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Tag Archives: 2013
  • Posted on July 29, 2014

    Fun on Two Wheels!

    With such beautiful weather it seems a shame to be cooped up indoors, and the thought of a nice long bike ride soaking up the sunshine is very appealing to us right now! Make the most of the summer and your bike with  My First Bicycle Book by Susan Akass. This book is packed with info about your bike, as well as loads of really great ideas for games you can play with your friends and cool ways you can customise your wheels! So for today’s post in our week-long blogging extravaganza we thought we’d share with you an easy but effective project that’ll make you the envy of the whole street!

    Handlebar Streamers

    When these streamers stream out beside you as you zoom along, they will look great and make you feel as if you are going twice as fast. Make your own with brightly coloured plastic carrier bags—it’s a really good way to reuse them.

    You will need

    Scissors

    2 long, narrow screws

    2 rubber bands or some thin wire

    Plastic carrier bags in different colours – bright ones are best

     

    1. Look at the handlebars of your bike. The rubber or plastic hand grips which cover the ends should have small holes in them. Check that your screws will push into the hole – don’t push them right in yet – you might find them hard to pull out again!

    2. Cut the top off the carrier bags so they are each about 10 in. (25 cm) from the bottom to the top.

    3. Starting at the bottom, cut the bag into strips about 3/4 in. (2 cm) wide. Each one will be doubled over, with a crease where the bottom of the bag was. Cut 20 strips.

    4. Open up the strips and lay them on top of one another in two piles of ten strips,  with the creases lined up.

    5. Push a screw through the center of each pile of strips.

    6. Push the screws into the holes in the handgrips of your bike.

    7. Pull the strips back around the screw and hold them together with an elastic band (in the same way as you would put an elastic around a ponytail in your hair).

    8. Cycle off and watch them stream back beside you as you zoom.

    Tip: You can make these any length, but be sure that they are not long enough to get tangled in your wheel.

     

    My First Bicycle Bookby Susan Akass is available, along with other CICOKidz titles here.

    So get on those bikes, and get outdoors! Keep a look out for another great activity tomorrow!

     


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, bike, summer holidays, cico kidz, my first series, bicycle, Susan Akass, cycling, activities for kids, keep busy this summer

  • Posted on July 23, 2014

    Linda Jones on the Create & Craft Show!

    We're so pleased to announce that author Linda Jones (whose books include the fantastic Creating Wire & Beaded Jewelry) will be appearing on Create & Craft TV (Ideal Shopping Channel) this Saturday (26th July) at 3pm!

    Wire crafting, beading and jewelry making expert, Linda is a great instructor and her work is beautiful, so make sure that you tune in this weekend to watch her demonstration!

    Linda Jones has authored numerous great craft titles for CICO Books. Her most recent is Wire & Bead Celtic Jewelry.

    Happy jewelry crafting everyone!


    This post was posted in News, News, UK, US and was tagged with jewellery, 2013, jewelry

  • Posted on July 18, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    Well what a lovely week it has been! We've got some great plans for this weekend and all of our digits crossed in the hope for the sunny weather to continue on through. So this week we have a brilliant recipe that you can literally throw together in minutes and enjoy as a quick lunch or a light dinner; Smoked Mackerel and Bulghur Wheat Salad. Taken from the Salads & Dressings book in our Easy Kitchen range, this recipe is sure to be super simple and totally yummy! Happy Weekend Everyone!

    smoked mackerel and bulghur wheat salad

    The creamy horseradish dressing is a fabulous complement to the richness of the smoked mackerel, while the raw vegetables add crunch and colour.

    60 g/ 1/2 cup bulghur wheat

    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1 tablespoon snipped chives

    1/2 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and diced

    8 radishes, sliced

    75 g/3 oz. baby spinach leaves, rinsed

    150 g/5–6 oz. smoked mackerel fillets, flaked from the skin and checked for small bones

    Dressing

    3 tablespoons fromage frais or sour cream

    2 teaspoons horseradish sauce

    1 teaspoon snipped chives

    freshly ground black pepper

    serves 2

    Cook the bulghur wheat in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, then mix with the lemon juice, chives, yellow pepper and radishes.

    Divide the spinach leaves between serving bowls, spoon the bulghur wheat on top, then add the flaked smoked mackerel.

    Mix the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the fish. and serve immediately.

     

    The Easy Kitchen: Salads & Dressings is available here.

