The Crazy Kitchen: May 2012

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Cooking With Your Toddler - Iced Lemon Cookies

This is a recipe from the Ocado website, a very simple one, in fact so simple that we didn't even use the Kitchen Aid. The butter was very soft though as it had been left out whilst we went shopping so it didn't need much beating.

150g Butter
150g Caster Sugar
1 Egg, beaten
Zest of 1 lemon & juice of half 
350g Plain flour

To decorate
juice of half a lemon
icing sugar
sprinkles - we used Dr Oetker Stars, Polka Dots & Soft Shimmer Pearls *

  • Beat the butter and sugar until creamy
  • Add the egg, lemon juice & zest & beat well
  • Stir in the flour until it starts to come together and then use your hands to bring together. (Add more flour if it's too sticky.)
  • Wrap in clingfilm & refrigerate for half an hour - or in our case 10 minutes in the freezer

  • Roll the dough to about 1/2 - 1cm thick & cut out shapes
  • Bake in a preheated 180 degree (C) oven for 8-10 minutes
  • Transfer to a wire rack & cool 
  • Mix enough icing sugar into the lemon juice to form a thin paste
  • Spread icing over the biscuits & decorate


The June Cooking With Your Toddler linky will open on 1st June and close on 30th June. Please feel free to link up your posts with the theme of Cookies & Biscuits. 
Cooking With Your Toddler has now moved to it's own dedicated blog here.

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* We were sent the Dr Oetker decorations for the purpose of a review

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Cooking With Your Toddler - June - Cookies / Biscuits

I haven't done much baking with Jack recently so I thought it was time to revive Cooking With Your Toddler. It would be a bit ambitious of me to think that we'll be able to do it every week so I've decided to post a Cooking With Your Toddler post once a month and open a new linky up each month for you lovely lot to include your posts. I'll post a theme for the month and you can link up with your cooking posts along that theme until the end of the month. 

For the month of June the theme is Cookies / Biscuits

You can either post your own recipe or feel free to use one of the recipes in the old Cooking With Your Toddler linkys here. Either way you will need to be cooking with a toddler to join in with the linky. (although if you don't have a toddler a child of any age will do - they don't even have to be yours!) 

Cooking with your Children is a great way to spend quality time together and it doesn't have to be as stressful as you may imagine. For a first timer no bake recipes are a great idea, as well as weighing out your ingredients before you get your child involved. If you want to make cookies without much hassle then you could make the dough in advance and keep it in the fridge until you want to use it.

Cooking With Your Toddler has now moved to it's own dedicated blog here.

Slow Cooker Five Bean Chilli

I posted a recipe for a bean chilli last year but this one has more beans in and less vegetables. I just bought a few different cans of beans and threw them in the slow cooker, I used :

1 Can Black Eye Beans, drained
1 Can Pinto Beans, drained
1 Can Butter Beans, drained
1 Can Borlotti Beans, drained
1 Can Baked Beans (which are Haricot beans)
1 Can chopped Tomatoes
1 Can tomato Puree
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 whole red chilli (de-seeded, leave the seeds in if you want it hotter)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 empty baked bean can of boiling water

It seems like a lot of ingredients but there's not much chopping, and if you buy frozen chopped onion and peppers as well as lazy garlic & chilli then there is no chopping at all.

I cooked on high heat all day and then served with grated cheese on the top along with home-made potato wedges and salad.

Bean chilli is a very popular meal in this house & was eaten 2 days running with another portion put in the freezer.



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Monday, 21 May 2012

Zesty Summer Salad

Summer is almost upon us, which means enjoying the sunshine having bbq's with friends and family. I love salads and hopefully we'll be getting a Summer soon where we can get out in the garden with friends and enjoy some lovely salads with our bbq's.

If you've not yet tried Apetina cheese you should really give it a go. It's a very versatile cheese that can be used in salads, soups, bakes and pies. Apetina is a creamy cow's milk cheese that's available in a classic or light block as well as ready cubed packs in their classic style or with herbs. 
Apetina are currently holding a weekly competition on their Facebook page where visitors who like the page and vote on their favourite salad will be entered into a prize draw to win a picnic hamper (basket, salad bowl, servers & dressing bottle). The prize in the final week will be a BBQ.

Hamper prize
I've created the Apetina recipe below using fresh salad ingredients and a tub of the Apetina Classic cubes, you could instead use a block crumbled or diced, or one of the alternative tubs with herbs and garlic. It used chilli infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil to give the salad a bit of a kick.

Zesty Summer Salad

Handful of Fresh Basil and Mint (approx 6-10g)
2 tbsp Chilli Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
250g Baby Plum Tomatoes, sliced lengthways
1 whole cucumber, de-seeded and sliced
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced
200g Olives
200g Apetina
Salt & Pepper to season
Few mint leaves to garnish

  • Grind the basil and mint in a pestle & mortar with 1 tbsp of oil to a paste, add a pinch of salt and twist of black pepper to season.
  • Add the rest of the oil, zest and juice of the lemon and set aside
  • Toss the prepared tomatoes, cucumber, onion, pepper, olives and dressing in a large bowl until all the vegetables are coated in the dressing.
  • Add the Apetina and toss briefly
  • Decorate with a few mint leaves

This is a Sponsored Post but the recipe is my own.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Citrus Turkey Salad

I've been challenged again by Lean On Turkey to come up with a low fat/healthy turkey recipe for a family costing under £10. We love pasta and salads in this family so I thought it would be a good excuse to try out a citrus pasta salad using fresh turkey.

