Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Strong Roots Frozen Food Products - Review

New to the market from Strong Roots are these lovelies and in case you haven't discovered them yet I'll tell you a bit about them. The full range includes: Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Kale & Quinoa Burgers, Garlic Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes and these amazing Ripened Frozen Avocado Halves which I got particularly excited about - why because I've fancied making guacamole but had every ingredient except avocado.

A Range of Frozen Products from Strong Roots

These Peruvian Avocado Halves (RRP £5.29) are perfectly ripened, pitted and freshly frozen.  With with a bag or two of these in the freezer it means smoothies and guacamole can be made at anytime along with anything else that requires avocado.

The Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries (RRP £2.99) are coated in a gluten-free rice flour which gives them a firm and crispy texture.  I say these are the best frozen sweet potato fries ever; oh yes, definitely sweet potato heaven!

Kale & Quinoa Burgers (RRP £2.99) are low in sugar and low saturated fat.  They have a crispy crunchy quinoa crust and contain nutritious mixed vegetables.  You could even serve them as a veggie burger between a bun and yes, they are big enough. I have to admit I didn't think I'd be over keen on these, but I was wrong! I imagined they would taste bland but they really are very tasty and nicely seasoned; can't fault them at all.

The Garlic Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes (RRP £3.99) are a mix of sweet potato, garlic, onions with some added herbs. Lovely and crisp and I say perfectly seasoned; yep we love these.

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Review of Ready Meals by My Healthy Kitchen

My Healthy Kitchen, a new ready meal brand available at Waitrose as well as Ocado and Amazon Fresh.  There are six recipes in the range and each one is under 500 calories, nutritionally balanced and each has their own additional benefits, such as low in fat, sugar, high in protein etc.  myhk are great if you're busy at work and don't always have time for a proper lunch or a home-cooked dinner.
 My Healthy Kitchen Vegetable Risotto Ready Meal

Options available are:
Moroccan Prawn; Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto; Oriental Chicken; Chicken Paella; Pea, Mint & Rocket Risotto; and Prawn Katsu.

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Glenilen Farm Yoghurt - Review

Glenilen Farm have quite a range of products that uses milk as the main ingredient.  Milk is sourced from Glenilen and neighbouring farms and for ingredients they can’t supply themselves they search for the best quality ingredients from suppliers who care as much about their products as they do.  This was they ensure that all of their products are made using the best ingredients available.

Having been sent some to try I can tell you they are delicious, nice and creamy and very fruity.  These yoghurts are probiotic low fat and contain no artificial additives or preservatives.


These fruit yoghurts are also available in 500g but just look at the cute little milk churn style glass jars!  Glenilen Farm even have a page on 'Jar Ideas' as of course once washed they can be used for many things as the lid still snaps on tightly after use.

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Spring Summer Men's Fashion - Jacamo

Recently I was given a challenge by Jacamo; to style my man.  Oh yes check me out, food and fashion blogger all in one!

Paul (the husband) was set to do a bit of modeling over the weekend but the weather was and still is horrid.  So instead of waiting another week for the weather to get itself sorted, I decided to just take photos of the clothes instead.  Possibly the best decision since Paul isn't quite supermodel material; although of course he is to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, just in case you didn't know, Jacamo is an online men's clothing retailer and also has a great range of footwear, sportswear and accessories.  Big brand names too; Nike, Firetrap, French Connection, Timberland and Pierre Cardin and more.

Back to my challenge:
Here's what we found for Spring, Summer 2017 over at Jacamo.
Paul's a window cleaner and loves to wear shorts; I'm pretty sure if it didn't look too daft he'd wear shorts in the winter too!  So he was well pleased when he discovered Jacamo have such a large range of men's shorts to choose from.

Jo Browns Crazy Cargo Shorts £40 sizes 34 to 54 waist:
Loving these cargo shorts; army based prints with deep pockets, machine washable and easy to iron (on the reverse side).  These shorts are very well made and look like they'd last for years.  By the way the colour is true to life and is called Tobacco.

