Friday, 30 January 2015

National Storytelling Week

Storytelling is one of the oldest artforms, whether it's retelling an even that happened in the past, perhaps a childhood memory or an anecdote, or reading a bedtime story or watching a plot unfold on TV, storytelling is part of everyday life.



National Storytelling week starts on the 31st January this year and schools, libraries, Scout groups, Brownies, hospitals and lots of other institutions and organisations will be taking part, organising storytelling events, famous author and laureate visits, as well as bookshop events, such as book clubs and coffee mornings. Many schools and nursery schools get the kids involved by letting them dress up as their favourite character from a book as well as encouraging them to bring their favourite book from home to show to the class, or for the older kids, holding workshops where they can write their own fairy tales or graphic novels.

To celebrate National Storytelling Week, we're giving a MeReader away to one lucky winner.

MeReaders are a new electronic reading system from the makers of Story Reader 2.0. The Me Reader is a 4½ x 6-inch electronic pad that reads out loud each of eight Disney storybooks.



The reading pad is compatible only with the storybooks included in the set. The Me Reader system is recommended for children ages 3 years and older.

The device is simple to work. To begin, children select one of the eight storybook buttons on the Me Reader, which is made of sturdy hard plastic. Next, they find the storybook they have selected, open to the first page of the story, and press a “Read Story” button on the pad to activate the narrator’s voice. Each time they turn a page, children again press a “Read Story” button to continue hearing the story. Kids know which “Read Story” button to press by matching those on the pad with those in the storybook.

To enter our competition simply enter the MeReader competition we're hosting on our facebook page. The competition ends at 12pm on the 6th February.

For more books, e-readers and journals for all ages head over to 24studio today.

Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Monday, 26 January 2015

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, whether you love it or hate it is coming our way soon, and there's a bonus this year - it lands on a Saturday, so you'll be able to spend the whole day with your Valentine doing something fun.

Inexpensive Valentine's Day Ideas:

Valentine's - Homemade chocolate with personalised detailing Home made valentines bunting Valentine's - Heart shaped sandwiches
  • Go for a walk - there's nothing better than a walk in the countryside, just the two of you. You could even make a day of it and take a picnic, or take an evening stroll and watch the sun go down over the horizon.
  • Go stargazing - either with a telescope if you have one or simply wrap up warm and head to where there is very little light pollution, you never know, you might see a shooting star.
  • Put together your own bouquet of flowers - bouquets of flowers can be expensive around valentine's day, so you could make your own bouquet by picking flowers from the garden and wrapping them with ribbon, or you could buy single stem flowers from the florist and make your own bunch. Roses are the most expensive Valentine's flower so you could always go for a bunch of colourful gerberas.
  • Bake brownies or cookies - don't spend a lot on expensive chocolates, make something personal. Bake cookies or brownies and personalise your baking or the box with a romantic inscription that expresses your feelings for the person you’re giving them to. Now that is sweet.. Get the kids involved too, they'll love to do something like this if they have a valentine they'd like to give a gift to.
  • Make breakfast or dinner and serve it romantically, either breakfast in bed, or if you're planning on making dinner why not serve it at the table for a change with candles, or low lighting and don't forget dessert of course.
  • Do something that your valentine enjoys but you never want to do, they'll love you for it - playing computer games with them for a change, gardening, going to see a play, whatever it is, you could do it.
  • Make a mix CD of all yours and theirs favourite songs, songs that have a special meaning for both of you.
  • Make a photo album with pictures of either the most significant things you've done together or places you've been together in the past year, or even one of the whole time you've been together. You could get a photo album that has the notes section at the side so you can annotate each picture.
  • Arrange to go to a dance class together, a single lesson of latin or salsa shouldn't be too costly, and will make a great Valentine memory.
  • Fill the house with candles and add a romantic feel to the house.
  • Make something as a gift, whether it's a handmade card, a bling ring made out of pipe cleaners or a handmade, home made version of something they'd love. 
  • Draw, paint or print some of the favourite things you like to do together and frame it.
  • Get the scrabble box out of the loft and use the letters to write out a valentines message, either use as a valentines card, or frame it so it can be put on display. 

