Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (2) in /home/content/56/4946556/html/lunaraye.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/content/56/4946556/html/lunaraye.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (2) in /home/content/56/4946556/html/lunaraye.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/content/56/4946556/html/lunaraye.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (2) in /home/content/56/4946556/html/lunaraye.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/content/56/4946556/html/lunaraye.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197
Potions ‘n Brews- Lunaraye's Kitchen Witchery
nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Rocket Fuel: Healthy Iced Coffee With A Kick!...

A few years ago my husband and I were visiting my sister in Toronto. As a special treat she took us to a wonderful restaurant called Fresh and what a treat it was! This has become one of my all time favourite restaurants. Whenever we are back in Toronto a trip to Fresh is always top of our list.

The first thing I ever had at Fresh was one of their speciality espresso shakes called ‘Rocket Fuel’. This is a healthy (and much tastier) alternative to those incredibly sweet full fat iced coffee drinks you can get now at most coffee shops.

The original recipe calls for vanilla soymilk but as I was unable to find any I used a chocolate oat based drink instead. Although it does have a different taste to the Rocket Fuel I remember the addition of chocolate is never really a bad thing – is it?

So here is my slightly altered version of their recipe. This has been a much needed kick in the pants for my husband and I during these cold dark UK mornings.
(Please keep in mind this for 2 people so I have doubled everything.)

Ingredients

2 dbl. shot espresso or brewed coffee (My favourite is Kicking Horse )

10 oz Oatly Healthy Oat Chocolate Drink

2 bananas, peeled

2 tsp maple syrup (Canadian is best!)

1.5 shakes cinnamon

5 ice cubes

Directions

Brew up the coffee.

Add the oat drink and bananas to the blender.

Start the blender on a low setting and gradually add the coffee, maple syrup, cinnamon and ice cubes.

Put blender on a higher setting for 1-2 minutes to make sure all the ice is blended.

Pour into 2 tall glasses.

Enjoy!

About my first Visit to Fresh:

On that first visit I noticed a cookbook for sale by the main till. It was called Fresh At Home. I loved the variety of healthy recipes it offered and the photos were gorgeous! Unfortunately worries about being able to fit it in my luggage with everything else I had accumulated kept me from buying it. Damn my sensibleness! It was a decision that would haunt me until we returned to Toronto 2 years later. Sadly the book was no where to be found in the restaurant so I enjoyed my meal and put thoughts of the cookbook out of my mind.

Bring on Christmas and Santa had a very special treat for me this year. There, waiting under the tree, was the newest addition to the Fresh library – simply called Refresh. It has some of the old favourites as well as plenty of exciting new recipes to try. I am looking forward to getting stuck into some seriously healthy food!

If you’re interested in the original Rocket Fuel recipe from Fresh follow the Directions above but use the following ingredients instead. (Please note this is for a single serving)

1 dbl. shot espresso or brewed coffee

6 oz vanilla soymilk

1 bananas, peeled

1 tsp maple syrup

1 shake cinnamon

6 ice cubes

And of course – Enjoy!

If you are planning a visit to Toronto or you live in Toronto and haven’t been – then put Fresh on your to do list. You won’t regret it! Check out their site here for more information.

Rocket Fuel: Healthy Iced Coffee

Rocket Fuel: Healthy Iced Coffee

These are a few of my favourite things.

These are a few of my favourite things.

Happy Hour Cocktail: Mackay Martini...

My parents house move was successful and they are now busily settling in to their new home.

One of the house warming gifts they received was a bag of bush lemons from a friend’s garden. I had never heard of them before and they are certainly strange looking things.

They have a very intense lemon flavour which adds a wonderful fresh zing. I use lemon zest on pasta, in salads, soups, in muffins, breads and on yoghurt. It really brings a fresh summery pick me up to so many dishes.

Lemon juice is ideal for salad dressings, marinades and as an addition to drinks – particularly cocktails.

Last night for happy hour I decided to make one of my favourite drinks: a gin martini. A martini needs a good helping of lemon peel and it gave me a great excuse to try the bush lemons.

It was lemony and delicious and provided a welcome happy hour break from unpacking boxes!

