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Silver Spoon Mich Turner Professional Cake Decorating products

Wednesday 30 November 2011
HUGE thanks to Baking Mad who sent me some new Mich Turner Madagascan Vanilla Ready to Roll Icing and Ready to Roll Marzipan as well as Pearl, Bronze and Gold Lustres.

I have recently completed a sugarpaste cake decorating course so was able to put the products through their paces with more idea of what I was doing than I would've had 3 months ago.

If you've never done any cake decorating before, or would like some tips, there are fab video tutorials on the Baking Mad website to show you how to decorate using lustres and how to cover a cake in ready to roll icing.

My 3 daughters said that the ready-to-roll icing is just like edible playdough for grown ups.  Fair enough comment I reckon, but kids can have loads of fun with it too, not just grown-ups.  
Once you have covered your cake in the ready-to-roll icing the fun really begins when you can let your imagination run wild and decorate it however you like.  You can use punch cutters or normal cutters with the ready-to-roll icing or cut around templates free hand.  You can even use cookie cutters to create decorations for your cakes, biscuits and cupcakes.
I also used some of my gel colours to colour the ready-to-roll icing and make flowers out of it.  It is really easy to work with, just use a decent amount of icing sugar when rolling it out.  I kneaded in a bit of CMC to the Ready to Roll Icing before I cut out some of the shapes to make them a bit more sturdy.
I used the Mich Turner Madagascan Vanilla Ready to Roll Icing to decorate a red velvet cake that I had made for the Church Christmas Craft Afternoon.
Here's the finished cake:  
The cake didn't last long, it was devoured in about 10 minutes from the time it was first cut! LOL
I also used some of the Mich Turner Madagascan Vanilla Ready to Roll Icing that I coloured red and green to decorate some Christmas Cake Balls for the Church Christmas Craft Afternoon. I used some red edible glitter to make the red icing balls sparkle and also made some small roses to put on top some of the cake balls too.

I used the Ready to Roll Marzipan to cover a couple of Battenberg Cakes.  One was requested by an elderly lady at church as she had friends coming for afternoon tea and wanted something a little bit special to serve them, and the other was given to our neighbours as they also wanted something delicious to serve their afternoon tea guests.

Thanks to Jon for a fab photo xx
The best way I found to use the Pearl, Bronze and Gold Lustres was to paint them onto a silicone mould before pushing in the sugarpaste, then you get even coverage on your decorations.  You could also use a brush to paint the edges of roses or other decorations with the lustres.  They add a lovely touch of sparkle/bling to sugarpaste decorations, especially over the festive season.

Picture by Kiwi Cakes
Once again HUGE thanks to Baking Mad who sent me the goodies to review. Don't forget to check out their website for recipes, how to's and all things baking.  You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole

Saturday 26 November 2011
This dinner is fab for those times when you need a low maintenance meal or are out all day and want to come home to a tasty hot meal.  I have also included instructions for oven cooking incase you don't have a slow cooker.

8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed

500g pumpkin, skin removed and chopped into bite-sized chunks

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp paprika

1 can chopped tomatoes with 1 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (I use a casserole pack)

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Place all ingredients, except chickpeas and frozen vegetables, in slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7 - 8 hours.  Add the chickpeas and frozen mixed vegetables and cook on high for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Or if you don't have a slow cooker, put all of the ingredients into a casserole dish and cook in your oven at 180 degrees for about 1 hour. Remove from  the oven, add the chickpeas and frozen vegetables, and cook for another 30 minutes.

I normally serve this with rice, creamy mashed potato or steamed new potatoes and green beans.

Sweet potato and pumpkin soup

Thursday 24 November 2011
This soup makes a great snack or a tasty lunch.  It's so easy to make and freezes really well so I normally make extra and freeze some for an easy meal another day.  If you do want to freeze the soup, don't add the cream.  Defrost the soup, gently reheat it and then add a little cream just before serving.

