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Monthly Archives: October 2013
  • Posted on October 28, 2013

    Crafting for Girls

    With the half term holidays upon us, you might be looking for something to keep the girls entertained. Here is a great craft project from Crafting for Girls which can be made with a Halloween theme ready for celebrations on Thursday or with a festive theme in early preparation for Christmas, or simply with a pretty theme to match your bedroom!

    ORIGAMI FAIRY LIGHTS

    Combine basic origami with fairy lights to create a magical glowing display that will look great at a party! Simply make origami balloons, then attach them to a string of lights.

    YOU WILL NEED

    20 sheets 6-in. (15-cm) square origami paper

    String of 20 battery-operated fairy lights

    Pin or needle (optional)

    TIPS

    Practice making your first origami boxes with squares of rough paper. Once you are happy with the technique you can move onto your pretty origami papers! When making your folds, make sure they are really precise and sharp by pressing your nail along them. For added effect, you can prick holes in the boxes using a pin or needle. Try outlining shapes such as hearts or stars or spelling out your name with a letter on each box for a really personalized look.

     

    1 With the colored side upward, fold the square in half vertically, open out and fold it horizontally, then open out again so you have two fold lines in the shape of a cross. Turn the sheet over and fold it in half diagonally both ways. Open the square out again.

    2 Turn the paper over and gently push the edges so the sheet folds along all the lines, with the diagonal folds coming up and the horizontal/vertical folds going down, to create a three-dimensional star shape.

    3 Flatten the star into a triangle as shown.

    4 Fold the front right flap of the triangle over to meet the center line.

    5 Repeat with the front left flap on the other side and then turn the triangle over and repeat for the right and left flaps on the other side to make a square sitting on one corner.

    6 Fold the point of the right front flap over to the center line. Repeat with the left front flap. Turn the square over and repeat for the right and left flaps on the other side.

    7 At the top of the shape you will still have four loose triangle flaps. Fold the top point of the left front flap down to make a smaller triangle.

    8 Fold the whole triangle over again so it becomes a triangle flap on top of the left side triangle as made in Step 6.

    9 Unfold the last fold made. The side triangle underneath will have an opening along the top edge; open this out into a pocket and insert the triangle flap made in Step 8. You may find it easier to pop the pocket open with your thumb and forefinger before inserting the flap.

    10 Repeat Steps 7–9 for the right front flap, then turn over and repeat for both sides on the back. Pull the four edges of the shape outward slightly.

    11 At the base of the shape there will be a small hole. Gently blow into the hole and the shape will fill with air and puff out.

    12 Make 19 more boxes in the same way. Insert an origami box over each light by pushing the light through the hole used to blow the box up.

    Crafting for Girls by Charlotte Liddle and friends is available here. Check out also our home craft books section.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, 2013, fabric, halloween, halloween crafts, half term holidays, origami

  • Posted on October 25, 2013

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Today we have a delicious recipe from the forthcoming book by Ghillie Basan, Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous. To be eaten on its own, as a flavoursome accompaniment, or even to jazz up your Sunday Dinner with a Moroccan twist, this sweet potato recipe will make that weekend meal just a little more special. Enjoy!

    Roasted Sweet Potato Tagine with Ginger, Cinnamon and Honey

    This is a very tasty way of cooking potatoes, ideal as an accompaniment for numerous grilled and roasted dishes, or simply on its own with garlic-flavoured yogurt and chunks of crusty bread.

    2 tablespoons ghee, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon butter

    50 g/a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin sticks

    4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin sticks

    4–6 cinnamon sticks

    4–6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

    1–2 tablespoons runny honey

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish

    FOR THE YOGURT:

    400 ml/12⁄3 cups thick, creamy yogurt

    1–2 garlic cloves, crushed

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    SERVES 4–6

    Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

    Melt the ghee in the base of a tagine or in a heavy-based casserole, stir in the ginger, garlic and cinnamon sticks and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sweet potatoes and toss in the spices to coat, then pop the tagine, without the lid, in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

    Remove the tagine from the oven and toss the potatoes in the ghee and flavourings, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the honey. Return the tagine to the oven for a further 10–15 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender and slightly caramelized.

    In a small bowl, beat together the yogurt and crushed garlic, then season with salt and pepper.