     

    Have a lovely weekend everybody!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK and was tagged with 2013, salad, weather, recipe for the weekend, light dinner, Easy Kitchen, bulghur wheat

  • Posted on June 19, 2014

    England v Uruguay: the perfect snack!

    Tonight’s the night! England v Uruguay! And whether you’re watching on your own, with a hundred of your best pals down the pub or under the duress of a loved one, we all know that having the perfect snack is obviously the most important part. These quick and easy dips from Dan May's The Red Hot Chilli Sauce Book are the perfect side for just about any Mexican dish, or with some lovely fresh crudités and crisps if you’re too on edge to cook! And if the salsa lasts long enough, it’ll be delicious for England v Costa Rica on Tuesday too!

    Classic Guacamole

    If you want a classic dip with a long history, then look no further than guacamole – originally made by the Aztecs in the 16th century. In its purest form, all it contains is avocado mashed with salt, but over the centuries more and more variations have been developed. This is my favourite version of the dip.

    3 ripe avocados, skinned, pitted and roughly chopped

    1 vine-ripened tomato, skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped

    3 fresh green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

    juice of 2 small limes

    a little extra virgin olive oil

    2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped

    a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, finely chopped

    sea salt and freshly ground

    black pepper

    In a large bowl, mash the avocados, tomato and chillies together with the lime juice. The consistency should be chunky yet smooth – add a little olive oil to help achieve this. Add the spring onions/scallions and coriander/cilantro and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

    I would use this: with tortillas to dip; on nachos; on the side of a spicy chili; or in homemade burritos.

     

    Salsa Roja

    This is a hot salsa of charred tomato and 3 classic Mexican chillies. If you can’t get fresh De Arbol and Guajillo, use dried, toast them for 2 minutes on each side, soak in a small amount of boiling water for about 20 minutes, then remove their stems and deseed them. Reserve the soaking liquid for the recipe.

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    4–5 large plum tomatoes, halved and core removed
    2–3 garlic cloves
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 fresh Serrano or Jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped
    3 fresh or dried De Arbol chillies, deseeded and chopped
    5 fresh or dried Guajillo chillies, deseeded and chopped
    a small bunch of coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Heat a heavy-based frying pan or griddle over fairly high heat. Add a little oil and fry the onion and tomatoes hard until they begin to blacken (about 7–11 minutes), but stir as required to prevent burning. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3–4 minutes.

    Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor with the oregano and chillies. Add the remaining oil as you blend (and the liquid you soaked the chillies in, if you used dried) until you have a smooth and even paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the coriander/ cilantro and briefly blend again to mix this through.

    Place into a tightly sealed jar and allow to cool. The flavours will improve over the next few days if you can wait that long! The salsa will keep for 1–2 weeks, refrigerated. Serve at room temperature.

    I would use this: to spice up sandwiches, sausages and burgers; with nachos or tacos, or in burritos.

    The Red Hot Chilli Sauce Book by Dan May is available here.

    So, grab a cold one, settle yourselves down and C’MON ENGLAND!


    This post was posted in News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with 2013, snacks, Mexican, salsa, world cup, football, world cup recipe

  • Posted on June 17, 2014

    Eat Your Vegetables Day!

    Today is Eat Your Vegetables Day (not quite as fun as Saturday’s World Gin Day – we’re sorry!) and with lots of news recently about increasing our daily intake to 7-10 portions of fruit and veg, perhaps this is the perfect day to start! Soup is often thought of as a wintry meal but Delicious Soups by Belinda Williams from The Yorkshire Provender is full of tasty soups for all seasons. Plus it is an excellent way to get loads of healthy vegetables into even the most veg-phobic diet so why not try this lovely summery soup, packed full of greens!

     

    Fennel and Courgette Soup with Parmesan and Crème Fraîche

    This delicious soup was inspired by my love of fennel gratin, a favourite of mine to serve with lamb. I wanted to create the same amazing flavour but in a soup.

    I added fresh courgettes, as we had them growing locally and I wanted to link the soup with produce available close to home. The rocket gives a lovely peppery hit and the crème fraîche, although rich, lifts the flavour to a slightly fresher note.

    75 g butter

    1 large onion, diced

    2 potatoes, peeled and diced

    2 small fennel bulbs, finely sliced

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1.75 litres vegetable stock

    2 courgettes, diced

    a large handful of rocket leaves

    100 ml double cream

    200 ml crème fraîche

    2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to garnish

    sea salt and ground black pepper

    a small bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

    Serves 6

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, potatoes, fennel and garlic. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat to soften, then pour over the stock. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the fennel is tender. Add the courgettes and the rocket leaves and cook for a further 4 minutes. Draw the pan off the heat and blend with a stick blender until very smooth. Stir in the cream and crème fraîche and the grated Parmesan, and season well with salt and black pepper.

    Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with lots of freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkling of Parmesan on top.

    Delicious Soups by Belinda Williams is available here.

    Happy cooking everyone! Enjoy those veggies!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, fennel, soup, vegetables, yorkshire provender, courgette

  • Posted on June 13, 2014

    Recipe for the weekend

    Not only is it Fathers’ Day on Sunday, tomorrow is also World Gin Day. Naturally you’ve had both of these momentous events marked on your calendar for months, but just in case you’re in need of a last minute double-whammy, we’ve got the perfect recipe to help you celebrate in style. Tristan Stephenson’s The Curious Bartender is the perfect present for Dad whether he is a budding mixologist or just enjoys a tipple and we just know that you’ll totally be the favourite if you present it along with one of these fab cocktails!

    Negroni

    Ask any cocktail bartender what their favourite drink is and they’ll probably beat about the bush suggesting different drinks for different times of the day, or simply say ‘a beer’. Ask them what their second favourite drink is and they’ll quite possibly tell you that it’s a Negroni.
    Here is a drink that ingeniously combines herbal aromatics, a bitter-sweet balance as addictive as crack and a decent backbone of booze to make the whole thing worthwhile. The gin provides the bulk of the alcohol content, along with a dry, earthy quality. The vermouth gives a little bit of dilution, some sweetness and a decent herbal flourish. Finally, Campari gives a huge spiced bitter orange sting and a decent glug of sugar to boot.
    The commonly accepted story of the Negroni’s creation takes us back to 1920s’ Florence, and a man named Count Camillo Negroni. He orders an Americano (Campari, Italian vermouth and soda), but with gin in place of soda. The truth is a little more muddy and a matter of some contention. In fact, the debate has raged on enough to have now involved members of the Negroni family and Italian historians. My best understanding comes from the book Sulle Tracce del Conte (‘On the
    Trail of the Count’, 2002) by Luca Picchi, which, backed up by a considerable amount of historical documentation, intimates that the drink is named after [deep breath] Cammillo Luigi Manfredo Maria Negroni, who originally asked Fosco Scarselli, bartender at Cafe Casoni, to fortify his Americano with gin. This happened at some time in either 1919 and 1920. One of the ways in which the story is qualified is by a letter sent from Frances Harper of London to [the evidently unwell] Negroni on 13th October 1920: ‘You say you can drink, smoke and I am sure laugh, just as much as ever. I feel you are not much to be pitied! You must not take more than 20 Negronis in one day!’ Clearly the Count was fond of his own drink!
    Even though the history is not all that clear, making a Negroni is very easy indeed. You might prefer to go slightly heavier on the gin, or drop the Campari down a touch, but the recipe above is widely accepted as the proper way. The garnish can have a big impact on this drink – an orange twist is common, but I also like a grapefruit twist and have been known to put a slice of cucumber in there too. In the US, the Negroni is more often served straight up (in a martini glass), but in Europe we still serve it on the rocks.

    25 ml Tanqueray no. ten gin
    25 ml Campari
    25 ml Martini rosso vermouth
    a slice of lemon (or grapefruit), to garnish

    Stir all the ingredients over cubed ice for 60 seconds, then strain into a chilled rocks glass with cubed ice (or use a large hand-cracked piece of ice). Garnish with a slice of lemon.

    The Curious Bartender by Tristan Stephenson is available here.

    We hope all you Dads out there have a wonderful weekend. Cheers!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with 2013, Dad, recipe for the weekend, Tristan Stephenson, gin, world gin day

  • Posted on June 4, 2014

    Stock up the cupboards with some Brazilian brewed craft beer!

    We’re getting excited for the start of the World Cup with the Brazil v Croatia opening match next week, and we figured that it’s about time to stock up the cupboards with some really good craft beers ready to enjoy in front of the game! So we’ve turned to our beer expert, Mr Mark Dredge, who will talk us through a few Brazilian brewed beers to introduce our taste buds to the feisty flavours of the host country! Taken from the fantastic book, Craft Beer World, and picked out specially for you, why not give one of them a go next Thursday?

