Cookmate Cookery School in Worcester - Really worth a visit

Cookmate Cookery School in Worcester, UK has officially opened! The school is above the well known Cookmate shop in Broad Street that sells cooking essentials and luxury kitchen equipment. Owners Caroline and Andrew Gregory have recently converted the upstairs storage space into an absolutely fantastic school for food enthusiasts.

Focaccia ready for the oven

With the help of Pam Ballone and Gill Barnett I honestly don't think they could have designed the interior any better, it's very well thought out and is kitted out with all the latest kitchen gadgets and top quality knives etc - which are also available to buy in the Cookmate shop downstairs.

Scandinavian-style Schnapps or Water Carafe

When is this weather going to sort itself out please? I along with everyone else, is in desperate need of some sunshine here in the UK. Not only to feel good but so we can have a BBQ and I can show off this lovely carafe from Sagaform; of course it can also be 'shown off' indoors too. It looks great on the dining table and everyone that's seen it has commented on it and asked where I got it - read on to find out 😊

Sagaform Carafe with Rosemary Sprigs

The rustic glass carafe holds 800ml and has a cork stopper and is perfect for infusing your favourite herbs or fruit in ice cold spring water, Rosemary-infused Vodka or of course Schnapps. Swedish company Sagaform have a fantastic range of unusual, innovative and very stylish products.

The carafe arrived well packaged in an outer box and with tissue paper inside the presentation box. It isn't suitable for the dishwasher so needs to be hand washed. I find drying it with kitchen paper and leaving it upside down for a bit does the trick.

If you're wondering where you can buy this carafe and other lovely products from Sagaform, pop over to Formahouse to buy online or find your nearest stockist. Formahouse has so many unusual bits and bobs for the home and garden; I could spend all day browsing their website.

Exploring Indian Food By Region

Indian cuisine is highly regionally specific but there are common threads that unite all the different culinary dishes. If you ask anyone, they will tell you the defining characteristic is the range of spices and seasoning. Curry makes up the vast proportion, but there are many factors which vary based on the region.

Indian Spices

There are 7 spices which make up the base flavours of Indian cooking and are all used frequently in various combinations:

1. Cardamom
2. Clove
3. Cumin
4. Coriander
5. Nutmeg
6. Turmeric
7. Saffron

If you are planning on taking a trip to India to experience the culinary delights, be sure to check out this A-Z guide to India.

Meal Kits with Sun Basket and Home Chef

A few months ago, on Valentines Day, I introduced a meal kit delivery service called HelloFresh. Today, I’m going to further explain how meal kit delivery services work, as well as introduce two other meal kit companies – Sun Basket & Home Chef!

The simplest way to explain a meal kit is by taking the pros of doing your own grocery shopping, while having the convenience of ordering take-out food. Let’s say you decide to order a meal kit from Blue Apron, Sun Basket, or Home Chef; with either company, when you receive your meal kit, the meal won’t be prepared, all you’d be receiving are all the ingredients needed to cook the meal you had your eye on!

Sun Basket

Why would you have an uncooked meal delivered?
We can all admit that cooking is fun, especially when it is done with your significant other. Unfortunately, the downside of cooking from scratch is making frequent supermarket stops, and then constantly keeping tabs on your purchases not expiring! A meal kit attempts to solve that issue by delivering all the ingredients required, as well as only sending you just enough to complete the meal. If you’re sick and tired of throwing out spoiled product from your fridge, then meal kits might just be the solution for you!

Lastly, while many of us love to cook, that doesn’t necessarily mean that are capable of consistently putting out great tasting recipes! Whenever you order from a major meal kit company, they typically have highly prized chefs coming up with the recipes.

Top Quality Beechwood Butchers Block and Trivet by Stellar

If you're looking for a top quality Butcher's Block then I think this one from Stellar Cookware is excellent. Not only does it look good but it certainly feels like if it's cared for properly it will last a lifetime; made from Solid Beechwood and at 40mm deep it's nice and sturdy.

Butcher's Block by Stellar Cookware

It's a great size too - not too big and certainly not too small at 40 x 26 x 4cm with a good weight to it but the handy finger grips make it easy to move. The 4 non slip feet make it safe to chop and slice without the board sliding.