    Garnish the sweet potato with the coriander/cilantro and serve it with the garlic-flavoured yogurt.

    For more information about Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous by Ghillie Basan see here, or if you fancy a meatier version then why not try Ghillie Basan's previous book, Tagines & Couscous or these other tagine recipe books we offer :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/tagine-uk

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!


    This post was posted in Featured, US, What's new and was tagged with 2013, recipe for the weekend, sweet potato, tagine, Ghillie Basan

  • Posted on October 24, 2013

    Fright Night

    Halloween is on its way and you may be planning a pumpkin filled kids party, a chance to show of some great fancy dress or a scary film night… If it’s the latter, then we wanted to share a recipe and a horror film from the fab new book, Dinner and a Movie. With a range of themed evenings, this book will not only inspire your Halloween evening but many others throughout the year. The Fright Night party ideas will definitely set an eerie tone for your Halloween celebrations and have your guests shaking in their seats!

    So if you fancy an eerie atmosphere and a petrifying movie, why not make a meal to match? We’re imagining a zombie movie, like 28 Days Later or Shaun of the Dead, with the lights on dim and some tasty but gruesome looking meat to feed on…

    Murderously Marinated Beef Sushi

    Rice wrapped in flesh is the perfect morsel to feed your victimssorry, guests. The taste is intense and intoxicating – once it has a hold of you, it won’t let you go.

    2 teaspoons groundnut/peanut oil

    300 g/101/2 oz. beef eye fillet, in one piece

    2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce

    2 tablespoons mirin (sweetened Japanese rice wine)

    2 tablespoons rice vinegar

    500g/21/2 cups cooked sushi rice

    shredded pickled cabbage and ginger, to serve

    Serves 4–6

    To prepare the beef, heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the beef on all sides until browned. Mix the soy sauce, mirin and vinegar in a bowl and pour over the beef, turning the beef to coat. Remove from the heat and transfer the beef and its sauce to a dish. Let cool, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once. Divide the rice into 18 balls, the size of a walnut and shape into firm ovals. Cut the beef in half lengthways (along the natural separation line), then slice as finely as possible. Wrap a piece of beef around the top of a rice ball and top with a little pickled cabbage or ginger.

    More sushi recipes here on our site.

    You could use this as a starter and then try a gothic squid ink risotto for mains whilst watching The Addams Family, with some mouth-watering meringue bones and Hitchcock’s Psycho to finish… mmmmm, sound appetising?! Or if you just want some tasty nibbles throughout your tense film evening, then why not make a selection of different sushi for your guests to feast on with the zombies?

    Dinner and a Movie is available here. For some less frightening Halloween ideas, check out these Ghastly Ghost Cupcakes, an easy Cobweb Table Decoration, or this Halloween Wreath! We hope you "enjoy" your Fright Night...


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, halloween, halloween crafts

  • Posted on October 22, 2013

    ooooooooooh!...not so spooky Halloween Wreath

    Guest post from authors of Craft it Up Around the World, Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong

    If you like your Halloween to be more about cute pumpkins and friendly witches and less about dripping blood and severed hands, then this craft project is for you!

    The best bit is that kids of all ages can cut out the felt circles. And because you're stacking them together they can be cut out fairly slap dash and it'll still look amazing!

    This project uses a lot of felt, so it can be pricey. You could try using any fabric scraps for more texture, or even circles of paper and card.

    Thanks to our authors, Libby and Cath for sharing this post with us today. The original post is on their Craft it Up blog, which you can see here.

    For more fun crafts like this for your children to make, Craft it Up Around the World is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, US, What's new and was tagged with 2013, handmade, fabric, Libby Abadee, halloween, craft it up, felt, halloween crafts

  • Posted on October 22, 2013

    ooooooooooh!...not so spooky Halloween Wreath

    Guest post from authors of Craft it Up Around the World, Libby Abadee and Cath Armstrong

    If you like your Halloween to be more about cute pumpkins and friendly witches and less about dripping blood and severed hands, then this craft project is for you!

    The best bit is that kids of all ages can cut out the felt circles. And because you're stacking them together they can be cut out fairly slap dash and it'll still look amazing!

    This project uses a lot of felt, so it can be pricey. You could try using any fabric scraps for more texture, or even circles of paper and card.

