The Crazy Kitchen: November 2012

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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Home-made Advent Stockings

At the beginning of the month I saw a post by Mummy Mummy Mum for an advent calendar, which made me think that Christmas was approaching, and fast. I got thinking straight away about how I could join in with the linky and make an advent calendar of our own. A few years ago I bought a stocking advent calendar from M&S and each year since I've squeezed 2 Cadbury Heroes or Celebrations in each stocking. There was no way of fitting 3 in so Jack has his chocolates in an advent train a couple of years ago and last year I forgot to buy the chocolates and bought last minute chocolate filled calendars from the local shop on 1st December. This year Jack is old enough to want the same as his brother and sister so I decided to make advent stockings large enough for 3 chocolates in each. Typically I threw all of Jack's baby socks out only a few months ago so I needed to buy new ones, which I found in Asda for £2 for 3 pairs of white socks which I dyed red.


You will need:

24 white cotton baby socks
red dye (+ salt for the dyeing)
fabric glue
felt numbers (Ebay)
buttons to decorate
24 mini pegs (I already had these)
length of twine

  • Dye the socks as per directions on the pack - 1 pack was enough for 24 baby socks
  • Wash & dry the socks
  • Stick the numbers onto the socks with the fabric glue
  • Decorate with the buttons - sew or glue them on
  • Thread the pegs onto the twine and hang in position, securing at each end
  • Peg the socks up and fill with chocolates or treats


Chocolate Mincemeat Ice Cream

I saw a recipe for an extremely simple ice cream on Mummy Mishaps, which she'd seen Nigella making. It doesn't need the use of an ice cream maker and only has a couple of basic ingredients so I thought I would give it a go to see if it really was too good to be true.

As I'd got some chocolate mincemeat left after making another batch of mincemeat slices I thought I would make a batch of ice cream to go with them, and the result really was amazing. It's a lovely soft scoop ice cream that, even after being in the freezer overnight, still remains soft enough to scoop. I adapted the recipe slightly to use up some cream that was already open in the fridge and use the whole can of condensed milk.


Chocolate Mincemeat Ice Cream

397g can of Condensed Milk
400ml Double Cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g Chocolate Mincemeat *
1 tbsp dark Rum

  • Whisk the condensed milk and cream together until it forms soft peaks
  • Stir in the vanilla, mincemeat and rum until well combined and fruit is evenly distributed
  • Pour into a freezable container and place in the freezer. It will need around 4-6 hours to freeze.
This quantity almost filled 2 x 900ml ice cream containers - one for now and one for Christmas (somehow I don't think it will last that long though!)

* If you're using bought mincemeat and you can see the pieces of suet you will need to heat it to melt the suet first and then allow to cool before using, as I did when I made my mincemeat.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Chocolate Mincemeat Slices

With Christmas around the corner my kitchen is smelling all Christmassy with the scents of mixed spice and cinnamon. Last week I made some chocolate mincemeat and here's why. A great alternative to mince pies, especially for those that are not very keen on traditional mincemeat, they're easier than making mince pies, and a whole lot tastier too.


Chocolate Mincemeat Slices

Shortbread layer
125g Plain Flour
25g Ground almonds
50g Caster sugar
110g Clover block*
zest of 1 orange (tip from Mummy Mishaps)

Mincemeat layer
400g Chocolate mincemeat

Crumble layer
100g Plain Flour
25g Chopped almonds
50g Clover block*
25g Demerara sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice

  • In a mixer or food processor whizz the shortbread ingredients together until they come together in a ball
  • Press into the base of a greased rectangular baking tin & smooth out - I used one approx 28cm x 17cm
  • Spoon the mincemeat over the shortbread and spread out evenly
  • Whizz the crumble topping ingredients together until they resemble breadcrumbs
  • Spread the crumble evenly over the top of the mincemeat & press down with the back of a fork
  • Bake in a preheated 180 C oven for approx 30-35 minutes, until golden brown
  • Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into slices


The Clover block used in this recipe is a great alternative to butter, not only does it contain 30% less saturated fat than butter, but it can also easily be used straight from the fridge. It's soft enough to be beaten and used in cakes but also firm enough for shortbread and crumble, as can be seen in this recipe. It's also great for spreading on toast, right out of the fridge. You can find out more about Clover, as well as recipes, on Facebook.

I was provided with Clover block and the cost of the ingredients for this recipe

Friday, 23 November 2012

Thinking of Kerry

Kerry (aka Multiple Mummy) started blogging around the same time that I did and we soon started tweeting each other and following each others blogs. She tragically suffered a brain haemorrhage in the Summer and has been very poorly ever since. She's been fighting extremely hard and barely a day goes by that I don't think about her and her lovely family. Liska from New Mum Online has come up with the idea of showing our support for Kerry across the blogging world,

So I ask that you hand over your blog and your heart, on Saturday 24th November and let thoughts of Kerry, aka Multiple Mummy ripple through the cyber waves.

Let us all say a coordinated prayer for her at 10 p.m. on Saturday 24th November.

Of course if you are not religious and do not pray, then medidate, or make a wish, or do what feels right for you. 

Please if you can, do a dedicated blog post to her on Saturday so that she has her own HEALING CORNER of the world wide web on Saturday...

I first met Kerry at a Vtech event in the summer of 2011 and one thing I quickly learnt about her is that she's always got a smile on her face


I met Kerry again later that year at the Tots100 Butlin's party where we spent part of the afternoon together decorating a Christmas tree as part of 'Team C'

Team C

Later on we shared a lovely, but very hectic, family meal at a pizza restaurant with Emma & The Boy and Me and all of our husband's AND children - all ten of them (children, not husband's), and we were squeezed around tables more suited to two families of four - it was a lot of fun though and great to meet all the faces from the blogs.

In the evening we all went for a meal and a few drinks and it was nice to catch up and put the world to rights over late drinks in the hotel bar.

Emma, me & Kerry
I didn't then see Kerry again until BritMums Live in June this year but managed to catch up with her in the day

always smiling

as well as spend an enjoyable evening catching up with her and others, again over a few drinks in a bar.

did I say she was always smiling?

Come and show your support for Kerry by visiting her blog and leaving words of support for her and her family, as well as following the support on twitter with the hashtag #Healing4Kerry

Foodie Foto Friday - Week 12

Here we go again, another week closer to Christmas!

Last week I made some lovely chocolate mincemeat, and here's what I used some of it for - chocolate mincemeat slices - shortbread base, chocolate mincemeat filling and crumble topping - so much tastier than traditional mince pies and so much easier too. The recipe will be on the blog next week but in the meantime feast your eyes on these beauties....


Now I want to see what you've been making / eating this week.

The Crazy Kitchen

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

lovetub £100 Beauty Treatment Giveaway

I love making cakes and desserts but sometimes it's nice to have a break from a hot stove and instead buy something rich and indulgent for the family to enjoy. When lovetub contacted me to ask if I would like to try out their new desserts they didn't have to ask twice. I haven't received the desserts yet but ahead of my review I have a giveaway for my readers to win a £100 beauty treatment, to enjoy some "indulgence just for you"

lovetub is an indulgent chilled dessert, packed in to one single-serve tasty tub. The range includes a delicious Chocolate Pudding and mouth watering Sticky Toffee Pudding, which can be popped in the microwave for around 30 seconds and then enjoyed straight from the tub. Lovetub has this week launched two new flavours to the range in selected Sainsbury’s stores across the UK; Chocolate Orange Volcano Pudding and Merry Mince Pie Pudding.

The delicious new flavours definitely won’t disappoint; the Chocolate Orange Volcano Pudding encompasses a sumptuous chocolate orange sponge with gorgeously gooey chocolate sauce, topped with volcanic popping candy and chocolate orange curls, and Merry Mince Pie Pudding includes layer of frivolously fruity sticky toffee sauce sprinkled with white chocolate coated biscuit snowballs, which melts in to a rich, festively fruity sponge as you dig in.

To celebrate the launch of the two new flavours, lovetub has teamed up with The Crazy Kitchen and is offering you the chance to win an indulgent treat -  voucher which entitles you to a beauty treatment of your choice, to the value of £100. To enter just complete the Rafflecopter form below.


If that wasn’t enough, you could also bag yourself a free lovetub or a money-off coupon by visiting the lovetub Facebook page( Everyone’s a winner and if you haven’t already tried the delicious desserts, this is the perfect opportunity.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Gifts from Stuck on You - Review & Giveaway

If you're looking for something maybe a little bit different for the children this year for Christmas then look no further than Stuck on You. Known for their cute and practical name labels, Stuck on You also have a range of personalised items such as bags, lunchboxes and stationery.

I was asked to choose some items from their personalised Christmas gifts to review, and here's what I chose :

Christmas In a Cup

personalised 500ml hard plastic, BPA free, with a screw on lid and hard straw - fill with stocking fillers or use on your Christmas table.

