It has been a while, but inspiration comes and goes… Yesterday however, we felt inspired. Craving for something sweet and autumnal and Tada…here we go…. our simple, delicious and very autumnal recipe for blood orange cookies.
-100ml Greek olive oil
-20-50 ml of spiced rum or cognac
-70ml blood orange juice
-100g brown sugar
-The skin of one orange
-365g self-raising flour
-1tbs cinnamon powder
-A pinch of salt
-1tsp baking powder
THE ART OF MIXING
In a bowl, add the liquids and the sugar and stir well
In another bowl mix all the rest, i.e. dry ingredients together
Then mix the two
THE ART OF MAKING COOKIES
As soon as all ingredients have been mixed and well combined together, a beautiful brown dough appears. Use your hands to form the dough and create several small balls that fit into the palm of your hands.
Then start forming your shapes, any shapes really… you use your arty fingers and palm to make little buttons, or little snakes, as I call them, that you can twist around to form a cookie. You can create sticks, rounded shapes, twists, stars, anything really!
THE ART OF BAKING
Preheat your oven (180 degrees). Make sure to use baking paper, so that your dough does not stick into the cookie tray, and bake the cookies for 25 minutes approximately. Let them cool for 5 minutes in the oven, remove and let them cool for a few more minutes, if you can resist the temptation!
NB: testimony from a 7 year old boy: “delicious, yummy, love them”
Fresh, homemade and greek honey-sweet bitter in taste
Beat the Sunday afternoon blues with freshly homemade lemonade. ‘Simplicity’ is the queen of the kitchen, so we believe at least at 7LR.
-Fresh, juicy lemons- to make around 200ml
-4 tsp Greek honey
-Fresh Rosemary (optional)
-Remove the lemon skin and set aside. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and then use a colander to drain it (keep aside).
-In the meantime, add the water and honey in a small caserole and bring the water to the boil (stir gently). As soon as it starts boiling, leave for a minute or two and then set aside to cool, together with the skin from the lemons
-Mix the juices together, (use a colander to drain), but remove the lemon skin
-You can keep the mixture in the fridge for a few days-keep it in sterilised bottles
-Enjoy your lemonade in a glass filled with ice (and some rosemary from your garden). Pour some of the lemonade juice in your choice of glass and mix it with equal amount of sparkling water….Refreshing, light & invigorating…
Surprises during lockdown come with fresh ideas…This is an understatement when it comes to this colourful beauty.
Oh well, we all know what a Pavlova is and how it looks like and a plethora of variations and recipes exists out there… This is our take on this Russian beauty.
-4 Large Eggs (only the whites)
-220g Caster Sugar
-Madagascan Vanilla extra (1 tsp)
-Corn Flour (1 tbsp)
-White Vinegar (1tbsp)
You will need these ingredients to prepare the meringue, which is the base!
THE ART OF THE MERINGUE
-Separate the egg whites, then add them in a large bowl
-Start whisking the whites (preferably with an electric hand whisk tool)- BEAT the Eggs Steadily and Strongly
-Perform this sensitive art of whisking until you see the whites turning fluffier- like a cloud
-As soon as you start feeling the transformation-leaving aside your enormous smile- start adding the sugar. This should be done slowly and gently, and keep whisking in between –DO NOT STOP
-Separately, combine the cornflour with the white vinegar (alternatively you can use some lemon instead of vinegar) and then add this to the mixture- Keep Whisking
-Lastly, add the vanilla extract to the mixture and keep whisking until you feel the stiffness- you need to reach this stiff peak stage
Well done, now you have your fluffy white mixture ready!
First step has been completed.
Now next, you need to fetch a baking tray, add a baking paper sheet on top and draw a circle in the middle with a pencil –Use a plate (21-23cm) or your arty skills to trace it
Start pouring the meringue slowly into the drawn circle with a large spoon. You just need to feel that you are building it, like a form of blocks of fluffiness stacked in an arty way at the edges and within the circle. Rise the borders higher than the centre. (I am sure you all have seen how a Pavlova looks like!)
Try to build your own version and use a spatula as a tool to guide you if need be. The centre needs to be formed lower than the edges, since this is where your filling will find its natural home later on.
