will be more valuable than ever!

Have you done anything different to commemorate leap day today?

 

 

 

#leapday

#leapyear

Healthy Snacks

Prepare Healthy Snacks in Seconds

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Prep Healthy Snacks in Seconds

I’ve always been a snacker…..going for hours without food and then eating a huge meal just doesn’t work for me as I feel ravenous and then eat too quickly and suffer indigestion.

I much prefer to eat
small meals and enjoy
a snack in between.

In a bid to control my blood sugar better and feel fuller for longer I am going to opt for snacks with protein and fibre.

Apart from the obvious, (we don’t need to talk about that!) eating more fibre has many health benefits. According to Women’s Health magazine ‘Fibre is quite possibly one of the most underrated and important foods that will help you reach your health and fat loss goals. It’s not only important for helping to reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer, but it also helps your body to burn fat by controlling your blood sugar levels, reducing the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin, and helping curb sugar cravings.’

So, I’ve done my research and come up with a few ideas for quick-to-prepare snacks, which have fibre and also a little protein.

  • Celery and cucumber spread with low-fat soft cheese
  • Apple slices spread with nut butter
  • Pear or persimmon slices and wafer-thin ham
  • Raspberries or blueberries with fat-free Greek yogurt

And as an occasional treat:

  • Ripe avocado spread on Vogel’s Soya & Linseed bread (toasted)

 

Em’s Sweet Treat Tub

  • Sweet & salty popcorn 80g bag
  • Almonds 75g (3oz)
  • Dried cranberries 50g (2oz)

One portion is 25g (1oz).

Mix together and keep in an airtight tub. Take a small pot (about xxg) of this with you to work (or wherever you’re snacking).


 

Happy snacking folks!

 

#healthysnacks
#highfibresnacks

National Nest Box Week

How to build a bird box

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Step-by-Step DIY Birdbox

This week is National Nest Box Week, an initiative set up to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.

Natural nest sites for birds such as holes in trees or old buildings are disappearing fast as gardens are tidied and old houses are repaired.

Taking part in NNBW gives you the chance
to contribute to bird conservation whilst
giving you the pleasure of observing any
breeding birds that you attract to your nest box.

And here is a step-by-step guide to making a bird box.

Seasonal Garden Ideas £3.99This project is taken from our
Seasonal Garden Ideas book,
available to buy for just £3.99!

 

 

 


 

A Box for the Birds

Encourage small songbirds into your garden with a tailor-made nest box – this small-hole version is suitable for blue and great tits, coal tits and tree sparrows.

You can make the box at any time of year, but try to put it into position in January. Birds can start looking for nesting sites pretty early.

Making the box and putting it up should take an afternoon.

 

What you need

  • Saw, sandpaper, screwdriver, hammer, tape measure, pencil, drill, drill bits including a 28mm wide bit for the entrance hole.
  • One piece of sawn, untreated timber measuring 1.2m (4ft) long, 15cm (6in) wide and 1.25cm (¾ in) thick.
  • Two brass hinges and screws.
  • Water-based wood preservative and brush.
  • Hook or strong nail for hanging the box.

1 Mark out all the pieces on the timber using tape measure and pencil, to the following dimensions:

  • Back 30cm x 15cm (12in x 6in).
  • Floor 11cm x 15cm (4.5in x 6in).
  • Front 18cm x 15cm (7in x 6in).
  • Roof 20cm x 15cm (8in x 6in).
  • Side panels x 2 (cut for the sloping roof) 20cm (8in) high at the back, 18cm (7in) high at the front, 15cm (6in) at top and bottom.

2 Cut out the six sections accurately with a saw.

3 Sand all rough edges smooth – any splinters could damage the birds. Drill several small holes in the floor piece for drainage.

4 Fix one of the sides to the floor of the box using three nails set at intervals, then nail both of these to the back section – three nails per join are enough.

5 Turn the box on to the fixed side and nail the second side on to the back and floor.

6 Make the entrance hole for the birds in the front using a drill and 28mm wide drill bit. Position this hole at least 13cm (5in) up from the floor so the baby chicks can’t fall out. Sand the edges of the hole smooth.

