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

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Optimum ThermoCook - Mini Review

Thanks to ThermoCook it's beginning to look like I'm redundant in my own kitchen!  Let me tell you about this truly amazing piece of kit; introducing the Optimum ThermoCook Professional Cooking Assistant!  When I was asked if I'd like a ThermoCook all of my own I almost fell off the chair; I mean this is  seriously an excellent state of the art piece of kitchen equipment.  It's not only stylish but it's smaller than I imagined it to be, which is great since our kitchen is really tiny.

Oh yes, the ThermoCook is a cooking lovers dream come true.  Of course it's not that I or anyone else can't cook, but the ThermoCook makes everything so much easier.  Even mashed potato is taken care of in under 18 minutes from start to finish.

There's so much I have to tell you but it would mean this post would go on forever, so I intend to write a series of posts covering the many different tasks the ThermoCook can do.  In fact, it would be far easier to tell what it can't do; for example it doesn't do the food shopping for you and nor does it put it away in the cupboards for you!
What it does do is make life so much easier and enables you to create smoothies and soups, it chops, sautes, stirs, kneads, steams and stews.  It can make yogurt, butter, rice (boiled or steamed) I've so far tried steamed rice and it was excellent) and porridge.

Think how your life will change with this fantastic machine that can make Jam, sauces, mayonnaise and dips and what about curry, bolognese, pasta dough, bread dough and even risotto.  The Optimum ThermoCook also keeps cooked food warm and can reheat food too.

Anyone into cooking will most probably heard of the Thermomix and although I've never used one, I have seen one in action and was really impressed.  The Optimum ThermoCook is just as fancy and can do just the same and MORE!
On yes, it has more built in functions than the Thermomix; take a look at the chart below comparing the two machines.  It's also worth noting that the Optimum ThermoCook has a DIY customisation feature which allows you to programme and record your own custom made setting for future use.

The ThermoCook is also fantastic for mums and dads who want to know exactly what goes into the food they feed their baby by making sure they use good quality products and that is will be healthy too as you control what goes into it.  The recipe book includes a section on Baby Food suitable for 3-4 month babies or 5-6 and 7-8 month babies.  Sadly I don't have any babies to try them out on! But I'm thinking that Corn Juice is sounding good, nice and healthy as does the Vegetable Puree and Banana Milk Puree.

The ThermoCook makes soup in just 20 minutes without the need to do any real chopping - just rough chop so the ingredients fit in the jug; for example you wouldn't put a whole stick of celery in or a whole carrot.

The recipe book that comes with the machine contains over 90 recipes but once you've had a play with it you can of course make your own recipes up as I did with this simple Curried Vegetable Soup.

Curried Vegetable Soup - Serves 4

Print Recipe

2 leeks
6 to 8 baby potatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
a pinch of pepper and a pinch of sea salt
1 and a half Knorr vegetable stock cubes
500ml water

Use the ThermoCook jug with Chopping Blade.

  • Rough chop the leeks, potatoes and carrots and quarter the onion. 
  • Put all of the ingredients into the jug. 
  • Select QUICK SOUP - the ThermoCook will chop for 30 seconds and then automatically go on to cook your soup.  Your soup will be ready to serve in just 20 minutes.

Cleaning the ThermoCook is simple:
To wash the ThermoCook jug simply put a tiny amount of washing up liquid into the just along with enough hot water to cover the blade.
Pop the lid on and select PULSE for a couple of seconds. 
Remove the blade and the sealing ring, wash and dry before fitting hem back together.
Wash the jug in sudsy water remembering not to let the electrical connector get wet.

So what's in the box?

Blending Jug, Chopping Blade, Kneading Shaft, Mixing Tool, Bowl Lid, Measuring Cup, Cooking Basket, Spatula and a 2.6 litre Steamer with Lid and a Cooking Basket.


I already have the Optimum 9200A Next Generation Power Blender from Froothie UK and so I know what excellent build quality any Froothie products are.

Froothie are so sure that you will love the Optimum ThermoCook that they even offer a 30 day Money Back Guarantee; so you really can't go wrong.  Also at the time of writing if you order before Christmas you will get a massive £300 off meaning the Optimum ThermoCook could be in your kitchen for just £595
I say you will wonder how you ever coped in the kitchen without it.


