Chris’s favourite frozen margarita

frozen margarita

Chris is crazy for these frozen margaritas; I like them too, but I can only drink half of one before I fall over and cry. This is a boozy mofo but it tastes like fresh lime sorbet – be careful, cocktail fans!

Note: I usually hate recipes that require overnight prep, but the freezing step is the only way to get that super-slushy texture for your drink. Mmm!

Note 2: We honestly did try making these less alcoholic… but it was rubbish.

Frozen margaritas (makes 2 large cocktails)

Citrus juicer
Alcohol measure (we use a 40ml measure, slightly under a UK double measure)

160ml good tequila (4 x 40ml measure)
40ml triple sec (1 x 40ml measure)
20ml sugar or sugar syrup (½ a 40ml measure)
Juice of 2 limes
2 cupfuls of ice

Step 1: Freeze it!

  • Mix together the tequila, triple sec, sugar and lime juice and freeze for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Stick a couple of not-too-delicate glasses in the freezer too.

Step 2: Blend it!

  • Sprinkle salt onto a plate.
  • Get the frozen glasses and place them rim-first on the salty plates. That’s the rudest sentence I’ve ever written.
  • Put 2 cupfuls of ice in the blender and chuck in the frozen margarita mix; it may not have frozen solid, but that’s okay.
  • Run the blender for ten or twenty seconds at the slowest, ice-crushing setting, then when the ice is mostly broken down, crank it to the highest setting to make it really slushy – probably about ten to twenty seconds again.
  • Serve in the salted glasses.
  • Fall over and cry (optional).

Top tip from Chris! It’s a faff to have to make the mix, and not much more difficult to make multiples as to make one, so consider spending ten minutes making up the mix in ready-to-rock batches in small freezer tubs. There is nothing better, on a hot day, than getting home, popping some mix and ice in the blender, and making a fresh, home-made margarita in seconds.

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Super Japan phone cam fun: Part two of many

Let the record show that I’ve had two x-rays in two weeks – I’m expecting my new superpowers to kick in any day now. I keep finding moths in the flat, so maybe that’s it. Mothra the Moth-Finder! I’ll learn to fly, but only directly at lightbulbs.

Anyway, here’s another shaky camera snippet from Japan. We went to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan very jet-lagged and culture-shocked, but we were still totally bowled over by this huge tank and gorgeous whale shark, Yu-chan. I’ve left the sound on for the full effect of EVERY CHILD IN JAPAN standing right behind us.

ETA: Apparently there is already a Mothra. Damn.


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The continuing adventures of the tiny pan

The tiny pan is not just for tiny omelettes! No, you can also use a few boring ingredients:

sweetcorn fritters ingredients

To make fancy Thai sweetcorn fritters!

sweetcorn fritters chilli jam

Er, you may notice that because we left the prawns out of the recipe without doubling the sweetcorn, they are really more ‘Thai pancakes with occasional sweetcorn excitement ‘, but they were still delicious. We ate ‘em with slices of lime and chilli jam. Give it a whirl, tiny pan fans!


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Don’t leaf me this way

japanese maple leaves pressedCALL ME CRAZY, but I really like autumn leaves. So last year I collected loads of fallen leaves* from Westonbirt Arboretum and pressed them in heavy books like a weird overgrown child.

But now look! I’m sticking them in an album so I can look at the lovely leaves whenever I want. Suck it nature! Kiss my Mod Podge! I’m in control now!

pressed autumn leaves

(Chris took photos, like a normal person.)

*Don’t pull leaves off trees, kids.

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The tiny pan

For various tedious medical reasons, I now have to eat more protein and less… everything else. I know, right? What a pain in the ass.

BUT! I have turned this negative into an amazing positive! I am now the owner of this hilarious frying pan:

tiny frying pan

Every morning, I make a tiny single-egg frittata for breakfast. Sometimes I make a miniature omelette for lunch. Chris taught me a good pancake-flipping technique that means I spend way too much time throwing eggs at the ceiling. Even washing the tiny pan is fun!

That is all.


