The past month has been so busy for me. We have been celebrating birthdays and trying to buy a house so baking has taken a little back seat. I have however tried some new products and done a little bit of special baking so here is a little update of what has been going on in my kitchen.
I have been really struggling with my scales. The batteries constantly need replacing and eventually the link between the scales and the batteries packed up. I was in need of some new scales so I could continue baking when Judges offered me some Solar Kitchen Scales to review.
I loved the idea of these scales with no batteries. They are priced at £24.99 a little bit more expensive than bog standard scales but not after you have bought all those replacement batteries! These scales need 30 seconds to power up if they have been kept in a dark drawer so remember to make sure the display has kicked in before starting to weigh. These scales won't work very well in dim light so are probably only good for you if you bake in a nice, brightly lit area. I also found the scales take a little while to update so pouring in slowly is recommended. The scales have different settings for different weight measurements and can weigh both liquid and solids. I am continuing to use these but do sometimes struggle in low light and would love them to come in different colour options.
I made this tiered berry Victoria sponge for my Mum's birthday and used this Nielsen- Massey Vanilla Bean Paste to flavour the sponge. It added a lovely authentic vanilla flavour to the cake and was much admired by everyone who had slice of cake.
I also tried my hand at some more macarons and this is definitely something I need to perfect but everyone loved the flavours. I used this recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons
and some Tangy Lemon Macarons which I made using this recipe
and adding lemon zest to the egg white mix and lemon curd filling.
Higgidy kindly sent me some vouchers so I could try some of their new quiches and pies. First up I tried the Spinach, Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche. I tried this both cold and hot from the oven and really enjoyed it both ways for a tasty lunch. I especially like the poppy seeds worked into the pie crust. The only thing I would say is be careful to check your teeth for spinach and poppy seeds after eating!
Next up my eye caught the Slow Cooked Steak and Red Wine Pie in the supermarket and this little pie did not disapoint. We have had a bit of an odd and stressful month but we enjoyed this little gem for Greg's birthday quick lunch and it was absolutely lovely. The beef was very tender and pastry was flaky and yummy. A perfect little treat.
Thank you to Judges, Nielsen-Massey and Higgidy for sending me products to try. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.
I love a bit of Wagamama's food and it is one of our regular weekday evening meetups at the Southbank Centre near Waterloo.
This year the Wagamama Lounge returned to Bestival with a selection of delicious dishes and awesome Djs. They asked their fans to record their Bestival experience to make Wagamama's official Bestival video! Lots of my friends attended Bestival this year so here is your chance to try and spot yourself in this video!
For news, competitions and more visit their Facebook page.
This is a sponsored post.
Ski yogurt are celebrating their 50th birthday and asked me if I could try one of their new products and create a simple serving suggestion. To match with my blog Ski asked me to try the new Lemon Cheesecake Dessert flavour. The yogurt is low in fat and tastes just like lemon meringue with little surprise pieces of biscuit in the yogurt.
I had a think and in the end decided on a Lemon Cheesecake Eton Mess. This really is soooo simple, it involved no cooking and just quickly adding ingredients together but makes a really easy and tasty dessert. This is perfect if you have friends round and don't want to be in the kitchen for ages away from the conversation! The light, lemony and berry flavours are great for a burst of summer taste.
To make you will need:
Ski Lemon Cheesecake yogurt
Raspberries or other summer berries
- Layer crushed meringue, Ski Lemon Cheesecake yogurt and summer berries.
- Top with a little lemon zest.
This also looks very impressive in one of the little meringue nests.
NB: I was sent Ski yogurts to try and was reimbursed for my serving suggestion creation.
Around this time of year everyone in the office starts bringing in the courgettes that have been neglected from the veg patch. They can be wonky, large, and strange looking but can make the basis for a really hearty meal so I always take them home and cook them up.
Many of you probably make this meal yourselves but for those of you who don't this is a super, simple filling dinner. You could stuff this with a vegetarian ratatouille or a medley of bits and bobs from the fridge using a can of tomatoes as a base. I chose to fill mine with some free range mince and top with breadcrumbs and cheese.
Makes 4 portions:
1 oversized courgette/marrow
1 packet of free range beef mince (could use pork too)
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
Handful of grated cheese
1 slice of bread - made into breadcrumbs
Any other bits of veg found in the fridge
Enjoy! I served mine with spinach and mini roasted potatoes.
- Heat the oven to 180C and cut the marrow into half and then half again.
- Take out the middle of the marrow so that you have four little boats.
- Place the marrows in a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil and put in the oven to soften.
- Meanwhile chop the onion and soften in oil and the herbs in the pan.
- Fry the mince with the onion and when brown add the tomato puree, the chopped insides of the marrow and any other bits of veg you would like.
- Take the marrows out of the oven and place the mince mix into the marrows and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.
- Bake until the marrow is soft and the breadcrumbs are brown and the cheese has melted.
As this uses up a languishing courgette and bits and bobs from the fridge I am entering this into my no waste food challenge which this month is being hosted by the fabulous Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen.