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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 January 25, 2017

    Win a gluten-free baking bundle!

    We’re completely thrilled to be publishing a beautiful gluten-free baking book by Victoria Hall at the end of this month and are celebrating the release with a bundle giveaway in partnership with Real Foods!

    Simply answer the baking question below for your chance to win This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall and a selection of Real Foods ingredients needed for making Victoria’s delicious gluten-free Florentines.

    Gluten free baking bundle giveaway prize

    Selling a huge selection of naturally healthy and ethically sourced ingredients, Real Foods are one of Victoria’s favourite websites for buying gluten-free flours and other baking ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, chocolate, dried fruit and more. This brilliant baking prize bundle includes Doves Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour, Equal Exchange dark chocolate and If You Care baking parchment; as well as light brown sugar, flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, mixed peel, glacé cherries and a re-usable cotton organic bag from Real Foods with beautiful artwork by Edinburgh Sketcher.

    The competition closes on Tuesday 31st January and there will be one lucky winner. Good luck!

    Florentines

    Florentines are not quite a traditional cookie, more a suspension of nuts and fruit in a crisp but ever-so-slightly chewy caramel. Swathe the underside of these discs in dark chocolate and you have yourself a very elegant addition to your cup of tea. As robust as they are pretty-looking (thanks to being set with both caramel and chocolate), once completely cooled, they can be easily packaged up in a cellophane bag, decorated with a ribbon and given as a gift. My mum, in particular, would thank you for them.

    From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 10 minutes l Bake: 6–8 minutes

    Florentines

    30 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    75 g/ ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar

    30 g/2½ tablespoons plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour

    50 g/3 tablespoons double/heavy cream

    75 g/¾ cup flaked/slivered almonds

    25 g/3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts

    50 g/3 tablespoons mixed peel, chopped

    75 g/¾cup glacé cherries, chopped

    200 g/6½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone baking sheets

    MAKES 12

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    In a saucepan set over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and flour. Add the cream to the pan, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. The mixture should be smooth and caramel in colour when you remove it from the heat.

    Stir in the almonds, chopped nuts, mixed peel and cherries until evenly distributed and everything is coated in the caramel.

    Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes; this will allow it to cool slightly and prevent over-spreading in the oven.

    Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart – they will spread to about 10 cm/4 inches in diameter. Flatten each mound slightly, then bake in the preheated oven for 6–8 minutes until golden all over and the edges begin to darken.

    Remove from the oven. Using the tip of a spoon, gently push the lacy edges of the Florentines towards the centre to create a more circular shape. Be very careful not to touch them at this stage, as the sugar will be extremely hot.

    Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    Once cool, melt the chocolate in a jug/pitcher in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine until molten and smooth and then coat the underside of each Florentine with a good layer of chocolate, setting upside down on a wire rack to cool.

    As the chocolate begins to set, use a fork to create the traditional wavy pattern on the underside of each Florentine and then allow to harden completely before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

     

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall

    This recipe is taken from This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall. Available now to pre-order.


    This post was posted in Competitions, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, 2017

  • Posted on January 5, 2017

    Chickpea and Vegetable Curry for Veganuary

    If you're trying out Veganuary this year (going Vegan for January!) and you need some inspiration then look no further! This curry is very simple to make and you can change any of the vegetables to suit availability. As with all curries this one can be made in advance and left overnight for the flavours to deepen and intensify. Perfect for warming up those cold January evenings.

    Chickpea and Vegetable Curry

    3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    2 red onions, chopped

    4cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

    1 tablespoon curry powder

    2 teaspoons ground coriander

    ½ teaspoon fenugreek

    ½ teaspoon crushed dried chillies

    410g canned chopped tomatoes

    800g potatoes, cut into 2.5cm pieces

    1 cauliflower, cut into florets

    800g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

    500g spinach, chopped

    250g okra, halved lengthways

    SERVES 12

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic, onion and ginger and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the curry powder, coriander, fenugreek and dried chillies, mix well and cook for a further 4 minutes.

    Add the tomatoes and 100ml of water, then add the potatoes cauliflower and chickpeas. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Add the spinach and okra, mix well and simmer for a further 5 minutes. You  may need a little extra water at this final stage.

    This recipe is taken from Easy Vegetarian, available here.

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

  • Posted on December 20, 2016

    7 Recipes You Need To Cook This Christmas!

    To finish up our Christmas round-ups, we’re thinking Christmas Food today on the blog. From food for the main event to Boxing Day leftovers to New Year’s Eve nibbles, we’ve got recipes to take you right through the festive season. And if you’re still in need of some present inspiration, check out our Homemade Gifts Round-Up here.

