Friday, 20 November 2015

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

You know it's Christmas when you can take a trip to Winter Wonderland - full of festive activities, food and drink, it's the perfect way to get yourself ready for the Christmas season.

How much is it to get in?
Winter Wonderland is free to enter.

When is it open?
It opens today (Friday 20th November) from 5pm, and is open until 3rd January 2016. Opening times are 10am - 10pm. It is closed Christmas Day.

Where is it?
Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park
W2 2ET

How can I get there? 
The best way to get to Winter Wonderland is via public transport. There are many tube and mainline stations in close vicinity including: Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria. Green Park station is best for step-free access.
Buses -
North : C2, 6, 7, 10, 16, 19, 23, 36, 52, 73, 82, 98, 113, 274, 390, 414
South : 2, 36, 137, 148, 159, 436
West : 9, 10, 14, 19, 22, 52, 74, 94, 148, 414
East : 23, 30, 38

What is there to do?
Christmas Market
There are plenty of stalls around the Wonderland, where you can pick up traditional Christmas decorations, jewelry, accessories, clothing, handmade crafts, and more! There's a huge selection of tasty treats, and plenty of stalls offering festive drinks, from luxuourious hot chocolates to spiced mulled wines.
Bar ice 
Immersed in an arctic setting, enjoy the beautiful glow of the glistening ice. On arrival you'll be handed a special winter cloak and gloves to keep you warm, then you'll be served drinks in your own unique ice glass!
Ski Zillertal Ice Rink
Experience the essence of Winter Wonderland as you don your skates and glide around the spectacular, glittering ice rink. Set around the Victorian bandstand and illuminated with over 100,000 lights, the Ice Rink provides a beautiful setting for ice skating. 
You will find some of the newest and most exciting thrill rides at Winter Wonderland for those who like to feel the adrenaline. Plus the best funhouses, ghost rides, and charming children’s rides.

Have you visited Winter Wonderland? Tweet us @office_fruit 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Low-carb Microwave Bread

For many of us, bread is a staple of our diet - from sandwiches to toast, bread is always a likely feature in our daily meals. But for some people, they either can't eat bread, or won't eat bread. There are reasons to believe carbs can contribute to bloating and weight gain

 So if you want a quick, easy alternative to bread, look no further. This low-carb microwave bread is more eggy than bread, but is a great way of adding some variety to breakfast and lunch if you are avoiding bread or controlling your carbs. Easy to make, and ready in less than 5 minutes, the spongy texture soaks up butter, honey or jam.

Let's get to cooking!

Prep and cool time - 1 minute
Cook time - 2 minutes
Total time - 3 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the ingredients until very smooth.
  2. Using a spatula, transfer to a small pyrex bowl (mine measures 2 inches on the bottom and 4 inches at the top).
  3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Bread will puff up while "baking," then deflate. When done, it will look like a muffin. Make sure it appears set, otherwise microwave 30 more seconds (but 90 seconds should be enough, and overcooking can dry it up).
  4. Gently, with a small knife, loosen the bread edges and remove from the bowl onto a plate. Slice into two slices and top with your favorite toppings.

Taken from:

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know @office_fruit 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Your Handy Guide To The Mandarin

Here at Fruit For The Office HQ, we often get asked that the difference is between tangerines, satsumas, and clemetines (also known as Mandarins). They are an office staple, but there's always that question - just which one am I eating right now? Here is our handy guide to knowing your satsuma, from your clementine...

The Basics
Tangerines, satsumas, clementines and minneolas, are all part of the Mandarin Orange category (so we can call them Mandarins from now on). Compared to oranges, Mandarins tend to be smaller in size, are easier to peel, and are less tart.

The Specifics
Tangerines - these are less sweet than the other Mandarins, they may have seeds, and have slightly tougher peels. A ripe tangerine is firm to slightly soft, heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned with no deep grooves, as well as orange in color.

Clementines - they are usually seedless, and honey-sweet. They are easier to peel than tangerines (though not as easy as satsumas). The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. It is descended from a sweet orange, hence the sweet flavour.

Satsumas - Autumn/Winter time is when the satsuma really comes into its own. It is known for being the easiest to peel, due to itts leathery skin. However, this makes them more prone to bruising, due it's delicate flesh. It is similar in taste to the clementine.

Fun fact - satsuma juice is much deeper and redder in colour than orange juice

Right - Satsuma Juice Left - Orange Juice

We hope this helps your quest to decipher - satsuma, tangerine, or clementine?
Don't forget, you can always talk to the FFTO team to add these fruits onto your fruit delivery. Give us a call on 08000194037, or email us.

What is you favourite Mandarin? Tweet us @office_fruit

Friday, 30 October 2015

Tasty Alternatives for Bonfire Night Treats

Remember, remember, the 5th of November! Make your Bonfire Night go off with a bang!

