Showing posts with label Featured. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Featured. Show all posts

Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender from Froothie - Review

The Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Power blender from Froothie is not 'just another high powered blender' it's a heavy duty blender that has the option to be used with or without vacuum. Just look at this gorgeous machine; I say it definitely looks the part, but not only that it makes life so much easier in the kitchen.

It's also available in Black or Red but I'm loving Silver. I have to say it's built well, and so it should be for the price, but you can tell this is fantastic quality as is my previous Optimum 9400 Next Generation Blender. There's certainly nothing flimsy or cheap looking about any of the power blenders from Froothie.

Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender

Why would you need a Vacuum Blender?
When used with the vacuum option the air is taken out of ingredients such as fruit placed in the blending jug. By removing the air smoothies etc will stay colourful and won't separate as they usually would. The vacuum technology eliminates the oxidation process by drawing out the air which can lead to the destruction of nutrients in food; this is what causes smoothies etc to separate in a very short time if not consumed straight away. 

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New York Skyscraper Burger

New York; the city that never sleeps. I've been to New York a good few times, although not recently, this was a while back in the 90's. It's an amazing place, there's so much to see and do there.

If you've never been I really recommend it and one things for sure you'll be amazed at the skyscrapers; yes obviously they're tall, but they are also interesting as each one is different. I love the Art-Deco style of the Chrysler building, Empire State and the Rockefeller. I've never seen the One World Trade Center which opened in 2014 as the last time I went to New York it was at the end of August 2001.

New York Skyscraper Burger

Having been asked to come up with a BBQ or grill recipe inspired by Thomas Cook Airlines for their 'Where is Hot in' page, I chose New York as I truly love that place and really must go back soon. New York is at it's hottest in June, July and August and with an average flight time from the UK of 7 hours 20 minutes it's not too long to travel to.

Aside from the famous buildings I've already mentioned (and of course there's many more) with Times Square, The MET and of course the Statue of Liberty there's a lot to see and do. From music festivals to outdoor movie screenings in Central Park, the summer months are a great time to experience the huge, diverse personality of this metropolis.

As for the food, oh my goodness there are so many places to eat in New York! Everything from fast food to really fancy restaurants and if you do go don't forget to visit a New York Deli; amazing places full of all things yummy 😋 

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Kenwood Chef Elite KVC5100S - Banana Bread Recipe

As you all know by now I do love a good kitchen gadget, so when Kenwood asked if I'd like the Kenwood Chef Elite to review of course the answer was 'Oooh yes please'!

Now I'm not really into baking but of course the Kenwood Chef Elite can be used for so much more than making cakes and bread. But with that said, since this amazing piece of kit arrived I've become all converted and have made a Christmas cake, a Chocolate cake and two lots of Brownies. I'm feeling quite pleased with myself; in fact I'm becoming quite a little baker! 😊

Banana Bread and the Kenwood Chef Elite

There's no doubt about it the Kenwood Chef KVC5100S is a powerful 1200w, variable speed mixer which comes with a beater, whisk and dough hook and it certainly make makes a lot of things so much easier.
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Pear Chocolate Cocoa and Coconut Superflake Crumble

Everyone loves a good crumble but if you haven't tried my Pear, Chocolate, Cocoa and Coconut Superflake Crumble you're missing out! 😋 Pears are just coming into season now and are one of the least allergenic of all fruits and so can be enjoyed but most people and they're so versatile too; perfect in a crumble and they go so well with chocolate.

I was recently asked to make a recipe using Cocoa and Coconut Superflakes by Nature's Path. To be honest until then I hadn't tried Superflakes before but I say they make the perfect easy and healthy breakfast and are also healthy and nice and filling too.

Pear Chocolate Cocoa and Coconut Superflake Crumble

Superflakes are made using sorghum flour, black bean flour and brown rice flour which are all made from nutrient-rich sprouted grains. Coated in a little honey and Fairtrade cocoa Superflakes are not only nice and crunchy but are also Gluten free and Organic as are the rest of Nature's Path products.

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Flatbreads with JAZZ Apple and Goat Cheese

These lovely mini flatbreads are really easy to make and well worth the little effort they take. Of course you can use shop bought flatbread but  making your own is rewarding since they do taste a whole lot better.

Having been asked to make a recipe using Jazz Apples I immediately thought of goats cheese being a perfect balance of tangy yet sweet. I added a few chopped nuts along with pea shoots for colour.

Pea shoots are available in any good supermarket (in the bit where you find bags of salad leaves) they have a sweet delicate flavour so certainly wont take over power those lovely apples or goats cheese.

Flatbreads with Jazz Apple and Goat Cheese

Serve as a tasty lunch or serve as appetisers; whichever you choose I'm sure they'll be a big hit.

Jazz™ are a cross of a Braeburn and a Royal Gala (two of the nations favourite apple varieties. Grown in the UK for taste, crunchiness and juiciness. The Jazz apple has all year-round availability too and is now grown not only in the UK but also in France, Italy, USA, Chile, Switzerland, Austria and Australia and New Zealand.

Jazz apples will easily keep for up to and over 4 weeks if they are correctly stored correctly; in a cool dark place or better still in the fridge.

Available in Aldi, Asda, Booths, Co-op, Lidl, Morrisons, M&S, Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsburys and good independent green grocers.
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Ciabatta with Chicken Chorizo Red Pepper and Melted Cheese

I love reading menus; I can't for the life of me read a book of any description, unless of course it has something to do with food.  I can sit and read cookery books and menus all day long.  Oh and maps! Yes maps, I LOVE reading maps.  Possibly I could be the next brain of Britain when it comes to knowing where most places are; very bothering I know 😨

Anyway, never mind all that!  The other week I went out for lunch with some good friends to the Novello Lounge in Southwater, Telford and the menu had so many delicious sounding dishes to choose from so we all took a while to decide what to have......

Ciabatta with Chicken Chorizo Red Pepper and Melted Cheese

But then I spied with my little eye; Chicken & Chorizo Panini with with red peppers, spinach and pimento soft cheese and that's just my kind of thing.  Yes, yes, I know it's probably not the healthiest thing to eat but hey ho it sounded good!

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Skinni Pork Sausage Sweet Potato and Apple Tray Bake

Tray Bakes are one of the easiest and quickest meals you can make and anything with sausages has to be good in my opinion.  Of course the secret to good taste is to use quality sausages.

Okay readers of this blog will know I'm supposed to be trying to lose a bit of weight here - so whilst my recipe isn't exactly calorie free as it contains potatoes, the Skinni Pork Sausages I used are from West Coast Foods and are reduced fat and high in protein.  

There's certainly no faffing about with this recipe, it's ready to serve in just 45 minutes.  Pork Sausages, Onions and a mixture of Sweet Potatoes and Regular Potatoes, Apples and Sage; what's not to like?

Sausage Sweet Potato and Apple Tray Bake

The oven tray I used was a SCANPAN; you can read my review here.

All you need is a suitably sized non-stick oven tray that's big enough for the ingredients to be spread out.  If you don't have one then you can use one of the disposable foil ones from the supermarket; just be careful that is doesn't bend when removing from the oven.

If there's more than two of you just add more of everything including sausages; and of course you can cook this just for one person.
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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

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.
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More Raclette Dinner Party Recipe Ideas

When I first bought my Raclette grill I had no idea we'd use it so much.  It's such fun making up your own mad food concoctions!  I wrote a post on Raclette Dinner Party Ideas a while back and as it's been so popular, I thought I'd share my latest and rather yummy ideas.

One being Nachos with Salsa, Cheese and Jalapeño Peppers - just crumble up your nachos, top with salsa and a little grated cheese then top with jalapeño peppers.  Once they've melted under the raclette you can top with sour cream.

Please note - all pictures were taken before being cooked.



You don't have to do this but I like to prepare a few dishes beforehand for less faff at the table since we have little room - our table seats four but the food takes up all the room!
From left to right and ready to cook in the grill pans we have:
Egg, Feta and Roasted Peppers (from a jar) sprinkled with a few Chilli Flakes.
Egg, Grated Cheese, Sweetcorn and a generous sprinkling of Smoked Paprika.
The 3rd pan along is a repeat of the first.
Then then Nachos, Salsa, Cheese and Jalapeño Peppers from a jar.
The next pan is a repeat of the 2nd pan.


Sliced bread drizzled with olive oil ready for toasting on the top of the raclette.
The chicken strips were marinated in a little oil along with a good dose of Chipotle Chilli Paste.

At the table serve a selection of whatever else you fancy.  Just remember meat and chicken most certainly have to be cooked on top of the grill (or with will not cook through) along with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, cooked potatoes, bread etc.  Things like cheese, eggs, cooked peppers are good to go into the grill pans - basically anything you want to heat up of melt.


If you haven't got one of these marvelous inventions then you must get one immediately - great fun!
Your Raclette will come with little wooden spatula type thing you use to turn your food with - the dishwasher is the best place for these after use to get them beautifully clean.  Just remember to dry thoroughly before storing.  A pair of skinny tongs are good for adding any meat items to the grill.

Personally I think this raclette grill by Swan is great - the stone top is removable and really easy to clean once it's cooled down of course.  Some of these grills have a non stick top but to be honest nothing really sticks to this one and it has lasted ages and still looks like new.  I might be wrong but I suspect the coating wouldn't last long on some then they won't look as good a few uses down the line.

The one thing I will point out is that once you have all your food on the table there isn't any room for anyone else - more reason to have a Raclette Party for Two!

Update June 2017:  This is the Raclette I bought and still use to to this day!
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