The Crazy Kitchen: November 2017

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Friday 24 November 2017

Cranberry Sausage Roll Garland

Sick of Black Friday deals yet? I actually thought it was last week because there were so many offers around, but then today morning my inbox has been rammed full of 'deals' to remind me that it is indeed today. Then, just as we think it's all over, then come the 'don't worry we've extended our Black Friday offers' and then Cyber Monday follows swiftly after. It's never ending. Who wishes we could go back to the time of January sales, when sales were in January and only in January.

If you're looking for a Black Friday deal here then I'm sorry to disappoint, but if you've come here looking for quick & easy home cooked food then you've come to the right place! 


Cranberry Sausage Roll Garland

Ready made puff pastry with ready made sausages and cranberry sauce, all bundled together to make this sausage roll wreath which will be devoured in minutes at the family Boxing Day buffet or festive get together with friends.

Cranberry Sausage Roll Garland

I have a little confession to make about sausages. I buy a bag of 20 frozen sausages every week for 99p, and the family love them! My husband has never commented on a sausage as much as he's commented on these so now they get them every week in one of their favourite meals - bangers and mash, and I use frozen ready made mashed potato too!  Winning!

Yeah the sausages might not have a very high pork content, but they are a lot lower in fat than many other sausages, and they work perfectly in sausage rolls, so as long as everyone is happy and they enjoy eating them I'll continue to buy them. I'll still buy the lovely flavoured sausages for the bbq in the Summer, but when they all want 4 or 5 sausages (and more) for a meal, it's a lot more cost effective to buy these.

Cranberry Sausage Roll Garland

Cranberry Sausage Roll Garland

Cranberry Sausage Roll Garland

4 good reasons why you should deep clean a commercial kitchen

Cleanliness is next to godliness, the saying goes, and nowhere is this more important than in commercial catering. Whether you are running an office canteen, a café, pub, restaurant or hotel, maintaining a clean and hygienic environment at all times is the foundation upon which the business operates.

It goes without saying that every aspect of the kitchen facility should be properly cleaned on a daily basis to ensure safe food preparation and handling. While daily and weekly cleaning schedules are an important part of your regular maintenance regime, this should be supplemented by periodic deep cleans carried out by commercial cleaning specialists to tackle dirt, grime and germs that can easily accumulate in commercial kitchens.

Here are 4 excellent reasons why.

1.     Unbeatable Levels of Cleanliness
No doubt your kitchen staff will have been trained to deliver the highest standards of everyday cleanliness as part of the general maintenance regime in the kitchen. What they won’t have, however, is access to specialist cleaning equipment nor training in specialist cleaning techniques that only professional cleaning operatives will be able to carry out.
A regular professional kitchen deep clean is performed by a team of highly skilled operatives for whom no cleaning challenge is too tough. This includes extractor fans, canopies and filters; ovens, grills and deep fat fryers; tiles and floors. It’s an operation that involves intense steam cleaning and meticulous attention to all those hard-to-reach places in order to eliminate dirt and germs and achieve unrivalled hygiene for your commercial kitchen.

2.     Health & Safety Compliance
The production, processing and distribution of food and drink is subject to a wealth of legislation that every food business must comply with. The Food Standards Agency addresses food safety issues at every stage of the food industry chain and it has a statutory role to play in protecting both public health and consumer interests.
When it comes to cleaning, specifically, it is a legal requirement that commercial kitchens must be professionally deep cleaned every 6 months. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, all outlets must have a cleaning protocol in place to prove that the required levels of cleanliness have been met.

3.     Caring for your Staff and Customers
In addition to fulfilling the legal requirements, investing in regular commercial deep cleans also means that you are doing everything possible to protect your customers and staff from any potential health issues that can arise from lack of hygiene or cross contamination.

It shouldn’t be underestimated that commercial kitchens are exposed to a wide variety of possible contaminants, with many staff members having access to the kitchen and able to potentially contaminate food. Uncooked foods in particular pose a health risk if kitchen surfaces are not sufficiently clean. Whether it’s washing dishes, food storage or disinfecting kitchen surfaces, a thoroughly clean environment is key to protecting people from harmful bacterial that can quickly thrive.

4.     Business Reputation
In the hospitality industry, your business reputation depends crucially on providing a first class customer experience. Happy customers are more likely to come back, and they’ll tell all their friends too. You need to be seen to show your customers that you care deeply about their wellbeing when they’re visiting your premises. Deep cleaning your kitchen (and the rest of the establishment) is an essential part of maintaining a welcoming environment for your clientele.

Of course, every customer wants to be reassured that they are eating and drinking in the safest and cleanest possible space, which is why cleanliness really is next to godliness in the hotel, pub and restaurant business.

image credit : Unsplash

featured post

Monday 20 November 2017

Triple Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

It's been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently, and I seem to have lost my baking mojo a bit. I just hope it returns very soon as I have mincemeat slices, chilli cheese scones and cookies that I want to make in the run up to Christmas. 

