Cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad (V)

I don’t really know what’s up with me, but I seem to have caught the cucumber bug.

As in, I’m absolutely obsessed with anything cucumber. Cocktails, mocktails and all the cucumber salad combinations, I simply can’t get enough of it.

Cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad ● Cake + Whisky Cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad (v) ● Cake + Whisky

As a consequence, my current lunch of choice is this super-refreshing, simplified Greek-style, summery cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad.

Cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad ● Cake + Whisky

Perfect for a fast and fresh meal or as a side alongside barbecued meat or halloumi, it’s the ultimate cool-as-a-cucumber dish!

Cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad ● Cake + Whisky

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More healthy midweek recipes:

Spring potato salad

Kale & rice salad with avocado & salmon

Thai coconut noodle soup

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Cucumber, feta & pomegranate salad (V)

Melon and Prosciutto salad

When it’s as hot as it’s been for the past couple of weeks, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven, or spend any time near the stove. I’m hot enough as it is, thank you very much.

So when it’s hot, salad it is!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Favourites include this Mexican corn salad and this Instagram-ready Rainbow salad as well as a Summer-on-a-plate Italian classic: Melon and Prosciutto Salad!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Not only is the pairing of sweet Cantaloupe melon and salty prosciutto simply irresistible, but it’s also one of the easiest things ever to make.

Perfect for those days when the very idea of standing by a stove makes you sweat!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Melon and Prosciutto Salad (serves 4-6 as a starter or 2-3 as a main)

Ingredients: 1 ripe melon, 1 pack of prosciutto (6 slices), handful mini mozzarella balls (or 1 teared-up regular size ball), 2 tbsp of pesto (find my recipe in here), 2 tbsp olive oil, cracked black pepper to taste

1. Cut your melon in half, discard the seeds, then slice each half into 4-6 pieces. Remove the skin on each piece, then place on a big serving plate.

2. Tear up the prosciutto into thin ribbons and place on the serving dish, on top of the melon. Add the mozzarella balls as well.

3. Loosen the pesto with the olive oil, then pour on top of the melon. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

What’s your go-to heatwave meal?

Melon and Prosciutto salad

Summer SoirĂ©e at Le MĂ©ridien Piccadilly

When it comes to summer holidays, you can’t beat the French Riviera.

With blue sea, blue sky, picturesque villages, quiet beaches and fantastic food, no wonder it’s been the playground of the rich & famous for so long!

However, no need to be rich or famous (or even to face the dreadful summer holiday airport check-in lines) to experience this little piece of Summer heaven, because Le Méridien Piccadilly is bringing Nice to London for the Summer!

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Nod to the French origins of the brand, Le MĂ©ridien Piccadilly’s restaurant, Terrace Bar & Grill, has been transformed into an idyllic coastal resort.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Complete with striped sun loungers, sun umbrellas, blossoming climbing plants, espadrilles and a spot of apéritif

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

… and even a pĂ©tanque field!

The iconic French sport is a favourite at family gatherings and a classic beachside hobby.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

The rules are really quite simple: you throw the small ball (the ‘cochonnet‘) first, and then it’s all about getting the big, metal balls as close as possible to it.

Whether you play in a tĂȘte-Ă -tĂȘte (one-on-one) or in teams, it’s always great fun and perfect to work up an appetite!

Which you’ll most definitely need to make the most of the antipasti menu, all inspired by classic Niçois dishes.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Beautiful Artichoke Barigoule with creamy aioli.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Mini pots of melt-in-the-mouth Daube Provençale with carrots and olives.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Pan Bagnat (a tuna-filled bun & Nice’s answer to burgers!) and PissaladiĂšre mini Tarte Tatin.

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Summer Soirée 31

Niçoise salad (of course).

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

And the cutest little macarons!

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

All washed down with icy glasses of Sifflet cocktails (martini Bianco, Champagne, mandarin syrup & citrus zest).

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

And a glass or two of crisp local wine (when in France…)

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

… or, get two birds with one stone & indulge your French fashion fix with the Cocktail Espadrilles.

The perfect summer drink + the perfect Summer shoes? Summer packing’s never been that easy!

Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky Le Méridien Piccadilly Summer Soirée | Cake + Whisky

Which means more time to soak in the sunshine of the French Riviera!

So gather friends, book a nice big table, put on your stripy Tees and enjoy the Summer vibes!

Summer SoirĂ©e at Le MĂ©ridien Piccadilly

20 great recipes for a Summer Potluck

Summer is the perfect season to organise a potluck party.

If everyone makes a dish, it’s easier for everybody, right?

Well, it is. Up until the point when you have to decide what you’ll bring!

…and if you need a little help with that, the list below is just what you’ve been looking for!

Whether you said you’ll bring dessert or salad, and no matter what your cooking level is, there is something for everybody!

 

1. Guacamole

Guacamole

picture source

Everybody loves the guy/gal that brings guacamole. Simple as that.

And I won’t even make you the offence of linking to a recipe because nobody needs one.

What you do need is ripe avocadoes, loads of lemon juice, salt, pepper, Tabasco and everything else you might want to add.

2. Pimped-up hummus

How to make supermarket hummus amazing | Cake + Whisky

You better practice your most mysterious smile because everybody’s gonna ask what you put in your hummus to make it taste that good (I won’t tell if you don’t).

Get the magic tips here. Want to take it a step further and make your own? Get the recipe here.

3. Tzatziki

Light tzatziki recipe from Rachel Phipps'

This lighter version of the classic Greek tzatziki is ready in minute and the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats… And also delightful scooped up with soft, light pitta bread!

Get the recipe here.

4. Crispy bacon wrapped prunes

Prunes in crispy bacon from Epicurious

Sweet, salty and sticky all in one bite. If that’s not snack-fection, I don’t know what is.

Get the recipe here.

5. Radishes in soil Ă  la Noma

Radishes in soil Ă  la Noma from Chocolate & Zucchini

For those times when your usual cruditĂ© platter simply won’t cut it and you need to take it up a notch.

Get the recipe here.

6. BLT salad

BLT Salad from The Londoner

Ditch the bread & keep all the BLT goodies to turn the classic lunchtime sandwich into the best barbecue side there ever was.

Get the recipe here.

7. Tomato & feta crumble

Tomato Feta Crumble 13

Tomato crumble is a Summer supper game changer; the intense flavor of roasted tomatoes, combined with the slight sourness of feta and topped with a deliciously cheesy crumb-topping is simply impossible to resist.

Get the recipe here.

8. Hoisin watermelon salad

Gizzi Erskine's Watermelon and hoisin salad

I am yet to try the duck part of this Gizzi Erskine recipe but watermelon being one of my favourite fruit, the salad has become a firm favourite and I make it any time I have an opportunity. Refreshing and satisfying, it’s a bit of a wild card that’ll be perfect to surprise your foodie friends.

Get the recipe here

9. Potatoes in foil with cheat’s tartare

cookwithwood-3

picture source

Particularly appropriate for a BBQ get-together. Simply parboil the potatoes until just about tender, then wrap each one in aluminium foil and throw in/on the barbie together with the meat to reheat.

Cheat’s tartare is the perfect (and lazy!) accompaniment for it.

Get the recipe here

10. Tomato & pomegranate molasse salad

Sabrina Ghayour's Tomato & Pomegranate molasse salad

 

My favourite recipe from Queen of Persian cooking Sabrina Ghayour’s debut cookbook, Persiana. It only takes minutes to put together but packs in loads of flavours and everyone I’ve ever made it for LOVED it.

Get the recipe here

11. Bacon potato salad

Summer potato and bacon salad | Cake + Whisky

You can’t beat a classic, but you sure can improve it (with bacon. Bacon improves everything.)

Get the recipe here.

12. Very Greek halloumi/chicken

Greek Caprese salad 8

Marinate your protein of choice in this fresh, vibrant marinade packed-full of Greek goodness before throwing it all on the BBQ for an instant Mamma Mia effect!

Get the recipe here.

13. Tomato & tapenade tart

Provencale Tomato and Tapenade Tarte Fine | Cake + Whisky

Get the recipe here.

