DIY: Homemade frozen yoghurt

Frozen yoghurt is one of those amazing, heaven-sent gifts that is both delicious and relatively healthy (like dark chocolate, which is way high in iron, anaemics). At Hackney Wicked festival a few weeks back me and Al shared this heap of fro yo heaven from Moto Yogo who claim to make the best in the Spooniverse in their little carts and they may be right. (You can book them for events too – wouldn’t this be awesome at a wedding?!)

al fro yo

Anyhoo, this week I find myself with loads of leftover raspberry coulis (as one does) as I really did not need to make that much for a few panna cottas (thanks, Simon Rimmer). So I thought – let’s make raspberry frozen yoghurt!

Based on the info I found on t’internets, it’s best to strain your Greek yoghurt first to get rid of any excess liquid. I used Tesco’s own low fat yoghurt and a fine sieve.20130828_122222

Then mix up your coulis with your yoghurt and a few spoons of honey. If you do not happen to have lots of raspberry coulis (and why would you?) you can stir in whatever fruits you like but **TOP TIP** freeze the fruits first as this will help them to set. Also, if you are using whole frozen fruits you may need a blender/food processor if you are not The Hulk and have super strong arms.

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Put in a tub and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours. Keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to turn into a block of ice. However you don’t need to keep stirring it like you do when making sorbet or ice cream.

When you’re ready to eat, take it out for a few minutes before serving. And enjoy! Safe in the knowledge that it’s basically health food. Unless you top it with a smashed up Kinder Bueno and honeycomb like us (whoops).

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This Weekend…

Just a few days until I head to NYC to see my parents, eat too much food and wander around one of my favourite cities – I can’t wait. This weekend for me will be relaxed with some packing but also lots of yummy food with a sushi party at a friend’s house plus a trip to the awesome Street Feast up in my old neighbourhood Dalston. Whatever you do, stay gold.

imageOther cool stuff…

* LOVE this article on the difference between the US and the UK (and I agree – you order wine by the BOTTLE, America)

* Wardrobe organisation by fashion editors. Genius

* Borderline obsessed with the kitchen in Nicole’s house (from Making It Lovely)

* You know how I really want a drinks trolley? Well this amazing do-up makes me want it more.

* Have you signed up for iTunes festival tickets ballot? Fingers crossed for Chic, Lady Gaga and Elton.

* The most gorgeous brogues

* If you’re after a great read, I really can’t recommend Where’d You Go Bernadette? enough.

Image from my Instagram feed @rachaelgormley

Lovely salads

Salads are so often the miserable forgotten sister at barbeques. Which is crazy because they can boost your picnic or bbq to something really fancy and yummy. At the weekend me and Al had a bbq for the bank holiday. He was in charge of the meat and I was left to do salads (hello gender stereotyping!). Anyway…have you seen that episode of Friends where Monica puts Phoebe in charge of cups and ice? I had that in mind…

Potato salad is a bbq staple but it’s good to mix it up a bit. I’m really pleased with how this recipe from Good Food worked out. The sherry vinegar in the dressing makes it.

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Jamie Oliver’s chickpea salad was also a hit. I just put the one chili in it (I think Jamie likes chili more than the average person) and left out the feta cheese as one of our guests was vegan and that would just be MEAN.

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These two will definitely be whipped up again and I think they would be great for picnics/daytrips as they keep really well in containers too and the dressings deepen with time. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Time for tea: Brumus at the Haymarket Hotel

This Sunday was one of the nicest Sundays in a while. My girls went for a gorgeous afternoon tea baby shower at Brumus at the Haymarket Hotel in the West End to celebrate the coming (soon!) of a new lovely baby. The tea set is Wedgewood Wild Strawberry bone china (I looked underneath the cup) and I would seriously consider getting married simply to get this.

brumus - teaset

The setting is beautiful and the service is wonderful. Between the six of us we had three traditional teas and three specials to mix it up. This is the traditional one with scones, finger sandwiches and little eclairs.

brumus - traditional

This tier was overflowing with salmon blinis, blueberry cheesecake and chocolate coated strawberries and marshmallows. So good.

Brumus - special

Sometimes I think this country is insane but then I remember that we have afternoon tea, freedom and Clare Balding and all is well with the world again.

