Little yummy snippets.
It only seems the other day that I wrote my last nibbles post, and then remembered about another 6 things that should have been added, so I am going to publish two nibbles posts this month.
Lakeland Stay Fresh Longer Bags – This do exactly what you expect them to with near miraculous efficiency. Simply fill with the sorts of fruit, vegetables or herbs that rapidly wilt and go slimey in the salad drawer, then be amazed at how long they last. Especially useful in the summer for salads. They can be reused several times and are worth every penny. Available in 3 sizes from Lakeland from £4.49 for 20.
Sweet Eve Strawberries – Are a new variety of British Strawberry; the result of a 25 year breeding process by British farmer Peter Vinson. I was lucky enough to be sent a tray and they are truly delicious. As they were developed specifically for the British climate they thrive and are sweeter than many other varieties, many of which so often are a disappointment. They smell divine too, their aroma completely filled the flat. After his masterclass with Vivien Lloyd, Ed made some delicious jam with some, and the rest were quickly eaten. More info here.
Nespresso – Although I and not keen on disposable coffee capsules I am a huge Nespresso fan as the machines consistently produce good coffee, making them ideal for small businesses, cafes and for in hotel rooms, or anywhere where consistently good coffee is needed but there are not the resources for someone to make it. Nespresso have opened a new boutique on Regent Street to showcase their range of machines and 16 coffees (and a recycling point for the used capsules). To mark the occasion I was asked to a breakfast with coffee inspired recipes created by the two Michelin starred Phil Howard. We had some delicious food, i especially enjoyed a venison scotch egg with an espresso brown sauce. Even if you do not have a machine it is well worth popping in to look at the amazing London themed capsule art. Nespresso Boutique, 54 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY
Sainsbury’s Bakeware – With a new series of the Great British Bake Off due to start soon, Sainsbury’s have a lovely range of Bake Off bakeware and china. All very nicely designed, I especially like the wood and the soft green colours making it appealing to all.
Welch’s Grape Juice – They very generously sent me 16 litres of juice, which prompted me to dissolve into mild hysteria when Ed pondered if they thought we were camels with the sheer volume that was sent! We enjoyed the white and rose the most – with some sparkling water – the perfect non boozy drink for a hot day. I had lots of plans to set with agar agar and make layered jellies, but sadly never managed it.
Cupcakes, Muffins and Afternoon Tea – Along with the iPad addiction comes cookery Apps! Firstly is Cupcakes, Muffins and Afternoon Tea by Beverly Glock of Splat Cooking. It is a lovely app for a novice or beginner baker, contains a wide variety of recipes with some interesting variations. There is some great functionality - Favouriting of recipes and photo gallery. The hints and tips section is comprehensive with lots of trouble shooting ideas for perfect bakes (I certainly learnt from it) as well as Aga instructions. Video demos of techniques clear and instructive, although some are long and you need an internet connection the first time you watch them. Missing is an ability to e-mail yourself an ingredients list, links between recipes (the salt caramel cupcakes need a caramel sauce, but there is no clickable link in the app), and I would like to be able to see the entire recipe in landscape mode without needing to swipe the screen with dirty hands when cooking. Well worth £2.99. Available from the App Store.
Cook. Taste. Summer. Smile. – Is an e-book from Alex Yandell, a student at Durham (my old University), and the first of a series of 4 to cover all the seasons. The app is very slick, looks fantastic, working differently depending on the orientation of your iPad. I like the three different menus, all with options to make it cheaper or healthier and a wine recommendation. All the recipes are clearly written (in landscape view you see two steps to the screen with ingredients needed at each stage relisted), require a minimum of equipment. The whole app is designed to appeal to the reader who has left home and is cooking for themselves for the first time. Photography is bright and appealing. Again I would like to be able to mail ingredients lists to myself, and the option of viewing the entire recipe in landscape without needing to swipe (then needing to wipe) the screen. Dishes I want to try are a seared tuna with broad beans and oregano-lime dressing and a berry and Bacardi semifreddo. Were I at University now I would love this (in my day there were no iPads and barely any internet), and imagine that many an identical dinner party will be cooked by students this year. I am looking forward to what else Alex comes up, as I like the bright simple flavours and accessible recipes. Cook. Taste. Smile. Summer is £4.99 from the iBookstore. I think for content it is a little expensive, but the slickness of the app makes up for it.
Lindt – I recently was asked to an event with the Lindt Chocolatiers to help launch their new creations bars, by creating my own! Even though this was in the middle of “Christmas in July” press show season I jumped at the chance. After chocolate martinis and canapes, the charming Lindt master chocolatier guided us through making the fillings for our own bars. I opted for a filling of cranberry, meringue, caramel and pistachio pieces in white chocolate ganache. The 4 new creations bars will on sale soon. I cannot decide which my favourite is so will have to sample them all again to check!
Kenwood in a nice twist on the traditional skills based competition Kenwood are currently running a Disaster Chef Competition where the 12 of the countries most terrible cooks have been given a Kenwood chef, sent food parcels and challenged to improve their skills. In the first video tutorial above Emilia Fox learns to make a Four Cheese Quiche.
Most product images are from the brands concerned. Many thanks for all the invitations to events and for the various samples.