The Calm Me Down Smoothie!

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Recently there has been a lot of change to my daily routine as now my two boys are in school and I find myself alone at home with our pet rabbit Alfie. It’s lovely having some quiet time but mostly I find myself constantly running around like a headless chicken.  This morning I went food shopping which I absolutely adore.  I feel all stocked up and ready to invent more recipes. . I also cleaned the kitchen!

For when I need to calm down and relax I have come up with this wonderful soothing smoothie recipe to help me unwind.  No caffeine, no added sugar just pure peaceful bliss. The chamomile and mint tea does the trick!

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INGREDIENTS

200ml of cold mint & chamomile tea
1 small banana
1 nectarine in halves
Handful of frozen blueberries
Handful of baby spinach

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METHOD

Place all the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and blitz till smooth.  Serve with ice if desired

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A Minty Fruit Smoothie

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We are going to have pizza tonight, so an hour before I decided to line my stomach with a fresh minty and fruity smoothie.  This way I’ll feel a little less guilty knowing that I have fruit in my tummy before I consume huge amounts of pizza yumminess!

INGREDIENTS

1 small banana peeled
7 strawberries
1 pear sliced into chunks
A few sprigs of fresh mint
1 cup pineapple juice

METHOD

Blitz all the ingredients in a Nutri Bullet or blender until smooth

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Serve with some ice or add a little water if the smoothie is too thick

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Rupa’s Salsa Verde…

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Salsa verde is a green salsa, it can be quite chunky but the one that was prepared by my youngest sister in law last Saturday, was something extremely special.  Rupa had called us round for dinner and  Oh my did we enjoy ourselves!  She had prepared grilled vegetable and golden halloumi skewers with a jewelled vegetarian couscous along with the salsa that tantalised our taste buds and made all the the different ingredients on the plate sing!

The consistency was very smooth and the colour so very vibrant.  I just deeply regret not taking a picture to show you all, I was too busy eating away! Sorry!
I have however, found a picture that shows the type of consistency of the salsa we had.  The colour here, is more a lime green but the colour you will achieve with this particular recipe will be slightly darker due to the mint. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Thanks to R & V for a wonderful evening and for this lovely recipe!

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch parsley, chopped leaves only
1 bunch basil, chopped leaves
1 bunch mint, chopped leaves
2 tbsp capers drained
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
Olive oil as required
Sea Salt & Ground fresh pepper to taste

METHOD

Simply blitz all the above ingredients together in a food processor, grinder or Nutribullet if you have one

Pour into a bowl and leave in the fridge until your ready to serve

Picture courtesy of https://fortheloveofyum.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/img_5766.jpg

Fresh mint chocolate chip loaf

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I just love mint and chocolate together! especially as a mousse (which I’m hoping to make soon) but in the mean time I remembered I still had some mint left over from my friend’s garden so I thought!…ummm why not put fresh mint in my chocolate chip loaf? So I did!  

The mint oil has really latched onto this cake batter and works incredibly! Different types of chocolate from cocoa to plain to white chocolate really makes this a chocoholic’s dream!

Thank god my little ones are napping at the moment or I wouldn’t have been able to take any pictures of a whole cake to show you but I would just have had a picture of the crumbs!!! Lol.

A very simple recipe to do when you’ve got some friends coming round for a coffee and thanks Anussha once again your mint has really transformed this cake! Come round I’ll have the coffee ready x

I’m also taking a few cakes to the Fiesta Friday over @ The Novice Gardener…where all of us get together and bring lots of delicious food, come on over!

INGREDIENTS

150g unsalted butter softened
170g granulated sugar
Handful of mint leaves and stems
Pinch of salt
140g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
100ml milk
4 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
50g chocolate chips
4 squares of white chocolate melted
4 squares of plain chocolate melted

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 160ºc/325ºf/gas mark 3. Blend the butter, sugar,salt and mint together until nice and creamy

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2. Mix in all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips. Make sure everything is combined

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3. Fold in the chocolate chips and transfer batter to a lined and greased loaf tin and level out

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4. Bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes until poked skewer comes out clean

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5. Let the loaf cool in the tin for a while and then transfer onto a large plate. Using a tablespoon drizzle the white and plain chocolate separately to create decoration.

Try and wait until the chocolate topping sets and then slice up yourself a big chunk and DEVOUR!!!!

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I couldn’t help myself!!!

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No not really 😉 ~

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Lovely treats…

We are having a very busy weekend, lots of fun and festivities.  Wedding, dressing up, eating and shopping!  My kind of weekend!  I was lucky to pick up a few treats on the way…

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Bargain buy £60 to £24! Wooohoooo!!! So pretty and a lovely light scent…

Lunch outside after a trip to the park.  Grilled halloumi cheese with salad encased in a warm flat bread and chunky chips!

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And to round it off,  a crisp mint flavourful box of chocolates!  I’ve been craving mint and chocolate for a while.  I think it will satisfy me for now but I will have to bake something minty and chocolatey soon too!

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Lunch, perfume and chocolates, feel like a princess! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, see you tomorrow, much love D x

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A Refreshing Take On Bhel

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Bhel is a savoury Indian snack, and is a type of chaat. It is made out of puffed rice, vegetables and a tangy tamarind sauce.  Traditionally you can include chickpeas, potatoes, onion and date chutney too.  However my husband has always had his own take for a quick delicious snack fix.

