Pancake Day & a Judge Giveaway!

Pancakes/Crepes & a Judge Giveaway!

Ok, we’re a few weeks away from one of the best days in the foodie calendar – PANCAKE DAY! This week’s post is super exciting for 2 very good reasons. 1 – There is not just one, but TWO awesome pancake filling recipes to wet your whistle. And 2 – I have teamed up with Judge Cookware to give you lucky lovelies the chance to win every tool you will need to make the perfect pancakes on the day!

Sounds good right? RIGHT! Well let’s get cracking then. Here is what you will need to make the most epic pancakes in the world! (In my opinion obviously…)

For the Pancake Batter

(Makes approx 8 x 17cm Diameter)

  • 100g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 250ml Semi Skimmed Milk
  • Butter (for cooking fat)

For the Bacon, Cheese & Chive Filling

(Enough for 4 Generously Filled Pancakes)

  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 90g Cream Cheese
  • 4-5 Slice of cooked Smokey Bacon, chopped
  • Fresh Chives, chopped

For the Strawberries & Cream Filling

(Enough for 4 Generously Filled Pancakes)

  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 227g Punnet of Strawberries
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Melted Belgian Chocolate/Icing Sugar, to serve (Optional)

 

Let’s start with the basic pancakes.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt.

Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg.

PancakesMix with a whisk and gradually add in the milk. Keep mixing until all the milk has been used and there are no lumps. It should be the consistency of single cream.

PancakesPour the batter into a jug ready for cooking. (This makes it WAY easier to pour into the pan.)

Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat.

Add in a little butter and allow to melt around the pan. Pour enough batter to cover the bottom, then swill the pan round quickly to even it out.

PancakesAfter a couple of minutes, ‘shake’ the pan to loosen the pancake and lift an edge to see if it’s nice and golden.

If it is, you can either be brave and flip it – or a total wuss like me & use a spatula!

PancakesAllow to cook for another couple of minutes until the other side is nice and golden too. Then either keep warm in some foil or eat straight away with your choice of filling.

Repeat the process until all the batter is used up.

PancakesSpeaking of fillings…

Bacon, Cheese & Chive Filling

Whip the double cream in a large bowl to almost stiff peaks then beat in the cream cheese. Add a little salt for seasoning if you like.

Top Tip! Over whipped the cream so it’s gone grainy? Just add in a little milk and fold through to bring it back.

Divide between your pancakes and top with the chopped bacon & chives.

Pancakes

 

Strawberries & Cream Filling

Whip the double cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl. Then sift in the flour and gently fold through.

Top Tip! Over whipped the cream so it’s gone grainy? Just add in a little milk and fold through to bring it back.

Hull & slice the strawberries and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice & give it a good stir.

Divide the sweetened cream between your pancakes and top with plenty of strawberries.

If you like, you could drizzle over some melted Belgian chocolate & dust with a little icing sugar for a really decadent finish.

PancakesSEE! I told you they were the most epic pancake recipes in the world! Just wait until you try them, oh my word… you won’t look back I promise.

Judge Pancake CompetitionNow, onto the equipment. I’ve gotta’ say – I’m impressed and I think you will be too!

The scales are very lightweight & really slim so take up next to no room in your precious kitchen cupboards. They’re also very accurate – exactly what you want in a set of digital scales.

The mixing bowl is also great. It’s nice and tall meaning you won’t splash your batter all over the place when using the balloon whisk. It’s lightweight too so easy on the wrists – giving you more elbow grease to work that whisk!

The glass jug does exactly what it says on the tin. With the measurements clearly visible on both sides & a comfortable handle, it’s a staple addition to any kitchen.

As for the frying pan and turner (spatula) – these two make very light work of pancake making! The non-stick coating on the pan is absolutely brilliant – not one single pancake stuck. The curved bottom shape also makes it perfect for pancakes allowing you to freely & easily move them without anything getting stuck in edges. The turner was the surprise win for me. It’s heat-resistant nylon end won’t damage the non-stick coating in the pan and it’s literally the perfect shape & size for flipping your pancakes. I will be using these two tools every Shrove Tuesday!

 

Fancy winning the whole kit just in time for the big day?

All you have to do to be in with a chance is one of the following:

 

1. Like the KitchenMason Facebook Page & Judge Cookware Facebook Page – share the photo pinned to the top of the KitchenMason timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @JudgeCookware on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed with the hashtag #WinJudgeKM

Not on social media? No problem!

3. Subscribe to my blog via e-mail or WordPress (on the right hand side of the page) and leave a comment on this post to say you’ve done so.

 

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Monday 9th Feb at 7pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter shortly after.

 

Good luck everyone! Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

French Onion Soup

French Onion SoupBeing heavily pregnant & almost ready to pop – I have been advised by many people to stock up my freezer. So this is me making a start! But this intensely delicious French Onion Soup has a unique KitchenMason twist…

Traditionally made with beef stock, I opt for chicken stock as I personally think it gives a more rounded & delicate flavour. Why don’t you be the judge and give it a go yourself?

Here is what you will need to make 6 Servings. (Approx 2 litres.)

For the Soup

  • 50g Butter
  • 750g Onions (approx 850-900g before peeling & slicing)
  • 2 x Garlic Cloves
  • 45g Plain Flour
  • 187ml Bottle of White Wine
  • 2 litres Chicken Stock (Good Quality)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper

To Serve (Optional)

  • Slices of Stale Baguette
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated

Essential Equipment

  • Large lidded pot

Firstly, prep your veg. I honestly couldn’t be bothered to stand and slice all those onions – the solution? Get out your food processor with the slicing disc attachment & use that. It saves masses of time and effort.

So peel & finely slice all those onions and finely chop the garlic.

Take your large pot & place over a medium heat.

Add in the butter. When melted, tip in all the onions and give it a stir.

French Onion SoupContinue to cook for approx 25-35 minutes whilst stirring occasionally. You want to get a nice golden brown colour – try not to be impatient and give in early. Also, don’t worry too much if it catches on the bottom of the pan, it’s all adding caramelisation & flavour!

French Onion SoupOnce the onions are done, add in the garlic & flour and stir continuously for about 2 minutes.

French Onion SoupAdd in the white wine and stir for about a minute until most of it has been absorbed.

French Onion Soup-4Gradually add in the stock then bring it all to the boil.

Add in the bay leaves, thyme sprigs & a generous helping of salt & pepper. Stir it all up, pop the lid on and simmer for about 25 minutes.

French Onion SoupWhen the timer has beeped – remove the lid and fish out the bay leaves & thyme sprigs.

French Onion SoupIf saving for later, allow to cool completely before dividing into bags/tubs and freezing.

If you want to serve straight away – preheat your grill.

Slice up an old, stale baguette and grate some cheese. Divide the soup between oven proof bowls, place 1-2 slices of baguette in each bowl and cover with grated cheese.

Place under the grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

French Onion SoupI absolutely adore this soup! There’s just something so much more special about the flavour when you use chicken stock instead of beef. I often find with the traditional recipe, there’s a rich ‘twang’ that I don’t enjoy but with this version? It’s just heavenly! And let’s be honest – everything is better with melted cheese :)

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Tuxedo Cheese & Crackers!

Tuxedo Cheese & CrackersAs many of you will know I am currently heavily pregnant and, as a result, very lazy! This means I don’t have the energy or stamina to be spending forever standing up in the kitchen preparing food. I’m not too happy about this because, as you may have gathered by now, I love being in the kitchen!

So this presented me with a bit of a challenge. I wanted a simple recipe that would look great on your party buffet tables this New Years Eve, but didn’t want to be stood up for ages. Then I saw these over at Cute Food For Kids and knew it was just what I was looking for!

What you will need

  • Pitted Black Olives
  • Any Crackers of your choice
  • Any Soft Cheese Triangles AND/OR Hard Cheese of your choice

Essential Equipment

  • Drinking straw or Small round piping nozzle
  • a Cocktail Stick
  • A small sharp knife or scissors

Firstly, cut the hard cheese into triangles or peel the wrappers off the soft cheese triangles.

Then you just need to sit down at a table with a chopping board, the olives, the items listed in ‘Essential Equipment’ and start carving!

