Monthly Archives: January 2017

Best Ever Family Recipes: Easy Chicken Curry

Best Ever Family Recipes

Years ago, pre-children, I remember a food stylist and mum telling me one of the most stressful things about being a parent is trying to get children to eat well.

Three children later and I can relate to this adage more than I ever imagined. Despite the best of intentions, home-cooked pureed Annabel Karmel recipes and several desperate calls to my health visitor, my little tykes – one in particular – are unbelievably fussy.

Never EVER did I think I would allow my child to eat ketchup sandwiches (albeit, reduced salt/sugar on wholemeal bread) and serve fruit instead of vegetables. But I have to confess, that sometimes I do. Life has got so busy that I make meals that meet with the least resistance.

But! It’s a new year and a new
start: time to introduce those
finicky creatures to new tastes.

I’m going to enlist their help with this challenge as they always seem more likely to try new foods when they have cooked it themselves.

So for mums, dads, aunties, uncles, grannies and grandads everywhere, here’s the first (of many) #BestEverFamilyRecipes. I hope you and your little lovelies enjoy it.

Please feel free to share your family favourites; the more the merrier (use #BestEverFamilyRecipes).

 


 

Recipes from the Dairy Diary

This curry is mild and sweet enough for little ones, and even sneaks in some butternut squash (chop the veggies really small).

The recipe is taken from the 2017 Dairy Diary. If you haven’t yet bought your copy, it’s still available and is perfect for planning all your family activities. BUY

Easy Chicken Curry

  • Servings: Serves 4 adults or 2 adults and 2-3 children
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 417 per portion
Fat 17g (8.5g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • Butter 50g (2oz)
  • Onions 2, peeled and chopped
  • Dessert apples 2, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Butternut squash 300g (11oz), peeled and diced
  • Curry paste 2 tbsp
  • Plain flour 2 tbsp
  • Ground ginger 1 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
  • Milk 450ml (3/4 pint)
  • Mango chutney 2 tbsp
  • Cooked chicken 350-2450g (12-16oz), cut into chunks
  • Cooked basmati rice, naan bread to serve, optional

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion, apple, squash and curry paste. Cover and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour, ginger and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Pour milk into pan, then add mango chutney and cooked chicken. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve curry on a bed of rice sprinkled with almonds and with naan bread, if using.

 

#BestEverFamilyRecipes

#ChickenCurry

#Family

#Delicious

 

 

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Recipe of the Week | Crispy Duck Salad

Crispy Duck Salad

This week’s recipe in the Dairy Diary is absolutely gorgeous and super-speedy too.

Cripsy Duck Salad

Crispy Duck Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 480 per portion
Fat ?20g (1.5g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Half aromatic crispy duck (including pancakes and hoisin sauce) 530g/800g pack
  • Toasted sesame oil 3 tsp
  • White wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Bistro salad 180g pack

Instructions

  1. Cook duck according to pack’s instructions. Meanwhile, whisk hoisin with 2 tsp sesame oil and vinegar.
  2. Toast sesame seeds for 2 minutes in a dry frying pan.
  3. Roll pancakes up together and cut into 1cm (½in) slices. Heat remaining sesame oil with olive oil in frying pan and fry pancakes for 4-5 minutes until golden.
  4. Mix pancake ribbons into salad leaves and divide between plates. Sprinkle with half the dressing. Shred duck with forks and place on top of salad leaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately with remaining dressing.

Thanks to http://www.makemoreofsalad.com for supplying this recipe.

 

#recipeoftheweek

#wintersalad

#dairydiary

National Handwriting Day and a confession!

 National Handwriting Day

I have a confession – this is a secret that no one knows!

For various reasons – maybe my 1980s pre-curriculum schooling or possibly my ignored childhood calligraphy set – I have no idea how to do joined-up handwriting!

I think the fact that I work on a diary makes it even more excruciating and why most of my work is done using a keyboard.

I have serious handwriting envy when I see beautifully
penned tags on gifts given by friends and wish I could
create such gorgeous script.

But all is not lost, you’re never too old to learn, and as today is National Handwriting Day I’m going to confess all to my three children and ask them to teach me how to write properly! I’m sure my five-year-old twins will find this quite hilarious.

With advances in digital technology it’s more important than ever that we cherish the handwritten word. As the Handwriting Association suggests – legible writing that can be produced comfortably, at speed and with little conscious effort is vitally important throughout school and beyond education, most employment situations will involve at least some handwriting. Long live handwriting!

There is something really special about a lovingly handwritten diary, and this can be my target for the end of 2017 – learning how to join-up my letters beautifully is a much more inspirational resolution than dieting!

Do you write a daily record in your diary or do you just jot down notes and appointments?

 


 

This week’s recipe in the Dairy Diary is absolutely gorgeous and super-speedy too. Why not give it a try?

Cripsy Duck Salad

Crispy Duck Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 480 per portion
Fat ?20g (1.5g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Half aromatic crispy duck (including pancakes and hoisin sauce) 530g/800g pack
  • Toasted sesame oil 3 tsp
  • White wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Bistro salad 180g pack

Instructions

  1. Cook duck according to pack’s instructions. Meanwhile, whisk hoisin with 2 tsp sesame oil and vinegar.
  2. Toast sesame seeds for 2 minutes in a dry frying pan.
  3. Roll pancakes up together and cut into 1cm (½in) slices. Heat remaining sesame oil with olive oil in frying pan and fry pancakes for 4-5 minutes until golden.
  4. Mix pancake ribbons into salad leaves and divide between plates. Sprinkle with half the dressing. Shred duck with forks and place on top of salad leaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately with remaining dressing.