Valentines Facts

Did you know....
  • 1 billion Valentine cards are sent each year all over the world.
  • 50 million roses are given on Valentiness Day each year.
  • In america 9 million people buy Valentine's gifts for their pets
  • More than 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's day.
  • 73% of flowers are bought by men, 27% by women.
  • 15% of women like sending themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.
  • Each year in Britain we spend about £503m on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts on Valentine's Day.

Let A Little Bird Tell You What Your Romantic Future Holds

According to the ancient art of Ornithomancy (which is 'the reading of omens from the actions of birds' to me and you), the first bird an unmarried woman see's on Valentine's Day is an omen of the type of man she will marry.

Who's your lovebird? The ornithomancist's guide
  • Blackbird: he'll be involved in charitable or spiritual work  - an aid worker of vicar
  • Dove: your marriage to him will be happy and loving
  • Robin: he earns his living through water  - a naval officer or fisherman
  • Sparrow: he works with the land  - a farmer or tree surgeon
  • Blue bird: he likes to make others smile  - a comedian
  • Woodpecker: no marriage will take place
  • Duck: your relationship with him will be homely and stable
  • Gull: he travels a great deal for work
  • Birds of prey: he is a businessman, politician or leader
  • Goldfinch: he is a person of means
  • Kingfisher: he has already done well or inherited money
  • Pigeon: he will eventually return to the place where he grew up

So if you're looking for romance it might be best to stay away from woodland walks this Valentine's Day and maybe head to the river where you might catch site of a Kingfisher or a duck.

Valentines Gift Ideas

We have some great gift ideas for Valentine's Day at 24studio with gifts to suit all budgets, whether you're looking for Personalised Valentine's Cards, a personalised gift, something totally different like an experience day, baking items to bake or make your own delicious Valentines gift, or something totally unique, just head over to our gifts range.

Here are some of our favourites:


Personalised 'Awesome' Cushion Cover


Personalised 'Awesome' Cushion Cover.


A Day At The Races




A Day At The Races.

Wood Photo Frame With Heart


Wood Photo Frame With Heart.

Spa Day Escape





Spa Day Escape.


Lanvin Marry Me Perfume Gift Set





Lanvin Marry Me Perfume Gift Set.

9ct Multi Gem Ring



9ct Multi Gem Ring.


ghd V Gold Classic Styler




ghd V Gold Classic Styler.

Personalised Men's Magnetic Therapy Bangle


Personalised Men's Magnetic Therapy Bangle.


Personalised Love Tiles Poster



Personalised Love Tiles Poster.


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Monday, 19 January 2015

Beat the Blue Monday Blues!

What is Blue Monday?

Apart from being a brilliant 80s track, Blue Monday is apparently the most depressing day of the year! The term was first coined in 2005 by a tutor at Cardiff University, making this year its 10th anniversary. It always falls on the Monday of the last full week of January, so Monday the 19th is 2015’s official date.

One mental health charity put together the following equation to explain why people might feel more depressed on this day:

Blue Monday

Basically, it combines all the factors that could lead to people feeling down on Blue Monday:

  • W – weather
  • d – debt
  • T – time since Christmas
  • Q – failing our New Year’s resolutions
  • M – low motivation
  • N – feeling the need to take action
  • D – not defined

Many scientists claim that the equation is absolute nonsense, but it’s certainly true that many people will suffer because of one or more of factors in the equation, especially the weather!

How can you beat Blue Monday?
By treating yourself! Instead of succumbing to the January blues, use Blue Monday as the one day of the year where you go crazy and treat yourself to something special. Whether it’s something small or something large, a treat will go a long way to lifting your mood and keeping the symptoms of Blue Monday at bay.

Treat yourself to:

A Spa Day
Spa Day



Whether you go on your own or take a friend with you, a day at the spa is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy a spot of pampering. We offer a huge range of spa vouchers at many locations across the country.





