So this week we are going savoury for our afternoon treats with some delicious tarts and bruschetta from Grow Harvest Cook, by Meredith Kirton and Mandy Sinclair. These simple but flavoursome recipes are perfect for an afternoon snack, and fresh from the oven they make a comforting and warming treat to share with friends. You won’t be having just one of these bite-sized goodies…
Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
100 g (3½ oz) soft blue cheese, at room temperature
6 small figs, halved lengthways
thyme sprigs to serve
Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F) or 200°C (400°F) for a fan-forced oven. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Cut six 7.5 cm (3 in) rounds from each sheet of pastry. Place on the prepared tray. Score each round 1 cm (ó in) from the edge. Prick the centre with a fork. Brush with the egg and bake for 10 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and press the centre of each pastry round down with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Spoon a little blue cheese into the centre of each tart shell. Top with a fig half, cut side up, and a little more cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve topped with a sprig of thyme.
Mushroom and Feta Bruschetta
4 field mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
25 g (1 oz) feta
salt and pepper to taste
50 g (1¾ oz/1 cup) firmly packed basil leaves
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 slices Italian white bread, lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) or 160°C (320°F) for a fan-forced oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay the mushrooms on the tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes. Crumble over the feta and season well. Bake for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
Meanwhile, make the basil oil. Place the basil and vegetable oil in a small food processor. Process until smooth.
Spread the basil oil over each bread slice. Top with a mushroom and serve with extra basil oil for drizzling.
You could use Swiss brown or button mushrooms in this recipe. Leave whole or chop and cook as per above.
Happy New Year from all of us here at the Hardie Grant office! We hope you had a great Christmas and that Santa brought you all those books you asked for!
With the start of a new year, it seems like everyone, from your neighbour to your Granny, enthusiastically embarks on a health kick to shed those extra few pounds that creep on over the festive season. If you, like the rest of the western world, feel like you may have indulged in one (or four) mince pies too many, then we have the answer for you – some healthy and nutritious recipes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. Drastic detoxes and juice fasts are so 2012 - instead, nourish your body with Heidi’s wholesome recipes, which include energy-boosting wholegrains and in season fruit and vegetables, jazzed up with some delicious flavour combinations. These simple recipes from the queen of vegetarian eating will delight meat-eaters and non meat-eaters alike (who needs more meat after all that turkey anyway?!) and help us over-indulgers give our digestive systems a bit of a TLC in the new year.
You can buy Super Natural Every Day here.
For design lovers:
A Living Space by Kit Kemp (£30.00 Hardback)
Acclaimed interior designer and owner of Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp, showcases her signature style in this stunning interiors book. Known for her stylish, witty and distinctly English interiors, Kit provides snippets of styling advice alongside beautiful photographs of her design masterpieces.
Bowerbird by Sibella Court (£26.99 Hardback)
Best-selling author and stylist Sibella Court reveals her very personal approach to collecting and collections. Perfect for any compulsive collectors who like to decorate their home with interesting finds from far and wide - Sibella shows you how to create inspirationally styled interiors with your favourite finds.
For sports fanatics:
Never A Gentlemen’s Game by Malcolm Knox (£20.00 Hardback)
The only book for cricket fanatics this Christmas! Malcolm Knox explores the untouched area of the scandals of early test cricket - a period of cricket which appears to be fraught with exactly the same bitter, vicious and greedy behaviour as the current game.
Darcey Bussell by Darcey Bussell (£30.00 Hardback)
Darcey Bussell’s illustrated biography has been one of the most in-demand books of the season, with everyone desperate to get their hands on this glorious photographic celebration of one of the greatest English ballerinas of all time. Grab a copy of this beautiful book fast for the lady in your life - with stunning photographs from world renowned photographers it won’t fail to disappoint!
The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art by Sharmadean Reid (£9.99 Hardback)
Sharmadean Reid, owner of the renowned hip London salon WAH Nails, shares 25 of her most in-demand nail designs, from simple techniques to trickier designs. Nail art is the hottest beauty trend around right now - find out how to achieve the looks in your very own home with this trendy guide. Ideal for the fashionista!
J’aime New York by Alain Ducasse (£35.00 Hardback)
Renowned chef Alain Ducasse shares his pick of the best eating haunts in the Big Apple. Anyone who’s ever visited New York or who longs to take a trip to this buzzing city will be inspired by the amazing food hotspots Alain Ducasse recommends. A gorgeous, sumptuously photographed coffee-table book.
Under the Walnut Tree by Anna and Fanny Bergenström (£20.00 Hardback)
Combining international and Scandinavian flavours, this is an inspiring cookbook from mother and daughter team, who share 400 recipes for all occasions. Foodies will delight in this cookbook all year round!
Antonio Carluccio: A Recipe for Life by Antonio Carluccio (£20.00 Hardback)
Antonio Carluccio is a name known to many - over his fifty year career he has inspired thousands of people with his no-fuss Italian cooking and his love of good food and wine. This is a great read for anyone interested in the man behind the famous name; it is a story of a life of unexpected twists and turns, joy and sadness, love and life.
Just Sew Stories by Katie Allen (£16.99 Hardback)
Handmade is the new hip, as any budding crafter will know. Keep creativity at an all time high with this cute book full of original sewing projects - from easy peasy to confident crafter, Just Sew Stories will get everyone sewing crazy this Christmas.
With only 19 days left until Christmas, it’s time to get our skates on and actually start doing some Christmas shopping! There are countless gift guides flying around out there to help you discern the shabby from the chic, but gift guides for the book worms seem to be far and few between at the moment. That’s why we’ve put together our pick of the best books to give as gifts this Christmas. If you’re struggling for a great Dad-present or don’t know where to turn for a cute stocking filler, look no further than our edit of the best books from the Hardie Grant bookshelves. Christmas shopping stress? Not here, thanks! More time for mulled wine parties and baking festive gingerbread then…
The Gentleman’s Guide to Cocktails by Alfred Tong (£9.99 Hardback)
The ultimate cocktail guide for the suave man in your life who likes a drink with a bit of style! Illustrated throughout by Jack Hughes and complete with over 150 recipes, this book will turn the amateur home barman into the perfect cocktail party host.
Scandalous by Barry Stone (£9.99 Paperback)
There is no shortage of sporting stars making headlines off the field for all the wrong reasons - from lucrative endorsement deals flushed down the toilet to marriages shattered following a scandalous affair. This book is perfect for the sports-lover who wants the insider scoop on the most shocking stories behind their favourite games.
Have You Eaten? by Billy Law
Published October 2012
Great Pub Food by Rachael Lane
Published November 2012 in the UK
A Living Space by Kit Kemp, published October 2012
100 Best Cakes and Desserts
by Gabriel Gate
Published September 2012
The French Dog by Rachael McKenna
Published September 2012 in the UK
Published September 2012 in the UK