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  • Posted on February 16, 2017

    'Treat don't Cheat' Beef and Oxtail Ragu

    It’s been so cold this week, all we want is some hearty, comforting food to keep us cosy, and this beef and oxtail ragù recipe ticks all the boxes. The rich sauce makes it a great winter warmer and serving it with spiralized sweet potato makes it the perfect guilt-free comfort food!

    beef ragu with spiralized sweet potato

    Beef and Oxtail Ragù with Spiralized Sweet Potato

     

    beef dripping, for cooking

    600 g/21 oz. oxtail (on the bone)

    600 g/21 oz. beef short rib arrowroot, to coat

    3 smoked garlic cloves, finely chopped

    2 carrots, finely diced

    1 large white onion, finely diced

    2 celery stalks/ribs, finely diced

    2 fresh rosemary sprigs

    2 bay leaves

    400 ml/1 ¾ cups chicken stock (or water)

    11/2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

    3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar

    225 g/8 oz. baby plum tomatoes

    salt and black pepper, to season

    to serve

    2–3 large sweet potatoes

    chopped fresh parsley

    mixed green salad

    SERVES 4–6

     

    Set a large casserole dish over medium heat and add 1–2 tablespoons of beef dripping. Coat the meat in arrowroot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the dish – any fatty bits need to take priority on the heat. Once the meat is coloured and sealed, remove from the pan.

    Put all the vegetables and herbs except the tomatoes in the dish and sauté for a few minutes. Return the meat to the pan, stir everything together, add the stock, mustard and balsamic, and cover with a lid. Simmer for 40 minutes.

    Remove the lid and stir everything together. Cover the dish with baking parchment, and simmer over low–medium heat for another 1–2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the ragù sauce is reducing too much, add a little water and put the lid over the baking parchment.

    Add the tomatoes for the last 30–40 minutes.

    The meat should fall apart and fall off the bone; the sauce should be reduced and thickened. Remove the bones from the dish and keep warm.

    Spiralize the sweet potato. Set a frying pan/skillet over medium heat and sauté the sweet potato with a little water for a few minutes until softened.

    Serve the sweet potato with the ragù, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley, and a side salad.

     

    This recipe is from Perfectly Paleo by Rosa Rigby, available from Amazon UK and Amazon US, as well as other retailers and bookstores.

    Perfectly Paleo by Rosa Rigby

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with winter warmer, savoury, recipe for the weekend, paleo, healthy

  • Posted on February 9, 2017

    'Treat don't Cheat' free-from Pancakes

    Pancakes for breakfast is one of the great weekend treats we don’t want to miss out on! So whether you’re an early riser, or enjoying a lazy brunch, this recipe is a great indulgent yet healthy option. It is gluten-free as well as dairy-free and given a nutritional boost with the addition of protein powder, making these pancakes an ideal start to the day for runners and gym bunnies everywhere! Serve with your choice of fresh fruit or chocolate chips.

    dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes

    Free-from protein pancakes

     

    6 tablespoons gluten-free plain/ all-purpose flour of choice

    1 scoop of protein powder of choice

    ½  tablespoon xylitol or stevia, or other granulated sweetener

    ½  teaspoon baking powder

    a pinch of salt

    1 small banana

    1 tablespoon non-dairy milk of choice

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    ½  teaspoon coconut oil

    berries of choice and maple syrup, or dark/bittersweet chocolate chips, to serve

    MAKES 3–4

     

    In a bowl, combine the flour, protein powder, sweetener, baking powder and salt.

    Separately, mash the banana until no lumps remain, then add the milk and vanilla extract.

    Mix the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients until well combined.

    Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Spoon a quarter of the pancake batter at a time into the pan, then flip the pancake over when you see it start to bubble. Cook until golden underneath.

    Remove the pancake from the pan and keep it warm while you make the remaining pancakes with the rest of the batter.

    Serve with berries and a touch of maple syrup for a healthy option, or dark/ bittersweet chocolate chips for a treat.

     

    This recipe is from Pancakes and Waffles by Hannah Miles, available on Amazon UK and Amazon US as well as bookstores and other retailers.