A Weekend Break
A Weekend Break



Fancy a trip to one of the UK’s most historic cities? Or maybe even a romantic getaway to Paris? Then take a look at our choice of weekend breaks and days out





Plan a Summer Holiday
Plan a Summer Holiday


There really is no better way to beat the winter blues than by looking head and planning a summer holiday! Whether you’re planning to stay in the UK or go somewhere exotic, we have everything you need to make your holiday special, from suitcases and holiday clothes to iPods and cameras. Browse our luggage range





Get a New Outfit
Get a New Outfit

We always feel our best when we look our best, so treating yourself to a new look could be the best way to keep your spirits up. Whether you’re looking for something to keep warm over winter or a party outfit for summer, we’ve got it all at 24studio.

Shop Women's
Shop Men's




Something Extravagant!
Something Extravagant



Why not use Blue Monday to go absolutely crazy and get that gadget you’ve always wanted? Whether you’d like a new iPad, a 3D television or a brand new phone, we’ve got it all at 24studio. Take a look at our electricals range for more extravagant treats:





And if you need even more ideas, then check out this clip on ‘Treating Yo’ Self’ from Parks and Recreation (my favourite comedy show).




Find our more about online shopping with Studio: Personalised Gifts | Christmas | Wedding | Competitions

Monday, 12 January 2015

Healthy Eating Gadgets 2015

With so many fantastic kitchen appliances available nowadays, eating healthier is easier than ever before. If you’ve made it your aim to get in shape and shed a few pounds in 2015, you can smash your targets faster by kitting out your kitchen with a selection of healthy eating gadgets!

Whether you’re looking for blenders, soup makers, air fryers or steamers, we’ve got it all at 24studio. Just take a look at our incredible selection below!

Blenders and Juicers

Blenders and juicers offer the easiest way to get your 5-a-day. Blenders are great for creating delicious smoothies and milkshakes, while juicers ensure you consume all the key nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

Blend Active Juicer Blender

Take a look at our full range of juicers and blenders


Soup Makers

Homemade soup is one of the best meals you can make when you’re trying to get in shape. It’s delicious, healthy and low in fat. With a soup maker, you simply chuck all your ingredients the measuring jug and then sit back as it creates a tasty homemade soup for you. They look and act like blenders, except they heat and cook ingredients as they mix them.

Soup Maker Soup Maker Soup Maker

Shop from our full range of soup makers


Health Grills

Most health grills feature a sloped design, which channels fat and grease away from your food, creating healthier meals. They’re great for cooking meat, fish and vegetables quickly and without fuss. AS well as channelling fat away from food, they retain more moisture than other cooking methods, so your food is always succulent.

Health Grill Health Grill Health Grill

Take a look at our full range of health grills today

Health Fryers

Health fryers combine multiple cooking technologies, allowing you to cook a huge range of food quickly and with ease. They require far less oil than most cooking methods, making them a great choice for those looking to lose weight and get in shape. The most popular foods cooked with health fryers tend to be chips, joints of meat, fish fingers and other frozen foods.

health fryer health fryer health fryer

Take a look at our full range of health fryers

Steamers

Steaming retains more vitamins and nutrients than many other cooking methods, making it one of the healthiest ways to cook your food. No oil or cooking fat is necessary, and the colours and flavours of your food are retained too. Plus, steaming is ideal for a huge range of foods, including vegetables, poultry, fish and more.

Steamer Steamer Steamer

Take a look at our full range of steamers

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

10 Tips for Getting Fit in 2015

According to recent surveys, around a third of all New Year’s resolutions involve getting fit and healthy. It may be the most common resolution, but getting fit is a noble goal to aim for and could help improve your wellbeing and quality of life in the coming year.

Many people think that getting fit means you have to join a gym, but that simply isn’t true! There are loads of things you can do at home and during your everyday routine that, when stuck to, could make a huge difference to the way you feel. By putting some or all of the following tips into action, you could enjoy a new you in 2015.

