Rose and Pistachio Granola

Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

June has arrived, it is officially summer here in the UK. The sky is blue today and with the blue sky comes bright light that highlights the many shades of green that make up our current view. Left is green, to my right is green, green is my happy colour. I can here the lambs calling to their mother’s, the birds tweeting to each other, and if we are lucky, the tiny squeaking of the newest members to the canal – 7 little signets. Our little floating home is like an observatory into the wonders of nature. Life is good.

Warleigh Weir // roughmeasures.com

Nettle // roughmeasures.comRose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.comRose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

I bring this post with a huge dollop of excitement! Whilst this was slowly roasting in the oven, I could smell the faint, sweet wafts of gentle rose, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I am very much pro granola, remember this awesome oat-y bowl? Or this one? As I am sure you are aware, dear readers, I am passionate about using organic produce. My recent experience of a night with other organic food lovers only cemented what an important thing it is. Wake Up To Organic has already launched, in partnership with Soil Association and The Organic Trade Board, and is gearing up for a nationwide event on June 15th 2016. Independent retailers across the UK will be hosting #‎WakeuptoOrganic‬ events serving up breakfasts, hosting blogger demos, and visits with visits from local suppliers and producers. I was keen to get on board and be part of encouraging people to eat more organic produce. Wild Oats are taking part and you can find all the ingredients to this recipe in the store. You can also pick up a recipe card to take home with you, so you can get making this awesome granola. Head over there on June 15th to see how they’re spreading the organic love!

Eating organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. How about swapping your daily latte for a packet of organic flour? Ditch that weekly takeaway and go and stock up on a basket of organic veg. This rose and pistachio granola recipe is low cost, and will make satisfy many a grumbling belly. Slow roasted oats, nuts and rose petals, coming to a bowl near you! Happy organic summer pals!

Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

Rose and Pistachio Granola
 
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A delicate, organic, summery granola recipe for Wake Up To Organic.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Granola
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (360g) organic oats
  • ½ cup (75g) organic almonds - roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup (50g) organic sunflower seeds
  • Small handful organic dried rose petals - ripped/ chopped in half
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground ginger
  • ¾ cup (180ml) organic coconut oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) organic maple syrup
  • t teaspoon organic rose water
  • ¾ cup (110g) organic pistachios
Method
  1. Pre-heat your oven to Gas 2 / 150 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof / parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add your oats, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, rose petals and ground ginger. Mix it well with a large spoon.
  3. Heat a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and rose water. Whisk it and take it off the heat as soon as the coconut oil has melted.
  4. Pour the oil mix over the oat mix. Stir it well with your spoon and make sure the liquid coats all the oats.
  5. Spread the granola mix evenly onto your baking tray.
  6. Bake for 30 mins, stirring it after 20 minutes.
  7. After 30 mins, add in your pistachios, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot Bourguignon

There has been an awful lot in the media recently about the healthy/’clean’ eating craze. Foodies and cookbook authors have been getting a lot of bad press. The thought is that the ‘clean-eating’ phase is getting taken to the extreme by some people, resulting in eating disorders. The media deems it necessary to target the current top ‘wellness’ stars and pick faults. It saddens me that as a nation we always need to pick a target and point the blame at someone. Some of the people who are being targeted are some of my main inspiration sources. They do not tell you what will work for you, just what has worked for them. They believe in a balanced lifestyle and use natural ingredients and healthy fats. If that encourages someone to cook a homemade meal instead of a ready meal then I think that’s fantastic. I have never been on a diet in my life, and don’t intend to. As soon as I tell myself I can’t have something, it is all I want. Moderation is key. I listen to my body, some days it needs extra carbs, some days it’s happy on salads. My plant based diet, and regular exercise, makes me feel good, in my mind and in my body. I also love cake. Life is about balance. As Michael Pollan said; Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.comBeetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

If you are a regular here, you’ll know my love for beets is high. Those pure purple hearts with their bright pink juice. I love it in stews, salads and this awesome hummus, yeah, beets are my bag! We eat salads a lot here in our floating abode. We pretty much have the same 5 salads on rotation every week. It’s easy for dinner and sometimes we are both too exhausted after work to cook anything different. Every now and again, I fuel us up with a hearty stew, something a bit comforting after a long day at work.