Jo Browns Crazy Cargo Shorts

He says they're comfortable to wear and are great for a casual look.  I think they'd go nicely with either a plain black, white or perhaps a stone coloured T-shirt.


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Posh Bubble and Squeak and the New Radiant Range from Judge

I love bubble and squeak but since it requires leftover potatoes and greens we hardly ever have it; why? Because being greedy we never have 'leftovers' but if you do happen to have any leftover cooked potatoes then this is a great way to use them up.

Just throw the pancetta or bacon into a pan; no need to add oil and cook until crispy then remove and set aside.  Add the cooked potatoes to the pan along with a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika and cook until heated through.
Add the bacon back in along with a handful of spinach (for good health ๐Ÿ˜Š) and cook until it wilts. Season with black pepper and serve straight away with a nice fried egg; free range of course.

Apart from a quick lunch it was actually just a was a good excuse to try out my shiny new chefs pan from the Radiant Range by Judge Cookware!

Posh Bubble and Squeak with pancetta and fried egg

About the new Radiant Range from Judge:
New Judge Radiant benefits from Teflon’s very latest Radiance non-stick surface which is PFOA free. This is a 3 layer non-stick which uniquely integrates ferrous particles which accelerate heat transfer through the non-stick layer, creating a very even heat throughout the pan.
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Filter Coffee Machine Review - Aldi's Brunch Week Range

This week I've been trying out this Filter Coffee Maker from Aldi.  Whilst it's not all singing and dancing it does a great job of making coffee and at a good temperature too which of course is the main thing.  Perfect for a lazy bank holiday weekend as it has an automatic 'keep warm' function which ensures your coffee is nice and hot and the hotplate stays on to keep the coffee hot until the machine is switched off.

For safety the machine turns off automatically after a while.  The instructions don't say how long it is before it turns off but I've found it to be after an hour. I tested it and found the coffee to be (82.5°C) so it's just right.  I've had a more expensive coffee machine in the past which at best only produced lukewarm coffee which of course isn't a good thing.

Aldi Filter Coffee Machine

It's really easy to use; just fill the water tank with the desired amount of water- the number of cups is clearly displayed.

Add ground coffee to the filter holder and make sure the glass jug is on the hotplate. Switch on and your coffee drips through into the glass jug.
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Gousto Food Boxes - do the recipes really work?

There are a few online recipe box delivery people out there and I've tried many of them.  But when it comes to the actual recipes I say Gousto have nailed it.  I'm really not meaning to sound like an advert, I'm just saying.  I once joined in a 'Cookalong' with Toshiba and Gousto and their Persian Halloumi recipe has been made loads ever since in this house.

You know how it is, you see a recipe in a book and have a go at making it but most times it never actually looks quite the same as the picture in the book; well they don't for me anyway!  But I've found Gousto recipes really do work and yes these are my own photos and I can tell you they turned out the same as the picture supplied on the recipe card in the box.  Be sure to keep reading this post as I have a special DISCOUNT code for my readers ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


This Curried Chicken with Sultana Rice with Indian Carrot Slaw was really easy to make as was the other recipe in the box; Chicken Red Pepper and Lemongrass Curry.  More importantly they were both were really tasty too. We especially liked the first one with the Indian carrot slaw ๐Ÿ˜‹


Gousto deliver recipes boxes of 2 meals for either 2 or 4 people. Everything in the box was nice and fresh.  Dry ingredients for your chosen recipes are all measured out all you need to do is peel some veg, chop or grate and follow the recipe card supplied.

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Induction Granite Enamel Ovenware from Judge - Review

I must tell you about my two latest kitchen lovelies both from Judge Cookware; the Induction Granite Enamel Ovenware range.

