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    These were without doubt the most popular drink that we served in the restaurant I ran in Cyprus! They are known as the National Drink of Cyprus, and are delicious as well as being very refreshing. We used to make these with the local Cypriot brandy, which is not as strong as normal French brandy or cognac and has a delectable caramel taste to it. We also used the local angostura bitters, known as "Cock Drops", which as you can imagine, brought raised eyebrows and howls of laughter from overseas guests and tourists! A little history behind the cocktail: The Cypriot Brandy Sour style was developed following the introduction of the first blended brandy made on Cyprus, by the Haggipavlu family, in the early 1930s. The cocktail was developed at the Forest Park Hotel, in the hill-resort of Plátres in the beautiful Troodos Mountain range, for the young King Farouk of Egypt, who often stayed at the hotel during his frequent visits to the island. The Brandy Sour was introduced as an alcoholic substitute for iced tea, as a way of disguising the Muslim monarch's preference for Western-style cocktails. The drink subsequently spread to other bars and hotels in the fasionable Platres area, before making its way to the coastal resorts of Limassol, Paphos and Kyrenia, and the capital Nicosia. With increasing numbers of tourists visiting the island in the last thirty years, and the large garrison of British servicemen stationed on the island, the Cypriot Brandy Sour is now known around the world. This is how we used to make them in our restaurant - a trade secet shared!!

    Recipe #307582

    This is just one variation of the classic Arabian spice mix which is used in the ancient Saudi Arabian dish called Al Kabsa or Al Kabsah; a chicken and rice dish which is fragrant and lightly spiced - and is thought to originate from the nomadic Bedouin tribes. Arabic cuisine has its roots in tent cookery. Nomadic tribes could use only transportable foods such as rice and dates, or their nomadic stock like sheep and camels in their recipes. As the caravans journeyed throughout the Middle East, new seasonings and vegetables were discovered and added to the existing repertoire. Each new discovery was incorporated into the diet in quantities palatable to a particular tribe - a fact that many cooks believe is responsible for the anomalies found in some Arabic dishes today.

    Recipe #290159

    The last time I had a glass of Pimm's with all the trimmings, was on the lawn at a lovely old Elizabthan Hall, on a beautiful English summer's evening......so, I named my cocktail, Pimm's on the Lawn!! Nothing beats a glass of Pimms on a summer�s day. The British beverage is almost as much a tradition as the cup of tea, and the British down the gin-based drink by the gallon during the summer months. A history of Pimms: Step back to a London oyster bar in the 1840s where owner James Pimm invented the thirst-quencher. Using gin, quinine and a secret mixture of herbs, good old Pimm served up the brew as an aid to digestion, dishing it out in a small tankard and the No. 1 Cup moniker was born. After the Second World War, Pimms extended their range, using a number of other spirits as bases for new cups. Scotch lent its name to No. 2 cup, whilst No. 3 used brandy, No. 4 rum, No. 5 rye and No. 6 vodka. Of all of these, the vodka cup is the only one in production along with the original No. 1 cup, which still reigns supreme in popularity. Cheers!

    Recipe #245505

    I cannot believe there is no "recipe" for marmite on toast here! Okay, maybe calling it a recipe is stretching it a bit far, but it is a British breakfast classic, and if you LOVE marmite, you will love marmite on hot buttered toast! Use a nice nutty, granary bread and a cheeky little butter for the prefect Marmite in Toast extravaganza! Make a perfect pot of tea, Recipe #263420, for the perfect accompaniment and away you go, you’ll be saying "Cor blimey Guv'ner" in no time!

    Recipe #422206

    The Singapore Sling is one of those wonderful drinks that we probably have all heard of, but perhaps have never had. And because this recipe is often incorrectly recorded in most recipe books, even if you've think you've had it, you probably haven't. One of the key, and often overlooked ingredients in this drink is Benedictine. While the resulting flavour is not overly predominate, it does add a certain taste profile that would be totally missing without this secret ingredient. None dispute that the Singapore Sling was originally created by Mr. Ngiam Tong Boon for the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. However that is where the agreements end. The exact date is in question, with some people claiming it was in 1915, some 1913, while the hotel itself claims that it was created sometime prior to 1910. There is also plenty of disagreement as to how closely the current version of this drink that is served at Raffles is to what was originally served. Apparently the original recipe was lost and forgotten sometime in the 1930's, and the drink that they currently serve at the hotel's Long Bar (see recipe below) is based on memories of former bartenders, and some written notes that they were able to discover. Whatever the truth may be, this "iconic" drink is still enjoyed today, as much as it was back in the early 20th century! Maybe, the only way to really appreciate this cocktail, is to sip it slowly whilst sitting in a rattan chair, under the ceiling fans in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel!

