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Category: Fruit

All The Z’s – Part 1 – The Zanzibar Cocktail

So remember how I got really pissy that The A-Z of Cooking didn’t actually deliver a Z?   Well, there’s some snappy aphorism somewhere which is something like “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” or “Sisters are doin’ for themselves” which I can’t quite call to mind now.  But it’s something along the lines of “If life doesn’t give you Z’s stop your snivelling and get out there and make some Z’s.  So I did.  And here is the first in a mini-series of posts on food starting with the letter Z.  

Starting with the Zanzibar Cocktail!

This little beauty comes from the book The Cocktail by Jane Rocca.  

I feel like I always say this but damn!  This is good!

The main players are vanilla rum, passionfruit liqueur, cranberry juice, strawberries, blueberries and lime.  It’s sweet and fresh and the cranberry and lime add a tangy tartness so it is not at all cloying.

I made my vanilla rum, following the recipe here.  I did not add the simple syrup as thought this cocktail was going to be sweet enough.  Also, I had not planned far ahead enough to let the mix steep for 3 months so I also added some vanilla essence to the rum along with the bean.  I used it within about 3 weeks and it was fine.  Probably better if you wait 3 months but that’s for people are a little more organised! 

The recipe calls for crushed ice.  I tried to do it like that but both days I made this were ridiculously hot and the crushed ice was melting before I could even get it out of the blender. So I used ice cubes instead.

The Zanzibar is a glorious colour.  Just gorgeous!

When I was pottering around the internet I found this fabulous old travel poster for Zanzibar.

So I just had to make another so I could have a play…

Zanzibar9

This was a fun cocktail!  Perfect for a summer’s day on a tropical beach?  In Zanzibar maybe?  Or by your side in an inflatable flamingo drink holder while lazing in a pool.  Or just if you feel like something delicious to drink at any time.

Here’s the recipe:

Zanzibar Recipe

And if you want more flamingo’s in your life (and who doesn’t?) you might also want to try the Flamingo Cocktail which you can find here.

Have a great week.  I’ll be back with more Z’s in the not too distant!

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Cheery Cherry Sangria

This post’s name came from the fact that I totally read the name of this recipe incorrectly.  More than once.  I swear, the first four times looked at it I  thought it was called Cheery Sangria.  I even wrote it that way on my “meal” planner.  Cheery Sangria.  It was only when I was writing the ingredients on my shopping list that I paused.  “Oh.  It has cherries in it.  That’s cute, they made a pun.”  Well, it turns out, they didn’t.  But I did.  And we all know how much I love that!  So, technically what we’re drinking today is CHERRY sangria.  But you know what?  It brought a touch of the sun and warmth of Portugal into a totally cold, wet and grey Melbourne winter day so I think Cheery Sangria works just as well!!

Yes, I’m back from holiday.  And determined to make Sangria my drink of choice for this summer. It’s just so good!!! Wine and fruit and a little bit o the hard stuff….it really doesn’t get much better.  Mind you, summer has to come first.  And at the moment, it seems a long time away. 

The best Sangria I had overseas was in Portugal – a teeny cafe in Faro.  Here I am drinking one….

SangriaThe Portuguese,they are a people after my own heart. They have a cherry liqueur called Ginja which is commonly drunk for breakfast.  Speaking of which…when the breakfast buffet contains both Portuguese egg tarts and sparkling wine, I know I have found my people!

Sangria 5

Cheery times!  And cheersy times!!!  But now onto some cherry times.

The cherry sangria I made is pretty hearty.  It has loads of strong, spicy flavours which made it suitable for a cold winter’s day.  I also totally forgot to add the cinnamon stick but that would have only made it even better!  The gorgeous deep red colour is also so pretty and warming.  I also used cherries and sparkling wine to remind me of the Portuguese breakfast drinks of Ginja and cava!

But let’s start with some fruit.  Limes, blood oranges and, of course cherries make for a tasty and colourful combination!

Cherry Sangria2Then add some tequila for a kick, grenadine for sweetness and a teeny taste of Tabasco for spice and muddle the fruit to get some juicy, fruity flavours.  (Pre-muddle is also when the cinnamon should have been added).

Sangria3Top with orange juice and some sparkling red wine…and voila…cherry sangria!

Sangria4Salud!

