Thursday, May 3, 2018

Non-alcoholic Spicy Tomatoes and Aleppo Pepper Cocktail

Since I tried for the first time Aleppo Pepper, a spice I've heard so many good things about and which did not disappoint me at all, I was thinking how I can use this versatile pepper in a new combination. And it seems that my mind needed at least two months until I finally took a decision. What about a cold tomatoes spicy summer cocktail, now when the weather finally looks much friendlier than a couple of weeks ago?
The results were more than satisfying and with a very special spicy result. By adding Aleppo Pepper to your tomatoes you can create an unique juice, healthy and energizing with an unique taste. The preparation takes minutes and unless you want your drink a bit more cold, you can drink it immediately. Accompanied by a meal or just as a refreshment, this non-alcoholic cocktail brings exotic tastes and impressions into your life. For yourself, a party or for a tasty date.

25 small heart-shaped small tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper from Spice Kitchen UK
1 pinch black pepper
1 full teaspoon brown sugar
300 ml. cold water

Add all the ingredients, one by one, into the blender and mix them at medium speed for 2 minutes. You can pour the juice into a straw first if you want to have a completely clean drink, but I personally preferred to keep the tomatoes skin as well. 
You can drink it within minutes after preparation or wait for at least half an hour with the drink kept in the fridge. Both variants are fine.
Before taking the first sip, be ready for an unique experience: elegant taste with unique spice traces, a beautiful colour and a genuine sweetness (the reason I wanted to avoid the white sugar and use the brown one; honey can also work).

Serves: 3
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Disclaimer: Spices offered by Spice Kitchen UK as their Brand Ambassador for review, but the opinions are, as usual, my own

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wrapping up March and April

The last two months were significantly more quiet in terms of blogging as usual. With the restrictions of the Pesach holidays and some personal and health - good - challenges, my writing activities were slightly limited in the last 60 days. And everything was fine on my side, not because I was taking a break from writing - this can hardly happen, anyway as all my activities and projects involve writing at a certain extent, even if it is only as a translation - but because I needed to settle down some important offline projects before keeping up with the usual blogging pace.
Of course that at least twice the day, I was checking my blog email considering if to apply or not for a sponsorship opportunity or for being more than worried that my readership will suffer as long as I am struggling to set up my own business, but good things are always happen to those who wait. Now, after two intensive months, I can openly declare that the good things are just about to happen. A lot of projects were done meanwhile, and many other topics are already written waiting only the right moment to push the button 'publish' for getting properly 'on air'. Some of them waited for at least 4 months, but it was a waiting fully worth, as I needed to have the right time to properly approach them. Plus, so many cooking books and inspirational books and parenting books that I can't wait to review, in addition of my own cookbook which is in the final stages of editing (more details soon).
Meanwhile, I am fully embracing the spring and its balm weather, the perfect inspirational time for both my writing and my personal development. 
As for my health challenges I've mentioned earlier, I'll be dedicated a full post of it in the next days. 
Because today, more than ever, I am fully BACK in the business...

Jackfruit as a meat-substitute?

Although just an occasional non-meat eater, I am always curious to test and try various meat-replacements. I must confess that as for now, the results are less than satisfactory. Once you had once the taste of real meat, you cannot buy easily the offer of tofu or other substitutes offered instead.
Tofu is tofu, with a special texture and taste, but most often nothing to do with the real meat I have a very vivid taste memory of. My best experience so far in this respect was with seitan, which reproduced at a certain extent my meat impressions.
However, I keep myself open to more and more alternatives. When I've spotted at a local Rossmann store Jackfruit in Curry Sauce, recommended as 'the vegan alternative to meat', I hurried up to buy it and prepare a couple of hours thereafter. 
The 200 gr. package includes jackfruit, a variety of coconuts - oil, extract, curry powder, orange juice concentrate, sea salt, sugar, cardamom, chilli, dried parsley. Everything is contained in a sealed poach that you only need to warm for a couple of minutes in boiling water.
I added as a side dish a portion of Jasmin rice with black sesame seeds. At the first sight, it looks like one of those plastic imitations of food you can see at Japanese restaurants. The taste is less than plastic, with a smooth mild fresh, with a taste which is rather bland, a vague reminder of some tofu. The taste of the plate was saved by the intensive curry spices, but that was all. No special taste, no similarities with meat or any other edible thing.
I am still looking for the best meat-substitutes, you know...