Tag Archives: Autumn

Plant now for a glorious spring display

Plants bulbs now for a spring display

Plant now for a gorgeous flowering display in spring

Not only does our lovely 2018 Dairy Diary give you 56 fabulous recipes, but it also is packed with interesting articles, such as Blooming Bulbs, which gives lots of tips on flowering bulbs.

And it’s now time to plant for a gorgeous flowering display in spring. There is a myriad of stunning blooms to choose from including crocuses, narcissi, grape hyacinths (my favourite!), tulips, anemones, dog’s tooth violets and lily-of-the-valley.

In general, bulbs don’t take too much effort
to plant but the results can be spectacular,
providing a welcome ‘surprise’ in spring.

Planting

Planting spring bulbsIn the ground:
Prepare a hole, or a trench if you’re mass planting, to a depth of two or three times the height of the bulbs (three or four times for tulips – always the odd ones out!). Sit each one on its rough underside, so that the narrow end points upwards (a dip or buds for corms, which are flatter than true bulbs). Space them at least an extra bulb’s width apart. For tubers and rhizomes, it’s fine to lay them sideways. Replace the soil and gently firm down.

In containers:
The RHS recommends three parts John Innes No.2 to one part grit if you plan to leave the bulbs in situ for more than one season. Otherwise, using multi-purpose compost instead of John Innes is fine. Put some broken crocks or stones at the bottom of the pot to aid drainage and plant as before, but not quite so widely spaced. Water regularly.

Planting snowdropsIn grass:
Scatter handfuls of bulbs around the area and plant them where they land, either individually or in groups, replacing soil and grass clumps when you have excavated the hole and popped in the bulbs. To save time and too much hard work, you could invest in a bulb planter, a tool specially designed for the job. Several kinds are available, including ones with long handles. It’s best not to cut the grass until the bulbs’ leaves have died back, several weeks after flowering, so this may dictate where you want to cultivate the natural look.

Squirrels love bulbs!
They seem to be especially fond of crocuses and tulips, so if this is likely to be a problem, try netting the area or spreading some sharp gravel on the surface. Failing that, they are, apparently, not too keen on chilli flakes, so you could try sprinkling some of that around.

 

Dairy Diary 2018 now available

 

#gardening

#springbulbs

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The secrets to year-round colour in your garden

Dairy Diary 2017 gardening feature

The secrets to year-round colour in your garden

 

Now the weather has got colder and those summer bedding plants have died down it’s time to do a little creative planting to give your home that va va voom.

There may not be an abundance of bedding plants to choose from at this time of year but you can still add kerb appeal with pots and baskets and a few well-chosen specimens.

2017 A5 diaries

2017 diary, A5 week-to-view with recipesFor a display that will see you through until spring choose a few small heathers in deep red or rust colours, some cyclamen and also a few silvery-coloured plants, such as Senecio Maritima ‘Silver Dust’ (Silver Ragwort).

 

Underplant with tulip bulbs and these will appear in spring. If the cyclamen fade early you can replace with Christmas roses. I’ve also chosen a gorgeous Skimmia Japonica to place in a pot by the front door.

 

The 2017 Dairy Diary has a fantastic feature on gardening for year-round colour, with tips on colour schemes and what to plant when for a gorgeous year-round floral display. It even gives a list of glamorous gardens to visit.

2017 A5 diary


Dairy Diary 2017Dairy Diary is available to buy for just £7.99.

Click here for more information, but don’t dilly dally as they’re selling fast.

 

 

 

 

 

#gardening

#autumncolour

#kerbappeal

 

 

5 Fabulous Recipes for Autumn

5 Fabulous Recipes for Autumn

To celebrate the start of autumn on Wednesday I’d like to share with you this gorgeous collection of recipes from the 2016 Dairy Diary.

Each recipe is, of course, triple-tested and perfect for the season.

Recipes taken from Dairy Diary 2016.

 

Win a fabulous Cooking Set

WIN an amazing cooking set from Lakeland

To help you cook all these recipes in style we have a fabulous give-away:

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You can buy the 2016 Dairy Diary here.