Wooden Name Puzzle

personalised puzzle in choice of colours, up to 10 letters - can be used as a picture once child has outgrown the puzzle

Christmas Pouch


100% cotton drawstring pouch, can be used for Santa's letter and treats


30 page personalised spiral bound A4 sketchbook, also printed on each page, in various designs

The items are really lovely quality and I know the recipients will love them. Jack can't wait to fill the pouch with treats for Santa on Christmas Eve.

I have 2 x £20 vouchers to give away to 2 lucky readers of this blog. You just need to follow the directions in the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review & giveaway

Monday, 19 November 2012

Chicken Fried Rice

I don't claim to be a master of Chinese cooking but this meal is one that my family really likes. It's a great 'Fakeaway' way to use leftover roast chicken, or you can do what I do and cook one especially for making the fried rice. I used to make it years ago by adding the egg straight into the rice but a Chinese lady that I worked with told me to make an omelette with the eggs, slice it & add it to the rice at the end. She also advised to use pre-cooked and cooled rice to make sure that it doesn't stick together. Ever since then that is how I've done it - she wasn't a force to be argued with. You can add as much or as little of the vegetables that you want, and feel free to change for something that you have already in the fridge - peppers, courgettes, broccoli.

Chicken Fried Rice - Serves 4

Cooked & cooled Basmati rice - I cooked 300g of dried rice in the microwave
4 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
mushrooms, sliced
Cooked chicken
Dark soy sauce
Frozen sweetcorn & peas

  • Heat a little oil in a large non stick frying pan & make an omelette with the beaten eggs (or 2 smaller ones if your pan is small).
  • Set the omelette aside & slice into strips once cool
  • Heat some oil in a wok and add the onions and garlic & fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the mushrooms & fry for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the cooked chicken & a few good dashes of soy sauce & stir whilst heating
  • Add the sweetcorn & peas & a few more dashes of soy sauce
  • Place a lid on & cook for approx 8-10 minutes until everything is heated through
  • Stir in the rice, along with more soy sauce if needed, and heat through completely
  • Stir in the egg strips before serving


Festive Florentines

Christmas is coming, there's no getting away from it. Just 5 weeks today we'll be frantically wrapping presents and peeling veg ready for the big day. As usual I'll be giving a few edible homemade gifts, once I figure out what I'm going to be making. The lovely Ruth Clemens from The Pink Whisk (I once travelled with her to a book launch and waffled for most of the journey about nonsense!) has teamed up with Persil to create some festive family recipes. At the weekend I made a variation of her Florentines, which turned out great so I'll definitely be making more just before Christmas to give away as gifts.

I decided to make it even more festive and use dried cranberries, and substituted the flour for ground almonds and added a little ginger.

Festive Florentines - makes 12

50g Golden syrup
50g Stork baking liquid
50g Demerara sugar
50g Ground Almonds
45g Flaked almonds
50g dried Cranberries
50g Sultanas
1 tsp ground Ginger
150g Milk chocolate

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  • Heat the golden syrup, stork baking liquid and sugar in a pan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the ground almonds, flaked almonds, cranberries, sultanas and ginger. Mix well.
  • Spoon onto the baking sheets, spaced well apart - 6 per tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, or in the microwave on short bursts
  • Coat the back of each florentine with the melted chocolate and allow too set.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Alternative Christmas Pudding

This year there will be 11 of us for Christmas dinner and, as well as the usual Christmas pudding, I'm probably going to be serving up a couple of other desserts, just in case anyone has any room left. One of the guests is a tad fussy though, but I'm reliable informed that he will eat a chocolate steamed pudding. With this in mind, along with OXO and Mermaid sending me a couple of their new products I've created a chocolate steamed pudding that I hope my fussy guest will approve of. Of course I won't be revealing the secret ingredient to him until after he (hopefully) eats his last mouthful.


Steamed Avocado & Chocolate Pudding

50g Dark (70%) Chocolate
50ml Double cream
2 medium Avocados (approx 110g of flesh)
tsp lemon juice
110g Soft dark brown sugar
2 Eggs
110g Self Raising flour
20g Cocoa powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Chocolate sauce
50g Dark Chocolate 
100ml Double Cream
2 tbsp Golden Syrup

