Tag Archives: Kitchen

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:

  • Non-stick lidded frying pan
  • Professional non-stick oven tray
  • Oven-to-table casserole dish.

The competition is easy to enter…





You can buy the 2016 Dairy Diary here.

#dairydiary #britainsfavouritediary #tripletestedrecipes

Essential Kitchen Gadgets & Equipment

Essential Kitchen Gadgets

I loved watching Mary Berry’s cookery programs on TV recently – she’s my kind of cook – non-egocentric, sensible and precise, yet fun. I learned some great tips from her too.

My favourite tip is so simple I can’t believe I have never used it before. When measuring out tablespoons of something, such as flour, soft cheese or mayo, leave a gap between each in the bowl so if you are interrupted by children/phone/doorbell, you can come back and see instantly how many you have added.

I liked to see what equipment she uses
as well – I have my favourite gadgets at
home but it’s always good to get
recommendations from the experts.

I’ve since read about Delia’s favourite gadgets, and Jamie’s too (though he is far more cavalier than I am in the kitchen). And after all this research (and years of practise) here’s my definitive list:

In the drawer


Lemon zesterLemon squeezer & zester

This is the lemon squeezer I used as a child when I baked with my mum. I managed to ‘procure’ it when I left home and I still love it. It fits perfectly on top of a measuring jug and captures the pips while you squeeze. I bought the lemon zester myself and it’s so handy, I often add lemon, lime or orange zest to fish dishes and bakes too.


Wooden spoon, box grater, potato
masher & a spaghetti spoon

Enough said!


Scissors and knivesKnives & scissors

As with pans, buy the best you can and keep knives sharp with a knife sharpener. I only actually use three. A long serrated knife for bread, a smaller knife for fine chopping and a large sharp knife for bigger veg, such as squash and potatoes. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago <link to previous blog> I like to ‘chop’ with my kitchen scissors as I find it much easier for herbs, meats and pizza.


Vegetable peeler

My personal favourite is an Oxo Good Grips peeler – it works a treat.

In the cupboard



Buy the best you can afford and they will last a very long time. My favourite pan is a large lidded frying pan also known as the ‘magic pan’ and was bought for me by my mum one Christmas around 10 years’ ago – it’s still going strong. I also have a pan with a steamer on top, which was a wedding present almost 15 years’ ago and has been used almost every day since.


Electronic scales

Mine are really cheap – I bought them because I like the pattern and they work!


Plastic stuff

Two measuring jugs, a sieve, a colander and a pair of tongs. All cheap and cheerful but they do the job.


Electrical stuffElectrical stuff

I like to keep these to a minimum as I don’t like worktop clutter and I have made purchases in the past that just gather dust. I use a hand-held whisk/mixer all the time for bakes and a stick blender for soups and sauces. I do also have a food processor for pastry and other bits and bobs but it’s not used as often.


Other stuff

I’m hopeless at finely chopping an onion and so I bought one of these clever little Rotomac gadgets that quickly chop at the pull (or five) of a handle. No power needed, just a quick wash afterwards and, even-better, no drippy eyes.


And making use of the Rotomac and lemon zester in this gorgeous recipe from Fantastic Food for Less.

Rich Lemon Chicken

Rich Lemon Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 238 per portion
Fat 10g (2.8g sat) per portion


  • Olive or sunflower oil 1 tbsp
  • Chicken thighs 1kg (2¼lb) or 6, skinned, boned, meat cut into chunks
  • Onion 1, peeled and chopped
  • Lemon 1, grated zest and juice
  • Chicken stock 300ml (½ pint)
  • Fresh thyme sprigs 2, or ½ tsp dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Egg yolks 2
  • Parsley or chives small bunch, finely chopped
  • Cooked macaroni or small pasta shapes to serve (optional)Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the cubed chicken. Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  2. Push the chicken to one side of the pan, then add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the lemon zest and juice, then the stock, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Scoop the chicken out of the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Beat the egg yolks together in a bowl, then gradually beat in the hot stock and onions until smooth.
  5. Return the sauce to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly until it has lightly thickened. Return the chicken to the pan and stir in the chopped herbs. Serve with cooked pasta, if using.

Cook’s tips Be careful not to overheat the sauce at the end when thickening with the egg yolks; if it boils, they will curdle. If you are short of time, you may prefer to use 600g (1lb 5oz) of ready-diced chicken thigh meat, chicken breast mini fillets or turkey breast slices.

A Dairy Cookbook recipe.

