The Crazy Kitchen: September 2014

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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Personalised Wall Stickers

Since painting the kitchen I've been wondering what to put on the narrow piece of wall that separates the two areas of our kitchen. Then I received an email asking if I would like to receive a wall sticker from My Wall Stickers. They have a lot of lovely wall stickers, however I couldn't find anything suitable for that particular space, until I noticed the 'Personalised - Create your own' section, with wall stickers available to create yourself from £17.99.

I wanted to create a wall sticker similar to my blog header (without the logo) and emailed to find out if other fonts were available, and sure enough they were.

Within a couple of days my sticker arrived in a cardboard tube, complete with instructions and squeegee applicator. Despite the size of the sticker it was very simple to apply, by following the comprehensive instructions, and making sure I had everything to hand whilst balanced on a couple of chairs - it would be a lot easier to apply stickers at head height or below.

I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Personalised Wall Stickers Personalised Wall Stickers Personalised Wall Stickers

I was provided with the wall sticker free of charge

Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club

I had some pastry left over from the Chicken Korma pie that I made recently, and decided to roll it out thinly and bake it with cumin seeds & salt sprinkled on, and it was bloomin' lovely. This gave me an idea for cumin seed crackers, which turned out light and crispy just as I'd hoped.

Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club

Cumin Seed Crackers

150g wholemeal self raising flour
25g cold butter
1/2 tsp course sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top
1 tsp cumin seeds
approx 3-4 tbsp cold water
1 egg white
  • Rub the butter into the flour
  • Crush 1 tsp of cumin seeds in a pestle & mortar
  • Add the salt and cumin to the flour
  • Add the water a little at a time, until it all comes together
  • Knead for a couple of minutes until it becomes more elastic
  • Place into a bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for an hour
  • Divide the dough into 3 pieces and roll out between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper as thinly as you can
  • Cut discs with a pastry cutter
  • Lay onto a baking tray and brush with the egg white
  • Sprinkle a few seeds and salt over the discs
  • Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 10 minutes until just turning brown
  • Leave to cool

I served up a little platter with cheese, a batch of this year's home made chilli plum jam, grapes and some of the contents of my Carnivore Club box.

Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club

Carnivore club is a monthly subscription service that sends out a box of 4-6 handcrafted cured meats from top artisans; perfect for a charcuterie buff. The box I was sent had the following meats in :

Cornish Chorizo
Wild Venison Bresaola
Black olive salami
Pokers (snacking salami)
Cornish Coppa

Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club Cumin Seed Crackers, Chutney and Carnivore Club

I was provided with the Carnivore Box free of charge

Chicken Korma Pie

If you ever fancied yourself as a bit of a piemaker then get your thinking cap on as Higgidy are on the search for their next pie, in their Higgidy Recipe Hunt.

Higgidy Recipe Hunt

I was sent a few goodies to help me create my own recipe to enter into the hunt, including my very own personalised rolling pin!

Since attending an Indian cookery course last week I've been a little addicted to making chicken korma, so I decided to make a chicken korma pie.

Chicken Korma Pie

You can find the chicken korma recipe here (I used chicken breast) and my recipe for cream cheese pastry here, which I added a little turmeric to, to give it a great yellow colour. Instead of a pastry base I added approx 200g of cooked basmati rice to help soak up some of the excess sauce. Despite the shrunken pastry the pie was so good, and all the family loved it, and it tasted so much better than it looks. The pastry was lovely and light and crispy, and the offcuts were baked with a sprinkling of cumin seeds and salt and eaten with cheese & chutney!

Chicken Korma Pie Chicken Korma Pie Chicken Korma Pie Chicken Korma Pie Chicken Korma Pie Chicken Korma Pie

It was a complete meal in a pie, however we enjoyed it accompanied by Naan breads, poppadoms and chutney.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Caramel Apple Choux Buns

What do you do when you have more apples than you can possibly eat and there's no more room in your freezer? You cook with them and make dessert, of course.

We have loads of apples at the moment - you may have noticed a few apple recipes this month - Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings, Toffee Apple Cobbler, German Apple Streusel Cake and Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Rolls, but you can never get fed up of eating apples if they're smothered in a caramel sauce, like these choux buns.

  Caramel Apple Choux BunsCaramel Apple Choux Buns Caramel Apple Choux Buns Caramel Apple Choux Buns

You can find the full recipe on Great British Chefs here.

This recipe was commissioned by Great British Chefs

entered into the Rix October draw

You know You're a Food Blogger When....

It occurred to me at the weekend, whilst grating a butternut squash at 8 o'clock on Sunday morning, that there are certain things that happen in my life that perhaps wouldn't, if I wasn't a food blogger..
  • You're up at 7.30 on a Sunday morning making chocolate mousse in your pyjamas
  • Your kids are eating rum laced chocolate mousse for breakfast
  • Your family gets the choice of chocolate mousse pears, apple custard tarts or 5 layer Pumpkin cake for pudding on a weekday.
  • Your dishwasher is on 3 times a day
  • Your husband knows what he's having for dinner that night as he's seen it on your blog 
  • Your husband comes in from work and wants to know where the cake is that he's seen on your blog 
  • Diet days revolve around baking days (more baking days than diet days at the moment)
  • There's never a shortage of storecupboard items to fill up the harvest basket

  • sprinkle snacks
I decided to ask a few fellow food bloggers how they know they're a food blogger too, and here are some of their responses (lots of them revolving around families and photographs) :

Andrea : you plan your families meals around what will look pretty on a plate!