    For the main event we obviously turn to Miranda Ballard and her Modern Meat Kitchen. Click here for her Roast Turkey recipe, and here for what you HAVE to do with your leftovers on Boxing Day.

    Just the words salmon caviar and canapé are enough to get us drooling! You can find the recipe here.

    Or how about Christmas dinner in a mouthful? Click here for the recipe.

    Tiny pizza anyone? You’ll find the recipe here.

    Brontë Aurell’s Ginger Biscuits & Glögg are so quick to make, they’re perfect to have a batch on hand for any unexpected guests this festive season. Click here for the video tutorial and recipe.

    And last, but very much not least, don’t forget Team TWISTED’s Camembert Hedgehog Bread for the ultimate in cheesey goodness – perfect for any party this festive season! Head here for the recipe.

    Happy eating!

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with New Year, christmas, salmon, drinks, canapes, savoury, recipe for the weekend, cheese, sweet, 2016, turkey

  • Posted on December 13, 2016

    5 Homemade Gifts To Make This Christmas

    Next up in our Christmas round-ups, we’re thinking about homemade gifts.  As we mentioned in this post, we’re doing a Homemade Secret Santa this year, but whether you’re after a little stocking filler, or something personal for a friend or loved one, we’ve got you covered.

    Grocery shopping will no longer be a chore, thanks to this gorgeous tote bag from our new book Hygge Knits (this book is published in January, but you can preorder it here). Find the pattern for the bag over on MAKEetc here.

    These home-infused oils make a lovely stocking-filler for your favourite foodie. Click here for the recipes.

    If you know someone celebrating their first Christmas this year, Laura Strutt’s Bunting Baby Blanket would make a lovely gift. Find the knitting pattern here.

    Make these notebooks to kickstart a year of writing for any budding author. You can find a printable PDF project here.

    These lavender bags make sweet little stocking fillers. The project is available here.

    And as a bonus, homemade cards and gift tags can add a personal twist to any gift. We’ve got a video tutorial for these stocking cards here, and the instructions for homemade gift tags on the blog here.

    We hope you’re feeling inspired, but don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Gifts for Crafters blog post on MAKEetc here.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, homemade, handmade, gift, photos, 2016

  • Posted on December 12, 2016

    Sherlock Returns!

    I don't know about you, but we're very excited to greet the new year with the return of our favourite detective and the long awaited series 4 of Sherlock Holmes! Thank you BBC and Mr. Cumberbatch, you have saved us from the January blues! So to get ready for the big day we wanted to share with you an extract from our book, Sherlock Holmes’s London by Rose Shepherd, in which she introduces the city Sherlock would have known. Over to Rose...

    The London of Sherlock Holmes is a city of the imagination. Arthur Conan Doyle did not extend himself in describing it. With a few deft pen strokes he gave us fog and gas lamps, hansom cabs, gentlemen’s clubs and opera, pawnbrokers and gin palaces, wily street urchins and dull-witted “Scotland Yarders”—which, for us, the avid readers, is enough. We know that London of the 1890s, capital of Great Britain, of Empire and Commonwealth, in the last gasp of the Victorian era. We can see the teeming thoroughfares, the horses drawing carts, landaus, roughams, the diffused glow from shop windows, the swirling “pea-soupers.” We can hear the ring of iron horseshoes, the clatter of wheels on cobbles, the music of an organ-grinder, the cries of hawkers selling nostrums, matches, posies, whelks. It’s a little bit edgy, dirty, smelly, but always exciting.

    Nor has it all vanished. On the contrary, it is astonishing how much of today’s London would be recognizable to Holmes and Watson. Here and there are survivors from the Middle Ages—remnants even of Roman times. Tudor black-and-white abuts Jacobean grace and Georgian elegance, alongside 1960s Brutalism.

    In the shadow of great towers of glass and steel are important public buildings of bygone ages, ancient churches, impressive monuments, venerable hotels, restaurants, and stores. If we raise our eyes above plate glass and fluorescence, above nail bar and tanning salon, burger joint and mobile phone emporium, we see how handsomely historic London has accommodated the 21st century. The very lack of unity makes for endless fascination.

    In this book we set out upon a tour of the London of the world’s first consulting detective. We visit his haunts and walk the streets in his footsteps, admire stupendous edifices, poke into nooks and corners and back alleys. We can shop, as he would have done, for snuff, shooting sticks, game birds for the table, fine wine, top hats, swords, and country tweeds. We can venture into his favorite restaurant and onto his crime scenes, and find out where justice was dispensed and where the villains whom Holmes brought to book would have languished.