    Recipe #283673

    Our local and very dramatic end of meal coffee - La Flamme des Anges - Angel’s Flames or Brulot Charentais certainly provides for lively end of dinner conversation! The sumptuous combination of fine quality Cognac, rich brown coffee and dramatic blue flames provides a memorable end to a special evening. Whether you be celebrating Christmas, New Year, Easter or something more personal such as a birthday, anniversary or simply a special dinner, a Brulot Charentais can brighten up the occasion and turn it into something special. History of Brulot Charentais: Brulot Charentais is 3 centuries old! In times gone by, most people used to take a hot drink or infusion, before going to bed. In the Cognac area, many opted for a wine topped off with burning alcohol, which had the effect of producing 'mulled' wine. The flames symbolised 'festivity' either during or after a meal. For special occasions - baptisms, communions, marriages, birthdays, Christmas, Easter and the like, the Charentais wine farmers, would add a slug of neat Cognac, straight from the cask, to the surface. This Cognac, strong in alcohol, was set alight, reducing its strength and producing striking blue flames. Thus Brulot Charentais was born. The sugar in the saucer would soak up any 'stray drops' of Cognac which also combusted, and blended together, formed a liqueur rich in Cognac flavours. The coffee’s taste was transformed by combining with the sugar and Cognac. The coffee reaches drinking temperature due to the combustion. The recipe preserves the aroma and flavour of the Cognac, whilst reducing the strength (down to about 2 - 3 percent). Make your 'soirées' more festive with a cup of flaming Brulot Charentais! The recipe ingredients are for one person - please increase the quantities as necessary. Why not end your celebration the Charentais way?

    Recipe #303294

    My French friend came over for lunch recently & as we stood in the kitchen chatting & sampling the fine wine, I thought I'd impress her and whip up a homemade mayonnaise for the eggs! As I started my drop by drop method, she laughed and showed me this AMAZING way of making mayonnaise in a flash! The only criteria seemed to be the bowl, or lack of a bowl - she uses an old fashioned TALL glass measuring jug, which I also happen to have. Once you have made it this way, you will never go back to the drop by drop way ever again! Here's Michelle's Mayonnaise!

    Recipe #207690

    Classic and traditional British Pub Grub! Cooked prawns (shrimps) served in a pint mug with a tangy garlic mayonnaise and a pint of Guinness of course - my idea of heaven! British pub grub is justly famous and this simple dish is also great when served at home. Serve these prawns for family gatherings, or St Patrick's Day, St George's Day, St David's Day, St Andrew's Day, Australia Day, football, superbowl, darts matches or ANY time you fancy simple, robust food with a pint of ale! I have suggested Guinness but you can serve these prawns with any real ale or your favourite brew. I have spiced the mayonnaise up a tad - if you are not a lover of spicy food, serve these prawns with classic mayonnaise.

    Recipe #359858

    Valencia is true orange growing country, and this recipe is based on fresh orange juice, which is best - try not to use carton or bottled orange juice. And beware, this innocuous-sounding drink is strong! It must be served ice cold - if Cointreau is not available or too expensive - use a local orange liqueur.

    Recipe #225953

    Picnic like the French with a perfectly ripe Camembert, some garlicky sausage and a fresh, crusty baguette - eh voila! No need to go outside for a picnic, if the weather is inclement; enjoy a picnic in your kitchen at the kitchen table, or use the cheese platter as a centrepiece for parties, fêtes, cocktails or social gatherings! Lay a tartan rug on the table and use wicker baskets or a hamper if you wish...........be as "rustique" or as "chic" as you want to be! Great for Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, as well as for a summer picnics of course!

    Recipe #393189

    A wonderful marinade for beef, lamb or chicken; this marinade is suffused with the flavours and smells of summer, minus the sound of the bees buzzing! Allow the meats to marinate all day or overnight for a more pronounced flavour as well as being extra moist and juicy. Culinary lavender essence can be bought at specialist cook's shops online or at your local lavender farms. If you cannot get hold of culinary lavender essence, use a handful of lavender flowers, lightly crushed.

    Recipe #379770

    The quintessential British breakfast, and perfect for breakfast in bed - Boiled Eggs and Marmite Soldiers are a British culinary institution! The following instructions give you a perfect soft-boiled egg, suitable for "dipping" with your "soldiers"! You either love marmite or hate it, don't use it if you cannot find it locally or just don't like it!! You must still cut your toast into "soldiers" however!!

    Recipe #291234

    A Traditional celebration drink in our house, served on Christmas Morning, Birthdays, Anniversaries and almost all other "excuses" for a "knees up"!! We do use Champagne, but if this seems just too sybaritic & over indulgent, you can use any good quality "Fizz". Freshly squeezed orange juice is de rigeur, but again, you can get great "fresh-tasting" orange juices in bottles & cartons too.......but please, NO ice & unsweetened is best!

