Guess who's coming to dinner?

In a token nod to the new year I'm off the booze for a week but luckily my friend Claire @ CRUMBS kindly agreed to do a guest post. If you haven't seen this site, please go and have a look. It has saved me from tears at teatime on more than a few occasions.

When Knackered Mother invited me over I got all excited. "Now there's a place where the guest blogger is going to get a warm welcome", I thought. "AND a decent glass of wine". Little did I know that she would be on the wagon. So I've had to smuggle in my own booze, in the form of welsh rarebit (I know! cunning! see below).

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. January is when most people give their livers a break, which is ironic, because if ever there was a time when taking to drink seems positively healthy, it must be now. While the weather is bleak, the nights are long, and winter seems endless without the twinkling of Christmas tree lights, a big glass of red wine is just what we need to keep our spirits warm.

But there's no telling some people. So instead of booze in your glass, try a splosh in your dinner. Most of the alcohol will go up in steam and it adds a certain something. The brown ale in this welsh rarebit gives it a delightful bitterness which you don't get with cheese on toast.

I won't pretend this is the most imaginative rarebit ever made, but I bet it's the easiest. I knocked it up for lunch at the weekend, in the time it took me to make cheese toasties for the little ones. They didn't have any as I wasn't sure of the ethics of giving a 16 month old a taste for stout. The recipe is from my mum's old Good Housekeeping cookery book from 1992. They say it serves 4 people, but I'd say 2, which says something about our chubby times.

Welsh Rarebit
Start to finish: 10 minutes
Serves 2
225g grated cheddar cheese
25g butter
1 level tsp mustard powder (or mustard, whatever you've got)
thinly sliced spring onions
salt and pepper
4 tbsp brown ale
4 slices of bread

Place all ingredients except the bread in a saucepan and heat gently until it goes creamy. Lightly toast bread on one side (use bagel setting if you have it). Put toast in a shallow oven proof dish, pour creamy cheesey goo over it, place under hot grill until it bubbles and goes golden.
Cheers (ish) x