Dining at home


12
Feb 13

A special chocolate Valentine’s gift from Amelia Rope

Listen up boys. It’s not that we girls don’t want chocolate for Valentine’s Day. It’s just that we want good chocolate, and we want you to put some thought into it. A box of Milk Tray that you picked up from the garage down the road on your way home is not going to cut it.
A gorgeous little offering from Amelia Rope however is more than acceptable.
Not only is her chocolate super, super delicious but it looks the part too with each bar wrapped in pretty paper.

And this Valentine’s Day Amelia has come up a very special romantic treat.

She said: “To celebrate St Valentine’s Day this year I have decided to create something that your lucky Valentine can treasure and remember long after they have consumed the chocolate bar.  I wanted it to be glittery and sparkly, romantic, simple with I hope sophistication. Amelia Rope Valentine's 2013

“A glittery, glass covered red bead is tied using VV Rouleaux’s double sided luxurious chocolate brown velvet ribbon to a dark brown card on which I will hand write, using a red glitter pen, your special message.”

So you don’t even have to go to the effort of picking up a pen to tell your sweetheart that you love them. There’s really no excuse is there?

All you have to do is to choose which chocolate bar to send. Now I admit, this could be a bit tricky as there are some pretty tasty options like lemon and sea salt or smoked cashew – and that’s after you’ve decided between dark or pale chocolate. Personally, I like the pale rose, (but that’s partly because it comes wrapped in bright fuchsia foil and I’m a sucker for anything pink!) but you’re on to a winner with pretty much anything you choose.

There’s only 100 of these Valentine’s specials available (which makes them even more special) so you’ll have to be quick to snap up the last few.

Visit www.ameliarope.com to order.


11
Feb 13

Office lunches – a fine alternative

There was something on the news the other day about why we shouldn’t eat lunch at our desks.

Apart from the health risks of eating around all the bacteria that is lurking in our keyboards, apparently while we’re replying to emails at the same time as munching our midday meal we’re not concentrating on what we’re consuming which means we’re likely to eat badly with the end result of putting on more weight. None of us want that.

In practice though the idea of getting up and walking out of the office for an hour every day is not always realistic. And in winter, the idea of going out in that driving rain is actually even less appealing than working through lunch – the joys of the British weather.

Despite what they say, I don’t think that has to mean you eat badly. Granted, that homemade salad you enjoyed so much during the summer is slightly less appealing when the thermometer is hovering around the zero degrees mark, but I have found a fantastic alternative.

David Oliver game soups

David Oliver game soups

My new favourite lunchtime treat is a a bowl of soup from David Oliver Fine Foods.
The company was established by friends and fellow chefs David Holliday and Oliver Shute, both equally passionate about the countryside and field sports, and the associated traditional country cooking that they each grew up with. Eager to share their enthusiasm with a wide audience, David and Oliver built on their broad knowledge of food and years of professional cooking experience in renowned kitchens, combining their skills to develop a unique range of high quality ready meals that celebrate and support the best of Game and country cooking.

I’d like to pretend that I’m a domestic goddess and whip up my own healthy and nutritious soups at home every couple of days but the reality is that that’s not always possible.  Sometimes I just don’t have time, sometimes I just can’t be bothered. And I can pick up a few cartons of these from Waitrose on my way home when I’ve popped in to get a bottle or two of wine – it doesn’t even take me out of my way. Or, even better, Ocado can deliver them straight to my door.

Of the three flavours (Spiced VenisonPheasant Mulligatawny and Partridge Broth) my favourite is definitely the spiced venison. Rich, hearty, just the right amount of spice to warm you through, even when the heating has broken,

My favourite flavour is the Spiced Venison

My favourite flavour is the Spiced Venison

just the smell draws whimpers of envy from the desk next to mine.

It’s packed with vegetables (I’m going for at least one of your five a day) and as game is incredibly lean it’s also good for you. It’s a winner in every direction. Also, as all the game is sourced entirely from British shooting estates you can be sure of exactly what you’re eating – not always the case as has been proved by the horsemeat scandal.

Yes, of course it would be lovely to go out of the office every lunch time. It would be even nicer if I could find an excuse for a long business lunch at a top class restaurant every day that I could put on expenses. But until some miracle occurs that allows these things to happen, these soups are a pretty good alternative.

A 600g pot of soup from David Oliver Fine Foods costs from £3.95.
For more information visit www.davidoliverfood.co.uk

 

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