#dairydiary #britainsfavouritediary #tripletestedrecipes

Easy Autumn Hanging Basket

I’ve been absolutely thrilled with my petunia-filled baskets this year

but they’re starting to fade now and it’s time to think about getting planters ready for an autumn display.

This little project from our book, Seasonal Garden Ideas, uses a gorgeous selection of heathers, evergreens and stones and should see the baskets looking brilliant until the beginning of winter.

 

Autumn Hanging Basket

Hot Spot Hanging Basket

Here’s an unusual late-season hanging basket, with plants perfectly suited to their position in a real hot spot – in full sun against a dry wall.

Plant in late summer; the arrangement should last until the beginning of winter. Planting up will take about an hour.

Plants

  • Two plants of bell heather (Erica Cinerea).
  • Thyme (Thymus serpyllum variety with variegated leaves).
  • Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium ‘Purpureum’).
  • Variegated rock-cress (Arabis ferdinandi-coburgii ‘Variegata’).
  • Dwarf conifer – this is a really tiny spruce (Picea).

Equipment

  • Hanging basket frame, wires and hook.
  • Hanging basket liner (plastic, hessian, felt or moulded paper).
  • Gritty ericaceous (acid) compost.
  • A few stones and/or pebbles.
  • Fine gravel or grit as a topping.

Instructions

  1. Insert a thick layer of liner into the basket – prick small drainage holes through if necessary.
  2. Half-fill the lined basket with very gritty ericaceous compost – good drainage is essential here.
  3. Plant the dwarf conifer first, right at the back of the basket. Set the bell heather plants on either side of the conifer, then firm in all three.
  4. Adjust the level of compost in the basket as needed for the other plants, then plant the thyme on the left and the stonecrop on the right, with the variegated rock-cress in between. Firm in and top up the compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the rim. Water lightly.
  5. Arrange the stones and/or pebbles between the plants to give the appearance of a  mini-rockery, pushing them into the compost for stability. Finally, spread a 2.5cm (1in) layer of fine gravel or grit on top.
  6. Hang the basket against the wall on a sturdy hook. The gritty compost and stones and pebbles will make the basket heavy, so ensure that it hangs securely.

Tip

Give the thyme a quick squeeze with your fingers as you pass by for a burst of herby, spicy fragrance.

Notes

The dwarf conifer won’t stay ‘dwarf’ for very long. Check its likely height and spread after five years before buying. These have a terrible habit of turning into giants alarmingly quickly. Remove it from the basket before it gets too big and heavy and plant in

the garden.

Aftercare

Water sparingly in dry weather. Clip the heather and thyme in spring to remove straggly growth and to keep the plants neat.

 

Seasonal Garden Ideas £3.99This project is taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas; a beautiful book featuring easy half-day projects, with easy-to-follow instructions, to add beauty to any garden.

Available now at the amazing price of just £3.99!

The Perfect Autumn Menu

The Perfect Autumn Menu

.

The Perfect Autumn Menu

Celebrate the harvest season by enjoying some wonderful seasonal British Food.

Recipes taken from the new Fantastic Food For Less cookbook.

Take a look at our Pinterest page for lots more inspirational recipes.


Parsnip Soup

Piquant Parsnip Soup

Time 1 hr. 
Per portion: 264 Kcal,
15g fat (7.7g saturated).
Serves 4
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Butter 25g (1oz)
Parsnips 675g (1½lb), peeled and sliced
Bramley cooking apple 1, peeled and sliced
Vegetable stock 1.25 litres (2 pints)
Dried sage ½ tsp
Single cream 150ml (¼ pint)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the parsnips and apple. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2 Pour the stock into the saucepan and add the sage. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the parsnip is softened.

3 Purée the soup with a hand-held blender, and then reheat gently with the cream and season to taste before serving.


Mackerel Fishcakes

Mackerel Fish Cakes

Time 20 minutes. 
Per portion: 681 Kcal, 52g fat (12.4g saturated)
Serves 4
Suitable for freezing

Peppered smoked mackerel fillets 345g pack
Mashed potato 350g (12oz)
Chopped parsley 1 tbsp
Creamed horseradish 2–3 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Egg 1, lightly beaten
Milk 2 tbsp
Fresh white breadcrumbs 75g (3oz)
Butter 25g (1oz)
Sunflower oil 1 tbsp
Mayonnaise 4 tbsp

1 Baked potato wedges and salad to serve (optional)

2 Flake the mackerel fillets and stir into the mashed potato, along with the parsley, 1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce and seasoning.

