Food & Wine

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Princess Eugenie’s stunning wedding cake revealed

<p>This week, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will tie the knot in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on October 12.</p> <p>As the palace continues to release information about the nuptials as the day draws closer, details about the couple’s wedding cake have been revealed.</p> <p>Eugenie and Jack have hired London-based cake designer Sophie Cabot to make their wedding cake.</p> <p>Just like Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake, Eugenie and Jack’s will draw inspiration from the time of the year of their nuptials.</p> <p>For their May ceremony, Harry and Meghan chose a lemon elderflower cake that featured “the bright flavours of spring” and was decorated with fresh flowers.</p> <p>Eugenie’s red velvet and chocolate cake will feature rich autumn colours and include detailed sugar work such as ivy.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BjE4e7sgJIw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BjE4e7sgJIw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sophie Cabot cake designer 💫 (@sophiecabot)</a> on May 22, 2018 at 3:25am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The couple found out about Cabot through her involvement with Eugenie’s father, The Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace programme, after supplying specially decorated bespoke biscuits.</p> <p>A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “The couple are delighted that Miss Cabot can be involved in the celebrations for their special day.</p> <p>“Originally a costume designer, Sophie’s artistic skills and flair come through in her creations, with a particular love for making sugar-flowers and using her hand-painting skills to create unique cakes.”</p> <p>Discussing her important role in the big day, Cabot said: "I am incredibly excited to be given this wonderful opportunity to create such a special and unique cake. It has been lovely working with Princess Eugenie and Jack and I really hope they enjoy the cake on the day.”</p> <p>It has also been revealed that the Eugenie and Jack will be married by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Revd David Conner.</p> <p>Internationally renowned singer Andrea Bocelli is set to perform two songs during the wedding ceremony.</p> <p>Musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) will also perform during the ceremony. </p>

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Hazelnut & Prune Scones

<p>It wasn't intentional that this recipe would result in something more reminiscent of scones than cakes, but they are incredibly delicious, so I decided to roll with the recipe, regardless of it being a bit unconventional. </p> <p>The brown butter takes a little while to make but smells incredible and adds a delicious nuttiness. Use plain flour if you prefer and serve warm with an extra slather of good butter.</p> <p><strong>Makes:</strong> 24 mini scones </p> <p><strong>Ingredients: </strong></p> <ul> <li>150g butter</li> <li>1 cup pitted prunes</li> <li>60g buckwheat flour</li> <li>60g quinoa flour </li> <li>150g ground almonds</li> <li>1 tsp baking powder</li> <li>1 tsp baking soda</li> <li>Pinch of sea salt</li> <li>2 large free range eggs</li> <li>¼ cup milk of your choice</li> <li>½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method: </strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat the oven to 180C on fan bake. Grease 24 holes of a mini cupcake tray very well.</li> <li>First, make the brown butter. In a saucepan, melt the butter gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until the milk solids sink to the bottom and it starts to turn golden brown – this should take about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.</li> <li>Next, puree the pitted prunes in a food processor and set aside.</li> <li>In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, soda and sea salt, and gradually add in the brown butter, eggs and milk. Mix until just combined. Finally, fold through the pureed prunes. </li> <li>Divide the batter between the 24 holes until they are about two-thirds full. Sprinkle each with the chopped hazelnuts. </li> <li>Bake for about 20 minutes or until the baby cakes are golden, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in their centres comes out clean.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Jordan Rondel. Republished with permission of <span><strong><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/recipes/97914384/recipe-jordan-rondels-glutenfree-hazelnut--prune-scones">Stuff.co.nz.</a></strong></span> </em></p>

