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

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Tuna Napolitana - Quick and Easy Recipe

If you're stuck for ideas on what to cook for dinner and you're also in a hurry, this tasty Tuna Napolitana can be on the table and ready to eat in just 15 minutes; and most of the time I've quoted is bringing a pan of water to the boil to cook the pasta.

There are no fancy spices or expensive ingredients to buy either.  To find out what the big secret is please read on.......

Packet Mix

The secret is a packet mix!

Yep it's true - Knorr Naturally Tasty packet mixes have been designed to make authentic, great tasting meals that are quick and easy to prepare.  Of course I love cooking and so I wouldn't normally use a packet mix but having been sent some to try I have to say I'm impressed and love that they contain real vegetables and all the herbs, spices and seasoning.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

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 
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
RRP is £25.00
Published by Octopus Books
Photography by Helen Cathcart

Twitter @Octopus_Books

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.

Friday, 19 August 2016

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.

A good non-stick frying pan is essential; not only will it make cooking easier but it also ensures healthier cooking results since you only need to add  the tiniest amount of oil (if any) and cleaning is a doddle.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Mini Chorizo Empanadas - Philips AirFryer

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.


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.

Monday, 8 August 2016

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.

Monday, 25 July 2016

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.  

Monday, 27 June 2016

Perfect Combo - Slate and Wood Serveware by Judge

Now I do love a nice bit of real slate so I'm quite excited about the new Slate and Wood serveware collection from Judge Cookware.  Altogether there are 8 pieces in the collection; 5 Platters, a Lazy Susan, a Cheeseboard with Cloche and a Cheeseboard and Knife Set.

The platters and lazy Susan are great for displaying tasty nibbles for sharing such as my Goats Cheese Mini Tarts; some with Roasted Peppers and the rest with Caramelised Red Onion.

Goats Cheese

No proper recipe for these as they are so simple to make.  Just cut circles out of ready rolled shortcrust pastry and put them into a Yorkshire Pudding or Muffin Tin - this will give them a little bit of curved shape to enable a filling to be added later on.  Bake in the oven 200C 400F or Gas 6 for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with a small amount of soft goats cheese then add caramelised onions or roasted peppers (the peppers I used come in a jar) just drain them from their oil.  Pop the tarts back into the oven for a further 4 to 5 minutes to heat through.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

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.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

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.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

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.

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.

This place has a lovely friendly feel to it and it was packed full, just as any good and decent pub will be.  After all a pub with no customers is almost as bad as a pub with no beer - as long as you come back and carry on reading this post, check out the song; Google 'Pub with No Beer'.

Good to see a great mix of people from young families with babies to elderly couples all chatting, eating and drinking.  At the bar we were greeted by a friendly and cheerful barman who asked what we would like to drink.  Red wine for me please - The Howard Arms has a large selection of ales beers and wines including Champagne.

Free Wi-fi is available here as it is in many places these days but the one thing I noticed about The Howard Arms was you didn't have to ask anyone for the password.  At last, a place that offers free Wi-fi but you don't feel a nuisance asking to access it as the password is on a chalk board by the bar.  Marvelous. I am a one for Twitter/Instagram, oh and FaceBook lol.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

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.

Monday, 25 April 2016

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.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

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 (smiley face)!

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.

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.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Spicy Fried Eggs on Ciabatta - Stellar Cookware Chef's Pan

Just about everyone's into cooking these days; magazines are full of recipes and the television is pretty much non-stop cooking shows; which as far as I'm concerned can only be a good thing.  Everyone has to eat, but few people want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Fast food is what we all need after a busy day, something that can be rustled up in next to no time, tastes good and looks good.  So if it can be made using just one pan, surely that's even better?  My Spicy Fried Eggs take under 10 minutes to make including the prep!

spicy fried eggs

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Not many people want to spend a fortune on fancy pot and pans either, but it has to be said a good pan will make all the difference to your cooking results. 

