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Tag Archives: bank holiday
  • Posted on May 2, 2018

    Feasts from the Fire

    Time to up your BBQ game this bank holiday! We guarantee your mates will be impressed with this unique way of cooking salmon on an open fire and we’ve not forgotten the veggies too with this stunning charred treviso salad.


    CEDAR PLANK SALMON with sake

    Wooden planks are a great way to cook fish on the grill as they stop the fish from sticking to the metal grate. This recipe uses cedar planks, but there are other varieties of wood that lightly flavor the fish. The wooden planks are soaked in cold water first to prevent them burning over the hot coals.

    Feasts from the Fire


    1 lb/450 g center-cut salmon, skin on

    ½ cup/125 ml sake

    ¼ cup/60 ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

    1 tablespoon wasabi powder

    pinch of sea salt

    10 shishito peppers, thinly sliced

    cracked black pepper

    2 lemons, quartered

    cedar plank, 7 x 15 inches/ 18 x 38 cm

    SERVES 4


    Soak the cedar plank in cold water for a minimum of 3 hours, up to a maximum of 24 hours.

    Rinse the salmon under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a ceramic baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the sake, olive oil, wasabi powder, and sea salt. Pour over the salmon and marinate for 20 minutes.

    Heat the grill/barbecue to medium–high. Place the wet plank on the grill and leave it there for 6–8 minutes until the wood is charred on one side.

    Turn the plank over. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place on top of the charred side of the plank. Sprinkle with the sliced shishito peppers and some cracked black pepper. Close the lid of the grill and cook for 15–20 minutes until the salmon is cooked. Times may differ depending on the thickness of the fish, so check for doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the fish— the flesh should be opaque in the middle.

    Serve on the plank with the lemons and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.


    Charred Treviso SALAD

    Charred Treviso bathed in an anchovy and almond dressing is a delicious accompaniment to any cookout. It’s a hardy but milder relative of radicchio and has pretty, long leaves that are tinged with green and white. The anchovy and breadcrumbs add sweetness to this salad.

    Feasts from the Fire


    ½ cup/55 g almonds, roughly chopped

    2-oz/56-g can of anchovies

    2 cups/100 g panko breadcrumbs

    3 tablespoons salted capers

    ¼ cup/60 ml olive oil

    4 small Treviso chicory/ radicchio, cut in half lengthwise

    ¼ cup/30g grated Parmesan

    cheese (optional)

    cracked black pepper

    oil, for brushing the grate

    SERVES 6–8


    Place the almonds and anchovies (there’s no need to drain them) in a food processor and pulse to a rough consistency. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, capers, and half the olive oil.

    Toss together and season with pepper.

    Heat a pan over a medium–high heat, add the breadcrumb mixture, and toast until golden brown. Set aside. Heat the grill/barbecue to medium–high. Brush the grate with oil.

    Place the Treviso on a baking sheet and brush with the remaining olive oil. Grill for 2–3 minutes on each side until slightly charred and wilted.

    Remove them to a platter and scatter with the breadcrumb mix. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, if using, and season with a little more black pepper.


    These recipes are from Feasts from the Fire by Valerie Aikman-Smith, photography by Erin Kunkel © Ryland Peters & Small

    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, bank holiday, bbq, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, open fire cooking

  • Posted on August 25, 2017

    BBQ Seasbass with Roasted Red Pepper Butter recipe

    With just a few simple ingredients you can cook this delicious fish recipe and add something a bit special to your BBQ this bank holiday.

    BBQ seasbass lemons and limes

    1 whole sea bass or sea bream, gutted

    1 lemon, cut into wedges

    leaves from a small bunch of fresh basil

    120 ml/1⁄2 cup white wine

    12 black or kalamata olives

    sea salt and freshly ground pepper


    2 red (bell) peppers

    25 g/1⁄4 stick unsalted butter

    1 garlic clove

    SERVES 2-4


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

    To make the red (bell) pepper butter, roast the peppers in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and skin and deseed the peppers. Place the pepper flesh, butter and garlic in a food processor and blend together until you have a smooth paste.

    Preheat the barbecue/griddle to medium.

