The Crazy Kitchen: September 2017

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Monday, 18 September 2017

Cardamom, Orange & Cinnamon Teacakes

Following Bake Off last week I decided to go for the signature bake and make teacakes. I don't recall ever making teacakes before, although I have made hot cross buns, which are very similar, as well as many other kinds of sweet buns.

I haven't made bread for a while but I did have some in date yeast and bread flour in the cupboard, so all was well, or so I thought.

As I'm always looking for ways to cut corners and save time whilst cooking and baking, I opted to make the dough in my bread maker before adding the dried fruit and spices after the first prove.

Whether it was the yeast or the flour, but one of them wasn't working in my favour, and there was barely a rise on the dough, but as I wasn't really paying much attention when I took it out of the bread maker, I carried on regardless.  It was only after I'd added the fruit and spices, rolled the dough into balls, flattened them out and left them to prove for an hour or so that I realised that I wasn't get a rise out of my buns that day, and perhaps the yeast was dead.

I baked the buns anyway, and despite being a little on the small side, they were perfectly acceptable, albeit a little dense and more on the English muffin side that the teacake, but everyone loved them anyway.

Once I'd replenished my yeast and flour supply I tried again, and this time the teacakes rose perfectly well, and again everyone loved them.

Cardamom, Orange & Cinnamon Teacakes

I love cardamom (especially in gin) but I took a risk not knowing if everyone else in the family would feel the same way. I need not have worried though as they loved them, even my 8 year old flavour connoisseur.

Cardamom, Orange & Cinnamon Teacakes

There's something so comforting about a toasted teacake in the afternoon, especially now the weather has turned so autumnal.
Cardamom, Orange & Cinnamon Teacakes


Cardamom, Orange & Cinnamon Teacakes



Mummy Mishaps


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Autumn Vegetable Soup - a Pressure Cooker Recipe

Up until a couple of weeks ago if anyone had told me that I needed a pressure cooker in my life I would've laughed at them. If I needed to make soups or stews I had a slow cooker for that, so why would I need a pressure cooker. I work from home and have all the time in the world to put dinner on, so I would use the slow cooker and leave it cooking all day, and have a delicious stew for dinner. Except I don't. I don't because I am a procrastinator. I know I should chop the vegetables and prepare the meat first thing, and I know that it will only take me a few minutes to do so, but I don't. I keep saying to myself 'oh I must do that veg and put the slow cooker on', and before I know it it's the middle of the afternoon & the slow cooker is still on top of the cupboard.

This is where the Pressure King Pro comes in handy for me, as soups and stews and lots of other delicious meals, can be cooked in next to no time. Fluffy rice takes just 5 minutes, steamed vegetables take under 4, casseroles in under 30 and a whole chicken can be cooked from frozen in just one hour!

I definitely DO need a pressure cooker in my life, and I didn't even know it!

Autumn Vegetable Soup - a Pressure Cooker Recipe

Over the past couple of weeks I have barely turned the oven or hob on to cook a meal, instead opting to make most of our meals in the 5 litre Pressure King Pro. We've been enjoying bolognese, chilli, soups, rice dishes, pulled pork, potatoes, chicken, stews and vegetables. The machine is simple to use, with the touch of a couple of buttons and a twist of the lid, it then does its thing for a few minutes before beeping to indicate that the cooking time is over. You then have the choice to leave it to keep warm and release the pressure naturally, or release the pressure manually by moving the valve, to speed up the process. I usually go with the latter, unless I've cooked a stew which I want to keep warm for a while before serving.

Pressure King Pro 5L

The Pressure King Pro is a good looking machine, which blends in nicely into my kitchen, and although I've reserved a space for it on top of the cupboard, it hasn't actually got up there yet as I use it so often. It comes complete with a measuring cup, spoon, and steamer tray (which is a little tricky to remove when hot, unless I'm using it completely wrong), and a recipe booklet with ideas and cooking times to start you off. I've also noticed that it's possible to buy an additional inner pot, which would be really useful when cooking chilli and rice, or bolognese and pasta for example.

Now that it appears winter has set in (I'm in full blown onesie mode at night now!), it's definitely time for soups and stews again. Last week I wasn't quite ready for a thick and hearty soup,, so instead I opted for a chunky vegetable soup in a light broth. I like to eat the chunks of soft veg, but it can be easily blended with a stick blender to a smoother, thicker consistency if preferred.

The soup is lovely served with hot buttered toasted bread, or served on top of a few slices of grilled cheese topped baguette to allow all the lovely juices to soak into the bread - soggy bread isn't for everyone, but don't knock it until you've tried this!

Autumn Vegetable Soup - a Pressure Cooker Recipe

Autumn Vegetable Soup - a Pressure Cooker Recipe

I've been sharing my ventures with my new Pressure King Pro over on Instagram and Instagram stories, and after seeing some of my meals my friend decided that she needed one in her life too, and promptly bought one. My mum has been eyeing mine up too, and although I said that if I ever received a pressure cooker to try out on my blog she could have it afterwards, I've now changed my mind, so she'll have to buy her own - sorry Mum!



Do you have any favourite pressure cooker recipes to share?


Autumn Vegetable Soup - a Pressure Cooker Recipe




About the Pressure King Pro 5L

The 12-in-1 Digital Pressure Cooker will create delicious, hearty, home-cooked meals faster and easier than traditional cooking methods in minutes, rather than hours and with a simple press of a button!

The Pressure King Pro cooks with pressurised steam, locking in more vitamins and nutrients than many other cooking methods, and infusing your food with its natural flavours and seasonings, making delicious, healthier family dinners up to 90% faster than conventional methods. You’ll get that slow-cooked taste and tenderness in minutes rather than hours!


