Mum’s Pear and Chocolate Crumble

I thought I’d share this recipe on here as a few people asked me about it after I commented on a Twitter thread about people’s favourite foods. This is a dessert that will immediately transport me into our old house, in the winter, sat at a small dining table under the stairs, holding the bowl to warm my hands.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the queen of cooking without measuring ingredients, but I’ve tried to explain my process as best I could. The recipe my mother used was originally this one by Waitrose (click the link here if you’d like to see the original), but I’ve made some adaptations that I think improve the dish, while also making it more cost effective. Winner, right? Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard and you have a winner all winter long- or in my case, all year round…


 

  • Preparation time:20 minutes
  • Cooking time:30 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes 

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 pears, peeled, cored and cubed
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 100g your favourite chocolate
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon

For the crumble

  • 175g butter, chilled and diced
  • 200g plain flour
  • 50g Roasted Hazelnuts
  • 50g Porridge Oats
  • 125g Demerara sugar
  • 2 Tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 Tsp nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
  2. Chop your Pears into cubes, sizing of your preference, but remember, the bigger you chop them the longer they will need in the pan.
  3. Place the pears, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and 100ml of Ginger Beer in a large pan and heat gently for 10 minutes or so until the pears are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Stir through the hazelnuts, oats, spices, and sugar. If you want to chop and speed this process up again, I like to pop mine in a blender and pulse it until I have the desired consistency.
  6. Spoon the pear with a little juice into an ovenproof dish. (not too much, else it will bubble over, which isn’t terrible, but for special events it looks unsightly). Scatter over the chocolate, then the crumble mixture, making sure it is relatively flat and evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Frankii’s tips

More often than not, I frankly don’t have the time or patience to make my own crumble topping. Yes, for special occasions it adds a little something extra, but if you want to cut down on time don’t feel guilty for grabbing a bag of Aunt Bessie’s. Makro also do huge bags- sometimes Grandma will get a large one and we will split it and keep it in Kilner jar’s for freshness.

My Perfect Roast Turkey & Christmas Day Recipes!

Hi guys! Another quick little recipe selection for you all today, here is my Christmas day agenda, including how I make the perfect (not-as-dry-as-ghandi’s-flipflop) roasted turkey! 

Turkey:

(Did you know that the traditional British Christmas bird was goose?)

  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees C. Oil a deep roasting tin.
  1. Remove the neck, giblets, and packet near the front shoulders, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place the turkey in the tin and loosely stuff the cavity loosely. Brush it with oil and insert the meat thermometer into the thigh, making sure not to touch bone as this gives and inaccurate reading. Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Make a foil tent for the turkey, leaving about an inch of space to allow heat to circulate. Crimp the tent to the sides of the pan.
  1. Roast the turkey until the thermometer reads 180 degrees C. For turkeys from Tesco (UK), it usually has a calculated time on the bag based on the weight. We got a large – 5.3-6.9 kgs or 11.6-15.2 lbs. This would typically take between 3 hrs 15 mins – 3 hrs 50 mins, with an additional 30 mins for the stuffing. To ensure browning and perfect crispy stuffing, remove the foil tent after an hour or so of roasting.

Roasted veg:

Carrots, parsnips, squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Cut into similar shapes and sizes, peel and half the roots. Toss in a ½ cup of sage, a ½ cup of thyme, and several sprigs of rosemary (fresh is best!) and one whole bulb of garlic. (My family- especially my sister! love to eat it roasted by just squeezing the garlic out of the clove… though I don’t recommend this if you are planning any mistletoe related activities later on!!) Salt and pepper to taste. Chuck them in around the turkey about an hour before pulling the turkey out. I usually separate half of my veg because my mum is vegetarian/pescatarian  –  and cook separately.

Gravy:

My famous gravy is always made in the bottom of the meat dish (with separate gravy granules and water mix for my veggie mum). I usually make it by pouring a majority of the loose oil out, leaving a few tablespoons worth. I then mix cornflour and water in a small glass and whisk the slurry into the hot oil until no excess oil remains. This should thicken, and the slurry substance should mix with the meat juices and become a brown, thick-ish substance. Pour boiling water and pop a stock cube in, then whisk to the desired volume and thickness. Pop in chopped onions and gravy granules/herbs of your choice for extra flavour (if you desire) and boil adding water until desired quality.

