The Crazy Kitchen: April 2013

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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Chocolate Soreen Ice Cream

We're rapidly running out of Chocolate Soreen as the kids love it - especially warmed up as it goes really gooey in centre. With our second to last loaf I decided to make something a little bit different.....

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Chocolate Soreen Ice Cream

1 loaf of Chocolate Soreen Malt Loaf
397g Condensed milk
600ml double cream
150g dark chocolate - I used Dr Oetker Fine Cooks chocolate*
25g Cocoa Powder
25g Dark soft brown sugar
3 tbsp boiling water


  • Bake the malt loaf in a 180C oven for approx 10 minutes and then allow to cool
  • Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, or in the microwave on short bursts, then allow to cool for a few minutes
  • Mix the cocoa powder, sugar & boiling water together until you get a smooth sauce
  • Whisk the condensed milk, double cream, chocolate & cocoa powder sauce together until you reach soft peaks
  • Cut the malt loaf into small pieces (I used scissors for ease)
  • Stir the malt loaf into the ice cream mixture
  • Pour into a freezable lidded container for around 4 hours
You will end up with a rich chocolate ice cream with chewy crispy chunks of delicious malt loaf.

Make sure you get the Chocolate Soreen soon as its limited edition and won't be around forever. It should currently be available in Asda, although unfortunately not in our local one. If you tweet @SoreenHQ they should be able to tell you where your nearest stockist is.




I have been paid to spread the word about new Chocolate Soreen. All words and recipes are my own.



Thank you to everyone that nominated The Crazy Kitchen in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards. Thanks to you I have been shortlisted in the Food category and would now appreciate a vote.....pretty please!

You can vote here : Bibs shortlist



NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FOOD


*I was sent the Dr Oetker Cooks chocolate to use in my recipes

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Lemon curd ice cream

This is another very easy ice cream recipe, using the same basic ingredients as previously used (Nigella Lawson's genius idea) here, here and here. It's a great one for the Summer (when it finally arrives), and is lovely with fresh strawberries and meringue.

Lemon curd ice cream
600ml double cream
397g condensed milk
275g lemon curd

Whisk the cream, condensed milk & 125g lemon curd until it forms stiff peaks
Spoon into a freezable container
Stir through the remaining lemon curd, to leave ripples rather than combining it
Freeze for at least 4 hours 


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Thank you to everyone that nominated The Crazy Kitchen in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards. Thanks to you I have been shortlisted in the Food category and would now appreciate a vote.....pretty please!

You can vote here : Bibs shortlist



NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FOOD

Friday, 26 April 2013

5:2 Diet Low Calorie Ideas

On a fast day I like to try and make my paltry 500 calories stretch as far as possible, giving me as much food as possible. I'd prefer to have five 100 calorie snacks in a day than one big 500 calorie meal, although most days I have 3 small meals.

It's no good eating biscuits as a 75 calorie digestive is not going to fill much of  a gap and will probably leave you craving the rest of the packet. Instead here are a few ideas that I eat on a regular basis that help me to get through the day, especially when I haven't got much time to prepare something.


Bowl of sweets - 52 calories
well, frozen Morello cherries to be precise. Perfect for sweet lovers craving a fix - if you close your eyes & suck real hard they remind you of sour Haribo's.......sort of


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Cheese on toast - 80 calories

I discovered Laughing Cow blue cheese triangles and then forgot about them. At only 25 calories each they give you a little bit of cheese without being packed full of calories. Spread one on a slice of toasted Nimble & top with a few slices of cucumber for a very light lunch.


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Frothy Cappuccino - 16 calories
If you like a cappuccino but want to cut down on the calories then use unsweetend almond milk. Blue Diamond almond milk only contains 14 calories per 100ml, which is plenty for a coffee. I warm the milk up in the microwave and then add a shot of freshly brewed espresso, and top with a sprinkling of cinnamon - perfect for a cappuccino fix

Mushrooms on toast - 84 calories
1 slice of toasted Nimble with 200g of mushrooms (that's a lot of mushrooms) dry fried. I love this to start my day, along with a cappuccino

Continental breakfast - 144 calories
Another of my breakfast or mid morning favourites is a cappuccino along with 2 crackerbread with a slither of peanut butter (6g) and half a medium banana, and a sprinkling of cinnamon on the top. This feels like a real treat!


