Celebrating Oktoberfest with a Beer Cocktail

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Oktoberfest is starting a littler earlier this year (September 17 – October 3) and it is the perfect time to try new beers and really enjoy the huge amount of beers available. As a cocktail obsessive I love that beer can also be used in a cocktail. I know it sounds weird but it’s true!

I decided to recreate a rum (my favourite spirit for a cocktail – did someone say daiquiri?) and Guinness cocktail for Oktoberfest called The Diving Header. It is sweet and the spices from the rum really come out but without messing around with the rich Guinness taste. (if you already thinking ahead to Christmas it would make a great combo for homemade Christmas puddings to soak the fruit in).

It is a lot lighter than a Guinness on it’s own and perfect if you like the taste of Guinness but would prefer it a little lighter. It’s a nice trio of tastes which can easily be adjusted to the taste you want. I really liked it with a little extra rum and less Guinness.

I also added a little vanilla and a squeeze of lime to mine – worked a treat!

Try The Diving Header cocktail from theBar.com

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I loved the mix and tones of the colours in the drink. I will definitely be drinking this a lot during Oktoberfest. Some might say it’s more girly but I think its more tasty! A beautiful mix of flavours with a nice sweetness and spice.

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If beer is not your thing but cocktails are take a look and see all the cocktail recipes at theBar.com

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Disclaimer this is a sponsored post. All images and opinions are my own.

Paul Bakery Picnic – At A Glance

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Spending the August bank holiday weekend in the sunshine is always a dream and weather permitting it might happen this year!

Paul Bakery have bought out a picnic which you can pick up in store when you want it which is perfect for grabbing when the sudden moment the sun pops out and a picnic with friends and family is on the cards.

  • Simple picnic – 2 sandwiches, 2 packets of crisps, 2 drinks and a box of mini macarons
  • Your choice of sandwiches from what they have in the store on the day. Really loved that they have you the choice
  • For £20 for 2 it was a lovely treat and the portions were good for a lunch
  • We ate the mozzarella, lettuce, tomato and pesto sandwich and the Coppa ham, Comté cheese, olive paste with lettuce and tomato sandwich both we would have again
  • The mini macaroons were a wonderful pudding
  • Although it didn’t look like a lot of food for a picnic the sandwiches, crisps, drink and treat all worked very well together texture and taste wise and we were left happily full.
  • A silly highlight was the red and white French tablecloth which was included in the picnic bag – it made the picnic feel like we were enjoying our lunch in the South of France rather than a London park
  • I would definitely get a Paul picnic again – it was quick and convenient

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Find out more www.paul-uk.com

Carluccio’s Picnic – At A Glance

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Carluccio’s have launched their own picnic bags this summer and I spent the afternoon in the sunshine trying out all the dishes the picnic had to offer.

  • A beautiful range of dishes and large portions for £45
  • Says it’s a picnic for 2 but easily can cover 4 mediumly hungry adults thanks to generous portions
  • The food was fresh and the flavours complimented each of the other dishes perfectly
  • A holiday to the Mediterranean in one picnic
  • Vegetarian option available

The picnic included;

  • Anitpasti including olives, roasted peppers, artichoke and meats including chorixo and salami
  • My favourite – the chicken, rocket, green beans and tomato salad
  • Fresh focaccia
  • Brushetting with fresh ricotta, mint and pea shoots
  • Soft goat’s cheese salad with beetroot, asparagus, walnuts, radish with baby spinach
  • Strawberry and pistachio cake
  • Fig, hazelnut and chocolate biscotti
  • Plus drinks

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Find out more www.carluccios.com/picnics Order 24 hours in advance.

Disclaimer I was given a Carluccio’s picnic to try – all opinions are my own.

Organic Wine Club – Summer Wines

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I am usually a big fan of spirits especially cocktails but this summer has been the time I have discovered wine and with the Organic Wine Club I’ve been sampling some beautiful Britsh wines – yes – beautiful British wines!

We have done so well with Olympics and with the beautiful wines available I think we should get gold for them too!

My first wine was the Davenport an astonishingly dry but fruity British rose.
It is organic and certified by EU and UK organic bodies including Soil Association

It compliments food well but is also lovely to enjoy in the sunshine on a warm evening with friends.

It’s very fruity and fresh.

The Davenport Pinot Noir comes from the ‘Diamond Field’ vineyard at Horsmonden, UK and only recently been used for Rosé.

My favourite wine from the Organic Wine Club so far.

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As a treat from Spain I was given a Campo Flores Blanco to enjoy.

It was a very bright yellow wine which I found very sharp yet subtly fruity. Definitely able to taste pear and peach.

It went very well with food and especially antipasti, salads and fish.

The smell of the Campo Flores was beautiful fruity and floral and definitely encourages you to take a sip or two.

