Thursday, 20 December 2012

A Little Book of Christmas

There is something sacred about the food we enjoy over the festive season; be it the spices, the gathering-and-sharing, or simply the excuse to cast guilt to one side and indulge ourselves. In the spirit of these three ‘things’, we bring you an edited collection of Christmas recipes from the Roost Living blog. We hope you love them all.

Have a wonderful, very Merry Christmas – we look forward to bringing you much more culinary inspiration, great designers and beautiful products in the New Year.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A few of our favourite things...

Well, we've just about finished our Christmas shopping and we're getting ready to enjoy the Christmas break, and thought  I would share with you five things that I am a little obsessed about this week.

1.  Orlando Gough's Recipe Journal, published by Toast
A very descriptive lovely book about Orlando Gough's culinary journey spanning quite a few decades. 

2. The Original Pop Up Shop
A great little website filled with lovely Christmas decorations, trimmings and wrapping.

3. Cross Stitch Kits by What Delilah Did
I'm determined to finish my little bird over the Christmas break!

4. Herriott Grace
Love, love love it all!

5. Big Bird's Boutique
Yes the lovely Anna (who makes our Giant Floor Cushion) makes these great portable blackboards, and we think they are a bit fab.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Meet Sara Newman, our newest Roost recruit

Let us introduce to you Sara Newman; our latest designer here at Roost Living. We've been working with Sara to bring you a special item designed and made exclusively for Roost Living. We caught up with her to ask her all about where she finds inspiration, her workspace, and how she finds that all important work versus life balance. Here’s what she had to say...

When and why did you decide to be a designer?

My background is Interior Design, hotels in particular. That began back in the mid 90s. Fast forward to 2008 and, as our family grew, I put my career to one side. Soon after, my innate need to craft inventive gifts has grown into a creative business; Sara Newman Design.

What are you main creative influences?

My grandmothers and great aunt were creative, my uncle is an artist and a lot of my friends are creators and thinkers. Life influences me.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

In the artwork and stories of graphic novels, tattoo art and model villages.

What aspect of your work gives you the most pleasure?

Seeing someone else’s eyes light up when they click with what I’m doing.

Where are you most creative?

In my head! I spend a lot of time dreaming and planning.

What's your workspace like?

I work from home, at a huge carbon fibre and aluminium table that was designed and built by a friend.

How do you describe your style?

Crisp, intricate, playful.

What are you currently working on?

Some glassware for the Christmas Arcade at Somerset House. It’s a pop-up shop run by Handmade In Britain in conjunction with Somerset House.

When you first started out, what was the best advice you received?

Nothing in particular, I’ve just always been around people who are not afraid to create.

What advice do you have for other designers starting out?

Believe in what you do or you cannot expect anyone else to.

How do you achieve a work/life balance?

I’m still searching for it!

What are you other passions?

Dancing I guess, but it’s a living room dance floor these days.

What is your favourite food?

It’s a close call between chocolate mousse and pavlova – with raspberries and maybe some thick cream. 

What is your greatest weakness?

My children.

Orchid Glass now available online

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Festive Fancies: Christmas panna cotta and truffles

As the season of indulgence is well and truly upon us, we took ourselves to the hub of the home to create two party-perfect recipes: rich Christmas Panna Cotta and toothsome White Chocolate and Pistachio after-dinner truffles.

Here's how to make the Christmas Panna Cotta...

You'll need:

6 sheets of gelatine (or Agar Flake for vegetarian friends)
1 litre double cream
120g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground all spice
3 tbsp Pedro Ximinez
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup crumbled Christmas Pudding (can be a shop bought)
A sprinkling of nutmeg

To serve:
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp Pedro Ximinez


Place the raisins and one tablespoon of Pedro Ximinez in a bowl and leave aside to soak. Leave them for at least a few hours, but if you have time, overnight.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water until softened. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid.

In a heavy-based pan, heat the double cream, sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg and all spices. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. If you’re using agar flake instead, follow the instructions on the packet.

Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the drained gelatine, 2 tablespoons of Pedro Ximinez and the crumbled Christmas pudding.

Pour the mixture into ramekins. Best to fill them up about ¾ full. Leave aside until completely cool then refrigerate until set.

When ready to serve, dip the ramekins briefly into hot water to loosen the Panna Cotta. Place on a plate and top with the Pedro Ximinez and soaked raisins. A touch of gold leaf on top would look ever so pretty, too.

For the White Chocolate and Pistachio truffles...

You'll need: 

180g good quality white chocolate (like Green and Blacks)
1/3 cup double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
1/3 cup desiccated coconut


Chop the white chocolate into small, even chunks and place into a heatproof bowl. Add the cream and place in microwave (or on a baine marie if you would prefer, but the microwave is amazingly good with chocolate). Microwave the chocolate uncovered, on a medium heat for 2 minutes, then remove and stir with a metal spoon. If there are still lumps, pop the bowl back in for 1 minute, then stir again. 

Once all the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the vanilla and chopped coconut and place the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour to set. Once set, remove and roll into balls, and then into the coconut.

Top tip: pop a handful of truffles into our of our Golden Espresso Cup to make the ideal gift.