Author Archives for Editor

It’s great to be back!

Jasmine, Isaac and Maisy

Hello everyone, I am back in the Dairy Diary office once more after nine months off having babies.

I am now a very proud mummy to twins Jasmine and Maisy, as well as the ever-cheeky three year-old Isaac.

I have had a magical few months, but it’s great to be back and be blogging again. Thanks so much to Karen and Marion for holding the reins in my absence.

I have come back at a very exciting time of year with our fantastic new range of products selling like hot cakes! I am thrilled to hear so many compliments about our revamp of the classic Dairy Book of Home Cookery, as well as consumers loving the 2012 Dairy Diary and Dairy Diary Set.

In the current economic climate, saving money is always a hot topic, and as a mum of three, I am only too aware of how crucial this is.

Make an original corsageMy evenings are dedicated to this very pastime; making cards and gifts for birthdays and Christmas. For this, my trusty Dairy Diary is invaluable, not only does the 2012 edition have recipes perfect to make and wrap for others. It also shows you how to make a beautiful corsage.

Win a vintage corsage making kit
The kind people at Buttonbag have given us a vintage corsage making kit. Like us on Facebook before 13th October and be in with a chance to win it!

Sweet Spicy NutsIf you too need to be thrifty, or just like to make gifts for others, why not make these scrummy Sweet Spicy Nuts? Wrap them in cellophane and tie with a ribbon and a pretty tag. Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.



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Sweet Spicy Nuts

Sweet Spicy Nuts | A Dairy Diary 2012 recipe

Wrap in cellophane and tie with a ribbon to make a tasty gift.

Makes 450g (1lb)
Time 15 mins
Calories 168 per 25g (1oz)
Fat 15g of which 1.6g is saturated

Blanched almonds 110g (4oz)
Cashew nuts 110g (4oz)
Unsalted peanuts 110g (4oz)
Pecans 110g (4oz)
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
Ground cumin ½ tsp
Ground coriander ½ tsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Soft brown sugar 2 tbsp

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

2 Place nuts in a bowl and sprinkle in spices and olive oil. Mix together thoroughly with your hands.

3 Spread evenly onto a baking tray and bake in oven for 5–10 minutes, turning halfway through, until aromatic and golden. Add sugar, mix well and return to oven for a few minutes until sugar has melted.

4 When cool, transfer to a serving bowl and serve with drinks. Tip You can store these nuts in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe taken from 2012 Dairy Diary.

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Battle of Britain Day

A Hurricane, a Lancaster and a Spitfire – what evocative names, and these old stalwarts are still flying with the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Battle of Britain DayThis comes to mind because 15 September was Battle of Britain day. And other aeroplanes of the era must still be operational, because several take to the skies at various locations around the country to commemorate the day.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust had a fly past over the national memorial to The Few on the white cliffs between Dover and Folkestone. Yeovilton had an air day with a Lancaster bomber. Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre staged a dogfight between a Spitfire and Me 109 last year and did the same again this year on 17 September. I’m sure plenty of other events went on, but they don’t seem to have been well publicised.

No really big national to-do is made about it, which I think is a shame – such an important few months, and just about in living memory.

My parents, uncles and aunts used to tell us stories about those days, so I feel a connection. The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust are trying to raise money to build a visitor centre by the national memorial (‘Lest we forget’!) Check the site for information:

Thinking about the Second World War reminds me of Marguerite Patten
One of her many cookery books was the first I ever had. She is acknowledged as one of the most influential cooks, probably the first TV celebrity chef, and still going strong in her nineties.

Apparently, she has a podcast showing us how to make a traditional Christmas pud in 12 minutes – so no excuses about not having the time. Can’t think about the festive season yet, though. I’m still hanging on to the idea of a beautiful autumn and making the most of all the fruit available while still having something warming.

Fruity Baked CustardThis Fruity Baked Custard is perfect autumnal comfort food and may just hit the spot.

Recipe taken from the Just One Pot.


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Fruity Baked Custard

This fluffy pudding is perfect autumnal comfort food.