Super Easy Christmas Stuffing Recipe

Hey guys, I know I promised some festive recipes that I love a while back, so here’s one of my staples that I also use throughout the year when I do big roast dinners, I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

I’m a much better chef than I am a baker, because I’m never one to really measure my flavourings. I’m one of those people who can never create a recipe twice! But it’s been suggested to me by my friends a few times that I should try and write down some basic guides, so I’ve really tried to record some.

Ingredients 
Serves: 10 

  • About 200-250g of cubed bread, as rough as you like. Sometimes I just tear mine. I usually do about a 2:3 ratio of White to Wholemeal, but thats my preference.
  • One tube of sausage meat, or a few sausages with the skin removed. (if you are vegetarian, at the first blender stage I would add a couple of slices of bread and an egg. This makes a sticky breadcrumb mix that tastes great and will hold its shape in a similar way.)
  • 1 medium onion
  • a generous helping (about 3 Teaspoons or more depending on preference) of dried sage
  • a generous helping of dried rosemary
  • a generous helping of dried thyme
  • a generous helping of parsley, fresh is best but dry is fine too!
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • a handful of dried cranberries, I’ve also used a Cranberry jelly before when in a pinch.
  • Lazy Garlic, 1 teaspoon.
  • 1 Stock cube
  • 50g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

 

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4.
  2. What I like to do next may be a little naughty, but there’s always room to cheat at this stressful time of year! What I do, is simply bung the apple. the onion, the herbs, a stock cube, and the cranberry’s into my Nutribullet (any blender/processor would work). That wicked little device isn’t just for smoothies you know! I only really pulse it until it is a rough paste, but if you prefer finer flavours then go ahead and let it go a little longer.
  3. Pop in a little bit of water, perhaps about a cup- to activate your stock cube, along with a teaspoon of lazy garlic and your melted butter (I do this in the microwave) and pulse it again until you have a peculiar slurry.
  4. Lightly toast your bread cubes, this can be done by popping them on a baking tray for 5 or so minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, mix in your paste/slurry mix with the sausage meat and bread cubes, (Disclaimer: some people like to cook their sausage meat before hand, however I’ve never found that I needed to, I’ll leave this down to you. If you choose to do so, I would imagine you could knock off a significant amount of cooking time. Say, 30 or so minutes. I prefer to leave mine to cook inside the bird or a baking tray so that it comes out at a similar time.)
  6. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill and cook along with your bird. (if you pack it too tightly, it may cause your turkey and stuffing to cook slightly unevenly, as it will prevent air from circulating.) Or of course, if you prefer or have left overs, pop it into a greased baking tray or pyrex dish for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

The Christmas Tag

Hey guys! Again, apologies for my inconsistencies but you know how life gets at this time of year! However, when I received this tag from Naomi over at FatFashionBlogs I knew It would make a wonderful way for me to transition back into the world of blogging! I hope you all enjoy it!

Q1 – What is a Christmas tradition you do every year without fail?

Bizarrely, considering how much I love Christmas, my family never really were super into the festive season- I feel like they get a bit caught up in the stress as a pose to the magic. For this reason, we don’t really have too many traditions, but every year the whole (close) family will wake up super early, and we will always wait for a call from Grandma (our Matriarch and queen!!) and then we will all make our way there to open presents and lounge in front of the TV while xmas dinner cooks.

However, since getting married and having my own little house with my husband we are super excited to start picking up some traditions of our own!

Q2 – What is a Christmas tradition you do every year other people might find strange?

I don’t really know if it counts as “strange”, but most of my family don’t really drink- with the exception of Bucks Fizz on Christmas day. I know a lot of people who get a bit tipsy on Christmas day, but that has never really happened in my lifetime. We do however, almost always seem to end up watching March of the Penguins!

Q3- What is your favourite Christmas movie and song?

