Wednesday, 26 June 2013

watermelon and feta

Something refreshing for dare I say it these slightly warmer days.  This is in essence the Greeks equivalent to British strawberries and cream.  A true staple in Greece where restaurant owners may even bring you a plate as a post-meal refresher - on the house.  It also goes down well in the afternoon when everyone wakes from their siesta about to head down to the beach.  Back in the UK I love it any place, any time.
The combination of feta and watermelon may sound strange to those who haven't tried it but trust me it works very well.  It's a sweet and salty explosion of flavours, you will never be able to eat watermelon without feta ever again.  A few sprigs of mint would also go down well with this.

You will need:
  • watermelon
  • good quality feta (preferably cows milk feta not goats milk)
1) Slice some cold watermelon and serve with slices of good quality feta.

Monday, 24 June 2013

raspberry, coconut and honey lassi



There is not much to say about this drink other than it is every so simple, ever so refreshing and ever so good for you.  One small sip and you'll find yourself drifting off to another land, a land of suntan oil, mosquitos and peace, yes somewhere exotic, somewhere we call a holiday!
Serves 2-4
You'll need:
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • crushed ice

1) Put raspberries, honey and coconut milk in a blender and blend till smooth.  Serve over crushed ice.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

We're thrilled with recent coverage in Crumbs Magazine

Thank you Crumbs for a great feature in this month's issue.   For those who don't know Crumbs Magazine has just been voted best Food Magazine in the Guild of food writers awards, a very big congrats to you all.
We recently hosted a Vintage Blossom Tea Party in the Garden, Crumbs came along and this is what they had to say.
P.S. You have to try the simple Swiss roll with strawberries and rose cream recipe listed in the feature!
Read feature here:

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

homemade granola + fruit compote

Friends invited us round for brunch a few weekends ago.  They whipped up this quick granola and fruit compote which was to die for, a little piece of heaven I had to ask how it was made. It sounded so simple, I  immediately got on the case.

From now on, I make sure I always have a pack of frozen berries in the freezer for whenever I need to make this delicious little number.  It's great too when you have friends come stay for the weekend.  There is something that feels quite posh about serving this to guests and leaves a lasting impression - meanwhile it's the easiest thing in the world!

Oh and it has to be served with Greek yoghurt!!!

All you need is a packet of frozen berries and mixed seeds and oats which you toast (these keep forever in jar).

Little tip:  I sometimes serve it as a dessert too with crushed biscuits on top, Ginger biscuits work well so to do Amaretti (almond) biscuits.

You will need:
For the compote:
  • 1 packet of frozen berries (any flavour, I used mixed summer berries but it also works well with plain blueberries)
  • 1 Tbs of honey
  • Juice from 1/2 an orange
For the granola:
  • Oats
  • Mixed seeds, I use pumpkin seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (a packet of superfood seeds usually has them all)
1) Make the compote by putting frozen berries in a pan with honey and orange juice and simmer on low heat till it waters down and starts to thicken, not too thick as it will thicken more when it cools so should still be a little runny.  Allow the compote to cool before serving.  Keeps for a while in the fridge.
2) Toast the seeds, as much or little as you need (quantities up to you) a good mix of oats to seeds ratio is good.  Toast them under the grill for a few seconds, keeping a constant eye on them as they burn very quickly.
3) Serve over Greek yoghurt with the compote and seeds on top.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Moroccan orange cake

This cake was a complete experiment this morning.  I decided to put a bulk load of oranges from the wholesale market to good use in baking.  However when reading the ingredients I realised we were missing half the items so had to make it up as I went along.  I was very surprised how delicious and simple it turned out!

The original recipe is actually a gluten free healthy cake, however I didn't have any ground almonds so had to add flour but by all means try it as a gluten free option too.

It is a no beating, no butter cake, which makes it very quick and very easy.

So here it is, a simple tangy Moroccan orange cake!

You will need:

  • 350g self rising flour
  • 250g xylitol (or sugar for a less healthy option)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 2tsp agave syrup (or substitute with honey)
  • zest and juice of 1 large orange and 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
Note: for gluten free option substitute the flour for 300g ground almonds.


1) Heat the oven to 180 degrees.  Line the base of 20cm spring form tin with baking paper and grease the sides.  Mix together the flour or (almonds for gluten recipe), xylitol and baking powder.  In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, 2 tsp agave syrup and orange and lemon zest and orange juice.  Pour the mixture into the dry mixture and combine.

2) Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approx 50 - 60 minutes or until a skewer comes clean from the centre and there is no raw cake sticking to it.  Cover with foil if it is browning too much.  Allow to cool and make the syrup.

3) Pour juice from 1 orange and 1/2 a lemon into a pan with 60g of agave syrup (or 3 tsp of sugar), bring to boil and leave simmer for 5 minutes. 

4) While the cake is still warm drizzle the syrup over the cake and all it all to seep in.  I made a few holes with a skewer on top of the cake to ensure it all gets soaked up.


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Greek shortbread (Kourambiedes)

These buttery melt in your mouth biscuits are an institution in every Greek home.  Traditional shortbread doesn't get better than these.

This, my mothers recipe makes quite a lot, but they do keep for a while in a airtight biscuit tin and are great to offer guest when they pop in for a quick cuppa.

You will need:
  • 500g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 1kg cake flour (more or less depending)
  • 1 cup chopped roasted almonds (optional)
  • icing sugar

1) Cream the butter very well till white, add egg yolk, vanilla and a tablespoon of icing sugar.

2) Sift in flour, little by little so eventually the mixture is a soft dough that is not to sticky to handle.  You may use less or more flour to get it to this point, depending how long you beat the butter for, but the dough should not be too hard or too soft.  You may add a cup of chopped almonds if you wish.

3) Take a handful of dough and create a ball, then roll on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin.  Using a glass cut out the half moon shapes.

4) Bake at 180 degrees for 20 mins or until golden, then sprinkle with icing sugar the minute they come out the oven so they absorb most of it and later once they have cooled sift more icing sugar over them, enjoy with a cuppa or store in an airtight container for a rainy day.

Monday, 8 April 2013

pink meringues with rose cream

These pretty pink swirl meringues are adapted from my aunt's famous pavlova recipe.  Much simpler than they look, these little puppies only take 15 minutes to prepare, but need over an hour in the oven.  A simple dessert definitely on the labour side of things and wholly satisfying on the eating front...

If I was entertaining at home I would attempt to create a pudding pyramid by building them up like bricks layered with cream and fruit.  On this occasion however I took them round to friends for a semi spring picnic!

Makes 12 meringues

You will need:
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 4 heaped teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • red food colouring
  • 1 tub of fresh double cream
  • 1 tsp rosewater

1) Beat the egg whites till very stiff (if you were to turn the bowl upside down they should not move).
2) Add the caster sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
3) Add the vinegar and vanilla essence. 
4) Spoon mixture onto a grease paper lined baking tray, and using a toothpick or teaspoon, swirl in the red food colouring.
5) Bake at 140 degrees for 1 1/4 hours.  When complete turn the oven off but leave the meringues in the oven to dry out as the oven cools.

Serving suggestion:
Beat the cream with a teaspoon of rosewater and serve with fresh strawberries and blueberries!