1. Do it at home

With so many great fitness DVDs and affordable home fitness products available, there really is no need to pay for a gym membership. By exercising at home, you’ll not only save yourself money in the long run, but you won’t have to worry about packing a gym bag or rushing to the gym after work.



2. Be realistic

Never set yourself targets that are too difficult to achieve. It’s always good to push yourself, but pushing yourself too far could result in you becoming disheartened with getting fit. Don’t cut out all your favourite foods, and don’t aim to exercise every single day. Eat and exercise in moderation for the best mental and physical results. After all, life is there to be enjoyed.

3. Drink lots of water

Roughly 60% of an adult’s body is made of water, so the more your drink, the more your body will appreciate it. Scientists recommend drinking 8 glasses per day. By doing so, you’ll feel more energetic, have healthier looking skin, and if you replace some of your sugary drinks and tea and coffee with water, you should lose weight too.



4. Park further away from work

Always remember that every little bit of extra exercise helps. So instead of parking as near to the door as possible when going to work, why not park at the other end of the car park? Or in a different car park entirely? I know this probably isn’t the most enticing idea on a cold Monday morning, but it will help! If possible, you should also try to dedicate one day per week to walking or cycling to work. Public transport is also better than driving as you’ll probably have to do more walking to and from your stops.

5. Take the stairs

Walking up and down the stairs is one of the best forms of exercise. It gets the heart pumping and it works the muscles in your legs. So unless you work on the 300th floor of a skyscraper, you should also consider taking the stairs instead of using a lift or an escalator. And it’s not just at work when you should put this into practice; you can take the stairs in hotels, car parks, leisure centres and more.



6. Make a regime – track it and stick to it

Tracking you progress is an important part of getting fit. A good idea is to make a spreadsheet or buy yourself a journal, and note down exercise regimes for different days, your start weight, target weight, weekly weight loss and other key indicators. This will not only give you extra motivation to keep on exercising and eating right, but give you the satisfaction and pride of seeing how much progress you’re making.

7. Get a dog

Looking for an excuse to go outside for a walk every day? Then a dog is your answer. The health benefits of owning a dog are well documented; they give you more exercise, help lower your blood pressure and make you a generally happier person!



8. Take up yoga

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that has been tried and tested for over 5,000 years! It focusses on postures and breathing to help improve strength, flexibility and balance. Yoga is particularly good for lowering blood pressure, easing joint pain and relieving the symptoms of mental health problems. Best of all, it can be done in the comfort of your home via a DVD or YouTube videos, and can be enjoyed by any age group too!

9. Switch to whole grain foods

Whole grain foods are high in fibre, making them a healthier alternative to processed grains. Common whole grain foods include whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, bran flakes and whole grain cereal. By eating whole-grains every day, you could reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. They also make you feel full for longer, so you’ll be less likely to snack on junk after meals.



10. Take up sport once a week

Taking up a sport is by far one of the most enjoyable ways to improve your fitness levels. You could play 5-a-side football, badminton or squash. You could take up swimming or join a tennis club too. There are so many options! Not only do these activities improve your health, they’re sociable too, so you could even end up meeting some new friends.

Head over to 24studio today to shop our whole range of health and fitness products.


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Friday, 19 December 2014

Top 5 Christmas Activities for Kids

The Christmas holidays are a special time of the year where relaxing and spending quality time with our children are top of the agenda. But in-between all the present opening and the visiting relatives, how do keep our kids entertained and stop them becoming bored? The answer is simple; baking and crafts!

Not only do these 2 simple and inexpensive activities provides hours of fun, they also engage children’s brains and help them develop essential cognitive and practical skills, which they can use for the rest of their lives.

Listed below (in no particular order) are 5 of our favourite baking and craft-related activities, perfect for passing the time over the Christmas holidays.

1. Bake a Gingerbread House

Creating your own gingerbread house is not only fun, but promotes team-work too. Just like building a table or wardrobe, one person will have to hold bits in place while another glues with icing! A decent gingerbread house can take a good few hours to create, making it the perfect way to spend an evening or afternoon.