    Wash the fish and trim the fins with kitchen scissors. On both sides of the fish make vertical incisions to the bone. Place the lemon wedges into the incisions. Smear the red pepper butter all over the fish and place the basil leaves into the cavity. Place the fish onto a double thickness, large sheet of foil. Lift the sides of the foil slightly to make a parcel. Add the wine and olives and season with salt and pepper. Seal the foil.

    Cook for about 30 minutes on the preheated barbecue/griddle. Check if cooked by inserting a metal skewer into the fish through the foil. Serve.


    For more citrus inspired recipes, check out Lemons and Limes by Ursula Ferrigno.

    Lemons and Limes



    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with fish, bank holiday, bbq, recipe for the weekend

  • Posted on August 23, 2017

    DIY Pebble Striped Planter

    If you're not busy this bank holiday, why not have a go at this DIY striped pebble planter. You can transform an old terracotta plant pot into something colourful and unique in just a few simple steps...

    striped pebble planter2

    A simple, slightly tapered terra cotta pot has been transformed into a striking planter that could be the focal point of a hot and dry planting scheme. The clean lines of the black and white pebble stripes work particularly well with the strong shapes of sun-loving plants such as Agave, Echiveria or Sedum, lending a Mediterranean feel to your garden. Try decorating other planters and pots in a similar way, perhaps using a slightly different pattern to make an interesting collection to liven up your sunny terrace or patio.

    Waterproof and frostproof gray cement has been used for the black pebbles and white cement used for the white ones. Although a little more time-consuming, it is well worth using the two colors as it enhances the black and white contrast. The rim of the pot has been finished with a row of black pebbles that cleverly hide the terracotta beneath.



    Tall terracotta pot 14in (35cm) high with a top diameter of 11in (27cm)

    Piece of chalk

    Black pebbles no more than 3⁄4in (2cm) in diameter

    White pebbles of a similar size

    Waterproof and frostproof gray cement-based adhesive

    Waterproof and frostproof white cement-based adhesive

    Old pointed kitchen knife

    Container for cement


    striped pebble planter step1

    step 1 Draw vertical chalk lines onto the pot, dividing it into 12 stripes each roughly 31⁄4in (8cm) wide at the top. On a tapered pot the stripes will be slightly narrower at the base.


    striped pebble planter step 2

    step 2 Mix the gray cement according to manufacturer’s instructions, making sure it is not too runny. Apply a layer 1⁄2in (1cm) thick within the chalk lines of one stripe and set in the black pebbles closely together. This will push the cement up between the pebbles and help to secure them. Leave room for a row of pebbles around the top rim. Cut off any excess cement with the knife. Leaving the next stripe clear, make two more black stripes.


    striped pebble planter step 3

    step 3 Mix and apply the white cement in the same way between the black stripes and set in the white pebbles. Clean up the joint between each contrasting stripe and continue until one side of the pot is covered. Allow the cement to harden overnight and repeat the same process on the remaining six stripes. It is best to work on the pot in two separate halves so as not to dislodge any pebbles (the pot needs to rest on its side for ease of working).


    striped pebble planter step 4

    step 4 Stand the pot up on its base and stick a row of black pebbles around the upper rim, spreading the back of each pebble with the cement. When the cement starts to harden slightly, trim off any excess with the knife. Allow to harden thoroughly before planting.

    tip Don’t allow the pebbles to extend beyond the base of the pots. Stop just short, or the bottom row of pebbles will be vulnerable to breaking off and the pot may not be very stable.


    For more garden DIY projects, check out Pebble Mosaics by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell.

    Pebble Mosaics






    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with bank holiday, project, DIY, garden, planter

  • Posted on May 25, 2017

    Smoky pork belly with mustard slaw recipe

    Whether there’s rain or shine, we’ll be getting our summer BBQ spirit on this weekend with this pork belly and mustard slaw recipe! If you’re looking for something a bit more special than your normal burger and hot-dogs, this is sure to impress, plus it’s a perfect recipe to make in advance if you have lots of guests. The smoky sauce it is cooked in works well smothered on roast root veg or chicken, and any leftovers taste amazing in a wrap. Although this recipe is cooked in the oven, you could always finish it off on the BBQ for an extra smoky flavour (weather permitting)!

