Sunday, 12 April 2015

Russell Hobbs Desire Slice and Go Food Slicer plus Special Coleslaw Recipe

The geniuses at Russell Hobbs have developed a new range of food preparation products such as  their Hand Mixer, Hand Blender, Mini Chopper and a fabulous product entitled Slice and Go. The Slice and Go is compact, stylish with it's stainless-steel grating, shredding and slicing tool. This a fabulous product to prepare and to perfectly slice vegetables. With all the recent media craze with healthy and clean living, I was particularly inspired to use this product as a way of eating more vegetables. Easy to assemble, I first started with the shredding tool to make the Special Coleslaw, which is shared later on in the post. I found having sliced the cabbage in rough slices and then placing in the tunnel, within a matter of seconds I had a beautiful perfect sliced of cabbage which was smooth on each side. I quickly swapped the shredding tool to the grating tool and used this to grate the carrots, again within a matter of seconds the carrots were perfectly grated. Needless to say that my Special Coleslaw was on the most beautifully presented coleslaw I have made. I've also used the Slice and Go, to slice some well known Jamaican ingredients such as green banana and plantain to make fritters (which I'll post shortly on the blog) , which were perfectly grated.  I would recommend this product as it is incredibly easy to use and really slices vegetables incredibly well. Reasonably priced at £24.99, this is a welcome addition to your kitchen.




Add caption
Green Banana about to be grated. 

Grated Green Banana

Ingredients ready to go in the Slice and Go.

Carrots Shredded

Special Coleslaw


Positives

  • Slices, grates and shreds vegetables perfectly.
  • Easy to use.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Reasonably Priced.
  • Stylish Design.
  • Not to noisy.

Needs improvement


  • At present, I can't think of anything that needs additional improvement with this product. 

Recipe for Special Coleslaw, taken from Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Cookbook. 

Ingredients Serves 8
1/2 white cabbage, finely sliced
1 red pepper, cored and de-seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, cored, de-seeded and chopped.
3 large carrots, peeled and grated.
298g/10oz can of sweetcorn, drained.
200ml /7 fl oz mayonnaise.
100ml/ 3 1/2 salad cream.
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper.

Put the cabbage into a bowl, add the red and green pepper and mix together. Stir in the carrots and sweetcorn. Add the mayonnaise, salad cream and black pepper and stir together well.

xxx

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Stellar Stackable Draining Casserole Pan and Recipe

Stellar Cookware, the revered cookware brand, also known as "The Choice of Professionals", have developed a new cookware collection called Stellar Tate. The geniuses behind this well revered brand, have developed a new set of innovative cookware which enables saucepans and casserole dishes to be easily stackable, allowing better safety and storage in your kitchen. What is impressive about this new range is that draining liquids from the saucepans or casserole dishes easier to handle, as the innovative pan lid is a handle that locks to the main pan handle, this alongside the pouring lips allows liquid to be safely poured away, using one hand for the saucepans and two hands for the casserole pans. Effectively, using this range, there will be little need for a colander to drain liquids from pans. Each saucepan and casserole dish comes with Stellar Lifetime Guarantee - is likely that the saucepans and casserole dishes will last last longer than me! This range includes 16/18/20cm Draining Saucepans and 20/22/24 draining casseroles and cost from £40 - £50 to the saucepans and £50 - £70, this range is by no means cheap, but if you are after quality and long-lasting sets of innovative pans, this range is for you. 

Stellar Tate

Stellar Tate

The lovely people at Stellar Cookware kindly sent me a 20cm stackable casserole pan. My first impressions was the Stackable Draining Casserole Pan was stylish  and definitely put my other pans to shame! The Stackable Draining Casserole Pan is also heavy duty, I know if I had accidentally dropped it, it would be fine. More impressively, I liked the little added touch of the inside measurements which will guide you if you pour an excess or too little liquids when using the pans. 
I got to work straight away on testing this product out and had a recipe in mind, one which the meat was boiled in a broth then roasted in the oven. As this casserole pan is both hob and oven proof, my meal was essentially cooked in one pan, not requiring the ingredients to be transferred, which saved on the washing up. I was impressed that when it was time to drain the liquids for my ham hock, this was done with ease, no burning water flashing on me (as per usual) and all the liquids happily drained out leaving me with the tender meat.

Stellar Tate Casserole Pan.

Stellar Casserole Pan.

Stellar Casserole Pan.

Stellar Casserole Pan.

Overall: for the enthusiastic cook and budding chef, I would highly recommend this product, it is innovative, long lasting and stylish kitchenware. 

Recipe: Treacle  Glazed Ham Hocks Recipe from James Martin Slow Cooking.
2 carrots
1 large onion
3 tbsp cloves
4  x 500g ham hocks
1 celery stick
3 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
1 bay leaf
a pinch of sea salt
125g black treacle

Method
Cut the carrots in half length ways and stud the onion with 2 of the cloves. Place the ham hocks in a deep saucepan, add the onion, carrots, celery and herbs, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring slowly to the boil over a medium heat-low heat, then gently simmer for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. Carefully remove the ham hocks from the liquid and place them in a roasting tin. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin and trim off any excess fat to reveal pink meat underneath, then insert cloves at regular intervals over each hock. Return the hocks to the oven for 10 minutes to dry the surface of the meat.
Meanwhile, gently warm the black treacle in a saucepan. After 10 minutes, remove the hocks from oven, spoon over the treacle and return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes, basting occasionally.
Once the hocks are shiny and glazed, remove from the oven and serve with a dollop of mustard.

Disclaimer: I received the Stella Casserole Pan to review, as always, I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. 
xxx
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Monday, 9 March 2015

Hotpoint Steam Blender Pt 2, Review.

I've had my Hotpoint Steam Blender for almost two months and I have thoroughly enjoyed testing this kitchen appliance. I have made a variety of dishes in my steam blender, mainly for my breakfast and lunch: I have to credit this applicant for my new love of healthier eating. My first review post I focused on my initial thoughts of using this product, but this post focuses more on my thoughts of the variety of recipes that can be made using this innovative appliance.
Hotpoint Steam Blender
Mixtures
After having this product for almost two months, I love stretching this machine to see what it can do. I've started marking pancake mixtures using the blending facility and found this such a hick way to make the batter for my plantain and coconut pancakes. I found the machines blending facility to be excellent and able to cut through a starchy ingredient such as plantain. I find that blending pancake and batter mixtures far easier now, as all you do is add the mixture in the blender, turn on setting 2 or 3 for around 2 minutes to discover a wonderfully blended mixture. 
Plantain and Coconut Pancakes. 
Steaming
 Many of us enjoy steaming vegetables to ensure that all the nutrients remain contained in the vegetables. This Steam Blender does so much more than steaming vegetables, there is a handy basket which can be used to steam meat and fish separately. This means you can make a delicious a chunky chicken and vegetable soup, for example and place all the ingredients in the steam blender, but separate the chicken from the vegetables. I decided to test the basket facility by making ta chickpea and 2 vegetable soup which surprisingly worked very well and as they say "was a doddle to make". I simply steamed the chickpeas, onions, coconut milk and seasoning and placed the vegetables in the handy basket whilst they steamed separately. Once everything was steamed, I removed the basket, blended the stock and served in a bowl. This method would work when including chicken breasts (thinly sliced and wrapped in foil) and prawns.
Here is my Chickpea and Two Vegetable Soup:
Chickpea and Two Vegetable Soup.

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Soup.

Juices
Another favourite when using this my steam blender is making juices; it's such a healthy way to the start the day. In fact, I'm sure making juices for my weekday breakfast has contributed to my 5 lbs weight loss. I like to in-cooperate a combination of vegetables and fruits, which is always blended thoroughly so you can't taste the vegetables.
Lemon, Ginger and Parsley Juice.