Fruity Baked Custard

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Calories per portion 289 Kcal
Fat per portion 17g of which saturated 8.2g
Serves 4
Suitable for vegetarians

Cox’s apples 2 large, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Plums 225g (8oz), halved, stoned and cut into wedges
Butter 15g (½oz)
Sugar 40g (1½oz)
Ground cloves ½ tsp
Ground cinnamon ½ tsp
Eggs 4
Soured cream 142ml tub

1 Put the apples, plums, butter and half of the sugar in a large frying pan. Cook over a low heat until the fruit is softened, stirring continuously. Add the cloves and cinnamon. Stir well and remove from the heat.

2 Separate the eggs, so the whites are in a mixing bowl and the yolks in a small container. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold the eggs very gently into the fruit. Wipe out the bowl and then beat the egg yolks with the soured cream and fold gently into the fruit.

3 Cook over a low heat until the mixture has set. Then sprinkle with the remaining sugar and brown under a hot grill. Serve immediately, while hot, with soured cream or natural yogurt.

Cook’s tip
If your frying pan has a plastic handle, take care it doesn’t melt when browning the custard under the grill.


Recipe taken from the Just One Pot.

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Hello autumn!

Finally my Dairy Diary tells me it is Autumn, here in Sheffield it has felt like it for weeks.

For once my husband has managed to do a little house job at just the right time, well, a year previously would have been more of the right time, but it’s the critical time of this year, and I guess that’s what matters. He has fitted the remote thermostatic control to our boiler. Hurrah!

Every year he is away the first week in October exhibiting his wares at The Goldsmiths Fair.  As soon as he has driven out the driveway I go into ‘winter mode’. The winter duvets go on all the beds and I set the heating to come on, just for a couple of hours, every morning and evening. Out go the light suppers and in come dishes such as ‘Ruby Beef Stew‘ (Page 93 of the Dairy Diary).

The trouble with living in a draughty old house is that some rooms feel tropical and others barely off-freezing.

18 months ago we bought the thermostat, with the hope that we could place the thermostat in the most used room of the house, leaving the heating to adjust itself accordingly. So, two weeks until he goes away, the thermostat has been fitted for three weeks already and he asked me if I’d used it yet. “No” I said quite truthfully, as that particular day it had been warm and sunny. “Will you?” he asked. “Now?” I said. “Yes” he replied. I fell off my seat.

As we all know most couples find the man is always hot and the woman always cold.
My man is no exception, wearing shorts from the end of the snow season until he returns from his October show, yet here he was asking me to put the heating on, on a mild September evening. On further discussion it came out that he wants me to use it to make sure it works before he goes away and this has led me to worry…. Could he be thinking of taking it with him? Will it work over a distance of 170 miles?

Wrap up warm.

Dairy Diary Team

Ruby Beef Stew

Ruby Beef Stew

Recipe taken from the Dairy Diary.

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Ruby Beef Stew

A hearty dish which is perfect for an autumn dinner

Ruby Beef Stew

Serves 4
Time 135 mins plus marinating
Calories 431 per portion
Fat 24g of which 6.5g is saturated
Suitable for freezing

Finely chopped sage 1 tbsp
Finely chopped thyme 1 tbsp
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Lean braising steak 600g (1lb 5oz), cubed
Onions 2, peeled and chopped
Garlic 4 cloves, crushed
Smoked streaky bacon 4 rashers, cut into strips
Plum tomatoes 2 x 400g cans, drained
Bay leaves 2
Red wine 300ml (½ pint)
Garlic bread to serve, optional

1 Mix herbs with oil and season well with black pepper. Add meat, cover and marinate for a minimum of 6 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas3 Brown meat and herbs in a large flameproof casserole for 5 minutes.

3 Add onions, garlic and bacon, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, mashing with a spoon. Add bay leaves and wine. Cover and bake for 2 hours.

4 Remove bay leaves and serve hot with garlic bread.


Recipe taken from the Dairy Diary.

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