3 Divide the mixture into 8 and mould each portion into shape. Beat the egg with the milk, dip the fish cakes in the egg mixture and then coat in breadcrumbs.

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until foaming and cook the fish cakes for 4–5 minutes on each side (in batches, if necessary) until they are golden brown and warmed through.

4 Stir the remaining horseradish into the mayonnaise and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5 Serve the fish cakes with the flavoured mayonnaise, and with potato wedges and salad, if you like.


Baked Apples

Baked Apples

Time 45 minutes. 
Per portion: 223 Kcal, 8g fat (5.2g saturated)
Serves 4
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter 40g (1½oz), softened
Light muscovado sugar 40g (1½oz)
Chopped glacé ginger 1 tbsp
Glacé cherries 25g (1oz), chopped
Ready-to-eat prunes 75g (3oz), chopped
Dessert apples 4
Custard to serve (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until soft and smooth. Stir in the glacé ginger and then add the cherries and prunes.

2 Cut a thin slice off the top of each apple and reserve. Core the apples and cut a very thin slice off the bottom if needed, to stop them rolling around.

3 Stand the cored apples in a small 20cm (8in) circular dish, then press the fruit mixture into the cavities, spooning the remainder over the cut top edge. Press the apple lids back in place.

4 Add 2 tbsp of water to the base of the dish, then bake for 30 minutes until the apples are tender. 5 Serve hot with custard, if you like.


Fantastic Food For Less cookbookFantastic Food for Less

Enjoy fantastic food and save money at the same time with the new Fantastic Food For Less cookbook.

It’s about cooking delicious meals more economically – each recipe is simple to cook, tastes fabulous and won’t cost the earth.

Fantastic Food For Less features 100recipes that have been triple-tested to ensure perfect results first time!

  • Soups & Snacks
  • Main Courses
  • Desserts & Bakes

Available now for just £7.99

 

 

Read the blogs on our website. 

Autumn Vegetables with Feta recipe

Autumn Vegables with Feta

Autumn Vegetables with Feta

Time 50 minutes.
Per portion: 454 Kcal, 23g fat (8g saturated)
Serves 4

Butternut squash 450g (1lb), about ½ the squash
Sweet potato 450g (1lb)
Parsnips 450g (1lb)
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Paprika 1 tsp
Olive or sunflower oil 4 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Runny honey 1 tbsp
Feta cheese 200g (7oz)
Chopped mint 2 tbsp to serve (optional)
Warmed pitta bread to serve (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and then peel away the skin. Peel the sweet potato and parsnips, then cut all the vegetables into similar-sized chunks.

2 Crush the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar or improvise using a mug and the end of a rolling pin. Add the seeds and paprika to a large plastic bag with the oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Squeeze the bag to mix, then add the vegetables and shake.

3 Preheat a large roasting tin in the oven for 5 minutes, then tip the vegetables out of the bag into the tin and spread into an even layer. Roast  the vegetables for 30 minutes, turning once.

4 Turn the vegetables again and drizzle with the honey. Roast for 5–10 more minutes until browned around the edges. Crumble Feta over the top and scatter with mint, if using. Serve with warmed pitta if you like.

Cook’s tips
The beauty of this dish is that you can use whatever root vegetables you have available. Chop the leftover squash and use for soup: fry an onion, add the squash and 1 tbsp curry paste. Cook for 1 minute then cover with vegetable stock. Simmer until tender, then purée.

Recipe taken from Fantastic Food for Less.

 

Fantastic Food For Less cookbookFantastic Food for Less

Enjoy fantastic food and save money at the same time with the new Fantastic Food For Less cookbook.

It’s about cooking delicious meals more economically – each recipe is simple to cook, tastes fabulous and won’t cost the earth.

Fantastic Food For Less features 100recipes that have been triple-tested to ensure perfect results first time!

  • Soups & Snacks
  • Main Courses
  • Desserts & Bakes

Available now for just £7.99

 

 

Read the blogs on our website. 

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