The Crazy Kitchen

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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Mincemeat & Salted Caramel Palmiers with Mincemeat Semifreddo

These palmiers are really easy to make, and a really delicious alternative to a traditional mince pie. If you're having guests around for a mulled wine these would be great to serve alongside, or with the addition on a scoop of semifreddo they would make a tasty dinner party dessert to wow your guests. The semifreddo is lighter than an ice cream, almost the texture of a mousse, with all the flavours of Christmas, and you don't need an ice cream machine to make it.
   Mincemeat & Salted Caramel Palmiers with Mincemeat Semifreddo

Mincemeat & Salted Caramel Palmiers 

500g puff pastry
400g mincemeat
100g almonds, chopped
salted caramel sauce (or caramel sauce with a pinch of sea salt flakes)
  • Roll out the pastry into a large rectangle
  • Spread the mincemeat over the pastry & top with the chopped almonds
  • Roll up each on the long sides towards the middle until they meet
  • Cut slices approx 1cm wide and place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper
  • Press down with the palm of your hand
  • Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 12-14 minutes
  • Leave on the baking paper to cool down & drizzle with salted caramel sauce
 photo palmiers4_zps4b5b3da1.jpg

Mincemeat Semifreddo

600ml double cream
grated zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla pod, split
300g mincemeat
4 eggs separated
50g caster sugar

  • Heat the cream gently in a pan with the orange zest and vanilla pod
  • Remove from heat and stir in the mincemeat
  • Allow to cool and remove the vanilla pod
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff
  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy 
  • Fold the cream mixture into the egg yolks and then fold in the egg whites, until well combined
  • Add to a freezable container and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours until semi solid and then stir gently to distribute the mincemeat
  • Freeze for a few hours more before serving
  • Remove from the freezer around 15 minutes before serving
Mincemeat & Salted Caramel Palmiers with Mincemeat Semifreddo Mincemeat & Salted Caramel Palmiers with Mincemeat Semifreddo

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Family Time with IKEA

When I was growing up I always remember having mealtimes together as a family, sitting around the dining table. When I visit my parents now I still feel the urge to sit in 'my place' at the table (back to the wall, in between my Mum (nearest the kitchen) & my brother). Sunday nights were a really special time though, as we didn't sit at the dining table and instead the pouffe was pulled out ready for the tray laden with buttered crumpets, English muffins, salt & vinegar chipsticks and a pot of tea and iced fondant fancies from M&S, whilst watching 'That's Life'.

We sometimes do the same now, but probably not as often as we should, as life, friends, homework & sport sometimes get in the way of us all eating at the same time. We should make more of an effort though really, as when we do all sit around the coffee table eating a pizza on a Saturday night or crumpets on a Sunday it gets everyone chatting and laughing together.

We spent our Sunday teatime this week watching Saturday night's episode of the X Factor whilst eating a selection of treats provided by IKEA.

Family Time with IKEA

We ate crispbreads with cream cheese, ham, cheese, apple slices, grapes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, buttered crumpets, crisps, cinnamon swirls and chocolate muffins. The muffins were topped with a chocolate and butterscotch icing, which was made by beating IKEA's delicious chocolate spread with butterscotch pieces and cream cheese together. The freshly baked chocolate muffins were made using a unique idea - a carton of muffin mix to which cold water is added, shaken and then poured into muffin cases - just genius!

Family Time with IKEA Family Time with IKEA Family Time with IKEA Family Time with IKEA  photo IKEA6_zps7a96f752.jpg

We enjoyed lots of laughs, particularly when the kids tried to throw grapes into Dad's mouth!

Family Time with IKEA

How do you make your mealtimes special?

Thanks to IKEA for providing treats for our family time

Monday, 15 December 2014

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

After a few months of work (on and off) The Crazy Kitchen makeover is almost complete. I am now the proud owner of new glossy cream cupboard doors to replace my eleven year old beech ones, plus a few extra wall cabinets. The walls have been painted and the graphite grey subway style tiles have been laid. All I'm waiting for is my new oven & hob to be fitted, which will be after Christmas now.

When you have a newly fitted kitchen it's nice to dress it up a little with some new kitchen utensils and accessories, which I've done with the help of BHS.

With these Kellogg's metal canisters I no longer mind if the kids leave the cereal out in the morning, and they're large enough to take 1kg of bran flakes.

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

The tins come in two different sizes. These are the large ones which are priced at £10.50 each.

This set of three glass candy jars look great on the worktop filled with sweets, marshmallows & nuts and are reduced to only £7.99 for the 3!

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

I've been putting off the job of cleaning out the cutlery drawer for a while but the arrival of this grey wicker cutlery basket gave me the kick up the backside that I needed. The basket fitted the drawer perfectly and we now have a very organised drawer.

Kitchen Accessories at BHS Kitchen Accessories at BHS

The final item that I received was a very handy 3 tier Breville electric steamer. I have a stainless steel stove top steamer at the moment but once I get the new induction hob fitted it will no longer work, so instead of cluttering my shelves with more pans I thought I would add to my small appliance collection with this helping hand. I've so far only cooked rice in it, which turned out perfectly and was completely fuss free.

Kitchen Accessories at BHS

What accessories would you choose to adorn your kitchen?

I received these items or the purpose of this post

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Festive Menu at Brewers Fayre

We don't often eat out as it can be quite expensive catering for a teen with hollow legs, as well as a pre-teen that doesn't always want to go for the kids menu, so we jumped at the chance when asked if we wanted to try out the festive menu at our local Brewers Fayre.

Myself and the husband opted for the three course festive menu, priced at £13.99 on evenings and weekends. The kids festive menu was a bit limited with only turkey as a main course option so the two youngest chose three courses from the regular kids menu, priced at £4.99, and Sam chose a starter and main course from the main menu.

Festive Menu at Brewers Fayre

Our friendly waiter brought over crackers, party poppers, streamers, blowers and balloon rockets to get us in the festive party mood whilst waiting the short time until our starters were delivered.

For starters I chose breaded mushrooms and the husband chose prawn cocktail, both of which were really nice, although it would have been nice to see a cranberry dip for the mushrooms rather than a bbq sauce.

Whilst waiting for our main courses much hilarity was caused by the balloon rockets flying around as guests on nearby tables got into the party spirit too.

For main course I chose the festive beef burger, which was a delicious 6oz burger topped with cranberry sauce and brie, accompanied by coleslaw and potato dippers. My only criticism of this was the bun, which didn't seem very fresh and had the appearance that it had previously been frozen.

The husband had the traditional Christmas turkey dinner, served with roast potatoes, chipolata, root vegetable mash, sprouts, stuffing, yorkshire pudding and gravy, which he said was really good.

After the burger I was completely stuffed and gave my dessert of chocolate brownie to Sam, but sampled the very nice Christmas pudding and custard that the husband ordered.

Festive Menu at Brewers Fayre

All in all we had an extremely positive experience at Brewers Fayre, with good food and a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Our total bill came to just over £50 for a 3 course meal for 2 adults and 2 children, a 2 course meal for 1 adult, plus drinks, which is great value for money for a family of 5.

Whilst there I spotted a great looking offer of 2 starters for £2.50, 2 main courses for £10 and 2 desserts for £2.50, which is available weekdays, so I think we may be back to sample that very soon.

We were provided with a voucher to try out the festive menu


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