Strawberry Cider

I just had to break my radio silence to present what can only be described as heavens nectar in cider form. Basically it tastes like strawberry juice but it’s beautiful still cider. I found this on my return from the frankly awesome Lambeth Country Show, on a little stall outside Herne Hill station (god I’d love to live there, one day lottery gods). Unfortunately like the complete doughnut I am I forgot the name of the stall and sadly my 2 pint carton is not labelled. If anyone knows the brand please let me know in the meantime you will find me next weekend returning to that same spot to stalk that there vendor and purchase some more of his tantalising elixir…

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My Instagram Feast

So I’m still quite addicted to this Instagram lark, I check my feed daily to nosey at other people’s pictures, it’s like little windows into other worlds and I love it.  In an attempt to showcase some of my food and feeds over the past month or so I’d like to introduce you to ‘My Instagram Feast’ which will hopefully be a regular (ish) feature on this blog (if i can manage to take a picture before guzzling down my food – it’s a serious problem you know?! all too often I find myself out and about devouring the most exquisite gluten-free treats only to realise at the last mouthful I’d forgotten to take a picture – doh).  So anyways I was talking about my feast  yeah? Well you’re all invited to join the feast and if you want to keep up to date with my Instagram food fetish then follow me at @whatislaate.

From top left, picnic in the woods, Natural History Museum's mammoth salad selection, Sunday tray bake, Lindt Carrot (oh my), Aubergine Bake, new season British asparagus with tarragon beurre blanc, rather hazy gluten-free fish and chips (I was too excited at the prospect of batter to take a good shot!), victoria sponge (gf) and my dad's gluten-free Chinese spread (oh yeah)...

So whats your Instagram name?

Scallion Soda Bread (Gluten Free)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! or ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!’

So a traditional Irish recipe is in order I think.  This soda bread is gluten free (of course) and flavoured with spring onions, or scallions as I keep being corrected. I didn’t have any buttermilk for this recipe so I’ve made my own version combining yoghurt and milk which works just as well and may even be a bit thriftier.

If you are looking for other Irish food inspiration then you could try these delicious gluten free potato farls here, otherwise…

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of Doves Gluten Free White Bread Flour
  • 2 eggs, topped up to 12fl oz with half yoghurt and half whole milk
  • 6 spring onions scallion, sliced finely
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 oz of sugar
  •  1 oz of bicarbonate soda
  • 2 oz of butter

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan) and oil a baking tray.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the spring onions and mix.   Whisk up the egg, yoghurt and milk mixture then stir into the dry ingredients.  Turn out the dough onto a well floured board, the mix will be quite sticky so be generous with your dusting.  Knead the mix for a couple of minutes then form in to a large ball and plop onto the oiled tray.  Cut a deep (over half way) cross through the centre, brush with milk and dust with flour.

Bake in the oven for about 30/40 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when you knock its bottom.

Serve with butter, cheese and chutney for tea or toasted the next day for breakfast.

‘Tabhair dom an rud céanna mar atá ag an fhear ar an t-úrlar!’ – translations sourced here.

Iced Banana Espresso Pick Me Up

Hello there, I’ve been a bit slack lately haven’t I? It was my last week at work last week before the summer holidays (yay!) and, typically, I suddenly realised as it kicked in on Monday that I had shed loads still to do so I ws busy getting stuff together and packing for my 3rd office move in 2 1/2 years(!). At the weekend I attended a very interesting conference come residential training course and have since been pottering about and trying to entertain my 3 year old daughter. We went to Brighton yesterday, I really love it there and they have the best play area by the beach so the little lady was more than entertained with that, the beach and running down the promenade at top speed. Here a few pictures of the day:

Priya and Megan throwing stones into the sea

The old pier

Forget Zumba try walking up and down these for an hour, thighs of steel I tell you!