  • Heat the cream and chocolate gently in a microwaveable bowl until chocolate has melted, stir until smooth
  • Place the chocolate/cream into the fridge until almost set
  • In the meantime use an OXO Good Grips Avocado slicer* to scoop out the avocado flesh from the skin and remove the stone.
  • Mash the Avocado with the lemon juice until smooth
  • Beat in the sugar and eggs
  • Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda & mix well
  • Grease a Mermaid 2 pint pudding basin**
  • Pour half of the mixture into the basin and make a shallow well in the centre
  • Scoop out the (almost) set chocolate/cream mixture and place into the well
  • Cover with the remaining mixture
  • Cover the basin with 2 layers of foil & place in a steamer over boiling water
  • Steam for approx 1 1/4 hours
  • Heat the cream, chocolate & golden syrup gently until the chocolate has melted
  • Turn the pudding out onto a plate and pour the sauce over
Serve with ice cream


* The OXO good grips avocado slicer is a handy little tool that is invaluable if you eat lots of avocados - it slices through the skin, makes removing the stone easy and then removes the flesh at the same time as slicing it, no matter how ripe your avocado is. This would be great to use when preparing avocados for salads.

** The Mermaid pudding basin is an excellent quality basin, made of hard anodised Aluminium and has a wide rim making it easy to tie string around to make lifting out of a steamer easier. The pudding that I made released easily from the basin, intact.

I was sent the avocado slicer and pudding basin to use in creating a recipe

Chocolate Mincemeat

I've never made mincemeat before, I think it's been one of those things that has always looked a bit of a faff, probably due to the quantity of ingredients that the recipes usually have. After doing a bit of research though it didn't look like there was much to it so I thought I would give it a go, but adding some chocolate too to make it more appealing to my kids. I would've liked to add some nuts but I know the kids wouldn't eat it if there was big pieces of nuts in so decided to leave them out completely. I had intended to use the mincemeat straight away but ran out of time so I thought I would store it in a jar for a few days - after some more research I found that the best way to do this is to heat the mixture until the suet melts which helps to preserve the ingredients in the mincemeat. I also used vegetable suet so it's suitable for vegetarians.


Chocolate Mincemeat - makes approx 1kg

500g Dried Mixed Fruit - any combination of fruits you like - I used raisins, sultanas & mixed peel
100g vegetable suet
1 Bramley apple, peeled & grated (approx 100g of apple)
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
Juice & zest of 1 orange
150g demerara sugar
tsp Mixed spice
tsp Ginger
tsp Cinnamon
3 tbsp Dark Rum
60g Dark chocolate (70%), grated

  • Mix all the ingredients together until well combined - & that's it!

It smells divine - especially the combination of chocolate, rum and orange.

If you do want to store it for longer than a day or two then place the bowl in the microwave or oven (if your bowl is suitable) until the suet has just melted and then pour into a sterilised jar.


My bowl wasn't suitable for microwave or oven use so I placed it over a pan of boiling water to melt the suet.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Abra-ca-Debora Dutch Pancakes - Review

My children love pancakes of any kind - American pancakes, Scotch pancakes and now Dutch pancakes.

Abra-ca-Debora pancakes are Dutch pancakes in sweet or savoury versions, perfect for rustling up a quick snack or dessert.

I was sent a pack of each pancakes along with a few other ingredients to see what I could do with them.


Firstly, I made a quick snack ready for my eldest when he came home from school.

tbsp Chilli olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 tiny aubergine, chopped
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 courgette, sliced
2 heaped tbsp plum chutney
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 Original Dutch pancakes
grated cheese

  • Heat the oil in a small non stick pan
  • Add the onion, aubergine, pepper & courgette & fry for 2-3 minutes until softened
  • Add the chutney, stir well, put the lid on and cook for approx 5 minutes
  • Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick & bubbling
  • Add quarter of the mixture to one half of a pancake, cover with grated cheese & microwave for 30 seconds
  • Fold the pancake over and serve

The sweet pancakes make a great quick and easy dessert with a few other ingredients. The favourite of my kids was the grated chocolate, marshmallows and ice cream - microwave for 30 seconds & serve.


Check out more recipes on the Abra-ca-Debora website.

I was sent pancakes & other ingredients for the purpose of this review.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Foodie Foto Friday - week 11

Agghh, another fast week & one week closer to Christmas!

It's that time again, almost the weekend & time to show off your food.

If you don't know what Foodie Foto Friday is about read and grab the badge code here

Yesterday I received some pancakes to try out so I rustled up a quick snack for when the eldest arrived home from school. He loved it and then ate another, then the husband arrived home & ate one.....leaving poor old me with none! I'll be blogging about the pancakes & the recipe soon, in the meantime here's a picture of the cheese & veggie filled pancakes.



Now I want to see what you've been making / eating this week.

