Strawberry and Prosecco Jam - Tate and Lyle Recipe

Making jam isn't really a difficult thing, it can't be because if I can make jam anyone can!  Of course using top quality fruit is pretty much vital for good results and the type of sugar you use is going to make all the difference to your jam.  Tate & Lyle Jam Sugar is definitely the hero ingredient for making jam happen since it has the perfect balance of sugar and pectin.

I was recently sent a jam making kit from Tate & Lyle which included Jam Sugar and four lovely jam recipes including this one and since we both LOVE strawberries I set about making Strawberry and Prosecco Jam.

Jam making

Fruits with a high pectin level work best such as blackcurrants and redcurrants, cooking apples and damsons - Oooh and by the way, I think damsons make the most amazing tasting jam (just saying).

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Thai Fish Cakes with Mango Salsa - Philips AirFryer

Week 3 of the 4 week #AirFryerTakeIn challenge given to me by Philips.  Using the AirFryer the plan is to swap a takeaway and get cooking using the AirFryer.

As the Philips AirFryer uses very little oil if any in many recipes (including these fish cakes) you can cut the calories without compromising on taste.


AirFryer recipe


I must say I think the AirFryer is a most marvelous invention. Yep I'm really loving this gadget as it can cook many things other low fat fryers can not cook and I'll be writing a detailed post on that soon.

So far in the #AirFryerTakeIn challenge I've cooked Ricotta and Basil Balls and Mini Chorizo Empanadas and both were totally delicious.


AirFryer


These Thai Fishcakes are just 57 calories per Fishcake with Mango Salsa and Philips say a takeaway version (on average) would be 70 calories.

So how does the AirFryer work?
By using very little oil and something called Rapid Air Technology.  Rapid Air technology makes the hot air circulate very rapidly around the ingredients in the basket.  This heats up the ingredients in the basket from all sides at once, making it a healthy, fast and easy method to prepare tasty food. Food prepared in the Airfryer is crispy on the outside and without being dry on the inside.

Now I'm just saying, from my personal experience I say the non-stick Philips Grill Pan that isn't supplied with the AirFryer is seriously worth buying as my fishcakes did stick to the bottom of the supplied wire basket but the grill pan is non-stick and works perfectly.  Of course it's also useful for cooking many other food items too.

AirFryer no oil

There was no oil used to make these fishcake - the recipe is in the book that is supplied with the Philips Viva Collection AirFryer along with a good selection of other recipes that include a chocolate cake.  Oh yes CAKE made in the AirFryer!! 

Check out this and more Philips products over the Philips website.

Disclosure - I was sent the Philips AirFryer to take part in the #AirFryerTakeIn challenge along with a gift card for ingredients. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write anything positive. 
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Cadbury - Obey Your Mouth House

Chocolate Lovers - Check this out!
Cadbury recently opened the doors to the 'Obey Your Mouth House' to celebrate the new Cadbury singles range.  The Obey Your Mouth House is a brand new immersive experience, giving fans the chance to experience five exciting rooms, all relating to different Cadbury chocolate bars.


Obey Your Mouth House has already been to London Southbank, Wireless Festival, V Festival back in June.  But fear not; the good news is there's still time to pop into the house at the Glasgow Summer Sessions 27th-28th August 2016

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The Palomar Cookbook - Review

Much excitement as today sees the launch of The Palomar Cookbook!

The Palomar restaurant opened its doors in summer 2014 - situated opened in the heart of Theater land and Soho London.  Since then the restaurant has continued to go from strength to strength, offering amazing food from modern-day Jerusalem with dishes influenced by the rich cultures of Southern Spain, North Africa and the Levant.


For me this book is truly inspiring; the food looks amazing and there are over 100 recipes with stunning photography.  The recipes look quick and simple to create without any 'chefy' stuff and are perfect for the home cook.  I must say everything looks truly delicious, I really don't know which I should make first.  You can take a sneaky peak inside the book over at Amazon.

Recipes include Scallop Carpaccio with ‘Thai-bouleh’; Velvet tomatoes; Kubenia (Lebanese steak tartare); Pork belly with ras el hanout, dried fruits and Israeli couscous; Labneh kreplach tortellini and Cod chraymeh (North African fish stew).

Mezze dishes to share with sweet and savoury pastries, simple dishes for a quick fix and more complex dishes for a main meal.

I'm loving the look of this Fattoush Salad (page 110) bread-based salads are a great way to use up stale bread and mixing it with fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumber, onion and sumac.


Photo supplied by Octopus Publishing - Photographer Helen Cathcart.   

