I was going to entitle this drink ‘Hard Lemonade’ because I had drunk one of said drinks at Pitt Cue Co earlier in the week and it was so delicious I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I had a couple of experiments with gin and lemons yesterday and made a pretty decent drink glass by glass but I wanted something I could get ready ahead of time and just pour when the urge took me and so this punch was born. Also after spending most of half term coughing, spluttering and blowing my nose I thought a nice lemon and honey drink was in order as it is medicinal isn’t it?!
It’s a light, refreshing and restorative little tipple that works well chilled over ice. You could easily add gin or vodka to this but when I remembered I had this gingerbread rum leftover from Christmas it seemed to be fate.
- 4 lemons
- 1 nugget of stem ginger
- 1 dessert spoon of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- a slug of syrup from the stem ginger jar
- about 3/4 pint of water
- gingerbread rum or booze of your choice
Zest and juice 4 lemons into a jug, grate in the ginger and then stir in all the other ingredients and top up with water. Add your glug of rum about 4/6 shots (?). Chill the drink in the fridge for an hour or so and serve over ice.
Interesting day today, I’ve been trawling round the charity shops of West Wickham and found a lovely set of teacups, a pretty plate, a kite, a set of glass bowls, a Polaroid camera and a couple of bargainous children’s books. Good day. So to top it all off with a sparkle I (well I had a bit of help, elbow grease provided by P. Curtis, thankyou!) we made some very gorgeous and delectable fairy cakes. Yes you heard me right, FAIRY cakes, not cupcakes (as lovely as they are) but good old fashioned fairy cakes, WITH sprinkles, mmm yeah. These are moist, sweet and moreish little numbers that you would be proud to provide at a children’s party and even damn prouder to produce for grown ups even if you are having a glass of cider on the side(!). I used the basic recipe from the side of the Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour packet and adulterated it with zest, drizzle and sparkly bits.
- 150g butter
- 150g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 150g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
- Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- 5 tablespoons of milk
For the drizzle:
- Juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- Icing sugar
- Zest of one lemon
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees or 180 degrees (fan oven).
Cream the butter and sugar together until while and fluffy (if anyone asks if they can help at this point say yes and hand it over, this recipe is not hard but this is the most labour intensive part!). Grate in the zest of the orange and lemon. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour and milk and mix together. Spoon into paper cases (half full). Then bake for 10-15 min.
Whilst baking put together your drizzle. Squeeze the juice of an orange and lemon into a bowl. Add icing sugar until you have a double cream consistency syrup. Zest a lemon in and stir. Taste and add more sugar or juice if necessary.
Once the cakes are baked spoon the drizzle on whilst warm (to allow it to soak in). Sprinkle over the best sparkly bits you can find (there is no shame in hundreds and thousands) and serve.
I had this, well the half pint version, in a lovely little seafood restaurant in Hythe a couple of weeks back. It’s super simple to assemble and makes quite an entrance with the pinky, orange prawns piled up high in their shells. You can buy these prawns, frozen, cooked, shell on, sometimes from the supermarket, almost always from Wing Yips and from your local fishmongers. They’re much more reasonable than the peeled frozen ones you get and make for a fantastic deconstructed prawn cocktail where you have to get all involved, ripping the heads off and peeling the shell away. Despite this possible palava, I quite like it, the prawns are sweeter and juicier that way and it makes a lovely starter or light lunch. I had my ‘pint’ for lunch on Saturday served with some seriously old ‘skool’ Marie Rose sauce, a wedge of lemon and a slice of buttered brown bread (gf).
Shell on, cooked, frozen prawns
Bread to serve
For the Marie-Rose Sauce:
Defrost your prawns in cold water. Shovel the prawns into a pint glass, I chose a rather pretty Stella glass. Mix up the Marie-Rose sauce, a couple of teaspoonfuls of mayo and creme fraiche, a squirt of tommy k and a splash of Worcester. Set up your sauce in a little dish or a ramekin and serve alongside. To be really kitsch, like me, add a round slice of lemon to the glass and a nice slice of buttered brown bread cut into triangles (don’t you know?!). Make sure you provide an empty vessel for the heads and shells and eat with someone who loves you or someone you hate and spray them with prawn juice as you get stuck in! Yum, yum!
I buy chicken thighs all the time, they are cheap and succulent and can be made into a million different dishes. This is a simple kebab recipe which works great with this slaw. If you fancy something more substantial then add a couple of pitta or flat breads.
A packet of chicken thighs, skinned and boned
4 big cloves of garlic
A handful of oregano
A handful of parsley
A handful of basil
A tablespoon of olive oil
The zest and juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
For the slaw:
2 Spring onions, finely chopped
A dessertspoonful of sherry vinegar
A teaspoon of agave syrup or sugar
A dessertspoonful of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Soak your skewers in water for as long as you can (this helps prevent them from burning). Cut the chicken into cubes, you should be able to get about 8 pieces from each thigh. Put chicken into a bowl and add lemon zest, juice, oil, the herbs (finely chopped) and the garlic, crushed or grated. Mix together and marinate for about half an hour.
Thread your chicken onto skewers and grill (or barbecue, the sun’s come out again!) for about 8/10 min a side on high, or until golden and cooked through. Try to space the chicken out a little to aid the cooking process.
Mix the sherry vinegar, oil, syrup and salt and pepper until you get a sweet and sour dressing. Grate the courgette and carrot into a bowl with some finely chopped spring onion and toss in the dressing.