 

Cherry Sangria
A hearty sangria, perfect for bringing the warmth of Portugal into the coldest winter's day.
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Ingredients
  1. 500ml chilled sparkling shiraz (you can also use non-sparkling shiraz)
  2. 500ml chilled orange juice
  3. 2 tbsp tequila
  4. 2 tbsp grenadine
  5. splash of Tabasco sauce
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. 500g cherries
  8. 2 limes, cut into eigths
  9. 2 blood oranges, sliced
  10. Mint leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the lime wedges and the slices from one of the oranges into your jug. Add half the cherries. Halve the remaning cherries and add them to the rest of the fruit.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, grenadine, tequila and tabasco
  3. Muddle the fruit to express some of the juices.
  4. Add the orange juice and sparkling shiraz and stir well.
  5. Place a slice of orange and a few mint leaves in each glass and pour the sangria over.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Olé!
Adapted from Australian Table Magazine, December 2001 edition
Adapted from Australian Table Magazine, December 2001 edition
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Sangria6

 

Have a great week! 

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Future Classics – Australian Table – August 2001

Remember how I said I had a fab idea for a whole new series of blog posts whilst on holiday?  Here’s the thing, along with hundreds of cookbooks, I also have a huge collection of food magazines, most of which sit on shelves in my back room doing nothing.  Once a year, I grab a handful of the oldest, take them on holiday and cut out the recipes I want, throw away the magazines, and cook the recipes over the next 12 months. 

Vodka With Crushed Limes2

Crispy Duck with Green Pancakes2jpg

Currently I have a few mags from the late 1990’s but they are most from the early noughties onwards.  So they are not quite but well on their way to becoming formally vintage.  My thought on holiday was….”These are the things that will shortly become the vintage recipes of the future.  So, instead of ripping them up, I’m going to start cooking from them.  Once a month, I’ll revisit one of these magazines, cook a thing or two and decide if these are future vintage classics – or just junk taking up space in my backroom.  Here are the early years to 2013:

Magazines1And here are 2014 to the present day:

Magazines2so, to start, we are stepping back in time 15 years to the August 2001 edition of Australian Table:

Australian Table August 2001 I also thought it might be fun to revisit some of the content of these magazine as well as the recipes, so without further ado, here are the:

Flavours of The Month – August 2001

This section spoke about what was in season.  I thought I might give it a little Retro Food For Modern Times Twist!

Sweet Potatoes

Huh….my plan here was to insert a recipe or two from the blog.  However, apparently I have made nothing with sweet potatoes. I’ll link to some recipes  below.

Baby Bok Choy

Or anything with Bok choky.  What have I been cooking in for the last four years? 

Cumquats

Hooray – Finally!

Click here for my Four Kumquat Canapés For Four Food Heroes recipes

Pineapples

Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer and MC Cocktail

Pineapple soufflé

Movies of The Month

Oh man.  August 2001 was a GOOD month for movies!  I would quite happily watch Bridget Jones’s Diary or Along Came a Spider today.  I don’t recall ever seeing Evolution but I am definitely putting that to rights, pronto.  I know it’s probably a little late with the picky picky however, Australian Table, I would like to point out that the chocolate-voiced, sloe-eyed maverick investigator is actually called Alex Cross.  The ACTOR is Morgan Freeman.  And what a difference a letter makes.  Slow-eyed which I typed at least a dozen times in the above paragraph makes you sound like you should be taking special classes.  Sloe-eyed…hello sexy!

Movies - August 2001

Music Of The Month

Well, I guess you can’t have it all.  I listened to none of these at the time nor do i have any real desire to seek out any of these.  Maybe the Elvis Costello.

Music August 2001

The Food

I chose two recipes from an article on fool proof party food starting with:

Vodka with Crushed Limes

Australian Table August 2001These are my flavours…this was so good!  Tangy, sweet delicious!

Crispy Duck with Green Scallion Pancakes

Crispy Duck with Green PancakesNo, these are my flavours!  Spicy, seductive!

Australian Table August 20012

Berry and Rhubarb Crumble

This recipe came from an advertisement for a 3 in one hand blender.  Crumble is pretty much already a classic but the addition of rhubarb instead of the more traditional apple?  Genius!

