Revivers . Oxford

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Hello & welcome to our  Revivers . Oxford  blog!

Here you will find top tips, ideas, recipes & recommendations on how to live an effortless, simple and inspired lifestyle.

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Our home & lifestyle management service is flexible and can be tailor-made to suit your specific requirements. Whether you require a helping hand as a one-off arrangement or on an on-going basis, we can be of assistance. Drop us a line if you would like further info on our service – all enquiries welcome: www.revivers-oxford.co.uk

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Whisk, whisky and apron at the ready! Cranachan for Burns Night supper

Whisk, whisky and apron at the ready!

Cranachan – serves 4


40g medium or coarse oatmeal,  plus extra for garnish
300g raspberries, plus extra for garnish
400ml of organic double cream
3-4 tbspn runny honey (Scottish heather honey, if you have some!)
4 tbspn whisky


Spread out the oatmeal on a baking sheet and toast under a hot grill for a couple of minutes until it is warm and smells and nutty – allow to cool
Coarsely crush half the raspberries with a potato masher or fork
Whip the double cream until it reaches the soft peak stage
Stir in the honey and whisky
Gently stir in the crushed raspberries and then the whole raspberries
Just before serving fold in the toasted oatmeal and spoon into your chosen bowls, ramekins or glasses

Garnish with some toasted oats and a few raspberries

Enjoy & slàinte!

Top tips for eco-friendly cleaning

If you are interested in avoiding chemical cleaning products which may irritate your skin, then there are eco-friendly ways of cleaning your home using store cupboard ingredients – mainly bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, salt, olive oil and lemons.

Fridge & microwave
Bicarbonate of soda mixed with lemon juice or vinegar cuts through grease and works as a mild abrasive for cleaning your hob. This combo also work well when cleaning the inside of your fridge, microwave, ceramic tiles or bath, with the added bonus that is will deodorise at the same time.
For crystal clear windows, mirrors and ceramic tiles, clean them with a 50/50 solution of water and white wine vinegar in an old spray bottle and buff them down with an old cotton t-shirt or coffee filter papers for a streak-free finish
Clean off mildew from window frames and sills with a solution of water and some Tea Tree oil, then buff dry with a clean cloth
Stainless steel
Remove marks and finger prints from stainless steel cutlery and utensils by polishing with a little olive oil and then buffing with kitchen towel
Fly spray
Make your own ‘fly spray’ by making a solution of water and citronella to keep those pesky flies at bay!
Air fresheners
Light a candle to get rid of smells instead of using air freshener or boil some cinnamon stick to cover up stale odours after cooking
Dry a batch of freshly picked bay leaves in your over on a low heat. You will not only have a good supply of organic bay leaves for your spice rack but will benefit from a sweet, clove-like smelling oven – no elbow grease required!
Make use of sunlight, when it visits, and place lightly stained white garments in the sun which will help to ‘bleach’ out stains
Remove limescale from your taps by simply wrapping a vinegar soaked paper towel around them, leave for an an hour or two and then give them a rigorous buffing to revive their shine and leave them looking brand new again. This method works well on shower heads too
Generously sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in the base of your kitchen bin to banish stale smells
Kitchen and bathroom clogged drains
Mix ½ mug bicarbonate soda and ½ mug malt vinegar and pour down the plughole. Leave to foam for a couple of minutes then flush with a kettle full of boiling water to clear the drain
Spruce up your carpets by hoovering and then booking a professional carpet steam-clean. Or do it yourself by lightly sprinkling bicarbonate of soda over your carpet, leave overnight and then simply hoover up some of those odours along with the bicarb
Wood polish
Mix 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts olive oil and apply it to your furniture using a duster. Rub in well and you will be left with fresh smelling shiny tables and chairs.


Make 2018 your GREEN CLEAN year!

N.B. It is always wise to use common sense when trying new cleaning methods and materials. We take no responsibility and assume no liability resulting from the use of information described in this post.


What to do with holiday leftover ham? Make a Croque Monsieur, of course!

Ham + Gruyère + Dijon mustard + good quality bread

Spread some Dijon mustard on a slice of bread

Top with sliced ham & sliced/grated Gruyère

Top with another slice of bread

Butter both sides of the bread & place the sandwich in a hot ‘dry’ frying pan

Cook over a medium heat (about 3-4 minutes)  or until golden brown on both sides

Make a thick Béchamel and allow it to cool

Spread some Béchamel on the top slice & sprinkle over more Gruyère

Grill under a medium heat until the Gruyère is golden and fully melted – et voilà!

Great for a weekend brunch or an indulgent lunch

& if you’re extra hungry, top with a fried egg for a Croque Madame!

Festive spiced bourbon

Festive spiced bourbon makes a lovely homemade gift for friends and family. It’s simple to make & easy to drink!

Festive spiced bourbon

All you need is a large jar into which you put the following ingredients:

* bourbon
* strips of clementine peel
* vanilla extract or pod
* caster sugar
* cinnamon sticks
* cloves

-Shake the jar from time to time & when the concoction reaches your desired intensity of flavour & spice pass the liquor through a sieve
-Decant into individual sterilised jars or bottles
-Garnish each jar with a clove, a freshly pared strip of washed clementine peel and a blackberry or three

Festive spiced bourbon

& then just starting giving, after all, that’s what Christmas is about!

🎄🎁 🎄🎁 🎄🎁

A batch started today would be more than quaffable by Christmas day!

Great to sip neat or with a splash of Chambord, and a generous glug will liven up festive mulled cider for your guests – enjoy!



Another lazy Sunday breakfast . . . . . . bliss!

Another lazy Sunday breakfast . . . . . . bliss! : )

Home-made Seville orange marmalade = Sun on toast!

Smoking Bishop! | Victorian mulled punch

If you like mulled wine but fancy something a bit different then why not try making some Victorian Smoking Bishop as mentioned in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” ?

“A merry Christmas, Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back. “A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you, for many a year! I’ll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!

Be warned though – it’s stronger than it tastes!

Smoking Bishop!

3 unpeeled Seville oranges (if you can’t find any Sevilles try 2 oranges and ½ grapefruit)
15 cloves
1 cinnamon stick, a blade of mace and a few all spice berries  – all optional depending your taste for spice
100g (or to taste) soft brown sugar
1 bottle of red wine
½ bottle of port

Wash the oranges and  poke some holes in the peel with a fork
Stick 2 cloves into each orange
Bake in a moderate oven (about 180C) until brownish (about 1 to 1 ½ hours) turning once or twice
Put the oranges into a large bowl along with the rest of the cloves, any of  the above spices you might like, sugar and wine – BUT NOT THE PORT!
Cover and leave in a warm place for 24 to 48 hours
Slice the oranges in half and squeeze the juice into the wine
Strain (optional) the mix into a large pan and heat gently
Just before serving add the port and continue to heat gently until just “smoking” and under no circumstances let the punch boil!
Garnish with clove studded clementine slices (optional)

As I’ve already mentioned, go easy on this if you’re working tomorrow, it’s stronger than it tastes!