20 July 2014

Peachy Lemonade

When the sun hits London, the city transforms. You can actually see Londoners smile. I kid you not.

Parks get full to the brim. Londoners lounge in the sun at every opportunity they get. Trying to squeeze in every drop of sunshine. Pubs gets so busy, the crowds merge on sidewalks and streets. It's a happy place to be.

We've had a good run of sunny days in London this summer. And this week was a little hotter than usual, with a little heat wave thrown in our way.

It was hot, it was sticky, and I don't know why I am speaking in the past because it's still here. It is hot, it is sticky.

So I made lemonade. Peach lemonade. With beautiful, ripe, sweet, juicy peaches. And bright yellow lemons.

Funny little things these flat peaches aren't they? They're called doughnut peaches. And their flesh are white and super sweet.

It's a quick little recipe. So giddy' up.

Peachy Lemonade 

8 ripe doughnut peaches, pitted
juice of 4 lemons
2-3 tablespoons of sugar
ice cubes

Put the pitted peaches with the lemon juice and the sugar in a blender. Whizz away until liquid. Taste and see if sweet enough. Add more sugar if you think it needs it and whizz some more.

Pass the mixture through a non-metallic sieve.

Spoon the puree into 4 glasses, top with ice cubes, add water. Enjoy this refreshing nectar of the gods.

13 July 2014

{cocktail} Gin Genie

Does this cocktail packs a punch or what?!?

I'm so glad it turned out so well as I was more than dubious it would when I first decided on trying my luck with this.

I love a cocktail. But when out and about I always seem to pick the wrong one. Too sweet, too bitter, too strong, too something something. I can get disappointing.

Things are much easier (or dangerous) when you decide to be your own barmanwoman.

This really is a variation on the classic G&T. But it's pink. And a little fruity, which balances out the bitterness. And I get to use my ice cream machine to make the grapefruit and gin sorbet.

This really is the perfect drink to share with friends, sitting in the sun, having a chatter. Although I had two of these by my lonesome and they still rock. Hence why this cocktail was baptised with some Bowie-spiration.

Gin Genie Cocktail

makes 4 to 6 cocktails - so make a double batch if you expect company!

150 g caster sugar
300 ml water
500 ml pink or red grapefruit juice (I use juice from a carton)
4 tablespoon of gin
Indian tonic water

Put the sugar and the water in a pan and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil for around 5 minutes until the liquid looks syrupy.

Leave to cool for 15 minutes or so and then add the grapefruit juice.

Put in the fridge for 30 minutes, then stir the gin in. I only use 4 tablespoon as using more would make the sorbet not 'set' properly. You can alway add more later on whilst mixing the cocktails, this is certainly what I do.

Tip the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions.

Scoop a portion of sorbet into a glass and top with indian tonic (and more gin if you want too) and decorate with a sprig of mint. Let the sorbet melt a little, becoming a little like slush in consistency.

So refreshing.

Didn't take long before I got my paws on this little beauty!

6 July 2014

{Breakfast Post #3} Quinoa Porridge with Cherry Compote

Experimenting with gluten-free breakfast is ma jam. And this recipe sounds super fancy schmancy but it actually contains 4 ingredients. Four! That's how I roll in the mornings, simplicity.

The cherry compote could be made with any summer berry really. You could make it in advance and keep it in the fridge, ready to be used whenever you are. This is surely what I do.

I had some maple syrup in the fridge, so this recipe is actually vegan. But honey would be equally nice too, although then becomes not vegan. You can't taste the maple syrup once in the compote, so not to worry any not maple lover (how dare you!).

Now lets talk about the quinoa flakes. Flakes yes! I hear you say "what the hell?". And then I reply "hell yes!".  Quinoa has gotten a lot of press in the last few years. But did you know it is actually not a grain. It actually is in the same plant family as spinach and beetroot. Confused? Well really all you have to know is that quinoa is a complete protein to keep your tummy fuller longer, and is loaded with magnesium (for a healthy strong heart), iron (to get that brain functioning in the morning), calcium (for healthy bones and muscles) and zinc (to keep skin, hair and nails in tip top shape!).

May I also add that quinoa porridge is much less 'gloopy' or glue-like in consistency then it's oatmeal sister. You had me at hello, quinoa porridge.

In the UK, quinoa flakes are super easy to source, via the lovely people at Holland and Barrett. But there are plenty of supplier on Amazon too, which is normally where I shop when looking for healthy ingredients.

Quinoa Porridge with Cherry Compote

35g quinoa flakes (about 1/2 cup)
185ml unsweetened almond milk (3/4 cup)
pinch of sea salt
big handful of cherries
2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Start by making the compote. Pit the cherry, pop then in a pot with the maple syrup and heat on low to medium heat until the cherries look a big mushy but still hold their shape. Put aside. This will make enough cherry compote for 2 or 3 servings of porridge, so keep it in the fridge for later.

Then let's make porridge! Put the quinoa flakes, almond milk and pinch of salt in another pot and heat on medium heat, constantly stirring, until it thickens and is hot. It will take about 2-3 minutes no more.

Then pop the quinoa porridge into a little bowl, spoon some cherry compote on top, and eat.

I like to add a tablespoon or two of coconut cream on top of my porridge as it makes it extra creamy. And I also add nuts for crunch. Here I added pistachio. But walnuts are damn fine too. Whatever you have in the pantry.

P.S. For the purpose if this post, may I note that I ate the porridge after I took a gazillion pictures of it. Cold. And it was still tasty.

3 July 2014

July Playlist

Music is a big part of my husband's life. He loves discovering new bands, and old ones. He has an impressive number of records which he keeps jealously stashed in his office. He was one of the first one to sign up to Spotify and has so many playlists on it it's a little scary. He's also started to play guitar and strums away happily. Our Sundays are often filled with music streamed through his Sonos system, newspaper in hand, sipping coffees. Like two old souls together.

I love his musical side. And I have to say I often rely on him to make me playlists he thinks I would like. I can be lazy like that.

So I thought I would make an effort and put a playlist together, and the result is this July Playlist. In no particular order. Tunes that I am really liking (I was going to write diggin' - cringe) at the moment. I had trouble picking only one song of Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence album, but Florida Kilos is the one I listen to the most, although Brooklyn Baby is pretty awesome too.

Hope you enjoy my little medley!