1 kilogram pumpkin, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks

1 large onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp curry powder, use more or less to taste

1 litre vegetable stock

3 tsp vegetable stock powder

100ml cream

Put a little oil into a large pot then add the onion, garlic and curry powder. Fry gently until the onion has softened.  Add the pumpkin, sweet potato and vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft and mushy.

Remove soup from heat and puree soup with stick blender, mash with a potato masher, or blend in a food processor.

Stir in the cream and serve immediately.

Tray-baked chicken and sweet potato with chickpeas

Tuesday 22 November 2011
This is a super quick week night dinner that I usually serve with steamed greens.  Sometimes I substitute the sweet potatoes for normal potatoes or pumpkin and add some peppers and courgettes cut into chunks.  It is versatile and adaptable, use whatever you have available.

2 onions, cut into thick wedges

600g sweet potato (kumara), peeled, cut into 3cm chunks

4 tomatoes, sliced in half

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp olive oil

8 (about 620g) chicken thigh fillets

1 large can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 220ºC. Combine the onion wedges, sweet potato chunks, tomato halves, thinly sliced garlic and half the oil in a bowl. Transfer everything to large baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden.

Add the browned chicken thighs to the tray and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the chickpeas and parsley then toss until heated through.

I went to MasterChef Live - Thanks to Plenty

Sunday 20 November 2011

When an email arrived asking if I would like to go to MasterChef Live it took me all of a microsecond to reply with a YES PLEASE!!!!

I was given a ticket to the event by the lovely PR's who look after Plenty Kitchen Towels.  I met John, Greg and Monica and had the most awesome day.  I also got to cook on the MasterChef Live stage which was terrifying but totally awesome at the same time. LOL

John backstage

Greg who is nearly always smiling

Monica who is really lovely when she's not in the kitchen - she is really!
The MasterChef Live stage
MasterChef Live stage from above

I also met the hilarious and delightful Juan Sheet (whose name is actually Kevin) the Plenty Brand Ambassador and star of their TV ads.

Yes Juan/Kevin is really tall, I'm also rather short LOL
I also had a chat to Micheal Caines who is the award winning Head Chef at the two Michelin starred Gidleigh Park in Devon as well as executive chef at The Bath Priory hotel and Director of ABode hotels.
Micheal Caines was a very charming chap.
I had a chat to Tim Kinnaird as well, who was runner up of MasterChef 2010 and is now proprietor of Macarons & More.

Yes Tim is VERY tall! LOL
Master Chef Live is a fantastic event and I totally recommend going along to see all the fabulous food stalls, meeting chefs and product producers and of course eating loads of quality food.

There are also loads of opportunities to see top chefs in action and learn loads of cooking techniques and tips.
The awesome Monica in action
Thanks heaps to Plenty for the best day out I have had in a long time!

Hot Vegetable and Potato Salad

Saturday 19 November 2011
This recipe can be scaled up or down depending on the number of servings you need. You can vary the vegetables and use what you have, just make sure they are cut roughly the same size. It's a great tummy filler for growing children and is really quick and easy to prepare on busy weeknights and as a weekend lunch.  You could add some nuts for extra protein or perhaps stir in some tinned chickpeas just before serving.

800g salad or new potatoes, thickly sliced

500g mixed vegetables such as courgettes and peppers, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp oil

approximately 2 Tbsp pesto, either red or green (homemade or from a jar)

Put the potatoes and vegetables in a large roasting tin, add the oil and season well.  Bake for around 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the pesto and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve immediately either on it's own or with some salad leaves.

Our Favourite Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks

Friday 18 November 2011
When I know that I won't be home for dinner and need something that my husband can dish up without much hassle, I normally use my slow cooker.  The dish will bubble away until it needs to be dished up and I can keep an eye on it if I am home for some of the day.  This will be our dinner tonight, one of my favourite comfort food dishes.

