Christmas Cranberry Flapjacks

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The Christmas spirit has officially kicked in for me and I can’t wait to get more festive over the next few weeks. To start off my Christmas bakes I whipped up these delicious and easy Christmas Sparkle Cranberry Flapjacks.

600g oats / Gluten Free oats work too  (don’t use instant porridge oats)
200g condensed milk
250g golden caster sugar
3tbsp heaped golden syrup
300g butter
100g dried cranberries
edible gold stardust from Waitrose
gold pearl decorations from Sainsburys

-Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line 9 x 12 inch tin with greaseproof paper. It’s so much easier for getting them out.
-Add the butter, golden syrup, sugar and condensed milk to a saucepan and on a low heat melt together and keep stirring until all combined.
-Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and cranberries.
-Spoon into the tin and level off.
-Sprinkle with the golden pearl decorations and lightly press them in using the back of spoon.
-Cook for about 20 minutes until light golden brown.
-Cut them while they are still got and leave to cool.

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A sprinkle of edible gold dust certainly adds a lovely touch of Christmas sparkle!

Pomegranate, Elderflower and Satsuma Christmas Cocktail

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The countdown to Christmas has really began at my house and I’ve been experimenting with the delicious Surrey made gin by Silent Pool.

The Silent Pool Gin is strong and full-bodied and fresh but has a floral taste. It uses 24 unique floral flavours including lavender and chamomile which is well balanced with a subtle lemon/citrus and honey taste. I really love this gin after try it and I can’t wait to use it more in the future. It makes the drinks smooth and although strong it blends with other flavours incredibly well.

I use a shot glass to make this drink as I don’t have a proper cocktail making jigger. It’s about 50ml per drink but make it to taste.

Makes one drink
-1 shot of silent pool gin
-1 tablespoon of satsuma juice
-1 slice of satsuma to decorate
-Bottlegreen sparkling pomegranate and elderflower pressé

-Add the shot of gin to a cooled cocktail glass.
-Stir in the satsuma juice.
-Top up with the sparking pomegranate and elderflower.
-Decorate with the slice of satsuma and enjoy.

A simple but delicious (and very attractive) Christmas cocktail. If you have some fresh pomegranate add a sprinkle to the cocktail to make it more festive.

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 Inspired to make festive cocktails? You need to check out these amazing drinks

Cinnamon White Russian by The Foodie Couple Blog

Spiced Apple Juice with Rum by Rough Measures

Guava Ginger Zinger Cocktail by Recipes from a Pantry

Pineapple and Ginger Sparkler by  Tinned Tomatoes

Festive Cocktails by Supergolden Bakes

Boozy Cocktail Recipes for a Cocktacular Christmas by Mostly About Chocolate

A Glorious Adventure with Soup

On a dark, rainy and cold day in South West London I ventured to Italy from my desk at work with the Glorious Tuscan chicken and orzo soup. It was so warm and felt healthy too. I loved that the soup transported me away and for a split second I was on holiday in the Tuscan sun. The mix of rich tomatoes, fresh vegetables and large chunks of chicken with the orzo is a treat. It’s a lovely mix and reminded me a lot of holidays and the joy of  a summer harvest of homegrown vegetables.

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I really like the idea of a meal soup. The mix of vegetables, chicken and orzo makes it more than a soup and really creates a rewarding and filling meal. It’s almost on like a stew than a soup its so thick.

The range of soup Glorious has is huge! The worldwide and adventurous rage available helps transport you to distant lands for the space of one meal. The size of the soups is huge too so it lasts me two work lunches.

Glorious soup butternut Glorious soup tuscan
Next up on my flavour adventure is the New England Butternut Squash

Next to try for lunch are the Singapore Crushed Tomato Soup, Mumbai Lentil and Chickpea Soups. It is a great way to taste the exotic flavours of far off lands and a get a great example of what you can expect from different locations.

It was so fresh and tasted brilliant. The vegetables were obviously vegetables and chicken pieces were big. It is clear they definitely love their vegetables and want to I love a chunky vegetable soup!

This food adventure really was glorious! I can’t wait to tastily travel to an exotic land again soon.

