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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Cadbury Creme Egg Vodka Martini

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


This weekend is Easter, so it will be a nice long weekend for many of us. If the weather we had last weekend is repeated then it will be a great Easter all round. We have family coming to stay but haven't made great plans that involve relying on the weather, as it's been so unpredictable recently, and I'm not quite convinced that Spring is here just yet.

Whatever the weather we can still enjoy the many bonuses that come with the Easter holidays - roast lamb and Easter eggs, to name two. My sister in law gave up chocolate for lent so we've stocked up ready for the moment she lets herself loose, and I also thought it would be nice (as she likes to enjoy a drink or three when she has a few days off work) to create a little chocolate based cocktail that she can enjoy whilst staying with us. I've made various flavour vodka's with sweets and chocolate in the past, including Malteser vodka and toffee vodka, so I thought the perfect Easter accompaniment would be a Cadbury Creme Egg Vodka, which I would use as a base for a chocolate Martini.




The Creme Egg vodka is very straightforward to make, and can be made in advance and kept in a cool place for a few weeks or even a few months (if it ever lasts that long!).  



I picked up a selection of Easter treats from my local Tesco store, which has a huge variety of Easter eggs, bags and boxed Easter treats and egg hunt kits in their seasonal aisle along the back wall near the bakery.


Once the Creme Egg Vodka has been made, it's shaken up with Baileys, chocolate syrup and a little milk to make a delicious cocktail that can be served in a number of ways. I quite like the idea of serving it in a chocolate egg, and these foil wrapped Cadbury eggs are the perfect size. Using a warm knife slice the top off the egg and fill with the cocktail, and then sit it on a nest of scrunched foil, or sit in a martini glass. Alternatively, I found these cute Smarties farmyard hollow chocolate figures that can be used as shot glass for either the Creme Egg Vodka or the cocktail. Making a hole in the top large enough for a straw can be done by carefully poking a hot skewer through the top of the figure. I then used a squeezy bottle to fill them up. 


For a more sophisticated looking cocktail it can be served in a Martini glass, drizzled with chocolate syrup on the inside, and topped with half a mini Creme Egg and some grated chocolate.


CADBURY CREME EGG VODKA

  • 3 Creme Eggs, chopped
  • 300ml vodka (I used vanilla vodka)
  • 2 tbps sugar

Add all the ingredients to a wide necked bottle or jar
Place the jar into a bowl of hot water for a few minutes
Shake the jar vigorously 
Place back into the hot water, and shake again
Repeat until the Creme eggs have completely dissolved *

* It may separate again on standing so make sure it's given a good shake before using


____________________________________________________


    CADBURY CREME EGG VODKA MARTINI - serves 2
    • 80ml Cadbury Creme Egg Vodka
    • 40ml Baileys
    • 30ml Chocolate syrup, plus extra for serving
    • 50ml milk
    • small handful of ice

    Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously
    Strain into a Martini glass drizzled on the inside with chocolate syrup
    Serve immediately topped with grated chocolate and half a mini Creme egg




    How will you be spending your Easter weekend?




    Hijacked By Twins

    Friday, 23 March 2018

    8 Small Kitchen Appliances you Shouldn't Live Without

    You often see articles in magazines and online telling you which kitchen gadgets are a waste of money, or which small appliances you can live without. Well today I'm here to tell you which small kitchen appliances you really shouldn't live without. I'm not saying you need all of them in your life, but if you're a keen home cook like myself, then they really do help make life easier. Incidentally, I do own ALL of the items listed, and actually own more than one food mixer and food processor. Why, you may ask? Well, why not.

    1. Food Processor
    Admittedly they're not for everyone, and many people may have one lurking at the back of their cupboard that they may have used once or twice and then forgotten about. My top tip to make sure it gets used is to have it out on the worktop. Not everyone has the space, and let's face it, some food processors are pretty ugly, but if you do have a little corner space then there are some pretty sexy beasts out there that would look good on any worktop. 

    2. Food Mixer
    The same applies for a food mixer as it does for a food processor; they take up space and are often relegated to the back of the cupboard where they lay unused for years. If you want to impress your friends then I can guarantee that a Kitchen Aid classic stand mixer sat upon your worktop will get them swooning. So many colours are available now that they work in any kitchen and act as a piece of art as well as having a practical use.
    click here to shop food mixers 

    3. Blender
    There are a few different types of blenders, and which one is best would really depend on what you're going to use it for. If you're a serious smoothie addict and don't start the day without a green smoothie then a Nutribullet is the must have blender. These are seriously powerful and can cut through frozen fruits and ice with no trouble. They also have the advantage of being portable - add a lid to the plastic jar and have your smoothie on the go. If you make a lot of soups then hand blenders are ideal as they save on so much washing up compared to a regular blender. They're not just for soups though, and (with the right attachments) can be used for milkshakes, sauces, batters, salsa and whipping cream. If you're all about looks and want something to sit on your worktop, then a jug blender could be for you.

    4. Slow Cooker
    A slow cooker is the must have small appliance for the busy family. Pop a few ingredients in the pot before you leave for work and hey presto you have a meal ready when you walk through the door later on. They're not just for soups and stews, and are ideal for cooking a whole chicken, pulled pork and even cakes and desserts.

    5. Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
    A pressure cooker is similar to a slow cooker, but the opposite, if that makes sense! I use my pressure cooker to cook many of the meals that I would cook in my slow cooker, but it's perfect for procrastinators just like me, especially those that work from home. I may have every intention of cooking a meal in the slow cooker but get distracted, and by lunchtime realise that I've left it too late, so out comes the pressure cooker and I can cook the same meal in a fraction of the time.

