EcoCook Energy Efficient Cookware and Bakeware - Review

The EcoCook range of saucepans, frying pans and bakeware from Premier Housewares are very light in weight and therefore heat up extremely quickly which of course uses less energy - the mineral-based white ceramic coating combines non-stick and brilliant thermal conducting properties. 


New to the range this year are lovely lime green and black.

PTFE and PFOA-free they are able to withstand serious heat (up to 280°C or 536°F) without the risk of blistering or cracking and they are non-stick.

Having tried and tested an EcoCook frying pan and a baking dish over two years ago I can say they last a long time.  Bearing in mind, mine were used probably more than the average person, and only just recently the coating lost its lovely white colour and shine making them not so non-stick and sadly had to be declared as ex-pans.  That said after over two years of working hard they really are excellent value for money - prices from £14.99 and £32.99 - I'd recommend them to anyone wanting good quality, nice looking pans at a great price.


EcoCook is suitable for use on gas, electric, ceramic and halogen hobs.  Pans over 20cm are also suitable for use on induction hobs.  Easy to wash too, either by hand or pop in the dishwasher.

To find your nearest stockist pop over to Premier Housewares.

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product for review purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Dulce de Leche Filled Muffins - Easy to Make Recipe

I'm certainly no baker but muffins usually always seem to turn out okay and so if I can make them, anyone can.  Of course the ever popular Chocolate Chip Muffin is always a good thing, but filled with Dulce de Leche the humble muffin becomes something amazing.  That said, I don't particularly like cakes of any sort, but Paul does!

    
I've used Dulce de Leche in a couple of things recently - My Carameltia Ice Cream Sundae and Banana and Chocolate Dessert Pizza.

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Caribbean Food Week 2014

Did you know this week (18th to 25th August) is Caribbean Food Week?
Organised by Grace Foods UK, the week leads up to the famous Notting Hill Carnival.  Featuring nationwide sampling, in-store promotional offers, prize competitions and a social media campaign, the week presents the perfect opportunity for people all over the UK to try their hand at Caribbean cuisine.


Since launching in 2012, Caribbean Food Week has continued to grow as more and more people get adventurous with their cooking.

Having been sent some lovely products from Grace Foods UK I'll soon be cooking up some nice Caribbean food.
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More Raclette Dinner Party Recipe Ideas

When I first bought my Raclette grill I had no idea we'd use it so much.  It's such fun making up your own mad food concoctions!  I wrote a post on Raclette Dinner Party Ideas a while back and as it's been so popular, I thought I'd share my latest and rather yummy ideas.

One being Nachos with Salsa, Cheese and Jalapeño Peppers - just crumble up your nachos, top with salsa and a little grated cheese then top with jalapeño peppers.  Once they've melted under the raclette you can top with sour cream.

Please note - all pictures were taken before being cooked.



You don't have to do this but I like to prepare a few dishes beforehand for less faff at the table since we have little room - our table seats four but the food takes up all the room!
From left to right and ready to cook in the grill pans we have:
Egg, Feta and Roasted Peppers (from a jar) sprinkled with a few Chilli Flakes.
Egg, Grated Cheese, Sweetcorn and a generous sprinkling of Smoked Paprika.
The 3rd pan along is a repeat of the first.
Then then Nachos, Salsa, Cheese and Jalapeño Peppers from a jar.
The next pan is a repeat of the 2nd pan.


Sliced bread drizzled with olive oil ready for toasting on the top of the raclette.
The chicken strips were marinated in a little oil along with a good dose of Chipotle Chilli Paste.

At the table serve a selection of whatever else you fancy.  Just remember meat and chicken most certainly have to be cooked on top of the grill (or with will not cook through) along with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, cooked potatoes, bread etc.  Things like cheese, eggs, cooked peppers are good to go into the grill pans - basically anything you want to heat up of melt.


If you haven't got one of these marvelous inventions then you must get one immediately - great fun!
Your Raclette will come with little wooden spatula type thing you use to turn your food with - the dishwasher is the best place for these after use to get them beautifully clean.  Just remember to dry thoroughly before storing.  A pair of skinny tongs are good for adding any meat items to the grill.

Personally I think this raclette grill by Swan is great - the stone top is removable and really easy to clean once it's cooled down of course.  Some of these grills have a non stick top but to be honest nothing really sticks to this one and it has lasted ages and still looks like new.  I might be wrong but I suspect the coating wouldn't last long on some then they won't look as good a few uses down the line.

The one thing I will point out is that once you have all your food on the table there isn't any room for anyone else - more reason to have a Raclette Party for Two!

Update June 2017:  This is the Raclette I bought and still use to to this day!
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Giveaway - Lots of Lovely Haywards Pickles

Everyone loves Haywards pickles and although I hate to mention the 'Christmas' word so soon, on Boxing Day, leftover turkey with mashed potatoes just has to happen and without Piccalilli and Red Cabbage it's just not the same. 


Now, if you fancy winning more pickles than you can shake a stick - read on!

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Giveaway - Branston Relishes and Pickles

Branston is well known for their great products and just about everyone has heard of and loves Branston Pickle!  Well the good news is they've just released a new relish line incorporating five flavours and they are offering readers of this blog the chance to win all five of these relishes - and more!


The selection consists of Tomato and Red Pepper relish which adds a tangy twist to a hot dog, and the jalapeño in the Spicy Tomato is perfect if you like a kick to your food.  Caramelised Red Onion which is brilliant in burgers, Smoky Tomato and Chipotle that offers a distinctive smoky taste and Brazilian which is a sweet and spicy relish.
Pop over to Branston to find out more about their products.
 

TV Chef Andy Bates of Street feasts has created some lovely recipes to celebrate the launch of Branston's relishes.