The Crazy Kitchen

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Mocubo One Stop Chop - Review

Do you ever make a stir fry and end up with so many piles of chopped veggies on your chopping board that there's no room left to do the actual chopping?  There is now a solution.

The Mocubo One Stop Chop is a chopping board with a difference. Firstly it's made of a really smooth Bamboo, which is an ideal cutting surface due to being less porous than other wooden chopping boards and more resistant to knife marks and moisture, and secondly it has 3 handy little drawers. The drawers are the full width of the board and you can fit in much more than you could imagine - I chopped all my veggies for a stir fry and there was still room for more.


The board measures 40cm x 28cm and is 5cm high with non slip rubber feet, and the drawers come out completely to make washing easy.

The Mocubo is one of many products brought to life on, the home to many creative people around the world with a passion for inventing.

You don't need to restrict the use of your board to chopping veggies, I love this idea of using it as a cheeseboard, with crackers neatly stored in the drawers.


Mine is now stored on top of the microwave whilst it's not being used, with my herbal teabags in the drawers for easy access.


The One Stop Chop is available from Find Me a Gift for £39.99

I was sent this chopping board for the purpose of review

Aunt Bessies Half Term Food Challenge #3

I think it's safe to say that since first seeing the Britmums Half Term Food Challenge I've become a bit of an Aunt Bessie's addict. You see I love a challenge, especially when it involves food, and once I saw that Britmums stated that participants can enter as many times as they like I just don't seem able stop myself. I've found myself perusing the Aunt Bessie's aisles, with the cogs in my brain constantly turning, I can't sleep at night without thinking of Bessie and her helping hands. If she's got a rehab clinic at Yorkshire Pudding Towers then get me to the front of that queue.

During a trip to Sainsbury's I spotted Beef Home Cook Casserole and got a little excited as it's not sold in my usual shopping haunt. I couldn't leave without adding one to my basket....along with a few other Aunt Bessie's essentials.

This has got to be one of the easiest meals I've cooked, ever, and comes with the added benefits of one pot cooking - not much washing up for the husband.

Beef & Vegetable Chill - serves 2 adults & 2 children

Aunt Bessie's Beef Home Cook Casserole
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of kidney beans, drained
2 tbsp Chilli Paste - vary according to taste
200ml water
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder (trust me on this one)

  • Combine all the ingredients (apart from the cocoa powder) in a casserole dish, put the lid on and cook for 45 minutes at 200° C
  • After 45 minutes give it a good stir, add the cocoa powder, replace the lid & cook for a further 45 minutes whilst you prepare the Dumpluffins - a cross between dumplings and muffins (obviously) - lighter than a dumpling, but heavier than a muffin

Cheesy Corn Dumpluffins - makes 6-8

Aunt Bessie's Dumpling Mix
1 small can (140g) of sweetcorn, drained
1 Egg
5 tbsp Sour Cream
50g Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese + extra 25g for the tops
1 tsp mild chilli powder - vary according to taste

This is where it gets fun, and the kids can do this - 

  • put all the ingredients (apart from the extra 25g of cheese) in a large sealable bag and seal 
  • squish everything together until it's all combined
  • cut one of the corners of the bag off & squeeze the mix into a greased muffin pan

  • Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top 
  • Bake in the oven along with the chilli for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time, until puffed up and golden

Serve the chilli with rice and the dumpluffins


Fruit Yorkshire Crumble Slices

Aunt Bessie's Home bake Yorkshires
300g Frozen Mixed Berries
Aunt Bessie's Tempting Golden Crumble Mix
Aunt Bessie's Creamy Instant custard

  • Remove the frozen yorkshires from their foil cases and arrange in a baking dish (I managed to fit 10 in my baking dish)
  • Scatter the frozen fruit over and around the yorkshires
  • Scatter half of the crumble mix over the fruit
  • Bake in a 220° C oven for 20 minutes
  • Make the custard in a jug with boiling water up to the 325ml level, whisk until smooth
  • Spread the custard evenly over the baked crumble
  • Top with the remaining crumble making sure to cover the custard completely
  • Place back in the oven for a further 20 minutes until golden brown
  • Leave to cool slightly before slicing

Can be served warm or cold


My husband said this was the best dessert he'd eaten in ages - I'm not sure whether I should be flattered or insulted by that really!

