Saturday, 28 February 2015

Giveaway - OXO Good Grips Kitchen Products

The nice people over at OXO are giving the chance for one lucky reader to win two of their lovely kitchen products.  Total prize value of £28.00
The OXO Good Grips Herb Mincer worth £12.00 as I have one of these myself I can highly recommend this product - pop over and read my review. 




Preparing fresh herbs is simple with the OXO Good Grips Herb Mincer. Its stainless steel blades quickly chop fresh leafy herbs like parsley, basil, coriander and more. A soft, non-slip grip keeps hands away from blades while cutting. Use the front end as a scraper to gather herbs into a pile for more efficient mincing. The Mincer opens partially to wipe the blades free of collected herbs and separates completely into 2 pieces for easy cleaning. The Herb Mincer is dishwasher safe.

Features:

Stainless steel blades quickly mince fresh herbs
Soft, non-slip grip keeps hands away from blades while cutting
Front end serves as scraper to gather herbs into a pile while mincing
Opens partially to wipe blades clean of collected herbs
Separates into two pieces for easy cleaning
Plastic cover prevents blades from being exposed during storage
Dishwasher safe

And the OXO Good Grips Bladed Meat Tenderiser worth £16.00





















The easy-to-use OXO Good Grips Bladed Meat Tenderiser improves the taste and tenderness of meat, reducing cooking time in the process. When marinating, small holes created by its 50 sharp blades serve as pockets for flavourful juices to fully absorb into meat or poultry in less time – no need for overnight marinating! This Bladed Meat Tenderiser helps poultry self-baste, allows meat to retain its natural juices and promotes uniform cooking. The contoured shape with non-slip grip is comfortable to hold while stamping, and the clear base makes it easy to see the indent left in the meat for easy, even tenderisation. The Bladed Meat Tenderiser locks with the blades covered for safe, compact storage. This tool comes apart for easy cleaning and is top-rack dishwasher safe.

Features:
Easy-to-use, 50-blade Meat Tenderiser improves the taste and tenderness of all meats
Sharp, durable blades create pockets to reduce marinating and cooking time, allowing meat to retain its natural juices and promoting uniform cooking
Recessed toggle lock keeps blades covered for safe, compact storage and won’t unlock on its own
Clear base and straight edges make it easy to see where blades have been and serve as a guide for even tenderisation
Contoured shape and non-slip grip provides comfort while stamping
Top can be removed for thorough cleaning
Top-rack dishwasher safe

To find out more about OXO Good Grips products over at http://www.oxouk.com

How to enter:
Entries to this giveaway must be via the Rafflecopter widget. Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK mainland only. 
To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed.  
 For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget.


Good Luck Everyone! 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Le Méridien Hotels Creates éclairs from Inspired Destinations with Chef Iuzzini

As part of a rebranding campaign, Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts have been working with award-winning chef Johnny Iuzzini.  Their plan is to better define the brand and align it with the culture and cuisine surrounding each of its properties.


Johnny is a pastry chef, author, motorcyclist and world traveler.  Through his partnership with Le Meridien he is unlocking destinations around the world.

Whenever he visits somewhere new he loves to stop off at the farmers market and explore new and exciting produce each place has to offer.  He has developed an exclusive series of éclair pastries each inspired by the local area.  By using regional flavour combinations, Le Méridien hotels have transformed the traditional Parisian pastry, so as to offer guests a unique taste of their destination and in this instance we’re talking about the Côte d'Azur.

Since the dominate flavours of the Côte d'Azur are very much herbs, olive oil and lemon. Apart from the wonderful orchards full of citrus fruits, lemon verbena (a perennial shrub) is widely available and the leaves have a strong lemon taste and scent.

So forget about the regular chocolate éclair that we all know and love – cream filled choux pastry dipped in chocolate.  Take a look at this video where Johnny travels to the Côte d'Azur and creates an extra special and very different, mouth-watering éclair! 

The Éclair Diaries follows Chef Iuzzini as he explores iconic Le Méridien destinations in search of inspiration for his next recipe.



You can find out more about Chef Iuzziniat's adventure here: http://www.lemeridieneclair.com


This post was bought to you in partnership with Le Méridien

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How to Make your Kitchen Work Harder

Keeping a family fed and watered is no easy task, so it’s important that your cooking area is up-to-scratch. If you think your kitchen could work harder and you’re keen to improve this part of your property, take a look at the following simple but effective design suggestions.

Create extra storage;
Clutter and chaos are the scourge of any cooking area, so it’s vital that your kitchen benefits from bags of storage. Standard units may not be enough to house all of your items, so you might need to rethink your current storage solutions.
Bear in mind that specialist suppliers like Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets offer a host of products, meaning you won’t struggle to find the perfect solutions for your home.

From full height cabinets to handy corner units that squeeze maximum use out of these awkward areas, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Include plenty of workspace;
Plenty of workspace is a must in any busy kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have help with meal preparation, the last thing you want is to end up fighting for surface space with your fellow cooks. If you’ve got the square footage, an island unit might make a great addition to your kitchen. This is by far the most effective way to increase the available space.

You can also free up extra surface area by reducing the number of items you keep on your worktops. For example, storing things like food mixers and condiments on your shelving or in your cabinets rather than on your surfaces can give you more room to manoeuvre.

Choose the perfect appliances; 
Be savvy in your selection of appliances too. For example, if you don’t already have one, it could be the time to invest in a dishwasher. These useful products can shave hours off your weekly chores, and as long as you fill them up properly before switching them on, they can be more energy efficient than using the sink.

A decent sized oven and a spacious fridge can also help to take some of the stress out of family catering.

Make those all-important finishing touches;
Don’t forget to make those all-important finishing touches either. For example, if you’re replacing your worktops, you might benefit from getting steel hotrods fitted in your new versions. These handy pan stands can stop you from burning your surfaces when you’re cooking up a storm for your household. Meanwhile, utensil hooks can make reaching for tongs, spoons, mashers and a host of other kitchen essentials quicker and easier.

By bearing simple design ideas like these in mind when you’re revamping your kitchen, you should be able to ensure it’s more than up to the task of helping you feed your family.

This is a sponsored post.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Mexican World of Flavours Cookware Range by KitchenCraft

Now without sounding like an advert (that's not my intention) but it has to be said, the World of Flavours cookware range by KitchenCraft is, in my opinion simply stunning.
I love the style and bright colours, just look how good everything looks. Of course the build quality is excellent too.

First up is the Nacho and Dip Serving Dish which of course not only looks good but is practical too and certainly draws attention of guests. 


Also part of the range is this gorgeous Burrito Dish - fantastic of course for baked burritos but if you fancy Italian then a nice big lasagne wouldn't look out of place.

I'm loving this Serving Bowl it's available in two colour options - this shown and lime green and turquoise.  Please note the colours are exactly like the burrito dish above but since the sun came out when I was taking the picture, for the life of me I couldn't get the colour to show properly!

I wrote before about how easy it is to make your own tortillas with a tortilla press (also by KitchenCraft)    and this Ceramic Tortilla Warmer is just the thing to keep them warm without drying out.  Now, this can also double as a shallow casserole dish so it's fantastic value for money.























The World of Flavours range isn't all Mexican you can choose from Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, Oriental or Stateside.

Nacho and Dip Serving Bowl:  30cm is dishwasher safe and oven safe to 150C/302F

Burrito Dish: 27cm x 19.5cm x 6cm is dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 220C/428F

Serving Bowl: 18cm x 9.5 cm and is dishwasher and microwave safe

Ceramic Tortilla Warmer/ Casserole Dish: 23cm x 10cm and is dishwasher, fridge, freezer and microwave safe and is oven safe to 220C/428F 

To see these and more great products and to find your nearest stockist pop over to KitchenCraft.


Thank you to Sarah at KitchenCraft for sending me these to review.

Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

GIVEAWAY - Perfect Mother's Day Gift from Judge

As you may have seen in my previous post, I reviewed this very nice Glass Hob Top Tea Pot.
Well, the nice people over at Judge Cookware are giving one lucky reader of this blog the chance to win one of these Glass Hob Top Tea Pots AND a set of Two Glass Cappuccino/Teacups the prize is worth a total of £53.50

The 250ml glass cappuccino/teacups match perfectly with the glass tea pot - both are very stylish and would make the perfect Mother's Day Gift.

The cappuccino cups are part of a new collection ranging from tumblers to coffee mugs, by Judge which employs a thermally insulated ‘air pocket’ design to create the ultimate drinking experience.

Hot drinks remain hotter for longer, while the outside of the glass remains cool to the touch.  Cold drinks can be as icy as ever you wish, and yet the outer glass will stay condensation-free. Both of these points mean that you no longer need clutter your coffee table with coasters.

Made from scratch-resistant borosilicate glass, and carefully crafted for a comfortable lip, each vessel is individually mouth-blown by artisan glass makers meaning that every single item in the range is unique.
Despite their delicate appearance and handcrafted formation, all Judge Double Walled Glasses are dishwasher safe, for your convenience.

The glass tea pot of course can be used to make herbal or fruit teas too as shown above.  The tea pot is suitable for ALL hobs types including Induction - for more details you can read my review here.

You can find out about these and more great products by popping over to Judge Cookware (Twitter @JudgeCookware)

The Prize and How to Enter:
The Prize consists of 1 x Glass Hob Top Tea Pot and 2 x Cappuccino cups which of course can be used as teacups.

Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget:
Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK only.  To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed as will anyone that says they have left a blog post comment but really hasn't!  

For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget along with the terms and conditions.



Hob Top Glass Tea Pot - Judge Cookware

This rather nice and very stylish tea pot from Judge Cookware has cloud-resistant glass and can be used on all hob types including induction to boil water and keep tea warm.  Having been sent one to review here's how it went....




























It has a capacity of 500ml-900ml so will make between two and five cups of tea or two big mugs.  I'm thinking this would make an ideal for a Mother's Day gift.    
Talking of Mother's Day, in the next post I'll be running a giveaway since the nice people at Judge Cookware are giving away a Glass Hob Top Tea Pot and Two very nice Glass Cappuccino/Teacups  so be sure to watch out for this!

























