Friday, 24 June 2011

Sexy Strawberry Daiquiri's

The best thing about these bad boys is that they taste just as awesome with or without the rum. Plus fruit (even if it is mixed with a sugar laced syrup) surely counts as one of your five a day.  I've seen quite a few recipes which use sugar cane syrup, but it's not always easy to get hold of. This recipe uses a super duper easy home made sugar syrup which you can knock up and keep in the fridge until the earth ends because it never goes off. Plus if you want to whip some more cocktails up at a later date you'll have your syrup a'ready and a'waiting. It amazes me sometimes that I'm not a member of Mensa.

  •  6 Fl Oz Rum, or you can use Vodka. If your wanting your daiquiris on the t-total side skip the spirits
  • 260g Strawberries (or raspberries if you prefer)
  • Juice of 2-3 limes
  • 4-5 fl oz Stock syrup (see recipe below)
  • Few handfuls of crushed ice to serve
  • Knife
  • Blender/smoothie maker
  • Glasses
  • Cut the tops off your strawberries and throw them in the blender with the juice of the limes, the syrup and if your adding rum chuck that in to. Whizz the whole lot together until its smooth. If the cocktail is a tad sharp add some more syrup to sweeten the mixture. Crush some ice in glasses of your choice and pour over the daiquiri mix. Put on your favourite summer frock, and daiquiri in hand moon for hot weather.
  • You can make the syrup mix well in advance, just make sure its cool by the time you use it for your cocktails. Bring 300ml's of water and 300g of caster sugar to the boil over a gentle heat, giving it a stir every now and then to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar has melted, boil the mixture for a few minutes and then allow to cool. Keep in a sterilised jar or bottle. Don't know how to sterilise jars? see my tutorial here.

The Importance of Being Ernest

Here's dear old Ernie with a bottle of Vino and a very awesome looking kitty.

The title was my attempt at being a smart arse, since today's quickie recipe is for Daiquiri's and one of the most famous Daiquiri's on the block is the Hemingway Daiquiri. Anyway.

On Monday I had a trip to the hospital for a Gastroscopy. Happily my pre-gastroscopy stats put my blood pressure within the normal range, not something it tends to be. I think nerves and panic pushed it up out of my boots where it usually resides.
 The Marvelous 'Sister B' (that makes her sound like shes part of some sort of hiphop/rap crew-she's not as far as I'm aware) who had done my gastroscopy/colonoscopy spit roast  in 2008, did my procedure, and she and the nurses assisting were lovely. We had a chat about this blog etc and Nurse S asked to be remembered as beautiful and talented in any memoir of the day I might write (promise kept!). I didn't like to argue since was holding a needle and foraging for a vein in my arm, and was also about to participate in a procedure where a camera was to be forcibly inserted down my throat. I thought it best to stay on her good side.
All in all the morning wasn't too bad, the staff were lovely (they're beginning to recognise me now, I'm there so much, quelle horreur) and the sedative induced a four hour nap when I got home. Lovely.

I was meant to have a Barium meal today, but I haven't been all that well so I had to cancel. God knows how they get away with calling it a 'meal' since its hardly spaghetti and meatballs. A friend of my Mum's can't tolerate Barium and apparently they give her marshmallow's instead which work the same as barium and is highlighted on x-rays (I'm not sure if this is medical fact so don't quote me!).
I did mention the possibility of Flump's Vs Barium to my consultant but he looked at me like I'd just sneezed in his coffee. No harm in trying though right?

