The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

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Property Flirt – it’s back!

24 Apr 2017

It’s been far too long since I’ve had a snoop around a grand design so here we are in sunny Amersham, Bucks – just think of me as a less grumpy Kevin McCloud. Welcome to Highover Park, a pristine Grade II listed, three-bedroom property, designed by Amyas Connell and Basil Ward in the 1930s – and one of the finest examples of modernist architecture in the land, no less. The question is: can you guess the price?

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Joe Swift’s April garden jobs for dummies

31 Mar 2017

TV presenter, author and gardener Joe Swift can add a new string to his beanstalk – he’s now a performer, with his own one man show A Man About the Garden (catch in Somerset next week if you’re down that way). Still, let’s not encourage him to give the day job until he’s given us some April Gardening Tips for Dummies.  Off you go Joe, and no tea and biccies for you till you’ve sorted out my mossy overgrowth.

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NEW SERIES! Muddy’s speedy suppers for frazzled cooks

20 Mar 2017

Having one of those days when ‘make dinner’ is just one of 8 million things on your to-do list? Totally run out of ideas? Yup, us too. So with frazzled, time-poor cooks in mind, here’s the first recipe in our new series of speedy weekday suppers.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be asking our favourite cooks to inspire us with an nifty new dish. Because there’s only so much pasta and pesto a girl can eat.

First up wearing the Muddy (not literally, don’t worry) apron? Emma Collen from the brilliant The Jericho Kitchen Cookery School in Oxford…

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Holy crêpe! Bonjour to Pancake Day

28 Feb 2017

Bored of making stodgy old British pancakes, slathered in sugar, lemon or treacle (or if you’re my children, all three)? Try this cheeky little number for size then – an elegant crêpe with Juliette sauce, artfully created and demonstrated by the stupendously beautiful chef Camille of equally beautiful French restaurant The Swan at Tetsworth, Oxfordshire.

Not sure with all the booze that it’s really for children, but having tasted this recipe, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

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Recipe: Poached salmon in rice wine and soy sauce with sprout stir fry

20 Nov 2016

This the lovely Pamela, one of a growing band of dedicated foodies I meet who has turned her passion into a business and is found a rather tidy niche. ChenMoore Chopsticks is all about demystifying oriental food (Pamela is from Taiwan originally, but cooks across the Far Eastern regions) and showing that it’s not all about chop sueys and sticky sweet and sour pork.

She’s based in Cheltenham, holding courses from her home but also getting out and about at events like the Didcot Food Festival (26 Nov) and demonstrating at the Waitrose Cookery Studio (Cheltenham, 5 Dec) and teaches everything from the total basics and how to make the perfect dimsum to one pot meals and bespoke courses, with them coming in around £85-95 for the day.

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Recipe: Crayfish salad

9 Aug 2016

I’m just back from my summer holibobs where I was totally shamed – shamed I tell you! – by my French friend Pauline who cooked with both eyes closed, an arm behind her back, two kids hanging off her apron (no, she wasn’t really wearing one, it’s artistic licence) and no cookbook to take the tiniest credit for her awesome gastronomic creations.

Well a big *thwuuuuup* raspberry to Pauline (in the nicest way, I do really love her) –  I for one am incapable of doing any cooking without a recipe-for-idiots to follow, so praise be to The Quince Tree at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley, creators of this delicious crayfish and cous cous salad, who have kindly donated it to the Muddy cause.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition