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Cover: A dish for all seasons

Recipes with honey

12Jul 12

Kiwi Fruit Smoothies Collection

Kiwi smoothieTime to raise a glass to your health!

Kiwi fruit is readily available in the UK from January to August.  This visually stunning fruit is so good for you.  It packs a punch in vitamin C and also contains potassium, vitamin E, vitamin A and plenty of dietary fibre, amongst other nutrients.

It has an intense, and some would say sharp, flavour when scooped straight out of its furry greenish-brown skin.  I love it just like that, or mixed in with strawberries and other fruits to make a colourful fruit salad.  But today, I’m going to share a few smoothie recipes with you: kiwi and strawberry smoothie, creamy kiwi smoothie (pictured) and sherbet zest kiwi smoothie.

These smoothies will make a wonderful dessert or a healthy mid-afternoon filler.  So let’s toast your health together in celebration of the wonderful kiwi fruit! (For a different type of fruit smoothie, try this Indian lassi with cardamom and pistachios.)

 

Kiwi and Strawberry Smoothie

What you need:

  • 2 kiwis, peeled
  • 8 strawberries, topped and sliced
  • 2 bananas, peeled and cut in half
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Generous splash of apple juice
  • 8 ice cubes

What to do:

  1. Pop the ice into your blender, followed by the kiwi fruit, the strawberries, banana and lime juice.  Add a generous splash of apple juice and blend for around 35-45 seconds.  Pour into chilled glasses and delight in the flavours!

5 minutes to prepare

Makes 4 servings

 

Creamy Kiwi Smoothie

What you need:

  • 4 kiwis, peeled
  • 2 tbsp good honey
  • 12 tbsp natural yoghurt

What to do:

  1. Blend the ingredients together in a blender or smoothie maker for around 35-45 seconds, pour into a glass and fill up your body with the wonderful nutrients.

5 minutes to prepare

Makes 4 servings

 

Sherbet Zest Kiwi Smoothie

And now for something a little different…

What you need:

  • 100g kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 100g lime sherbet
  • 200g peeled and diced banana
  • 200g honey dew melon, peeled, deseeded and cubed

What to do:

  1. Blend the ingredients together in a blender or smoothie maker for around 35-45 seconds, pour into a glass and enjoy the tang!

10 minutes to prepare

Makes 4 servings

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19Jun 12

Pasteli or Olympic honey and sesame bites

Pasteli or Olympic honey and sesame bitesHere is a very old and very easy recipe fit for any Olympic sportsman! The Ancient Greeks may well have made Pasteli for the participants of the original Olympic Games in 776 B.C., as these chewy and crunchy honey and sesame bites are packed full of energy, minerals and vitamins. Sesame seeds are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and B1, to name just a few, and honey is antibacterial and contains antioxidants. The health benefits of honey depend on its quality, so I always try to buy organic or raw, unprocessed honey, which contains more healthy substances (that haven’t been eliminated through so much processing) and makes this snack or dessert much more tasty and nutritious!

For extra protein, try these grilled chicken wings with a honey and lime butter sauce. They don´t have sesame seeds, but why not sprinkle some over the top for extra measure?

Pasteli or Olympic honey and sesame bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: various
 
These honey and sesame bites are packed full of energy, minerals and vitamins.
Ingredients
  • 120g toasted sesame seeds
  • 5.5 tbsp or 115ml raw honey
  • unrefined sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the honey in a saucepan over a medium heat until it starts to boil.
  2. Add the sesame seeds and a dash of sea salt to the honey and stir using a wooden spoon, cooking slowly and stirring continually for about 10 minutes or until the mixture boils again and caramelizes (turns golden brown), then remove from heat.
  3. Carefully pour the mixture of honey and sesame seeds onto a large piece of baking paper on a smooth surface and smooth out the mixture with a spatula, patting down to a uniform thickness.
  4. Cover the outspread mixture with another large piece of baking paper and use a rolling pin to spread out and thin the mixture some more, to about 1cm thick.
  5. Set aside until the Pasteli is cool enough to handle (but still warm) and cut into equal sized pieces.
  6. Wait until cold before serving.
  7. Uneaten Pasteli bites can be stored in an airtight container with a sheet of baking paper inbetween each layer.

 

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05Jun 12

Lamb’s Lettuce Salad with Serrano Ham and Apricots

Spring Salad with Serrano Ham and ApricotsLamb’s lettuce salad with Serrano ham and apricots is a really simple salad with few, but very tasty ingredients.  I like the subtle play between the sweetness of the apricots and the saltiness of the Spanish ham.  Both are balanced wonderfully by the creamy texture of the avocado and the subtle freshness of the lamb’s lettuce.

Lamb’s lettuce is said to contain around three times the level of vitamin C that a common lettuce contains.  This salad makes a good light lunch or supper, but if you’re feeling ravenous, you can always eat it with a big hunk of buttered bread, or as a starter to a more substantial meal. (For more lamb’s lettuce salads, try this seared scallops with brittle Parma ham recipe.)