Normally he would just chop some tomato, onion and coriander and combine with Indian snacks such as Bombay Mix, Chevdo or sev.  This version he made, was so nice! That it had to be shared! Extremely refreshing with the choice of herbs especially the mint.  Spicy with the addition of chilli and also a little warmth that hits the back of the throat from the tasty radishes.

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I haven’t put measurements up for this chaat mix as you can add or omit as you prefer and this way you can make as much as you want!  I had a massive bowl full!  Ok..no! We shared it ;). I’m still trying to be good! Lol!

Perfect for a party as a snack or even simply to nibble on with drinks!  The sun is out today and I can feel it’s going to be a stunning Sunday!  Have a beautiful day and I will see you all tomorrow!  Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

Radishes
Cucumber
Red onion
Red chilli
Lemon
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
Indian crispy snacks
Amchur/mango powder
Tamarind chutney

METHOD

• Finely chop all the vegetables and herbs

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• In a large salad bowl mix the Indian snacks equally and add the chopped ingredients to the bowl

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• Mix well, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice to taste.  Sprinkle in some amchur powder and mix in a little tamarind chutney

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Minty melon with lemon

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Just a little touch of Summer in the Autumn ~”Minty melon with lemon” try saying that a few times really fast lol!!! An effortless quick fruit dressing that really adds zing to these chunks of sweet watermelon. Something that will quench your thirst and act as a fascinating palette cleanser after a flavourful meal!

I found that the trio combination left my mouth tantalized and fresh. My tongue was buzzing even after the melon had been eaten. Mother nature has done a wonderful job with these 3 stunning ingredients! I only thought of putting them together.

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INGREDIENTS

Watermelon
Lemon juice
Fresh mint

METHOD

Slice up the watermelon into chunks, squeeze over some fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh mint! Yes that’s it!

If the watermelon was in the fridge let it come down to room temperature with the dressing. You will be surprised how the melon takes on both the lemon and mint flavour and aroma!

Enjoy and let me know if you liked it as much as I did. Much love D x

Anussha’s Mint Masala Chai

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I went to my good friend Anussha’s home recently where the children had a play date and we had a brunch date. She fancied having omelettes and had all the ingredients ready. It was lovely to cook for her and the children

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We all had some brunch which was great but what was even better was the cup of tea she had made that was waiting for me after I finished in the kitchen.

Oh my god! I know you can have mint tea but to combine Indian masala chai/tea with fresh mint! Was really something! My taste buds were refreshed and my thirst quenched. I told her as soon as I had taken a sip that I would be blogging this recipe on her behalf.

What made this tea even more special was that Anussha had just picked the fresh mint from her very own garden. Which she had gently cultivated from a mint cutting from South Africa. So this tea was now a blend of flavours from India, South Africa and the fertile soil of the UK. Really a stunning trio!

So here’s to you my friend, we had an awesome time with you all and the tea! Well ~ please all go make a cup and see for yourselves. You’ll never have Indian chai without mint again! Thank you Anussha for sharing love you xxxx

INGREDIENTS

To make 2 cups of tea

4-5 fresh mint leaves
1 cup water
2 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp tea leaves
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp chai masala
A little fresh grated ginger

METHOD

1. Boil the cup of water with the mint leaves and add sugar, stir to infuse flavours.

2. Lower heat and throw in the tea leaves, chai masala and bring to a boil

3. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil again, let the tea simmer for 5-7 minutes and top off with a some finely grated ginger

4. Strain the tea. If you want a more potent mint effect add some more mint leaves to your cup of tea and let the mint oils do its thing!

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Pani Puri

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About six months after we got married we took our second honeymoon in Dubai.  Where I will never forget my experience in the Indian part of town.  A pani puri establishment set up from inside a restaurant facing out onto the street so that you could stand outside and be served pani puri’s.  Traditionally made and served in India as a very popular street food delicacy from a stall.  The Dubai ones were hot and spicy, I can still see the man making and serving us in the quickest fashion.   They just kept coming and we just kept popping them into our mouths one after the other!  I can still taste them to this day!!! Even though you can make them at home,  one must experience the street pani puri experience! This home recipe will keep you going until then x

For the pani puri pani/water
6 cups of water
1 bunch fresh coriander chopped
1 bunch fresh mint chopped
4-5 green chillies
2 tbsp pani puree masala
1/2 tbsp dried mint powder
1/2 tbsp roasted cumin powder
3 tbsp lemon juice
Black salt/sanchar to taste
Salt to taste

For the filling
Savoury sev (crispy indian noodle snack)
4 medium boiled and peeled potatoes – diced into 1 cm cubes
1 tin of black chana/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 batch of tamarind and date chutney
Freshly chopped coriander

For the puri’s, I’m sorry but I bought them to save time. Really crispy fresh pani puris can be bought from your local Indian supermarket. Normally sold in clear plastic boxes.

1. Grind the coriander, mint and chillies to a fine paste. Add the rest of the pani ingredients, then finally the water, stir well. Slowly place the pani water in the fridge to chill

2. Meanwhile prepare potatoes and onion. To make the date and tamarind chutney look at the links below

3. Once ready to eat. Make a hole in the top of the puri and add some potato, onion, chana, sev, chutneys, coriander and finally dip the whole filled puri into a small bowl with pani puri water in it and dunk it, so that the water is now in the puri and the filling is brimming to the top because of it. Slowly but surely place the whole puri in your mouth! And enjoy the spicy, tangy and textured sensation that is the pani puri!!!

For tamarind and date chutney:
http://www.tarladalal.com/Khajur-Imli-ki-Chutney-2796r

Pani puri pani recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor:
http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/paani-puri.aspx