    6. Microwave
    Not everyone likes a microwave, and many people that get rid of them say that they don't miss it. I'm not one of those people, and use my microwave multiple times a day. It's used to defrost bagels for breakfast, heat milk for morning coffee, cook a spud for lunch and reheat a meal for those members of the family that aren't home for dinner. Microwaves usually have a one touch start, making them easy to use even for the kids, and mine can often be found making mug cakes in ours, or Mum's Emergency Microwave Chocolate Cake, for those moments when you need pudding in a hurry!

    7. Toaster
    We eat a lot of toast here, morning, noon & night, and it's one of the first small appliances that the kids get to use as part of teaching them to become independent. As long as nobody touches the dial you get a perfectly cooked meal every time. I guess we could manage without one, but think of all those wasted slices of burnt toast that are thrown away when the kids get distracted by their phone & take their eye off the grill. You can even get toasters that cook an egg on the side at the same time!


    8. Air Fryer
    If you love chips but are also trying to eat a little healthier then an air fryer is a must. Beautifully cooked chips, made with little oil, in around 25 minutes. They're not just for chips though, and depending on the model and the attachments it comes with, you can also make risottos, stir fry's, roasted veggies, crispy chicken, and so much more. I've even made bolognese in mine!


    Which small kitchen appliances will you be buying next?


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    Tuesday, 20 March 2018

    Cadbury Creme Egg Chocolate Brownies

    Easter is just around the corner, which means that chocolate will be coming out of our ears pretty soon. Why wait until Easter to eat Creme Eggs though, especially as they've been in the shops since Christmas, unless of course you've given up chocolate for lent, in which case you'll have to wait a couple more weeks!

    Chocolate brownies are a very popular dessert in this household, especially served warm with vanilla ice cream. For these Cadbury Creme Egg brownies I used the same recipe as my Jammie Dodger Brownies but increased the quantity slightly as I wanted the brownies to be thick enough to surround the Creme Egg half.


    Crispy on the top and rich and gooey inside. So indulgent and hard to resist.


    If you want neat squares then wait until fully cooled before slicing, however if you can't wait then just grab a spoon and dive in whilst they're still warm!

    Cadbury Creme Egg Chocolate Brownies - makes 12

    250g butter
    240g dark chocolate
    325g caster sugar
    4 medium eggs
    80g cocoa powder
    70g plain flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    6 Cadbury Creme eggs, halved
    • Add the butter & chocolate to a saucepan over a low heat and stir until melted
    • Set aside until cooled slightly
    • Whisk the sugar & eggs together until pale and creamy and doubled in size
    • Sift together the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder
    • Whisk the melted chocolate & butter into the eggs and sugar
    • Fold in the flour, cocoa powder & baking powder until fully combined
    • Pour mixture into a baking tin lined with baking paper (I used 11 x 7 inch pan)
    • Bake in a preheated 160 degree C oven for 20 minutes
    • Add the Creme Egg halves before baking for an additional 20 minutes - you want the top to be crispy and the centre to be a little gooey




    Hijacked By Twins

    Sunday, 4 March 2018

    SPAM Appreciation Week : Recipe & Giveaway

    It's that time of the year again when we need to give SPAM the appreciation that it deserves. SPAM appreciation week is here again and it's an opportunity for SPAM fans across the UK to show their love for the iconic chopped pork and ham.

    You may not know that SPAM is made from a minimum of 90% quality shoulder pork and leg ham (hand cut off the bone), mixed with a little water, sugar, salt & spices before being cooked in the can.

    Once out of the can SPAM is extremely versatile and can be used in all manner of recipes. Last year I shared SPAM's recipe for a delicious SPAM Tear & Share, and previously I've shared recipes for Spicy SPAM Paella (which was extremely good!) and SPAM & Bean Pie (a great midweek family meal). 

    This recipe for SPAM Bubble & Squeak is a a great way to use up any Sunday lunch leftovers that you may have, so make sure you pop a can or two of SPAM in your cupboard ready for those moments when you need a quick & easy meal. 




    SPAM Bubble & Squeak
    1 x 340g can of SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham – diced
    500g potato, cooked and mashed
    100g cabbage or sprouts cooked and finely chopped) Or 300g of other cooked vegetables
    200g cooked parsnips and carrot cooked and finely chopped
    100g leeks, finely sliced
    1 clove of garlic, crushed
    20g Butter
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Fresh parsley, finely chopped 

    • Fry the diced SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham in a large dry pan until golden. Put into a warm bowl and keep warm
    • Clean the pan and melt the butter
    • Lightly fry the sliced leeks and crushed garlic in the melted butter, stirring constantly over a low heat until softened but still retaining their colour
    • In a medium bowl mix together the cooked vegetables, season well with salt and pepper and add to the pan, stirring well to combine and heat through
    • Add half of the diced cooked SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan, stir well until hot, top with the rest of the diced cooked SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham
    • Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

    GIVEAWAY - Win a SPAM branded Under Armour jacket worth £70
    With all this cold weather we're having at the moment you're going to need something to keep yourself warm. In association with SPAM I'm giving away a limited edition Under Armour jacket worth £70. All you have to do to be in with a chance is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below. Closes midnight 18th March 2018.


    For more SPAM recipes visit www.spam-uk.com , along with these blogs :

    SPAM & Pineapple Hawaiian Pizza on Foodie Quine

    SPAM Potato Skins on Charlotte's Lively Kitchen

    SPAM Potato Rosti on Fab Food 4 All


    this post has been commissioned by SPAM UK

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