A November Country Walk..

… on Wimbledon common which is pretty much countryside I’m sure!

Sew White winter walk hip flask 1

It’s a lovely time of year to go for a country walk to see some gorgeous trees, blue skies and changing leaves. To take a little warmth for us I took this gorgeous hip flask. It is an unusual gift for a girl but one I think a lot of girls would rather like. I didn’t know if I would but I really do. It’s small and easily slipped into a bag. I put a little Jack Daniels Honey in this and it was lovely. Walking around Wimbledon common I got warm but also chilly round the edges and a few small mouthfuls really made the walk warmer and a little more fun. Plus lovely for a sore throat! I can see myself using this a lot when summer comes for cocktails and drinks at picnics. Expect to see this in more blog posts coming up.

I really like that the hip flask is girly and unusual and I would recommend it as a gift.
There are lots of lovely hip flasks available from www.buyahipflask.com including this one.

To be honest I am rather tempted to fill it with tea to see what happens – you all know about my tea addiction so this can’t come as a shock.

Sew White winter walk hip flask 2

I collected some gorgeous fallen red, orange and yellow leaves to use as a autumn arrangement on the dining table.

I also have these gorgeous new wellies I loved getting muddy in. Finally nice wellies which are comfortable and warm.

What a gorgeous way to spend a Sunday.

I was sent the hip flask to review. All opinions and comments are my own

Be Cycling Safe This Winter

I love cycling but with the joys of it getting dark so early and all this rain we’ve been having it’s important to stay safe. Helmets are a must, high visibility vests are important as are lights. I am always told by my dad be as visible as you can and always be careful. Good advice. High visibility tops are very stylish as we all know (not) but they are there to make sure you are seen.

LV= have bought out some lovely cycling graphics for winter which I thought I’d share. Cycle and be safe!

Cycling is good way to stay fit and get to where you need to be. Plus it’s nice in winter as it makes you toasty warm.

Lv+ cycling 1

I wish I had the ability to cycle with a hot drink! Note to self; I need to buy some waterproof trousers.

Lv+ cycling 2

Lv+ cycling 3

I know it’s mostly common sense things but it’s good to be reminded of things.

Happy cycling.

Two Mexican inspired dinners using Knorr and Quark

I love Mexican food and making my own which tastes authentic with a good spicy tastes what I’m always thriving to get. I’ve tried two different recipes this week. One using Knorr Mexican flavour pot and Quark cream mixed with spices.

Both were delicious to eat but one certainly won in the family tasting game.

First up the Knorr Mexican Flavour pot. I mixed 1 flavour pot with a few glugs of oil to make a paste and coated the chicken in it. I left it for 30 minutes and that was enough to give a really good taste. As it wasn’t too much of a wet sauce the flavour dried on to the chicken as it cooked and I didn’t need to add any more oil to the pan as it was in the mix.

Sew White Knorr mexican cube review tortillas 1

I cooked it with a loosely chopped red onion and yellow pepper. The Knorr flavour pot worked incredibly well and gave the chicken a lovely flavour. It was very easy to make and I would certainly make this again.

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Served on a wholemeal tortilla with fresh salad and chopped chilli (I love spicy chillies). It was a lovely meal and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We all wished I’d cooked a bit more chicken so we could have had one more.

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I also tried a Quark take on Mexican chicken and it had a nice but different result to the Knorr flavour pot.
Here is the recipe from The Lake District Dairy Co and the Fabulous Baker Boys www.lakedistrictquark.co.uk/hot-and-spicy-quark-chicken . Check out all the other recipes that you can use this fabulous low fat cream cheese with. Warning you will be hungry!

If you haven’t heard of Quark it is the new wonder ingredient for baking and cooking. It’s a soft cheese high in protein, naturally fat free and low in salt and sugar. Yummy soft cheese but not as much of the bad things. I think that means we can eat more of it. wink wink.

Sew White Quark mexican review tortillas 1

Sadly although the flavours were really nice the heat of the pan caused the quark to curdle. Apart from the weird new texture it did work but it was a far less spicy and flavour filled Mexican for my liking. Having said that though my family who don’t like spicy food said it was delicious. I’m going to give it another go and hopefully it will work a bit better. Taste wise fine just a little weird looking but wrapped up in the wrap and filled with salad too it’s hardly noticable. If you try the recipe and like things a bit spicier add some fresh chopped chilli to the marinade or some dried chilli flakes.

Sew White Quark mexican review tortillas 2

Quark I’ve found has worked really well every other time I’ve used and I’m sure it was just a fluke. Next time I’m using the Quark to make cheesecakes. Apparently it works very very well for sweeter things. Look out for it being used for some Christmas recipes coming up soon.

Next up is to remember to make some rice to add to the tortillas next time. I love spicy rice!

The best Indian food in Wimbledon

I am very lucky to live in a fabulous area for Indian food. Two brilliant Indian restaurants in Wimbledon have just won awards at the English Curry Awards. I can certainly confirm these two companies do make amazing curry. I would eat at both of these a lot more if I could.

The fabulous takeaway K2 won Takeaway of the Year.

K2_logo_WL-01-e1414508095944

I’ve ordered take away from K2 a few times now and the food is always superior to anything else I’ve ever had from a takeaway. Even if I don’t think I’m very hungry as soon as I smell it I am very hungry and there has never been even a little left over.The sauces are always rich and full of identifiable vegetables (I’ve had veg curries from some places where I couldn’t tell what veg was in it).

My favourite things to order from K2 are chicken madras, vegetable curry and sag aloo. They also make incredibly good poppadoms and naan bread. I am really hungry writing about this food. The dishes are brilliantly priced and it’s easy to sneak an extra side dish on the order.

There is no other Indian takeaway for this family anymore. K2 is wonderful and I would recommend it a lot. I’ve order so many dinners from K2 already and they’ll soon be very regular deliveries come to my house.

Indian foodNot the best photo but trying to stop people eating this food is nearly impossible!

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For an evening out the Khanage restaurant on Wimbledon Broadway is a good place to go.

The delicious Khanage won New Restaurant of the Year.

khanage-logo

Quality food and worth the little more bit more money per dish. The restaurant is lovely and the staff is brilliant for helping decide. They know their dishes and what compliments them. Khanage is the place I would pick for a posher dinner or out for a treat.

The smell of the dishes was overwhelming. Make sure you go hungry as you will eat everything. Plus they make amazing Naan bread!
The dishes are displayed and brought to the table in beautiful dishes which keep the food warm. There is a lot of detail in the whole restaurant and the food. It all works very well together and is a relaxing place to enjoy good food.

Sadly I didn’t get a photo of the food as the restaurant was a bit dark and it didn’t really look like a photo of anything.

Love curry!

A bit of exercise everyday (at least that’s the plan)

I’ve been trying to get a little fitter this year and I’ve found that trying to do a little bit of exercise everyday has been very good. I was given these fabulous bathroom scales to try and they’ve been very good for monitoring my weight.

Sew White Ozeri scales 2

I think having scales can be addictive so I’ve decided to check once a week to make sure I’m going roughly in the right direction.
This year I’ve lost a dress size and I think I’ve found my natural weight and size. Eating healthier and exercise hasn’t really reduced it more but I am happy as a size 10-12. I really love feeling healthier and doing a little exercise is actually a bit fun. My favourite 10 min work out to do is this Be Fit Funk one on youtube. It’s pretty easy but you feel muscles working which is good. Now I know the workout I tend to do bits of it when in the kitchen. I’m always dancing about!

Sew White Ozeri scales 3

The weighing scales are really luxurious and the dial is huge so you can see it without having to squint. They are light and very thin so easily tidied away. I really like that the weight is in pounds and kilos. I think the scales are really stylish too with a pale blue base (says white on the listing) and gorgeous shiny dial. It is a lovely item and does the job you’d want it to do plus at £20 on amazon it’s good value and will last.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00KO6616W

*I was given this product to review. I was not paid and all opinions are my own.

A few of my favourite drinks from the last month

I love a tasty drink and these are a few of my favourites from October.

First up are the lovely collection from Marks and Spencers. I know the pomegranate juice drink is a summer drink but luckily my M&S still has it for sale. The hint of rose is so strong and the after taste of the rose is gorgeous. It is delicious drink and is lovely to enjoy with all sorts of dishes especially with vegetable noodle soups. The orange, lime and juniper is my absolute favourite at the moment. It is has a strong and taste and really reminds me of Christmas. The juniper I didn’t think it would work with the orange but it really complimented it. The spiced apple is delicious and worked very well warmed up. It tastes like autumn and was very enjoyable to drink while it while watching fireworks.

Marks and Spencer's fruit jucies

Second up is this new flavour from Ribena. Mango and lime is unusual but rather nice to liven up a bit of water. The mango flavour is strong so if you like mango you’ll like this.

