Competition: Win a lunch box and wine cooler from Kikkerland

Summer competition

Okay so the sun has come out –  it’s officially summer time and today it’s also  competition time. And I’m giving away the perfect prize for those lazy, hazy picnic days of summer.

I love summer in London. It’s amazing how this magnificent city adopts an alfresco lifestyle – everyone goes a little crazy when the sun comes out! Well, there have been years when that has been a serious rarity. Pavements throng with excited drinkers, barbecues are lit and parks come to life with picnickers.

So I’m very pleased today to be giving away a prize to make your picnicking life better! The Kikkerland wicker print soft lunch box is stylish, lightweight and easily zipped up to keep all your picnic delights safe. And to go with it there’s a matching insulated cooler to make sure you have something chilled to drink while you’re enjoying the sun.

The prize

A Kikkerland wicker print lunch box and wine cooler.

How to enter

1 Follow eatingcoventgarden.com by entering your email in the box at the top in the right hand column.

2 When you receive the email (which should be immediately), confirm that you want to subscribe.

3 Answer the following question in the comment section of eatingcoventgarden.com

What does BST stand for?

A Bright sunny temperatures

B British summer time

C Burning strong temperatures

4 Follow Kikkerland on EITHER instagram OR twitter  by clicking on these links.

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 11 June 2017 at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email.

No cash alternatives to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.

 Find out more about Kikkerland’s great range of products at kikkerlandeu.com


Recipe book review: Saffron Soul

I love trying out new dishes in the kitchen and what better place to get inspiration than from a beautiful recipe book. I often sit on the floor surrounded by cookbooks trying to decide what to cook for dinner. Seriously, I can while away hours in a little food recipe world.

So I’m always delighted when I have a new book to try. I recently went to the launch of Saffron Soul by Mira Manek and was treated to some of her delightful dishes for breakfast. Most notably, the amazing tofu scramble with numeric and spices, topped with pink peppercorns and served with peppered sweet potato wedges and cumin tossed kale. Never has tofu tasted so good, like a spicy version of scrambled egg!

Mira’s quest in this book is to show us how Indian food can be healthy and delicious at the same time. Her range of vegetarian recipes are inventive, tasty and easy to make once you have all the relevant spices. She explains the importance and health-giving values of the main spices used in Indian cooking. For example, turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, cumin is good for digestion and fenugreek may help control blood sugar levels and cholesterol. And of course they make dishes taste fabulous, too.

I cooked several recipes including the amazing spinach parathas. A recent love of mine – I’d never cooked parathas and was surprised at how well they came out! The cauliflower and pea curry was crunchy and packed with flavour. But my absolute favourite of the dishes I’ve cooked so far is the Gujarati dal, an amazing dish made with yellow split peas and an orchestra of spices.

How to make Gujarati dal

Here’s Mira’s amazing dal recipe. You will note that she says some of the spices are optional – I would advise that you put absolutely everything on the list in as they produce an amazing depth of flavour.

I used yellow split peas which I bought from my local supermarket.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

The ingredients

200g toor dal, yellow split dal or pigeon peas

1.2 litres boiling water

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

Half tsp fenugreek seeds, optional

1-2 dried red chillis, slit lengthways

2 cinnamon sticks, optional

2 cloves, optional

On quarter tsp asafoetida

10-15 fresh curry leaves

5 fresh tomatoes, chopped or 5 tbsps tinned tomatoes

Half tsp ground tumeric

Half to 1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1.5 tsp sea salt

3 tbsps brown sugar

Handful of coriander leaves, chopped

Juice of 2 fresh limes

The instructions

Rinse the split peas in a sieve under running water until the water is clear, then tip into a saucepan.

Add the measured boiling water and boil for 1 hour on a medium-low heat until the dal is a porridge-like consistency.

With a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the dal so that it becomes completely smooth or blend it in a blender until smooth.

In a large, non-stick saucepan melt the coconut oil, then add the cumin and mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds have popped, add the dried red chillies, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add the asafoetida and curry leaves, then the tomatoes and stir for a minute.

