Sunday, 2 August 2015

Meat-free Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

We keep being told we're going to have a heat-wave here in the UK; but it has to be said I'm thinking they are perhaps talking about next year!  So with summer sadly not too on the summery side at the moment, how about trying my meat-free sausage and white bean cassoulet?  This easy one-pot meal is made with Quorn sausages which are high in protein and fibre but low in saturated fat this is a nice and filling but healthy kind of meal.


Personally I'm not a huge fan of Quorn sausages but their 'Chef's selection are far nicer than the regular ones and make a meat-free meal in next to no time.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Stellar Hard Anodised Bakeware Review - Tangy Tomato and Feta Stuffed Peppers

As we all know good bakeware is essential for good results when cooking.  Stellar’s Professional Hard Anodised Bakeware has even heat distribution with no rusting or flaking and no warping in the oven.  It's also easy to clean and free from PTFE and PFOA.

Having used my roasting tray a good few times now I have to say it's great and an affordable price too selling at just £20.00

As you can see this 32x22x5cm roasting tray is a good size and perfect for roasting vegetables and is available in different sizes.  It's really light in weight and the handles make it really easy to remove from the oven.

Made from an aluminium alloy which provides superior thermal conductivity for even heat distribution, essential for the baking of successful breads and cakes.  The pans are electrochemically-hardened (hard anodised) for unbeatable durability.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Codlo Space Saver Sous Vide - Perfect Poached Egg

Sous vide cooking is a fantastic, foolproof method of cooking and it has to be said although I love my Sous Vide Supreme machine which currently sells for £310 it is a bit on the expensive side.  Also it's quite big and takes up space in the kitchen; it's almost the size of a small microwave.

If you've always fancied sous vide cooking but can't afford a traditional sous vide machine or don't have the space then do read on as Codlo is the answer!
Codlo is a controller that transforms most rice/slow cookers into an instant sous vide machine when filled with water.  It works by allowing the appliance to switch on and off and is controlled by a small temperature probe to keep the water bath to a set temperature.  Codlo is not only space saving but it's far cheaper to buy than a traditional sous vide and currently available at just £119 

Having been sent the Codlo to try here's how I got on:
I know from experience that eggs are one of the hardest things to cook perfectly using the sous vide method.  So, I set myself a mission which was to put the Codlo to the test by cooking the perfect poached egg!




























You will need a rice cooker or slow cooker in order to use Codlo.  Plug Codlo into the power socket, plug your rice or slow cooker into Codlo and fill the slow cooker with water.  Put the temperature probe from Codlo into the water and set the desired temperature.
You can also set the end time if you wish but most things (other than eggs) cooked by the sous vide method will stay cooked and won't cook any further which means food can't really over cook food.  Poached eggs however do need a set time otherwise they will become hard and not poached.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Marks & Spencer - New Meole Brace Foodhall Opening and a Giveaway

Marks & Spencer is known for its high quality, exclusive and innovative food products, but I think the ‘Tastes of the British Isles’ range is really something special.

M&S scoured the British Isles to find good traditional recipes and then recreated them, so you can ‘taste’ your way around the British Isles enjoying the best of British.  Over the past week I’ve tried a few of products so if you haven’t discovered Tastes of the British Isles yet, you can see what you’re missing out on!






































Arbroath Lochmuir Hot Smoked Salmon Slices; I loved these, the salmon slices come in a pack of two and are seasoned with cracked black pepper, mustard and dill.  Serve with a green salad for a light lunch or add new potatoes and fresh crusty bread for easy fuss free summer eating at its best.

Pork and Egg Pie; nice and meaty, a good and what I’d call a proper pork pie.  As with all M&S food the egg is free range.  Every slice apart from the very end slices had egg.  These pies are made by a Leicestershire company with 160 years’ experience.  The pastry was excellent too; yes I can honestly say this is by far the best pork pie I’ve ever eaten.

Elderflower and Cucumber Gin Fizz; this is so refreshing, just the thing for the lovely weather we’ve been having lately.  5.5%vol this ready-made cocktail made with white wine and elderflower extract, cucumber and gin.  Perfect summer drink that is a little too easy to drink!  You can really taste the cucumber; we loved it.

Hog Roast Sausage Rolls; made in Yorkshire with crisp all butter puff pastry.  The sausage meat and pulled pork work well together.  They had a nice flavour from the Bramley apple too.  Each sausage roll is topped with pork crackling and are ready to eat hot or cold, perfect for a picnic.  I heated 2 sausage rolls in the oven for me and Paul (the husband) to try and the crackling topping was nice and crispy - perfect.   When eaten straight from the pack without heating we found the crackling wasn’t at all crispy, still good to eat but thought they were far better served hot.

Cornish Cove and Bacon Posh Puppies; now I was pleasantly surprised as to be honest I didn’t fancy the sound of cheese in a sausage and therefore wouldn’t be something I’d have chosen to buy.  But with that said, I’m so pleased to have tried them as they really are the best!  These Posh Puppies are meaty and nicely seasoned; a lovely smoky taste from the bacon and the Cornish Cove Cheddar was, well cheesy and very tasty.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Chilli Mayonnaise; so easy to cook, just remove the wrapping, put the mayo to one side for serving.  Pop the wedges into a preheated oven and once cooked, serve.  Simply dip into the chipotle chilli mayonnaise - nice. 

Old Fashioned Barbecue Sauce & Marinade; made from a classic English recipe with green peppers and a kick of British horseradish.  It can be used as a marinade for meat fish or poultry or you can use it as a sauce to top burgers.

