Archive of ‘winter’ category

Apricot and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

The smell of baked cinnamon rolls wafting through the house is the ultimate in festive comfort at this time of year. Added cranberries and apricots give these a seasonal twist – the perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winters morning. 
Ingredients
For the rolls
450g strong white flour
75g dried cranberries
1tsp fast acting dried yeast
1tsp salt
1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
150ml hot milk and 150ml hot water mixed together – hot but not boiling!
For the filling
25g butter, melted
50g light brown sugar
2tbsp ground cinnamon
75g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
Makes 8 rolls

Method
- Place the flour, cranberries, yeast, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl and stir together. Now add the hot milk and water and mix together using an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes – if you don’t have an electric mixer that’s fine, you can just use your hands and mix and knead for about 10 minutes. Once the dough has been mixed and kneaded, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1 cm thick, spread the surface with the melted butter and scatter over the sugar, cinnamon and apricot pieces in an even layer, making sure you reach the edges. Now roll the dough into a tight sausage shape, slice into 8 even pieces and place these, swirl side up on a lightly oiled baking tray.
- Leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or if you want to make these for breakfast next day you can leave them in the fridge overnight (although if you do this, you will need to take the rolls out of the fridge and leave for 30 minutes to come up to room temperature before baking).
- When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the rolls are well risen and a lovely golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. You can eat the rolls as they are, but for an extra delicious twist make up some icing using 3tbsp icing sugar, 1tbsp water and 1tsp vanilla extract and drizzle over the top of the hot rolls. Tear off and eat warm – heavenly!
By Millie Norton

Chocolate and Raspberry Fondant

Chocolate fondants look so impressive but are secretly really easy to make! These make a lovely dessert to follow a winter supper and can be made a couple of hours ahead of baking.
Ingredients
Raspberry Sauce
100g raspberries, lightly crushed 
2tbsp water 
1tbsp caster sugar 
Chocolate Fondant
50g butter, plus extra for greasing 
50g dark chocolate 
50g caster sugar 
1 egg 
50g self-raising flour 
1tsp cocoa powder 
You will also need 2 ramekins or pudding moulds 
Start by making the raspberry sauce; Place the raspberries, sugar and water into a pan and gently heat, until the raspberries are soft and the mixture is syrupy. Remove from the heat and take 4 tablespoons of the sauce and pass through a sieve to remove any seeds. Leave to cool.
For the chocolate fondant, prepare the ramekins by brushing them with butter followed by a dusting of cocoa powder. Place the butter, chocolate and sugar into a microwaveable bowl and microwave on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate has just melted. Give the mixture a really good stir until it’s completely smooth, then whisk in the egg and then add the flour. Stir through 2 tablespoons of the smooth raspberry sauce and give the whole mix a really good whisk until everything is fully combined.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, although they can be left for a good few hours before baking.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C, remove the fondants from the fridge, take off the clingfilm and bake for 14 minutes exactly. The timing is really important here; over-baking with result in a fondant without a gooey middle and under-baking will leave you with a chocolatey mess!
Take the fondants out of the oven and leave for one minute to rest. Turn them out onto a plate, spoon some more raspberry sauce over the top, add a dusting of icing sugar and a couple of raspberries for decoration and serve immediately.
Recipe by Millie Norton

Weekly Round Up

Here are some suggestions for stuff to enjoy as we say goodbye to November and hello to December, the ultimate festive month of gluttony…
LISTEN to Blood Orange’s latest album Cupid Deluxe. It came out this week and Blood Orange aka Dev Hynes has certainly not disappointed with this lush offering that’s cooler and smoother than an ice rink. 