Do you want to escape the British weather and win a trip to Mumbai for two people? Enter the Foodies100 bloggers challenge. All you ave to do is share a travel memory. Find out more here

Let’s all go on #GloriousAdventures

Warm Up Winter With a Hot Toddy

Although later than planned it’s finally starting to get cold and Christmas is on the horizon. Horray! Bring on the hot meaty dinners, mince pies and of course hot drinks. I’ve been asked to try the Hot Toddy from to celebrate the dark evenings and brisk cold which is now in the air.

The Cardhu Hot Toddy is made with Diageo’s Cardhu Whiskey which has beautiful hints of apple which compliments the lemon and honey very well while hot. This drink definitely signals the countdown to Christmas has officially started.

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It was lovely, hot, sweet and was mentally warming as well as physically. After making the drinks I wrapped up in my coat, scarf and pompom hat and took it outside to keep me warm. I felt so happy, warm through and cuddled up while drinking it and watching the fireworks. The cloves definitely have a noticeable taste  in the finished drink but they work very well the honey and whiskey. If you aren’t too fond of cloves it still tastes very good without them.

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A delicious way to warm yourself through, especially after a lovely country walk.

I’m starting to feel very Christmassy now! For more Christmas drinks click here

Disclaimer; this is a sponsored post but all opinions and photography are my own.

Christmas at Costa

I love Costa and was so excited to be given a sneak peek of their Christmas range a few weeks ago which is now available to buy in store. As it’s clear by my Christmas posts over the years I love Christmas bakes. Here are my favourites from the new range.

The snowman and reindeer biscuit pops. A love vanilla biscuit covered in white chocolate with a little icing on. Brilliantly not too sugary and the biscuit is very nice to dunk in your tea and coffee. The white chocolate tastes smooth and it isn’t a huge amount of it so you get a nice sweet chocolate to biscuit ratio. My favourite was the snowman!

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Christmas isn’t Christmas without Stollen and the little packets now available is a lovely treat and just enough to enjoy with a cup of coffee. A small bite of Christmas which definitely get you in the spirit. I would recommend these when out Christmas shopping! The fruit and almonds together work a treat and the Stollen has that nice and squidgy sponge consistency that good cakes do.

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Pecan pies are delicious and miniature ones are so super cute. A great mouthful of Christmas treat.

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When you first look at this little mini sticky toffee cake you think it wouldn’t be enough to share but it really is! It is super sweet but not sickly but it’s very very filling. This little cake fed 2 of us with coffee and we both completely satisfied. I love the little pieces of toffee on top!

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Made in Italy Wimbledon Review

After work last week on a dark and cold night I visited the Italian food paradise of Made in Italy on The Broadway in Wimbledon. When Sophie and I walked in the light was a warm candlelit yellow, it was warm and the smell of fresh herbs and the Mediterranean greeted us.

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We sat down next to the bar and marveled at the beautiful decoration, talked about the amazing atmosphere and how casual yet friendly the restaurant was.

We were recommended a red wine and we were both very impressed about how sweet, strong and smooth it was. A lovely glass and there was definitely more than one while we ate! Plus at less than £5 a glass we felt we had a great deal too. It completed the food too. They really knew what to suggest based on what we ordered.

Check out their website to feel very hungry

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Sophie had the Bruschetta with crab and avocado cream and it was beautiful. It looked so tasty and authentically Italian. The ingredients were fresh and smelled wonderful. I ordered a garlic bread as I think a garlic bread can really tell a lot about an Italian restaurant. It was stone baked, had those lovely charcoal flecks on the base which add to the rich and genuine bread smell. It had a beautifully crispy base but soft middle and it was delightfully tearable in your hands. The garlic and butter taste came with a mix of herbs which added a lovely depth of flavour. The garlic was there but not so strong you’re going to scare your friends, a really perfect amount. 

I really wish I’d taken more photos of what we had but we were so hungry and enjoyed it so much it was nice to have a meal away from technology.

We decided to share a pizza and we went for the classic Margherita. It was thin and crispy but also had lots of bumps and quirky bits which I love about this type of handmade pizza. It’s rough and ready but so authentic and perfect. The tomato was rich and had that off the vine flavour which you reminds me of the Mediterranean so much. The mozzarella was smooth and had a deep and earthy taste. Here is their pizza menu.