Food & Wine

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Fruity Bircher muesli

<p>The original recipe for this nutritious breakfast cereal was developed over a century ago by Dr Bircher-Benner at his clinic in Zurich. The technique of soaking the cereal, here using milk, makes it easier to digest, and also easier to eat.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves:</span></strong> 4<br /> <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Preparation:</span></strong> 10 minutes, plus overnight soaking</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>1¼ cups (125g) rolled (porridge) oats</li> <li>1 cup (125g) sultanas</li> <li>1 cup (250ml) low-fat milk</li> <li>1 apple</li> <li>2 teaspoons lemon juice</li> <li>¼ cup (35g) hazelnuts, roughly chopped</li> <li>1½ tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)</li> <li>1 tablespoon sesame seeds</li> <li>100g strawberries chopped</li> <li>⅓ cup (90g) low-fat natural yogurt</li> <li>1 tablespoon honey</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Preparation</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>Place the oats and sultanas in a large bowl and add the milk.</li> <li>Stir to mix evenly, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.</li> <li>Leave to soak overnight.</li> <li>The next day, just before eating, grate the apple, discarding the core.</li> <li>Toss the apple with the lemon juice to prevent browning.</li> <li>Stir the hazelnuts, pepitas and sesame seeds into the oat mixture, then stir in the grated apple and strawberries.</li> <li>To serve, divide the muesli among 4 cereal bowls, and top each with a spoonful of yoghurt and honey.</li> </ul> <p><em>This recipe first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/fruity-bircher-muesli">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img src="/media/7820640/1.png" style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;"/></p>

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Rice pudding with apricots

<p>Rich in flavour and wonderfully creamy in texture, this satisfying rice pudding is a modern version of a popular old favourite. It's flavoured with tangy orange zest and sultanas and paired with a cinnamon-spiced fresh apricot compote.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves:</span></strong> 4<br /><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Preparation:</span></strong> 15 minutes<br /><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Cooking:</span></strong> Approx. 1½ hours</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>850ml full-cream milk</li> <li>¼ cup (55g) caster sugar</li> <li>Finely grated zest of 1 orange</li> <li>½ cup (110g) short-grain rice</li> <li>½ cup (60g) sultanas</li> <li>Ground cinnamon to sprinkle</li> <li>Apricot compote</li> <li>300g fresh ripe apricots halved and stoned</li> <li>Juice of 1 orange</li> <li>1 cinnamon stick</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>Preheat the oven to 160°C.</li> <li>Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the sugar and orange zest.</li> <li>Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the milk is almost boiling.</li> <li>Put the rice and sultanas in a shallow 1.5 litre ovenproof dish.</li> <li>Pour over the milk mixture and stir.</li> <li>Bake the pudding for 30 minutes, then stir well.</li> <li>Leave to bake for a further 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the pudding is creamy.</li> <li>Meanwhile, to make the compote, combine the apricots, orange juice and cinnamon stick in a heavy-based saucepan.</li> <li>Cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.</li> <li>Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the juice is reduced.</li> <li>Remove the cinnamon stick from the compote.</li> <li>Sprinkle the top of the rice pudding with a little cinnamon, then serve hot, with the apricot compote.</li> </ul> <p><br /><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/rice-pudding-with-apricots">Readers Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img src="/media/7820640/1.png" style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;"/></p>

Food & Wine

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Raspberry cranachan

<p>This traditional Scottish dessert is quick and easy to put together, and the nutritious combination of cream, fromage frais, oats and fresh fruit makes a superb sweet course for a special occasion meal. The whisky not only adds a taste of Scotland but gives a fantastic kick to the flavour.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves:</span></strong> 4</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Preparation</span></strong>: 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling<br /><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Cooking:</span></strong> About 5 minutes</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>¾ cup (75g) medium oatmeal</li> <li>150ml whipping cream</li> <li>⅔ cup (160g) fromage frais or Greek-style yoghurt</li> <li>2 tablespoons honey</li> <li>2 tablespoons whisky</li> <li>400g raspberries</li> <li>400g raspberries</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method:</span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat the grill to high.</li> <li>Line the rack of the grill pan with foil and spread the oats over the foil.</li> <li>Toast under the grill for about 3 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are golden.</li> <li>Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.</li> <li>Roughly chop the oats or transfer to a food processor and blitz until roughly chopped.</li> <li>Put the cream and fromage frais or yoghurt in a bowl and whip together until thick.</li> <li>Stir in the honey and whisky, then fold in half of the toasted oats.</li> <li>Reserve a few raspberries for the decoration.</li> <li>Layer the remaining raspberries with the cream mixture in 4 glass serving dishes, starting with raspberries and ending with a layer of the cream mixture.</li> <li>Decorate each dessert with a sprinkling of the remaining toasted oats and the reserved raspberries.</li> <li>Serve immediately (or keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour before serving).</li> </ol> <p><br /><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/recipes/raspberry-cranachan">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img src="/media/7820640/1.png" style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;"/></p>

