IKEA – Blog 2.

IKEA – Live LAGOM Blog  2 – May 2016

The whole process of thinking about the impact you have on the environment had not been in the forefront of my mind but through the Live LAGOM project that IKEA are driving it has become an area of living that is key to how we manage our lives now and in the future, so that others can see that people are making the effort to reduce their impact on the environment.

Have replaced most of the lights bulbs with LED bulbs I have also focused on how we utilise water, electricity and gas in the house. We are seeing a huge reduction in time for heating, lights and other electrical goods are left on. Being able to turn everything off from the switch on the extension cables IKEA sell is fantastic also the fact that there are two USB sockets allows us both to charge phones etc. We have use two of these extension cables in our bedroom. Better for control and convenience. We also have the mirror with space for hanging clothes on. My partner was not sure at first but it is now in daily use for keeping clothing tidy, drying hair etc.


On the water front we time our showers in order to keep the use of water to a minimum. We also time the amount of water used elsewhere i.e. watering, recycling water where we can by two large water butts that collect water – which has been a lot with the rainfall we have been having. This is all used on our vegetable, herb and general garden.


Reducing waste is a by-product of having sufficient storage and other activities. We have so far reduced the amount on non-recyclable materials by 40% so that our bi-weekly waste collect the bin is a quarter full. Our food waste is either recycled via the waste collection or added to a compost heap. This effort has come about due to the Live LAGOM project making us think about our waste.

Recently, I worked with other Live LAGOM bloggers and our new local IKEA representative as I am now attached to the new Reading IKEA! Exciting for IKEA to have a new facility open in this area. We worked on some different products with a focus on growing both in the garden and in the home. This was an interesting activity which resulted in a small success for me. I am not green fingered and generally plants do not survive long with me around but I enjoyed working with Sibel, Hannah and Henry to create a glass pot display with a couple of succulents. Hannah showed her allotment off and it certainly looks fantastic – her commitment to it is amazing!


It is great to see so many from IKEA and outside doing so much to make a difference and I am sure many will take ideas from the project to incorporate in their own lives.

I think that we have changed our thinking and are starting to see the impact of working on changes to the way we live in order help improve not only our environment but also the local and wider environment through the difference in thinking and actions taken with the environment in mind.



Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Clafoutis

One of my favourite fruits, Cherries taste so fresh and remind me of the Mediterranean. I don’t know why they just do. Maybe its the slightly exotic flavour and the depth of flavour they have. They are in the shops and in the markets at the moment so try some and have a go at the recipe!

This is a classic way to serve them and I love it hot or cold. If you want to download the recipe go to my website TheLateChef.com click here: Cherry Clafoutis


65g plain flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

30g/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

180 ml milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

15ml/1 tablespoon Kirsch

340 – 454 grams fresh sweet cherries, pitted

30g/1 tablespoon unsalted butter

30g/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas7 and place the shelf in the center of the oven.

In a food processor or blender place the flour, salt, eggs and 25 grams of the sugar, milk, Kirsch and vanilla extract.  Process for about 45 – 60 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the batter is completely smooth, let it rest while you prepare the fruit.

Wash the cherries, remove the stems and stones.

In a large 9- inch (23 cm) heavy nonstick ovenproof dish melt the butter over medium heat making sure the melted butter coats the bottom and sides of the pan. When the butter is bubbling, add the pitted cherries, and cook until the cherries have softened a bit and are coated with butter (2 – 3 minutes). Then sprinkle the cherries with the sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved and turns into a syrup (1 – 2 minutes). Pour the batter over the cherries and cook for about 20 minutes or until the clafoutis is set and golden brown around the edges. Do not open the oven door until the end of the baking time or it may collapse.

Dust with icing sugar, serve immediately with creme fraiche or clotted cream.

Other information

Serves 4

Preparation time – 40 minutes

Cooking time – 25 minutes

Chicken in a Red Pepper Sauce

Wallingford Food Festival 2014, day 1

Chicken in a Red Pepper Sauce

Chicken in a Red Pepper Sauce

A recipe from Madhur Jaffrey that I love to make and my clients also enjoy! It is a simple and delicious dish that relies on the combination of spices to create a subtle flavour. Increase the heat with more Cayenne Pepper. Leftovers can be frozen safely, just remember to defrost properly. Enjoy!

If you would like more recipes, go to my website: The Late Chef – Recipe Book

Serves 3


600g skinless boneless chicken thigh, cut into pieces or get a whole large chicken (1.4Kg) and use all the meat from it, boil the carcass for stock

1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2 x red peppers or Romano peppers

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon ground pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tbsp. blanched almonds (optional)

125ml water or stock

2 tablespoons lemon juice

7 tbsp. veg oil


Combine onions, ginger, garlic, peppers, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne in a food processor or blender. Process until everything is finely chopped. You should have something resembling a thick paste.

If you have removed the bones from the thighs or whole chicken put in a pan and cover just with water. Boil to make a stock.

Heat in a pan over medium-high heat 7 tablespoons of oil. When hot, pour in the mixture from the blender all at once. Stir and fry about 10 minutes until you can see the oil forming tiny bubbles around it.

Add the chicken to the pan with the water or stock and lemon juice. Stir to mix, bring to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Stir and serve with plain rice and naan bread.

Any meat left freeze it and if you have stock left, use it to make some soup with it or freeze it.