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The proof of an amazing Italian restaurant is how they make their Margherita and based on how good that was I can’t wait to try more of their pizzas soon.

When we left we felt completely surprised to be in Wimbledon again. A quick trip to Italy to enjoy the amazing food never hurt anyone. We will definitely be visiting again.

Sew White’s Kitchen Table October 2015

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The nights are getting darker and the days a bit colder but before the Christmas cheer sets in here is my October round up of all the new things I’ve been eating and drinking this month.

Sew White October kitchen table round up 1 Hartley's jelly making kit

A very fun start to this month was making my own jelly using the new Hartley’s jelly powder. I made elderflower cordial jelly and it was delicious. I am completely converted to adding this powder to drinks. I’m glad they sent me a few packets. I will be trying mulled wine jelly next in time for Christmas. It was so easy to use and instructions were clear. What flavour jelly would you make?
The jelly packs are 70p in Sainsburys.

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Cheese toasties by post. Yes you heard that right! Cheese Posties send you everything you would need to make a delicious cheese postie straight to your door. I love it! Plus at only £2.99 it’s a great deal. I was sent this pack to try out and it was sweet cheese postie option. It was so simple to use. Sandwich together the Nutella and Philadelphia cheese and butter the outer edges. Pop into the toast bag and in a few minutes you will a glorious toastie sandwich. Hot Nutella and Philadelphia together worked a treat and it was a good size sandwich too. A definitely recommendation for me. I think this would be brilliant at work when you want something hot and without too much washing up. Plus there is also a gluten free, vege and nut free option!

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The sweet cheese postie toastie!

Sew White October kitchen table round up 4 christmas ribena

Ribena have bought out a winter spice edition of their famous drink and I am obsessed. It tastes like mulled wine (not alcoholic) and the hints of the spice really work with the classic Ribena taste. I love a hot Ribena and this is a drink I am going to need more of! It is so reassuring and really does bring out thoughts of Christmas and being cuddled up in a blanket from the cold. A lovely drink to make you feel calm and festive but also great to warm your hands up while having a cup full too. A perfect winter drink. £2.50 at most supermarkets.

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The October special at Suburban Bar and Lounge this month is the Fruit Cake cocktail and it is possibly one of my favourites I’ve ever had from them. Lots of fresh summer fruits and mint with a hint of sweet and sour, lots of lemon and lime juice, blueberry gin and topped with lemonade. It is so fresh and one to order if you are near by.

Sew White October kitchen table round up 6 pizza stone

A lovely gift this week took the form of a pizza stone. I have never tried one before but I can’t wait as they are so popular and come very recommended from a lot of my pizza obsessed friends. The pizza was so crisp and the stone helped cook it thoroughly through. I’ve found recently cooking it on a baking tray the middle has come out a little less cooked but with this the base was beautifully crisp.

Sew White October kitchen table round up 7 Yogiyo sauces

As a fan of chilli any opportunity to try chilli sauces I will take. These new sauces form Yogiyo were so much stronger than I thought they would be! I loved it! The collection which includes the cooking sauce, dipping sauce and stir-fry sauce covers all the bases you would need in the kitchen. The Gochu Jang cooking sauce was my favourite. I used it with chicken to make spicy chicken and rice. The flavour was strong but well rounded. It wasn’t just hot chilli. There was a nice onion and garlic flavour too. I haven’t ever tried much Korean food before but I am hooked if it’s all this good. I love these sauces from Sue Youn and I am very glad she has made these sauces so we can use them at home. What is brilliant too is that its suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Sew White October kitchen table round up 8 Tickler castello cheese
Last but not least is the new Tickler cheese from Castello. It is surprising sweet for a Cheddar cheese but has worked so deliciously in a cheese toastie. It complimented the sharpness of the onion and saltiness of the ham we used. I like that it still has the tangy taste but isn’t a very strong or over powering cheddar which I think makes it’s far easy to eat a lot of. There is a stronger flavour of this cheese avaibale as Extra Mature – a little too strong for me but this does me very well. Good taste and a good price too. Available at Waitrose £4

Bleeding Apple Mummy Pastries

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It’s a perfect pudding or snack for Halloween and is very easy to make too. These little mummified monsters were a lot of fun to make with children and each one turns out to be so individual. I used edible eyes I ought on ebay. They were simply printed onto rice paper which I cut out and stuck on. Using a mix of apples and frozen fruit gave them a nice taste but also a bleeding bloody quality perfect for Halloween.

