Modish Living Blog

7 Days left till valentine’s day! What will you cook?

Valentine’s day has come around again for another year and you’ve decided to cook a meal for you and your loved one yourself. Whether you’re a keen chef, or you just want to save a bit of money on what can be a pretty expensive day, we have put together a collection of the best recipes, to tantalise your taste buds and impress your partner.

Why not take a look at these tasty meals for a bit of inspiration?

Roasted shrimp pepper with creamy rice

Roasted shrimp pepper with creamy rice

This dish offers a mouthful of flavour that will truly have you coming back for more. Preheat the oven and then add a tablespoon of oil to a pan on medium heat. Add one chopped onion, till caramelised then add diced garlic. One minute later, add a cup of rice and three quarters of a cup of dry white wine. Cook until the wine has been absorbed. Add two cups of water and a dash of salt and pepper to the pan, then reduce the heat and add the lid. Leave until the water has absorbed.

Whilst all that is simmering away, cook 1lb of shrimp on a baking tray with red peppers, tomatoes, oil and salt and pepper. Roast for around 10 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through and then serve on top on top of the rice – voila!

Slow cooker red wine beef stew

Slow cook red wine beef stew

Easy, yet impressive. Throw 1/2lb of beef cut up into 2” into a bowl and add a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook the meat in a pan filled with olive oil until it has a brown crust then put the meat in the slow cooker. Add butter to the pan and scrape the bits of meat that are left on the bottom in – this adds to the flavor - and then add half a bottle of dry red wine and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Simmer for one min then add to the slow cooker. Add 2 chopped potatoes, 3 sliced carrots, 3 diced celery sticks, 2 chopped onions, a handful of chopped sun dried tomatoes, 4 minced garlic cloves, and 1 large rosemary sprig to the slow cooker. Cook for 7 to 8 hours, while you relax and pamper yourself and remove the rosemary before serving.

 

Coconut and basil steamed mussels

Coconut and basil steamed mussels

Seafood can be a lovely treat on Valentine’s day and this dish is no exception. Add oil to your pan on medium heat, throw in a quarter of a cup of minced shallots and two teaspoons of garlic. Stir for two minutes then add one cup of light coconut milk, 2/3 cup of water, 1/3 cup of chicken broth, ¼ cup basil, 1tbs fresh lime juice, 1 tsp dark brown sugar and fish sauce and ½ a tea spoon of sirracha - then let it boil. Once that’s done, simply simply add mussels to the pan for 5 mins, and throw away any unopened shells. Remove the mussels onto a plate then let the sauce simmer for a further minute, before drizzling it over the bowl.

This can be served with rice if you like, or simply on its own.

French apple tart

French apple tart

Valentine’s day is often the time to push the boat out dessert-wise, but playing it safe with an old favourite is always a better choice (we think!) This three-step recipe may take a while but we promise it’s worth it.

Step 1. Add 1 ¼ cups flour, 1tbsp sugar, ¼tsp salt, 120g cold butter, and 2tbsp of ice water into the food processor and mix together. Then slowly add one egg yolk until it resembles a dough. Roll the dough out and place it into the round baking pan, cover it in film and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Step 2. Add 3 apples cut into chunks, 2tbsp of sugar, ¼ cup apple juice, ¼ cup of water and a pinch of cinnamon along with a zest of one lemon to a pan and let boil for 10 mins. Then mash the apples with a fork and allow to cool. Spread a single layer of compote to the dough and freeze.

Step 3. Peel and core two gala apples and slice them very thinly. Place in a bowl and cover with lemon juice. Remove the tart from the freezer  and put it in the baking tray- you could a tart tray or the muffins tray to arrange the apple slices on top to look like the picture above. Sprinkle ½ tsp sugar on the top.

Bake at 200c for 15 mins then reduce the heat to 175c and cook for a further 20 mins.

Set the scene

Once you’ve picked the right recipe for you and your partner, it’s time to think about setting the right atmosphere in the dining room too. A well laid dining space can be a feast for the eyes as much as the food, and this can be achieved by choosing great music and wonderful dining furniture and accessories. There’s something so inviting about a shabby chic table, so why look at reclaimed wood dining tables or sideboards to add some great style to your dining space.  When it comes to the walls, well placed contemporary artwork or maybe even a large wall clock makes for a great talking point if the conversation runs dry – not that we think it will. You could even consider using whimsical fairy lights to set the scene around the room, offering romantic light to complement your delicious food and great company.

Whether you choose some or all of the recipes and décor tips above, or plump for something completely different, we wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day from all at Modish!

Why your home needs a white dresser to be fashionable

white dresser makes the perfect storage solution and is the perfect classic staple which will stand the test of time. What I particularly love about simple, white furniture is you can show really your personal style by the objects you display, perfect for any kitchen or dining room. 

In a small kitchen, a dresser can help with the organisation as it will display the items you wish to showcase and hide the ones you don't. Something like the Savannah Reclaimed Wood Medium Kitchen Dresser is perfect with its combination of shelf, cupboard and drawer space with plenty of space for dinnerware, glasses and dining accessories.

A white dresser will add the illusion of an airy, open space perfect for keeping any room beautifully bright. Not only this, white can be accessorised with any colour to create a wonderful statement and will really enhance the look of coloured accessories. Alternatively, for a modern kitchen design approach go for a full white kitchen. The Windsor Large White Glass Cabinet is absolutely stunning! With its beautiful glass panels, it is perfect for placing in a sleek, contemporary kitchen. 

If you have a more colourful space, or love coloured furniture, mixing styles with a white piece of furniture in a small coloured kitchen or dining room will tone down the colours making the atmosphere more calming, perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine. White is simply perfect if you have coloured ceilings or walls, especially with darker colours which are being seen more and more in home decor. 

Take a look at the collection of gorgeous reclaimed wood dressers at Modish Living, or get in touch with one of our team members for more information. 

How to Socialise in a Small Kitchen

If you have a small kitchen, it can be hard to fit lots of people in. But a small kitchen does not make it impossible to entertain your friends and family. 

In a small space, we would suggest an industrial bar table. These are perfect for entertaining as people can either sit on chairs or be standing with a glass next to the table. The great thing with an industrial bar table like our Lowry Reclaimed Wood Bar Stool is when you are not using it, it can be neatly stored to one side of your kitchen with your stools tucked underneath.

Not only this, industrial style furniture is perfect for adding plenty of charisma to any space, which is especially great when you don't have much room to play with. 

If you do have enough room to add a dining table, go for reclaimed wood with steel elements to give your kitchen a charming, New York loft inspired look which will work with any kitchen style. A reclaimed dining table is great as it can be repositioned when needed or even can be used against one of the walls. Not only will this take up less space, but you'll need less industrial dining chairs and will create a more streamlined finish. 

Industrial style lighting also works wonders in any kitchen. A pendant light provide softer lighting for cooking and entertaining, creating a welcoming environment you'll love socialising in.  Our Nevada Pendant Light is fantastic with its blend of copper and charcoal fan effect shade perfect for warming up any space.

To find the perfect industrial furniture for your space, take a look at the Modish Living website or for any enquiries, get in touch with one of our team members.