Rhubarb and Berry CrumbleRhubarb and Berry Crumble Recipe

Everything I made from this mag was SUPER! My view is that this is a definite future vintage classic!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk down memory lane!  I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a mag from September 2001.  I hope it’s as good as this one!

Have a great week!

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Political Partini

Well, the Brits have Brexited; here in Australia we go to the polls this weekend (Lord only knows why – every time we actually elect a Prime Minister internal party political infighting deposes them and puts someone else in the top job!) I’m sure my friends in the U.S. are sick to the back teeth with Trump and Hilary and there’s still a long way to go on that one….

Political Partini

Most of these campaigns are being run on scare tactics and fear mongering  so why not kill the bad vibes with a super tasty cocktail.  I’m in…how about you? 

And oh boy do I have an absolutely beauty for you!  The Political Partini!  It’s not only delicious but punny which means I love it even more!!!!  And what’s not to love?  It’s pear infused vodka, traditionally Grey Goose La Poire but I made my own, Amaretto which I absolutely adore, simple syrup and lemon juice. So, it’s filled with fruit and nuts kind of healthy…in a boozy sort of way!

Polical Partini2This is so, so good.  I only wish I had made more pear-infused vodka so I could make it my election night tipple! Do people in other countries have election night parties?  It’s kind of a thing here.  My parents used to always have / or go to one.  If I had not just started a new job I may have thought more about it and organised something for the weekend but that’s totally not happening…maybe I’ll tag along to my parents’ party….oh Lord really?  Is this what my life has come to?

Well, here’s an ode to something I most likely will not be this Saturday from one of my favourite singers Dan Kelly.  It does contain some of the naughty words  so, if you are at work or there are kiddies about, you might want to delay playing it. 

The Political Partini was created for the US 2008 election campaign but is delicious enough to celebrate or commiserate any election wins or losses.  Or indeed anything.

OMG…it’s so good!!!!  And that’s coming from someone who is not overly fond of pears. 

Political Partini3

Politcal Partini: The Recipe

Political Partini
A super delicious cocktail made from pear infused vodka, amaretto and lemon - how could it be bad?
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For the pear infused vodka
  1. 1 pear
  2. 250 ml vodka
For the cocktail
  1. 2 parts pear infused vodka
  2. ¼ parts Amaretto
  3. ¼ parts simple syrup
  4. ½ part lemon juice
  5. Pear slice for garnish
For the pear infused vodka
  1. Wash and chop up the pear.
  2. Place in mason jar.
  3. Cover with vodka. Close the jar and keep in a dark place for a week or so, shaking daily.
  4. Before use, strain through cheesecloth to remove all the pear particles.
For the Cocktail
  1. Place all ingredients, except the pear slice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake, baby, shake until the outside of the shaker is frosted.
  3. Strain into martini glass and garnish with a pear slice.
Adapted from Gayot.com
Adapted from Gayot.com
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Have a great week!

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Speedy Soufflé for Valentines Day

I made my very first soufflé.  For you, for Valentine’s Day.  

And it’s filled with passion – fruit.

Passionfruit Souffle 3Passionfruit Souffle 9

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to make a soufflé.  I have some vague childhood memories of eating cheese soufflés and them not being very nice.  Then again, I ate nothing for two years except vegemite sandwiches so my judgement was possibly awry.  But those memories and the soufflé’s reputation for being notoriously temperamental might be the reasons I have stayed away.  After all, the soufflé come with more rules and regulations than the driving handbook:

  • Don’t beat the eggs too little
  • Don’t beat the eggs too much
  • Don’t fold the egg whites too roughly
  • Don’t open the door of the oven
  • Don’t make loud noises or sudden movements
  • Don’t look it directly in the eyes

Etc, etc.

What they don’t tell you is this.  You can have a decent souffle cooked from scratch and on the table in less than 20 minutes. So let’s get started. 

Butter and sugar coat your soufflé dish.  When you butter your dish, brush the butter from the middle of the dish to the rim and then up the sides of the dish.  This creates tiny channels that helps the soufflé to rise.   Seriously this works.

Passionfruit Souffle

When you are ready to start mix your egg yolk, half the sugar and the passionfruit juice in a bowl until light and creamy. 

Then mix your egg white and sugar to soft peaks.

Passionfruit Souffle 5Then fold the yolk into the white.  Gently does it here.  A little streaky is fine.  Then pour into your prepared soufflé dish.

