It’s all about brekkie!

We’re all guilty of ditching breakfast for another 15 minutes in bed but did you know just a little snack in the morning can make you feel happier, more alert and improve your chances of maintaining a healthy weight?

In fact studies have shown that eating breakfast can increase memory and concentration levels, it acts as a stress buster, and amongst children, it can improve behaviour and even lead to higher grades!

During Farmhouse Breakfast Week from 25th – 31st January, we’re encouraging people to ‘Shake Up Your Wake Up!’ and what’s better, you can get everything you need right on our doorstep.

If you’re one of the 32 per cent of the population who like toast in the morning, look no further than Lincolnshire Co-op’s own bakery Gadsby’s in Newark. Spread with some Jenny’s Jam or marmalade handmade in Lincoln and wash down with a glass of St Botolph’s Pure Apple Juice from the Skidbrooke Cyder Company in Louth. Job done!

If you’ve got a little more time on your hands and you prefer your bread as soldiers, pick up some tasty Fairburn’s free range eggs. Based in Alford, this family firm has passed through three generations and the chickens are treated as part of the family.

The nation’s favourite way to start the day is with a fried breakfast. Grace your plate with Gadsby’s bread, Fairburn’s eggs, beans and of course, Lincolnshire sausages and bacon. Every day five million Britons will tuck into a banger but with our Lincolnshire Quality sausages and bacon you can rest assured the pork is born and reared on local farms.

Whatever your breakfast choice, it’s likely to be accompanied by a cuppa. Make your first one of the day the best with a local brew from Stokes of Lincoln. They’ve been filling cups since the 1900s and their Gold Medal tea bags are made especially to suit Lincolnshire’s water.

There you have it – a breakfast fit for a king that supports local producers too – the perfect start to any yellowbelly’s day!

Five iconic destinations for 2015

Check out our run-down of five of the best destinations that dazzle. These places are classic for a reason – and what better time than the present to tick them off your bucket list?China

The Great Wall of China

The wall is one of the biggest man-made structures on the planet, and it’s been there for 2000 years. It stretches for more than 13,000 miles, and it’s a sight not to be missed. Why not tie in your trip with the Chinese New Year which falls on February 19th this year, and join in the party?

New York

The Big Apple or the city that never sleeps – whatever you call it, New York is somewhere you’ve probably dreamed of going. From the Empire State building to the Statue of Liberty, there are more iconic sights in this city than you can shake a stick at. Make sure you don’t miss the Staten Island ferry, one of the best views of the city you’re likely to get.Paris Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

Paris is the city of love and the Eiffel tower is right at its heart. If you’re feeling googly-eyed there’s no better place to visit with the one you love, and if you’re single, what better place to find love over a plate of escargot (snails)? Visit in time for Bastille Day and you can watch spectacular fireworks over the Eiffel tower.

Taj Mahal Turkey

Taj Mahal

India’s most famous landmark is nearly 500 years old, and it’s just as spectacular as the day it was built. It’s well worth a visit, but it’s just one of many beautiful sights to see in India. From the relaxed coast of Goa to the magnificent Himalayas, there’s something for everyone in this exotic country.

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House together form one of the most recognisable locations in the world, so why not use Sydney as a jumping-off point for your Australian adventure?

Our friendly travel agents can help you book holidays to these places and many others. To start planning your trip of a lifetime, pop in to your local Lincolnshire Co-op travel branch.

Cut down on food waste this January

Here in the UK, we waste a staggering seven million tonnes of food and drink every year. That’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium eight times over, and it costs the average family up to £700 a year.

With such big savings to be made, we’ve come up with some top tips to help you cut your own food waste.

fruit & veg

Portions, portions, portions.

We’ve all found ourselves cooking more pasta than we (or in fact, a small infantry division) could reasonably eat. You think about making pasta salad for lunch the next day, but it never quite happens and it ends up in the bin.

No more!

With the Perfect Portion Planner on the Love Food Hate Waste website, you can input what you need portioning and for how many people, and like magic, it will calculate how much you need to cook.

Game plan

Another downfall is spur of the moment purchases during the weekly food shop, which end up forgotten in a fridge drawer until one day they emerge fuzzy and inedible.

A great solution to this is meal planning, which eliminates a lot of food wastage. If you work out what you need and stick to the plan, you’re much less likely to end up with furry lurkers behind the milk.

You can find a blank meal planner here, or suggestions for weekly plans here.

Store and order

One of the biggest reasons that food goes to waste in this country is inadequate storage – it’s hard to know what the best way to store some foods is.

Lots of people don’t know that fruit and veg like carrots, peppers and apples keep best in the bag they were bought in. For example, a shrink-wrapped cucumber will last around three times longer than a non-shrink-wrapped one.

It’s important for our pockets and our planet to minimise how much food we waste, so check out the Love Food Hate Waste website, where there are loads more great tips on how to store food and stop food waste.

