Towards the end of last week I was starting to feel a little sorry for myself, like I definitely had a cold coming on – but luckily my husband knew the one way to fend this off was a proper hot toddy and he had all the stuff laid out ready for me when I got home (bless him!).
There’s very little to improve on the healing warmth of whisky and spices combined with soothing honey, right? But while enjoying my hot drink a spark of an idea came to me, and I got scribbling in my kitchen notebook…
And that is when my hot toddy cookies were born! I knew straight away that soaking raisins would be the best way to get the whisky in to my cookies, and as I have a favourite oat raisin cookie recipe always ready to roll out I kind of knew where I was heading (plus, combining whisky with oats is pretty much a no brainer). These are nice and simple to make, and as they contain all the key ingredients of a good hot toddy they are practically medicine too so you’re obliged to whip up a batch of these if you’re feeling under the weather.
30ml whisky (I had a miniature of Ilsay Mist which I used)
125g plain flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
½tsp ground ginger
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tbsp runny honey
Juice of 1 lemon
Makes 15-18 cookies
- Soak the raisins in the whisky for at least an hour (2-3 would be better).
- Set your oven to 175oC and line/grease a baking sheet.
- Put the drunk raisins in a bowl with everything else from the ingredients list above and mix until you have a firm but sticky dough. You can also do this mixing in a food processor if you’d prefer.
- Roll a large spoonful of dough in to a ball, put on the baking tray and flatten the top down. You should get 15-18 cookies depending on the size of your spoonful.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown, but still slightly soft, then move to a rack to cool.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling better already! Do let me know if you make these, or if you have any home remedies for the cold.
Today for the Tuesday Quickie I’m going to share my ultra quick fajita seasoning with you. Do you ever order fajitas at a restaurant just because they are so satisfyingly noisy when they arrive? Then, trying to make the fillings last put too little in your first couple tortillas so when you get to the last one it’s too full to close and you’re dropping bits of pepper and cheese everywhere and making a mess. Or is that just me?
My recipe below is a one size fits all kind of thing. Whatever you like to put in your fajita, you can use this seasoning for it. I like chicken and strips of red pepper, but you can keep this completely veggie and go for courgette, cherry tomatoes, wedges of red onion, mushrooms – anything really. This also works well as a rubber chicken recipe – that is using up some leftover meat from the Sunday roast as part of your filling.
[recipe title=”Quick Fajita Seasoning” servings=”2″ time=”40mins” difficulty=”easy”]
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- pinch cumin
- pinch dried oregano
- (big) pinch salt
- Oil (spray preferable)
- Fajita filling – meat & veg of your choice
- Tortillas, cheese, sour cream, guacamole – to serve
- Chop your chosen fajita filling in to chunks, and spray lightly with oil.
- Pop the sugar and seasonings in to a large bowl and shake/stir to combine.
- Toss everything in the seasoning mix. Spread out in an ovenproof dish and bake at 200C for about 25 minutes (or until any meat is cooked and your veggies are soft).
- Serve on soft tortillas with fresh salad, grated cheese and condiments of your choice – guacamole and sour cream for me!
This flavour mix bakes in, so there’s no need to marinade for ages beforehand. I got in from work tired yesterday and had delicious fajitas on the table within 40 minutes (most of which was me watching Big Bang while the oven did its thing).
What are you going to have on your fajitas?
Still a quiet month on the reading front, what with having go learn a new job and a new city and stuff but I managed to pick up a couple of books throughout September that I would like to tell you about:
- Dolores Deluce: Blow Jobs: A Guide To Making It In Show Business – this was a special offer on Kindle. Billed as the memoirs of a ‘counter culture diva’ this was definitely an entertaining biography and great to read some behind-the-scenes gossip!
- James Ward: Adventures In Stationery – I was a very lucky girl last month and won a signed copy of this book in a twitter competition, along with some vouchers for Rymans. I couldn’t think of a better prize for a stationery nerd, right? And the book is brilliant – going in to the proper minute detail of the fascinating (no, really) history of stationery. My favourite chapter is titled “Everything I know about people, I learnt from pens”
- Amelia Thorn: Beneath The Moon And The Stars – I’m taking part in a blog tour for this soon, so I won’t tell you too much, but I’m very grateful to Carina and Amelia herself for getting in touch and inviting me to take part. Can’t wait to tell you all about this one!
One of the big things I’ve gained since moving to Edinburgh in an improved commute. I’ll admit I had it comparatively easy in London – a 23 minute direct train with a 5 minute walk either side but of course I had to pay for the privilege.
Now I’m lucky enough to only be about a mile and a half from my new office, which means as well as a free commute I’m also instantly adding an hours worth of walking each day to my routine. I’m not expecting to be suddenly buff from this low level exercise, but I’m already noticing a marked improvement in my general fitness – in particular I’m breathing easier and sleeping better at night.
Of course, on learning of my new daily routine I instantly started racking up mental shopping lists of all the things I would need to make my walks better. So, without any more rambling from me (yes, that was a bad pun) – here are my walking essentials:
Start with strong foundations, and for walking good footwear is a must! I’ve got a couple of pairs of Sketchers and I love them because they are very light on my feet and comfortable on pavements and paths around here (not sure about grass/dirt tracks). I’m now eyeing up these Sketcher GoWalk trainers – and not just because the description of a ‘SQUISH’ component makes me giggle. They sound like they’ll be flexible and breathable on my feet and make for a very enjoyable walk.
I knew good waterproofs would be an essential in Scotland (although the notorious Edinburgh rain is yet to read it’s head much, and we’re in to October now!). Then I fell in love with this gorgeous mustard Seafolly Jacket from Seasalt Cornwall and I’m kind of hoping it starts raining soon so I can wear it. Modelled on the traditional fishermen’s macs it promises to be wind and waterproof, so it should keep me warm and dry while I’m looking bright and fabulous!
I’ve already spoken of my love for the Bobble bottle. I’m keen to keep well hydrated on my walks and this trusty companion is doing the trick.
I’m strong contemplating a Fitbit as a way of monitoring my walking. We’re going to have a pedometer competition at work next month and it may encourage me to seek longer and more interesting routes in to work. And I hear these new ‘watch’ for its can also be worn in bed to monitor your sleep quality, which sounds worth a shot too.
I would seriously be lost without Spotify on my walks now. Something upbeat and with a good tempo helps wake me up in the morning as well as setting a good pace, and this way I don’t need to get bored of the same music everyday!