Monday, 30 September 2013

Wagamama Lounge Bestival 2013

The Wagamama Lounge returned to Bestival this year bringing back their famous Yaki Soba, Chicken Katsu and Duck Gyoza.
They asked their fans to film their festival highlights and make their official Bestival film! 

Check out their video:

You can find out more over at the Wagamama FaceBook page.

This is a sponsored post for Wagamama. 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Creative Sandwich Ideas

Now if I told you a winning sandwich combines cheddar, banana, chili and Mango chutney into a wrap you might think I was either off my rocker or creating the prefect solution an expecting, food craved mother-to-be.  
But no, recently I was invited by Warburtons to an afternoon at a creative sandwich lunch along with food bloggers.  The event was hosted by James Ramsden.

Photograph by Warburtons.

The afternoon was broken into three parts.

Flavour pairings – Discussion on which sandwich classics work and why, steering away from just sandwiches and thinking about more general flavour pairings and how they might be incorporated into a sandwich.


British with a twist – Discussion on British and retro flavours which are very much on trend at the moment.

International sandwiches – Taking elements from international dishes and applying them to a sandwich.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Stellar SEA31 Glass Kettle - Review

This is a very stylish and attractive kettle I must say.  The clear sides have cup markers making it easy to see just how much water you're about to boil. 
 A large 1.7l capacity with a special heating element that enables you to boil just 1 cup (250ml) of water without damaging the heating element.
Both saving you money and reducing emissions.  

 The push-button lid makes it easy to fill and the metal limescale filter is a great idea - most kettles don't have a metal filter which never seem to last long if you're in a live in a hard water area.  Since we do live a hard water area, I'm just a bit concerned about how often it will need descaling to keep it looking this good.  That said I am a one for descaling our kettle quite often anyone so can't see it as being a big deal.

Judge Photovoltaic Solar Kitchen Scales - Review

How many times have you gone to weigh something only to find your scales are in need new batteries?  My answer would be quite a few. 
So with that alone in mind, the new energy efficient J415 Solar Scale from Judge Cookware are in my opinion, quite brilliant.

 Photograph by Horwood images.

 If the scales have been stored away from light they are up and running ready to weigh within just 60-90 seconds. 

  There has also been many times when I've wanted to use a certain bowl to weigh ingredients before then going on to mix in that same bowl and most scales simply can't cope, so I'm loving the high weight capacity of 5kg/11lb

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tomato and Pepper Tart with Chilli Jam and Goats Cheese

So very easy to make and without any fancy cooking skills involved, this tart not only looks good, it tastes good too!

Of course ready made pastry is the way to go.
Personally I'm a big fan of Jus-Rol and for this I used their puff pastry.
The chilli jam I used is the brand 'Le Mesurier', I love their whole range of chutneys and relishes.

Foil Baked Salmon with Peppers Tomatoes and Feta

 What a fantastic colour Norwegian salmon is, rich red flesh and defined flakes.
It has a lovely rich flavour too and having been sent some to try I can honestly say this salmon is good stuff. 

 Sustainably harvested from strictly regulated farms spread throughout the country’s extensive coastal sea-waters, salmon from Norway is in year-round supply and is enjoyed in over 100 countries worldwide.

Giveaway - Year's Supply of Cleaning Products

Would you like to WIN a year's worth of Bar Keepers Friend, the specialist cleaning range?   
One lucky reader of A Glug of Oil blog will win in this great giveaway!

  Please note the hamper shown is NOT included in the prize.

About Bar Keepers Friend Cleaning Products:
  Bar Keepers Friend is a premium, specialist cleaner with a non-bleach formula that can be used in a variety of house and garden applications.  It removes stubborn stains and cuts through mineral deposits, oil and grease, rust stains and everyday grime giving great results on stainless steel, tile, porcelain, fiberglass, aluminium, copper, brass, chrome and glass.  

  The original and incredibly popular Bar Keepers Friend Stain Remover Powder has now been complimented by two exciting, new products from the US:

Bar Keepers Friend Power Cream – a superior cream formulation that “cleans where others fail”.  Formulated for cookware, kitchens and bathrooms.

