The Crazy Kitchen: February 2014

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Nutella Milkshake

When I was asked if I would like to review a whisk it was going to be a polite 'no thank you', but I thought I would take a look at the you tube video mentioned in the email anyway....


Once I'd seen the video I was sold, I loved the look of this new gadget, and a woman can never have too many gadgets right?

I received my Nova whisk in green and set it to work straight away on my morning cappuccino. I usually use my Kitchen Aid hand blender to froth my milk but it can be a bit of a faff to get out of the posh carry case every time I need it, however the Nova whisk is slim enough to keep in my utensil pot.

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Just a few effortless presses on the whisk & the milk frothed up beautifully, ready to pour onto my freshly brewed coffee.

It's not just for frothing milk, and as can be seen in the video it has a number of uses - milkshakes, omelette batter, pancake batter, whisking cream and egg whites.

I decided to give the boys an after school treat and whisked them up a milkshake to share - it didn't froth up the cold milk as well as the hot but it was still lovely & frothy without any effort.

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Nutella Milkshake - serves 1

2 heaped tsp Nutella
boiling water
1/2 pint Milk
scoop of ice cream
Squirty cream
chocolate chips

  • Mix the Nutella with a little boiling water - enough to make a syrup, allow to cool slightly
  • Whisk the milk and ice cream together until frothy
  • Whisk the Nutella syrup into the milk, reserving a little for later
  • Top with quirty cream, the remaining Nutella sauce and chocolate chips
  • Serve immediately
 photo nutellamilkshake2jpg_zps41492023.jpg  photo Nutellamilkshakejpg_zps839c073e.jpg

I was provided with a Nova Whisk for the purpose of this review

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Pancake Stacks

Did you know that it's Pancake Day next Tuesday? I can't really miss it, there are pancakes everywhere, everyone is going pancake mad, and if you can't beat them then why not join them! There are so many pancake possibilities, both sweet and savoury. 

We prefer our pancakes stacked, with lots of sauce and toppings. Here are two flavours that we've enjoyed this week - Rocky Road and Maple Cinnamon.

They were supposed to be buttermilk pancakes but unfortunately Asda let me down with the online shop and substituted the buttermilk with whole milk! Instead I added a little lemon juice to semi skimmed milk which thickens it up a little.
  Rocky Road Pancakes

Rocky Road Pancakes - makes 4

125ml semi skimmed milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
100g self raising flour
2 tsp cocoa powder
mini marshmallows, chopped nuts & chocolate chips
1 tbsp Nutella
  • Add the lemon juice to the milk and mix well, leave for a few minutes until thickened up
  • Beat in the egg
  • Add the flour and cocoa powder to a large bowl
  • Whisk in the liquid ingredients until just combined (small lumps are ok)
  • Heat some oil in a pan (not necessary if you are using a Tefal Jamie Oliver Fry Pan like me)
  • Spoon some batter into the pan & cook until air bubbles start to appear
  • Sprinkle a small amount of marshmallows, chopped nuts & chocolate chips onto the pancake
  • Spoon some more pancake batter to cover the toppings
  • Flip the pancake and cook on the other side for a minute or two
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture
  • To make the chocolate sauce mix the Nutella with a little boiling water & spoon over the stack of pancakes - serve by cutting slices

Rocky Road Pancakes Rocky Road Pancakes

Maple Cinnamon Pancakes - makes 7/8

150ml semi skimmed milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Maple syrup
1 egg
100g self raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Maple syrup for serving
  • Add the lemon juice to the milk and mix well, leave for a few minutes until thickened up
  • Beat in the egg & maple syrup
  • Add the flour and cinnamon to a large bowl
  • Whisk in the liquid ingredients until just combined (small lumps are ok)
  • Heat some oil in a pan (not necessary if you are using a Tefal Jamie Oliver Fry Pan like me)
  • Spoon some batter into the pan & cook until air bubbles start to appear
  • Flip the pancake and cook on the other side for a minute or two
  • Repeat with the remaining mixture
  • Serve a stack of pancakes with maple syrup

Maple Cinnamon Pancakes

I was provided with the Tefal Jamie Oliver pan to use for my pancake recipes

Tefal currently have a Pancake Selfie app - why not bake yourself into a pancake - try it out here.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Peppered Ostrich Steak and Clotted Cream & Rosemary Mash

This is not an everyday meal, well not in this house anyway. In fact we don't eat any kind of steak very often, we are more of a pork chop kind of family. However, I was sent a selection of exotic meats and fish from Kezie Foods, including Kangaroo, Venison and Horse to name a few.

I also received a PolyScience Sous Vide Discovery Thermal Circulator from Sous Vide Tools during half term but didn't have chance to get it out of the box whilst the children were around so it was the perfect opportunity to try it out with the exotic meats. I've not used one before but have been reading up on it a little in the Sous Vide Cookbook that I also received.

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I set the Thermal Circulator up on the side of a large pot filled with water, set the temperature (I opted for 63C) and left it to do it's stuff whilst I went on the school run. It didn't take long to reach temperature and was then ready for cooking. I rubbed some garlic and black pepper into the steaks (kangaroo & horse), sealed them in vacuum bags and popped them in the water bath for 3 hours. The ostrich steak was already precooked so I set that aside to pan fry later.

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I made a creamy mash with some delicious Rodda's clotted cream that I had picked up on a tour of their creamery last week (more on that in another blog post) to serve with the steaks.

Clotted Cream & Rosemary Mash - serves 3-4

600g potatoes (approx)
large knob of butter
heaped dessertspoonful of Clotted Cream
tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste

  • Peel and chop the potatoes and boil until tender
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them
  • Add the butter, clotted cream, rosemary and salt & pepper and mash well

 photo clottedcreammashjpg_zps8d2d63a9.jpg

Once the kangaroo and horse steaks were cooked I heated some butter in a frying pan and seared these and the precooked ostrich for around 30 -60 seconds on each side, adding extra freshly ground black pepper.
Once the steaks had been seared I added a spoonful of clotted cream and more course ground black pepper to the remaining butter and spooned this over the steaks when serving.

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The ostrich was perfectly cooked and lovely and tender. As it was the first time using the Sous Vide I didn't want to undercook the steaks as I don't like meat too rare, but these were perhaps a little over done so next time I will try cooking to 60C.

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I wasn't very keen on the kangaroo, a little less tender than the horse and ostrich and a bit too 'meaty' tasting for me. The husband tried all of the meats and really liked the ostrich but wasn't keen on the horse or kangaroo.

I heated up some of the remaining kangaroo and horse with onions, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes and herbs and blended it up to make a pasta sauce for the children, and they ate the lot - although I haven't yet told them what it was!

OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder - perfect for cooking or on the table, adjustable from fine to course grind and leaves no mess behind as it grinds from the top. I have owned so many pepper grinders in the past and have never found one that grinds as easily and reliably as this. I have also been searching for a decent, inexpensive, garlic press that presses the garlic without effort or the need for peeling - I have now found it in the OXO Good Grips Garlic Press - a one piece press with no fiddly inserts.

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I was provided with the PolyScience
Sous Vide Discovery Thermal Circulator from Sous Vide Tools, Kezie Foods exotic meats, OXO Good grips tools and Rodda's Cream and butter to feature on this blog

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ginger & Mango Flapjacks

After the busy weekend doing Team Honk stuff I had a day to catch up before taking the kids to London for the day with friends. I baked some flapjacks to take with us as I knew they would get hungry during the two hour train journey, which they were, and the flapjacks filled them up enough until lunchtime, after we'd taken a trip on the London Eye.

Afterwards we then paid a visit to Madame Tussauds, before jumping on a double decker bus back to Euston and the long journey home.

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Ginger & Mango Flapjacks

Ginger & Mango Flapjacks

175g butter or margarine
175g caster sugar
175g golden syrup
100g dried mango
1tsp ground ginger
350g oats
  • Add the butter, sugar, syrup, mango & ginger to a saucepan
  • Heat gently until the butter has melted & sugar dissolved & the mixture starts to bubble around the edge
  • Remove from the heat & stir in the oats
  • Divide the mixture between two square 8" baking tins lined with baking paper & press down
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes
  • Allow to cool before drizzling white chocolate over (optional) and cutting into triangles

Ginger & Mango Flapjacks

Ginger & Mango Flapjacks

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Pancake Day with Tefal

Yes, yes, I know it's not Pancake Day just yet but when Tefal sent me some fab new frying pans to try out they were crying out for pancakes to be made in them straight away.

