Saint George’s Day | Fish and Chips

To celebrate Saint George’s Day we are having good old fashioned English meal tonight- Fish and Chips. With the first ‘chippy’ appearing in Oldham in 1860, it’s safe to say Fish and Chips are a very English tradition and one that everyone loves!

Our favourite homemade recipe is Jamie Oliver’s Traditional Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas, and here is our how-to >

1 | Start with the peas – add butter, chopped mint and peas to a pan, simmer under a lid for 10 minutes before adding lemon juice, salt and pepper and mashing them by hand or     with a blender.

2 | Add sunflower oil to a deep fat fryer or large frying pan and heat to 190 degrees

3 | Prepare fish by seasoning on both sides with salt and pepper. Whisk together flour beer and baking powder until this becomes batter which is sticky and full of air

4 | Dust fish with flour before dipping into batter and carefully placing in hot sunflower oil.

5 | Cook for about 4 minutes, or until batter is crispy and golden

6 | For the chips, peel and slice potatoes into correct shape and par boil in salty water for around 4-5 minutes. Leave them to dry before frying in the same oil used for fish until crispy and golden brown

7 | Dry chips, season with salt before serving alongside the fish and mushy peas

& Enjoy!

 Images found on Pinterest & recipe from Jamie Oliver.

How To | Magna Wallpaper

Here at Cox & Cox HQ we are always on the look out for products which look stunning but are also really practical, and our magic New Magna Wallpaper is exactly that.

With three different designs; a studious owl, a great grizzly bear and an alert rabbit, this wallpaper is completely magnetic and comes with 10 small silver disc magnets for you to hang photos, notes and all your little works of art!

Made from vinyl with iron particles, it is really easy to hang and would look brilliant in any office space or children’s room. Wallpaper can be easily trimmed to fit a smaller space and any excess paper can be hung elsewhere to create mini magnetic sections.

Here is our easy how-to guide:

1 | Make sure the surface is clean smooth and dry, we recommend sanding down any imperfections on the wall.

2 |  Measure width and height of space and cut wallpaper as required. Don’t forget to make sure the design is still centered, take a look at our website for dimension guides of each print.

3 | Use an All Purpose Wall Covering Adhesive (available from most good hardware stores, we used this) and apply a thin layer to the wall using a roller and a small paintbrush for the edges.

4 | Hang wallpaper from top of wall, push any air bubbles out from the centre with a soft brush and remove any excess glue using a slightly damp sponge.

5 | Leave for half an hour until set, grab your magnets and get creative!

 

Easter | Decorating

Easter is a great time for decorating your home and getting a little creative to really wow your guests. Here are just a few of our favourite easy-to-do decorations to turn your home into an Easter extravaganza!

We think Painted Eggs look beautiful at Easter. Take a look at our how-to guide for decorating eggs here. We think they look beautiful in a DIY Easter Nest, or under one of our beautiful Delicate Glass Display Domes, available here.

Our Beautifully carved Decorative Wooden Eggs are a sweet way to hide little Easter treats, fill with chocolate eggs or Easter chicks for an alternative Easter egg idea, or hide them around the garden for a fun Easter hunt.

Create your very own beautiful Easter Tree. It doesn’t have to be expensive or over complicated, we filled our Enamelled Taupe Jug with some branches of Cherry Blossom to create a really striking effect.

 

Easter | Dining

Whatever your Easter tradition, a bank holiday weekend is always a great excuse to get the family together around the table and enjoy a lovely meal. We have put together some Easter dining essentials and found some of our favourite Easter recipes to make this weekend easy for you >

 What to Buy-

- Casa Earthenware Set in Lavender Grey- A beautiful Spring colourway perfect for   Easter meals

- Roll of Party Napkins- Stylish and very useful, these are perfect for any Spring party.

- Enamelled Taupe Jug- Great for holding your Easter tree or filled with Summer punch!

- Decorative Wooden Eggs- These beautiful Wooden Eggs look great on the table and   can be filled with little Easter treats

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What to Cook-

Good Friday- Good Friday is the perfect excuse to cook a lovely fish dish. We love this Salmon and Pico De Gallo recipe, find it here.

 

Easter Sunday Starter- Your starter should be really simple and we think this BBC Food Baked Camembert is a real crowd pleaser, find the recipe here and buy our Ingenious Camembert Baker here.

Easy Sunday Main Dish- Roast Lamb is an Easter Sunday tradition and one we really love. Our favourite Roast Lamp recipe can be found here.

Easter Sunday Desert- Creative cook Jamie Oliver has come up with a brilliant Easter Desert- Hot Cross Bun Pudding! Find this clever recipe here.

Easter | Chocolate Egg Nests

The perfect Easter treat and a great baking activity with children. Our Chocolate Egg Nests are super easy and very tasty!

What you need-
225g Plain Chocolate
2 Tablespoon Golden Syrup
50g Butter
75g Cornflakes
2 packs Mini Eggs
Measuring Scales
Wooden Spoons
Mixing Bowls
Saucepan
Cake Cases (optional)

What to do-
1 | Line Fairy Cake Tin with cases or grease with butter
2 | Melt Chocolate, Golden Syrup and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water
3 | Once chocolate is melted, slowly mix in cornflakes until all cereal is coated
4 | Divide the mixture into Fairy Cake Tin and chill in the fridge for an hour, or until solid
5 | Top with Mini Eggs for the finishing touch!

& enjoy!

