Monday, 11 July 2016

Homemade Elderflower Cordial


This is a slightly adapted recipe from the one on BBC Food

Makes: 1.5 litres
Cooking Time: No cooking is required
Preparation Time: No more than 30 mins 
 

You will need:
30 elderflower heads
5 lemons
1kg caster sugar
50g citric acid
3 pints of boiling water
1 large mixing bowl
Sterilised bottles/containers
Muslin cloth

Firstly, wash the elderflower heads.  Then, putting them to one side for now, place the sugar into a large mixing bowl and then add the boiling water.  Give it a stir and leave for the sugar to dissolve and cool.  


Next, slice the lemons, and add the slices to the cooled sugar solution.


Now, add the citric acid and the elderflower heads, giving the solution a stir.



Next, strain the solution through some muslin cloth into a sterilised container. 


Enjoy as a light refreshment with sparkling water or lemonade, or as part of a cocktail. 




Friday, 1 July 2016

Enjoying Gluten Free Food | London

Whilst visiting London a couple of times in the last month, my parents and I made the most of having meals out and enjoying our little trips away.  As you will already know from the title of this blog post, we went to places which sold gluten-free food to cater for my intolerance.  To give an introduction to this post, I will briefly outline my story of being gluten-free.  So, I have been Gluten-Free since I was 9 when I discovered I had a wheat intolerance.  My family (on both sides) has a history of coeliac disease, so this discovery was not a surprising one.  I went for a dietary test as I had a few symptoms which suggested something wasn't quite right.  I suffered from anxiety, OCD and bad spots on my face.  However once I started a wheat-free diet within two weeks all of my symptoms had disappeared and I haven't looked back since! 

Over the last 10 or so years I have noticed such a huge increase in the amount of gluten-free food available in shops and restaurants.  As more and more people are becoming aware of it, and with the surge of people choosing to be wheat-free as a lifestyle choice, companies have really latched on to the gluten-free lifestyle, and many places now offer a wide variety of foods. 

Here are some of the places that we visited in London which served gluten-free food.  I am going to provide two examples for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


B R E A K F A S T 

Pret A Manger

 3 . 5 / 5

 


What I Ate

Five Berry Bowl a layered breakfast bowl consisting of Five Berry Compote, Yoghurt and Gluten-Free Granola

Pret Mango And Lime chunks of mango with a squeeze of lime

T H E  V E R D I C T

I have always been a fan of Pret A Manger - I like their brand ethos of being organic and kind to the environment etc.  They do good quality food (although I'm not a fan of their coffees as I find them too bitter, pictured is tea).  I have had gluten-free wraps from there before which were delicious however I have not seen any recently which is a shame, as I last had lunch there over a year ago.  My parents and I decided to see what they had to offer for breakfast and I discovered they had now made their granola gluten-free which I was very happy about!  It did not disappoint, it was nice and crunchy, tasted yummy and it went really well with the yoghurt and fruit compote.  As for the mango, that was pretty self explanatory - as mango-es (see what I did there), it was good.  I would like it if their coffees were nicer and if they had a wider range of gluten-free food.

Check out their website: http://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb

CAFE ROUGE 

5/5


What I Ate 

 T H E  V E R D I C T 

I have one word for this breakfast. DELICIOUS! I know I went a little off the menu, but I wanted to make it exactly how I like it.  The menus at Cafe Rouge are excellent as they highlight dishes that are already gluten-free, and ones that can be made gluten-free which is super handy.  The quality of the food in this restaurant is amazing and is cooked perfectly.  I was able to choose what type of egg I wanted (and it was cooked just to my liking).  It is not the cheapest place to eat, but I would say it is definitely worth trying if you want a little treat.  I cannot recommend this breakfast enough!!!

L U N C H

STRADA

4 / 5






What I Ate

Carbonara creamy egg, crispy pancetta, peas, black pepper, Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon (gf pasta)

  T H E  V E R D I C T

Strada is one of my favourite places to eat, in particular when I have their wheat free pasta as it has such a lovely texture and taste.  The variety of pasta sauces is pretty good and they have always been consistently good throughout the different restaurants I have visited.   The carbonara there in particular, is so delicious!  The sauce is just perfect with the pasta (which is cooked perfectly) and the pancetta goes so well with it.  The sauce tastes so fresh which makes the whole dish even more enjoyable.  The peas add a slight crunch to the dish which is the perfect foil to the creamy-ness and softness of the pasta and sauce.  (I did however pick off all of the green leaves from the top!)  Overall it was a delicious dish, as are many of their other dishes, and I would highly recommend. 

Check out their website: http://www.strada.co.uk/ 


 D I N N E R

Joe's Southern Table & Bar 

4 /5





What I Ate

Starter

Between two people we shared:

"Coq 'n' Balls" chipotle fried chicken balls with spring onion sour cream (gf)

"Slow Braised Beef Brisket Chilli Cup" with corn tortillas and sour cream (gf)   


Main Course

Between two people we shared:

"Southern Fried Half Bird" 24 hour sweet tea brined free range bird with a coating of a secret lemon dust (all of the birds are gf)

With sides of Joe's Slaw (gf), Corn on the cob with paprika butter (gf), whipped potatoes and chicken gravy (gf) and crispy bacon mayo (which my Mum had, not gf)

T H E  V E R D I C T

This was the first time I had visited this restaurant, and I have to say, I thought that the food was absolutely delicious.  There was a good and comprehensive list of all the foods which did/didn't contain gluten which was helpful when deciding what to order.  I was so excited to see a fried chicken that was gluten free! It was SO YUMMY.  It is definitely one to try if you are gluten-free and in London.   

Check out their website: http://joessouthern.co.uk/