Category Archives for Non-alcoholic

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Soothing, warm and creamy, this liquid heaven in a cup contains the classic combo of rich white chocolate, & sweet, tangy raspberries. Add the delicate floral undertone of lavender and you’ve got something pretty special…

(or is that pretty AND special??)

I love food.

really love food that tastes amazing.

But I really, REALLY love food that tastes amazing AND looks beautiful.

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

This recipe sort of fits the bill. It hits two out of three of my criteria.  It tastes unbelievable, it looks so pretty that you almost can’t bring yourself to touch it (almost…) but, it’s not technically, well, ‘food’.

So yeah, you got me – it’s a drink.  I guess the title of the post kind of gave me away. The good news is, chocolate in its liquid form actually contains no calories!* Hurrah!

(*this is what’s known as literary licence. go with it…)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

For Emergencies ONLY

Now, I have to be quite strict about this. A warm, luxurious mug of Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate is not to be made (or drunk) lightly.  It is the absolute height of indulgence and should be saved for occasions fitting of such extreme deliciousness.  I’m talking, being dumped, getting fired or accidentally shrinking your favourite outfit here.  This isn’t for minor disasters like nail breaks or unwelcome pimples.

For further guidance on the correct foods to eat when life throws you a curve ball then please read my ‘Food Hugs’ series 🙂

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Now, I don’t want to seem over-dramatic here, but (in the words of Jack Bauer) hundreds of thousands of people may d…desperately need this kind of solace in a mug. Don’t you think it’s your duty to help me get the message out there?

Go on, do your good turn for the day and tweet it out!

Right, now I think you’ve earned the actual recipe for this masterpiece in a mug, this classic in a cup, this treasure in a tankard…(actually, you’d have to be a pretty hardcore chocoholic to drink a whole tankard of it. It’s pretty rich…still, challenge extended, I guess?)

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

Raspberry & Lavender White Hot Chocolate

(Makes 1 oh-so-pretty-oh-so-tasty mugful – not to be confused with ‘muggle’)

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Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

You know those really hot, oppressive summer days when the air feels heavy and no matter what you do, you just can’t get cool?

Doing anything feels like wading through water and that’s just emphasised by the dampness of your clothing and brow…

What you need is my Strawberry and Peach Iced Tea – sweet, refreshing summer in a glass…

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

Fruit teas, herbal teas and green teas are a bit like blue cheese, caviar and olives. I’m not comparing them taste-wise (although in the case of some green teas, I’m not sure that comparison would be far off the mark..) What I’m saying is, you feel like you really ought to like them because, well they’re super cool right?  Only, try as you might, you just don’t get it.

(Actually, truth be told, I TOTALLY dig olives – not literally – they’re picked from trees dontcha know? … but you get the idea.)

Strawberry Peach Cordial

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about fruit teas, iced tea and all that malarky, which just isn’t British.  We have our tea steaming hot and in a mug (or teacup) thank you very much.  A teapot is preferred, a biscuit to dunk is a treat – and don’t get me started on when the milk should be added.… it’s a steaming hot topic and no mistake.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

I briefly dabbled with mint tea just after the birth of my second son – but more because of its supposed ability to settle an upset tummy than because I thought it sounded particularly tasty. I must confess, I was pleasantly surprised.  It wasn’t awful.  That’s as far as I’d go. Put it this way, I had my son in February 2014 and I haven’t managed to finish that box of tea bags yet…


More recently, a friend enticed me to try more of a spiced tea – with cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.  It was pretty tasty.  I haven’t finished that box either.

For more of my musings on tea, check out these posts..

Food Hugs

My Chai

strawberry peach iced tea

This year, I thought I’d have a go at making my own version – Peach and Strawberry Iced Tea.  I mean, iced teas are a pretty big deal in a lot of places so there must be something to them right?

As it turns out – YES! 

The first step was to make a Peach & Strawberry Syrup, which by the way, makes your whole house smell amazing so if your home is on the market, then the time to  make this is just before you have people coming for a viewing. Guaranteed sale. 🙂

stawberry peach cordial

Peach & Strawberry Syrup

(Makes approx 700 ml)

2 peaches, chopped

200 g strawberries

200 g caster sugar (if you have vanilla sugar then use half this and half normal caster)

500 ml water

  • Bung everything in a saucepan on a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and then turn off the heat
  • Using a fork, mush up all the fruit to get out as much of the juice
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Push through a fine sieve or muslin cloth (depending on just how pure you want it) and then funnel into a bottle.