 Recipe from BBC Food and top image found on pinterest.com

Easter Decorating | Painted Eggs

Egg decorating is a fun and creative Easter tradition which occurs during egg hunts at Easter. It’s a great idea for fun with the family and also looks beautiful on an Easter table. They can be a little tricky to decorate but we think it’s all part of the fun! Here’s how to  >

1-Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and place the eggs in the pan, leave them cook for 10 minutes

2-Once the eggs have boiled leave to cool, in this time you can prepare the paint and choose your colour pallet

Cox & Cox Tip: Ensure there is plenty of newspaper laid down to avoid any spillage!

3-Once the eggs have cooled paint them with a thin layer and carefully place in an egg box to dry. Move onto the next egg while the first is drying and so on.

4-The eggs may need a second coat depending on personal preference, why not also try adding spots or stripes?

5- If you are feeling adventurous try adding gold leaf to the surface once the paint has dried. Or for a quick fix- paint with copper nail varnish for a great effect!

6-Place in one of our beautiful Glass Display Domes, a Bowl or an Easter basket for the finishing touch!

A Day In The Life | Customer Services

Ever wonder what it’s really like working at Cox & Cox HQ? Over the next few months we will be giving you an insight into what really goes on in every department to bring you the best products and best service we can!

Laura has been head of Customer Services for 5 Years and has taken five minutes out of her very busy schedule to tell us a little about her day >

“My day starts with a brew and my breakfast whilst I check through my emails to ensure I’m on top of everything. I then move on to contacting our VIP customers to arrange delivery of their order. I love this part of my job as it adds a personal touch to the service, especially when they are spending so much with us. I then pass these onto Ken, our warehouse manager, and we have a quick chat through all the collections and deliveries for the day.”

“By my next cup of tea I’m taking a look at emails from our customers and catching up with the team. My day is rarely ever the same as there are always different tasks that arise, from two-man delivery orders, to stock-notifications and Feefo feedback.”

What do you love most about Cox & Cox? It’s rarely ever the same from day to day and we always go that extra mile to help people

What was the last book you read? Game, Set and Match, by Kathryn Bellamy

What one item can you not live without? My Phone!

What is your favourite Cox & Cox product and why? It has to be one of our Luxurious Supersoft Fur Throws

What is your favourite place? My home – filled with my family and loved ones.  There is no better feeling than a home filled with laughter and happiness!

What would your last breakfast on earth be? Eggs Benedict with 2 Hash Browns on the side

What makes you happiest? My Family

What are your plans for 2014? Going away with my friend to Tunisia!

Who or What is your biggest inspiration? My Parents. They’ve been married for 44 years and still happy together despite having been through a lot.  They have taught me patience, responsibility, compassion and determination.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A Dentist or a Cowboy!

 

 

Mother’s Day Recipe | Berry Macarons

We all know that Mother’s Day isn’t just aobut gift giving. Whether you are spending the day together or just popping round for tea, our lovely Berry Macarons make a sweet treat just for her.

What you need-
110g Icing Sugar
60g Ground Almonds
2 Large Egg Whites
40g Caster Sugar
Lilac/Pink Food Colouring
1 Tablespoon of Berry Puree
Berry Jam for serving

What to do-
1 | Preheat oven to 170 degrees/ gas mark 3 and line two baking trays with greeceproof          paper
2 | Sift Icing Sugar and Ground Almonds into food processor and mix until find powder
3 | Whisk egg whites, sugar and food colouring until you have a firm meringue
4 | Slowly fold in the sugar and almond mix using a wooden spoon
5 | Use piping bag with 1cm round nozzle to pipe circles onto tray, ensure they are a good      distance apart and push down any peeks which form
6 | Rest for 15 minutes before placing in the oven to bake for 10 minutes
7 | Once cooked and cooled, sandwich Macarons between a layer of Berry Puree and Jam      until you have a complete set

& finally, enjoy with your Mum with a lovely cup of tea on Sunday!

Recipe from redonline.co.uk and all images found on pinterest.com

 

Q & A with Nicolas Vahe

Nicolas Vahé is a talented French chef, based in Denmark.

Growing up in a family of cooks and training in Pic Valence’, a three star Michelin restaurant, Vahé has worked in some of the best establishments and knows all the secrets of preparing food in the elite division.

In 2007 Vahé launched his own range of ‘specialties’, food and cookware products, from his own recipes. Taking inspiration from all over the world, his own cooking knowledge and working closely alongside a French team, Vahé has come up with some amazing ideas to help anyone bring their kitchen to life.

Vahé has teamed up with our brilliant buying team to put together a list of ingredients to create a Tool Kit exclusive to Cox & Cox. Tried and tested by everyone in the office, we think this beautiful hamper is full of brilliant products to make any meal more exciting and full of wonderful flavours.

Alongside our exclusive Tool Kit, our Nicolas Vahé range will be expanding very soon with some stylish essentials for kitchen to table entertaining!

We caught up with Nicolas last week and asked him a few questions about what inspires his amazing food and stylish designs.

What do you love about Cox & Cox? The philosophy that it is possible to create a home that is both beautiful and practical. The product range has influences from all over the world but often with a contemporary twist.

What was the last book you read? Steve Jobs: The Exclusive

What one item could you not live without? My iPhone

Favourite Cox & Cox product and why? Actually, everything in your Kitchen & Dining section

Favourite place? My most favourite place in the world is home, doesn’t matter which country I belong. Home is where the heart is.

What would be your last breakfast on earth? Pancakes and raspberry/ ginger jam, and I will have a glass of champagne!

What makes you happiest? Happy people make me happiest

What are your plans for 2014?  Food, food, food, food and food…

Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Inspiration is something I get during a trip, in a new country, new culture, new style of food. I read a lot, so I can also get inspiration from books.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A pastry chef. Cakes and desserts were already my favourite hobby when I was 10 years old!

Keep your eyes peeled for Nicolas’ new collection launching on www.coxandcox.co.uk tomorrow morning!