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 […]

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5 minute thing with Tom Cruise Dressing*, 60p

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One afternoon in the all-hours flail-and-flurry that was this-glorious-top-secret-for-now-project, I emerged from my writing corner (apologies to Virginia Woolf for not managing an entire ‘room of my own in which to write’ but, recession, gentrification and a dislike of cleaning mean I basically live in a nook. Anyway, when there is a small child around all rooms are rightfully theirs […]

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Extra-Wholesome Banana Bread (VEGAN)

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This beautiful bounty of Sunday morning baking was based on the vegan banana bread in my first book, A Girl Called Jack, but uses some wholemeal flour and coconut oil for extra goodness. If you don’t have coconut oil, fear not, as the song almost went, Any Oil Will Do. Vegetable, sunflower, light or mild olive, groundnut, rapeseed, whatever you […]

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Pickling leftover veg.

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Here’s something I do a lot, like my juicing-without-a-blender post last week, that I do so regularly and unthinkingly that I didn’t realise I’d never written about it on my blog! This is where all the soft or sad or straggly vegetables end up that aren’t juicing material. Like the Mooli I bought last week in a fit of curiosity […]

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Whoa F*ck Dressing, 7p

A dark and ominous salty sweet kicking joyride for my tastebuds that absolutely deserves its profane name...

This came about as most of my favourite things do, with a musing to myself about something I’d eaten recently and a wonder if I could recreate something like it. The ‘something’ in this case was a jar of Tonkotsu’s ‘Eat The Bits’ chilli oil given to us by Emma Reynolds of Tonkotsu fame, but it was polished off weeks […]

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Choux pastry hearts

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I first made choux pastry last summer, in the kitchen at Blackfoot, in Exmouth Market, ad hoc and accidentally. I did a few shifts to fill in some gaps in the rota and learn some new skills in a restaurant environment, rather than pottering around at home, and it was quite the baptism of fire. Recipes were scant lists of […]

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Punkin’ (Pumpkin) Jam

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The smallest girl in our household calls pumpkins ‘punkins’ – hence the name ‘Punkin Jam’! If you think carving pumpkins are bland and boring and inedible, this might just be the thing to change your mind… I’m typing this with some hot buttered toast between my teeth with some soft, sweet jam on top… And that handsome chap in the […]

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Courgette, Sultana & Lemon Bread

Photography by Susan Bell

Courgettes give off quite a bit of liquid when you grate them but don’t worry about draining it off in this recipe because the courgettey water will help to flavour the bread and add moisture. when you will be adding water to a recipe later anyway, it doesn’t make sense to fanny about taking liquid out only to put it […]

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BABA GHANOUSH

Photography by Susan Bell

  Baba ghanoush is a popular Middle Eastern dish, often served as a dip with pitta breads. I sometimes add cooked chickpeas to mine for a simple, flavoursome curry, or toss it through pasta with fresh mint for an easy lunch. I highly recommend cooking the aubergines over an open flame for a deep, smoky intensity – I hold mine […]

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JAM TARTS

Photography by Susan Bell: www.susanbellphotography.com

Jam tarts are one of those simple, delicious things that I remember consuming in droves in my childhood, but not so much as an adult. I always have flour in the cupboard and jam in the fridge, and this makes for a lovely rainy-day activity for small children to help with. Of course, you can cheat with jam tarts and […]

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BEERY BERRY CRUMBLE

Photography by Susan Bell: www.susanbellphotography.com

This pudding came about a bit by accident, when I had the remains of a can of cheap bitter kicking about in the fridge door from a Beer and Sultana Bread, and some frozen berries defrosted in a dish in the fridge that needed using up. Rather than drink half a flat beer and pick at squishy berries, I decided […]

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LOVE MARMALADE

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What do you do when you have an abundance of oranges in the house and a Saturday morning to kill? Christened ‘Love Marmalade’ – it certainly was a labour, but of the sticky, delicious, giggly variety. Here’s the recipe we loosely worked from, loosely meaning we talked about it for a week, then eventually halved and gutted and sliced the […]

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PEACH CRUMBLE

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For this dish I’ve combined honey and peach with a generous squeeze of lime to cut through the sweetness. (Serves four) 200g flour 100g sugar 100g oats 150g butter 400g tinned peaches in syrup 1 tbsp honey 1 whole fresh lime Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in a […]

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MANDARIN BREAKFAST BIRCHER

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Ingredients: (makes one portion) 40g rolled oats 100g natural yoghurt 100ml milk (10g milk powder and 100ml water) 100g broken mandarin segments Mix the oats, yoghurt and milk together in a small bowl, and chill in the fridge overnight to soften the oats. In the morning, serve with the mandarins on top, and enjoy! A drizzle of honey, if you […]

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PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE

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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 […]

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BRANDY BUTTER ICE CREAM

Brandy butter ice cream with white chocolate chunks. This is a delicious use for any leftover brandy butter (or swipe it from the reduced fridge!) and a perfect accompaniment to a warm mince pie crumble 🙂 I have given a method for those with and without an ice cream maker. I have an accidental one, but not for much longer! Ingredients, serves 6: 300ml double cream 200ml milk 100g white chocolate 50g sugar 50g brandy butter First pop the brandy butter into a heatproof dish in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. Remove and allow it to cool. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces, either with a sharp knife, or pop it in a freezer bag, tie it up, and bash it with a rolling pin or mallet. Then pour the cream into a large mixing bowl, and add the milk, sugar and chocolate. Stir through. Add a little of the brandy butter and stir in quickly to stop the cream from splitting. Add it little by little until combined. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes clockwise, then 30 minutes anti clockwise. Repeat if necessary – it should be thick enough to not fall off a spoon but still soft enough to spoon into a tub. Line a loaf tin or other container with two layers of clingfilm, folding it over the edges. Pour the ice cream in, smooth the top […]

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