The Crazy Kitchen: January 2014

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Friday, 31 January 2014

52 Cook Books : Red Bean & Mushroom Burgers

It's time for the 52 Cook Books Challenge again and this time I asked Jack to pick me a book from the cookbook cupboard in his bedroom. I was hopeful for another baking book but was slightly disappointed by his very unseasonal choice of 50 Best Ever Barbecues by Christine France.

Apart from lots of lovely marinated barbecued meat there are also a few desserts and veggie dishes, including the one that I chose, Red Bean & Mushroom Burgers. As Hanna pointed out when she saw the finished burgers, they are quite green looking, but if you cast that aside and taste with your mouth and not your eyes then you will discover that these are lovely tasting burgers and everyone loved them.

I'm not sure that I would ever risk cooking them on a bbq though as they are quite fragile, but using a griddle pan was perfect.

Red Bean & Mushroom Burgers

Red Bean & Mushroom Burgers - makes 4

tbsp Olive oil
half a red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
115g mushrooms, finely chopped
400g can of red kidney beans
fresh coriander (or coriander paste)
a little flour
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic
  • Fry for a couple of minutes until softened
  • Add the spices and fry for another minute before adding the mushrooms
  • Fry until the mushrooms are softened and dry
  • Remove from heat
  • Mash the kidney beans with a fork and add to the pan with the coriander & mix well
  • Form into burgers, using a little flour on your hands to stop them sticking
  • Spray or brush with a little more oil and cook on a hot griddle pan for a few minutes each side
Keynko - A Crafty Family

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Wednesday Wishlist : Bargains Under £5

When myself and Carolin, of Wednesday Wishlist fame, were chatting about things to buy for a housewarming present I suggested dotcomgiftshop for little bits and bobs as I've previously bought little hanging hearts and nick nacks from there very cheaply.

They have a sale on at the moment and I was surprised at how many nice things they have for under a fiver, most of them well under. Take the bags (bottom left) for example - the paisley shopping bag and Lolita cotton tote bag are just £1.95 each and the vintage style lunch bag just £2.95, and don't get me started on the jewellery with 90% off - the bracelet (bottom centre) is just £1.39!

Here are a few other bargains that I spotted...

Bargains under £5

Apple & Granola Breakfast Muffins

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth and like a muffin for breakfast then these Apple & Granola Muffins could be for you. They are not overly sweet and have lovely soft pieces of Bramley apple in, which you may want to substitute with sweeter eating apple if you have a really sweet tooth.

I topped them with a little granola which was packed with nuts and seeds.

Apple & Granola Breakfast Muffins

Apple & Granola Breakfast Muffins - makes 12

120 butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
125ml milk
2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored & chopped into small pieces
75g granola*
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time, along with the vanilla
  • Mix the flour & baking powder together
  • Add one third of the flour and baking powder & mix well
  • Add one third of the milk and mix well
  • Repeat with adding the flour and milk alternately until all combined
  • Stir in the apple
  • Line a muffin pan with muffin cases
  • Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
  • Sprinkle each with approx 1 dessert spoon of granola
  • Bake in a 190C preheated oven for 20 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack

Apple & Granola Breakfast Muffins Apple & Granola Breakfast Muffins Apple & Granola Breakfast Muffins

Follow the hashtag #BreakfastWeek on twitter for more breakfast inspiration

*I used Midfields Granola (mixed seeds) in these Muffins which I received in my hamper as part of Breakfast Week.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Grilled Apple Cinnamon Toasts

As it's Farmhouse Breakfast Week this week I'm trying to make breakfast a little more interesting than just milk and cereal. I've already made Overnight Cinnamon Oats and and Oaty Chocolate Mocha (recipes here). 

Jack is off school today with a sickness bug (hopefully a short-lived one) and after being sick a couple of times in the night and again this morning he declared that he was 'really really hungry' and after a bowl of dry Cheerios and Shreddies said 'I'm still hungry'. I made him wait a little while but as he insisted that he was still 'really really hungry' I decided to make him something a little bit tastier than plain toast.