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Spectaclewatch – X-Men: Days of Future Past

If, like me, you are a full-time glasses-wearer, you’ll have noticed how under-represented we are in mainstream movies. Thankfully, the costumiers of X-Men: Days of Future Past are redressing the balance, in spectacular style. Ahaha! Haha! Sigh.

Contains spoilers for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Go and see it!

Continue reading

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Food Network for newbies

Chris always stays up later than me, drinking whisky and watching documentaries. He claims the documentaries are relaxing, but I find them at best hilarious and at worst faintly disturbing – his favourite show is How It’s Made, in which a Canadian woman talks you through the manufacturing processes for a headspinning array of unconnected items. Potato salad, jet engines and garden gnomes, for example. Or glass eyes, canoes and astroturf. Or pewter tankards, marshmallows and paddling pools. The list is apparently endless. The weirdest thing is that all of the items are allocated the same amount of time, regardless of complexity; so there’ll be five minutes for an entire flatscreen TV, then five minutes of an old guy turning a wooden bowl.

Anyway, recently he’s developed a new late-night television interest that’s much better and that I can totally get on-board with. To the point that I suspect I’m slightly ruining his quiet time – it’s Food Network, and it’s our new default TV channel.

Here are the three best shows to watch on Food Network. Watch them. Watch them now:

Diners, Drive-ins & Dives


Do you like tattoos and retro diners and close-ups of red meat? Then have I got the show for you! Amiable man-bear Guy Fieri visits crazy food joints and eats things from the menu, always with his sunglasses somehow stuck to the back of his head. Every episode contains at least one septuagenarian who’s been stood flipping burgers for half a century but doesn’t seem to mind. Or a huge restaurant that’s owned by a couple of married teenagers. America!

Sadly, ‘Triple D’ isn’t on until 10pm most nights, which means we have to pass the time with these shows first…

Barefoot Contessa


Ina has the best life ever – Ina has a barbecue! Ina goes to a wedding! Ina invites some uptight friends round for brunch! You just can’t imagine Ina waiting for a bus or setting up a Direct Debit or dripping bin-water all over her shoes.*

As much as I like Ina’s recipes and fancy garden parties, my favourite thing is when her ‘husband Jeffrey’ (as she always refers to him) makes an appearance.


Apparently Jeffrey is a top professor and all-round boffin, but in the show he always has the air of a man who spends most of the day shut in a cupboard.

“I’m going to make a special cocktail for my husband Jeffrey… that’ll stop him clawing at the door handle for ten goddamn minutes.”

“I’ve sent my husband Jeffrey to get some artisan goat cheese. And if that rat-bastard comes back with mozzarella again, I’m taking away his wind-up radio.

“Jeffrey, I’ve brought you my special deconstructed strawberry shortcake! Eat it, then turn back and face the wall.

Poor Jeffrey! I’m sure his life is actually lovely and in-no-way spooky.

*Wikipedia tells me that Ina is a ‘former White House nuclear policy analyst’. Crikey.

Jenny Morris Cooks The Riviera

Jenny Morris 2

Jenny Morris tours the south of France, mispronouncing ‘moules’ and intimidating simple country folk with the sheer force of her sexual charisma. Every show is a mix of beautiful scenery, awkward interviews and orgastic descriptions of soft fruits.

I don’t always enjoy this show, but it’s impossible to look away.

Watch with caution:

Ching’s Restaurant Redemption
Ching-He Huang is mean to people who run slightly old-school Asian restaurants. I’ve never watched more than the first five minutes, so maybe the ‘redemption’ bit makes it less upsetting.

Anna Olson: Fresh
Anna can’t help that her name gets a weird ‘R’ added in by the continuity announcer (“Annar Rolsen”), but she can help being perpetually surprised by fresh produce. These apples are actually the ones she picked this morning! This carrot came straight from the farmer’s market! This seabass isn’t actively decomposing in front of our eyes! Wow!

That’s it – I’ve only been watching the Food Network for a couple of weeks, so let me know if you think I’m missing any other great (or terrible) shows and I’ll tune in.

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