Last week my mojo returned for just one day and I made the most of it but rustling up a quick dessert when Jack had a friend round for tea. I know ice cream is generally reserved for the Summer months, but my kids like ice cream all year round so we usually have a tub of vanilla in the freezer for weekends. Last week I treated them to a tub of triple chocolate, which worked perfectly sandwiched in between homemade chocolate waffles, and then dipped in yet more chocolate.

Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

I saw the idea for Ice Cream Tacos on Facebook recently, and shared the video recipe on my page, whilst thinking 'y'know, I reckon I could give those a go, they look super simple' . Well, like most of those food videos by Tasty & the like, it's not always as easy as it first looks. Firstly, my waffle maker isn't a waffle cone maker (adds waffle cone maker to Christmas wish list), and secondly, unless you have some super duper industrial super fast freezing freezer, you may end up with a drippy mess, much like myself, as the heat of the waffle not only burns your fingers as you try & fold it, but it also melts the ice cream and keeps melting it even when it's in the freezer. So, after the first waffle failed, I decided I would slice the hot waffle in half and once cool I would then add the frozen ice cream slice. If you want to try it the other way then be warned!

Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

Also, make sure you remove them from the freezer approx 10-15 minutes before you want to eat them, unless you want to have dentures for the rest of your life. Again, you have been warned!
Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

Chocolate Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich

Hijacked By Twins

Monday 6 November 2017

Raspberry Chambord and Gin Sour

Well, that's it, Halloween is done & dusted and we're now on the countdown for Christmas. Every year seems to be passing more quickly than the previous, even my 8 year old is saying it (how is he even 8, he was only born 5 minutes ago!) My eldest is 17 next week and starting driving lessons, which is just crazy. How can babies born in 2000 be almost adults! I don't want to think about how old that makes me, so we'll just get back to the subject of Christmas. Unless you're a food blogger it really is too early to start talking about Christmas, but as I was sampling Christmas food back in July it's not too soon for me to be sharing a festive cocktail. Obviously you don't have to wait until Christmas to drink it - hell, I was tasting it at 10am on Tuesday morning!

Raspberry Chambord and Gin sour

I discovered Chambord just a few years ago, via the power of social media, and a Chambord Royale has been my festive drink of choice ever since - drop of Chambord, topped up with Champagne, or Prosecco or even Cava if you're a cheapskate like me, and topped off with a frozen raspberry if you dare. Have you ever tried sucking a raspberry up through a straw? Loads of fun but be warned that it is also a very easy way to get very drunk, as you tend to drink your drink very quickly whilst attempting to suck the raspberry. It doesn't work the same with a strawberry, but don't let me stop you trying! Anyway, I digress again. Back to cocktails. I had my very first 'sour' in Portugal on holiday a few years ago. It was an almond sour, made from the local almond liquor (my that stuff is good), lemon juice, sugar, and lots of ice. A couple of years later I went to a cocktail making class in a local bar/restaurant, and learned how to make an Amaretto sour, which I was disgusted to know contained raw egg white. Wow, that cocktail was amazing though, with a lovely foamy top, almost like a meringue. I make myself one once in a while but drank the last drop of Amaretto on New Year's Eve and it hasn't yet been replaced (husband, if you're reading this please add Amaretto (or Aldi cheaper equivalent) to my Christmas list!)

Raspberry Chambord and Gin sour

I'm not sure if a Chambord or Gin sour is even a thing, but I do love to try new things out, and love it even more when a plan works, and this one really, really worked. I don't like to blow my own trumpet, but it was amazing. In fact it was just as amazing as that Amaretto sour that the mixologist made at that cocktail night a couple of years ago. 

Raspberry Chambord and Gin sour

How gorgeous are these glasses too? I was gifted them from Root 7 and as soon as I clapped eyes on them I just knew that they were made for cocktails - either that or a succulent! They are inspired by the Terrarium and you can get them in either black or gold.  I chose the gold and I'm glad I did as they match my Chambord bottle perfectly. Such a lovely glass that would make a fab gift this Christmas.

Raspberry Chambord and Gin sour

Raspberry Chambord and Gin sour

Raspberry Chambord and Gin sour

Earn £££'s for Christmas with Swagbucks and SWAGO

I recently wrote about how I'd earned £300 giftcards by collecting SB on the Swagbucks site and then converting them at Park for Sainsbury's gift vouchers to use at Christmas. During the past year I've also claimed £250 of Amazon vouchers in the same way, and starting at 4.30pm today Swagbucks have a sale on their Amazon and M&S vouchers, meaning that you don't need to redeem as many SB to get the gift cards. By answering a few surveys, watching a few videos and completing a few tasks it's pretty easy to build up enough SB for a gift card every few days, and with their 'Swago' that's currently running you can collect enough SB in no time.

Earn gift cards by completing surveys 

The digital rewards site Swagbucks is celebrating November with another big "Swago" promotion starting Monday 6th November. Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores! 
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete. 
  • You have until Monday 13th November to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely. 
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 

  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until Monday 13th November to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 300 SB bonus, which goes a long way towards your first gift card from the retailer of your choice. 

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

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