Lamb’s lettuce is in season through Winter and Spring.  It is a hardy plant that doesn’t rely solely on insects for pollination.  The wind helps to carry and drop the seeds, and in certain eras, it was thought to carpet the British countryside in swathes.  I love it for its softness and appearance – those rich green floral-shaped leaves make any salad look beautiful.

What you need:

  • Pack of lamb’s lettuce, ready washed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 pack of Serrano Ham
  • 12 soft, preserved apricots
  • 1-2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar

What to do:

  1. Open the pack of Serrano ham about an hour before you want to eat it, letting it come up to room temperature.
  2. When you are ready to make the salad, arrange the lamb’s lettuce on the plates, covering almost the entire surface of the plate.
  3. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and the skin and slice into strips lengthwise.
  4. Tear the soft apricots roughly in half.
  5. Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil, runny honey, sugar, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard in a small bowl with a teaspoon.
  6. Arrange the avocado on the lettuce in a floral circle and dot the apricot pieces in between.  Roll the ham into the shape you like and space it out over the top of the salad, making sure that all of the ingredients are visually balanced.
  7. Drizzle over the dressing in a spiral pattern, or serve the dressing in a small bowl on the table.
  8. Season the salad all over with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

15 minutes to prepare

Makes: 2 servings

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28May 12

Hot Apple Tart with Cream

Hot Apple TartWhy not try this wonderful hot apple tart with cream as a great pudding to celebrate any occasion – perfect as apples are in season all year round.

For more apple goodness, try these caramelised apples with real custard.

What you need:

  • Pack of ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 8 eating apples, whatever you can find that is in season. Washed, peeled and cored.  4 cubed and 4 sliced into thin wedges.
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g caster sugar, plus a sprinkle for caramelising the apples at the end
  • ½ tbsp runny honey
  • Tub of double cream to serve

What to do:

  1. First make the apple filling.  Heat the butter slowly in a pan until it melts before adding the cubed apple pieces and coating them all in the butter.  Cover the pan with its lid and cook the apples over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Stir in the honey and cook on for a further 5 minutes.  Now stir in the sugar, and the cinnamon, puréeing the soft apple with the spoon as you do so.  Leave the puréed apple mixture overnight to cool, or if you’re in more of a hurry, you can cool it in the fridge.
  2. When you are ready to cook the tart, preheat the oven to 200ºC and line a circular, ceramic oven-proof dish with parchment paper.
  3. Roll open the puff pastry and lay it over the baking dish, pressing it gently to the sides of the dish and cutting off any excess pastry around the top edge.
  4. Spread the puréed apple into the pastry casing, using a spatula.  Leave a 1.5cm gap of uncovered pastry all around the edge.
  5. Place the apple wedges very gently over the apple purée filling, so that they are slightly overlapping, start at the outer edge and work your way into the centre in rings.
  6. Bake the tart in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, until the apples turn golden brown in colour.
  7. Remove the cooked tart from the oven, sprinkle over a little caster sugar and cinnamon, and under a very hot grill, caramelise the apples.
  8. Serve hot with a generous dollop of double cream.

30 minutes to prepare (plus cooling time) 40 minutes to cook

Makes: 4-6 servings

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30Mar 12

Poached Pears with a Hot White Chocolate Liqueur Sauce

Pears with chocolate sauceIf frozen berries and white chocolate make a nice pairing, I think that the combination of pears and white chocolate is pretty divine, especially when the white chocolate sauce contains a little liqueur.  What a nice way to round off a special meal!

 

March is the last month of the pear season in the UK.  You can still find lots of delicious varieties out there.  Poached pears with a hot white chocolate liqueur sauce uses Conference pears.  This fruit is one of my personal favourites.  Pears have a special kind of sweetness and when ripe, a great softness, although pears also have that distinctive slightly gritty texture to them.  Apparently, when they are picked early and ripen off the tree, that gritty texture is less prevalent.

What you need:

  • 6 conference pears, stalks in place, peeled
  • 85g Demerara sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey, runny and clear
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • A few drops of vanilla essence
  • 450ml white wine
  • 255g white chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 120g butter, unsalted
  • 4-6 tbsp white chocolate liqueur

What to do:

  1. In a deep and heavy-based saucepan, add the white wine, cinnamon, vanilla essence and honey, and bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer.  Add the pears and turn the heat down to low, poaching the pears for about half an hour or until they are translucent in appearance.  Turn the pears over every now and then during poaching.
  2. Whilst the pears are cooking, you can get going with the white chocolate liqueur sauce.  Gently melt the white chocolate and the butter together in a separate pan.  When molten and combined, remove from the heat and stir in the white chocolate liqueur.
  3. Once the pears are translucent and soft, remove them from the saucepan and place them in the serving bowls, then reduce the white wine mixture to a third of its quantity.
  4. Pour some of the white wine reduction over each pear before pouring on the white chocolate sauce.

If you want to be really decadent, you can make a milk chocolate sauce as well. Take 255g of milk chocolate in small pieces and 120g of butter. As with the white chocolate sauce, stir together over a low heat until it is all molten and combined. Pour on top of the pears after the wine reduction and before the white chocolate.

Less than 30 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to 1 hour to cook

Makes: 6 puddings

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