This is my entry for the BritMums #halftermfood, sponsored by Aunt Bessie's


12 Deals of Christmas with Booths

If you've not been living under a rock you'll know that in 6 weeks time it will all be over. 6 weeks today the crackers would have been pulled, the turkey would have been eaten, and many of us will be suffering a post Christmas Day hangover. Whether it has been brought on by over indulging in alcohol, chocolate or cheese, most of us will be feeling well and truly stuffed.

But let's not dwell on the 'after', lets celebrate the 'before'.

Chances are, if you live in the North West of the UK you've heard of Booths, supermarkets selling good quality produce from local suppliers, whose philosophy is


Why am I telling you this? Well, every Wednesday at 7pm from now until 19th December Booths will be having a #BoothsCheers party both in stores and on Twitter and Instagram where there will be some sampling of the latest of their 12 Deals of Christmas and sharing of recipes and food tips.

I get to try out these little beauties during the hour - there may be some drunken tweeting going on later.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Come and join in the fun later, if you can't get to a store then you can follow Booths on Twitter and Instagram at @BoothsCountry and follow the party using #BoothsCheers.


I have been sent beer & wine to enable me to join in with #BoothsCheers

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mini Reese's Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecakes

I'm not a fan of Hershey's chocolate in any form....apart from Reese's. Peanut butter cups melt in your mouth with a hint of saltiness, and Nutrageous bars are THE BEST chocolate bar ever - a combination of roasted peanuts, caramel, peanut butter and chocolate, what more could you want in a chocolate bar.

Myself and Emma have challenged ourselves to come up with a mouthwatering recipe using a Reese's product, and share our results. Along the way Leanne has joined in too. I can't wait to see what they've come up with but in the meantime, here's mine. The base is brownie-like and the topping is a variation on a cheesecake recipe I spotted on Pinterest. In hindsight I should've baked them in cases as they were quite difficult to remove from the silicone muffin pan. I also made some in individual jars as I'm trying to find some dessert recipes to make in jars for Christmas - I think I might need smaller jars though as these contain quite a large portion!

Mini Reese's Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecakes

80g Dark chocolate
80g Peanut Butter ( I used smooth)
100g Dark brown sugar
2 Eggs
50g Cocoa powder

300g Cream cheese
100g Caster sugar
60g Peanut butter (smooth)
2 Eggs
30g Cocoa powder
Reese's miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Cream cheese
Dark chocolate spread

  • In a pan melt the chocolate, peanut butter & sugar
  • Remove from heat & allow to cool a little
  • Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture and stir in the sifted cocoa powder
  • Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into the muffin pans & smooth - I filled 6 muffin cases & 3 jars
  • Place a miniature peanut butter cup on top of the base, pressing down a little


  • Beat the cream cheese, caster sugar and peanut butter together until smooth
  • Beat in the eggs and then the sifted cocoa powder
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the bases
  • Place the muffin pan into a larger roasting pan & pour boiling water around the sides
  • Bake in a preheated 160 C oven for 20-25 minutes until 'just' baked 
  • Allow to cool fully before removing from the pans
  • For the topping beat equal amounts of melted toffees or dark chocolate spread with cream cheese and spread onto the cheesecakes
  • Decorate as desired - I used a sliced Reese's Nutrageous bar

    Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Corned Beef Bolognaise

Corned beef is not something that I buy, because I can't stand the stuff. The husband has different views though and often reminisces about the good old days when he enjoyed corned beef & salad cream sandwiches - I still don't buy it though. Can you imagine his joy when I was asked if I would like to receive some to use in creating a recipe or 2. When the cans arrived he immediately popped one in the fridge ready for his sandwiches. 

I decided to use a couple of cans and see how they faired up in a bolognaise. The cans don't have keys on them like I remember and instead now have a ring pull, making them very easy to open. The corned beef is still the same as I remember though and not something that I'll be eating in my sandwiches anytime soon.

Corned Beef Bolognaise

olive oil
chopped onion
sliced mushrooms
sliced peppers
2 garlic cloves
2 cans of Corned Beef, roughly chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes
mixed herbs
1 tsp Paprika
142g of tomato puree

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onions, mushrooms, peppers & garlic until softened (I used frozen but you can use fresh too)
  • Add the corned beef & mash down
  • Add the tomatoes, herbs, paprika & tomato puree and stir well
  • Place the lid on and simmer until the sauce turns rich and thick
  • Serve with pasta and grated cheese on the top

This went down very well with everyone, and whilst I didn't dislike it, it's not something I'll be eating on a regular basis, mainly due to the high fat content - but I wouldn't rule it out if we were snowed in and had no access to fresh food!

I was sent 6 cans of Princes corned beef for the purpose of using in recipes


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