Sarah : your sitting room looks like Del Boy's flat with boxes of kitchen gadgets that won't fit in your kitchen.

Elizabeth : your kids randomly open the fridge, whilst dressed as spiderman, and take photos.

 photo 10658630_10152358367300998_8588004259249490261_o_zpsde345f2d.jpg

Sian the whole family knows to check if photos have been taken before eating anything.

Nazima : your kids start photographing food with their cameras as well....

 photo 10703612_10152415579392297_379198338540583828_n_zps490908a2.jpg

Sally : Your friends and family don't blink an eye when you hop on a chair to take an overhead shot of the food with your iphone

Jennyyour family can't eat a meal before it's been styled and photographed

Emily : there are offcuts of foam core and rolls of wallpaper samples balanced against every wall in the house.

Jen : the doorbell goes and your OH looks at you with a sigh and says what are you getting now?

Jo : you  have 36 million jars of chutneys/jams etc that you have no idea what to do with. You don't want to throw them away so they just sit around cluttering up your kitchen. You have so many you could build a fort with them!

Kavita : there is a narrow path between living room, through dining room and into kitchen, which winds between towering piles of cookery books, product samples and kitchen equipment... and the postman has just rung the doorbell to deliver more.

Katie : When you have more photos of food than your own offspring on your iPhone... 

Helen : you find yourself ironing sheets of greaseproof paper

Sarah : when you spend 20 minutes trying to get the perfect dribble of cream (for that spontaneously messy look) down the side of a jug...

Helene : you are addicted to trying out new recipes and flavour combinations and as a result your family never knows what to expect for dinner 

Camilla : you can't actually fit any more hampers in your garage!

Have you got any to add?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone.

Over the past few weeks our kitchen has been getting a bit of a facelift. I've painted walls and replaced cabinet doors and handles and we've added a couple more wall cabinets. It's still work in progress at the moment whilst we wait for some family help with more cabinets and electrics. It's getting there though.

kitchen makeover

I said a few weeks ago that one of the first things I was going to do when I have more wall cabinets was to get some more wine glasses, as they seem to have dwindled over the years, and we have a mismatch of styles and sizes.

I found some lovely glasses on, which are not only a great colour and shape, but are also stackable, meaning that they take up a lot less space than regular wine glasses - 8 glasses takes up the space of 2-3 other wine glasses.

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

The Asda website is very user friendly, with lots of styling ideas for all rooms of the house, with options for home delivery or Click & Collect.

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

Whilst I was on the lookout for new glasses I spotted a few more items that would be perfect in my kitchen.

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

The order was placed on a Monday night, and I was advised that it would be ready to collect after 5pm on Wednesday. An email and text was received just after 1pm on Wednesday advising that the order was ready for collection. Shortly after I went to my local Asda Living store to collect my order. 

Asda Click & Collect

On previous occasions I've gone straight to the Click & Collect desk, but this time it was being used as a regular checkout so I joined the queue for checkouts, with 2 or 3 customers in front of me. I only waited a couple of minutes before I was served at another checkout, and within a couple more minutes my order had been collected and brought to me, well packaged in a large box.

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect
my haul

I love the granite chopping board - not only will it be a worktop saver and chopping board, but it is also somewhere I can photograph my lunch.

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

The glasses are a perfect size for my G&T..

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

the sultanas have a new home in their heart jar..

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

and my spice cupboard has had an overhaul, and the spice tin has been filled with some of my most popular spices..

Kitchen Accessories with Asda Click & Collect

Asda Click & Collect is such a convenient way to shop - shop from the comfort of your own home and no waiting in for deliveries.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings

After watching Bake Off last night I knew exactly what I was going to bake this week, and it wasn't going to be 36 doughnuts or Povitica. I love making cinnamon buns, but as they don't have fruit in, and I have a load of windfall apples to use, I decided to pimp up my regular cinnamon buns with an apple & raisin filling and a toffee drizzle.

Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings

Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings - makes 2 rings / 12 buns

500g white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
50g caster sugar
50g butter, softened
7g yeast
225-250ml milk
1 egg

4 apples
Juice of half lemon
75g raisins
25g butter
25g soft brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
extra butter for greasing

Toffee sauce - recipe here
  • Add the flour, salt, sugar, butter & yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater
  • Add the egg and 225ml of the milk with the motor running, until it all starts to come together, adding more milk if necessary
  • You want the dough to be slightly sticky, but not wet
  • Turn out onto a floured surface & knead for 5-10 minutes, until soft, stretchy and smooth
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with clingfilm
  • Leave to double in size for approx 2 hours
  • In the meantime peel, core & slice the apples
  • Add the apples to a pan with the lemon juice, raisins, butter, sugar and cinnamon
  • Heat until the butter has melted, and mix well
  • Place a lid on & cook gently for 10 minutes, until the apple has softened but holds its shape
  • Leave to cool & then drain any excess juice
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle
  • Cover evenly with the apple mixture
  • Roll up tightly into a long sausage
  • Slice the ends off and then slice into 12 equal pieces
  • Grease two 8" sandwich tins with butter
  • Lay 6 slices into each tin
  • Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for an hour
  • Brush the tops of the dough with melted butter
  • Bake in a preheated 200C oven for approx 15 minutes
  • Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out & drizzling with toffee sauce
Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings Toffee Apple Cinnamon Bun Rings

GreatBloggersBakeOff  photo BAKE_ALONG_LOGO_zps284c894d.png


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