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April 15th 2014
Bunny hero

HOP TO IT! EASTER BUNNY CROCHET

Rachel from our home buying team shows us how to re-create her adorable crochet bunnies for Easter…

Just in time for the Easter celebrations, our very own crochet expert Rachel from the Laura Ashley home buying team, has spun these adorable crochet bunnies. A sweet addition to your Easter décor, it’s not too late to tap into your crafty side for the egg-citing celebrations! Whether you’re a dab hand at crochet or looking for a beginner project, now’s your chance….

 

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You will need:

  • Wool
  • 4mm crochet hook
  • Wadding (Or can use anything for stuffing)
  • Needle

Abbreviations:

Sc = Single crochet

Ch = Chain

Sc2tog = Single crochet 2 together (Decrease)

Instructions:

The Body

Row 1: Chain 7

1

Row 2: Sc in 2nd ch from hook. 1 sc in each ch across. Ch 1, turn (6sc)

Row 3: 2 sc in first st, 1 sc in the next 4 sc, 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn (8)

Row 4: 2 sc in first st, 1 sc in the next 6 sc, 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn (10)

Row 5: 2 sc in first st, 1 sc in the next 8 sc, 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn (12)

Row 6: 1 sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn (12)

Row 7-9: Repeat row 6

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Row 10: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 8 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (10)

 

10

 

Row 11: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 6 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (8)

Row 12: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 4 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (6)

Row 13: 2sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next 4 sc, 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn (8)

Row 14: 2sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next 6 sc, 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn (10)

 

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Row 15: 2sc in the first st, 1 sc in the next 8 sc, 2 sc in the last st. Ch 1, turn (12)

Row 16: 1 sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn (12)

Row 17: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 8 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (10)

Row 18: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 6 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (8)

Row 19: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 4 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (6)

 

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Row 20: sc2tog, 1 sc in the next 2 sc, sc2tog. Ch 1, turn (4)

The Ears

Row 21: sc in first 2 sts. Ch 1, turn (2sc)

Row 22: 2 sc in first st, 2sc in second st. Ch 1, turn (4sc)

Row 23: sc in each st across. Ch 1, turn (4sc)

Row 24 – 26: Repeat row 23

Row 27: sc2tog, sc2 tog. Ch 1

 

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Tie off.

Attach the yarn again at row 21 and repeat steps to complete the other ear.

Now you have a completed bunny shape! Repeat pattern again to make the second side.

 

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Construction

Cut and tidy any loose threads – make sure they are secure.

Lay the two bunny shapes on top of each other, starting at the bottom of once side sew around the outside using a needle and yarn. Don’t sew all the way around, leave the bottom open.

 

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Turn the bunny inside out so all the stitching is on the inside and now you are ready to fill.

 

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I am using wadding but you can use any filling of choice. Starting with smaller bits, start to stuff the ears and then the body. You can shape the bunny as you go, using more or less stuffing in parts.

 

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Now sew up the bottom.

 

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Once finished you can decorate your bunnies however you like. Maybe add some eyes or fabric bow ties!

 

We couldn’t resist hopping on the Easter celebrations early, how do you like our bunny scene below?

 

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Whitby Camomile Check Lined Basket / Mini Egg Chocolates / Easter Egg Hunt Kit  - All available in-store.

 

Will you be trying your hand at Rachel’s crochet Easter bunnies? We love to see a snap if you do, tweet us at @LauraAshleyUK

March 21st 2014
HERO

Set your Easter table with Homemaker magazine

Homemaker Magazine shares it’s ideas for a stylish Easter celebration

Set the scene this Easter with a touch of handmade. Tap into your crafty side and hop on the celebrations with our buffet of DIY decs. Create mini bird nests, print onto duck eggs and whip up a ten minute display to place on a windowsill or sideboard, all in one afternoon.

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Duck eggs

 

You’ll need:

- White duck eggs

- Black ink-pad

- Mini alphabet stamps

 

Using black ink, carefully stamp individual letters onto the egg shell to create inspirational words. Set aside to dry and then display as a table centrepiece.

 

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Bird Nests

 

You’ll need:

- Coconut hanging basket liner

- Small feathers in yellow, natural and white, Hobbycraft

- Natural twine and darning needle

- Shredded paper

- Small twigs from the garden

- Decorative eggs

- Small polystyrene eggs

 

1. Pull a length of coconut fibre from the liner and wind it into a nest shape. Thread the darning needle with a length of twine, then weave it in a circle fairly near to the base. Pull up the twine to secure the nest shape, then tie the two ends together.

