Essential – Coffee Machine

Well Christmas month is upon us, winter weather is here and shopping gets frenetic. Fortunately I am organised and a lot of my shopping has been online. Just a few bits and bats to get. I don’t know about anyone else but I could not live without my coffee machine and this week my old friend gave up the ghost and was consigned to the coffee pot graveyard…so so sad! So new one it had to be. I did a little bit of researching online as well as chatting to some of my barista mates and decided to get the Nespresso M190 by Magimix. Took a chunk off my Christmas savings but can’t live without my coffee. It is one of the great pleasures in my life – a good cup of coffee. I like my day to start with a latte, mid morning is expresso time and lunch is whatever is special at our favouorite coffee shop, I love to try new flavours – currently its a ginger shot in my latte, lovely. Evenings I like a cafe mocha mmmm whats your preferences? Searching for my machine I stumbled very happily onto a site called cosy coffee shops, a little gem, go visit and see for yourselfJoe and The juice 2 shot lattes.

Talking of money, well after coffee that is the most talked about subject with me and my friends!!  I was talking about how much the nespresso had cost and she told me how she could earn money online with Ferratum loans, its all about being an affiliate. Thought I might take a look at the idea see what is out there, nothing to lose and everything to gain, wouldn’t mind replacing money spent on the nespresso!

Bits and Bobs

xmas app for android my must have for xmas planning

A lot of the xmas apps are out now helping you to choose your wine, your menu, baking xmas gifts.  I wouldnt be without my xmas organiser used one last year and loved it!! The choice is a bit overwhelming though, one fun list of xmas apps can be found here.  Another site I found had top chefs listing their kitchen must haves, interesting but some I found a bit odd, what do you think? Don’t forget to look on Pinterest Boards and even put your own up so that you get the kitchen gift you really want.

I went to buy my pet food this week and the shop had been refurbished, only a small space so the wall mounted dispensers for the dog and cat food where a great idea. So much so I have pinched the idea for my kitchen. I am struggling for space and thought these would be ideal for dispensing pasta, beans, coffeebeans. Couldn’t wait for them to be picked up as a present idea or not,  so I ordered them from Amazon.co.uk hopefully they will arrive this week. Another thing I have always had in my kitchen is a wooden spoon, goes back to my days learning to bake with my grandma. Despite all my silicone and stainless steel tools I still love a wooden spoon. I have some I bought in Africa and others in Istanbul. Some are carved some are plain but whenever I go to stir my pots they are normally the ones I pick out first. In fact it was on a flight to Istanbul that I found this excellent article on wooden spoons and their place in a modern kitchen, I like it when I find articles that agree with me, don’t you?

wall mounted kitchen dispensers fantastic space saving ideabeautiful hand crafted wooden spoons for the modern kitchen

 

 

Sous Vide Comeback

I’m a huge fan of fresh ingredients and slow cooking. So, it’s no wonder that I’m glad that sous vide style of cooking has become popular in certain circles. Sous vide is a form of cooking where the ingredients are put in vacuum sealed bags and then immersed in water till they become fully cooked. This form of cooking retains the food’s taste and all the necessary nutrients. This form of cooking is considered healthier because you are likely to get a lot more nutrition from the food when you cook this way.

SousVideFoodVsTraditional

Slow cooking makes both meat and vegetables taste incredibly good, so you don’t have to worry about compromising on the taste of the food. If you want to try sous vide cooking at home, you need to have the right vacuum bags and they are easy to find. In order to make sure that the food is cooked fine, make sure you buy good vacuum bags. The food will also taste better if you use fresh meat and vegetables when cooking in this manner. Make sure that the ingredients are kept in the fridge before you place them in the vacuum bags, and unseal the bag immediately after you take it out of the bath.

There are tonnes of sous vide cooking recipes on the internet, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wrong

 Japanese Knives vs Western Knives

If you have ever been to a food forum or a recipe forum, you might have noticed some arguments about Japanese knives vs Western knives. Some people do not realize there is a difference between the both, but to those who are passionate about cooking, there is a world of difference.

Japanese knives are rather long and use hard steel. The knives are usually bevelled only on one side too. These knives are incredibly light as well. These are the more exclusive knives- and the price tag is also rather exclusive.  Japanese knives come in many sizes, depending on the kind of food they are to be used on. The main idea is to cut food without crushing the ingredients, while retaining all the natural flavour.

Western knives, on the other hand, are all-purpose in nature. They have a thick spine and can be used to cut all sort of foods. They are made of hard steel as well, but not as hard as Japanese steel.

BladeShapes

I’m fond of using both the knives- because both of them have separate benefits. Japanese knives are amazing for slicing or cutting vegetables and meat into really small bits. On the other hand, chopping is easier when done with a French or a German knife.

If your budget is high enough, you should buy both the blades. If your budget is restricted, opt for the one you think would suit your cooking style more.