Tag Archives: kitchen

Magical Midsummer herbs

6 Jun

It’s the longest day of the year and it’s been celebrated all over the world for thousands of years. Midsummer (on the 21st of June) is the celebration of summer solstice, and for many years it was believed that picking midsummer plants on the night of the 20th would increase their healing powers. It was a night of bonfires too, as the fire was supposed to protect against the evil spirits that could wander freely on the solstice. Some of our favourite plants and herbs are typical midsummer herbs. They can be picked for several purposes: essential oils, perfume, cooking… and of course herbal teas! This is a list of our favourite midsummer plants and some tips to use them well. If you fancy celebrating midsummer in the traditional way, pick these gorgeous herbs once the sun is set. (Dancing around the bonfire optional!)

1) Lavender:

Beautifully coloured and with a soothing scent, lavender is a herb to treasure! Try popping some flowers in a glass of champagne. They’re also great in many sweet or savoury recipes.

Pick the flower heads when they’re looking their best. Picking them at night is ideal, as heat weakens their scent. Keep them on their stalks, tie them up in little bunches and hang them upside down in a dark, dry and well ventilated spot, for about two weeks. Then you can use the dry flowers to put in small cotton bags to perfume your wardrobe, or place a little lavender sachet under your pillow to help you unwind. We also love these bunches that we spotted on Pinterest!

2) Lemon Verbena:

We love the fresh, heady aroma of this versatile cupboard essential. Great for aiding digestion and easing stomach ache, it makes a fabulous tea and an amazing herbal lemonade. If you have a lemon verbena plant, pick the younger, tender leaves early in the morning, before it’s too hot. Add some dry leaves to your boiled rice for a lemony taste. You can also preserve it with sugar and use it in desserts.

3) Chamomile:

With a sweet, earthy taste and many health properties (though not recommended during pregnancy), chamomile tea is a pantry essential. To make your own, pick only whole flowers, no stems or leaves. Wash them, shaking any excess water, and let them dry. You can also bake them in the oven for a few hours at a very low heat. Store your chamomile in a tin and infuse it to enjoy its soothing properties. It works well with lemonbalm or with a hint of lavender (like our own Calming Chamomile). Great for calming your skin when applied externally: simply dip a cotton pad in cold chamomile tea.

4) Elderflower: 

These sweet scented flowers have diuretic properties, and have been used to treat colds and sinus infections. Pick the flowers on a sunny day and use them to make desserts, cordial or tea (2-4 flowers infused for around 10 minutes)

Earl Grey biscuits

28 Mar

These Earl Grey biscuits are one of the recipes we’ve tried as part of our Earl Grey Challenge. They’re Lahloo Pantry’s chef Laura’s take on this recipe by Martha Stewart. Delicious and zesty, the perfect accompaniment to a cup of Earl Grey and a lovely present for friends or family!

Ingredients:

250g flour

225g butter

100g sugar

10g Lahloo Earl Grey

grated orange zest

a pinch of salt

Use a mortar to grind the tea leaves, mixing them with the flour and a pinch of salt.

In a separate bowl, mix butter, sugar and the orange zest. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to this mixture.

Divide the dough in two, and put each part on a separate piece of baking paper. Shape these  into logs, rolling them carefully in the baking paper to a diameter of about 1 and 1/4 inches. Freeze the logs in the baking paper for 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C .

Cut each log into biscuit-sized slices. Place them on a lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on a rack and they’re ready to eat! Enjoy!

Super food matcha and manuka latte

11 Aug

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I’m a real matcha fan. Traditionally the Japanese enjoy matcha whisked into a frothy tea with water but first thing every morning I love it post-run blended with milk, banana and a little honey – a super smoothie!

You see, matcha, vibrant fine-milled Japanese green tea, is jam packed full of antioxidants and vitamins a,b and c. Like coffee, it contains caffeine but it works differently. Together with two amino acids it gives you a slow release energy lift whilst keeping you calm and focused. Not only that but matcha can boost metabolism, energy and mood (it makes me smile) as well as help prevent heart disease and ageing.

