Why not join in and share your #bettermemories. Take a look at some favourite memories that have been shared already
As the heart of your home, the hustle and bustle of your kitchen can set the rhythm of your whole home life. Whether your home needs a taste of the baking craze, or you’re just looking to add a flavour of Spring/Summer 17 style, check out our tips and tricks for adding flavour to your home.
Seasonal shopping for springtime food
Changing seasons used to mean that our diet changed too as fruit, veg, meat and seafood went in and out of season.
Advanced farming technology and speedier transportation has changed that, and you can get whatever fresh food you fancy, at almost any time of year.
While this is great for you if you fancy a strawberry in October, scientists, chefs and your wallet are all agreed that eating only seasonal produce can actually have great benefits.
And because we’re all about a better way to live at Redrow, here are a few reasons why eating seasonal will give you a boost:
Research has shown that eating what’s in season can save you a third on your food basket, compared to out of season, when it comes to fresh produce.
Out-of-season fruit and veg is often frozen or chilled to be transported, and usually isn’t allowed to ripen on the plant. This ensures that it hits the shelves before it goes bad, but it also affects the flavour. Fruit and veg that’s allowed to grow and ripen as it should tastes better, letting you create more memorable meals.
It’s better for the environment
Fresh produce grown in season doesn’t need any artificial help from technology, or chemicals, and doesn’t need to be transported overseas to reach our shelves. A shorter journey reduces the carbon footprint of your food basket, as well as giving you the best shot at tasty fruit and veg.
Seasonal fruit and veg is more likely to be grown by a local farm – if supporting local or British business is important to you, seasonal shopping is a straightforward way to do it.
Make 2017 a year to remember, and eat as nature intended.
Here’s what’s in season for the next few months:
Purple sprouting broccoli
Purple sprouting broccoli
Purple sprouting broccoli
If your family decides to eat local, whether it’s produce from your allotment or garden plot, or just a quick trip to the supermarket, let us know how it goes on via social media at #bettermemories.
Baking has made a comeback in a big way in the last few years. No longer an old-fashioned pastime, baking is a great way to bring the family together, make a memorable party centerpiece or even just treat yourself to the perfect night in.
It’s no surprise that by 2018 we’ll be baking 22% more than we did in 2014.
If you’re struggling to get in on the baking trend - because of time, healthier life changes or a restricted diet - we’ve got just what you need to make #bettermemories in the kitchen with family and friends.
Short on time?
Meet the mug cake. Got 5 minutes, some kitchen staples, and a microwave? Homemade cake for two is as good as yours.
1. Take a microwave-safe mug and add 4tbsp plain flour, 4tbsp sugar, 2tbsp cocoa.
2. Add an egg, and give everything a good mix.
3. Next add 3tbsp milk, 3tbsp oil and a small splash of vanilla essence, and mix again.
4. Add a tbsp.chocolate chips, or a dollop of jam or peanut butter if you fancy.
5. Put the mug in the microwave and cook for 3 mins at 100watts.
6. Allow to cool for 2 minutes.
A few simple swaps – butter for vegetable oil, white flour for whole flour– easily boost the nutrition credentials of this chocolate cake. It isn’t exactly calorie free, but it’s a start if you want to make healthier choices.
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees and line 2x 20cm cake pans.
1. Mix 360ml milk and 2tsp apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few moments.
2. Add 160ml vegetable oil and 120ml of strong coffee
3. Sift together 320g whole flour, 265g sugar, 2tsp baking soda, 1tsp baking powder and ¼tsp salt and add to your oil mix.
4. Beat until there are no lumps, then add the mix to your cake tins.
5. Bake for 25-30 mins.
6. To make the icing, beat together 225g baking spread, 280g icing sugar, 65g cocoa powder, 30g melted dark chocolate, 2tsp vanilla extract and 60ml milk.
7. Ice your cake when it’s cool and maybe share a slice with friends.
Having a restricted diet doesn’t mean baking isn’t for you – gluten-free and vegan diets are just two examples of lifestyles it’s becoming easier to bake for.
This gluten-free vegan cake made with avocados is a great example.
Heat your oven to 160 degrees and line 2x 20cm cake pans.
1. Put 1 large ripe avocado and 300g light muscavado sugar into a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Add 350g gluten-free plain flour, 1tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2tsp gluten-free baking powder, 400ml unsweetened soy milk, 150ml vegetable oil and 2tsp vanilla extract and ½tsp fine salt – and blend until smooth.
3. Divide between your two tins and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
4. Mash together half a ripe avocado and 85g dairy-free spread in a bowl and set aside.
5. Melt 200g dairy-free chocolate (a lot of dark chocolate fits the bill), and sift 25g cocoa powder into a separate bowl.
6. Bring 125ml dairy-free milk (e.g. soy or almond) to a simmer and beat in your cocoa until smooth.
7. Now add the avocado mix, 200g icing sugar, melted chocolate and 1tsp vanilla extract.
8. When the icing’s cooled, use it to sandwich and decorate your cake.
9. Add sprinkles! And don’t forget to take a photo to share.
If we’ve provided the spark of inspiration that you need to jump into the kitchen, be sure to share your results with us on our #bettermemories tag – even if it doesn’t go to plan!