Check out the BBC’s best rated gingerbread house recipe

And here’s a picture of the World’s Largest Gingerbread House, built in 2013 in Texas. Apparently it contains a mere 35,823,400 calories…

gingerbread house

2. Have a Homemade Christmas Bowling Contest

Got any old water bottles lying around? Then make good use of them and create your very own snowman bowling contest! All you’ll need is 6 bottles, some felt tip markers, a sock, black and white paint, a tennis ball and a couple of other bits. Kids will have as much fun making the skittles as they will when actually bowling.

Head over to Sprout Online for full details

homemade christmas bowling contest


3. Create Your Own Jewellery

The beauty of making your own jewellery is that whatever kids create, they can give to friends and relatives as gifts! Plus, creating jewellery encourages a child’s creative side and helps develop shape and colour co-ordination skills.

Buying your own jewellery set is a good idea as they usually contain everything your need to get started, including jewels, beads, string and more.


create your own jewellery


4. Host a Cake Pop Party

The cake pop is a relatively new idea that is growing in popularity here in the UK. Essentially, a cake pop is a round piece of cake covered in a chocolate on a stick, much like a lollipop. They not only taste delicious, but are super fun to decorate too!

A good idea is to pre-bake a batch of cake pops, and then let the kids and their friends decorate them with some Christmas-themed ingredients?

Check out this cake pop recipe from BBC Food

cake pops


5. Make Paper Christmas Decorations

It may be the cheapest and simplest addition to the list, but creating paper Christmas decorations is a wonderful activity that all the family can enjoy. With some scissors and handful of different coloured paper, you can create Christmas trees, stars, hearts and more. If you’re really adventurous, you could even create horses and tealight holders!

Check out this page for a huge range of ideas for paper Christmas decorations

paper christmas decorations


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Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas Kitchen: Recipes and Gadgets

Christmas Day is one of the few occasions in the year when we can eat what we like and as much as we like without feeling guilty or being judged. We eat turkey until we hate it, plough through countless tins of Quality Street, and always have one too many glasses of our favourite tipple.

But while everybody devours their feast, there’s always one person not enjoying themselves quite as much as everybody else…the host. If that’s you this year, then you’re probably going to need our help to make creating the perfect Christmas Dinner that bit less stressful.

Below, we’ve put together a collection of our best and most useful Christmas cooking appliances, plus a few of favourite Christmas recipes that we’ve come across this year. Enjoy!

Team Buffet Host – Save £10

Instead of dishing out food onto individual plates, let people serve themselves. It creates less hassle for you and lets each guest choose a portion to suit their appetite. Plus, the hotplate keeps food warm so you don’t have to worry about serving it straight away.





EGL 2-Tier Electric Steamer – 70% Off
The benefits of steaming vegetables are well known. Not only does it retain more vital nutrients and vitamins, but it locks in moisture and ensures the vegetables stay bright and colourful, helping you create a more exciting looking plate of food.

Plus, the steamer reduces the amount of pans you have to use, which cuts down on the washing up!







Set of 2 Oven to Table Dishes – 60% Off
You can say goodbye to awkwardly removing food from the oven with on oven glove or tea towel with this Set of 2 Oven to Table Dishes.

With their silicone bases and removable silicone grips, they can be removed safely and easily from the oven, and grip firmly to whatever surface you lay them on. Perfect for serving delicious roast potatoes!


Make Your Table Sparkle…
Make sure your table looks as good as your food with our fabulous selection of festive table decorations. Whether you’re searching for tablecloths, centrepieces, crackers or wine glasses, you’re sure to find exactly what you need at 24studio.



Our Top 3 Christmas Recipes

Jamie’s Mulled Wine - “Christmas in a glass”

Ingredients:
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bottles Chianti or other Italian red wine
Method:
Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.

Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you've got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I'm doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It's important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you'll burn off the alcohol.

When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it's warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

186 calories per serving. Taken from www.jamieoliver.com.

Mary Berry’s Classic Christmas Cake – “The longer you leave it, the better it will taste!”

