Food and Drink

Discovering drinks, why not try a new tipple

We all need to drink to survive, but it’s not the only reason we do it. Water is essential to stay healthy, but coffee, lemonade, and gin aren’t quite as necessary. We drink them because we like the taste and because they make us feel good too. Sometimes though, you can get bored of the things you drink. Maybe you always have the same orange juice, tea or wine. If you want to be more adventurous, there are lots of ways you can expand your horizons and try something new. Try some of these ideas to discover some new drinks you’ve never had before but could become firm favourites.

Go Out and Choose at Random

If you’re pretty open to trying new things, there’s no need to hold back. One of the best ways to discover something new is just to go for it and choose something that sounds good. Go out to your favourite pub, bar, cafe or just supermarket and choose something you’ve never had before. It could be a new brand of a drink you know you like, a different wine label you’ve never tried. Or it could be a completely different drink you’ve never had in any form, from the normal to the slightly more unusual.

Read Reviews and Recommendations

Sometimes, you might not be sure of where to start. Perhaps you’re slightly more wary of trying things at random, especially if you don’t want to waste your money. In this case, the best thing to do might be to find reviews and recommendations to guide you. Start by thinking of what you know you like and look for similar things. If you like Saké, you might find a Kikori whisky review that suggests you should try it too. As well as looking online, talk to your friends and maybe even ask an expert. For example, a restaurant’s sommelier (wine waiter) will recommend a good wine for you.

Look for Fun Recipes

Drinks don’t just have to be straight out of the bottle. Mixing and making drinks is a lot of fun too, and they don’t have to be alcoholic cocktails. Try looking for recipes you can try if you want to get creative. Start with an ingredient you like, whether it’s an alcoholic drink or a soft drink. Then look for recipes that contain that ingredient so you can discover new things to drink with it. From those new ingredients you find you like, you can explore even more flavours.

Go on a Tasting Trip

If you feel like a day out, a tasting of some new drinks is a great idea. You can visit a brewery or distillery to taste their drinks, or you can attend an event at a restaurant, bar or cafe. Tasting events give you the chance to try several different drinks and combinations to find what you like. Some of them come with food pairings too, which is useful for discovering what they go well with.

Don’t let yourself get bored of what you drink. Explore what’s available and discover something new.

Summer drinks with Fentimans and giveaway

Although we are coming towards the end of August, I feel like its the middle of the Autumn already. I have today seen rain, sun, thunderstorms and even a hail storm……. it’s August. We should be enjoying the beautiful British sunshine, the long summer evenings sat in the garden with friends sharing a bbq and drinks.

So, in hopes of keeping the summer alive before it really has disappeared for another year, I thought I would cheer myself up with some summery drinks.

Summer Drinks With FentimansAs my regular readers will know, I love a cocktail. More recently with the nation becoming fans of Gin along with my hubby, I have become partial to a gin and tonic of an evening. Having mentioned over on Twitter my need for Gin over the summer holidays. When our wonderful children’s halo’s have slipped one to many times in a day or even an hour.

I find that sometimes the most simple drinks to make are the most delicious and my two summer favourites are so simple, quick and easy. Perfect for making in multiple numbers or even in a large jar drinks dispenser so friends can just get a top up when needed.

Summer Drinks With Fentimans

Fentimans, if you haven’t heard of them……. then where have you been hiding? Make an amazing range of botanically brewed drinks. They started in 1905 with botanically brewed ginger beer delivering it door to door in stone bottles. Over 100 years later they are in glass bottles with so many different flavours to choose from. I love that Fentimans have kept that vintage feel to their bottles and labelling, plus their website also has that vintage style with a look back at their history for everyone to see.

Summer Gin & Rose Lemonade

Fentimans make a lovely Rose Lemonade, light sparkling drink that mixes perfectly with gin. It has become one of my favourite drinks this summer since discovering it earlier in the Spring. It’s so easy get a nice big glass, fill with ice add a measure or two of gin and top the glass up with the Rose Lemonade. Tastes amazing looks amazing and just a little bit too easy to drink.

Summer Gin & Wild English Elderflower

The Wild English Elderflower not only is it a great mixer with gin but it is also fabulous to drink on it’s own. The children love it too. Much like the Gin & Rose Lemonade, grab a glass add some ice, gin and top it up with Fentimans Wild English Elderflower. Making the perfect summer drink.

What do you think to my summer gin drinks?

As the Rose Lemonade has become a regular in my fridge, the lovely team at Fentimans are giving one of my readers the chance to win a case of Rose Lemonade for you to be able to make your very own Summer drinks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C’s:- UK entrants only, must be over 18 years old. Distribution of the prize is the responsibility of Fentimans. Competition closing 19/09/2017. Good luck everyone.