Food & Wine

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Chocolate caramel slice

<p>The chocolate caramel slice is a variation on one I have made for years, with an extra hit of chocolate in the caramel, and using my quick and easy method of combining caramel and regular sweetened condensed milks.</p> <p>This slice is so wickedly addictive, to avoid gluttonous temptation it's best to pop leftovers in containers for guests to take with them – or pop them in portioned amounts in the freezer.</p> <p><strong>Makes: </strong>40</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <p><strong>·        </strong> 250g butter plus 25g, softened<br />·         ¾ cup caster sugar<br />·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract<br />·         2 ½ cups plain flour<br />·         1 teaspoon baking powder<br />·         ⅓ cup dark Dutch cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon extra<br />·         1 tin sweetened condensed milk<br />·         1 tin condensed milk caramel<br />·         1 tablespoon golden syrup<br />·         125g 50 per cent dark chocolate, roughly chopped </p> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line the base and sides of a 28 x 21cm slice tin with baking paper.</li> <li>Put 250g butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a food processor (or mixer) and whiz until pale and soft. Add flour, baking powder and ⅓ cup of cocoa, and pulse again to combine. Tip ¾ of the mix into the prepared baking tin and press in, then smooth firmly with the back of a tablespoon. Pop in the fridge while you prepare the rest.</li> <li>Mix the condensed milks, 25g butter and golden syrup in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on high for one minute. Add the extra tablespoon of cocoa powder and whisk until loosened. Microwave on high for a further minute and whisk until smooth.</li> <li>Pour the caramel mix over the base and sprinkle over the chopped chocolate. Top with the remaining base mixture, giving it a good squish as you crumble so it forms big clumps. Bake for 30-35 minutes until richly golden and cooked through. Cool in the tin, remove and slice into squares and store in an airtight container.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Sarah Tuck. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Gluten-free Bumblebees

<p>Almost any dried fruit or nut works in these delicious gluten-free sweet treats, making them a great standby. Adding chocolate to the base takes them to the next level.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Makes:</span></strong> 24</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>¾ cup dried apricots</li> <li>½ cup glacé cherries</li> <li>¼ cup crystallised ginger</li> <li>½ cup raisins</li> <li>½ cup walnuts</li> <li>½ cup natural almonds</li> <li>1¼ cups desiccated coconut</li> <li>395g tin sweetened condensed milk</li> <li>1 cup coconut thread for coating</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method: </span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Heat oven to 175°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.</li> <li>Chop the fruit and nuts quite finely and evenly in size. Place in a mixing bowl with desiccated coconut, add condensed milk and stir until well mixed.</li> <li>Place coconut thread in a shallow dish and, using wet hands, form heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls. Roll in the coconut thread and place on prepared tray.</li> <li>Bake 15-20 minutes until golden.</li> <li>Leave on tray for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.</li> <li>If desired, dip the bases of the Bumblebees in a little melted dark chocolate.</li> <li>Stored in an airtight container, these will keep for a week.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Bernadette Hogg. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz. </span></strong></a></em></p>

Food & Wine

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Fish and chips shop owner’s hilarious responses to negative online reviews

