Thursday, 23 November 2017

Review and Giveaway ~Nala Cutlery Gift set by Viners

I love entertaining and host many dinner parties. Together with planning the menu, it is equally important that your tableware goes hand in hand with the menu. Having a beautifully set table with appropriate crockery and cutlery is an equally important part of entertaining. Your guests will love to sit at a table that is beautifully dressed to enjoy the meal.

This Christmas I am planning my table settings to be very traditional with greens, reds and gold. I have chosen gold place mats with red chargers and classic white plates with a simple gold inlay on the rim. To complete the setting I have chosen the most beautiful Nala range of cutlery from Viners.
The Nala range is ombre effect finish that blends from long, elegant matt handles out to a bright mirror polish. 

It is made from high quality 18.10 stainless steel and finished with a titanium coating. The finish is resistant to corrosion, rust and tarnishing. The 16 piece range comes presented in a flock inlay gift box and consists of a set of  4 x Table forks, 4 x Table knives, 4 x Dessert spoon, 4 x Tea spoons. This stunning cutlery is dishwasher safe and comes with a 50 year guarantee.  

My family have always purchased Viners cutlery, it is long lasting and gives great value for money. The range is available from many kitchen ware stockists and retails at RRP £144

*This post is in collaboration with Viners.

As always I love it when my readers can get a chance to try products that I have used. Viners have been very generous and they have agreed to send one simplyfood reader a set of Nala cutlery  RRP £144 so they too can have a beautiful dinner table at Christmas.

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Friday, 3 November 2017

Apple, Cucumber and Spinach Smoothie in the Nutri Force Extractor.

My family are smoothie addicts and we adore our fruits and vegetable smoothie combinations. Each morning we take it in turns to make a smoothie for the family so that we can all take a on the go bottle full of this yummy goodness to work.

I usually make this in my Optimum 9400 blender by froothie and its my most used item on my kitchen worktop. However my daughter recently moved in to her new flat having just graduated from University and as much as I love her I was not going to let her take my beloved Optimum 9400 to make her smoothies in. Also her kitchen space is limited so we needed a compact version of a blender that she could use to make her smoothies. We found the perfect blender from Froothie the Nutri Force Extractor which fits on her work top and does the job really well. The blender is affordable, stylish compact, easy to clean and comes with many accessories such as a blend and take cup so you save on extra washing.


  • 1L Tritan BPA-free cup
  • 450ml Tritan BPA-free cup
  • Extractor blade
  • Grinder blade
  • Stay-fresh travel lids x 2
  • Flip-top lid
  • User manual
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Includes Return Postage!
  • Access to expert support team
  • Comprehensive warranty

My daughter loves using the blender and as mother I can be assured that she is getting her five a day. My daughter also tells me that she is been making some delicious pesto for her pasta in this blender so I can see a recipe coming up soon for it. Watch this space or alternatively sign up for email alerts so you do not miss any new recipe updates.

You can see in the video below a review and recipe demonstration of the Apple, Cucumber and Spinach smoothie that we made in it.

I used my trusty Nutri Force Extractor for this recipe. It is normally £179.00 but currently it is on offer for just £89 which means that there is a whopping £90 OFF right now. Just use the code AUTUMNSALE 90. That's not all, the fab people at Froothie are offering you lovely readers FREE DELIVERY too (for a limited time)! Just use this code 1572 FREE AMBASSADOR DELIVERY in the comments box when making your purchase, the delivery charge will then be refunded.

The blender is not just for smoothies , it can be used for many other recipes too:
You can also checkout some other exciting recipes and reviews of this awesome blender below:

Janice Pattie-Blender Banana bread
Lorna Korma -Eat myyy thoughts
Choclette Ammar- Beetroot green leaf smoothie
MandyMazliah- Tropical Cauliflower Smoothie

**As an ambassador I am testing the Nutri Force Bender, all views and opinions are my own.This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Optimum 9400 mini jug and a Mango Ginger Smoothie Halloween Special

For the last two years I have been the proud owner of the Optimum 9400 blender and unlike any other device its the most used gadget in my kitchen. It will blast any ingredient and blitz it to a delicious purée in moments, furthermore it crushes ice like it cutting through butter, it chops, grates, grinds and whips and you can use it with wet or dry ingredients in it without buying a separate jug. It also makes instant icecreams for the summer and warm soups for the winter so you can make use of  it the whole year around. The blender is totally a lifesaver in the kitchen as it has so many different uses. For a more detailed review of this blender do check my Optimum 9400 post here.