Strawberry Peach Iced Tea

strawberry peach iced tea

You will need

tea bags


Strawberry Peach Cordial

I haven’t put amounts here – it really depends on whether you want to just make a glass for you or a jug. The basic directions are:

  • Make tea – leaving to brew as long as your personal taste desires (I find, if left too long though, it makes the drink a touch bitter – you’ve been warned!)
  • Leave to cool completely
  • Pour 1/3 cordial and 2/3 tea and then add ice
  • Go outside in the sun and feel refreshed!

PS – I don’t own one (yet) but if I did, I would absolutely serve this Peach Tea in one of these amazing clear teapots!

Strawberry Peach Cordial

The fantastic thing about the Strawberry Peach Cordial that you’ve just made is that it will keep in the fridge for a week or so and can also be used for these gorgeous drinks..

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Just a splash of cordial at the bottom of the glass before pouring your Prosecco and hey presto 🙂

Strawberry Peach Prosecco

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

A great one for the kids this one.  Just add sparkling water.

Sparkling Strawberry Peach Cordial

One last thing…

If you’ve enjoyed this post or this recipe then please do share it with your chums and let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear from you!

Five Ways to Five-a-Day

You need never be unhealthy again!

So, Summer is creeping slowly and frankly, rainily (is that a word??) to our doorstep once more and I for one have started the annual ‘oh lord, I’d better start eating a bit better so I can fit in those shorts’ thoughts.  Not only that, but I live in endless cycles, of ‘I must eat more healthily’ followed by ‘oh, I’m too tired, I don’t care – I’m getting pizza‘.  I actually LOVE fruit and veg so I really have very little excuse not to get my five-a-day, and yet… somehow I very often don’t!

My ‘Five Ways to Five a Day’ series attempts to offer a few friendly tips on how we can all make life a little easier  and a little healthier for ourselves.  Plus, it’s my opportunity to present to you my FIRST ever vlog – you have no idea what technical hoops I (and my patient hubby) had to jump through, manoeuvre around, upload and reformat…

So, without further ado, I bring to you, Smoothie Packs – and I’m not talking facials here…

Enjoy, be kind, like and share! 😉

No. 1: Smoothie Packs

Five smoothie packs, so that you have a quick, healthy start to the day from Monday to Friday. No muss, no fuss.

The five smoothies that I’ve chosen were aimed to use the same selection of fruits so that you’re not going out and buying a million fruits and letting loads go to waste.  The great thing with smoothie packs though, is you can just chuck in what you fancy!

My other yummy smoothies

Banana Smoothie

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

Top Tip: to get extra goodness in there, why not pop in a handful of green leaves, like spinach or kale?

The Final Touches

  • Add the contents of your frozen smoothie pack to your blender
  • Now, add your chosen liquid – here are a few examples…
    • Milk
    • Fruit juice
    • Coconut Milk
    • Almond Milk
    • Ice cubes
  • Blend until smooth and enjoy 🙂


Recipe: Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

Sweet, tangy pineapple and fresh tasting coconut – a real taste of the Tropics!

Goodness in a glass…

There’s something about a smoothie that makes me feel pretty saintly – even the ones that are actually filled with ice cream and syrup!  I think it’s the coolness and flavours of fresh fruit.  You just know it’s doing you good. 🙂

This one is a real taste of Summer.  It takes the flavours of a Pina Colada and turns it into something suitable for breakfast (not that I would ever want to discourage you from drinking pina coladas at breakfast too!).  I had some this morning, using an old, tired pineapple that was going brown and would otherwise have been headed for the bin.  In a smoothie, its ripe, juicy deliciousness was able to shine through.  Add in a splash of creamy coconut milk and you’ve got yourself a tasty, refreshing (and pretty healthy!) start to the day.

pineapple & coconut smoothie

Want to know more about pineapples, their history AND just how darn good they are for you? Take a look at this great article by Helen Nichols at Well-Being Secrets.

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

(or ‘Pina Coloothie’ as I like to call it…)

You will need:

300 g pineapple (peeled and chopped)

100 g ice cubes

100 ml coconut milk*

  • Add the pineapple, ice and coconut milk to your blender
  • Blitz until smooth (I leave for a minute or 2 so it’s nice and frothy)
  • Pour into glasses and add any garnishes you fancy – grated chocolate, pieces of pineapple, coconut shavings, mint….the world’s your oyster!