I was recently sent this gorgeous Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish from Steamer Trading. The dish is from their Vida Brazil range. I’m totally crushing on the colour – Marseille Blue – it reminds me of roaming French hypermarkets as a child and gazing at all their kitchenware. Steamer Trading Cookshop have a vast range of kitchen cookwear. Set up in 1985 by Liz and David, they opened their first store in Sussex. Now with multiple stores across the UK, they’re firmly established as one of the nation’s favourite cookshops. I’ve currently got my eye on a shallower casserole dish to match the one I made this stew in. I need more baking tins and adore this cute heart shaped one! They also offer free delivery on orders over £45 – all the more reason to stock up your kitchen supplies.

This Beetroot Bourguignon is an adaption of a lovely recipe from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones.

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see my daily eats!

Beetroot Bourguignon
 
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A hearty stew for any season. Vegan.
Rough Measures:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Glug of extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tablespoons coconut oil)
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 large beetroot
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • S+P
  • OPTIONAL - 150ml red wine
Method
  1. First, finely dice your shallots.
  2. Then, peel and roughly chop your beets, carrots and sweet potato.
  3. Place a casserole dish on a medium heat on the hob, add in a glug of oil and throw in the shallots. Stir well to coat them. Add in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the onions for 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Now, add all your vegetables, stock, tomato puree, harissa and pearl barley. If using, add in the wine.
  6. Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Enjoy with some crusty bread.
 

I’m adding my recipe to these awesome link ups;

#recipeoftheweek

#extraveg

Steamer Trading Cookshop sent me the Le Creuset pan you can see in my images. I was not paid to write a positive review, and of course, all opinions are entirely my own. Happy cooking!

Asian Kale Salad with Ginger Dressing

I have had a fantastic, yet mad, couple of weeks. The first of which saw my mum and I travelling up to London to attend the Soil Association BOOM Awards, where I (and this dear blog of mine) were shortlisted for the Best Food Blog award. I was in total shock when I found out I had made it into the top ten, with 9 other fantastic foodies. It was a fantastic event, taking place in Borough Market and a huge amount of effort had gone into making the place a foodies dream. When we arrived we found out that I was in fact down to the final 3, which was incredible! I was so honoured that my little blog had made it to the awards with so many other amazing organic brands. Huge congratulations go out to everyone nominated, and of course to all the winners!

This weekend saw me heading up to Birmingham for the FLEA Enterprises #BlogCamp2016. Blog Camp is like a conference / learning day for food / parent / interiors and travel bloggers. There were about 200 of us there, including around 15 of my food blogger friends. I have met so many wonderful people because of Rough Measures, and it was fab to catch up with some of them. The day was filled with talks on food styling, Pinterest tips, stories from some top bloggers, writing workshops and more. I have come away with a head full of information!

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.comAsian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com

Last week saw some sunshine, and I got all excited and wanted to make a salad with flavours that take me back to my time spent travelling Asia. Something like this Asian kale salad, with my favourite ginger dressing. The strong tastes of ginger and umami flavours make my mouth and belly happy. The crunch of the massaged kale and carrot keep the textures strong here. I haven’t enjoyed a salad this much since this one I made last year! Enjoy pals, and stay dry (apparently the British summer lasted all of 3 days!)

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.comAsian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com

 

Asian Kale Salad with Ginger Dressing
 
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A crunchy, citrus infused salad which brings me back fond memories of my travels.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • Big bunch of kale - washed, de-stemmed and leaves loosely shredded
  • ¼ red cabbage - shredded
  • 1 carrot - peeled into thin strips
  • 2 spring onions - finely chopped
  • Zest 1 lime
  • Handful peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • A thumb sized piece of ginger - peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup tamari (sub for soy sauce if you don't have tamari)
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
Method
  1. Get all your ingredients ready.
  2. Start with the dressing; in a large bowl, add the grated ginger and garlic.
  3. Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, give it a really good whisk. Pour the dressing into a sealable jar, leaving around 50ml left in the bowl.
  4. Add your shredded kale into the bowl. Using your fingers, massage the kale into the dressing. Do this for a couple of minutes until all the kale has been coated.
  5. Throw the cabbage, carrot and spring onions into the bowl, and mix with your hands.
  6. Toss through the peanuts and sesame seeds, serve into a large salad bowl.
  7. Add more dressing if you wish!
Notes
The measurements for the dressing should make around 500ml - it will last for a few weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. Shake well before use.
 

Want to Pin this recipe for later? Use the image below – you can follow me on Pinterest too!