You may be wondering why I am writing another post about this blender? There are two reasons one is that I adore is but the second reason is that when I first got the Optimum 9400 it came with one tall jug only. I am now really excited that Froothie has introduced a mini jug which is perfect when I want to grind a small amount of spice mixture or only want to make a smoothie for one.

The mini jug works in the same way as a large jug  and the good news is that currently the Optimum 9400 is on special Autumn half price offer at just £299  and you will also get the mini jug free if you take advantage of this offer. You can also get Free Delivery when you place your order here  Just use this code 1572 FREE AMBASSADOR DELIVERY in the comments box when making your purchase, the delivery charge will then be refunded.

print recipe

Mango and Ginger Smoothie
A delicious blend of mango carrot and apple with a hint of ginger makes this smoothie refreshing and delicious.
  • 1 large Mango peeled, stoned and cut into chunks.
  • 1 large Carrot topped and tailed and cut into chunks(no need to peel)
  • 1 Cox's apple cored and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 inch of Ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • Juice of half a lemon and 50 ml water

1. Add all the ingredients into the Optimum 9400 jug and blend for 1 minute.2. Pour into serving glasses and serve immediately.
Prep time: Blend time: 1 Total time: Yield: serves 2

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Honey Afternoon Tea at St Ermin's Hotel London

St Ermins Hotel is in the heart of London, a short walking distance from St James's Park Station. Set in an iconic location in central London, close to Buckingham Palace, the hotel is truly grand in decor and look. It is built upon the site of a 15th century chapel dedicated to St. Ermin. The hotel boasts beautiful sweeping staircases, alcoves filled with lovely sofas and books so that you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea and a book or a quiet drink with friends at the bar.

Amongst other facilities there is a bar, terrace, grill and a library with a tea lounge which serves the most beautiful Honey themed afternoon. At St Ermin's  on the 3rd floor you will also find their own Bee and Bee hotel where you can view safely behind glass doors 350,000 bees living in special Hexagonal shaped suites.

The honey afternoon tea is inspired by the bees and its nice to know that for every Honey Afternoon tea purchased in October a donation of £1.00 will go to wards the BBKA to support their work with honey bees. Further more you also get to adopt your own bee and get an adoption certificate too.

I was really lucky to be invited to St Ermins with my two blogger friends Heidi and Manjiri to sample the tea. The hotel was able to cater for our dietary needs by providing a classic afternoon tea and also a gluten free tea and a vegetarian option too. Be warned this post will make you super hungry!!!!

We started with bottomless prosecco, well my friends did whilst I sipped on my freshly squeezed orange juice. Next came the tea menu there were lots of beautiful tea options but being a true Indian  nothing beats masala tea so I opted for that.

The waitress brought our afternoon tea on a beautiful three tiered stand, each layer was designated to our individual dietary needs. We enjoyed an array of mouthwatering sandwiches such as goats cheese with apricot chutney and bee pollen, cottage cheese with carrots, sultanas, shallots and honey truffle sauce, grilled mushroom with artichoke tapenade on wholemeal bread, honey and roasted squash with rocket pesto on rye bread and lastly my favorite the red pepper hummus with caramelised onion on white bread.

Next came the sweet treats, orange and yoghurt mousse pots, chocolate and espresso cups, jasmine cake with lemon frosting. The mousse was velvety and smooth and the jasmine cake was so delectable and aromatic that I could have easily eaten a couple more.

There were more sweet treats to follow, but before we devoured them we needed a break so we chatted over endless top ups of prosecco and orange juice.

