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Making Juice




I was recently afforded the opportunity to try out the Cookhouse Compact Cold Press Slow Juicer.   This is a Masticating Whole Food Juice Extracter, which means that it is a juicer which is able to extract a more nutritious juice. It does this by breaking down plant fibres more thoroughly with ​a ​chewing and grinding action, before extracting the juice under pressure. For many health enthusiasts a Masticating Juicer is the tool of choice for getting more from their juicing!! 


The Cookhouse Compact Cold Press Slow Juicer has a wide Chamber, is easy Clean, and has a specialised motor for maximum nutrition & pulp extraction of fruit & vegetable juice

✔ MAXIMUM NUTRITION - Drink delicious, healthy juices from oranges, apples, vegetables, wheatgrass and more with our easy-to-use, powerful juicer!

✔ WIDE FOOD CHAMBER FOR WHOLE FRUITS - Place whole fruits and vegetables in the wide chamber for quick, easy preparation. No thin slicing or chopping required!

 ✔ QUIET MOTOR - The slow masticating engine not only extracts nutrients more efficiently - it's quieter than standard juicers for a more peaceful kitchen!

 ✔ COMPLETELY SEPARATES PULP FROM JUICE - Don't leave valuable vitamins and minerals behind - our specially designed juicer completely gathers all pulp and separates it for the best and smoothest possible drink experience!



As you can see its fairly compact and doesn't take up much counter room in my small kitchen!  It also comes with a fine juice strainer, a sorbet strainer (for when you want a thicker juice containing pulp), a handy brush for cleaning the strainers and other parts, and a container to catch the pulp as it comes out of the machine.  It separates the pulp from the juice perfectly.



The first juice I decided to make was an apple/carrot/ginger juice.  I peeled my carrots and ginger, and cored my apples and cut them into manageable pieces. 



Popped them into the juicer, and turned it on.  It comes with an excellent instruction booklet which will  help you to assemble your juicer properly and prepare your fruit/veg in the best way possible for extraction!



I used two medium carrots, two eating apples and a nice knob of ginger and as you can see I ended up with one nice large sized glass of delicious juice! 



It was very easy to do and I was really pleased with the results!  A quick rinse through and I was ready to try something else.



The next juice I tried was a combination of strawberries, watermelon and mint.  



I used 600g of fresh berries, which I trimmed and cut in half  . . .  200g of watermelon chunks, and a healthy sprig of fresh mint, feeding them into the juicer alternately. 



This was quite ambition as I ended up with a LOT of juice!  But a very tasty juice! 



You can see it in operation here.  I wish I knew how to post videos, but I haven't be able to figure that out just yet!  They do say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I have shared several thousands of words with you here! 

I tried to make some strawberry curd with some of my strawberry juice, but it didn't work well, so back to the drawing table on that one. It sounded like a tasty idea and I am not giving up.  Another day! 



As you can see it cleaned up really well with very little effort.  That made me happy.  I was able to handwash all of the components easily and without much trouble at all.  Bonus!  (I am rather lazy you know.)

I am really looking forward to trying out other combinations and varieties of juice now.  This machine was very easy to use and gave excellent results, with no need to strain the resulting juice.  It was also easy to clean and easy to store,  two things which are very important to me.  Its also very reasonably priced, which is also important to a couple of pensioners!  No waste as any pulp can be very easily composted. I highly recommend!  I am truly looking forward to trying other combinations. Watch this space!

To find out more do check it out on the Amazon UK page

 Note - I was sent a juicer free of charge for the purpose of review, but I was not  required to write a positive review in exchange.  Any and all opinions are entirely my own.



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Marie Rayner
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Spiced Carrot Soup



We are at that time of year now where our stored and root vegetables are beginning to get tired and no longer at their very best.  Too early for the fresh crops, we make do with what we can get . . .  I often find that my onions have started to go a bit . . .


I find myself having to peel off and discard several layers before I get to what is good and usable . . .  all of these winter vegetables might be a bit past their prime, but they are still fabulous for things like soups and stews.  

You are going to love this soup I am sharing with you today . . .  Spiced Carrot Soup, or the soup that almost wasn't! Today was one of those days  . . . when anything that could go wrong went wrong  . . .


Everything for the soup went together quickly and easily . . .  it makes good use of onions, garlic, and carrots . . . some grated fresh ginger root . . .  warm spices . . .


Ground cumin, turmeric, cinnamon  . . .  all very aromatic and  when combined most delicious . . .


These are cooked in chicken stock until the carrots are meltingly tender  . . .  be warned it smells heavenly when it is cooking  . . . 


After that all you need to do is puree it . . .  simple. Right???  Right!!!  Normally I would use my stick blender, but do you think I could find the motor for mine today???   



It was nowhere to be found.  All of the attachments were at the ready, but no motor, and I looked every where . . . even in places it couldn't possibly be, but I thought I would check anyways.  I even had Todd come in and look . . .  sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees and I thought perhaps he could see what I couldn't.


I opened one of the upper cupboards to see if I had crazily put it in there and my pack of Miso Paste flew out of the cupboard landing in the soup and splattering it all over the counter top and back splash  . . .  dripping off my knife block and cutting boards . . .  into our toaster  . . .  grrrr  . . .  

You know how turmeric stains  . . . BLAH!  Most annoying


I could not find it anywhere. I can only think (and I really  hope that this isn't what happened) that it got accidentally thrown out the last time I used it, which doesn't make sense, but I don't know where else it could be.  I have looked everywhere. 



After I cleaned up the mess, I had to dig my big blender out from the back of the wardrobe upstairs, where it is stored.  I was quite happy at that point that I hadn't given it away.  It did need a good cleaning however. 


Its so big and bulky that it just can't live in my kitchen.  The stick blender does a great job, takes up a lot less room and is a lot easier to clean, so that is normally what I use.  But meh . . . today  I had to do what I had to do.



So into the now cleaned blender on the now cleaned counter the soup went. It blitzed up beautifully in about 30 seconds.  I threw poured it back into the saucepan and reheated it gently until it was hot again, and stirring in some lime juice and a bit of brown sugar, it was then ready to eat.


With a dollop of plain yogurt on top and a sprinkling of lemon zest and black pepper it was THE BEST CARROT SOUP EITHER OF US HAS EVER EATEN!


I kid you NOT . . .  simple to make (aside from the comedy of errors and happenstances), using simple ingredients, but totally, TOTALLY delicious. What a wonderful combination of flavours.  Todd had two helpings and I was sorely tempted to do the same!

Spiced Carrot Soup


Yield: 4
Author:
You can thicken the soup with a handful of basmati rice if you wish. This soup is really delicious as is. If you don't have or can't find sumac, you can substitute a mix of lemon zest and coarse black pepper for it.

ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 kg carrots, peeled and sliced (2.2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 litres of chicken stock (about 6 cups)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 TBS lime juice
  • fine sea salt
To serve:
  • Plain yogurt
  • ground sumac to sprinkle

instructions:

How to cook Spiced Carrot Soup

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a heavy bottom.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent without colouring.  Add the garlic, grated ginger and all of the spices. Cook, stirring until quite fragrant.  Add the carrots and toss to coat them with the spice mixture.  Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes until the carrots are soft and meltingly tender.
  2. Remove from the heat and puree using a stick blender, or very carefully in a full sized blender or food processor.  Take care as it will be quite hot and you don't want to scald yourself.  Return to the stove and gently reheat.  Stir in the lime juice and brown sugar.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required with salt.
  3. Ladle into heated bowls, garnishing each with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of sumac. Delicious!
Created using The Recipes Generator




If you only try one soup this week, let it be this one!  I promise you that you will fall in love with it.  I can't wait to have some company now and serve them this as a first course.  It is AMAZING!  Truly. I promise.   I really hope that I can find my stick blender motor.  I feel quite lost without it! I hope that I don't have to buy a new one. 😟😟😟


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Marie Rayner
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Tomato & Herb Sauced Alaskan Black Cod



We absolutely love fish in this house.  I have been preparing and cooking fish since I was a girl.  I used to make a dish I called Tomato Baked Haddock for my family when I was a teenager that my mother just loved.  It was a simple dish, with frozen haddock fillets being covered with a tin of tomatoes, undrained, salt and pepper, some chopped green pepper and onion, then baked in an oven until done.  Sometimes I added oregano. My mother always asked me to make it for her when I went home.  She said hers never tasted the same when she did it.  Funny how that goes . . .  it must have been the love I put into it. 


Fish and tomatoes are a beautiful flavour combination, especially when you add some herbs into the mix.  This recipe I am sharing today is simple . . .  simple ingredients, put together in a simple way  . . .   but with gorgeous results.  So gorgeous that I would serve it to company. 



