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Savvy shopping, seasonal eating and thrifty recipes. Spend less on groceries and enjoy better tasting, easy to prepare meals your friends and family will love – all on a budget.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

3 Ingredient Berry Ice Cream Slice

I usually don't make ice cream as we don't have a machine and I can't be bothered taking a bowl out of the freezer to mix the contents every so often.  I inevitably forget and it turns into crystallised lumps due to my neglect.  

I decided to try a different method, one that is totally low faff, and only needs mixing once at the beginning of the process.  I altered a cheesecake recipe that I'd developed and tweaked it to be freezable without going rock solid.  After some experimentation, this recipe was born.  This a great base for using up any berry gluts you might have and the ice cream was enthusiastically devoured by my family, even bubs had some.  

You could use stone fruit instead of berries, the recipe is a great base for experimentation with flavours.  I discovered condensed milk now comes in a squirty bottle, much easier than having a partly used opened tin languishing about.

3 Ingredient Berry Ice Cream Slice

600ml double cream
300ml condensed milk
300g blackberries
400g strawberries
a dollop of vanilla bean paste (optional)

Beat the double cream and condensed milk together until thick and holding it's shape.  Divide the mixture into thirds.  Blitz the berries and add each to a third of the mixture.  Pour each flavour into a lined 23cm cake tin, taking care not to mix the flavours unless you want a marbled look, and gently smooth the top.  

You could freeze each layer before adding another layer but who has time for that?!  This is meant to be a low faff recipe after all.  Put in the freezer overnight, or for at least 6 hours, then slice and devour.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Boozy (or not) Cherry Fizz

I love Summer! I dread the gloomy Winter months of endless grey skies and rain.  Having said that, the great British Summer can be a real mixed bag weather wise and you can bet that it will either be a scorcher or a washout - there never seems to be an in between.

When Waitrose asked me to develop a Summer recipe as part of their Taste of Summer Campaign, I immediately thought of a thirst quenching drink with the fruity flavours of the season that can be either a mocktail or cocktail for casual picnics or special summer gatherings.

Boozy (or not) Cherry Fizz

250g frozen or fresh pitted cherries
handful of fresh mint leaves
4 Tblsp/60ml lime juice (I used 3 limes)
zest from one lime
3 handfuls of ice, if using fresh cherries
500ml sparkling water/soda water or lemonade
sugar to taste, I used 2 Tblsp
150ml - 250ml rum or vodka (optional)

I used my Froothie power blender to make this drink.  If you're using a normal blender, just be sure to break the ice up a bit before adding it to the blender and add it gradually.  Blenders can be damaged by trying to blend too much ice at once.  

Put the cherries, mint leaves, lime juice and zest and half of the ice along with the sparkling water/soda water.  Blend well until completely combined.  Add rum/vodka if using, the rest of the ice and the sugar if needed.  Blend until mixed, then serve.

Throughout the summer months, Waitrose are asking people to share their favourite summer flavours on social media.  Whether it’s an ice cream at the seaside, burgers on the BBQ or a cold crisp glass of wine, they're are going to be celebrating the nation’s diversity of tastes this summer and providing inspiration all summer long.

Waitrose will be rewarding lucky members of their community for sharing their favourite tastes with a number of exclusive food experiences – including an invite to a barbecue event with Heston Blumenthal at one of his pubs in Bray, a cocktail and canap├ęs course at the Waitrose Cookery School in London and a complete summer party menu catered for by the Waitrose Entertaining team.

All you have to do is tell Waitrose about your favourite #TasteOfSummer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the chance to win one of their exciting summer food experiences.  Happy sharing, and enjoy the summer!

* I was compensated for my time, expertise and ingredients used when creating this recipe *