     

     

    Cervejaria Wäls Quadruppel

    Belo Horizonte, Brazil

    ABV: 11.0%

    Hops: Galena, Styrian Goldings, Saaz

    Cachaça is a Brazilian spirit distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. It can come white, which is unaged, or gold, which is matured in wooden barrels, and it’s similar to rum. It’s Brazil’s most popular spirit and makes up the base of Brazil’s most famous cocktail, Caipirinha—a refreshing mix of cachaça, sugar, and lime served over lots of ice. Cervejaria Wäls’ Quadruppel is aged with French oak soaked in cachaça, adding a warming spirit background, some banana, and an exotic, tropical-fruit twist to the vanilla, caramel, roasted figs, molasses, and chocolate in the beer. It’s smooth, creamy, and full-bodied with the wood adding texture before 35 IBUs of hops give a firm bitterness. A great local take on the style, the spirit works wonderfully well with the rich beer and makes it perfect with brigadeiro, a Brazilian chocolate truffle.

     

    Baden Baden Bock

    Campos do Jordão, Brazil

    ABV: 6.5%

    Brazil has a large German population and that’s clear when looking at the dominant beer styles brewed around the country, with variations on Pilsners, Helles, Dunkels, and Weizens spread throughout Brazil, and, while the American craft influence is there, it hasn’t yet grabbed the same strong hold. Blumenau, a city in Southeast Brazil, was founded by Germans in 1850 and still remains a pocket of German life, where each year they celebrate Oktoberfest with around 1 million visitors (it’s also home to one of the top craft breweries, Eisenbahen, who make a large range of German-influenced beers). Further north, between São Paulo and Rio de Janerio, is Cervejaria Baden Baden whose bottom-fermenting line-up includes a Pilsner and this Bock. Copper-colored, it’s loaded with toasted malt, hints of chocolate raisins and coffee, and then a peppery and grassy hop bite. It’s a German Bock with sexy, shimmying Brazilian hips.

     

    Cervejaria Way Amburana Lager

    Pinhais, Brazil

    ABV: 8.4%

    Aging beer in wooden barrels has happened for hundreds of years. Steel took over but now brewers are bringing back wood and using different varieties deliberately to impart flavors and textures into their beer. While oak is the most common, a wide variety of woods can be used. Wooden barrels are filled with beer (these barrels may have previously held a wine or spirit) or wood chips are added to the steel tanks. Amburana cearensis is a tree native to South America, and Way use it as chips, which soak up the beer and impart their flavor in return. The Amburana gives the beer a vanilla, woody depth plus a hint of cherry and sharp fruit depth beneath the chocolate, caramel and dried fruit from the malt base. A dry, herbal bitterness mixes with wood tannin at the end. A uniquely brilliant Brazilian flavor.

     

    Falke Tripel Monasterium

    Ribeirão das Neves, Brazil

    ABV: 9.0%

    Hops: Galena, Hallertauer Tradition

    Inspired by Belgian monks, Monasterium claims to be the first Tripel to be brewed in Brazil. The celebratory sound of a cork bursting from the bottle is what you get when you open this beer, making you immediately excited to drink it. It’s made with ground coriander and curaçao, Pilsner malt, wheat, and oats, plus some dark malt—and that malt grist gives it a rounded body, perhaps rounder than traditional Tripels or strong Belgian ales, with a smooth depth of caramel and cereal grain. It’s made light and sharp with the Champagne carbonation, and the hops give stone fruit with a dry bitterness and a hint of warming spirit. Yeast and spice add a peppery, orange quality plus some apple and pear. Contrast the fancy bottle with some traditional street food and try with acarajé, a fried ball of black beans, dried shrimp, and onion.

     

    Bamberg Schwarzbier

    Sao Paulo, Brazil

    ABV: 5.0%

    Hops: Hallertauer Magnum, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh

    Named after one of Germany’s best-known beer cities, this Brazilian micro-cervejaria makes a wide range of classic German beer styles (and wins many awards for them), among them a Dunkel called Munchen plus this Schwarzbier—fans of dark lager should try both. The Schwarz is almost black, the kind of black that’s just slightly red at the edges. The big foam settles to a thin wisp, then there’s chocolate, coffee, and crackers, but nothing overpowering, keeping a light touch to the beer. Hop and malt bitterness combine at the same time to be dry, roasty, floral, and quenching. The Munchen is lighter in color, bringing nutty caramel instead of roast. Both are classically made and finished as skillfully as a Brazilian striker facing a German goalkeeper. Drink with feijoada, a Brazilian stew of beef, pork, beans, and veg.