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com
Some other Asian inspired salads that I’m loving are;

Warm Japanese Black Noodle Salad from Natural Kitchen Adventures

Asian Chopped Kale Salad from Cookie and Kate

Healthy Kale + Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Curry Vinaigrette from The Clever Carrot

Carrot and Moong Bean Salad from Botanical Kitchen

Asian Beetroot Salad from Bunny Kitchen

A Topic Close To My Heart – RSPO GoodBadPalmOil Campaign

I wanted to write a post about a topic that it is incredibly close to my heart. The use of ‘bad’ palm oil. 2 years ago we travelled around South East Asia, and spent 3 weeks in Borneo. I knew about the negative impact of palm oil plantations before we went, but spending 3 weeks there really made it hit home how damaging it is to the rainforest and it’s inhabitants. We spent 8 hours on a coach, and all we passed for about 5 of those 8 hours was palm oil plantations. We spent some time in a rainforest conservation area, and sat for hours watching a female Orangutan in a fruit tree, just 2 metres away from us. We had lengthy chats with the staff at the conservation area, who’s passion for their country was breathtaking. ‘Bad’ palm oil is a not only a disaster for the environment, but for animals and people too. We came away from it with a serious passion and commitment to avoid ‘bad’ palm oil.

Orangutan // roughmeasures.com

Orangutan // roughmeasures.com

Borneo // roughmeasures.com

If you’ve ever looked into what’s in your food, how it was made and where it has come from (which I’m sure lot’s of you do), you’ve probably heard about palm oil being bad for the environment. I try my best to avoid it but product labelling is sneaky and confusing sometimes. Taking care in products you buy, such as free range eggs, organic produce etc, palm oil should be high on our lists of ‘warning’ ingredients.

That’s why I was stoked to get involved with RSPO and their new campaign that has just launched. We want to let people know that we do have a choice between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ palm oil. Artist Jessica Dance has created cute knitted foods which star in three short films, specially designed to raise awareness and encourage us all to share this important campaign to let the industry know that they need to take action, and take it now.

You’ll find palm oil in more than 50% of all the food you buy and it can be found in everyday items like margarines, biscuits, breads, cereals, noodles and even shampoo, lipsticks and detergents.

image30-700x366

If you’re thinking ‘what can I do?’, fear not, as this is where GOOD palm oil comes in. Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) is now being produced to the strictest of standards. It helps to protect forests and wildlife, meaning no more destroying Orangutan homes, no more chopping down the rainforest, and it secures an income for farmers by making more palm oil from less land.

However, at the minute, good palm oil only accounts for 21% of all palm oil consumed across the planet, so that’s why I want to share the story of #GoodPalmOil and make sure that brands and retailers know that we, as consumers, care about this issue strongly and want them to take action.

If you want to get involved and help support the production of good palm oil, then you can spread the word and share this campaign around with your pals and families.

The campaign is being run by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), they are a not-for- profit association that champions sustainable palm oil. By 2020, RSPO wants ALL palm oil being used in our food to be sustainably sourced but we can only make that happen if you join me in putting pressure on the industry and letting them know we care. Let’s make this happen!

Find out more here

I was asked to take part in this campaign. This is a topic extremely close to my heart.

Mango Mint Smoothie And The Froothie Optimum G2.1

Wow, what a weekend. I am sat here at 8pm with all the windows and doors wide open and I’m still too hot. A weekend of sunshine and warm weather hit the UK this weekend. We will probably look back in September and call these 3 days ‘Summer’.

But hot it was and we spent a lovely few days down in Dorset. We have promised each other that we’d try to escape on some camping trips more often this year, as we will both have weekends free all summer (for the first time in 8 years!) Just 2 days and nights in a different setting, can feel like so much longer. We explored the coast line, snoozed on the beach, ate far too much halloumi on our bbq and just chilled out. It was fab and I hope we have many more weekends like this one.

A few weeks back I received something I have been lusting after for a while – A Froothie Optimum G2.1 Blender. A hunk of a machine that can blitz in seconds, pulverise stones to mere dust, make hot soup, and tackle any nut butter. With a mega 2,611 watt motor (with a 10 year warranty) the Froothie Optimum is something every kitchen needs. I have been waiting to use it for weeks, and now the time had come. It took mere seconds to blitz all my mix into the smoothest of smoothies. It has 6 pre-programmed settings; Fruit, Sorbet, Grind, Nut Milk, Soup, Sauces and you can also programme it manually.  The Froothie Optimum G2.1 is currently on offer at £429 (RRP £599), it is a big investment, but one that I wholeheartedly believe is worth it, and it is something I have been using at least once a day.