For once J actually ate all of his dinner and even asked for more, and then helped himself to even more, so I'll definitely be making this again.


Citrus Turkey Salad - serves 4

800g (approx) Turkey Thigh joint
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
a good pinch of fresh Thyme
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 spring onions, sliced
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced
2 oranges, segmented*
500g dried pasta
150g Sugar Snap peas

  • Roast the turkey joint for approximately 1hr 30mins (depending on the size of your joint)
  • When the turkey is cooked slice it thickly and cut into large pieces and place in a bowl
  • Mix the lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce and Thyme together in a small bowl
  • Add half of the dressing to the turkey and combine
  • Add the spring onions, pepper and oranges to the turkey
  • Boil the pasta as per directions on the pack, adding the sugarsnap peas for the last 3 minutes of cooking
  • Drain the pasta/peas and tip into a large bowl
  • Pour over the rest of the ingredients, along with the remaining dressing and combine
  • Serve warm or cold


You can see my previous turkey recipe, as well as those from other bloggers, here.

*if you don't know how to segment an orange this video will show you

This is a sponsored post but the recipe is my own

Please vote for me in the MAD awards

Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

This is my entry into the BritMums Lean On Turkey competition sponsored by

Friday, 18 May 2012

Millionaires Cheesecake

This afternoon I received the amazing news that a recipe I entered via Baking Mad to appear in the 2012 Macmillan Little Book of Treats is going to be featured in the book which will be sold in M&S Cafe's in August and September.

I am overjoyed to say the least. May is turning out to be a bit of a surreal month, first I reached the finals for the BiB awards, and then the MAD awards and now this.

Apparently they loved my recipe & it's been tested by a home economist and professionally photographed ready to appear in the book. You don't need to wait until August to see it though as I can give you a special preview of my recipe here.

Millionaires Cheesecake

125g Plain Flour
40g Golden Caster Sugar
90g Butter

50g Butter
50g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 x 397g can of Condensed Milk
300g Full Fat Cream Cheese
200ml Double Cream

100g Good Quality (72%) Dark Chocolate
125ml Double Cream
15g Milk Chocolate

To Make Base
  • Mix flour and sugar together in a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Knead together to form a dough
  • Place a round metal cookie cutter (approx 7.5cm diameter) onto a greased baking tray
  • Take a 20g piece of the dough and press into the base of the cookie cutter
  • Press the remaining dough into the base of a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin
  • Bake in a preheated 180o C oven for 15 minutes, until firm to touch and lightly browned (10 minutes for the small one)
  • Allow to cool in the tin.

  • In a small pan melt the butter, muscovado sugar and condensed milk.
  • Bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously
  • Simmer until thickened, around 5 minutes, stirring all the time
  • Spoon 1tbs of the caramel onto the small base and smooth over
  • Reserve 175g of the caramel in a bowl, spooning the rest onto the large base and smooth over.
  • Allow to cool
  • Beat the cream cheese and reserved cooled caramel together in a large bowl
  • Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold into the cream cheese and caramel mixture
  • Spoon onto the cooled caramel layer on the large base, place in the fridge to set
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in short bursts.
  • Slowly stir in the double cream until smooth
  • Pour over the cheesecake and allow to set
  • Melt the milk chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in short bursts
  • Pour into the metal cookie cutter and spread over the caramel layer. Allow to set

To decorate
  • Press the mini millionaire's shortbread out of the cookie cutter ring and cut into small squares and scatter over the cheesecake

Serves 8

Millionaires Cheesecake

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cheats Roast

My family love nothing more than a good roast dinner. Sadly it's not one of my favourite meals, possibly one of my least favourite and because of this, and the mountain of dirty pots and pans that remain afterwards, I don't often cook a full roast dinner.

When I received an email last week with a recipe included for a 'Cheats Roast' I chose not to hit delete straight away and read through the email and recipe. The recipe was devised by Junior's Pantry founder Kate Finch whose family, like mine, would eat a roast every day of the week. This is a quick, easy and economical way of giving them 'almost' a roast dinner without the mountain of pots and pans afterwards.

I changed the ingredients very slightly and this is my version of Cheats Roast :

1kg of Pork Loin Steaks
800g New Potatoes
600g Parsnips
300g Butternut squash
3 eating apples
2 large lemons
Handful of woody herbs, I used Rosemary & Thyme
4 tbsp Olive oil

  • Cut the chops/steaks lengthways
  • Chop the veggies into large chunks & core & quarter the apples
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemons & mix with the herbs and olive oil & season with black pepper
  • Toss everything together in a large roasting pan, throw in the lemon halves too (remove before eating!)
  • Roast in a 200 degree (C) oven for approx 1 hour (mixing a couple of times during the cooking), until all the meat & vegetables are brown
I made a gravy with the juices from the pan.

Total cost for this was under £10 and it served 3 large portions today with enough left over that I should be able to stretch between 2 or 3 tomorrow, along with a few extra veggies.


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this is NOT a sponsored post

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Chocolate Cake In a Mug

I've seen this recipe done before but never got around to making one. Last week the lovely Susan posted a recipe on her blog which prompted me to give it a go, actually I just let 9 year old H make it herself.

This is so easy and I can't believe we've never tried it before. You can find the recipe over on Susan's blog, which we followed exactly apart from the vanilla as we used vanilla caster sugar.


It was baked in our 700w microwave for 3 minutes and was perfect. Whilst it was cooking it rose up an inch or more over the top of the mug but unfortunately I never got a photo and by the time I took it out it has deflated - the reason why I have never attempted a souffle.


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