Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

And one last smoothie, this time from Cuisinart, for a final chance to win one of the two tickets they’re giving away to Food Blogger Connect

And here’s the how, pretty much verbatim:
Create smoothie of your own, or make one by Cuisinart or from one of Anjum Anand’s books and post it on your blog and on the FoodBlogger Connect Facebook page by July 8, 2011 – Check

Talk about FBC11: Europe’s premier food blog conference that focuses on the art of blogging on food, with guest speakers from the food blogosphere or in food writing, plus food industry reps. Check
Plus the fact that Cuisinart is enabling two lucky winners to have free entry to the full weekend conference including an opportunity to participate in the cooking demonstration with Celebrity Chef Anjum Anand. Check

Link back to FBCAnjum Anand’s and Cuisinart’s websites and Tweet your smoothie recipe to @bloggerconnect with ALL of the following hashtags: #Cuisinart #Anjumanand #FBC11 Check

Each smoothie recipe posted separately counts as one entry. Then comment with your recipe link on the announcement post.

When browsing Cuisinart’s beverage recipes I realised that I had everything needed for a strawberry kiwi smoothie, so that’s become a Vitamin-C packed 5th smoothie in less than 48 hours (not intended).

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie, by Cuisinart

– 150g frozen strawberries, partly thawed (about 10 fair sized strawberries)
– 1 kiwi, peeled, cut into eighths (I just scooped it out like a soft-boiled egg)
– 220ml cup fat free vanilla yogurt (mine was a pot of not so fat free yogurt)
– 220ml cup fat free milk (I used just 120ml of soya milk)
– 1 tbsp honey (I used Oak honey from Lebanon)

The Cuisinart istructions use a hand blender, but I gave it all a blast in a regular blender.

And it’s a very pretty pink! But not in the photo. Which is why I’m going to FBC…


Vanilla black and blue smoothie

Smoothie epic part four.

Why? Because, if you’ve come straight to this post, Cuisinart are giving away two weekend tickets to Food Blogger Connect in August.

FBC was started pretty informally in 2009 and is growing each year. Well established bloggers, food writers and broadcasters are invited to speak about and their experience and know-how to newer food bloggers. This year there’s a photography workshop with Béatrice Peltre of La Tartine Gourmande, and a video cookery demonstration with Anjum Anand, who’s become a successful Indian TV chef. And who’s providing her equipment? Cuisinart! Who are also being incredibly generous in giving two people the chance to go, even if they’re going already. And an opportunity to take part in the video demonstration.

To qualify for the draw you have to come up with a smoothie, make one of Cuisinart‘s or one from Anjum Anand‘s books. Hence my marathon.
And then post it on your blog, plus tweet it and put it up on the FBC Facebook page, and go to the post that announced it and leave a comment.

Smoothies are somewhat addictive, and when you start looking there are so many combinations. I wanted to do one around vanilla, and then thought, why not blackcurrants. I can nibble away on summerfruits right off the stalk.

They remind me of summer on the farm I lived on up to the age of 10 when moved to a Big House. My mother lived quite The Good Life, raising chickens and ducks, and had a goat called Daisy that only she could milk. Anyone else who tried would find out that Daisy was a pretty good boxer! Mum also had a vegetable patch where peas and beans climbed up sticks, and we would sit among the leaves and eat the sweet juicy peas, right out of the pod. In another corner of the patch she grew raspberries and red- and blackcurrants (groseilles and cassis).

One of the things me and my  sister loved as kids was a blackcurrant ice cream mum made. A dense flavour that coated your mouth with lusciousness. So imagine our surprise when we asked her for the recipe as adults and she admitted it was some packet mix!

So how surprised and pleased was I that this smoothie turned out to be the closest in taste to that pud I think I’ve come across since then.

I also tossed in some blueberries (myrtilles), and even some blackberries (mûres) I’d found at the market. I wasn’t sure about the seasonality of them, but they are from France and they brought back another childhood memory from the same era of us stuffing ourselves with blackberries picked down on the old railway track of our little South Somerset village. Now not so little.