Check out these ideas to get your taste buds sizzling and put a bit of fire in your belly! These are all simple ideas with a twist on traditional recipes. Try something new for this year's firework displays, and if you're stuck for ideas of where to go, check out the list below of all best displays in and around London for Bonfire Night 2015.

Toffee apple cookies
Cooking time
Prep - 10 minutes
Cook - 12 minutes plus cooling time
Skill level 
Makes 24 cookies

  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 85g chewy toffees, roughly chopped
  • 85g/3oz ready-to-eat dried apple chunks, roughly chopped
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  1. Preheat the oven to fan 170c/conventional 190c/gas 5. Using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  2. Stir in the egg yolks, ground almonds, toffees, dried apple and flour. Mix well together then roll into walnut-sized balls.
  3. Place well apart on two non-stick or lined baking sheets and flatten slightly with your hand. Brush with milk and bake for 8-12 minutes until golden. Leave to firm up for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.  
Chilli con carne soup

Cooking time
Ready in around 1 hour and 30 minutes, including simmering time. 
Skill level
Serves 6   

  • small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 410g can pinto or red kidney beans, drained
  • 400g cans chopped plum tomatoes
  • 700ml/1 1/4 pints hot chicken stock
  • large pinch of crushed dried chillies
  • 2 squares of dark chocolate (try Lindt 85%)
  • fresh coriander or parsley leaves and some grated Gruyere, to serve
  1. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a couple of minutes until beginning to soften, then add the mince. Raise the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the meat is no longer pink.
  2. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, stock, chillies, chocolate and plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for 1 hour, or longer if you have the time. (You can make it up to a day ahead to this point, then cool and chill).
  3. Ladle into mugs or large cups and scatter with herbs, cheese and black pepper. You'll need spoons to eat it.
Mulled apple juice
Cooking time
Prep - 5 minutes
Cook - 10 minutes
Skill level
Serves 8

A non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, ideal for entertaining kids and drivers. 

  • 1 litre apple juice
  • strips of orange peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick, plus extra garnish, if you like
  • 3 cloves
  • sugar or honey, to taste  
  1. Simmer the apple juice with the strips of orange peel, cinnamon stick and cloves for about 5-10 minutes until all the flavours have infused. Sweeten to taste.
  2. Serve each drink with a little orange peel and a piece of cinnamon stick, if you like.  
Best displays in town 
  • Crystal Palace Park - Thursday 5th November
  • Southwark Park - Thursday 5th November
  • Wimbledon Park - Thursday 5th November
  • Bishops Park - Friday 6th November
  • Battersea Park - Saturday 7th November
  • Blackheath - Saturday 7th November
  • Morden Park - Saturday 7th November
  • Hackney Clossold Park - Saturday 7th November
What are you doing for Bonfire Night this year? Let us know @office_fruit   

Friday, 23 October 2015

Hallowe'en - Create your own spooky pumpkin

Hallowe'en - that time of year where you can dress up to your heart's desire, and not be judged for it. Whether it's a spooky costume, or an outfit any Comic-con goer would be proud of, Hallowe'en is the time for big kids to play. It's also the time for sweets, chocolate, and pumpkin carving. We know that while carved pumpkins look amazing, they are not always easy to do.

Not to fear! Read on for our handy guide to carving pumpkins, and some special ideas to get your creative juices flowing...

Don't be fooled into buying one of the 'pumpkin carving' kits you see in the shops around now. This is all you really need:
  • A sharp knife for cutting.
  • A large spoon or ice cream scoop for hollowing out the insides.
  • Paper/cellotape, if you're using a stencil.
  • A small sharp object like an ice pick or nail, to help you draw on your stencil, or a marker pen if you want to design your own.

Step 1 Choose your pumpkin!
The pumpkin should be decently sized, and rounded, for easy carving. Tiny, or mishapen pumpkins will be a devil to carve. Check the condition of your pumpkin - it should be fresh, and without blemishes, to ensure it lasts.

Step 2 Make the first cut!
Cut off the top with a sharp knife: a serrated blade tends to work best. Make sure that the crown is wide enough, so you can scrape out the insides easily.

Step 3 Hollow that pumpkin
Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to get rid of all that pulpy, seedy mess, but also try and scrape away some of the walls' flesh as well – ideally you want to thin the walls so they're just an inch or so thick. This makes carving easier and more light will shine through the surface.

Step 4 Choose and mark your design
Don’t start carving free-style – use a marker pen to draw your design onto the pumpkin first. If you want your lantern to look really professional, draw a paper template, then tape it onto the pumpkin. (You can also download templates online). Then use a sharp pointed tool, like an ice pick or nail, to poke holes around the design so the paper can be removed.

Step 5 Start carving
Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut out your design, starting at the centre and working outwards. Sawing in short, back and forth movements is easy to control than slicing.

