The Last Minute Gift That Keeps Giving

We think our LarderBoxes make amazing gifts, after all why give one present when you can give 6? 

So we’ve designed these lovely gift vouches which you can print off or email to the recipient to let them know to expect some tasty deliveries in the near future. 

What’s more brilliant about this however is that even if you’ve left it to the very last minute you can still get someone an amazing present that they’ll never know you bought the night before! 

The lucky recipient will receive their first LarderBox on the first thursday of the month, so if you’ve been a little forgetful this Valentine’s Day, sign up for a LarderBox gift subscription and print off our lovely certificate to slip inside their card (hopefully you’ve managed to remember one of those!). And for the next 6 months you’ll get brownie points every time they receive a new box. 

February’s LarderBox was a huge success and contained lovely ingredients like blackberry infused vinegar and middle eastern spice blends. March’s box is looking even more tempting with gourmet chocolates and designer tea, but we don’t want to give away all the surprises now do we! 

If you want to know more and sign up to get someone a LarderBox you can do so at www.thelarderbox.com, a gift subscription is £99 for 6 months of tastiness. 

Valentines Dinner - Steak & Chips, Peppercorn Sauce with Homemade Onion Rings

When people think of a romantic meal steak is often one of the first things that comes to mind. We have wondered why this is, what is it about a big hunk of bloody red meat that represents heartfelt love and sweet nothings? 

On the one hand perhaps it represents our baser instincts and lets the boys feel all manly eating a slab of juicy meat. On the other, perhaps it is because everyone sees steak as a luxury food only to be eaten on the most special of occasions making it perfect for that intimate valentines night in. 

Either way, we don’t want to ruin a special occasion by over thinking things - that would be rude and we were taught never to refuse food, ESPECIALLY when it was a steak. 

However whilst the steak was of course fantastic (it’s all about buying good quality meat), the show stopper was the home made peppercorn sauce and onion rings. Those babys came out of the fryer with crispy batter and sweet & soft onion inside, a really guilty pleasure. And if you can’t have a guilty, indulgence treat on Valentine’s Day then when can you?

If you are looking for some extra special, we recommend trying out these Venison Rump Steaks. 

Valentine’s Night Steak, Chips, Peppercorn Sauce & Onion Rings

Serves 2 (3 is a crowd on Valentine’s Day) 

For the steak: 

2 rump steaks

salt and black pepper

olive oil for frying

For the onion rings:

2 large onions

vegetable oil for deep frying

100g plain flour

2 egg yolks

1 tbsp oil

150ml milk

1 egg white

For the peppercorn sauce:

1 shallot

1 tsp of roughly crushed black peppercorns

100ml double cream

3tbsp beef stock

1 tbsp coarse grain mustard

50g mushrooms

butter 

For the chips:

2 or 3 large floury potatoes e.g. maris piper

sea salt

a few sprigs of rosemary

rocket to serve 

1. Start by peeling and slicing your potatoes into the size and shape of your desired chip. Heat your oven to 200c and place the sliced potatoes on an oven proof tray, sprinkle with salt and rosemary and pop in the oven for 40 minutes. Give them a shake every so often so they don’t stick.  

2. To make the batter for the onion rings, sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Put the egg yolks and oil and milk and mix to a smooth batter. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes. 

3. For the peppercorn sauce, slice the mushrooms and shallot and melt a small amount of butter in a frying pan, add the shallots and mushrooms and on a low heat fry until softened. Add the peppercorns, stock, mustard and cream and leave on a low heat to reduce down. 

4. The steaks should be cooked in a large non-stick griddle or frying pan, season and brush lightly with oil. Depending on how you like the steak, fry on either side evenly - a rare steak takes around 2 1/2 minutes on either side. 

5. Once cooked to your liking, place on a plate and cover to keep warm and rest. 

6. Back to the onion rings, peel and slice the onions lengthways to make rings, and coat with the batter. You should heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan and only ever fill it 1/3 full. When the oil gets to 180 degrees place each battered onion ring in for 3 to 4 minutes - they should come out looking lovely, golden and crisp. Place onto some kitchen towel to drain off any extra oil. 

