Top 5 Kitchen Cheats

Top 5 Kitchen Cheats

I’m a huge advocate of cooking from scratch BUT it doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming.

With a few handy gadgets and cheeky ingredients, creating culinary delights can be quicker and easier than ever!

Top 5 Kitchen CheatsScissors

I use my kitchen scissors all the time – they’re handy for so many things and can sometimes eliminate the need to use (and wash) a chopping board. Scissors are perfect for cutting beef and chicken into cubes for curries and casseroles; for chopping herbs; for cutting pizza and even for snipping salad ingredients straight into my work lunchbox. blender

My stick blender recently died and I have to confess to suffering a slight panic as I use it so much. It’s essential for whizzing soups and sauces in the saucepan and also for whisking sorbets to soften them after they’re frozen.


Spreadable butter

There have been many occasions when I have splattered myself and the kitchen whilst trying to cream sugar with cold butter with my hand-held blender (I told you I use it a lot). Now, instead of waiting ages for the butter to soften (which I never have the patience to do) I use spreadable butter. All of the flavour without the patience!


Top 5 Kitchen CheatsCake tin liners

These are a recent discovery for me. I know it’s incredibly lazy but I REALLY hate cutting out baking paper and lining tins. With these, you simply pop them in the tin and you’re ready to bake. Genius.


Ready-made pastry

It’s quick and easy to make shortcrust in the food processor but for puff pastry I always buy it ready-made. Tarts topped with a smear of tomato paste or pesto, some leftover cheese, and whatever herbs and veg we have to hand are effortless with a packet of puff pastry. This is treat food in our house – quick and simple enough to make in minutes but special enough for a Friday night with a good red. And for a gorgeous Saturday lunch using ready-made croissant dough see the recipe below.


Share your favourite kitchen cheats in the comments panel below. I’d love some more tricks of the trade.


This recipe is taken from this year’s Dairy Diary – watch out for the 2016 edition, it’s coming very soon!!


Bacon & Brie Stuffed Croissants

Bacon & Brie Stuffed Croissants

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 245 per portion
Fat 15g (8.2g sat) per portion


  • Rindless unsmoked back bacon 6 rashers, cut into thin strips
  • Bake it Fresh croissant dough 250g can
  • Brie 110g (4oz), cut into 6 slices
  • Egg 1, beaten


1 Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

2 Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and cook bacon for 8-10 minutes or until crispy, adding a little oil if necessary. Leave to cool.

3 Meanwhile, unroll croissant dough and separate into triangles as instructed on the can.

4 Place a slice of brie just in from the base of each triangle, followed by the bacon.

5 Roll croissants up from the base of the triangle and transfer onto baking sheet, leaving about 5cm (2in) between each. Brush with a little egg to glaze and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden.



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