Month: March 2014

ibbi loves: St Paul de Vence and ibbi’s Delicious Hummus


It is idyllic and unpretentious: the magnificent medieval St Paul de Vence is one of the oldest hilltop towns in South Eastern France.  Whatever your preference: traditional, modern, naive or contemporary, you’ll love this dynamic artistic hub where the sculptures and paintings of heavyweights such as Chagall and Folon sit along side those locally based artists.  We love the gallery of UK born artist Paul Rafferty and you can see his paintings at the Portland Gallery in London too.

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Brilliantly coloured roof top tiles and vibrant lime spring creepers clinging to the town’s ancient walls all serve as inspiration for our summer homeware collection.

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We at ibbi are, it has to be said, unashamedly lovers of all things olive and we think the spectacular Boutique Premiere Pression Provence  on the narrow rue Grande, is simply a haven.  Fruity, green, ripe or black, the selection of mouth-watering olive oils, pestos, pates and tapenades is second to none.  We’ve used the Premier Recolte oil to make ibbi hummus.  If you’re not travelling to France in the near future, then order some of the fabulous oils at http://www.ppp-olive.com

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Boutique Premiere Pression Provence

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Imageibbi’s Hummus Recipe  (makes 1 bowl)

1 1/2 x 400g tins of soaked chickpeas

75ml of delicious olive oil (Premiere Pression Provence!)

small handful basil and parsley

The juice of 1 1/2 lemons

1 tsp cumin

1 clove crushed garlic

A pinch of paprika

3 tsp tahini

6 tablespoons water (or greek yoghurt is good too)

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until the hummus is smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  its so good and fresh and is so much yummier than supermarket hummus!

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Spring In Northumberland

There is nothing better than sunny days in Northumberland.  Four days with early morning frosts, no wind and a glorious eight hours of sunshine.

So ibbi’s tips for feeling AMAZING every morning:

1.  A delicious and energising Green ibbi Smoothie!

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It’s obviously important to use the ibbi bowls too for nuts, seeds and flax just so the whole green smoothie experience looks as beautiful as it possibly can.  If you still have kale in the veg patch, new green leaves should be appearing about now, they are delicious and almost sweet and packed full of fibre, iron, Vit A,C and K, and calcium.  It’s kind of like a superfood.

Ingredients:

1 lovely fair-trade banana

1 slice of fresh pineapple

1 generous handful of fresh kale (remove any tough stalks)

1 handful of spinach

Half an avocado (optional depending on how rich you want it)

1 tablespoon of flax

A couple of ice cubes to make it really cold

Add enough coconut water to make it the consistency you like

A small handful of frozen blueberries (this can make the smoothie  a bit brown but if you don’t mind the colour then chuck some in)

Put it all in the blender and whizz it up.

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Without the blueberries the smoothie is a vibrant green – giving ibbi more colour inspiration

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A delicious green smoothie treat to start the day.

The second fabulous tip: Doune Fairfax’s natural treats for your skin, bath and home.  The pure soaps smell so good but ibbi’s personal favourite is the ‘Morning Glow Scrub’, made with sweet almond oil, olive oil, rosemary, tea tree, Siberian Fur and mint essential oils.  It’s great for getting you buzzing in the morning and for dealing with tired muscles in the evening.  Doune calls this ‘the most delicious, moisturising, properly scrubby scrub’ and ibbi says it’s simply the best scrub ever.  www.handmadebydoune.co.uk

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3.  Ok so a recipe for bread doesn’t sound the most healthy BUT this is so delicious and it’s got ‘Health’ in the title, we think you should give it a go and it’s not difficult to make (no yeast so no proving and kneading).  The recipe comes from Catherine, a close friend in Northumberland, and she was given it by her sister in South Africa.

