White wine and berry sangria

 White wine sangria recipe

 

Happy New Year foodies, it is good to be back! The Christmas tree may have been packed away and the holidays all but over, but summer is still in full swing so let’s keep that festive feeling going for a little bit longer shall we? My first new recipe of the year is a fruity sangria with a white wine twist, the perfect thing to sip on a warm evening. I’ll raise my glass to that!

 

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Holiday hot chocolate with cinnamon marshmallows

Hot chocolate recipe with cinnamon and home made marshmallows

 

The Christmas treats continue this week and today’s recipe is totally decadent and perfect for those times when only chocolate will do! This is not your standard everyday hot chocolate, (it is pretty much a dessert in its own right) but it is utterly luscious.

 

Continue reading “Holiday hot chocolate with cinnamon marshmallows”

A healthy start… berry and mint smoothies

2015 is here, Happy New Year to you all! Christmas was a fairly quiet affair for us, but still filled with spoils and indulgence. I am always a little sad as the Christmas tree is dismantled and the last scraps of gammon are enjoyed, but also excited to find out what the year ahead has in store. 2015 already has a good feeling about it, don’t you think? For many of us a new year symbolises a fresh start, resolutions and, when it comes to food, an opportunity to get our diets back on track! Sound familiar?
 
On the subject of diets, I have always taken the view that balance is key and have not set myself any lofty eating goals. I also know that I would be kidding myself if I thought I could give up my chocolate! This is a great recipe that I whipped up recently, and is perfect if you are looking for a simple recipe to give you a boost as you ease out of holiday mode and head into the new year. Sharp berries, creamy yoghurt and fresh mint combine in a delicious and filling smoothie for the whole family.

BERRY AND MINT SMOOTHIES

  • Servings: 2 (Makes 400ml)
  • Print

  • 200g mixed frozen berries
  • 125ml (½ cup) vanilla or plain yoghurt
  • 50g banana, sliced
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, washed
  • 2 tsp honey
Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz together until combined and smooth. Taste and add extra honey if you prefer a sweeter smoothie. Serve immediately.


Freshpak Media Event & Rooibos Iced Tea Two Ways

Image courtesy of Freshpak.


Let us start this post with some fun facts about me. Fact #1: 99.99% of my days start the same way – with a cup of rooibos tea. They have done for around about the last 7 or 8 years. It is fair to say that I am a fan! Fact #2: I used to make iced tea (including a rooibos flavour) for a living, before my travelling years. I was thrilled then to receive an invitation from Freshpak to a creative afternoon with chef, Kirsty Rowett.

Some of the canapés on offer at the event.


The event took place at The 7th Floor in Observatory. This was my second visit to this venue which has a bar area, food theatre, meeting and dining facilities, not to mention a large kitchen which was a flurry of activity that afternoon as the chefs whipped up a variety of dishes for us to try. On arrival we were offered refreshing rooibos iced teas which I enjoyed sipping whilst catching up with some of the other guests. We also had the chance to savour some elegant canapés: baby beetroot tartlets with rooibos and goats cheese fondant, porcini risotto bon bons with a rooibos and parmesan custard and rooibos smoked springbok loin with berry compote and parsnip crisps. All made with rooibos, all very posh! 


Kirsty demonstrates several recipes at the 7th Floor Food Theatre.


Next we were ushered into the food theatre where we were welcomed by Charmaine Moodley, Freshpak Rooibos Brand Manager. She introduced Kirsty Rowett who took us through the steps of making a basic rooibos iced tea base to which you can add any number of ingredients to create your own signature flavour. Anything from mint to raspberries to cucumber – the options really are endless! We tasted a delicious Berry Blast iced tea, and Rose Petal iced tea. Kirsty also demonstrated rooibos and peach ice lollies, rooibos, apple and ginger syrup drizzled cupcakes with caramelised Italian meringue (if you think that sounds good you should have tasted them!) and smoked salmon trout on rooibos infused blinis with fennel and red onion crème fraiche. As each dish was completed waiters would magically appear with trays of samples for us to try. 


Just some of the delicious recipes demonstrated at the event.


Despite knowing what a versatile product rooibos is, I was still suitably impressed by the array of dishes that were prepared that afternoon. As we left we were each given a small wooden crate containing a selection of iced tea ingredients including rooibos teabags (of course), fresh mint, limes, blueberries, vanilla, cinnamon and honey. I’m embarrassed to admit how long it has been since I made my own iced tea, especially considering how easy it is, but inspired by the afternoon I was excited to some new flavours at home. 


The goodie box: iced tea waiting to happen!


Below is a basic iced tea recipe to get you started, as well as two simple variations for you to try – a delicately spiced and not-too-sweet rooibos and honey iced tea and, my favourite, a fresh and zesty apple, mint and lime flavour. You can also pop onto the Freshpak website: www.makeitrooibos.co.za for tons of recipes and ideas! 

(PS. Don’t forget to add your discarded teabags to the compost!)
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ROOIBOS ICED TEA TWO WAYS:

~ HONEY & CINNAMON
~ APPLE, MINT & LIME



Base recipe:

2 cups boiling water
5 rooibos teabags
4 tbsp sugar

Step 1.) Pour the boiling water over the rooibos teabags and allow them to steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the teabags. 

Step 2.) Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
You can now add still or sparkling water, fruit, spices, herbs or whatever you wish – it’s time to get creative! 

Rooibos, Honey & Cinnamon Iced Tea: (makes just over 1.5 litres)

5 rooibos teabags
3 tbsp honey
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups boiling water 
2 tbsp sugar
1l iced water
60ml fresh lemon juice 
ice and lemon slices to serve

Step 1.) Place the rooibos teabags, honey and cinnamon sticks in a jug or bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top, stir and leave to steep for 5 minutes. 

Step 2.) Remove and discard the teabags. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in the iced water and lemon juice

Step 3.) Chill the mixture in the fridge. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve with plenty of ice and fresh lemon slices.  


Rooibos, Apple, Mint & Lime Iced Tea: (makes just over a litre)

5 rooibos teabags
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
2 cups boiling water
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups apple juice
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
ice, lime slices and fresh mint to serve

Step 1.) Place the rooibos teabags and mint in a jug or bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top, stir and leave to steep for 5 minutes. 

Step 2.) Remove and discard the teabags and mint. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in the apple juice and lime juice

Step 3.) Chill the mixture in the fridge. Serve with plenty of ice, lime slices and fresh mint

Images courtesy of Freshpak