Bar Keepers Friend Power Spray - this easy-to-use format delivers BKF cleaning power for use in everyday cleaning situations, from kitchen and bathroom to stainless steel and glass.

Having been sent one of each to try for myself I've found they do exactly what they say and with a lovely fresh smell too! 

Now for the Prize!
4 x bottles of Bar Keepers Friend Stain Remover Powder 
4 x bottles of Bar Keepers Friend Power Cream
4 x bottles of Bar Keepers Friend Power Spray 
Please note the hamper shown is NOT included in the prize.

   How to Enter:
 Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget and the prize can be sent to the UK only.
 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.  
 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.
Competition end time is as shown on the Rafflecopter widget.
Good Luck Everyone!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Perfect Sunday Roast Beef - How to Cook

 A proper Sunday Dinner of Roast Beef and all the trimmings is simply the best and isn't as hard to prepare and cook as you might think.  With British Food Fortnight, between 21st September to 6th October 2013, it's time to celebrate in all the lovely food we have here and support our farmers by Buying British!

 Please excuse my poor picture, it's not easy to photograph steaming hot food!

 As with most things, having the proper tools makes any job easier and OXO Good Grips have everything you need to make preparing and cooking food easy.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Cake and Bake Show - London

I was kindly sent an invite to the Cake and Bake show but as I wasn't able to go, a friend of mine went instead and had a fantastic time!  Here's Jonathan's write up about the day.

Last weekend saw The Cake and Bake show return for the second year to Earls Court and I was luckily enough to go along on the Friday.  To be honest I am not a great baker, not enough patience and too much estimating. But this show was amazing.

Below: Ceri Olofson’s wedding cake with edible flowers.

Firstly, and most obvious, there’s loads of cakes.  For me the showstopper was the Wedding Cake of The Future exhibit.  Some amazing creations of tier upon tier of beautiful cakes. One by Ceri Olofson with rice paper flowers that looked so real but apparently just melt in your mouth – not that I got to try one.  These cakes just optimized the saying “too good to eat”.

There was also the Cake Catwalk.  Sponsored by Stork both professional, amateur and junior bakers created cakes that were inspired by London Fashion Through the Decades.  I think what really struck me here was the creativity, detail and artwork that had gone into these creations.

Well I joined the swooning ladies for Eric Lanlard who showed us how to make a salted butter caramel cake from his latest book Chocolat.

Below: Eric Lanlard explaining the wonders of salt in only a way a Frenchman can.

After that I rushed over to see the Fabulous Baker Brothers demonstration of pitta bread and smoked mackerel – yes they did smoke a mackerel on stage and without setting off the smoke detectors.
Below: Friendly banter between tom and Henry Herbert.

Below: Cake by Ramla Khan a professional baker.  The design depicts a pile of pearls, fashion magazines and shoeboxes from British designers in a fashion-mad girl’s bedroom.  Topped with a Philip Treacy hat and a Vivien Westwood shoe.

If all this got your appetite going then there was every type of cake you could imagine that could be purchased and eaten.  From tiny cupcakes to slices of whole cakes to macrons to muffins this show had the lot.  Not all of it sweet, there was an incredible display of bread by the Flour Power City Bakery.

Below: Flour Power City Bakery bread display.

But this show wasn’t just about buying and eating cakes, nearly at every turn there was a demonstration or interview or competition where you could learn and discover new ideas and get inspired to bake bake bake.  

I was stuck here.  At the same time was Channel 4’s Baking Mad Eric Lanlard and on the other side of the hall the brothers Tom and Henry Herbert had a more savory demonstration.  

In fact there were not only demonstrations in The Cake Kitchen and The Bakery every hour but also many of the exhibitors had demonstrations and the opportunity to learn from some great professionals.  Lakeland not only had every baking gadget for sale but also an interview area where victors could get the chance to quiz them on their favorite recipes.

Below: Mark Tilling – holder of the UK Chocolate Master for 4 years demonstrating his skills on the Squires Kitchen stand.