Exotic skiing in Japan

Tea, cherry blossom and Hello Kitty are all things that you might associate with Japan, but it probably wouldn’t be the first destination you’d think of for a skiing holiday.

japan ski

It’s a mountainous country with widespread snowfall and, according to many, the best powder in the world. This incredibly light snow means you cut through, giving you the feeling of floating on air.

The resort of Niseko is the perfect place to stay, with plenty of other small resorts in easy travelling distance, if you want to mix things up a bit. Whatever you fancy, there’s sure to be somewhere serving it, from western inspired cuisine to traditional noodle, tempura and sushi dishes.

If you’re into the apres-ski scene, there are lots of lively bars to mingle with your fellow skiers, including the Ice Bar, if you don’t mind staying cold a little longer! Slopes tend to be less steep, making it the perfect destination for beginners, while slightly more experienced skiers will enjoy incredible glade runs, weaving in between beautiful birch trees.

Head to the Onsen, traditional Japanese hot springs, to relax, warm up and soak away your aches and pains after a day on the slopes. This mineral water is heated by geothermal energy from deep inside the earth – the perfect way to wind down.

japan ski 2

To cram more Japanese culture into your trip, why not opt to stop off in Tokyo, an option available on packages booked through Crystal Ski? You’ll find tranquil gardens and historic temples tucked away all around this bustling city, while the nightlife is also notorious.

Check out the neon Robot Restaurant near Shinjuku station, where three times a night a floor show featuring giant robots takes place, with tasty local food and drink available to buy.If all this appeals, pop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op travel branch and speak to one of our friendly advisors today.

Quick festive cocktails!

Add a little sparkle to your festivities this year and try out some of our delicious cocktail recipes. They’re choc-full of delicious local ingredients and easy on the alcohol, so it’s a guilt-free indulgence!

cocktails sml

Berry cocktail

Makes 1.

Chill a Martini glass in the fridge. Place some caster sugar on a saucer. Turn the glass upside down so the rim is dipped in the sugar. Twist glass to make a sugar rim, then stand it upright.

Place 3-4 semi-frozen raspberries in the glass and use a fork to crush lightly.

Spoon over 2 tbsp Belvoir Raspberry & Lemon Cordial and 2 tbsp vodka.

Stir then top up with soda water (approx 115ml).

Decorate with a cocktail stick with lemon slices and raspberries.

Virgin mojito

Serves 4.

Pick the leaves from a bunch of mint and place in a large jug. Use the end of a rolling pin or wooden spoon to lightly crush the mint leaves.

Pour over 75cl bottle St Botolph’s Pure Apple Juice and 300ml ginger beer.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice and lots of ice and serve in tall glasses with extra fresh mint sprigs to decorate.

If you’re feeling cheeky you could always add a splash of white rum after all…

Alcohol-free punch

Serves 4-6.

Pour 75cl bottle Belvoir Mulled Winter Punch into a pan and add 1 cinnamon stick, 1 orange, studded with cloves and sliced, and 1 lemon. Heat gently until hot and serve in glasses.

Make sure you’re all stocked up for the festive season with our offers and check out our opening hours to make sure you aren’t caught short.

Christmas: The survival guide

The big day is less than a week away and that means it’s time to start planning Christmas dinner. Whether it’s stuffing a turkey, glazing a ham or basting a bird, we’ve got tips, tricks and cheats to help your festive feasting run smoothly.

cooked_turkey

Plan ahead

You don’t want anyone going hungry at Christmas dinner, so make sure your turkey is big enough to feed the whole family. A good rule of thumb is to allow 375g of turkey on the bone per person. That should be enough for lunch on Christmas Day, plus at least one portion of Boxing Day leftovers.

Top techy tip: Find cooking times here (hyperlink)

Rosenkohl_3012

Veg out

Got a vegetarian coming for dinner? It can be tricky to think of appropriate options if you’re a devoted carnivore, but nut roasts are no longer the only option. Why not try a cheese and parsnip roulade with some yummy local cheese like Cote Hill Red or Lincolnshire Poacher? Another tasty option is a savoy, red onion and egg pie, perfect with a dollop of Lymn Bank Farm’s red onion chutney.

Top techy tip: The Vegetarian Society has a whole section on veggie and vegan Christmas options.

Mr Huda's Xmas Turkey - social media

Love your leftovers

Using up all the bits and pieces on Boxing Day can seem like a daunting task, but never fear! A tasty curry using Mr Huda’s lovely local curry paste could be a great way to use up leftover turkey, while soup can help you make the most of your extra veg – plus you can use the bones to whip up some stock!

Top techy tip: This handy website comes up with recipes for any combination of ingredients.

Remember, you can check the opening times of your local Lincolnshire Co-op food store here –  just in case you run out of any last-minute essentials!

Say cheese!

