The main topic of conversation this week in the UK has been the soaring temperatures, so I am going to avoid mentioning the heat except to say I hope you have been keeping hydrated and using your Ultrasun (or other SPF) if you have been out and about in it. I have been in at QVC every day except Tuesday this week, so I haven’t had much opportunity to enjoy the sun, but then I have got my holiday/wedding coming up next month so I can’t complain.
I’m off after today for my usual five day break, then back on August 1st as we begin the Butler & Wilson Golden Anniversary shows on the main channel at 6pm. Last week I shared two of the new versions of the Dancing Couple brooch, but I think the real ‘star’ of their 50th birthday will be the London bus. It’s available in two colour options, red or topaz, and at £39.98 I think it is going to be a real favourite for collectors of this iconic brand and may well sell out early.
Many more of the new collection pieces are already available on our website with plenty more to come throughout August. As well as the show I have with Simon on the 1st, we are also together on the 15th at 6pm for two hours and the 18th at 6pm for two hours… in fact, that will be my final show on QVC as a single woman, as we fly off to Mauritius the following day – it seems somehow fitting.
Just back to the hot temperatures for a moment. I’m sure Wilfie is not the only cat who has been a bit listless. He is normally one for lying in puddles of sunshine throughout the house but he has abandoned his normal places for cooler spots. He hasn’t even been interested in playing with his string, usually his favourite game, as you can see from this picture. He usually has his meals in the conservatory, but we have been giving him his lunch in the kitchen as it is cooler and making sure he has plenty of water to drink.
Talking of meals, enough of you expressed an interest in my risotto recipe, so here it is… enjoy:
Courgette and Roasted Pepper Risotto
Serves 3 – 4
You will need:
- 50g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 250g Carnaroli rice
- 75ml white wine
- 750ml hot vegetable stock (1 veggie stock cube dissolved in water)
- 1 large courgette cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 280g jar of chargrilled peppers, drained and sliced
- 75g parmesan, finely grated
- black pepper
1. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat until butter has melted. Add the onion and parsley and fry gently for 4 minutes until onions are soft but not brown. Add rice and stir constantly for 2 minutes until the grains are coated.
2. Pour the wine over the rice and simmer until it has been absorbed then add a ladleful of stock (which is being kept simmering in another saucepan). Once absorbed, add the courgette and continue to add stock a ladleful at a time, stirring thoroughly each time.
3. After approx 10 minutes, add the peppers and continue adding stock until it has all gone. Turn off the heat but leave pan on ring while you stir in 50g parmesan and black pepper to taste, reserving remainder of cheese to sprinkle on the top if desired.
I will be back at my writing desk over this coming weekend, as there are one or two more tweaks to do before my next book goes off to the copy editor on Monday. We now have a title and apparently the cover is ‘very close’, so I should be able to share those with you soon when it goes on pre-order – hopefully before I go away. I mentioned a bit about the storyline in this short piece for our local Round & About magazine, featured this week. The photo was another one taken by our very talented model, Sharon, earlier in the year.
So, I am off this weekend, which means I will be missing tomorrow’s Beauty Day – the TSV is from Shay & Blue, and other favourite brands featuring are Molton Brown, Decleor, SBC and it’s the start of the Gatineau mini series.
Then on Sunday, we have a great deal on an Amazon Fire tablet – do remember our TSVs now launch live on air at 9 p.m. the previous day, which I hope you did remember if you wanted the Denim & Co. TSV jacket, which has already sold out! The white, pictured here on me, was the first to go! I have an hour of Denim & Co. with Carla Lazlo at 3 p.m. and then my regular two Fashion on Friday shows at 5 p.m. on the main channel and 6 p.m. on Style.
Must dash as I need to go to the gym before heading in for my show with Carla. Have a great weekend and do let me know what you think of the risotto if you try it.