    Pancake and Waffle recipe book by Hannah Miles

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with brunch, recipe for the weekend, Gluten-free, pancakes, healthy, dairy-free, protein

  • Posted on February 8, 2017

    Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Bedrooms from Modern Vintage Style

    Green painted bedroom

    Vintage style light and peaceful bed by window

    Woodland bedroom

    Colourful patterned bedroom

    White lace bedroom decoration

    Floral medley bedroom

    Photography by: Debi Treloar

    Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US, as well as other retailers and bookstores.

     

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, vintage, photos, bedroom, modern

  • Posted on February 2, 2017

    'Treat Don't Cheat' Paleo Pizza

    This February we want to prove that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean missing out on the foods you love. Our recipe inspiration for this month is all about those favourite foods but with a little twist, so you can treat without cheating! This week…pizza! This paleo pizza has a base packed with good carbs and protein from a mixture of flours and almonds and is topped with olive tapenade, chicken and sun-dried tomatoes.

    Paleo Pizza

     

    80 g/ ½ cup arrowroot

    130 g/1 cup tapioca flour

    190 g/2 cups ground almonds

    1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs (or dried oregano)

    1 garlic clove

    salt and black pepper, to season

    pizza sauce

    1 red (bell) pepper, chopped

    5 medium tomatoes, halved

    3 garlic cloves

    ½ – 1 tablespoon dried oregano

    tapenade

    70 g/ ¾ cup pitted/stoned black olives

    70 g/ ¾ cup pitted/stoned green olives

    1–2 tablespoons capers, squeezed of excess liquid

    juice of ½ lemon

    2 big handfuls of fresh basil

    70 ml/5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    toppings

    1 cooked chicken breast, sliced

    a small handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

    ¼ – ½ green or yellow courgette/zucchini, shaved

    a handful of rocket/arugula

    fresh basil leaves, torn

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    2 baking sheets lined with

    baking parchment, 1 brushed with olive oil

    a high-powered blender (I use a NutriBullet)

    pizza stone (optional)

    MAKES 1 30-CM/12-INCH PIZZA

     

    Begin by preparing the sauce. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Put the red (bell) pepper, tomatoes and garlic on the prepared baking sheet without oil, sprinkle with the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the roast vegetables from the oven and transfer to the high-powered blender and blitz to a smooth purée.

    Meanwhile make the pizza base. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add 170 ml/ ¾ cup of water and bring the dough together to form a ball and put on the prepared baking sheet.

    If you have a pizza stone put it in the oven to warm up. Roll the dough into a thin 30-cm/12-inch round on the oiled baking sheet. Then once the sauce ingredients are cooked turn the oven up to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

    Bake the base on the pizza stone by shooting it into the top of the oven from the baking sheet, or on the baking sheet, for 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove the base from the oven but keep the heat on at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. Rub with a peeled garlic clove to infuse it with flavour.

     

    This recipe is from Perfectly Paleo by Rosa Rigby, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, Pizza, paleo, healthy

  • Posted on January 26, 2017

    Vegan Friendly, Dim Sum Dumplings for Chinese New Year

    Our last Veganuary inspiration recipe is also a nod to the Chinese New Year celebrations that will be going on this weekend. Dim Sum are tiny dishes, found in Chinese restaurants around the world. In this recipe the dumplings are filled with sun-kissed mediterranean ingredients, resulting in a delicious clash of cultures. The strong tang of sundried tomatoes and olives are cooled by the mellow tofu. Pan-frying to get a crispy bottom is a nice finishing touch.

    Vegan friendly Tofu, Sundried Tomato and Olive Dumplings

    MAKES 16

    To make the Wheat dough:

    150 g/1 cup + 2 tablespooons Asian white wheat flour

    80 ml/scant 1⁄3 cup water

    Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and combine with the water to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 20–25 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

    Separate and roll into two equal cylinders about 2.5 cm/ 1 inch in diameter. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

    To prepare the skins, use a sharp knife to slice the dough cylinders into 16 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each piece with a rolling pin until it has a round shape and a diameter of around 7.5 cm/3 inches.

    To make the Dumplings:

    1 batch Wheat Dough,

    200 g/7 oz. firm tofu, drained and sliced into small cubes

    a pinch of salt

    1 leek, thinly sliced

    60 g/ ½ cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

    50 g/scant ½ cup black pitted olives, finely chopped

    2 button mushrooms, finely chopped

    2 Chinese chive stalks, white parts removed and finely chopped

    a handful of fresh Chinese parsley, finely chopped

    1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper

    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons vegan stir-fry sauce

    2 tablespoons sesame oil

    Dipping sauce

    1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    a red shallot, finely chopped

    a handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

     

    Sprinkle a little salt over the tofu slices and set them aside for 30 minutes before squeezing out the excess water.

    Prepare the wheat dough (see above). While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

    In a bowl combine the tofu with the chopped vegetables, parsley, seasonings, vegan stir-fry sauce and sesame oil. Mix well and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

    Roll out the skins, continuing to follow the recipe on page 8. Put a large teaspoon of filling into the centre of a skin. Dip your fingertips in a small dish of water and slightly moisten the edge of half the skin. Fold in half and pinch the edges together to form a simple cresent shape. Fold the two ends of the dumpling together and overlap to create a Chinese ingot shape. Seal with another dab of water if needed. Repeat until all the mixture and skins have been used.

    Gently lower the dumplings into a pan of boiling water and cover with a lid. As soon as the dumplings start to float they should be ready. Alternatively, you can lightly pan-fry the boiled dumplings to make the bottoms crispy and golden.

    To make the dipping sauce, mix the ingredients together in a small bowl.

    Serve the dumplings hot with the dipping sauce on the side.

     

    This recipe was taken from Modern Dim Sum by Loretta Liu, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with january, vegan, chinese new year, savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, dim sum, tofu

  • Posted on January 19, 2017

    Vegan Paella

    Our next Veganuary inspiration is a one-pot, vegan take on a classic Spanish paella. Colourful, delicious and quick to make, it's bursting with fresh vegetables and enhanced with the subtle flavour of saffron, perfect for brightening up gloomy winter evenings.

    Vegan Paella

    a large pinch of saffron threads

    80 ml olive oil

    200 g red or yellow cherry tomatoes

    100 g green beans

    4 baby courgettes, halved

    80 g frozen peas, thawed

    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    2 fresh rosemary sprigs

    320g paella rice

    800 ml vegetable stock

    30g flaked almonds, lightly toasted

    serves 4

    Put the saffron in a bowl with 65 ml hot water and set aside to infuse. Heat half of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan set over high heat and add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan so that the tomatoes soften and start to split. Remove the tomatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the beans, courgettes and peas and stir-fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside with the tomatoes.

    Add the remaining oil to the pan with the garlic and rosemary, and cook gently for 1 minute to flavour the oil. Add the stock and saffron water to the pan, then stir in the rice. Cook over high heat until bubbling fiercely, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until almost all the stock has been absorbed.

    Scatter the cooked tomatoes, beans, courgettes and peas over the rice, cover lightly with some foil and cook over low heat for 5 minutes so that the vegetables are just heated through. Sprinkle the almonds on top to serve.

    This recipe has been taken from easy one-pot, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new

  • Posted on January 12, 2017

    Vegan and Paleo friendly Vegetable Stir-Fry

    This fabulous vegetable stir-fry is a great, versatile dish, as you can easily mix and match your ingredients to suit everyone’s tastes. Packed full of colourful veg and served with a sweet and spicy sauce, this recipe is Vegan and Paleo friendly, but you could add king prawns or nuts for extra protein, or serve with noodles or rice on the side…it’s totally up to you!

    Vegetable Stir-Fry

    1 red and 1 green (bell) pepper, sliced into strips

    3 carrots, cut into ribbons

    150 g/5 oz. green beans, sliced

    100 g/5 oz. baby corn, roughly chopped (optional, omit if following strict Paleo diet)

    2 pak choi/bok choy, sliced lengthways

    coconut oil, for frying (optional)

    black sesame seeds, to garnish

    sesame oil, to drizzle

    stir-fry sauce

    ½ –1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, to taste

    ½ –1 green chilli/chile, thinly sliced, to taste

    ½ red chilli/chile, thinly sliced

    1 garlic clove, finely chopped

    a small handful of jarred pea aubergines/eggplants, roughly chopped

    2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

    2 tablespoons liquid coconut aminos

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

    SERVES 4

    First prepare the stir-fry sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside until ready to cook.