But this week I’ve been under the weather and craving hot drinks. So I tweaked my smoothie recipe to make it a latte recipe with an additional healthy boost of manuka honey. It’s delicious and with a certain autumnal chill in the air, it’s my new favourite super healthy start to the day.

Try it too!

Matcha Latte
Makes 1

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2 tsp. matcha
3 Tbsp. hot water
250ml organic milk (soya or rice milk also works well)
1 tsp. Manuka honey

In a mug, mix the matcha and hot water until it becomes a smooth paste (this is your base)

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Warm the milk (I used my espresso steamer but you could do it in a pan on the hob) and honey over low heat, making sure the milk never reaches the boil. Once heated, pour into the mug and whisk until blended.

Perfect Picnics!

15 Jul

crispy potato salad

Donna Hay’s delicious Crispy Potato Salad

Nothing beats the simple enjoyment of tucking into your favourite  yummy treats!  Throw in some great company, the great British countryside (or even a quiet spot in your local park will do!)  with sunshine filled days and it’s Lahloo’s idea of heaven! If you couple this with a glass or two of our refreshing English Garden Punch (alcoholic or non-alcoholic, gently sparkling Earl Grey, elderflower and fresh mint) we really won’t be able to contain our excitement!

Oh, you may chuckle at our enthusiasm and pleasure at such ‘everyday’ things but what great things these really are! What do you love doing? What simple pleasures have you forgotten about? Spend time daydreaming about those things and then go out and do them – now’s your time! Remember it’s all about taking it easy.

Taking time out and ‘tuning in’ your senses to the world around you and is a fabulous way to help you unwind, forget your worries and cares and allow yourself to fully relax. Here’s to taking time out and to doing the simple things you enjoy!

One of our favourite treats is to pack up a scrummy picnic and escape! We’ve found some truly delicious picnic snacks from Donna Hay’s latest book that we thought you’d love to try!

Donna Hay Fast Fresh Simple

Who ever said picnics need be boring? Forget soggy sandwiches and limp salads, here’s to simple, easy seasonal  recipes bursting with fresh flavours and taste! Now you’ve no excuse to get out and about!

Happy picnicking!

We love to treat you! Win this quintessentially British tea travel kit.

18 May

Betsy Benn's Quintessentially...Inspired by Kate and William’s recent very royal wedding, we’ve come over all patriotic here at Lahloo! And we LOVE Betsy Benn‘s fabulous quintessentially British tea towels!

So what inspired her Quintessentially British designIt was inspired by her friend’s Mum, who could drink upwards of 15 cups of tea a day as long as it was in a proper bone china cup and saucer! Her original design celebrates over 240  people, places and things that are quintessentially and fabulously British. The Queen, French and Saunders, fairy cakes, Big Ben, punch and judy, red squirrels, the Beeb – they are all there!

Cleverly, the central cross reads ‘A nice cup of tea in a proper bone china cup. One lump or two?’ and the diagonal cross is an old reliable recipe for a Victoria sponge cake. It’s made from 100% cotton and is screen printed in Wales and hemmed on all sides. A fantastic addition to any kitchen and a great read too!

In anticipation for a summer filled with camping and bbq’s, we have 3 to give away along the fabulous The Camper Van Cookbook, Lahloo Tea and a handy mug tea infuser (all perfect for those British countryside and seaside staycations) worth £45

To be in with a chance simply email Vicky the answer to: who wrote the Camper Van Cookbook?

We challenge you, Britain! Drink loose tea everyday (not just when the Queen’s invited for tea)!

12 Apr

Here at Lahloo this spring, we’ve been challenging you and you’ve been great tea ‘guinea’ pigs. Take a look at some of the other challenges and how you got on: challenge no. 1 and challenge no. 2.