Of course the basis for any good fish dish is really GOOD fish!   I cut the recipe in half as there are only two of us, but I started with some fabulous Alaskan Black Cod that I got from a company called The Fish Society.  All of their fish is Sashimi Grade, fresh and of an excellent quality. 


It arrives frozen and well packed, ready for you to thaw as and when you need it.  I've always been really impressed with the quality of their products.  Todd thinks it is the best fish he has ever eaten, and he has eaten a lot of fish in his lifetime! 


For this dish the fish is treated really simply.  Seasoned with salt and pepper  . . . 


and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice . . .  and then baked in a hot oven in  dish which you have drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil  . . . 



Tightly covered with foil, it cooks in between 12 - 18 minutes . . .  until it is perfectly cooked.  



One thing you don't want to do with a really good piece of fish is to over-cook it and ruin it! There is nothing worse than dry overcooked fish! There is no coming back from that!



The sauce for this dish is a rif on my original tomato baked fish dish, except that the fish doesn't cook in the sauce . . .  the sauce complements the fish . . . 


 Tomato & Herb Sauced Alaskan Black Cod  

Cherry tomatoes simmered with garlic and shallots  . . .  until they burst their skins . . . and the juices thicken up . . .

 Tomato & Herb Sauced Alaskan Black Cod  

Butter is then whisked in a bit at a time until you end up with a rich velvety sauce  . . .  ready for the addition of fresh herbs . . . 



I use fresh basil, flat leaf parsley and chives  . . .  perfect, 1 TBS of each does the trick, but you can use whatever herbs you like, or even all one herb.  I think these three compliment each other and the fish perfectly! 


Just look at how perfectly cooked that fish is . . .  and how lovely that sauce looks.  I served this with some chive mash and spring English peas for the perfect fish supper.



Tomato & Herb Sauced Alaskan Black Cod

Yield: 4 - 6
Author:
If you like moist, tender, flaky and flavourful cod, you will love this dish!  Perfectly baked fish with a delicious buttery sauce. TO DIE FOR!

ingredients:

For the fish:
  • 2 - 2 1/2 pounds fresh cod fillets (sustainably sourced) cut into serving portions
  • 1 lemon
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil to drizzle
For the Sauce:
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 300g cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 120ml chicken stock (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed chili flakes
  • pinch sugar
  • 4 TBS cold butter, cut into bits
  • 1 TBS each chopped fresh parsley, basil and chives

instructions:

How to cook Tomato & Herb Sauced Alaskan Black Cod

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C/4))*F/ gas mark 4.  Drizzle a baking dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer with some olive oil and place it into the oven to heat.
  2. Begin making  the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened without browning.  Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, pepper flakes and sugar.  Simmer until the tomatoes break down and burst, releasing their juices, and the sauce has thickened somewhat with most of the stock having evaporated.  Whisk in the butter, bit by bit, until you have a thick velvety sauce.  Stir in the herbs, cover and set aside, keeping it warm.
  3. Remove the baking dish from the oven.  Place the fish into the dish, skin side down.  Season generously with salt and black pepper.  Squeeze the lemon juice over all. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and return to the oven.  Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with the tines of a fork. (Time depends on the thickness of your fish.)
  4. Remove from the oven and place on a heated serving platter, spooning the sauce over and around.  Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator





Every time I taste this lovely fish I ask myself why don't we eat it more often than we do. It is just excellent excellent fish. Quality speaks for itself.  The Fish Society has all kinds of fish, fish that you normally won't find in the shops. Its like having your own private fish monger on line and on tap!  They have everything from Abalone to Zander and they deliver right to your door in a timely manner.  Shell fish.  Sea food.  All Sashimi grade.  I have never been disappointed, as Todd says, best fish ever. One of these days I am going to get me some red snapper.   I first tried that at my in-laws years ago and have been dreaming about it ever since. Watch this space!




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Marie Rayner
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Canadian Dutchies


Canadian Dutchies

Tim Hortons is a bit of a Canadian Institution.  It is a coffee/doughnut shop that  feels like a second home to many Canadians.  I worked there for a time prior to moving over here to the UK.   


When I worked there, they would have a baker come in every night and he would work from 10:00 pm until about 6 in the morning baking cakes, frying doughnuts, baking pies, etc.  When you went into work in the morning there would be trays and trays of the freshly finished goodies sitting and waiting to go out onto the shelves.


