Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Prawn and Spring Onion Tartlets with Coconut and Chilli

These filo pastry Prawn Tartlets with Spring Onion, Coconut and Chilli are so easy to make and rather tasty too; which of course is the main thing.  

You can leave out the chilli altogether if you must but I say even if you only add a teeny weeny bit the slight heat you get is in my opinion a good thing.  Instead you could top with finely chopped peanuts but you'd still need the coconut layer or the prawn mixture would dry out.

Party Prawn Tartlets

Inspired by the frozen ones in M&S this is my 'make it up as I went along' version in which I added spring onion to the filling which adds a bit of texture to the finely chopped prawns.

You need a good non-stick muffin tin (I used a Hard Anodised Muffin Tin from Stellar Cookware).


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Step by Step Cooking Guide to Christmas Dinner

Cooking Christmas dinner can be quite traumatic - if you don't have a plan that is.  The last thing you want after all the weeks of preparation is to end up in a big panic with potatoes turning the wrong side of golden and the turkey nowhere near cooked!

I came across this handy infographic for getting dinner on the table for 2 pm which I say is the perfect time.  It's not too early (you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen when there are presents to unwrap) but it's not too late either; so you still have room all those sweets and treats whilst watching a festive film perhaps.

The Step-By-Step Christmas Dinner Cooking Guide
Provided by AO.com

The note in the last part of the infographic is really important too.  One year I had my turkey all nicely tucked into a roasting tray and covered with foil only to find the tray didn't fit in the oven; there I was rummaging through the cupboards hoping desperately to find another tray 😧
So I say it's best to be prepared and check BEFORE the big day!
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Christmas and New Year Drinks and Treats - Budgens Supermarket

Budgens supermarket have kindly sent us some truly lovely Christmassy products to try.  They have a fantastic range of drinks to entertain your guests in style.

It's great to start Christmas and New Year off with a nice glass of bubbly, but it doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune; La Gioiosa Prosecco is £7.99 or the Mionetto Prosecco is only very slightly more at £8.99 both in our opinion equally good so we decided we couldn't pick a favorite.

   
Rosé sparkling wine is great with a starter course but is just as nice served with dinner.  Seddlescombe Organic English Sparkling Wine at £24.99 - okay this is a little on the expensive side but having checked the price on the net Budgens is the best price and it is an organic wine produced to strict EU Organic standards.


Stocking fillers and gifts such as this cute Lindt Santa is just £3.00 and at the time of writing, are on offer; 2 for £5 so even better.

The Monty Bojangles Berry Bubbly Truffles at £3.00 are amazing; raspberry and popping candy cocoa dusted truffles - yes they fizz in your mouth!

If you like Turkish Delight and you like Chocolate, then these Mr Stanley Chocolate Enrobed Turkish Delight (the best of both worlds) and the price is £8.00 a box.

Little bit about Budgens:
Budgens is believed to be the oldest supermarket in Great Britain. Initially a small, local grocer, the company has expanded and over time the Budgens name appeared on a number of stores throughout the South of England, establishing a reputation for servicing the local communities around England’s high streets and suburban towns with quality products.

In 2015, Budgens became part of the Booker Group and today Budgens has over 150 stores and are known for their great quality food and drink.

Budgens also have a luxurious range of party food too that's well worth checking out.  To find out more and to locate your nearest store pop over to Budgens.

Twitter @DiscoverBudgens

*Please note the prices I've mentioned in this post are subject to change.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the above products to try.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.
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How to Make the Perfect Liqueur Coffee

Hands up who doesn't like a nice liqueur coffee at the end of a special dinner - not many I people expect!  The perfect after dinner drink at Christmas, Thanksgiving or of course New Year.

But how do you make the cream float on top?  Well it's actually really easy; follow my recipe for success.


Aldi have some seriously good priced Wines, Beers and Spirits.  Exclusive to Aldi this Chevalier Cognac is a great price at just £15.99 for a 70cl bottle.

Of course if you don't like Cognac you can make liqueur coffee with Whisky, Grand Marnier, Tia Maria,  Cointreau, Bourbon, Drambuie, the list is endless.
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Hotel Chocolat Christmas Goody Bag - Giveaway

I can't believe it's almost Christmas (again) where has the past year gone?!  The nice people over at Hotel Chocolat are kindly giving one lucky reader of this blog the chance to win their Christmas Goody Bag.

