finum - Salt Pepper or Spice Grinder - Review

LOOK TOUCH TASTE™ by finum:  Winner of Interior Innovation Award 2014 and Good Design Award,  is a patented spice, salt and pepper grinder in the curvy shape of a bell.  At its base there is a patented collecting pool which gathers the ground spices within.  By tapping it, you can direct the desired amount of spices precisely where you want it.
 

Having been sent one of these to try for myself here's how it went:
I have to say this really is a good and proper spice grinder.  It's very comfortable to hold and I love the chubby stylish look.  Grinding up hard spices and peppercorns in this little fellow are no problem at all and it can easily be adjusted to set the coarseness of your grinding.  I noticed that the ceramic grinding mechanism doesn't clog up either as it does with some grinders.

As it's made from ceramic it means salt, pepper or herbs can be ground with no risk of oxidization or any other chemical reaction affecting aroma or flavour.   There's a clip on cover to pop onto the bottom part when the grinder isn't in use so there's no mess on the work top.
As for cleaning - just wipe with a damp cloth.

Available in 4 colours (black, white, ruby red, apple green) and transparent
Glossy body, matte lower part
Adjustable coarseness of grinding
Easy to clean
RRP £24.95


For more information pop over to finum. Twitter @FinumStyle
Stockist www.loosescookshop.co.uk and www.ictc.co.uk

Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.
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Giveaway - Hotel Chocolat Christmas Goody Bag

The lovely people over at Hotel Chocolat are kindly giving one lucky reader of this blog the chance to win this lovely Christmas Good Bag!
The goody bag contains a host of festive treats, including a Cookie Wreath studded with Florentines and biscuits; 6 Christmas Eton Mess truffles; 6 caramel supernovas, filled with runny caramel; and a bag of coconut snowballs – milk chocolate truffles covered in desiccated coconut.

Hotel Chocolat can be always be relied upon for their great range of luxury chocolate gifts.  I recently received the Milk Chocolate Advent Calender which contains 24 Christmas sculptures - Father Christmas, Snowmen and Reindeer to name a few, all made from delicious milk chocolate.



On with the giveaway!  You can see the full details of the Christmas Goody Bag here including dietary information.

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.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

239

10 Ways to Spice up your Christmas - with JustIngredients

JustIngredients is an online store that delivers quality ingredients direct to your door.  They've come up with a really great infographic.  10 ways to spice up your Christmas - sounds good to me!  JustIngredients have a great range of culinary herbs and spices, botanical herbs, wholefoods and more.

This infographic features a selection of culinary herbs and spices, with which you can create exciting and delicious Christmas menus, drinks and fragrances around the home.  Click on the image for more details.

http://www.justingredients.co.uk/blog/10-ways-to-spice-up-christmas-infographic

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post for Just Ingredients.

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Tefal ActiFry - Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings

Much excitement in our house when a Tefal ActiFry arrived last week.  I've wanted one for an age as I've been curious to see if the ActiFry really is as good as people say.  I mean really?  Chips cooked in just a spoonful of oil can't taste good can they?  Fact is they do!
Chips was the first thing I cooked - within an hour of this machine arriving chips had to happen.  Soft and fluffy on the inside, crispy (yes really) on the outside, but we'll talk about chips another day.....

Chicken wings with a nice sweet and spicy coating topped with toasted sesame seeds are so good to eat.  But for good measure I wanted more - how about if they were coated in a Chinese Five Spice batter, fried using hardly any oil, and then coated in Sticky Sweet Chilli goodness - how does that sound?    


Would the batter actually stay on the wings or would my bright idea turn into a disaster?  Read on to find out.

My ActiFry arrived as a result of a challenge set by Tefal which was to cook my guilty pleasure.  The lovely Camilla over at Fab Food 4 All was sent an ActiFry for the challenge.  Once she had cooked her guilty pleasure she had to nominate someone else to take on the challenge and she chose me - Cheers Camilla!

On with my Sweet Chilli Chicken Wings. You will notice the batter is quite thick - I decided it would have more chance staying on the wings once cooking in the ActiFry.