Anyway, you can be sure I'll be back very soon with more on the Optimum ThermoCook and in the meanwhile please feel free to contact me (via the contacts page on this blog) with any questions you may have.

Disclosure: Froothie UK sent me the Optimum ThermoCook to use and review at home. I have not been paid for this post and was not required to give the ThermoCook a positive write up.  All opinions are my own.  Affiliate links included in this post.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Hansells Yogurt Maker - Review

Having recently been sent the Hansells easy-to-use yoghurt maker to try, here's how I got on.  The Hansells Yoghurt Maker Starter Kit contains mixing tubs and six sachets of yoghurt for £15.00 which personally I think is a great price.

It's really simple to use too - just 3 steps.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Bodnant Welsh Food Delivered To Your Door - Review

Bodnant Welsh Food is a centre of excellence for Welsh food and is located in the stunning Conwy Valley, North Wales.  Recently they kindly sent me a small hamper of Welsh goodies to try.

A little bit about Bodnant:
With a talented team of experts and food specialists, Bodnant delivers the very best of fresh, seasonal, quality produce; combined with expert knowledge and outstanding customer service.  Customers can purchase the finest, award-winning Welsh meats, artisan cheese celebration cakes, luxury Welsh food hampers, groceries and cookery school courses from a continually developing and unique range of online products which can be found over at  Bodnant Welsh Food.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Spooky Halloween Chocolate Cakes

Kids will love these Halloween Spooks made in a silicone cake mould from Premier Housewares.
The mould is microwave safe, dishwasher safe and of course can be used in the oven up to 230 degrees; it can also go in the freezer too.

The eyes and mouths didn't show up to well in my finished cakes, but I'm not one to be beaten so I used a micro marshmallow cut into three pieces; just cut one piece slightly bigger than the other two to make the mouth.  Stick them on with a tiny bit of marmalade and the jobs a gooden.  Anyway, kids will love to decorate their own spooks!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Apple Pie with Rum Soaked Sultanas - Judge Cookware Electric Pie Maker Review

Everyone likes a good pie whether it's sweet or savory.  New in my kitchen is this Electric Pie Maker from Judge Cookware and I have to say I'm seriously loving it.  In a word it's brilliant; the pastry cooks perfectly and the deep fill pie moulds allow for 'proper' good and filling pies to be cooked in just 15 minutes once you have the filling ready.

Far quicker than waiting for the oven to heat up, so in a way this is also a money saving gadget too!

Monday, 28 September 2015

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.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Review - Bamboo Chopping Board with Knife Sharpener and Honer by Stellar Cookware

Did you know you're more lightly to cut yourself using a blunt knife than a sharp one?  So many people don't bother about buying a knife sharpener to keep their knives sharp but not only does a sharp knife make food preparation so much easier but it's far safer too.

If you're short of space in the kitchen then this new Bamboo Chopping Board from Stellar Cookware is brilliant since it has a knife horner/sharpener built into the corner of the board; 2 products in 1

Monday, 31 August 2015

Beer52 Craft Beer Club - Review is an online company that delivers exclusive small batch craft beers to your door.
Members are sent a selection of either 8 or 10 great beers every month, along with a little snack as well as a copy of their magazine Ferment.
Having been sent a box to try, I can tell you we think this is an amazing beer club to join.

On opening the box you find a few money off vouchers for various online retailers (very useful) along with a nice surprise snack.....Metcalfe's Popcorn Crisps are to be recommended!
Read on to find out more and how to get £10 off of your first box! 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Stellar Hard Anodised Bakeware Review - Tangy Tomato and Feta Stuffed Peppers

As we all know good bakeware is essential for good results when cooking.  Stellar’s Professional Hard Anodised Bakeware has even heat distribution with no rusting or flaking and no warping in the oven.  It's also easy to clean and free from PTFE and PFOA.

Having used my roasting tray a good few times now I have to say it's great and an affordable price too selling at just £20.00

As you can see this 32x22x5cm roasting tray is a good size and perfect for roasting vegetables and is available in different sizes.  It's really light in weight and the handles make it really easy to remove from the oven.