A goody bag containing a host of festive treats, including a Cookie Wreath studded with Florentines and Biscuits; Coconut Snowballs, Billionaire's Shortbread, Our Comet Does Caramel Slab, a Christmas Duo of Nutmeg Praline and Christmas Mess.
Weight: 335g
£18.00


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SuperFast Thermapen 4 vs Classic Thermapen - Review

It has to be said I do have a lot of fancy kitchen gadgets, but the one thing I couldn't be without is my Thermapen probe thermometer.  It gets used in my kitchen pretty much every single day and without meaning to sound like an advert, I really do love the Thermapen and can't recommend them enough. 


I believed there wasn't anything that could be improved on (until I recently received the new SuperFast Thermapen 4) which has an automatic 360° rotational display meaning it's is readable whether you are left or right handed which is fantastic.
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Donald Russell Delivery and an Interactive Turkey Guide

Donald Russell is well known for it's great quality meat, poultry and seafood but also their extensive range of other fantastic foods too.  In fact Donald Russell the butcher has a Royal Warrant to supply gourmet meat to Buckingham Palace.  Ordering from them is easy online or you can also order by phone, email or fax.


Quality:
I was recently sent a Free Range Turkey Crown along with some Pigs in Blankets.  Turkeys from Donald Russell  are Free-Range turkeys, from the Loué farmers of France.  Slow-grown turkey fed on natural cereal-based diet.  The great thing with a turkey crown is there isn't any waste - if you're not keen on drumsticks (dark meat) then a turkey crown is the way to go.  A crown is also really easy to carve too.

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Port and Redcurrant Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables - SCANPAN Review

My Christmassy Roasted Root Vegetables glazed with Port and Redcurrant Jelly are, in a word, delicious. Perfect for Christmas dinner or of course the usual Sunday roast.  So very easy to do too, and as long as you have a good non-stick pan you can't go wrong.

Usually I'd recommend you use a disposable foil tray since the honey can be hard to clean from a regular non-stick roasting tin.  But having been sent this beautiful Scanpan I put it to the test - would it be easy to clean afterwards?  Answer is yep it was a doddle.
Scanpan not only looks good but performs really well both in the oven and on the hob too.
 

Scanpan products are made in Denmark and the Scanpan roasting pan has a non-stick ceramic titanium coating and is metal utensil and dishwasher safe.  This roasting pan is multi-purpose too since it has a base like a frying pan and it can also be used in the oven, under the grill and on the stove top.
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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

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Baked Apples Stuffed with Dates and Ginger - Flora Pro.activ

With all the fancy rich and sugary foods that most of us eat at this time of year, it's good to know you can still have a delicious dessert without it being bad for you.


Flora pro.activ contains plant sterols.  Plant sterols have been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.  Consuming 1.5-2.4g of plant sterols per day can lower cholesterol by 7-10% in 2-3 weeks when consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle with sufficient fruit and vegetables.
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Christmas Essential - Rudolph Nutcracker by Stellar Cookware

Fun to use, but when not in use it doubles as a Christmas ornament, I say so anyway.
Cracks nuts of all sizes - from Hazelnuts to Walnuts and Brazil nuts - Rudolph makes then a doddle to crack! 
     

Made from polished stainless steel  with a non-slip base and has quite a nice weight to it too.
Tried and Tested - it works really well.

Just place your selected nut under his tummy and push down on his tail to crack the nut with ease.
Selling FAST and available to buy now from good cook shops and Amazon.


Many thanks to Pam and Stellar Cookware for sending me The Rudolph Nut Cracker to review.
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.
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Giveaway - Luxury Christmas Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat

Fancy winning a box of Chocolates from Hotel Chocolat in time for Christmas?  Then read on!
Everyone loves chocolate and in my opinion Hotel Chocolat are the best.  

The Signature Christmas Collection is a grand selection of exceptional Christmas Chocolates – Darks, Milks, Dark and Whites Rich with Spirits, Pralines, Fruits, Caramels and Rare and Vintage Cocoa.

Luxury Christmas Chocolates


The selection: Rum & Raisin Truffle, White Caramel Praline, Pistachio Praline Crunch, Hacienda Iara Salted Caramel 90%, Hacienda Iara 63% Ganache Milk , Christmas Mess - Dark, Mulled Port, Nutmeg & Almond Praline, Cranberry Cup, Christmas Stars, Caramel Supernova.
Box contains 19 Chocolates

How to Enter:
One lucky reader of this blog will win a box of 'The Signature Christmas Collection' chocolates from Hotel Chocolat worth £25.00

 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! 
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SousVide Supreme Party Food Made Easy - Teriyaki Sesame Chicken Bites

Last month I made a selection of Starter Course Dishes that are all ideal for entertaining and were made using the SousVide Supreme water oven.  This month with Christmas and New Year coming up fast, I'm making party food.  The main part of each recipe can be prepared in advance, ready to cook using the Sous Vide cooking method.

Teriyaki Chicken


What exactly is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) means “under vacuum” in French, and sous vide cooking is a gourmet culinary technique long used by chefs worldwide.
Instead of good cooking relying on perfect timing to cook, sous vide relies on precise temperature control, but once you've set the temperature on the machine you don't have to fuss about it anymore - just leave your food to cook.

Thanks to The SousVide Supreme you can now have one of these amazing machines in your own home as their range is especially designed for home kitchens.  The Sous Vide method takes the guess work out of cooking, so anyone can create for example the perfect medium-rare steak just as you'd find in a top restaurant - at home.


Food to be cooked is first sealed in a special pouch and sealed with the vacuum sealer that's included in the SousVide Supreme Promo pack.


Chicken is tender and so moist when cooked sous vide.



Print Recipe

https://sites.google.com/a/aglugofoil.com/a-glug-of-oil/sousvide-teriyaki-sesame-chicken-bites

To make 16 - 20 (depending on the size of the fillets) Teriyaki Sesame Chicken Bites you will need:
2 skinless chicken breast fillets
Toasted sesame seeds, gem lettuce, finely chopped red chilli and spring onions for garnish

To make the marinade you will need: 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 a tablespoon dark soy sauce
5 tablespoons of clear honey
1 tablespoon Mirin
1 tablespoon caster sugar
a pinch of ginger powder - fresh ginger doesn't work well in sous vide cooking
a teaspoon of white pepper 

** Please note if you are planning on freezing the chicken before cooking you will only need to make half of this marinade mixture as it wont keep longer than a day.
Also the chicken will need to be fully defrosted before cooking in the sous vide.

How to do it:
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.
Cut each chicken fillet into large bite sized pieces and pop into a bowl.  Add just a couple of tablespoons of the marinade mixture to the fillets and stir well to coat keeping the rest of the marinade for later.  
Fill and heat the Sous Vide to 63.5C

Drain and put the chicken pieces into a suitably sized cooking pouch and vacuum seal. Pop the sealed pouch into the Sous Vide water oven and leave to cook for a minimum of one hour, but of course they can stay there for a good few hours until you are ready to finish them for serving.
Once the chicken has had the minimum time in the water oven, remove the pouch and carefully cut open with scissors taking care of the hot steam.  Please don't be fussed that at this stage the chicken will look like all the pieces have stuck together, they haven't - just carefully part each one.

Pour some toasted sesame seeds into a small bowl.

Heat up a frying pan, give the marinade a stir and add to the pan with the chicken pieces.  As this was an experiment I only used one small chicken fillet, just saying in case you're thinking there's not much food at her party! 😨  

Quickly stir the chicken pieces (remember they are already cooked) and coat in the syrupy marinade. Using a cocktail stick, dip one side of each chicken piece into the toasted sesame seeds. 


Now remove for the cocktail stick and turn the chicken piece over inserting the cocktail stick back in so the sesame coated side is up.  Set aside and assemble for serving.  Put each one on a piece of lettuce and sprinkle with finely chopped red chilli and spring onions and enjoy!  

Teriyaki Chicken Bites

My recipe for Party Food Mini Burgers can be found here and you can find more delicious recipes made in the SousVide Supreme over at my friend Karen's blog Lavender and Lovage.


Disclaimer: I was sent a SousVide Supreme Promo Pack which consists of:  a SousVide Supreme water oven, Vacuum sealer which includes 10 pouches.  2 boxes of vacuum seal cooking pouches, and the Easy Sous Vide cookbook

RRP: £506:98 (£422.48 excluding VAT) it is mine to keep in return for blog posts and a total of twelve recipes.
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SousVide Supreme Party Food Made Easy - Mini Burgers

Last month I made a selection of starter course dishes that were all ideal for entertaining and were made using The SousVide Supreme water oven.  With Christmas and New Year coming up fast, thoughts turn to party food.  This is the first of a few party food ideas I will be posting which can be prepared in advance, ready to cook using the Sous Vide cooking method.  

