Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Sandwich 98: Shooter's Sandwich

This sandwich is basically a beef wellington in sandwich form made portable for shooters out on the hunt to take with them for lunch. It's traditionally chilled and pressed overnight to be ready for the next day but we decided to eat it still hot when it's just made.

Ingredients: small loaf, steak, mushrooms, butter, onion, garlic, horseradish sauce and mustard.

First off, you make the duxelles (who even knew that was a thing)!


Chop up the onion and mushrooms as finely as you can. Then saute them in butter with garlic, salt & pepper. Also season and cook the steaks according to your preference of done-ness.


 Hollow out the loaf and then spread horseradish sauce on the bottom.


Fill with a layer of steak, then a layer of duxelles and then another layer of steak. Top with some mustard and then cradle it lovingly in your hands.


I loved the flavour of this sandwich, horseradish sauce and mustard are competing to see which can be hottest in your mouth. Horseradish wins, but only just. It's not an easy sandwich to eat, steak in a sandwich never is in our experience. We'd cut the steak up against the recipe's advice but it was still hard to take a bite. Nevertheless, this sandwich is delicious hot and likely more delicious served cold after the sauces have chance to soak in even more. It almost makes me want to go out shooting animals but not quite!

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 4

Next Saturday : Student's Zapiekanka

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Family Game Review : Escape, Curse Of The Temple



JD got this board game for Christmas and we've played it several times since then. It's kind of like a cross between The Crystal Maze and Yahtzee. One of the best things about the game is that it only lasts 10 minutes (and often less). Another best thing about it is that you work together to beat the game cutting down on board game rage!

Anyway, let me explain how you play it.


The object of the game is to find jewels and then escape the temple. All players must escape together in 10 minutes to win. The game comes with a soundtrack with music that becomes more tense as time passes (handily also on Youtube in case you don't have a CD player). You start off at the door to the temple and you have to roll dice to open up temple tiles and move around.


The symbols on the dice are a key, a torch, a running man and black or gold masks.  There are no turns and all players must frantically roll dice at the same time. Two running men dice rolled lets you add another tile and each tile has two symbols you have to roll to move onto it. Some tiles have a chance for you to earn jewels by rolling certain symbols. Rolling isn't that easy though, if you roll a black mask, that dice is cursed until you roll a gold mask to release it (one gold mask can release two black masks). You can end up with all 5 dice cursed and in need of rescue from another player (if they are on the same section as you they can roll gold masks to un-curse your dice).


Five minutes in a gong sounds and you have to race against a countdown clock to get back to the starting tile. If you get back too late you lose a dice. Then it's back to exploring to find more jewels. Once you have enough jewels (it's a different amount depending on how many players there are) you want to try uncover the exit tile. Then it's a matter of rolling enough keys to escape the temple and bask in the glory of shared victory.


The game also comes with an expansion pack with extra tiles containing purple curses to make the game harder and golden treasures to make it easier.


Escape takes a minute or two to set up and only 10 minutes to play. It's fast paced and exciting to play with the soundtrack adding extra tension. Each time you play the game is different based on what order you reveal the tiles and what you roll with the dice. It's a cleverly made game that's fun to play and encourages co-operation between players.

Ratings: JD - 5, Emma - 5

Leigh and Erin have played it a couple of times each but JD and I are the main board game players of our house. We try to get the kids involved but they're not too keen on board games. It's a constant disappointment to us. :D

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Sandwich 97: Mint Chutney Sandwich

To tell the truth, JD is a bit displeased about us making this sandwich. It doesn't sound like the best sandwich, I must admit but it's in the book and has to be eaten!

Ingredients: mint, coriander, garlic, ginger, lime juice, salt, green chillis, sugar, cucumber, bread and butter.


Put all the ingredients (bar the bread, butter and cucumber) in a bowl (or like me, a jug) and use an immersion blender to make it into a thick paste like chutney. Put this in the fridge to chill for a bit.


Butter the bread and then cover one slice with a layer of the chutney. Add thinly sliced cucumber and top with the second slice of bread.



This sandwich was better than we both expected but still not great. The mint chutney would be nice with some roast lamb or as a side with a curry but paired with cucumber it was just a bit lacking. The flavours from the chutney were lovely and it was easy to make, so those were good points for it. The chutney itself was fine but it doesn't really work as a sandwich filling on it's own.

Ratings: JD - 2, Emma - 1

Next Saturday - Shooter's Sandwich

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Sandwich 96: Torta Ahogada

This sandwich is Mexican in origin and consists of roast pork 'drowned' in a spicy tomato sauce. Sounds delicious!

Ingredients: leftover roast pork, sliced onion, bread rolls and the spicy tomato sauce


Make the tomato sauce by simmering a can of tomatoes with cider vinegar, garlic, oregano, crushed chillis, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cumin, salt & pepper. Use a blender to make a smooth sauce once everything is reduced and thickened.


Heat up the leftover pork and slice it into thinnish slices. Fill the bread rolls with the hot pork, top with sliced onion and then drown in as much of the tomato sauce as you want.


This was a sandwich with some tasty components, the sauce was really spicy but the pork and bread helped to make it less uncomfortable to eat. The pork and onion was a nice combination with the sauce adding a nice moistness to the whole sandwich. JD felt something was lacking in this sandwich, he enjoyed the pork on it's own and also the sauce but together it wasn't quite working. He's right but it's hard to know what might have made for a better sandwich.

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 3

Next Saturday - Mint Chutney Sandwich





Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spelunky Themed Fun

Last November I reviewed a video game we all enjoy at our house called Spelunky To briefly recap, it's a platform game on XBox where you explore underground collecting treasure and rescuing damsels. Our favourite character in the game is this stupid faced pug you can rescue:


So I decided to organise some Spelunky/Pug themed fun for us to enjoy.

We played Snakes and Ladders because there are snakes and also ladders in Spelunky. I'd forgotten how long this game takes though, someone is almost winning and then they go down a snake back to the start. Luckily we had pug cupcakes to sweeten the deal. I eventually won, followed by Leigh and Erin. Sadly JD abandoned all hope of ever finishing.





Next up was wind-up pug racing. Easily the most hilarious thing the kids had ever witnessed judging by their laughter. We raced the pugs across the table, it was pretty entertaining actually. Erin won, I think.


Lastly we played Spelunky in the Deathmatch arena. You play in one room all trying to kill each other and be the last person alive. There are mystery boxes with weapons in to make it more fun. JD won, leaving Erin and I as ghosts. :(


So there you go, another insight into how we spend our free time* :D

* It wasn't free, the cupcakes cost £4 and the wind up pugs cost £5. Still, pretty cheap time at least!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Saturday Sandwich 95: The Schumwich

This sandwich is apparently the favourite lunch of New York Senator Chuck Schumer. He's picky about how it's made giving his aides specific instructions on how to construct it.

Ingredients: roast beef, dill pickles, tomato, bread roll, red onion, mayo, mustard, pickled jalapenos and a bell pepper


Spread one side of the roll with mustard and the other half with mayo. Then just layer all the ingredients up. 


The best thing about this sandwich compared to lots of other sandwiches we've made was how simple it was to make. There's no cooking or making a sauce. You just chop and slice most ingredients and add them to the sandwich. I really enjoyed all the flavours in the Schumwich, you could taste the beef with red onion, mustard with dill pickles and all the different ingredients went really well together. Charles Schumer has pretty good taste in sandwiches.

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 3

Next Saturday - Torta Ahogada