Make tender cuts of meat, savoury stews and flavourful soups with a pressure cooker!
Pressure cooking is a safe and efficient process of cooking food using water (or other cooking liquid) in a sealed vessel which doesn’t let air or liquids escape below a pre-set temperature. The small amount of water used makes the food cook quickly and saves flavours and colour. Due to the short cooking time the food retain its vitamins and minerals.
They are typically made of aluminium or stainless steel. Aluminium cookers are cheaper but can’t be used in a dishwasher and is less durable.
There are three different ways to release the pressure after cooking. Recipes for pressure cookers state which one of these methods that are suitable for the best result. This is important to avoid under-cooked or over-cooked food.
The pressure cooker from Morphy Richards (picture above) is in fine brushed stainless steel and has a 6 litre capacity. It comes with a safe pressure release valve, a searing/browning function, a countdown cooking timer and delay timer. Includes trivet and basket.
Juicing fruits and specially vegetables is a very healthy habit. A juicer is a great way to detox, lose some weight and to keep away from colds. Many people and specially kids might find that they can’t eat a certain vegetable but most people can happily drink it when the flavours are hidden amongst others. A few tips:
- Always include the white part of lemons, oranges and grapefruit as it contains vitamins, antioxidants and anticancer properties
- Always peel oranges as the skin can cause problems with digestion
- Remove apple seeds as they contain small amounts of toxic substances
- Lemon, grape and melon seeds are very healthy
- Drink the juice shortly after preparation for best taste and health benefits
- Focus on the vegetables but include a small amount of fruit to taste
- Carrot and beetroot give a beautiful sweet flavour and a lot of antioxidants
- Include one watery vegetable such as carrot or celery to help dilute the too strong flavours
- Juice soft fruits last
Our favourite recipe:
1 stick celery
1 cup spinach
6 green apples
1/4 peeled lime
1/2 inch fresh ginger
Mix all ingredients and pour into a glass with a lot of ice
Enjoy a healthy life!
A crêpe is a very thin pancake, savoury or sweet. The word is of French origin and from the Latin ‘crispa’ meaning ‘curled’.
- Refrigerate the batter for at least one hour before making the crêpes as this ‘relaxes’ the gluten and makes them light, airy
- Use a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan with non stick coating for best results
- Don’t flip too early
- Over-butter the first crêpe
- Strain the batter to ensure there’s no lumps
- Can be in the freezer up to 4 months
- Layer them on a non-stick baking paper before freezing them in. Cover with foil and place in plastic bags
- Let frozen crêpes thaw in room temperature for about an hour and heat it gently in a skillet, alternatively reheat them in the oven
Pies are defined by their crust and have either savoury or sweet fillings. Making the pie crust can seem difficult and may put people off, but it’s actually very simple! There are 4 standard ingredients in a pie crust; flour, fat, liquid and salt. The flour forms the structure and bulk of the crust.
- Pie dough may be refrigerated up to 2 days and up to 3 months if frozen
- Squeeze a clump gently between your fingers and the dough should stick together with small dry cracks if the dough has the right amount of liquid
- Always keep pastry cold before you bake it
- Use a food processor and not your fingers as they would warm up the butter and can result in a stodgier pastry
- Cut a lot of small vent holes in the top crust to prevent the crust to rising and forming air pockets
- Dip a knife in warm water before cutting the pie and the filling will not stick to it
Vacuum packaging is a revolutionary way to store food. Simply save the leftovers and always have a home cooked meal in the freezer ready to go. Vacuum packing removes the air from the package prior to sealing and extends food freshness up to 5 times longer than conventional storage. It keeps the flavour and moisture in the food. By removing the oxygen, the volume reduces and the package is than very easy to store. Vacuum packaging limits the growth of aerobic bacteria and fungi.
A ‘freezer burn’ can occur when food are frozen without preparation. However, this method reduces ‘freezer burn’ by preventing the food from exposure to cold and dry air.
Vacuum packaging gives a perfect and quick result for marinating. By creating a vacuum, the pores in the food opens up and allows the flavours to marinade to infuse much more quickly.
Dry food as cheese, nuts, biscuits, cereal, coffee and crisps can be stored for a long period of time. It can also be used to store fresh food such as meat, vegetable, fruit and liquid. A foodsaver can be used to reseal products in their original packaging such as chips and biscuits.
The practical FoodSaver bags can be used in boiling water to defrost the food or in a microwave and they can be re-used. They are usable for storage, marinating and for transport.
