The Perfect Kitchen Timer - Review

I don't know about you but I've never seemed to have found what I'd call a really good and proper kitchen timer, until now.   This Two Channel Kitchen Timer from Oregon Scientific also has a Clock and LED Visual Alert too -  a clock and timer within one design. The two-channel timer allows you to alter between the count up and down functions.

The alarm volume can be adjusted, and when set to high it is seriously LOUD but that can only be a good thing.  How many times have you set a kitchen timer and missed it because it just wasn't loud enough?  Seriously this one is excellent and even set the the next volume down it is still louder than any timer I've had before. It has a nice big display too so it's easy to read.


Once the timer is set, the LED alert flashes continuously - now I'd have liked it to have the option to be able to turn that bit off since it will just use battery power unnecessarily - just saying.  Although with that said, being LED it most probably wouldn't drain the batteries in age so isn't a real problem but I do wish it could be turned off all the same.

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Crock-Pot BBQ Pork Steaks - Easy Slow Cooker Recipe

I say Crock-Pot or Slow Cookers are a brilliant invention!  Great for all kinds of easy and delicious dinners. My slow cooked pork steaks in a rich and tangy BBQ sauce melt in the mouth - just the thing to come home to a long day at work. 


I suppose you could serve this with some nice crusty bread for dipping and moping but I say for the ultimate comfort food it needs mashed potato.
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Flour Tortillas and How to use a Tortilla Press

Flour tortillas aren't something I'd ever thought of making since you can buy them in just about every supermarket across the land.  Plus I would never have thought I actually could make them look authentic.

So when I was asked if I'd like to review a couple more items from KitchenCraft browsing through their website, I fell in love with this World of Flavours Mexican Ceramic Tortilla Warmer - just look at the colour of this dish it's amazing.  Low and behold, displayed right next to it was a Tortilla Press, now I just knew needed one of those too!


Saturday afternoon saw me busy in my kitchen making tortillas and yes out came the mixer!
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Foodie News - Roundup October

Time for a quick roundup of some great food products I've been kindly sent over the past few weeks and some brilliant news about how Ocado is helping small suppliers.... 


Ocado helping small suppliers:
Ocado have done a fantastic job in helping small suppliers, by way of being able to stock and support small suppliers unlike a regular high street supermarkets.


For example, Rubies In The Rubble, or more specifically Alicia and Jenny, create all their delicious chutneys from discarded fruits and vegetables, from farms and markets.  As a business, they are all against food waste using their products as a solution to it, and as a way to raise awareness about the issue in general.
The idea is that the jars themselves are little gleaming examples of how you can transform what would otherwise be discarded into something really worth keeping, by valuing your resources and making use of what you have.  

Hannah Rhodes was the winner of Britain’s Next Top Supplier campaign for creating Hiver Honey Beer  Hannah received a £10,000 marketing prize, as well as being stocked online at Ocado, giving her the big break she needed.  Since then, she has had the resources and confidence to approach pubs around the UK to be stocked in those too.

Holy Lama Spice Drops were runners up but still received listing online at Ocado.
Ocado will continue to search for great small suppliers to be stocked online and to give them the chance of being recognised. 
Other's small suppliers Ocado are helping include Plenish and The Grown Up Chocolate Company.

Rhythm Health:
Rhythm Health have just introduced 100% Virgin Coconut Milks consisting entirely of first-pressed coconuts, sourced from the Philippines without any added water or sugar.   Available in regular and naturally reduced fat both of course 100% Virgin Coconut Milk.


These coconut milks are gluten-free, dairy free, and vegetarian and vegan friendly.  Stored in the fridge as they are a fresh product they brilliant for a range of recipes from Asian-inspired curries, to desserts, smoothies, soups and salad dressings.  The 200g pouches are available from Holland & Barrett and other independent health food stores nationwide.  You can find out more over at the Rhythm Health website.  I tried these in an Indian style curry and they do actually add a really creamy taste and added depth to the dish.

Prestat Chocolates:


Oh my Black Forest Gateau Truffles, need I say more?  As you know I'm not a fan of chocolate but Paul (the husband) absolutely loved these and yes he ate them all.  Prestat are committed to trading fairly.  Their chocolates are hand-crafted and they have a range of chocolate gifts to suit different budgets.  Check them out over at the Prestat website. 

