Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Ultimate Manuka Honey, Ginger and Lemon Zinger

When the OH awoke and declared he felt dreadful, it seemed like the perfect time to try out this new range of Manuka Honey from the New Zealand Honey Co. To quote from their marketing material…

“New Zealand Honey Co, producers of 100% pure, authentic honey, has perked up its premium Manuka honey with the addition of lemon and root ginger creating two new exciting honey options that are great for cooking with and must-have’s on anyone’s shopping list this year.

So much more than a sugary sweetener, the new Manuka Honey with Lemon and Manuka Honey with Root Ginger not only taste great but are brilliant functional foods, which provide a number of health benefits, helping you to put a spring in your step! The Manuka Honey with Lemon, with its delicious zesty zing, is packed full of Vitamin C and adds a whole new element to the honey – making it the perfect ingredient for salads and desserts. Smooth and fresh, the honey is also great when added to smoothies and juices, for an extra healing health kick!

Ginger, a store cupboard essential for any food lover - has been used to create New Zealand Honey Co’s deliciously different Manuka Honey and Ginger.”

I simply added a heaped teaspoon of each of the honeys, a splash or orange juice and squeeze of lemon to a cup of hot water (note: in his favourite cup…I think this might have made all the difference!). After tasting simply a spoonful of the honey, the OH declared he felt better already, but enjoyed the drink nonetheless! I think this will definitely become a favourite in our house during times of colds and sore throats!


On an entirely different note, I’m hoping to use the ginger honey next in a Cajun honey chicken recipe served with spinach and mash. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Both honeys have a RRP of £9.99 and are available from Morrisons. For further information on New Zealand Honey Company and honeys visit .

Disclaimer: Although I was sent products to try for the purpose of this post, all views and opinions are entirely my own, truthful and honest.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Perfect Mash?

In my question to find the perfect mash, I usually opt for the shop bought, ready-made variety with potatoes, milk/cream and salt and pepper. I can never be bothered with the phaff of peeling, boiling, then trying the mash the potatoes without them turning into wallpaper paste. However, I was recently sent a potato ricer to try. And not just any ricer: this is an Oxo Good Grips 3 in 1 Ricer. There’s a removable disc on the end that you can rotate to choose how fine you’d like your mash to be. You can also use for fruit purees, etc. It sits nicely on top of the bowl, but as it’s so deep, there’s little space left underneath for the potato!


Before beginning, I asked Twitter their opinion on the perfect mash. Comments ranged from cracking an egg into it, along with butter, milk and seasoning ( ‏@JoeLeShark ) to leaving them to steam for several minutes after boiling to ensure the mash doesn’t go soggy ( @janetravers ) to doing it the Michelin way and using a 40/60 ratio of fat to mash as the potato is there only to ensure the butter and cream do not split! ( @PaulLomax )

So, first and foremost I chose a Desiree potato that stated it was perfect for mashing. Then peeled, chopped into large pieces to minimise the amount of water absorbed, and boiled. Next, I drained and returned to the hot pan on the lowest heat to steam for several minutes.


Now to begin the ricing process! I chose the finest setting by rotating the disc until it clicked into place, then piled the potatoes high and began to close the ricer. It surprised me how easily they went through the mesh, and the process itself was really quite enjoyable!



The potato was very fine and, although it did contain small lumps, these were soon whisked out with the addition of the tasty stuff! I had 1.2 kg of potatoes so chose to add 200ml milk, 200ml crème fraiche and 100g butter. Plus salt, pepper and a good grating of nutmeg. Not quite the Michelin proportions suggested!



And in my book, the perfect mash should be part of the old favourite, Bangers and Mash with onion gravy! I roasted the sausages in my new Medium roaster from Great British Bakeware until dark brown and sticky, then served.



And the ricer went in the dishwasher, so no washing up either!

Disclaimer: Although I was sent products to try for the purpose of this post, all views and opinions are entirely my own, truthful and honest.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Garlic & Bacon Chicken

Last week, I was, as usual, scrabbling around in the bottom of the fridge trying to come up with something to do with two chicken breasts and some smoked bacon. There wasn’t a lot else left to make any sort of sauce, so I settled on a simple, but tasty, garlic butter stuffed and bacon wrapped dinner.

Recently, I have been sent several products to trial in the kitchen to help with any recipes. So this was the perfect time to try out the Medium roaster from Great British Bakeware. I go through roasting tins faster than anyone I know, probably because I usually opt for the cheapest, so I was a little hesitant to use such a nice one, fearing I will never be able to give it the care it deserves. Anyway, I followed the simple preparation instructions of washing the tin, then began to create the chicken.


It’s simply a case of slitting open the breast, with the mini-fillet left attached to act as a wrapper. Then adding crushed garlic and butter. Roll the fillet and wrap in bacon. Place into the roasting tin and pop into a pre-heated oven. I had the oven up high to begin with in order to give the bacon a good chance at going crispy, then turned it down to ensure the chicken cooked through, then up again at the end to brown.


Apologies for the lack of pictures of the finished dinner but we ate it before there was a chance! It was, however, a quick and tasty dinner. I served it with mash.

And the roasting tin? Well, I left it sitting while we ate, then cleaned it up after. With warm soapy water, the burnt crispy bits slid off easily with a nylon-type sink brush. It still looks like new, although I’ve only used it once. I feel the real trial for this product will be how well it fares when I get sloppy with the ‘looking after’ of it in terms of not using metal utensils, leaving it for three days before cleaning, etc. You know the type of thing! I’ll let you know.

Disclaimer: Although I was sent products to try for the purpose of this post, all views and opinions are entirely my own, truthful and honest.

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