Has anyone seen the new Waitrose gluten-free sandwiches? I gave up being excited about this sort of thing after Marks and Spencer's bought out gluten-free sandwiches with the crappiest availability known to man. So it was with very low expectations that I staggered into Waitrose after my gastroscopy in search of gluten-free gold dust-and man alive, as if they didn't have not one, but both fillings! I bought one of each, resisting the urge to relieve the Worthing branch of Waitrose of their entire stock of gluten-free sandwiches.
I can confirm that the egg salad one was lovely, I wasn't massively keen on the prawn mayo, but that has more to do with my dislike of prawns in sandwiches than any failing on Waitrose part. Just the novelty of being able to buy a sandwich alone contributes 70% to my overall enjoyment! Waitrose, I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

As I mentioned at the beginning, today's recipe is for Strawberry Daiquiris, although a Hotpot would probably be more weather appropriate at the moment. Don't worry if your not on/off the wagon, the method caters for a rum riddled recipe and a virgin version as well. I'm too good to you. Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Oopsy Daisy Upside Down Apple Cake

After you've finished yakking after reading my vom worthy 'Daddy Cool' post I thought you might like to indulge in a yummy-o, calorific Apple Upside Down Cake (the point being you turn the cake upside down,not eat it whilst upside down...but you knew that already).
I wouldn't have ever attempted an upside down anything due to my innate ability to pretty much drop anything I pick up, but my Dad found it while flicking though my new Rachel Allen cook book (a barginlicious £5 from W H Smith) and I had promised him a dessert of his choice for Fathers Day and this was what he chose, and blow me if it didn't actually come out pretty much perfectly! I refuse to revel silently in my success since nothing ever really goes exactly how I want it when I make it!

  • 3 Eating apples (I used Pink Ladies,cos I like the name and the stickers on them)
  • 250g Light brown sugar (you could use caster sugar but the darker sugar works well with the apple and the cinnamon)
  • 50g Butter
  • 200g Plain Flour (Doves Farm as per usual)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3 fl oz Sunflower Oil (veg oil would also do,but not olive oil-too strong in taste)
  • 1 tsp G/F baking powder (I use Dr Oetker)
  • 1/2 Salt
  • A generous pinch of bicarbonate of soda (Dr Oekter again)
  • A nice big heaped tsp pf cinnamon
  • 7 fl oz Buttermilk
  • You can make this in a largish oven proof frying pan (around 10inches across) or you can use a Pyrex dish as I did. (I'll give instructions for both methods)
  • Sieve
  • Whack your oven up to Gas 4.
  • While the oven warms you can get on with melting your butter over a gentle heat in a frying pan. Once its melted add in half the sugar giving it a good old stir and cook the mixture of a low heat for around 2-3 minutes. Keep the heat low to avoid burning the sugar. Burnt sugar on a pan is a pain in the arse to get off.
  • Slice your apples to a decent thickness and add into the pan. If your cooking your cake in your frying pan, set to the side while you get on with making your cake mix. If your using a dish spoon the toffee/apple mix evenly over the bottom of your dish and set aside.
  • Sieve your flour, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and salt together into a big bowl and give it a quick stir. 
  • In a separate bowl crack in your eggs and whisk with a fork. Add in the buttermilk, the rest of the sugar and the oil, giving it all a proper good stir to combine.
  • Pour the egg/buttermilk mix in with your dry ingredients, give it some welly and stir until you have a smooth cake mix. Don't worry if there's a lump or two here and there. Raymond Blanc isn't coming to tea.
  • Pour the cake mix over the apples (whether in a pan or dish) and pop your pan/dish in the oven for around 30minutes or until the cake has turned golden and is firm to touch.
  • When it's cooked, take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool. As it cools it will start to come away from the sides of the dish/pan.
  • Now for the utterly terrifying bit. Find yourself a big plate and place (face down) over the frying pan/dish and flip the pan/dish and plate over quickly and in one motion if possible. If the cake doesn't quite come away, leave the dish upside over the plate, it will start to suction away after a few seconds.
  • If like my Dad and I you can't wait and are willing to risk third degree burns to your gullet tuck in. It's also yummy a bit cooler with a drop of cream (I don't even know why I said that since I hate cream on puddings). 
  • Take to Twitter and tell the world you have successfully completed an upside down cake.Back of the net.