The adorable Cake Pops with its soft and chewy inside and sweet coating on the outside are hard to resist. Good news – they aren’t as tricky to make as it may look like!
A cake pop is a form of cake, styled as a lollipop. Cake pops are attached to lollipop sticks and they can be a way of using up leftover cake or cake crumbs. Any flavours can be used, only the mind is the limit. Most of the the time that takes to make them is only the fun part – shaping and decorating!
Cake pops can be used for many occasions, as the many ways to make them are unlimited. They suit christmas, birthdays, weddings, halloween, baby showers, valentine’s day, new years eve etc.
- Refrigerate the cake pops before dipping them to ensure they keep their form and stay hard
- Dip the stick in chocolate before inserting it so it doesn’t fall off during the dipping process
- Dip it smooth and quick
- Never double dip as it can crack
- Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes after mixing to prevent it from sticking
What is your favourite cake pop?
Looking for a fun activity for the hot summer days? What’s better than making your own ice cream!
Let’s think outside the box, be bold and try new different flavours. What would you think about mango seaweed ice cream? Or why not sweet potato, wasabi, corn or carrot ice cream? More tips of what you can use to make a unique ice cream:
- Herbs – basil, mint
- Spices – cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, saffron
- Candy/Chocolate – peppermint rock, maltesers, oreo
- Tea - peppermint, chamomile, vanilla
- Booze – Whisky, nut or fruit flavoured liquors
- Dairy – coconut milk, cream cheese, sour cream
To think about!
Remember that booze softens the ice cream as alcohol can’t freeze. Add it lightly when the base still is liquid, but cold. Jams (which have most of the water cooked out of them) don’t get icy when frozen as candied fruits do. If using crunchy ingredients as pretzel or cereal, make sure to eat the ice cream within a couple of days as the crunchiness doesn’t last for long. When using acidic ingredients as lemon, citrus and blueberry you will need to add them when the base is cold and be careful about how much you use – otherwise it may curdle the milk.
One delicious dessert for summer is to make ice cream sandwiches. Simply bake cookies and put ice cream on one of them put another one on top and put it in the freezer for it to sit. What about chocolate cookies with home made vanilla ice cream?
Looking for a good ice cream maker? The Breville Ice Cream Maker does the trick. It makes the perfect mixture and has 12 hardness settings. This is the first ice cream maker that automatically senses the hardness of the mixture based on your selection. It keeps the ice cream cool for up to three hours.
It comes with a transparent lid, BPA free parts and removable paddle and bowl.
Have fun – and do not forget to experiment!
The Sunbeam Emjoi Epilator gives a perfect result and super smooth skin up to 6 weeks for all types of hair removal. It is perfect for legs, underarms, bikini line and face. It follows the shape of your body and has massaging heads as well as 24 carat gold tweezers.
Epilating can be painful, as with waxing as it pulls the hair out of the roots. The first time epilating is the worst and some people prefer to start having the area professionally waxed and then use epilation to remove regrowth. Even if epilating can be painful, ongoing epilation reduces the amount of hair regrowth and it grows out thinner.
It may appear that hair grows back darker but it only grows back in its natural colour.
- Use a exfoliator to get rid of dead skin before epilating
- The best way to epilate is directly after a hot shower or using a waterproof epilator in the bath
- Make sure the skin is completely dry
- Brush your body daily by using a dry body brush to exfoliate the skin and to allow weakend hairs a chance to break through the skin
- Do not start with the ankle as this is the most sensitive part of your leg
- Go slowly so the tweezers will be able to grab the hair properly
- The skin can be reddened after epilating so do not epilate just before the big night out
- Apply a body lotion after epilating
This new 31L stainless steel microwave from Panasonic has an inverter cooking technology and cooks food evenly, preserves texture and flavour, avoids messy spill-overs and burnt edges. It features pre-programmed cooking and reheating cycles that adjust power to match food being cooked. Comes with 13 sensor cook menues, turbo defrost and child lock. It has a half mirror glass door, a pop up dial and a large LCD display.
The Breville Bread Maker has all the features a brand maker could ask for. Choose from a gluten free setting to yeast free, jam, rapid bake, crusty load and much more. Pick one of four different load sizes – 1.25kg, 1kg, 750g or 500g.
It comes with a ’60 minute power interruption protection’ which makes the bread maker continue to operate after a short interruption.
There is a dispenser that automatically add fruit or nuts at the optimum time.
A hold Button can light the pan which enables you to see how your bread is going at any stage without opening the lid.
Start to bake your own bread with this machine and you will get delicious, perfect bread at your own taste with a lovely crust on the base and sides!