Grilled Apple Cinnamon Toasts

Grilled Apple Cinnamon Toasts - serves 1

1 English muffin, sliced in half
1 apple, cored and sliced
knob of butter, melted
cinnamon & caster sugar
  • Brush the apple and muffin with a little melted butter
  • Preheat a griddle pan until hot
  • Lay the slices of apples and muffins into the pan & cook for a couple of minutes until lightly toasted
  • Sprinkle the apple with a little cinnamon and sugar before turning over to toast the other side
Grilled Apple Cinnamon Toasts

Follow the hashtag #BreakfastWeek on twitter for more breakfast inspiration

Tried and Tested : January

This month so far has been relatively mild weather wise, allowing me to go out cycling regularly in preparation for the Team Honk Relay next month. At home in The Crazy Kitchen we have been sampling a few different foods and food related products....

Stapleton Yoghurts
I made a delicious Apple & Vanilla Fool using the vanilla flavoured Greek style yoghurt. This, along with all of the other flavours, is really delicious and creamy, made with Jersey Milk without any preservatives or unnecessary ingredients such as thickeners.

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Myself and the husband love spicy cheeses and the Mexicana is no exception. We usually go for the regular Mexicana which is pretty spicy so you need to hold onto your hats with the Extra Hot! The sweet chilli is a milder version that is more suited to the kids who prefer their cheese on the less spicy side. I used this cheese in a tray bake which gave the bread/cake a lovely flavour without the kick of the chilli. I used some of the Extra hot in a tasty cheese & apple wrap and also to spice up some pasta and vegetable sauce.

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I love my Tassimo but I only ever use it for my coffee, and the occasional hot chocolate for the kids. I can't see the point of using a Tassimo to make tea as there is no effort involved in tea making : cup + tea bag + hot water = tea. 

I'm not a green tea drinker, it's either regular tea, ginger & lemon or fennel for me. I've tried other flavours and I just can't stomach them but as I was sent a pack of Menthol Green Tea I thought I would give it a go. Although I didn't hate this flavour it's definitely not one of my favourites, but I am willing to give it another go and it may grow on me, after all it did take a while for fennel & I to become good friends.

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As someone that really really wanted a Mr Frosty slushy maker when I was a child and has been bitter about not receiving one ever since, I was thrilled to get a Chill Factor Ice Cream maker to review. I had already seen the Chill Factor squeeze cup slushy makers and knew that this would be the closest I got to having that elusive Mr Frosty.

All you need to do to make ice cream is add some cream & icing sugar, or flavoured syrup into the frozen cup (which needs to be placed in the freezer for 4-6 hours previously) and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. Hey presto you get ice cream. You can do the same with chilled juice to make slushy's (hurrah). You then just wash the cup out and pop back in the freezer ready for the next time. Loads of fun for kids of all ages to make ice cream and slushy's.

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Great fun for only £14.99

After all the indulgences of Christmas I have been pretty good throughout January, and not given in too much to sweet treats. However when the Hotel Chocolat Pink Collection arrived, it couldn't have come at a better time as it was the day that I dressed in my Cookie Monster onesie to do the school run, morning and afternoon, to raise money for Team Honk. The little bottle of sparkling pink rosé and Champagne truffles were just what I needed to end my day in style, and the kids enjoyed some of the strawberries and cream Eton Mess slab on their ice cream.

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Yorkshire Puddings
I'm the first to admit that I'm not great at making Yorkshire puddings so when Yorkshire Pudd got in touch to ask if I would try out their recipe I thought it would be worth a try. I was amazed at the results, as was the rest of the family. They may not be perfect but they beat my usual efforts. You can find the recipe here.

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Vanish Gold
This month I performed the Vanish Gold 30 second stain challenge and had some amazing results with red wine, mud, ketchup and makeup stains. You can see the results of the challenge here.

The versatile sauce can be used as a dip or marinade and I used it it in the bottom of a cheese and tomato quiche to add some flavour. The sauce is spicy but not overwhelmingly so and is a nice addition to my store cupboard. It's also great stirred through pasta.
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Country Valley Meat Hamper
A lovely hamper of quality cuts of meat, so far we've tried the whole chicken, chicken breasts, beef burgers, steak and steak mince. The steak mince was used to make Moroccan Meatballs (recipe here). More details of the hamper in my full review here.

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I received samples from mexicana, Ilchester, Tassimo, Mauritius Foods, Vanish, Hotel Chocolat, the Chill Factor Ice cream maker, Vanish,  Mauritius foods and Country Valley for the purpose of review.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas

One of my current favourite good value 'fillers' to add to meals are chickpeas, and not the ones you get in a tin. Oh no, these days I buy the dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and then boil them for around 45 minutes. I then keep them in the fridge until I need them or freeze them, and they work out so much cheaper than the canned chickpeas.

