The Crazy Kitchen: 2018

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Thursday 22 November 2018

Getting Christmas Wrapped Up with

December is fast approaching, and despite working two more jobs than I was this time last year, I feel that I've got this Christmas lark well and truly under control. I'm so organised that I actually hate myself right now. I've bought and wrapped presents, hand made a pom pom wreath , baked a Christmas cake, prepped ingredients (including a 2018 silver sixpence) for making a Christmas pudding on Stir it Up Sunday this weekend, and even planned my menus for the festive period. 

If you see me out and about with a smug grin on my face then kick me and tell me to get a grip and remind me that it's still only November!


Fortunately, for those of you that don't have Christmas wrapped up yet, there's still plenty of time for shopping before the big day. If you don't have the time or inclination to fight the crowds on the high street, or sift your way through the stream of 'hot deals' online, fear not, there is a simpler 'one stop' way to shop for your family and friends this Christmas, and you will barely have to lift a finger.

Whether your recipient is into wine, beer, gin, chocolate or even cheese, there are ready made Christmas hampers to suit all tastes and budgets at

I've received three such hampers, with the first being the Luxury Gin Hamper containing a half bottle of Hendrick's gin, a couple of Fever Tree tonics, chocolate limes, shortbread and olives. It arrived in a strong double walled cardboard box lined with wood shavings. The website shows the contents of each box clearly on the page, in both the description and images scrolling underneath, and all hampers come with free UK delivery, and in many cases the delivery is next day.


The second hamper I received was the Christmas Cracker hamper, which again arrived in a presentation box and was filled with treats to enjoy over Christmas, including a jar of luxury cranberry sauce and a Christmas pudding to serve 3-4.


The final hamper would suit chocoholics out there, and is presented in a wicker basket, although disappointingly it wasn't the white one that was pictured on the website. There's a great selection of indulgent chocolate treats in the basket though, including a hot chocolate stick, truffles, popcorn and honeycomb.


Whilst it's definitely cheaper to put hampers together yourself, not everyone enjoys shopping for the individual items to fill a basket as much as me, nor may they have the time. Ready made hampers from come with the utmost convenience and are available to deliver all over the UK, and a limited number of hampers can also be sent to many countries worldwide. If you don't quite see what you're looking for within the huge range of ready made hampers then it's also possible to create your own, and include anything you like from fresh apples and oranges to Wensleydale cheese and Champagne.

If you're looking to send a surprise to friends and family that you can't be with this Christmas, whether you're living overseas or they are, then sending a hamper is the perfect gift. Who doesn't love receiving a hamper filled with your favourite goodies!

What are you waiting for? Go and get your Christmas wrapped up too!

In collaboration with

Monday 22 October 2018

Bloodied Eyeball Dessert Shots

I can't believe how fast this year is flying by. We're more than halfway through October already, which means that Halloween is fast approaching, followed swiftly by that dreaded C word!

For Halloween this year my teens have requested a party, which came as a bit of a shock as they planned it together, by actually speaking to one another. Wonders never cease.

Bloodied Eyeball Dessert Shots

I've got quite a few Halloween party food recipes on this blog, but before I could start planning the menu for the party of the year I was informed that hot dog sausages resembling creepy fingers wouldn't be featuring on this buffet table, and neither would spooky banana ghost pops. All that would be required are a few bowls of crisps and a couple of cans of cider. How very disappointing!

If you're having your own Halloween party this year I'm sure your guests will appreciate these ghoulish mini desserts, complete with their own bloodied eyeball. Made with SKIPPY® Peanut Butter they have a touch of sweet & saltiness to the creamy filling, which pairs so well with the sharp raspberries. They are like mini cheesecake heaven. 

They are really easy to make, and can be whipped up in just a few minutes and stored in the fridge until you eat them. I found these plastic skull shot glasses in Asda and they're a perfect size for kids. Note that if you're making these for young children you might want to use a lychee or foil wrapped chocolate eyeball instead of the bouncy eyeballs I used, for safety reasons.

Bloodied Eyeball Dessert Shots

SKIPPY® Peanut Butter has been enjoyed by millions of Americans for more than 80 years, and as the Super Chunk and Smooth varieties can be now found in most major UK supermarkets the UK can go nuts about SKIPPY® Peanut Butter too. SKIPPY® Peanut Butter is made only with high quality peanuts from the USA, and is a really good source of protein, providing 22.1g per 100g.

The wide necked jar is a great feature that allows you to get out every last bit of nuttiness too, because nobody wants to waste peanut butter. Some of my favourite ways to enjoy SKIPPY® Peanut Butter are with sliced apple or banana for breakfast, spread with jam in a sandwich for lunch, or added to a curry or stir fry, which is a great way to add additional protein and flavour, as well as acting as a thickener. 

How do you enjoy yours?

Bloodied Eyeball Dessert Shots - SKIPPY Peanut Butter
The star of the show - SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Super Chunk

Bloodied Eyeball Dessert Shots

This recipe was commissioned by SKIPPY® Peanut Butter. You can find more recipes on their UK website here :

Bloodied Eyeball Dessert Shots

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

It would appear that summer is well and truly over now. I was hoping for an Indian summer, but as we head into October and threats of the coldest winter in decades, it's not looking likely. We managed to stretch the summer out as long as we could, and the arrival of our new garden shed meant we had somewhere to shelter in the garden when the rain came.

I've wanted a garden shed for a couple of years, but it's one of those things that we've never got around to organising (or agreeing on), so when we were offered a shed from Garden Site there was no hesitation. I also knew that I didn't want just any shed, it had to be a certain design, as well as being the right size for the space we had. My shed wasn't going to be a place to fill with tools or bikes, nor somewhere to potter with plants, or even a relaxing place to ponder. Nope, my new shed was going to be a party bar, aka The Crazy Corner; a bar and shelter in the corner of our garden.

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

We started with a 4ft x 6ft Forest overlap lean to shed , which was pretty straightforward to build by myself and the husband one Saturday, despite our ratchet screwdriver being the closest thing to a power tool that we had! It needed both of us to fit the sides to the base, but once they were in place I completed the next few stages by myself whilst he went to football, returning to fit the roof panels and roofing felt together.

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

We decided to leave the window pane out and instead I replaced it with a pull down plywood shutter that doubles up as a table supported by removable supports, based on this idea. Inside I've only added a plywood shelf and, for now, a camping table. There's not a lot of room for much else inside, but it's big enough for serving drinks and snacks. Outside I've added a couple of bar stools, along with a 4 seater table and chairs and my Bundleberry string chair.
Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

If you're over 6ft you'll find it necessary to stoop a little to stand under the canopy, but once seated most people can sit comfortably!

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

Create a Party Bar from a Lean To Shed

  • 6 x 4 Forest overlap lean to shed - Garden Site
  • Bar stools - B&Q
  • Outdoor lights - Tomshine (Amazon)
  • Bespoke wooden sign - Vintage & Retro Signs (Facebook)
  • Outdoor rug - Bundleberry collection at QVC
  • Cactus side table - Bundleberry collection at QVC
  • String chair - Bundleberry collection at QVC

In collaboration with Garden Site and QVC

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