First up is this Induction Granite Enamel Bake Pan (JS06) which is made from heavy grade steel with an enamel coating.  As it doesn't claim to be non-stick I have to be honest wondered if it would be up to the job of turning out perfect roast potatoes, but as you can see it was and my roasties didn't stick at all. Happy me ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Roast Potatoes in Enamel Dish from Judge Cookware

It's a good size too at 32cm x 19cm although there are larger versions available.  A chicken fits in nicely as does a joint of beef.  Of course and can be used for loads of other things besides roasties.   Dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 240°C
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Review of Lyons Coffee Bags - Fresh Ground Coffee in a Bag

Lyons coffee bags are just like tea bags but with coffee, so you can have a nice cup of roasted coffee pretty much anytime and anywhere.  Just add freshly boiled water, stir, and allow to brew for three to four minutes until the coffee is as strong as you like it to be.

Having given these a go I say they're great for everyday convenience and for taking to work.  Also I'm thinking if you like to enjoy a cuppa of your favourite coffee brand whilst away on holiday, coffee bags are brilliant since they take up hardly any space as apposed to a bulky jar of coffee.

Lyons Coffee Bag in a Cup

We both like that each coffee bag is individually wrapped in foil so each cup you make is nice and fresh.  Now although I'm not a coffee drinker but Paul (the husband) is, so it was over to him to taste test.

The verdict?  Yep he says they really do taste good and he particularly likes the No. 3 - Rich and Full Bodied.

So will we buy these in the future?  Yes we will, very convenient and most of all the coffee tastes good.
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Landon Tyler Scented Candles and Diffusers - Now available in Boots

I know I've written about these beautifully scented diffusers from Landon Tyler before but I wanted to share this with you - they are now available to buy in Boots!  Brilliant news as it makes them much easier for us all to buy.

Each diffuser gives out fragrance from morning till night for around 12 weeks and that's pretty much true since mine is still going at 10 weeks although it is almost coming to an end.  The lovely people at Landon Tyler must have known as they've very kindly sent two more; Chesil Beach and Citrus Grove.

Both are really, really nice and Chesil Beach will be perfect in the bathroom and the Citrus Grove in the kitchen ๐Ÿ˜Š

Landon Tyler Luxury Diffusers




Available as a diffuser or candle there are many more fragrances to choose from; you can read my review here.  Landon Tyler diffusers and scented candles are not only the best I've ever tried but they're cheaper too than most. They are made using quality ingredients, sourced from the UK and Europe.

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Optimum Pressure Cooker PRO with Induction Technology - Review

I am soooo excited to tell you about the Optimum Induction Pressure Cooker PRO from Froothie! Oh my goodness, you know how I love a good kitchen gadget?  Well this machine is just the best. It's time saving, money saving and delivers great results.  I'm going to be cooking up some healthy recipes as I'm taking part in #Jumpstart17 in my bid to lose a bit of weight.

Oh yes this electric Pressure Cooker AND Slow Cooker is one super-duper amazing piece of kitchen kit.  With 16 set functions it really does make cooking pretty much fool proof.

It also uses Induction heating technology.  Induction is a method of heat transfer, induction heating generates an electric current to create a magnetic field that transfers heat to a cooking vessel.  It is more energy efficient than standard heating technologies, such as electrical cookers, and cooks food more evenly - pretty cool ah?

This multi-cooker has automatic pressure release and voice warning when pressure is about to be released.  It also has handy delay start and keep warm functions.


So what can this mean machine actually do?
Well along with 7 pressure levels and Slow Cook, Meat, White Rice, Stew, Soup, Porridge, Steam, Braise, Cake, Pizza, Pasta, Roast, Deep Fry, Defrost, Yogurt, Simmer and DIY functions this really is one very versatile machine.  So it's not just a fancy Pressure Cooker; because it's a Multi-Cooker it means is can also be used as a Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer and even a Deep Fryer too.
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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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Flat Stacks Collapsible Storage Containers - Review

What a marvelous invention these Flat Stacks are. Silicone, Space Saving, Collapsible Storage!
Because they're collapsible it means they take up less space when not in use and can stack inside each other giving you double the space in your kitchen.


