One Mug Hot Chocolate

No, I'm not Melissa.
No, I’m not Melissa.

I know it’s crazy hot outside.

I know that we are all on the verge of melting – Wicked Witch style – into a puddle because of the craziness that is global warming.

But really – who do we have to blame but ourselves in this situation?

I mean if we just stopped consuming so freaking much and reused things and generally didn’t leech the earth of its resources and rode planes around everywhere and bred all these COWS we might be ok today. But instead we have started the end of the world as evidenced by that glacier that’s melting and making land scarce and anarchy inevitable.

No? NO?!

Ok right, this is a food blog.

So let’s make some hot chocolate. Because it’s great to drink when you’re tired and when it’s hot outside but you’re in a cool air-conditioned room – which of course will only speed up global warming.

Drink up!

1 cup milk
2 tsps cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 Tbsp white sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon, optional

Heat up milk in a saucepan till hot over a medium flame. Make sure it doesn’t burn by stirring frequently. You will know it’s done when it hisses as it climbs up the sides of the saucepan.

While the milk is heating up, combine the rest of the ingredients in the mug.

Pour the hot milk over the other ingredients and stir quickly, with a spoon/fork, till fully mixed.


* This version isn’t as sweet as the others I’ve found which call for 2 Tbsps. I mean, that’s just unnecessary.
** I made this last night after a long bus journey and it really did the trick to both satisfy my hunger at 1am and also make me feel comforted 🙂

Shepherd’s Pie with Garam Masala

IMG_2316You know what you should do this weekend? You should totes make Shepherd’s Pie and then freeze it in individual portions (see above – I know that frozen condensation is so appetizing) and then have it for the rest of the week for dinner. You will thank your past self when Monday comes and your realize you have NO resolve to cook anything and yet don’t want to spend money on eating out. Yeah, you know what I’m sayin’.

This time I took pictures of the process. Enjoy!

IMG_2269Mash bit.

IMG_2270Ground meat and onions bit.

IMG_2271Ground meat and onions post masala inclusion.

IMG_2273AND done.

Mashed potato topping
800 gm potatoes
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg

Minced lamb bottom layer
2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste
600 gm ground lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsps meat curry powder*
1 Tbsp chili powder*
1/2 Tbsp jeera/cumin powder*
1/4 Tbsp garam masala*
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas

Clean the potatoes and cut into four pieces. Boil until tender and remove skin.

While the potatoes are still hot put the butter in it so it melts, add the whipping cream, salt and pepper and mash until smooth. Stir in egg until well combined (Confession: I didn’t realize it was supposed to be just the egg yolk until I started typing up this post)

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Put the canola oil in a pan over medium high heat. Once the oil simmers, add the onion and brown. Add the ginger-garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.

Add the spices: meat curry powder, chili powder, jeera powder and garam masala and cook for like a minute.

Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the peas to the lamb mixture and cook for another minute.

I spread the lamb mixture evenly into an 8 by 8 baking dish – you should choose a bigger one because mine totally spilled over and made everything greasetastic.

Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.

Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

*This amount can be doubled for a spicier pie.
**Adapted from Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie.