Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Yorkshire Pudding Day and The Perfect Pan for the Job

Celebrate Yorkshire Pudding day!  Each February, the 1st Sunday of the month is designated British Yorkshire Pudding Day.
First of all you need the proper pan for the job and this Yorkshire Pudding Pan from Mermaid Cookware is just the very thing.

Of course you also need a good recipe too - Delia Smith has a good one.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Romantic Valentine Gifts from Hotel Chocolat

There's nothing like a bit of romance now and then and what better time than Valentine's day?  Once again Hotel Chocolat have an excellent range of chocolate Valentine's gifts that in my opinion can't be matched.  
Perfectly packaged in an outer box so it arrived through the post in tip top condition.  This stunning 'Sealed with a Kiss' heart shaped box of 36 chocolates is a perfect combination of soft caramels, melting pralines and silky soft truffles.
 The menu card included is very clear and explains each chocolate by picture. Big decision time - where to start first!

The box includes, Champagne Bellini, Soft Caramel, Zesty Orange Mousse, Black Cherry Truffle, Salted Praline, Strawberry Swoon and Lemon Berry Tart to name but a few. 

Placing an order takes no time at all and with a range of delivery options available, it's easy to send a gift to your loved one at any time.
 Thank you to Beth and Hotel Chocolat for sending me a box to review.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Quick Soda Bread - Nigel's Lazy Loaf

   Nigel Slater's idea of baking the loaf in a preheated cast iron casserole dish is a good one, but I'm thinking the loaf might have a bit more colour round the edge if it was just baking on a baking tray. 
  Overall I was really pleased with how this loaf turned out - not being a one for baking and all that.  Using the cast iron casserole did make the loaf cook quick - 25 minutes and it's done!
One thing's for sure, once the loaf was cut and smothered in butter, it tasted good.  Whatever, I would still make it this way again.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Cheesy Leek and Bacon Muffins - Easy Recipe

Having been sent a Great British Bakeware Muffin tray to review, I thought I'd see if it lived up to it's non-stick claim of there being any need for paper cases.
Well it has to be said, it was brilliant.  Just lightly oil and pop your mixture in.  Straight into the oven to cook and when your muffins are done they slide out really easily.
The tray was really easy to wash up after the baking was done.  It can go in the dishwasher but there really isn't any need, just hot soapy water and your all done.  

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Thorntons Chocolates – Gifts for Every Occasion

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the ideal gift for your Valentine has to be a nice box of chocolates.  Thorntons sell chocolate truffles either on their own, or in various gift combinations.  Personally, I love the Champagne truffle hearts, oh but then again, the Prosecco and Viennese truffles hamper makes for a really special gift that I wouldn’t mind receiving either!
  Of course Thorntons have many other chocolate related gifts to suit almost every occasion and price range. From delicious chocolate bars, to a Chilli Hot Chocolate Gift Collection – a gorgeous collection that comes pre-wrapped in organza, making it look a lot more expensive than it actually is.  

Relax on the sofa whilst sipping a big mug of chilli hot chocolate. Now all you have to do is decide which block of chocolate to nibble on.  Choose from Ginger, Chilli, French Dark or 85% Cocoa – which one would you unwrap first I wonder?

If you’re getting married, then did you know that Thorntons also have Wedding favours too?  They can be personalised just by giving their team a ring and since you can choose from next or named day delivery, you can be sure your chocolate gifts will arrive safely in time for your big day.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Kenco Millicano Wholebean Instant Caffeine Free - Review

New Kenco Millicano Caff Free has the same clever combination of instant coffee and finely-milled beans as the Kenco Millicano.

The difference?
None - it's just decaffeinated. 
So, whilst it retains the same rich and full-bodied flavour that coffee lovers adore, it allows the freedom to enjoy a deliciously relaxing cup of coffee, whether it be first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

And now for the taste test:
Paul (the husband and big coffee drinker) says it really is the best decaffeinated coffee he's ever tasted.  Having tried a few big brand names, this is the best one by far.  A nice smooth, rich cup of coffee every time.

You can find out more about the Kenco Caff Free and the rest of their coffee range over at the Kenco website.

Thank you to Jen, Anya and Kenco for sending me a sample to review.

Friday, 11 January 2013

PO - Egg Cups Poachers and Cosies

These egg cups will put a smile on your face, or maybe not, depending on which one you choose in the morning!  
Will you choose the cute smiley chef egg holder, or the one enjoying his food?
 Made from white porcelain with natty black silicone hats, these are a fun and distinctive addition to your breakfast table.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Jollof Rice with Chicken - Easy One Pot Cooking

Jollof rice is a very popular dish in many parts of West Africa and especially in Ghana and Nigeria.  The rice is cooked in a spicy tomatoey sauce and so takes on a lovely orange colour.  Sweet peppers and onions cooked with cumin, nutmeg and heat from a Scotch bonnet chilli - oh yes now we're talking!
 Of course you use an ordinary chilli for less heat, but it just won't taste the same.  Cooked in one pot means it's not only nice and easy, but you have less to clear up too - which is a good thing.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Review - Easy-Carve Stuffed Duck from Marks and Spencer

This deboned whole duck from Marks and Spencer has only the leg bones remaining, making it seriously easy to carve.  Stuffed with a pork, morello cherry and cranberry stuffing makes for a perfectly easy dinner party, and it certainly looks amazing.
I found this product so very easy to cook and a doddle to carve.  Since the bones have been removed it's just a case of slicing and serving with no trickiness involved at all.
You must leave the trussing bands on the duck whilst it's cooking.  Also remove the garnish until the last 20-25 minutes.
The duck comes in a deep sided foil tray and I was concerned the sides of the duck wouldn't brown, but they did - Marvelous! 
Once the duck is cooked through, leave to rest (covered in foil) for about 30 minutes.  Then you can remove the bands and carve.
  There are simple carving instructions on the back of the box and all you do is carve vertically down the breast and serve.  The two legs can then be simply cut into two through the joint.
 For me personally, the stuffing had a little too much fruit - I would have liked more pork, but that's just my personal preference.
All in all this easy carve duck is certainly worth buying. You can order this and more delicious food and have it delivered to your local Marks and Spencer by clicking here.

Cooking instructions:
    Serving: 4-6 portions
    Pack Weight: 2kg.
    Keeps for: 6 days
    Contains: Sulphites
    Cooking: Ovencook: Preheat Oven 200°C, Fan 180°C, 400°F, Gas 6, remove sleeve and film lid, do not remove pad. Remove the garnish and keep to one side. Place foil tray on a baking tray onto the middle shelf of the oven shelf.
    For the last 20-25 minutes of cook time, drain off surplus fat, return garnish to top of duck and cover tray loosely with foil. Check that product is thoroughly cooked before serving. If juices run clear, the meat is cooked. if pink juices run - cook for a few minutes more and retest. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving. Do not reheat.
    Storage: Keep refrigerated, suitable for freezing. Freeze on day of purchase and use within one month. Once defrosted (in refrigerator) consume within 24 hours. Defrost thoroughly before use.
    No artificial colouring, artificial flavourings or preservatives used
    Available for collection in the majority of our UK mainland stores

Just saying:
I was not given this product or paid to write this review.  I am a massive Marks and Spencer food fan and just wanted to share my thoughts.