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to all brands for the samples received.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not meant to influence readers buying choice.   
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Red Pepper Soup with Sweet Paprika

Rich, vibrant, thick and creamy warming soup is perfect for these cold 'almost winter' like days.  Homemade soup is really easy to make and the best thing is you can make up your own flavours combinations.  With good quality ingredients soup takes no time at all to make especially in a soup maker. 


Make the best of those bargains you see in your local supermarket or better still your local farm shop or greengrocer. Whether you use a soup maker to do the work for you, or manually cook your soup and then blend with a stick (immersion) blender is up to you.  I used a soup maker by Judge Cookware and the result was excellent.  Soup can be frozen too so you always have some ready for for lunch on those lazy do nothing days.
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Soup Maker by Judge Cookware - Review

Brrrrr! It's just the weather for a nice bowl of lovely homemade steaming hot soup - but this Soup Maker by Judge Cookware isn't all about soup you can use it to make hot chocolate, milk shakes, smoothies and to cooks eggs too by using the 4 hole egg cooker attachment.
Recently scoring 9/10 in Your Home Magazine for best soup maker.  Having been sent one to review myself here's how it went.
 
Soup Maker by Judge Cookware


Now it has to be said I do love me a kitchen gadget or two dozen!  So within half an hour of it arriving at my door I was cooking eggs.  They turned out perfectly cooked in 11 minutes.
Next up, Spicy Red Pepper and Sweet Paprika Soup had to happen.....
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Tassimo Vivy Hot Drinks and Coffee Machine - Review

Tassimo hot drinks machines have intelligent barcode technology which means the barcode on Tassimo T DISCs are scanned by the machine and register the correct brewing time, temperature and the amount of water required for each beverage.  It's all completely automatic, all you have to do is pop in a disc, press the button and your drink is prepared and dispensed into your cup.

Tassimo Vivy Hot Drinks Machine

Having been asked to review the Tassimo Vivy machine here's how I got on.  The instructions that are supplied with the machine are a series of pictures which are really easy to follow.

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Cheesy Crock-Pot Potatoes and Beans

Crock-Pots or slow cookers have become really popular again, lets face it they are quite a marvelous invention.  They offer a very cheap way of cooking and dinner can be ready to eat as soon as you get home from work - no mess no fuss.  Now whenever you think of a meal cooked in a slow cooker you tend to think it's all stews and casseroles.  But you can actually cook certain foods wrapped in foil which of course means even less washing up as the crock-pot is as clean at the end as it was before any cooking began!

Cheesy Beany Potatoes in foil

Perfect for bonfire night or great for students these cheesy beany potatoes may not look amazing but let me tell you if you this was good!  Prepared in just five minutes then left to cook all day long while you're working or maybe you just have something else to do other than stand over a cooker. 
Lets face it baked beans are really good for you too, high in fibre and virtually fat-free which is probably just as well since these potatoes are loaded with cheese!

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Masterclass with Cherish Finden and Afternoon Tea - Langham Hotel London

Earlier on this year, Mövenpick Ice Cream set 15 food bloggers the challenge of creating their own ice cream sundae recipe for the chance to win an exclusive two-hour masterclass with the Langham’s Head Pastry Chef Cherish Finden, followed by afternoon tea for two at The Palm Court.  Well I couldn't believe it when I was told I'd won!

 

 So this Monday it was off to The Langham Hotel in London to meet Cherish for the Masterclass, now anyone will tell you I don't do pastry and cakes simply because I can't.  I just don't have the patience required. 

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Review and Giveaway - Aqua Zinger by Zing Anything

Make your own flavoured water in next to no time with the Aqua Zinger from Zing Anything.
Other products include Citrus Zinger, Vodka Zinger and a Salad Zinger - I must say they all sound very interesting!  Having been recently sent the Aqua Zinger to review here's how it went.



My first thoughts were, surely you don't need this gadget to make flavoured water?  Of course this is true but it does make the job a whole lot easier and less messy.  Water can be infused with whichever fruits take your fancy and is also strained when poured too.  Refreshing lemon and lime was my chosen fruits since my husband drinks so much of this stuff (ready made in bottles from the supermarket) now with the Aqua Zinger it is so easy to make your own and of course it's healthy too. 

You can add fruit, herbs, spices and natural sugars such as honey to the Aqua Zinger.  
For my first attempt I just used lemon and lime - the Aqua Zinger is it's really simple use.  Just cut the fruit into smallish sized pieces and place into the cup as shown in my picture.  The cup has blades in the bottom which pierces the fruit.  

   
Push the top bladed strainer into the fruit.  Now put the bottle part onto the cup and twist - this grids the fruit releasing it's lovely juice and will release flavour into the water when added. 


Add water and screw on the lid, shake well and you have flavoured water ready to drink.  
Of course you can chill the water beforehand or put the Aqua Zinger into the fridge and leave for at least 20 minutes or so for the best flavoured water. 



Once done the water had a really refreshing lemon and lime flavour with tiny bits of lemon and lime - so good to drink.  Providing you screw the top on properly the Aqua Zinger doesn't leak at all and holds around 400ml of water.  Perfect for taking to the gym. 
Hand washing is recommended although you can put it in the top rack of the dishwasher is you need to.

Distributed by Root7 in the UK - more information can be found over at Zing Anything.

Disclaimer:  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.
 
Now for the Giveaway!
The lovely people over Root7 are supplying an Aqua Zinger which one lucky reader of this blog will win.  

How to Enter - Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget:
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*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! 
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There is one main way to enter and several ways to get bonus entries, including bonus daily entries.
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Chicken with Bacon Saffron Tomato and Potato - One Pot Meal

Readers of this blog would have seen my recent review of the beautiful cook book 'Café Kitchen' by Shelagh Ryan.  As soon as I opened the book I knew I had to make this dish.  This is a lovely recipe full of flavour and easy since it's all cooked in one pot.  Suitable for everyday eating but I say would go down a treat at a dinner party too.

Chicken with Bacon Saffron Tomato and Potato

As I've already said Café Kitchen is a truly lovely cook book.  I did slightly titivated the original recipe as the book doesn't mention whether or not the potatoes should be precooked or not.  I decided they wouldn't be cooked through simply by adding them in the last 20 minutes of cooking as the book suggests and so I par boiled mine first. I also used one tin less of tomatoes and less chicken stock and wine.  I still had plenty of liquid so I've decided that's the way to go but of course it's just down to personal preference.  The recipe says it serves 8-12 people using eight to twelve chicken thighs - we are greedy so I used 9 to serve two people.
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Foodie News - Roundup

A roundup of nice food products I've been kindly sent over the past few weeks.  Some products I hadn't tried before and some I hadn't heard of until now so it's all very exciting.


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Café Kitchen by Shelagh Ryan - Book Review

The Café Kitchen is the first book written by Australian-born foodie Shelagh Ryan, founder of London’s Lantana Cafés.  Shelagh grew up in Brisbane, Australia in a family that loved to cook and eat.
Cover of Cafe Kitchen Cookbook

A hard back book with 160 pages and 120 photographs this book makes you want to cook everything in it.  The brilliant photography by Kate Whitaker really draws you to the recipes.  The recipes themselves are easy to follow and sound delicious.  Simple, relaxed food perfect for informal dining perfect for chilling out indoors.
Categories include Breakfast and Brunch which includes Drinks and Chutney's, Small Bites, Salads and Soups, Larger Plates, and Cakes and Bakes.

My thoughts:
I really, really like this book, you know how when you first open a cookbook and flick though you're instantly drawn to certain dishes?  Well personally I'm drawn to loads of of them - yes this book is packed full of the kind of recipes I like to cook and eat.
The Braised Chicken with Bacon, Saffron, Tomato and Potato has to happen, it looks so, so good. In fact I'm annoyed with myself as I have everything to make this recipe apart from celery and parsley or I'd make this for dinner tonight.  I could have easily bought these yesterday, I can't go out today since I have to wait in for a parcel but fear not this will be made soon for sure.

Tomato Soup with Fennel, Garlic and Basil Drizzle sounds lovely too.  Thai Fishcakes with Nahm Jim Dipping Sauce is another dish I've labeled 'must happen soon in my kitchen'.

This book has a good few vegetarian dishes too.  As I'm writing this review I've just noticed Cheddar Cornbread with Tomato Chilli Jam - Mmm yes please I'll have me some of that!
Lovers of all things cake will really like Sticky Toffee Ginger Loaf or the famous Lantana Crack Cakes - a mix of bananas. pineapple, cinnamon and pecans with a cream cheese icing.  

Would I recommend this book?
The answers is most definitely yes.  A wide range of scrummy yummy recipes that really inspire you to get cooking. 

About:
Café Kitchen by Shelagh Ryan is published by Ryland Peters and has a RRP of £16.99 hardback.
You can follow Shelagh on Twitter @lantanacafe

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Ryland Peters for sending me this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

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