They are high in protein, and low in fat so are a great everyday food that can be added to soups, stews and salads and can be used to make falafel and hummus.

In this recipe I added them to the sauce to bulk it out a little instead of serving with pasta. The spices in both the meatballs and the sauce are a great winter warmer.

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas - serves 4/5

1 slice of wholemeal bread
100ml milk
500g minced beef
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cinnamon
400g can of chopped tomatoes
300g chickpeas
40g dried apricots, chopped

  • Tear the bread into small pieces in a bowl & cover with the milk
  • Mix the mince together with the onion and spices
  • Squeeze the bread and break it up until it looks like weetabix
  • Add to the mince and mix well - it's easier to do this with your hands
  • Take approximately a tablespoon of mince and form into a ball
  • Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining mince - it makes around 24 meatballs
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile make the sauce by heating the oil in a large pan
  • Add the garlic & onion and fry over a low heat until softened
  • Add the spices and stir for 2 minutes
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and apricots and simmer over a medium heat for around 20 minutes
  • Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer over a low heat for around 10-15 minutes
Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas

Serve with flatbread and hummus.

Moroccan Meatballs with Chickpeas

This is my entry into the Co-op Electrical Winter Warmer competition

I was provided with the minced beef as part of a meat Hamper from Country Valley Foods

52 Cook Books : Chocolate Chip Muffins

For this week's 52 Cook Books Challenge I picked a chocolate chip muffin recipe from 500 Cakes and Bakes by Martha Day, a book full of various sweet and savoury recipes (although mostly sweet) including pies, tarts, breads, cakes, muffins and novelty cakes.

Muffins that I make usually have oil or melted butter in whereas these were made more like a cupcake, by beating the butter and sugar together. The recipe also called for 175g chocolate chips and I only had 100g but this was more than enough.

The recipe states that it makes 10 but I made 13 good sized muffins that were lovely and light.

 photo chocolatechipmuffins_zps12cd5a27.jpg 

Chocolate Chip Muffins - makes 10-13

115g butter or margarine
75g caster sugar
2 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
2 eggs
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
120ml milk
100g chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time
  • Mix the flour & baking powder together
  • Add one third of the flour and baking powder & mix well
  • Add one third of the milk and mix well
  • Repeat with adding the flour and milk alternately until all combined
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • Line a muffin pan with muffin cases
  • Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
  • Bake in a 190C preheated oven for 20 minutes
  • Cool on a wire rack

   Keynko - A Crafty Family

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cheese & Rosemary Traybake

Last weekend I wanted to bake, however I didn't have a great deal of time on my hands so I wanted it to be quick. I fancied making something simple like a traybake cake but wanted it to be savoury so experimented using a standard cake recipe, omitting the sugar and replacing with cheese.

The resulting traybake was a success, a kind of cakey, bready cheesy loaf, perfect for snacking on or as a side with soup, salad or pasta.

Cheese & Rosemary Traybake

Cheese & Rosemary Traybake

200g Stork
pinch of salt
2 tsp dried Rosemary
100g cheese, grated
200g Self raising flour
100ml milk
  • Beat the Stork, salt, rosemary & cheese together
  • Stir in the flour & milk and combine well
  • Pour mixture into a greased baking tray (I used a disposable foil one)
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for approximately 20 minutes
Serve warm or cold

I was provided with Mexicana sweet chilli cheese which I used in this bake.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Country Valley Foods : Meat Hamper {review}

I was delighted to be offered the chance to review a meat hamper from Country Valley Foods as we probably only eat meat 3 maybe 4 times a week and tend to stick to the same pork loin steaks, chicken and mince each week. With three fast growing kids I very rarely buy steak or lamb and tend to stick to cuts of meat that can be added to a 'one pot dish' and bulked out rather than cooking traditional meat and two veg dinners.

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The Premium Meat Box Hamper arrived in a morning delivery as promised, and was packaged in a polystyrene box inside a cardboard box. The meat was well chilled and the ice packs still fully frozen when it arrived. Each meat package was individually labelled and had 4 days left until the best before date so I refrigerated the items that we would eat over the next few days and placed the rest in the freezer.

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Contents of a Premium Meat Box Hamper include :

2 x 6oz Grand Reserve Centre Cut Sirloin Steaks
1 x 500g pack of Grand Reserve Steak Mince
1 x 1.3kg Whole Herb Fed Chicken OR 1 x Cornfed Chicken
4 x 8oz Local Pork Sirloin Steaks
2 x 8oz English Fresh Chicken Fillets
4 x 4oz Grand Reserve Steak Burgers
1 x 450g pack of Riverside Thick Pork Sausages
2 x 4 Rib Grand Reserve French Trim Racks of Lamb

I selected the chicken as the first item I would cook and decided to pop it into the slow cooker whilst I went out for a bike ride. I smothered it in smokey chilli paste, slashed the skin a few times and placed it in the slow cooker with a couple of onions and cloves of garlic. This chicken was a little tricker to squeeze into my small slow cooker than my usual chickens and I had a little fight on my hands, eventually breaking his legs to get him in.

Cooked for around 3-4 hours the chicken came easily away from the bone. I sliced some of the breast up, tossed it with roasted potatoes, green beans, broccoli and a balsamic dressing and served with some crispy chicken skin on top.

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The carcass was placed back in the slow cooker with extra water to make a stock which I used to make a risotto.

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More recipes and meal ideas coming up soon....

I was sent the meat hamper for the purpose of this review. It sells for £50 but currently has £5 off.

Recipes for Farmhouse Breakfast Week

Next week (from Sunday 26th January until Saturday 1st February) is Farmhouse Breakfast week, an annual celebration championing the importance of breakfast. It is run on behalf of arable farmers to raise awareness of the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast and demonstrate the wealth of wonderful breakfast produce available around the country.

To encourage The Crazy Kitchen family to get involved we were sent a hamper of breakfast goodies to ensure that we started our day the healthy way.

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The hamper included some recipes to start us off and here's one that caught my eye,

Oaty Chocolate Mocha - serves 1

1/2 tsp coffee granules
1 heaped tsp drinking chocolate
2 tbsp oats
300ml semi skimmed milk
  • Place the coffee, chocolate and half the milk in a small pan and bring to the boil
  • Transfer to a blender with the remaining milk and puree until smooth
I made mine with a shot of espresso, cocoa powder instead of drinking chocolate and skimmed milk. It was such a creamy drink you wouldn't realise it was made with skimmed milk. I had it for breakfast and I didn't feel at all hungry until well after lunchtime.

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Everyone in the family eats breakfast at different times so I've also made some overnight oats in a large batch in the fridge which they can all hep themselves to a bowlful in the morning.

Cinnamon & Mixed Fruit Overnight Oats - makes approx 6 servings

250g Oats
50g chopped dried apricots
100g chopped dates
50g dried mixed fruit
40g dried cranberries
1 apple, grated
1 tbsp cinnamon
approx 1100ml skimmed milk
  • Mix all of the ingredients together, cover and store overnight in the fridge
 photo overnightoats_zps5380ff6b.jpg

You can make this in any quantity you like, adding whatever dried fruits and nuts that you like too - I used whatever I had in my cupboards

It can be served warm or cold, as it is or with yoghurt and/or fresh fruit on

You can find lots of breakfast facts, tips and nutritional advice at, along with details of events and promotions taking place across the country to celebrate Farmhouse Breakfast Week. I will have more recipes coming up too so be sure to keep an eye out.

During the week @breakfastweek will be holding the Best Home Breakfast competition and asking people to share pictures of their breakfasts online using #BreakfastWeek. This is an extension of the Best Breakfast Awards which are currently running to find the best breakfast dish at venues across the country.

I was sent the hamper to encourage me to join in with Breakfast Week

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Diabetic Toffee & Chocolate Cake

Last January I was asked by a friend if I could make a Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake for her daughter's 10th birthday. This year she asked me again to make a chocolate cake, but this time it would be a different kind of chocolate cake as her daughter was now a newly diagnosed diabetic.

I searched the Internet to see if I could find a cake that would be suitable that didn't just have sweeteners in it instead of sugar as they can often have an after taste.

I came across this one on Pinterest and thought it would be just the job. Instead of a buttercream frosting I decided to use my usual cream cheese frosting, but instead of adding chocolate spread to the cream cheese I added diabetic chocolate for the topping and diabetic toffee for the filling. The cake would also be suitable for those needing egg free and dairy free recipes (without my addition of the yoghurt and cream cheese frosting). 