Ribena mango and lime

I’m not usually a beer fan but I really like these Leffe beers. the Ruby has a strong a red forest fruit flavour which makes it seem a lot lighter you’d expect. The nectar was sweeter and stronger than I expected and the honey tones were a surprise to find. These were both lovingly enjoyed while watching fireworks.

leffe ruby leffe nectar

My favourite drink of the last month has to be this Elderflower, Mint and Lime sparkling cocktail from Sainsburys. It is delicious. Refreshing, tasty and the little bit of alcohol makes it a little special. This goes very well with food but also by itself as a cocktail.

Sainsbury's elderflower sparkling cocktail

Apple, Ginger and Lemongrass Cake

This is a family favourite recipe and one of the first thing I ever baked at home economics at primary school.

It is a bit of a weird cake to make, it’s like making breadcrumbs and then adding the eggs but it tastes brilliant.
It is very easily and is a great way to use up apples. 

Pas it such a simple recipe it’s a great base recipe and works well with different cordials and with extra fruit too.

Sew White apple ginger and lemongrass cordial cake 1

Ingredients
– 50g stork margarine
– 150g self raising flour
– 50g light brown soft sugar
– 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
– 500g of chopped eating apples
– Grated rind of 1 orange
– 4 tablespoons of Bottlegreen Ginger and lemongrass cordial
– 1 medium egg

Method

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan).
– Line and grease a 8inch cake tin
– Rub the butter and flour together to make bread crumbs.
– Add the sugar and ground ginger and stir in.
– Peel, core and chop the apples and to the mix with the orange rind.
– Add the egg and cordial and mix in well.
– Bake for 30-40 minutes until firm and golden brown.

Serve hot or cold

Sew White apple ginger and lemongrass cordial cake 2

Sew White apple ginger and lemongrass cordial cake 3

Quick Meals Recipe Book Review – Giveaway

Sainsbury’s has a wonderful new quick recipe cook book out and I am lucky enough to have a copy to review and 5 to giveaway!

Sometimes a quick and tasty meal really hits the spot and I think a lot of people have the misconception that quick meals don’t taste great but they can do! The 100 recipes in this book are split into 10, 20 and 30 minutes making times and after trying a few recipes I can say that the timings are true.

Sew White Sainsbury's Quick meals recipe book review 1

There is a great selection of recipes to choose from pastas to Asian inspired dishes, pizzas, fish and meat skewers and other delicious and easy recipes. All the recipes in the book I want to make and I’m sure I will be sharing more from the book soon.

My favourite of the recipes is the Bang Bang Chicken. It did take a little longer than stated as we cooked some fresh chicken to make the salad a bit warm for these cooler evenings.

Sew White Sainsbury's Quick meals recipe book review 2

The peanut butter sauce was delicious! It was lovely and fresh and the warm chicken was very satisfying. Cooking the chicken didn’t take too long and the whole meal took less than 15 minutes to make and only 5 to eat.

Sew White Sainsbury's Quick meals recipe book review 3

I have 5 copies of this wonderful quick and tasty recipe filled book to giveaway.

Enter through the rafflecopter form below.

Leave a blog post answering the question; what is your favourite quick dinner?

giveaway ends on the 17th November 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- Cannot be exchanged for anything else or money
- I have 5 copies to giveaway, 1 book for 5 individual winners.
- UK only
- Giveaway ends on 17.11.14
– The one winner will be contacted by the 17th November. If the winners do not respond within 1 week a new winner will be picked.
– I will never give or sell personal details to any other companies.
– By entering this competition you are agreeing to join the Sew White mailing list.

Prosecco, Raspberry and Cranberry Cake

With the Christmas season nearly upon us the time for baking with lots of special ingredients.

I’ve had the hard yet delicious task of coming up with a recipe using Prosecco for a Sainsbury’s Christmas challenge. When I think of Prosecco I either think of summer holidays and sunshine or I think of Christmas. Full of carols, family, presents and the smell of gingerbread, spices and mulled wine. I think it’s safe to say Prosecco invokes a happy place and brings up lots of happy memories.

To create a recipe I wanted to bring all of food memories together to make it delicious. I think I pulled it off.

I give you my Prosecco, Raspberry and Cranberry Cake.

Sew White Sisley  White Prosecco raspberry and cranberry Christmas cake 1

Ingredients

- 60g dried cranberries
– 60g fresh raspberries
– 4 tablespoons of Prosecco

- 180g butter
– 180g caster sugar
– 4 medium eggs
– 4 tablespoons of Prosecco
– 200g plain flour
– 2 teaspoons of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
– half a teaspoon of ground ginger
– half a teaspoon of nutmeg and mixed spice too if you want it extra full of Christmas spice

Decoration Ingredients
– 300g icing sugar
– 3 tablespoons of Prosecco
– 50g raspberries
– 50g dried cranberries

Method

- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160 fan) and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
– Cut up the raspberries and dried cranberries in to large chunks and in a bowl and mix them in with the 4 tablespoons of Prosecco to soak while you make the rest of the cake.
– Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
– Add the eggs and Prosecco and mix in well.
– Drain off the fruit and add the fruit into the mix.
– Sieve in the flour, baking powder and spices.
– Mix altogether and put the mix into the loaf tin.
– Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Use a cake tester to make sure it’s cooked.
– Allow to cool before decorating.

- Mix up the icing powder with the Prosecco a little a time to get a smooth, medium thick icing.
– When the cake is cool put the icing into a piping bag and drizzle it across the cake.
– Decorate with dried cranberries and raspberries.

Sew White Sisley  White Prosecco raspberry and cranberry Christmas cake 2

Serve with a glass of Prosecco and enjoy x

Two lovely ingredients – Prosecco and cranberries.

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Cranberries and raspberries soaking in Prosecco and then in the cake mixture.

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The gorgeous loaf fresh out of the oven. It smelled amazing and I had to use all my strength not to dive straight in.

 Sew White Sisley  White Prosecco raspberry and cranberry Christmas cake 5

The countdown to Christmas has started x

Cake Pops for Chocolate Week from Rangemaster

To celebrate chocolate week Rangemaster, the maker of incredibly lovely cookers I would love to have, were lovely enough to send me a box goodies to make cake pops. It was a lot of fun and it was a lot easier to make than I thought. The amount made nearly 25! but I think I might have made them a little small as I was worried they would fall off the sticks.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 8

A lovely box of goodies to bake with. It’s the first time I’ve been sent butter in the post!

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 1

The mix was easy and the cocoa powder made it very rich. I may have added a bit more than the recipe said but it worked very well.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 2
Baking the cake part as cupcakes was really quick and made it easy to crumble.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 3
Crumbling the cold cupcakes was rather fun and the butter icing was delicious. The buttercream needed a bit more milk which I’ve added to the recipe below. I would have been fairly happy eating the mix like this.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 4

Next came the fun part of rolling them into balls. I did a level tablespoon-ish of mix per cake pop. I think I need to work on my rolling skills.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 5

After a time in the fridge the cake pops had gone hard it was time to pop in the sticks with chocolate. The chocolate on the stick was set by the time I had done all the pops.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 6

After dipping them and swirling them in melted chocolate I went a little mad with sprinkles. They were really delicious and enjoyed by a lot of friends.

Rangemaster cake pops chocolate week Sew White 7

Thank you Rangemaster for allowing me to post your recipe.

Ingredients

- 110g soft unsalted butter
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 75g self raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder

For the butter cream

- 125g unsalted butter soft
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300g icing sugar
- 4 teaspoons of milk

For the chocolate coverings and decorations

- 1 bar of milk chocolate or white chocolate
- sprinkles

Method

- Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.
- Prepare a cupcake tin for 12 cupcakes.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Sieve in and fold the flour and cocoa powder.
- Divide between the cupcake cases and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Once baked leave to cool.

- To make the butter cream hand mix or with an electric whisk the butter and slowly add the icing sugar.
- Add the milk and vanilla extract to until light and smooth

- When the cakes are cool crumble them into the butter cream and mix in.
- Roll balls of cake pop mix (I did 1 tablespoon per ball) and place on a greasproof paper lined tin ready to go in the fridge.
- When they are rolled place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

- While the cake pops are in the fridge melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of warm water.

- When the cake pops are cold take them out and pop the end of a cake pop stick in to the chocolate and then into the cake pop to make a seal to hold the stick and cake together.
- As the cake is cold the seal of chocolate will set quickly.
- Now it’s enjoy dipping them time. Dip them and spin them slightly to get off any extra chocolate.
- Decorate with sprinkles and leave somewhere upright to harden.

It was a lot of fun to make and my friend very much enjoyed tasting and reviewing them for me.

Thank you Rangemaster. If you like looking at gorgeous ovens check out their website www.rangemaster.co.uk