soberandhungry's Blog

we love wine, we love food and we love sharing


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Gingerbread Men – Updated Recipe

I am obviously a member of the bake club at work! When my turn came to feed the hungry team I opted for Gingerbread Men. Everyone loves the nostalgia of a Gingerbread Man, and being from Grantham, where they have been producing Gingerbread since the early 1700’s, it seemed like the only option. This recipe makes 10-12 and is an update to my previous recipe.

Gingerbread2Ingredients

  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 125g butter (take it out of the fridge 15 mins before), plus extra for greesing
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp honey

 To decorate

  • Writing icing
  • Smarties

 Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (I have a new super hot oven, so set mine to 170C).
  2. Sift together the first four dry ingredients. Add the butter in cubes. Using your hands, crumble into the mix to produce breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  3. Lightly beat the egg and honey together, add to dry mix and mould until the mixture comes together into a shiney ball.
  4. Grease 2 x baking trays with butter.
  5. Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them (important as they will grow).
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and Smarties.

You can find out more about Grantham Gingerbread here: http://granthamgingerbread.com/


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Istrian Wine Tasting in Pula (Croatia)

We have just come back from a wonderful holiday in Pula in Croatia. I had no preconceived notions of what to expect aside from some stunning views.  Our all inclusive holiday (whoop!) led us to the heart of Istria, the largest peninsula in Croatia, situated in the northern Adriatic. I can confirm the scenery is amazing, the weather was perfect, the coast is clean, the seawater is really clear (we enjoyed some Scuba Diving) AND the food and wine is top notch!!

Not one to shy away from the activities on offer at the hotel, I was front of the class for the wine tasting.

The geographical setting of Istria is certainly a big factor in their wine. During Roman domination Pula, which is very close to Italy, got the rank of a Roman colony, and the Romans bought with them Ampitheatres, Catholisism and grapes.

We tried three wines Vina Laguna Rose, Medea Malvazija Istarska and Medea Merlot.

IstrianWineTasting

Vina Laguna Rose 2013 12.0%

Some in the group would usually shy away from a Rose, but this was a refreshing summer wine that everyone enjoyed.

  • Description: Fruity, crisp and light.
  • Serve at 10 degrees.

Medea Malvazija Istarska 2014 13.5%

We were told not to drink Istrian wine from 2014 as the rain last year had drained away the sugars in the grapes. However, this young, straw yellow wine was very paletable!

  • Description: Flowery smell, apples, honey, fresh and expressed.
  • Serve at 10 degrees.

Medea Merlot 2013 13.5%

The Romans did much to spread the viticulture throughout the world. The final wine that we tasted was the favourite; the dense, ruby red Merlot (French grape) with good Croatian ‘Wine Tears’ (rather than legs as we usually describe it). It complimented the cheese from Istria (which was similar to a Chedder).

  • Description: Tannings, rich, forrest fruits, cloves, vanilla, dry and balanced.
  • Serve at 18-20 degrees, open 30 mins before serving.

If you have a chance to visit Pula, I would recommend it. We stayed at Park Plaza Histria Pula. Our lovely Guest and Entertainment Officer Antonia lead the wine tasting as well as cycling, Pilates, fitness, arts and crafts and cooking presentations to name but a few. We Scuba Dived with Orca: orcadiving.hr.