Christmas · Cooking and Recipes

Mum’s the Word’s Mega Mince Pies

About 10 years ago, I went to a work Christmas get together where someone had put on a little spread of festive nibbles. One of the things that was on offer was mince pies (obviously!), but these mince pies were a little different. Instead of a fully enclosed pie, the top was nestled on a dollop of brandy butter and it made them taste incredible – like Christmas on steroids!! I decided that I’d try to recreate something similar and thought I’d share them with you here:

Mum’s the Word’s Mega Mince Pies
Recipe Type: Christmas Baking
Cuisine: Dessert
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Mince pies with added kick!
Ingredients
  • One pack of chilled JusRoll shortcrust pastry
  • One jar of mincemeat
  • Small pot of brandy butter
  • Icing sugar to dust
  • (You’ll also need a dimpled baking tray, a 2.5″ pastry cutter and a star-shaped pastry cutter – we also placed a pastry holly leaf on the top of each star but these aren’t absolutely essential if you don’t have a holly leaf cutter)
Instructions
  1. (Before you start, take the JusRoll out of the fridge and leave for half an hour to reach room temperature)
  2. Cut out 12 cirlcles of JusRoll and place in your baking tray
  3. Place a moderate teaspoon of mincemeat in each pastry case
  4. Bake at 160c (fan oven) for 25 minutes
  5. Cut out 12 stars and place on a flat, non-stick baking tray
  6. Bake at 160c for around 15-18 minutes
  7. Allow everything to cool completely
  8. Place a dollop of brandy butter (about half a teaspoon) on top of each mince pie and top with a pastry star
  9. Dust with icing sugar before serving

mega mince pies
It’s a super simple recipe which the kids will probably love to help with and it takes a really short time to prep and cook, but the result is fantastic and takes your mince pies to the next level.

Merry Christmas!

Kids

The Right Way to Scoot!

Our daughters are really alike in some ways but VERY different in others. Where Sausage likes to spend her time crafting, reading and playing Pokemon, Burrito Baby is more of a fan of climbing too high, jumping off of things and making me have a heart attack! When Sausage was little, she had a scooter but it never really held her interest, but BB seems to be getting to an age where a scooter is going to be on the agenda pretty soon.

When I was a kid, stunt scooters were all the rage and rather than the skinny wheels and light frames of today’s scooters, mine had almost BMX style wheels and a really heavy frame. I once rode it down hill at far too quick a pace and slammed my brakes on…only to be flipped over my handlebars at the bottom! I winded myself pretty badly, but it never stopped me from getting back on again once I felt better. In fact, I adored my scooter!

Halfords has put together a guide to show us the right way to scoot, which I thought you’d all like to have a look at:

Halfords

I can totally imagine BB getting involved and doing tricks like these in no time at all, so we’ll definitely have to get her kitted out with all of the safety gear! Scooters seem more popular than bikes these days and I even see some of the mums and dads from Sausage’s school riding their kids scooters home after dropping them off…although none of them do tricks like these! Do you have a scooting little one (or big one?!) Do you scoot yourself?! Leave me a comment below.

Christmas · Review

I Just Love It Whisky Gift Set Review

I think it’s fairly safe to say that everyone has someone in their lives who is tricky to buy for. Mine is my Husband. My ‘very good at buying gifts’ Husband, which makes my job so much harder around Christmas and birthdays because you can guarantee that he’s bought something amazingly sentimental and perfect for me (like the Teddy Ruxpin I’d been coveting for 25 years that he bought for my last birthday)! Enter ‘I Just Love It‘, a website which makes personalised gifts for people who can be a real pain to buy for.

I noticed they had a whisky gift set, which is labelled as a Fathers’ Day gift, but is actually perfect for Husband for Christmas. He’s a huge fan of whisky, with 16 year old Lagavulin being his usual tipple of choice. However, this gift set contains a whisky which is distilled on the island of Islay, one of the inner Hebrides, somewhere that Husband has been planning to go for a few years, so it seemed serendipitous to see it in the set.

