The Crazy Kitchen: July 2017

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

BBQ Steak with Zesty Watercress Salsa

Hurrah! The sun decided to come back again, and it has been very welcome after that chilly spell when I was almost tempted to put the heating on. 

I'm in the process of painting the teens' bedrooms but took a break last weekend, as nobody wants to be indoors painting in this weather. Instead I took the opportunity to sit in the garden for a while, and had a bit of fun involving Nerf guns, wet sponges and plastic 'tin' cans. It was also a chance to cook the dinner on the bbq, and save on extra washing up or having to turn the oven on.

BBQ Steak with Zesty Watercress Salsa

For the past couple of weeks I've been going through a bit of a detox. On a whim I decided that I would cut out caffeine, starting on Tuesday of all days. Who even starts a diet or detox on a Tuesday? That would be me then. I've been embracing dairy free, sugar free, caffeine free, gluten free diet for 2 weeks now, and I'm feeling so much better for it, after the initial caffeine withdrawal headache, and the slight hangover after my birthday. 

It was during the first week of embracing clean eating food that I used a lot more flavours on a daily basis and came up with this watercress salsa. It's dairy & gluten free and can be enjoyed on salad, potatoes and roasted vegetables, but it is AMAZING on steak.

BBQ Steak with Zesty Watercress Salsa

When it comes to cooking on barbecues many of us stick to the old favourites of sausages, burgers and chicken. I've been using steak more and more on the barbecue recently, whether it's cooking the odd one or two or slicing more up to make kebabs. I'm usually a 'medium' kind of girl, but with a good steak and sauce I do enjoy it on the rarer side, especially when it's sliced thinly.

I love a simple barbecued steak, but with a great sauce a good steak can become an amazing steak. Serving this salsa with a platter of thinly sliced medium-rare steak will really impress your guests at your next BBQ, and there will be no going back to simple sausages.

BBQ Steak with Zesty Watercress Salsa

When choosing your steak (or any other cut of beef or lamb), look out for a quality mark like the Red Tractor logo, which means that the meat is farm assured and responsibly produced, by people dedicated to providing great food. For this recipe I used rump steak, as it's a reasonably priced steak that doesn't break the bank when cooking or the whole family.





BBQ Steak with Zesty Watercress Salsa


For everything you need to know about beef & lamb, including recipes and information about Red Tractor beef & lamb, visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk, and #RaiseTheSteaks at your next BBQ.


BBQ Steak with Zesty Watercress Salsa




a commissioned post for Simply Beef & Lamb




Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Strawberry Milkshake with Organic Free Range Milk from Arla

As babies milk is our first and only source of food, whether it comes from the bottle or breast. Some of us go on to love a glass of milk morning, noon and night, whilst others may only have a little,  in a bowl of cereal or cuppa. I'm the latter, along with my teen girl, but my boys can't get enough of the stuff, particularly my youngest, who still loves a mug of milk at every bedtime.

Strawberry Milkshake with Organic Free Range Milk from Arla

We all want what's best for our children, and when it comes to milk Arla Organic Free Range milk is right up there. The free range milk is provided by cows that graze outside whenever possible, and for over 200 days of the year, on grass and clover that's grown without the use of artificial weed killers or fertilisers. In addition to the high standards already met by being free range, additional standards are met on animal welfare, quality and sustainability required for the milk to be classed as organic. Arla is also farmer owned, meaning that when you buy an Arla product you know that you're helping to support their farmers and their families.

You're probably now thinking 'but does it taste any good'? The best person to answer that would be our family milk expert, 8 year old Jack.

Before I let Jack try the milk I asked him what he thought organic and free range milk was, and whether he thought it would taste better than the non organic/free range milk that he's used to.

He didn't really know much about organic, and despite hearing the term 'free range' he didn't really know what that meant either. I gave him a quick run down about the cows being happier if they were allowed room to wander around outside and eat nice fresh grass that hadn't had any nasty sprays on, and that if the cows were happier they would produce better quality milk. After thinking about it he concluded that he thought that happy cows that ate good food would probably produce nice milk.

Was he right?


Strawberry Milkshake with Organic Free Range Milk from Arla

I think we'll take that as a yes. Thumbs up for Arla Organic Free Range milk & Mum's strawberry milkshake, on a roasting hot day.

Strawberry Milkshake - serves 2

handful of fresh strawberries
500ml Arla Organic Free Range milk
scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • Add all the ingredients to a blender & blend until smooth
  • Serve immediately in a tall glass with a straw & a sprig of mint

Strawberry Milkshake with Organic Free Range Milk from Arla


Twitter Chat
If you want to chat more about what it means for a food to be organic, have a funny tale to tell about the questions your kids have asked about food, or to share your favourite way to enjoy milk, then join @ArlaDairy and @Tots100 for a Twitter party on Wednesday 19th July at 8pm, where you can win a £50 voucher. (T&C's & more details)


Arla Organic Free Range is available in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons & NISA supermarkets, currently on offer at £1.25



In collaboration with Arla Foods

Friday, 14 July 2017

BBQ Coconut, Lime & Coriander Chicken

This recipe is for a really simple chicken dish that can be cooked on the bbq or in the oven. I find that cooking it on the bbq makes it so much tastier though, and the marinade ensures that it doesn't dry out. You can just as easily replace the chicken breast with boneless chicken thighs and thread them onto skewers, or salmon fillets. Leaving the chicken to marinate overnight gives it a better flavour, but it's not essential if you don't have the time - just leave it as long as you can.

It's a lovely light dish for summer al fresco dining, and makes a refreshing change to bbq sauce.


BBQ Coconut & Lime & Coriander Chicken


Chicken breast doesn't take long to cook on the bbq, but make sure that it's cooked all the way through before serving.


BBQ Coconut & Lime & Coriander Chicken

BBQ Coconut & Lime & Coriander Chicken

BBQ Coconut & Lime & Coriander Chicken

Serve with a mango salsa, lime wedges, fresh coriander and steamed rice.




Serve with a mango salsa, lime wedges, fresh coriander & steamed rice

BBQ Coconut & Lime & Coriander Chicken

BBQ Coconut & Lime & Coriander Chicken














This is my entry into the Foodies100/Vita Coco #ReachfortheBeach competition

Iceland Christmas in July #PowerofFrozen

Last week, on one of the hottest days of the year, I got up at an unearthly hour to travel to London for one of the hotly anticipated summer events of the year - Christmas in July. If you've never been to a Christmas in July event it's where brands get to showcase their up and coming products aimed at the Christmas market.

The brand that I made this epically hot journey to see was, ironically, Iceland.

Iceland Christmas in July #PowerofFrozen

Last November I attended a pre Christmas event at the Iceland HQ and their food was amazing, so I was excited to see what they had on offer for this Christmas. Iceland's chef Neil Nugent was on hand to prepare some delicious food and served me up a delicious breakfast.


This wasn't like my usual breakfast, especially as I rarely eat fish, but I must say that Neil Nugent does prepare the best smoked salmon. This beetroot smoked salmon was served with a touch of lemon mayo, alongside Nacho Chicken and a cute pot of Crab Mac & Cheese. I'm so impressed with the quality & taste of Iceland fish & seafood that I am seriously considering popping my sushi cherry and trying one of their Luxury Sushi Platters this Christmas. 

It's difficult to know where to start with the food as there was so much on offer, from gifts, decorations and pet treats to cheese platters, nibbles, roasts and desserts. There is everything you could possibly need this Christmas to feed your guests throughout the Christmas period, as well as wrappings, lights and advent calendars - I absolutely *need* the wine advent calendar to see me through my usual 'wet December'! 

I'm definitely going to need a third freezer this Christmas for sure! There's way too much to show you here, so here are a few of my favourites that I'll be looking out for later in the year.













Not forgetting the award winning Mince Pies


You can find a few more products on my Instagram feed - scroll to the left to see them all.

Do you have a favourite that you'll be looking out for this Christmas?







a commissioned post for Iceland Foods

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Ikea Ekby Alex Hairpin Console Table Hack

I seem to have been painting rooms in the house non stop for weeks. First it was the downstairs toilet, and more recently it's been the teens' bedrooms, which, I'm relieved to say, are finally finished.

Next up is the hallway, and then my office - YES! I get to have an office to myself at long last as the boys are going to have their xboxes in their bedrooms instead of the den. Once my office is finished it will be the landing, and I guess once I've finished that, the cycle will start all over again.

Ikea Ekby Alex Hairpin Console Table Hack

At least once all the walls in the house are white it should be easy to keep on top of, as long as I keep a tub of pure brilliant white on hand.

We've also been having a major declutter, and selling excess pieces of furniture and 'things' on local Facebook selling sites, as well as doing a couple of car boot sales. During this declutter I came across a small set of wooden drawers, filled with kids dvd's, that I've owned for years. I've always thought that they needed legs of some kind, but I never did anything about it, and the drawers remained in a corner holding the dvd's.

A while ago I came across hairpin legs, and fell in love. I wanted to incorporate them into the house somewhere, but there just wasn't a place to fit them in, until I came across the little wooden drawers.

Hairpin Leg wooden cupboard

I chose some 35cm 3 rod legs in black from The Hairpin Leg Company on Amazon* for £40 , which transformed the drawers into a piece of furniture that now fits perfectly into the hallway.

My hairpin leg journey didn't end there though, as The Hairpin Leg Company then offered to send me another set of legs. This time I chose 71cm 3 rod legs in copper for an IKEA Ekby Alex shelf with drawers, which I'd bought for the kitchen. It turned out to be too big for what we needed it for so I've been using it on my desk ever since.

After moving some furniture around there was a space in the lounge that was crying out for a console table, and the Ekby Alex shelf with the hairpin legs fitted the space perfectly.

Ikea Ekby Alex Hairpin Console Table Hack

Ikea Ekby Alex Hairpin Console Table Hack


Ikea Ekby Alex Hairpin Console Table Hack

The legs come in loads of different colours and lengths, and are really easy to fit with the screws provided. The legs also come with rubber feet to protect your flooring, which just pop on to the legs.


Ikea Ekby Alex Hairpin Console Table Hack

For hairpin leg inspiration follow The Hairpin Leg Company :


* affiliate link





In collaboration with The Hairpin Leg Company

Monday, 3 July 2017

Five Minute 5 Bean Salad

Readers of this blog will know that I like my recipes to be simple. I don't really do much in the way of complicated cooking if I can help it. It seems pointless to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen each day over a dish that may take the kids seconds to devour, without touching the sides. I cook most meals from scratch, so I look for ways to cut corners without reaching for ready meals, like using frozen or canned foods. I always have a large supply or canned tomatoes and beans in the pantry, as they're not only convenient and good value for money, but they can be used to make a wholesome meal in a matter of minutes.

Five Minute 5 Bean Salad

Take this bean salad for example. It takes just a few minutes to open the cans (even less if they have a ring pull), toss the contents into a bowl & give them a stir. The end result is something that I absolutely love and could eat every day. Despite the majority of the ingredients coming from a can, it tastes so fresh. A large bowl of this would go down a treat at a bbq, and you can also ensure that everyone is getting at least one or two of their 5 a day, as each half can of beans contains one of your 5 a day. 

Five Minute 5 Bean Salad

Five Minute 5 Bean Salad

Five Minute 5 Bean Salad

Obviously you don't need to use the same beans as me, but this choice gives a good selection of colours and sizes. I was reluctant to use broad beans at first as I always thought I disliked them (bad experience as a child), but I absolutely loved them & think I prefer them to my usual choice of cut green beans.

Five Minute 5 Bean Salad

Love Canned Food is a celebration of all canned food, and their website is packed full of recipes to help you incorporate canned food into your weekly meal plan, and enjoy easy to prepare well-balanced, healthy and affordable meals all year round. Canned food doesn't just have to be about baked beans or soup, and you'll find a huge range of canned fish, meat, vegetables, beans, pulses and fruit in supermarkets all year round.



Five Minute 5 Bean Salad











a commissioned post for Love Canned Foods


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