7 Turn the box on its side and nail the front piece to the sides. Everything should fit together tightly without gaps. Screw the brass hinges on to the roof and back pieces.

8 Drill a hole in the top of the bird box for attaching to a tree trunk or branch via a hook or nail. Paint the outside of the box with a water-based wood preservative but do not allow the preservative to get inside the box – it will poison the chicks. Also keep the preservative away from the entrance – the adult birds often tap this area with their beaks before entering.

9 Position the box in a sheltered site, preferably between north and east to avoid heavy rain and hot afternoon sun. Place it high enough to be out of reach of prowling cats. Don’t position it near a bird feeding table – the constant coming and going of other birds will deter the parent birds from using the box.

Tips

Hanging the box about 2m (7ft) above ground should be enough to deter predators. Tilt the box slightly forwards when fixing it in place to aid water run-off.

Aftercare

Don’t be tempted to look in the box while baby birds are inside – such disturbance may cause the parents to desert the nest. Just watch comings and goings from a distance.

When the chicks have fledged and left the box, take it down, remove old nesting material and clean it thoroughly with scalding hot water – this is enough to kill any parasites.

Reapply water-based preservative if needed to prolong the life of the box, then hang it up again.

 

#NNBW

#SGI

#birdbox

Recipe of the Week: Pancakes with Rhubarb Compote

Scoth-Pancakes-with-Rubarb-Compote

 

Pancakes with Rhubarb Compote

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 248 per portion
Fat 5g (1.2g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Rhubarb 400g (14oz), washed and sliced
  • Stem ginger in syrup 1 piece, drained and finely chopped
  • Caster sugar 75g (3oz) plus 1 tbsp
  • Self-raising flour 125g (4½oz)
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Milk 150ml (¼ pint)
  • Sunflower oil 1 tbsp
  • Double cream whipped, to serve, optional

Instructions

  1. Tip rhubarb into a saucepan with ginger and 75g (3oz) sugar. Add 1 tbsp water and stir well, slowly bringing to a simmer. Cook gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until fruit is soft.Taste and check the sweetness, adding a little more sugar if necessary. Leave to cool.

    Sift flour into a bowl and stir in remaining sugar. Make a well in the centre and add egg. Starting in centre, whisk in milk, gradually until smooth and has the consistency of thick cream.

    Wipe a non-stick frying pan with a little oil and heat until hot. Turn down the heat to medium low. Cook pancakes in batches: drop tablespoons of mix into pan, well spaced apart, and fry for 1- 2 minutes on each side until surface puffs and bubbles.

    Serve pancakes with rhubarb compote and cream, if using.

Fancy the compote with traditional French crêpes?

Then you need to enter our prize draw to win a fabulous Breville Crêpe Maker! Just click below to enter.

 


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Win a Breville Crêpe Maker

Win a Breville Crépe Maker

Make crepes, pancakes and more!

Everyone has their favourite don’t they? Lemon and sugar. Banana and chocolate. Ham and cheese. But that’s just pancakes and crepes. The Breville® Crêpe Maker is for those and so much more. Indulge in quirky quesadillas, funky fajitas and brilliant blinis too.

Included with the Breville® Crepe Maker you’ll find a t-stick spreading tool to spread your mixture over the crepe makers hot plate and a handy recipe guide full of sweet and savoury recipes.

ENTER


#competition

#tripletested

#win

#recipeoftheweek

Win a fabulous Crêpe Maker!

Win a Breville Crêpe Maker

Win a Breville Crépe Maker

Make crepes, pancakes and more!

Everyone has their favourite don’t they? Lemon and sugar. Banana and chocolate. Ham and cheese. But that’s just pancakes and crepes. The Breville® Crêpe Maker is for those and so much more. Indulge in quirky quesadillas, funky fajitas and brilliant blinis too.

Included with the Breville® Crepe Maker you’ll find a t-stick spreading tool to spread your mixture over the crepe makers hot plate and a handy recipe guide full of sweet and savoury recipes.

ENTER

 

Try these irresistible recipes…

Crêpes with Brandy Marmalade Sauce

Pancakes with Rhubarb Compote

 


 

#competition

#crépes

#pancakes

#breville

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