It comes with a nut milk bag, a tamper tool to push your ingredients down if needed, and a 104 page recipe book. What I love is that the jug is BPA free, and to clean it, you just add some water and a drop of washing up liquid into your jug, turn it on, and voila, clean jug! The jug just sits on top, no faffy time wasted trying to get it to click into place. I love the LED touch screen display too. There is even an in built sensor which automatically turns the appliance off if it overheats. It is even more powerful than a Vitamix, just see the specs below!

Mango Mint Smoothie // roughmeasures.comScreen Shot 2016-05-09 at 08.13.37

We got back after a stuffy hour in the car and I know I needed something refreshing and summery! This blend has a sneaky hidden ingredient – chickpeas! Now don’t baulk and think ‘chickpeas in a smoothie, say what?!’ Adding chickpeas into your smoothie will mean it satisfies your belly for longer. It well help aid any mid morning or afternoon hunger pangs! You can’t taste them once they’re blended, trust me on this one guys!

Mango Mint Smoothie
 
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A refreshing, thirst quenching smoothie.
Rough Measures:
Serves: 2 glasses
Ingredients
  • ½ mango (peeled)
  • ½ cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed well)
  • 300ml coconut water (normal water is fine if you don’t have coconut water handy)
  • handful mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime.
Method
  1. Add everything to the blender and blitz until smooth
Notes
I added a big bunch of mint to the mix, ginger would also work really well!
 

Mango Mint Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

Mango Mint Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

For more info on the Froothie Optimum G2.1 you can visit the Froothie website and have a browse.

Find more smoothie ideas here.

Read more fab reviews from some fellow bloggers:

Thinly Spread

Planet Veggie

From Plate to Pen

Disclaimer: Expect to see lots more Froothie Optimum G2.1 posts as I am now an Ambassador for Froothie.  Any links to their site in this post or future posts are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission, it won’t cost you any extra though. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support Rough Measures! 

 

Gingernuts and Hungry Healthy Happy Book Review

Hey friends! How’s things? I hope you all had a nice long May Bank holiday weekend? Whatch’all been up to? We’ve had a hectic couple of weeks, with only one day off in 14 *burys head in hands* and I feel like I’ve been buzzing about like all the spring bees, without much chance to catch a breath. But today was a bank holiday and I lapped up some fresh air in Bristol with my mum, saw some food demos as part of Bristol Food Connections and generally enjoyed being outside instead of behind a PC all day!

This weeks post is all about this AWESOME book from the ever so lovely Dannii of Hungry Healthy Happy. I ‘met’ Dannii via Facebook and she has been there for help and advice from day one. Dannii’s blog started as a quest to change her unhealthy diet due to health problems. She started cooking from scratch using fresh produce, exercising more and documenting it. Dannii lost almost 100 pounds (!!!) and has maintained a healthier lifestyle ever since. Her new book, Hungry Healthy Happy, is full of delicious healthier versions of some classic recipes. From pancakes, to apple nachos to ice lollies, this book has all events covered. Each recipe has the measurements in grams, ounces and cups – which I love because my scales aren’t always working! The book includes meat dishes, but there’s a great selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes. Every recipe contains a break down of nutrients and there is a photo per recipe – something which seems to get missed in a lot of recipe books. A photo really does speak a thousand words!

I was sent Hungry Healthy Happy a few months back and have already made the avocado hummus, raw carrot cake bites, baked beans and gingernuts (see below!) Dannii’s recipes are easy to follow and use ingredients you can find at any basic supermarket. If you are looking for a new book to get you inspired then go out and buy it now.

I decided to make the Gingernut biscuits because a day without a biscuit is a sad day. They come together so quickly and are a great afternoon treat.