Vanilla black and blue smoothie

– 1 pot of vanilla yoghurt
– 125g punnet of blackberries
– 125g punnet of blackcurrants
– 50g blueberries
– 1 tbspn vanilla extract

Blitz the berries in a blender.
Add the yoghurt and blitz a bit more.
Mix in the vanilla extract.

Rose, white grape and litchi smoothie

They do say things come in threes…

How much time have you spent smelling roses this spring? They don’t all smell the same, but some have so much waft, like the Ispahan, it’s heaven. But then they fade and frazzle in the summer heat.

I have a bit of an obsession with them at the moment, if they’re in syrup and preserve form at least. I seem to want everything to be rose-flavoured, let alone rose-tinted.

The first encounter I had with a sublime rose preserve was on a spoon in Lebanon at the beginning of May. Talk about heavenly mmmmmmness. And for once, rather than leave it as an ornament in the cupboard as I tend to do with precious ingredients, I’ve put my jar of pale pink petals encased in syrupy jelly to work pretty quick. It’s even featured in the first post.

So I couldn’t not use it in a smoothie for the Cuisinart Food Blogger Connect 2011 ticket giveaway. Cuisinart has been generous enough to provide not one but two people with the chance to have a ticket to the 2011 event this August, even if they’re already registered.

FBC is in its third year and will be welcoming food bloggers not just from the UK and Europe, but worldwide. Including me. I went blogless last year but went home with loads of tips, advice and ideas that have taken more than a year to shape into something.

Cuisinart is teaming up with celebrity chef Anjum Anand by providing the blenders and grill she’ll be using to give a video cookery demonstration, with an opportunity for someone to take part too. Plus another lucky person at the conference will take away a Cuisinart Elite 3.8l food processor.

And all you have to do is come up with as many smoothies as you want and post each one separately (yay!), or even make one of Cuisinart‘s or one of Anjum Anand‘s from one of her books. Plus Facebook it on FBC’s Facebook page, tweet it to @bloggerconnect #Cuisinart #Anjumanand #FBC11, and post the link in the comments of the giveaway post. Hope I haven’t forgotten anything…

Rose-tinted Smoothie

I’d use fresh litchies (or monkey balls as my nephew likes to call them) if they were in season, but it’s summer not Christmas so only tinned are available.
The grapes would be better peeled, but although I do actually have a grape peeler in my gadget collection, it is yet to be used.
And the result is a very pale green, with a hint of pink from the rose preserves, and incredibly refreshing.

– About 16 fresh litchies (peeled and stones removed) or 1 tin of litchies (to be frozen)
– About 40 white seedless grapes
– 2 tbspns Rose syrup
– 1 tbspn Rose preserve, for a bit of decoration
– A small glass of water

Freeze the litchies and for at least 4 hours before you want to use them.
Blitz the litchies and grapes in a blender, starting on the ice crush level.
Stir in a good 2 tbspns of rose syrup, and the glass of water.
Drape with a spoon of rose preserve.

Apricot, melon, lime and basil smoothie

So, with the opportunity of multiple entries to the Cuisinart ticket giveaway to FBC 2011, one won’t do.

As you may be aware, Cuisinart are giving away two tickets to the Food Blogger Connect conference from 12-14 August in London. And if you’re not, let me fill you in.

Apart from being incredibly generous in allowing two people to go to FBC, Cuisinart is providing the small electrical appliances – blenders and grill – for TV chef Anjum Anand‘s video demonstration workshop at FBC 2011. Apparently the giveway gives the opportunity to take part in Anjum’s filmed cooking demonstration in the workshop too.

It’s the third FBC and the only European food blogging conference on blogging rather than cooking that I’m aware of and, with Anjum Anand‘s video workshop amongst others, it keeps getting bigger and better.

