Coconut, Chilli and Basil Ice Cream

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.”

This week was spent avoiding the festival as much as possible. Most of the gigs we do are so fun and full of like-minded, friendly, happy people. There are a couple however, which aren’t as fun for us. They’re more like big funfairs with the odd bit of music. Not our bag I’m afraid. It doesn’t help when it’s pretty wet and windy and the site turns into a mud bath. Some people are happy to embrace the madness, to really get involved, but I decided to sit this one out. I’m still catching up on sleep from Glastonbury and it was a good excuse to chill. Down time was spent mostly in the caravan watching back-to-back episodes of this, and exploring, lots of exploring.

On Friday, I decided to head over to the West coast of Scotland to visit some family friends who have recently re-located from the South up here. It was such a beautiful drive through the hills over to their new home. A night away in a real bed with a hot bath was just the ticket. They have the most amazing view over the atlantic; out to the Isle of Bute and Arran. We caught up over a dinner and a glass of red. It was good to eat from a table and not my lap. The next morning we took a little tour of the village, snooping in the antiques shop (in a shipping container by the shore!) and guzzled tea in the local cafe. After lunch back at theirs, it was time for me to head back to the craziness.

Sunday was another adventure day. As soon as we woke we were plotting an escape for the day. Scouring the map for possible endless hikes. We settled on the hills around Loch Earn. Picnics were packed, smoothies were bottled, extra layers loaded into bags and we were off. We found ourselves a nice little footpath that took us up towards this point. However, Scotland being Scotland, it started to get pretty wild the further up we got. We settled on a peak about halfway up, took in the view, then found a nice sheltered spot to re-fuel before heading back down. C is the perfect adventure companion. Egging us on to go higher and pushing me up the steep bits when I start to wobble. Plus, he brings chocolate.

We’ve made a pact to make sure we go on more adventures this autumn. To keep our hearts happy and our minds excited.  No matter the weather, just pick a place and head there. With a good chocolate stash.

Kilgreggan

CococnutChilli2

Scotland wasn’t exactly bathing in sunshine this week, but you don’t need sunshine for an excuse to eat ice cream. This ice cream isn’t your perfect soft scoop ideal. Think of it more as rustic blobs, overflowing with flavour. That kicks any picture-perfect soft scoop outa the park. I made this slightly too spicy the first time around, so it’s important to pick a mild chilli here.

Coconut, Chilli and Basil Ice Cream (V) (GF)

INGREDIENTS:

1 tin full fat coconut milk
Half a green chilli – medium spice
Handful of basil leaves

 

METHOD

Roughly chop the chilli and basil leaves.

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 2 mins.

Pour mixture into a freezer-proof container and place in freezer for minimum 4 hours.

CoconutChilli

CoconutChilli3

 

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Dip

Every summer, I have an epiphany. Fuelled by my ongoing wanderlust. I wake up and want to explore. I want to go on adventures. I want to jump in a car and drive to the mountains and climb to the highest peak. I want to find a fresh water fall and shower in it. I want to feel the coastal sand between my toes. I want to ride the biggest wave in Cornwall. Climb the biggest tree in Wales. I want to go on road trips to everywhere and nowhere. Just hop in the car and drive. My unwritten bucket list is forever expanding in my mind. Increasing with the lists of others that I read all over the web. I want to do it ALL, all the time.

I get serious envy at all the adventures plastered over Instagram and Facebook. Snow capped peaks in the Rockies. Endless strips of sand on the south coast. Crystal clear oceans and diamond starry skies.

Then I sit back, take a deep breath and I look around. I breath it all in, I drink it in; my surroundings, the smell of the air, the light. It took me a long time to realise I AM living those adventures. My current view is a long strip of Scottish hills, rolling green fields, more different shades of green than I think I’ve ever seen. And the hundreds of swallows, those jittery sweet little things, swooping around.

I get to explore a different area of the UK every week this summer. THIS IS AN ADVENTURE. I wake up outside, I cook outside, I live outside, heck, I pretty much wash outside. What an amazing opportunity that is.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip2

I whipped up this dip to go with one of the crew lunches this week. Their meals are pretty heavy on the meat side most of the time, so I try to sneak in some extra veggies wherever I can, but shhhh, don’t tell them.

Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Dip (v) (gf)

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 red peppers
300g chickpeas (soaked and cooked or tinned will work)
Handful fresh basil
2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
S+P

METHOD

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C

First, roast your red peppers. Lay whole peppers on a baking tray and place in the oven for 20 mins. Until the skins start to char black. Remove from oven and leave to cool slightly.

Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, rub off their blackened skin. I sometimes do this in a bowl of cool water as I find it helps the skin ease off.

Once you have removed the skin, de seed the peppers and remove their stalk.

Add the peppers, along with all the other ingredients into a food processor. Blend until smooth, around 3 mins.

 

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Roasted Red Pepper Dip3

Roasted Red Pepper Dip4