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I received three different pans :

26cm Tefal Jamie Oliver Anniversary Frypan 
With a 10th anniversary pattern on the base of the pan and Thermo-Spot heat indicator, hard non-stick surface and durable enamel exterior.

24cm Tefal Superior Frypan
With an Intensium non-stick surface, anti-warp base, Therno-Spot heat indicator, comfort grip handle, safe for metal handles and designed to last up to 2 x longer.

28cm Tefal Ingenio Frypan
With a removable and interchangeable handle making the pan suitable for using on the hob, in the oven, on the table and in the fridge. The removable handles make these pans easy to store. They also feature the Thermo-Spot heat indicator and are suitable on all heat sources including induction.

I wanted to make some American style pancakes as Jack had his friend around for tea and thought the Ingenio pan would be more suited to this due to the large flat surface. The Thermo-Spot turns to solid red when the pan has reached temperature and is ready to cook and due to the Titanium non stick coating it wasn't necessary for any oil to be added to the pan and the pancakes cooked beautifully, and I was really impressed with it.

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Afterwards the pan just needed a quick wipe around to clean it, although it can be cleaned in a dishwasher if necessary (however this isn't recommended to prolong the life of the pan).

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American Style Pancakes

225g SR Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
300ml milk
40g caster sugar
25g butter, melted

  • Mix all the ingredients together until smooth
  • Heat the Tefal non stick frying pan (no oil required for cooking)
  • Drop large spoonful of batter into the pan (I made 3 pancakes at a time)
  • Cook for a couple of minutes, until golden brown, on each side

We'll be putting the other pans through their paces before pancake day and in the meantime you can get some pancake inspiration from the Tefal Pancake Pinterest board.

I was sent the pans for the purpose of review

Friday, 7 February 2014

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Hearts

With Valentine's Day just a week away I've used it as an excuse to pretty up some chocolate shortbread. Of course you could just eat these without dipping them in chocolate but pretty food always tastes much better in my opinion.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Hearts

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

120g butter, softened
120g caster sugar
165g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
50g chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy
  • Stir in the flour and cocoa powder and mix well
  • Stir in the chocolate chips
  • Roll out on a floured surface to approx 5-6mm thick
  • Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter & place on a lined baking sheet, spaced apart
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for approximately 12 minutes
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack before decorating

I chose to decorate them with white chocolate and sprinkles by dipping one side of the shortbread into melted white chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Hearts
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Hearts Chocolate Chip Shortbread Hearts

I was recently sent some heart shaped cookie cutters by Lakeland which were perfect for these cookies. The set of 5 cutters come in a handy storage tub and are nice and deep and robust enough to cut through chocolate chips.

 photo lakelandcookiecutters_zps3b15b457.jpg

They are priced at just £4.29 per set with a 3 for 2 offer on these and other colourful cookie cutter sets.

52 Cook Books : Cinnamon Treats

For the 52 Cook Books challenge this week I decided to make some cookies from A Taste of America, a cook book with over 400 recipes and 1750 photographs. You can either cook these straight away or keep the dough in the freezer until you want to use it, the firmer the dough is the easier it is to slice.

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Cinnamon Treats

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Sift the flour, salt & cinnamon together in a bowl
  • Cream the butter and sugar together
  • Beat the eggs and vanilla and add to the butter & mix well
  • Stir in the dry ingredients
  • Divide the mixture into 4 and roll each into log shapes - I found the dough to be a little sticky at this point so I formed the log on baking paper as best I could & then rolled into a better shape once it was chilled
  • Place in the freezer until firm
  • Slice into 5mm slices & place on a greased baking sheet
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for approx 10 minutes
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack
These may not be the prettiest cookies but they were lovely and light and crisp

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  Keynko - A Crafty Family

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Minted Two Pea Burgers

My kids surprised me last week when I asked them if they preferred beef burgers or Mums homemade veggie burgers, and they said veggie burgers. I wasn't as surprised by Hanna as she loves salads and vegetables but teenage Sam does like his meat and I really thought that he would prefer beef burgers. I must say that it did please me, not only because veggie burgers are healthier but they are also cheaper - these cost under £1 for 8 burgers.

Minted Two Pea Burgers

Minted Two Pea Burgers - makes 8

400g Chickpeas
200g Frozen peas, steamed & drained
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp Mint sauce
Olive oil for frying
  • Place the peas & chickpeas into a bowl & mash with a potato masher
  • Stir in the rosemary and mint sauce & mix well
  • Divide the mixture into eight and form into patties & set aside
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers for a few minutes on each side

Serve on a toasted English muffin/bread roll with lettuce and yoghurt, cucumber & mint dip

Minted Two Pea BurgersMinted Two Pea Burgers

Monday, 3 February 2014

White Chocolate & Berry Flapjacks

At the end of last year I was sent a Degustabox to review, some of the contents of which I made into a Chocolate Chai Cheesecake. Last week I received the latest box containing the following...

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Zico Chocolate Coconut water
Amy's Kitchen soup
Kombucha fermented tea
Dorset Cereals berry granola
Jules Destrooper Butter crisps
Quinola Mothergrain quinoa
Maggi So Juicy (x3)
Goody Good Stuff sweets (x2)
Pasta (not listed)

According to the information within the box the value of the items totalled £17.40 which, if you paid £12.99 for the box and would use all of the items within the box, would be a reasonable saving, however I don't think the saving is great enough to encourage me to buy this box as there are a few items within the box that I would neither buy nor use.

There was one product in this box that was definitely very welcome though. Dorset Cereals Berry Granola is a lovely cereal with lots of freeze dried fruity bits and crispy oat clusters. It was this product that I decided to use in my recipe for White Chocolate and Berry Flapjacks.

White Chocolate & Berry Flapjacks

White Chocolate & Berry Flapjacks

150g Butter
150g Demerara sugar
150g Golden syrup
250g Berry Granola
100g Oats
50g White chocolate, melted

  • Add the butter, sugar & syrup to a pan
  • Heat gently until all the butter has melted
  • Continue to heat, stirring regularly, until it just starts to bubble
  • Remove from heat & stir in the granola & oats
  • Mix well & press into a buttered baking pan
  • Bake in a 180C oven for 15 minutes
  • Allow to cool in the tin
  • Refrigerate until set
  • Drizzle the white chocolate over the flapjacks
  • Allow the chocolate to set before slicing into bars or squares

White Chocolate & Berry Flapjacks

If you would like to try a Degustabox for yourself you can receive a £3 discount by using the code C50D9.

I was sent the box free of charge for the purpose of this review

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Family Sunday Roast with Knorr

Today was a busy day that started off with me coming home at 9am from a onesie night in and sleepover at a friends, and then onto a 5th birthday party at a bowling alley followed by a family walk around a local wildlife centre to blow the cobwebs away before arriving back home to prepare a family roast dinner. 

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Apparently today was National Yorkshire Pudding Day. I didn't know this until someone tweeted me after seeing a picture on Twitter of my roast. It was a good job then that I made some awesome Yorkies in recognition of this day.

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Anyone that knows me knows that I don't make a Sunday roast too often, although I have been making a lot more recently. The reason for the roast this week was because my brother and sister in law came up from Devon to visit, which coincided perfectly with Knorr sending a hamper of ingredients to make a Sunday roast, including a joint of beef, veggies, Knorr gravy pots and a gravy boat. 

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The knorr gravy pots are a convenient way to make home-made tasting gravy without any fuss. Each pot is mixed with 280ml of water and brought to the boil to make a rich and delicious gravy that has no preservatives, additives or flavour enhancers in. They have also been awarded Product of the Year in the Gravy & Stock Category!

Today we used the beef gravy stock pots with our roast beef, which I seasoned with garlic and rosemary before roasting in a pan with carrots, onions and parsnips and served alongside Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, roast potatoes, broccoli and sprouts.

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An amazing roast, even if I do say so myself....

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I was sent a selection of Knorr gravy pots along with meat and vegetables to make a roast dinner

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