*I use the low fat version – plenty creamy enough for me

pineapple & coconut smoothie

Important note

If you want to add a splash of rum then it certainly wouldn’t go amiss! Possibly not for breakfast though – unless you’re expecting a really bad day….

Check out my other smoothie recipes here…

Banana Smoothie

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

Smoothie Packs

Recipe: Banana Smoothie

You’re just 3 ingredients and 30 seconds of whizzing from a super scrummy, super healthy banana smoothie breakfast!

This is probably one of the easiest smoothies you could make, so if you’re a smoothie newbie then it’s a good place to start.  There are endless combos  that you can try, but today we’re keeping it simple and staying classic.

banana smoothie 2

Banana Smoothie

You will need:

1 frozen chopped banana

1/2 pint milk

1 tbs honey

  • I should start by saying that if you don’t have a frozen chopped banana then don’t let that put you off making this recipe – a handful of ice will also suffice or in fact neither will still make for a cool smoothie because presumably you keep your milk in the fridge…
  • Anyhoo – on with the instructions – they’re pretty complex so I hope you can keep up…
  • Stick your banana, milk and honey in a blender
  • Whiz until smooth
  • Pour into your glass of choice
  • Devour greedily and feel smug about joining the smoothie brigade 🙂

Banana smoothie

If you’re feeling all fancy…

Why not top your smoothie with a handful of granola or maybe some shavings of chocolate.  Perhaps a few chopped nuts? Or if you’re feeling really naughty, then a dollop of vanilla ice cream never goes amiss.

My other smoothie recipes

If you liked this one, you’re going to LOVE my other smoothie recipes. Go on – check them out!

Pineapple & Coconut Smoothie

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

Smoothie Packs

What’s your favourite smoothie recipe?

Please share your fave smoothies in the comments – and if you like this one then share it with your chums!


Recipe: My Chai

Warm yourself on a winter’s day with my sweet, spiced chai latte…

There are some days when only a mug of something steaming hot, creamy and sweet will do.  For those days, my Chai is the perfect remedy!  It’s a teensy bit more effort than a standard cuppa but it is ABSOLUTELY worth it!

Chai Latte

My gorgeous version of Chai Latte

For those of you who think the idea of sweet tea is rather icky – trust me, I hate sugar in my normal cuppa, but this is completely different and hits the spot in a way that your normal cup of pg tips could never do!

Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean…



You will need:

200 ml water

2 regular tea bags

1 ribbon of orange peel

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cardamom pod

1 clove

1.5 oz golden caster sugar (normal caster or brown will be fine too)

200 ml milk

Squirty cream (optional)

  • Put the water, tea bags, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom pod & clove into a small pan and bring to the boil

  • Simmer for around 5 mins and then remove tea bags, add sugar and stir until dissolved

  • Add milk and bring back to simmer

  • Strain through a tea strainer into your favourite mug

If you’re feeling particularly in need of comfort, then feel free to top with some squirty cream and another dusting of cinnamon – it’s still absolutely beautiful without though!


Indulge yourself!


Homemade lemonade

How to make your cold drinks cooler – No.5: Drink homemade lemonade!

homemade lemonade

Frankly, most things taste better when they’re homemade.  PLUS they tend to be cheaper, PLUS you get to feel pretty smug.  There are soooo many combinations you can try.  Seriously, just type ‘drinks recipes’ into Google and see what comes up!  To get you started, here’s a quick recipe for an old favourite, and our eponymous hero, homemade lemonade…

This recipe is a slightly sweeter version of a recipe taken from Nigella Express and is so easy you have to try it!

Cloudy Homemade Lemonade

– Serves 4-6

You will need:

1 litre chilled fizzy water

2 unwaxed lemons cut into eighths

6 tbs castor sugar


  • Put the water, lemon and sugar into a blender and blitz until the lemon is puréed (you may need to do this in batches)
  • Pass through a sieve and serve over ice.
  • Sip in the sunshine with a good friend or a good book 🙂

Something to try…

Why not throw in a few strawberries or raspberries to make it a bit different?

Alternatively, add a little tipple of your choice to spice it up a bit

For a lemon slushy, just add the ice into the blender along with all the other ingredients!

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