Summer Tastes with Manu

Manu

I got the opportunity to have a chat with Manu Feildel when we did his Summer tastes cooking demonstration at Highpoint Shopping Centre’s Fresh Food Mall.  I got to ask him for his tips and tricks on Summer barbequing and best ideas for picnics.

Click on the link below to watch my one-on-one interview with Manu thanks to Murray Valley Pork.

http://youtu.be/QckalUwiiTQ

 

Bon Apetite,

Cherrie

My review of the Tefal OptiGrill

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Thanks to Bing Lee, I was given the opportunity to test and review the Tefal OptiGrill.

The OptiGrill is one of Tefal’s popular kitchen products.

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Product features:

It cooks 6 different types of meat plus vegetables to different cooking levels.

It automatically adjusts the cooking times for different types and thickness of meat.

The automatic cooking indicator changes colour and beeps to let you know where your cooking level is at.

It has both a manual function (for cooking vegetables) and a frozen function.

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Why I like it:

It comes with a recipe book full of delicious recipes that I have tried and was loved by the family.

It’s “hubby-friendly”.  Since I come home late from work, hubby easily uses the OptiGrill to cook dinner without any fuss.

I love how the cooking indicator changes colour depending on the doneness of your meat.  When it moves to the next level of cooking it will beep. You don’t even need to be in the kitchen while your dinner is cooking.

It’s slick looking.  It can be left out on the bench and it won’t ruin the look of your kitchen :)

Easy to clean.  I dislike using appliances that have 101 pieces that need to be taken apart and washed.  The plates on the grill can be taken off easily and placed in the dishwasher.

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I read reviews online of the grill and I’m not the only ones that love it.

One down side is that it’s too small for a large family.  I can comfortably use it for my family of 2 adults and 2 young children.  When I think of larger families, it may take longer to cook as the plates may be too small.  Meals will need to cooked in batches.

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I first tried cooking lamb chops.  It was recommended to chose boneless meat as the bone will prevent a uniform level for cooking on both sides of the meat.  Since we already had the lamb chops, we tried it anyway.  To me, the chops were cooked perfectly.  We also grilled slices of potatoes.  I used a recipe in the recipe book that came with the grill. You need to make sure you slice the potatoes the same width. The thinner potatoes were not cooking as fast.  I found myself keeping an eye on it and removing ones that were already done.  To me, that’s not too much of a big deal.

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Our next meal was burgers at my son, Thomas’ request. After placing the burgers on the grill, I simply selected the burger option and waited the cooking level indicator to turn to medium.  It was that simple.

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RRP: AUD$229.95

It can be purchased at Bing Lee for $199 (at the time of writing this post)

If you are looking for a grill that is convenient, healthy and easy to use, I suggest you purchase the Tefal OptiGrill.  I’m glad I’ve got one :)

Bon Apetite,

Cherrie

 

Mediterranean Ploughman’s Lunch and Baker’s Delight Pack Giveaway.

bakers delight turkish bread

I had the opportunity to try the new Baker’s Delight Turkish Bread Roll.  They have different flavours to try, including sea salt and chilli and garlic.  I love this roll as it’s not only full of flavour but it’s soft and it can be used as a roll for sandwiches.

I decided to make a ploughman’s lunch and made a chicken liver pate to accompany the delicious bread roll.  I decided to grill the roll to warm it up which brought the flavours out even more.  To complete the platter, I added a ploughman’s flavoured cheese from Mersey Valley, pickled gherkins, celery and apple slices.

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recipe:

  • 200g chicken livers, trimmed and stringy sinews removed.
  • 150g butter, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbs brandy
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 25g melted butter, for topping
  • 2 sprigs of thyme for garnish
  1. Rinse the chicken livers and pat dry with kitchen paper
  2. Melt 15g of the butter in a large frying pan, then add the garlic and onions.  Cook for about 5 mins until softened.
  3. Add the livers and thyme and cook for 3-4 mins continually stirring until the livers are coloured on the outside but pink in the centre.  Pour in the brandy and cook for a further 10 seconds then turn off the heat.  Add the remaining butter and nutmeg to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Set aside for a few minutes for the butter to soften then puree the mixture in batches in a blender until smooth.
  5. Spoon the pate into a 500ml capacity terrine dish and chill.
  6. Melt the extra butter and pour over the pate and place the thyme sprigs on top.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before eating.

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Thanks to Baker’s delight, I have a giveaway pack for my readers to make their own delicious platters.

Pack includes a solid timber bread board, a bread knife, a Baker’s delight bread bag, a recipe card and a $10 Baker’s delight gift voucher.

All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what you would include on your delicious  platter.

Competition is open to all Australian residents and the competition closes midnight 23rd November 2014.  Please share on instagram, facebook and twitter to better your chances.

Competition is now closed and I have chosen a Winner.

AND the winner is …  Emily..  Congratulations.  You will be contacted via email.

 

good luck,

Cherrie.

 

Marbled chocolate crumbled cake

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Cake.  There always has to be cake in my house.  I’m constantly looking for different recipes to try.  I’m glad I found this one by Rachel Allen.

Recipe:

  • 225g soft butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 225g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50ml milk
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • icing  sugar for  dusting

For crumble topping:

  • 125g plain flour, sifted
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75 g cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 75g dark chocolate bits

Make the crumble:

  1. In a bowl, place all the ingredients and mix.  Place the mixture in the fridge.
  2. Mixture must be cold or it will melt before it has a chance to cook.

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180degC (160degC fanforced)
  2. In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar.  Beat with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each addition
  4. Add the flour and baking powder.  Mix gently or it will toughen the cake
  5. Add the milk and vanilla.
  6. Take half of the mixture and place in another bowl.  Sift the cocoa into this mixture and fold gently
  7. Add spoonful of mixtures alternately into a prepared 8inch (20cm) baking tin, then using a butter knife, swirl through to create a swirling pattern with the two batters.
  8. Sprinkle the crumble on top.  Shake the tin a little to even it out
  9. Bake for 50 to 60mins.
  10. Leave to cool for 10mins then take out of the tin
  11. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving

chocolate chip crumble

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

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Cake Bake and Sweets Show Melbourne Giveaway!

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Let Melbourne eat cake!

The inaugural Melbourne Cake Bake and Sweets Show will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on the 3rd to 5th October 2014.

If you have a passion for baking, like myself, or just eating sweets, like Hubby, then you’ll want to head to the event which is devoted to all things baking and the art of baking.  Guests will get the chance to see a line up of some of the best international and home grown baking stars.  Guests like US celebrity chef and TV star Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, and one of Australia’s favourite patissiers, Adriano Zumbo, will have live demonstrations.  You can learn all the tricks of the trade.

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At the show you can shop till you drop, taste till you’re full and watch demonstrations or take part in workshops to become an expert.  For tickets and more information visit their website http://www.cakebakeandsweets.com/melbourne/

I’m happy to announce that I have 4 double passes to give away to this fantastic event and it’s easy to enter.  I will choose the winners randomly and contact successful readers via email so please make sure you provide a valid address.

To enter just follow these 2 easy steps:

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of this post stating why you would love to attend the show.
  • Share this post on Facebook and Twitter.

Please note:

  • The competition is open to all readers who can attend the Melbourne event between 3-5 October 2014 (flights and accommodation will not be provided)
  • Competition ends midnight Friday 26th September 2014

COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED AND I HAVE CHOSEN THE WINNERS.

The winners have been contacted by Email.

The winners are:

Effie B

Rabby

Hilda

MissMiss

Congratulations to all the winners!

I’m excited! Cherrie #HobokenStyleBaby

Cheesecake Brownies

cheesecake brownies

When normal brownies are not indulgent enough.

I love this recipe.  I’ve made it a couple of times already as the family loves it.  It’s a Rachel Allen recipe.  I like homely comforting bakes, especially on a slow sunday afternoon.  It fills the house with a lovely aroma.

Give this recipe a go.  It’s a keeper :)

Recipe:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g self raising flour
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate bits
  • pinch of salt

 

  • cheesecake mixture:
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75g caster sugar

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180degC
  2. Melt the butter with the dark chocolate in a bain marie, stir
  3. Meanwhile, make the cheesecake mixture by adding the 3 ingredients together in a bowl and stir until smooth and creamy.  Put aside.
  4. When the chocolate is melted add the caster sugar, salt and eggs.  Use a wooden spoon to stir.  Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture then add the choc bits.  Mix to combine.
  5. Pour the brownie mix into a prepared 20cm square tin.  Make sure it covers the base of the tin.
  6. Add heaped spoons of the cheesecake mixture all over.  Using a butter knife, swirl to marble.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 mins.  It’s ready when the sides are set but the middle still has a slight wobble.
  8. Sit at least 20 mins to cool before cutting into it.

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In need of comfort this winter: Vetta Pasta with a creamy sausage sauce

 

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It’s cold out.  And when it’s cold out, there’s nothing better than a home cooked meal shared with the family.  I like to eat slow cooked casseroles or ragu that has been simmering away all afternoon.  The problem with winter comfort food though, is that it slowly stacks on your weight without you knowing until it’s summer time. You try to put on your favourite pair of shorts or skirt and find that it no longer fits!

Vetta Pasta

I was introduced to Vetta Pasta’s new Smart Pasta range; one is High Protein Low Carb and the other is Cholesterol Lowering.  These two healthy options comes in different shapes so you can cook any pasta dish you want.

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I tried the High Protein Low Carb Penne and could not taste the difference over traditional pasta.  I have a Nigel Slater recipe that I like to cook for the the family but since I have the healthier pasta, I wanted to change the original recipe to a slighter healthier one too.  I also added a breadcrumb topping to add texture to the dish.  If you don’t use all of the topping, place in an air tight container for use next time.

 

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I have also tried the Cholesterol Lowering Spirals.  If you would like to try Vetta’s recipes for their new range, you can find them here.

 Ingredients:

  • 4 of your favourite pork sausages,taken out of the casing and crumbled
  • olive oil
  • 400g of Vetta Pasta high protein low card Penne
  • 200ml white wine
  • a small handful of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbs of whole grain mustard
  • 200ml light evaporated milk

Method:

  1. Put a large pan of water on boil for the pasta
  2. In a frying pan, add the olive oil.  When hot, add the crumbled sausages and fry till cooked through.
  3. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions
  4. Pour the wine into the frying pan and let it sizzle.  Scrape the bottom of the pan to get anything that got stuck.  Add the chopped basil.
  5. Add salt and the mustard.  Pour in the evaporated milk and bring slowly to a simmer.
  6. Cook for a further minute or two, making sure to stir now and then.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain the tip into the cream sausage sauce.  If too dry add some of  the pasta water.
  8. Serve with a garnish of basil leaves and top with breadcrumb mix. (recipe below)

 

Breadcrumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
  • I clove of garlic, crushed finely
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbs of chopped fresh herbs, any will do ( I used rosemary and parsley)

Breadcrumb mix method:

  1. Pour some olive oil into a frying pan then add the breadcrumbs. Toast a little.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and warm through.  Put aside.

 

Pasta and Ingredients were courtesy of Vetta Pasta and KeepLeft PR

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie