Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Russell Hobbs

Tonight was originally supposed to be a bloggers event put on by (www.circle.com) Circle Beaconsfield for Russell Hobbs (www.Russellhobbs.com) in London and I was all geared up to go but it got cancelled for some reason.  I was going to include the two products I have been sent in by Russell Hobbs in the relevant blog so have decided to tell you about them now anyway.

I was looking to get a new hand mixer and saw the Russel Hobbs one used at a blog event in the summer so I asked them if I could try out theirs.  I really like it.  It is a good weight, some hand mixers are so light they don't feel like they have any power at all.  The one is from the new Allure range and is a pleasure to own.

It has removable beaters and dough hooks and 350w of power.  It has 6 speeds and an LCD screen with visual timer.  the instruction booklet that came with it was easy to read and understand and has quite a few easy, contemporary recipes with no frills.

The brushed chrome finish with black accents fits in really well in my kitchen (deor of cream, black and red).

They also sent me the new allure 2 in 1 salt and pepper grinder. It takes 4 x AA batteries which were not included but were easily installed and once installed you are ready to grind.  It has ceramic grinding heads with adjustable grinding size option.  It is also brushed chrome finish so matches the hand mixer beautifully.  The grinder system comes with a horizontal stand for storage.

I have however decided to put black pepper corns in the one end and My Secret Kitchen Szechuan Pepper Pot in the other.  In my house all salt grinders get clogged up due to condensation which is rather annoying.  This is a common result with salt grinders in our house.

I was hoping to view some more of the Allure range tonight but will just have to wait.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Christmas With Gordon - Book Giveaway

I was wondering if Gordon Ramsay would cook the Christmas dinner at his house for his family and guests or would he delegate to his wife Tana (who is a TV personality, cook and cookbook author in her own right)?  I reckon he would delegate but be unable to stay out of the kitchen.  A little advice here - a little there!  Who knows.

We all know Gordon Ramsay from his many television series including Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, Cookalong Live and Ramsay’s Best Restaurant. 

The cookbook - which is one of the many books Gordon Ramsay has written- Christmas with Gordon presents Gordon’s favourite festive recipes. Gordon shares his secrets for achievable, affordable and stress-free Christmas cooking. He gives classic ingredients  a modern twist his recipes add a new dimension to traditional festive food. His turkey is succulent and he shares some great alternatives for the main festive meal: Christmas Beef Wellington, Honey Glazed Ham, Pan-fried Sea Bass and Aromatic Roast Goose, with equally exciting contemporary desserts. Gordon's key to success is being organised and he offers advice on planning ahead and getting some of your preparation and cooking done before the big day.

There is also a selection of party food, holiday brunches and suppers to keep the family happy.  There are also great hints and tips for using the leftover turkey, meats and cheeses.

Each main meat menu has a full menu with time plan so I haven't decided which menu I like to follow - either the turkey or baked ham would be my preference.

Quadrille publishers (www.quadrille.co.uk) have sent me a copy of the book to review and I am offering it to one lucky reader. (You must live in the UK to enter this competition). The closing date for this competition is 10th December 2011. The winner will be chosen at random from all the entries received.

For a chance to win this great Christmas must-have book post your answer in the comment box below with your e-mail address.
Question:What is your favourite family Christmas recipe?

For another chance to win follow my blog and leave a comment in the box below to let me know you have done this.

For a bonus chance of winning follow me on twitter @HeidiMSKstalban and/or @walpolegirl and tell me you have done so and leave your twitter ID in the comment box.

For another chance of winning please post the details of this on twitter using the symbol below and tell me you have done so by leaving a comment in the box below and include your twitter ID.

For a further chance of winning please follow me on Facebook Heidi's Secret Kitchen and tell me you have done so by leaving a comment in the box below.

For a bonus chance of winning share this post on your Facebook and  tell me you have done so by leaving a comment in the box below.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Let's Make Christmas - Food Blogger Gift Swap

Here are my recipes for the Let's Make Christmas Gift Swap?  I have been working all week so haven't had a chance but I have made pumpkin and apple chutney and  peppermint crunch chocolate.  My recipes are both simple and easy to make.

Pumpkin & Apple Chutney: (my own recipe)

In a large preserving pan put the following:-
750g apples (cored and finely sliced or chopped - no need to peel)
750g pumpkin flesh (grated and peeled)
750g golden granulated sugar
500g onions (finely sliced or chopped)
500g sultanas
1 lemon (rind and juice)
3 red chillies (chopped)
2Tbsp mustard seeds
2Tbsp ginger
1 tsp each - ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cumin, corriander
10 cloves (optional)

Bring to the boil and boil to dissolve the sugar.  Turn the heat to moderate and simmer for 2 hours, stirring from time to time.

Fill sterilised jars. Cover first with the waxy circles and then cellophane covers from a pack of 2lb jam pot covers.  Cool and label.  You can eat this right away but it will improve if kept for a couple of months before eating.

Peppermint Crunch Chocolate

2 striped peppermint candy canes
300g white chocolate
300g plain chocolate
1 1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Line a medium sheet pan with a piece of non-stick baking paper. Set aside.
Place candy canes in a large resealable polythene food bad and coarsly crush using a rolling pin, set aside.
Cut the white chocolate into pieces and place in a glass bowl. Microwave on medium heat for approx 2-3 minutes until almost melted, stirring after every 30 second interval. Stir to melt any lumps and set aside.
Cut the plain chocolate into pieces, add the peppermint extract and proceed as with the white chocolate.
Place scoops of melted white chocolate and plain chocolate onto the prepared sheet pan.  Cut through the chocolate using a spreader to create a marbled effect.
Gently tap sheet pan flat on working surface to level the top and fill any gaps or air bubbles. Sprinkle the chopped candy canes on top.
Refrigerate at least 35 minutes or until chocolate is set.  Lift the papeer and peel away from the chocolate.  Using a knife break the chocolate into irregular shaped pieces.
Fill small celo bags with chocolate and tie with ribbon.
(This recipe is curtesy of The Pampered Chef)

I will put the photos of the above items on the blog next week.  Looking forward to the Let's Make Christmas Gift Swap next Friday 18 November in London at Fortnum & Manson.  I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Quick Snack

I got the munchies this afternoon and fancied a quick snack.  Looking in the cupboard I came across an almost finished jar of honey we bought in Suffolk so I added that to some Total Greek Yogurt (www.totalgreekyoghurt.com) and a punnet of blueberries and yum yum ready to eat heaven!

Monday, 7 November 2011

It's Competition Time!

Many of you already know that I am a Consultant with My Secret Kitchen, the UK's first home food and drink tasting company.  I bring the My Secret Kitchen (www.mysecretkitchen.co.uk) products to your home and introduce you and your friends to our fantastic range of products including Jumping Jack Chilli Jam, Tapenade, Red Pepper Cheese Ball, Maple Caramel Sauce, Mango Mojito Dessert Sauce, and many more.

All products are suitable for vegetarians and have no unnecessary additives, colouring and preservatives.  They are all designed to help you make the most of your mealtimes.

Well I thought it was time to let you find out for yourself how great these products are.  For a chance to win a Jumping Jack Chilli Jam and Maple Caramel Sauce there are a two main things for you to do, each one giving you a seperate entry.  The winner will be chosen at random on 20 November 2011.  The prize (like all our products) can be delivered straight to your home address. The winner will have their prize well in time for Christmas.

1. Like my Facebook page, Heidi's Secret Kitchen, and post a comment below to let me know you have done so and include your Facebook name.

2. Follow me on Twitter, @HeidiMSKstalban, and comment below to let me know you have done so and include your Twitter ID.

3. If you would like to try these great products for yourself and live in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire or North London then book a tasting event at your home, office or school and get a bonus entry, direct message me (either Facebook or Twitter) with your phone number and comment below to let me know you have done this with either your Facebook name or Twitter ID and I will ring you to set the date and details.

4. For another bonus entry and if you live outside of the above areas you can still order from our catalogue and have the order shipped to your home address so send me a direct message (either Facebook or Twitter) and comment below to let me know you have done so with either your Facebook name or Twitter ID .