Print Recipe
https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/tuna-melt-toastie-with-branston-spicy-tomato-relish

Tuna Melt Toastie with Branston Spicy Tomato Relish
Ingredients:
1tbsp mayonnaise
1tbsp soured cream
2tbsp tinned sweet corn
1 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
zest of a lemon
1tbsp chopped Coriander
salt and pepper
150g tinned tuna, drained
4 slices of sour dough bread
½ ripe avocado cut & sliced
50g grated Swiss cheese
20g grated Parmesan
3tbsp Branston Spicy Tomato Relish
2tbsp butter for frying

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4.
In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, soured cream, sweet corn, chilli, zest, coriander and season. Carefully fold in the tuna. Set to one side. Spread two of the bread slices with the tuna mix, then top with avocado slices, and the cheeses. Spread the remaining 2 slices with the Relish. Close sandwiches together.
In a heavy based saucepan heat the butter on a medium heat till starting to foam. Add the sandwiches and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip over and transfer the pan to the oven for 4 minutes melting the cheese inside.

Cut and Serve.
 *For a milder toastie the kids can enjoy, substitute Spicy Tomato Relish for Tomato and Red Pepper Relish and omit the chilli.
 
Now for the Branston Giveaway - the prize will be:
5 x Branston relish (one of each flavour)
2 x Branston Original Pickle
2 x Branston Small Chunky Pickle

How to Enter - Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget:
Please note the prize can only 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 as will anyone that says they have left a blog post comment but really hasn't! 
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 along with the terms and conditions.
 
Good Luck Everyone!
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Giveaway - £25 Morrisons Voucher plus Scandilicious Cookbook

Norwegian salmon is a mouth-watering fish with a fresh, smooth, rich flavour and a soft, red flesh and defined flakes; perfect for dining al fresco this summer.  Turning a delicate pink colour when cooked, Norwegian salmon is deliciously sweet and its succulent flakes fall away easily when cooked making it an ideal key ingredient for any summer meal.



Pictured above this beautiful dish by Singe Johansen Marinated Norwegian Salmon with Asparagus, Shiitake Mushroom, Sesame Seed and Rice Noodle Salad - click here for the recipe.


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Fresh Strawberry Milkshake - Review of the Stellar Stick Blender

Soups, gravies, purees and sauces all benefit from the use of a blender to make the job easy and quick.  When the weather is hot a nice ice cold frothy milkshake is just what you need, and in any case strawberries are always a good thing.

 
If you don't have room for a kitchen processor then the stick blender (or immersion blender) is the way to go.  Having been recently sent this very nice looking Stainless Steel Stick Blender by Stellar Cookware I couldn't wait to use it.

Photos by Stellar Cookware:
 
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Weight Watchers Feel Good Food Blogger Challenge

I was recently asked to join in the Feel Good Food Blogger Challenge organised by Weight Watchers.  For us to take part in their challenge they sent over a whole bunch of goodies!  Everything needed for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including a few more treats too.

Pictured below, left to right - the Weight Watchers Goodies, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  
   Weight Watchers Meals

The challenge was to share our day with video clips starting with breakfast of course.  Oh my I'm not really a one for making videos but since I've now done a few I'm getting much more used to it - Paul however wasn't too keen on being filmed so we only done a few minutes of him!  

 We were both really pleased to see we could still have our Saturday night Indian Curry with poppadoms too!

Weight Watchers Curry

I'm glad I took part in the challenge as I've actually learnt a few things:
The Weight Watchers ProPoints system looks easy to follow - much better than trying to fathom out the back of packaging to see how many calories you're eating and attempting to add them up.  I just don't have the patience for all that and would soon loose interest.  Okay for me to talk, we're lucky in the fact that we've never had to go on a diet but if I ever did then I think I would honestly choose Weight Watchers.

I love the fact that you can still have pretty much the kind of food you're used to eating - or want to eat.  Biscuits and cakes are still allowed you just have to be sensible - unlike Paul who actually managed to eat 5 cakes in one go - I really don't think he could do a diet if he had to, he is a worry!

Liven up Food with my Top Tips!
There's nothing wrong with Weight Watchers Tikka Masala sauce but like any sauce in a jar it doesn't have to be cooked on the hob just because the instructions on the back say so - it works just as well in a slow cooker, in fact I'd say the chicken will have more taste if done that way. 
I say you can liven up any ready made sauce or other foods without adding very much in the way of calories.  Diet or no diet - food should be enjoyed and I personally think if you get into cooking you can dabble about a bit and liven up any diet without going over the top.

Now for the video of our Feel Good Food Day:
See my Top Tips including a couple of side dishes for Indian curry that wont get you piling on the pounds!


For more information on Weight Watchers pop over to their website or follow on Twitter @WW_UK
#WWFeelGoodFood and #TweetWhatYouEat

Many thanks to Weight Watchers for the goodies - we really did enjoy our day.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a hamper of goodies and a supermarket voucher for other ingredients used to make the meals complete.  I was compensated to cover time filming, photographing and writing up this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.   
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Pan-fried Pork Steak Feast - Entertaining Made Easy

An easy dinner which not only looks good but is also quite simple to make.  Lovely thick and juicy pork steaks smeared with good quality olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and pan-fried. 
Turn this meal into a feast by adding a couple of side dishes as shown - one of which includes potatoes but if you still think you need to add more, then of course fresh crusty buttered bread is always a good thing.


It really is worth buying good quality meat and I love the convenience of ordering from the online butchers, Westin Gourmet
 

Entertaining made easy:
Since the vegetable dish can be prepared in advance (just don't add the feta until your ready to pop into the oven) this makes entertaining family and friends easy.  The corn can be prepared too to the stage where that has to go into the oven.  All that's left to do then is pan-fry your pork steaks at the last minute.
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