     

    Craft Beer World by Mark Dredge is available here and if you'd love to know which beer to have with your favourite foods then try Mark's new book, Beer and Food, available here. Or why not another of our beer related publications

    Check out some of the World Cup Recipes on our blog if you fancy cooking for the football and have a great week stocking up with beer and snacks!


    This post was posted in Featured, UK and was tagged with 2013, Mark Dredge, craft beer, beer, world cup, football

  • Posted on May 27, 2014

    'An apple for the teacher' Note Cards

    It's the half-term holidays this week and the weather seems not to have realised! So if you were planning some fun in the garden with the kids and your plans have now been scuppered, then here's a great little craft project by Craft it Up to keep them entertained indoors!

    Craft it Up authored the brilliant book, Craft it Up Around the World, which is full of creative ideas and projects inspired by country traditions, symbols and cultures. So the kids can learn a little about the world around them as they get crafty! This project is a new one taken from the Craft it Up blog and might be just the thing to make one rainy day this week! Over to you girls...

     

    How often do you need to grab a little note card for an occasion but don't want to shell out big bucks for a greeting card? We've just printed up a pile of these apple cards for next to nothing. They'd be super sweet for your favourite teacher (and we just happen to have THE best teachers in the world!) but they'd work for every other occasion too!

    If you don't have an ink pad, you can use acrylic or poster paint. You might just lose some of the detail with a thicker paint.

     

    Craft it Up Around the World is available here. If you're still stuck for kids craft ideas these may be the answer.

    Have a great week kids and happy crafting!


    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK and was tagged with 2013, Libby Abadee, craft it up, half term holidays, half term

  • Posted on May 13, 2014

    National Sandwich Week 11th–17th May 2014

    As part of National Sandwich Week and to celebrate one of the most versatile food types in the world, we wanted to share a couple of recipes from the fantastic book, 101 Sandwiches, by the self-named sandwich addict and our filling-between-bread expert, Helen Graves! As a real treat, we have two seafood-filled sandwich recipes, one from the luxe end of the sandwich spectrum and one street eat favourite, as well as a competition to give you the chance to win the book! So load up your rolls, baps, cobs, slices, buns, baguettes, wraps and flats, and sink your teeth into a sandwich in celebration!

     

    lobster roll

    The history of the lobster roll presents us with two options for making it, involving either warm cooked lobster soaked in melted butter (Connecticut-style) or cold cooked lobster mixed with mayonnaise (Maine-style). While I very much like the former option, I give a recipe here for the latter; when the mayo is kept to a minimum, it can be one of the most delicious sandwiches of all time. As lobster is expensive, it's also a serious treat.

    Makes 1

    INGREDIENTS

    The meat from 1 cooked lobster

    Mayonnaise

    Lemon juice

    Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

    1 soft hot dog-style bun or 1 brioche roll (for uber-decadence), split open

    A few finely snipped fresh chives, to garnish

     

    Chop the lobster meat into similarly sized chunks and mix with just enough mayonnaise to bind, plus a very tentative squeeze of lemon juice (it's always possible to add more but impossible to take it away).

    Season with salt and pepper, then load into the bun or roll and sprinkle with a few snipped chives.

    Eat, feeling like the queen or king of the world, preferably with a glass of champagne.

     

    po boy

    The po boy (or poor boy) sandwich is a Louisiana classic, consisting of fried seafood, most commonly oysters or shrimp (prawns). One of the defining characteristics is the bread, traditionally New Orleans-style French bread. It is claimed that no such loaf can be obtained outside the area, as the specific climate is what makes it so light and airy. The history of the name po boy is debated, but a popular story is that it comes from the generosity of two former streetcar workers who served sandwiches to striking employees of their former company, whom they referred to as “poor boys.”

    This recipe is for a “dressed” shrimp po boy, meaning the seafood comes with a cocktail sauce-esque dressing, plus shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.

    Makes 2

    INGREDIENTS

    FOR THE MAYONNAISE:

    2 egg yolks

    About 3/4 cup (180ml) oil—vegetable or peanut

    (groundnut) oil are both good, but don't use olive oil, certainly not extra virgin)

    1/2 red onion, finely chopped

    2 dill pickles, finely chopped, plus 1 tsp juice from the pickle jar

    1 tsp yellow (American-style) mustard

    Juice of 1/2–1 lemon

    1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

    FOR THE SHRIMP (PRAWNS):

    Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

    3 tbsp polenta or cornmeal

    2 scant tbsp Cajun seasoning mix

    12 raw jumbo shrimp (king prawns), peeled and de-veined

    Beaten egg

    2 white sub rolls or 2 x 6 in (15cm) lengths of baguette

    Shredded lettuce—Boston lettuce or butter lettuce (Little Gem) or iceberg are good choices

    Hot chili sauce

     

    To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks in a clean bowl and whisk them together. Whisk in the oil, adding a few drops at a time and making sure each bit of oil is fully incorporated before adding the next. As you whisk in more oil and the mayo starts to thicken, you can start adding it in very slightly larger quantities until you are steadily adding it in a thin stream. Stop when the mayonnaise has reached the desired consistency.