14. Cheese plate & fresh bread 

A handy guide to the perfect cheese plate from A Cup of Jo

Cheese and fresh bread are right up there on the list of things any host LOVE their guests to bring to a potluck party. An especially brilliant news if you’re not quite so comfortable behind a stove, have no time on the day or are simply obsessed with cheese! Don’t have the first clue about cheese? Here‘s a handy guide!

15. Whole baked camembert

Baked Camembert recipe from Binny's Kitchen

Add a chilled glass of white wine of the side and there you have it: the ultimate indulgence!

Get the recipe here.

16. The world best brownies

sndguerin-best-brownies-ever-oreos

The name says it all. #WorldBestBrownies

Get the recipe here.

17. Mojito ice lollies

Mojito ice lolly from The Ice Kitchen

Fresh, zingy, refreshing and the very best way to sneak more mojitos into your diet!

Get the recipe (from ice lollies mastermind Ice Kitchen) here.

18. Chocolate mousse

Salted Chocolate Mousse Recipe | Cake + Whisky

Unlimited chocolate mousse? Count me in! #thedream

Get then ultimate recipe here or make a fancy marbled version (recipe here)

19. Lemon & poppy seed cake

Lemon and Poppy Seed cake | Cake + Whisky

We all have that one friend who doesn’t like chocolate…

Get the recipe here.

20. A big batch cocktail

Raspberry Wine Spritzer | Cake + Whisky

Because a party with good food is good, but one with good food AND drinks is better.

Many cocktails are easy to make big batches of… but this Raspberry Wine Spritzer is the prettiest of them all!

What’s your go-to recipe for a potluck? Any of the ones above you want to try next time?

 

20 great recipes for a Summer Potluck

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga

You can’t beat a girl’s night out.

Life often gets in the way, everyone’s busy, so it can be difficult to put a date in the diary.

But once in a while, when you do manage to get a group of your favourite people together for a proper catch up
 It’s just magic.

It was Bunga Bunga, the infamous Battersea Bridge pizzeria & Italian-themed bar, which finally gave us all an excuse to get together.

It’s been going through a bit of a refurb’ lately (and it was a rather polemic one) so, just as you would with a girlfriend that suddently went platinum blonde, it was our duty to show our support.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

But to be honest, I’m not sure why there’s been so much noise as it now looks better than ever!

Inside, they kept the same fun-filled, quirky bits…

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Including the famous motorcycles on the ceiling.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

And a whole lot of pickpocket-proofed bags!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

And they went full-on Italian outside by painting the facade in red, white and green!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Plus they still serve the same great sharing platters…

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Boasting all your Italian favourite nibbles, from arancini to bruschetta, polenta chips, parmigiana and much, much more!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Absolutely impossible to resist!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

But the best part is the fantastico new cocktail menu.

All inspired by Italian regions and their world-famous ingredients.

And there’s nothing quite like cocktails to fuel long-overdue catch ups!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Even better when made and served by lovely, chatty bartenders in the most adorable stripped Tees.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Stirred, shaken and served in the blink of an eye!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Piemonte (Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, Fernet Branca liqueur, Mancino Bianco Ambrato vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters & home-made bitter syrup)

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Veneto (Bombay Sapphire gin, elderflower syrup, fresh lemon juice, home-made sugar syrup & fresh green grapes)

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Cocktails flying to nearby tables will make you want to get one of each.

Fear of missing out much?

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Good thing the gondola driver/cocktail guys have made skills and are fast as lightning!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Marche (Dewar’s White Label Scotch whisky, Visciolata del Cardinale dessert wine, Amaro Averna liqueur, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, fresh lime juice & home-made maraschino syrup).

And cherry on top: a white chocolate covered cherry. Divine.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Lombardia (Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, Tia Maria liqueur, Amaretto Disaronno liqueur, home-made cocoa nibs & amaretti biscuit syrup topped up with double cream).

Pudding-worthy!

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Lazio (VII Hills gin, Cynar artichoke liqueur, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, fresh lime juice & home-made rosemary syrup)

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

SO fresh and fragrant and probably my favourite of the night.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Alongside some vino.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

And a few old favourites…

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Whisky, cherry and chilli concoction of dreams.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + WhiskyStripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

And a couple of Bunga Bunga’s iconic David Punch.

