#FOODIE TIP FRIDAY…

Foodie Tip Friday …

Use a muslin instead of a sieve when dusting your cake with icing sugar as it looks really pretty.

 

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OOLONG TEA PAIRINGS…

Organic Oolong Tea Sampler

‘Phoenix Supreme’ Oolong tea is picked from bushes that grow on the Wudong peak of Phoenix Mountain in Guarngdong Province, China.

It is made in small batches by and expert tea master and gathered twice a year, between April and May, and October and November.

It has a fragrant fruity aroma and a smooth, very refreshing flavour.

Oolongs can range in character between green and black teas, many can be paired with food along the same lines as their green or black counterparts. For instance, greener oolongs tend to go well with scallops, lobster and other sweet rich foods, while darker oolongs compliment somewhat stronger-flavored foods such as duck and grilled meats.

Suggestions:

Organic Crimson Berry Fruit Tisane

Not a green tea fan? Well the good news is that you don’t need to drink this to help with weight loss as they have now found that ‘Oolong’ tea helps even more.

A Chinese study showed that if we drink oolong tea for six weeks it will help with weight loss. In fact the data confirmed that a component other than just caffeine was responsible for promoting the preferential use of fat as an energy source.

A further Japanese study compared the benefits of oolong tea and green tea on weight loss. The results were that after drinking oolong tea you will use more energy than if you were drinking green tea or water and that it can last up to two hours.

For the best results they suggest you have a cup of oolong around 30 minutes to 1 hour before you do any form of exercise or walk, and drink it in the afternoon to help late afternoon sweet cravings and energy slumps.

Anyone fancy a cup of oolong tea?…

Tieguanyin Tea

 

5 TIPS TO HELP YOU MASTER THE ART OF BAKING BREAD…

Bread making can be pretty intimidating and everybody that has tried it has had at least one major disaster. There’s nothing more disappointing than opening the oven hoping to find a beautifully risen loaf of delicious bread and finding a flat lump of hard dough instead. But you shouldn’t let that put you off trying to make bread because once you master it, it’s great fun. Often, you just need practice but there are some great tips and tricks that you can use to make your loaves better.

Use A Bread Maker

Master bakers might consider bread makers cheating but if you’re just trying to bake a nice loaf for the family, there’s no shame in having a little help. If you get certain steps wrong you can ruin the loaf so having a bread maker is a good way to get to grips with the recipe before you start learning the process itself. Once you’ve mastered the art of making great loaves with a bread maker (which shouldn’t take long) you can start doing it the traditional way. Bread making can also be time-consuming so having a bread maker is good for those busy days when you haven’t got time to do it properly.

Sugar And Yeast

The yeast is the most important ingredient because it’s what makes the bread rise, so you’ve got to be careful how you treat it. If you mix salt directly with the yeast you can kill it, which is a mistake people often make. If you’re having trouble getting the yeast to rise properly, you can add a little sugar to it when you mix it with the warm water. It feeds the yeast and activates it which helps it rise better.

Measure Properly

This is a big one when it comes to the baking of any kind. When you’re cooking normally, you can get away with estimating amounts and throwing things in to see what happens but when it comes to baking, you can’t. Always make sure that you’re following the recipe properly and measuring things out exactly. Even the slightest variation can ruin a loaf of bread.

Resist Adding Extra Flour

Too much flour in a dough is an easy way to ruin your bread but many of us are tempted to add more than the recipe says because the dough is sticky. The amount that a recipe calls for varies a lot depending on the type of bread and some breads just have a stickier dough. You’ll just have to trust the recipe and resist the urge to add more flour, you’ll only end up ruining your bread.

Don’t Use Flour When Kneading

Most recipes will tell you to do this but it isn’t always the best idea. We’ve already learned that adding extra flour isn’t a good idea and if you knead the dough using flour to stop it from sticking, you’re doing exactly that. It’s a lot better to just use an olive oil spray instead, that way, you don’t risk ruining the dough with too much excess flour.

Follow these tips and you should get better results from your bread baking every single time.

 

10 TEAS FOR EVERY MOOD…

Ten teas for every mood is a graphic from Simply Serene’s Blog.

A Nurse Practitioner from New York, who started blogging to share her passion for healthy living who says no matter the mood, there is a tea out there for you. Some teas give you a natural energy boost, while others promote rest and relaxation.  Drinking tea for medicinal purposes dates back centuries to the ancient Shang dynasty in China. It was first introduced to Portuguese missionaries during the 16th Century, spreading quickly throughout Europe and Asia. Drinking tea in early America was largely influenced by the Tea Act, with many Americans swapping out tea for coffee in protest. Although coffee still remains the beverage of choice in America, the tea industry has exploded, offering an array of diverse brews to match each and every mood.

The perfect tea for every mood | Tea to fit your mood | The Simply Serene Blog

CLEAN CAKES BOOK REVIEW…

Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman – what a beautiful name for a cookery book. When I browse Amazon for cookery books I do find that it’s the front picture that promps me to find out more about the book.

This cookbook is for anyone who enjoys baking as well as experimenting with new and alternative ingredients. It provides a wealth of ideas for cooking everything from spectacular cakes, energy-boosting muffins and wholesome loaves to stunning raw desserts and scrumptious tarts and pies, with distinctive flavour combinations and original twists on established classics.

It’s great for anyone who for health or lifestyle reasons wants to eliminate gluten, dairy or refined sugar from their diet but who still wants to satisfy their sweet tooth and create their own nutritious guilt-free masterpieces.

Henrietta Inman embraces nutritious whole food ingredients that are unprocessed, unrefined, natural, seasonal and local wherever possible. The first section shows how to stock your Clean Cakes larder, as well as including foundation recipes such as cashew cream, nut butters and homemade jams. She goes into great detail on dairy free alternatives to yoghurt and buttermilk, dairy free alternatives to cream and cream cheese, and dairy free alternatives to milk.

Next come over 75 beautifully photographed recipes, from rich chocolate brownies, a show-stopping courgette, basil, lime and pistachio layer cake and raw desserts to five grain omega mix granola bars, spectacular fruit pies and enticing savoury tarts. These recipes are for everyone and show that cooking healthily doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavour.