In the Kitchen: Popcorn obsession

We have always loved home made popcorn rather than the shop bought kind, however I always seem to end up burning pans when I make it or it turning out a bit chewy in the microwave, so after a lot of debate I finally decided to buy a hot air popcorn maker!

I went as cheap as possible and picked one up off Amazon for £12, it was really difficult to find one that wasn’t red.

When it arrived the first batch was a little dry, I was trying to be super healthy and not use melted butter, big mistake…it is the butter which makes it taste perfect.

We have tried lots and lots of flavourings, some shop bought some made with store cupboard ingredients. The boys love Chocolate and Salt N’ Sweet best of all.

My favourite is Mexican Popcorn and I have mixed up a jar full which I don’t think will last long! The recipe can be found HERE

The process is so easy, fill the measure up with popcorn, tip in, switch on and in two minutes freshly popped popcorn comes flying out. Then I tip on some melted butter and season!

I definitely need a bigger machine as this one does not feed 5 hungry popcorn addicts!

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Superhero blanket for my superhero boy

So, after a brief return in December I expected to be back here with some exciting new papercrafts to share, however reality being back at university has meant all work and no time to play!

However, I was reminded by Alfie the other day that after almost two years I had still not finished Jake’s superhero blanket and I felt a bit sad! So, I gave myself a few days off over Easter and concentrated on getting it done.

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I have been glad of the colder weather unlike when I completed Alfie’s blanket in the heat of the summer, I worked hard and got all the stripes finished. I struggles as the colour combinations have been entirely selected by Jake to represent superheros he loves. Above you can see the green and white of Green lantern, the purple and orange of Two Face and the edge of the green and purple for the Hulk!

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As I have said before I struggle with following a pattern as I learnt to crochet from watching You Tube tutorials. Luckily,for the letters I found this fab series and another great tutorial for the stars – super quick and easy to follow.

I finally finished last night and look on Jake’s face was priceless, he’s been snuggled under it ever since, perfect timing as the entire house seems to have come down with a virus so snuggles and movies are very much in order today and maybe some home made popcorn…but that’s another post if I get time!

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Book Review: Monster and Chips – David O’Connell

Monster and Chips

The blurb says says:

Meet the amazing monster customers and sample the foul-food served up daily at Fuzzby’s diner – the brilliant setting for this innovative series from debut author and illustrator, David O’Connell.

Somewhere in suburbia, or maybe smack-bang in the middle of your city, there is a very special diner. What’s so special about it? Well it does the best chips ANYWHERE but also its customers are a little bit ‘unusual’… some people say they are monsters… The diner is hard to find, you have to look carefully, in fact some people say only a special kind of kid can find this special kind of diner. But maybe that kid could be you?

When Joe the ‘hooman’ gets a job at Fuzzby’s diner, he learns to bake zombie-cupcakes, exploding milkshakes and not to stare at the customers – even the ones who are see-through. He also foils a terrible plan to sabotage the annual Grand Cooking Competition.

My Review

Format – Paperback

Pages – 192 Pages

Series – Monster and Chips Book 1

My Rating – 5 stars

This book was chosen by my 9 year old Jake for our bedtime story, it is a chapter book and it took three night for us to read it, we probably read for longer each night than we usually would as a) the chapters are quite long and b) we really could not put it down!

The book is very funny and full of disgusting meal combinations which really do make your stomach churn! The illustrations make the book and we really enjoyed how they were incorporated into the story enabling us to read them as we went along without losing the flow of the book.

Book Review: Alone in the Dark – Karen Rose

Alone in the Dark (Cincinnati, #2)

The Blurb says:

In ALONE IN THE DARK, Karen Rose – the Sunday Timesbestselling author of CLOSER THAN YOU THINK – returns with a breath-taking new novel in the Cincinnati series – would you cross the line between danger and desire, justice and revenge? A desperate hunt to find a young girl’s killer is about to turn deadly…

Former Army Ranger Marcus O’Bannion and homicide cop Scarlett Bishop have met only briefly but when Scarlett receives a phone call in the middle of the night, she immediately recognises the hauntingly smooth voice asking her to meet him in one of Cincinnati’s roughest areas.

On arriving, Scarlett finds the body of a seventeen-year-old Asian girl and Marcus injured. A fierce champion of victims’ rights, Marcus claims the young woman was working for an affluent local family and the last time he saw her she was terrified, abused, and clearly in need of help. Having agreed to meet her, both Marcus and the young woman were targeted for death.

As they investigate, Scarlett and Marcus are pulled into the dangerous world of human trafficking where they soon realise they are going to have to become as ruthless as those they are hunting.

Because if they don’t, how many other girls may end up alone in the dark?

My Review

Format – Kindle eBook

Pages – 608 pages

Series – The Cincinnati Series Book 2

My Rating – 4 stars

I was introduced to Karen Rose by a friend and started with “Closer than you think” which was the first book in this Cincinnati series and I loved it. I then tried a few of her other books but found them a little bit too gruesome!

I decided to try again when I saw that this,  the second book in the Cincinnati series, had been released. I was initially skeptical about how Karen Rose could match Deacon and Faith’s romance in the first book, but she did. Deacon is quite a prominent character in this series and Faith crops up here and there, however the main romance this time is between Faith’s cousin Marcus and Deacon’s partner Scarlett.

I would say this book although gruesome in places is slightly less so than the first, which for me was a good thing and kept me gripped throughout. The story follows on from the first book well, but I think it could also be read as a stand alone book without too much confusion.