School Sports Day Essentials

School Sports Day Essentials

Many of us parents and grandparents will soon be dashing off to see our beloved offspring attempting to race (with varying degrees of success!) in their school sports day.

None of my children have any competitive spirit whatsoever, so it’s a little like watching a comedy. Last year one of my twins even returned to help collect others’ beanbags before she decided to amble across the finish line!

It’s an enjoyable but lengthy afternoon
(often/hopefully in the sun), so it’s important
to take plenty of water to drink.

Many schools put on a bake sale as a fundraising initiative, so you may also want to take along something homemade. Avoid chocolatey cakes as they will melt in the heat. And don’t take anything containing nuts, which are often not permissible in school because of allergies. Perhaps opt for something moist, which will survive the afternoon.

One of my favourites is this bread pudding from the Dairy Diary Favourites cookbook.


Auntie Lou Breadpudding

Auntie Lou’s Bread Pudding

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 228 per portion
Fat 9.8g (5.6g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • White bread, crust removed 225g (8oz), 2–3 days old, torn into small pieces
  • Milk 375ml (13fl oz)
  • Oranges 2, grated zest of both, juice of 1
  • Mixed spice 1 tbsp
  • Raisins 175g (6oz)
  • Sultanas 150g (5oz)
  • Chopped mixed peel 50g (2oz)
  • Ready-to-eat dried 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 to sprinkle


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Grease a 23cm (9in) square shallow ovenproof dish.
  2. Soak the bread with the milk in a large bowl for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sugar and mix well.
  4. Transfer to the baking dish, spread evenly and bake for 45–50 minutes until the pudding is lightly browned and set in the centre.
  5. Sprinkle with sugar and serve hot. Or leave to cool, cover and chill. Serve cold, cut into squares.

Dairy Diary Favourites CookbookDairy Diary Favourites cookbook is an unmissable addition to your collection and is available to purchase from our online shop for just £8.25 (plus P&P).






Win a Cath Kinston Handbag

Plus WIN a fabulous Cath Kidston handbag

And who wouldn’t want to turn up to a school event with a fabulous handbag?

Enter our competition and you could win this gorgeous Cath Kidston handbag, which has plenty of space for all those essentials (and your Dairy Diary of course!)

Click here to be in with a chance of winning.








WIN a Fab Breville Sandwich Press

Win a Greville Sandwich Press

WIN a Fab Breville Sandwich Press

With the Breville VST025 sandwich toaster, delicious toasted sandwiches can be quickly prepared from handy ingredients. It’s quick, easy and offers endless options–from sweet to savoury–for anyone who fancies a light lunch or a quick snack.

Good luck!





British Sandwich Week

British Sandwich Week

According to the British Sandwich Week website we Brits eat over 11.5 billion sandwiches each year. If you laid each one end to end, they would go around the world about 44 times!

British Sandwich Week is a week-long celebration of the greatest food-to-go and one of the most iconic British culinary inventions; the Sandwich.

The great British sandwich is such a central item in our psyche and culture that we have more different names for it than Eskimos do for snow.

From Sarnies, butties and barms to baps and baguettes, everywhere you go there’s a local term for this icon. Ever since John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich ordered cold beef between slices of toast, to avoid getting up from his cards game, his name has become synonymous with the delectable dish.

So what’s your favourite?

Do you prefer to make your own or do you have a favourite café? We love our local bakery. It’s certainly not hip and trendy but it produces the most gorgeous bread and fillings. But when we’re not indulging in purchases from

But when we’re not indulging in purchases from Food for Thought our favourite seasonal sandwich recipe is Asparagus Torpedoes (see below).




Win a Greville Sandwich Press

WIN a Fab Breville Sandwich Press

With the Breville VST025 sandwich toaster, delicious toasted sandwiches can be quickly prepared from handy ingredients. It’s quick, easy and offers endless options–from sweet to savoury–for anyone who fancies a light lunch or a quick snack.