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Coffee & Cake - 111 calories
Soreen lunchbox loaf really, at 95 calories and individually wrapped it's perfect for a fast day. Do not make the mistake of opening a loaf of chocolate Soreen on a fast day though - it might also be 95 calories per serving but have you ever tried cutting a malt loaf into 8 pieces and not shoving the squidged piece in your mouth.....I rest my case.

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Thank you to everyone that nominated The Crazy Kitchen in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards. Thanks to you I have been shortlisted in the Food category and would now appreciate a vote.....pretty please!




NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FOOD

Saving the Rainforest with SIGG

A while ago I wrote about being a 'SIGG Mummy' and the SIGG reusable drinks bottles that we have. That was back in November 2011 and I can honestly say that those bottles are still used on a daily basis. Jack & Hanna take them to school in their lunchboxes as well using them in the house and out and about. Apart from being a little dented from being dropped on numerous occasions they've lasted well and have by far outlived cheaper reusable bottles.

We have now been lucky enough to receive some of the new 'Save the Rainforest' SIGG bottles. SIGG have teamed up with Cuipo (pronounced "Kwee-po") in an effort to save the Panamanian rainforest from deforestation. Cuipo's founders purchased rainforest land in a bid to permanently preserve it by allowing individuals to save the land in small increments, 'one meter at a time'.


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This is where SIGG comes in, as for every reusuable SIGG bottle that you buy you will save one square metre of rainforest via Cuipo. Each bottle has a unique code that can be redeemed on the Cuipo website, and you can even see the piece of land that you've saved on a map.


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As it is for all the SIGG bottles, they are of the usual high quality aluminium with flip caps or screw tops, which can also be bought separately and interchanged.


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I have been sent 3 SIGG bottles for the purpose of this review

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Gooey Malted Chocolate Slices

Today we took delivery of some squidgy deliciousness that is the new Chocolate Soreen. There was much excitement in the Crazy Kitchen household, but on the promise of being able to try it later the kids were packed off to school with a Soreen lunchbox loaf.


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Soreen have been around for 75 years did you know, creating malt loaf with the same unique recipe ever since. To celebrate this achievement they've decided to give their customers a little treat, and create a chocolate malt loaf - still all the squidginess of the original loaves but with the added luxury of chocolate chips.

I handed a few out at the school gate, and took some into preschool for the staff to share. A couple of the comments were 'so wrong, yet so right!' and 'it's not cake, it's not bread....it's just so lovely'.

I then came home, rummaged in the cupboards and made dessert that was gooey and squidgy and malty and chocolatey and.....bloody lovely!

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Gooey Malted Chocolate Slices - serves 4 (ish)
1 loaf of Chocolate Soreen
8 slices of banana
8 Rolo's 
2 tbsp Nutella

  • Slice the Soreen into 8 pieces
  • Lay 4 slices into a small buttered ovenproof dish
  • Lay the banana slices on top, and the Rolo's on top of those
  • Lay the remaining 4 slices of Soreen on top of the Rolo's and press down with the back of a fork
  • Spread the Nutella over the top
  • Cover with foil and bake in a 180 C oven for approx 20 minutes until the bananas have softened

This would be great served with ice cream but that will have to be next time as we had none. The Soreen was all gooey in the centre but crispy on the outside, a very similar texture to brownies.

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Limited Edition Chocolate Soreen is available in Asda from today (25th April) for 6 weeks, and in Morrisons from 20th May for 3 weeks and Sainsbury's from 23rd May for 3 weeks - get them whilst you can!


I have been paid to spread the word about new Chocolate Soreen. All words and recipes are my own.


Thank you to everyone that nominated The Crazy Kitchen in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards. Thanks to you I have been shortlisted in the Food category and would now appreciate a vote.....pretty please!

You can vote here : Bibs shortlist



NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FOOD

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

When you get asked if you want to try out some new chocolate it's a no brainer really, especially if it's connoisseur chocolate from Elizabeth Shaw. I could've kept the chocolate to myself but being the kind and generous Mum that I am I decided to make some cookies with one of the bars - dark chocolate Blackberry & Ginger. I didn't add any other flavour to the cookies to see how much the flavour of the chocolate would come through. You could definitely taste a fruitiness of the blackberries in the cookie, backed up with a mild ginger flavour, and the kids loved them!


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Chocolate Chunk Cookies

100g Butter, softened
125g Caster sugar
1 Egg
150g SR Flour
100g Elizabeth Shaw Blackberry & Ginger chocolate (ok maybe it was less than 100g as it's the cooks prerogative to try a little first), chopped
  • Beat the butter & sugar together until creamy
  • Beat the egg & add to the butter & sugar
  • Mix in the flour and the chopped chocolate
  • Take spoonfuls of the mix and place on a greased baking sheet, approx 5cm apart
  • Bake in a preheated 170 C oven for approx 8-10 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack

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I was sent some Elizabeth Shaw chocolate but wasn't obliged to write about it


Thank you to everyone that nominated The Crazy Kitchen in the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging awards. Thanks to you I have been shortlisted in the Food category and would now appreciate a vote.....pretty please!

You can vote here : Bibs shortlist



NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 FOOD

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Red Thai Turkey Pizza

Once again I've had the pleasure of being asked by Lean on Turkey to come up with a creative turkey recipe to prove that turkey most definitely is not just for Christmas. This time the challenge is to come up with a pizza or pasta recipe using fresh turkey. The first recipe that sprang to mind was spaghetti bolognaise using turkey mince but it didn't seem very adventurous so I decided to go down the pizza route. Instead of scattering cooked turkey breast on the top, which would seem the obvious choice, I used it instead of the tomato base, spicing it up slightly with a Thai paste.

It's a very quick meal to cook, especially as the base doesn't contain yeast so needs no proving time - only about 15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.


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Red Thai Turkey Pizza - serves 4

1 tbsp Olive oil
225g Turkey thigh mince
50g Red Thai paste
150g SR flour
1 tbsp Olive oil
100ml milk
150g grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 small red pepper, sliced
2 mushrooms, sliced
4 mini corns, sliced
few slices of fresh red chilli


  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan
  • Add the turkey mince and thai paste and cook on a medium heat until the turkey is cooked through, stirring regularly
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  • Make the pizza base by mixing the flour, olive oil and milk together to form the dough - you may not need all of the milk so keep a little back until the dough is almost mixed and add it if it seems too dry
  • Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to fit your baking tray or pizza stone - mine was 30cm in diameter
  • Flour the baking tray and lay the rolled out dough on top
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  • Spread the turkey mince over the base
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  • Top with the mozzarella, then the pepper, mushrooms, corn and chilli
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  • Bake in a preheated 180 C oven for approx 18-20 minutes until browned on top

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A family meal enjoyed with chips and salad....

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This is a sponsored post, however the recipe is my own


This post is an entry for BritMums’ Summer Turkey Recipe Challenge with Lean on Turkey

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Monday, 22 April 2013

A So-pisticated Afternoon Tea

At the weekend I hosted an afternoon tea for a group of friends. Of course, with this particularly loud group of friends, it was never going to be a sophistcated affair. To the outside eye it certainly looked it though, we had sandwiches with the crusts cut 'orf' and cakes galore, not to mention the pretty little teaset and a collection of teapots.

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Did I mention that the teapots were filled with cocktails? Cocktails were the basis for the afternoon tea idea after I was sent a couple of pouches of ready made cocktails from the MyCocktails range to try out. Remembering my friend telling me that she enjoyed cocktails in teacups poured from little china teapots a while ago my brain went into overdrive.

I decided that as well a serving the MyCocktails I would make a couple of others based upon tea, and came up with Cheeky Chocolate Chai and Flirty Summer Fruit cocktails (recipes below). I chose to serve a selection of sandwiches that I hoped would suit both my meat eating and vegetarian friends, as well as the odd fussy one that likes plain and simple, along with a selection of home-made cakes.

The MyCocktails are a genius concept for those that don't have a cupboard full of spirits but still like to enjoy the occasional cocktail in their own home. The 1.5 litre pouches have a dispensing tap making it easy to pour straight into the glass, or teacup in our case. The pouches also mean that they can be taken along to outdoor events such as festivals and concerts (drinking responsibly of course). We tried Cosmopolitan's and Woo Woo's and they were both a really pleasant drink, although quite sweet. You could certainly taste the alcohol in them and after a couple of teacups of each I managed to drop a tray of sandwiches whilst getting them out of the fridge - unfortunately I couldn't apply the 5 second rule as my friends were laughing so much and taking photos to post on all available social media outlets!


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Apart from the small mishap with the sandwiches all went well and we had an amazing afternoon and evening with lots of laughs, lots of food and possibly too many cocktails, including the locally famous Flip Flop, invented by a friend whilst on holiday last year, and my favourite Kir Royale's (Chambord Raspberry Liquor and Champagne - introduced to me by fellow Chambord lover Heather).

I decorated the room with tissue paper Pom Poms, and bunting made from a pack of 'afternoon tea' paper that I found in Dunelm whist shopping for my bunting table covering. I also found some mini bunting in there that I used to decorate my cake stand and made some washi tape bunting which was hung between 2 paper straws to decorate the Victoria sponge. I bought a couple of bunches of flowers and popped them in empty jam jars which I decorated with a few strips of washi tape, and placed around the room.

Here's the menu for the afternoon, many of the items can be made in advance, such as the meringues and choux buns, and then filled with cream just before serving. I made the carrot cakes the day before, as well as the Victoria sponge and then filled it with cream on the day. Scones were made fresh a couple of hours before my guests arrived, as were the chocolate strawberries which were a last minute addition as I'd bought such a big punnet of strawberries. I also made the chai tea cocktail a couple of days previously and kept it in the fridge, along with the base for the fruit cocktail.

Sandwiches

Roast Beef & Rocket
Grilled Aubergine and green Pesto
Chicken Tikka
Cucumber
Ham

Cakes and Pastries

Victoria Sponge filled with fresh strawberries & whipped Cream
Raspberry Choux Buns
Chocolate Meringues
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Mini Carrot cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Fruit Scones with Jam and Clotted Cream

Cocktails

Cheeky Chocolate Chai
Flirty Summer Fruits
Cosmopolitan
Woo Woo
Kir Royale


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Cheeky Chocolate Chai Tea Cocktail
per person you will need:

75ml boiling water
2 Chai teabags
35ml dark Rum
35ml Baileys (or equivalent cream liquor)
20ml Double cream
1 tsp Nutella

  • Pour the boiling water over the teabags and leave for approx 20 minutes
  • Use a little of the tea to mix the Nutella to a sauce
  • Remove the teabags and allow to cool
  • Once the tea is cool mix with the rum, Baileys, cream & Nutella
  • Chill in the fridge before serving


Flirty Summer Fruit Tea Cocktail
per person you will need:

100ml Boiling water
2 fruit teabags (I used Twinings Strawberry & Raspberry)
30ml Vodka
1 tsp Chambord raspberry liquor
Sparkling Rose wine / Cava / Champagne

  • Make the tea up with the boiling water and teabags & leave for approx 20 minutes
  • Remove the teabags and allow to cool
  • Stir in the vodka and Chambord
  • Chill in the fridge until you're ready to use
  • To serve pour equal amounts of the fruit cocktail and sparkling wine, Cava or Champagne

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As the afternoon drifted into the evening there may have been a small amount of singing and dancing, some of which may have taken place on a table. Any likeness in these pictures to anyone that you may see in a respectable day job is purely coincidental, it's definitely not them....honest.


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I was sent 2 pouches of MyCocktail for the purpose of review. All other food & drink shown in this post was provided and paid for by myself.
MyCocktails are available from Asda for £13.99 with up to 14 servings in each pouch. On their Facebook page there is the chance to win a cocktail pouch weekly.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Oven Baked Tortilla

We get through a lot of eggs in this house, used in a variety of ways. I use most in baking but when the husband is on cooking duty (which isn't very often) he can be known to use a box of eggs or more cooking up one of his specialities of either 'egg on beans on cheese on ham on toast' or 'Dad's omelette', which are apparently better than 'Mum's omelette's'. I must admit, my omelettes aren't great and usually stick to the pan and fall apart before they get to the plate, which is why I'm more of a Tortilla (Spanish Omelette) kind of person. Oven baked ones are the best as it's easier to get them cooked evenly all the way through without burning the bottom and ending up with an uncooked top.

This is one of my favourite dishes to cook up when on holiday as it's really easy to prepare, and the kids love it. You can either use an oven proof frying pan or a large shallow cake tin, as I have here.

