Friday, 27 November 2015

Christmassy Apple and Mixed Berry Jam and the ThermoCook

In the past you have seen that I have been using the Froothie Optimum 9400 and the Optimum 600 Cold press Juicer in the simplyfood kitchens. I can’t stress enough how good both these products are. They do the job of all kitchen gadgets that you have lined up on your kitchen top.

 I have created many delicious recipes using these amazing gadgets and I can't imagine my kitchen without them. They are my best kitchen helper buddies!!!
But now I have some exciting news, to this awesome duo Froothie have added another fantastic gadget the ThermoCook. As a brand ambassador I have had the chance to try out this new addition to the Froothie range. How exciting is that? Santa has come early  it looks like I can start making friends with this new beauty.
What is the ThermoCook?
ThermoCook is a multi-function cooking appliance that has loads of functions. It consists of a large 2 litre stainless steel power blender that blends as well as cooks and steams.  It has over 20 functions that include stirring, steaming, kneading, cooking, blending chopping, whipping, mixing, emulsifying and milling.

The Optimum ThermoCook includes auto-programs that are pre-set to make Smoothie, Quick Soup, Thick Soup, Chop, Sauté, Stir, Steam, Stew, Warm, Reheat, Boil, Yoghurt, Rice, Porridge, Kneading. You can also use the ThermoCook to create your own recipe and save the programme to come back to it again and again.

To test out my ThermoCook I started off by using the steaming facility. Easy does it as I am not that great  when it comes to operating  electrical gadgets, but to my surprise even I managed to set up and use this gadget at a click.!!!

There are three parts to the steamer, the small 2.6 litre steamer, large 3 litre steamer and the lid. I steamed some sweet corn in it using the auto programme "steam" and it came out perfectly cooked. I served it with a knob of butter and a sprinkling of freshly ground Black pepper and Salt. OMG it was delicious, you may think what's in steaming sweet corn its easy!!! I know but conventional methods sometimes leave the sweetcorn kernels shrivelled up and shrunk, instead my corn  retained its freshness and texture the kernels were cooked to perfection.

My second attempt in the ThermoCook was a spiced butternut squash soup. I added chopped onions and chunks of butternut squash in the jug with green chilli, pinch of cumin, salt and water and hit the "Quick soup" function and I had delicious hot piping soup in less than 20 minutes. Things were getting better  and better so impressive!!!

My third attempt was to make Jam. I followed the instructions in the ThermoCook book for plum jam but made Apple and mixed berry jam with cinnamon. I had to use the manual function on the ThermoCook, this took a little more understanding and dial turning but when you have a manual with simple instructions anyone can do it right???  The jam turned out perfect. I think all my friends are now going to get homemade jams and chutneys for Christmas. 

print recipe

Apple and Mixed Berry Jam
Tangy, rich and deliciously spiced with cinnamon this Jam would be perfect for any breakfast.
  • 3 Braeburn Apples
  • 240 g Mixed Berries
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder
  • 1 Lemon
  • 350g Sugar
1. Peel and core the apples and dice them.2. Wash the berries and if large roughly chop.3.Extract the juice from the lemon4. Add all berries,apples,sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice to the Jug of the ThermoCook.(The jug should be fitted with blade assembly blade.)5. Lock the jug in place and set the ThermoCook on speed three, temperature 90 degrees C,heat power 7 and timer on 50 minutes.6. After 50 minutes check the jam temperature using a sugar thermometer, if its at 105 degrees C .Stop the cooking and transfer the jam to a bowl for cooling. If the temperature has not reached 105 degrees cook the jam for another 5 minutes.7. Once jam is cooled transfer it to sterilised bottles.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Jars

If you like the sound of the ThermoCook this is what it comes with:

• 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Includes Return Postage
• 2.0 Litre detachable stainless steel jar for blending and cooking 
• Butterfly and kneading blade 
• Stainless steel blade assembly 
• Large 70x50mm LCD screen 
• Separate Precise Glass Scale 
• Soft silicon rubber spatula 
• Simple pre-set auto programs and unique DIY program 
• Adjustable timer and temperature gauge 
• Dishwasher proof (non-electrical parts only) 
• Comprehensive recipe book 

Currently the ThermoCook is on special offer at £549.00, it may sound steep for a gadget but trust me it really does do everything it states and much more. You can actually prepare your whole meal using this one gadget.Think of all the washing up you will save.

If you want to take advantage of this awesome gadget you can check it out here. 

 Disclosure: Froothie UK sent me the Optimum ThermoCook to use and review at home. I have not been paid for this post and was not required to give the ThermoCook a positive write up. All views and opinions expressed in this post are of my own experience.

Photos of Optimum 9400, Optimum 600 and Optimum ThermoCook were used with permission and supplied by Froothie.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Bombay Sandwich

When I went to India, one of the most common sandwich that was available on every street corner was the Bombay Sandwich. I was really intrigued with the ingredients  potato and spices in a sandwich!!!! Being a foodie I had to try it and trust me I was not disappointed, it was amazing and immediately it became my firm favorite.

