Mulled Cyder/Cider | Recipe

mulled cider
Two Sundays ago we visited a lovely pub in the village of Horning in Norfolk. When we walked into the pub I noticed, immediately, a cauldron looking thing on the bar with Aspalls Mulled Cyder. We went to our table, I visited the ladies room with Charles, and came back to find that my wonderful husband had ordered me a Mulled Cyder without me even needing to let him now that it was what I wanted (5 husband points awarded)
Oh. My. The taste was amazing. I went on to order another and, well, my new favourite drink was born.

The following day my husband popped out for supplies and came back with a bottle of Aspalls Cyder. I knew what I wanted to make but didn't know if I had all of the ingredients, a lot of recipes online suggest vanilla pods, cardamom, star anise, all of which I didn't have.
So....I made it up.
It's so simple and easy, and very very tasty.

You will need:
Half a bottle of Cyder or Cider (I highly recommend the Aspalls Cyder for this)
1 lemon wedge
1 lime wedge
1 orange
Some grated nutmeg
Half a cinnamon stick
2 dessert spoons of caster sugar
half a teaspoon of Allspice.
(these ingredients make enough to fill two wine glasses)

Cut your Orange into quarters, squeeze the juice into a saucepan and then add the orange quarters to the pan. Add the lemon wedge, lime wedge, and caster sugar and stir until the sugar is almost dissolved. Add the cinnamon stick, allspice and nutmeg and continue to stir until you can smell that wonderful Christmassy scent.
Add the Cyder (half a bottle) and leave for a couple of minutes until it starts to bubble.
Serve in a glass with a wedge of orange. 
It's as simple as that.

mulled cider
mulled cider
mulled cider
mulled cider

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Mulled Wine | Recipe

mulled wine recipe

Oh yes, it's getting all Christmassy here today.
I haven't really appreciate Mulled Wine much before. We've purchased bottles of cheap Tesco Mulled Wine but we'll buy one bottle and then soon be bored. This year I thought about making our own. I think making your own just makes it a little bit special. Knowing exactly what you are drinking, controlling your flavours, making it as fruity as you like or as spicy as you like. And of course, choosing your own red wine. After a bad experience with red wine 10 years ago at my school prom I'm very picky about what I drink.
It's also super easy to make, and features such cheap ingredients that you can use in other drink recipes or of course in baking.

After searching the internet for a Mulled Wine recipe I got fed up and confused by different recipes from different chefs so I decided to just make it up as I went along.

You will need:
1 Lime
1 Lemon
1 Orange
Red Wine
130g Caster Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Whole Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon of Allspice

Peel your lemon, lime and orange. Make sure the peel is in nice big chunks. Add the peel to a saucepan, discard the lemon and lime (or cut up and freeze) and put the orange to one side.
Grate a quarter of the nutmeg and add it to the saucepan along with the cinnamon stick and a small level teaspoon of Allspice.
Add the Caster Sugar to a saucepan and add a little of the red wine, and squeeze some orange juice into the pan too, and boil until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the rest of the red wine and simmer for 3 minutes.
Then, serve in a glass with a slice of lemon, and watch It's a Wonderful Life.

mulled wine
mulled wine
mulled wine
mulled wine
mulled wine
mulled wine
mulled wine
mulled wine


Limoncello {Recipe}

You will need:
5 lemons
Bottle of Vodka-1 litre
750 g of Caster Sugar
500ml boiling water

Grate the lemons, try to just get the rind and not the pith. Put the zest into a jar and pour in the vokda.
Cover the jar tightly with cling film and put to the side for a week. You need to stir this everyday, I just used to whirl the bottle around and it gave the desired effect.
After 7 days, take another jar and put in the Caster Sugar, pour over the boiling water and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved.
Next pour over the vodka and the zest, giving all of the ingredients a good stir. I had to use two jars as I didn't have one big enough for the whole of the mixture.
Again, cover tightly with cling film and leave for a week. Stirring, or whirling, every day.
Then, 7 days later pour your Limoncello in a bottle and tahdah! All done.

Once made the drinks last around 3 months.

Recipe fills two 2 litres bottles with a tiny bit to spare.

When life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!



Chorizo and Mozzarella Sandwich and Wrap {Recipe}

On Friday nights my Twitter feed will be full of people salivating over Nigel Slater's recipe, and we do the same too.
I love how simple his recipes are, and how everything is achieveable at home. Not too many ingredients, not too much faff.
We regularly look at certain dishes and say "We should make that" and then end up forgetting about it, but recently we saw a recipe we were definitely not going to forget as it features Chorizo and Mozzarella. Ooooooooo.

Lunchtimes are a little uninspiring for me at times and I loved this idea. We had it one Sunday as a special lunch, we tend to make more effort with sandwiches on a Sunday for some reason, but I will definitely make it in the week too.

My husband had slices of Sainsbury's Kalamata Olive Bread, but it was a little to stale for me so I went for Tortilla wraps instead.

I made ours a little different to Nigel Slater.

For the sandwich you need:
Bread (loaves with olives, onion, or peppers would be perfect)
A little oil

Cook the Chorizo, although it's quite oily I tend to add a little bit of oil to the pan so it doesn't stick. I used some Chilli Oil to add even more of a kick.
Slice up the Mozzarella.
Arrange the Chorizo on the bread and lay the Mozzarella on top of the Chorizo. Put this under the grill until the Mozzarella begins to melt/bubble.
You could then just serve like this, or add another slice of bread on top to create a sandwich.

For the wrap you need:
Creme Fraiche

Cook the Chorizo, although it's quite oily I tend to add a little bit of oil to the pan so it doesn't stick. I used some Chilli Oil to add even more of a kick.
Slice up the Mozzarella and arrange down the centre of a Tortilla wrap, along with some salad. Once the Chorizo is cooked, arrange that on top of the other ingredients. Drizzle on some of the oil left in the pan/wok.
Add some creme fraiche to stop the wrap from being too dry.
Fold up and enjoy!

Little additions I would make next time: I would add some olives, red onion and sundried tomatoes.



Sprinkly Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Ooooo I'm so obsessed with chocolate and sprinkles at the moment. Constantly wondering which simple treats I can make next.
I love that so many things can be dipped, rolled or covered in chocolate and then dipped in sprinkles, or sprinkled with sprinkles.

Two years ago I made:

Again with Charles' birthday coming up and a family BBQ on Sunday I wanted some sweet nibbles to put on the table. 
Pretzels seemed like a simply, easy and fun. Which they are, although they are rather fiddly and time consuming. 
But the time is worth it. The milk chocolate Pretzels are amazing. Really AMAZING.

All you need are:
Pretzels (I used a bag of small and a bag of large) I highly recommend the highseed pretzels from Sainsburys. mmmm.
Chocolate (white or milk)

All you do is melt the chocolate. Then dip your pretzel in, I only over 3/4 of our pretzels because I thought they looked effective like this, but also it was less messy to eat them as you don't get chocolate left on your hand.
You need to just roll the pretzels in the air a little, just to let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, the either dip into a bowl of sprinkles then place on greaseproof paper, or place straight onto greaseproof paper and then sprinkle your hundred and thousands on top.
Leave until the chocolate until it sets and then BOOM. 
The yumfest is ready.

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