Flat Stacks

If you're anything like me, I have waaaay too many plastic storage tubs.  I have very little space in my kitchen cupboards so I tend to stack the tubs inside each other (where possible) because I have all manor of shapes and sizes; as for the lids,well they just seem to disappear into thin air.  

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Judge Double Walled Highball Glasses

I say milkshakes and hot sunny weather are made for each other.  It's such a lovely day here again that I've stopped all housework to make banana milkshakes.  So it's also a good time to tell you about these thermally insulated Double Walled Highball Glass from Judge Cookware.  They're perfect for keeping drinks cold.  Hot drinks stay hot whilst the exterior remains cool to touch; ice cold drinks like my Extra Creamy Banana Milkshake stay nice and cold without any producing condensation. Great for food photography!


As milkshakes go banana milkshake is my favourite.  
Makes 4 good sized milkshakes. 
3 nice big bananas, 700ml milk, a few generous scoops of vanilla ice cream and about 3 tablespoons of banana milkshake mix (I used Nesquik).  

Put the lot into a blender and whiz for a few seconds - that's it job done.
Of course these Highball glasses and the Tumblers are more suited to long drinks, beers or cocktails and milkshakes; for hot drinks there are Cappuccino, Espresso and Latte glasses which I have previously reviewed; click here to read my review and I think you'll agree they are the nicest looking Latte glasses ever!  

Scratch and heat resistant (0 to 100°C) and made from borosilicate glass.
Dishwasher safe
Available as a set of 2 glasses (350ml) 
Product Ref JD640 

For more information and to find your nearest stockist please pop over to Judge Cookware.
Twitter @JudgeCookware

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Pam and Judge Cookware for sending me the glasses to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write anything positive.
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Delonghi Argento White 4 Slot Toaster - Review

When you're looking at buying a new toaster it can be a right pain trying to find one that actually toasts bread evenly.  Of course you never find out till you've got it home and tried it; but of course once you've used it you can't take it back (unless of course it happens to be faulty.  So when I was asked by House of Fraser to pick a toaster to review it was tricky since they have a fantastically huge range of Toasters to choose from at prices to suit all budgets.

It was love at first sight when I spied this one; the Delonghi Argento White 4 Slot Toaster. The Brilliant White Matt look is too nice; at the moment I'm really into kitchen stuff that happens to be white!

Now although my photos don't really do this toaster justice, I'm hoping my review will give you an idea of whether this toaster is the right one for you.

Toaster Review

This 4 Slice Toaster can toast any amount of bread between 1 and 4 slices.


The best bit is this; if one of you likes their toast more done than the other then it's not a problem, just turn the dials on each of the two controls to either 1 to 6 (1 for pale toast to 6 being dark).

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Calisto Glazed Terracotta - Harbour Living

The Calisto range from Harbour Living is just beautiful, made from terracotta with a lovely glazed finish.  All items in the range (and there are lots) are available in Black too which is also gorgeous and very stylish.  Personally I'm seriously loving White, after all it is summertime and the weather is only going to get better; I have faith!

Anyway, whatever you're looking for, Baking Dishes, Dinner Plates, Cereal, Salad and Pasta Bowls and more can all be found in the Calisto range.

Terracotta Platter

This Oval Platter is quite large (H5 x W49 x D30cm) which is as I say large, but perfect for displaying my Mediterranean-style nibbles that we like to have now and then.  At the time of writing this platter is £21.49 so it's a really good price I think and perfect for outdoor summer dining.

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The Howard Arms Cotswold Pub - Review

The Howard Arms is a 400 year old Cotswold-stone inn overlooking the peaceful Village Green of Ilmington, near Shipston-on-Stour in the Cotswolds.  The perfect place to stay for a romantic weekend away or just to get away for a few days and is in a brilliant location for exploring the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

The Howard Arms Pub




Above image provided by The Howard Arms - all other images in this post are my own.