6 lamb shanks


salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, thinly sliced

2 onions, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, trimmed and finely sliced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

5 anchovy fillets

250 g mushrooms, sliced

1 Tblsp dried oregano

250ml red wine

1 Tblsp tomato paste

300ml beef stock

Dust the lamb shanks with flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb shanks in batches, transfer them to the slow cooker once evenly browned. Add the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, mushrooms and oregano to the slow cooker and then pour over the red wine and tomato paste mixed with the beef stock. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Just before you serve the lamb shanks, take them out of the liquid and set them aside to keep warm.  Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and simmer it until it has reduced and thickened – make sure you don’t reduce it too much.  You could thicken the sauce with arrowroot/cornflour mixed with a little of the cooled liquid and then stirred back into the sauce.  I usually serve the lamb shanks with mash and steamed greens.

Sausages With Creamy Lentils

Wednesday 16 November 2011
This is a really quick dinner that is always popular with my family.  You prepare the creamy vegetables and lentils in the time it takes to grill the sausages.  I can have it on the table in 30 minutes from the first whine until we are happily dining.  It is adaptable for carnivores and vegetarians alike which is a real bonus.

8 good quality pork or vegetarian sausages

1 red onion

1 pepper, any colour

2 large carrots

1 celery stick

2 Tbsp oil

2 bacon rashers, rind removed and then chopped (optional)

2 fresh thyme sprigs or a pinch of dried thyme

200ml hot vegetable stock, made with one stock cube

410g can green lentils

4 Tbsp full fat crème fraîche or double cream

Preheat the grill. Grill the sausages for around 20 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are cooked through.

While the sausages are cooking, chop the onion, carrots and celery into small cubes or roughly chopped smallish pieces. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan. Fry the bacon (if you are using it) for 3 minutes, then stir in the chopped vegetables and thyme. Cook over a medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes, stirring everything occasionally, until the vegetables have softened.

Pour in the stock and simmer everything for another 8 - 10 minutes until the carrots are tender. Drain the can of lentils and stir the lentils into the vegetables.  Stir well until combined and make sure everything is heated through for a few minutes.  Taste to check the seasoning and then stir in the créme fraiche or cream.  Serve with grilled sausages.

Free From Food Festival

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The inaugural Free From Food Festival, taking place at Southbank Centre Square from Friday 25th – Sunday 27th November 2011, will bring together many “Free From” food specialists and the growing number of artisan producers who create a range of gluten, wheat, dairy, sugar and/or egg free goods. The festival will be of interest to all food lovers, as well as those who are genuinely affected by the foods around them. It will appeal not only to coeliacs, but to those with other food intolerances (dairy in particular) through to anyone curious about or wanting to make lifestyle changes to their diet.

Demonstrations and Tastings

The festival promises to have a variety of companies and individuals showcasing their unique, high quality products as well as a schedule of demonstrations, talks and tutored tastings, given by the exhibiting producers themselves, as well as visiting chefs and authorities from the “Free From” world.

Exhibitors will be on hand to educate, offer samples, sell and display their goods, thereby creating an environment where people can learn about, shop, eat and gain further confidence about “Free From” foods as alternative substitutes.

As it’s close to Christmas, many producers will have gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free seasonal produce that visitors to the festival can purchase there or order for themselves, friends or family, thereby making Christmas and the holidays an occasion that everyone can enjoy.  Companies such as Wag Free will be selling their latest range of gluten free savoury and Christmas products, Inspiralled and Conscious Food will showcase their more healthy Christmas food gift options.

The event takes place from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November 2011, 11am-8pm daily (6pm on Sunday) at Southbank Centre Square, behind the Royal Festival Hall.  The venue is five minutes walk from Waterloo & Embankment tube states and various bus routes.  Admission is free.


Friday 25 – Sunday 27 November 2011

Southbank Centre Square, Southbank Centre

Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

FREE Admission

Monday Night Vegetable Curry

Monday 14 November 2011
I love this curry, it's quick and warming, just perfect for a busy Monday night in autumn.  It seems a faff with the list of ingredients but isn't as most are in jars already and you just measure them in.  You can use less of each of the spices if you want to make the curry a little milder, or add more yoghurt.  Make sure you don't boil the curry too hard once you've added the yoghurt or it will curdle and look unappetising.  I use full fat yoghurt as it is more stable under heat and less likely to split.

