Thursday, 28 June 2012

Choccywoccydoodah - New Series

Choccywoccydoodah - yes you read right!  
For anyone that hasn't seen it before there's a new series about to start:
World-class chocolatiers at Choccywoccydoodah are back exclusively on the Good Food channel, weeknights at 9pm from Monday 2nd July for a new series
of chocolate mischief and mayhem with even more glitz, glamour, celebrities and of course spectacular cake designs.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Find Me A Gift - Joseph Joseph Kitchen Essentials Review

 I do love anything Joseph Joseph - bright, colourful, trendy, practical, must have bits and bobs for the kitchen.  Find Me a Gift have loads kitchen gifts to choose from and I'm loving this handy multicoloured Joseph Joseph Nest of 5 Measuring Cups.  Each cup snaps together and fits inside the other so they take up hardly any room in the drawer.  Since my kitchen is so, so small this is a good thing.

How many times have you come across a recipe that uses 'cups' as a measurement?  Well these are ideal for such times, no more hunting about on the net to find out what a cup is (like I do as I can never remember such stuff).

Kefta Mkaouara - Spicy Egg, Meatball and Tomato Tagine

Rick Stein's 'Mediterranean Escapes' cookbook has been out a good while now but in my opinion it's one of the best books I own. 

Even though I've made this time and time again, we still love it.
Of course you don't have to have a Tagine to make this, I didn't use mine as it's a bit on the big side, so I just used a shallow oven proof baking dish.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Rosemary and Sea Salt Focaccia - Easy to Make

I came across this fantastic recipe by Lorraine Pascale in her book Baking Made Easy and it has to be said - this was easy!  Foccacia is an Italian flat bread and you can vary the topping to suit your taste - for example  Caramelised Red Onion or Cheese would be good!
As you're probably already aware, I don't do baking!  But this certainly turned out rather nice indeed.  Of course a good baking tray is vital and the Eazistore I reviewed a while back is still looking like new.

Spaghetti with Chicken Chorizo and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Along the lines of my Linguini with Prawns and Chorizo and just as yummy!  Not only is this pasta recipe easy to make, it looks good too.


It's a fact of life that chicken and chorizo are a great combo anyway.  Add sun-dried tomatoes along with a bit of chilli for heat, throw in a few peas for colour and you have one delicious meal in no time at all.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

EcoCook - Energy Efficient Cookware - Review

It has to be said A Glug of Oil does get sent lots of nice products to try but I must say I'm quite taken by Premier Housewares EcoCook.

  With the price of fuel getting higher every year and with more people keen to do their bit for the environment, EcoCook is the way to go!
 By the way, red is my favorite colour!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Drinks Cooler - Review

This is a great invention and it really does work!
Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Cooler is a jacket filled with special substance that freezes, and then stays cold for ages.  
The Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Cooler chills Champagne, wine or cans of beer in just 5 minutes.  Just keep it in the freezer until you need a bottle or can of beer or pop ice cold.  Unbreakable and reusable time after time.

Friday, 8 June 2012

First Flush Darjeeling Teas from Twinings

Have you ever heard about First Flush teas?
I recently heard about First Flush Darjeeling loose teas and thought I’d try and find out a bit more.
I’m a bit of a tea lover, but I hadn’t really heard of first flush before so I did a bit of reading and found out that first flush is supposedly one of the most sought after teas.
As the term would suggest these are the very first buds to be plucked from the tea plant, they are sold at a higher price and are prized with in the tea community for their exceptional quality, the tastes and aromas they produce.

Purchasing what is known as the very first invoice of this first flush tea is what is contended by businesses and individuals worldwide.  Aside from the unique and once a year flavour of these teas, holding the certificate of the first invoice of this tea is what these tea lovers are after and are willing to pay huge amounts of money for. 
First Flush Darjeeling teas from Twinings are the first picked teas of the season and are supposedly one of the best teas on the market today. I’m looking forward to trying them. 
This is a sponsored post.

Vanish Oxi Action Stain Removal Products

  As I regularly use Vanish products I don't need convincing that they are great for making your washing nice and white.  The Oxi Action Powder is especially good at removing Coffee Stains from fabric.
  Oxi Action Gel is great at getting your whites white!
In their product range Vanish also has Carpet Cleaning Shampoo which although I haven't used myself, my friend Jean says it does an excellent job!
 The Vanish website has a nifty 'Stain Solver' - just answer a few questions on the type of stain you have and it will recommend the best Vanish product for the stain.
This is a sponsored post. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Pan-fried Pork with Apple Cider Cream Sauce

Inspired by the Masterclass by Marco Pierre White I recently went to, where Marco showed us that the Knorr stock pot doesn't have to be diluted with water.  Apple, carrot, prune juice make for a much more tastier dish adding another depth of flavour.
 With that in mind and armed with a chicken stock pot, a bottle of apple juice and a bottle of cider.  Apple cider cream sauce was in the making!
Served with buttered spinach rice it went down very well indeed. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

One Pot Cooking with Marco Pierre White and Knorr

Last week I was very kindly invited along with around 15 other people including food bloggers and food journalists and Knorr representatives to a 'One Pot Cooking' Masterclass by Marco Pierre White.
Marco showed us how a Knorr stock pot doesn't have to be diluted with water, just use your imagination.....
Depending of course on what you're cooking, you can use fresh carrot, apple, or prune juice either on their own or in a combination with wine or cider.
Knorr stock pots are quite marvelous things!  If you've never tried them before you really should give them a go.  There's no need to faff about making your own stock ever again as they really do taste like 'proper' stock.
In just a couple of minutes you have freshly made stock to use in any recipe requiring stock. 
Marco first made Pumpkin Soup which was delicious.
   Instead of water he used freshly made carrot juice to dilute the vegetable Knorr stock pots.  He pointed out that shop brought carrot juice isn't the same due to the antioxidants they add which alter the flavour.....So now I need a juicer!
   After we'd all eaten the soup we went back into the kitchen to watch Marco make a lovely Asparagus Risotto:
The risotto was totally yummy and we all loved his idea of adding the peelings of the asparagus to the pan with the Knorr stock pot as it was brought to heat to add even more flavour.
 He then passed it through a sieve to remove the unwanted peelings and then used the stock in the usual manner.  It may not sound too amazing but it really makes a difference to the stock pot adding another depth of flavour.

Marco explained how by adding flavours in layers as you cook you a much more professional, tastier dish will be the end result.
Marco added the precooked asparagus tips at the very end of cooking, resulting in a greener fresher taste and look. 
    Now, as if we hadn't all had enough to eat, we once again returned to the kitchen to watch Marco make a really easy creamy Roast Chicken Casserole!
Of course using roast chicken will always result in a much more tasty casserole.  You can of course use the same recipe but make it into a pie for a change.  Two recipes in one!
As he made the recipe he wrote it down for us although you can find the recipe for this and many more over at Knorr.
The chicken casserole was made in no time at all and now it was time for us to try it.....
 Well I didn't meet anyone that found any fault with it - total yum on a plate!
As Marco said, don't be worried about experimenting in the kitchen and remember you don't have to follow any recipe to the last detail.
Don't be afraid to try new things.  Cooking should be fun!
  A massive thank you to Jen and Neil for inviting me along to my second Masterclass with Marco Pierre White and Knorr - I loved every minute of it and picked up lots of tips too.
I'll leave you with a few more photos of the day - Click on Continue Reading to view them:

The Cookie Dough Lover's CookBook - Review

It has to be said I never knew there were so many things you could make with cookie dough!  I assumed cookies were made and that was that.
 This is a hard-backed book in note pad style.  Published by Quirk Books and written by Lindsay Landis.
 There are quick tips and suggestions on most pages which are really useful.  I love the Measurement, Equivalences and Temperature chart at the front.  
Although the equivalent 'cup' measurement is shown as being 16 tablespoons (bit of a faff all that measuring) so my top tip would be to put 16 tablespoons of flour or sugar into two different cups and remember where it comes to - then you'll be sorted and ready to cook!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Farmison Gourmet British Food - Review

Anyone that likes good food will love Farmison!  A new gourmet online food store which delivers Michelin star quality food straight to your kitchen.  Just recently I was kindly sent their Everyday Vegetable box to try.  

Vegetable box

As the name suggests the Everyday Vegetable Box was full of veg you'd use everyday:
Cabbage, Carrots, Runner Beans, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Potatoes, Courgettes, Garlic, Broccoli, Peas in their pod and Mushrooms.

About Farmison:
Farmison source the finest of British produce including bespoke cuts of meat, award-winning artisan cheeses and fresh seasonal fruit and vegetable boxes, using the same farmers and producers which supply the kitchens of world renowned restaurants, such as Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck, Yorke Arms, Northcote Manor and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.

The Everyday Vegetable Box:
The box arrived and everything was very well packed.  As you can see from my pictures the quality of the veg was seriously good.  Everything looked like it had literally just been picked it was so fresh.  

At the time of writing this actual box sells at just £15.95 and is suitable for a family of 3-4 but there are many more to choose from to suit your needs.  Delivery is free on orders over £50 so it makes it worth while ordering your meat including steaks, burgers and sausages and BBQ packs.  Poultry, cheese and hampers for every occasion can all be delivered to your door.

Would I recommended ordering from Farmsion?
Oh yes indeed, as I said, great products at a reasonable price with an excellent delivery service. 

Disclosure:  I was sent a vegetable box to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own  I was not required to write anything positive.