    Add all the other ingredients, adjusting them to taste (for example, you may want a little more lemon juice or a little more salt). Set aside.

    To prepare the shrimp (prawns), pour some vegetable oil for deep-frying into a deep frying pan or an electric deep-fat fryer and heat to 350°F (180°C). Cover a plate with a mixture of the polenta and Cajun seasoning.

    Dip each shrimp in the beaten egg, then in the seasoning mix. Deep-fry the shrimp for 2–4 minutes, depending on size, turning occasionally. (You can also shallow-fry them, but make sure you have 1in/2.5cm or so of oil in the pan and turn them over halfway through.) Drain on paper towels.

    To assemble the sandwiches, split and toast the sub rolls, then load with shredded lettuce, the deep-fried shrimp, some mayo, and a dribble of hot chili sauce. DEVOUR!

     

    101 Sandwiches by Helen Graves is available here and you can win 1 of 3 copies of this super sandwich book by following us on Twitter @DognBoneBooks and re-tweeting any #sandwichweek tweet! Winners announced on Friday 17th May!

    Have a wonderful week folks, good luck in the competition and enjoy your sandwich creations!


    This post was posted in News, UK and was tagged with 2013, street food, 101 sandwiches, Helen Graves, sandwich, 2014, luxury

  • Posted on March 17, 2014

    St Patrick's Day Drinks

    Happy St Patrick’s Day! Today we’re sharing a couple of after-dinner drinks for those of you who are choosing a night in tonight rather than a trip to the pub, so that you can enjoy the Irish celebrations in your own home! Both recipes are taken from the handy book, Brown Booze, which will have you whipping up the most delicious drinks from just a few brown spirits hanging around in your cupboard!

    Honeyed Irish

    Irish whiskey is generally triple-distilled and unpeated, so the flavors are much softer than in other whiskeys. This old-fashioned variant tries to keep this delicacy, gently sweetening with honey. You can use any honey but I find for this and most other drinks a light, flowery style works best.

    5 parts Irish whiskey

    1 part honey syrup (see note)

    2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters

    Garnish: large lemon twist

    Honey syrup is much easier to mix in a cocktail than pure honey, which tends to stick to the glass. Stir all the ingredients over ice and strain over fresh ice into a whiskey glass. Garnish with a well-squeezed lemon twist.

    Honey: One of the sweetest natural products on earth, so sweet, in fact, that it is immune to microbial  infection and will last indefinitely in the store cupboard. The flavor of honey depends on which flowers the bees visit. Almost all styles will work in cocktails but for versatility I would choose a medium-bodied wild-flower honey. Because it is so sticky, it can be difficult to use neat in cocktails, so a good tip is to make a honey syrup. Simply mix two parts honey with one part hot water and stir until fully combined. Any unused syrup can be stored in the fridge for next time.

     

    Irish Coffee

    This drink was created at Shannon airport, which used to be a fueling stopover for transatlantic flights. It relies on the counterpoint between hot, sweet, boozy coffee and cold, unsweetened cream. Whipping the cream by hand gives you better control of the texture. Americano coffee (espresso and hot water) will make a more satisfying blend than cafetière coffee, as it is hotter. Anyone using squirty cream from a can should be shot on sight.

    4 parts whipping cream

    2 tsp sugar

    4 parts Irish whiskey

    9 parts strong coffee

    Garnish: none

    Lightly whip the cream until the bubbles on the surface no longer hold. Mix the sugar, whiskey, and coffee  together in a heatproof glass or wine goblet. Using a bar spoon, float the cream on the top.

    Brown Booze by Michael Butt is available here.

    Other drink books from us on our current list of publications include :-

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-pocket-homebrew-handbook

    http://www.rylandpeters.com/the-best-beer-in-the-world

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

    Have a great evening everyone!


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US and was tagged with 2013, drinks, brown booze, celebrations, St Patrick's Day

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