20g butter

2 onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground cloves

4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 cauliflower, cut into smallish florets

500g butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 4cm pieces

1 cup (250ml) water

1 cup (250g) full fat natural yoghurt

1 large handful (150g) frozen peas or mixed vegetables

Cooked basmati rice, to serve

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, pepper and cloves and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tomatoes become pulpy.

Add the cauliflower, pumpkin, water and yoghurt and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until cauliflower and pumpkin are tender and sauce thickens slightly. Add the peas or mixed vegetables and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the curry immediately with steamed rice.

Lightly Spiced Dried Fruit Chutney

Wednesday 9 November 2011
Homemade gifts are a fab way to save money at Christmas time.  This chutney is SO simple and fairly quick, you'll have people thinking you are a domestic goddess in no time at all!  It tastes fab and you can make it as spicy or as tame as you like.  Don't buy chutney for hamper gifts, make your own!

250g dried apricots

250g sultanas

250g dates

250g dried apples

1 litre of boiling water

500ml cider vinegar

440g brown sugar

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 - 1 tsp mild chilli powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 crushed clove of garlic

Chop the dried fruit into smallish chunks then cover with the boiling water, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight to soak.  Don't be too bothered about chopping the fruit really small as you can blend the chutney later on.  When you are ready to make your chutney, combine the undrained fruit mixture with all the other ingredients in a large saucepan or preserving pan.

Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has all dissolved then turn up the heat and bring to the boil.  Simmer the mixture fairly hard for about 1 hour 15 minutes until the mixture is thick. 

I blended the chutney on the right side of the pot, the left side of the pot is still chunky  

The blended/whizzed up chutney
At this point I whizzed mine to a chunky pulp with a handheld blender, don't make it too mushy, leave a few chunks in it. Once the chutney is blended to your satisfaction, put the chutney into sterillised jars. I normally wash, dry and heat the jars in the oven for the last 30 minutes of the chutney simmering time.

All ready to find a home!

This recipe has been submitted for the Let's Make Christmas - Foodie Blogger Gift Swap organised by the most fabulous cookbook author and blogger Vanessa Kimbell.

Ginger and Chocolate Cookies

These biscuits make a lovely gift and are also a welcome addition to a shared afternoon tea.  I accidentially discovered they are freezable too (don't ask).  Why not make some for a friend, teacher or just as a treat with a cuppa.

100g butter, softened

100g caster sugar

1 medium free range egg

50g chocolate, melted

175g plain flour

3 pieces preserved stem ginger, chopped

50g melted chocolate for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C/Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the lightly beaten egg and melted chocolate.  Beat again until well combined. Gently but thoroughly fold in the flour and ginger pieces.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking trays, leave space around them to allow for spreading. Press down each spoonful of mixture a little with a floured fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the biscuits are light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Once the biscuits are completely cool, then decorate the biscuits by drizzling them with the melted chocolate.

Handy hint: These cookies can be frozen. Defrost them thoroughly and drizzle with the melted chocolate just before serving.

This recipe has been submitted for the Let's Make Christmas - Foodie Blogger Gift Swap organised by the most fabulous cookbook author and blogger Vanessa Kimbell.

Versatile Chocolate Brownines

These brownies are really versatile and easy to make.  It doesn't matter whether you use dark or milk chocolate for these brownies but I find that dark chocolate gives them a much richer flavour.  You can add any additional flavourings you like, depending on your tastes and the occasion that they are being baked for.

175g chocolate, broken up

175g unsalted butter, diced

3 medium eggs

250g caster sugar

100g flour

40g Cocoa Powder

Optional extras: chocolate chunks, chopped nuts, dried cranberries or dried apricots, fudge chunks.

Preheat oven to 180⁰C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure you mix it well and leave it to cool slightly.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy, pour over the chocolate mixture and fold in gently but thoroughly.

Sift in the flour and cocoa and fold in whichever additions you like. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, making sure it goes right into the corners and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. The top should be crusty with a very slight wobble underneath.

Cool completely in the tin, you can refrigerate the brownies in the tin once they are completely cool for a couple of hours or overnight, this makes them much easier to cut.  Cut the brownies cut into squares or rectangles.

This recipe has been submitted for the Let's Make Christmas - Foodie Blogger Gift Swap organised by the most fabulous cookbook author and blogger Vanessa Kimbell.

Mixed Vegetable Pearl Barley Risotto

Monday 7 November 2011
This is a really warming, filling dinner for when the weather is cold outside and you're in need of some comfort food.  My daughters love this risotto and it's one of their favourite autumn/winter suppers.  It's also a meal that will save you a few pennies too.

50g unsalted butter or 2 Tblsp oil

500g pearl barley

1 vegetable stock cube

300g frozen mixed vegetables

250g mushrooms, sliced

Handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon or sage, chopped

150g grated mature Cheddar, or a vegetarian/vegan alternative

Melt a knob of the butter in a medium pan. Add the pearl barley, stir it around so it's coated with the butter, then cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Dissolve the stock cube in 600ml of boiling water, then pour over the pearl barley.

Simmer over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes until the pearl barley is tender. Keep topping it up with another 800ml hot water, ensuring the barley is covered.  When the pearl barley is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat, taste it and adjust the seasoning. Add the frozen mixed vegetables, then set aside with a lid on for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and cook over a medium heat until it starts foaming. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5-10 minutes until they're golden brown. Season to taste. We you're ready to serve, combine the pearl barley and vegetables with the mushrooms, herbs and cheese. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, then spoon into bowls.

Spicy Apple Chutney

Sunday 6 November 2011
I was given a large bag of cooking apples and decided to make chutney out of them.  Jars of homemade preserves make great homemade Christmas gifts and this chutney recipe is really easy and requires little effort. 

1kg cooking apples, peeled and diced

2 onions, finely chopped

500ml cider vinegar

2 cups chopped pitted dates

2 cups sultanas

4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

4 cups demerara sugar

1 Tbsp salt

½ tsp chilli powder

Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan or preserving pan. Gently bring the ingredients to the boil, stirring it until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer the mixture faily hard, stirring it regularly, for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened.

Have sterilised jars ready, mine were heating in the oven for the last 30 minutes that the chutney was boiling.  Spoon the cooked chutney into sterilised jars and seal the jars well.  Store the jars of chutney in a cool dark place a one month before you use it to allow the flavours to mature.

This recipe has been submitted for the Let's Make Christmas - Foodie Blogger Gift Swap organised by the most fabulous cookbook author and blogger Vanessa Kimbell.

Chocolate Anzac Slice

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup plain flour, sifted

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup desiccated coconut

25g butter, chopped

1 Tblsp golden syrup

2 Tblsp boiling water

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/3 cup raisins

200g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to moderately slow, 160°C. Lightly grease an 18 x 28cm swiss roll tin. Line base and two sides with baking paper, with a decent overhang above the top of the tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar and coconut.  In a small saucepan, combine butter and golden syrup. Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes until melted.

In a small jug, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.  Quickly pour this into the butter mixture and then into the dry ingredients.  Mix in the walnuts and raisins.

Press the mixture very firmly into the prepared tin using a fork or potato masher.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool in the tin.

Spread chocolate over the cooled mixture and chill until firm.  Using a hot knife, cut slab into squares.  Store in an airtight container.

Nasi Goreng - Worldfoods Nasi Goreng Paste Review

Saturday 5 November 2011
I am a member of the Wordfoods Fusion Taste Team and this weeks challenge was to make Nasi Goreng. 

Nasi Goreng translates as "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malay, and is considered to be the national dish of Indonesia. It traces its origins from Chinese fried rice possibly brought to Indonesia by immigrants in the 15th Century. It is considered taboo in Chinese culture to throw away uneaten food, and as a result the previous day's leftover rice was often recooked the next day.  Leftover rice is in fact more suitable for making nasi goreng, as freshly cooked rice can be too soft and moist, so it may be a good idea to pre-cook your rice. Cook it then cool it down by running it under the tap (a great tip from a previous Fusion Taste Team-er) before you dry it off a bit and fry it (or put it in the fridge to use it the next day - even better).