<p>Most of the time, a negative review can be a real downer for business owners – but one fish and chips shop owner decided to use his quick wit to respond to the unsatisfied customers in the most hilarious fashion.</p> <p>The Bunker fish and chip shop in the English seaside village of Seahouses is known by many as the best chip shop in the entire village.</p> <p>But while business is booming, co-owner Rod White tends to receive the odd negative comment here and there via TripAdvisor and Google, and always determined, Mr White has fired back with his own responses.</p> <p>His witty comments have garnered popularity, with Mr White now having fans of his own – and some, visiting the chip shop to meet the man for themselves.</p> <p><img width="496" height="165" src="/media/7820202/eb009eeeb2a9ea8e573469a065617fa4_496x165.jpg" alt="Eb 009eeeb 2a 9ea 8e 573469a 065617fa4"/></p> <p><img width="498" height="245" src="/media/7820203/931e43bbf77bce64732f4d6d9681d798_498x245.jpg" alt="931e 43bbf 77bce 64732f 4d 6d 9681d 798"/></p> <p>One review complained about the lack of gluten-free options, and that the fish was covered in grease, to which Mr White responded: “Your comments are duly noted sir and from now on we shall be frying our fish and chips in daffodil extract.</p> <p>“Once cooked, the fish will spend 5 minutes in a tumble drier, while at the same time, staff member X will be blow drying the chips, with one of those Dyson hair dryers, you know the one that doesn’t even look like a hair dryer? until there is no sign of grease whatsoever.</p> <p>“Then, and only then, will the plate of Atlantic cod and Northumbrian chipped potatoes be presented to our customers.”</p> <p>One customer complained about the price for chips and mushy peas, to which Mr White responded: “We take note that you and your nine friends won’t be visiting here in the future and will take this into account when preparing next year’s budget forecasts.”</p> <p>Another complained about the long wait for his food, and that the chips were “greasy and soft”, the fish “dry” and the portions “miserably small”. To which Mr White issued a lengthy response, where he offered a chip colour chart for his servers to consult.</p> <p>He wrote: “Each customer will be asked when placing their order, exactly what shade of chip they’d prefer. After pointing to a chip chart at the back of the shop, our fryer can then leave each separate customer’s chips in frying, until they reach their particular favourite shade.</p> <p>“That way, there’ll be no worry that customers, like your good self sir, will be going away with chips of the wrong hue. Absolutely brilliant, even if I say so myself.</p> <p>“So, let me thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to moan in length about the catastrophe that happened in your day.</p> <p>“I hope you’ve managed to calm down now, got a good night’s sleep, and can get on with the rest of your disaster-filled life without too much worry. Anyway, must dash, got a chip chart to prepare.”</p> <p>Mr White, who co-owns the business with his brother-in-law, doesn’t have an explanation as to why he signs his responses with “Lionel Blair” or “Montgomery Applegate” but has said that the comments are a result of “exasperation".</p> <p>“You deal with hundreds of people a day and you cannot please everybody,” he said.</p>

Food & Wine

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Warm quinoa and vanilla pudding

<p>These cold evenings (and mornings) call for warm puddings. Rice pudding has always been one of my favourite desserts, but it takes a long time to make, so this is where nutritious superfood quinoa comes in. The result is similar to rice or tapioca pudding. Made with coconut milk it's ridiculously creamy, but you can use any kind of milk you prefer.</p> <p>Warm quinoa and vanilla pudding with caramelised pecans</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves</span></strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">:</span> 4</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients</span></strong>:</p> <p><em>For the caramelised pecans</em></p> <ul> <li>½ cup pecans, roughly chopped</li> <li>1 tbsp pure maple syrup</li> <li>¼ tsp cinnamon</li> <li>Pinch sea salt</li> </ul> <p><em>For the pudding</em></p> <ul> <li>½ cup white quinoa</li> <li>2 cups unsweetened canned coconut milk (or whatever milk you prefer)</li> <li>4 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey</li> <li>1 tsp vanilla extract</li> <li>1 tsp cinnamon</li> <li>Pinch flaky sea salt</li> <li>½ cup sultanas</li> </ul> <p><em>To serve</em></p> <ul> <li>½ cup coconut cream or regular cream</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method</span></strong>:</p> <ol> <li>First, toast the pecans in a dry frying pan for approximately 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the maple syrup, stirring constantly while it bubbles and coats the nuts. Finally sprinkle with the cinnamon and sea salt.</li> <li>Next, place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and allow to drain. This is an important step as it reduces any bitterness from the residue on the quinoa.</li> <li>In a medium-sized pot, combine the quinoa, milk, maple syrup/honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow some steam to escape. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.</li> <li>Remove the lid and continue simmering for 5 more minutes or until pudding has thickened and the quinoa has absorbed most (but not all) of the milk. Remove from heat and stir through the sultanas.</li> <li>Pour into serving bowls, drizzle over some cream, sprinkle with some pecans and then serve immediately.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Jordan Rondel. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/recipes/106070951/recipe-warm-quinoa-and-vanilla-pudding-by-jordan-rondel">Stuff.co.nz</a>.</em></p>

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Fierce debate sparked on Facebook: Does jam belong in the fridge or pantry?