Add the ground turmeric, red chilli powder, grated ginger, salt, sugar and coriander to the tomato mixture and stir.

Pour in the blended dal, squeeze the lime in and leave to simmer on a low heat for 10-15 mins until it turns orange-brown.

Taste the dal and add more lime or sugar, as required.

My copy of Saffron Soul is bookmarked with several slips of paper, ready for my next Indian vegetarian feast. This is a book I know I am going to be returning to frequently. And here’s how to win one of your own.

Reader giveaway

The prize

One copy of Saffron Soul by Mira Manek worth £13.20.

How to enter

Tell me what your favourite Indian spice is in the comment section of this post.

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 28 May 2017 at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email.

No cash alternatives to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.

Saffron Soul by Mira Manek is published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Out now.

Available from all good retailers. Photography credit:  © Jacqui Small

To find out more, visit www.miramanek.com

Competition: Win £25-worth of Amazon vouchers

Competition: Your chance to win Amazon vouchers

As summer approaches (at least I hope it’s approaching, it’s definitely on the chilly side at the moment), we’re all thinking about our much-longed-for summer holidays. Wherever I go, one of the greatest holiday joys for me is that that time for totally uninterrupted reading. How I love picking up a book and putting it down (or not) when I want to – or even when it’s finished if it’s that good.

Ever since I learned to read as a small child, a magical world opened up to me. I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book. Not so great for my social skills, but hey, I was happy. As such a voracious reader, going on holiday could be something of a challenge. A suitcase full of books can be on the heavy side. Of course that’s no longer a problem with my trusty Kindle which goes everywhere with me and is always packed with potentially exciting reads.

Almost as much as I enjoy the holiday reading, I enjoy making my choices. There’s so much on offer and I obviously have my favourite genres. So to get out of that zone of always reading the same type of book, I try to pick at least one that is set in or near the area I am visiting. Sometimes it’s an almost otherworldly experience, like when I read Room with a View in Florence – it felt a bit like I was living a double life in different centuries.

I generally choose novels rather than factual tomes on the area, though of course this is also a good idea – an easy chance to learn – it all seems so much easier to absorb those facts when you’re sitting in the middle of them.

For great tips on picking your perfect holiday book, click on holidaygems.co.uk

And here’s a taster from my past and present reading lists to inspire you. Can you guess where I’m going on holiday this year?

Plus your chance to win £25 to spend on amazon.co.uk – time to stock up on those summer reads.

If you’re still undecided on where you want to spend some time this summer, have a look at www.holidaygems.co.uk

Some past favourites

Room with a View by E M Forster made Florence seem even more magical.

Competition: win Amazon vouchers

A Long Finish by Michael Dibdin added a touch of adventure (and horror) to my trip to Tuscany

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon made Barcelona seem much more intriguing.

Competition: Win Amazon vouchers

Some ideas for this year

Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler

The Boy in the Blue Pyjamas by John Boyne and Oliver Jeffers

The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene

 

The prize

£25 of Amazon vouchers to spend on anything you like on amazon.co.uk

How to enter

1 Follow eatingcoventgarden.com by entering your email in the box at the top in the right hand column.

2 When you receive the email (which should be immediately), confirm that you want to subscribe.

3 Answer the following question in the comment section of eatingcoventgarden.com

Which city is Bridget Jones’ Diary mainly set in?

A London

B Madrid

C Hong Kong

D Nairobi

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 21 May 2017 at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email.

No cash alternatives to the prize will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.

Find holiday inspiration by visiting www.holidaygems.co.uk

Competition: Win Brushed Gold Coffee Cups

Win Brushed Gold Coffee Cups from MiaFleur

Brushed Gold Coffee Cups from MiaFleur

Add a touch of glamour to your morning coffee

I love a good cup of coffee – it’s something to look forward to at the start of each day – and throughout the day now that I think about it! And today I’m bringing you the chance to make coffee time even more enjoyable with these beautiful brushed gold coffee cups from MiaFleur.

They’re made of stainless steel with a luxury brushed gold finish with glass inserts in a double-walled design that helps keep the coffee warm. The perfect way to add a touch of glamour to every sip!