In the meantime, preheat the oven and as soon as you have finished with the steps, as above, bake the meringue for approximately an hour (approx. 140C or even lower temperature). It should stay white or turn into a fading beige colour. Take care not to burn it (no brown colour please). It should be crunchy outside and feel like a marshmallow inside.
If you are able easily to slightly peel off/remove the baking paper sheet from below, (without burning yourself of course), it is likely to be ready.
After the base has been baked, leave it to cool-preferably inside the oven- for about an hour. You may keep the oven door shut, but open it towards the end.
Whilst the meringue is in the making, prepare your filling, which is the next step. You will need two different sets of ingredients:
A) For the bubble-pinky coloured sauce
-A handful of fresh fruits (around 100g in total of fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
-1tbsp of icing sugar and
– some whipping cream (less than 100ml)
B) For the white coloured, creamy filling (and decoration)
-At least 500-600g of fresh fruits (a combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
-whipping cream (350-400ml)
-icing sugar (1-2tbsp)
-vanilla extract (1tsp)
-We also added some spicy rum, but any other alcohol such as cognac would be sufficient- You just need a splash of it, 1tsp will be more than enough.
WHIPPING CREAM v WHIPPED CREAM
-First, blend the ingredients for the pinky sauce in a blender until you get a smooth texture. Add more whipping cream in the blender if you think it requires it.
-Second, separately, whisk the whipping cream used for the white filling, until it becomes whipped. It has to stand in peaks. Whilst whisking it, add slowly into this mixture the rest of the ingredients (mainly the icing sugar and the splash of alcohol and vanilla extract)- All except from the fruits.
THE ART OF DECORATING
Last few steps-Finally!
Now you have a base and two variations of whipped creams.
Start filling the meringue base with the white filling/whipped cream first. Then pour over some of the pinky sauce.
Save some pinky sauce to pour over at the very end, on top of the piles of fruit.
Lastly add and decorate with the fresh colourful fruits.
Your Pavlova will now spend an hour or two in the fridge before serving.
It is Holy Thursday today and tradition has it that we dye our Greek Orthodox Easter eggs.
However, we are totally unprepared and red is not our colour. We have decided, therefore, to embark on a brave mission and create our colourful palette for this purpose by using only natural ingredients…
That means by using whatever you can find in your pantry given the circumstances!
and it worked brilliantly..
Before we start, you need to be prepared. You will need to use your own creativity for the end result, mix and match and ensure you are equipped with lots, but seriously lots of patience.
So if you are ready to go, below is our 7LR signature natural dye recipe..
Choose your COLOURS: We opted for earthy colours and our primary colours were yellow, green and red.
To achieve this you need:
-2 tbsp of turmeric powder;
-One cup of black, seedless grapes;
-A small glass of red wine;
-3tbsp of salt;
-6tbsp of Apple Cider, mixed with some balsamic vinegar;
-a handful of fresh mint and parsley
-At least 12 eggs or more (we broke a few, but the good thing is that you can keep your colours in the fridge and dye extra eggs if you are still in the mood the next day or so!)
-1/2 x 3 times of water
-1 tsp olive oil
-At least 2 small casseroles
-small glass containers
-some other bits and bobs
Prepare your colours: We used two, in fact three casseroles.
-Casserole No1: Add 1/2 water, 1tbsp salt, 2 tbsp turmeric, and 2tbsp of apple cider/balsamic vinegar
-Casserole No2: Add 1/2 water, 1tbsp salt, the red wine, the grapes and 2 tbsp of apple cider/balsamic vinegar
Casserole No3: Add 1/2 water, 1tbsp salt, 2tbsp of apple cider/balsamic vinegar and the parsley/fresh mint.
2. Bring each to the boil for at least 20 minutes.
3. Drain each separately
4. Add the three different colours separately in each of your glass containers and let them cool (eventually we ended up mixing the greenish mint/parsley colour with the yellow one)
5. Separately, boil your eggs as usual (low temperature and not necessarily all together to avoid accidentally breaking a few!) for approximately 10 minutes
6. Dive the boiled eggs into your colours, mix and match, improvise and paint your palette accordingly
7. When you achieve the desired colour and you let the eggs dry, you can paintbrush them with a touch of olive oil, or keep them matt