mint

rhubarb rose sparkle

9th June 2016

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The inspiration for this fragrant rose rhubarb drink was a conversation I had with my friend and guest Abi, on the day of my son´s birthday, when she was here with her three lovely boys. In a low whisper, she related her joyful tradition of popping champagne each time it´s her child’s birthday, to celebrate her anniversary as a parent.  With this thought and a showy abundant display of rhubarb and delicate pink roses opening up in the garden, I set about concocting a flowery ‘mock – champagne’ for us all to enjoy that afternoon, accompanied by birthday cake and ice-cream.

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Sweetened rhubarb has a wonderfully uplifting flavour; when muddled with rose, it becomes positively enchanting. The hint of mint gives a balancing base note.

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rhubarb rose sparkle

Serves 4

I find that the sugar is perfect with the rhubarb, but if inclined, you could use a mild-tasting honey, adding it after it has been strained, and keeping in mind it will change the overall flavour. After making this the second time I used different coloured rose petals from the garden that have been left to dry completely on a baking tray. It takes just a few days.  

For tips on how to harvest rhubarb; read here.

ingredients

480g rhubarb, sliced into ½-inch pieces

1½ cups water

¾ cup/140g natural cane sugar

2 Tbsp dried rose petals

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1½ cups fizzy water

ice, for serving

preparation

1.  Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a pot, bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rhubarb has fallen apart, 12 – 15 minutes.  Stir once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.

2.  Remove from the heat, add the dried rose petals and fresh mint.  Cover, and steep for 10 minutes.

3.  Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, and using the back of a large wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.  Pour into a glass bottle and place in the fridge to chill.

4.  When ready to serve, add the fizzy water, stir and pour into glasses.  Garnish with a sprinkling of rose petals and on really hot days serve with a few ice cubes added to each glass.

I recommend doubling the recipe!

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Sparkled by Abi

zucchini fritters with an avocado raita

13th July 2014

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This is where I am at the moment.

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It really is in these tiny wonders,

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the accidental joys,

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in all this surrounding beauty,

reminding us to breathe, smile and take us back to our true self.

For that I am thankful.

zucchini fritters (without eggs)

 15 – 18 fritters

Zucchinis are funny plants. I wait and wait for their delicious fruit, picking a small one here and there, and then, SUDDENLY,  I have more fruit then I know what to do with.

ingredients 

550g/4 cups grated zucchinis (approx 3 medium garden zucchinis)

½ tsp salt – divided

1 Tbsp flax seed

3 Tbsp water

handful of mint and dill, finely chopped

¾ cup/90g chickpea flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

oil of choice for frying

preparation 

1. Grate the zucchinis, either with a box grater, or using the shredding blade of a food processor. Place in a colander, sprinkle over a ¼ teaspoon of salt and allow to stand for 20 – 30 minutes.

2.  In a medium bowl, add the water and flaxseed and let soak for 20 minutes.

3.  Squeeze the grated zucchinis dry with your hands.  You will be surprised by the amount of liquid that is squeezed out. This will stop the fritters from going soggy.  Place in the bowl with the linseed mixture, along with the mint and dill.

4.  In a bowl, place the chickpea flour, baking powder, remaining salt and pepper, stir to combine, then add to the zucchini mixture, and combine well. The mixture will be sticky.

5.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet.  When hot, test by putting a heaped tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil.  Spread a little to make a round, flatter shape.  Cook them over medium-high heat until the edges turn golden, about 3 – 4 minutes.

6.  Flip the fritters and fry for another 2  – 3  minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel.  Best served immediately with avocado raita, also delicious with tomato gojju.

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avocado raita

ingredients 

3 medium ripe avocados

juice of 1 lemon

rind of 1 lemon

½ small green chilli or two pinches chilli flakes

handful each fresh coriander and mint

salt and pepper to taste

preparation 

1.  Halve the avocados, take out the seeds and with a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl.

2.  Add the lemon juice, chilli, and lots of fresh herbs and blitz using a hand blender until smooth and well combined.  The mixture will seem quite thick, if you prefer thinner, just add a little water.

3.  Add more lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle over the lemon rind. Dollop on each fritter just before serving.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

easy peasy ginger beer

31st July 2010

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It was my birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I had a few friends for dinner.  It was a bit challenging because our home is a building site at the moment, and how not to make it look like one was very tricky.  But with a beautiful table outside with many small vases of colourful daisies and sunflowers, big and small, and lots of candles everywhere, it looked magical and so full of golden light.

I also asked my guests to bring a dish, so the cooking wasn’t so stressful.  I asked Noa to bring her spinach pie which is so delicate and delicious with a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth crust and a creamy, cheesy filling dotted with spinach.  I provided her with a bag of kale, swiss chard and spinach that she steamed and put in this special pie she has perfected.   Anna and Leon made a bowl of quinoa which was presented in a beautiful wooden bowl – Leon had decorated it with a circle of purple flowers.  They also brought along a plum crumble and a tapioca pudding decorated with mango slivers in a mandala design.  I added a green garden salad all fresh from the garden and a simple dal and red lentil hummus.  I wish I had photos of all this, but the flash on my camera wasn’t working.   As it is Summer, I really wanted to make a wonderfully refreshing drink before we sat down for dinner.   Something to quench our thirst and ignite our appetites. I had made this ginger beer once before and it was delicious.  Refreshing, icy cold with a ginger, lemon sweet bite.   And it is so easy!

 

ginger beer

The original recipe came from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, “Happy Days with the Naked Chef”.

Serves 4 – 6

ingredients 

140g fresh ginger

4 Tbsp light brown sugar

5 lemons

1-litre soda water or sparkling mineral water

sprigs fresh mint

slices lemon

preparation 

1.  Grate the ginger on a coarse cheese grater – you can leave the skin on if you like. Place the ginger with its pulpy juice into a bowl and sprinkle with your sugar.

2.  Remove the rind from 2 of your lemons with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, then chop the peeled lemons in quarters and add to the bowl, and slightly bash and squash with something heavy like a rolling pin or pestle.  Just do this for 10 seconds, to mix up all the flavours.

3.  Squeeze the juice from all 3 lemons and add it to the bowl.

4.  Pour in the fizzy water or soda water and allow to sit for 15 – 30 minutes.  I actually put it in the freezer, so it stays nice and cold.

5.  Taste. You may feel that the lemons are slightly too sour, therefore add more sugar;  if it is slightly too sweet, add more lemon juice.  These amounts are always a little variable, so just follow your own taste buds.

6.  Pass the ginger beer through a coarse sieve into a large jug and add lots of ice and lots of fresh mint.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

green herb tahini dressing

23rd August 2009

green herb tahini dressing

Adapted from Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini  (I prefer the hulled lighter tahini)

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/25g lemon juice

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/30g fresh parsley leaves

1 cup/30g fresh coriander leaves

½ cup/6g fresh mint leaves

preparation

1.  Combine the tahini, water, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until you have a consistency that is pourable, adding extra water if you need.

2.  Add the parsley, coriander and mint and process again until the herbs are broken done. Taste, add lemon or salt if needed.

Lovely served with this salad and oven-baked crunchy pita’s, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za´atar.

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