Print Recipe

https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/home/tefal-actifry-sweet-chilli-chicken-wings




You will need a Tefal ActiFry:
20 chicken wings
40g plain
40g cornflour
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
1 egg - free range of course and lightly beaten
50ml water

*You will also need 1 tablespoon oil for cooking in the ActiFry

The sauce isn't anything tricky - mix together in a small bowl and set aside:
100ml (half a bottle) Sweet Chilli Sauce (Blue Dragon original dipping sauce) available in any good supermarket.
1 tablespoon Ketjap Manis - Indonesian sweet soy sauce - just use dark soy if you can't get it
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
a couple of tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle

How to do it:
Put the flour and cornflour into a bowl along with the Chinese Five Spice and add the egg and give it a good mix.  Add the water and whisk till there aren't any lumps.  The batter will be quite thick but fear not - it will be fine. No need to add salt to this mixture just the five spice will be fine.  

Trim the very end part (the bit with no meat) off of each chicken wing and discard.  Pop them into a large bowl and pour over the batter.  Mix using your hand to coat each wing well.
Add the wings one at a time to the ActiFry.  Drizzle with one spoonful of oil, shut the lid and set the time to 30 minutes. 

Now after a few minutes of cooking I thought I'd done a wrongen - oh my, the batter wasn't looking good in the ActiFry.  BUT after 15 minutes it all looked okay and although the wings didn't stay perfectly coated they were looking good.
In any case these wings were going to get a coating of sticky sweet chilli goodness and since they weren't being judged by Monica on MasterChef it really didn't matter.

Once they emerge from the ActiFry using tongs as they are piping hot, coat each wing in the sticky sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.  The wings were perfectly cooked and not at all dry.  Yep we're very impressed with the Tefal Actifry. 


The #ActiFry Guilty Pleasure Challenge:
I'm nominating Jo over at Jo's Kitchen to receive an ActiFry from Tefal and take on the Tefal #ActiFry challenge - can't wait to see what Jo will cook!

Pop over to see how Camilla got on with the #ActiFry guilty pleasure over at Fab Food 4 All.

Do you have a Tefal ActiFry?  If so please tell me your favorite recipe in a comments below.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Tefal for sending me an ActiFry Family along with a few goodies and a Salisbury's gift voucher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write anything positive.  
  

4

Telford Southwater Pizza Express - Review

Pizza Express recently opened a branch in the fancy Southwater development by the Telford town center.  Yep this Pizza Express is a lovely place to eat with a very relaxed atmosphere.  Of course I wasn't sent there to review the actual restaurant nor the service - just the menu.  But while I'm about it I think the excellent service, friendly and very informative staff need a mention!  This place is GOOD.

Spotlessly clean, tidy too.  Pizza express have an open style kitchen so you can see the food being prepared which I think can only be a good thing.

This was our second visit to Pizza Express Telford, the first being when they'd only been open a couple of weeks. We were pleasantly surprised then at just how knowledgeable the staff were, explaining the different pizza bases and topping and for example, how you can choose to have none, more, or less of the different types of chillies to make your pizza to suit you.

On our first visit Paul had chosen a pizza that had Tabasco sauce on it and when I reminded him just how HOT Tabasco sauce is - he chickened out!  The waiter came up with an idea; he'd request that no Tabasco was actually added to Paul's pizza, but he would bring a couple of bottles to the table - original and mild Tabasco sauce so Paul could decide for himself how hot or not he wanted it.  Now that's what I call going the extra mile - brilliant service!
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Pure Chocolate Beads - for Drinking

Whoa!  This has to be the Most Creamy Chocolaty Tasting Drink ever - Pure Chocolate Beads that you simply melt in hot milk (or water) but it just wouldn't be the same.  Yes indeed, it's like drinking a bar of chocolate!

Anyone that reads this blog will know I'm not a one for anything chocolate but of course I did try it and it really is like drinking a bar of chocolate!  Paul (the husband) however loves chocolate, and declared Hans Sloane the best hot chocolate drink ever.  It's really rich and perfect for cold winter nights, you need about 3 tablespoons per mug but of course you can add more or less according to your taste.
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Making Jam in the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 Bread Maker

Having recently reviewed the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 Bread Maker at the time of writing I hadn't tried making jam so as promised I gave it a go.
Now, how marvelous it would be, but would it actually work?  Well folks I can tell you it certainly does.  No messing about with thermometers - just put the fruit in the bread pan along with jam sugar (sugar with pectin added) and Robert's your father's brother!


The supplied recipe book says to use sugar and powdered pectin.  Now could I actually find powdered pectin in Asda or Tesco, errr no.  But that said I'm sure if I hunted about a bit in the right shop I'd find it.  But I wanted to make jam now.  So not to be put off I fancied that if I used jam sugar (Tate & Lyle) it would be the same difference, after-all it's just sugar with the right amount of pectin already added.