Indonesian Nasi Goreng is typically stir-fried rice with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), shallots, garlic, tamarind and chilli and accompanied with other ingredients such as egg, chicken and prawns. There is great flexibility in the recipe and it can use a large variety of ingredients - so pick and choose to create your ideal dish.

Here's the recipe we were given for Nasi Goreng

Serves 2-4


2 eggs

3 tablespoons cooking oil

200g boneless chicken breast, cut into strips (optional)

100g raw prawns, shelled and deveined

300g cooked rice, cooked as per pack instructions (preferably pre-cooked and left to cool; ideally the day before)

Make an omelette with 2 eggs. Cool and shred it thinly.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok or frying pan and add 4 tablespoons of WORLDFOODS INDONESIAN NASI GORENG PASTE and cook for 1 minute until aromatic.

Add in chicken and prawns and fry for approximately 5 minutes.

Stir in rice and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until heated through.

Garnish with shredded omelette

Here are some variations on the Nasi Goreng recipe that you might like to try:

• Nasi goreng ayam: the most common nasi goreng with chicken, spices and sweet soy sauce, the color is golden brown

• Nasi goreng istimewa: special nasi goreng, usually refers to nasi goreng ayam with addition of fried egg topping

• Nasi goreng sapi: nasi goreng with beef

• Nasi goreng sea food: nasi goreng with seafood such as cuttlefish, prawns, shellfish and fish

• Nasi goreng amplop: nasi goreng "enveloped" in thin omelette

• Nasi goreng santri: means priest's nasi goreng, refer to a meatless vegetarian nasi goreng

• Nasi goreng sosis: nasi goreng with sausages

• Nasi goreng Hawaii or also called nasi goreng nanas: nasi goreng with pineapple

• Addition of onions, ginger or extra garlic

Additions for garnish:

• Prawn crackers

• Sambal: traditional chilli sauce

• Slices of fresh vegetables: usually cucumber, tomato, lettuce and cabbage

• Spring onions

• Soy sauce

How we got on:

I used strips of omelette with our Nasi Goreng and didn't use chicken breasts as we didn't have any in the house.  I also only used 2 tablespoons of the Nasi Goreng paste to make it milder for my daughters tastes. I also added extra vegetables to the dish.  The recipe was really straight forward, versatile and fab for using up leftovers - what more could you want?

Here's a pic of our delicious dinner:

It was a really quick and easy dinner on a night when one was needed.  Great flavours, versatile and filling - totally recommend that you give it a go.

Don't forget you can follow Worldfoods Fusion Taste Team on Twitter @fusiontasteteam and don't forget to check out the Wordfoods Facebook Page.

Our Favourite Homemade Pizza Dough

Friday 4 November 2011
My kids love making their own pizzas and we can vary the toppings according to taste, and what we have available. This dough takes no time at all to whip up in a mixer, or get the kids to knead it for you.  You can use leftovers to make calzone with the dough, just roll out as if you are making pizza, put the filling on one side then fold over and crimp closed.  Perfect for a Friday night dinner or weekend lunch, great if you have friends over after school too.

1 cup plain flour plus extra for kneading

1/2 cup wholemeal flour

1 sachet dried yeast

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

about 2/3 cup lukewarm water

Place flours in a large bowl with yeast, salt and dried herbs. Make a well in the centre. Use a bread and butter knife or wooden spoon to mix in just enough water to bind the mixture and form  a dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes to form a smooth (not sticky) ball of dough. Use a little extra flour if you need to.

Spray a bowl and cling film with a little oil spray. Put the dough in the bowl and cover with the cling film. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 30 minutes.

Check the dough has risen – when a finger is gently pressed into the dough it will spring back a little bit.

Once the dough has risen, use your fist to punch down the dough gently. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it's smooth.

Prepare the dough for your favourite toppings. Roll the dough out to make 1 large pizza, or 4 smaller pizzas.

