Buy A Gift - Giveaway

The nice people over at Buy a Gift have offered the readers of this blog the chance to win one of the following prizes listed below.
 

Option 1 - Three Course Meal and Cocktail For Two - Marco-Pierre-White-Restaurant


Option 2 - London Gastro Tour with Celia Brooks

Option 3 - Afternoon Tea at Harrods for Two


Option 4 - Sushi Making Workshop with YO Sushi for Two

Option 5 - Traditional Afternoon Tea for Two

Option 6 - Tasting for Two


Option 7 - Table for Two - Dining Experience


Option 8 - Afternoon Tea for Two - available at Classic Lodges Hotels

Information and How to Enter:
Everything listed above along with a huge range of other gifts and experience days can be found over at Buy a Gift.

How to Enter:


One lucky reader of this blog will win their choice of ONE of the prizes listed above - subject to availability.

 Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget.  Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK  only and you must be over 18



 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.


Also, if you already like/follow please comment via the Rafflecopter widget and let me know to get your entries.

 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!


128

Pancakes with Summer Berries and White Chocolate

I was recently asked to try out three different Tefal frying pans and to come up with a pancake recipe for Pancake Day.  With spring around the corner and really hoping to see some sunshine soon, I came up with these pancakes filled with summer berries which I drizzled with melted white chocolate.

Pancakes with Summer Berries and White Chocolate

The three lovely pans Tefal sent me were quickly put to the test and all did a great job of making perfect pancakes as they all heated up quickly and are non-stick.
1

Find Me A Gift - Giveaway

The lovely people over at Find Me A Gift have offered the readers of this blog the chance to win one of the following prizes:
 
http://www.findmeagift.co.uk/

TV Dinner Gumballs
Frying Pan Kitchen Clock
Have a Nice Lunch Bag
Mini Chopping Boards
You Are My Cup of Tea Poster
Peanut Butter Maker
Camper Van Toaster
Star Wars Espresso Set
Lucky Skull Teapot
A British Dialect Mug
Bento Lunch Box
Pop Up Hot Dog Toaster

Everything listed above along with a huge range of other gifts to suit every occasion can be found by popping over to Find Me A Gift.

How to Enter:

One lucky reader of this blog will win their choice of ONE of the prizes listed above - subject to availability.

Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget.  Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK mainland only and you must be over 18



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.
Also, if you already like/follow please comment via the Rafflecopter widget and let me know to get your entries.

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! 

155

Old El Paso Products and Casserole Recipe Mixes

I have to say I quite like the Old El Paso range of products and we particularly like their fajita packet spice mix.  Me being me, I can't help but deviate from what you're 'supposed' to do and as the spice mix is included in their fajita meal kit I took it out and dabbled.  

I cooked sliced chicken fillets in a little oil in a hot frying pan.  The chicken becomes glazed and is smokey and delicious.  Add sliced peppers and onions to the pan stirring for a couple of minutes and serve with shredded lettuce, cucumber and top with either soured cream or guacamole then tuck in.

Old El Paso Products and Casserole Recipe Mixes

One Pan Rice Meals 'Chilli and Garlic' for Chicken - all you do is add sliced pepper, onion and chicken.  There's also a Family Friendly, Extra Mild One Pan Rice Meal too which is great if you don't like it hot! 
4

Samsung Combination Microwave MC28H5013AK - Review

The choices are endless when looking to buy a new microwave oven - do you simply want microwave only, microwave with a grill or a combination oven?  Combination microwaves allow you to use convection mode to cook food in the same way as it would in a traditional oven and microwave is not used.  Of course you still have the option of using microwave only or microwave with the grill to brown food as its cooks.
 
This rather stylish Samsung Combination Microwave Smart Oven - model MC28H5013AK is excellent value for money and it is really dead easy to use.  For me, it has to be a combi microwave since I can then use it as an extension of my usual traditional oven (a bit like having two ovens) which really comes in handy when we have friends round and I'm cooking a variety of dishes or a large meal.

Now, since this oven is black and so very nice and shiny, it was impossible for me to take a decent picture without showing a reflection of either myself or the rest of the kitchen.....and so I gave up!  But here's the control panel.

Control Panel Samsung Microwave


The trouble with shopping in regular shops these days is that you don't get to see the full range of any products since they can't keep very much of anything in stock due to the space needed.  So, personally I find it's best to shop online.  Since you can also read reviews written by customers that have actually brought the particular item enabling you to get a better idea of whether or not your chosen product is right for you. 

With that in mind, off I went to search the net for my perfect combi microwave - I didn't want anything that was silly expensive but I wanted it good enough to do the job well.   After much searching I found microwaves from Argos seemed to be the best bet since they have such a large range of makes and models. 

Having now got my shiny new combi oven I decided to do a quick review on how I got on with it:

About:
The interior is made of ceramic enamels which is said to be hard-wearing and make it 7 times more scratch and rust-resistant than other microwave interiors.  I must say though I've never known an interior of any microwave to actually go rusty.

Microwave power output 900 watts and the grill power output 1500 watts.  Convection oven power output is 2100 watts and the convection oven temperature max 200°C

35 programmes and a defrost option.  The 28 litre interior capacity is not massive but big enough for an ordinary sized family and it has a child safety lock.

32cm diameter rotating turntable

Size H31, W52, D48cm and  isWeight 18kg

Dough-Proving /Yoghurt Mode
Available in black this combination microwave includes dough-proving mode and a yoghurt making function.
I haven't as yet made yoghurt so I can't say whether it works well or not, but I have used the dough-proving works really well.  Fantastic if your kitchen tends to be a bit on the cold side and you find it hard to make bread rise.