Melon and Grape Juice.

Shakes
For those who love indulgent drinks, the steam blender makes a fabulous milkshake. Although the ingredients for the milkshake is frozen (the ice-cream and ice cubes), blending these ingredients are no problem for this appliance. The results  of a milkshake in my steam blender is a glorious, indulgent and rich shake. 
Coffee and Banana Shake.

Recipe for Coffee Banana Shake, from 1000 Juices by Deborah Gray.
Ingredients
Banana
300ml coffee ice-cream (if you do not have coffee ice-cream, use vanilla and add 2 tbsp instant coffee powder)
2tbsp milk

Method
 Put all the ingredients into the steam blender and process on low for 30 seconds, stir and process on high until smooth and whipped. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.

Makes 1 glass

Disclaimer: I received a steam blender from Hotpoint, I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own. 

xxx
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Saturday, 17 January 2015

OXO Good Grips Products, Review.

As I've grown in my cooking repertoire and become more passionate about food, I've also discovered a range of kitchen products which helps cooking and baking a little easier. I'm always on the look out for kitchen products that can assist in my making my time in the kitchen a little easier, which is often needed in my mid-week meals. I recently discovered OXO and their Good Grips range and was thrilled when they asked me whether I would like to review some of their products. I, of course, said yes and am pleased to share with you my experience using these products. I was asked to chose a few products and as I have a more a savoury palette I chose items for cooking as opposed to baking (they have a large selection of products more suitable for bakers which were the Chopper, Omlettte Turner  and Salad Dressing Shaker.

Chopper 
With almost all of my savoury recipes, I have to use a chopped onion as this add flavour to the majority of dishes. I couldn't imagine cooking without using onions, but I do have one slight issue, I always cry when cutting onions due to the chemicals which is produced. This is where the chopper comes in, simple to use, all you do is place the onion in the container part of the chopper and press the soft knob of the chopper and a zig zag sharp blade comes down, which rotates and slices away. This ensures even chopping. Not only can be used for onions but for vegetables (as long as you slice in half or quarters) such as courgettes, aubergines and garlic. Retailing at £19, this has become a firm favourite in my household, it's sleek and compact design, alongside it not requiring to be plugged in or battery operated makes this easy to store.


Flip and Fold Omelette Turner
I chose this product, the silicone Flip and Fold Omelette Turner, not because I love omelettes (quite the country, I'm not a big fan of eggs) but I love pancakes. I thought that whilst this product is entitled "omelette turner", it will be equally suitable to turn pancakes or when making quesadillias. You see the pancakes I make fill the frying pan and I often find it difficult to flip them over without causing the mixture to spray over. The flexible head and edges is perfect for sliding the underneath pancakes or omelettes. I loved using this product and promptly used this when making my Elvis Presley Pancakes which I may add turned out to perfectly shaped. The thing that impressed me most, was the length of the omelette turner which again made this product easy to use and flip. Retailing at £8, this is a gadget which will be welcome in your chicken. 



Salad Dressing Shaker
Retailing at £12 ,I'm looking forward to spring and making vibrant colourful salads which will be drizzled with my homemade dressing. I am embarrassed to say that previous dressings have been made in a mug. Not so anymore with this handy salad dressing shaker. I have yet to use this product, but will be sharing a selection of salad recipes in the coming months, and will feature this product. This salad shaker is water tight as ingredients are added using the very wide opening, which in turn means it has no spillages. Also, what it great about this salad dressing shaker, is that it can make dressing, sauces and marinades. I love the sleek design of this product which can be beautifully served on the table. 


Positives
The products were efficient and effective. 
All products are dishwasher safe.
Loved the vibrant colours used for Omelette Turner, Salad Dressing Shaker
All products are reasonably priced.
Loved the sleek designs. 

Negatives
Chopper takes some getting used to, especially when dismantling.

Disclaimer:
I received a selection of products from OXO, I was not entitled to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.
xxx
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