    Recipe #198884

    Cucumber sandwiches are made with fresh springy white or brown bread, lightly buttered, and with the crusts cut off – the perfect cool summer snack to go with your afternoon tea. This recipe idea came from a friend who was lucky enough to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace - she swears this is how they made them! Cucumber sandwiches achieved literary notoriety in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) when Algernon devours an entire plate full in the first act and there are none left for his aunt, Lady Bracknell. They are presented by Jack as being a delicacy: “Hallo! Why all these cups? Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?”

    Recipe #230631

    A fabulous way of adding a bit of colour along with a crisp texture in Chinese cooking; this can be made just before you are ready to serve an Oriental meal, and is one of the nicest ways I know of dressing up the humble radish! You can use red radishes, Chinese white radish - Mooli or even black radishes for this quick pickle. Serve it as an accompaniment for most Chinese or Asian meals. Make sure that whatever type of radishes you use, are fresh, firm and crisp. I prefer the red radishes for colour, but any of the radishes I have suggested work well in this simple pickle. The quantities listed below, will serve about 4 people as a generous condiment.

    Recipe #306079

    A must for cool people - or those who like cucumbers! This is a very versatile sandwich spread or dip, which is so easy to whip up at the last minute; it makes VERY elegant sandwiches and is a wonderful accompaniment for smoked salmon, prawns (shrimp) or tuna. I have also used it to spread on savoury scones and crackers. If you plan to make this a day before you need to use it, you might like to salt the cucumbers first - as they do release water into the spread.

    Recipe #300257

    I grow this wonderful old fashioned herb in my herb garden, it's one of my favourites - I love it's warm celery-lemon flavour. Lovage was used extensively during the Middle ages - right up to Victorian times - then it somehow fell out of fashion, which is such a shame as it is such a versatile and interesting herb. This is a wonderful creamy salad dressing, which perks up any mundane leaves - I like to serve it with Mache or Lamb's Lettuce and Tomatoes for a simple and yet elegant starter. It also works well with cooked spring vegetables such as peas, baby carrots, new potatoes and young broad beans.

    Recipe #253325

    An old Elizabethan salad recipe, but with an air of modernity about it, as our interest increases in herbal and floral remedies in today's busy, stressful and hectic world. I have made some suggestions about which flowers and herbs to use - but PLEASE do check that the flowers and herbs you choose to use are edible!! The French also use flowers in their salads, and although the title suggests this to be an English recipe, this style of herbal and floral salad will have been very common throughout Medieval Europe. I serve this at the Auberge when the flowers and herbs are in season - freshly picked from my garden; it is always enjoyed with great relish and is a vibrant topic of dinner party conversation! It makes a lovely appetiser or can be served with the cheese course for an unusual and pretty accompaniment. Make sure that your flowers and herbs are insecticide free, and are not traffic polluted as well.........wipe them or wash them gently, allowing them to dry before using them.

    Recipe #290473

    I love the Nutcracker Ballet and the music that accompanies it, especially the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies! These fabulous little festive sweetmeats are based on a recipe that I adapted from Delia Smith's latest and BRILLIANT cookbook, "Happy Christmas". I have made these TWICE already - as a pre-Christmas dummy run, and they are SO easy as well as being extremely delicious! Sugar plums are mentioned in all forms of literature; most famously in “The Night Before Christmas”…………“The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads". However, they are a VERY old kind of sweet/candy, and I have traced some recipes right back to the Middle Ages in one guise or another, usually with minced meat hence “sweet meat”. This recipe can be made as a boozy after dinner adult treat, or with orange juice so the children can dream of them dancing in their heads! NB: These are great fun to make with the children, as they are easy as well as being "no-cook". If you plan to make them for gifts or to sell, pack them into attractive cellophane bags, glass jars or boxes and add a pretty ribbon as well as a label of ingredients and storage details. This recipe is part of my Old Fashioned Sweet Shop collection of recipes, sweets, candies, fudges, sugar plums and chocolates!

    Recipe #402071

    Every self-respecting French housewife has a tub of this by the side of her cooker; they are all slightly different depending on the region you live in, but this is one that I use over and over again. It has just a hint of herbs & spices, enhancing a dish rather than overpowering it. The French call this "Sel Fou" or Fool's Salt, which is a wonderful name for it I think! Please note, I have NOT added any chilli powder or Cayenne pepper in this mix - I realise that hot spices are popular in seasoning salts, but this is herbal rather than spiced! I use it to sprinkle over salads, add it to pasta, stews, soups, daubes, casseroles, pies, roast chicken & meat etc. It is also GREAT sprinkled onto hot Chips (French fries) & over the top of pizzas. I don't like to make huge quantities, due to the herbs losing their freshness and flavour - so, this makes about 125g (just over 5 ozs) of Fool's Salt; you can of course increase the quantities if you wish!

    Recipe #211484

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