• Posts Tagged ‘country kitchen’

    Let’s eat cake

    by  • 15/01/2015 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Ginger Cake

    It’s January so you can’t move for healthy eating options. Salads without any interesting bits to zhush them up and green smoothies (blended kale and cucumber for breakfast – really?) seem to be a talking point at the moment but two weeks in and we are so over diets here at Country Days. This ginger cake is sort of healthy anyway – it doesn’t have frosting or sprinkles.

    Serves 6–8

    110g butter
    170g black treacle
    80g golden syrup
    225g plain flour
    55g dark brown sugar
    1 tsp mixed spice
    2 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp sodium bicarbonate
    125ml milk
    1 medium free range egg

    Grease and line two 15cm x 10cm [about 8.5cm deep] cake tins and set aside. Preheat the oven to 150°C, 130°C fan, 300°F, gas 2. Gently melt the butter, treacle and syrup and stir to combine. Place in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attached. Sieve the flour, brown sugar, mixed spice, ginger and sodium bicarbonate together and gradually add to the syrup mix until well combined. Add the milk and then the egg. Divide the mix between the cake tins and bake for approximately one hour or until a wooden skewer comes out of the cake clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins. Serve a slice with a freshly brewed cup of tea… and a piece of fruit if desired.

    *This recipe comes from The Chef Recipes Collection, new from Caple. This is their first hardback cookbook and you can order your copy online at caple.co.uk

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    Be inspired by a retro country kitchen

    by  • 06/01/2015 • Country style • 1 Comment

    Country Kitchen Country Days Country Homes and Interiors

    Here at Country Days we’re loving the trend for giving a modern twist to a classic country scheme with retro and vintage touches.

    And this wow country kitchen is a great example. Here, classic Shaker units in on-trend grey are combined with a stainless-steel range to create a soothing and stylish backdrop. Lighting with an industrial edge is used to make a statement above the island, while retro bar stools – in a pretty duck egg shade that really lifts the scheme – create the perfect spot to perch for a cuppa.

    Bring in extra warmth with a rustic wooden flooring such as Simply Oak from Kersaint Cobb for the perfect finishing touch.

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    The heart of the home

    by  • 02/12/2014 • Country style • 2 Comments

    Country kitchen diner Country Days Country Homes and Interiors

    It’s that time of the year when the country kitchen earns its place as the heart of the home. And here’s a stunning kitchen diner that’s perfect for the occasion. It blends classic country cabinets with a vintage-style dining area, and is replete with the natural tones of mellow wood and slate flagstones.

    A generous farmhouse table is just the thing for festive entertaining and, here, is set off beautifully by the characterful chapel chairs. Lighting plays a key role from both a style and practical point of view – rise and fall lamps enhance the mood of the eating area while industrial pendants act as task lighting above the island. Linking colours is key to the scheme – soft greys are carried through from the pendant lights to the painted base of the table and the splashback tiles for a co-ordinated look.

    To see more rooms from this beautiful house, visit http://bit.ly/1Fj9fx3






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    Festive stocking

    by  • 30/11/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Create this festive stocking follwoing Country Homes and Interiors blog

    At Christmas there can never be enough stockings! All the better if they match this seasons latest colour trend of muted greys with frosted touches bringing a real country winter feel. This one features in our January issue and is so simple to make. To find out how to make click here.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy craft projects for you to try. Happy crafting!

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    Seasonal treat: roasted chestnuts

    by  • 27/11/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    rosemary baked chestnuts

    On a crisp winter’s day, the smell of roasted chestnuts in the air is an instant lift. We love the idea of piling them in to twists of newspaper – so simple yet so delicious…

    Serves 4

    500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh unshelled chestnuts
    10 small knobs of butter
    4 sprigs of rosemary, torn into smaller stems
    1 tbsp coarse sea salt
    finely grated zest of 1 lemon

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Use a sharp knife to carefully cut a cross on the round side of each chestnut. Place them all in a baking dish and dot with the butter, rosemary, salt and lemon zest. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until golden and the shells have opened slightly. They are best eaten while still warm, but they are also a great addition to salads. Simply peel off the outer and inner skins (they’ll come away together for the most part) and enjoy.

    *Recipe from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (£25, Hardie Grant Books)


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    Table talk

    by  • 25/11/2014 • Country style • 1 Comment


    Love French style? Then you’ll adore this country kitchen with its pretty dining area that’s reminiscent of a chic French manor house or elegant farmhouse.

    The scheme blends classic French-style furniture with pretty faded florals. Set the scene with distressed cane-back chairs that have a characterful, timeworn feel, then add linen seat pads for extra comfort. Make sure the table has the relaxed touch that’s key to informal occasions by laying it with a cloth in a faded floral such as Oyster Christobel fabric by Kate Forman. A mesh-fronted armoire keeps the look cohesive and is the perfect place to store artisan crockery.


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    Comfort food in a loaf

    by  • 20/11/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Sausage and tomato plait

    The simple things… Sometimes all you need is the smell of a home baked loaf wafting around your kitchen to transform your day. This one is packed with herby sausagemeat and squidgy semi-dried tomatoes – such a tasty combination – and best served straight up.