After getting back we were cream crackered, there is something about the sea air and trekking round and up and down the hills and pebbly beaches of Brighton that makes you realise how incredibly unfit you are, my thighs are literally aching today after dragging the push chair through the pebbles and pushing it arduously up the hill back to the station. Anyway we were a bit unlucky with our choices of food and drink that day and towards the end of the afternoon I really fancied a proper milkshake, so we went into what looked like a reputable establishment amongst the Lanes and ordered said milkshake. After reading the claims of ‘mixed with homemade ice cream’ I had somewhat got my hopes up that this would be a thick flavoursome affair but unfortunately I was sadly disappointed by the syrup based, watery, sweet milk drink that arrived. But I was not deterred, I would, by the end of the day, find or make my ultimate milk pick me up and that I did! I became a little obsessed last summer with those frozen mocha coffee drinks all the big chains do but after realising they were practically the sum total of my expected calorie intake of a day and then getting that post caffeine sugar slump I decided it was best I cut back on these icy delights. So to compensate and as a little treat (this can be naughty) I concocted my own rather healthier and far, far tastier iced coffee drink. If you’ve been with me for a while you will have read one of my first very simple recipes for an ice cream like banana milkshake (the secret – frozen banana) so this is an extension of that technique with or without the optional (perhaps depending on the time of day you wish to drink this) slosh of Kahlua.

mmmm...

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas (this is a great way to use up bananas that are starting to brown, chop them up into chunky slices, bag and chuck in the freezer then next time you fancy a rather virtuous treat, you have the main ingredient to hand and no waste!)

Half a pint of milk (you choose your fat level, skimmed works and is healthy but if you fancy a more full on creamy sensation then whack up the fat content and go full fat)

2 espressos, I use Percol, it’s instant but very good

A squirt, or maybe 2 of agave syrup, failing that golden, honey or sugar – I like the idea that I’m being semi healthy with the agave (plus this is the stuff they make tequila from!)

A capful of vanilla extract

A couple of measures of Kahlua (optional)

Method:

Whizz all the ingredients in a blender. Serve in glasses of your choice or a mug like I used this afternoon in my non alcoholic version ( no ones looking you know). Grate some chocolate on top if you are feeling fancy and drink or spoon down your throat whilst smugly thinking how fantastically good this is for you. This drink not only gives you one of your five a day, it gives you a good caffeine kick, has calcium in it, the banana adds fibre and prevents that post caffeine slump AND if you use agave its sugar free. What more could you want? Make one NOW!!!

p.s. if you want to halve the recipe and make enough for one, go on you’re worth it, then it might be advisable to let the espresso cool for while so that it doesn’t melt your drink too much, I found with 2 bananas it is fine but with one you can end up losing the ice cream finish so just wait a little while yeah?

What Reshma Drank!

My very new and talented friend Reshma has made my Sunday and sent in a recipe. It sounds delicious and I am wondering if she might somehow be able to transport this delicacy from North London to Croydon one day? Maybe in a flask?!

Here it is:

I made Persian Falodeh today. This drink is popular in Persia and the the Indian Sub-continent.
This recipe is Persian and hails from my mother’s side of the family. We make it everyday in Ramadhan and on special occassions…or whenever we feel like drinking it.

Serves 6-8 people.

Ingredients:

1 litre milk (skimmed, semi skimmed-whatever you like).
1/2 cup cream (single suits better).
200 ml vanilla ice cream
2 tbsps falooda seeds (you can get this from Middle Eastern, Indian and Persian shops).
A few drops of rose syrup/strawberry syrup to taste.
2 tsp rose essence
1/2 cup almonds and pistachios
1 cup vermicelli

How to make Falooda Ice Cream:

Simmer milk on low heat stirring all the time till the milk condenses.

Add rose essence and cool.

Boil water, add vermicelli and simmer for 5 -10 minutes.

Take out the vermicelli, strain with cold water and keep aside.

Soak falooda seeds in water for 2-3 hours.

Add rose syrup.

In a tall sundae glasses put a spoon of rose concentrated syrup.

Put in few strands of vermicelli and 2-3 tbs of falooda seeds.

Add a cup of sweetened milk.

Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with cream and nuts.

Drink awaaaaaaaaaaay………………….!

Love,

Reshma