    The hard work in this dish is in the slicing of the vegetables. Prepare the ingredients as indicated, ensuring everything is sliced or chopped in a similar way to allow the ingredients to cook at the same time.

    Set a large wok or frying pan/skillet over high heat and add a little coconut oil or water. Add the vegetables and cook for 1–2 minutes until you have the desired crunch – I like my vegetables to be al dente but you can cook them for a little longer if you prefer.

    Tip half of the stir-fry sauce into the pan and toss to coat. Continue to cook for 1–2 minutes longer to release the flavours of the sauce into the dish, then remove the pan from the heat.

    Top the dish with black sesame seeds and drizzle with a little sesame oil. Serve immediately with the remaining stir-fry sauce on the side to pour over to taste.

    This recipe is from 'Perfectly Paleo' by Rosa Rigby, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with january, vegan, savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, paleo, healthy

  • Posted on August 21, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend

    With National Burger Day this Thursday we’re already getting ourselves in the mood for a big juicy burger. We thought we’d prepare you for the beefiest of celebrations with this Ultimate Restaurant Burger recipe from Burgers and Slidersthe first book from expert butcher Miranda Ballard.

    Now when we think of all that is meaty and mighty, of course we turn to meat connoisseur Miranda so we’re really excited for her new book Modern Meat Kitchen to be published in October.

    Ultimate Restaurant Burger

     

    Ultimate restaurant burger with bacon, cheese & tomato relish

    Why go to a restaurant when you can make these delicious gourmet burgers at home? This easy recipe combines a tasty beef patty with all the trimmings. Serve with Classic Homecut Fries for the ultimate burger experience.

     

    For the tomato relish

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 onion, sliced

    1 garlic clove, crushed

    1 fresh red chilli/chile, chopped

    800 g/ 3 1⁄2 cups canned chopped tomatoes

    200-ml/ 3⁄4 cup red wine vinegar

    200-g/ 1-cup sugar

    30 g/ 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed

    3 or 4 baby gherkins, chopped a handful of fresh coriander/ cilantro

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

     

    For the burgers

    340 g/12 oz. lean minced/ ground beef

    1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

    a large pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

     

    To serve

    2 slices bacon

    4 slices Cheddar cheese

    2 large burger buns

    butter, for spreading

    2 tablespoons American mustard

    2 pickled gherkins, thinly sliced

    75 g/1 cup chopped lettuce

    Classic Homecut Fries

    Makes 2 burgers

     

    To make the tomato relish, heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli/chile and fry, stirring occasionally, until soft.

    Add the tomatoes and mix well. Add the vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. The relish should be the consistency of jam. Stir in the capers and gherkins and the coriander/cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

    To make the burgers, put the beef in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Work together with your hands until evenly mixed. Divide the beef mixture in half and shape into two burger patties. Press each burger down to make them nice and flat.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers over medium–high heat for 5 minutes on each side until cooked through.

    Meanwhile, heat a separate frying pan until hot and fry the bacon slices until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    When the burgers are cooked, remove from the pan and top each with two slices of cheese. Set aside to allow the cheese to melt slightly.

    Slice the burger buns in half and lightly toast them under the grill/ broiler or in the toaster.

    Spread butter on the cut sides of each bun. Squeeze a little mustard onto the base and put the cooked burgers on top. Add a generous spoonful of tomato relish to each and top with the bacon, gherkins and lettuce. Finish the burgers with the lids of the buns and serve with Classic Homecut Fries.

     

    Burgers and Sliders by Miranda Ballard is full of great gourmet burger recipes for indulgent eating. Find out more here.

    Modern Meat Kitchen, published in October, is a comprehensive guide to meat including fantastic protein-packed recipes. Find out more here.

    Learn more about Miranda's meaty ethical philosophy with our interview here.

    Burgers and Sliders by Miranda BallardModern Meat Kitchen by Miranda Ballard

     


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US and was tagged with burger, recipe for the weekend, cheese, tomato, 2015, bacon, meat, national burger day

  • Posted on July 28, 2015

    Jazz up your Phone!