I should know, as I went last year, feeling naked as blogless.
The idea for this smoothie comes from an ad that’s been running on French TV recently for something that smells of Apricots and Basil (girl riding bike, falls off approaching a guy…her apricots fall out of her basket and mix with his basil…eyes meet…) and the fact that Pierre bought 8 Charentaise melons at the market the other day. Yes, 8. Pierre likes buying lots of fruit, especially if he gets a good deal (reasoning: “but it’s only two euros for three melons”. Yes but Pierre, there are only two of us!). Unbelievably he will eat at least two melons in a day, and then some.

Add a spritz of lime juice for some zing, and you’ve got a new super slick smoothie.

Sunshine smoothie

– 6 apricots
– Half a Charentaise melon, or other round melon, chopped into chunks and frozen in advance, or bought frozen
– 6 basil leaves (or frozen basil) plus some leaves for decoration
– Juice of one lime

Chop the melon into chunks, put it in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer at least 4 hours before you want to make the smoothie.
Half the apricots and take the stones out.
When the melon is frozen, put it in a blender with the apricot halves and basil leaves and lime juice and whiz.
Add the lime juice, and half a glass of water if you like it more soupy.

Watermelon, blueberry and raspberry smoothie

A bit more than a year ago, I went to my first food blogger conference. Without a blog. That was Food Blogger Connect #2 in London full of interesting tips and like-minded people. All with blogs. Sarah from Maison Cupcake captioned a photo afterwards “…and Zoë the Bloggless, but not for long”. Err…

Shortly after everyone said their goodbyes and I lugged luggage across London to the Eurostar – including a bike that Pierre wanted from England – and got on it (the Eurostar, not the bike) about 11 minutes before it left (the London tube, help! The Paris metro is like…riding a bike!), an email came through from Beth from Dirty Kitchen Secrets, who is also she who we give thanks to for Food Blogger Connect.

Competition! Win a 1-day pass to next year’s FBC! You had to request and use a cocoa, berries and flaxseed mix in a recipe, which I did. Two in fact. At, I think, 2 o’clock (don’t ask why, it’s like that) in the morning I was mixing, baking, and snapping photos, got something written a emailed it all off.

“That’s great, Do you think you could have a recipe posted on your blog by Monday?…”. Mmm….no.

Fast forward almost exactly one year…to last week.

Competition! Well, not actually. Giveaway!

Cuisinart are sponsoring Anjum Anand‘s video cooking demonstration slot at FBC 2011 from August 12 to 14 and are giving away two tickets for the full weekend conference. I’ve already got mine, but even we have a chance to go courtesy of Cuisinart, and maybe get to take part in the cooking demonstration with Anjum Anand. All you have to do is make a smoothie from your own recipe, one of Cuisinart‘s, or one from one of Anjum Anand‘s books. And make as many as you want, each one counts as an entry. Then post them on your blog (check), notify on FBC’s Facebook page (check, Facebook now set up), and tweet too… (check, and first tweet to manage), and write blurb about FBC:

Apart from Anjum Anand‘s presence, this year’s FBC will feature speakers on many aspects of blogging. like Steamy Kitchen’s Jaden Hair (who skyped her slot last year), Béatrice Peltre from La Tartine Gourmande, broadcasters or food writers Alex Mead, Fiona Beckett and Tim Hayward, and numerous others.

So smoothies. What could be more simple, whiz a choice of fruit, ice cubes and optionally yogurt, milk, protein…together, in any combination you want.

And hey presto, Pierre brings home half a watermelon from the market, I’ve got frozen blueberries in the freezer, and a punnet of raspberries in the fridge. I first made it last year, possibly minus the raspberries, and it was so good that I downed the almost whole litre in an afternoon. Plus it’s packed with antioxidants, blueberries having hit the headlines as a superfruit.

So, smoothie number one…

Purple smoothie
Purple antioxidant smoothie

200g blueberries (frozen at least 4 hours in advance, or bought frozen)
1/2 watermelon (chopped into cubes without the skin)
125g raspberries (a small punnet)

Makes about a litre.

Put the frozen blueberries in a blender and blitz a bit.
Add the watermelon and raspberries and blitz some more.
Serve, decorated with fresh blueberries.