Last year the show in London attracted 21,000 visitors and this year they are claiming a 45% rise in attendance with 30,508 baking fans making there way to Earls Court.  If you are into baking this show is a must. 

What makes it for me are the demonstrations so be prepared to get there early and spend the day, but don’t worry you wont go hungry.  

If you did miss this years you won’t have to wait a whole twelve months as the show will also return to Manchester on 4-6 April 2014

You can join The Cake and Bake Club and receive latest news and recipes.

Post by Jonathan Foster Kenny from CookSomething for A Glug of Oil

Many thanks to Sarah and The Cake and Bake Show for such a great day!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Greek-Inspired Chicken with Peppers and Feta

Greek food in my opinion is just so, so good.  I could quite easily eat a pile of Feta cheese to myself.  This is a simple dish of chicken cooked in a rich and slightly spicy tomato sauce with onions, peppers and tomatoes, finished off with olives and Feta cheese.  Kalamata olives would be fantastic but I didn't have any.

Even if I do say so myself (and considering this was one of my make it up as I go along dishes) it turned out to be something quite delicious.
Serve with hunks of nice fresh bread and a Greek salad and you have a perfect meal.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Great British Cheese

National Cheese Week (7th to 15th September) is aimed at bringing awareness to the huge range of fantastic cheeses we have here in the UK. 
Some of the best cheeses are produced by small-scale artisan producers.

All of the products mentioned in this post including more Great British Artisan Cheeses can be delivered to your door by the Handpicked Food Store.

Pictured above is Farleigh Wallop by Alex James:
Farleigh Wallop’s log shape makes it easy to slice and grill. The Farleigh Wallop is rolled in thyme, and adds great flavour to the already full flavoured creamy goats cheese with a deliciously sharp bite.  
This cheese is so very moreish and I'd seriously go as far as saying one of the best goats cheeses I've ever tasted.

The cheese teamed up perfectly with Miller's Damsels - Charcoal handbaked wafers made from 100% unbleached stoneground wholemeal flour.  Topped with Fig Fruit Puree from The Fine Cheese Co.  Both figgy as you would expect and jammy.  Since it contains high levels of concentrated fruit you really only need a small amount and is especially good with goats cheese. 

 I love some of the names British cheeses have, here are just a few:
Swaledale Old Peculiar - a hard cheese that when being produced is soaked in Theakston's Old Peculiar Ale.

Perl Las Organic - this cheese came about when a selection of mature Caerffili became naturally blue and has a strong but delicate taste.

Lancashire Strong Bomb - a creamy Lancashire cheese matured for 24 months. I have tried this before and it's excellent.

Cotswold Blue Brie by Simon Weaver - a Blue-veined brie with a rich creamy texture.

What's your favorite British Cheese?

Many thanks to Claire at The Handpicked Food Store for sending me the lovely cheese, biscuits and fig puree to try.

 All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of, and therefore would buy myself.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Easy Cheesy Chilli Pasta Bake - Leftover Recipe

When I make chilli con carne I always make too much, but not to fuss it doesn't get wasted.  Just pop any you have leftover into a nice clean tub and freeze.  When you want a quick dinner all you have to do it defrost and reheat, of course it must be piping hot.

Or you can do as I did, preheat your oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6
Cook some pasta in salted water as packet instructions - I used spiral shaped pasta but of course you can use whatever shape you fancy.  Drain the pasta and stir through your chilli.  Put the lot into an oven proof dish, top with a mixture Mozzarella and Cheddar and sprinkle over some paprika, cover with a lid or foil till it's heated through.  Remove the cover in the last 10 minutes or so till the cheese is golden and bubbling.  
Serve with a side salad and enjoy.