Luna Raye’s Mackay Martini

Ingredients

1 ounce good quality gin ( Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray are ideal choices)

1 capful of dry vermouth

3 generous strips of bush lemon peel (if you can’t get ahold of bush lemons use the peel from regular UNWAXED lemons).

Add about 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice.

Directions

In a glass add 3 ice cubes.

Add the capful of dry vermouth and swish around the glass coating the ice cubes and bottom half of the glass.

Add the ounce of gin.

Add the bush lemon peel and juice.

(If you aren’t using bush lemons then add the unwaxed peel and juice of a regular lemon).

Enjoy!

If only the oven was working I would love to use the lemons to make a lemon drizzle cake.

Bush Lemon

Bush Lemon an essential ingredient in the Mackay Martini

Mackay Martini

Mackay Martini

Happy Hour Cocktail: Negroni...

Happy hour is a family tradition. After the day’s work is done we gather together for a cocktail (or two) before dinner.

We talk about the days events, have a laugh and sometimes even indulge in a tv show. While in Australia my husband and I have become addicted to The Millionaires Hot Seat.

Today we settled in to watch the show with a fantastic cocktail called a Negroni. My dad first made these for us many years ago and we were instantly taken with the crisp bitterness of the drink.

This isn’t a traditional recipe in that we use slightly less Campari and Sweet Vermouth but these measurements are a personal preference. For a more traditional Negroni just use equal measurements of Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth.

Luna Raye’s Happy Hour Negroni

Ingredients

1 ounce good quality gin
1/2 ounce Campari
1/3 ounce sweet Vermouth

Directions

Mix ingredients over ice in a small tumbler

Stir with swizzle stick

Enjoy!

Aroma Festival at The Rocks, Sydney....

Not only am I fortunate enough to be in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia visiting my parents. I was lucky enough to arrive in time for the Aroma Festival at The Rocks, which is located at the harbour front just opposite the Opera House.

It was a beautiful winter day, so a big change from the glorious summer we’ve been having in the UK. There were dozens of stalls set up, some for the usual weekend market selling all sorts of treasures from jewellery to glass ware to stylish bags made of recycled paper. There were also many stalls set up for the Aroma Festival which was a celebration of coffees, teas and Australian spices.

I LOVE free samples and the stall holders were more then generous with samples of coffee, herbal teas and chai drinks. Also on offer were freshly made fudge, cupcakes, creamed honey and bread dipped in lemon myrtle olive oil and spices. Many stalls offered a great selection of gluten free products as well.

There was a terrific atmosphere and the stall holders were more than happy to talk about their products and give recipe suggestions. Several jars of herbal tea were purchased as was an intriguing selection pack of spices. The real revelation for me is lemon myrtle which smells and tastes like a sunny day. I have never had it before but apparently it’s a herb that is specific to Australia. Lemon myrtle tea is something I will be drinking a lot more of.

I am looking forward to trying out my new herbs but for the moment I am quite happy having a big chocolaty cappuccino with my mum before we walk to the botanical gardens to see the flying foxes!

Brewing With Love And Nose Rubs: Cat Cuddle Tea....

When I was younger I pestered my parents on a daily basis for a pet. At that time it didn’t matter to me what kind of pet, I just wanted an animal companion to cuddle up to and share my secrets with. Then one summer day when I came back from a solo visit to see my grandparents, I was greeted at the door by my mom, who told me there was a special surprise waiting for me. I will never forget the first time I saw Cinders. She was a tiny ball of gray and white fluff and to be honest I was terrified of her! She was so tiny that I was frightened I would hurt her if I went near her. I soon got over my worry and would often scoop her up for a cuddle. She was a remarkable cat who gave our family lots of love, joy and laughter for over 22 years.

As a teenager I did my share of babysitting but I was actually more popular as a cat sitter. I would look after people’s cats while they went on holiday and would shower them with as much love and affection as I could – so they didn’t miss their families too much while they were away. It was the best job I ever had! I looked after cats in Canada and the UK and made many wonderful friends (human and feline) along the way.

Now I do love all animals BUT there is something completely wonderful about cats. They hold a very special place in my heart and I know the world would be a miserable (and far less interesting place) without them. I am purrfectly happy in admitting that I am a total slave to my cat Nutmeg!

When I say I would do anything for her– I mean it! When she squawks I come running. Of course this has now resulted in me bringing her large glasses of water throughout the day (and night! – can we say ‘sleep deprivation’ everyone). In fact all she has to do is look at me in a certain way and I drop everything. Nutmeg does love a good cuddle and she often calls me over to have a wee snuggle and a mad cleaning session (I don’t do any cleaning – I am just expected to watch and admire).

Working from home means my day is wonderfully broken up with bouts of cat cuddling. This has created something which I call ‘Cat Cuddle Tea’.

Luna Raye’s Recipe For Cat Cuddle Tea.

Ingredients

1 tea bag (I love Clipper Organic Everyday Tea)

Water, just off the boil.

Milk and Sugar (or Honey) if desired.

Directions

Boil some water (being mindful not to overfill your kettle).

Add tea bag to your favourite mug.(My favourite is my Star Trek mug)

Fill the mug with the boiled water and gently poke at tea bag with a tea spoon.

While the tea continues to steep go and cuddle your cat.

Give ample nose rubs, chin scritches and haunch pats.

If your feline friend asks for a drink, pour them some water and bring it to them in a crystal glass. Make sure to hold the glass steady.

After they have had their water, bury your face in their fur and make smooch-y noises and praise them.

More nose rubs may be needed at this point.

Ignore cramp in your left side because you aren’t sitting correctly on the sofa (most likely because kitty is stretched out).

When 30 minutes has passed gently remove yourself from the sofa to check on your tea.

It should now be cold and unpleasant to drink.

Place unused milk back in the fridge and unused sugar or honey back on the shelf.

Get back to the sofa immediately to resume cat cuddles.

Enjoy!

Luna’s Cat Cuddle Tea Tips:

• As long as you haven’t added milk or sugar you can reserve the cold tea to give your house plants a nice boost. My great grandmother always used the cold tea left over in her tea pot for her African Violets – and they were always stunning and in full bloom.

• Place tea bags in a small dish and put in the fridge. They are wonderfully refreshing to use on tired, puffy eyes.

Some of Luna’s Favourite Cat Websites:

The Cats Protection League

Feline Cat Rescue

I Can Has Cheezburger

Catio Showcase

WhollyCat

Way of Cats

Come on and give me a cuddle - you know you want to!

Luna Raye's Cat Cuddle Tea

Nutmeg Unamused At Dragon's Inability To Give Nose Rubs

Yummy Hot Chocolate....

I am tired today. It was a late night last night, and I am midway through a working weekend. So to reward myself and have a break, I am going to have a special hot chocolate.

Made with  1 Cup of semi skimmed milk and 4 heaping Tablespoons of semi sweet organic hot chocolate I will add a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg, lots of whipped cream and some marshmallows.

It’s just the treat I need before I get back to work!

Fruit Smoothies: A great way to start the day...

One the best ways to start the day is with a healthy fruit smoothie. My husband has a very early start to his day and he struggles with his appetite so early in the morning. For awhile he was going to work without eating anything at all for breakfast. Skipping such an important meal is not good for your health or wellbeing – and he was beginning to suffer. Headaches, unhealthy weight loss, mood swings and tiredness were all results of him not having a good start to his day.

Fortunately we discovered the one thing he can stomach early in the morning: a smoothie.

We use plain organic yoghurt and also add about ½ a cup of semi skimmed organic milk. Then we add some fruit. You can really have fun and experiment with different fruit combinations. The great news is that you can easily get at least 1 portion of your 5 a day. Some fruits that work really well in smoothies are:

  • Bananas
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apricots
  • Melon
  • Kiwi Fruit

If you really want to add an extra special dimension to your smoothie you can also try adding one or more of the following:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Runny Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Porridge Oats

Here is one of our favourite recipes.

Combine the following in a blender.

¾ cup Organic Plain Yoghurt.

2 Bananas.

1 cup of Strawberries.

3 Tablespoons of Crunchy or Smooth Peanut Butter (depending on your preference)

½ cup of Semi Skimmed Milk

Sprinkling of Cinnamon

Have a go and see what amazing combinations you can up with. I would love to hear what you create so please feel free to share your recipes!