A little slice of something nice is the perfect way to spend an evening and we’ve got all the ingredients you need to build your board the local way.

Lincolnshire Poacher, made in Alford – Sitting somewhere between Comte and traditional West Country Cheddar, it has a distinctive fruity, nutty taste with a clean sweet finish.

Cote Hill Blue, made in Osgodby – a soft blue cheese with a delightfully creamy texture and a surprising tang.

Cote Hill Red – a semi-hard cheese in a red coating with a nutty and sweet flavour.

Lymn Bank Farm Just Jane, made in Skegness – a mature cheddar dipped in wax with a beautiful strong flavour and a creamy texture.

Just Like Your Grannies Scotch Bonnet chutney, made in Lincoln – delicately blended with ginger this chutney has much more subtlety than you might expect, it’s more about the flavour than the heat.

You can’t have cheese without crackers!

Try making these homemade oatcakes, they’ve even got a little bit of cheese in the recipe to make them extra tasty.

 

Home-made oatcakes

These delicious homemade oatcakes are perfect for cheese and biscuits and there’s plenty to go around whether you’re sharing or not!

Makes: around 12 Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: around 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

100g oatmeal, plus a little extra for dusting
50g jumbo oats
25g plain Mount Pleasant Wholemeal Flour
25g plain white flour
1 tsp salt
½ teaspoon caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
50g butter, melted
25g veggie Cheddar or Lincolnshire Poacher cheese
50-60ml hot water from the kettle
Cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Place the oatmeal, oats and flours in a bowl with baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in butter and cheese until well combined. Then hot water until you have a firm dough.
2. Turn the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with oatmeal. Knead gently for a minute then roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Use a 6cm round (or size to choice) to stamp out 12 oatcakes (re-rolling the dough as necessary).
3. Place cakes on the baking sheet, sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper or paprika and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cold, with a selection of cheese and chutney.

Give the gift of a London theatre break

mamma mia

Struggling to think of a gift this Christmas for the loved one who has everything? Why not treat them to a theatre break in the capital?

There’s nothing like seeing a show in the West End, and with so many to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. If your recipient is a bit of a child at heart, why not try the critically acclaimed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical?

It’s got big musical numbers, extravagant set and costume design and a storyline that will whisk you right back to your childhood. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks on hand – all that chocolate could make you very peckish!

Meanwhile for someone who loves the classics, Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys and We Will Rock You are based on the music of ABBA, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Queen, so you can’t go wrong.

The Book of Mormon is sure to crack up dads and boyfriends – it’s written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the minds behind the South Park TV series and the film Team America.

Superbreak offers a great selection of hotels for all budgets, including the beautiful Mercure London Greenwich Hotel. With luxuriously appointed bedrooms, all the mod cons and a breakfast buffet to die for, it’s the perfect way to treat someone you love.

If all that wasn’t enough, why not check out some of the attractions London has to offer while you’re at it? Scale the Shard to see all of London from above, or sink into the depths below at the London Dungeons.

If you think a London getaway could be the perfect gift for someone on your Christmas list, pop into your local Lincolnshire Co-op travel branch today and find out how we can help.

Rosey Nosey baked ham with marmalade glaze

You can’t beat warm gammon ham, especially with this local ale and marmalade glaze which gives it a sweet and sticky flavour. Perfect for feeding all the family and just as good cold for a second helping!

SERVES: 6-8 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 HOUR 20 MINUTES*

Ingredients

1.5kg Lincolnshire Quality gammon
500ml bottle Bateman’s Rosey Nosey
200ml orange juice
1-2 firm clementines, thickly sliced
12-15 whole cloves
1 bay leaf, plus extra to garnish (optional)
Sprigs of thyme, plus extra to garnish (optional)
150g Jenny’s Jams orange marmalade
1 ½ tsp grainy mustard

Method

1. Calculate the ham’s cooking time, allowing 30 minutes per kg*, plus an extra 20 minutes. Put aside 2 tbsp of the Rosey Nosey Ale and pour the rest around the ham in a large pan. Add the orange juice,
2. clementine slices, 3 of the cloves, and the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, if using. Top up with enough water to cover the ham.
3. Bring to a simmer and cover with foil or lid. Cook for the calculated time less 30 minutes, top up with water if needs be and leave until cool enough to handle.
4. Place the ham in a shallow roasting tin and pat dry. Use a small but sharp knife to cut the rind away from the ham, leaving a good layer of fat attached to the meat.
5. Heat oven to 200ºC/fan 180ºC/Gas 6. Score a crisscrossing pattern in the ham’s fat. Place over remaining clementine slices and secure them with cloves.
6. Warm the marmalade, mustard and reserved ale in a pan. Brush half mix over the ham. Roast for 15 minutes, brush over remaining mix and bake for a further 15–20 minutes, until glaze is golden. Decorate with thyme and bay leaves, if desired. Enjoy hot or cold.