Thanks to http://www.makemoreofsalad.com for supplying this recipe.

 

#nationalhandwritingday

#write

#wintersalad

#dairydiary

National British Institutions – the Anniversaries

Sherlock Holmes in The Strand Magazine

Have you been gripped by the latest series of Sherlock?

By all accounts this British drama seems to have taken the world by storm and airs in countries all over the globe.

This year sees the 125th anniversary of the creation of Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was reputedly taken by surprise when a series of 12 short stories in The Strand Magazine established Sherlock Holmes as a star in the reading public’s firmament. Published together as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 1892, they were soon followed by a second anthology, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Apparently, Conan Doyle found inspiration in one of his teachers at Edinburgh medical school, Dr Joseph Bell, who impressed with his powers of observation and deduction.

And on the 29th of this month, we see another significant anniversary for popular culture: Desert Island Discs celebrates 75 years on air with its first broadcast coming from a bomb-damaged studio in Maida Vale. The distinctive sound of ‘The Sleepy Lagoon’ fills the airwaves and listeners to the BBC Forces Programme hear Roy Plomley ask comedian and musician Vic Oliver, ‘If you were to be cast away alone on a desert island, which eight gramophone records would you choose to have with you?’ And so began a national institution.

In 1951, after a five-year break, the choice of a luxury was introduced and then a book and nothing much has changed since, except the presenters. After Roy Plomley’s death in 1985, Michael Parkinson took over for two years, then Sue Lawley stayed for 18 and Kirsty Young has been in the chair since October 2006. Well over 3,000 castaways from all walks of life have told the listening public about their lives and given away all sorts of secrets they may never have divulged without the influence of their special music and the interviewer’s gentle prompting.

Dairy Diary 2017These anniversary anecdotes are taken from the 2017 Dairy Diary. As well as listing the popular wedding anniversary gifts, it also features milestones from years gone by.

If you’ve missed out on your copy of the Dairy Diary, don’t worry, there’s still time to buy at www.dairydiary.co.uk

 

#anniversaries

#sherlock

#desertislanddiscs

Holidays with a difference!

Activity Holidays

Here, I share a feature from the 2017 Dairy Diary, which introduces you to a whole host of new ideas for your next holiday. Ban the post-Christmas blues and book yourself a fabulous trip.

Activity Holidays

Sunbathing lost its charm? Feeling restless after half an hour’s lazing with a good book and a cocktail? If lounging around on holiday is just not cutting it any more, why not leap into action instead?

An activity break could be just what you need. How to make the most of precious time off is a question close to most people’s hearts, and as a welcome change from the seaside or the museums and galleries of a city break, an activity holiday can provide the answer.

The choice is almost endless, from cycling, painting or pottery to horse-riding, trekking or white-water rafting, depending on how gentle or strenuous you want your break to be. Are you interested in nature, history, food? Do you want to learn a new skill, explore new places, be adventurous? Whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll be catered for, and not just in the UK. The world awaits, and whether you decide to go as a family, with friends or on your own, you’re sure to be mixing with a group of like-minded people, all as keen as you are to enjoy themselves.

Activity holidays

Give it a try

Of course, it may be that you can’t persuade friends or family to devote a whole week to one activity, and prefer not to tackle it among people you don’t know. Plenty of places offer a whole range of activities, lasting from an hour or two to a full day, as well as catering for those who just want to do nothing much. Whatever your special interest may be, there’ll be somewhere you can indulge it. Like to try your hand at glass painting? No problem. You can make candles, jewellery or your own cosmetics, visit historic sites, go whale-watching, or learn how to play bridge or windsurf — or both.

Old crafts

If the idea of learning an oldfashioned country craft appeals, you could try hedge laying, woodland coppicing or hurdling (making a woven fence) among other rural skills. Dry-stone walls have been a feature of the British landscape for well over three thousand years. They are beautiful to behold and provide a valuable habitat for a variety of flora and fauna, but it takes skill and patience to construct one. The Dry Stone Walling Association, a charitable organisation, runs weekends for beginners.

Work it out

Working holidays can give you the added satisfaction of doing something worthwhile in your leisure time. Whether you opt to help clear invasive species from woodlands and ponds, clean beaches, repair footpaths or survey an area for bats and butterflies, conservation lies at their heart.

 


 

Ooh La La!

Activity holidayWhile taking time out to pursue your favourite hobby is a great way to relax, discovering a new creative skill is fun, too. For an added frisson, why not consider learning something new in the appropriate country?

You could try flamenco or salsa dancing in Spain, a wine course in France, cooking in Rome or Tuscany. You can even go on a language break – where better to learn French than in France with no humdrum distractions? Quelle bonne idée!

Specialist painting and photography holidays are not hard to find, world wide, and wellbeing breaks really do live up to their name.

 


Useful websites

  • dswa.org.uk
  • golearnto.com
  • hfholidays.co.uk
  • nationaltrust.org.uk
  • naturetrek.co.uk
  • pgl.co.uk vidados.com

 

 

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