Made from an aluminium alloy which provides superior thermal conductivity for even heat distribution, essential for the baking of successful breads and cakes.  The pans are electrochemically-hardened (hard anodised) for unbeatable durability.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Marks & Spencer - New Meole Brace Foodhall Opening and a Giveaway

Marks & Spencer is known for its high quality, exclusive and innovative food products, but I think the ‘Tastes of the British Isles’ range is really something special.

M&S scoured the British Isles to find good traditional recipes and then recreated them, so you can ‘taste’ your way around the British Isles enjoying the best of British.  Over the past week I’ve tried a few of products so if you haven’t discovered Tastes of the British Isles yet, you can see what you’re missing out on!

Arbroath Lochmuir Hot Smoked Salmon Slices; I loved these, the salmon slices come in a pack of two and are seasoned with cracked black pepper, mustard and dill.  Serve with a green salad for a light lunch or add new potatoes and fresh crusty bread for easy fuss free summer eating at its best.

Pork and Egg Pie; nice and meaty, a good and what I’d call a proper pork pie.  As with all M&S food the egg is free range.  Every slice apart from the very end slices had egg.  These pies are made by a Leicestershire company with 160 years’ experience.  The pastry was excellent too; yes I can honestly say this is by far the best pork pie I’ve ever eaten.

Elderflower and Cucumber Gin Fizz; this is so refreshing, just the thing for the lovely weather we’ve been having lately.  5.5%vol this ready-made cocktail made with white wine and elderflower extract, cucumber and gin.  Perfect summer drink that is a little too easy to drink!  You can really taste the cucumber; we loved it.

Hog Roast Sausage Rolls; made in Yorkshire with crisp all butter puff pastry.  The sausage meat and pulled pork work well together.  They had a nice flavour from the Bramley apple too.  Each sausage roll is topped with pork crackling and are ready to eat hot or cold, perfect for a picnic.  I heated 2 sausage rolls in the oven for me and Paul (the husband) to try and the crackling topping was nice and crispy - perfect.   When eaten straight from the pack without heating we found the crackling wasn’t at all crispy, still good to eat but thought they were far better served hot.

Cornish Cove and Bacon Posh Puppies; now I was pleasantly surprised as to be honest I didn’t fancy the sound of cheese in a sausage and therefore wouldn’t be something I’d have chosen to buy.  But with that said, I’m so pleased to have tried them as they really are the best!  These Posh Puppies are meaty and nicely seasoned; a lovely smoky taste from the bacon and the Cornish Cove Cheddar was, well cheesy and very tasty.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Chipotle Chilli Mayonnaise; so easy to cook, just remove the wrapping, put the mayo to one side for serving.  Pop the wedges into a preheated oven and once cooked, serve.  Simply dip into the chipotle chilli mayonnaise - nice. 

Old Fashioned Barbecue Sauce & Marinade; made from a classic English recipe with green peppers and a kick of British horseradish.  It can be used as a marinade for meat fish or poultry or you can use it as a sauce to top burgers.

Strawberries and Cream; you know how some strawberries can be tasteless?  Well these Herefordshire strawberries were quite the opposite; packed full of flavour and every strawberry was a good size which is something you don’t always find in other stores.  Perfect served with M&S Extra Thick West Country Single Cream.  


Giveaway! Win summer drinks and a £50 gift card with M&S

To celebrate the opening of Marks & Spencer Meole Brace Foodhall, M&S is giving A Glug of Oil readers the chance to win a selection of tasty summer drinks, perfect for an alfresco weekend in the sun.  One winner will receive a selection of summer drinks from M&S’ popular Tastes of the British Isles range, and a £50 M&S gift card to spend in store.

M&S Meole Brace Foodhall at Meole Brace Retail Park in Shrewsbury opens on Wednesday 5th August at 10:00am.

The 8,000 sq ft store will create 50 job opportunities for the local area and provide shoppers with more than 5,500 food and drink lines, including the Tastes of the British Isles range, along with a selection of flowers, cards and gift wrap.

Customers can also look forward to a new 50-seat Café and in-store Bakery, which will offer a range of speciality breads, pastries and cakes, freshly baked each day.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question by leaving a comment in the comments section of this post. 

How many seats will the M&S Café at the new store have?
a)    40
b)    50
c)    45

Terms and Conditions
1. One winner will be selected automatically by the Rafflecopter widget after the closing date of 17th August 2015 – the winner will then be contacted via email.