<p>What started off as an innocent debate over a breakfast staple soon turned into a fiery dispute with thousands of social media users weighing in.</p> <p>Mandy-lee Anderson of Coffs Harbour, Australia, asked the question, “Does jam belong in the fridge or the cupboard?” on her Facebook page after she was in a disagreement with her husband.</p> <p>While Mrs Andersen believed the condiment should be stored in the fridge, her husband had opposing views and said that jam belongs in the cupboard.</p> <p>When the couple tried to settle the argument through social media, they didn’t anticipate the overwhelming amount of responses to follow with over a thousand people chiming in.</p> <p>“Because it is a preserve it doesn’t need a fridge, so it is just a personal choice,” one person said.</p> <p>One person took knife habits into consideration when deciding where the item should be kept.</p> <p>“If your jam has lots of crumbs and butter getting into it, then I would keep it in the fridge.”</p> <p>Others questioned whether Mr Andersen’s nationality had anything to do with his decision, as he is a New Zealand national.</p> <p>“In a cold climate it makes no sense to me – but in Queensland, I understand because it’s so hot so you would keep it in the fridge, but I just don’t like my jam cold, that’s all,” Mr Andersen told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/where-to-store-jam-the-fridge-or-pantry/news-story/f51af51d26b7f09f212abde4f3f77130" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>.</em></p> <p>Do you store jam in the fridge or the cupboard? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Spicy swede and spinach curry

<p>This hearty dish, which falls somewhere between a soup and a stew, is easy to make, reheats well and tastes even better the next day.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves:</span></strong> 3-4</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Ingredients:</strong> </span></p> <ul> <li>2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil</li> <li>2 onions, peeled and diced</li> <li>2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced</li> <li>1 teaspoon plain salt</li> <li>3 swedes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks (about 700g unpeeled weight)</li> <li>3-4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste</li> <li>1 cup vegetable stock or water</li> <li>400g (1 bag) spinach, well-washed and roughly chopped</li> <li>½ can (200ml) coconut milk</li> <li>Salt and freshly ground black pepper</li> </ul> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Method:</strong> </span></p> <ol> <li>Set a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the oil. When it's hot, add the onions, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about seven minutes.</li> <li>Add the diced swede and curry paste. Stir well, then add the water or stock. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, until the swede is tender.</li> <li>Add the spinach and stir well for a couple of minutes (it will wilt considerably). Pour in the coconut milk and heat to nearly simmering point. Taste and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.</li> <li>Divide between bowls and serve immediately.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Lucy Corry. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz. </span></strong></a></em></p>

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Chocolate muesli breakfast biscuits

<p>These fat, moist, nourishing biscuits with a sneaky base of dark chocolate are just the thing to grab as you dash out the door in the morning and are ideal for eating on your commute. They also make a thoughtful gift to pack up and send to loved ones studying away from home. I've used sour cherries, cranberries and dates but feel free use any combination of dried fruit that takes your fancy. </p> <p><strong>Makes:</strong> 25</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li>220g unsalted butter, melted</li> <li>½ cup liquid honey</li> <li>1 ripe banana, well mashed</li> <li>3 eggs, beaten</li> <li>1 cup coconut flakes</li> <li>¾ cup pumpkin seeds</li> <li>½ cup sesame seeds</li> <li>½ cup sunflower seeds</li> <li>¼ cup flax seeds (linseed)</li> <li>1½ cups wholegrain rolled oats</li> <li>²⁄³ cup wholemeal flour</li> <li>1 teaspoon baking soda </li> <li>1 teaspoon ground cinnamon</li> <li>Pinch of salt</li> <li>¾ cup ground almonds</li> <li>½ cup dried cranberries</li> <li>½ cup dried sour cherries</li> <li>½ cup chopped dates</li> <li>150g dark chocolate, melted</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Heat oven to 165°C fanbake. In a large bowl mix butter, honey and mashed banana, stirring to combine well. Add beaten eggs and mix well.</li> <li>In a separate bowl combine coconut flakes and seeds. Reserve ²⁄3 cup of the mixture to use as your topping.</li> <li>To the remainder, add all the remaining ingredients except the chocolate and stir to make quite a wet mixture.</li> <li>Scoop ¼-cup-sized amounts into balls and press tops into the reserved coconut and seed mixture. </li> <li>Place biscuits on lined trays and bake for around 12-15 minutes or until golden around the edges.</li> <li>Transfer to a rack to cool then, using a pastry brush, cover the flat bases with a thin coating of melted chocolate. Place chocolate side up on a rack to set. Store in an airtight container. </li> </ol> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz.</span></strong> </a></em></p>