My favourite Christmas movie is actually probably the Grinch- I love watching it now as an adult even more so, as I actually find it hilarious how much I now relate to the Grinch himself!!

Q4 – What is the best and worst present you’ve every received?

I think possibly the best present I ever received was my DSLR camera when I was about 17, because back then I never anticipated how it would change my life and inspire a lifelong interest in media and photography/film.

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever really received a “bad” present, but the one we still joke about to this day was the one year mum went “off-list” and bought me an at home laser hair removal kit! While it’s super practical, I still always joke about how it was a hint about my tash! (lol)

Q5 – What is one beauty product you are excited about using this year for Christmas looks?

One!? Oh, its so hard to choose.. lately I’ve been loving the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara I received as a PR from John Lewis through Influenster a while back- It really helps to finish a look even if you don’t want to use lashes. However, every Christmas I always get much more experimental with my lipsticks, and I love the way Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lip in shade “crocodile tears” gives me festive Slytherin glam vibes. As far as drug store goes, I’m actually loving the ___ palette from Sleek at the moment!! Though it does have a little bit of fallout, I am obsessed with the metallic sheen you can achieve with such an affordable palette!!

Q6 – What is your go to Christmas Party Dress this year?

Oh gosh, can I say my birthday suit? I don’t actually have that many close friends who live near me anymore- especially since I got married, I feel like my single friends think I don’t really go out anymore by choice. (It isn’t!) so it’s rare that I get invited to things. (boo!) Nevertheless, I was never a GREAT lover of dresses anyway, as I’m quite tall AND large breasted, so I find most dresses come up much much shorter than they ought to. My go to Christmas outfit is definitely the PJs you get on Christmas Eve! How could it be anything else!?

Q7 – What are you most looking forward to this Christmas time?

This Christmas I am most looking forward to sharing my second Christmas with my husband and watching my family open the gifts I got them. My genuine favourite part about Christmas is buying/making gifts for my loved ones, I just think it’s the most rewarding feeling ever! (and the food, of course.)

I Tag

Britt

Meg

Lynz

Sophie

Becky

Gifts for Geeks | Christmas 2017

Whats up guys? I know what you’re all thinking, but yes, with Halloween done and out of the way, whether we like it or not Christmas is fast approaching!

As you may know, I’m a total media junkie. I love TV/film/gaming, so when EMP got in contact with me and asked me to do a post I was super excited because I knew it was time to do my first ever Christmas gift guide! So down below I’m going to talk about some of the things that caught my eye from their website.


Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts

Of course, if you know me at all or keep up with my posts such as The Harry Potter Tag, you’ll know I am obsessed with Harry Potter and the entire universe that J.K Rowling has gifted the world. So of course, this was the first section of the website I headed for. I was totally pleasantly surprised at the amount of merchandise to choose from, so it was really tough for me to narrow down this little selection, but here are the items I chose to share with you- either because I love them, or its something I’ve never seen before!

Dark Arts Notebook – £17.99

Although personally I am a Gryffindor, I always find myself attracted to the dark objects. They are always so beautiful, and I particularly love the metallic green finish on this piece. I think this would be an amazing gift for any Potter fan who needs a nifty little notebook. But really, especially is there such a thing as too many notebooks?

Gryffindor Pyjamas – £24.99

I picked out these because I know several families who have traditions of opening a set of cosy PJ’s on Christmas eve, to open open presents in the next day- which is a tradition I fully intend to get behind now I have my own household. I am a Pyjama fanatic, and I love nothing more than changing into my cosiest PJ’s as soon as I set foot in my house.  Of course if you’re from a different house, they have others available in this style!

Earring Set – £9.99 – £6.99

My favourite kind of wearable merchandise is always subtle merchandise, which is why I loved these so much. I love to be able to sneak cute accents like this into my everyday outfits. Earrings always make for a great stocking filler, and this set is super cute and affordable.

Wax Seal Kit – £29.99 – £24.99

I had a kit very similar to this one a few years back that I purchased from the Harry Potter studios. I love the design on the stamp piece here though, It looks like a lot more care went into the creation of this one. This gift is ideal for stationary lovers, I really enjoyed the process of using wax seals, it just makes your post look so much more exciting- I don’t know why people ever stopped using them!

