Wednesday, February 9, 2011

febfast update: Week 1

One week is over and I haven't felt the slightest bit cheated. Hubs did offer me a beer but his embarrassed face told me it was definitely an accident! I ate out twice this week, contenting myself with Lime & Soda's, beware if you're not used to fizzy drinks - they fill you up fast!
I have been overwhelmed with the amount of support I've received from friends and family - my donations were at $120 before February has even started and since then they've risen to $140 - GO ME!

Last week we enjoyed a Moroccan inspired menu at home and I was thrilled to find some interesting and tasty Moroccan drinks courtesy of Cooking with Alia.
The Peach & Orange Blossom, Almond & Orange Blossom and Watermelon & Rosewater drinks were not only dead easy to make, they tasted just like summer in a glass! Moroccans often use these wonderful flavours and essences which can take any standard juice and whip it up into something far more exotic -they'll all be in my repertoire long after febfast is over.
Like any lifestyle change, the trick to making sure this isn't a drag is to be prepared. At the beginning of the week I hit up our local green grocer Pompello (Victoria Street Seddon - visit if you can!) for a great range of fruit and berries and went home to try out a few cordial recipes I'd found online...

Left to Right: Raspberry & Rosewater Cordial, Orange & Lemon Barley Cordial, Almond Sherbet

Raspberry & Rosewater Cordial from

  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 300g frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 6-8 drops rosewater

Method: Place sugar, lime juice and water in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add raspberries and increase the heat to bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes then remove from heat and stir in rosewater. Allow to cool. Pour the raspberry mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Press mixture through a sieve to remove seeds. Store cordial in a clean, dry jar. To serve, add a little cordial to iced water, soda water or lemonade. 

Verdict: What a delicious treat - not too sweet and the combination of Raspberry and Rosewater is a winner!

Lemon Barley Cordial from Aussies Living Simply
Makes approx 600ml. Keeps for 2 weeks, refrigerated.

  • 2 organic oranges
  • 1 small organic lemon
  • 85g pearl barley
  • 200g caster sugar
Method: Pare the zest of 1 of the oranges and the lemon and place in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from all the fruit and strain to remove pips and flesh (you should have about 250ml juice).
Put the barley in a small saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil. Then strain through a sieve and discard the water. return the barley to the pan. add 600ml of boiling water and the fruit rind and bring back to the boil.Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain the barley and return the liquid to the pan.
Add the sugar to the strained barley water, stir once then heat gently without stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 2 min, stirring a couple of times, then add the strained fruit juice and bring back to the boil.
Pour immediately into warmed sterilized bottles using a funnel.
Seal, and leave to cool, then store in fridge Shake before use. 

Verdict: I used a combination of oranges and lemons in this one and it's a beautifully refreshing drink - hint - add some fresh mint leaves to serve!

Almond Sherbet from Marie Claire Food & Drink
by Michelle Cranston
Place 200ml of water, 4 Tbs almond meal, 4 split cardamom pods and 1 cup of sugar. Boil until the mixture thickens. Cool, add 1 tsp rosewater and 2 drops almond essence. Top up with cold sparkling water. Serves 10.

Verdict: OK so my muddy brown syrup doesn't look like the photo in the book, but this is an amazing flavour and it's just perfect on a hot day - dare you to try it!

As far as my mini challenge of walking every morning went - Rossi and I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on Tuesday but too many late nights meant that my well-meaning endeavours came to a grinding halt by Wednesday. Nevermind - this week I'll be aiming for a 10pm bedtime (where I should have started all along!)

Next week
Join me as I explore the unique world of non-alcoholic alcoholic beverages - beer or wine anyone?

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