Now it’s that time again! We’re challenging you for one last time. Are you ready to give a new twist to an old favourite tea habit?

queen

Think of loose leaf tea – what springs to mind? Don’t tell me, Lahloo! Of course! Now, joking aside, do you think of it as tea for ‘special occasions’? Posh tea? Something to drink in your twin sets and pearls (that includes all our male fans too)? Feel you need to get out Granny’s bone china and feel guilty at the idea of drinking it from your favourite mug?

mug

Well…..there’s always a time and a place but we say unless you’re hosting a ‘Royal Wedding Will & Kate’ celebration street tea party, put away the delicate tea cups (although they are lovely), relax those pinkies and put those doilies away! Forget pomp and ceremony and learn to enjoy tea as it should be. This is what Lahloo is all about!

Simply put, we’re challenging you to enjoy our sensational tea as an everyday indulgence. We need volunteers who have decided loose tea is for Sundays,birthdays and special occasions only! We want volunteers who want to embrace the Lahloo way. We want you to develop your own way to enjoy our tea, your own routine and to discover Lahloo tea in your own way. You can even use your favourite old mug if you like!

If you’d like to take part, email Vicky here ➨

Lahloo launches at the South West’s Chandos Delis

11 Apr

Chandos Deli

Here at Lahloo we have been celebrating! We are absolutely delighted to be supplying one of, not only our favourite but also, the South West’s favourite specialist food retailers Chandos Deli.

Most Saturday’s you’ll spot Kate popping in to Chandos on her way back from her morning run across Ashton Court for the ingredients to make her favourite weekend brunch – boiled eggs and toast and marmalade! Leaving Chandos with her arms full – a loaf of real bread, either Hobbs House Sherston loaf or Richard Bertinet’s delicious sourdough, local salted butter, free-range eggs and marmalade – and stopping to pick up the FT, Kate  finally makes her way home!

Not long after, Kate and partner Neil fight over the foodie pages by Jancis Robinson and Nick Lander, slurp  pots of nice strong breakfast tea, dunk toast soldiers into their runny eggs and hum along to BBC radio 6. Only then is Kate one very happy bunny!

Chandos’ deli was first set up in 1992 on Chandos Road in Bristol (hence the name). After humble beginnings, they went from strength to strength. The quality of their produce and exciting range (without forgetting their friendly and knowledgeable staff) meant that their business was an overnight success.

Chandos is a top spot for food lovers in Bristol (Whiteladies RoadClifton VillageHenleaze and Quakers Friars), Bath and Exeter. So, when the opportunity arose we jumped at the chance to work alongside Iain and his passionate team, confident they would showcase Lahloo tea’s in all its glory and do us proud!

It’s easy to see why it’s gone from strength to strength, and become one of the South West’s favourites. Great food, pure & simple: their concept is very simple!  And it goes hand in hand with Lahloo’s. Iain’s passion and dedication to sourcing exciting/authentic produce is why he has chosen to stock Lahloo. Like Lahloo, Chandos is an independent, vibrant company that prides itself on its attention to detail and customer service. So, it would seem like the obvious partnership and a match made in foodie heaven!

So, this weekend why not head on down to your local Chandos?  Check out what’s going on, pick up some of your favourite ingredients for a lazy Sunday brunch and (it goes without saying) don’t forget to do them justice by picking up the perfect accompaniment to all that delicious food; Lahloo tea – real tea for real people!

J’adore les macarons!

11 Apr

Kate in Paris

The first time I ever went to Paris I fell in love. Paris is a truly magical city full of wonderful and inspiring sights, sounds, shops, cafes, chic-ness, food and drink. One of my lasting memories of Paris will always be the first time I spotted macaroons! Wandering and cycling (my favourite thing to do in Paris) through the chic streets of Paris, we stumbled across Laduree, a beautiful almost fairytale-like patisserie and salon du the.  Oozing with style and indulgence, I just had to go in.