    Thanks to our authors, Libby and Cath for sharing this post with us today. The original post is on their Craft it Up blog, which you can see here.

    For more fun crafts like this for your children to make over half term, Craft it Up Around the World is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, 2013, handmade, fabric, Libby Abadee, halloween, craft it up, felt, halloween crafts, guest post

  • Posted on October 21, 2013

    Fright Night

    In the run up to Halloween, we thought we would share some craft and baking projects for you to plan a spooky party for you or your kids! Today we have a simple and effective craft decoration for you to make in advance of your Fright Night party from Halloween Crafts.

    Cobweb Table Decoration

    For a really quick, easy, and inexpensive Halloween decoration, simply cut up and rip a piece of white cotton muslin to make a cobwebby table-covering to really set the scene. Making the cloth in situ makes it easier to see what you are doing, and laying the muslin over some black fabric makes it really stand out. For extra decoration, simply tear strips of muslin about 1 1 ⁄ 2 in. (4cm) wide and drape them over candelabras—making sure that the muslin is a safe distance away from any lit candles. Adding a few pieces of ivy will really finish the look.

    YOU WILL NEED

    ∂ Black fabric to cover the table

    ∂ Length of cotton muslin, enough to cover your table

    ∂ Sharp fabric scissors

    1 Lay the black fabric onto the table. Cut away the selvage from both edges of the muslin. Place it over the top of the black fabric so that it reaches about halfway down the table. Cut a small snip in the edge of the muslin.

    2 Take hold of the muslin either side of the snip you have just made and pull to tear the muslin.

    3 Make a cut into the tear at an angle. As it is not easy to rip at an angle, use scissors and pull the threads along the cut edge a little to make it look more ragged.

    4 Now make a hole in the muslin, again with the scissors, cutting it roughly.

    5 Tear the muslin around the hole, making the edges look rough. Continue to cut and tear the muslin all the way round randomly from the bottom up and make holes in it to make your cobweb cloth.

    We hope you enjoy making this scary table decoration ready for your spookily sweet treats - recipes to follow later this week!

    Halloween Crafts is available here. Other craft books can be found here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, handmade, baking, fabric, halloween, halloween crafts, prize, winner

  • Posted on October 18, 2013

    Recipe for the Weekend

    With the nights drawing in and the days feeling colder, we’re all fancying a cosy weekend in with family, friends and a bowl of warm soup! With the incredible book by Yorkshire Provender’s Belinda Williams, Delicious Soups (you may also like our new book specifically about broth recipes), coming out last week, we thought you might like one of the hearty recipes for this weekend’s cooking. Why not make double and take leftovers into work for lunch next week?

    Chunky Provençal Vegetable Soup with Smoked Paprika

    This is such a simple and quick soup, and you can use up little left-over bits of vegetable, as only small amounts of each are needed. The quantities and ingredients below are a rough guide because really you can use whatever you happen to have in your fridge. The smoked paprika and balsamic bring it together to give a great balance of interest on the palate.

    50 ml/31⁄2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 red onion, diced

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1⁄2 courgette/zucchini, diced

    1 carrot, peeled and diced

    2 celery sticks, sliced

    1 small leek, white only, sliced

    800 ml/31⁄3 cups vegetable stock

    a 400-g/14-oz. can chopped tomatoes

    50 g/31⁄2 tablespoons tomato purée/paste

    a good pinch of smoked paprika

    200 g/7 oz. mixed canned butter/lima beans and kidney beans, drained

    a small handful of green beans, sliced into short lengths

    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    a small bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped

    a small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

    sea salt and ground black pepper

    serves 6-8

    Put the olive oil, onion, garlic, courgette/zucchini, carrot, celery and leek in a large saucepan and toss over medium heat for about 3–4 minutes, until they have taken up the oil.

    Pour in the stock and chopped tomatoes, then add the green beans and tomato purée/paste and stir everything together. Simmer for about 15–20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

    Add the smoked paprika, mixed beans and balsamic vinegar to the pan, cooking for a minute to heat the beans through. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and stir everything together. Finally, stir in the freshly chopped basil and parsley, reserving a little to garnish.

    Ladle the soup into chunky rustic bowls and serve scattered with the reserved fresh herbs.