I understand that they don't have in-store bakers these days, and that all the goods are brought in baked and frozen, ready to thaw out and pop onto the shelves.  Its called progress, but I understand that their goodies are not as nice as they used to be, or so I have been told. 



I can't help but think that in losing the personal touch, in favour of more profits, they have lost something very special  . . . it is a common complaint today. 



One of my favourite doughnuts that they sold was the "Dutchie."   It was a square, sultana filled, yeast-lifted and sugar  glazed doughnut.  You could also get them as donut holes. I understand that they no longer make them, and mores the pity.  They were a real favourite of many people. 



My daughter and I were talking one day and I was telling her that one of the things I missed from Canada was the Dutchie Doughnut, and she informed me that they no longer make them.  Can we please have a minute of silence here to mourn their loss?



Well, you know how that goes . . .  when you can't get something you love any longer  . . .  it increases your craving for it. 


For months now I have been craving a Dutchie Doughnut!  Craving, craving, craving  . . . 


Today I decided to scratch that itch and make some from scratch.  They were very simple to make.  I searched online and found a recipe for them on the Chatelaine Magazine page (another Canadian Institution), the difference being they called them Duchesse Doughnuts . . .  


Duchesse . . .  Dutchies  . . .  a rose  by any other name.  Any Canadian worth his salt knows these are Dutchies.  Their recipe made 12.  There is no way on earth I wanted to be tempted by a dozen Dutchies  . . . 


So I cut the recipe in half, with great success and made us a lovely half dozen puffed and glazed, raisin studded delights! 


I also added a half teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough because if my memory serves me well, they had just a hint of cinnamon flavour, but that could just be my rose coloured glasses  . . . 


Canadian Dutchies


Yield: 6
Author:
These sultana studded glazed Doughnuts are a bit of a Canadian Institution!  Not as hard to make as you might think. You can easily double and make more.

ingredients:

  • 75g of sultana raisins (1/2 cup)
  • 120ml milk (1/2 cup)
  • 4g of quick rise yeast  (1 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 30g butter, melted (2 TBS)
  • 1 small free range egg, beaten (or 1/2 a large one)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 175g of bread flour (1 1/4 cups)
  • Canola oil for frying
For the glaze:
  • 130g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBS water, or as needed to make a thin smooth glaze

instructions:

How to cook Canadian Dutchies

  1. Put the sultanas into a measuring cup and cover with 1/2 cup boiling water.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then drain very well.
  2. Heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds, until warm.  Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the yeast and stir.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Beat in the well drained raisins, cinnamon, sugar, melted butter, egg and salt.  Add the flour and beat on medium high with the dough hook on the stand mixer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides and bottom of the bowl. (You may need to add a bit more flour. I did.)  
  3. Scrap into a lightly oiled bowl. Oil the top and cover with a damp tea towel.  Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with some buttered foil.  Pat or roll the dough out into a rectangle which is roughly 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 2 equal sized pieces and place each on the prepare foil.  Cover lightly with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to rise until double, a further 45 minutes.
  5. Pour cooking oil into a large pot to the depth of one inch.  Clip on a deep frying thermometer.  Heat the oil over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180*C/ 350*F.    Adjust the heat as required during cooking to maintain this temperature.
  6. Add the doughnuts to the hot oil,  2 at a time, flipping them over halfway through the cook time, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes in total.  Drain on paper towels.
  7. Place   a wire rack over a piece of parchment paper or paper kitchen towelling.  whisk together the icing sugar and water until smooth.  Dip each doughnut one at a time, turning the to coat them on all sides, and allowing any excess to drip away.  Place onto the wire rack and let stand until the glaze is firm.  The last one of two you may need to use your fingers to make sure the glaze coats them completely.  Not a problem if you don't mind sticky fingers, and I don't. 
Created using The Recipes Generator



Oh boy am I ever glad I only made six of these!  They are indeed very dangerous to have around.  I think I am going to have to lock up the extra four!  They were very easy to make and tasted every bit as good as my memory of them was! (Just make sure your oil is hot and you keep an eye on it so that it doesn't cool down too much when you add the doughnuts to it.) Today you can call me a very happy Canadian Ex-pat, with a lovely satisfied grin on my face.  Nom Nom! 





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