While spring-cleaning always sounds like a great idea, almost everything else – including family time, work, hobbies and y’know…fun - seems to come first.
We’ve gathered five cheats to make spring-cleaning your whole home a breeze, and get you back to the important stuff, like making better memories with friends and family.
1. Dust hard to reach corners with a broom
Make it look like you’ve really gone all out and get those hard to reach places, but all you’ll really need is two minutes, a dust cloth and a broom.
Drape your dustcloth over the brush end of the broom and carefully reach to get those tricky cobwebs and dust clumps. Done!
2. Use a lemon to get a gleaming kitchen
Cut a lemon into wedges:
• Use one wedge to rub watermarks from any stainless steel fittings.
• Put another wedge in a microwave-safe bowl of water and microwave on high for 2 minutes – this will make any food stains in your microwave a breeze to remove.
• Sprinkle salt onto your wooden chopping board and rub in with a wedge of lemon – leave for 10 mins and then rinse with warm water to remove stains.
• Make your blender as good as new. Fill with water to the half way point – add the rest of your lemon and whiz on high power for about a minute. Any scum and build up will be banished!
3. Cheat your way to a fresh-smelling bathroom
• Sprinkle some essential oil onto the inside tube of your toilet roll, and a little on the radiator for a continuous fresh scent.
4. Tackle water rings on a wooden table with a hair dryer
• If your wooden surfaces have ring marks from glasses, blast the effected area with a hair dryer for 30 seconds at a time until the ring starts to disappear. Don’t hold it too close to avoid damaging the wood.
• Once it’s gone, use a little oil (olive oil is fine) to recondition the wood.
5. Get more from your dishwasher
Your dishwasher can clean much more than dishes. Run the following through your machine to get them super clean.
• Plastic children’s toys
• Hair brushes
• Make-up brushes
• Pet dishes
• Shelves from your fridge
• Soap dishes
Through your machine to get them super clean, simply.Got a cleaning hack of your own? Or did one of our tips revolutionise your home habits? Let us know what you did with the time you saved on our #bettermemories tag on social media.
As the heart of your home, the kitchen helps form some of your strongest and longest lasting memories. But these memories don’t stay in the past, as 70% of us continue to make the food that forms our earliest tasty memory throughout our lives.
To help you on your comfort food quest, we’ve put together some tasty twists on dishes voted among the nation’s favourites. They’re guaranteed to transform your cooking, even if you’ve cooked the same dish a million times before.
Whether it’s a night in with a bowl of delicious comfort food you’re looking for, or a new spin on your family dinner, these refreshed classics are sure to turn some familiar favourites into memorable new traditions.
Here are our tips for transforming some of the nation’s most memorable dishes.
Cheese on toast
It’s no wonder it’s in our top ten of favourite meals, But when it’s so quick and easy to prepare, it’s no wonder that we don’t often let cheese on toast live up to its full potential.
Turn that around by treating a few humble slices to melted cheese, apple compote and a baby beetroot salad.
Or, for something spruced up but slightly less involved, try this brown ale, Worcestershire sauce and cheese combo.
Roast with all the trimmings
It may have been voted the nation’s most nostalgic meal, but this cosy Sunday classic doesn’t need to stay stuck in the past.
Try something new for spring, with this lamb joint, stuffed with dates and herbs, striking the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Or you can really push the boat out with bacon-wrapped roast partridge and pork stuffing.
Toad in the hole
Perfectly cooked sausages in a comforting blanket of Yorkshire pudding – this is almost the perfect family dinner. But try adding in some apples and cider, or even some goat’s cheese to keep your trip down memory lane fresh and tasty.
As sweet, sugary comfort in a bowl, rice pudding is a beloved classic for a reason. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up. Indulge with this rich chocolatey version, or take inspiration from Iceland with a splash of vodka and some fresh berries.
It may be a staple of childhoods up and down the nation, but this treat doesn’t need to be restricted to the under 12s.
Bring your fond memories to the present day and transform Angel Delight into dinner-table-ready confections, such as these Angel Delight Cheesecakes. Or, if you want the satisfaction of knowing your treat didn’t come from a packet, you can easily whip up your own mousse at home.
Keeping memories alive doesn’t mean reliving them in the same old ways – why not make better memories by transforming much-loved dishes into some exciting new comfort food. If nothing else, it’s a rare opportunity to call comfort food exciting!
Whether you try our tips, or have your own to share, let us know via #bettermemories on social media. We’ll share the best ones!
Growing your own kitchen garden is easier than you might think, and what could be better than having fresh ingredients on hand?
Greenery around the home is a big trend this season, and can even contribute to better health!
Here’s our guide to help you get started now for memorable meals all year long – look forward to serving up a party dinner that you grew all on your own, or digging up carrots with the kids.
