Friday, January 24, 2014

Blackcurrant and Gooseberry Vodka

I made fruity vodka!

This is such a simple recipe, and it was very tasty!
I have a really nice farm shop near me - New Manor Farm Shop, if you are interested. One of the things they sell there is frozen fruit. Freshly picked and then frozen.

I went home, defrosted the fruit (blackcurrants and gooseberries), blended it up, poured the fruit into jars and topped up with vodka! 
Honestly, how easy is that?

I used about 100g of fruit per jar (350ml jar), and then about 250ml vodka.
Any kind of vodka will do, as you will mask the taste.

If you wish to turn it into a liqueur, which you will be able to drink straight (when chilled), then add approximately 100g of fruit, 75g of sugar, and top the jar up with vodka (about 175ml). 

I left them about 2 weeks before straining them to remove the fruit.

I've also made some sloe gin, that has been going for about a month now, but won't be ready for at least a few more weeks.

I hope you enjoy them, let me know if you make it!

Zoe x

Friday, January 10, 2014

Giant Flowery Cupcake

I have been holding off on posting this for a while, because I wanted my sister to write the post, seeing as it was her who made the cake! But she decided to be a bit shy and she also has quite a lot on as she has just started uni!

Isn't this a pretty cake?

My sister was thrilled when I gave her this giant cupcake cake mould! Of course she had to make a cake as soon as she got it!!
You can buy them here. I recommend getting a silicone one, they hold their shape and its super easy to get the cakes out. I've heard that it is really hard to get the cakes out of the hard metal tins. Just be careful not to bend the cake too much when you are getting them out or they may break!

We used a generic cake recipe to make this cake. You can use this one here for a vanilla cake, and add additional flavours to this mix, if desired.

Some people obviously couldn't resist long enough for me to take my photos!!

Hope you enjoyed this - and leave some comments! My sister would love to know what you think :)

Zoe x

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thai Red Curry Soup

Ever been to Wagamama's and had Chicken Itame? I have it every time when I go there, possibly because I don't know what most of the other things are! Wagamama's describe it as 'rice noodles in a spicy green coconut and lemongrass soup topped with stir-fried chicken, beansprouts, chillies, red and spring onions, bok choi, peppers and mushrooms. garnished with coriander and lime.'

This is my variation of it, with red curry paste.

One day last year I was sat in a lecture on a Friday afternoon, craving Chicken Itame, so I spent the last few minutes of the lecture (oops!) googling recipes but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I found some similar recipes, so decided to start with them, and I made a shopping list. Since then, I have made it many times, and it is one of my favourite meals to cook, as its so easy, filling, healthy and tasty! I always make big portions, and can freeze the leftovers.

-Turkey/chicken breast (like the photo below)
-For a seafood version - prawns/mussels/calamari rings/crab sticks/seafood sticks (like the photo above)
-Red/yellow/green peppers
- Red Thai Curry Paste (or lemongrass paste, ginger paste, chilli paste and garlic paste)
-Coconut milk (either a 400ml can or a carton, but a carton is not as rich)
-Noodles (egg noodles, rice noodles, wholewheat noodles...take your pick!)
-Spinach/Bok choi
-Lime (not necessary, but finishes it off perfectly)

1. I cut the meat into bite sized pieces, then cooked them in a little olive oil in a large frying pan/wok. If you are making the seafood version, don't add the seafood yet, as it only takes minutes to cook and will have a strange texture if you overcook them.
2. I chopped and added all of the vegetables (not the spinach/bok choi leaves) to the pan, and let that cook for a few minutes.
3. When everything looks cooked, add the Thai red curry paste. If you are making your own paste out of chilli, ginger, lemongrass and garlic, then mix them together in a small pot, you will want at least half a tablespoon of each. You can alter the taste of it to suit you. I love lemongrass, so I always add extra lemongrass! Cook this on a high heat for a few minutes, you don't want it to burn but you want the spices to release their flavour and fill the air with their aroma!
4. Add the coconut milk. You can either get rich coconut milk in a can, or thin coconut milk in a carton, which will be near the soya and almond milk at the supermarket. The carton milk is low in fat and a good alternative to dairy, so perfect if you are on a diet. I have used both, and they both taste good.
5. If you are using noodles, seafood or spinach/bok choi leaves, you should add them now. 
6. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer until the noodles are cooked.
7. Take off the heat, serve the soup in a bowl and add a squeeze of lime juice.

To make it cheaply, I buy frozen seafood, spinach and peppers. You can even buy frozen diced onions. Bulking it out with veg makes it a lot healthier, more filling, and more portions.

I hope you enjoy this!

Zoe x

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