WATCH films at the London Feminist Film Festival. Set up in 2012 in response to the underrepresentation of women in the film industry, this festival will be showing some great films during its run from 24 and 30 November 2013. The program includes the international premier of Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights and a screening of the classic feminist film The Gold Diggers. 
PREPARE for the holiday season at a Christmas market. Yes it’s early, but why not embrace the opportunity to drink mulled wine before singing Mariah Carey badly at a Christmas tree. Go on, you know that you want to. There are lots of markets to choose from but a few of our personal favourites are Chester Victorian Christmas Market (beyond pretty) , Manchester Christmas Market (best mulled cider) and London Southbank Christmas Market (festive trip on the pretty Thames). If you’re really getting into the spirit you could even venture over to the Christmas-fest that’s Cologne Christmas Market and make everybody incredibly jealous. 
DRINK some fine ales and ciders at the Pig’s Ear Beer and Cider Festival, from December 3 – 7, at The Round Chapel in Clapton. Beers really taking centre stage at the moment with new breweries popping up all over London the festival will include Five Points, Crate and London Fields are among nine Hackney breweries in a huge line-up of beers and ciders to sample. 
EAT German style food at Wunderland East. Following its successful summer ‘Lucky Chip’ collaboration, this week Climpson’s Arch launches it’s three day bavarian themed bar with all the trimmings! 
READ Dorris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook. This wonderful author died this week so what better excuse (not that you really need one) to discover or re-discover her amazing writing. The Golden Notebook accounts women’s lives after the war. It is often regarded as a ‘feminist masterpiece’ but overall is a majestically crafted piece of writing by a brilliantly talented and outspoken author.
By Kerry Flint 

Roast Pumpkin Soup

This rich, warming soup is perfect for an autumn night. Nutty roasted pumpkin and glorious melting cheese come together for the perfect supper to snuggle up with and keep the spooks at bay!

Ingredients 
Serves 6
Soup
1 small pumpkin (1.3 – 1.6kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
850ml vegetable stock
425ml whole milk
25g butter
Salt, pepper and ground nutmeg, to season
Croutons
2 thick slices crusty white bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
To serve
100g melting cheese, such as gruyere or mozzarella, grated
Method
Preheat oven to 240 °C. Start by cutting the pumpkin into quarters, scoop out the seeds, then cut each quarter in half. Brush the surface of each section with the oil and season with a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper. Pop into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the flesh is soft when tested with a skewer.
While the pumpkin is roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion and stir. After 5 minutes, turn the heat down low and leave the onion to cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Add the stock and the milk to the onion and turn the heat up to medium. Once the mixture is simmering, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and add to the pan along with the seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn the heat down to low and leave to gently simmer for a further 20 minutes.
This is the perfect time to make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes and toss in a bowl with the oil and salt and pepper seasoning, making sure each crouton gets an even coating. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, until they are light and crispy.
Next, puree the soup using a hand blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season to taste, and when you’re ready to serve, slowly reheat the soup over a medium heat – keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t boil as this would compromise the taste. Ladle into warm bowls, top with a handful of croutons and a generous scattering of cheese. 
Snug up and enjoy!
By Millie Norton

Meatball Winter Warmer

Now that the weather is turning colder (and the rain keeps falling) we want nothing more than to curl up in the evenings under a blanket, with a glass of (mulled) wine and some comfort food.   So we’ve decided to revisit one our favourite Meatball Winter Warmer recipe to warm you up…
Ingredients 
Makes 2
150/200g minced beef
1 tsp oregano
Healthy sprinkling of paprika
Healthy sprinkling of dry coriander leaves
Pinch of ground pepper
Pinch of salt
1 slice granary bread
1 egg yolk
1 ball of mozzerella
Knob of garlic butter
100g chopped tomatoes
Mixed dry herbs
2 multi-seeded rolls
Method
-       Make the breadcrumbs for the meatball by taking the slice of granary bread and rub it together so that crumbs form, make sure you have a mixing bowl to catch the falling crumbs
-       Cut two generous cubes from the ball of mozzarella ready to put inside the meatballs
-       Next combine the minced beef, breadcrumbs, oregano, paprika, dry coriander leaves, seasoning and combine together with the egg yolk
-       Once the mixture is held firmly together, take the mince mixture and roll into two large balls
-       Make a well (use your finger to push down in the centre of the minced ball) and place the cubed mozzarella in the centre – one cube per ball
-       Now roll into two full meatball shapes
-       Heat some oil in a frying pan – fry the meatballs on a low heat until browned on all sides
-       While the meatballs are cooking make the tomato sauce; place chopped tomatoes in a small saucepan and season, also add some herbs and the garlic butter (be as generous as you like)
-       Cook the tomato sauce until heated thoroughly and turn off the heat
-       When the meatballs are ready cut in half the fresh seeded roll and spoon the tomato sauce on the bread, then add the meatball (cut in half)
-       This is yummy for a winter lunch or snack – that melted mozzarella meatball in its garlic tomato sauce and fresh bread is just pure comfort heaven!

By Melodie Walter

Autumn Sausage Casserole

Whether we like it or not, it appears that summer is well and truly over (did it ever begin?). And as much hope as we’re all holding out for one last glorious Indian summer weekend, we might have to start accepting the inevitable.  Apart from the excuse to give your wardrobe a winter overhaul, the only other excuse to look forward to colder weather is the food. 
Say goodbye to salads and an enthusiastic hello to stews, soups and dumplings! Before you know it, it’ll be mince pie time.  But before we get too ahead of ourselves (mulled wine anyone?) here’s a quick and scrummy recipe for something that will warm your winter-dreading cockles:     
Serves 4  
6 sausages  
2 onions  
2 cloves of garlic  
1 can of chopped tomatoes  
1 can of butter beans  
3 bay leaves  
Splash of red wine and Worchester sauce   
Olive oil   
Method 
- Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and soften the onions and garlic. Turn the heat up slightly and then add the sausages, letting them brown all over. 
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, red wine and Worchester sauce to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the butter beans. 
- Cook for another 20 minutes (or for as longer if you need to paint your nails, chat on the phone, doll yourself up for a dinner date… Just don’t let the sauce cook dry).   
  
- Serve with some healthy greens or crusty bread.   
 Recipe By Yvonne Dickson  

When I Grow Up…

Following on with our When I grow up series, we caught up with textile designer Naomi Tuffery founder of Tuff Love, who specialise in creating stunning digitally printed silk scarves. Read on to find out how she managed to bag her dream job… 

You graduated with a degree in Textiles and Surface Design, was this is always your dream career?
Definitely not! When I finished my A-levels I thought ‘Oh gosh! What am I going to do with my life now?!’ I knew I wanted to do something arty but was unsure of the direction I wanted to go in so decided to do a foundation degree but was told they had no more places at my interview. I immediately thought it had all been a waste of time and that I was back at square one but the interviewer carried on talking with me and looked through my work and thought I was ready to go straight to degree and between us we hand-picked the Textiles and Surface Design on the spot. All of a sudden I was doing a degree! It was very surreal. Luckily when I started the course I fell in love with print design and that was when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. 

Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
A huge combination of things! I find that it’s pretty random, for example I may stumble across an old photograph and it will inspire a whole collection. All it takes is one initial thought to expand and lead onto other things…

Who would you most love to see wearing one of your designs?
I think I would say Kate Middleton. She has become such a fashion icon and she dresses very smart, classy and sleek – A look that I think my scarves go with perfectly.

Do you have a favourite piece?
I have a couple in the collection that I like the most but if I had to pick I would say my Winter scarf print, partly because of how it came about. Last year I went out to my car and it was completely covered in the most beautiful intricate patterns that had been formed by the ice overnight. I photographed them and used them to design this piece. That then inspired the whole of the Seasons Collection.

 Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My mum. She is so supportive of me and my career. Having her motivate me and keep me positive keeps me going and not let me give up on my dream of being a successful textile designer. I’m getting there one day at a time and I wouldn’t be able to do it without her.
Describe your average day…
Well I work freelance and am building my business up at the moment so I have other part time work around it. This means most days I will work a shift at one of my part time jobs and then I will go home and try to do as much designing as I can in the evenings, or visa versa. I love to design in my room with a big mug of tea and background music or telly. My favourite days are when I have no other work on and I get to work from home all day creating beautiful things! I’m hoping one day I can quit the other jobs and that can be my full working week.

Any advice for our readers wanting to take the plunge for themselves?
Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do with your business. You don’t want to waste time and money investing in something that is not going to work. You need to look at every aspect of your idea and decide whether it is a good one. When it came to picking my label name it took me ages and before I finally settled with ‘Tuff Love’ I asked most of my friends and family what they thought. They all loved it and I’m so happy I stuck with that one.

Tell us something no one else knows about you…
I spend a lot of my time designing from my bed, drinking tea and eating chocolate! It is work, I promise!

What does the future hold for Tuff Love?
I will definitely be widening my range of products. At the moment I am just selling digitally printed silk scarves but soon I will have hand printed T-shirts available too. Then even further in the future I hope to have even more products!
Oh and as we’ve just released our music issue, we want to know what’s on your ipod at the moment?
 I am in love with ‘Waiting All Night’ by Rudimental! I cannot stop listening to it. It is definitely my favourite song at the moment. 

See more of Naomi’s designs on Etsy and Folksy, and at Nisbett and George

What we’re listening to…

You’ve seen the snow drifting past your window and you’ve felt the chilly Atlantic breeze but now it’s time for some soothing down tempo music (or in technical musical genre terms jazz trip hop).


Bonobo aka Simon Green is the mature and experienced man behind the calmingly beautiful music that Bonobo is. A producer, musician and DJ this man is responsible for most of the instrumentation that goes in to making his music. Bonobo in fact prefers live instrumentation over sample based production and is quite clearly a master when it comes to orchestrating layers and atmosphere in to his sound. With his years’ worth of industry experience circa 1999 he’s made four of his own distinctive and successful albums since then – most recently Black Sands in 2010) – and produced Andreya Triana’s album Lost Where I Belong in the same year. Now Bonobo’s back with a fifth album The North Borders which will be out next month.
Here’s the official video to his first single of the new album Cirrus. Retro vogue images mechanically flick in sync with clockwork structures simultaneously with the music. Who couldn’t love this?


You can order the album on iTunes and catch Bonobo playing live at Rock City in Nottingham on May 20.

By Melodie Walter

Honey Apple Pie

You’d be right in thinking that apple pie is not the most original dessert out there but we think it’s one of the most homely for a January treat, come rain or wind or flood (oh Britain how we love her erratic weather dearly). 
If you don’t make your own pastry it’s surprisingly straight forward and won’t cost you too many pennies, plus we’ve put our own twist on it it with honey, orange and spice.
Ingredients
Pastry
500g buy ready-made (or if you’d prefer make your own!)

Filling
2 large cooking apples
1 tsp cinnamon
125g soft light brown sugar
Juice of tangerine
2-3 tbsp honey
Demerara sugar

Method
* Heat the oven to 220C
* Roll out 2/3 of the pastry to fit a pie plate of 23cm
* Peel and core the apples and cut into thin slices
* Gently heat the orange juice, cinnamon and honey in a heavy based pan until the mixture starts to caramelise, then put in the apple slices until they are caramelised on both sides
* Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar and then pack it in the pastry case
* With a little warm water dampen the edges and of the pie rim and roll out a lid for the pie, press it on top and trim any excess edge
* Use a fork to press down the edge and prick the top of the pie
* Sprinkle Demerara sugar on top of the lid evenly
* Bake for 20mins and then reduce the heat to 180C and bake for a further 30mins
* Serve hot with cream

By Melodie Walter

Winter Warmer

After coming in cold from our celebrations on Bonfire Night, we thought of something we could eat as a comforting warm-up snack for us and our friends. This one is really easy to make and great for making big batches for cold-nosed guests. Check our first winter-warmer of the season!


Ingredients
3x Baking potato (medium)
1 red pepper
1 avocado
1 tub soft cream cheese
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp oregano
3 rashers bacon
Handful grated cheese 

Method
-       Pre heat oven to 190 C
-       Bake potatoes for hour and a half (or until soft)
-       Pre-make filling: chop pepper, avocado and mix with spices and bacon and the soft cream cheese
-       Scrape out potato from skin of the jackets and combine with the filling mixture
-       Grill the bacon rashers until they are nearly done
-       Chop and mix with the filling mixture and then put the filling back inside the jackets
-       When you are ready to have your winter warmers, simply place on tray with tin foil and put in the oven for twenty minutes (warm oven to 180 C)
-       Enjoy with a good ‘warming’ Indian beer!

By Melodie Walter

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