Niffler/Dumbledore Funko – £9.99 

Now I personally don’t collect Funko’s, but I know so many people that do. I have to say though, despite me not being a collector, I totally fell in love with these two pieces. Dumbledore especially. From his lilac robes to his sparkly looking hat, I just think he’s the cutest. I also couldn’t get away without posting at least one piece of Niffler merch, he is one of my favourite characters in the J.K universe. I too, am obsessed with shiny things, little guy!

Wizard Chess Set – £45.99

Ok, I have always wanted a Wizard Chess set to sit on my coffee table from the first time I visited the Harry Potter studios in London and saw a very expensive glass set. I just think it’s such a clever, fun and beautiful tribute to Harry Potter, and I personally would love to receive a gift like this!


Jewellery

As I mentioned before, I am a bit of a Niffler- enter jewellery obsession. I adore fun and unique costume jewellery, and am constantly struggling not to purchase items just like these pieces below. There was so much choice for some great and thoughtful stocking fillers available on EMP’s site, it was hard for me to pick just a few- BUT here they are!

Ohana Necklace – £12.99

People who know me know that I am extremely family orientated and come from an incredibly close knit immediate family. I chose this piece not only because I love Lilo and Stitch, but because I think it would be a super cute gift for any family member. I might actually purchase this myself for my little sister, to remind her I love her (even when she’s being a bratty teen!)

Alice Ear-Cuff – £12.99

As I said before, odd jewellery. I love ear cuffs, I think they look so unique and stunning, and this piece really caught my eye! I love the bronzed effect and the detail is just adorable… I really want this for myself!

The One Ring – £55.99

Now, the pricing of this one is a little steep, (depending on how much you love LOTR of course), but there are some other colours/options. I like this one in particular because the details really appeal to me, and I think anyone who adores Lord of the Rings as much as we do would love this one- if you love them enough to splash out on it of course!

PlayStation Controller Necklace – £16.99

A great homage to any PS gaming fanatics in your life, I thought this piece was cute and something I’d never seen before!


Miscellaneous

Admittedly, at this stage I felt like I had to narrow down my choices because I had a collection of mugs that I loved that would have taken me all night alone-  (there are so many- go check them out!). Because my post was already at risk of becoming too long here are some miscellaneous bits and bobs I felt like I couldn’t end this Christmas Guide without bringing to your attention.

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Fallout Nuka Cola – Gift Set – £19.99

First of all, if you’re feeling a bit unimaginative with your gifts, EMP have a couple of sets literally titled “gift sets” (I also really liked this Playstation one), but since my husband and I are great fans of Fallout, I loved seeing this one, because it looks like it could have been ripped straight from the game!

Stark Christmas Jumper – £41.99

I loved this jumper so much! I thought it was a super clever and inventive way to incorporate GOT fandom into the Christmas spirit. It’s so festive and yet so nerdy at the same time. Brilliant! I would have purchased this in a heartbeat, but the price is a little steep for me. *sad face* That being said- it’s a welcome gift if anyone likes me that much!

Tarot Cards – £14.99

As you may or may not know, I am a bit of a spiritualist and a closet witch, so I love to see things like this in more mainstream shops- even if they are sold as more of a novelty item. I loved the packaging for this set, as the little cat reminded me of Binx from Hocus Pocus! (yes, you’re right, I’m probably not entirely over Halloween yet).

Gift Card

Finally, if my guide has been too long and overwhelming, or you’ve visited the site and simply cannot choose, if you’re not sure what their favourite movie is, or if you’re simply feeling lazy and unimaginative, you could always play it safe and purchase a gift card!


Thank you!

I know I don’t say this enough but if you read my content thank you so much, it honestly means the world to me and really keeps me going. If you enjoyed this post or fancy any of the items below do feel free to share this with Santa… (or just comment below) what you’re loving too, and be sure to visit their site >> here << or by following any of the other links I’ve used above!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and that maybe it’s helped you to feel even the slightest bit more festive!

Love Frankii x