Laduree has been making beautiful patisserie since 1862 but what they’re really famous for is, macaroons. Not only do their eye-catching candy colours look beautiful but these bite-sized little meringues are just delicious. Ever since I first bit into the crisp outer shell and sunk my teeth sumptuously into the soft, smooth inside they have become my favourite tea time treat.

Sadahuru Aoki Patisserie

I went to Paris a couple of weeks ago and discovered Sadahuru Aoki’s beautiful Japanese-French patisserie full of stunning looking and sensationally tasting tea inspired patisserie. His Matcha Millefeuille and Zen cakes were incredible and just right with a cup of Japanese green tea after our long cycle uphill to get there!

Matcha Millefeuille

Zen cake

Once we’d savoured our wonderful patisserie and felt utterly revitalised, we couldn’t resist bringing some of his wonderful treats back to the Lahloo hub. It’s really difficult to find good macaroons in Bristol (although you can find them in London: Laduree in Harrods and the Burlington ArcadePierre Herme‘s pop-up in Selfridges and more recently Bougie in Covent Garden) so I brought a whole box of tea and Japanese inspired macarons – Genmaicha, Matcha, Hojicha, Yuzu and Sesame. What a treat! You see, they are just the right texture, size and sweetness to go with a cup of Lahloo tea – crisp and chewy on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle. Absolutely dreamy!

macarons

Unfortunately, I’m not in London, or Paris, enough to keep my habit satisfied so for ages I’ve been trying to find a recipe that meant I could make them at home. I’ve finally (after lots of failed attempts) found an easy to follow recipe to use that works every single time. Thanks to this recipe I adapted from Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Baking made Easy’ programme on BBC recently, I can now easily make macaroons to enjoy. And I’m in heaven!

Green tea smoothie: our new way to start the day

1 Mar

Morning’s in your household a bit of a frantic rush? Do you run out of the door without tea or breakfast? How do you fancy a new way to start the day as we go into spring?

Green tea smoothie

Our simple green tea smoothie is really speedy to make, fulfils your morning tea fix and keeps those hunger pangs at bay until lunchtime. How, we hear you ask?

Its simple; matcha! Super tasty and packed full of health and happiness boosting anti-oxidants, matcha (stone-milled Japanese green tea) is one of our favourite teas to start the day. How about adding our quick and super healthy green tea smoothie to your daily routine?

Green tea smoothie 2Green Tea Smoothie

A simple and nutritious breakfast food, made with matcha tea, milk and yogurt.

  • ¼ cup semi-skimmed milk
  • ¼ cup probiotic natural yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • 2 tsp matcha

Blend ingredients together in an electric blender.  Pour into a glass. Drink!

Fancy adding one of your 5-a-day? Fruit is a sure-fire way to blow away the cobwebs. Try adding one of the following:  ¼ a cup of seasonal berries, ½ banana, ½ kiwi or ¼ mango.

To find out more about or buy Lahloo’s matcha, click here >

Crumpets!

20 Jan

A steaming pot of tea and hot buttered crumpets; the perfect excuse to gather friends together around the fire on a Sunday afternoon and escape the winter blues!

I recently found my Grandma’s hand-written cookery book full of classic English tea time recipes. She had everything you could possibly need for the perfect afternoon tea time treat and I discovered a really simple recipe to make your own crumpets. Get the kettle on!

Crumpets!

Makes  16  Prep/cooking time:  1-2 hrs   Pre-heated oven:  180℃

Ingredients:

1 pint / 600ml warm milk

1 lb/ 450g plain sifted flour

2 tsp dried yeast

1 large egg

1/2 tsp sugar

A little salt

oil to fry

Method:

In a large bowl mix all ingredients and beat well. Leave the mixture to rise until bubbles appear on top. Beat and cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise again. Then pour into crumpet rings (or pastry cutters) and bake in a brisk oven until golden. Turn over and cook on the other side.

As easy as that! Remember, crumpets are best served hot, toasted and well buttered in front of a roaring fire with a steaming pot of tea.

Bring on Sunday!

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