Whether you go for a small indoor affair or make the most of your garden with an outdoor kitchen patch, growing your own common kitchen supplies is easier than you might think. Here’s our easy how-to guide.
1. Find the spot in your home that gets the most sunlight – a windowsill is ideal. Most herbs need a lot of light, so having your pots in a sunny spot will give you best results.
2. Take a pot for each type of herb you want to grow, and fill with ¼ gravel and ¾ compost. It’s available in all garden centres, and some supermarkets too!
3. Place a plant or seedling into the soil, and gently, but firmly pat the soil around the base of the plant. You can also grow herbs from seeds, in which case bury the seeds a little way under the soil. Water well.
4. Oregano, basil, thyme and parsley really benefit from a lot of light, while mint, chives and rosemary will do fine as long as they get some light each day. Bear this in mind when choosing a spot for your herbs.
5. Watch them flourish and enjoy!
1. Once again, choose a sunny spot. You get healthier, tastier plants when they get plenty of sunlight.
2. Clear the space of weeds and leaves, and anywhere else that snails and slugs might hide. You should also consider keeping your veg patch away from garden borders for the same reason.
3. Now it’s up to you to decide what to plant and when! Well-established plants can be ready-bought, or you can take the challenge of starting from seed.
4. Rhubarb crowns, potatoes, mint, onions, garlic, broccoli and carrots are just a few of the veg and herbs you can start growing in spring – your local garden centre and many online guides can help you decide how best to grow your favourites.
Not only can it make for better meals, a kitchen garden can add diversity and visual appeal, as well as being better for the environment. At Redrow we’ve dedicated several areas of our developments to the plants and flowers that help wildlife. This makes a better environment for local bees, hedgehogs and other critters, as well as the people in our communities.
Start a veg or herb garden now for memorable meals all year ‘round, and help local wildlife too! Show us how you’re mucking in and making #bettermemories by using the hashtag on social media.
If your new year’s resolution is to spend more time in the kitchen, hosting or cooking your way to a better way to live, you’ve got the perfect excuse to inject a little of the season’s hottest trends into your home.
If you are moving into a brand new Redrow home, you can take your custom look further by choosing your cabinets, tiles and even appliances in MyRedrow. It’s important to let your personality shine through when it comes to home design so our resident interior expert, Emma Brindley is on hand with the latest kitchen trends that are sure to make your house a home.
Trend 1: Natural finishes
At the heart of any good design is a nod to all things nature. Weathered woods are the perfect way to bring some character into your kitchen and our textured plank tiles from Porcelanosa, create the ultimate on trend look.
Don’t forget to explore the use of metals; golds and brass are still huge for 2017, so adorn kitchen side boards with metal trays or wire baskets. Mix up your materials in the kitchen, combining woods with luxurious marble finishes.
We love this brushed gold cutlery set for a luxurious style statement
Or get rustic with these marble and wood serving boards
Make sure you bring a bit of the outdoors in with some essential herb pots
Trend 2: Classic Colour
For SS17, sleek, classic colour choices will continue to dominate. For kitchen units, combine weathered wood with calm neutrals, we love the contemporary feel of the Hacienda and Ivory options in our Woodbury kitchen range. Alternatively, for a timeless design, opt for a shaker style kitchen in stone. When it comes to finishing touches only keep what you really need. De-clutter work tops and let your stylish, statement pieces shine through. Painted furniture remains on trend, but try exploring alternative hues – take a look at the Farrow and Ball colour palette for some earthy, heritage shades.
Pick a practical yet beautiful work top feature with this slate and copper serving platter
And you definitely won’t regret these colourful storage tags
Or keep things together with these smoky grey trays, you can even try painting your own.
Trend 3: Earthy ceramics
A few carefully chosen ceramics will bring texture and style to your cooking space, and a rustic charm to your design. We love handcrafted earthenware, overflowing with heritage and made with love. Good quality, hard-wearing pieces in a variety of rich colours and textures are a must for any kitchen.
We love Steelite’s performance range, the speckled effect is on trend and you don’t have to stick to one colour, so mix it up.
If traditional is more your thing, try these painted ceramic jars from Kilner
Or pick up a pattern with these wonderful Moroccan inspired serving plates
Trend 4: Gorgeously green
For 2017 we turn to nature and surround ourselves with green to find reassurance. It’s a vibrant colour and a statement symbol that represents fresh starts, hope and happiness. Greenery is an intense colour and can be difficult to get right; it’s powerful and bold so adorning your walls is probably not the best way to go. However, there are lots of ways you can incorporate this stylish hue into your design through carefully selected accessories and fabrics. Remember to adorn your surfaces with potted greenery for a truly happy space.
Get the kids involved with a personalised apron
Brighten up your family room and kitchen with this warm woolen throw
It’s always time for tea with this vintage tea pot
You’ll be amazed at how small tweaks and a few new accessories can add a whole new element to your kitchen– maybe it’ll give you inspiration for the rest of the house too!If these tips give you a transformation you’ll never forget, let us know on social media using #bettermemories.