Friday, 27 November 2015

SPAM® Mac ‘n’ Cheese

SPAM® have a lovely selection of really easy to make recipes that can be made and served in next to no time.  So once you're fed up with eating left overs from that huge Christmas dinner you made, why not have a go at this filling and comforting SPAM® Mac ‘n’ Cheese. 

Of course I'm not saying you have to wait until after Christmas to make this, give it a go tonight; kids and adults alike will love it!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Optimum ThermoCook - Mini Review

Thanks to ThermoCook it's beginning to look like I'm redundant in my own kitchen!  Let me tell you about this truly amazing piece of kit; introducing the Optimum ThermoCook Professional Cooking Assistant!  When I was asked if I'd like a ThermoCook all of my own I almost fell off the chair; I mean this is  seriously an excellent state of the art piece of kitchen equipment.  It's not only stylish but it's smaller than I imagined it to be, which is great since our kitchen is really tiny.

Oh yes, the ThermoCook is a cooking lovers dream come true.  Of course it's not that I or anyone else can't cook, but the ThermoCook makes everything so much easier. 

There's so much I have to tell you but it would mean this post would go on forever, so I intend to write a series of posts covering the many different tasks the ThermoCook can do.  Even mashed potato is taken care of in under 18 minutes from start to finish - check out this creamy mash!

In fact, it would be far easier to tell what it can't do; for example it doesn't do the food shopping for you and nor does it put it away in the cupboards for you!
What it does do is make life so much easier and enables you to create smoothies and soups, it chops, sautes, stirs, kneads, steams and stews.  It can make yogurt, butter, rice (boiled or steamed) I've so far tried steamed rice and it was excellent) and porridge.

Think how your life will change with this fantastic machine that can make Jam, sauces, mayonnaise and dips and what about curry, bolognese, pasta dough, bread dough and even risotto.  The Optimum ThermoCook also keeps cooked food warm and can reheat food too.

Anyone into cooking will most probably heard of the Thermomix and although I've never used one, I have seen one in action and was really impressed.  The Optimum ThermoCook is just as fancy and can do just the same and MORE!
On yes, it has more built in functions than the Thermomix; take a look at the chart below comparing the two machines.  It's also worth noting that the Optimum ThermoCook has a DIY customisation feature which allows you to programme and record your own custom made setting for future use.

The ThermoCook is also fantastic for mums and dads who want to know exactly what goes into the food they feed their baby by making sure they use good quality products and that is will be healthy too as you control what goes into it.  The recipe book includes a section on Baby Food suitable for 3-4 month babies or 5-6 and 7-8 month babies.  Sadly I don't have any babies to try them out on! But I'm thinking that Corn Juice is sounding good, nice and healthy as does the Vegetable Puree and Banana Milk Puree.

The ThermoCook makes soup in just 20 minutes without the need to do any real chopping - just rough chop so the ingredients fit in the jug; for example you wouldn't put a whole stick of celery in or a whole carrot.

The recipe book that comes with the machine contains over 90 recipes but once you've had a play with it you can of course make your own recipes up as I did with this simple Curried Vegetable Soup.

Curried Vegetable Soup - Serves 4

Print Recipe

2 leeks
6 to 8 baby potatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
a pinch of pepper and a pinch of sea salt
1 and a half Knorr vegetable stock cubes
500ml water

Use the ThermoCook jug with Chopping Blade.

  • Rough chop the leeks, potatoes and carrots and quarter the onion. 
  • Put all of the ingredients into the jug. 
  • Select QUICK SOUP - the ThermoCook will chop for 30 seconds and then automatically go on to cook your soup.  Your soup will be ready to serve in just 20 minutes.

Cleaning the ThermoCook is simple:
To wash the ThermoCook jug simply put a tiny amount of washing up liquid into the just along with enough hot water to cover the blade.
Pop the lid on and select PULSE for a couple of seconds. 
Remove the blade and the sealing ring, wash and dry before fitting hem back together.
Wash the jug in sudsy water remembering not to let the electrical connector get wet.

So what's in the box?

Blending Jug, Chopping Blade, Kneading Shaft, Mixing Tool, Bowl Lid, Measuring Cup, Cooking Basket, Spatula and a 2.6 litre Steamer with Lid and a Cooking Basket.


I already have the Optimum 9200A Next Generation Power Blender from Froothie UK and so I know what excellent build quality any Froothie products are.

Froothie are so sure that you will love the Optimum ThermoCook that they even offer a 30 day Money Back Guarantee; so you really can't go wrong.  Also at the time of writing if you order before Christmas you will get a massive £300 off meaning the Optimum ThermoCook could be in your kitchen for just £595
I say you will wonder how you ever coped in the kitchen without it.


Anyway, you can be sure I'll be back very soon with more on the Optimum ThermoCook and in the meanwhile please feel free to contact me (via the contacts page on this blog) with any questions you may have.

