New Total 0% Greek Yoghurt Split Pots

Greece is the theme of the week or so it seems- Total Greek Yogurt has brought to the market a new range- Total 0% Greek Yogurt Split Pots- which they asked me to review.

So last Monday, an helmeted courier drove his large motorbike down our little street and handed me a freezer bag, all singing and dancing with  Zebra, Cow & Spoonbill, I mean the bag was not the biker.

In the bag, neatly piled I found the very compact split pots, (spot the qualitative here- it is important for diet food not to look puny, this looks compact) all the range was there Blueberry, Tropical Fruits, Strawberry and last but not least the classic Honey

I set myself down to task straight away with Blueberry split pot. Was it to be all yum no fat as the press release indicated?

It is definitely 0% fat - but up to 29.6g of Carbohydrate- 300g is the maximum intake per day if you exercise a lot 20g the minimum if you are on a loosing weight diet.

Back to Blueberry, I have never been sure about split pots, what do you do? what is the best option? do you
a) pour the delicious compote into the bigger pot?
b) eat a mouthful of each in turn?
c) drop a little of the big pot in the small pot, one go at the time?

I went for the traditional way and the blueberry refuse to move. It is very thick, apart from this, the experience was rather enjoyable, thick Greek yogurt - thought he said to prefer the 2%; on which I would tend to agree. All together the nice blueberry split pot makes a good snack.
Tropical Fruits split pot was my favorite, no problem with the sliding, it gliding down into the large pot, quite indulgent taste and I could mix it easily.
The disappointment came with the Honey, which is not up to scratch - the honey is rather mediocre however when it came to Strawberry, then yes, perfect consistency, not too sugary, plenty to go around the pot, I don't like strawberry yogurt but this was a joy, I was converted. I would recommend it at lunchtime or any time of the day. This one was all yum, no fat.

Thank you to Total to make my job an enjoyable experience.

for info here is the typical content:
Ingredients:
Yogurt (80%) [pasteurised skimmed cows’ milk, live active yogurt culture], Blueberry fruit preparation (20%) [blueberries 8%, sugar, corn starch, natural flavours, lemon juice concentrate]

Retail recommended price £1.09 - or 0.79p as introductory offer until 1st April

Phony Peppers

Spot the difference - which is the phony pepper dish?
is this one Yemista ?


Or is it this one ?

 


It is difficult to believe that only a couple of months ago, I was enjoying lunch outside a Greek taverna, basking in the winter sunshine. Undeniably everything tastes better when one is away and  it may well have been the case for these stuffed peppers with feta. On the other hand, had I dared to asked the grumpy taverna owner for the recipe, I would have been laughing all the way to my kitchen, but I did not.

It took me a couple of goes, in the first instance, I got the wrong kind of peppers, I am telling you: Lewisham market is far from the Peloponese and even if some vegetables look exotic, my potential Yemista was not going to find a solution here. I plumped for small green peppers when what I needed was long sweet capsciums. That sorted, I got the wrong cheese, you really need feta, ricotta will not do. With all the ingredients present and correct, the result is  a delicious dish, just close your eyes and it will transport you all the way to Mount Olympus.

Stuffed peppers with feta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 18-20 long sweet peppers
  • 1  pound of feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • A little bit of hot sauce or chopped hot pepper if you fancy
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • bread
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C).

Cut a cap off the tops of peppers, and scoop out seeds, taking care not to break or tear the pepper. In a bowl, mash the feta with a fork until soft. Add oil, parsley, hot peppers, salt, and pepper and mix until very well combined.

Using a small spoon, stuff the cheese mixture into the peppers (pressing down with the handle of the spoon to completely fill) to 1/2 inch from the top. Press a small piece of bread into the pepper to keep the cheese filling from melting out during cooking. Place the caps back on each pepper.

Lay the peppers in a lightly greased or nonstick baking pan and roast for 20 minutes or until they soften in a 390°F (200°C) preheated oven.

Answer: Top photo is the phony

Fish Curry

Old news: went back to India on my birthday 2 years ago, arrived with some kind of flu, though not very well at all, shivering with high fever, I still managed to attend every meal, that was not tooo hard, and convinced my host to give me a cooking lesson.

When you look at a curry recipe, it is very daunting, all these spices, all these steps. In fact, I learnt a valuable lesson that day. Cooking a good curry is a matter of organisation.
a) you need to get all the spices out  and drop them in little piles on a plate
b) if there is a spice you don't have or you don't like "forgeeet about' t"
so let's start
You will need fish, white fish fillets are the easiest.
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
4 cloves (I don't do that it reminds me of the dentist)
3 small bay leaves
2-3 green chillies, pricked with a fork
2 rounded tbsp ginger paste
2 large garlic cloves, blended to a paste with 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp red chilli powder
pinch paprika, optional
salt, to taste

this is it, job  done. Next,
heat some oil in a small pan, medium heat, drop each powered spice one at the time
then add the rest such as the bay leaves, the cardamon

reduce the heat,  chopped finely an onion, add this in, cook it until transparent.
and then the choice is yours
add either a glass of water or
a cup of cream or
1/2 tin of chopped tomato or
200ml of coconut milk

Leave it to reduce while

In another pan,
Fry lightly the fish chopped or not

Add fish to sauce
done serve with rice

Love-ly Spaghet-ti

Do not look much further on Valentine's day. This is a heartbreakingly good recipe. SO nice that once more, I had to borrow a picture as there was no time to snap this dish tonight between it leaving the stove and wiped clean plates.
Sausage balls with pasta


 Any sausages can be used in this recipe – so choose your favourites
Serves 4 
Ready in 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 454g  Pork Sausages
  •  2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 100g carrot diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g can Chopped Tomatoes with Herbs
  • 400g can  Chopped Tomatoes with Chilli and Peppers
  • 1 level tsp sugar
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 25g Parmesan, to serve
 Method
1.Make a cut in the skin of the sausages and peel off the skins. Cut each sausage into four. Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the sausage balls until cooked through and starting to brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2.Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the onion and carrot and stir so that all the pieces are coated in oil. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

3.Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add both cans of tomatoes and the sugar and cook, uncovered, over a high heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been driven off.