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To make this even quicker I used ready made puff pastry, laid the soften apples on and then popped the frozen fruit on before wrapping them up. Very easy and everyone loved the finished bake.

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 So simple but it produces a gloriously grisly result.

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-1 pack of ready rolled pulled pastry (roughly 320g)
-2 red skin apples
-1 tablespoon of lemon juice
-250g frozen fruit
-1 egg
-splash of milk

-Unroll the pastry and cut into quarters.
-On each of the pastry pieces cut diagonal cuts into the outer thirds.
-Cut the apples in half, scoop out the core and chop into thin/medium slices.
-Pop them into a microwavable proof bowl and just cover with water and add the lemon juice.
-Warm in the microwave to soften the apple slightly for about 90-120 seconds.
-Drain and allow to cool.
-Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
-Overlap the slices in the middle third of the pastry.
-Add a few frozen berries.
-In a cup of jug mix together the egg and splash of milk.
-Fold the outer pieces over each other, like a plait, over the fruit.
-Using a pastry brush, brush the parcels (this will help them go golden brown).
-Move them on to a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake until golden brown.
-Allow to cool before adding the eyes and serve straight away.
-They taste amazing with ice cream but would work very well cold.

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Spicy Bean Beef Stew

Branston Beans are celebrating their 10th birthday and I’ve been involved in creating a delicious dinner to showcase how they can be used in other meals than the delicious and famous beans on toast. I give you my delicious (if I do say so myself) Spicy Bean Beef Stew.

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Branston beans are a brilliant item to have in the cupboard as they can be added to so much more than most people think. You can add them to chilli con carne, shepherds pie and even my favourite beef stew. They can add a lovely addition to any dinner and as they are already cooked through you don’t have to wait for ages for them cook in a dinner.

The Branston beans have recently been voted by the Good Housekeeping Institute as the best beans! After trying them in the stew I can see why.

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My beef stew is very easy and you don’t need to get too much from the supermarket. This meal cost £15 including wine and fed 4.

-1 tin of Branston Beans
-500g diced beef
-2 red onions
-2 carrots
-2 parsnips
-fresh chilli to taste
-2 beef stock cubes
-300ml hot water
-2 tins of tomatoes
-salt and pepper
-half a teaspoon of dried thyme– a good glug of worcester sauce
-a good glug of red wine (optional)

-Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
-Chop up the red onion and in a casserole dish on a medium heat soften with a little oil.
-When the onion is soft add the beef.
-Peel and chop the carrots, chilli and parsnips.
-When the beef is cooked on most sides add the carrots and parsnips.
-As they start to soften add the stock cubes and the water. When it starts bubbling at the tomatoes, salt, pepper Worcestershire sauce and thyme.
-Pop the lid on the casserole dish and pop in the oven for 1hour 30minutes. (The dinner will be ready in 2 hours from when it goes into the oven).
-If you want dumplings make them according to the Atora beef suet pack. If you want potatoes with it instead, time them to be ready 2 hours from when the stew goes into the oven.
-After 1 hour 30 add the Branston beans and the dumplings. If you add the beans too early they will turn to mush in the stew. Adding them at this moment helped keep them whole but hot.
-Cook for 30 minutes more.
-Serve with a good glass of red wine and enjoy on a cold autumn night.

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The Branston beans really added a delicious extra taste and texture to the finished stew and everyone who ate it commented on how nice they were. I’ve already had to give this recipe to all who tried it with two wanting me to cook it for them again next weekend.

A little thing as a bonus; I really liked how the tomato sauce helped thicken up the stew in it’s last 30 minutes in the oven.

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This is one very happy delicious bean filled dinner!


Disclaimer; this is a sponsored post.