Disclosure: Froothie UK sent me the Optimum ThermoCook to use and review at home. I have not been paid for this post and was not required to give the ThermoCook a positive write up.  All opinions are my own.  Affiliate links included in this post.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sweet Potato topped Sausage and Kale Cassoulet

I do love a good, hearty and warming Crock-Pot dinner.  Crock-Pots (the original slow cooker) are fantastic and perfect for busy people and families.  Once all the ingredients are in the Crock-Pot, it can be left alone and dinner will cook itself - marvelous!

Having been asked to be part of the Collective Crock Challenge meaning myself and a few other bloggers had to name an ingredient that we'd like to see included in the Collective Crock-Pot recipe.

I was asked to name the main ingredient and I said sausages.  I say there's nothing like a proper good quality sausage; sausages in a Crock-Pot say winter is here.  None of us knew what ingredient each other had said and the people at Crock-Pot came up with this collective cooks recipe.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

How to Make the Perfect Liqueur Coffee

Hands up who doesn't like a nice liqueur coffee at the end of a special dinner - not many I people expect!  The perfect after dinner drink at Christmas, Thanksgiving or of course New Year.

But how do you make the cream float on top?  Well it's actually really easy; follow my recipe for success!

Aldi have some seriously good priced Wines, Beers and Spirits.  Exclusive to Aldi this Chevalier Cognac is a great price at just £15.99 for a 70cl bottle.

Of course if you don't like Cognac you can make liqueur coffee with Whisky, Grand Marnier, Tia Maria,  Cointreau, Bourbon, Drambuie, the list is endless.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Stoves’ British Treasure Hunt at BBC Good Food Show

I'm super excited to tell you about this great competition being held by Stoves.  The prize is a cookery book and food vouchers worth £500 - imagine what lovely Christmas present that would be?!
Stoves are proud to make their cooking appliances right here in Britain, and they want to celebrate the best of all things British!  So this year they are hosting a very special Treasure Hunt at the BBC Good Food Show Winter held at the NEC Birmingham.

Five stunningly-designed British range cookers have been hidden around the NEC Birmingham:
All you need to do is seek them out during the show for the chance to win a very special prize – a cookery book and food vouchers worth £500 to help you create a Christmas dinner to remember.

The theme of each cooker was chosen by our social media audience to celebrate an aspect of British culture:
  • An English Christmas
  • Afternoon Tea
  • British Landmarks
  • British Flowers
  • Sunshine and Showers

How to enter the Stoves' British Treasure Hunt:
Just pick up one of the entry forms at the Stoves Live Cook area or at any show entrance. Then, simply seek out our British cookers during your day at the show, where you’ll find the answers to each of the questions on the form.

Pop your completed card in the designated box at the Stoves Live Cook area for your chance to win!

You can keep up to date with Stoves on Twitter @StovesUK

Buy tickets for the BBC Good Food Show Winter. 

Please do take a minute to check out the terms and conditions of the Stoves Treasure Hunt which can be found here.

Good Luck Everyone!!

Disclaimer:  I have not received any payment to promote this competition.  I will not be entering the competition myself as I am currently in a partnership with Stoves.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Roundup of Great Foodie Books - Chocolates and Snacks

Oooh what a fantastic lot of foodie books I have here; along with yummy chocolates from Elizabeth Shaw and Snacking Salami from The Serious Pig.....Well that's a bit of a mixture I hear you say, and indeed it is but all are well worth checking out!

Listed in no particular order (although you all know I'm a big lover of cheese) here we go.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Hansells Yogurt Maker - Review

Having recently been sent the Hansells easy-to-use yoghurt maker to try, here's how I got on.  The Hansells Yoghurt Maker Starter Kit contains mixing tubs and six sachets of yoghurt for £15.00 which personally I think is a great price.

It's really simple to use too - just 3 steps.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Roasted Cauliflower and Cheese Soup

With Autumn weather now full swing there's nothing like a nice bowl of steaming hot creamy soup.  Of course once the cauliflower has roasted this soup can be made in a saucepan and the blended with a stick blender but I prefer to use my Power Blender since there's no messing about with extra pots and gadgets, which means there's less to wash up!

If you've never roasted cauliflower before why haven't you?!  Roasting cauliflower gives it a delicious sweetness that tastes so good you'll wonder why you didn't try it before.

Roasting pan used is the ScanPan

The Froothie Optimum 9200 Power Blender even heats the soup too; so the whole thing from start to finish can be made using the blender alone.  Running on high speed the blades rotate 44,000 rpm which creates friction heat and the Optimum 9200 will raise the contents of the jug by 4 degrees every 30 seconds.  In order to make hot soup it has to be running for approximately 5 to 6 minutes depending on the amount of vegetables in the jug.  Check out my review - it really is a seriously amazing piece of kit and the build quality is second to none.