2 ingredient coconut hot chocolate, 9p

   The idea for this came after midnight on a very cold November evening. In my current home, I sleep on a sofa bed in a bay beneath a set of single-glazed louvre windows – you know, the kind with the slats that overlap but don’t quite meet. Which means when the temperature drops, my goodness I know about it. I’m not complaining, though, as I love my small, beautiful, idiosyncratic home; it just means that one of the last things I do of an evening is curl into bed with the hottest drink imaginable and burrow under my duvet. And so, with no milk in the house of any kind, but half a block of coconut cream in the cupboard, this was born. I made a big batch, seeing the weather was only going to get colder, it’s good to be prepared for this sort of thing. Makes around 8-10 portions: at 9p each 100g dark chocolate , 35p (Sainsburys Basics) 100g coconut cream , 45p (Sainsburys, 200g/90p) First take the smallest saucepan you have, and fill with barely two inches of water. Pop a mixing bowl over the top, and bring it to the boil. Break up your chocolate and add to the bowl, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir as the chocolate melts. If it starts to split (usually because water has touched the bottom of the bowl and scorched your poor choccy), simply add a […]

Read More →

Tummy tea, 3p

wpid-wp-1432206556900.jpeg

It’s been almost a week now since I fell ill at Ballymaloe literary festival on Friday night – festival-goers hopefully didn’t notice my decidedly below-par sluggishness under a professional veneer of an inch of makeup and a litre of strong sugary tea, as I was there to work and didn’t want to let anyone down by cancelling any events at […]

Read More →

Chilli hot chocolate, 16p, and a broken foot, priceless.

This morning I woke up, walked out of the bedroom, skidded down the stairs, and crashed my foot into the wall with the full force of my rapidly-descending body slamming behind it. I spent the rest of the morning in Charing Cross A&E, where despite looking extremely light on staff, I was seen relatively quickly, by a doctor who used to be a psychiatrist and before that lived in the Phillipines (we had a great food chat!) I had my wonky-looking foot X-Rayed by a very kind radiographer, the doctor set it and strapped it up, and I cleared a good deal of my work diary for the immediate future. Walking with a stick on bruises and fractures and sprains is not really conducive to prancing about in a kitchen testing recipes, well, not as early as Monday, anyway. BUT, I made a New Years resolution to cook or make something new every day – so apologies that today’s may be fairly low level, but I can’t stand unaided right now and I’ve sprained my right shoulder, so chopping and slicing and dicing is temporarily beyond me… However, it’s something I’ve been meaning to get to grips with for a while, so simple it may be, but it’s also delicious, and comforting. Ladies, gentlemen and non-binary readers, I bring to you an oh so simple chilli hot chocolate… Serves two (you’ll probably want both!) 500ml milk (can be made with […]

Read More →

Summer odds and ends cooler

20140704-123103-45063198.jpg

This hardly qualifies as a recipe, falling more into the ‘ideas’ camp, but it’s so yummy I just want to share it with you. Basically this morning I was rooting around in the fridge and came across some straggly old mint, a withered half a lemon and a quarter of a cucumber that had gone soggy and soft. Rather than […]

Read More →

MAKE-ME-BETTER MORNING MUG

20140311-155500.jpg

Scratchy throat, simultaneous blocked and runny nose, muggy head, general air of malaise? Yeah, that was me this morning… So in a bid to banish the heavy cold feeling, I knocked up a large jug of this stuff – and by golly, it worked a treat. If you have an office job, take it to work in a Thermos flask […]

Read More →

PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

20140125-180150.jpg

Sometimes I make things that I love so much, I savour them slowly, wondering how I’ll ever bring myself to eat anything else again. This is one of those moments – one of those silent moments of appreciative bliss when I go all When Harry Met Sally about food. (Although this time, it’s a drink.) This time, it’s Peanut Butter […]

Read More →

LAVENDER TEA

20131118-204955.jpg

Apologies to my readers that don’t have a lavender bush: I have a tiny one, and I adore it. I have a small garden, but before that relied on my window ledge to grow herbs and other edibles. Now I have that small garden, my motto is I’m not going to grow anything that I can’t eat! So, lavender. Simple, […]

Read More →