Cheering Up February
By Linda Parker
February is generally rather a dull month, although it does have two sparks of interest; Valentine’s Day of course and Shrove Tuesday … more usually known as pancake day, which this year falls on February 28th.
Apple and cinnamon pancakes from the Waitrose recipe collection; see more irresistible ideas here.
Pancakes are, I think, a relatively healthy breakfast option, use savoury toppings if you’re avoiding sugar, and there are lots of alternative flours available too … it’s impossible to keep up with the whole ‘clean eating’ malarkey, but I really don’t think a few pancakes here and there will do too much harm. And as we know, a hearty breakfast really does get you off to a good start in the morning. My two other suggestions for a ‘good’ breakfast are … Leftover casserole from the evening before, but just the protein and veg, avoid carbs. Or a bowl of porridge. It really does fill y’up.
Anyway, here’s the recipe for the above-mentioned vegetarian Apple & Cinnamon pancakes. It’s easy, get any available children to help … cooking together is a great way of diffusing morning chaos.
Preparation time; 10 minutes; Cooking time:15 minutes:
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
- 500g Onken Natural Yogurt
- 85g essential Waitrose salted dairy butter, melted
- 2 British apples, peeled, cored and grated
- 75g sultanas
- 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1-2 tbsp clear honey
1. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, then gradually beat in the eggs, followed by 300g of the yogurt and the melted butter. Stir in the grated apples and sultanas.
2. Brush a heavy-based frying pan with a little oil and drop large spoonfuls into the pan to make 6–7cm pancakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and cooked through. (There should be enough batter to make 12 pancakes; cover and keep warm while you cook them all.)
3. Stack 3 pancakes on each plate and top each with a spoonful of yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
NEW KITCHEN IDEAS
As we start to look forward to Spring, sprucing up the kitchen usually seems like a good idea. As far as flooring is concerned, we are very impressed with some of the latest designs from Amtico’s Click range – it’s easy to install as it needs no adhesive, it clicks into place. It has high slip and chemical resistance so it is a really good choice for kitchens and bathrooms. It can also be used with underfloor heating. See the whole collection here, this is Slate. Hi-Macs solid surface material new Velvet colours in the Solid range, are so desirable it’s worth having a whole new kitchen just to justify using them. Shown here top left, Cosmic Blue; top right Mink, then below Evergreen and Suede. See the rest of the range here. If you’re the kind of perfectionist who doesn’t want to see silver-coloured hinges when you open your new cabinet doors, why not have a look at the new, limited edition of Onyx Black hinges from Darolife, via Blum, of course. Further details here.
Breathe new life into the kitchen with a new smart tap. This HotSpot Titanium is a three-in-one hot tap, shown here in stainless steel, with a brand new patented titanium tank. There’s an integral water filter and a new Inteliprotect electronic touch control with a choice of three safety levels. There’s also an option to have a boiling water only model – Solo. Choose between a four or eight litre tank, which can supply three or six litres of boiling water instantly. One excellent feature is the optional hands-free operation, which is a super idea if you regularly want to fill large pans with boiling water. Check out the details here. If you fancy a change of flooring and the idea of introducing pattern into your kitchen scheme sounds appealing, look at the new vinyl tile designs from Neisha Crosland for Harvey Maria. This is Check in Flint, an affordable choice for a new look at around £45 per sq m. See the rest of the colourful ranges from Harvey Maria here. And if you want a new look in the kitchen without the upheaval of new cabinets or flooring, new pendant lights would be my ‘quick update’ solution. Consider the wondrous Kartell pendants by Laufen, which is probably better known as a bathroom company. However, these copper Rifly pendants are, to my mind, perfect for a statement lighting scheme above a dining table. See the collection here.
In the absence of anything red, heart-shaped and Valentine-related that sparked my interest earlier this month, I am instead suggesting an modest investment in a shiny red kitchen bin. The Spaceboy extra-large red bin from Binopolis ticks all those boxes. See it here. Now all I need to do is to find out if they do it in vivid orange and I may get one to match my kitchen!
Now, if you are a perfectionist where colour is concerned, perhaps with a discreet white, grey or black kitchen, consider injecting a fizz of colour with a Grohe tap. They’ve just introduced a new idea, Essence Professional Coloured Hoses. They’re limited edition, available from March 2017, but of course will continue to be available in Matt Black as standard, plus grey and brown options. See the design details here.
And finally … every kitchen needs a dinosaur. This is my T.Rex of choice, and I also think it’s a rather nice little bonkers gift for a hard-to-buy-for friend or relative! Grab one here.