#recipes #chicken #greek

Recipe of the Week: Bacon & Brie Stuffed Croissants


Bacon & Brie Stuffed Croissants

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 245 per portion
Fat 15g (8.2g sat) per portion


  • Rindless unsmoked back bacon 6 rashers, cut into thin strips
  • Bake it Fresh croissant dough 250g can
  • Brie 110g (4oz), cut into 6 slices
  • Egg 1, beaten


1 Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

2 Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and cook bacon for 8-10 minutes or until crispy, adding a little oil if necessary. Leave to cool.

3 Meanwhile, unroll croissant dough and separate into triangles as instructed on the can.

4 Place a slice of brie just in from the base of each triangle, followed by the bacon.

5 Roll croissants up from the base of the triangle and transfer onto baking sheet, leaving about 5cm (2in) between each. Brush with a little egg to glaze and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden.


A Dairy Diary recipe.




How to grow kitchen herbs

How to grow your own kitchen herbs


How to grow your own herbs for the kitchen

Whilst doing all the testing for our next cookbook, I have come to realise just how expensive fresh herbs can be. They don’t last long in the fridge either and often go to waste if I forget to freeze any leftovers.

So, this year I am
determined to grow
my own.

It will be wonderful to step out of the kitchen door to the subtle scent of sage, mint and rosemary, and be able to clip a few leaves off to add to salads, soups and stews.

Here are some tips on how to sow your own seeds. Something I haven’t done for a long while!



Grow kitchen herbs

Grow kitchen herbs

Pot Herbs for the Kitchen

Fresh herbs give a great lift to many foods – so grow your own in pots sited near the kitchen for ease of picking. And why not choose some colourful, fun containers to plant in?

Sow seeds in March, or buy small herb plants in April or May, pot up at once and start picking leaves as soon as the plants have grown slightly. A sunny position is best. The job will take about an hour.

What you need

Plants Seed packets or small plants of parsley, thyme, marjoram (oregano), sage, mint and rosemary.

Equipment Six small plastic pots for potting up seedlings bought at the garden centre. Seed tray, modular cell system or jiffy pots for sowing seeds, if using. Five containers such as the enamel kettles. Soil-based potting compost and proprietary seed compost if using. Broken crocks for drainage. Trowel.


1 Fill the seed tray or modular cell system with seed compost and sow your seeds according to the instructions on the packets, or sow in jiffy pots according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep on a kitchen windowsill while the seeds germinate, then move them outside when all danger of frost is past.

2 When the seedlings are large enough to handle, pot them on into the plastic pots using potting compost and lining with broken crocks for drainage.

3 Or, line the plastic pots with broken crocks and fill with potting compost, into which you have mixed some sharp sand (if using). Then plant your garden centre seedlings, place into the containers and set out in an attractive arrangement. In general, allow one herb per container, but if the container is big enough, put several in together – here rosemary, parsley and mint have been put in the central container.

4 Place the young herb plants outside only when all danger of frost is past. If you’re uncertain, place them outside on sunny days and bring them in at night until the weather warms up enough for them to be left outside permanently.

5 Pick and use the leaves regularly. All these herbs can grow quite large and, by the end of summer, may well have outgrown their containers unless you keep them under control.

Notes Most herbs do best in full sun. They don’t require rich soil, but they must not be allowed to get waterlogged, so good drainage is essential. Rosemary, sage, thyme and marjoram are tough, shrubby plants and can be kept going for years if put into the ground or grown in large enough pots. Mint and parsley are herbaceous and will die down in winter, but reappear again in spring.

Aftercare Regular picking is needed, and watering with care.

Seasonal Garden IdeasThis project is taken from
Seasonal Garden Ideas 

a collection of lovely, easy
projects for any garden.

Now available online
for just £3.99  

(Feb/March 2013 orders).



Competition | Win a Hamilton 12 piece Dinner Set from M&S

Win this Hamilton 12 Piece Dinner Set from M&S


Competition | Win a Hamilton 12 piece Dinner Set from M&S

Your guests will be impressed when you serve your Dairy Diary or Dairy Cookbook recipes on this super dinner set.

Stylish and useful, this 12 piece set is dishwasher and microwave safe and includes 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates and 4 bowls.

Dinner plate: Diam.27.5cm
Side plate: Diam.21cm
Bowl: Diam.17 x H5.5cm
Made from stoneware

Enter now!


Competition | Win a Hamilton 12 piece Dinner Set from M&S

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