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Oven Baked Tortilla - serves 4/5

500g (approx) sausages, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Small onion, chopped
1 tsp Dried mixed herbs
1/2 red Pepper, chopped
1/2 Courgette, chopped
4 Mushrooms, sliced
100g sweetcorn
6 Eggs
200ml semi skimmed Milk
175g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tomato, thinly sliced

  • Oven bake the sausages in the cake tin for approx 20 min at 180 C
  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • Add the garlic & onion & soften for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the dried herbs, peppers, courgette, mushrooms & sweetcorn & cook for a further 10 minutes until softened
  • Drain any excess oil from the sausages, making sure there is enough oil left to lightly coat the sides & base of the pan
  • Add the vegetables to the sausages & mix
  • Beat the eggs & milk & add half of the cheese
  • Pour into the pan over the sausages & vegetables
  • Cover with the remaining grated cheese & tomato slices
  • Return to the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown & firm in the centre



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Serve hot or cold with salad...or baked beans!


I'm entering this into April's Swallows Charity Recipes for life challenge as it includes the 3 ingredients of pork, sweetcorn & tomatoes. You can find out more about the challenge here.



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I'm also entering the recipe into the BritMums #eggmainsinminutes competition.

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sausage Pesto Pasta

I often get near tea time and realise that I haven't given what we're going to eat a single thought. This is one of those fail safe recipes that I often fall back on at times like that. It can be whipped up in no time and everyone loves it. I've even been known to cook it for friends after a few drinks in the pub instead of getting a takeaway, as it's quicker, especially if you have sausages already cooked.

It can be made with whatever cooked meat you have really, leftover bbq pork chops or chicken are a favourite, along with roasted peppers, mushrooms and olives. It's a great dish for a family meal or with friends as it can be placed in the centre of the table and everyone can help themselves - I love an excuse to use my lovely big bowl!

This time I used pork & sweet chilli sausages and added fresh tomatoes and baby sweetcorn, because those are the 3 ingredients in the Swallow's Recipes for Life challenge this month. You can read more about the challenge on their website here (where you will see that little ol' me gets a mention) and on Bangers & Mash, who's hosting the challenge.


Sausage Pesto Pasta - serves 4-5


375g dried pasta - I used tricolour fusili
454g Sausages - I used pork & sweet chilli
150g Baby corn, each cut into 3
150g Baby plum toms, halved
75g Red pesto 
Grana Padano or Parmesan to serve


  • Cook the sausages in the oven, grill or even barbecue them - I use a cast iron griddle pan - until they're cooked through & browned on the outside
  • Boil the pasta as per the directions on the pack, adding the corn 1 minute from the end. I usually cook pasta for around 1-2 minutes less than stated otherwise the it can fall apart.
  • Drain the pasta & corn & stir the pesto through it
  • Add the tomatoes & sausage & serve with grated Grana Padano or Parmesan



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Monday, 15 April 2013

Afternoon Tea for 8

Next weekend I'm hosting an afternoon tea for my friends. Sounds very civilised doesn't it? For this very civilised event I knew that my cheap mismatch mugs just wouldn't do. We need to drink our *cough* tea from proper china, with saucers and everything.

I've been in local charity shops looking for teacups and saucers before and never managed to pick up any of those bargains that I see others mentioning. You would think a Staffordshire market town would be the ideal place to pick up a few Staffordshire pottery teacups wouldn't you. I decided to have a browse on Ebay in the hope that I would find a bargain and I could maybe pick it up locally. I saw lots of pretty tea sets but a particular one caught my eye. What I liked about it was that it didn't match, kind of all mismatch but matching in it's own special way. A mismatch tea set is perfect if you're a bit clumsy as you can easily replace a broken teacup with another, as long as it's similar colours.

I bought this 21 piece set for £22.50 + £8.80 p&p, which I thought was a good price, but as I was looking for an 8 serving set I asked the seller if they had any additional trios (a term for a cup, saucer & plate that I learnt whilst on my tea set search) that would go with the set. Luckily she did and sent me an invoice for the 21 piece set plus the 2 extra trios - £33 for the lot, including postage, which I thought was a bit of a bargain (please don't tell me that you think I've been overcharged!). The parcel arrived the next day and I was thrilled with the contents, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap.

I am now the proud owner of 8 tea cups, 8 saucers, 8 side plates, a milk jug, sugar bowl and cake plate.

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Including this set, which is my very favourite.

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I'm linking this up to Lizzie's Magpie Monday.


Me and My Shadow

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