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Recipe: Rock cakes

<p>Also called a rock bun, these delicious hard fruitcakes are small and rough – hence their name. They’re an old-school favourite that will not disappoint for afternoon tea or as a special treat when the grandkids come over.</p> <p><strong>Preparation time:</strong> 15 minutes</p> <p><strong>Cooking time:</strong> 15 minutes</p> <p><strong>Makes:</strong> 15</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>225g self-raising flour</li> <li>75g caster sugar</li> <li>1 teaspoon baking powder</li> <li>125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes</li> <li>150g dried fruit</li> <li>1 free-range egg</li> <li>1 tablespoons milk</li> <li>2 teaspoons vanilla extract</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method:</span></strong></p> <p>1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line baking tray with baking paper.</p> <p>2. Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl, then rub in the butter into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in fruit.</p> <p>3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together.</p> <p>4. Add the egg to the other mixture and stir with a spoon until the mixture forms a thick, lumpy dough. If needed, add a teaspoon more milk to make the mixture stick together.</p> <p>5. Place walnut-sized spoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray. Leave space between each one as they will flatten and spread out to double their size during baking.</p> <p>6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.</p>

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Lavender biscuits

<p>Great for relaxing, the sweet scent of these lavender biscuits will also delight your nose as well as your tummy.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>1 tablespoon of lavender flowers, without stalks</li> <li>175g of self-raising flour</li> <li>50g of caster sugar</li> <li>Salt</li> <li>130g of butter</li> <li>25g of semolina</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method: </span></strong></p> <ol> <li>In a food processor, process lavender flowers and flour.</li> <li>Add a pinch of salt, semolina, sugar, and butter and process, forming dough.</li> <li>Flatten into a disk shape, wrap, and cover with cling wrap to chill for half an hour.</li> <li>After preheating your oven to 180°C, line two baking trays.</li> <li>Put the dough between two sheets of cling wrap and roll until a thickness of four-mm.</li> <li>Using a cookie cutter, stamp dough into biscuit shapes.</li> <li>Combine and reroll any excess dough to use it all.</li> <li>Put biscuit shapes on trays leaving space in between.</li> <li>Bake for 15 to 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool. Serve.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/07/strawberry-shortcake-biscuits/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Strawberry shortcake biscuits</span></a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/07/gingerbread-cupcakes/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Gingerbread cupcakes</span></a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/06/jam-drops/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Jam drops</span></a></strong></em></p>

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No-bake mini blueberry cheesecakes

<p>Love dessert but hate baking? These no-bake mini blueberry cheesecakes are the dessert you’ve been waiting for.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>1 cup of digestive biscuit crumbs</li> <li>4 ½ tablespoons of butter</li> <li>2 tablespoons of cold water</li> <li>1 ½ teaspoons of powdered gelatin, unflavoured</li> <li>2/3 cup of heavy cream</li> <li>225g of cream cheese</li> <li>¾ cup of powdered sugar</li> <li>¼ cup of sour cream</li> <li>1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract</li> <li>Extra blueberries for garnish</li> </ul> <p><em>Sauce</em></p> <ul> <li>1/3 cups of sugar</li> <li>2 ½ teaspoons of cornflour</li> <li>¼ cup of water</li> <li>1 tablespoon of lemon juice</li> <li>2 cups of blueberries</li> <li>1 tablespoon of butter</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method: </span></strong></p> <ol> <li>With aluminium foil, line a 20cm by 20cm baking dish (or for round cakes, as shown, use individual round baking dishes) leaving five-cm of foil overhanging and spray with cooking spray.</li> <li>In a bowl, mix together digestive biscuits and butter until thoroughly combined.</li> <li>Pour into dish and press to bottom, creating a base layer. Let chill.</li> <li>In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and let rest.</li> <li>In a separate bowl, whisk or electric mix heavy cream until heavy peaks form.</li> <li>In another bowl, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar, whipping until smooth.<br />  </li> <li>Add sour cream and vanilla.</li> <li>Take gelatin mixture and microwave for 25 seconds. Whisk until dissolved and let cool for less than three minutes.</li> <li>While mixing, pour gelatin into cream cheese mix. Add whipped cream and combine.</li> <li>Take cream cheese mix and spread it over the biscuit layer.</li> <li>Cover and chill for three hours. Cut into squares or remove from individual baking dishes.</li> <li>To make the sauce, in a saucepan mix together sugar and cornflour. Add water, lemon juice and blueberries.</li> <li>Cook over medium-high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil, stirring often.</li> <li>Once thickened, add butter and stir.</li> <li>Let cool and pour atop cheesecake. Garnish with fresh blueberries.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/08/new-york-cheesecake/">New York cheesecake</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/08/red-velvet-cheesecake-bars/">Red velvet cheesecake bars</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/05/berry-cheesecake-slice/">Blackcurrant and raspberry cheesecake slice</a></strong></em></span></p>