Use either a drinking straw or a small round piping nozzle to cut out little olive ‘buttons,’ (The cocktail stick will be helpful to remove the olive from the straw/nozzle.)

Either using a sharp knife (I used a vegetable carving knife) or some scissors, cut out little triangles to use for the bow ties. I found it easiest to cut each olive into quarters and flatten them first.

Then place the bow ties and buttons on each piece of cheese and serve on crackers to your happy guests!

Tuxedo Cheese & CrackersOk, so they may be a bit fiddly & time consuming but look how cute they are!! At least you can sit down at a table and do the fiddly bit so you’re not on your feet for ages – definitely a winning point for me in my whale like state!

It’s worth the effort just to get great comments from your guests I think. And let’s be honest – you are definitely going to get great comments about these! They really stand out and look super smart for a celebration or party buffet table. A spectacular addition to help see in the new year.

And on that note, I hope you enjoyed the post you fabulous fabulous people!

I wish you all a very happy & prosperous New Year.

See you in 2015!

Miss KitchenMason

Tomato Soup with a Hint of Basil

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilNow, it may seem a little early for a soup recipe but in actual fact, it’s the perfect time of year to get started! With all the beautiful late summer veg in the gardens, it’s exactly the right time to start stocking your freezer ready for Autumn & Winter.

My lovely Gran is a very keen gardener. Every year she surprises me with how much she gets out of her garden! Recently, she’s had a lot of tomatoes ripening very quickly that she needs to get eaten. I thought I would help her out and turn all those beauties into a delicious soup for the both of us to enjoy.

Here is what you will need to make approx 6 portions.

  • 1kg – 1.25kg Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Tomato Purée
  • Generous pinch of Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaves, each torn in half
  • 3 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1.2 litres Vegetable Stock *
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Basil

*I used 4 x Knorr Vegetable Stock Pots dissolved in 1.2 litres of boiling water.

Essential Equipment

  • Large pot with a Lid
  • Stick Blender or Food Processor

First thing’s first, you need to prepare your veg.

I removed the skins from my tomatoes. It’s totally optional but actually quite simple to do.

Simply fill a jug or bowl with boiling water and submerge your tomatoes for 30 secs or so. You should actually start to see some of the skins splitting.

Then, using a spoon – remove the tomatoes from the water and simply peel the skins straight off.

Tomato Soup

Tomato SoupBeing very careful, as they will be a little slippy, quarter the tomatoes and remove any hard bits of core.

Tomato SoupNow, peel & chop the onion, carrot & celery stick so they are all approx the same size.

Place the large pot over a low heat & add in the olive oil.

When you can feel the pan getting hot, add in the onion, carrot & celery. Give it a mix then cook over the low heat for about 10 mins until just starting to colour and soften.

Tomato Soup

Tomato SoupAdd in the tomato purée, the sugar, bay leaves & the dried basil. Give it all a good mix to ensure it’s all blended well.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilTip in the tomatoes and mix it all together.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilPop the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 10 mins. Once or twice, give the pan a little shake to keep it all well mixed.

 

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilNext up, add in the vegetable stock and give it a really good stir.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilThen pop that lid back on and simmer over the low heat for 25 mins. Give the pan a good shake a couple of times during cooking.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilGive it a nice mix then find and remove the bay leaves.

Pull all the leaves from the bunch of basil and add them into the pot.

Then, whether it’s using a stick blender or a food processor, get blitzing until it’s all nice and smooth.

WARNING do take care if the soup is still very hot and never over fill your food processor as it has a tendency to explode!

I’ve recently obtained the new Stellar Cookware Stick Blender and  it’s absolutely fabulous!

Stellar Stick Blender

It breaks down into 2 parts for easy washing and storage and has a very comfortable & ergonomic grip. It’s also incredibly versatile with it’s settings – having a dial at the top to adjust the power and a turbo button when you need a little extra oomph.

Stellar Stick Blender

And it made mincemeat of this soup! Definitely a lot easier than making a huge mess trying to pour it all into a food processor. My days of that are now well and truly over!