The Palomar Cookbook is broken down into the following chapters:
What's in the Cupboard
The Meal Before the Meal 
Raw Beginnings 
Cocktails
The Main Act
The Pastry Room

So is it worth buying?
Well, it's a big fat YES from me!  
Great photography, printed on high quality paper, easy to make recipes, nothing too 'chefy' lots of veggie recipes.  No weird and wonderful ingredients either, everything can be easily bought in any good supermarket; for the odd thing you might have trouble finding The Palomar Cookbook has that covered as they show a recipe how to make it yourself which is I think is brilliant.

Available to buy from 25th AUGUST 2016
Hardback
RRP is £25.00
Published by Octopus Books
Photography by Helen Cathcart

Twitter @Octopus_Books
@palomarsoho

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to write anything positive.
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Rocktanium Frying Pan from Stellar Cookware

I do love a nice frying pan and I have a fair amount of what I call proper good ones, but I can honestly say I am totally impressed with this Rocktanium pan, new from Stellar Cookware.  It not only looks good but performs well too; by the way I'm loving the pebble dash look.


Quantanium is a new titanium-based formula and is free from PFOA and has the toughest non-stick coating I've ever come across.  It is harder and more durable than conventional non-stick, scratch-resistant and guaranteed for an impressive five years.  After testing this frying pan for a few weeks now I highly recommend it.

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Mini Chorizo Empanadas - Philips AirFryer Recipe

Okay folks; this is week 2 of a 4 week challenge given to me by Philips which was to swap a weekly takeaway meal every week for a month and to join in the #AirFryerTakeIn
Last week I made Ricotta and Basil Balls which I have to say were really easy to make and oh so good to eat!

Next up I made Mini Chorizo Empanadas which the recipe says are AirFryer Take In calories of 153 per one large empanadas (except they are not large nor are are they meant to be) since they're called 'Mini' compared to a Takeaway of (on average) 245 calories.

Empanadas

The AirFryer works by using very little oil and something called Rapid Air Technology.  Rapid Air technology makes the hot air circulate very rapidly around the ingredients in the basket.  This heats up the ingredients in the basket from all sides at once, making it a healthy, fast and easy method to prepare tasty food. Food prepared in the Airfryer is crispy on the outside and without being dry on the inside.
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Ricotta and Basil Balls - Philips AirFryer

Philips recently set me and a few other bloggers a challenge which is to swap a weekly takeaway meal every week for a month and to join in the #AirFryerTakeIn.  So the AirFryer arrived last week along with a fantastic selection of recipe cards for inspiration and Ricotta and Basil Balls just had to be made pretty much immediately - we do LOVE cheese!

Ricotta and Basil AirFryer

Now we all know that fried food tastes good but we also know it really isn't good for us!  But that's where the AirFryer comes to the rescue making fast, tasty fried food without using the traditional frying method of frying.  I think you'll agree these Ricotta and Basil balls look like they were fried but they wasn't.  The Philips AirFryer cuts the calories by using very little oil but give the appearance of fried food.  Here's a guide to the best air-fryers out there.

So go on then; how does it work? 
The AirFryer uses Rapid Air technology.  A unique patented combination of high-speed air circulation, with a top grill.  The Rapid Air technology makes the hot air circulate very rapidly around the ingredients in the basket.  This heats up the ingredients in the basket from all sides at once, making it a healthy, fast and easy method to prepare tasty food.  Food prepared in the Airfryer is crispy on the outside and without being dry on the inside.

It's Healthy
When you air fry French fries, the fries prepared contain up to 80% less fat compared to fries prepared in a deep-fat fryer. When you prepare homemade French fries, the fat percentage can be as low as 1.5%.

It's Fast 
With the Airfryer, you can easily prepare your favorite foods in a fast way and 300g French fries can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes.  The timer will switch off the AirFryer automatically after the set preparation time.  You can start hot air frying in a cold appliance.

Okay lets get back to the Ricotta and Basil Balls - Oh my goodness they were delicious!

AirFryer Ricotta

The recipe card said the mixture would make 20 balls but I wanted bigger balls!  So I made only 10 balls in total which means they are double the calories to what the card said and worked out at just 80 calories each.  But compared to the fried version is a massive saving of 58 calories (on average) per Ricotta and Basil ball.

What else have I cooked so far?
I'm having a great time trying out various recipes and so far I've cooked Pizza, Bacon, Chips, Thai Fishcakes and even a Jacket Potato.  Now it has to be said I had my doubts as to whether the AirFryer could cook a jacket potato but it did. Okay the potato was quite small but enough for lunch but the AirFryer can cook 4 potatoes of this size in the same time which was 25 minutes.  Perfect as a side dish.

The potato had a lovely crispy skin and was nice and fluffy inside.  I took the potato out and mixed with a little salt and grated cheese then popped it back in the AirFryer for another minute so the cheese bubbled nicely.