    Pork belly perfectly PaleoSmoky Pork Belly with Mustard Slaw

    4 pork belly cuts (on the bone)

    Mustard Slaw (see below), to serve

    smoky sauce

    1 red onion, roughly chopped

    4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    4 heaped tablespoons tomato purée/paste

    4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

    1 tablespoon black strap molasses or treacle

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    a few dashes of liquid coconut aminos, to taste

    freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

    chilli powder and smoked paprika, to taste

    salt and black pepper, to season

    SERVES 4


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

    To prepare the pork belly, score the skin and rub sea salt all over. Lay in a roasting pan with the skin facing up, making sure the edges don’t touch the sides or you won’t get proper crackling. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

    While the pork is in the oven prepare the smoky sauce. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and set over low–medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the onions and garlic are cooked. Then use a handheld electric blender to blend all the ingredients with enough water to bind them together.

    Remove the pork from the oven and baste with the oil that has been released from it. Pour any excess oil out of the pan and reserve for use in another recipe.

    Turn the heat down to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3 and return the pork to cook for a further 20 minutes. Brush the pork with a generous amount of sauce so every ‘rib belly’ is covered but you still have about half of the mixture.

    Cook for 25 minutes more, brushing over with more sauce towards the end. Remove the pork from the oven and brush over a little extra sauce if needed. Keep any remaining sauce in a sterilized glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy the ribs with the mustard slaw on the side or shred the meat off the bone and layer up in a wrap with a mound of slaw on top.

    Mustard Slaw

    1 kohlrabi (or turnip), grated or very thinly sliced

    1 head of broccoli, grated or very thinly sliced

    1 carrot, grated or very thinly sliced

    1 celery stalk/rib, thinly sliced

    ¼ red or white cabbage, grated or very thinly sliced freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon

    olive oil, to drizzle

    1–2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard, to taste

    SERVES 2–4

    Put all of the grated or sliced vegetables in a large mixing bowl and squeeze over the lemon juice. Mix well then drizzle with olive oil and stir in a little mustard. Taste, adding more mustard if you like, season with salt and pepper and set aside. For a creamier slaw use mayonnaise instead of oil.


    This recipe is from Perfectly Paleo by Rosa Rigby

    Perfectly Paleo by Rosa Rigby

    Photography by Mowie Kay ©Ryland Peters & Small




    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with savoury, bank holiday, bbq, recipe for the weekend, paleo

  • Posted on April 12, 2017

    Planted Enamel Ladles

    With the sun shining and the Easter bank holiday coming up, we thought it was time to get our fingers green! This lovely little display uses simple enamel ladles planted with pretty succulents to create a really charming result and is a perfect project no matter how big or small your garden is! Choose ladles with a large cup so that the roots of the plants will have enough room to grow and spread. Break off pieces from the larger succulents—these are generally quite tough plants and can take a bit of rough handling—and firm them into the potting mix well so they can take root and thrive.

    Planted ladles with succulents and moss

    Planted Enamel Ladles


    Enamel ladles

    Potting mix

    Handful of gravel


    Left ladle: Moss (available from garden centers and florists)

    Middle ladle: Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg,’ Sedum album (white stonecrop), S. burrito (burro’s tail), S. ✕ rubrotinctum (banana cactus), and Sempervivum ‘Ohio Burgundy’ (houseleek)

    Right ladle: Anacampseros telephiastrum, Crassula ovate (friendship tree), and Sedum spathulifolium ‘Cape Blanco’ (stonecrop)

    Planted ladles, what you need


    1. Soak the rootballs of the plants for 10 minutes or so until the potting mix is wet. Put a handful of potting mix in the bottom of the ladle and add a little gravel to improve drainage.

    2. Carefully take one of the larger succulents from its pot and remove some of the excess potting mix to reduce the size of the rootball. Plant it on one side of the ladle.

    3. Take another of the larger succulents from its pot and again remove some of the potting mix. Plant at the back of the ladle, firming it in place.

    4. Add the smaller succulents to the ladle, breaking smaller bits off the larger plants if necessary, and plant them around the larger ones. Press down the potting mix.

    5. Fill in any holes with more potting mix and firm it in place so that the plants will not move.

    6. Add a sprinkling of gravel to the surface of the potting mix, pushing it around the plants with your fingers. This will help keep moisture in and looks nice, too. Plant up the other ladles and then water carefully, allowing excess water to drain off.

    Planting succulents in enamel ladles


    Succulents can withstand dry conditions, but remember to check the potting mix regularly and water the ladles when they are very dry.

    This project is from Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy, available here.

    Tiny Tabletop Gardens by Emma Hardy

    Photography by Debbie Patterson © CICO Books






    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with handmade, easter, bank holiday, project, nature, gardening

  • Posted on May 1, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend: Bank Holiday edition!

    Ah May, we welcome you with open arms. April might be the cruelest month, but you are soothing with your double bank holidays! The first is this weekend, and we are staunchly ignoring the weather forecast and planning our first BBQ of the season. We recently published 101 BBQ and Grill Recipes, compiled by Dan Vaux-Nobes, which contains literally all of the BBQ recipes you could ever possibly need. We promise. We’ve picked a wonderfully seasonal lamb recipe, guaranteed to set your BBQ stakes very high for the rest of the summer! Mint and Lemon Thyme Lamb Kebabs

    Mint and lemon thyme lamb kebabs with pickled cucumber

    This is a cracking recipe, using lamb shoulder (leg works well too), served with pickled cucumber. If you’re feeling organic and you’re lucky enough to have a flourishing rosemary bush, you can use the branches for skewers.

    pickled cucumber

    1lb. / 500 g pickling cucumbers

    1 tablespoon Kosher (table) salt

    2 teaspoons brown sugar

    ½ teaspoon black peppercorns

    ½ teaspoon pink peppercorns

    1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

    4 fresh bay leaves

    1½ cups / 350 ml apple cider vinegar

    1 sterilized litre glass jar with lid


    ½ preserved lemon, finely chopped

    1 tablespoon dried mint

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    fresh thyme leaves

    1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

    ¼ cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil

    freshly squeezed juice and grated

    zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

    sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper


    1½ lb. / 750 g lamb shoulder

    1 lemon

    6 fresh bay leaves

    coarsely ground black pepper

    serves 6

    For the pickled cucumber, in a nonreactive pan add the salt, sugar, peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cider vinegar, and ¼ cup / 60 ml water. Bring to a boil over a medium–high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

    Cut the cucumbers into spears and pack them into the glass jar. Pour the hot pickling juice over the cucumbers and fill to the top. Screw the lid on and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator. They will keep for 2 weeks.

    For the rub, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and use immediately.

    Rinse the lamb under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels (kitchen paper). Cut the lamb into 1¼-inch (3-cm) cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the rub over the lamb and toss to coat evenly. Season with cracked black pepper. (The salt from the preserved lemon should be enough to season.) Cover and refrigerate for 8–24 hours.

    Slice the lemon in half, then cut each half into half moons. Remove the lamb from the fridge and, while still cold, thread onto pre-soaked wooden skewers or rosemary branches, along with the bay leaves and lemon slices. Cover the skewers and allow to come to room temperature.

    On a medium–high grill/barbecue, cook the lamb skewers for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and turn. Cook for a further 6–8 minutes, turning frequently to make sure all the sides are brown and crispy. If you prefer your meat well done, continue to cook the skewers to your preference.

    Serve with the pickled cucumber.

    101 BBQ and Grill Recipes by Dan Vaux-Nobes is available here.

    Happy grilling chaps!

    This post was posted in News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with savoury, bank holiday, bbq, recipe for the weekend, grill, 2015, lamb

  • Posted on April 2, 2015

    Recipe for the Weekend: Good Friday Edition

    We’re winding down for the Bank Holiday weekend here at RPS and CICO Book towers, and our thoughts (as they often do) have turned to what we’re going to eat this weekend! Traditionally Good Friday menus feature fish, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to share with you a recipe from our new book, Fish by Mat Follas. The book is stunning, and this gorgeous Trout en papillote is a great example of Mat’s simple yet delicious home cook style. A perfect Good Friday supper, and we’re sure you could use another flaky white fish if you can’t lay your hands on trout.

    Trout en Papillote

    Cooking fish doesn’t get much simpler than this: stuff the cavity with a few aromatic ingredients, seal in paper and bake. Baking in paper is a very effective way to maintain moisture and infuse flavours into the fish. This recipe uses lime, lemon grass and ginger to give the trout, which can otherwise be a fairly flavourless fish, a boost. I serve it with potatoes, lemon and fennel for a satisfying and light meal.



    SERVES: 4

    600 g new potatoes, cut in half

    1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced into 15–20 slices

    1 lemon, thinly sliced into 15–20 slices

    vegetable oil, to drizzle

    1 teaspoon salt

    4 whole trout (each about 450 g), gutted (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you)

    2 limes, cut into 8 wedges

    2 lemon grass stalks, thinly sliced

    a 7.5-cm/3-in. piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced across the grain

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

    Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 10–15 minutes until just soft.

    Meanwhile, stuff the cavity of each of the fish with equal amounts of lime, lemon grass and ginger. Roll the fish in baking parchment, tucking the parchment around the ends of the fish.

    Arrange the sliced fennel and lemon and the boiled potatoes in a deep ovenproof dish. Drizzle with oil and the salt and toss to combine. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

    Place the fish parcels in the oven on top of the potato mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Check the temperature of the fish by using a meat thermometer before removing from the oven, it should be 60°C (170°F) at the thickest part.

    Serve the trout on top of the potato, lemon and fennel mixture in its wrapping. Carefully unwrap the fish at the table, releasing the wonderful aromas and allowing any juices to soak into the vegetables beneath.

    Fish by Mat Follas is available here.

    Happy Easter everyone!

    This post was posted in Featured, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with fish, savoury, easter, bank holiday, recipe for the weekend, 2015, Mat Follas, Fish on Friday

  • Posted on August 22, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend: Bank Holiday Special!

    Yipee! It’s finally the bank holiday weekend and here at RPS and CICO Books, we couldn’t be happier! With three days to relax, sort, and enjoy everything that we’d normally cram into two, there’s definitely time to pop open a bottle or three with friends and tuck into some good grub! Enter Helen Graves; author of My Drunken Kitchen and our go-to-gal on drinking and dining. Today we’ve got two recipes from the new book that are perfect to enjoy with mates (though Helen covers all things booze-food related so check it out if your looking to dodge that dirty takeaway or in need of a hangover cure on Monday…)

    Firstly, a couple of ground rules. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that you shouldn’t be cooking if ‘you are completely hosed’, as Helen would say, so just use your common sense. And with that in mind, here are a couple of other guidelines from the book;

    As a piece of general cooking advice, it’s best to read the recipe and get all your ingredients out and ready beforehand, but in the drunken kitchen, this is pretty much crucial.

    Don’t walk away from the kitchen or leave anything unattended at any time. PLEASE. Again, this is good general advice.

    Never, ever consider deep-frying when even mildly inebriated. You won’t find any recipes requiring you to do that in this book, for good reason.


    So, whether your off out to the pub - potentially ending up with a whole load of hungry pals back at yours afterwards - or you’re planning a little booze-filled dinner party, we’ve got a recipe that will save your skin… Below is Helen’s Obscenely Large Garlic Butter Loaf, with Cheese or ‘Nduja for an easy to throw together feast and her delicious Peshawar Lamb Chops if you want a do-ahead dish. Cheers!


    Obscenely Large Garlic Butter Loaf, with Cheese or 'Nduja

    This is essentially a way of making cheesy garlic bread for a shitload of people at once. I can also see this pull-apart behemoth deployed with a hangover, to be picked at from the comfort of the sofa, pre- and post-snooze. There are many embellishments that can be added to the basic garlic butter, but I must say I do enjoy the classic hookup between cheese and onion. Still, I give some suggestions below. There are many options. My favorite is to omit the cheese and onion and add blobs of ’nduja, a spicy Calabrian sausage that melts into scarlet red pools and soaks into the bread.

    1 sourdough loaf, unsliced

    12 1/2 oz (350 g) cheddar cheese, grated

    5 oz (150 g) butter

    2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed (personally I love garlic, so often add more, but just adapt to your taste—this ain’t highfalutin)

    4 scallions (spring onions), finely shredded

    A handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

    Makes 6–8 servings

    1. Variations and suggestions for embellishments: chili flakes, pine nuts, chipotle flakes, bacon bits, very ripe diced tomatoes, za’atar, Parmesan cheese, pesto, mozzarella, mustard, crumbled sausage, ’nduja, smoked garlic, rosemary, oregano.

    2. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (170ºC/Gas 3). Cut the loaf in a crisscross pattern almost but not the whole way through. Put on a baking sheet lined with foil, and stuff the grated cheese into the gaps.

    3. Melt the butter with the garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the embellishments, then drizzle over the cut loaf. Sprinkle over the parsley and scallions (spring onions). Wrap in foil and bake for 15 minutes.


    Peshawar Lamb Chops

    So you’re having mates over tomorrow and you want the opportunity to sink a few and have a laugh without spending all your time mucking about in the kitchen. It’s not sociable and it’s not really that fun if you’ve been cooking for so long that you can’t be bothered even to eat the meal at the end of it. I think we’ve all been there. I’ll start, then, with a recipe for Pakistani spiced lamb chops. Get the marinade together the day before, wang them all in the fridge overnight, and the meat will need only very quick cooking the next day.

    There is a restaurant in east London called Tayyabs, which is famous for its lamb chops. They are smothered in an intensely spiced marinade then grilled for a really smoky flavor. They’re so addictive that every last morsel of spice must be sucked from the bones, and, of course, the chef keeps the recipe a secret. I’ve had a go at replicating it here. Serve the chops piled high with a lot of napkins, or, if you really want to be practical about it, a whole kitchen roll per person. You’ll see. The yogurt sauce makes for a very nice bit of dippy dippy on the side as you feast, medieval banquet-style, on a big ol’ plate of chops. Throw the bones over your shoulder once you’ve gnawed them clean, for maximum jinks. Drinking from a goblet would be a nice touch, come to think of it. This recipe can easily be scaled up to feed more people.

    10 small lamb chops

    6 cloves of garlic, crushed

    2 in (5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, grated

    1 1/2 tsp salt

    1 tsp chili powder

    1 tsp turmeric

    1 tsp ground coriander

    1 tsp ground cumin

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    2 tsp garam masala

    Juice of 1/2 lemon

    3 1/2 oz (100 g) thick yogurt

    1 tsp freshly ground

    black pepper

    Melted butter or ghee, for brushing


    For the raita

    4 tbsp natural yogurt

    A small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely shredded

    Juice of 1/2 lime

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Makes 10 chops


    To make the lamb chops

    1. Place each chop between two pieces of plastic wrap and bash out with a meat mallet or rolling pin until roughly half the thickness.

    2. Mix all the remaining ingredients except the butter or ghee and pour onto the chops, really working it into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. I’ve marinated them for 48 hours before with incredible results, but it depends just how much of a do-ahead drunk you can be.

    3. Heat a griddle pan to a very high heat and cook the chops for a couple of minutes on each side (or use a BBQ grill or broiler/grill if you prefer).


    To make the raita

    1. Beat the yogurt with a fork until smooth. Add the mint and lime juice, and some salt and pepper. You can also make this the day before; just give it a good stir and allow to warm up a little before serving.


    Have a great weekend everyone and happy bank holiday!


    My Drunken Kitchen by Helen Graves is available here, published by Dog 'n' Bone Books.

    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with bank holiday, Helen Graves, recipe for the weekend, cheese, 2014, lamb chops

  • Posted on May 23, 2014

    Recipe for the Weekend

    It’s nearly the weekend! We’re all super excited about the bank holiday and we imagine that the school kids are thrilled that it’s half term, so today we’ve got a recipe from the fantastic new book, Making Bread Together, that will get them into the kitchen. Whether you and your child have done any bread making before or not, this recipe will be just perfect to start you off and you can enjoy some time together making a good old floury mess (and some tasty bread)!

    The book is by our brilliant How to Make Breadauthor, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, and is so easy to follow with step-by-step instructions and photos, as well as loads of fun bread-making activities for the kids. So invite them into the kitchen this weekend to try their hand at this 60-minute soda bread and they might just fancy helping you in the kitchen again!

    60-minute Soda Bread

    This simple recipe is perfect if you want to make lovely hot, rustic bread as quickly as possible. It’s also a great way to get acquainted with making bread. Try making this and you’ll never pop down to the shops for a loaf of bread again!


    400 g white strong flour, plus extra for coating

    8 g salt

    6 g bicarbonate of soda (sifted if lumpy)

    300 ml milk


    wooden spoon

    large mixing bowl

    deep roasting tray

    baking tray lined with parchment paper

    plastic scraper

    Makes 1 small loaf

    1  Preheat your oven to 250°C (480°F) Gas 9. Place a deep roasting tray on the base of the oven.

    2  Mix the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon and set aside. This is the dry mixture (A).

    3  Mix the milk into the dry mixture, until it just comes together (B).

    4  Scoop the mixture out of the mixing bowl using a plastic scraper and place it on the prepared baking tray. Generously sprinkle with flour (C).

    5  Place the loaf on the prepared tray in the preheated oven and pour a cup of water to the hot roasting tray to form steam (ask an adult to help you with this). Lower the oven temperature to 200°C (390°F) Gas 6 and bake for 20–30 minutes.

    6  Carefully remove the loaf from the oven using oven mitts (ask an adult to help you with this). Check that the loaf is baked by tapping it on the bottom with your knuckles. If you hear a hollow sound, it’s ready!

    7  Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing it (ask an adult to help you with this).

    Variation: If you want a neatly shaped loaf, you can bake the loaf in a 500g greased pan; if you want to do this follow steps 1–3 but add an extra 200 ml milk in step 2. Add the dough mixture to the prepared pan and follow the instructions above for baking the loaf.

    Making Bread Together by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou is available here. Alternatively, how about How to make bread?

    Have a lovely long weekend everybody and happy bread making!

    This post was posted in Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with bread, bank holiday, kids, recipe for the weekend, 2014, half term

  • Posted on April 16, 2014

    Embrace Nature: Easter Nests!

    This week as part of our new Embrace Nature feature we wanted to share a lovely little project to help you get ready for Easter! This Easter Nest is taken from Inspire: The Art of Living with Nature by Willow Crossley and shows just how easy it is to bring nature into the home, especially in the holidays when you will be around to enjoy it! This is a great one to make with the kids and to store some tasty mini Easter egg chocolates for them to enjoy on Sunday, as well as a beautiful way to make a natural display in your home for guests to admire.

    Easter Nests

    I always feel a bit cruel picking up a bird’s nest. We found a few in our garden this year and left them where they were for months, until we were sure that no one was coming back to inhabit them.

    However, a nest is used only to hold the eggs and protect the young. Most nests are abandoned once the babies are old enough to leave. If you don’t like the idea of bringing a real nest inside, it’s easy to make your own from moss and twigs and maybe a little fine straw. I love using a mix of genuine (abandoned) nests and homemade ones on the table at Easter. I display them under glass domes, filling them with mini chocolate eggs and hollowed-out quails’ eggs, and even a decorative feather bird. Here, I’ve also added a pretty glass with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley.


    Large shallow dish

    Moss, twigs, fine straw

    Abandoned nest

    Mini chocolate eggs

    Hollowed-out quails’ eggs

    Glass dome

    Glass jar

    Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis)

    Inspire: the Art of Living with Nature by Willow Crossley is available here.


    We hope you have some time to enjoy nature over the holidays, whether you are out in the garden over the weekend or choose to decorate your house with nests and flowers for Easter, and have a fantastic break!


    This post was posted in Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Featured, Featured, News, News, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with interiors, handmade, easter, bank holiday, kids, 2014, nature, Willow Crossley

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