• Marie Kondo to Magarita Pracatan

    So tomorrow is going to be a glorious day – 21 degrees apparently. In fact, I’ve lucked out – it will actually be hotter in Liverpool than Palma! #winning(again)

    To get us in the holiday spirit, I’ve included some background music featuring a local hero and the fabulous Magarita (not the drink this time, but you may need one soon after watching this): https://youtu.be/VzgE1Iq7y5Y

    Below are a few ideas gathered from the amazing resource that is Encyclopedia Britannica, no I’m joking I got it all on Google. You may recall when I did a recent stock take on my drinks cabinet I found plenty of rum, gin and voddie, but I also found some brandy. Hooray.

    And let’s be honest, I always have a steady supply of wine of all colours available – I am a big believer in diversity! Amusingly in clearing out the kitchen cupboards I found a tin of pineapple chunks that expire at the end of this month. What luck. So below are a few of the recipes I will be preparing over this upcoming bank holiday to make the most of these finds, the sun and my flight savings if I ever receive my refund. Pics to follow!


    Taken from gimmesomeoven.

    What do I need?

    Below is taken from the recipe with my musings and adjustments alongside.

    Whilst researching for a recipe, I saw many variations and amounts of fruit. Given this is about using current resources I wouldn’t get too caught up in the specifics. Just use the below as a guide, as it was hard to pick the best recipe (despite the author calling this the best on their site).

    • 2 (750 mL) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot – This is what the recipe calls for, but I read somewhere online that as it is a Spanish drink, try a more traditional Spanish red. That is what I will be doing.
    • 1 cup brandy – lets be honest, its a punch. Brandy is the preference but I’ve seen it other recipes make it with Gin, Vodka, Port, Rum – just chuck in what you have!
    • 1/3 cup sugar – I’m not one for things to sweet so I am going to skip this
    • 1/4 cup orange liqueur – I don’t have this and will be throwing in a can of Fanta and bit of extra brandy for the booze effect.
    • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved – She says a pound I say whatever you have, and needs to be eaten.
    • 3 oranges, thinly sliced
    • 3 limes, thinly sliced
    • 2 lemons, thinly sliced – For all the above I only have apples so that’s what I’ll be using but I will try to get some oranges or something citrus later today.
    • 4 cups fresh arugula Nobody wants rocket salad leaves in their drink. I’m skipping this step as well.
    • (optional) 1 can lemon-lime soda – This is not optional to me love, I see it as an essential in my sangria and we all know you mean Sprite. For a lighter mid-afternoon tipple I suggest adding a couple of cans of Sprite.

    What must I do?

    It’s a drink. So stir all the liquids and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.

    Add any leaves (mint, rocket etc.) you may want, extracting the flavour with a wooden spoon (and remembering red wine stains so don’t be over zealous).

    Add fruit and store in a fridge preferably over night before serving over ice, but trust me I’ll be drinking mine straight away, and I’ll serve mine with plenty of ice to ensure I stay suitably hydrated.

    Happy Holidays!! Toco Fondo!

    Rum Punch

    I chose this recipe because this woman spoke to my heart – just throw in what you have! Plus I liked the sound of her website. So here is a recipe I am dying to try from Lemons for Lulu. (Although she say’s her name is Tanya…go figure).

    What do I need and what must I do?

    When it comes to making Rum Punch, Lulu (I mean Tanya) says “keep this rhyme in mind: One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak.” This means the punch consists of one part lime juice, two parts sweetener, three parts rum, and four parts water.

    She also advises that the cocktail recipe usually consists of variations of rum (light, dark, or coconut) and lots of fruit juice like pineapple, orange, lemon or lime juice and grenadine for colour. (In goes my tins of pineapple – perhaps the juice in the rum punch and the fruit in the sangria! Hello double usage).

    Some of these ingredients can be swapped out and the amounts may vary, but these ingredients are the basics of a rum punch. I think basically she is saying – throw what you have at it and enjoy!

    She says that you start by mixing in the fruit bases like pineapple juice and orange juice. She then stirred in lime juice, both light and dark rum, and grenadine.

    Now we are on lock-down and I am desperately off to search for limes and oranges as they are good for you and appear in both these recipes, but I can’t find grenadine and lets be honest it is essential to rum punch but not to life itself.

    I looked it up and Grenadine is made from pomegranates. Obvs I don’t have these on ready supply, but I strangely have some Elderflower and pomegranate cordial stashed away which I will be using.

    So if you are not one of the lucky ones who found grenadine stashed in your drinks cupboard, I suggest try and find something at home or on your next necessity shop that is a pomegranate either in syrup or juice form or cordial. As I said before, its a punch with plenty of booze – how bad can it really taste?

    Lulu (I’m sticking with that now) also notes that you can can alter the amounts of juice and alcohol to suit your tastes and that coconut rum would make this punch especially tropical as would a splash of coconut water. So again for a lighter touch and to ensure you stay hydrated, I would go ahead and throw in the coconut water and some extra pomegranate juice. (Really good advice I probably won’t be using myself).

