Scotch cakes with hot-smoked salmon, crispy sprouts, avocado and egg makes an amazing festive indulgence.

Scotch  Cakes

Cooking shredded brussels until they’re crispy will convert even the wariest of sprout-eaters

Scotch cakes

•Preparation time:10 minutes
•Cooking time:15 minutes
•Total time:25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

100g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
40ml whole milk
6 eggs, 2 beaten
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
200g Brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 avocado, halved and sliced
160g hot-smoked salmon, flaked
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
Small handful flat leaf parsley leaves

Method

1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the milk and 2 beaten eggs to make a smooth batter; set aside. Place a large non-stick pan over a high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced sprouts and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until golden and crispy. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, transfer to on a warm plate, season and set aside.

2. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and add 1 tsp butter. When it sizzles, add 1 heaped tbsp batter for each scotch cake, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the base is golden, then flip over and fry for another minute until cooked through. Remove and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest of the scotch cakes in the remaining butter. You should end up with about 16.

3 Wipe out the pan again, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fry the eggs to your liking. Divide the scotch cakes between 4 warmed plates, top with the eggs, sprouts, avocado, salmon and a spoonful of yogurt. Scatter over the parsley leaves and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with a dash of chilli sauce, if liked.

Scotch Cakes With Hot Smoked Salmon

Mulled cider might be a new concept to you but I have a recipe that I really would urge you to try this Christmas.

Mulled Cider

Mulled pear cider

Serves 12.

 

  • 2L Waitrose pear cider
  • Juice of 6 clementines
  • 500ml pomegranate juice
  • 400ml dark rum
  • 100ml sugar syrup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Fresh mint to serve

 

Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a saucepan. Turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Ladle into glasses, garnish with fresh mint leaves and slices of caramelised clementine.

Check out more festive drinks ideas and add a little sparkle to Christmas.

Mulled Cider Recipe

Starting a new blog is a very exciting time and today Rachel shares her hopes for 2018 regarding her new blog www.rachbblogs.co.uk

Starting A New Blog

“I am really excited about starting my brand new blog and nervous at the same time. I used to blog, it was quite successful but I had a mental blip and hated it. I was stressed, tired and depressed. I thought the only way out into the light again was to completely delete everything. All my social media accounts and my blog.

Looking back now I still don’t know if it was the right thing to do or not but I can not change the past. It must have happened for a reason and it has given me a fresh blank canvas to start all over again.

I don’t particularly have a blogging niche as yet. I have so many ideas going through my head so I will see where my ideas take me!

In my head I see myself with a successful blog and gaining an income so I can work from home freelancing but in reality I don’t have enough technical knowledge to freelance haha! I can barely manage to work my blog (embarrassing I know!).

I have set myself 2 goals for 2018 blog wise.

  1. I will start taking regular breaks away from any computer screens.
  2. To increase my self confidence, to be proud of my blog and just enjoy writing. I worry far too much what others think. That must stop!

I am really looking forward to 2018. I plan to attend BlogOn in May which I am super excited about. I did not attend any blogging conferences last year. We are also planning on going to DisneyLand Paris, we have never been before so we are very excited!”

Why not give Rachel some support at the start of her new blogging journey?

Twitter https://twitter.com/rachbblogs

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rachbblogs/ 

I think it was really brave of Rachel to speak so openly about starting a new blog. Will you be starting a new blog for 2018?

 

 

A third of the UK would rather go without Christmas dinner than broadband

First Utility Broadband launches a guide to a virtual Christmas.

 

36%[2] of UK population would miss out on Christmas dinner in favour of broadband

37%[1] of people rely on broadband to stay connected with loved ones this holiday

42%[1] of people also admit to relying on broadband to stream their favourite Christmas films.

 

Whilst the majority (62%[1]) of those video calling their family and friends simply call to wish them a merry Christmas, we’re also likely to share other pleasures via a video call:

●13%[1] said they would share a glass of wine

●13%[1] said they will open presents together

●10%[1] will eat their Christmas dinner with their loved ones

●10%[1] will show off their festive clothing ranging from a Christmas jumper to a cracker hat.
70% of video calls this year will be down to distance with people keen to connect with family and friends living abroad (37%) and in distant parts of the UK (33%). First Utility has launched a competition to pay for one lucky family to come together in person over the festive season.

Best times to speak to loved ones in other countries
This easy-to-use guide allows you to find the country you’d like to connect with, classified both by continent and by the top 20 most popular ex pat destinations.

Once you’ve found your country, you can match the time there with UK time, and decide whether you’d like to call them in the morning, afternoon or evening. Here’s a snippet:

 

 

 

Top movies to stream this holiday

First Utility Broadband research also revealed that broadband is also relied on for keeping the UK entertained over the holidays with almost half (42%[1]) of people planning to stream their favourite Christmas films. Based on the 2,000 people surveyed, First Utility has put together a guide for the top Christmas films to stream this holiday.

The top 5 are:

  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Love Actually

 

 

https://www.first-utility.com/connected-Christmas

 

 

 


[2] Figures from research carried out by Opinion Matters between 01/12/17 and 06/12/17 with a sample of 2003 respondents

 

If you are looking for a mulled gin recipe to spice up your Christmas, try Mulled sloe gin with toffee

Mulled Gin

Mulled gin recipe

Serves 8.

• 1L apple juice
• Juice of 4 lemons
• 2 cinnamon sticks, plus extra to garnish
• 2-3 Waitrose dairy toffees
• 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
• 2 oranges, halved and sliced
• 300ml sloe gin
• Cranberries to garnish

How to make

Combine the apple juice lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, toffees and Angostura Bitters in a large saucepan. Gently simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the orange slices and sloe gin. Garnish with cranberries and cinnamon sticks.

So who will be giving this mulled gin recipe a try this festive season?

Mulled Gin Recipe