Tag Archives: Hot Chocolate

Monday Musings…9th January 2023…Hot Chocolate…After 40 years I jogged again!

Welcome to Monday Musings where my muse pinpoints anything exciting or unusual we have read during the last week, it could be anything…I love chocolate… chocolate anything really…O mean who doesn’t?… I love hot chocolate no marshmallows though…I love it with churros and I do love chocolate mint creams…

What I didn’t know was what the largest cup of hot chocolate was to find out and discover some other facts about “Hot Chocolate please click the highlighted link below…


The latest news around the world “Spare” will be released tomorrow…if you didn’t know it is Prince Harry’s story…I for one, unless I am given a free copy, will NOT be spending my hard-earned cash on that book…it does beg the question though… who is telling the truth???

I have lived long enough to know that the media and social media cannot be trusted to tell the truth and will we ever know we weren’t there…and the book is only one side of the story…

Thinking about chocolate …a tune for you…

Yesterday I jogged during my early morning walk for the first time in 40 years…today I did a tad more spurred on by seeing my son a way ahead of me he takes a different route sometimes(longer) than mine…Thinking initially I could catch up and tap him on the shoulder he has his music on so if I called he wouldn’t hear.

I decided to do more spurts of jogging and although I got close I didn’t get to tap him on the shoulder however it was my best day yet I knew I had exercised and my stats showed me how well I had done I was double chuffed and old age can catch me up I decided and it won’t be easy as I ain’t standing still-  In December I completed 154.32km after deciding I would up my game and let the sands of time chase me🤣

Today I did better and did 6.38km and upped my game got my heart rate up and jogged a bit further…I am not jogging the whole route just in bursts but reduced my time and increased my heart rate so I am happy…

Time for breakfast of fresh papaya, passionfruit, pineapple, fresh coconut flesh and live natural yoghurt and coconut juice to drink….ideal for me as it is not cold if it’s cold where you are then here’s a lovely recipe for a homemade Protein hot chocolate just right for keeping you warm after your workout.

Have you upped your exercise lately or thinking about it? Do you have any tips? Please share and we can motivate each other…

Thank you for joining me today I hope you are all well and happy and hope you have a great week ahead…as always I look forward to your comments x

CarolCooks2…Christmas Recipes…Winter Warmers…Hot Chocolate, Fish Pie and a delicious Thai Duck Curry…


On a cold Winters’ Day or just because…..These recipes will warm you right down to your toes.

Hot Chocolate.


To serve 2 people:

  • 2 cups of milk.
  • 3 oz of best-quality chocolate..either bittersweet or semi-sweet.
  • 1 cinnamon stick.
  • 2-star anise.
  • 2 tsp of honey or Tate and Lyle’s Golden syrup.
  • 1 tsp brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 2 tbsp or as you like it of spiced rum or dark rum.

Let’s Cook!

Put the milk in a saucepan with the chocolate broken into pieces, cinnamon stick, honey and sugar and heat very gently until the chocolate has melted.

Add the vanilla extract and using a small hand whisk start whisking, add 1 tbsp of the rum( still whisking) stop long enough to TASTE and add more rum as required for your taste.

Still whisking, add some more sugar if required.

Take out the cinnamon stick and star anise, and pour hot chocolate into 2 cappuccino cups or caffè latte cups.

If you are making this for someone who is tee-total or a kiddie omit the rum and add some marshmallows and let your imagination run free or add marshmallows anyway…Why not? Spoil yourself.


In the run-up to Christmas, we all want something which is quick and easy to do and when it is cold which warms us up…

Fish Pie can be pastry topped or topped with mashed potato…or just sprinkled with some fresh breadcrumbs for a lighter pie.


My mum always used to make it topped with potatoes sometimes she sliced them and others she boiled them… I think the slices of potatoes look very pretty if you are having someone for dinner but when I am making it, especially if I am busy then mashed potato fits the bill nicely.

I top it with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes ( which) I love but everyone one else likes the normal mashed potato as they call it…


For the filling

  • 400 ml whole milk
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 gm thick white fish fillets, skinned…although if I can I get a pack of mixed fish pieces which includes salmon, smoked fish and other fish and it is very nice.
  • 40 gm butter
  • 40 gm plain flour
  • 150 gm frozen peas/sweetcorn
  • 200 gm large raw prawns, peeled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 800 gm medium  potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 40 gm  butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 100 gm mature cheddar cheese, grated/ or breadcrumbs and parmesan makes for a nice topping.

Let’s Cook

Preheat the oven to 200C /400F/ Gas 6.

To make the filling, pour the milk into a large pan and add the sliced onion and bay leaves. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place the fish fillets in the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for two minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand and infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the fish and transfer to a colander over a bowl, then pour the milk into a jug.

Half fill a large saucepan with cold water. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Drain the potatoes and cover them with a clean tea towel which absorbs the steam. Mash with the butter, milk and three-quarters of the grated cheese. If I have cream in the fridge and feel a bit decadent then I omit the butter and milk and mash it with cream.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

To finish the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually add the infused milk, stirring constantly, and simmer over medium heat for 3–4 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in the peas and season with salt and black pepper.

Spread one-third of the sauce into the base of a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint ovenproof dish. Scatter half the fish fillets over the sauce, breaking them into chunky pieces as you go and discarding the onion and bay leaves.

Arrange half the prawns on top of the fish and pour over another third of the sauce. Repeat this with the remaining fish and prawns and finish with the final third of the sauce on top.

Spoon the mash over the fish mixture, spreading to the edges with a palette knife. With a fork just take it across the surface and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Sometimes I also slice some tomatoes and arrange them around the side of the dish.

Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.

Fish Pie Potato topped

Serve with some lemon slices.

Some steamed vegetables can be served if a more substantial meal is required.

N.B This is also a nice recipe and can be made in individual servings just divide the mix between 4 bowls and brown the top for about 15 minutes.

Curries are also a nice warming dish and most can be kept warm so as someone arrives home cold and chilled or just worn out it can be served almost immediately.

One of my all-time favourites is a Duck Curry, not one I make often and when I do I vow to make it more often but generally I make it when I want something a little more special.

I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas maybe a few florets of broccoli..really whatever I have in the fridge.

Let’s Cook!

Duck Curry

Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium-rare.

Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 10 cherry tomatoes.
  • 6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.
  • 100 gm Thai eggplant cut into quarters. ( Pictured below)


  • 1-2 tbsp red curry paste.
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves torn
  • A bunch of Thai basil washed and leaves picked…
  • 2 tsp lime juice.
  • 100gm pea eggplants( Pictured to the right above)

To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.

Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and eggplants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add the mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.

Now taste and adjust the curry paste if you want more heat. If anything else needs adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not…I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say TASTE and Taste again.

When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and a sliced red chilli if you like.

Serve with steamed rice.


christmas-tree merry christmas-3825102_640

I hope you have enjoyed these easy-to-make Winter Warmers…as always I appreciate your visit and comments as at this busy time of year…

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

Saturday Snippets…3rd April 2021…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…No rants this week I was just so angry and disappointed but I have calmed down and will write about this docu over the next few weeks …I hope those of you who celebrate Easter have a lovely Easter holiday…

I have been busy this week planting seeds and seedlings which is all in yesterdays post…it has also been extra hot and humid so I have spent as little time in the kitchen as possible…no new recipes this week apart from Simnel Cake and  BBQ Sauce…

Today is also National Chocolate Mousse Day...The word mousse is French and translates as “froth” or “foam.” they are often poured into decorative glasses and garnished with fruit, sweet sauces, or whipped cream…maybe in the absence of any form of Easter Egg I should make chocolate mousse…

The first written record of chocolate mousse in the United States comes from a Food Exposition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1892…my favourite chocolate mousse is one with chilli…Chilli and chocolate is for me a marriage made in culinary heaven…

This week my chocolate habanero seedling arrived maybe when those beautiful chocolate coloured fruits start appearing a mousse would be a good idea…

Are we talking chocolate mousse?

Chocolate mousse… it could be milk chocolate, dark, chocolate, white chocolate or a combination of all 3…It could be mint chocolate…It could be just 2 ingredients or you could go the whole caboodle and make the most decadent mouse containing whipped egg whites, whipped cream, or both, and flavoured with one or more of types of chocolate, coffee, caramel, puréed fruits, or various herbs and spices, such as mint or vanilla and not forgetting even chilli… I mean chilli and chocolate…heavenly…


The combinations are endless…I am not in favour of using uncooked eggs …I have tried chocolate mousse with avocado..once was enough and never to be repeated…If I want chocolate mousse I will stick with Nigella I mean she loves to cook and eat with no thought to anything especially calories…

Serves: 4-6

  • 150 grams mini marshmallows
  • 50 grams of soft butter
  • 250 grams good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
  • 60 ml hot water (from a recently boiled kettle)
  • 284 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate, and water in a heavy-based saucepan.

Put the saucepan on the hob, over low heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, mixture.

Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml / ¾ cup each., or 6 smaller (125ml / ½ cup) ones, and chill until you want to eat.


Now for some Hot Chocolate…and Emma…

Conservation Corner…Chocolate Eggs…

Easter Eggs…The good news…

Easter egg packaging has often hit the headlines in the past because of its inability to be easily recycled. However Which? reports that industry improvements have been made, and now almost all packaging from the eggs in the study is recyclable…

Green Pawed Sea Otters and Kelp Forests…

Sea otters are a ‘keystone species’: they play a disproportionately important role in their ecosystem, influencing the populations of the plants and animals that live there. In particular, they protect kelp forests by preying on sea urchins.

Further info on how it is important to protect sea otters…Nothing works in isolation everything depends on others…Sea otters are part of the chain...


You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
Jane Goodall

A year on it is still with us...still not under complete control…Vaccines seem to be working are they the answer…I do wonder what this year will bring…


Did you know?

#1… Of course, one of the most well-known dates of April is April Fools’ Day on the 1st of the month. No one is sure where this originated from, but some believe it to be inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s story in “Canterbury Tales” called “Nun’s Priest’s Tale.”

#2...1722 – On Easter Sunday, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered a Polynesian Island 1400 miles from the coast of South America and named it Easter Island.

#3…The English poet William Wordsworth was born April 7, 1770, and one of his best-known poems is perfect for April in the northern hemisphere: “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” which he first published in 1807. Here’s a little snippet for an April day:

I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

I can’t go without mentioning a dear blogging friend Sue Vincent…I have never witnessed such pure acceptance of what was to be or seen such passion to depart this life on her terms… There must have been times of great angst and recriminations of why…to us, she just showed such a passion for life and worked to leave a legacy for her family and us… she made memories for those she was leaving behind… my admiration of Sue’s bravery has no bounds…she looked all that was happening in the face and seemed to say… do what you may but these are my terms of how I will live and die…R.I.P dear Sue my condolence to her sons and grandchildren, to you Stuart for sharing this and little Ani…how sad she must be wondering where her 2 legs has gone x


That’s all for today thank you for dropping in I hope you enjoyed my whimsy… I would love to hear from you in comments as you know how I love to chat…Love Carol xx