Good luck!





Asparagus Torpedo

Asparagus Torpedoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 641 per portion
Fat 29g (9g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians


  • Ready-to-bake baguettes 2
  • Asparagus spears 6–8, depending on size
  • Mayonnaise 3 tbsp
  • Finely shredded basil 3 tbsp
  • Finely chopped parsley 3 tbsp
  • Beefsteak tomato 1, sliced
  • Mozzarella cheese 90g (31⁄2oz), thinly sliced


  1. As instructed on the packet, preheat oven and bake baguettes, then allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, snap off white woody ends of asparagus. Cook spears in gently boiling water for 3–5 minutes until tender. Drain, cut in half lengthways, then into thirds.
  3. Cut baguettes almost into two lengthways. Mix mayonnaise with basil and parsley and spread over cut sides. 4 Alternate slices of tomato, mozzarella and pieces of asparagus in the baguettes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately while warm.


A Dairy Diary recipe.






Scented Pots & Win a Garden Centre Voucher

4 Steps to a Gorgeous Scented Pot

Having a supply of fresh home-grown herbs is really useful, and much cheaper than purchasing them from the supermarket.

And in this project, they look (and smell) gorgeous too.

This planted pot would look fabulous stood by the front door and will welcome you home with fragrant aromas.


Bay, Thyme and Lavender

Bay, Thyme and Lavender

Three strongly aromatic plants combine here to make an enticingly scented corner. A standard bay in a large ceramic pot is circled by a medley of low-growing thymes, with lavender surrounding the base.

Plant in spring. All of these plants have a year-long presence – bay and thyme are evergreen, while lavender, which flowers in summer, retains its grey leaves throughout winter.

Allow a couple of hours to complete this container and the surrounding bed.


  • One bay tree (Laurus nobilis), trained to standard shape and clipped to a ball.
  • Eight thymes (Thymus serpyllum and Thymus citriodorus varieties – here golden leaved, variegated and grey-leaved forms as well as the more usual dark green).
  • Eight lavenders (Lavandula variety, such as ‘Munstead’).


  • Large ceramic container (or any other pot large enough to take the bay tree).
  • Soil-based potting compost with added grit or sharp sand for drainage.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Trowel.

1 Position your pot where it is to stand – it will be too heavy to move once planted. Here the pot is surrounded by a narrow bed of lavender which will need about 45cm (18in) of planting space all around the pot.

2 Line the container with broken crocks for drainage, then half-fill with compost. Check the level of the bay’s rootball by placing it in its original pot on the compost. Adjust the level as necessary to get the rootball to the same depth it was in before, then plant the bay, placing it centrally in the pot. Firm in.

3 Top up the container with more compost – the thymes will have much shallower rootballs than the bay. Plant the thymes in a circle around the bay, firm in, then top up again with more compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim. Water thoroughly.

4 Work some of the compost/grit mix into the soil around the pot, then plant the lavenders all round. Water thoroughly.


If you wish, choose a dry, sunny day and cut some of the lavender flowers when they are at their peak. Leave them to dry in bunches, then use them in a vase or a potpourri, or make little sachets and stuff them with the lavender flowerheads – place in linen drawers or hang in clothes cupboards to keep the clothes smelling fresh and sweet.


Both the bay and the thymes are culinary herbs, so use them freely in your cooking.


All these plants do best in full sun and need light, well-drained soil. Keep the bay in shape by trimming any straggly shoots in summer; remove any frost-damaged leaves/shoots in spring. Remove faded lavender flowers in autumn, then prune in April – but do not cut into old wood. Clip the thyme, removing dead flowerheads and straggly shoots in spring.

This little project is taken from our Seasonal Garden Ideas book. Find out…



WIN a £50 National Garden Centre Voucher!

If you fancy your chances of winning a £50 National Garden Centre Voucher just click here.


Good luck!

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