Christmas Crackers, anyone?

The inevitable happened

As a lover of puns and wordplay, this is something I couldn’t resist posting. I’ve been waiting for months to be able to do this!

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A simple cracker, topped with roast pork, sage and onion stuffing, roast potato and apple sauce. Didn’t have any cranberry sauce, otherwise that would’ve made an appearance too.

Merry Christmas!

Related:
https://randomkitchenexperiments.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/mini-christmas-dinner-pies/

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Cheesy Beans Pizza

Beans on toast with a twist

Another simple pizza-based idea, this time a new twist on a British snack favourite, baked beans on toast.

I used:
One fresh plain pizza base
One can of baked beans
Cheddar cheese, grated
One slice of ham (I would also suggest bacon or chicken)

Open the baked beans into a saucepan and heat until it starts to bubble (though temperature-wise this can come down to personal preference).

Pour over the pizza base, scatter on some pieces of ham, then cover liberally with grated cheese.

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Place under a grill on a high heat for just a couple of minutes, turning the pizza around halfway through, until the cheese has melted.

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Slice, and enjoy!

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No-bake Birthday Pizza

I apologise for nothing.

If you haven’t got time to do a proper cake, or just fancy a slice of nonsense, try this simple idea instead – a no-bake Birthday pizza.

I used:
One fresh plain pizza base
One tube of blue icing
Smarties
Silver decorative pearls/dragees
Caramel crunch pieces
Chocolate-orange cake decorations

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No cooking or much prepping required – kneaded the icing tube before appying as instructed, spread on the base then added the ingredients, which can be varied according to taste.

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Doesn’t need to be overly neat.

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Done, and ready to eat. Perfect if you like injecting a silly sense of humour into everything, allowing for more time for drink, erm, celebrating. Ahem.

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Butterbeer

Ten p(o)ints to Gryffindor

This is the first of my movie/fiction-inspired posts I plan to make in coming months – my attempt to recreate a version of ‘Butterbeer’, as featured in the Harry Potter series of books and films. Given that it was never made clear exactly what went into brewing Butterbeer, it allowed for some room to improvise.

I used:
One packet of Butterscotch Angel Delight
Two 330ml bottles of Vanilla Milkshake
Vanilla Vodka
Irish Cream
Whipped Cream

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I opted to use a vanilla-flavoured milk in place of regular milk, to boost the flavour.

Added the powder to a large mixing bowl, poured in one bottle of flavoured milk and mixed using an electric whisk.

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Paused the whisking, added a dash of Irish Cream then continued to mix.

Paused again and added a couple of dashes of vanilla vodka, then resumed.

Whilst mixing, I gradually poured in the second bottle of flavoured milk.

When ready, I carefully poured into a jug (to make pouring into glasses much easier), then poured into each glass.

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Topped each with some whipped cream, then leveled out with a spoon, adding more where needed.

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It might not have been an exact replica, but it was close enough and tasted good!

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Savoury Popcorn

JD Honey Barbecue & Bacon Crumbles/Sweet & Sour/Jalapeno Sauce & Mango Chutney/Peanut Butter/Cranberry Jelly-enhanced snacks!

I haven’t posted anything savoury on here for a while, and this is something I’ve been wanting to do again (after trying out Rocky Road Popcorn last year), so here it is – how to put a unique twist on an old party/snack favourite. I knew it could end badly in various ways, as I was making the method up as I went along (though the ingredients were mostly pre-planned) – thankfully, it all seemed to work out!

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I used:
2 ounces of popping corn
2 ounces of butter

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Jack Daniel’s Honey Barbecue sauce
Bacon Crumbles

Jalapeno sauce
Mango chutney

1 sachet of Sweet & Sour sauce

Cranberry sauce

I started by making up a batch of popcorn in the standard method, melting the butter in a large saucepan, then adding the popping corn and covering, keeping in constant movement over a heated hob until the popping stopped. Once this was ready, I divided it up and added the different ingredients to each….

Peanut Butter Popcorn
Melt one tablespoon of peanut butter in a saucepan, add the popcorn then stir until covered.

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Jack Daniel’s Honey Barbecue Sauce & Bacon Crumbles
Mix the bacon crumbles into the popcorn, add the sauce then stir until coated, adding more sauce if necessary.

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Sweet & Sour Popcorn
Simply empty over the popcorn, and stir until covered.

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Jalapeno Sauce & Mango Chutney
Approach with caution! This was the one I was mostly worried about getting wrong, as I wanted to get the right balance between spicy and tasty, something with a kick but not overpowering. Add the Jalapeno sauce, then the chutney, and mix in until covered. It’s worth doing a taste test as you go along to make sure, especially if you intend on sharing around. I managed to balance it so that you got the sweetness first, with a little creeping heat after!

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Cranberry Sauce
This is actually sweet not savoury, but occurred spontaneously as I had some popcorn leftover and thought I’d try something else with whatever I could find in the fridge/cupboard. All the other ingredients had been bought on the day. I mixed the sauce with a little hot water first to make it easier to mix, then stirred into the popcorn.

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Out of the five, I think the barbecue-flavoured one is my favourite, with the spicy one coming a close second.

Have fun if you try this too.

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The ‘Adrenadine’ shot

A little winter warmer

Just a quick one here – whilst discussing shots with a couple of friends, I felt compelled to see if I could randomly throw something together with what I had to hand, that could actually work. Here’s the result!

In this order:
A dash of Espresso Smirnoff Vodka
A dash of Grenadine
A dash of Irish Cream, poured over the back of a spoon

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Much like the Espresso vodka on its own, it left a warm feeling on the way down – perfect for the winter months.  I then decided to name it ‘Adrenadine’ (‘Raspberry Kicker’ was close second).

Here’s the jpeg that prompted the initial conversation – I’m unsure of its original source. I may well try some of these at some point.

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Christmas Jelly Shots

Don’t throw away those calendars yet!

Here’s an interesting way of re-using your empty Advent calendars – Christmas-themed jelly shots! This one came about as a result of a suggestion for another Christmas-themed experiment – it’s quick and easy, though the end result is a bit fiddly.

Simply take the tray out of the box, and wash off any excess chocolate and remaining glue – the majority of it should actually be peel-able before washing.

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Make up the jelly mix as instructed on the packet (though I opted to use less water than instructed, as less is required here), mix in your choice of juice and alcohol, then carefully pour into each section. Once they’ve cooled, place in the fridge and chill overnight.

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This was the first batch, made with Tango (fizzy Orange) and Jim Beam Red Stag Whiskey.

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For the second batch here, I tried again using even less water, just to see if I could get a thicker jelly – this still needs some work! They did have a bit more of a kick though. I also swapped out the fizzy Orange drink for Vimto.

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You can spoon them out and eat them individually, or perhaps add them to a dessert.

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