Gingernuts and Hungry Healthy Happy Review // roughmeasures.com
Gingernuts and Hungry Healthy Happy Review // roughmeasures.com
Gingernuts and Hungry Healthy Happy Review // roughmeasures.com Gingernuts and Hungry Healthy Happy Review // roughmeasures.com

Gingernuts and Hungry Healthy Happy Book Review
 
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A Gingernut recipe with actual nuts. Packed full of heart-healthy fats and protein. Vegan and Gluten Free!
Rough Measures:
Cuisine: Snack
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 70g unsalted cashews
  • 70g whole almonds
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Method
  1. First up, preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
  2. In a food processor, mix the nuts and coconut until the resemble a floury consistency. Tip the mix into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Into the bowl, add the salt, baking powder, ginger, lemon juice and maple syrup. Mix it well until it forms a dough.
  4. With your hands, roll the dough into balls, it should make about 8. Place on a lined baking tray.
  5. Press the palm of your hand down onto the balls to flatten out, you want them about 3 inches wide.
  6. Put your tray into the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden.
  7. Leave to cool for 5 mins before transferring your gingernuts onto a cooling rack, make sure you let them cool fully before tucking in!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 135kcal Fat: 10.3g Carbohydrates: 5.7g
Here’s some other recipes and reviews from Dannii’s lovely book.

Spiced Lentil Pancake Wraps from Tin and Thyme

Breakfast Burritos from Farmers Girl Kitchen

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from From Plate to Pen

Review from It’s Not Easy Being Greedy

Healthy Noodle Pots from Ren Behan

Pesach Gingernuts from Family Friends Food

Review from Munchies and Munchkins

Baked Beans from Fab Food For All

Review from Coriander Queen

 

Thanks to Dannii and her publishers, Jacqui Small, for the advance copy of this book. Recipe by Dannii Martin.
Hungry Healthy Happy – RRP £20 Available from all good bookstores (support your local bookstores!)
I was not paid to review this book, and, as always, all opinions are entirely my own.

Turmeric Hummus

A quick post and this lovely turmeric hummus recipe for you lot today. We are having more and more issues with our internet, and it’s proving difficult for me to have access to upload my recipes online. Boat life is good, and it’s good to be away from the World Wide Web for a wee bit. So I’m sat here on my lunch-break getting this uploaded for you. I hope your week is filled with sunshine and good food!

Turmeric-Hummus1

Turmeric-Hummus4

Turmeric-Hummus2

 

Find more hummus recipes here

Like this recipe, you can find more over on Pinterest!

Turmeric Hummus
 
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A fragrant version of an all time classic. Vegan and Gluten Free.
Rough Measures:
Ingredients
  • 2 tins chickpeas (keep 2 tablespoons to one side)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (optional)
Method
  1. Drain the chickpeas (see notes).
  2. Add everything to a food processor and blend for 1-3 mins. Add more oil if needed.
  3. I like to leave some whole chickpeas to the side to stir in after.
Notes
I like to keep hold of the chickpea liquid (aquafaba) and use it as an egg replacer in pancakes, waffles and baked treats! Keep it in a jar in the fridge and it will be good for 3 days.
 

 

 

Beetroot and Orange Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing

Hey there friends. How is it April already?! It’s been a while. I know things have been a little very quiet around here lately, so I’m sorry for that. I needed to take a little time out, a step back from the laptop, my camera and even cooking for a while.

The truth is, I just wasn’t feeling it. The flame inside me that is my passion for food just wasn’t burning very bright. In fact, I felt pretty burnt out. I can’t really put my finger on what it was, but I knew I didn’t want to force recipes, and force false words on this little space of mine. I just needed to step back for a bit and let my mind have a bit of a break. Trying to juggle work, blogging and social time has proven trickier than I thought (props to every single person who creates a blog or just generally excels at life!)

Last week I was feeling it a bit more, back in a creative mode, with a long weekend ahead I set about planning some cooking, some for here, and some just for the love of food, no pressure to plate it up nicely, take the perfect shot. Some food just purely for eating (imagine that!!)

Beetroot and Orange Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing // roughmeasures.com

Beet Orange Salad // roughmeasures.com

A few weeks back we went to this incredible little deli-café place in Kendal called Baba Ganoush. A small little oasis of gorgeous salads, soups and cakes. Hungry after a morning of climbing, we hid from the torrential rain and grabbed ourselves a veggie box from the counter.

This beetroot and orange salad is a twist on something I tried there. Deep earthy tones from the beetroot are perfectly matched with some sweet, tangy oranges. Drizzled with this creamy mint dressing which I am loving so much right now, I want it on everything! Using cashew butter for the creaminess means added protein too. Win win!