You can find my recipe for Chilli con Carne here.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Family and Friends Mexican-themed Fun Night In

For a quick and easy meal, tacos or tortillas make a great dinner the whole family will enjoy.  But how about holding a Mexican-themed dinner party for family and friends?
Mexican food is vibrant, colourful and tasty and can mostly be prepared in advance.  There's no need for any fancy cooking equipment or amazing cooking skills, making it the ideal choice for a fun night in. 
Meat, Chicken or Vegetarian?
Minced beef, thinly sliced beef and chicken are all good choices.  For vegetarians or for anyone wanting to try to eat less meat, Old el Paso have a seriously great recipe for spicy bean and cheese vegetarian burger tacos – now how good do they sound?!   All you need is their Stand and Stuff Dinner kit which includes the spice mix.  To make the burgers you just need cheese, breadcrumbs, kidney beans and pinto beans, red and green bell pepper, an egg and some freshly chopped coriander.  Shredded lettuce is good for serving and the whole meal can be made in 20 minutes.

Another idea - Quesadillas:
Not only do they look good but they take minutes to make.
First prepare your ingredients, chopping and slicing. Pop a soft corn or flour tortilla into a really hot frying pan and top with your choice of filling.  Add another tortilla on top like a sandwich, turn to cook the other side and serve.

Tortillas, Tacos or Wraps?
A hard decision to make, purely because there are so many choices available in the supermarket these days!  Do you fancy crispy crunchy tortillas, flour tortillas, wholewheat tortillas or a lovely soft floury wrap?  Fajitas are great and of course you can make them really mild for anyone that’s not too keen on spice and kids love them.

Once you’ve made a choice, you can fill your tacos, tortillas or wraps with meat and vegetables or just veg. 

Salads and other bits and bobs:
Sliced bell peppers in any colour you fancy, onions, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and in my opinion, grated cheese as far as I'm concerned is a must!
 Dips, salsas, sour cream and guacamole can be bought from the shop ready prepared.

Tequila sunrise is great since it’s so colourful and of course you can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids using pineapple.  Or what about Mojito which always goes down well. 

Whatever you decide to serve, enjoy your relaxed night in!  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

American Hot Pizza Pie - Jamie Oliver

Jamie's latest book titled 'Save with Jamie' is aimed at shopping smart, cooking clever and having less waste.  With 120 money saving meals there's bound to be loads you will want to make.  Covering a wide range of lovely ingredients you'll find recipes to suit every-ones taste. 

The TV series to accompany the book 'Jamie's Money Saving Meals' currently showing on Monday nights on Channel 4 in the UK.

I've just had a go at making the American Hot Pizza Pie and the recipe was easy to follow and since the recipe makes four good sized pizzas so you can cook one or two and freeze the others before the cooking stage.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The French Market Cookbook - Review

The French Market Cookbook - Vegetarian Recipes from a Parisian Kitchen by Clotilde Dusoulier, creator of the award-winning food blog Chocolate and   
Image taken from the book purely for the purpose of this review.

Although Clotilde isn't a vegetarian she has chosen to eat less meat and fish and is always looking for new ways to cook.
  Each of the 90 recipes in this book take us through the seasons showcasing what's best on the market and in season at the time.

Image taken from the book purely for the purpose of this review. 

The Recipes:
I love that the recipes aren't all about pasta and cheese as I find with so many vegetarian recipes.  
Brilliant photography throughout with a wide range of appetizers, soups, savoury tarts, salads, main courses, sides, pastas through to sauces and dressings, desserts and cookies and cakes.

Just a couple of my many 'Must Makes' from the book!
 The Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Plums and Hazelnuts have to happen in my kitchen soon since they look delicious!  And I'm loving the pretty look of the Zucchini and Apricot Socca Tart.  Socca is a thin crepe made with chickpea flour then to use as a tart base the batter is made with less water then baked until set before finishing off under the grill.
Oh and then there's Melon and Ginger Soup - now this also has to be made as it sounds amazing!

 Image taken from the book purely for the purpose of this review. 

All in all:
Nothing looks too tricky to make and although Clotilde lives in France, looking through the book the ingredients seem to be readily available at any good market or supermarket.  
Personally I would recommend this book to anyone, vegetarian or not, since it's packed full of some truly mouthwatering and inspiring dishes that will capture any food lovers interest.

More About:
The French Market Cookbook is written by Clotilde Dusoulier and published by Random House Intl Potter.

  Many thanks to Mat at PGUK Publishers Group for sending me a copy to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of, and therefore would buy myself.