Post in association with Breville

cauliflower hummus recipe

I seem to have become a bit obsessed lately with roasted cauliflower. Often when I’m pottering about in the mornings at the weekend, doing fun stuff like emptying the bins, I’ll chop up a cauliflower, pop it in the oven and then casually nibble a floret or two every time I go past.

GET ME.

(NB: an entire cauliflower is a bit much to eat all at once and can give you tummy ache.)

I just LOVE cauliflower so much though. If you ever want to impress me through the medium of roast dinner, then include a side of cauliflower cheese. That’s literally all you need to do.

When Breville got in touch recently then to ask if I fancied using the Breville Blend Active Accessory Pack to make my own hummus, I was like ‘Cauliflower? What?’ I had my roasting tray out before you could say ‘creamy cheese sauce’.

I’ve written before about the Breville Blend Active, when I came up with four unusual smoothie recipes, and the accessories pack works in combination with this to give you a whole load of extra features, including:

  • a compact food processor
  • a grinding mill
  • a whipping disc (ooer)
  • and a citrus juicer

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Here’s a scenario that may sound all too familiar…

It’s 7.45am. You’re behind schedule already, still have cats to feed and a child to ‘encourage’ to school, and you’re making yourself a piece of toast. It’s a good piece of toast too – thickly sliced and real butter.

And then the worst happens.

You drop the toast on the floor. Fortunately it lands butter side up, so you quickly swoop down and pick it up. Five second rule right?

I KNOW this is going to sound familiar because I did a poll on Twitter and rather worryingly, a shocking 46% of people believed that the five second rule was a legitimate thing. Like there is some kind of unspoken law amongst floor bacteria that if you see food fall on the floor you have to count to five in your head before you’re allowed to clamber aboard.

(Note to self: do bacteria have a concept of time? Probably not.)

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but this does NOT HAPPEN. It doesn’t even help if you blow on the toast, or sort of brush at it with the back of your hand. The research is pretty conclusive on this one. I’m not saying I don’t DO it, but it’s not SCIENCE.

I did the poll on the back of research from FoodSaver Fresh, which identified some of the top food myths around storing and eating food. I thought it might be fun to compare the FoodSaver Fresh research results with the results of my own polls – surely the kind of people who follow my witty, intelligent thoughts on Twitter are the kind of people who are going to be clued up when it comes to food hygiene right?

WRONG.

In the FoodSaver findings, only 25% of respondents believed in the five second rule. We were not off to a good start. View Post

Post in association with Tenderstem® broccoli

Tenderstem recipe

I don’t know how normal it is to have a specific memory associated with Tenderstem® broccoli, but it always makes me think of my Gran. After she had a stroke in her late 70s and couldn’t drive any more we’d take her food shopping every Saturday morning. Tenderstem® broccoli was something that I remember always being in the trolley, along with moussaka ready meals and rich tea fingers.

I mean sure, my memory is poor, and sometimes I forget entire conversations that happened only a week ago, but I’m going with the whole broccoli thing because it leads me so nicely into this post. Also I checked with my mum on our family WhatsApp group, (which I’m sure you can imagine is a veritable PARTY IN A PHONE), and she said ‘I can’t say I remember particularly, but I like it!’ and that’s good enough for me.

‘Broccoli is brilliant as part of Slimming World,’ she added, ‘as it’s a speed food and full of good things! I’ve eaten a lot of it over the last 18 months!’

‘Well,’ I said, smoothly, ‘you want to get to Iceland then, as they have just become the exclusive stockist of frozen Tenderstem® broccoli!’

‘I will make it my mission!’ replied my mum.

Oh the fun we have.

(My new found love of Iceland has become a bit of a family joke of late. Sometimes I say ‘hashtag ad’ when I talk about it. I seriously think my family might disown me if I bang on about the Sicilian Lemon Tartlets once more, but they weren’t complaining when I bought our entire New Year’s Day buffet lunch from Iceland were they?)

Anyway.

I was challenged to come up with a recipe using frozen Tenderstem® broccoli, and I decided on linguine with a homemade pea and mint pesto, (because I love peas), topped with Tenderstem® broccoli and a poached egg. The poached egg is where the challenge element comes in, as I am RUBBISH at poached eggs. You don’t get good at something without practice though right?

*makes nervous face* View Post

I had a BAD morning yesterday.

We’ve been away quite a lot over Christmas and New Year and as a result my fridge has been a little neglected. I had a bit of clear out on Sunday and had to throw away the following items:

  • Half a bunch of celery (bendy)
  • A box of mushrooms (mushy, forming a puddle in the drawer)
  • Half a punnet of grapes (shrivelled like my face in the mornings)
  • One kiwi fruit (Yuk)
  • A bunch of coriander (sad times)

It made me feel bad.

dirty old fridge

My fridge

In my defence, I did balance it out a bit by using half the celery and a lot of slightly iffy tomatoes to make accidental* homemade alphabet spaghetti, (recipe below), but it still made me feel terrible.

Top food waste culprits

Do you remember me writing recently about the FoodSaver Fresh system? The FoodSaver Fresh is a vacuum sealing solution that keeps food fresh for twice as long as conventional fridge methods like zip seal bags, foil and cling film. View Post

sherry trifle recipe

My Grandad on my Dad’s side was famous for making a sherry trifle with so much sherry in it that after one bowlful you weren’t really fit to drive home. I’d guess I’d never really thought about it, but my Grandad’s sherry trifle is really the only time I have ever eaten a sherry soaked sponge, I mean, when else would you?? When I was making this reduced calorie sherry trifle with SPLENDA® then, and tasted the bottom sponge layer, I was back in their neat and tidy semi, slipping about on the parquet floor, getting the spoons from the sideboard in the dining room.

I made this Christmas sherry trifle to take to my breastfeeding group Christmas party this weekend. Although none of us have had our boobs anywhere near a baby for years, we still manage to remember to meet up most months for dinner. It’s a very special group of friends.

The trifle though stirred up some people’s not so positive trifle memories.

‘I’m not really a fan of all the jelly and tinned fruit,’ said my friend Helen, trying to be polite but looking a bit appalled at the prospect.

‘Don’t worry,’ I reassured her, ‘this is a very sophisticated trifle.’

And it really is. View Post

I don’t miss much as a freelancer. I don’t miss having to be at an office by 9am every morning, I don’t miss being told what to do by people who I can’t help but feel are essentially stupider than me, and I don’t miss the politics of who said what to who.

I DO miss the office Christmas parties though. Free food, free drinks, photocopying each other’s bits. (Okay, so I never did that, but it’s always what happens in films.) It’s FUN. It’s the one time of the year when everyone gets that war time spirit and bands together, like ‘you know what? It might be awful here, but we’ve got each other! I love you guys!’

Etc etc.

When I get invited to Christmas blogger events then, I’m all over them like a hungry kitten with a can of tuna. You know that bit at the end, where a kitten is so desperate for the last scraps that they’re licking the tin until it’s sliding around the floor? That was me at the thought of the Iceland Christmas event I went to last Saturday.

Iceland Christmas food

I was extra excited because I already KNOW how ace Iceland’s Christmas range is. I’ve been working with them for around six months now and I’m sure you’re bored of me telling you over and over how impressed I’ve been with the quality of the food, but what can I say? It’s ALL TRUE. View Post