Hello Spring!

Easter ideas and Spring savings

We love Spring. Not only do we get to enjoy a long bank holiday weekend, but it’s usually the first chance of the year to get stuck into the garden after Winter.

We know Spring cleaning isn’t just happening in the garden, looking at our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we can see some of you taking advantage of the warmer weather and getting the house in shipshape too! Continue reading

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Recipes For The Easter Holidays

Easter is a time of eating lots of sugary goodness and although it is fairly easy these days to just nip out to the shop and buy some treats off the shelves, its still nice to make something at home and get the whole family involved with the fun. You will likely need to keep an eye on the kids though, to make sure they don’t eat all your ingredients. So… If you enjoy cooking and baking then we have some fantastic recipes to share with you this Easter.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

We cant miss out a recipe for some lovely Hot Cross Buns. Traditionally you eat hot cross buns on Good Friday. Its a tough bake but well worth the effort. Once ready to eat, serve warm with lashings of melted butter, perfect for a snack on Good Friday.

Go To Recipe…

Home Made Cadburys Creme Eggs

Home Made Cadburys Creme Eggs

This recipe isn’t for the faint hearted, its fairly technical and might end up with a rather messy kitchen. However, should you be successful the results are brilliant and very tasty. This just goes to show how much of a bargain you are getting when you buy a pre-made Creme Egg for under a pound.

Go To Recipe…

Cadburys Creme Egg Milkshake

Cadburys Creme Egg Milkshake

This recipe is easy enough to make in your sleep. Its also one of the tastiest milkshakes I have ever drank meaning I will be stocking up on plenty of Creme Eggs and having these in the summer to cool off.

Simply grab some ice cream, creme eggs and milk. Now blend, DONE!

Go To Recipe…

Candy Bird Nests

Candy Bird Nests

These little snacks remind me slightly of chocolate covered rice crispy treats. These are made in a similar way by coating the main ingredient with melted chocolate and leaving to set. You can even go all the way and really impress with this recipe as it goes as far to show you how to make all the little floral extras surrounding the snack itself.

Go To Recipe…

Marshmallow Peeps!

Marshmallow Peeps!

These are perfect tasty little treats for the kids. You could serve up these delightful marshmallow birds with the Candy Bird Nests or as a little something extra to the hot cross buns on Good Friday.

Go To Recipe…

Lemon Curd Pavlovas

Lemon Curd Pavlovas

If your looking for a quick bake, this one isn’t for you, this one takes time and dedication of a good few days. If you do decide to take this challenge on then you can be sure that the results will be impressive and will hopefully wow any guests you are having over for dinner.

Go To Recipe…

Enjoy Your Easter Holidays!

Easter Sunday 2013

Easter Bunny

This year Easter Sunday is March 31st and every child (or adult with a secret inner child) is looking forward to a massive sugar rush, by eating hundreds of lovely chocolate eggs. I thought today I would recognize the origins of Easter and the reason it exists in the first place.

Easter is famously a religious festival recognized by Christians which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. It is held on a different date each year and is dictated by the movement of the seasons. The holiday was established hundreds of years ago by the First Council Of Nicaea, and it was decided to be held on the first Sunday after the full moon following the March Equinox. Due to the holidays religious links of the Resurrection of Jesus, Easter tends to symbolize new life, and usually falls in perfect time with spring which conveniently is also the beginning of natures yearly renewal of life.

With the birth of new life being celebrated there comes the tradition of eggs being consumed a lot around Easter. With this tradition we can’t forget to include a mention of the classic Easter Bunny. From my research there doesn’t seem to be any solid origin of the Easter Bunny, however there may be a few ties into religion with it being a fertility symbol but I can’t be 100% certain. All I know for sure is that he’s incredibly cute and makes children’s day by delivering them plenty of chocolate from his basket.

With eggs, chocolate or real, we love them this time of year. If you take a look around your local community you may find that there may be a local egg hunt running for the children but if you really want to get involved with the UK’s biggest Easter egg hunt then visit The Big Egg Hunt website. There you can find information about the huge Easter Egg Hunt happening this year where there will be large Easter eggs hidden around cities all over the country for you to find. It sounds like great fun and If you live in one of the cities they are covering why not go out with your friends hunting for some eggs while you buy the family the huge stash of chocolate they desire so much.

Painted Eggs

It can also be great fun this time of year to rally the kids together and decorate some hard boiled eggs ready to take part in an egg rolling competition or an egg and spoon race. It has been tradition to roll decorated eggs down grassy hills for hundreds of years now in the UK and to this day they still have an egg rolling competition on the Whitehouse lawn every year in the USA. If you are planning on decorating some eggs this year with your kids, why not share pictures of your creations with us on our Facebook page?

The Perfect Pancake Recipe

The Perfect Pancake Recipe for Pancake Day

You may already be aware that Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day in Britain is coming up. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday which symbolizes the first day of Lent. Traditionally on this day people would repent their sins before the beginning of Lent where upon six weeks of prayer and fasting was undertaken until a celebratory feast on Easter Sunday to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

You may also be interested to know that many other places around the world still celebrate the same day for the same reason but in very different ways. The Americans celebrate Shrove Tuesday in New Orleans where is is called “Mardi Gras” (French for Fat Tuesday). This tradition is also seen in many other places around Europe where an extravagant festival is held on the relevant day, however it may be called something entirely different like in the Netherlands where they have a festival Called “Canival” (Pronounced “Carni-Val”).

Here in Britain we have a slightly simpler event called “Pancake Day” where households around the country celebrate by eating lots of pancakes. This means most British people around this time of year are on the hunt looking for the right recipe to satisfy the family and their hunger. Well… Your in luck as we have a great traditional recipe we have written for you below, which is perfect for the fan of the thin crêpe style pancake. Alternatively if you prefer a more American style pancake then try out Nigella’s American Breakfast Pancakes, which I must say are simply delicious.

Ingredients

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs or 3 Small Eggs
  • 600ml Whole Milk
  • A Pinch Of Salt
  • Butter

Method

  1. First Off Weigh out your flour, now sieve it into a large bowl to remove any risk of lumps. Then create a well in the centre of the flour.
  2. Now crack you eggs into the well being careful not to get any shell in there and add a pinch of salt, then beat with a Whisk until you have a smooth mixture.
  3. Now add the milk to the mixture slowly, beating it in as you add it.
  4. Once you have a well beaten smooth batter, cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 15 – 20 mins.
  5. Now add a small slither of butter in a small pan and heat until very hot, then take a ladle of your batter and evenly coat the bottom of the pan making sure it remains thin.
  6. Once cooked on one side here is your chance to attempt the flip. Flip the pancake to its other side to cook, if you don’t feel confident you can always use a spatula but this can cause it to fall apart. 30 Seconds on each side should be sufficient.
  7. Now you can eat it, see below for some serving suggestions. =D

Serving Suggestions

The traditional way to serve pancakes is with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar. You can also serve with a selection of sweet sauces such as Honey, Golden Syrup, Chocolate Sauce, or any other Assorted Jams. Another Idea is To Serve with Fruit and Ice Cream, vanilla ice cream usually goes well and fits nicely with Blueberry’s, Raspberry’s or Strawberry’s. For an alternative you can instead serve pancakes with a nice crispy bacon, often this would be accompanied with Honey or Syrup but its not essential.

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Now your planning on spending an evening making pancakes you will surely want something to help protect you from batter flying everywhere when your whisking. This is where our wonderful chefs wear comes in handy. On our store we provide a large selection of chefs trousers, chefs aprons and chefs hats which should sort you out great for pancake day.