Diabetic Toffee & Chocolate Cake

Diabetic Toffee & Chocolate Cake

400g chopped dates
120g rolled oats, ground
6 ripe bananas
250ml rapeseed oil
100g cocoa powder
100g rye flour
150g plain flour
6 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
150g Greek yoghurt
  • Place the chopped dates into a bowl and pour on boiling water until they are just covered - leave for an hour or so
  • Blend the dates with the oats, bananas and oil until smooth
  • Mix the cocoa powder with 200ml boiling water to form a smooth paste
  • Beat the cocoa, flour, bicarbonate of soda and yoghurt into the blended dates, oats & banana
  • Grease and line 2 x 8" cake tins (I actually used 3 so that we could have a sampler cake)
  • Divide the mixture between the tins & smooth the tops
  • Place in a preheated 160C oven for 50-60 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the tins used & the thickness of the batter), until a skewer comes out clean when inserted
  • Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely

Frosting & Filling

300g full fat cream cheese
100g Thorntons diabetic vanilla toffee
75g Thorntons dark diabetic chocolate
  • Add the toffee to a microwaveable bowl with 2 tbsp water
  • Microwave on short bursts, stirring regularly, until the toffee has melted 
  • Beat the toffee together with half of the cream cheese and sandwich between 2 sponges
  • Add the chocolate to a microwaveable bowl and heat in short stirring regularly, until the chocolate has melted 
  • Beat the chocolate together with the remaining half of the cream cheese and spread over the top of the cake

Diabetic Toffee & Chocolate Cake

We really enjoyed our sample cake and it was delicious with a little of the toffee filling spread over it. Unfortunately we didn't get to try a slice of the birthday cake but I would be happy to make this again as all of my children liked it, especially with a little ice cream. Unfortunately the birthday girl wasn't as keen (but I'm not supposed to know that as she told my daughter not to tell me, shhhh). It's definitely not a cake for someone with a massive sweet tooth but for someone that needs to cut down on their sugar intake it is a very good compromise.

The texture of the cake is kind of like a brownie and quite nutty, and would be perfect with a spoonful of clotted cream!

Diabetic Chocolate Cake

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts

With Valentine's Day just around the corner I decided to make some simple treats. Two years ago I made a Valentine gingerbread house and used mini candy canes to form hearts around the windows. I thought these would be nice filled with melted white chocolate and scattered with crushed candy canes.  

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts

I added a stick to a few of them to make lollipops....

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts

with some of the leftover white chocolate I made some peppermint jazzles...

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts

All wrapped up in a box lined with tissue paper (I knew that old iphone box would come in useful for something one day!)

White Chocolate Candy Valentine Hearts

The Good Life - now and then

Do you remember the 1970's sitcom The Good Life? Perhaps I'm showing my age by admitting that I do, although after finding out that it ran from 1975 to 1978 I'm pretty sure I must be remembering the re-runs!

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The characters in the show, Tom and Barbara, gave up the ratrace of a 9 to 5 job and made their garden into allotments to adopt a self sufficient lifestyle, much to the horror of their neighbours Margot and Jeremy.

Holland & Barrett have done a research into the lifestyles of 4000 people, half of which are 20-30 years of age now and half of which were in this age bracket in the 1970's when The Good Life aired.

There are some interesting, as well as surprising results.

10% of 20-30 year olds work out every day

32% of the 50-65 year olds admit to never exercising

yet body confidence has decreased :

only 2.5% of 20-30 year olds are happy with their body shape 

compared to 11% of the 50-65 year olds.

14% of 20-30 year olds say that they experience stress 

compared to only 3% of the 50-65 year olds

although having insufficient money was the biggest worry for both age brackets.

When it comes to starting a family 

73% of the 50-65 year olds said that between the ages of 20-30 was the perfect time to start

almost 50% of 20-30 year olds said that between 26-30 was the best time

Quite a surprising fact was that 

the older generation drank twice as much beer, lager and cider as the younger generation do today!

There are a lot of interesting results from this survey which concludes : 

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You can see the results of the full research on an infographic on the Holland & Barrett website here. The content of the infographic is for entertainment purposes only.

This post has been written in collaboration with Holland & Barrett

Wednesday Wishlist - Valentine Inspiration

It's Wednesday so that must mean it's time for Wednesday Wishlist, an excuse for me to have a play on Polyvore and search the Internet for nice things. This time I decided to go with a bit of a Valentine theme, although there is nothing stopping you from having hearts around the home all year round, I know I do.

Valentine Inspiration

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Mexican Cheese & Apple Wrap

Sometimes I need to grab a really quick lunch as I'm rushing around trying to fit everything into my day in between school runs. It's usually as I sit down to watch Neighbours whilst packing orders for that day and if I haven't got any vegetables prepared for a home made healthy pot noodle or I don't fancy soup then it's usually crackers and cheese spread. Yesterday I had a wrap to use up and had just been sent some Mexicana cheese to try, so combined the 2 with slices of a crisp apple and made a Mexican Cheese & Apple wrap.

Mexican Cheese & Apple Wrap

I laid thinly sliced apple onto the wrap, covered with a few thin slices of cheese and microwaved for around 1 minute and then rolled up. It was so tasty that I had another for lunch today!

I was sent some Mexicana cheese for the purpose of review, I used the Extra Hot in the wraps.

My M&S Magical Dining Room

Oh how I love Polyvore, and what another great excuse to use it whilst dreaming of room makeovers, springtime, outdoor living and bringing the outdoors in, by making a mood board to enter the fab competition on Love Chic Living

The competition is to win a whopping £200 to spend at M&S with runner up prizes of £50. So, without further ado, this is my mood board for my M&S Magical Dining Room.

Springtime Dining

Butterfly print wall art £20
Beckworth table £319
Padstow dining chairs £239
Jumbo butterfly Mugs £8
Andante Mugs £2.50
Martini Glasses £15
Glass tealight holder £9.50
Terracotta coasters £13
Oak breakfast tray £40
Andante Dinner plates £3
Melua armchair £174
Heart cushion £12
Jacquard cushion £35
Beckworth nest of tables £183
Butterfly photo frame £15
Kensington glass table lamp £75

Thursday, 16 January 2014

52 Cook Books : Lemon Curd Syllabub

With all this training that I'm doing for the Team Honk relay it's leaving me with less time to bake so I picked a nice and easy recipe for this week's 52 Cook Books Challenge.

Lemon Curd Syllabub, a creamy lemon dessert that takes just minutes to prepare yet looks and tastes good enough for a dinner party.

Lemon Curd Syllabub

I found the recipe in James Martin : Desserts, a hardback book full of hot & cold puddings, tarts & flans, cakes & bakes and ice creams & sorbets.

I decided to omit the wine from the recipe but apart from that the only ingredients are mascarpone, double cream, icing sugar, lemon curd and shortbread biscuits - there is a very similar recipe here, the only difference I can see is that there is no mascarpone in it.

Keynko - A Crafty Family

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Home Made Healthy Pot Noodle

Last week I started exercising and eating healthy(ish). I often struggle at lunchtimes with knowing what to eat that doesn't involve too much prep, and just grab a few crispbreads, which don't tend to be very filling. I decided to get organised and chop some veggies ready for lunches for a few days, as well as precooking some noodles and chick peas.

I had seen a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall show a few days previously where he had made his own pot noodles. I wondered if I could do something similar that could be prepared in advance and eaten at home or at work, but healthy at the same time.

I had some sachets of Miso soup in the cupboard, which to be honest, I'm not very keen on just on it's own but they came in handy for my pot noodle.

Firstly I took a little of each of my vegetables, chick peas and noodles and added them to a travel mug.

Home Made Healthy Pot NoodleHome Made Healthy Pot Noodle
I then squeezed the sachet of Miso on the top and poured boiling water onto it, and stirred. Hey presto, a pot noodle in an instant!

Home Made Healthy Pot Noodle

If your veggies and noodles have come straight from the fridge you might want to warm them up a little in the microwave but I found that room temperature ingredients produced a noodle soup that was just right.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Hotel Chocolate Valentine Giveaway

Our Christmas chocolate has just about gone now, it's not the same as when the children were little and Christmas chocolate used to see us through until Easter. Chocolate doesn't last long with a fast growing teen boy in the house!

I do have a little Valentine treat coming my way soon though, courtesy of Hotel Chocolat, more on that when I've had chance to sample it!

In the meantime I have a fab giveaway for readers of this blog, a large box of Valentine chocolates :

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The Sleekster Valentine Selection from Hotel Chocolat is full of tasty chocolates perfect for a loved one (or yourself!), with flavours such as Passion Fruit Truffles, Balsamic Caramels, Salted Caramel Cheesecakes and Pink Champagne Truffles to name a few.

To be in with a chance of winning this delicious box just complete the Rafflecopter form below.


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