Ingredients:
  • 175g (6oz) raisins
  • 350g (12oz) glace cherries, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) currants
  • 350g (12oz) sultanas
  • 150ml (¼ pint) sherry, plus extra for feeding
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 250g (9oz) butter, softened
  • 250g (9oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. black treacle
  • 75g (3oz) blanched almonds, chopped
  • 75g (3oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • About 3 tbsp. apricot jam, sieved and warmed
  • Icing sugar
  • 675g shop-bought almond paste
  • Packet royal icing mix to cover 23cm/9in cake

Method:
Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry and stir in the orange zest. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140ºC/Fan 120ºC/Gas Mark 1.

Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don't remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)

Decorate with almond paste and royal icing.

To prepare the Christmas cake ahead: Prepare the fruit and soak in sherry 3 days ahead - this is essential to plump up and flavour the fruit. Make the cake and wrap as in stage 4. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, following stage 4. You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature.

Taken from: www.goodtoknow.co.uk.

The Best Turkey In The World – “With flavoured butter for that bit of extra love”

Ingredients:
  • 6.5-kg turkey
  • 2-4 clementines
  • Rosemary, bay or thyme sprigs
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3 onions, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks
For the butter:
  • 1 x 250g pack of butter
  • 75g dried cranberries, really finely chopped
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • Few sprigs of fresh sage, leaves picked
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Clementine
Method:
This year I'm using a flavoured butter to give a bit of extra love to my turkey, and this is a job you can do the day before. Put your butter into a bowl and add the chopped cranberries. Chop, sweep and run your knife through the herb leaves until really finely chopped then add to the butter with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the finely grated zest of your clementine. Mix so the butter softens and everything is combined. Divide the butter roughly in half.

Get your turkey and use a spoon to work your way between the skin and the meat. Start at the side of the cavity just above the leg and work gently up towards the breastbone and towards the back so you create a large cavity. Pick up half of your butter and push it into the cavity you've created. Use your hands to push it through the skin right to the back so it coats the breast meat as evenly as possible. Do the same on the other side then rub any leftover butter all over the outside of the bird to use it up. If you've got any herb stalks left over, put them in the cavity of the turkey for added flavour as it cooks.

Cover the turkey in cling film and keep in the fridge until you need it.
Take your turkey out of the fridge a few hours before you are ready to put it in the oven so it has time to come up to room temperature. That flavoured butter will already be under the skin so you'll only need a few tweaks to finish it off. Halve 2 to 4 clementines and pop them in the cavity with a few more sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, bay and thyme. The fruit will steam and flavour the birds in a really lovely way. Take a sprig of fresh rosemary, pull off the leaves at the bottom then spear that through the loose skin around the cavity to hold it together and keep it from shrinking back as the turkey cooks.

Open up the neck cavity and pack as much stuffing as possible in there, then carefully pull the skin back over the cavity, tuck it under the bird and pop it in the roasting tray. If you've already made your gravy like I've done, you won't need a vegetable trivet, if not, do that now by roughly chopping 2 or 3 carrots, 3 peeled onions and 2 celery sticks. Preheat your oven to full whack and get the turkey in the roasting tray. As soon as it goes in the oven, immediately turn the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

As a rough guide, you want to cook the turkey for about 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram, so a 7kg turkey will want about 4 to 4½ hours in the oven. But there are so many variables such as the sort of oven you have and the quality of your bird. Check on your turkey every 30 minutes or so and keep it from drying out by basting it with the lovely juices from the bottom of the pan. After 3½ hours, remove the foil so the skin gets golden and crispy. If you are at all worried just stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. When the internal temperature has reached 65ºC for a good quality bird, and about 82ºC for a cheaper bird, it's ready to come out.

Carefully put a metal skewer in the cavity and use it to lift the bird and angle it over the roasting tray so all of the juices from the cavity run out. Move the turkey to a platter then cover it with a double layer of tinfoil and 2 tea towels to keep it warm while it rests for at least 30 minutes.

Taken from: www.channel4.com.


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