Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Premier Housewares Pastel Sweet Hearts Stoneware Mixing Bowl - Review and Recipe

The green collection, also available in pink, from Wayfair.co.uk
Premier Housewares has a new range of very pretty stoneware which is embossed with hearts, and they are microwave and dishwasher safe. The stoneware will look delightful in country kitchens through to the contemporary kitchen and they will make wonderful gifts.

I love kitchenalia and this fabulous mixing bowl is similar to the one my Mum used when I was a child.

2.5 litre mixing bowl £26.49
I made a marble cake to remind me of childhood memories when Mum would mix away using a bowl and wooden spoon to make us lots of lovely home made bakes.

Delicious marble loaf cake

170g butter, softened
170g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 level tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water

For the icing
50g butter
30g cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp milk
200g icing sugar, sifted
25g white chocolate, melted
white chocolate stars

You will need:  Greased 900g loaf tin  - I use a 25x11x7cm tin which is long and narrow, otherwise the mixture may overflow.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the tin with a wide strip of non-stick baking parchment to go up the wide sides and over the base.
2. Place the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand electric mixer for two minutes. Spoon half the cake batter into another bowl.
3. Mix the cocoa powder and hot water together until smooth. Cool slightly, then add to one of the bowls of cake mixture, mix until evenly blended.
4. Spoon the vanilla and chocolate cake mixtures alternately into the loaf tin. Level the surface, take the handle of a wooden spoon and swirl the cake batter gently. Bake for one hour, until well risen, and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
5. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.
6. To make the icing, melt the butter in a small pan, add the cocoa powder, stir to blend and cook over a low heat for one minute. Stir in the milk and icing sugar, remove from the heat and mix thoroughly. If necessary, leave the icing on one side, stirring occasionally, to thicken. Spread the cold cake with the icing, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the top, decorate with chocolate stars and leave to set.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the product for review purposes, all thoughts are my own.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kitchenalia by Vinny Lee - Book Review

This book is bursting with advice and inspiration showing how to transform kitchens using vintage, reclaimed and timeless classics to give them that much needed 'heart and soul' which the contemporary 'lets hide everything in cupboards' kitchen is sadly lacking, and I have to confess that I fall into this category.

A few cookery programmes on TV are now being cleverly styled with retro casseroles which are chipped and cracked, mismatched crockery, enamel baking trays and more. These are items that have been used and loved by previous generations of home cooks.

Some small independent coffee shops are now proudly displaying mismatched crockery, often the furniture is a mix of old and new and a fabulous slice of cake is served on a vintage or art deco plate. These are the coffee shops I love to return to again and again.

I have a soft spot for kitchenalia, it makes me feel warm and cosy, and turning the pages of this fabulous book it made me feel a little nostalgic too.

I became very attached to the Introduction on page 7 and saw to my astonishment the kitchen table and chairs we used when I was a child, and the kitchen units in the photograph are very similar to the ones we had in our family kitchen!

I've had fun looking through the pages finding items that either my Mum or Nan used in their kitchens - the enamel bread bin, scales, pots and pans, kettles, mixing bowls and much used wooden spoons.

The Kitchenalia Kitchen guides us through the many ways we are able to rethink our approach when planning the way we would like our kitchen to look, after all it's possibly the most important room in the house.

Every page has stunning photographs to inspire and help us to get the look we want from the Retro Kitchen, the Reclaimed Kitchen, the White Kitchen, the Painted Kitchen, the Country Kitchen, the Collector's Kitchen, and the Utilitarian Kitchen.

Kitchenalia Elements is a guiding hand with information regarding furniture, butcher's blocks, storage, work surfaces, lighting, pots, pans, glass, utensils, gadgets and containers.

This is definitely the turn to book for guidance and inspiration and I know after reading this book I'll be far better equipped when I visit my local antique fair.

The author: Vinny Lee is the Interiors Editor of The Times Magazine in London.

Christmas is just around the corner and I've been given a readers discount code for this wonderful book.

To order Kitchenalia at the discounted price of £25.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG221.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

The book is released on 25th September 2014 and is published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com (@JacquiSmallPub)

Disclaimer: I have been sent the book for the purpose of this review - thank you to Jacqui Small Publishing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Leisure Range Supper Club with Uyen Luu

Kitchen Delights London Reporter @PaulFoodie enjoys a supper club feast.........

In all these years I've lived in London, I had never been to a supper club until last week. The truth is, I think I missed the trend over the recession years (shame on me), but they are still an amazing way to try scrumptious meals at a fraction of the price you would pay at a restaurant. I have friends who love them!

SO! Last week I was very privileged to attend renowned cookery book writer, food blogger and supper club owner Uyen Luu for a Vietnamese feast at her home in Hackney.

Uyen has a beautiful home with a minimalist feel and she was dressed stylishly for the dinner party. Vietnamese food is her art and a small group of UK food blogger's were invited to sample autumnal dishes made using a Leisure Range Cooker.

The night began with a glass of the rather delicious sparkling Tkacol ‘Birbirra’ from the Basque country. Made in the same way as Champagne, this was the right choice to knock the socks off any guest.

Anyone for bubbles?
After a good gossip with some of my fellow blogger's, Cook Sister, Food Urchin and The Boy Who Bakes, it was time to sit down to a 3 course Vietnamese feast. First up was a kale and ginger soup with glass noodles. It was nourishing, warming and had a hearty elegance.

For the main course, we had roast chicken which had been spatchcocked with fragrant lemon grass and zingy orange segments which looked presentation perfect!

The chicken was juicy and had crisped beautifully. To the side was grilled seasonal vegetables which offered a vibrant splash of autumnal colour (especially under the dimmed lights) so it felt all warm and cosy. It was sensational to smell and I’ll try my hand at cooking this amazing dish.

The vegetables ready to go into the oven
For wine, we had a gorgeous Tres Pueblos 2013, which is made from vineyards 1000m above sea level in Andalucia (made by an Englishman for good measure).

Uyen making final preparations 
Finally, we had plum cake with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Fabulous on it’s own but we had a dessert wine paired with it called Libamus Vino Dulce de Mencia from Bierzo in Northern Spain. It was the perfect bedfellow to the plums and just made me want to run to the nearest supermarket and greedily scoop up a case - Mmmmm!

Beautiful plum cake
Oven envy.........

Leisure Range Cooker
The oven Uyen Luu used was without doubt a huge asset given the number of people and courses involved. It’s all about making the most of the two ovens when cooking a number of courses; starters, mains and dessert with perfect timing and maximum efficiency!

Special thanks to Uyen for her superb hospitality.

Disclaimer:  Thank you for the invitation to attend the supper club, some of the photographs are my own others have been provided for this post, all thoughts are my own.

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