How to Make Yogurt using the Judge Digital Yogurt Maker

I'd wanted to make yogurt for ages but had never got round to it apart from using an EasiYo yogurt maker - more on that later.  Having recently been sent this brilliant electric yogurt maker by Judge Cookware I couldn't wait to give it a go.
If you've ever wondered about buying one then I say if you love yogurt this gadget is the very fellow for the job as it really is so easy to use.  This was my very first attempt and it worked out really well - Summer Berry Yogurt with Vanilla.

More about making yogurt with the EasiYo - which has to be said it is a great invention.  I really like mine but I have stopped using it as I found it to be too expensive to keep buying the powered sachets you need.  


Giveaway - Roasting Tin from James Martin Bakers Dozen

You may have seen my recent review a rather nice roasting tin from the Bakers Dozen (a new range of bakeware from James Martin) by Stellar Cookware - if you didn't see it you might want to pop over and take a look here.  

Stellar have kindly offered to giveaway five of the Large Roasting Tins to 5 lucky winners.

 The Bakers Dozen bakeware range is proper sturdy and will look the part in any kitchen but never mind all that more to the point, they are fantastic quality, non-stick and do the job they say they will.

Now for the Giveaway!
FIVE lucky readers will each win 1 Large Roasting Tin from 'The Bakers Dozen' by James Martin - kindly supplied by Stellar Cookware.

 Entries must be via the Rafflecopter widget. 
Please note the prize can only be sent to the UK or Ireland 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.  
 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! 

The Bakers Dozen James Martin Bakeware by Stellar - Review

Stellar Cookware have recently launched a truly lovely range of bakeware by James Martin 'The Bakers Dozen' consists of 13 essential bakeware essentials.

 A spring form cake tin
2 good sized baking sheets
2 baking trays
 2 roasting tins
2 loaf tins
a square loose base cake tin
a Swiss roll tin
a fluted flan tin 
and a muffin tin

Having been sent the Large Roasting Tin to try (which was perfect for a Sunday roast) I must say I'm seriously impressed.  I've tested many roasting tins over the years but so far this has to be the best.   Made from heavy grade carbon steel which gives it even heat distribution.  All surfaces of this sturdy roasting tin are double layer non-stick too.  It's dishwasher safe, although having cooked a roast chicken and then roast potatoes in mine I found all it needed was to be washed by hand in nice hot sudsy water -  it was effortless.
Oven use up to 240C 475F or Gas 9 but can also be used on the stove top on a low heat making it great for making the gravy.

The RRP of Large Roasting Tin  is £26.00 - okay at the time of writing I've only used it a couple of times, but I really believe this product will stay perfect for ages.  All products in the range come with the Stellar lifetime guarantee and 5 year non-stick guarantee.     

You'll find a James Martin recipe printed on each pack of Bakers Dozen products too!
For more information on this and other products including a list of stockists pop over to Stellar Cookware.

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Stellar Cookware and Pam for sending me this to review.  Although I'm already a big fan of Stellar products, all thoughts are my own and I wasn't required to write a positive review.

Behind the Scenes at KFC with The BBC

I hadn't eaten KFC for years and years, until a week ago when I was invited to go along to HQ of KFC in Woking for a behind the scenes tour.  We were fed with chicken, fries, salad and ice cream until we almost burst .  We also got to try a few new KFC menu items that are to remain top secret until the launch later on in the year.   This was followed by a trip to an actual restaurant to fry some chicken!

I say 'we' because of course it wasn't just me, there were a couple of other bloggers, Heidi of Kitchen Talk and and Chris from TikiChris.

 KFC is part of Yum International - the corporate group that owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

 Not sure where Chris was at this point but this is Heidi and me in the KFC kitchen.

Television three-part documentary Inside KFC is to be shown later in the year:
The BBC were there too, filming our day as part of a documentary they are making about KFC which will be shown later on this year on BBC One.

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut - Healthy Summer Eating

With all this lovely hot weather we're having at the moment (which I've no doubt will end very soon since I've mentioned it) it is most definitely BBQ weather.
As a change and feeling in a healthy eating kinda mood, I felt the need to cook quinoa.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is marvelous stuff and although a little on the weird looking side, it is actually rather nice to eat and is good for you too.  

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut
That said, of course it does need some love to make it nice as alone it can be a bit tasteless.  But if you add a glug of oil (ha-ha) and some roasted veg along with a dollop of sun-dried tomato paste and it turns into a lovely thing indeed.