2. The winner will receive a selection of summer drinks and a £50 M&S gift card to spend at M&S Meole Brace Foodhall.

3. Prize not transferable, no whole/part cash alternatives, delivered within 28 days of competition closing date.

4. No photocopies are allowed.

5. Open to UK mainland residents only.

6. This competition is not open to employees of Marks & Spencer.

7. Marks & Spencer will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner.

Good luck everyone!

 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer; I was provided with the products listed above in order to write this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I received a gift card to cover my time hosting this competition on behalf of M&S

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

OXO Good Grips Complete Grate and Slice - Review

The OXO Good Grips Complete Grate & Slice Set has everything you need for grating and slicing all in one handy container making it so convenient to use and easy to store.  Everything needed sits inside a neat and tidy storage box, which can also be used to store grated food in the fridge.

The Grate & Slice Set has coarse and medium grating surfaces, and straight and julienne slicing surfaces.  Each one is colour-coded so you just place your chosen grater or slicer on top of the lid as shown in my pictures and off you go!  If you're is a rush you can grate or slice over straight over bowls or plates. 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Cheese and Wine Hamper Review and Giveaway - Serenata Flowers

Serenata Flowers are an online gift delivery company and they have a lot more than just flowers to offer.  You can send chocolates, wine, cheese and wine hampers, beer and ale, fine food, picnic hampers and also plants; hanging baskets, tubs of flowers or even a mini olive tree.  The list is huge and they even have hampers to welcome the arrival of a baby.

Having been sent this Bordeaux and Artisan Cheese Selection hamper to review I must say at £39.99 value for money it's not bad considering next (weekday) delivery is included in the price.  Each gift comes with a gift card and of course when ordering you add a message which is printed on the card.

  • Hand Waxed Black Berries & Apple Cheese 170g
  • Hand Waxed Scrumpy & Crunchy Apple 170g
  • Hand Waxed Worcestershire Gold Mature Cheddar 170g
  • Black Olive Cracker for White Wine 125g
  • Morrocan Spice Crackers for Red Wine 125g
  • Grangeneuve Bordeaux, Red

The hamper was well packaged and had more packaging than is shown above; I had to remove it in order to take a photo.  After ordering the hamper arrived the very next day, as with most companies Serenata don't deliver on a Sunday.  All in all I can't think of any reason why anyone that drinks wine and likes cheese wouldn't want to receive this hamper; we certainly enjoyed sampling it!

Find out more by popping over to Serenata Flowers.
Twitter @SerenataFlowers

Disclaimer:  I was sent this hamper to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Now for the Giveaway!
The nice people over at Serenata Flowers are giving one lucky reader the chance to WIN £40.00 to spend over at Serenata Flowers and you can use for for whatever gift you fancy.

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

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Sizzling Steak with Peppers Onions and Chilli - Judge Sizzle and Serve

Steak needs to be cooked quickly over a high heat so that it seals, keeping it tender and juicy.  All you need is a good piece of steak, sliced along with onions and peppers; coated in tiny amount of oil, soy sauce with a bit of seasoning, and a few chilli flakes and you have dinner ready in just a couple of minutes.

But of course your pan needs to be HOT really hot, and this cast iron sizzle platter from Judge Cookware is perfect for creating sizzling meals or side dishes that can be taken straight to the table thanks to the maple wood stand that's included.  Sizzle and Serve range is suitable for all hob types and barbeques, and is oven-safe up to 240°C

Monday, 4 May 2015

Coolmovers - Butterfly Lane by KitchenCraft

Somewhere along the line I'm thinking I must have spoken too soon as the weather has cooled down in the past week; but with that said I'm sure there's more nice weather to come to time to start thinking about outdoor eating; actually today is looking good so far.  Picnics, BBQ's, a trip to the beach maybe, or simply just enjoying nice weather by relaxing in your own garden.

KitchenCraft have everything you need for outdoor entertaining and I'm loving their Coolmovers range.  Butterfly Lane is my personal favorite as it's so pretty; I don't normally do pretty but I've fallen in love with this range especially the ultra cute tealight holder.  Available in assorted colours - the tinted glass has an embossed butterfly metal decoration tag and swing handle.

Friday, 1 May 2015

How to Dehydrate Tomatoes using a Dehydrator

Now I've always been curious about dehydrators, I mean do they actually work, do they take forever and ever, to do their stuff,  and more to the point why do I, or anyone else for that matter, actually want or indeed need one?

