Spiced CAMOMILE & LEMON Cooler

A simple tea that is a great hot drink if you are ill or under the weather because of the antioxidants found in the cinnamon sticks, honey and cloves along with lots of other health benefits. The iced version is a refreshing feel good drink that keeps the health benefits while adding more lemon and lots of ice. The main recipe is for the iced version.

Ingredients

750 ml (1 & half pints) of water

4 camomile tea bags

3 cinnamon sticks

15 Whole cloves

100ml of fresh lemon juice

100 ml of honey

Cold version

1 leamon

Ice cubes

Method

Get a saucepan and bring all of the water to the boil. Next add all of the camomile tea bags, cinnamon sticks and cloves then let it simmer for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the tea bags, cinnamon sticks and cloves and then stir in the lemon juice and the honey. If having the tea cold as a cooler your next step is to chill the tea, pour the tea over the ice and add lemon slices and any other topping/garnish.

The tea is slightly sour initially and then the sweetness of the honey kicks in followed by the spice of the cinnamon and cloves making this a refreshing cold drink and one I would recommend for the warmer weather.

Simple and easy Focaccia bread Recipe.

Ingredients

750g Strong white bread flour

100ml extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling.

30g fresh yeast

400ml of warm water 

1 tsp of sugar 

1 Table spoon of sea salt preferably maldon.

Rosemary fresh or dried.

This recipe makes two small or one large Focaccia bread.


Method 
Put the full 750g of flour into a large mixing bowl. Next mix the water, oil, yeast, sugar and salt together until all has dissolved(separately from the flour). 
Make a well/dip in middle of flour and pour the liquid in, now mix with a spoon until dough comes together. Don’t knead the dough if you want a soft focaccia.
Cover with cling film and put in a warm place to prove until doubled in size. 

Next, Knock the dough back from the bowl and cut in half. Now Oil one large or two small baking trays with olive oil. You can be quite generous. Take the dough and just flatten and pull it out over the whole tray. Make some indentations with your fingertips on the top, sprinkle more olive oil on top and add chopped rosemary & seasalt. Leave in a warm place to prove again until doubled in size.

Tip. If you only have dried rosemary, microwave it with a little water. This softens it up and brings out the flavour. 


After it has proved again place into a preheated oven at gas mark 6/200c for about 12-15 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and turn upside down so bottom doesn’t go soggy.

Making Focaccia Bread is a relaxing way to get in the kitchen. Quick and simple to make, causing minimal stress and delicious to eat.

Victoria Summer Sandwich

Ingredients

6 oz of caster sugar

6 oz of self raising flour

6 oz of soft margarine

3 eggs

Vanilla Extract

1 Punnet of Strawberries

1 Medium double cream

Icing Sugar

Strawberry Jam

Yellow Food coloring

Step 1: Turn the oven on gas mark 5 / 190c

Step 2: Grease 2 x 7 inch sandwich tins or use grease proof paper

Step 3 ; Sift the sugar into a bowl and add the soft margarine and cream together

Step 4: Add 2 ounces of flour into the mix at a time along with 1 egg and mix cream together each time until all the eggs and flour has been used.

Step 5: Stir in 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

Sep 6: Cook for about 20 mins until it is golden brown and springs back to the touch.

Step 7: Leave the cake to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack

Step 8 : Whilst the cake cools, wash the strawberries, put 3 or 4 to the side.

Step 9: Whisk the double cream until thick and fold in sifted icing sugar to sweeten. Then stir in 1 tablespoon essence.

Step 10: Once the cake has cooled, spread a layer of strawberry jam on one sponge and spoon the cream on top. Once the cream is in cut and add halves of strawberries on top of the cream. Then add the other sponge gently on top.

Step 11: Make icing using icing sugar and water. Add vanilla essence and yellow food colouring to the icing. Pour the icing over the top of the cake, once slightly set place your whole strawberries on top of the cake.

This cake is worth the work and is an absolute joy to have in the summer. If you dont find it relaxing making, then you certainly will eating a slice in the summer heat.

Recipe: Sweet CHORIZO & Pepper Jam

A sweet chorizo & pepper jam that is perfect for the warmer weather.

Ingredients

1 medium onion

1 red & 1 yellow pepper

A little vegetable oil

1 clove of crushed garlic.

50 ml of vinegar (red wine, white wine or balsamic)

tablespoon of smoked paprika

100g sugar

120g pack of sliced chorizo diced. 


Dice the onion and peppers. Add a splash of oil to a thick bottomed pan and cook until the onions and peppers have soften, Add the crushed garlic and fry for an additional 1 min longer. Add the diced chorizo and cook for 2 minutes, add the smoked paprika and fry for a few seconds. Add the sugar and vinegar and bring to the boil and simmer for around 10 minutes or until you have a jam like consistency. Let it cool down and spoon into a  container. It should keep for up to 4 weeks in the fridge. Its a very versatile condiment and can go well with cheese, on toast, in a burger, through pasta for example.