    Daddy Cool

    This year has been particularly hard on our family, not least because of my Dad's heart scare last November.
    Today is Fathers Day. I wrote my Dad a letter to tell him how much I love him (I didn't post it like, since I live with him!). It was 3 pages long,but I still didn't manage to say all I wanted to,but I suppose there just aren't enough words to say how much you love someone.
    My Dad has been an avid fan and constant supporter of this blog and of me. His love and encouragement are unflagging and finite.
    He has saved my life in more ways than one. As sure as day follows night, I love my Dad, more than anything. Being with him is as simple as breathing.
    I've given him many reasons to worry, stress and be angry over the years. I've frightened him with my callousness and carelessness, thrown his concern back in his face, and scorned his worry as trivia.
    When I was a teenager we would fit like cat and dog, and there was so many times I went to bed cross with him, or upset because he was cross with me. Now, as then, if we argue I'll always sneak into my parents room in the dark to whisper to him, 'I'm sorry'.
    Whenever I hear the (hugely over played-we can thank Sex and the City for that) song You Got the Love by Candi Staton I think of my Dad. I know the song is actually about god and faith and turning to Him in times of trouble. But I don't have a god I believe in.I believe in my Dad and I put my faith in him.
    Thank-You Daddy, I love you.

    Monday, 13 June 2011

    Welcome to Bad-Blogger-Ville. Population:1

    Hello there my lovelies!
    I really am the blogger of broken promises aren't I? Annoyingly I can only blame part of my absence on the shocking service provided by Google Blogger recently (no signing in for 4 days anyone?).
    Although I am not as one anon suggested 'a lazy bitch', I have had a lot of difficulty getting myself motivated in the face of The Other Bowel Problems and it's attendant miseries of late. Believe me when I say, no-one gets more annoyed when I don't post than me. And I'm mean to me.
    I love my blog and I love writing it, I've put a lot of the proverbial blood, sweat and tears into it's content over the past year and I really am massively grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me, the people it has bought into my life and the outlet it provides me when things are difficult and the outlook is less than rosy (more a murky brown sometimes.Yum).


    Hooray and Thank-you, I reached 100 followers on Google. Gaining readers and followers has been a steady process and I'm grateful for everyone that reads, follows and comments and to those who big up this blog. Although I don't rate my blog in terms of how many people are following me it's nice to know that folks enjoy what I write and like my recipes.

    Nothing terribly exciting has been happening...oh, apart from me being featured IN A MAGAZINE PUBLISHED BY THE MAJOR GLUTEN-FREE COMPANY DIETARY SPECIALS. Sorry, got a bit carried away there for a minute (be glad you missed me strutting around and getting my gargantuan head stuck in doorways and the like). For anyone that missed my star turn, here it is for you to peruse at your leisure. Muchos gracias to the ever lovely Becky and Michelle for asking me to do the reviews in the first placed, I loved every minute and thank-you for the huge parcel of goodies you sent my way, it thawed the icicles of my stone cold heart and bought a tear to my bone dry eyes. It also fed me for a week.

    I got to spend a few marvelous days house sitting with Mr. Katie-Boo while my parents were away in Rome. Not sure if it constitutes house sitting when it's your own home, but we had a lovely time none the less. It was touch and go whether the 'rents would actually make it to Italy because in some vomit-inducing-Home-Alone style nightmare their alarm failed to go off. When 4am rolled round (a good hour after they were due to get up) my mother could be heard screaming 'WE SLEPT IN' at the top of her lungs. If you heard something that sounded like a banshee screaming in the early hours of last Tuesday, now you know what it was.

    For now I'm going to refrain from making any promises about blog posts and upcoming recipes (mainly so I don't annoy myself more than anything) but I'm going to try my best to post as and when I can. I know that's irritatingly vague but unfortunately while The Other Bowel Problems ride shotgun, this blog and many other things in my life have to take a back seat while I try to get better both physically and emotionally. I hope you all understand and will bear with me for the time being.