Tomato Soup with a Hint of Basil - Stellar Stick Blender

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilLast thing to do is give the soup another stir and have a taste. Add more salt & pepper if you think it needs it.

Then either, eat it now or store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Alternatively you could allow to cool completely then pour into ‘pour and store’ bags and place in the freezer ready for those colder nights.

Tomato Soup with a Hint of BasilThere’s just something about tomato soup. It’s always been my favourite, ever since I was a little girl. I have tried to be more adventurous and try different soup flavours but I always come back to tomato! A definite winner in my book.

What would be lovely is if you served this with a little cream swirled through to add a bit of richness. And a good chunk of crusty bread with lashings of butter smeared all over it! Aaaahh, I can foresee nights by the fire with a bowl of this deliciousness in the near future. Autumn is coming… get your freezer prepared!

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsOk, I’ve been hammering the sweet tooth a little hard recently. Figured I’d change it up a little bit this week with these scrummy, savoury sensations! For me, rosemary always tastes so homely. Ok, that may sound a little strange but I feel it’s almost like the herb equivalent of that winter ‘sitting in front of the fire with a mug of soup’ feeling. I don’t know what it is but I just love it. Like a herby hug!

Anyway, they’re blooming amazing and obviously you’re gonna have a go at making them because they’re super duper easy & quick!

Here is what you will need to make approx 25 – 30.

(Recipe from the lovely I Bake He Shoots.)

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 100g Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese, Finely Grated
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Finely chop together the rosemary and chilli flakes.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsIn a food processor, add in the flour, butter, cheese, baking powder, salt & herbs.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPulse until it just comes together to form a dough.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsTip the dough out onto a sheet of grease proof or baking paper and knead gently into a log shape.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsUsing the paper as an aid – roll it up into a round log then press the ends in to fill any gaps.

Place this in the freezer for 25 minutes to chill.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsMeanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C & line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone baking sheet.

When the 25 mins are up – remove the dough from the freezer and slice discs approx 3-4mm thick.

Spicy Rosemary ThinsPlace the chilled discs onto the baking tray, slightly spaced apart to allow for spreading.

Put into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 – 12 mins or until just turning golden on the edges.

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsLeave on the tray for a minute or two to harden then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (That should only take about 15 mins.)

Spicy Rosemary Thins

Spicy Rosemary ThinsThese would make great nibbles if you’re having friends over for a few drinks, or the perfect accompaniment to any cheese board! Far better than most crackers you can buy in the shops that’s for sure.

And if you’re worried about the heat of the chilli flakes, it’s not hot I promise. It’s more like a pleasant, gentle warmth in the back of the throat as an after taste. They’re just… well, blinkin’ gorgeous!

I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post my lovelies, until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThis is a recipe I have been trying to master for a long time now and I think I’ve finally cracked it! It’s so cheap to make, so easy to make & unbelievably tasty! Have I sold it to you yet? Good! Let’s get started.

Here is what you will need to make enough for approx 6-8 generously sized sandwiches.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Paprika *
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 85g Honey
  • 2 tbsp/30ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 1kg Boneless Pork Shoulder Joint (Fat on)

*If you can, use a good quality, smoked paprika – it will make all the difference.

Equipiment

  • Slow Cooker (mine is 3.3 litre)

Let’s start with the marinade.

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic & thyme.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkThen add in the honey, red wine vinegar, BBQ sauce & olive oil. Give it all a good mix and set to one side.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkPeel & slice the onion in half then place at the bottom of the slow cooker, face down.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkSlice the pork joint in half and place on top of the onions. (Leave the fat on, it adds a great deal of flavour & is easily removable once cooked.) Then pour over the marinade. Try to cover as much meat as possible – it doesn’t matter if some of it falls to the bottom.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkLastly, pop the lid on and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the meat just falls apart.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkWhen it’s ready. Turn the slow cooker off and transfer the meat to a large bowl.

Remove the fat, then using 2 forks back to back – shred the meat.

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDon’t forget about those onions! Take them out, finely dice them (be careful, they’ll be a bit slippy) and add them straight back into the meat.

Then pop the whole lot back into the slow cooker along with those gorgeous juices. Give it a good mix and you are good to go!

