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My recipe and method for homemade bread (without the breadmaker)

You know those projects that haunt you? Those things you have literally been meaning to get round to doing for years? Well this my friends is one of them…. It is at least 3 years since I promised a friend of mine that I’d make a video showing how I make my homemade bread and for those 3 years a series of not particularly interesting or very good reasons have held me back from doing it.

In the end it transpired that all I really needed to get past the obstacles I was putting in front of myself, was a £7.99 tablecloth… but there we go… it is done now!

Our family have been passionate breadmakers for about the last 15 years ever since my sister and brother-in-law went on a breadmaking course with Richard Bertinet. My mum makes a lot of breadsticks, whilst we mostly specialise in this loaf and pizza bases. My brother-in-law has progressed to sour dough and foccacia, his bakes are always a bit of a treat!

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samsung american fridge freezer review

It’s funny the way things pan out, nine years ago when we fitted out our kitchen with dedicated space and plumbing for an American fridge freezer we could never have predicted that it would take nearly a decade before we were able to fill the space with the appliance it was designed to fit, nor that we would have to wait equally as long to have a summer that really allowed it to come into its own!

For the last month while we have basked in glorious sunshine, our standard size fridge freezer has been bursting at the seams as we have attempted to chill all the things required for summer entertaining and in our garage our overflow freezer which we normally turn off for the hottest months, has been drafted in for extra duties, keeping bags of ice cool for drinks at barbecues.

But all that changed last week when thanks to AO.com we joined the American Fridge Freezer club and I can truly say it was worth the wait!

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cheats barbecue supper without the barbecue

Barbecues are the taste of summer, but like everything in life there are times when we need to cheat a little. Sometimes it’s because we are cooking for a crowd and can’t fit everything on the grill and sometimes it’s because we don’t have the time or the inclination to get the barbecue out.

This post brings together three great summer supper cheats with no charcoal involved…

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Solent Sea Bass with Isle of Wight tomatoes in a brick oven

I think living on the south coast of England we are rather spoiled with our options of local food. Up in the downs is the Goodwood Estate, where you can dine at the newly launched Farmer, Butcher, Chef restaurant eating a meal which has been entirely reared on the farm and down closer to the sea, you can have lunch fresh from the harbour. Of course if you want to prepare your own dishes there are some great local suppliers on the Sussex/Hampshire border that you can buy from too, here are a few of my favourites…

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From Epic Fail… to Cupcake Master with the Kenwood Chef XL

Last year we started a new tradition for Theo. He has an August birthday, so misses out on taking treats in to school for his classmates, so instead, as he was born in Scotland, he celebrates St Andrews Day with Saltire themed cupcakes.


This seemed like a great idea in principle, but last year’s baking attempt was a bit of a disaster! The cakes rose with a little mound in the middle and the thin icing I attempted all ran to the edges leaving naked cracked cupcake mountains. It was not the Pinterest worthy moment I had been dreaming of!

With the end of November started looming again this year, I was wondering how to overcome last year’s obstacles when AO.com stepped in and offered me a Kenwood Chef to review. I’ve considered purchasing a stand mixer for years, but I wasn’t sure they were really worth the money or the space on the worktop. The St Andrews cupcake challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to find out if they were…

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