Paleo First Steps – Handling Hunger & Controlling Cravings

Whether you have been brought to the world of paleo in a bid to lose weight or just want to change your lifestyle for the better, there’s one thing that unites you with everyone else who has ever tried it, the first few weeks are tough.

While you will, over time, begin to adapt and feel your body doing much the same, there is no doubt that the initial stage is difficult. You and your body have been used to quick, junk meals. You’ve become accustomed to relying on carbohydrates so you can sustain energy during the day. You’re going to find it difficult to step away from that, especially when eating out and presented with so few paleo-friendly options. For the first few weeks, a lifestyle change such as converting to paleo is tough going.

By far the most difficult part is dealing with hunger and cravings. Some proponents of paleo eating will tell you they don’t feel hunger and they don’t have cravings – this isn’t entirely true. If you maintain the eating plan, then yes, you will get to a stage where the sudden urge to consume something that’s bad for you will fade. However, it’s going to take a little adjustment for your body to be able to realise it doesn’t need those sugary, starchy foods – and it’s during this transitional phase you’re going to be at your most vulnerable. So how can you get through it unscathed, and into the calm waters of paleo as it’s meant to be enjoyed?

Go cold turkey…

If you think you can slowly phase out the sugar and high carb items in your diet, then you’re probably in for a nasty surprise. The longer that you keep your body tuned to this way of eating, the more you’re just dragging out the inevitable. Make the break and make it as soon as you can.

This way, rather than enduring weeks of “phasing it out” misery, you go through a few days and then pass clear the other side. It’s quicker, simpler, and you’ll start to reap the health benefits faster too.

Find some support groups…

Getting your body to adapt to a new sugarless and starch-light life is going to take some getting used to, which is why you shouldn’t be afraid to look for ways to support your endeavors. It might be through using the likes of Lovidia to help control your appetite, talking to friends, or even just joining a few online support groups; anything that makes those tough few weeks feel a little more bearable is well worth it to you.

Start to experiment with recipes…

In the initial phases, you’re going to need to feel excited about food. This helps to prevent you from wishing for what you could have been eating if you’d not tried this whole paleo thing – and that leaves you vulnerable to cravings and bad decisions.

Experiment with different recipes, try new ideas, and keep yourself interested and engaged with the foods that suit a paleo lifestyle. While you might not be able to eat a takeout pizza after work, you can teach yourself to whip up a paleo-friendly dish that will taste just as good, and doing so will distract you from your cravings – perfect!

While the first few weeks might be difficult to manage, get through them and you could see your life and health improved exponentially. So keep on going, even when the going gets tough!

How to cook the perfect crispy belly pork in the microwave….

I love to cook a great Sunday roast for my family, it’s not something we do every week or even once a month. However when I do, it’s always enjoyed by the whole family. Due to my Hubby’s working hours it’s not often we sit down all together as a family to enjoy a meal, thats another reason roast dinners are enjoyed by us all even more.

Panasonic have just realised a new combination microwave which is going to change the way people cook at home. Panasonic have teamed up Chef Tom Kitchen who says you can cook the perfect crispy belly pork in the microwave. As we had a rare Sunday with us all at home, I though I would take a trip to the local butchers and buy some belly pork, before heading to the market to buy some lovely fresh vegetables.

Crispy Belly Pork In The Microwave

Ingredients

  • 1kg Belly pork
  • rock salt
  • seasonal vegetables

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin making criss-cross inserts.
  • Rub the pork belly with rock salt and place on a tray before cling filming and placing in the fridge for 6 hours.
  • Pre-heat the microwave oven to 200°C using the convection setting.
  • Place the pork belly on the wire rack and rest it on the metal tray. Carefully pour boiling water directly over the pork belly and fill the tray with 2″ of water.
  • Place the metal tray carefully in the lower shelf position with the belly on the wire rack in the middle shelf position.
  • Cook on the convection setting at 200°C for 20 mins. Then lower the temperature to 160°C and cook for another 3 hours.
  • If at the end of cooking the skin needs more crisping, cook on the grill setting 1 for a further 5-10 mins.
  • Serve with your choice of seasonal vegetables.

Crispy Belly Pork In The Microwave

Now, my microwave is a very basic one, which is only really used for defrosting the odd thing, cooking baked beans or peas for the children. So I didn’t have a shelf option or the ability to put the pork on a metal tray, so I went without.

Into the microwave it went, set the time and kept my fingers crossed it would be a success.

I have to say I was quite impressed with how my belly pork cooked in the microwave, it was crispy, succulent and delicious to eat. It wasn’t something I have ever thought about doing before and I was honestly a little bit worried about how it would turn out.

Have a look at this video that shows you just how to cook the perfect crispy belly pork in your microwave.

I would love to hear about you favourite ways to cook belly pork.

*This post has been made in collaboration with Panasonic.*