    But a city is more than just a built environment, it is a milieu, it is its people—or, rather, its people are its lifeblood. London in the late 1800s was home to four and a quarter million souls. It was a city of extremes of rich and poor: carriage folk in their Regency mansions, the poor in workhouses and slums, the destitute in rags, under arches, and an emerging middle class colonizing the Victorian pattern-book redbrick terrace homes (row houses) that are such a large part of current housing stock. Masters, servants, wharfingers and wherrymen, shopkeepers, laundresses, flower girls, pen-pushers, publicans, costermongers, cabbies, stable boys, actors, loafers, beggars, harlots, hucksters… All human life was here, giving voice to what Tennyson called “the central roar,” and Robert Louis Stevenson “the low growl” of London.

    Here too, of course, were the criminals whose vile pursuits furnished Doyle with such rich material. Most infamous of all was “Jack the Ripper,” the fiend who stalked the squalid streets of Whitechapel. While he still exercises the minds of investigators who speculate as to his true identity, he remains a faceless figure, almost a figment.

    By contrast, Sherlock Holmes, a character of fiction, is entirely real and present. Let us now get on his case.

    This is extracted from Sherlock Holmes's London by Rose Shepherd which is available here. AND don't forget to tune into BBC One at 9pm on January 1st to see Sherlock's next adventure!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with New Year, christmas, 2015, Rose Shepherd

  • Posted on December 6, 2016

    5 Projects You Need To Make This Christmas!

    Taking a cursory glance at social media over the weekend, it seemed as if all of our friends simultaneously put up Christmas trees and started decorating their houses. Well, yipeee! We are fully embracing the holiday spirit here at RPS and CICO Books towers, and if there’s one thing we like even more than Christmas decorations, it’s handmade Christmas decorations. Here’s 5 of our favourite projects that will ensure you have a lovely, unique home this year!

    Decorate your tree with Elspeth Jackson’s rag rug Christmas baubles. These are so cute, we’re considering keeping them up all year round…we won’t tell if you don’t! There's a video tutorial here.

    We shared this cute reindeer decoration to make with the kids last week over on instagram stories, and you all loved it so we popped the instructions up on our MAKEetc. blog. Check them out here.

    A garland of these silver stars would look lovely slung across a mantelpiece, or you could hang single stars in your tree to just catch the light like Juliet’s done here. Find the project here.

    This Succulent Wreath looks super effective, and you’ll stand out on a street of holly wreaths! Find the instructions here.

    Jazz up jam jars as tea-light holders with this project from Hester van Overbeek’s first book, Furniture Hacks. You could even use sparkly beads for an extra party feel!

    For more inspiration, check out our book Handmade Christmas and make sure you keep an eye on MAKEetc. for a free project or two over the next few weeks.

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    This post was posted in Craft Projects, Featured, News, News, UK, Videos, What's new and was tagged with christmas, christmas decorations, christmas craft, handmade, paper crafts, activities for kids, winter living, winter, 2016

  • Posted on December 1, 2016

    Simple Infused Oils

    Now that it’s December we can officially think about Christmas. Of course, we’ve unofficially been thinking about Christmas since Halloween, but that’s because we’re big kids. But it’s allowed now. We love nothing more than finding the perfect gift for our friends and loved ones, and it’s even better if that gift is homemade. So, today we’re sharing a couple of recipes that will make the perfect gift for your favourite foodie. These simple home-infused oils are quick and easy to do, and will spruce up even the most boring salad!

    Smoked Garlic Oil

    Tea-smoking is a terrific way to flavour foods. It is often used to smoke salmon or duck, but works well here with the garlic. You will need to double line the wok with foil and open a window when you are smoking foods as the aroma is quite pungent.

    8 tablespoons soft brown sugar

    8 tablespoons long grain rice

    8 tablespoons tea leaves

    1 head garlic

    250 ml/1 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive

    freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

    salt and pepper

    Makes 300 ml/1¼ cups

    Line a wok with a double sheet of foil and combine the brown sugar, rice and tea leaves in the bottom. Place a small rack or griddle over the smoking mixture (making sure the two don’t touch) and lay the garlic on the rack.

    Place the wok over a high heat and, as soon as the mixture starts to smoke, top the wok with a tight-fitting lid. Lower the heat and cook gently for 15 minutes until the garlic turns a deep brown. Allow to cool.

    Place the unpeeled garlic in a bottle or jar, add the oil and allow to infuse for 1 week. Drain and use the oil to make a dressing, adding vinegar or lemon juice to taste. Great with a beef carpaccio or a charred lamb salad.

    Bay And Thyme Oil

    Bay and thyme give the oil a mellow flavour and, once strained, it is perfectly enhanced with a light vinegar, such as Chinese black vinegar or rice wine vinegar.

    6 bay leaves

    4 sprigs fresh thyme

    salt and pepper

    150 ml/⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

    1–2 tablespoons vinegar of your choice

    Makes 200 ml/1 scant cup

    Place the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar and pound gently to bash up the herbs. Transfer to a jar, add the oil and marinate for 5 days.

    Strain the oil into a jar, add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

    This dressing is great served over salad leaves or shaved courgettes/zucchini.

    Oils by Ursula Ferrigno is available here. For more Christmas gift ideas for Foodies, check out our Gift Guide pin board here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, vegan, homemade, savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, quick, 2016

  • Posted on November 25, 2016

    Thanksgiving Leftovers

    Not sure what to do with all that leftover turkey? Us neither, until we were flicking through Caroline Artiss’s new book, Beauty Foods, and spotted this dreamy recipe! Rich and flavoursome, it’s also light and nutritious which is pretty much what we’re after right now. We know what we’re making this weekend…

    Turkey Chilli With Chocolate, Molasses And Black Beans

    I love this dish on a cool evening and use ground turkey to make it lower in fat than chilli con carne made with ground beef, but still high in protein – the building blocks of your muscles. The added magic is the dark/bittersweet chocolate and molasses, which turn it into a deep, rich and heart-warming dish. Pure dark/bittersweet chocolate made with 100 per cent cocoa solids has many incredible health benefits. A recent study discovered a component in chocolate that helps to keep your arteries flexible and less prone to clogging. Black strap molasses have the lowest sugar content of all cane sugar products and they are packed full of important minerals and vitamins, including iron, which battles fatigue and improves endurance and power.

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 onion, chopped

    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and chopped

    1 teaspoon smoked paprika

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    450 g/1 lb. ground turkey

    a 420-g/15-oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

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

    500 ml/2 cups chicken stock

    2 tablespoons black strap molasses

    2 tablespoons chopped dark/bittersweet chocolate

    a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper, to season

    TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

    steamed brown rice

    1 avocado, flesh cut into pieces

    1 spring onion/scallion, thinly sliced

    a pinch of smoked dried chilli/red pepper flakes

    1 lime, cut into wedges

    fresh coriander/cilantro leaves

    SERVES 4

    Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, (bell) pepper, paprika, cumin and oregano. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion and pepper are soft. Add the turkey and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until the turkey has turned white. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock and molasses. Bring the mixture to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid (but slightly ajar) and leave to cook for 40 minutes. Stir in the chocolate, season with salt and pepper and serve piping hot with steamed brown rice and a variety of toppings, if you like.

    This dish also tastes great the next day, so it’s a good one to make in advance if you have people over. I also freeze mine in individual portions ready to thaw and reheat another time.

    Turkey

    White turkey meat is one of the leanest sources of animal protein out there. Protein is used in every cell in our bodies. It is used to help build and repair tissues, to make enzymes and hormones, and is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

    If you’re hosting a friendsgiving this weekend, make sure you check out our Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up!

    Beauty Foods by Caroline Artiss is available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with savoury, recipe for the weekend, tomato, Thanksgiving, quick, beauty, 2016, turkey

  • Posted on November 22, 2016

    All the Thanksgiving recipes you'll need!

    Last week we shared a recipe from our new book Perfectly Paleo which we reckon would make any vegan’s heart sing this holiday weekend. This obviously got us thinking about holiday food more generally (festive family time and food being two of our favourite things!) So, we had a bit of a hunt through the RPS archives for some of our favourite Thanksgiving recipes. Whether you’re feeling a little under-prepared or are just on the hunt for that one last appetizer recipe, this round-up will see you right through!

    We’ll be starting things off with an appetizer of course.

    These Zucchini and Parmesan Crocchette will keep rumbling tummies at bay whilst kitchen hands are busy! Check out our video how-to here.

    For the main event, of course we turn to Modern Meat Kitchen – Miranda Ballard’s bible for all things carnivorous! Click here for the recipe, and here for Miranda’s tips for making the getting the best out of your turkey!

    For side dishes with attitude, we’re looking at At Home With Umami’s incredible cauliflower cheese (recipe here) and these spice-rubbed roasties (recipe here).

    Make sure you save room to finish things off with Hannah Miles’s Pumpkin Pie! Click here for the recipe.

    Happy Thanksgiving from all at RPS and CICO Books!

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with savoury, Thanksgiving, sweet, pumpkin, 2016, turkey, roast

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