2. Push small twigs into the coconut fibres; line the nest with an assortment of feathers in your colour scheme, shredded tissue paper and then a couple of eggs to finish. Use as a table centrepiece, or pop one on each plate to create a pretty place setting for each person.

Frame on a windowsill

 

Art display

You’ll need:

- Cream wooden frame

- Music tissue paper

- Turquoise paper

- Twig from the garden

- Small polystyrene eggs

- Coconut hanging basket liner

- Small feathers in yellow, natural and white

- Cream spray paint

- Spray adhesive

- Hot glue gun

 

1. Find a small twig from your garden, let it dry out, then spray the twig with cream paint – it may need a couple of coats. Whilst the twig is drying, using the spray adhesive, stick music tissue paper to turquoise paper. Cut to fit the back of the frame.

2. Dismantle the frame, removing the glass, and re-assemble with the music paper. Stick the sprayed twig into the inside edge of the frame using a hot glue gun; you may find you have to position and stick extra pieces of twig to create a pleasing shape. Finally, make a tiny nest from coconut fibre, place a few feathers into it along with an egg covered in music tissue paper.

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Create beautiful lunch settings for your guests to really set the scene. First, we started with Laura Ashley’s Seaspray Fabric Placemats, then we personalised each napkin with pretty ribbons and a hand-stamped tag, and finally displayed delicate daffs in sweet milk bottles.

 

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Want more? You can find the rest of this series (plus so much more!) in issue 17 of Homemaker, out today. If you like the sound of Homemaker magazine, don’t forget to subscribe! Why not treat yourself to three issues for only £6 by clicking here.

Browse the Laura Ashley range of Easter goodies here.

March 20th 2014
curtains hero

FILM: OUR BESPOKE CURTAINS & BLINDS

Go inside the factory and meet the conscientious people who make our curtains & blinds…

The attention to detail and craft that goes into each and every one of our bespoke made to order curtains and blinds is second to none. In this short film, meet the highly talented people that invest their time and talent into making items, which are entirely unique to our customer, in our factory in Wales…

Shop Made To Measure Curtains here
Shop Made To Measure Blinds here

March 11th 2014
Hero

DISCOVERING THE ROMANCE OF VINTAGE FLORISTRY

We uncover the beauty of vintage floristry at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers…

Neatly tucked away in London’s St Martins courtyard is the charming Covent Garden Academy of Flowers. A beautiful sight to behold, chances are if you’ve stumbled across this hidden nook of Covent Garden you will have spotted the romantic blooms that dot the florist’s entrance. Peering in a little closer, we were delighted to spy that they also run a variety of classes, for those who wish to brush up their flower arranging skills or those who fancy stepping into the world of floristry.

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Intrigued by the Vintage Flowers day course, our Social Media Assistant Sarah was excited to don her pinny (floral, of course) and fashion together a charming bouquet of her own..

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Making our way down the spiraling staircase, we were met by the fragrant aroma of fresh blooms that are flown in especially from Holland. Taking our seat in the main workshop, we were in full admiration of the floristry team, passionately piecing together their next floral masterpiece around us.

As a beginner to floristry and unsure of what to expect, Gillian, the Principal of the academy, put the intimate class at ease as we each introduced ourselves. Talking us through her wealth of experience and what the day would entail, we were captivated by Gillian’s passion for all things floral..

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Similar to fashion trends, the floristry world has its own distinct styles that come and go, more recently the charming appeal of vintage floral arrangements. Embracing the meaning behind vintage, we were talked through the elegance, glamour and romance associated with this beautiful style.

Getting started, Gillian talked us through the importance of conditioning the flowers in preparation. From stripping the roses and greenery of excess leaves to trimming stems, we discussed the best way to nurture and preserve your blooms (insider tip: fresh water!).

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With our flowers and foliage at the ready, we watched in awe as Gillian pieced together her bouquet in a spiraling fashion. With an assortment of antique roses, lemon balm and eucalyptus, Gillian worked together the greenery and foliage before adding in her chosen flowers.

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Now it was our turn! Inspired by Gillian’s creation and drawing on our ideas of vintage, we were free to choose whichever flowers that took our fancy. Not being able to take our eyes off the large white and pink roses, it was soon decided that these were to be the basis of our Laura Ashley vintage bouquet. Gathering a rich green foliage mixed with spray and wax flowers, it was now time to put our newly learnt skills into practice.