    Delicious Soups by Belinda Williams is available here.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with 2013, soup, vegetables, recipe for the weekend, yorkshire provender, vegetarian

  • Posted on October 16, 2013

    High Heel Heaven

    Today we wanted to share with you some fabulous shoes from the new book by Tracy Martin, High Heel Heaven. As the party season approaches, we’re all fumbling in our wardrobe or traipsing through the shops to find those perfect heels. Maybe we should just take a moment to remember why these delightful pieces of footwear are so crucial to our party look – do they set off your outfit with a touch of sparkle or colour; do they give you an extra few inches to stand tall at the work Christmas party; do they inject glamour and femininity into your busy, practical life; or do they simply lift your mood and make you feel like you could rule the world?

            

    Whatever wonders high heeled shoes work for you, we can all appreciate their beauty and style. So here is a collection of the images from High Heel Heaven to inspire and feed your love of shoes…

     ‘Oh my God! Do you know what these are? Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes! I thought these were an urban shoe myth!’, shrieked Carrie Bradshaw, the shoe-loving fashionista from Sex and the City.

        

    In this gorgeous little book, Tracy Martin guides us through many styles, from classic to tribal and luxe to vintage, as well as sharing quirky facts, celebrity quotes and interesting anecdotes. She appeared on the Alan Titchmarsh Show last week (9/10/13) to talk about her love of shoes - head over to itvplayer to have a look!

    So there you have it, a selection of super tempting shoes from High Heel Heaven... Anyone else popping out on their lunch break for a browse down the high street?

    High Heel Heaven by Tracy Martin is available here.


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with New Year, christmas, 2013, colour, shoes

  • Posted on October 11, 2013

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Well it's Friday and what an exciting week it's been, with London Cocktail Week, Frankfurt Book Fair and a fantastic collection of our autumn titles hitting the shelves yesterday. One of these books inspired a Sandwich Day in the office on Tuesday and we have to admit that sandwiches have been on our mind ever since!

    At the launch of the book, 101 Sandwiches, the guests (and us!) were lucky enough to taste some of Helen Graves’ amazing creations and so we thought we would share one of these recipes with you! It might not be the barbeque season, but Helen’s evening proved that a good sarnie, some good company and a little optimism about the weather is all you’ll ever need for a good time! So this weekend you might want to hunt some jumpers out (and maybe the big umbrella!) and have a go at this… truly one of the tastiest chicken sandwiches you’ll ever make!

    Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Pineapple Salsa

    The cornerstone flavors of jerk are allspice berries, Scotch bonnet chilies, and thyme. It must be cooked on a BBQ, preferably a “jerk drum,” and there should be plenty of smoke. It's fun to soak some allspice berries in water and chuck them into the coals; this creates a beautifully scented smoke and a bit of food theater for guests if nothing else.

    Makes 4

    FOR THE JERK CHICKEN:

    11/2 tbsp allspice berries, ground to a powder

    1/4 cup (55g) dark brown packed (muscovado) sugar

    4 garlic cloves, peeled

    1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

    A bunch of large scallions (spring onions)—about 5

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

    1/2 tsp ground ginger

    1/2 tsp ground cloves

    3 fresh Scotch bonnet chilies, seeded

    Juice of 2 large limes

    Slug of dark rum

    1 tsp sea salt

    Black pepper, to taste

    4 chicken legs (or other chicken pieces of an equivalent size)

    Extra allspice berries soaked in water (optional)

     

    FOR THE PINEAPPLE SALSA:

    1 tsp runny honey

    Juice of 1–2 limes

    1 small fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and finely diced

    1 small red onion, finely chopped

    A small bunch of fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped

    1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

    4 white rolls, to serve

     

     

    To make the marinade for the jerk chicken, put all the ingredients, except the chicken and soaked allspice berries, in a blender and whizz together until smooth. Smother the marinade over the chicken legs, rubbing it in well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

    Allow the meat to come to room temperature and brush or wipe off most of the excess marinade before grilling the chicken on the BBQ. To set up your BBQ for the indirect cooking method, light the coals in the middle in a kind of volcano shape, then wait for the flames to disappear, leaving you with coals that have a light gray ash coating. Move them to the sides. This gets the indirect heat circulating around the kettle when you put the lid on. I find it helps to also brush the grate with a little oil. Chuck the soaked allspice berries into the coals before you start cooking, if using. The chicken pieces will probably take about 30 minutes to cook (although it depends on size)—always check that the juices run clear before serving.