Now, this is where the Chef's Pan from Stellar Cookware is fantastic as it's ideal for those that don't have much space in the kitchen as it can be used as a frying pan, saucepan, or a wok and it's a great price too.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Chiquito Restaurant Bar and Mexican Grill - New Menu Review

Restaurant Bar and Mexican Grill Chiquito have just launched their new and very exciting menu.  As this was my first time visiting Chiquito I wasn't sure what to expect; from the minute we walked through the door we were made to feel welcome.  The restaurant had a lovely feel about it too and the decor and lighting were perfect.

I found out we were served by Rachael, so a bit shout goes to her as she was really friendly and very knowledgeable, explaining all the new dishes and helped us decide what to have.  That said I wasn't there to review the restaurant, only the new menu, and what a tempting and mouthwatering menu it is too.

Although I took photos to share on social media, they certainly didn't do the food justice it deserves therefore the photos in this post have been kindly supplied by Chiquito. 

Oh my goodness, the description of every dish on the menu sounded mouthwatering, it was seriously hard to decide what to have since we kinda wanted to try everything and Tex-Mex is my favourite kind of food anyway.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Riverford Organic Farms - The Happy Pear Recipe Box Review

Riverford Organic Farms have recently launched some really special recipe boxes with new guest chefs, The Happy Pear.  The Irish twins, David and Steven Flynn, are part of Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, and, like Riverford they have a mission to get people to eat more veg.

I was asked to give an honest and frank review of one of these boxes so here we go.
This Spanish Chickpea and Potato Bake was one of  three recipes included in my box and I have to say it was totally and utterly delicious.  The recipe was for 2 people and the portion size was quite huge, now since we're both greedy people that's saying something coming from me.

The Apple, Beetroot Salad with Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds that was a side dish for the potato bake not only looked good, but tasted good too.   The simple dressing for the salad was olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and complimented the salad nicely.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Copper Kitchen Gadgets from Stellar Cookware

Check out these stunning copper kitchen gadgets from Stellar Cookware.  Reminiscent of the Victorian kitchen but with a modern twist.  Engineered from zinc alloy composite with a food safe finish which means the copper will not tarnish or lose it's sheen.

The collection includes this lovely Garlic Crusher which I've found does the job perfectly.

The Y-Peeler is a gadget that years ago I never used to think was necessary as surely a small knife does the same job?  But, I've since discovered they are most definitely necessary and even life changing!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Review - Panasonic Steam Combination Microwave NN-CS894S

I'm super excited to have been asked to review the Panasonic NN-CS894S Combination Steam Microwave Oven.  Oh yes, this is one very stylish, family sized microwave oven with Microwave, Convection, Grill and Steam functions.  I've used this oven many times over Christmas and New Year more than any other combination oven I've ever had; I truly love it.  I found it fantastic for entertaining as it means I effectively have the space of two ovens when used along with my main oven.

Flatbed means no turntable:
In my opinion this is far better than the usual turntable as the large flatbed gives you a much larger cooking space and also means you can cook two dishes at the same time since there are 3 shelf positions plus you can use the base of the oven too.  There's none of the usual bother when you want to use your own dishes and find they are too large to turn around on the turntable since it doesn't have one!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Kitchen Trotter - Soon to Launch in the UK

January 2016 will see Kitchen Trotter launch in the UK; with a different country featured each month in the Kitchen Trotter kit, you will have the opportunity to discover and try your hand at cuisines from all around the world in the comfort of your own kitchen.

1 Month, 1 Country, 1 Kit; with the aim to deliver the culinary world straight to your door.  Each month, Kitchen Trotter kits offer a culinary journey through a menu full of mystery, delicious products and authenticity.  Subscribers will learn how to cook the traditional recipes of a secret kept country.

Having received a box you can see from my picture everything was nicely packaged.  I love cooking different foods so I love this idea. This month the box focused on Indonesia.

The box contains a recipe booklet which has a shopping list of the other ingredients you will need to buy to create the recipes; for example chicken and vegetables.   I hadn't realised when I took this picture that there's also a little 3 minute hourglass timer so that measuring time is also covered!

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. 

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.