Beetroot and Orange Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot and Orange Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing // roughmeasures.com

 

Beetroot and Orange Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing
 
Prep time
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A vibrant citrus dish with a delicious minty dressing. Vegan and Gluten Free - yay!
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 persons
Ingredients
  • 3 – 5 large beetroots (peeled)
  • 2 large oranges
  • For the dressing
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 50ml water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to Gas 5 / 190 C
  2. Chop the peeled beetroot into 1cm cubes.
  3. Place on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil and roast for 35-45 mins, until soft. (they won’t go super soft, but retain a little bite which is what we want here)
  4. Peel the oranges (I use a shard knife to do this as it helps remove extra pith). Chop the orange into cubes and then into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Once the beetroot is done, add it into the bowl with the oranges. Give it a good mix.
  6. To make the dressing – add all ingredients into a jug, use a stick blender to blend it up. Add a little more water if it’s too thick.
  7. Serve on a plate and drizzle with dressing.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail

Something about spring gets me all excited inside. Butterflies in my belly at the first signs of daffodils. Giddy when I see the new bunnies and lambs in the fields. Snowdrops twinkling along the canal brings a warmth to my heart. All these signs that we are getting out of our long, wet winter, and soon, we will be basking in the great British sunshine. Even the wild garlic is making an appearance.

This week, we had an unusually mild, spring evening. I was cycling home and heard a pop. I’d hit a sharp stone and my tyre had punctured. I was 3 miles from the boat and cursed myself for not having a spare. So I walked back, dragging the bike along, taking in the mild evening and the pink skies. I cycle this route every day, but my head is down and I’m focussed on the pedalling. Walking a route brings you the time to take in the surroundings and truly experience the nature and the joys of Spring.

Markets are now brimming with their spring produce, which gets me jumping for joy, especially when I see those juicy Sicilian Oranges (blood oranges to you and me). Bursting with juices and flavours, these beauties are packed full of Vitamin C, fibre and potassium, woop! Another of my favourite fruits to get me excited for summer is grapefruits. Growing up, I watched my mum eat her way through a lot of these sharp, strange fruits, vowing that I would never like them. Fast forward 10 years and I can’t get enough of them.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

By the time I eventually got home on this mild evening, I was in need of something to drink, involving alcohol and to celebrate the appearance of Spring. A long day at work with an even longer commute makes for one thirsty Sus! I headed over to thebar.com to gather some inspiration. thebar.com is a fab website full of tasty cocktails and drinks, whether you like something simple and classy, or something with a bit of fizz, thebar.com has it all. You just type what ingredients or spirits you’ve got into the site, and they’ll find you a drink to match, perfect! There’s some amazing Easter themed ones on there, like this decadent Baileys Egg Nog and I especially like this Marmalade Collins. I mixed this Spring Sunshine Cocktail together and sat on the roof of the boat, enjoying the last few moments of daylight.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail (v) (gf)

Makes 2

INGREDIENTS:

25-50ml gin (I like Tanqueray)
Juice of 4 blood oranges
Juice of 2 pink grapefruits
A couple of sprigs of thyme
2-4 tablespoons coconut or maple sugar (to frost the glasses)

For the Thyme Syrup

250ml water
125g coconut sugar
1 bunch thyme

METHOD

The day before; In a pan, dissolve the sugar into the water. Bring it to a bubble and add the thyme. Leave it to steep overnight.

Strain the thyme mix through a sieve, into a jar and pop into the fridge. This will keep for a while.

Zest all the fruit, and add it to a bowl with some coconut sugar. Set to one side.

Slice all the fruit in half, and squeeze out the juice into a jug. I do this through a sieve to catch the seeds.

Get your cocktail glasses, dip the rips into water, and then dip them into the sugar/zest mix to garnish the rim.

Pour the gin into the glasses, then 25ml of the thyme syrup, followed by the fresh juice. Give it a good stir. Sit back, relax. Happy Spring.

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

Spring Sunshine Cocktail // roughmeasures.com

This post was sponsored by thebar.com – Many thanks to them for their sponsorship which enables Rough Measures to keep going! All opinions are my own. Please drink responsibly.

How are you spending your Easter? Do let me know, you can keep find daily updates on my Facebook and Instagram!

Here’s some other fab cocktails from my foodie friends;

Smirnoff Marmalade Collins from Hedgecombers

English Garden Cocktail from The Veg Space

Tall Coconut Cocktail from Hungry Healthy Happy

Easy Bloody Mary from The Petite Cook

Dorset Foodies Trip with holidaycottages.co.uk

Last weekend I had the joy of spending the weekend in Dorset. I was invited, along with 12 other fab bloggers, on a Dorset Foodies Trip, courtesy of holidaycottages.co.uk in one of their fabulous properties – Ranmoor. A weekend of food, sampling local produce, and tours of the local farms were on the cards. I couldn’t wait.

