Monday, 31 October 2011

NEW Colman's Instant Gravy Paste - a Review

Colman's have just instant gravy paste in tubes!  Made with real meat juices and available in all major supermarkets in Beef, Chicken and Onion flavours.
Made with busy mum's in mind just a squeeze of a tube, some boiling water, a bit of a stir, and you have gravy in an instant!
Now, it has to be said (dare I say it) I'm a bit of a Bisto fan when it comes to instant gravy, and I really thought nothing else could match it.  
Although I'm really into cooking, there are times when you need gravy - and you need it like now!
  Colman's beef gravy paste is seriously good and I've now been converted from Bisto.  You really honestly, can taste the difference. 

 On Sunday we tried the chicken one and that too was really good, I'd say it was the next best thing to making your own gravy from scratch with the juices from the chicken.  All the gravy pastes smell delicious too! 

My only criticism is this:  Although the taste of all the gravy pastes is very good, even after adding more than the suggested amount of gravy paste, you do still end up with a 'thinnish looking' gravy.  However, the taste is still very, very good and so I wasn't too fussed - taste is everything after all.      
    The onion gravy really smelt of onions when the boiling water was poured on, and that too also tasted good.  When trying the onion gravy, I did only make some up in a small jug just to taste it, but it really needed bangers and mash to go with it! 
Colman’s Instant Gravy Paste is free of any nasty preservatives and artificial flavour enhancers. RRP is £1.59 and it comes in 130g easy-squeeze tubes, which provide approximately 5 servings.
Thank you to Neil for sending me some to try.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Pan-fried Chicken with Indian Style Flavoured Butter

Oooh now this was yummy - Pan-fried chicken with Indian style flavoured butter. 
After making Banita's Indian Style Fish and Chips the other day, we loved her Tandoori butter!  So, I titivated it a bit and came up with Indian style flavoured butter.
Perfect for chicken, fish or whatever else takes your fancy!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dress the Board Pan-fried Chicken and some rather nice chips

This is along the lines of Jamie Oliver's Dress the Board Steak that I made the other day using my choice of ingredients.  
What a marvellous idea I thought it would be to chop different dressing ingredients then add them to pan-fried chicken.
Served with my home made crunchy chips and a little salad, you have a nice easy meal ready in no time at all.
Parsley, Garlic, Lemon, Red Chilli, Honey and Spring Onion....Yum!

Indian Style Fish and Chips - Tesco Real Food Cook Off

Last nights episode of Tesco Real Food Family Cook off saw Kate Watts up against Banita Ludhor.
I thought they both did really well and I loved everything they cooked!
    Before I'd seen the show last night I'd been asked to pick a recipe and cook it! As I'd previously cooked Banita's Spicy Chicken Kebabs, I went for Kate's 'Indian Style Fish and Chips'.
I didn't have a picture to go by but Kate's recipe was really easy to follow and I have to say I will be making it again.  
By the way, the Tandoori butter that goes over the fish is soooo good!
 The twist to this dish is said Kate, there is no batter and no chips!
 As both teams ended up drawing with the same overall score, it was down to celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott to make the final decision.
As a result Banita's team have now gone through to the final which will be shown next Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 5 where Banita will be up against Filipa Kay.  Readers of this blog will know I cooked Filipa's Piri Piri Chicken.
I was sorry to see Kate go but well done to both teams - excellent recipes! 

If you'd like to make this dish, pop over to Channel 5 and have a look at Kate's recipe.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Christmas Gifts from Hotel Chocolat

Christmas is just around the corner and Hotel Chocolat have a great range of Christmas Gifts.  They also have a Stocking Fillers starting at just £5 
I was recently sent the Sleekster Classic Christmas Selection, what an amazing box of chocolates!    
Don't you just love the look of them?!

The Sleekster Christmas Selection sells for £22 which is excellent considering the quality.  These chocolates really are different and a cut above any other brand out there.
With a range of fillings from Simple Milk Truffle and Rum Truffle to Champagne Truffle.  There's also Mulled Wine, Christmas Mess, Cinnamon Praline, and Gingerbread Truffle too!
The Zesty Marzipan Star is even dabbed with edible gold!
Other interesting fillings include Star Anise and Salted Caramel, Chilli Truffle and Ginger Cheesecake and more.  In case you are wondering, it is suitable for vegetarians.

Another thing I personally like about the 'Sleekster' range of boxes, is that the box is just the right shape to fit through most standard sized letterboxes.  So, you can surprise someone with your gift without the worry of them being out when it arrives.   After all, if you have to ask them if they'll be in, it kinda gives the game away!
 Pop over to Hotel Chocolat and have a look for yourself.
 Thank you to Beth and Hotel Chocolat.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Jamie's Great Britain - Book Review

As you probably know Jamie Oliver's latest book titled 'Jamie's Great Britain' is out.  You can see the TV series to accompany the book, which starts Tuesday 25th October at 9pm on Channel 4 and I will be tuning in!
Now, this book isn't all traditional English food as I thought it would be.  Might be just me but that's what I was expecting.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it isn't, because as I do like a bit of variety!
 As it says in the book: It's more 'British' food that a result of centuries of invasion, exploration, colonisation and immigration which has created a unique and wonderful food culture within our small island home. 