Passionfruit Souffle 6

Now, into a preheated oven for 12 minutes.  So we’re not tempted to open that door and ruin our “ahem” hard work, let’s talk about romance.  After all it is Valentine’s Day.

The last few Valentine’s Days I have given you some horror stories.  Not so this year.  This year we are talking about two very special romantic moments in my life. 

Let’s start with my first ever boyfriend.  We started going out when I was 15 and he was 16.  There was a local park we used to frequent to get away from prying parental eyes and ears.  So, one Sunday afternoon we rode our bikes down to said park and headed towards our favourite bench to have a kiss and a cuddle.  We had not been there long when, from down the hill we heard some children screaming “Help, help, Angus has fallen in the lake”. 

Passionfruit Souffle 7Well, he took off down that hill, and jumped in, fully clothed  to save what we assumed was a drowning child.  Turned out Angus was a labrador puppy who had been quite happy paddling around in the shallows and had not even noticed the distress of his young owners. Semi disaster averted and there was a little swoony dripping wet with tight tshirt moment.  Made only more adorable by the squirming puppy in his arms!

Young love.  My hero.  And a puppy.  Life did not get much better!

Passionfruit Souffle 8So move forward…..a few decades years to the fussiest eater in the world.  A few weeks ago we were walking the dogs by the lake and noticed that one of the ducks had become entangled in some fishing wire and was only able to move in a tiny circle.  And cue the second Mr Darcy moment of my life. 

Passionfruit Souffle 11

Not only did he jump into the lake (it was only calf deep so no wet shirt here) but he unwound the fishing line from the duck’s leg then we noticed there was also some line knotted around it’s beak and neck. It was really knotted and tight he ended up having to bite through it!  It was both amazing and kind of gross.  That lake water is pretty dirty and I was expecting him to get sick from swallowing even a little bit of it. (He didn’t). 

These moments may not have involved hearts and roses but for me were two of the most generous spirited and selfless acts I have seen.  And that is true romance!

Passionfruit Souffle 10

OK, our 12 minutes is up and the soufflé is out of the oven.  Quickly dust with icing sugar, add a  dollop of passionfruit pulp over the top and serve immediately.  Your souffé will start to deflate from the time it comes out of the oven so speed is of the essence here.

Passionfruit Souffle 9

Have a wonderful Valentine’s day!  And don’t forget to spare a moment to moment to say thank you to the everyday heroes in your life, the people saving dogs and ducks and generally making the world a better place.  If you have a spare 15 minutes  why not make them a soufflé?

And then tell me when the love heart lollies of our childhood took a step into the digital age?  Not only are they now using Twitter….

Passionfruit Souffle 12

But also Tinder!

Passionfruit Souffle 13

Swipe left on that!

Passionfruit Souffle
Serves 2
A delicious passionfruit souffle that can be on the table in about 15 minutes!
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Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 egg, separated
  2. 21/2 tbsp caster sugar
  3. 1 can passionfruit in syrup, you will need 1 tbsp of syrup
  4. icing sugar to dust
  5. melted butter to grease the souffle dish
  6. 1 8cm souffle dish
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Butter the souffle dish, spreading the butter from the middle of the dish up the sides. Scatter a tablespoon of sugar into the dish tipping it all around the insides until it is entirely covered.
  3. Strain the passionfruit syrup into a dish, you will need a tablesppon of liquid. Reserve the seeds for later.
  4. Place the syrup with the egg yolk and half a tablespoon of sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric beater until light and creamy.
  5. In a separate bowl beat the egg white to soft peaks, then add the remaining sugar, a little at a time until the mixture is glossy and holding it's shape.
  6. Using a metal spoon, fold the whites into the yolks. A light touch is needed here, you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. It is better to have the mixture a bit streaky than to have it over mixed!
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish to just below the rim then run your thumb around the rim to totally clear it of any sugar, souffle mix etc that will prevent rising.
  8. Pop the dish onto a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes.
  9. Do not open the oven during this time.
  10. Remove from oven. They are done when a finger touched lightly on the top comes away clean but there is still a slight wobble in the middle.
  11. Quickly dust with icing sugar and add a dollop of the reserved passionfruit seeds and some additional syrup.
  12. Serve immediately.
Adapted from taste.com.au
Adapted from taste.com.au
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

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