Plate everything together and add a handful of rocket for some colour and there you have a wonderful Valentine’s meal. 

Valentine’s Gift Guide: Queen of Hearts

Last week we brought you the first part of our Valentine’s Gift Guide but of course we have lots more wonderful items which are perfect for giving this Valentine’s Day. 

Some of our very skilled chocolate makers have created limited edition products especially for Valentine’s Day including these lovely heart shaped products, the definition of a romantic gift. 

This Breaking Chocolate Heart from Niko B. Organic Chocolates isn’t just one heart - it’s a large chocolate heart, filled with many smaller hearts with a raspberry caramel centre. This most luxurious of chocolate gifts is bound to melt not break hearts and is made to order using the finest organic chocolate. You can get yours here or you can buy a packet of the raspberry caramel hearts here

Carrying on the heart shaped chocolate theme, these Salted Caramel Hearts from Baruzzo are concealed within a plain box to give the recipient a lovely surprise when opened. 

We think they look absolutely adorable and the aromatic, powerful dark chocolate coating makes them an indulgent gift to share on a romantic evening in. You can get a box of 16 for £19 or a box of 5 for £7.50

And if you are looking for a heart shapes gift but want to steer clear of chocolate, we can’t recommend these Swiss Biscuits from Pretty Tasty enough. 

Not only are they a exquisite, they are so unusual being crisp on the outside and cakey in the middle with a flavour of either aniseed or lemon. They are made using traditional victorian moulds and the patterns are so intricate and beautiful.

You can get a box of 5 for £11.50, a wonderfully unique gift. 

To see a full range of Valentine’s gifts click here 

Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like Chocolate & Biscuits

O Valentines Day, it’s resented by people in relationships and hated by anyone who’s single. But we want to help you get through this most careful of occasions. 

The pressure to be romantic, the expectations to do something show-stopping will  give you inevitable headache when it all goes wrong - you burn the beef wellington, she scoffs at the flowers you bought (outside the local fruit shop) and that special mix tape you made is actually full of your ex-girlfriends favourite songs. And it’s all downhill from there. 

But of course we are here to save you from the above scenario, we want your Valentines Day to be a romantic affair, with absolutely no shouting involved and definitely no limp fruit shop flowers.

Valentine’s Day is not only a chance to be romantic but it marks the end of the depressing January Blues and is the first proper excuse to eat lavishly and indulge our neglected sweet tooth. So here are our suggestions for how to say ‘I love you’ and impress this Valentine’s Day. 

Davenport’s Signature Chocolate Hamper, £15.95

This is an absolutely stunning collection of hand crafted chocolates with a gold dusted chocolate heart to really give it the special Valentines feel. The hamper also includes a box Davenport’s Signature Collection and a miniature box of Raspberry & Rose Chocolates. Each item is beautifully presented and gives you that lovely romantic feel.

It also doesn’t break the bank, at £15.95 it can be your Valentines gift all wrapped up in one.  Get your’s here

Scarlett & The Spotty Dog’s Canoodle Doodle, £3 - £10

Heart shaped, buttery oaty short bread dipped in thick milk chocolate, sounds like heaven right? These little biscuits are absolutely adorable and make for a cute little gift, especially if you are looking for an understated Valentines gift. After all not every couple wants to say it with fanfares, some prefer to whisper it so only they can hear. 

You could complete the gift with a freshly brewed cup of tea, always an appreciated touch. 

You can get the Canoodle Doodles in packs of 6 for £3 or large jars complete with spotty ribbon and luggage tag for £10. 

Biscuit Village Valentines Tins and Cards, £4.99 - £24.99

We now have these fabulous iced biscuit sets on the site for a very sweet gift. They have biscuits for every imaginable event including some that will spell out your love in biscuit form. Edible love, surely the best kind? 

As well as the large biscuit tin above, £24.99, they also do smaller biscuit cards which come in a neat presentation box

Cool Heart Biscuit Card, £4.99

Four Hearts, £5.99

L.O.V.E Biscuits, £5.99

Plenty of sweet inspiration to impress your loved one but if you haven’t seen something you think they’ll like you can see our Valentine’s Gift Selection here including wonderful teas, gourmet popcorn and edible chocolate boxes