    While the chicken is cooking, make the pineapple salsa. Mix the honey with the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Mix this with all the other ingredients in a larger bowl, plus some salt and pepper. Add more lime juice to taste, if necessary.

    To serve, split the rolls, fill with the hot cooked chicken meat (discarding the bones), top with the salsa, and serve.

     

    Helen Graves' new book, 101 Sandwiches, is available here.

    Some other suggestions you may enjoy include :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/smoke-and-spice

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/101-bbq-and-grill-recipes

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/chicken-wings

     

    Have a lovely weekend everyone and happy cooking!


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with 2013, chicken, event, 101 sandwiches, bbq, Helen Graves, recipe for the weekend, sandwich, barbeque

  • Posted on October 10, 2013

    London Cocktail Week

    Talking of cocktails, we’re looking forward to the release of Brown Booze by Michael Butt, a wonderfully clever little book that shows how five key spirits can be transformed into over seventy-five delicious cocktails. As we’re celebrating London Cocktail Week, we thought we’d share three simple recipes from this stylish book for you to enjoy making with the bottles of brown booze in your drinks cupboard. Fun, easy and incredibly tasty, one (or more) of these drinks might just tickle your fancy this weekend!

     

    Old-Fashioned

    The Old-Fashioned was created in The Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, adding sugar and flavorings to soften and smooth the whiskey. I have updated this only slightly, removing the flesh of the orange, as most of the whiskey available today doesn’t need to hide its light under a bushel.

    Type: Stirred - on the Rocks

    2 cocktail cherries

    2 strips of orange zest

    1 sugar cube

    5 parts bourbon

    2 dashes Angostura bitters

    Garnish: 3 cherries

    Muddle the cherries, orange zest, and sugar cube in the bottom of a large whiskey glass. Add a little bourbon and stir, then add ice and the remaining bourbon, stirring continuously until the level of liquid and ice reaches nearly to the top of the glass. Garnish with three cherries speared on a cocktail stick.

    Caribbean Flip

    This warming, spiced after-dinner drink is rich and luxurious and not a little boozy. Any rum can be used to give very different flavor profiles—dark rums produce deep, rich notes of spice and brown sugar, while lighter rums bring  out orange notes and the aromatics from the bitters. If you are feeling very brave, a little dash of stout in the recipe is a wonderful thing.

    Type: Flips & After Dinner

    4 parts rum

    1 part orange Curaçao

    2 parts demerara syrup

    3 parts heavy (double) cream

    2 dashes Angostura bitters

    1 pinch of ground cinnamon

    1 small egg yolk

    Garnish: cinnamon stick, freshly grated nutmeg

    Shake all the ingredients very hard with ice for at least 30 seconds; the harder you shake, the lighter the texture will be. Strain into a chilled wine glass and garnish with a long stick of cinnamon and some freshly grated nutmeg.

    If you like this one, why not experiment by using brandy in place of the rum.

    Grapefruit Cobbler

    This drink works best if you squeeze the grapefruit juice just before you make it, as the pasteurization process used in cartoned juices ruins the delicate flavors of the grapefruit. Luckily ripe grapefruits yield a lot of juice, so squeezing is not too onerous. This drink also works very well in a punch bowl; keep it cool with a large lump of ice, perhaps with slices of grapefruit frozen inside.

    Type: Collins & Highballs

    3 slices pink grapefruit

    5 parts tequila

    1 part lemon juice

    2 parts simple syrup

    7 parts pink grapefruit juice

    Garnish: grapefruit slice

    Muddle the grapefruit slices in a large highball glass, then add the remaining ingredients and some crushed ice. Swizzle and garnish with another slice of pink grapefruit.

    Keep the brandy handy here in case all your tequila gets used up for shots.

    For more information about Brown Booze by Michael Butt, click here.

    If you're interested in more great booze ideas and recipes ....

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/white-spirits

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/bond-cocktails

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/craft-spirit-world

     


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, cinnamon, cocktail, brown booze, rum, whiskey, orange

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