Spring Zingers: A Herb-Infused Cocktail Party

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Spring is here! The flowers are not quite in full bloom, but the herb garden is definitely looking happy… and what better to do with the longer evenings than to enjoy a few deliciously herbal cocktails in the garden?

I’ve put together five simple cocktail recipes featuring rosemary, Greek basil, thyme, lemon balm, and mint. They’re fruity and beautifully aromatic – perfect for inhaling the fragrances of spring! – not to mention very pretty to look at. They’re perfect for barbeque season and beyond.  Continue reading

Brunches & Blood Oranges

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Today’s post is a sunset-hued citrus extravaganza. Blood orange season is short, so I love to make the most of it. This time it’s with a beautiful blood orange brunch.

Fresh blood oranges are sweeter than standard oranges and, of course, they have a gorgeously dappled ruby colour. Whatever you can do with an orange, you can do with their crimson cousins, but with an added dash of colour and aroma. For brunch, I made a fruit-studded yoghurt platter served alongside freshly squeezed juice. For something a little heartier, I made Blood Orange Marmalade and syrup to serve on toast or pancakes – just wait until you see the deep red colour! Continue reading

Porridge, Chia & co: An Autumnal Breakfast Party.

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Autumn has been creeping up on us for a while now, but it’s not all drizzle and gloom! It’s finally porridge weather!

The days are darker and the evenings chillier, and I’m sure I’m not the only one reaching for cozy food to counteract the cold. But why stop at a quick breakfast on a weekday morning? Why not throw a Weekend Breakfast Party, and invite friends over for a colourful, creamy, crunchy, fruity feast?  With a helping hand from cheerful tableware, it’s a sure-fire way to inject joy into these grey-skied days.

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Bloody Mary & Co: Tomato Season is Here.

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Rejoice! It’s tomato season! Supermarket shelves might look the same all year round, but head to any farmer’s market and you’ll see what I mean.

We went to Swiss Cottage Farmers’ Market (more on that next week – stay tuned!) where we got chatting to Nathan and Sam, the friendly faces behind the Wild Country Organics stand. They spoke to us about the sixteen – yes, sixteen – varieties of tomato they had in stock: Big, beefy and wrinkly reds, smooth small yellows, perfectly sweet green toms and tart, sticky tomatillos. A veritable rainbow of colours and flavours.  Scroll down for photos of glorious produce, as well as the tasty  things I whipped up with my market haul. Continue reading

Onions & Damsons: Getting into a (Delicious) Jam at the Allotment.

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Last week we went on a little adventure to Gladstone Park Gardens Allotments on a cloudy summer day. Well, I say ‘adventure’ but it was only a 10 minute drive from the heart of Hampstead.

My sister is lucky enough to have a patch in this inner-city oasis, and I joined her early one morning to harvest beans, onions and damsons…as well as to soak in all the green-thumbed gorgeousness that abounds. After a morning of ogling flowers, fruits and vegetables (and butterflies, bumblebees and birds) my eyes and spirit felt refreshed! I hope these photos have the same effect on you.

We returned home carrying bags full of produce, and got to work making jars of jam from our damsons and onions. Of course, you don’t need to grow vegetables yourself in order to make jam, and you don’t need specialty ingredients either. Scroll down for simple recipes to make your own homemade preserves. But first, let’s explore the allotment. Continue reading

Sugar, Spice and all Things…Chocolate Bark!

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Fact: Making chocolate bark requires one to unleash their inner Jackson Pollock. Prepare to paint with melted chocolate and create a hailstorm of fruity, spiced deliciousness…a little like this!

Chocolate bark is simple to whip up and it makes for beautiful (and beautifully scrumptious) gifts. Silky melted chocolate is poured into trays and then scattered generously with an assortment of crunchy, chewy and colourful morsels. Continue reading

Petal Power: Using Lavender in the Kitchen

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The flower pots on my balcony are heaving with fragrant purple petals – much to the delight of local bumblebees! – and I’ve been thinking up ways to use my flowers in the kitchen.

Today I have a trio of beautifully simple lavender treats which give a floral touch to baked goods and cocktails: Lavender Sugar, Lavender Infused Gin, and Lavender syrup. If you grow lavender at home then I suggest you give these a go (and if you don’t, I hope I’ll inspire a trip to the plant nursery!). Enjoy!

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