4.Add the sausage balls to heat through. Serve with spaghetti and Parmesan.


 recipe and picture from Asda Magazine

Charlotte au Chocolat

It is good to talk - My best friend and I had one of these phone conversation which I love. You know, your typical, free, every thing which comes through our head immediately relayed to the mouth, type of natter, during which she mentioned making a Charlotte au Chocolat for her guests last week-end; telling me with great enthusiasm that she will make one for me next time and how delicious it was. Well, I was not going to wait that long. We were going to be 6 around the table on Friday evening, as I was missing a dessert, Charlotte would do nicely. I, then embarked on finding a recipe. And that was  the complex part as indeed making a Charlotte is child-play. Talking about children, this is the kind of dessert, one can really do with children (minus the rum).
So without further ado, here is the recipe for a delicious, easy to create, no fuss, lots of leaking spoon and fingers type of pudding.

 Charlotte au chocolat
serves 6 to 8

30 finger biscuits
250 g  dark chocolat
50 g butter
60 g sugar
8 eggs
25 cl de rum

Preparation : 30 Min

hardly any cooking but overnight in the fridge

Method:
  1. Melt chocolate, butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring from time to time until you get a smooth mixture  add a drop of water or better rum if you are concerned about the chocolate catching.
  2. In the meantime separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until they are stiff, this part is easier with a food processor.
  3. Let the chocolate mixture cool down a little and add the egg yolks one by one. Then fold the egg-whites in, gently, leave the mixture while you
  4. Pour the rum in a tumble glass and add water.
  5. Dip finger biscuits in the glass one by one, rather quickly as they turn soggy easily.
  6. Line the side and the bottom of a mould of your choice with the wet finger biscuits.
  7. Now you need to layer chocolate mixture and biscuits, I went for 2 layers of chocolate mixture and 1 of biscuits
  8. Cover with a plate and put a weight on the plate so that the pudding gets compacted.
  9. store in the fridge for 24 hours
  10. about 1 hour before serving turn the Charlotte over on its serving plate.
You can make Charlottes with custard, fruits compotes and coulis etc.

Week-End Pictures: Winter at Winsley


Might sound a bit daft to make a special trip to a garden in the winter but certainly not in this case. First of all, while days are dark and cold, the riot of coloured orchids, the lush tropical environment warm your little heart up. Then the playful tropical butterflies are sublime and enchanting. Highly recommended. The RHS Garden Wisley but hurry up because the butterflies will be there only until the 27th of Feb.

accreditation: He who took all the pictures as my camera battery went flat from the get-go.


I almost forgot and may be I should have, here is my effort at baking better cookies, still need a bit of work, following the recipe would help.

Pampered Chef Cookie Press

Since I wrote this post, I've mastered the cookie Press, see my lavender cookies

I don't know much about the "door-step economy" and I am always surprised to hear that people take time to attend home-cooking shows. So this was not the part of the spiel which demanded my attention when I got an email from the Pampered Chef telling me about their 60,000 consultants worldwide, the bit  I like was their catalogue. A quick web-search reassured me a little -almost 5 stars all around-
Now it was decision time, I had my eye on the cookie press but was I the right person to try this out.?.....Pampered Chef People thought so, a few days later I received a box with my new gadget.

First impression : this object is neat, clean lines, compact, all 9 assorted shapes fit neatly inside the press, the plunger and the screw seems solid, the information leaflet is brief, now I am impressed. I just need an idea; that took me 2 seconds, it was going to be savoury biscuits which will be enjoyed at aperitif time. He smiled, good idea.

I mixed a dough of parmesan, flour, chopped olives, butter, pulled up the metal plunger rod, stuffed the dough in the barrel, selected disc number 4 specifically designed for savoury applications such as cheese crisps by the way I can't wait to use every single shape.
Now, I  insert the disk in the bottom ring, and click it so it fitted easily onto the bottom of the barrel. I then turned the plunger rod so that it "engaged," inclined the press at 45 degrees, turned the screw once more and.......I was not fast enough, the dough is now going out like churros, I panicked, grabed the scissors, managed the cut myself instead of the dough.

Attempt number 2, having recovered some dignity, I start again, I am prepared, I go slow, I turn and... nothing comes out, oh oh, but help is at hand, he turns the screw, oh nooo churros syndrome again, in a fit of laughter, I chop as the dough comes out, crinkled may be not as it should be but crinkled.

Pampered chef cookie press makes cookies like so :


mine looked like this
However, I will give The Pampered Chef cookie press top mark, it works, in fact it is excellent, I am just very inexperienced when it comes to making cookies, it cleans beautifully, it is sturdy and I can tell you he and I pushed this gadget to its limits, it takes no space in the cupboard and it is fast, well obviously in that case a wee too fast. This is a brilliant gadget which I really enjoy using it and I will use it again before the week-end.

For info and price, click here

si

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