 That said, inside the book you will find classics such as Steak and Kidney Pudding that has Marmalade and Cheddar listed in the ingredients, which although sounds a bit odd, I bet it's good.  It certainly looks it!
Pictures taken from the book Jamie's Great Britain:
Jamie's Rainbow Salad looks amazing:
There are a huge range of recipes from 12-hour Rabbit Bolognese, Seared Scallops with Crispy Black Pudding and Clapshot, Crispy Roasted Fish-cakes, Roasted Veg Vindaloo, 'Kate and Wills' Wedding Pie to good old Cornish Pasties and Lincolnshire Poachers Pie.
Lots of puddings to be found in this book too!
Flapjack Crumble, Apple Pepper Pot Cake, which even me that 'don't do puddings' is thinking looks rather yum!  
Along with this Elderflower Summer Pudding.  
Don't you think it looks lovely - so colourful:
  All in all, this really is yet another great book from Jamie and if you were to buy it, I really can't see you being disappointed.
A big thank you to Pete for sending me a copy.

Make a Wish to the Fairy HobMother

The Fairy HobMother is out and about doing great things - granting wishes wherever she can.   Her real name is Jenny and she works for Appliances Online who sell a fantastic range of Cookers including this rather nice Electrolux EOB53000X and other white goods.
Jenny has a great job making some wishes come true!
All you have to do is leave your wish in the form of a comment below, and you never know, it might just be granted!
Look what arrived in the post for me today, a Belling Media Chef - you know how I just love gadgetry!
Perhaps now we have this Paul (the husband) might even be able to cook the dinner one night and what's more, it could even be edible?  No, I won't be holding my breath - bless him!
Thank you Jenny at Appliances Online for sending me this.
*Don't forget to make your wish and The Fairy HobMother could visit you too!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Spanish Tortilla with Olives and Chorizo

I was recently sent some olives to try from 'Olives from Spain'
Now, I never used to like olives but since going to Spain and Greece I've got to love them! 

A few facts about Olives:
Olives have been around for thousands of years, appearing in one of the earliest cookbooks ever discovered!  This was a 2000- year old text by a Roman named Apicius.
Olive oil has traditionally been used as fuel and was even used to light the earliest Olympic Torch.
Olive trees can live for more than 1,500 years and grow to a maximum of 50 feet tall.
Omar Allibhoy who has teamed up with Olives from Spain to educate the UK public about the great taste and versatility of Spanish olives.  He has now exclusively developed five delicious recipes, using the finest olives from Spain, to show us Brits how to get creative in the kitchen with this wonderful ingredient.  Here's one of Omar's recipe, which I must say looks really yummy!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Find Your Nearest Pizza Restaurant - Fast!

Nearest Pizza is a new website and is a really easy way to find pizza restaurants like Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Strada and Zizzi in your local area. 
I found this site very easy to use.  You simply go to Nearest Pizza website.
 Type in your post code or town and press the ‘Search’ button.  I used Wolverhampton for this example.
  A second later a map shows the pizza places dotted around on the map along with the name of the Pizza places found including their address and telephone numbers at the side.

 As you can see on the right hand side there’s also an approximate distance to each pizza place from the actual place you searched for. 
You can browse a list of Popular UK Locations for example, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds etc.
  There’s another search box that would be useful if you live or work in the capital, you can view London.  On that page you'll find London broken down into areas for example: City of London, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea etc.
So next time you want to know where your nearest pizza place is, remember Nearest

Monday, 17 October 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Pie - Leftover Roast Chicken Recipe

Seriously easy chicken pie made from leftover chicken from your Sunday roast.  Nothing tricky nor fancy, but this pie is a gooden!
Just serve with some nice mashed potatoes and a little more gravy (if your a gravy kind of person) and that's it, dinner is done!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Jamie's Dress the Board Steak with my Roughed up Chips

Yes you read right, roughed up chips is what I'm calling my chips!
If you like the crispy, crunchy rough bits that are to be found on good roast potatoes you'll love these chips.
An age ago now Jamie Oliver made what he called 'dress the board steak' I remember how good it looked and have been meaning to make it ever since.  But like a lot of things it's getting round to it and last night I did just that.
I used my own version of herbs and stuff to 'dress the board' and of course you can do the same.
  If you're stuck for something for dinner tonight and love steak, this is the way to go! 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Potato and Chorizo Crush with Pan-Fried Chicken and Wilted Spinach

We love chorizo, we love potatoes, so what a marvelous idea I thought it would be to put the two together and make potato and chorizo crush. 
 Served with pan-fried chicken along with spinach that I'd washed, drained then stir- fried in a hot pan along with a little chopped garlic, salt and nutmeg.  
So simple and yet so good. 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Spicy Chicken Kebabs and Cambodian Chicken - Tesco Real Food Cook Off

As part of a team of food bloggers involved with the Tesco Real Food 

I was asked to make two recipes from the Channel 5 show 'Real Food Family Cook Off' shown Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm.
  If you've been following the programe you'll know that this week was the turn of Banita Ludhor to take on Jonny Thomson.
 Banita made Spicy Chicken Kebabs, while Jonny cooked up Cambodian Chicken with Pineapple Fried Rice.
So there I was armed with a huge amount of lovely ingredients and my kitchen looking like food heaven, I cooked one dish one night, and the other the next!
 Banita's Spicy Chicken Kebabs were seriously delicious and had a lovely salad to go with them too:
Then there was Jonny's Cambodian Chicken - a very colourful mix of flavours.
The pineapple rice was really yummy and a meal on it's own!
 Both of these recipes can be found over at Tesco Real Food 'Cook Off'
As this weeks program has already been shown, you will know that Banita has gone through to the next round and sadly Jonny hasn't.  But well done Jonny for getting this far - great stuff!
If you missed this weeks show and want to catch up you can see the full episode here.