Easier said than done, Gillian and her team were on hand to guide us through. With a desired bouquet taking shape, we then adopted the academy’s step-by-step approach to presentation, complete with their signature ribbon!

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Placing our bouquets to one side, we talked through the various ways to present your vintage floral arrangements. Collectable items such as elegant crockery to period teapots, retro glassware and vintage bottles; we picked the pretty Rose Hill China cup and saucer for the basis of our next floral display.

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Taking any left over greenery and small buds, we placed a square chunk of oasis in our cup and set about creating a pretty tea-cup posy.  To complement the duck egg blue of the Laura Ashley Rose Hill design, we snipped stems short and slotted in our pink rose buds and foliage cuts.

A beautiful way of arranging any left overs, this unique arrangement would work wonderfully at tea parties or even used as a place setting at a wedding.

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Rose Hill China Cup and Saucer 

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Now it was time for the technical part, creating a floral corsage. Snipping a cream rose, a sprig of spray flowers and dark green leaves, we followed Gillian as she fashioned through a thin piece of wire into the leaves and secured the corsage with stretchy green tape. After trial and error, we eventually created our own button-hole arrangement..

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What do you think? Not bad for a first time!

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An enchanting day all round, the Vintage Floristry course was truly inspiring and provided us with the need-to-know tips on rustling up our own bouquet. With the vintage style being the trend of the moment, it was interesting to understand the specifics of which flowers embody this look. Working step-by-step under Gillian’s guidance, each of us in the class worked at our own leisurely pace, joining together to share our ideas and understanding of vintage floristry.

 

With our beautiful bouquets in hand, we left fully inspired with our minds whirring with what our next floral arrangement might be…

For more information on the range of courses at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers click here.

To browse our china Rose Hill range click here.

March 5th 2014
BLOGGER OF THE MONTH HERO

MONTHLY BLOGGER CRUSH: MARCH

Introducing Aimiee, our go-to cookery and craft blogger at Wallflower Girl…

Now that we find ourselves in the month of March, our healthy eating plans are becoming a little more challenging. Rekindling our love affair with all things sweet, our blogger crush of the moment has certainly swayed us with her delicious baking treats and mouthwatering recipes.

With her creative flair and culinary creations, let us warmly introduce our March blogger crush… Aimee the author behind the blog Wallflower Girl.

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Almond & Rose ‘Hidden Heart’ Cookies

‘Cookery, craft and hobbies of a homebody’ is the mantra behind Aimee’s blog. An all round lover of food and all things homely, Aimee has opened up a world of wonderful foodie masterpieces, introducing us to new ingredients, creative ideas and noteworthy tips. Bursting onto our blogger radar, Wallflower Girl first caught our attention when we spotted her famous Ned Flanders flan recipe (yes really! see here), we later stumbled across her genius gluten-free and vegan recipes – in fact she has a whole section devoted to specialist dietary recipes. Easy to follow and undoubtedly delicious, Wallflower Girl is our first stop for inspiring sweet treats.

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Her camera work is second to none, beautifully shot and styled to perfection.

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Forget penpals, its all about the foodie pal! Aimee introduces us to her network of Foodie Parcels where like-minded bloggers send each other culinary boxes filled with a range of weird and wonderful foodie snacks.

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We caught up with Aimee to hear all about Wallflower Girl…

How did ‘Wallflower Girl’ come about?

Wallflower Girl came about nearly two years ago when I was stuck at home recovering from illness. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I turned to my hobbies (cooking and crafts) to keep me occupied. My friends and family then encouraged me to start blogging my creations, so I did and have enjoyed doing it ever since!

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DIY Floral Cupcakes

Whilst her passion for all things scrumptious, Aimee’s blog also plays host to her other crafty creations. From a make-your-own oil candle lamp to flower arranging, her all-round crafty spirit has us truly inspired.

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Lemon Drizzle Slices 

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Apple & Cheddar Soft Pretzels

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DIY Gingerbread Scrub

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Having a blog is a great motivator to do creative things. It keeps you thinking of new ideas and keeps you engaged with your hobbies and passions – that’s what I enjoy most, and find the most rewarding about blogging.

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Vegan Mushroom and Chestnut Pie

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Gluten Free Jaffa Cakes

What inspires you to write?