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga | Cake + Whisky

Going to Bunga Bunga can be a bit of a trek if you’re not an SW11 resident, but it’s one that’s very much worth taking!

Book a table, take a group of friends, the more the merrier. There’s great cocktails, delightful finger food and even karaoke, it’s very relaxed and always great fun! You’re going to love it!

Bunga Bunga, 37 Battersea Bridge Rd, London SW11 3BA

Stripes & Cocktails at Bunga Bunga

Vegetarian Caesar Salad

There are two sorts of people: the ones who love salads, and the ones who don’t.

Or rather, the ones who haven’t quite realised that a salad is just a green, leafy vehicule for all the good stuff.

And this Vegetarian Caesar Salad recipe is the perfect demonstration of this theory.

Vegetarian Caesar Salad | Cake + WhiskyVegetarian Caesar Salad | Cake + Whisky

If you’re already a  salad sort of person, you’ll love it! (also we should totally be friends and swap recipes!)

But for those who roll their eyes at the very mention of vegetarian, low cal and run from anything proclaiming to be ‘healthy’
 this is a total dreamboat.

The perfect “salad for salad dodgers”.

Vegetarian Caesar Salad | Cake + WhiskyVegetarian Caesar Salad | Cake + Whisky

It’s fresh, crunchy and light, but packs such a punch in terms of flavours that nobody will ever guess it’s actually good for you!

The very best way to get your friends on the green side of the force!

Vegetarian Caesar Salad | Cake + Whisky

Vegetarian Caesar Salad (serves 2-3)

Ingredients: 1 box Fry’s Family Rice & Chia Nuggets, 2 heads of Romaine lettuce (washed, dried and cut lengthway), 3 free-range eggs, 1 handful croutons, handful Parmesan shavings, fresh chives (chopped), 2 egg yolks, 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped or grated), 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 4 tablespoon cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C, then cook the nuggets according to box instructions. When they’re nice and golden (and your whole kitchen smells of toasted rice), take them out and cut them on an angle into bite-sized chunks.

2. Put a pot of water to boil. When it’s boiling, drop the eggs in and cook for 6-7 minutes. Shell the eggs, then cut in half lengthway.

3. While things are cooking, make your Caesar dressing: in a bowl, mix together the mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Add the egg yolk, then blend with a hand blender.  Add olive oil slowly until it just starts to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Dress your salad on big plates, starting with the lettuce. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing, then add the halved eggs, nugget chunks and croutons. Drizzle with more of the dressing, then sprinkle with Parmesan shavings and chopped chives. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Caesar Salad

Raspberry Wine Spritzer

There’s something about the sunny weather that just calls for everyday mini-garden parties and evening cocktails.

Yes, even on Mondays. The beginning of a long week deserves a celebratory long drink.

Especially when it’s as easy to make as these Raspberry Wine Spritzer!

Raspberry Wine Spritzer | Cake + Whisky

Raspberry Wine Spritzer is the lazy alternative to Sangria.

Less ingredients, less prep time but that same ‘summer in a glass’ vibe!

Raspberry Wine Spritzer | Cake + Whisky

Serve in your favourite patch of sunshine, sit back, smile and relax!

Truly the ultimate summer drink!

Raspberry Wine Spritzer | Cake + Whisky Raspberry Wine Spritzer | Cake + Whisky

Raspberry Wine Spritzer (for 1 glass)

Ingredients: 80ml Black Raspberry Sparkling Ice Sparkling Water (chilled), 150ml chilled rosé wine (I used CÎtes de Provence), 4 ice cubes, berries to serve

1. In a large wine glass, place the ice cubes and a few berries (I used blueberries).

2. Pour in the rosé, then top with Black Raspberry Sparkling Ice.

3. Garnish with yet more berries (redcurrants here) and serve immediately.

PS: If you want to make a big batch (for a party for example), simply combine the wine and Sparkling Ice water into a large drink dispenser and serve ice and berries on the side for your guests to garnish their own drinks.

Raspberry Wine Spritzer