So, to make jam in the Panasonic bread maker (please note not all models have a menu for making jam) simply layer fruit and jam sugar in the bread pan.
  

 Select the correct menu, press START and sit back while jam happens.


So with the jam making a success it was onto making a Spicy Fruit Loaf.  Once again, faultless - I love this machine!


Nice and spicy and while cooking the kitchen smelt amazing.  Am I impressed with this bread maker - it's a big fat YES from me.   


Disclosure:  I was sent this Panasonic Bread Maker for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not meant to influence readers buying choice.  I was not required to write a positive review.
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Jus Rol Bake it Fresh - Pain au Chocolat Review

I'll be honest (as always of course) I'd never thought about buying Jus Rol 'Bake it Fresh' products before - although I always buy Jus Rol ready made pastry since personally I think it's the best out there.  But having been sent some vouchers to try a few Bake it Fresh products off out I went to get some, and I'm glad I did.
Oh my, it has to be said I am really impressed with the quality of the the end product and how very easy they are to prepare. 


The rather ingenious packaging consists of what looks like a tin but with cardboard sides.  All you do is pull down on a tab and the tin pops open and out comes the ready made dough and appropriate filling - marvelous!
For example the Pain au Chocolat dough is ready made and once out of the tin it just needs unraveling since it's rolled up like a Swiss roll.  The portions are ready marked out and almost cut through so all you do is separate them.  Included in the pack (amazingly since the package is really quite small) are sticks of chocolate.  You place one stick of chocolate at either end of each slice then roll towards each other.  Pop onto a baking sheet seam side down, glaze with beaten egg and bake for 12 minutes at 200c - simples. 

Jus Rol products can be found in all good supermarkets and are located near the butter.  The range includes Cinnamon Swirls, Apple Danish, Pain au Chocolat, Croissants, Focaccia, Crusty Rolls and even Pizza Bases with Tomato Sauce.  To find out more pop over to Jus Rol.

Disclaimer:  I was sent vouchers to buy some Jus Rol products.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 
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Enhance - Add a Hint of Flavour to Water

Enhance is a refreshingly new, tasty and simple way to enjoy the natural benefits of water, anywhere.  Just a squeeze adds a natural fruity flavour to water.  Made from real fruit juice, with no artificial colours or flavours or added sugar, it’s the perfect way to get your daily recommendation.  We especially loved the Strawberry and Kiwi and it's true, all you need is a squeeze! 


It's common knowledge that drinking water is an essential part of a healthy diet and beauty regime.  But staying hydrated can be difficult, particularly for those with busy lifestyles and certainly those who find that water can be tasteless and boring.

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Giveaway - Slate Appetiser Gift Set from KitchenCraft

The nice people over at KitchenCraft are giving away a lovely 17 piece Slate Appetiser Set to one lucky reader of this blog.  Impress your guests at your next dinner party!   
The set consists of four white porcelain taster spoons, four glass appetiser dishes, four glass dessert / appetiser cups and four stainless steel spoons resting on an elegant slate rectangular serving tray.


KitchenCraft have great range of products, pop over to the KitchenCraft website to see more.

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.

37

Panasonic Stainless Steel Bread Maker - Review

Now, there are bread makers and there are BREAD MAKERS!  I think the very stylish Panasonic SD-ZB2502 would take some beating in looks and more importantly performance.

Having owned, and been using an older Panasonic model (the SD-255) for a few years now (and I might point out I was still using it till this fancy one arrived) I can tell you even though my older model is fantastic there was one thing that always bugged me - and that was the way you set it the programs.  You selected them and they went round in a loop which made it sometimes quite confusing to set.  That said, believe me it doesn't take much to confuse me.  With this one however I'm pleased to say it really is a doddle to set since it's done by simply select a menu number. 

Panasonic Bread Maker



The bread pan is longways as apposed to sideways as it was in my older machine - this is far better since this breadmaker takes up far less room on the kitchen worktop.
The dimensions are H38.2 x W25.6 x D38.9cm and the maximum loaf size is 0.8kg

5

Vegetable and Barley Soup

A good bowl of soup is always a good thing and a great way to eat lots of lovely veg if you are someone that usually doesn't.  Add pearl barley and I say this soup just has to be good for you.  Pearl barley is similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content and is great for adding to soups and stews.

Vegetable and Barley Soup

Pearl barley does take a bit of cooking though so you will need to rinse it then into a saucepan with plenty of cold water.  Cover with a lid, bring to a boil for 10 minutes then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until tender before adding to your soup.
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