My desire to make, bake and photograph things! If I’m running low on food inspiration, I turn to my old cookbooks or see what people are cooking on Pinterest, Foodgawker and food blogs for some ideas. I’m also inspired by the challenge of making recipes that are allergy and diet-friendly – and that takes a lot of experimentation but it’s very rewarding when it goes to plan.

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Chocolate & Lavender Cupcakes 

 

What are your top bookmarked blogs?

- Call Me Cupcake, beautiful baking recipes & inspiration.

- My Little Fabric, lovely DIY & food inspiration with gorgeous photography.

- Frolic blog,  lots of floral goodness and more wonderful photography.

 

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Strawberry Milkshake Fudge 

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Chocolate, Blackberry & Ginger Crunch Cake

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Danish Butter Cookies

 

What is your must-have item from Laura Ashley?

I am in love with the Bramley Rocking Chair, I’ve always had a fondness for rocking chairs and this one is beautiful!

Be sure to bookmark Aimee’s blog Wallflower Girl to never miss one of her scrumptious posts! Don’t forget to follow her Pinterest either, it’s a goldmine of recipes.

February 21st 2014
Desk Tidy Hero

SPRING CLEAN: MAKE & DO A DESK TIDY

Homemaker magazine celebrates our nation’s history by upcycling old magazines…

Flicking through old mags is like peering through a keyhole into an era gone by; the language, content and even advertisements all speak of what the reader, and by extension, society, held as important. We’ve devised this project to bring vintage magazines into the forefront of the home, so others may benefit from these little snippets of the past. And who knows, in forty years time, perhaps you’ll be cutting up an issue of Homemaker for the exact same purpose!

Main Image

 

You’ll need:

- Old magazines,

- Self-assembly letter rack,

- Kaisercraft

- Acrylic paint

- PVA

 

Instructions: 

 

1. Paint the edges of each piece of the desk tidy with coloured acrylic paint.

2. Trim magazine pages to size and paste in place with PVA.

3. Leave the glue to dry before carefully trimming away any overhang with a craft knife. Remember to cut away any paper that is covering the assembly slots.

4. Cover the other side of each panel in the same way, then glaze the completed collages with PVA.

5. Reassemble the desk tidy when dry, using a thick PVA to strengthen the joins.

 

The desk tidy is certainly motivating us to spring clean our desks, clearing away the clutter and storing all our  pretty stationary neat and organised. Never fear if you haven’t got any old magazines available, why not use wallpaper instead? We’ve hand-picked our top printed wallpapers that would work perfectly for this project…

WALLPAPER

Marchmont Linen Pearlescent Wallpaper / Lanterns Patterned Wallpaper / Floral Trellis Dove Grey Patterned Wallpaper / Aviary Garden Apple Green Wallpaper 

 

Like the sound of Homemaker magazine crafts? Don’t forget to subscribe! Why not treat yourself to three issues for only £6 by clicking here.

OFC

February 10th 2014
Valentines Hero

VALENTINE’S RECIPE: Love Hearts with Rhubarb & Stem Ginger

Show your love with this delicious Meringue Girls Valentine’s recipe…

If a home cooked dinner is on the cards for Valentine’s Day, why not make things even sweeter with this utterly adorable recipe from The Meringue Girls? Re-create these delicious Meringue Love Hearts with Rhubarb and Stem Ginger for that very special someone this Valentines Day…

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Before you can get started constructing your hearts, you need to whip together our basic Meringue Girls Mixture. Our meringue to sugar ratio is very easy to remember – it is double the amount of sugar to egg whites. A medium egg white weights 30g – so use 60g of caster sugar. This is failproof mixture we use for both kisses, big meringues and pavlovas.

 

Ingredients

For the meringue:

- 150g egg whites (5 eggs)
- 300g caster sugar

 

For the whipped cream:

- 250ml double cream

- 1 ½ tbsp. icing sugar

 

To decorate:

- 2-3 stems of fresh rhubarb

- 2-3 balls of stem ginger

- A tbsp. of icing sugar

- A tbsp. of caster sugar

 

Method

 

1) Start by lining a large flat baking tray with baking paper.

2) Preheat oven to 200c. Line a deep roasting tray with baking paper, pour in caster sugar and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes until the edges are just beginning to caramelise. Heating the sugar helps to create a glossy, stable mixture.

3) Meanwhile, crack the egg whites into your Kitchen Aid bowl, or a non-plastic bowl. Make sure your bowl and whisk are free from grease. At first whisk slowly allowing small stabilising bubbles to form, then increase the speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks.

4) The sugar should be ready to take out of the oven at this point.

5) Turn your oven down to 100˚C.

6) While you whisk at full speed, slowly, big spoon by spoon, add the hot sugar to the meringue mixture.  Once you have added all of the sugar, continue to whisk on full speed for about 5-7 minutes. Feel a bit of the mixture between your fingers, if you can still feel the gritty sugar keep whisking at full speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, stiff and glossy.

7) Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 100˚C/gas ¼ , and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Fill a piping bag with your meringue mixture and cut a 20p-sized hole in the tip, then dollop the corners of the baking paper with some mixture and use like glue to keep the paper nice and secure on the baking sheet.

8) Start by piping a medium heart shape, and then fill in the middle with more meringue mixture. Build up the walls of the heart by piping around the edges two more times. For a smoother, more natural shape, use damp fingers to smooth the base and edges before baking. Continue to pipe the rest of the hearts.

9) Bake for 45 minutes or until the meringues lift off the baking paper with their bases intact. If the bases of the hearts are still gooey, turn off the oven and place them back in the oven to cool for another 15 minutes.

10) Once cooked, leave to cool. If you’re not quite ready to serve them, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

11) When you are ready to serve, preheat your oven to 180c, then chop the rhubarb into small fingers, place in a small roasting tray and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of caster sugar. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the rhubarb pieces are soft but still holding their shape.

12) Chop the stem ginger into neat slithers, then whip the double cream with some icing sugar until it holds soft peaks.

 13) To finish then decorate your hearts with the pink rhubarb and fiery stem ginger.

 

The perfect way to win over your loved one’s sweet tooth! Let us know if you re-create this scrumptious recipe, we would love to see a snap on twitter @LauraAshleyUK.

If you fancy whipping up more Meringue Girls recipes check out their new book, jam-packed full of delicious creations.

February 6th 2014
facebook fans hero

THANK YOU – WE’VE REACHED 100,000 FANS ON FB!

A thank you to our facebook fans: £10 OFF WHEN YOU SPEND £75* ONLINE

We couldn’t quite believe our eyes when we reached 100,000 fans on Facebook. Wiping a huge smile across our social media team’s face goes without saying but first and foremost we’re just ecstatic that you are feeling the Laura Ashley facebook love! As a thank you we decided to spell it out in flowers, carefully selected fresh from Covent Garden Flower Market our visual team set about creating a giant 100k made up of blooms. To mark this mutual affection we’d also like to offer you £10 off when you spend £75* online with the code N575 until Friday 14th February…

*TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY: £10 off when you spend £75 until 14th February 2014. Available online at www.lauraashley.com only with the code N575. £10 off when you spend £75 cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. This offer is not redeemable instore. Not open to Laura Ashley employees. Excludes Guardsman, Design Service Fee, Delivery charges, Giftcards and licensing products.

January 31st 2014
the gate hero

WHITE BEAN, ROOT VEGETABLE & PESTO SOUP RECIPE

Vegetarian restaurant The Gate loan us this winter warming recipe…

This month we have been raising our healthy eating game by getting our daily fill of vegetables. Having heard great things about new Vegetarian restaurant The Gate (described by Observer Food Monthly as having ‘turned vegetables into chic little explosions of taste”) we got in touch with the owners for an aspiring winter warming vegi recipe…

 

White bean, root vegetable and pesto soup with a sundried tomato and Twinham Grange croute recipe

 

INGREDIENTS:

Vegetable stock x 3 ltr, leeks x 1, carrots x 2, onion x 2, bay leaves, 2 sticks of celery

Pesto x 50g pine nuts, 1 bunch of fresh basil, 1 lemon, 100ml olive oil and seasoning

Soup base

1 x medium celeriac

1 x large potato

2 x carrots

1 x medium butternut

Diced vegetables

2 x sticks of celery

3 x medium carrots

1 x large onion

2 x tablespoons olive oil

Croute

8 x 1/2″ cut french bread rounds

8 x soft sundried tomatoes

1 x clove of garlic

1 x teaspoon tomato puree

60g grated Twinham Grange hard cheese

Finish for the soup

12 x cherry tomatoes

200g cannellini beans

Bay leaf

 

Method

Soak beans overnight, then bring to the boil with bay leaf and simmer for 2 hours and 15 minutes until tender. Cool in cold water and set aside.