Food Festivals in London

If you’re a food fan, then it’s likely you’ll have been to explore a food festival at some point. There are certainly plenty to choose from, so whether you’re into savoury, sweet or want to explore new flavours there’s one for you. London has a lot to offer when it comes to food festivals, so you have plenty to choose from.

Burgers being made at a food festival

The Eat & Drink Festival:
Located near to Kensington Olympia, this festival showcases a great mixture of food, drink and street foods. On between March 17th and April 2nd so there’s plenty of time to check out what they have to offer!  You can check out more details here for visiting, opening times and visitor information. This is a great option for people with different tastes as there’s something here for everyone.

London Food Month:
A food festival set to return for 2018 and one you’ll want to catch is the London Food month, which includes plenty to do all over the capital and some night markets. Perfect to check out in the summer and with lots of different mini events popping up all over the capital you’ll have lots of opportunities to catch a part of it! The exact dates are yet to be released but last year it was over the month of June, you can check out the site for more updates as they come.

The Taste of London:
Located in Regents park, this festival is a showcase for some of the best restaurants, top chefs and food and drink options. Being centrally located, this is a great option if you don’t want to travel too far outside of London. On from June 13th to the 17th the Taste of London is a great one to check out and makes a great reason to escape to the city for a summer weekend!

BBC Good Food Show:
With events all over the UK this is one to keep an eye on, they have some London based events including one at Hampton Court Palace called the Festive Feast popping up in December to get you truly in the mood for Christmas! They often manage to secure some famous chefs and faces to appear at the show, so this one’s great for meeting some of your favourite foodie people.

If London isn’t on your doorstep then why not plan in a mini break to be able to visit one of the festivals, you could combine it with checking out some other city sights or taking in a west end show! There are plenty of places to stay with options close by to the festivals such as thistle Kensington Gardens a perfect location for checking out the festivals and the city.

Disclosure: I did not receive payment for this post. I believe it's something my readers will be interested in.

Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie - Optimum VAC 2 Air Vacuum Blender

In my attempt to get fit, eat healthy and lose this 9lb off of my stomach I've been making smoothies which I have for lunch. Just a smoothie for lunch?! But there's no need to worry about me, I'm not going too mad in trying desperately to lose never shifting 9lb that never seems to happen.

But that's all changing as this time I'm really determined to do this and since I bought a FitBit only a few weeks ago I have actually managed to lose 4lb in 6 weeks, which for me, is amazing 😊 

Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie

Anyway, I even invested in the Aria scales to go with the FitBit (I'll do a seperate post soon) but when you weigh yourself these scales record your weight sending it straight to the FitBit app. They're dead accurate and even measure ounces. Now that's possibly a bit extreme but I will tell you, it's working for me; I get well excited when I can announce I've lost another one of those dots - meaning when I weighed myself last Saturday said I weighed 8st 10.6lbs and today it says 8st 10.4lbs so I can say that's another 2 dots and the 2 dots are on the way to losing another pound 😉

Back to my Super Berry Oat and Banana Smoothie. Because of the added rolled oats and the banana this smoothie is really quite filling which is how comes I can get away with only having this for lunch.

Everyone's talking about the Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender from Froothie and I can't recommend it enough. Yes it is on the expensive side but if your seriously wanting eat healthier and perhaps lose a bit of weight like me, then the Optimum VAC2 is for you. It's a power blender so pretty much anything you throw in gets blended without fear of breaking it. The vacuum means smoothies don't separate and keep their colour. It has a powerful 2238W motor - the Vitamix Pro 500 series has a 1492W motor and doesn't have the option to use Vacuum. It has 6 stainless steel blades as opposed to 4 which is more common.

In the past I've broken a few blenders by adding frozen fruit or veggies and so even though they were cheaper blenders they really didn't last long so it's a kind of false economy. Don't forget 0% Finance is Available; you pay just 10% deposit and then spread the cost, 6 months finance with 0% interest.

Keep reading to get a code for Free Delivery and £20 off.....
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Cookmate Cookery School in Worcester - Really worth a visit

Cookmate Cookery School in Worcester, UK has officially opened! The school is above the well known Cookmate shop in Broad Street that sells...