These tasty, juicy mini burgers can be made now and frozen in the special vacuum pouches ready to pop into the water oven on party day.  To serve, all that's left to do is a 30 second turn in oil in a very hot pan to give the burgers colour,  assemble, serve and enjoy!


The fantastic thing about this method of cooking is your burgers can sit in the water oven for hours and they will still be cooked to a perfect medium-rare (or however you choose) ready to brown, they're ready when you are.  
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Thermapen Thermometer - Review

Checking the temperature of any kind of poultry is always a good thing to do for health and safety reasons.  But it's also good to know that your Christmas turkey or that beef joint is cooked to perfection and doesn't end up under or overcooked and dried out.   All you need is a good digital thermometer to check food is properly cooked but without all the prodding and poking every five minutes.  

Of course checking the temperature isn't all about meat and poultry, according to experts, the secret to Plum Pudding perfection on Christmas Day is to reheat it to precisely 71°C.  Any hotter than 89°C and the sugar within the fruits begins to caramelise and no matter how luxurious its ingredients, your pudding will taste bitter.

Thermapen Thermometer

I'm a big fan of digital thermometers and I always use one to check if meat or poultry is cooked.  Having been sent the Thermapen® I must say I think it's brilliant and extra fast at displaying a precise reading in just three seconds.  

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NEW Baileys Chocolat Luxe - A Fusion of Baileys and Chocolate‎

Let me share a bit of news, for the first time real Belgian chocolate has been fused with alcohol in this new alcoholic drink, Baileys Chocolat Luxe.  

Chocolate liqueur - a multi-sensory experience of chocolate in a glass!
If you're already a lover of Baileys Original Irish Cream then you're sure to love this, and my guess is it will sell out fast especially in the run up to Christmas.
 
Baileys Chocolat Luxe

Created by Anthony Wilson, principal scientist and son of one of Baileys Original Irish Cream’s creators Steve Wilson, this latest innovation in drinks alchemy has been three years in the making. Traveling across three continents, Wilson was able to realise his vision that Baileys and real Belgian chocolate would be the perfect pairing.

The result is a unique drinking experience that brings together two favourite indulgences, Baileys and chocolate. 

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Easy Leftover Turkey Curry - The Best Recipe

There are many different leftover turkey curry recipes but it has to be said my latest invention, in our opinion, is one of the best.  Great for using up leftover Turkey at Thanksgiving or of course Christmas.

Make a simple spice paste of onions, ginger, garlic and chillies.  Fry gently along with cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and throw in a cinnamon stick.  Add coconut milk, tomatoes and soft brown sugar and a little chicken stock and cook till done - continue reading for the full recipe.

Curry

Slightly sweet tasting yet very nicely spiced.  Of course you can make this with leftover chicken too.
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Harrods Seasonal Wine Collection Hamper - Review

Having recently been asked to review a hamper from Harrods and I chose their Seasonal Wine Collection Hamper.  Just as you would expect from Harrods, the hamper was perfect and an absolute delight to both receive and open.

   
The packaging alone looks impressive, I won't be able to throw the box away as it's so nice!
Even a Christmas card was included.
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Pork and Date Stuffing Recipe

Perfect with Sunday roast chicken, but this stuffing is especially nice at Christmas and is so very easy to make too. 
 
Pork and Date Stuffing

If you use pork that hasn't been previously frozen you can make these now, freeze them and that's another job done for Christmas day! 

Of course you don't have to make the stuffing into balls, you can just put it in a tray and cook.
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Tiny Food Party - Book Review

Bite-size recipes for miniature meals.  In a word this book is amazing and is packed full of the kind of food I love.
Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park share dozens of quick and easy recipes for bite-size munchies.


A fantastic 'must have' book for Christmas, New Year and indeed any other party occasion you might be having.  Nice conversion chart at the back of the book - American, Imperial and Metric.
I love the 'Little Menus' that you can follow if you're stuck for ideas on what goes with what and this includes 'All Vegetarian Menu' too.
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A GLUG OF OIL