Vegetable stock; add all ingredients together, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours then drain. Roughly cut the soup base vegetables, add to the stock and cook until all the vegetables are tender, blend together until smooth and silky, add seasoning to taste.

Cut cherry tomatoes in half and lay evenly on a tray, season with salt and cook in a low oven for 1 hour 30 mins at 130°c and leave to one side.

Cut the vegetables – to be diced at 1/8″, sweat gently in olive oil with no colour until soft and tender, and drain off excess oil.

For the pesto, blend the pine nuts but not to a pulp, add oil and lemon juice then basil until correct consistency, season.

For the croute, blend the sun dried tomato, garlic and puree together with seasoning, spread the mix onto bread evenly and place in an oven at 160°c for 10 minutes, grate cheese, sprinkle over and bake for a further 15 minutes.

To finish the soup, divide cannellini beans into each bowl, pour the soup base over the beans, add diced cooked vegetables into the middle of each bowl, arrange the tomatoes, add small spoons of pesto then place the croutes in the middle. Add a drizzle of a good olive oil to taste.

 

To visit The Gate’s website take a look here

January 28th 2014
thrifty mrs hero

6 Tips for a Thrifty End Of January

Savvy El shares her top tips on how to be thrifty..

January is an odd month isn’t it? There’s that long wait for payday after the festive season, plonked firmly on top of those new years resolutions to be better with finances. However by this stage of the month resolutions and the excitement of the new year have worn off, making mid-end of January a realistic time to take your finances in hand but this time for real!

 

1.    Ladies (and gents) that lunch

Switch your shop bought sandwich for a homemade packed lunch and you could save yourself on average £2.50 a day. Working out at £12.50 a week in your pocket.

 

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2.    Keep the heat in

Heating a home is expensive so it’s important to make sure you are keeping as much of the heat inside your house as possible. My favourite no sew trick is to grab a newspaper, roll it up, wrap in my favourite fabric (oh hello delicious Silver Birch fabric!) or a second hand knitted blanket and secure the ends with ribbon so it looks like a Christmas cracker. Now simply pop this in front of a draughty door to act as a draught excluder. I blogged about this homemade draught excluder over on my blog.

 

3.    Create Christmas 2014

Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? Oh I know, I know, don’t raise your eyebrow at me like that! Seriously though, go and gather up Christmas cards you were sent and cut off the pretty front and chop into a festive shape (Christmas tree, star, bell etc.). Now use a hole punch in one corner and loop through some ribbon or string – et voila gift tags to stash away for Christmas 2014!

 

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Serena Seaspray Natural Wallpaper

4.    Old to new

If you have a piece of furniture which isn’t quite doing it for you why not give it a new lease of life for the brand new year? For example, you can line drawers and cupboards with some leftover wallpaper or sand a rundown sideboard or second hand chair along with a lick of paint to give it a whole new appearance. Laura Ashley’s colour (which is an online exclusive) Lichen would be perfect for those ugly pine coloured chairs you have languishing in the garage.

 

5.    Auction off your odds and ends

Did aunty Gladys buy you something strange for Christmas this year? Have you gone off that band but have a heap of vinyl sitting in the spare room? What about those shoes which pinch your toes? Don’t let this stuff clutter up your life and drag you down! Pop it all on an auction or second hand sales site quick smart. And don’t worry about having to spend ages labouring over a description and taking photos, instead use the appropriate smart phone app. I love the eBay app because I simply take the photo with my phone and insert into the description without having to search for my camera cable or so much as open my laptop.

 

cardigans ATM

Colour Block Cashmere Touch Cardigan / Cherry Pink Cotton Mix Scallop Trim Top / Cotton Rich Mixed Print Cardigan / Fairisle Stripe Soft Touch Cardigan

6.    Sensible sales

There are still a few sales out there at the moment but don’t get caught up buying things just because they have 80% lopped off the price! However if you do have cash to spare now may be the time to snap up gifts for upcoming birthdays throughout the year. I’ve stashed away a few DVD boxsets for a friend who adores a black and white movie and the sales on Laura Ashley cardigans has certainly made buying a birthday gift for my mother in law a heck of a lot easier and cheaper this year!

 

You can find my blogging daily at A Thrifty Mrs, tweeting @AThriftyMrsUK or pinning up a storm over on Pinterest here.