    Have a great Easter everyone, send us your pics and…Disfrutar!

  • Apple Sultana Bran Muffins

    So I have mentioned in a couple of different blogs about saving milk, try making these “health” muffins instead of cereal, only then to contradict myself by saying make frothy coffees, and whilst you’re at it, serve with these muffins. So okay, life is never simple. But these muffins are!

    I call them “healthy” because they include fruit and fibre and less sugar than more American style muffins (which are delicious but really more like cakes posing as a breakfast item). These do still contain sugar and oil, so if you are keeping to a strict eating regime, try swapping the sugar for coconut sugar or Truvia, or swapping out the oil for melted coconut oil. Its not personally for me, but the beauty of this recipe is you can adapt to suit your needs and wants.

    I stumbled upon this years ago. My husband and I used to commute to Manchester (so that really is years ago), but worse still we did it together. Nothing tests a first year of marriage like the M62 at rush hour day in and day out. Isolation has nothing on being stuck in a tin can in traffic for what feels like days on end.

    But we had a routine. He would scrape the ice (I mean it was even cold in spring) and I would prepare tea and coffee flasks and grab breakfast – these muffins! I got them from

    Here is where I got the original recipe from – orgasmic chef. I’m pleased it is still online after all these years. But to spare you the trouble, I’ve set it out below.

    The original recipe doesn’t call for sultanas. But the one thing I always do is use Sultana Bran, the cheap generic stuff. And I just blitz it all in a food processor. I don’t add separate sultanas, not only because this is easier, but it saves on some of the sugar content. The only reason I tried it with Sultana Bran instead of All-Bran, is because that is what I happened to have at home already, and it worked a treat. I’ve added in any tweaks I do – but you do what feels right to you. And let us know of any changes and how it worked out!

    What do you need?

    • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp cinnamon (I often double this)
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Original cereal (I honestly use 2 cups of store own brand sultana bran)
    • 1¼ cups fat-free milk (I just use whatever is in the fridge, normally semi-skimmed)
    • 1 egg (I tend to use a large egg)
    • ¼ cup vegetable oil
    • 1 apple chopped

    What must you do?

    1. Sift and then stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
    2. In large mixing bowl, combine KELLOGG’S ALL-BRAN cereal and milk. Let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens. (Then I blitz in the food processor, but wait till it softens)
    3. Add the egg, sugar and oil. Beat well.
    4. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined.
    5. Add apple and barely mix through.
    6. Portion evenly into twelve muffin pan cups coated with cooking spray.
    7. You can sprinkle the top with brown sugar, coconut sugar, crushed nuts for extra crunch if you like.
    8. Bake at 400° F about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
    The finished product – without any crispy topping.

  • Home Street (Part 1)

    Yesterday and today are glorious days and I started to have a think about how I could get some “me” time. It sounds insane, because nobody is going anywhere there is no rushing around, but that is just my point. My husband and I need to escape each other from time to time.

    We’ve done the usual, designated rooms during the day – I get the conservatory he gets the office and somehow we end up glued to the news in the main living room. But this created a series of bad habits.

    One latte to go (nowhere), please

    My husband has worked from home for many years and after doing his site visits he used to love going to a coffee shop for a latte. His little treat and space outside the house. But there are no more site visits, and no more coffee shops to be sat in. BUT…we have coffee machine!

    This is my second coffee machine because I do love a good coffee. And even though I insist it must have a milk frother and I have two sets of mugs to prepare the lattes and cappuccinos, like so many others I don’t use the frother more than once every six months, in fact I don’t think I’ve used it in the last 12 months.

    I am now encouraging all of you who, like me, have abandoned your frothers! Somewhere between 3 and 4pm in our house is “Casa de Costa” hour. And we don’t sit together. Its his time for space. Although I am in charge of producing the goods. But it is the least I can do seeing as he is doing all he can to keep the cash coming in. After all, no cash means no posh coffee.

    It also gives you something to do for the kids, or even impose on the kids if they are teenagers. If they are of the age that they require bribery to move from the couch, they can run the coffee shop in the morning, preparing brekkie or even bake the cakes or muffins the evening before, for treats for extra pocket money, or a paddling pool, or an afternoon off homework to enjoy the sun. It can be part of the schedule or fall part of that long last subject “Domestic Science”. You may even ignite a passion for baking and cooking!

    But if they are still gorgeously cute and just want to help to be part of the fun – even better. Get a toy till and get playing!

    Nothing is better than sitting down at 7:30 am, having had the little ones ring up your treats only for you to say – and now you can’t talk to me. I’m a customer and I’m reading my kindle. You have to sit very quietly over there for 20 minutes and make sure the till is safe and the counters are clean (well that could be a stretch, but you get my point).

    Enjoy your “Casa de Costas” and let us know your twist on the activity or what you persuaded the teenagers to bake!

  • Pinch of Nom

    Famous for wholesome and delicious meals with healthy options and Fakeaways, visit a Pinch of Nom to get some tasty and varied meal ideas during isolation.

  • Cooking on a Bootstrap – Jack Monroe

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