It was a wonderful combination of green coriander chutney layered in between toasted bread, thin slices of boiled potato with cucumber, tomato and slices of red onion. The sandwich was delicious and the ingredients did vary slightly from vendor to vendor. I have created my own version of the Bombay Sandwich using the Chunky proper Pickle from English Provender.

print recipe

Bombay Sandwich
Toasted bread rolls layered with spicy sauteed potatoes and garnished with English Pickle, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and red onions.

  • 3 Medium Potatoes Boiled
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 8 Cucumber slices
  • 1 Small red onion thinly sliced in rings
  • 1/2 of each colour Red and Green pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red chilli paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons English Provender chunky Pickle
  • 2 Soft Bread Rolls
1. Slice the potatoes into 5mm thick slices.2. In a bowl add 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic paste, chilli paste, salt, lemon juice and mix together to make the marinade.3. In a shallow dish pour half the marinade and place the potato slices on it. Pour the rest of the marinade onto the potato slices and cover the dish and keep aside for flavours to infuse in potato slices.4. In a frying pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and wait for it to heat, once hot add the pepper slices and saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove them from pan with slotted spoon and keep aside.5. In the same pan add the marinated potato slices and saute them on both sides until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.6. Cut the bread rolls in half and in the same pan place the bread rolls cut side down and brown them slightly. Remove from pan and place the 2 bottom pieces of toasted bread rolls on a serving plate.To make the sandwich. Spread a layer of English Provender chunky Proper Pickle on to the toasted bread. Add a few slices of spicy potatoes, add cucumber, tomatoes, sauteed peppers and finish off with a dollop of English Provender chunky pickle and the onion rings.Place the top part of the toasted bread roll to complete the sandwich.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Sandwiches

I was sent four jars of the English Provender Proper Pickle to sample ; Proper Pickle onion. Proper Pickle Beetroot, Proper Pickle finely chopped and Proper Pickle Chunky. In this recipe I have used the Proper Pickle Chunky.

“This post is an entry into the #ProperPickle Challenge with The English Provender Co and Foodies100”

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Tidbits From my Pantry

At simplyfood we have been enjoying some lovely treats this month. During Chocolate week we were sent some super delicious Haagen Dazs Ice cream. Their new Salted Caramel flavour is gorgeous and no one can beat their classic vanilla. Both ice cream are rich creamy and absolutely delectable.

The only dilemma was whether to eat the ice cream straight from the tub or be sensible and scoop it into a bowl!!!!

We also tried 2 new flavours from Rachels Organics; Cherry and Dark Chocolate and Apple and Butter Scotch . What inventive combinations but the firm family favorite in our house was the apple and butterscotch. It tasted like toffee apples.


Leedammer Cheese slices was also something we tried this month. We were sent samples of  three different types; the Leerdammer light, Leerdammer original, Leerdammer Toastie.

Each pack had eight slices and the packs were easy to open and sealed well for storage.

This is a mild and subtle  flavour cheese that is suitable for vegetarians. It made the perfect toasted jalapeno, tomato and cheese sandwich.

We also enjoyed this cheese in a lovely ploughman's baguette with salad and pickle,

From Heartsease farm we sampled their new apple and rhubarb flavour drink. It is really refreshing and tasted of Autumn.It is a lovely addition to all the other delicious flavours that they already do.

J2O have launched two new great flavours; Midnight Amber a delicious blend of citrus fruits with winter spice. This was absolutely delicious and it would be perfect to serve at Christmas.
The second flavour in the range is Midnight Forest a orange, cherry and chocolate flavour. an innovative combination of classic flavours. Not only were the drinks very unique  but the bottles were really eye catching.

All these samples were sent to us to try at simplyfood. All views and opinions expressed here are of our taste and true.It is always nice to have the opportunity to try out new products 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Vegetarian Chilli ~Secret recipe club November 16th 2015

This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select a recipe and try it and blog about it. For the month of November my assigned blog is Living the Gourmet . The blog is a joint contributed blog by Catherine, Tammy and  Michael, between them they post some wonderful recipes, reviews and photography on the blog. 
Looking through I found some lovely recipes but one I immediately wanted to make was the sweet and spicy vegetarian chilli recipe. I love one pot meals and this is perfect for the winter to prepare and enjoy. I made very slight changes by using the veg that I had in my vegetable box .The recipe was a super success with my family .We enjoyed it with rice and also with pasta.

print recipe

Sweet and Spicy Vegetarian Chilli
A medley of seasonal vegetables cooked together in this rustic bowl of Spicy chilli.
  • 400g Precooked kidney beans
  • 3 thinly sliced Capsicums red/yellow/green
  • 100g Precooked sweet corn
  • 1 Large Courgette diced
  • 200g chopped Tinned tomatoes in juice
  • 1 Medium Sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 1 Finely sliced Red onion
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinergar
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 2 cloves Finely chopped Garlic
  • 1 Finely chopped Green chilli
  • 2 sprig fresh Coriander
1. Add oil in a pan when its hot, add the garlic and onion and saute for a couple of minutes.2. Add the sweet potato and peppers and courgettes and saute for 5 minutes.3. Add the sweetcorn, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and the juice.4. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, green chillies and cook the vegetables until the sweet potato is cooked through. approx 10 minutes.(Add a little water if mixture is dry )5. Add the honey and balsamic vinegar and stir together.6. Transfer the chili to a serving pan and garnish with fresh coriander. You can serve the chilli with rice or pasta.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Serves 4

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