Now I have to admit to adding a little crumbled feta after this picture was taken but since I'm trying to come across all healthy and that - just don't tell anyone!

Mediterranean Vegetable Moussaka - National Vegetarian Week

As we all know the popular Greek dish moussaka traditionally uses lamb, but as it's the start of National Vegetarian week (19th May to 25th) I thought I'd give moussaka a go using just vegetables.  Let me tell you it was truly delicious and every bit as tasty.
To make slicing, peeling, chopping and measuring easier OXO Good Grips kindly sent me a lovely range of tools for the job.

First up this rather useful hand-held mandolin slicer enabled slicing potatoes into even slices a doddle. 

An aubergine was sliced and ready to cook in next to no time:

The hand-head mandolin is easily adjusted by a simple slider on the side so you have a choice of three different thicknesses from approx 1mm to 5mm.  One thing I will say is personally I would have liked the slicer to have one more thicker setting than the max it has of about 5mm.  After use the blade is set to the lock position making it safe to store with the guard in place.

Next up, the Herb Mincer - a fantastic little gadget.  The top opens up to allow easy cleaning and it can go into the dishwasher if you wish.  Safe to use since your fingers aren't near the blade when using.  It chops herbs in seconds just by rolling back and forth and comes with a blade guard for safety when storing. 

 Scrubbing vegetables is once again made easy with this comfortable to hold Vegetable Brush - I didn't need to scrub my potatoes as I was about to peel them for this recipe.

 The OXO Good Grips Y-Peeler is the very fellow for this - nice thin slices means there's no wasted veg:

  How many times have you gone to measure out a teaspoons of spice from a jar to find your measuring spoon will not fit the jar?   These slim measuring spoons are brilliant and the teaspoon easily fits into these slim spice jars that many of us I'm sure have in our cupboards.

All in all each of these products are of good quality as always from OXO Good Grips and you can find out more over at the OXO Good Grips website.  All products shown above are dishwasher safe.

  Now with my recipe!

Print Recipe

To serve 4 you will need:
1 tablespoon olive oil - plus extra for brushing
2 medium potatoes - peeled and sliced
1 large aubergine - sliced
1 large onion - chopped
1 fat garlic clove - finely chopped
1 courgettes - chopped
1 red pepper - deseeded and chopped
1/2 a green pepper - deseeded and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes including their juice
150ml vegetarian red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 a teaspoon of all spice
1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg
a small bunch of flat leaf parsley - leaves only and chopped
salt and pepper to season

For the topping:
25g unsalted butter
25g flour
300ml whole milk
1 egg - lightly beaten
150g of grated Cheddar

a pinch of salt
grated nutmeg

How to do it:
Rinse the potato slices and pop in a single layer into a shallow dish with 2 tablespoons of water.  Cover with cling film and into the microwave for about 5 minutes on high. 
Since all microwaves are different, test to see if they are cooked and you might find you need to cook them for a little longer until you can insert a sharp knife and they're soft but still firm. 
Oil an oven-proof baking dish and cover the whole bottom with the cooked potatoes.
Slice the aubergine diagonally into 4mm slices and brush with oil.  Fry in a large frying pan in a couple of batches turning after a few minutes until pale golden. Pop onto kitchen paper to drain while frying the rest then set aside.

Wipe the pan clean and heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, until soft.  Increase the heat, add the courgettes and peppers.
Add the purée and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Now add the tomatoes and red wine along with the oregano and all spice and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until reduced to a thickish sauce.  Throw in the chopped parsley, stir and have a taste.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Now back to the baking dish covered with a layer of potato - add a layer of the vegetable mixture followed by a layer of aubergine.  Repeat making sure you end with a layer of aubergine.
Pour over the cheese mixture and sprinkle a little more grated cheese over the top.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan180C/Gas 6

To make the topping:
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan until melted.  Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon and cook over a medium heat (stirring all the while) for a just couple of minutes to cook the flour. 
If you don't do this your cheese sauce with taste floury and will be lumpy - so pay attention!

Using a balloon whisk, add the milk a little at a time whisking as you go.  Now remove from the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. 
Gently stir in the beaten egg and pop back onto a low heat.  Add a pinch of salt and stir in the Cheddar.  Cook for a couple of minutes till you have a nice smooth sauce.  Remove from the heat.
 Grate over some nutmeg and bake uncovered for 33 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Serve immediately with a nice Greek salad and a glass of wine - Cheers!

Many thanks to OXO Good Grips for sending me these products to review.
Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to write anything positive.

Feta and Red Chilli Stuffed Naan

Okay this isn't exactly a traditional filling for naan bread but I fancied making something different.  After the success of my Peshwari naan and since I had some feta along with a green bell pepper in the fridge in need of using up, Feta and Red Chilli Naan seemed the way to go.

Never mind that it's naan bread, it makes a nice change from ordinary bread and can be served with whatever you fancy.  Once you've made your dough, stuffing it is easy to do and you can experiment with different fillings to suite your taste.   

Low Fat - Greek-style Baked Yogurt Tomatoes Peppers Onions and Chilli

National Yogurt Week runs from 19th to the 25th May and is a celebration of all things yogurt!  
Yogurt is a fantastic versatile, convenient and great food staple suitable for the whole family.  Containing a range of nutrients important in a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle yogurt is an amazing food product.

Having been asked to come up with a recipe that uses yogurt for National Yogurt Week, the first thought that came to mind was the much loved Greek dish 'Bouyiourdi' which is in my opinion is totally addictive.  Usual ingredients are Feta, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions and Chilli sprinkled with Oregano. 
But - no feta cheese is used here, my version is far Lower in Calories and Fat - yogurt replaces the feta.  Yes you can bake Greek yogurt! 

Of course, traditionally this dish uses Feta but my version is not only lower in fat and calories but more to the point, it tastes pretty good too.
For further information on all things yogurt please visit Love
You can follow LoveYogurt UK on Facebook and Twitter too @LoveYogurtUK

Print Recipe

To serve 4 you will need:
4 shallow dishes - I used tapas dishes
1 x 500g tub of Greek yogurt
olive oil
sea salt
Dried Chilli flakes
Dried Oregano
2 ripe tomatoes - thinly sliced
2 medium sized red onions - thinly sliced 
3 fat cloves of garlic - peeled and very finely chopped
1 x jar of roasted peppers in oil - drained
1 long green chilli pepper - medium heat, deseeded and thinly sliced

How to do it:
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6
Spoon a dollop of Greek yogurt into the bottom of each dish.  Top with a layer of onion, tomato, roasted peppers, garlic and chilli flakes.  Sprinkle with a little salt and a few more chilli flakes along with a little oregano.  Repeat this then drizzle with a little oil.
Pop the dishes into the oven and cook for about 20 minutes - by this time the yogurt should have taken on a firm but springy texture and look quite like feta.
Once cooked, serve immediately with slices of crusty bread for dipping.

Other Yummy Yogurt Recipes by Food Bloggers for National Yogurt Week can be found here:
Rich Chocolate Cake by Michelle
Disclosure:  I was compensated for my time creating this recipe for National Yogurt Week    

BBQ Side Dish Idea - Sweet Potato Wedges with Harissa and Feta

Easy to make and a great side dish at any BBQ or just as a change from regular potato wedges or chips.  Sweetness from the potatoes and a little heat from the harissa, finishing with a nice tang from the slightly salty feta.  Don't be scared of harissa paste it's up to you how much you use and it's not over hot.

Sweet Potato Wedges with Harissa and Feta

Come on, spice up your meal times and give these a go!  I love rose harissa and I always buy the brand Belazu.

How to Make Panch Phoran - Indian Five-Spice

Panch Phoran is a Bengali spice mixture used as a base flavour in many Indian dishes.  You can buy it in the UK in Asian supermarkets (that said, to this day I've never found here in Shropshire) but no worries, it's really easy to make.

Panch Phoran

My love of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen means I have more spices in my cupboard than you can shake a stick at - but the spices needed to make Indian five-spice are available in any good supermarket. 


Food Preparation - Right Tools for the Right Job

As we all know whatever it is you're doing having the right tools for the job helps you get it done easier and quicker.  This is especially true in the kitchen - for example, every good cook needs a good knife, chopping board, mixing bowls and a measuring/pouring jug to name but a few.  Having the right equipment makes for better results too.

I'm a huge fan of OXO Good Grips since their products actually work and do the job they say they will.  Having recently been sent the Batter Bowl and the Large 3 Piece Bowl and Colander set to review here's how it went.
Powered by Blogger.