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Mushroom and spinach frittata

<p>A dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this mushroom and spinach frittata will never failed to please.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves</span>: </strong>4</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>6 eggs, lightly beaten</li> <li>¼ cup milk</li> <li>1 cup grated cheddar cheese</li> <li>1 brown onion, sliced</li> <li>150g mushrooms, sliced</li> <li>30g butter</li> <li>2 cups fresh baby spinach</li> <li>Salt and pepper, to season</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method:</span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to 180 °C.</li> <li>Whisk eggs and milk in bowl. Add cheese and season with salt and pepper.</li> <li>In a large ovenproof frypan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until caramelised. Stir in spinach and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and pepper.</li> <li>Pour egg mixture into the pan. Spread ingredients evenly across the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until frittata is browned and puffed. Serve warm or cold.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/08/broccoli-cheese-soup/">Slow-cooked broccoli and cheese soup</a></strong></span></em></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/07/pea-soup/">Simple pea soup</a></strong></span></em></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/05/broccoli-quiche/">Broccoli quiche</a></strong></span></em></p>

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How McDonald's meal deals are tricking customers into spending more money

<p>McDonald’s is tricking customers into spending more money with the introduction of the value-for-money menu that has seen global profits jump 13 per cent to almost $2 billion.</p> <p>It’s been a big year for the golden arches with products like soft drinks, sausages wraps, triple cheeseburgers available at attractive $1, $2 or $3 price points.</p> <p>But while these initiatives make it seem like the customer is saving money, in reality it’s actually making them spend more of their hard-earned cash.</p> <p>CNBC reports McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook has said customers are creating meals with several different items, making their total a the checkout much higher.</p> <p>“More customers are recognising that we are becoming a better McDonald's, appreciating our great tasting food, fast and friendly service and compelling value as we execute our Velocity Growth Plan,” he said in a statement to <a href="/dailymail.co.uk/auhome/index.html" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Daily Mail Australia</strong></em></span></a>.</p> <p>Australian restaurants have led the charge with these innovations.</p> <p>“We're keeping the customer at the centre of everything we do as we continue enhancing their McDonald's experience,” Mr Easterbrook added.</p> <p>“We are satisfying the rising expectations customers have for the taste and quality of our food and greater convenience as they visit our restaurants or enjoy meals delivered to their homes and offices.”</p> <p>What are your thoughts? Do you visit McDonald’s often?</p>

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Hearty beef and barley stew

<p>This hearty beef and barley stew is a great recipe to cook when you have the family over for dinner in winter. Any leftovers will keep for a while in the freezer.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Serves</span>:</strong> 6</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>2 tablespoons

olive oil</li> <li>1kg
beef chuck steak, cut into 3cm pieces</li> <li>2 tablespoons

plain flour</li> <li>1 medium brown onion, coarsely chopped</li> <li>800g
canned diced tomatoes</li> <li>420g canned condensed tomato soup</li> <li>6 cups water</li> <li>½ cup pearl barley</li> </ul> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Method:</span></strong></p> <p>1. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan; cook beef, stirring, until browned.</p> <p>2. Add flour, onion, celery and carrot; cook, stirring, until onion softens.</p> <p>3. Add tomatoes to pan with tomato soup, the water and barley; cook, covered, two hours or until beef is tender.</p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/04/orange-polenta-cake/">Orange polenta cake</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/04/raspberry-banana-cake/">Raspberry banana cake with passionfruit icing</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/food-wine/2015/03/flourless-hazelnut-chocolate-cake/">Flourless hazelnut chocolate cake</a></strong></em></span></p>

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