Strawberries and Cream; you know how some strawberries can be tasteless?  Well these Herefordshire strawberries were quite the opposite; packed full of flavour and every strawberry was a good size which is something you don’t always find in other stores.  Perfect served with M&S Extra Thick West Country Single Cream.  














 

































Giveaway! Win summer drinks and a £50 gift card with M&S

To celebrate the opening of Marks & Spencer Meole Brace Foodhall, M&S is giving A Glug of Oil readers the chance to win a selection of tasty summer drinks, perfect for an alfresco weekend in the sun.  One winner will receive a selection of summer drinks from M&S’ popular Tastes of the British Isles range, and a £50 M&S gift card to spend in store.

M&S Meole Brace Foodhall at Meole Brace Retail Park in Shrewsbury opens on Wednesday 5th August at 10:00am.

The 8,000 sq ft store will create 50 job opportunities for the local area and provide shoppers with more than 5,500 food and drink lines, including the Tastes of the British Isles range, along with a selection of flowers, cards and gift wrap.

Customers can also look forward to a new 50-seat Café and in-store Bakery, which will offer a range of speciality breads, pastries and cakes, freshly baked each day.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question by leaving a comment in the comments section of this post. 

How many seats will the M&S Café at the new store have?
a)    40
b)    50
c)    45

Terms and Conditions
1. One winner will be selected automatically by the Rafflecopter widget after the closing date of 17th August 2015 – the winner will then be contacted via email.

2. The winner will receive a selection of summer drinks and a £50 M&S gift card to spend at M&S Meole Brace Foodhall.

3. Prize not transferable, no whole/part cash alternatives, delivered within 28 days of competition closing date.

4. No photocopies are allowed.

5. Open to UK mainland residents only.

6. This competition is not open to employees of Marks & Spencer.

7. Marks & Spencer will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner.

Good luck everyone!


 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Disclaimer; I was provided with the products listed above in order to write this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I received a gift card to cover my time hosting this competition on behalf of M&S

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Sponsored Video - Put On the Ritz with New Ritz Crisp & Thin

We all love savoury snacks especially crisps, these days crisps are available in a huge range of flavours, far too many to mention.  Whatever your favourite snack is, I think everyone loves Ritz.  

When I was a child in the 60’s we always went to my nans house for the occasional family get together or party.  But no party was a ‘proper’ party in my opinion, unless Ritz was on the table. 

My uncle George was always in charge of the music played at these parties and he would arrive with his massive collection of records as they were then.  No CD’s or anything fancy in those days, just a record player on which you could stack records to play in order.   
Me and my cousin Marilyn hated all these ‘old fashioned ’ records so when he popped to get another drink we would change his nicely compiled stacks of records to be played next to suit us – well we thought it was funny, but he didn’t!  

The original Ritz that we all know and love is of course still on sale today and is as popular ever.  But Ritz Crisp & Thin is a new product that’s been introduced to the range.  

Ritz Crisp & Thin is an oven-baked snack has a bit of glamour to it so you can Put on the Ritz at snack times for yourself or your next get together with friends.  There’s only one slight problem, you may well not want to part with them as once you start eating them it’s actually quite hard to stop.




Ritz Crisp & Thin are available in Sweet Red Chilli, Sea Salt and Black Pepper, Sea Salt and Vinegar and Cream Cheese and Onion (my personal favourite).  

If you try them please Tweet using this hash tag #PuttingOnTheRitz and let everyone know how much you liked them and say which your favourite flavour is.




You can find Ritz over on FaceBook and Twitter 


Disclaimer - This is a sponsored for Ritz.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Weetabix Breakfast Smoothie with Berries and Chia Seeds - Loose 9lb in 9 Weeks

For anyone that doesn't know,I am trying to loose 9lb in 9 weeks.  Can I do it?  I say yes I can!  Why 9 weeks; because we going on holiday and Ii want to look better.
Although we don't eat junk food and do eat more veg than I care to mention.  We do love cheese and eat far too much of it and it has to stop, not entirely but we do need to cut down, not just to loose weight but to stay healthy.


Everyone knows that eating a lot of bread is a sure way of piling on the pounds and usually for breakfast I have two slices of toast.  On the days I go to work in my morning break I have another slice of toast.  We get 15 minute break which isn't time to eat properly but I know I could do better, it's just for quickness I think.
At weekends when I'm not working we (me and Paul the husband) have a bacon and egg sandwich and that too has to stop.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

OXO Good Grips Complete Grate and Slice - Review

The OXO Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set has everything you need for grating and slicing all in one handy container making it so convenient to use and easy to store.  Everything needed sits inside a neat and tidy storage box, which can also be used to store grated food in the fridge.





























The Grate & Slice Set has coarse and medium grating surfaces, and straight and julienne slicing surfaces.  Each one is colour-coded so you just place your chosen grater or slicer on top of the lid as shown in my pictures and off you go!  If you're is a rush you can grate or slice over straight over bowls or plates. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Super Quick and Healthy Vegetable Sauce for Pasta

Some people may think that making your own sauce is just too much trouble but it really isn't and vegetable pasta sauce is a great way to get your family eating their 5-a-day too.
Shop bought pasta sauces often contain a lot of sugar and salt so this is also a great way to eat more healthily. 


My vegetable pasta sauce can be made in pretty much the time it takes to boil a saucepan of water and cook the pasta!  

To make it in super quick time, I used the Zyliss® Easy Pull manual food processor which allows you to chop food with ease and consistency.  Chopping, mixing, blending and pureeing easier and is convenient too with no need or fuss for electric tools and gadgets. 

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