Cleaning:
Having used the tea pot a good amount of times now I can say that even with the very hard water we have in this area it's still looking good.
The bottom plate inside did start to become dull looking, but it was nothing that a splash of vinegar and a wipe round before washing and rinsing didn't sort out.  The tea pot is dishwasher safe.  It will probably need cleaning with a descaler every 3/6 months depending on the hardness of the water where you live.

By the way, vinegar is most marvelous for sorting out water stains on all manor of things - I use it on the inside bottom plate of my Judge Soup Maker (after boiling eggs in it) and that comes up shiny like a new pin!

How to use:
Just put the amount of tea leaves (according to your taste) into the removable stainless steel infuser.  Fill with water and pop onto the hob then and heat until almost boiling.  I was nicely surprised to find the handle doesn't get too hot to pick up - it's fine.  Now sit back and enjoy a nice cuppa!

Typical In-store price is £40

Pop over to Judge Cookware (JudgeCookware on Twitter) for more information on this and other great products.

Disclaimer:  Thank you to Judge for sending me this tea pot to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Five Fun Facts About Mother's Day

They gave birth to us, they raised us and before long they couldn’t wait to pack us off.  Now it’s their turn to receive a little love and attention.  Are you planning a great gift, a sweet surprise? Here are some quirky Mother’s Day facts to get you thinking:

Mother’s Day is heaven for retailers;

You might be shocked to learn how much people spent on darling mummy.  The American National Retail Federation estimated that U.S. consumers spent nearly $20 billion (that’s just under 13 million pounds) celebrating Mother's Day in 2014

Mother’s day and Mothering Sunday are not the same;
Although celebrated in the same way as Mother’s day is elsewhere, Mothering Sunday is a Christian holiday that has been celebrated in the UK since the early 16th century.  It falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent and is also known as Refreshment Sunday and Pudding Pie Sunday. Mother’s Day, however, is a modern American holiday dreamt up by a lady called Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a memorial to her deceased mother. She later campaigned for an annual day of tribute to mothers everywhere and thus Mother’s day was born.

Cards and Flowers say I Love You;
141 million Mother's Day cards are exchanged annually in the U.S and here in the UK, sales of cut flowers increase by an average of 40% around Mother’s Day, making it a very busy period for florists.


Image by Tobias von der Haar, used under the Creative Commons license.
 
Mothers Prefer August;
Did you know that August is the most popular month in which to have a baby?

The Best Way to The Heart is Through The Stomach;

Buying an expensive gift for Mum isn’t always the best plan of action.  She probably doesn’t want you to spend your money on her but what she definitely does want is a bit of your time. Why not spoil her with a homemade breakfast?  Think French toast with bacon and maple syrup, a full English or eggs benedict.
If she’s not a breakfast kind of lady (or she’s a vegetarian) give her a box of homemade cakes or chocolates. If you can’t cook there are plenty of other things that you can do for free.  You could make her a special card or paint her a picture, take her for a walk or go out dancing together. Mum’s love dancing!

Find out more cool Mother’s Day facts by taking a look at this Mother’s Day infographic.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Vanilla Table Book - Giveaway

I'm delighted that the lovely people over at Jacqui Small Publishing are giving one lucky ready of this blog the chance to win a copy of this lovely book.

Vanilla Table; The essence of exquisite cooking from the world's best chefs is written by Natasha MacAller. 
You might think there are only so many ways vanilla can be used in the kitchen but Natasha is ready to change your mind and take you on a journey to discover the many wonders of one of the most versatile ingredients in your pantry.


With the help of 33 outstanding chefs, who have each contributed a ‘vanilla plate’, international chef Natasha MacAller has created a truly global compendium of vanilla expertise, showcasing this most exotic and yet everyday spice in over 100 vanilla dishes, sweet and savoury.

By Natasha  MacAller
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth
Foreword by Peter Gordon
19th March 2015 | Hardback | £25.00
Published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com 

Now for the Giveaway - How to Enter - Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget:
Please note the prize (one copy of the book Vanilla Table, can only be sent to the UK only.  To see a short video on how easy it is to use Rafflecopter click here.
*Inappropriate comments will be deleted and entry/entries to the competition removed as will anyone that says they have left a blog post comment but really hasn't!  

For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here - Entries that do not show the URL of the Tweet will be removed.
There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget along with the terms and conditions.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Mexican-style Rice - Knorr Flavour Pot Product of the Year Challenge

The lovely people at Knorr have just collected First Prize in the Sauce and Seasoning category for this year’s Product of the Year awards for their innovative Flavour Pots.  To be honest I'm not at all surprised since flavour pots are a really easy way to infuse your cooking with the flavour of fresh herbs and spices just by stirring one into your dish whilst cooking.  Simple to use and with great results.



























Along with some other bloggers we asked to join in the Knorr Flavour Pot – Product of the Year Challenge!

So with that in mind I came up with Mexican-style Rice. Very easy and quick to make but since I hadn't used flavour pots before I did wonder if they would too spicy or not spicy enough - but hey, one pot was just perfect and added a lovely flavour to the rice.  Yes I'll be using Knorr use Flavor Pots again.

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