  • Worry-free cooking with the family sized pressure cooker that cooks meals up to 90% faster than conventional cooking methods.
  • Quick, safe and easy to use, the Pressure King Pro maintains the perfect temperature from centre to edge and from top to bottom, whilst cooking your food quickly and evenly.
  • The 12-in-1 Digital Pressure Cooker will create delicious, hearty, home-cooked meals faster and easier than traditional cooking methods in minutes, rather than hours and with a simple press of a button.
  • 12 pre-programmed settings to make cooking simple: Meat, Rice, Stew, Soup, Pasta, Fish, Steam, Canning, Delay Timer, Fast Re-Heat, and dual Keep Warm/Slow Cook setting.
  • The Pressure King Pro’s super-heated pressurised steam locks in more of the important vitamins and minerals in your food than many traditional cooking methods, including boiling and steaming. What’s more, your food will be infused with incredible, slow-cooked tenderness and taste!
  • With the BONUS recipe book included, you can make a wide variety of meals from slow cooked hearty stews, fluffy and creamy risottos, wholesome soups to delicious pasta dishes - with the Pressure King Pro you can even cook a whole chicken in just 25 minutes with succulent and flavoursome results.
  • The 24 Hour Delay Timer mode means you can switch it on in a morning and your food will be ready to eat when you get home.
  • The Keep Warm mode automatically kicks in when your food is cooked, so your food will stay hot until you’re ready to eat it.
  • Fast Reheat mode warms up already cooked food. 
  • Great taste without added fat –add fats or oils for additional flavour if desired.
  • Compact, sleek design that fits easily on your countertop.
  • 5 litre capacity (900 Watts) so you can cook huge amounts for your whole family.
  • Made from high-quality stainless steel and is non-stick, simply wipe it clean and you’re ready to cook amazing meals over and over again.

Available from High Street TV for £69.99, including delivery



Commissioned post for High Street TV & Pressure King Pro

Monday, 11 September 2017

Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

I can't believe that it's the third week off Bake Off tomorrow and I haven't joined in with any baking this time around. I used to bake at least once or twice a week around the themes, but I guess that's how I came to put on half a stone each series! Thank goodness for kids who will quite happily eat my baking, especially at the moment when it doesn't happen very often.

It's bread week this week so I don't know how I'm going to resist the smell of freshly baked bread if I decide to join in, as it's so hard to stop at just one slice. Ohhh, why does the food that tastes so good have to be so bad. 

It was hard to resist one of these cookies when I took them out of the oven, but a little disaster put paid to that when I knocked a glass of water over the baking sheet and ended up with around half of the biscuits getting wet and looking like they had been dunked in tea for too long. Thankfully I managed to salvage enough for the photos, which meant there was one each for the husband and kids, and none for me, hurrah! You may also notice that some of the cookies are a little on the scorched side - this, I blame the oven for! The fan broke on my main oven a little while ago, and since then the heat distribution within the oven seems to be a touch on the unpredictable side, to say the least. I really should get the repair man out..


Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies


The cookie recipe calls for only three ingredients, making them extremely easy to make, and an ideal recipe to bake with children. In fact the first time I made these cookies I made them with my youngest when he was just two, and then last year I used the recipe to make Halloween spider cookies. This time I filled them with a creamy Nutella filling, which also had just three ingredients.




Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwich Cookies



Mummy Mishaps
Only Crumbs Remain

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Monday, 4 September 2017

Homemade Rhubarb Gin

Well, that's summer done and dusted for another year. It went so fast, but at the same time it was so long, mainly due to the eldest teen finishing school mid June, and throwing my routine completely out of the window. 

However much I enjoy the company of my kids, I'm really (really, really, really) looking forward to getting the house back to myself on Wednesday. There seems to be a constant stream of crumbs across every kitchen work surface, an endless pile of plates and bowls next to the sink, as none of them appear to know where the dishwasher is, and a trail of dirty socks, underwear and towels leading from their bedrooms to the washing basket, and I'm done with it. Roll on Wednesday and the house remaining kid-mess free for 7 or 8 hours every day, yay!

Another yay for this week goes to my homemade rhubarb gin, which I cracked open at the weekend. I had originally planned to keep it until Christmas but as we'd sampled a friend's homemade rhubarb gin on Friday I thought it rude not to return the favour on Saturday. At this point I hadn't got around to decanting it into a bottle, so I served it with a ladle from jar to glass. Classy as ever.

Homemade Rhubarb Gin

Look at that beautiful colour, and check out how clear it is. Double yay! (yay is my word of the day it would appear). My friend peeled his rhubarb to see if the flavour would get into the gin more quickly, and whilst I think it did help increase the flavour quicker, you don't get that great colour, so if you want pink gin then leave the skin on, especially if the rhubarb is a lovely deep pink.

Another point to make is the amount of sugar to use, and the quality of the gin. I used cheap supermarket gin and 300g of sugar, whereas my friend used a good quality gin and very little sugar. The result was quite similar (although mine was a little sweeter), and you couldn't tell that my starting gin was a cheap version. Therefore I would recommend that you start off with around 100g of sugar and add more after a week if needed, but if you're using a very good quality gin then you might want to start with even less sugar than this.

Homemade Rhubarb Gin

Homemade Rhubarb Gin

Serve with a good quality tonic water, or ginger ale, and a slice of lime and lots of ice. You can even add a measure to a champagne glass and top up with Prosecco for an extra special drink, and one that I plan to drink plenty of over Christmas (if the gin lasts that long!)

Homemade Rhubarb Gin

Homemade Rhubarb Gin




Homemade Rhubarb Gin

Homemade vodka recipes of mine :




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