Strawberry smoothie

This is an great way to have your two fruits a day. I think we have lost the strawberries that were growing in the hanging basket. I might have forgotten to water them for about a week, as they aren’t near the rest of the fruit trees and vegetable beds. I adore the taste of home-grown strawberries, but at the moment they’re not contributing anything to our challenge. My second lot are doing well, so I’ll need to be more diligent with them.

I’ve used frozen strawberries for this recipe, but you can substitute any of the other berries. Adjust the quantities to suit your taste, but if you are using frozen items make sure your blender can do ice, otherwise you might wreck the blades. The mixture is thick, so you may like to add more liquid to serve 2 people. I also add a spoonful of flaxseed oil to keep my skin healthy, but that’s optional.

Strawberry smoothie

½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1/4 cup of almond milk, rice milk, or milk
1 banana, small, cubed
1 teaspoon honey
4 ice cubes (optional)

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serves 1.

Gul serbeti – Rose sherbet (Turkish)

Rose Sherbet

Cooked for the Turkey entry in the Euro Cup and Plate challenge.

2 tsp rose water
2 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
2 cups water
10 drops of red food colouring

  1. Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of hot water. Add the rest of the water (room temperature) and other ingredients. Be careful adding the food colouring – as you only want a light pink shade. Stir with a spoon.
  2. Place jug in the refridgerator to cool down for at least 4 hours to allow the flavours will develop. Serve with ice cubes. Ideal for a kid’s birthday party.

Serves 2.

Authentic Spanish sangria recipe


A super easy sangria recipe with authentic Spanish flavours.

Sangria (Spanish) recipe

300ml red wine
60ml Cointreau
60ml gin
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
½ cup castor sugar

  1. Pour everything (except the ice and lemonade) into a jug. Stir thoroughly and then let it macerate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  2. Serve in a highball glass pour the mixture over ice, and top with the lemonade.

Serves 4.

Variation – Use soda instead of the lemonade.

Gluhwein – Warm spiced wine (Swiss)

swiss cup

Cooked for the Swiss entry of the Euro Cup and Plate challenge.

150 ml orange juice
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 tablespoons white sugar
½ bottle of red wine

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat the liquid until nearly boiling.
  2. Remove it from the heat and let the wine stand for as long as you can (the author suggests 1 to 2 hours to let the flavours develop – we weren’t so patient).
  3. When you are ready to serve, reheat the wine without boiling and strain into glasses.

A perfect drink for warming up in winter.

Serves 2.

Adapted from the Winter in the Alps swiss cookbook by Manuela Darling-Gansser.

Hedgehog appetizer and Mr Darcy cocktail recipe

Bridget Jones’s Diary inspired my entry in Dispensing Happiness’ blog party #15. The challenge was to create an

The challenge was to create an appetiser and cocktail from our favourite book. You may recall from Bridget’s diary entries she starts the year off with Bloody Mary’s. They didn’t appeal, but I had to attempt the retro pineapple and cheese entree……

Hedgehog appetiser recipe

The hedgehog was apparently big in the 60’s – you can use an orange or grapefruit cut in half, with cheese and pineapple cubes on cocktail sticks stuck in it! To make it look posh you could even cover the orange with foil (if only it was that easy to impress your guest these days!) To make it a little more modern, I’ve used Charles Sturt’s Bidgee Cheese with Native Mint which is a lovely match to the (dare I admit) tinned pineapple rings.

Mr Darcy cocktail recipe

Mr Darcy

Mr Darcy is a cocktail I think Bridget Jones would enjoy drinking. It is based on Pimms a popular summer drink in England, particularly around Wimbledon time. The most popular way to drink it, is to mix a nip with lemonade.

Mr Darcy is made with two nips of Pimms and topped in a tall glass with ginger ale (since Mr Darcy is tall, dark and handsome!) Garnish with a strawberry to give a hint of Englishness about it, and you have to eat it last, because you know the drink (story) will end on a sweet note!

And lastly, don’t forget Mr Darcy is a proper gentleman and would always have a big umbrella on hand for the notorious English rain.

Try to drink in moderation. Hiccup.