Sally’s South African Health Bread

2 cups of brown flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oats

1/3 cup linseed

1/3 cup poppy/sesame/sunflower seeds

1/3 cup mixed nuts

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp honey

2 cups buttermilk (or yoghurt diluted with water)

1/2 tsp bicarb

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Add the honey

Mix the bicarb and buttermilk, then add to the dry ingredients

If too dry add a little water

Put the mixture in to a loaf tin

Cook at 180C for about an hour

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This is a picture of  Northumbrian nettle cheese which is delicious with the bread – the loaf doesn’t really rise and is more like a cake loaf.

We have exciting news that the ibbi ceramic order from South Africa is due to be shipped on Friday.    A little preview pic below…Image

Dispatches From Kerala

Post written in January

We are on our way to the far South West of India.  The state of Kerala, with Arabian Sea to its West and Western Ghats to its East,  is heaving with coconut palms, quiet backwaters, dense palm forests, paddy fields, and estates of rubber, tea, coffee and pepper.  The colour is spectacular.  The temperature is 32C so a happy ibbi team and we begin our short tour of a handful of the state’s organic cotton weavers.

Has anyone driven or been driven in Kerala? Hmmm the drivers all appear to suffer from the same condition, blindness.  By the end of our visit overtaking on a corner or directly into on coming traffic was STILL terrifying and not right!

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ibbi Loves: The beach!

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Ok so we had a little treat at the end of our journey and stayed for 2 nights at the Neelishwar Hermitage, where small thatched cottages nestle among majestic palm trees and the ocean waves crash agains the shore only yards from our terrace. ImageImage

The Backwaters

While we were in Kerala we went to the Manniyottu Vishnumoorthi Temple at Kanhangad, where the Theyyam festival was taking place.  A dazzlingly colourful ritual form of worship, encompassing the belief that man can don the costume of a deity and then, following spiritual preliminaries, actually become that deity, assuming diving powers and speaking and healing as a god.  For ibbi this spectacular visual feast of crimson and orange is unforgettable and we will try to incorporate some of the glorious colours in our new ceramics range later this year.

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And finally we have to go home….

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Jaipur in January is Chilly

This post was written in January.

Jaipur, The Pink City, the capital of Rajasthan and freezing cold.  The region has been hit by a cold wintry blast and standing in factories with marble floors for eight hours a day has left our bones aching with cold.  Anyway, nothing can really dampen our spirits here – it is so vibrant, rich in culture and bursting with fortresses and majestic palaces.  The markets are full of ibbi colour which we love but we are here to spend a week finding new suppliers and get our orders placed!

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Swathes of material used to keep the studio cool in summer and warm in winter.

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Block Printers

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Beautiful Blocks

Jaipur is full of design inspirations:Image

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Micro Scooters

We took 8 reconditioned micro-scooters out to Calcutta as part of Micro-Scooters Scooter Aid programme.  We donated 4 of the scooters at Nirmala Shushu Bhavan an orphanage set up by Mother Theresa over 30 years ago.  The other 4 we donated to a community (slum) called Mulahadi.  We had a meeting with a company called Connexions who support this community by organising and teaching the women to do sewing so that once they have learnt to sew they can work from home.  The community houses up to 10,000 people and it was clean and orderly with up to 4 families living in each tiny house.  For lots more info on micro-scooters visit their fabulous website http://www.micro-scooters.co.uk

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Away We Go

This post was written in January

We have taken a bit of time to get our, ‘ibbi life’ blog live – nervous bloggers.  So the first few posts were written back in January while we were in India and we will catch up with ourselves.

Calcutta

Calcutta is a cool city.  We travelled there to meet new suppliers and scour market stalls to find inspiration and one off treasures for our new ‘home’ collection’.  Faded charm, frantic energy, sumptuous cotton and linen, big impact furniture and some very welcoming people. Its a busy city.  Street vendors, rickshaw wallahs, ear cleaners all crowd these chaotic streets.  The air is heavy with smells of cardamon, coriander and car exhaust fumes but everywhere there is ibbi colour.

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