Hot Bakewell Blondies

Bakewell Blondies

Recipe of the Week: Hot Bakewell Blondies

With white chocolate, almonds, cherries and raspberry jam, these blondies are a little different to the norm and they only take 30 minutes to make.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mmmmmmmmm they are delicious.

Hot Bakewell Blondies

RECIPE

 

Quick After-Work CookbookThis recipe is one of 80 in our fabulous new cookbook Quick After-Work.

At only £8.99, it’s a bargain and its speedy recipes mean that you can cook real, delicious food, any and every day of the week.

To find out more click here.

 

 

 

 

 

#TripleTested

#QuickRecipes

I’m celebrating 20 years at Dairy Diary!

Today it is 20 years since I joined the Dairy Diary!

Emily discussing recipes with food stylist Sarah.

And what a fabulous two decades it has been. I’m so lucky to work on such excellent products and in such a great team.

As it’s a very small team, I’ve experienced almost every task possible, from making the drinks, to sourcing props for photography, to deciding on cover designs, to recipe testing and even go-karting with milkmen!

Right: discussing ingredients at a photography shoot with food stylist Sarah Lewis.

 

My special giveaway

Addresses & Reminders Book

As a thank you for your loyal custom and time, I would like to offer 20 lucky readers a free copy of the pretty Addresses & Reminders Book.

For a chance to win, simply email us at enquiries@dairydiary.co.uk with the subject line: Free Addresses & Reminders Book.

The first 20 emails received will qualify for the free offer. So be quick!

 

Sharing my two favourite recipes of all time

How do I choose my favourite recipes? This was VERY difficult…

As you know, I’ve tasted many hundreds of delicious recipes over the 20 years, but I decided on these two recipes that I make most frequently at home.

Lemon Chicken
Delicious baked lemon chicken, topped with crisp pancetta and served with crispy potato wedges.

Gooey Gingerbread
This Gooey Gingerbread is much better than anything shop-bought and will be devoured with gusto!

 

 

 

 

 

#Competition

#TripleTested

World Whisky Day

World Whisky Day

Celebrating World Whisky Day, the Dairy Diary way!


Did you know?

  • Whisky or whiskey is a distilled alcoholic drink made from fermented grain mash.
  • The smoky flavour found in some types of whisky, especially true of Scotch, is due to the peat smoke used to treat the malt.
  • Whisky is most often aged in wooden casks, often made of charred white oak.
  • With a value of £4.359 billion (2017), Scotch whisky exports accounted for over 20 per cent of all UK food and drink exports.
  • Some 34 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every second.

Whisky in Gaelic reads ‘uisge beathe’,
which means ‘water of life’

We will be celebrating World Whisky Day in the Dairy Diary office by baking these gorgeous Dundee Marmalade Flapjacks, and making our very own  Whisky Marmalade. Absolutely delicious!

 

Dundee Marmalade flapjacks

Dundee Marmalade Flapjacks

Whisky Marmalade

Whisky Marmalade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try the recipes and send us a photo!

 

 

#TripleTested

#RecipeOfTheWeek

#WorldWhiskyDay

National Vegetarian Week and new ingredients

Nasi Goreng

National Vegetarian Week

 

Look who’s supporting this year’s National Vegetarian Week: Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Ella Mills and many more… enjoy veggie food this National Vegetarian Week.

 

New ingredients

New and exciting veggie food products are launched regularly, but it’s not possible or affordable to try them all.

But one ingredient that I’m definitely going to try is jackfruit.

You will see it on supermarket shelves and also in restaurants. It comes in cans, has a savoury flavour and the texture of pulled pork.

I am reducing the amount of meat that we eat as a family, so it’s definitely going to be on my shopping list soon. If we like jackfruit it may be in future Dairy Diary recipes!

Tamarind paste is another ingredient that is new to me. It’s made from the fruit of the tamarind tree and has a sweet/sour taste. Although unfamiliar in the UK, it is a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce, which has been around for almost 200 years!

Tamarind paste is used in this Nasi Goreng recipe, from the Quick After-Work Cookbook, and is stir-fried with garlic, ginger and chilli just before the rice is added.

This mouthwatering vegetarian recipe takes just 15 minutes to make and is an excellent weekday meal when you’re short of time.

Please share with us any new ingredients that you have used recently – who knows, they could appear in the next Dairy Diary!

 

Nasi Goreng

RECIPE

 

 

#TripleTested

#QuickRecipes

#NationalVegetarianWeek

 

 

Celebrate World Cocktail Day!

Cranberry Cocktail

Cranberry Cocktail is our Recipe of the Week

 

This cocktail is deliciously simple and takes just a few minutes to prepare.

Best when mixed with really good quality vodka, such as Grey Goose.

Enjoy it with friends this weekend and don’t miss World Cocktail Day on Monday.

 

Cranberry Cocktail

RECIPE

 

#TripleTested

#RecipeOfTheWeek

#WorldCocktailDay

 

Bank Holiday Garden Tricks

Garden tricks

Bank Holidays provide the perfect opportunity for pottering in the garden. And with a little planning and cunning planting, you can create a garden that looks bigger/wider/longer than it actually is.

This feature, from this year’s diary, gives you clever hints on how to make the most of your plot.

 

Garden tricks with colour

Garden tricks

Seeing is believing but can you believe what you see? Whatever the size or shape of your garden, make the most of it by cultivating a few illusions along with your herbaceous borders; and on a practical level, a few other little tricks can help, too.

The eye can be fooled more easily than you may think. If your precious plot falls a tad short of your dreams by being too small, too narrow or just too dull, wising up to a trick or two may make all the difference.

Shapes

How you treat open spaces is one crucial aspect of making the garden appear other than it actually is. A circular lawn, for example, is a good ruse to make a small garden appear to be bigger than its square footage. Two overlapping circles are even better, the bigger one nearer the house to lengthen the garden and vice versa to shorten it.

Garden tricks with pathsIf you can lead the eye up the garden path, in more ways than one, that will help your false perspective plan, too. A straight path that tapers slightly as it progresses away from the house elongates the garden, while a zigzag widens it. Snake a track around your patch, and use paving slabs at jaunty angles as stepping stones, to make the whole garden seem bigger.

Another optical trick is to divide the garden, even a small one, so you can’t see it all at once. Extend the flowerbed into the lawn or have a short row of pots with flowers and shrubs to do the job. Bamboos and ornamental grasses make interesting screens, as do trellises and archways covered in roses or clematis, or jasmine or honeysuckle, or runner beans. If space is not an issue, you could have a designated kitchen garden, play area, rock garden – whatever your special interest may be.

Colours

The rule of thumb is that pale colours appear to be farther away than bright ones, so if bigger is the aim, have vibrantly coloured plants near the house and paler, subtler ones farther away. A back fence stained pale grey or green sends it away, and to enhance the effect, you could position a delicate focal point in front of it, such as a planter or a small garden table and two chairs.

It’s better to avoid having tall or spreading trees or shrubs at the end of the garden because a heavily shaded area there will foreshorten the perspective.

Helpful hints

• For a quick and easy way to keep your flowerbeds going through the season, sink plastic flowerpots in the earth and drop in your plants still in their garden-centre pots. You can change them as you wish.

• Vegetable cooking water is full of nutrients and, once cooled, your plants will love it.

• A couple of times a month, distribute used tea or coffee grounds around acid-loving plants, such as azaleas and camellias, to keep the pH of the soil acidic.

• Epsom salts are a gardener’s friend because of their high magnesium and sulphate content. For tomatoes and peppers, pop a tablespoon in with the soil when planting, then sprinkle around the growing plants. For containers, add a couple of tablespoons to the watering can once or twice a month.

• Use gravel as mulch around drought-tolerant plants, which need good drainage e.g. sedums and other succulents, and alpines.

• Plant thyme between stepping stones or in cracked crazy paving for a beautiful aroma when trodden on. If you prefer your paved areas to be plant-free underfoot, use mortar in the cracks rather than sand, which encourages seeds to germinate.

Pale colours appear to be farther away than bright ones

• To ensure watering continues even when you’re elsewhere, on holiday for instance, make a lot of holes in plastic water bottles, bury them next to the plants in question (top above ground) and fill with water. The water will seep out as the soil dries, and it will reach deep roots rather than surface weeds.

• Install a water butt if you can, and don’t forget to use it – plants much prefer rainwater to the treated variety from a tap.

• Use a permanent marker pen to write plant names on an upturned flowerpot or a stone rather than on a lolly-stick marker because that either goes missing or looks tatty in no time.

• Never lose the run of your garden twine – keep it in an upturned flowerpot with the end poking out of the drainage hole in the bottom.

• Keep a small bed of nettles to encourage ladybirds, which eat aphids. Should any aphids escape to colonize your roses or runner beans, zap them with a solution of washing-up liquid.

• Scrunch up eggshells before composting or they will survive to adorn your flowerbeds.

• Don’t forget to turn the compost to allow air to circulate – ideally once a month – and to keep it moist in dry weather. If the compost is smelly and slimy, add more woody material, cardboard or straw. If it’s dry and doesn’t seem to be rotting, add more greenery, such as grass clippings, or try a commercial activator. If the compost bin turns into a breeding ground for flies, too much moisture and not enough air are likely to be to blame. Add more woody material and turn, and remember to put garden waste on top of kitchen waste to counteract the problem.

Weeds

For some people, weeding is therapeutic and satisfying; for others, it’s not so appealing, in which case, consider ground-cover plants. Mats of foliage and flowers spreading around trees and shrubs save hours of weeding not to mention backache. Ground-cover geraniums and roses, Vinca minor, Alchemilla mollis and Bergenia purpurascens are all attractive options.

Mulch is an effective weed suppressant because light cannot penetrate through it, so stopping the seeds from germinating. Clear weeds first, then spread the mulch over the whole bed and top up each spring. Organic mulches, such as compost, bark and leafmould, are also soil improvers since they gradually rot down. They should be laid to a depth of 10cm (4in); others, such as gravel, stone chippings or pebbles, to a depth of 2.5-5cm (1-2in).

Alternatively, if you just want to kill the blighters but commercial chemicals are off the agenda, pour boiling water on them and excavate with a sharp knife or trowel – or buy an organic weedkiller, although these may not kill the roots. Be careful to avoid plants you don’t want to affect.

 

Garden welliesWEBSITES
bbc.co.uk gardenorganic.org.uk
rhs.org.uk
successfulgardendesign.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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