The prize

A set of two La Cafetiere Brushed Gold Coffee Cups worth £29.95.Brushed Gold Coffee Cups from MiaFleurHow to enter

1.Answer the following question in the comments section on eatingcoventgarden.com

Complete MiaFleur’s motto, Because life is too short to be ……

A. Bored

B. Minimalist

C. Miserable

D. Dieting

2. Follow MiaFleur on Instagram by clicking here.

3. For an extra entry follow MiaFleur on twitter by clicking here.

Brushed Gold Coffee Cups from MiaFleur

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 9 April 2017 at midnight.

The winners will be chosen at random after the closing date.

The winner will be notified by email .

No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prize is not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.

Find out more about MiaFleur’s stunning range of stylish items for the home and garden by clicking here.

Competition: Win fabulous Scandinavian-inspired homeware

Competition time. It’s been a while since I’ve offered you the chance to win something special for your home. So today I’m pleased to say it’s something really lovely. Three stylish items to be exact.

The prizes are from the Scandinavian-inspired homeware brand Isak which was brought to life by Swedish designer Sandra Isaksson in 2006.

Her latest designs, the Midnattssol range (Swedish for midnight sun) is a celebration of her Scandinavian heritage. The ceramic enamel is dishwasher and oven safe up to 180C. It is smooth, durable and chemical resistant – and it looks so stylish too.

The ceramic pieces are produced ethically and sustainably in Indonesia. Each piece is fired at a temperature of 1300C to create an incredibly strong and fine porcelain that is dishwasher, oven and microwave safe.

You can also read Sandra’s inspiring food and travel blog isakstable.com

The prizes

There are three stylish prizes from the Midnattssol range.

Enamel coffee pot (worth £32) with a capacity of 1.5l.

Enamel cooking pot (worth £25) with a capacity of 3.5l.

Serving bowl with lid (worth £25)

 

Competition prize: Midnattssol enamel coffee pot

The Midnattssol enamel coffee pot

Competition prize: enamel cooking pot

Midnattssol enamel cooking pot

Competition prize: Midnattssol serving bowl

The Midnattssol serving bowl with lid

How to enter

1. Answer the following question in the comment box on eatingcoventgarden.com

What does Midnattssol translate to in English?

A. Morning sun

B. Midnight sun

C. Night rain

3. Follow the Isak  Facebook page by clicking here

4. Follow Isak on Instagram by clicking here

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 26 March 2017 at midnight.

The winners will be chosen at random after the closing date.

There will be three winners, each receiving one of the items above.

The winners will be notified by email .

No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.

 

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Competition: Win gold kitchen utensils from MiaFleur

It’s competition time and today you have the chance to win these fabulous gold utensils from MiaFleur. A great way to add a touch of glamour to your kitchen, they’re practical too and will make serving and cooking easier. It’s simple to enter, just follow the instructions below.

Everyone who enters will also receive a 10% off code to use at MiaFleur which has a wonderful range of home accessories and furniture to choose from.

If you want to double your chances, you can enter for a second time via twitter once you’ve fulfilled all the intial conditions. Simply click here to tweet and enter again.

MiaFleur- Gold Ladle £24 (1)

The stylish ladle for easy soup serving

MiaFleur- Gold Serving Spoon £19.95

Dish up with the shiny serving spoon

MiaFleur- Gold Spatula £20 (2)

Flip eggs with ease with a golden spatula

The prize

Three gold MiaFleur kitchen utensils: One spatula, one serving spoon and one ladle, total value £64.90.

How to enter

1. Follow eatingcoventgarden.com by entering your email address in the box on the top right of the website.

2. When you receive the email (which should be immediately), accept to subscribe.

3. Sign up for the MiaFleur newsletter by clicking here.

If you already follow eatingcoventgarden.com, simply complete step 3.

Terms and conditions

Competition only for residents of the UK.

Closing date for entry will be Sunday 28 February at midnight.

The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date.

Winner will be notified by email .

No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.

The editor’s decision is final.