Convection:
I cooked a pasta bake just like I would have in a traditional oven and it was perfectly cooked and browned in less than the time it would have taken in my usual oven.  Why? Because this oven seems to heat up far quicker than my oven.   You can of course use a combination of microwave and grill if you prefer.

Grilling:
The grill isn't quartz and so therefore take a minute or two to heat up (quartz grills are pretty much instant at heating up).  That said this isn't actually a big deal although you can not set the temperature of the grill.  Cheese on toast bubbles away and browns nicely in next to no time.

Defrosting:   
I defrosted 500g of minced beef  using the Power Defrost button which has 5 different pre-programmed food types to choose from Meat, Poultry, Fish, Bread/cake and Fruit.  The minced beef defrosted evenly and without starting to cook and I was really pleased with the result.

Deodorisation Feature:
I haven't actually had to use this as yet, but I would imagine it would be great if for example you've cooked a curry and now for example want to bake a cake.

Turntable On/Off:
Now this is really useful and you can turn off the turntable off when using a large dish that fills the whole oven and would stop the turntable from rotating.  This feature can  only be used in manual cooking modes.  However, since the results may be less satisfactory you might want to turn the dish half way though cooking.

All in All:
If you're looking for a very good combination microwave at a very reasonable price then I would recommend this to anyone.  Nice looking, value for money and does everything it says it will.   
8

Simple Recipe Ideas - using Maille Vinegar Mustard and Oil

Maille are are famous for their outstanding range of mustard's, vinegars, oils, dressings and pickles and they recently sent me a few products to try. 

I'm already a huge fan of Maille Dijon Mustard, Wholegrain Mustard with White Wine and Black Olives and also their Balsamic Vinegar. 


I must admit I'd never tried Maille Tomate Séchée - Sherry Vinegar with Sun-dried Tomatoes or Maille Ail et Citron - Mustard with White Wine, Lemon and Garlic and I couldn't wait to give them a go.

5

How to Make the Perfect Sunday Roast

No matter how busy or hectic your week might be, the perfect Sunday roast is a highlight to look forward to, and one with a lengthy tradition. Whether you go with a juicy, succulent joint of beef, or maybe a roast chicken with all the trimmings like roast potatoes, there are some things that just can’t be messed around with.


To make sure you create the Sunday roast you've been dreaming of all week, here are a few things to think about:
0

Easy Chicken Casserole - Stellar Cookware Induction Hob and Pan

Here in this video I make a really easy chicken casserole - it's nothing fancy but it's tasty and is the very thing for this horrid weather we have here at the moment.  All you need to serve is either mashed potatoes or you could have some nice crusty bread.

I'm using an induction hob from Stellar Cookware and the pan I used is the Stellar 5000 induction saute pan which is suitable for all hob types.  I wanted to use the timer function on the hob which I did and it works a treat.  I stirred the casserole from time to time and to check how it was going.


About the Pan and Induction Hob:
The Teflon Platinum Pro triple-layered non-stick.  Mirror polished high quality 18/10 stainless steel, Cast stainless steel riveted handles, with anti-slip, stay cool, soft grip handles. Dishwasher and oven safe up to 180ºc, Stellar lifetime pan guarantee, with a 10 year non-stick guarantee. 

I absolutely love this pan and have used it a good few times now.  The pan I was sent it 28cm and is a good size.  So very easy to clean and although it is dishwasher safe I have so far just needed to wash in hot soapy water, rinse and dry.  Nothing seems to stick to it, it's brilliant.  Although it is a little heavy I found it easy to lift due to the extra helper handle.  The glass lid allows you to see what's happening to your cooking and is ventilated too. The pan is available in 24cm too if 28cm is too big for your needs.  There are 12 items in the Stellar Induction 5000 Cookware range, saucepans, frying pans and a stock pot and casserole.   

For anyone that hasn't already seen my review of the Stellar Touch Control Portable Induction Hob you can see it here.

Where to Buy:
Available at Harts of Stur, all good cook-shops and Amazon


Many thanks to Stellar Cookware for sending me the Induction hob and pan.  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.
3

How To Make An Authentic Italian Coffee Tiramisu

 Most of us regard tiramisu as the quintessential Italian dessert. And yet it only appears in cookbooks as an official recipe from the 1960s onwards, so it seems to be a relatively recent creation. Still, the classic tiramisu, meaning 'pick-me-up' or 'lift-me-up', is something that's rarely messed with apart from a few subtle changes. And with good reason. It's sponge ladyfingers, dipped in coffee and layered with egg yolks, egg whites, cream and mascarpone cheese, is a delicious concoction.


What you'll need
Most of us will probably have sugar, eggs and cocoa hanging around in the cupboard, and if you've got these ingredients handy, you're not far off having everything you need. Get a couple of packets of long, sponge ladyfingers or Pavesini cookies, which make sponge nice and springy when dipped in the right amount of liquid. Make sure you have some mascarpone (you can also use ricotta if you like a slightly lighter tasting cream), and some strong coffee. And then you'll just need a bit of chocolate. Try bitter-sweet cocoa powder or grated chocolate.
0

Knorr Gravy Pots Awarded Product of the Year

Knorr Gravy Pots have been awarded 'Product of the Year' in the Gravy & Stock category.
Product of the Year is the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation.  Saving time and money Knorr Gravy Pots are a great hit with consumers. 


To celebrate this fantastic achievement I was sent a lovely Sunday Roast hamper along with some gravy pots.
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A GLUG OF OIL