Here’s the info:

Exclusive to I Just Love It, this Father’s Day Whisky Gift Set includes single malts from three of Scotland’s most famous whisky regions, including a limited release from one of Scotland’s sadly closed distilleries. Presented in a gorgeous hand-finished gift box with a personalised sleeve, it’s the ultimate way to compare and contrast the different characteristics of single malt from the Scottish Island, Speyside & Islay regions.

The set itself comes beautifully boxed with a personalised sticker on the outside which you can add your own message to and really is a lovely looking gift.

The set also comes with tasting notes and a tasting mat, allowing the recipient to really get involved with the whisky sampling process (rather than just glugging it down before it hits the sides!!).

The set costs £29.99 (plus P&P) and makes such a lovely gift for anyone with an interest in whisky, or even a complete beginner who you feel might appreciate learning about whisky and its origins. The girls and I were really impressed and can’t wait to give Husband his pressie!

Thanks again to I Just Love It, who sent us the set for review purposes.

Christmas · Happiness · Health · Review

Essence of Arcadia Aromatherapy Oils Review

When it comes to alternative medicines and therapies, I’m something of a skeptic. When I had acupuncture suggested to me whilst pregnant with BB, I couldn’t quite get past my doubts enough to bring myself to do it, however, aromatherapy is one thing that I’m quite open to. I think that smells can have a really powerful effect on moods and feelings, so when the guys at Essence of Arcadia got in touch and asked if I’d review their range, I agreed. I was sent the set of 6 and 14 oils, which retail for £19.99 and £34.99 respectively.

Essence of Arcadia

One of the things I loved when I opened the parcel was how neat and sleek the boxes containing the bottles looked, and it struck me that either set would make a really good gift. The smaller set contains cinnamon, lavender, frankincense, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus, whilst the larger set contains those six, plus orange, ylang ylang, grapefruit, lemongrass, bergamot, clary sage, rosemary and one called ‘Healing Blend’.

The first one I tried was ylang ylang, which is a beautiful, rich flowery smell and made our living room smell amazing. Cinnamon is the most fantastically Christmassy smell and we also tried blending it with orange, which was (if it’s possible) even more Christmassy; like a garland made of dried tangerines and spices. I used an oil-burner with a tealight as I already had one in the house but Essence of Arcadia also offer two different diffusers, which are an even better way to use your oils.

One of the things I love about both sets is that they come with what is, essentially, a recipe book for your oils to give you inspiration for how to combine them. My favourite was “Liquid Sunshine” which is made as follows:

LIQUID SUNSHINE

Refresh yourself and boost your energy with a combination of:

– 3 drops grapefruit essential oil

– 3 drops lavender essential oil

– 2 drops lemon essential oil

– 2 drops spearmint essential oil

All of the oils have a really rich, full fragrance which lasts for ages and I’d definitely recommend them to anyone with an interest in aromatherapy, or even just as a lovely gift for a dear friend or relative.

 

Christmas · Cooking and Recipes · Crafts · Kids

BKD London Baking Kits Review and Discount Code #bkdbakes

If there’s one thing that Sausage and I love to do together, it’s baking. We’re never happier than when we’re in the kitchen, working together to make something tasty for the family, so when the lovely folk at BKD London got in touch and asked if we’d like to try one of their baking kits for kids, we agreed straight away. Even the boxes they come in are gorgeous!

BKD London Gingerbread Kit

The kits contain everything you need to make gingerbread men, apart from butter and golden syrup, including the cutter and everything to decorate them. The instructions were really clear – so much so that I basically stood back and let Sausage do everything herself (minus a little help with measuring and weighing).

BKD London Gingerbread Kit

The whole process from beginning to end was super simple – the only part that Sausage didn’t like was having to wait for her gingerbread dough to chill before she could roll it out! Here’s the finished product:

BKD London cookies

They tasted absolutely delicious!

These kits come in a number of varieties (I’ve got my eye on the unicorns!) and would make an amazing sticking filler for any kid who loves baking. The best news is that we’ve got a 10% off code for all Mum’s the Word readers. Just enter the code MUMSTHEWORD10 at the checkout. Happy baking!