Next came the white chocolate and honey macaroon, matcha sponge with yuzu and honey creme mousseline and blackberry gel and a delicious vanilla tart with a gold lustre raspberry.

With more pots of fresh tea we thought our afternoon tea feast was over how wrong we were, the waitress arrived with a basket of freshly baked scones.

The melt in the mouth scones served with dollops of fresh cream and strawberry jam were light and airy and perfectly scrumptious.

We most certainly enjoyed our delectable spread and surprisingly the afternoon tea turned into a four hour affair. We were having so much fun that we almost forgot to visit the Bees on the third floor.

Although the evening was closing in we did get a couple of pictures to remind us of the amazing honey themed tea we had enjoyed and also to adopt our own Bee. I have named my bee Buzzbee and I am honoured to receive my adoption certificate and a bottle of St Ermin's honey as a gift.

The Honey afternoon tea is £29.00 per person and you can upgrade it to get unlimited prosecco for £35.00 per person. Considering the grandeur of the hotel, the variety of the food and the location this afternoon tea offers great value for money.

I was a guest at St Ermin's Hotel, all views and opinions shared are my own as are all the photographs.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Cherry Tomato Risotto in Lakeland Pressure Cooker

My childhood memories stem back to recollection of my mother cooking in the kitchen. She did not have any electrical gadgets and all the grinding, crushing and pulsing was done in the pestle and mortar or on a large stone. She would grate all her vegetables using a hand held grater there was no kitchen aid on hand or blenders either. The only gadget I ever saw that she had was her trusted pressure cooker. I would hear it hissing and steaming as she cooked her pulses and grain in it every day.

Pressure cookers if you are not used to them can appear rather frightening to use but actually they are not. Some care and attention and safety rules are required such as never use a pressure cooker with out any liquid in it, ensure the seals are not damaged or broken, the gasket is not damaged and the valves are not blocked. Lastly its important not to overfill a pressure cooker but close the lid properly before putting it on the heat. Once the cooking process is compete ensure that the steam release vent is opened and all the steam has escaped before opening. These few instructions will ensure a very happy relationship with your pressure cooker.

I recently needed to upgrade my pressure cooker which was getting old and I could not get the correct spare parts for it, so keeping safety in mind I sourced a new pressure cooker. My new pressure cooker is the  Sitra Pro Graphalogie 8L pressure cooker from Lakeland. It comes complete with silicon steam basket and a lifting tool. The pressure cooker can be operated with one hand, has a quick glance cooking times and built in safety features. I like the cooker as its easy to clean, has good heat distribution, can be used on gas cooker or hob and it preserves flavour and nutrients. It cuts cooking time of pulses by 60 percent. This is important to me as I cook with a lot of pulses since I am a vegetarian. The Pressure cooker retails at £109.00 and its available from Lakeland website and in store too.

print recipe

Cherry Tomato Risotto
Creamy and delicious risotto cook with simple Italian flavours.
  • 250 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 250 g Risotto Rice
  • 500 ml Passatta
  • 250 ml Water
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium white onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli flakes (Optional)
  • 60 g Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

1. In the pressure cooker add the oil and wait for it to heat up. Once hot add onions and garlic and saute the onions until pink and translucent.
2. Add the rice and then add the pasatta, water, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and mix together. Bring the liquid to boil.Add the tomatoes, I like to keep them whole.3. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and press the regulator down and into the cook position.(This is indicated by the pressure cooker symbol) and cook the rice for 18 minutes on medium heat 4. Release the pressure from the cooker and stir the risotto, it should be quite wet and the rice should be cooked but a l dente. At this point if the mixture appears dry add a little bit more water. The risotto should be rich and creamy in texture.The rice grains should be holding shape.5. Stir in the oregano and transfer the risotto to serving bowls, add grated Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4

NB- This recipe can be made on the stove top instead of using the pressure cooker but the cooking time will be longer.

***I was sent the Sitra Pro Graphalogie  8L pressure cooker from Lakeland to test it out in my kitchen, all views and opinions are my own as are the photographs.
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