Category Archives: Food

Check out healthy, tasty and easy recipes. I usually share at least one per week!

The Creamiest, Chocolatiest, Most Indulgent Hot Chocolate Recipe. Ever.

Czekolady Manufakurer Krakow

You know those days where it’s really cold and you’ve been so well behaved and you just desire a super indulgent, straight-to-the-hips hot chocolate?

This is the recipe you want.

It’s decadent, creamy, chocolatey and full of guilt (and calories) – use all the ingredients sparingly and embrace this most indulgent of hot chocolates. Whilst you’re at it, you may as well top it with whipping cream, sprinkles and marshmallows and write the day off.

Super decadent hot chocolate, serves 2

Ingredients

1 large bar Belgian milk chocolate (approx. 200g)

1 pot double cream (284ml)

Cup of whole milk

½ tsp cinnamon powder

1 capful of navy rum (optional)

1 pinch cayenne pepper (seriously)

For topping:

Whipped cream

Mini marshmallows

Chocolate sprinkles

Cinnamon powder

Imagination

Are you ready, this is literally the simplest but most rewarding recipe ever. The steps are quick, so have your best cups at the ready!

-In a saucepan or bain marie melt the chocolate until it’s a little soft, then pour in the cream.

-Stir continuously until the chocolate is mostly dissolved.

-Add in the rum, cinnamon and cayenne pepper

-If it needs thickening up, slowly stir in a little whole milk at a time to achieve the right consistency

-Pour out, top with cream and adorn with sprinkles.

This should be enjoyed guilt free, without regard for the gym or sugar intake. If you’re going to misbehave, might as well be worth it, eh? It’s winter after all.

(P.s. if you really want to jeopardise your BMI then enjoy with a chocolate smothered croissant like we did…)

Kitty

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Tastes of Spain | El Rincon de Rafa, Manchester

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Hidden behind Deansgate is a little culinary gem that I have loved since the moment I set foot in there several years ago. El Rincon de Rafa (Rafa’s Corner) serves up authentic tapas in a beautiful rustic setting at obscenely reasonable prices (considering it’s city centre).

It’s fast become a treat date for Mr K and I, and we visited a couple of weeks ago – I decided to share a few thoughts on my favourite ever restaurant. Mostly because I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for 3 years and never mentioned it…

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Tottering down the stairs to the basement-level taverna always fills me with joy – the comforting aromas of Spain (oil, garlic, seafood) drift about you, promising delicious things. It’s like a little slice of Spain on home soil – something which transports me back to fond childhood memories.

As a duo, it’s very hard to get a table – the taverna is constantly bustling, and because of this they don’t take reservations for 2. It’s no problem for us – we’re quite content to sit by the bar, enjoying dos estrellas and watching the world go by. Incidentally, it’s not uncommon whilst waiting to see the cast of Corrie, or even some has-been celebrity taking a lunch break from The Palace pantomimes (we’ve seen Jason Donovan there). It’s easy enough to while away a couple of hours sat here waiting – and it doesn’t hurt the bank. 2 pints costs around £7 which is about standard for Manchester city centre.

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We’re usually seated within 20 minutes, and that’s when the magic starts. We have some go-to dishes we mostly order every time;
Filetitos – steak cooked in cream and brandy
Patatas Bravas – Potato in tomato salsa
Pulpitos en Salsa – Baby octopus in tomato sauce
Gambas Pil Pil – Prawns in chilli
Magro en Salsa – Pork in honey sauce
Chorizo al Vino – Chorizo in red wine
Albondigas – Meatballs in tomato sauce

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The menu is extensive, enticing and above all, authentic. Many hours have been spent (not wasted) at this stage pondering what to try next – but the truth of it is that you’ll never be disappointed. Their paella is addictively good, as are their specials and stews (try the Galician stew).

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Like good tapas, the dishes arrive in drips and drabs – the focus is on eating whilst you chat, and we’ve had some of our best conversations whilst waiting for the next few dishes to arrive.
We tend to pick slowly, biding our time until all of the dishes have reached us.
They aren’t skinny with bread, which is great news as the sauces are the absolute best – we rarely send a dish back without wiping it completely clean. You just have to watch – the table staff are very quick to clear away – sometimes before you’ve finished with your sauce!

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It’s easy to while away a few hours (or even a whole half a day) in El Rincon de Rafa – arriving for a “quick bite” before going out almost always results in leaving at closing time – happy and full of food.

As a guide point, ordering all of the above with 2 beers cost us around £35 – so it’s absolutely value for money, and I’d happily pay double. The staff are great (they help with your Spanish too!) and always happy to have a chat with you, when they can find time.

If you live in Manchester, you probable know about El Rincon (if you don’t – go!). For visitors, I’d seriously recommend making this part of your touring schedule because you will absolutely not find a place this good anywhere else.

Kitty

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Pimp Your Salad | 5 Ingredients To Supercharge Lunchtime

Make salad more interesting

Salad is one of the most popular lunches throughout spring and summer. It’s also one of the lunches which is most commonly cast aside in favour of the cheeky nandos on a Friday afternoon. If like me you’re trying really hard to eat well, then taking a few steps to make your salads a little bit more glamorous can make all the difference between behaving or feeling guilty.

Here are a few ingredients I include in my salads to give them extra plate appeal come lunchtime – they might be unusual but they go with every protein I’ve tried them with. They’re all healthy, readily available and vegan (just in case).

We’ll work from midnight.

Dried Apricots. 
These are a wonderful source of fiber, and a sprinkle of them alongside kale and light meat like chicken is particularly delicious. They work really well with zesty dressings like mustard but equally compliment creamy dressings like blue cheese or mayo. A small handful scattered onto an otherwise green and nutty salad can really give it a pop!

Blackberries.
These big bumbling babies are beautiful alongside beef and duck in particular, but also set off creamy cheeses like mozarella perfectly. They are very low in sodium but high in vitamin C so they’re a great lunchtime companion and give loads of salads a tangy little kick. They’re equally nice blitzed up with some pepper and olive oil, used as a dressing.

Chickpeas.
I have only recently come to appreciate the humble chickpea in its own right. Previously preferring to enjoy it in curries, I’d totally overlooked its buttery taste, but as soon as I tried them scattered onto salad my lunchtimes were changed. They instantly add bulk to any weak salad, but provide big levels of Iron and vitamin B-6.

Watermelon.
Oh how I love watermelon. I’d never thought of including it in salads until recently when I saw it on pinterest. Thrown in with dark greens, mozarella and parma ham it’s utterly delightful. Containing bags of water, it’s great for staying hydrated and also a good source of vitamins A, B-6 and C. It obviously helps that’s it’s delicious.

Dates.
Dates, I always assumed, were less glamorous than prunes, which are not at all glamorous. I was wrong, of course. Dates are fabulous, their shiny exterior like a glimmering ballgown. Their gooey interior like the good bit of a sticky toffee pudding. Chopped dates make literally everything better, and it’s a sin that this knowledge isn’t on the curriculum. Throw in a handful of chopped dates when you want a colon, heart and brain friendly salad. Magnesium, fiber and potassium make them a great anti-inflammatory too.

So there you have 5 more things to try in your salad to boost the taste and nutrient level. Despite being mostly sweet, they all go well with savoury, spicy and even oriental style salads. None require cooking or special attention beyond the opening of a can or packet.

Do you have any go-to foods for pimping your salads? Share them below – I’m all about a tastier lunch!

Kitty

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