Step 6 Preserve your pumpkin
Now rub some vaseline or a little diluted lemon juice on exposed parts of the pumpkin. This will stop the areas turning brown.

Step 7 Let there be light!
Finally, it’s time for lights. If you're using a candle, it’s best to put it in a small glass. Make sure you don’t put your lid on completely, so smoke can escape (alternatively, cut a “smoke hole” round the back where nobody will see it). Fairy lights and battery operated candles also work well. pumpkin

Tips and tricks 
Put down some newspaper or an old cloth on your table before you start - carving is a messy business.
If you’re a beginner, don’t be over-ambitious – a simple, bold shape is easiest to do and still looks impressive. Straight lines are simpler to carve, so think about replacing circles with triangles, etc.
If your pumpkin’s a little unsteady, why not saw off the bottom as well as the top?
If you don't like the smell of your pumpkin, sprinkle some cinnamon on the underside of the lid. Some people claim this makes it last longer too.
To preserve its life, keep your lantern in the fridge when you’re out of the house.

Carving Ideas

Now for the fun part....choosing your designs. We have chosen the best of the internet, to help inspire your pumpkin creations.

How are you going to carve your pumpkin this Hallowe'en? Tweet us with pics @office_fruit

Friday, 16 October 2015

Chocolate Cake Receipe

Here at FFTO HQ, we love our fruit. But we also love....chocolate. Along with chocolate, we also love cake. So we started thinking about chocolate cake.We were looking for a chocolate cake that was rich, but also moist (anyone else creeped out by the word moist?)

For an incredible cake, try out the recipe below. 

And for those on a diet, just a tip - calories don't count when the cake is on someone else's plate.
The details
Cook time - 35 minutes
Prep time - 15 minutes
No. of servings - 12

The Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water)

The Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans (or line with parchment paper circles) and set aside.
  2. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes). Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula. Batter will be very runny.
  3. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  4. Allow to cool 15 minutes in pans, then run a butter knife around the edges of each cake. Place a wire cooling rack over top of each pan. Wearing oven mitts, use both hands to hold the racks in place while flipping the cakes over onto the racks. Set the racks down and gently thump on the bottom of the pans until the cakes release. Cool completely before handling or frosting.

    Recipe adapted from:

    What's your favourite chocolate cake? Tweet us @office_fruit 

Friday, 9 October 2015

How To Look After Your Avocado

 As part of our avocado series, we have tracked the the rise of avocado, and shown a yummy recipe for baked eggs in avocado. Now we will show you how to look after your avocado, to ensure you get the most out of this yummy fruit.

How to Store Unripe Avocados
Unripe, firm or green fruit can take four to five days to ripen at room temperature (approximately 65-75 degrees F, avoid direct sunlight). Refrigeration can slow the ripening process, so for best results store unripe fruit at room temperature unless room conditions exceed that range.

Store Cut Unripe Avocados - If you have cut open your avocado and found it to be unripe, sprinkle the exposed flesh of the avocado with lemon or lime juice, place the two halves back together and cover tightly with clear plastic wrap before placing in the refrigerator. Check the avocado periodically to see if it has softened up enough to eat. Depending on firmness when the fruit was cut and temperature conditions, the ripening process will vary.

How to Store Ripe Avocados

Ripe fruit that has not been cut open can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days.

Store Cut Ripe Avocados Sprinkle cut, mashed or sliced fruit with lemon or lime juice or another acidic agent and place in an air-tight container or tightly covered clear plastic wrap. The fruit can be stored in your refrigerator for a day.

Store Guacamole Guacamole often contains other ingredients that may affect how well and how long the guacamole can be stored. For most guacamole recipes, adding an acidic agent (like those in the right column) can help prevent oxidization when added on top of the guacamole. To store guacamole, place it in an air-tight container and press clear plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole before covering to help prevent oxidation. Store in the refrigerator.

If refrigerated guacamole or fruit turns brown during storage, discard the top oxidized layer and enjoy the rest.

How to Ripen or Speed up the Ripening Process for Avocados

Avocados do not ripen on the tree, they ripen or "soften" after they have been harvested. To speed up the avocado ripening process we recommend placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days until they are ripe. We do not recommend any other method of ripening.

Why does this work?
The plant hormone ethylene, which occurs naturally in fruits like apples and bananas, triggers the ripening process. When combined in a brown paper bag, which helps to trap the ethylene gases produced by these fruits, these gases can cause the fruits to ripen faster together.

How to Freeze Avocados  

Did you know avocados can be frozen?
Though fresh avocados are preferred for their taste and versatility, with the proper preparation, pureed avocados can be frozen and used in guacamole dips, dressings and spread on sandwiches.

Whole, cut, diced or mashed avocados do not have as desirable of a result when frozen. Guacamole can often contain other ingredients that do not freeze well so we do not recommend freezing guacamole.

How do you store your avocados? Let us know your tips @office_fruit

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