I headed down to Dorset with Chris from Thinly Spread, Kate from Veggie Desserts, and Helen from Fuss Free Flavours. It was good to break the ice with a journey before arriving at the house. We arrived at lunchtime to find we were some of the first ones there. Our hosts Emma and Sarah showed us to our rooms, and we dumped our bags and got onto exploring the house.

The house was vast, surrounded by open fields, geese and even alpacas! There was a pool, trampoline, snooker table, badminton and table tennis! I could tell we were going to have some fun here, and we hadn’t even looked in the fridge yet! Once the other guests arrived and we had all had a natter, we ventured onto our first food activity – vodka and cheese tasting! We were introduced to Black Cow Vodka, which is made from milk. It’s made by separating the milk, using the curd to make cheese, and the whey gets fermented into milk beer, which then gets triple filtered and distilled into some seriously smooth vodka. We sipped it neat and nibbled on the cheese. I have to be honest, the idea of milk vodka seemed a little odd at first, but it was delicious. We also got to test and indulge in Percy’s biscuits, Cerne Abbas Brewery Ales, Dorset Nectar cider (you HAVE to try their Elderflower cider!), Conker Gin (a copper pot distilled local Dorset gin).

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On Friday evening, we were treated to a delicious 3 course meal courtesy of the Dorset Fine Dining Company. My vegetarian dishes were feta and fresh mint pastillas, Moroccan chickpea stew with Israeli cous cous, and a gorgeous mocha eclair. All washed down with some Furleigh Estate wine, with their grapes grown in Dorset. It was a treat to be waited on, and a chance to have a nice foodie chat.

I woke up early on the Saturday morning, I decided to make use of the hot tub, and whiled away an hour, watching the fog slowly rise off the land and the sun break through. Breakfast was a feast of eggs (cooked by the lovely Becca from Amuse Your Bouche), pastries and a gorgeous mug of Reads Coffee – which is hand roasted in the local area.

Soon we headed out to Goldhill Organic Farm, where we were given a tour of the farm, explaining the growing process and how they harvest rain water. Goldhill’s land is all Soil Association approved and has been for many years. We were then treated to a lunch of bean stew with flatbreads, salad from the farm, and of course, some Dorset Apple cake – made by the lovely Tea and Sympathy. It was lovely to see a group of people so passionate about their produce. They have just started offering veg boxes, juice boxes, and will soon be launching soup boxes. After lunch we headed back to the house, for a rest, and more food. Bethellbridge Bakery had put on a huge spread of afternoon tea, and somehow I found room to fit in some more food! After all that food, it was time to put our feet up, and a few of us sat on the ginormous sofa and watched the rugby, stretching out our stomachs.

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We had a late dinner that night, Dorset Pies were kind and sent a shed load of pies for us to share. My favourite was the spicy bean pie. We even managed to squeeze in some decadent ice cream and sorbets from Purbeck Ice Cream, my favourite was their beetroot sorbet. We sat and laughed at the pure excess of the weekend, it was such a treat to be looked after so well, in such lovely surroundings.

All too soon it was Sunday, and time to pack our bags. I cooked up a big batch of veggie bubble and squeak with all the left overs, to fuel everyone for their journeys home. There were hugs all round and plans to meet up soon, before it was time to leave. Off we set down the road back home, when I realised (thanks Andrea!) that I had left my bag at the house! A quick turn around to grab it and it was back on the road.

We got to sample all sorts of treats over the weekend, and even take home a goodie bag stuffed full of treats. I never knew Dorset had so many fab local companies. I’ll be putting them on my foodie list, and if you are ever in the area, make sure you hunt down some of these delicious goods.

You can see what we all got up to on Instagram using #HCBloggerTrip

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Some other treats from Thomas J Fudge’s, Olives et Al, Honey Buns Bakery, Dorset Tea, Chocolate Arthouse, Kevin Williamson Illustrator, The Purbeck Soap Company, Gold and Black Candles.

Here are some other posts related to this fab trip;

Dorset Food and Drink from Veggie Desserts

Holidaycottages.co.uk invited me on the complimentary Dorset food and drink weekend away. A blog post was not required and all opinions are entirely my own. I truly had a fantastic time! Big thanks to all the partners for their generous contributions.