Beach walks and tasty food

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Outside of QVC

I’m still on a mission to squeeze out the best of the end of summer. There’s still sunny days up for the taking so we are grabbing them when we can. This week, with Sunday looking to be beautiful we jumped in the car and headed off to Lulworth Cove in Dorset. It’s only 30 minutes from us so we are very lucky to have such a beautiful place so close. It’s a mile or so from the famous cliffs of Durdle Door so we decided to do the stunning walk from Lulworth. It was a risk, as Ivy is still only 3 so a walk like that is a pretty big deal for her, but she took it in her stride and practically ran the first part up the steep incline over the hill. I cannot confirm or deny however that we had to use scheduled sweet stops along the way to keep them going for the whole walk!

Durdle Door is quite something, it’s the most beautiful natural limestone arch that sits proudly jutting out from a beautiful pebble beach. It looks like a setting for a movie or an Enid Blyton adventure book. The kids loved it as there are a few caves to climb around in too so it’s exciting stuff for them and for us!

We the headed back to Lulworth for a Sunday roast at a lovely pub and then went down to Lulworth Cove beach. We found the most extraordinary thing there. There was a man who was happily balancing rocks, making little towers. Towers that looked like they had always been there and that shouldn’t be able to balance the way they were. It’s was really very cool. He did it just as a hobby and found it very relaxing and mindful, so we had a go too. Ours were no way near as impressive as his but it was indeed a good way to concentrate our minds on something other than the weekly shop and the school uniforms that needed washing!

What I’m wearing

This week I’ve been enjoying the new range of Swarovski Jewellery that is new to QVC. We’ve a number of brands that feature Swarovski crystals like Aurora and Butler & Wilson but this is the first time that we will have their own pieces which we are very excited about. One of my favourites is the Zodiac necklace, you may have spotted me wearing it on air. It consists of three charms, one of which is a disk with a star on it, plus your own personal sign of the zodiac covered in Swarovski crystals, I’m Pisces. You also have your birth stone to add a splash of colour. It’s a very wearable piece for every day and gives that personal touch to you or the person that you are giving it to.

I am also loving this brilliant faux leather jacket from Rino & Pelle. I usually wear a black biker jacket style so it’s really nice to shake up my look with this Olive colour, how perfect is it for Autumn?! It also comes in a creamy colour which is called Rose Cloud. They both have the edgy studding detail all over the arms. You may have also spotted Ruth Langsford wearing it in one of our latest promos. As it’s faux leather it’s very reasonably priced and great for anyone who would prefer not to wear leather.

What I’m using in beauty

I’m going to be frank here, I was very sceptical about the Blendsmart rotating make-up brush. I thought what could a rotating brush possibly do that I can’t do with a manual brush. It turns out quite a bit! There’s no major magic trick here, it’s quite simple, the rotating brush blends your foundation perfectly. No brush lines, no tide marks, no dragging marks in the foundation or uneven blobs of foundation around the creases in the nose. It’s quick and leave a flawless finish that I wasn’t achieving before. It’s actually been a bit of a revelation for me. It comes with three brush heads perfect for liquid or mineral foundation and also one that’s perfect for concealer. It also comes in a rather nice travel case. Really, I am very surprised by this brush and I would absolutely recommend you give it a try.

Offers at QVC

I brought home the Alison Cork Today’s Special Value Bedspread to see how it would look in my bedroom. It’s really rather gorgeous! It’s velvety on one side and matte on the other so that you can have different textures to the look of your bed. It’s your fabulous offer today on QVC (Thursday) so make sure to get yours at an incredible price.

The Weekend Kitchen

Our second show of The Weekend Kitchen was great fun. Marcus Bean is a brilliant chef who gave us loads of great tips for cooking through the show. I learned a few really good lessons including Marcus’ perfect poached eggs. His method is to boil the water in a pan, when it’s boiled take it off the heat and immediately crack the eggs straight in to the pan. Put a lid on top and just leave it for 3 minutes without putting it back on the heat. No vinegar, no swirling of water just very, very simple. I’ve tried it and it does indeed work really well. You may find like I did that they need another minute if you don’t want them to be too runny on the white though.

His second great tip is once something is cooked, to halt the cooking process. This means when something is cooked don’t let it sit there in its own heat or it will just keep on cooking. So transfer potatoes for example out of their pan if you are boiling or steaming. You can even cool them off by running them under water.

Resting meat is another good one that most of us know but perhaps aren’t really sure why. Well it’s so that the meat will retain its moisture and redistribute the juices around the roast again. If you serve straight away your meat will be much dryer. Foil the meat and leave for around 20 minutes. It won’t lose the heat, it will take as long as it did to cook to lose it again.

If you want to try out Marcus’ Hollandaise Sauce then here is what you will need –

Hollandaise (Béarnaise, tarragon and chervil)
2 egg yolks
200g butter
1 tbsp vinegar (reduced by half)

Reduce the vinegar with some peppercorns
Once cooled, whisk into the egg yolks
Melt the butter on a low heat
Slowly add the melted butter to the egg yolks while constantly whisking

To see exactly how he did it you can go to my Facebook page to see the show. I have pinned it to the top of the page. Same for his incredible chocolate cheesecake.

For this you will need –

Ingredients:
(Makes 3-4 Individual Cheesecakes)

50g unsalted butter
120g Oreo biscuits
300g cream cheese
50ml Irish Cream
50g icing sugar
150ml double cream
½ vanilla pod seeds
4 metal presentation rings about 6-8cm

To serve:
Fresh berries and a jug of double cream

Chocolate:
100g melted milk or dark chocolate

Method:

Melt the butter, then place the biscuits into the Magimix and blitz until a fine crumb, then add the melted butter and blitz to combine. Put the biscuit mix into the rings and press down in your presentation ring. Allow to set in the fridge for five minutes.

To make the filling, whip the cream cheese, vanilla seeds, icing sugar and Irish Cream, then in a separate bowl whip your cream and slowly fold into the mix with half of your melted chocolate.
Get your base rings with the base in, now add your filling on top of the biscuit base. Drizzle over a little melted chocolate. Place in the fridge for about 1 hour to firm up or serve straight away for a soft texture. Use a blow torch to gently warm the outside of the ring so you can remove without sticking.

Serve with fresh fruit and double cream.

On this weekend’s show with celeb chef Dean Edwards you have lots more fabulous recipes to look forward to and this week Dean will be using, among others, more from H. Forman & Sons including their smoked salmon and mackerel pate which is a beautiful creamy pate, perfect for dinner parties. The broken seeded crackers are also fantastic, we made short work of them in our house. I can’t wait to see what Dean does with this.

Also lots of treats in store from Churchill’s with their iconic tins and beautiful buttery shortbread biscuits. My girls absolutely adore them and it was a fight to stop them eating the entire tin of the chocolate chip shortbread cookies. I cannot confirm or deny that I may or may not have finished them off in the kitchen without them seeing!! I’m wondering how Dean will incorporate them into one of his own recipes.

There will also be cakey desserts from Forman & Field. I had my own fun with these at home by giving them a little twist. I took the yummy Lemon and Pistachio cake and sliced it in half. I then caramelised it in a frying pan with some butter and then whipped up some crème fresh and squeezed half a lemon into it. I dolloped that over the top and then added a sprinkle of crushed pistachios and grated lemon zest on top. It was FABULOUS! What would you do with yours? Other than eat it that is!! Check out the cake collection here.

Make sure to tune in on Saturday at 12pm, there’s only two more shows to go! Also keep an eye on Will Gowing’s Facebook page as he is doing a giveaway each week with lots of the food from the shows!

I will make sure to bring you lots of behind the scenes action from the show so keep up with my Instagram to see them.

Thanks for reading my blog and do let me know if you have tried any of the recipes or tips from the shows so far.

Lots of love
Katy x

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