    The problem with phones these days is they all look the same – 30 kids in a class probably means 30 near-identical smartphones. But Dress Your Tech by Lucy Hopping is on hand to help you customize and individualize. So whether your own phone needs a bit of jazzing up, or you need your child’s phone to stand out in a crowd, why not get the kids to put their phones down for a moment and have a go at this super easy washi tape phone case project?

    Washi Tape Phone Case Cover

    YOU WILL NEED

    Clear plastic cellphone case cover for your model

    Thin white cardstock

    Pencil

    Assorted washi tapes

    Ruler

    Scissors

    Black fineliner pen

    Craft knife

    1. Draw around your phone case onto the cardstock, including any holes for the camera lens. Cut out the shape 1/16 in. (2 mm) inside the outer line so that it will fit inside the case. Cut out the camera lens hole exactly on the line.

    2. Turn the cardstock over and use a pencil to sketch out the hanging lines for the bunting flags, using the photograph as a guide for positioning.

    3. Mark triangular flags onto the washi tape that are approximately ½ in. (12 mm) wide. Allow four per color so you can mix and match them. Cut the flags out.

    4. Stick the flags along the bunting lines, arranging the different colors randomly. Outline each with a black fineliner pen so they stand out from the background. Draw the bunting lines in with the black pen.

    5. Insert the cardstock piece into the phone case, then pop in your cellphone.

    Et voila! One unique phone case! This project and loads more can be found in Dress Your Tech by Lucy Hopping, which is available to pre-order here.


    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, Featured, UK, What's new and was tagged with homemade, summer holidays, crafts for kids, Lucy Hopping, kids, quick, keep kids busy, 2015, mixed media, washi tape

  • Posted on January 23, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend

    As we mentioned yesterday, Sunday 25th January is Burns’ Night and this weekend’s recipe will ensure that whatever you’re up to this weekend, everyone can bring a taste of Scotland to the table! Incidentally, this recipe by Hannah Miles features in The Creamery Kitchen by Jenny Linford, and we’re super excited at RPS Towers about her new book, The Tomato Basket! You can pre-order it here!

    Whisky & Raspberry Cranachan Cheesecakes

    This cheesecake is inspired by the classic Scottish dessert, cranachan – whipped cream flavoured with whisky and honey folded through with toasted oats and fresh raspberries.

    for the base

    50 g butter

    30 g caster sugar

    40 g golden syrup or maple syrup

    100 g rolled oats

    a pinch of salt

    for the filling

    150 g raspberries

    80 ml whisky

    300 g cream cheese

    300 ml crème fraîche or double cream

    80 ml honey

    2 eggs

    generous 1 tablespoon plain flour, sifted

    to serve

    a handful of fresh raspberries

    pouring cream

    baking sheet, greased

    8 x 6-cm diameter chef’s rings, greased and placed on a greased baking sheet

    makes 8

    Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

    For the base, heat the butter, sugar and golden or maple syrup together in a saucepan until the butter and sugar have melted and the mixture is syrupy. Stir in the oats and salt and mix well so that all the oats are coated.

    Spoon the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes until the base is golden-brown.

    Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Whilst still warm, use one of the chef’s rings to stamp out 8 rounds of flapjack to use as bases, then leave them to cool completely. Leave the oven on.

    For the filling, soak the raspberries in the whisky for 30 minutes.

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and crème fraîche. Whisk in the honey, eggs and flour, then fold through the raspberries and any remaining soaking whisky. Spoon the mixture into the chef’s rings on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes until golden brown on top.

    Leave to cool then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

    When you are ready to serve, place a flapjack disc on each plate and top with a cheesecake. Serve with extra fresh raspberries, cream and a tot of whisky if desired.

     

    The Creamery Kitchen by Jenny Linford is available here, and The Tomato Basket can be pre-ordered here.

    Cheesecake by Hannah Miles is available here. Other cookery books you may like in our Food category as well.

    Happy Burns’ Night and have a lovely weekend, chaps!


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US and was tagged with baking, recipe for the weekend, dessert, 2014, Burns Night, Scotland, The Creamery Kitchen, sweet, whisky

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