    600g good-quality sausagemeat
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    50g breadcrumbs
    3 tbsps chopped oregano
    1 tbsp chopped thyme, plus extra leaves for sprinkling
    Sea salt and black pepper
    Butter or oil for greasing
    Flour for dusting
    500g all-butter puff pastry
    150g semi-dried tomatoes, diced
    Beaten egg for glazing

    1 Mix the sausagemeat, onion, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme and a little salt and pepper until evenly combined.

    2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Grease a baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 4mm to 5mm thick and cut out three strips around 45cm long by 12cm wide. Arrange one-third of the sausage mixture down the centre of each strip, keeping the filling 2cm in from the edges of the pastry.

    3 Arrange the tomatoes on top. Bring the edges of the pastry over the filling and pinch firmly together. Roll the three pieces over so the joins are underneath. Loosely plait the 3 lengths together. (It makes a more even shape if you start in the middle and then plait each half to the end.) Carefully transfer the plait to the baking sheet and glaze with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sea salt and thyme leaves.

    4 Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4 and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

    Recipe: Joanna Farrow. Photograph: Dan Jones




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    Craft a stocking

    by  • 16/11/2014 • Country craft • 1 Comment

    Make this delightful Christmas stocking following Country Homes and Interiors instructions

    What a find on Christmas morning. A stocking full of presents at the end of the bed and, even better, it’s a homemade stocking too! This one is featured in our December issue and combines  a jolly tartan fabric (Achray F6254-05, £102 a metre, Osborne & Little) finished with a cheery red cuff (Linara Post Box, 2494/16, £34.50 a metre, Romo).

    To make draw a stocking pattern onto paper to your chosen size, adding 2.5cm seam allowances all round. Cut out two pieces from the tartan. For the trim measure along the top of the stocking cut a 10cm strip of red fabric to twice this measurement minus 5cm. Cut berry and leaf shapes from fabric remnants and using fabric bonding tape, iron onto one right side of a stocking section, embroidering stems and details if desired with contrasting thread. Right sides facing, pin and machine stitch the main stocking together, taking a 2.5cm seam, leaving the top edge open. Trim seams and snip into the seam allowances around the curved edges to ease the fit. Press open seam allowances and turn through. Fold the trim in half widthways and stitch a 2.5cm seam along the short edges to form a ring. Press seam open and turn through. Fold the cuff ring in half along the length and press. Pin the two raw edges around the top of the cuff lining up with the wrong side of the stocking top and matching the trim seam with one of the stocking seams. Stitch in place and turn the trim down to cover the joining seam.  To finish, add a fabric or string loop inside for hanging.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy country craft projects  for you to try. Happy crafting!

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    Pumpkin soup with roasted ceps

    by  • 13/11/2014 • Country food • 0 Comments

    pumpkin soup

    A comforting autumn soup that’s perfect for serving on a cold day with fresh crusty rolls. It’s beautiful to look at too. We love this recipe as it combines two of our seasonal favourites – sweet pumpkin and roasted ceps.

    Serves 4
    For the soup

    50g butter
    1 onion, chopped
    1kg pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and reserved, then diced
    800ml vegetable stock
    110g Parmesan rind and cheese, roughly chopped
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the garnish

    25g pumpkin seeds
    4 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle to serve
    25g pumpkin, cut into 5mm dice
    110g fresh ceps, cut into 1.5cm dice
    2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
    25g Parmesan, cut into 5mm dice

    1 Heat a large frying pan over a low-medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and onion and fry gently for 8–10 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Increase the heat to medium, add the pumpkin and continue to fry, stirring well, for 2–3 minutes. Pour the vegetable stock over the pumpkin mixture and bring to the boil. Stir in the Parmesan rind and cheese, then return the mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer for a further 8–10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    2 Transfer batches of the mixture to a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Repeat the process until all of the mixture has been blended to a purée. Strain the soup mixture through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and heat until warmed through.

    3 Meanwhile, for the garnish, heat a frying pan over a high heat until hot. Add the pumpkin seeds and dry fry until toasted. Add the vegetable oil and continue to fry the seeds for 4–5 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until golden-brown.

    4 Heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the diced pumpkin (for the garnish) and fry for 1–2 minutes, or until just softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    5 Return the frying pan used to cook the pumpkin to the heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the ceps and fry for 2–3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the chives until well combined.

    6 To serve, ladle the warm soup into 4 bowls. Sprinkle over a pinch each of the cooked pumpkin, diced Parmesan and ceps. Finish with the toasted pumpkin seeds, then drizzle over a little olive oil.

    Recipe: Bryn Williams. Photograph: Andrew Hayes-Watkins. Taken from Saturday Kitchen Suppers (£20,  Weidenfeld &  Nicolson)






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    Make a winter blind

    by  • 09/11/2014 • Country craft • 0 Comments

    Make a winter blind following Country Homes and Interiors blog's easy instructions

    Come the cold winter months window spaces become a prime place to add drama or a focal point to a room. Fabric can be a great space filler at a window and, if used as a blind, can bring colour, character and personality with pictorial designs and patterns. This charming roman blind is featured in our December issue and is made with a Kerry Joyce fabric available from Redloh House and  features woodland creatures and leafy motifs, typical of our winter landscape. A neat red border at the bottom which both draws the eye and lends a smart finish. A roman blind by definition is an elegant style to choose at a window and operates with a simple string and loop system on the reverse that is easy to make even for a lesser experienced seamstress. To have a go and make your own roman blind why not click here and follow our simple instructions.

    If you like this idea we have lots more easy country craft projects  for you to try. Just click here.

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