The Howard Arms is a Pub, Restaurant and Luxury Bed & Breakfast and is what I call a 'proper' country pub.  We arrived last Sunday, freezing cold from the icy weather and was relieved to find a gorgeous log fire with two comfy chairs either side of the fireplace. We've visited many country pubs over the years but you'd be surprised how many have a log fire but actually won't light it.  There's nothing worse than being cold and it puts me off wanting to eat and now that's saying something as I can eat for England.  Always hungry am I.

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Automatic Egg Cooker Review - Judge Cookware

This rather cute Automatic 7 Hole Egg Cooker from Judge Cookware allows you to cook any amount from 1 to 7 eggs at the same time.  It's energy efficient, really easy to use and works by automatically adjusting cooking time according to the quantity of water used; simple but clever ah?  I think so.


There's a small jug that has clear and easy to understand measurements marked on the outside.  All you so is decide how many eggs you wan to cook and how you would like them cooked; Soft, Medium or Hard and fill the water level that corresponds with your choice.
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Judge - Sabatier Kitchen Knives Review

I say these kitchen knives from Judge Cookware are excellent.  Judge has teamed up with Sabatier to bring a range of quality kitchen knives designed with the professional/home chef in mind.


Made from hardened stainless steel with smooth, ergonomic handles and are comfortable to hold and use.  The riveted handles make these knives robust and the Sabatier endorsement assures that each knife is designed with professional Sabatier standards of material, weight, balance and safety in mind.
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Chocolate Chip Muffins - Hard Anodised Bakeware from Stellar Cookware

As you probably know I'm not usually a one for baking cakes; why?  Simply because I can't do baking, I am useless at it and so I need all the help I can get.  But with that said I did once excel myself in making Dulce de Leche Filled Muffins ๐Ÿ˜‰


Of course a good muffin/cupcake tin will ensure your muffins cook evenly and this Hard Anodised Cupcake Tin from Stellar Cookware is the very thing.  It doesn't warp like some cheaper muffins tins will.  This tin is a sturdy and professional piece of bakeware (and by the way it makes a good job of Yorkshire puddings too).  I'm really pleased with the results which means me and this Stellar cupcake tin are now best buddies in the kitchen.


The tin holds twelve muffins but my recipe only made ten; and in case you are wondering, by the time I took the top picture, Paul (the husband) had already eaten two - what is he like?

If you're looking for my amazing muffin recipe it can be found here.  To make these Chocolate Chip Muffins, just leave out the Dulce de Leche and add 150g chocolate chips to the dry mix.

Life Changing Top Muffin Baking Tip (be impressed)
When adding chocolate chips or raisins and the like, to any cake mix add them to the flour and mix to coat before adding the wet ingredients; this stops them sinking to the bottom of your muffins. Marvelous!


More about the Stellar Hard Anodised 12 Cupcake / Muffin Tin 
Hard Anodised heavy gauge material, abrasion resistant.  This surface will not peel or flake off and will not rust.  PTFE and PFOA free.

Selling price £27.00
Size: 42 x 30 x 3cm

Efficient and even heat distribution for superior cooking & baking results and oven safe up to 240°C

Suitable for use under the grill and for hob use (All hobs excluding induction).  Not suitable for use in a microwave.

Not suitable for dishwasher; hand wash in nice warm sudsy water, rinse and dry.

Stellar Lifetime Guarantee

Of course there's a lot more to the Stellar Hard Anodised Bakeware Range including roasting tins and baking trays; check out my review of the Stellar Hard Anodised Roasting Tin.

Pop over to Stellar Cookware for other great products.
Twitter @StellarCookware

Disclosure: I was sent the cupcake tin to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not require to write anything positive.
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