Little yummy snippets…
One my travels in Italy last year I discovered Aperol Spritz, a refreshing (and very moreish) drink made with Prosecco, Aperol and soda water, served with ice and a slice of orange. Aperol is an Italian spirit, first made in Padua in 1919, almost neon orange coloured, flavoured with butter orange, gentian, rhubarb and cochona – similar to Campari, but somewhat gentler. The Spritz is a popular drink all over Italy, sometimes made with Processo, sometimes with white wine. To make it is as simple, and as easy to remember, as 1 – 2 – 3.
- 3 parts Prosecco
- 2 parts Aperol
- 1 part soda water
- Slice of orange
- Simply pour the chilled ingredients into a glass, top up with ice and a slice of orange and enjoy.
We’ve enjoyed Urban Fruit before, unlike traditionally dried fruits they are baked rather than dried and are bursting with colour and flavour, once you have tasted them you will be smitten. We mainly use in muffins or to add to homemade muesli. We especially like the strawberries which taste like nuggets of jam, and used Urban Fruit cherries in a cherry syllabub. Also try soaking the fruit in water, draining then freezing for adding to smoothies. Twitter @urbanfruit
Sharp knives and graters are essential in the kitchen, and somewhat paradoxically are far safer than blunt ones. We’ve tested two graters from Microplane, a Gourmet ribbon grater and a zester. The gourmet range have comfortable rubber grip handles and an ultra sharp grating surface. I am especially impressed with the ribbon grater which grates in both directions so you can grate twice as fast. The zester is available in 10 colours to match every kitchen (£17.95 from department stores and cookshops). The gourmet graters cost £23.95 and are available as before. Both come with a plastic snap on cover for safe storage in a drawer. Impressive and essential for any cook.
Some sweet treats from Kentish company The Fudge Kitchen, are the new, perfect for sharing, Gourmet Butter Fudge tablets. We tried three Sea Salted Caramel, Classic Chocolate and White Chocolate and Raspberry. Whilst we enjoyed all of them the clear winner in flavour and with that perfect crumbly but not crunch texture was the Sea Salted Caramel. I wish I could make fudge like this. Twitter @fudgekitchen
At the start of the summer I attended #BlogCampCreate at Re-Creation London, to craft and to recharge my creative batteries. The venue is an attractive workshop with different areas for different crafts and contains an Aladdin’s cave of materials of equipment. If the craft exists then there is a good change you can make it there (they even have a klin). Downstairs there is the most extensive library of craft books I have ever seen have – at a guess several thousand books on a good 40 meters of shelves. If you are like me, and want to do some crafting, but are (shall I say) fickle in your attention span then it is perfect, as you pay by the hour to try different crafts to see what you might stick with before investing in expensive equipment and materials. I really enjoyed doing some Kumihimo, or Japanese braiding, a no mess relaxing craft that can be as simple or complex as you like. From £10 an hour it is well worth a trip to London Bridge / Borough with a friend for a relaxing afternoon. 82 Redcross Way London SE1 1HA. Twitter @re_creationLDN
Many thanks to all brands for samples and gifts. All opinions our own.