Serve the kebabs with the slaw and perhaps some flat breads.
Hello! Sorry I’ve neglected this site a little recently.
Anyway, it’s my 100th post so I thought I’d treat you to a yummy salad I made last week. After buying a bargainous bowl of courgettes in Surrey St market for 50p I had to find many uses for courgettes this week and one of them was this salad.
A large courgette
1/3 pack of feta cheese
A clove of garlic crushed
a pinch or two of sugar
salt and pepper
Mix the dressing by squeezing the juice out of the lemon, zesting it and then adding olive oil, crushed garlic, sugar and salt and pepper tasting as you go.
Shave off ribbons of courgette into a bowl with a potato peeler. Toss in dressing. Top with feta and there you have it, a rather healthy, zingy little salad to celebrate my 100th post!
I had a fillet of sea bream and a handful of samphire left over from yesterday’s dish so I decided to make a little lunch Thai style. This is another super simple recipe that was delicious.
A fillet of sea bream
A handful of samphire
A small handful of dried flat rice noodles
Thai green curry paste (this was a quick lunch, so I used shop bought and tinkered with it)
A teaspoon of palm sugar
A sprinkle of fish sauce
A good squeeze or two of lemon (lime would be better, I didn’t have any)
Half a tin of coconut milk
A little oil for frying
Soak the noodles and the samphire in boiled water, every noodle is different but I like to do this and then repeat with freshly boiled water after a couple of minutes to ensure the noodles are softened. Leave these to soak.
Make the sauce first, fry about 3 teaspoonfuls of green curry paste in a little oil for about a minute, then add coconut milk, simmer gently for a couple of minutes, taste, then add the fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, palm sugar to taste. (I always find I have to tinker with the shop bought pastes in order to get a brighter more authentic flavour) Set the sauce aside.
Heat a frying pan until hot. Coat your fish in oil. Place fish skin side down in pan and hold for a minute or so to ensure the fish cooks flat and the skin goes crisp. Fry skin side for 2/3 min then flip for a min or so depending on size of fillet. Place fish to one side. Add sauce to pan (you might not need all of it) then add noodles and samphire, simmer briefly so everything is hot and coated in the green curry sauce. Pour noodle and samphire mix into shallow serving bowl and top with fish. If you want to be really fancy sprinkle a little chopped coriander on the top and shout ‘da da!’ when you present the finished dish to it’s diner (this may involve talking to yourself).
I had a little trip to Borough Market today and on my travels I picked up a couple of ingredients I had heard of but hadn’t tried before, at least haven’t cooked before anyway. Samphire is something I’m always on the look out for as I love the sound of it and when I saw it today in one of the fruit and veg stands I grabbed a couple of handfuls for this dinner. Now I knew I really needed a bit of fish and after browsing round the fishmongers I saw a nice Sea Bream, not a fish I’ve cooked or eaten before so I thought, why not.
This dish was really simple to make and sooo tasty.
A sea bream fillet
A handful of samphire
A clove of garlic
A little oil
About half a tablespoon of butter or there abouts
Lemon wedge to serve
Finely chop your parsley and garlic, set to one side. Rub the fish fillet with olive oil, set to the side. Boil the kettle. Heat frying pan. Rinse samphire and pop into pot. Pour over boiling water and leave to sit as you cook the fish, I wanted to keep this fairly crunchy if you want it softer, boil it for a min or so. Put the fish skin side down into the hot pan, hold the fish down for a min to ensure the whole side stays flat and goes crispy. Cook for a couple of minutes depending on size of fish then flip when skin side is golden and crispy. Drain your samphire and plate. Place fish along side and keep warm in the oven. Throw chopped garlic into hot pan from fish, add butter, let foam and fry for a few seconds then add parsley, stir and then pout over fish and samphire.
No need for seasoning with this as the samphire is so salty. Serve with a couple of lemon wedges if you like. Enjoy…
Happy Mothers Day everybody. I have had a lovely morning so far, breakfast in bed and even the offer of a roast dinner later so in gratitude of my lovely little ones gestures as well as the more than helping hand of her daddy I made a cake.
This is lovely and moist and very moreish, in fact I keep going back for extra slivers every time I enter the kitchen!
I had a little disaster this morning in that I dropped the scales for about the upteenth time and now they definately aren’t working so I had to use a bit of guestimation with the weights but the result was delicious.
4oz of ground almonds
4oz of sugar
4oz of butter
An extra genrous tablespoon of butter and couple of spoonfuls of sugar to caramelise the apples
A spoonful of amaretto
Zest of lemon
Pre heat oven to 180degrees (fan) or 200 if it isn’t.
Peel and slice the apples and fry in butter and sugar until golden and sticky. Grease a loaf tin. Place apples into base of tin, you can try to be decorative here but beware the apples can stick a little so be prepared to rearrange when the cake comes out of the oven.
Cream butter and sugar. Whisk in 2 eggs. Fold in almonds. Grate in zest and pour in dessert spoonful of amaretto. Stir. Pour batter over cooled apples.
Put in the oven for about 30 minutes. Check it is cooked by poking in a knife or skewer, when it’s done it should be firm to the touch and the knife should come out clean. Turn out onto plate. Rearrange apple topping if slightly stuck, it happens, it still tastes good!
Eat when cooled, although it’s very yummy warm too, we couldn’t wait!