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkIf there is a little too much juice for your liking – simply put the slow cooker on high but leave the lid off. Cook until it’s the consistency you want (it shouldn’t take too long) and stir occasionally.

Then serve warmed in crusty cobs or mini ciabattas with a generous helping of coleslaw. (Use gluten free is you are coeliac.)

Slow Cooker Pulled PorkDidn’t I tell you it was easy? It’s the perfect addition to your summer BBQ. Spend 5 minutes preparing it in the morning then leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work for you. Genius! I guarantee your guests will fall in love with both you and the pork!

Considering how heavenly this is, it really is SO cheap! I had all the spices in my cupboards already and the meat cost me less than £3. Now that’s the kind of maths I like to do. Bargain!

In other news, have I told you about Stellar/James Martin’s new soft grip tools range? No?Stellar James Martin Soft Grip Tools

Stellar James Martin Soft Grip ToolsBefore the cynical among you ask, no they’re not paying me to say this. I genuinely love Stellar cookware and have used their stuff since I’ve ruled my own kitchen! It really is fantastic quality. But then, you wouldn’t expect anything less from products that come with a lifetime guarantee though would you?

This range is no exception. Their soft grip handles make them extremely comfortable & safe to use. Not to mention how robust they feel in the hand. Just picking them up – you know they’re not the usual cheap cack you get from the supermarkets and that they’re definitely going to last. I for one, will be using them all the time! If you want to know more, check out the Stellar site HERE.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Tomato & Mozzarella Galette

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteAfter reorganizing all my recipes on the site, it occurred to me that I don’t have many pastry main course recipes. So this week, I made it my mission to find a new one to try. After trawling the internet for a while I turned up a little beauty called the ‘Galette.’

Not something I’d ever heard of before, but the more I read into it, the more I just needed to make one! It’s effectively a pizza with a rustic pastry crust. Sounds delicious right? You’d be correct in that assumption. And I know what you’re thinking, tomato and mozzarella? That galette is just gonna’ be swimming in juices!? Wrong. If you open the door half way, you will probably panic when you see how much liquid is there. But stick it out until the end of the cooking time and you will see that all the liquid evaporates to leave an incredible, melted golden mound of tomato and cheese. Take my word for it, it’s just beautiful.

Here is what you will need to serve 1 as a main course or 2 as a part of a main course with a side. (Recipe adapted from Hip Foodie Mom.)

For the Pastry Crust

  • 160g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 60ml Olive Oil
  • 50-100ml Cold Water
  • 1 Egg, Beaten for egg wash

For the Topping

  • 2 Balls of Fresh Mozzarella, Drained & Sliced
  • 2 Fresh Tomatoes, Sliced
  • Bunch of Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

To make the crust, put the flour, salt & olive oil in a food processor & blitz briefly until it’s all blended together.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteAdd a little cold water at a time and pulse until it comes together to form a dough.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteTip out onto a work surface and knead briefly & gently into a ball.

Tomato & Mozzarella GalettePlace in some cling film, flatten into a disc and pop into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can be slicing your toppings.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.

When the dough has rested, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out to a rough circle as thin as you can without tearing.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteLift the pastry onto a baking tray/sheet. Then leaving a 4cm/1 1/2″ gap around the edge, lay the mozzarella onto the pastry & sprinkle over a generous amount of chopped basil. Season with salt & pepper.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteThen lay over the slices of tomato. If you like, finish with more basil and a little more salt & pepper.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteThen roughly fold the edges up and over the toppings, lightly pinching the seams together as you go. Lastly, brush the crust all over with beaten egg.

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteBake in the preheated oven for approx 45 minutes until the pastry is golden & crispy and the cheese is bubbling. Allow to sit for a few minutes before slicing and devouring like you haven’t eaten in weeks!

Tomato & Mozzarella GaletteI am always happy to try any variation on the humble pizza. It doesn’t matter what that variation is. Anything with melted cheese is bound to be amazing, and this is no exception! A beautiful flaky pastry topped with delightfully seductive melted mozzarella,  temptingly sweet tomatoes & the powerful flavour of basil. Just amazing. You should totally try one of these!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason