Tag Archives: The Guardian

Why keeping a diary makes you happier

Diary writing makes you happier

Keeping a diary makes you happier

I have looong been an advocate of writing things down in order to clear my head and de-stress but keeping a diary, apparently, goes even further than that.

I recently stumbled across an article in the Guardian that reveals just how therapeutic diaries can be. Ian Sample of the Guardian writes:

Brain scans on volunteers showed that putting feelings down on paper reduces activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions.

Psychologists who discovered the “Bridget Jones effect” said it worked whether people elaborated on their feelings in a diary, penned lines of poetry, or even jotted down song lyrics to express their negative emotions.

Matthew Lieberman, a psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, said the effect differs from catharsis, which usually involves coming to terms with an emotional problem by seeing it in a different light.

When people wrote about their feelings, medical scans showed that their brain activity matched that seen in volunteers who were consciously trying to control their emotions.

“Writing seems to help the brain regulate emotion unintentionally. Whether it’s writing things down in a diary, writing bad poetry, or making up song lyrics that should never be played on the radio, it seems to help people emotionally,”
Dr Lieberman said.

Who knew that the Dairy Diary could be so beneficial?! Keep up with your diary writing folks.


Oh and, of course, as well as therapy Dairy Diary also gives you AMAZING recipes like this. Enjoy!




Chicken & Avocado Fajitas

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 598 per portion
Fat 19g (5.7g sat) per portion


  • Sunflower oil 1 tbsp
  • Paprika 1 tsp
  • Cumin ½ tsp
  • Ground coriander ½ tsp
  • Chilli powder ½ tsp
  • Lime 1, zest and juice
  • Mini chicken breast fillets 350g pack, cut into chunks
  • Tortilla wraps 6
  • Cos lettuce ½, shredded
  • Avocado 1 large, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • Chopped coriander 3 tbsp, optional
  • Soured cream 4-6 tbsp, optional


  1. In a bowl mix together oil, spices, lime zest and juice and use to coat chicken. Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry chicken over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until cooked.
  2. Warm wraps according to packet’s instructions. Divide lettuce and avocado between them, top with chicken, coriander and soured cream, if using, roll up and serve.

Watch out for the 2017 Dairy Diary, which goes on sale very soon!




Vintage ice cream parlours and a fab Knickerbocker Glory recipe

    Knickerbocker Glory



Vintage ice cream parlours and

a fab Knickerbocker Glory recipe

 I recently read an article in the Guardian about the demise of British ice cream parlour and it made me feel a little sad.

There’s something delightfully nostalgic about an ice cream parlour. We have a lovely one in our local town but as we’re at least 40 miles from the sea it doesn’t seem quite the same as sitting on the prom indulging in an elaborate concoction of ice cream and syrup.

Last summer we enjoyed a wonderful holiday on the Gower Peninsula in south Wales and had the most fabulous ice cream sundaes at Verdi’s Cafe in Mumbles, near Swansea.


Verdi's 1



Verdis 2







As a huge ice cream fan, I can think of nothing better than gazing out to
sea while enjoying a scoop or two of icey deliciousness.

Verdis 4









Marina O’Loughlin  from the Guardian lists her favourite seaside haunts here http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/26/classic-seaside-cafes-neon-nougat-knickerbocker-glories

The nearest on her list is in Morecambe, so we may have to take a trip up north to sample its delights.


Do you have a favourite classic seaside café which sells fabulous ice cream?

I would love to hear about some other places we can put on our family visit list.

While we await a sunny weekend visit to the seaside I am going to make the classic Knickerbocker Glory. This ice cream extravaganza originated in New York and was named after its original Dutch settlers, the ‘Knickerbockers’. However, its popularity here in Britain is due to an Italian, named Pacitto, who opened on ice cream parlour in Redcar where he introduced the Knickerbocker Glory to the British.


Knickerbocker Glory 

Knickerbocker GloryPreparation time – 45 minutes plus 15 minutes assembling
Calories per portion – 806 Kcal
Fat per portion – 49g of which saturated – 24.1g
Serves – 6
Suitable for vegetarians

For the Melba sauce
Fresh raspberries 250g (9oz)
Caster sugar 75g (3oz)
Grand Marnier 1 tbsp, optional

For the fruit salad
Fresh pineapple 175g (6oz) piece, prepared weight
Pears 2 small, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
Black small seedless grapes 175g (6oz)
Green small seedless grapes 175g (6oz)
Strawberries 175g (6oz), hulled and quartered
Peaches 3 small, halved, stoned and skinned
Cherries 175g (6oz), pitted
Caster sugar 2–3 tbsp
Lemon 1, juice only

For the chocolate sauce
Dark chocolate 150g (5oz)
Unsalted butter 25g (1oz)

For assembling
Vanilla ice cream approximately 2 x 500ml tubs
Ice cream wafers 6
Strawberries 6
Maraschino or fresh cherries 6

1 To make the Melba sauce, put the raspberries, sugar and Grand Marnier (if using) into a bowl and mix together. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes, then pass the mixture through a fine nylon or stainless steel sieve to make a purée. Chill until required.

2 To prepare the fruit salad, cut away all the skin and ‘eyes’ from the pineapple, then cut into quarters and cut away the hard and woody centre core. Cut the flesh into small cubes and put into a large bowl.

3 Add all the remaining prepared fruits, sugar and lemon juice to the pineapple and mix well. If not using immediately, refrigerate until required.

4 Just before you are ready to assemble the Knickerbocker Glories, make the chocolate sauce. Put the chocolate, butter and 150ml (¼ pint) cold water into a small saucepan and stir together over a moderate heat until the chocolate is melted and smoothly blended with the butter and water. Allow the sauce to cool until cold, but do not allow it to set.

5 To assemble the knickerbocker glories, spoon a little of the Melba sauce into the bottom of each tall sundae glass (contains about 350ml/12fl oz), then add a little fruit salad, top with a scoop of ice cream and then pour on a little of the chocolate sauce.

6 Insert a wafer into each glass and decorate with strawberries and maraschino cherries. Serve immediately.


This recipe is taken from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook.






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