Peanut Butter Chocolate Ginger cookies


Working from a base recipe of 4-6-10 (butter:sugar:flour), 1 egg per 100g/ 4 fl oz butter, substituting approximately half the butter for peanut butter and adding stem ginger syrup (or possibly honey) to make the cookies extra chewy.

Baking at 140C/280F for 20 minutes, should make the cookies crispy yet also chewy/ melty on the inside. This will vary from oven to oven, but, hey, practice makes perfect (?) They’ll pretty much always taste good, no matter what you put in, even if they don’t turn out exactly as intended.

2 oz/50g butter
2oz/ 50g peanut butter (approx 2 tbsp)
6 oz/150g sugar (brown/ white/ mix, doesn’t matter)
1 egg
2 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped, plus syrup
10oz/ 225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
100g chocolate chips
nuts, raisins, whatever you feel like.

Melt the butter in a large heatproof bowl over simmering water.
Add the peanut butter, stir gently until blended, remove from heat.
Mix in the sugar, and then the egg, and stem ginger and syrup.
Mix in the dry ingredients (flour and raising agent, if using), until a smooth, firm dough is formed.
Mix in the chocolate chips/ nuts/ raisins etc.
Form into balls using heaped teaspoons, arrange onto a greased, lined baking sheet, gently flattening them with the back of the spoon.
Makes about 20-30 cookies depending on size.
Bake 140C/280F for 20 minutes. For crisper cookies, bake approximately 160C/320F for 15 minutes.

nb. dough can also be frozen (up to a month)/ refrigerated (up to about 3-5 days) until required.

NoT Halloween – Squash/Pumpkin pancakes – nán guā bǐng 南瓜饼

squash bing

I ate a lot of these in Beijing…

Chewy little pancakes, slightly crisp and nutty on the outside and chewy on the inside. Rolling in sesame seeds before frying adds nuttiness.

There are no exact measurements for this recipe, quantities vary according to the size and water content of the pumpkin.

Use roughly between 1:1 and 1:2; pumpkin: glutinous rice/ mochi flour.

Eat as they are, or with fruit and honey/condensed milk/ gula melaka syrup/ ice cream.. .


200g roasted pumpkin/ squash (roughly 1/2 squash)
200-300g glutinous rice flour/ mochi flour
sesame seeds (optional)
vegetable oil (for frying)


Cut the pumpkin/ squash into large sections, remove seeds and roast for 30 minutes (or until soft) at 200C/390F.
Scoop the flesh out from the skins and mash, removing as many lumps as possible.
Weigh the squash (mass/ volume) and add equal amounts of glutinous rice flour.
Mix until a smooth dough is formed, adding more flour if necessary. It should be a bit like play-dough, will form a ball, not sticky.
If dough is too dry, sprinkle a teaspoon of water, gradually adding until the right consistency is formed.
Divide dough into balls about an inch or so in diameter (or however big you like ’em).
Roll in sesame seeds (if required).
If you have big balls (!) you can boil the bing first, to speed up the cooking time.
To boil: add the balls to a pan of boiling water, cook until they float to the top, then drain.
Heat a teaspoon or so of oil in a non-stick frying pan, and fry the balls until they’re golden brown on the outside.
If they seem to stick to the pan, they’re merely not done yet, so give them a little while longer.
Serve immediately and EAT with anything you like :)

Sen Nin, Islington: Crazy cheap Express Lunch menu

Sen Nin, Islington branch is an expensive looking teppanyaki restaurant that isn’t actually that expensive and has an incredibly reasonably priced express lunch menu, which is available on Saturdays.

Appetisers such as gyoza, edamame are £2.50, bento, rice bowls, sushi, or noodles are all £5 each

Sen Nin bento

Gyoza (not pictured) would have been preferably a little crisper, but the yaki soba had plenty of (the japanese equivalent of) wok hei, and the pork belly katsu bento was very hearty, pork belly meltingly soft and the curry sauce was very pleasant.

A bento box/main would be substantial for 1 person, with 3 highly ravenous people, splitting 2 appetisers, 4 mains, and a bottle of prosecco, £18 per head (including service) is incredibly reasonable for the area.

Perfect fodder for an autumnal afternoon.

Sen Nin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Banh Mi Town, W1

banh mi town

Banh Mi Town would make a fantastic lunch stop but is also good for a healthy, quick meal in Central London, away from the craziness and tourist traps of Soho/ Oxford Street.

They aren’t licensed so if, for example, you’re visiting as an early evening pit stop en-route to a recording of a Radio 4 “Comedy” show, be sure to top-up your hip flask somewhere nearby.

Pho/ noodle dishes are all around £6-7, banh mi around £5, so works out around £10 per person including a (non-alcoholic) drink.

Banh Mi Town Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Butter Tart Squares

this is officially the most rapid way to inhale calories that does not involve consuming pure saturated fat

butter tart squares

Butter Tart Squares: “Square” (ie. tray-bake) version of Butter Tarts, a “quintessentially Canadian” dessert, shortbread-type base, with the topping/ filling a combo of sugar/ eggs/ butter and raisins/ walnuts.

Similar to: pecan pie (with raisins added/ substituted) or ecclefechan

Best eaten on Vancouver Island, sitting on a beach, chilling with sea lions n otters n such, but also delicious in shitty cities (ie. London).

Based on this recipe from CD Kitchen (minus the oats)

175C, 9″ square cake tin (lined)

1 cup/ 200g plain flour
1/2 cup/ 100g butter
1/4 cup/ 50g sugar (white or brown, doesn’t matter)

1/4 cup/50g melted butter
1 cup/200g brown sugar
1/4 cup/ 2tbsp honey
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins/ walnuts (some combination thereof)

Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs, then stir in the sugar.
Press into the lined cake tin and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven to cool and prepare filling

Stir together topping ingredients, pour onto base.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping has set (it won’t wobble when you take it out of the oven)
Cool completely, slice and eat.