21 July 2016

Hibiscus Mint Lemonade


In Budapest, almost every place we visited had fresh lemonade on offer, I don't really drink fizzy drinks, simply because I don't like them, so I really enjoyed all the still lemonade! Across the week we had strawberry, raspberry, mint, regular and a few others, so with the weather being so hot here in the UK, I thought it was a great excuse to make some myself. 


When it comes to summer in the UK and we have a few days of hot weather, you find that we don't quite know what to do, you will hear people expressing that though they wanted "summer", they didn't want it this hot. I'm quite fortunate by being near the sea and having work hours that allowed me to spend some time on the beach on the hottest day so far, temperatures reached 31°C here, which is pretty amazing, as temperatures are usually around 20°C. 


I used dried hibiscus leaf from Absolute Spice, along with fresh mint, lemon juice and sugar. I've used the minimal amount of sugar you can get away with in this recipe; the lemon and hibiscus are both very tart, so this is a refreshing, but not overly-sweet lemonade. I added pieces of finely chopped mint into the lemonade, but you're welcome to infuse the flavour and then strain off along with the hibiscus. This drink is a perfect summer treat, to share with your friends and family this summer, so beat the heat and make some homemade lemonade, keep it chilled and serve it up with ice for an extra chill!


Hibiscus Mint Lemonade | Serves: 4-5 | Time: 20 mins


You'll need

  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • Measuring cups
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • 1.5L serving bottle/jug

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp dried hibiscus leaf
  • 2 large lemons
  • Handful mint
  • 1 cup ice

Method

  1. Pour 2 cups of water into a saucepan, add the sugar and heat until dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the hibiscus leaf, leave to diffuse for 10 minutes, then strain and pour into the serving jug.
  2. Meanwhile, juice 2 large lemons, finely chop the mint and add to the serving jug, along with 2 cups of water. Once all the elements are combined, add in 1 cup of ice to cool it quickly, serve up and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

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17 July 2016

Harissa Roasted Aubergine


I've been in my new place almost a week now and the best thing about it, is having my own kitchen. As someone who loves to cook, to have unlimited freedom in a kitchen is just about the best thing ever. So I've been making use of it and have come up with a new recipe to share!


On the first night after my mum had helped me move in we went out to eat to a place just round the corner, they had a couple of options on their menu; one being a spiced aubergine crumble - with cumin, coriander, chili and a hint of cinammon coming through, and it gave me the idea to roast some aubergines, using the harissa spice rub I'd yet to use from Absolute Spice, which contains many of the spices from the dish I'd ordered.

13 July 2016

Vegan in Budapest - Day 4


Day 4 of our trip to Budapest was going to be the hottest one yet, so we decided to go to Margaret Island, where there is a series of open air pools, along with parks, playgrounds, fountains and an open air cinema, you can hire bikes too. By this point we had explored so many places that our feet were aching, and 34°C weather is hardly that for exploring. So we hopped on the metro, then took the 26 bus using our Budapest cards to Margaret island! Being around water all day also meant however, that I decided not to bring my camera, so pictures are from my mum's digital.


On the way we noticed a 'vegan' restaurant, called 96 Zen that we thought we could get some smoothies from for breakfast. We had a frozen mango smoothie, which was so delicious, and we were assured was 100% vegan. The only bizarre thing was that the owner was selling bubble tea with cows milk, despite the word 'vegan' plastered in big  letters over the front of the window. So, I don't know if this was mistranslated, whether they haven't updated the front of the building, or the vegan part just means the Chinese buffet style food they were serving. But, I would highly recommend the mango smoothie (frozen mango + ice), just make sure to ask exactly what's vegan if you happen to go in there!

11 July 2016

Vegan in Budapest - Day 3

I woke up this morning, at 5.38, sun shining through the windows of my new (and very first) apartment and I couldn't have been more excited to be awake! So, even though it was about 3 hours until I'd usually wake up, I thought I'd make use of the time! Since getting back from Budapest I have been busy with a few bits for uni and mostly packing, to then unpack it all again yesterday, which was thankfully pretty enjoyable - finding a new home for everything. And most importantly, I now have my own kitchen to cook and blog in!

I've still got a few more days of Budapest to share with you all - so here's day 3!

Day 3

On the third day of our holiday an old friend of my mums showed us around for the day. We started off by meeting her at a little vegan restaurant on the Buda side for fresh juice and a snack before we headed off on the train to the little town of Szentendre with her an her little boy.


The town of Szentendre is stunning, it's quite old fashioned with its cobbled streets, but the buildings are painted the most wonderful colours; bright yellows and pinks, which with the sun shining on, makes this town feel like something really amazing.

5 July 2016

Vegan in Budapest - Day 2


Day 2


Vega City is a cafeteria style restaurant, where you are served immediately upon ordering, this, the convenient location and the delicious vegan options meant that it was a very popular lunch spot for many Hungarians. Being across the road from the Hungarian National Museum meant that we had both breakfast and lunch in this spot. We had smoothies and a brownie for breakfast, all of which were delicious! There was a choice of about 8 smoothies out when we went in, some of which quite unusual combinations, but the ones we tried were quite delicious! 


After the museum we went back for some lunch; upon walking in we noticed these amazing looking burgers, one of which had a stripy bun like a tiger! I ordered a layered rice, tomato and kale bake, topped with sunflower seed sauce and a side salad and my mum had a mushroom and kale pasta dish. The rice option I ordered seemed to be quite popular among the other customers, it was packed with flavour and I would definitely order it again, though it was very filing and I struggled to finish it!