AirFryer Potato

After several attempts to get a decent photo of the AirFryer I gave up - it's so lovely and shiny black that all you could see was the reflection of me and my kitchen which is never going to be a good look.  So this photo has been supplied by Philips.

AirFryer Philips

The basket is enough to cook a decent amount of chips enough for 4 people.  It doesn't come with a Grill Pan only the basket; but I'm loving the AirFryer so much I bought the Grill Pan from Philips via Amazon and it arrived the next day.
It has to be said the grill pan is a marvelous accessory and to be honest in my opinion I say it is necessary in order to cook things like the Ricotta Balls or the Thai Fishcakes.  Why - because it's non-stick and my fishcakes did stick to the wire of the basket and made it pesty to clean up.

Of course the supplied wire basket is brilliant for cooking chips and one of the many things I'm loving about the AirFryer compared with another brand of very low or no oil needed fryer, is that with the Philips AirFryer the food isn't stirred around and therefore cooked in the very tiny amount of fat needed since any excess fat (if any) simply drips through the wire basket or the holes in the grill pan accessory if used.  

AirFryer

Anyway this was week 1 of 4 weeks of the #AirFryerTakeIn challenge so I'll be back very soon with the next recipe which I am going to make today; Mini Chorizo Empanadas so be sure to check back for that as they look amazing.

Check out this and more Philips products over the Philips website.

Disclosure - I was sent the Philips AirFryer to take part in the #AirFryerTakeIn challenge along with a gift card for ingredients.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write anything positive. 
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BBQ Hacks - Adding Flavour

There are many ways to add flavour to BBQ food from dry rubs, marinades or by using wood chips. Wood chips are soaked for a couple of hours before use then throw onto the coals for charcoal BBQ's or into a smoker box attachment for gas grills.  The will work by gently smoking away; for best results and a deeper flavour pop the lid on whilst cooking.

Depending on the wood used affects the end result.  Hickory adds a lovely deep smokiness but a favorite of mine is Applewood which smells amazing, it adds a smoky and slightly fruity flavour and I say Applewood was made for BBQ'd burgers!  Oooh and while we're talking about wood chips another favorite of mine is Cherry wood which works brilliantly with poultry, game or pork.

Remember the longer the wood chips have to smoke, the more taste and coloring your food gets.  So something like a steak that takes just 10 minutes to cook won't have as much of a smoky taste of a pork shoulder which is cooked for a good few hours.

Adding herbs are of course another excellent way to add flavour, for example you can use a bunch of freshly cut Rosemary as a basting brush so the flavour isn't so intense.

Whatever you serve at your next BBQ a nice side salad is always popular and a simple green salad with a nice dressing can be made in minutes.

To make a super quick Lemon and Honey Salad Dressing mix together the following:
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For more ways to add flavour to your next BBQ check out this video which is one of a four BBQ Hack videos created by MyVoucherCodes.

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New from Mövenpick - Passion Fruit and Mango Sorbet

I'm excited to tell you about a couple of new additions to the Mövenpick range.  The Passion Fruit & Mango Sorbet is so refreshing and has a nice tang but without being too sharp as it's nicely balanced with mango for a little sweetness.

The passion fruit puree from Ecuador makes this wonderfully a smooth sorbet; mixed with the flesh of Alfonso mangoes from India.  The fruit content is 42.5% so yes it's really nice and fruity with a good helping of mango pieces in every spoonful.

Swiss ice cream

Now the plan had been for us to try another new flavour from Mövenpick, Tiramisu Ice Cream.  But it turns out it's so popular there wasn't any available!   So next up we tried the Maple Walnut Ice Cream which isn't a new flavour in the Mövenpick range but in my opinion this is absolutely the best ice cream ever!  Made with genuine Canadian Maple Syrup with Caramelised Walnuts which adds a lovely sweetness and a bit of crunch; oh yes this is good stuff.

By the way if you've never tried Mövenpick Caramelita Ice Cream check out the Ice Cream Sundae with Caramel and Mascarpone Whipped Cream, I made using it a while back.

Mövenpick Ice Cream is made with Swiss cream and has no artificial additives or colours and is available in Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Delis across the UK.

Where to buy: Ocado
RRP: £4.99 for 500ml
The 500ml range consists of eight flavours:
Vanilla Dream Ice Cream, Swiss Chocolate Ice Cream, Strawberry Ice Cream, Caramelita Ice Cream, Maple Walnut Ice Cream, Tiramisu Ice Cream, Raspberry & Strawberry Sorbet and Passion Fruit & Mango Sorbet.

Find out more about Mövenpick over at Moevenpick-icecream.com

Disclosure:  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write anything positive.

Copper Soft Touch Ice Cream Scoop from Stellar Cookware.
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