Colman’s Instant Gravy Paste - Review

Thursday 3 November 2011
I do like a nice bit of gravy, whether it's poured on bangers and mash, or drizzled over Toad in the Hole, or accompanying a Sunday roast, loads of meals would be rather bland without it.  I like to make my gravy from scratch if we're having a roast but don't always have the time or energy to do that during the week.  I was really pleased when I was offered some Colman’s Instant Gravy Paste to try, as they assured me it was a new and superior instant gravy, and the fact that it contains real meat juices should mean it would be really flavoursome.

The new Colman’s Instant Gravy Paste  is available in three delicious flavours – beef, chicken and onion. The new paste format, a bit like a tube of tomato puree, replaces traditional gravy granules.  All you do is add water and you have homemade gravy in an instant. It's also free of nasty preservatives and artificial flavour enhancers. It is available in all major UK supermarkets with a RRP of £1.59 and it comes in 130g easy-squeeze tubes, which provide approximately 5 servings.

So what did we think?

Although I'm really into cooking, there are times when I just can't be bothered making my own gravy from scratch.  We tried the Chicken Gravy Paste with some roasted chicken pieces and it was really good, almost as good as making your own gravy from scratch with the juices from the chicken - just loads less faff.

We tried the Colman's Onion Gravy Paste drizzled over Toad in the Hole and that was really delicious too.

I only have one issue with it, the taste is fab but the gravy - even if you add more than the suggested amount of gravy paste - is a bit thin.  I just added a little arrowroot to thicken it up and it was fine but without it the gravy was a bit thin for my liking.

Going on taste alone though it is delicous, I would thoroughly recommend it for those times when you can't be bothered making gravy from scratch.

Discovery Mexican Food Range

I was recently sent some of Discovery’s new Garlic & Herb Tortillas and Crispy Crumb Coating to try.  They are really tasty, and extremely versatile – perfect for a casual night in with friends, a light afternoon lunch or a quick family meal after work.

Garlic and Herb Tortilla

The new Garlic & Herb variety of tortilla is as soft and delicious as the other Discovery tortillas I have tried, but has loads more flavour.  Great for school packed lunches, fajitas, slice them and bake them to make your own chips for dipping, they are so versatile.  The Garlic & Herb Tortillas also come with recipe suggestions on the back of the pack for those in need of a little Mexican inspiration in the kitchen.

The new Garlic & Herb Tortilla joins the range of Discovery Tortillas already available, including Preservative Free, Plain, Wholemeal, and Chilli & Jalapeno and they will be available in Sainsbury’s from 28th August 2011 with a RRP of £1.59.

Crispy Crumb Coating

To my delight the new Discovery Crispy Crumb Coating is gluten free.  All you do is mix the crumb coating with a little oil and then sprinkle it generously over chicken, vegetables or fish for a tasty light lunch or dinner.  You can even use it in place of Discovery’s Fajita Seasoning Mix to add a little variety to your fajitas. What’s more, the new Crispy Crumb coating is mild, which meant that the kids really liked it.  Discovery Crispy Crumb Coating is available in Sainsbury’s from 28th August 2011 with a RRP of £1.09.

So what did we think?
We used the tortillas and crumb coating to make chicken fajitas for a quick weeknight dinner.  Both were really tasty and we all thought they were delicious, my daughters were disappointed they couldn't have seconds.  The tortillas were flavoursome and nice and soft so you could stuff plenty of salad leaves & tomatoes in them along with the chicken before you rolled up the fajitas.  We'll definitely be using both the tortillas and crumb coating again as a really quick dinner solution.
You can check out the Discovery Foods website that has loads of recipes and product information, as well as buy their products online.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta

Wednesday 2 November 2011
400g dried pasta

4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 Tblsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme

125ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil

425g can tuna in spring water, drained and flaked

125g feta, crumbled

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well.  While the pasta is cooking make the sauce. 
Combine the tomatoes, onion, thyme, lemon juice and oil in a large bowl.  Taste to check seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.

Add the cooked and drained pasta to the tomato mixture and gently toss everything together until it's just combined. Add the flaked tuna and crumbled feta and gently toss everything once again until it's all combined. Serve immediately.
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