Tomatoes; oh I do love tomatoes!  With a dehydrator you can preserve your tomatoes so they're ready to add to recipes as and when you want them.  As long as your jars are sterilised then I'm sure they can be stored in small kilner jars in olive oil.  I must say I was really impressed that the tomatoes kept their colour when dehydrated, in fact they turned to an even deeper red; no PhotoShop doctoring used in any of these photos apart to resize.  So yes dehydrators do work!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Snips® Italian Storage - Maxi Ice Container for BBQ's and Picnics

New to the UK is leading Italian storage brand Snips® who have recently introduced the 'Take Away Collection'; a range of storage products designed to make outdoor eating as fuss free as possible.  Each product contains an ice pack or two to keep food cool for up to 2 hours. 
Let me tell you about the Snips® Maxi Ice Container which is perfect for summer BBQ's or transporting your picnic whilst keeping everything nicely chilled.
The clip on lid is airtight and the whole product is very well made.  It's easy to clean too and dishwasher safe. The container has a 7 litre capacity and measures approx 40cm x 26cm and is BPA free.

Photo supplied by Snips® since I could never take a picture like this which show the product in such detail showing how it works.

The Maxi Ice Container consists of the main container, 2 cooling tablets, a removable grill, lid with safety closure and a large carrying handle. The cooling tablets clip onto the underside of the grill part so they don't move about in transport.
The Maxi Ice Container has a RRP of £19.95 I personally think is a fair price.

One very small thing (on behalf of any vegetarians out there) I think the designers should have perhaps left the picture of uncooked chicken off of the lid, it's not a sticker so doesn't peel off. 

Also in the Snips® range is this very handy Ice Cake Holder - brilliant for keeping cakes cool since it has a cooling tablet underneath.  It's ventilated too so your cakes won't go soggy!

To see the rest of the Snips® collection and to find your nearest stockist pop over to ICTC
Twitter @ictcCookware

Disclaimer:  I was sent the Maxi Ice Container.  All thoughts and opinions are my own,  I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, 23 March 2015

UFUUD Premium Italian Food Delivery to UK and Europe - Review

I was recently asked if I'd like to place an order with Ufuud (an online Italian food ordering company) to review their ordering system and delivery to the UK.
Now we're talking proper premium Italian food that is not only delivered to Italy but can also be shipped to places all over Europe from Milan.

I was in my element browsing through the Ufuud website looking at all the beautiful foods and the product packaging just cries out 'buy me'!  I mean seriously, look at the lovely products - I can't wait to try them all.
Pasta of all shapes and some you can't buy over here in the UK. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Stellar TATE Saucepans - Review

These new Stellar TATE one handed draining saucepans are in a word, fantastic.  I'm sure you'll agree they certainly look the part and I say you need these saucepans in your kitchen!
The perfectly flat lid, enables the pans to easily stack on top of each other which is great if like me, you're short of storage space in your kitchen.  Of course the clear lid lets you keep an eye on your food whilst cooking.

But the most brilliant thing about these saucepans is the way they have been designed regards draining.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Double Walled Glassware from Judge - Review

I'm really loving the new range of Double Walled Glassware from Judge - they're extremely nice looking don't you think?

The latte glasses are also a good size for a nice cup of tea (if you're like me and not a coffee drinker) whats more, they really do keep drinks hot for longer.  Perfect for sitting at the PC as I always seem to be, there's nothing worse than a lukewarm cuppa!

Monday, 2 March 2015

JUST EAT Tried and Tasted - Jimmy Wok Chinese in Hadley Telford

Have you ever ordered a takeaway from JUST EAT?  I have to say hadn't until last week.  Well as it turns out they have a vast range (more than I had imagined) of takeaways across the country that will deliver to your door.
It's also fantastic for helping you decide exactly what you want to eat - choose from Pizza, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Fish and Chips, Kebabs and more.

After us both deciding on Chinese we logged into JUST EAT and found it so easy to order, you tap in your postcode, then select what cuisine you want to eat.  If you can't make your mind up, select 'Show Me Everything'.  This then brings up a list of all the takeaways that deliver in your area.  Just browse the menu of your chosen takeaway and add dishes to your basket.