I’ve found organic wines do have a cleaner, smoother taste and I would definitely recommend both I tried with the Organic Wine Company. If you can’t try both – definitely try the rose. It was beautiful! A proper summer special wine to enjoy in the sunshine.

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Davenport Wine link

Campo Flores link

Special promotion for Sew White readers. Use the code ‘OlympicGB’ and get 10% off wines at www.organicwineclub.co.uk

BBQ Chicken Marinade Recipe with Heinz

The sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. So it must definitely be time for a BBQ. I’ve been working with Heinz to create some delicious marinade perfect for using on kebabs and sausages.

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Using the Heinz barbecue sauce I added a few extra flavours to get the best out of the sauce. Fresh lemon and chilli really compliment the smokey taste. It’s easy to make and can be used on chicken, beef and even tastes amazing with wild boar sausages!

BBQ Chicken Marinade Recipe with Heinz
 
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Serves: 4 kebabs
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons of Heinz rich and smokey barbecue classic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Juice from 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil or a few dried chilli flakes to taste (optional)
  • 2 peppers
Instructions
  1. Cut up the chicken into bite size chunks.
  2. Mix the Heinz barbecue sauce, oregano, lemon and oil in a bowl and stir in the chicken. Leave for as long as you can but an hour is fine.
  3. Chop up the peppers in to a similar size as the chicken.
  4. Skewer the chicken and peppers.
  5. Barbecue, grill or cook in a non stick pan with a little oil until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Serve with your favourite barbecue foods.

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Leave the marinade on the chicken for as long as you can – 1 hour is perfect. You can also use extra for a dipping sauce when the meat is cooked.

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So simple but so delicious!

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Disclaimer this is a sponsored post. Recipe and images created by Sew White and belong to me.

The Ivy Café Wimbledon – At A Glance

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Our main points on The Ivy Café

  • Beautiful decor like stepping in to a 1920s Paris restaurant with Art Deco glamour throughout. Warm orange, gold and red tones along with creams and yellows fill the restaurant. Beautiful vintage prints line the walls.
  • The terrace boasts a Provençal garden with beautiful sky views which feels like a dream location.
  • Beautifully presented food. Very attentive and friendly staff.
  • The quality of the food and the feel of the restaurant makes it feel very exclusive. It feels like the place for a special occasion but the huge range of dishes available and the agreeable price will definitely encourage many visits.
  • What we ate; Prawn Cocktail, Mozzarella di Bufala, Salmon and Smoked Haddock Fish Cake, Grilled Chicken Salad, Thick Cut Chips with Truffle and Parmesan, Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Bomb with salted caramel sauce.
  • What we drank; Rosemary Lemonade, Green Juice (made with Avocado) and Peach & Elderflower Iced Tea.
  • Great size portions. As a fine dining restaurant you’d expect to have dainty portions but I was surprised by the size of the food on my plate. The portion sizes had been really well thought out to be enough to really enjoy the flavours and feel happily full when finished.
  • A large menu with meat, fish and vegetarian options for brunch, lunch and dinner.
  • Wonderful drinks and cocktail menu including delicious alcohol free options.
  • Incredible food at a beautiful fine dining restaurant for a very fair price making a very special experience which can be often repeated.
  • Roughly £40-£50 per person for a starter, main, pudding and drink.
  • Would we go back – try and stop us!

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The Ivy Café, 75 High St, Wimbledon Village , London SW19 5EQ
www.theivycafewimbledon.com

Wimbledon Beer Pulled Pork Recipe

Pulled pork is incredibly popular at the moment and making it is really easy in the slow cooker. The base cooked pork can be used in so many different ways but for a hot summer they work in burgers very well. I like to make a lot of pulled work and use it throughout the week in different meals. I worked with Wimbledon Brewery on this recipe and cooking the pork in the beer worked so incredibly well.

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Wimbledon Beer Pulled Pork Recipe
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1.5kg pork shoulder
  • 1.3 litres of Wimbledon Brewery Tower SPA (4 bottles )
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • Burger buns
  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red chilli
  • fresh parsley
  • half a teaspoon of salt
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
Instructions
  1. Pop the pork in an oven safe pot with a lid or slow cooker pot fat side up and add the beer. Sprinkle the pork with the sugar, herbs and spices. Cook in the oven at 125 degrees for 6 hours. Or pop in the slow cooker on low for 10 hours or overnight.
  2. To make the coleslaw fine chop all the ingredients and add to a bowl. Add the chilli to taste. Sprinkle over the salt and drizzle with the lime juice, oil and balsamic vinegar. Give it a good stir.
  3. To make the mayonnaise mix all the ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Take the pulled pork out of the beer and pull it apart.
  5. Stack the burgers high with the pulled pork, coleslaw and mayonnaise and enjoy.

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Pulled pork is so simple to make and by cooking it just with beer and a few herbs the taste is beautiful.
I love how it’s easy and can feed a lot of people. Slow cookers are magical machines!

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A beautiful fresh crunchy coleslaw made with red cabbage and carrots is a wonderful addition to the soft burger bun and pulled pork.

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A beautiful and delicious burger. Perfect for meals and also transports really well for picnics and in lunch boxes.

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I used Wimbledon Brewery’s Tower SPA to cook the pork shoulder in. It has a fruit, floral spice and orange smell with a full, rounded taste with a bittersweet finish.

I would really recommend a visit to Wimbledon Brewery. They do tours and tastings and on Saturday have a food and beer market. You can also buy their beer online. It’s definitely worth getting a few extra bottles to enjoy with the burgers!
www.wimbledonbrewery.com

I created this recipe first for my food news page in Time & Leisure!

Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Herb Crust Chicken

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For my Wimbledon inspired recipe I wanted to use strawberries in a different way than I usually do so I set my mind on using them in a savoury dish. I really like strawberries with balsamic vinegar and decided to use the acidity of the vinegar and sweetness of the strawberries to make a thick sauce for chicken. It worked incredibly well and tasted beautiful especially with the herb crust on the chicken.

I love using fruit in savoury dishes and now so much is in season I will be doing it a lot more.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Herb Crust Chicken
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 200g strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons of
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 mint leaves plus
  • some for decoration
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Slice the strawberries and add to a saucepan along with the balsamic vinegar, water and mint.
  2. Leave on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the strawberries have softened and the liquid has thickened.
  3. While the strawberries are cooking heat up a little oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the oregano and thyme and cook on a medium heat.
  5. The herbs will make a delicious crust.
  6. When the chicken is cooked, slice it into strips and drizzle the hot strawberry sauce over.
Notes
Serve with either brown rice or grains, alternatively stir it into pasta or enjoy it cold in a salad.

I first made this for Time & Leisure magazine for my food news page as recipe of the month.
I am lucky enough to be the food writer for the Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Putney & Barnes issue.

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Let me tempt you with more savoury fruity recipes from brilliant bloggers

Seasonal Asparagus and Chorizo Risotto

Sew White Seasonal Asparagus and Chorizo Risotto

A simple dish which is packed full of flavour and topped off with beautiful seasonal asparagus. To make it vegetarian use only vegetable stock and leave out the chorizo.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Seasonal Asparagus and Chorizo Risotto
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 60g chorizo thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • red chilli to taste
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 litre of boiling water
  • 1 pepper chopped into slices
  • 100g sundried tomatoes chopped up
  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan
  • small sprinkle of dried oregano
  • small sprinkle of dried thyme
  • 150g asparagus
  • freshly grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the onion and celery.
  2. In a frying pan heat up the olive oil and add the onion, celery and chorizo.
  3. Allow the onions and celery to soften on a low heat.
  4. When almost soft add the garlic and chilli and allow to soften.
  5. Add the risotto rice and allow the rice to absorb the oil and fat from the chorizo.
  6. Add the wine and let the rice absorb it.
  7. Dissolve the stock cubes into the boiling water.
  8. Add the sundried tomatoes, chopped pepper and Parmesan.
  9. Add a ladle of stock at a time until the rice has absorbed each one.
  10. Keep stirring the risotto the whole time. Season with salt, pepper and the dried herbs.
  11. Meanwhile steam or griddle the asparagus.
  12. Serve the risotto with the asparagus on top and sprinkle with extra Parmesan

 It takes a while with all the stirring but it’s worth it I promise.

Spiced Orange Salmon

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With summer so close it’s time for me to start making lighter meals which can be served with lots of salad and new potatoes. This is a really simple and easy to make dish that works as a casual midweek meal or as proper posh friends round dinner. It also works fabulously as a light starter if you half the portion.

The fresh oranges with the spices and herbs works so well with the salmon.

By folding up the salmon steaks in the greaseproof paper it makes a little hot pocket which keeps all the juices and herbs around the salmon and it works to help absorb the taste and the smell from the orange and spices. Plus it’s really easy to make and there isn’t too much washing up either so that’s always a good thing!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Spiced Orange Salmon
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 salmon steaks
  • 4 teaspoon of caraway seeds
  • 2 oranges
  • 4 teaspoons of runny honey
  • 4 teaspoons light soya sauce
  • 4 tablespoon of chopped dill
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 chilli added to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180/160 Fan
  2. Place each salmon steak in a large square of greaseproof paper.
  3. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce and 1 tablespoon of dill.
  4. Chop the spring onions, add divide them among the salmon and sprinkle with chilli to taste.
  5. Cut slices of zest from the orange and add them to the salad.
  6. Take half of an orange and squeeze the juice over the salmon.
  7. Fold the greaseproof paper around the salmon to make a parcel.
  8. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Serve with new potatoes and salad

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I really hope you like this recipe! Enjoy x