Queen of the Night Bus xx

Shit Hot Hot Dogs

Sweet Bejesus, I love me a hot dog. If you do too, head down to The Miller near London Bridge ASAP. Seriously. GET. YOUR. COAT.

We had dinner there the other night because Street Kitchen are in residence and whipping up lush hot dogs, like the Boston Hound we had. Beetroot, crackling, pork belly, pickled gherkin…all topping a lush hot dog. We shared a tub of chunky chips with rosemary salt. HEAVEN.

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And for other great hotdogs, get yourself to the most awesome dude of street food Big Apple Hot Dogs who has a cart near Old Street roundabout (near the fire station). For me, it’s all about The Big Frank – but I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Queen of the Night Bus xx

Happy July 4th!

You don’t have to be American to celebrate Independence Day. Which is good because I’m holding a July 4th picnic this evening near Tower Bridge. There will be a blues band playing at the Scoop too.  However this is nothing compared to my parents, the lucky devils, who have THE prime spot for firework viewing in New York City and will get to see the amazing display from the barges in the Hudson. So jel.

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But back to me and my more low-key celebrations. Here is the Star Spangled Banner Cake I made today, using Mary Berry’s sponge recipe topped with whipped cream, cherries and blueberries.

July 4th -cake

Al has made amazing Buffalo wings with very authentic tasting blue cheese sauce – sooooo good.  And of course, there has to be pulled pork and bread buns. I used the Simon Rimmer version, I love him.

I also have a ton of red, white and blue plates, cups and napkins which I stocked up on at Poundland last night (so classy).

Have a very happy July 4th people! From sea to shining sea!

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

LondonLove: Frank’s Cafe, Peckham

I think we can all agree on this – there is always time for some rooftop drinking. If you’re in sarf laandaan, get yourself to Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. Perched on top of the multi-storey car park, it has awesome panoramic views of the city skyline.

Franks - views

There are also art installations from Bold Tendencies – including this glittery number.

Franks - me

There is a wide range of yummy Greenwich Meantime ales and I had a lush cider to wash down a pot of olives and the most tasty barbecued plantain with super hot pepper sauce.

Franks

This is just the first visit of many this summer for us. If nothing else, I need more BBQ plantain!

Queen of the Night Bus xxxx

Welsh Week, Day 4: Minty lamb stew

Sunday roasts are lovely, I’m sure we all agree (I had a roast chicken wrapped in bacon today. Mmmm, swine). But sometimes the soupiness of a stew (and being able to soak up all the juices with a nice crusty loaf) is just what you fancy. Plus it’s so easy for lazy folk. Get up with hangover, put stuff in casserole, go have nap/read papers/start drinking again, have stew, watch classic Sunday afternoon film (today’s choice: The Parent Trap). Bang tidy.

Me and Emily (flat mate, co-parent of Claude and now new cat Puzzle) have started growing herbs in our living room window box so this is a good excuse to use the mint and be all Nigel Slater-esque (“OOO aren’t I fancy, just popping over here for my HOME GROWN herbs”). Everybody likes that game.

Lamb Stew with Minty Sauce

What you’ll need…

Olive oil

800g lamb, diced up (I like lamb neck because it’s cheap and tasty if you’re slow cooking)

A few carrots (or “kerrots” as my dad says)

Two onions

800mls of good lamb stock

Five or so cloves of garlic (you can leave the skin on)

Some veg of your choice (potatoes, obviously, and maybe some turnip? In spring you could add some nice baby greens to the pot just before serving)

Rosemary sprigs

For your minty sauce you’ll also need..

A big-ish bunch of mint

Bit of sugar

About two-three tablespoons of white wine vinegar.

 What you do…
1. Pop the oven on 180* C and in a frying pan with some oil in, brown your lamb all over, adding some salt and pepper too. This should take five mins.
2. Take out the lamb and pop it your casserole pot. In the frying pan goes the onions and carrots until browned (and turnip if you’re using that). Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Pop all your veg plus your stock, the garlic and rosemary sprigs into the casserole pot with the lamb. The stock should just cover it. Cover with a lid and pop in the oven for 1 and a half to 2 hours til the lamb is tender.
4. For the mint sauce, chop your mint leaves very finely and in a bowl, mix it up with about a tablespoon of sugar. When it’s a bit like a paste, stir in the vinegar.
5. Feel smug and tuck in.
Queenofthenightbus xx