Product Review – OXO Good Grips Hand Held Mandoline

After posting a review recently of the OXO Good Grips Y Peeler that I’d bought, I was contacted by OXO and asked if I’d like to review their Hand Held Mandoline Slicer.  As this was something on my wish list of quick and easy kitchen gadgets that I wanted, I said yes and duly received one a few days later.  Along with this, they also kindly sent me a Jar Opener too.  As I had had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a few years back and have slightly less grip in my right hand than I’d had prior to my operation, this was a perfect thing for me to be sent as a little bonus product to try.  My hubby will now no longer be pestered to open jars for me, and I will no longer destroy one rubber glove trying to get into them when he’s not about. (As well as previously knocking on the door of a neighbour to ask for their assistance!)

Preparing tonight’s dinner, I set my Mandoline to setting no.2 then peeled and halved my onion, ready to slice. This stainless steel blade is so incredibly sharp, that relatively little effort is required to cut through the onion with ease and in no time at all my onion was prepared and ready to cook.  I found that you need to be continuous in your movement and fairly quick in speed to get the best cut from it.  The small ridges on the surface ensure that your food doesn’t stick to the Mandoline as it creates a slight air gap to raise the food up. 

Not content with preparing the onion for dinner, I hunted in the fridge to see what else I could slice, and test how good this Mandoline really was with harder vegetables.

Firstly a courgette. Again no worries to be had with this, and as you can see from the photo below, it was sliced so beautifully thinly on setting no.1 that your can see through the flesh.

Ok, so it can handle relatively soft onions and courgettes with ease, but now let’s see what it can do with a carrot, shall we? 

Well what can I say that the photograph below can’t say for itself? So perfectly and evenly sliced on setting no.1 that, when held up to the light, it’s like a stained glass window of the vegetable world.

It had no trouble dealing with the carrot on any of the settings and I can imagine that preparing dinner is going to get a whole lot quicker when food needs slicing from now on, don’t you? I have to mention how glad I am that this has a finger guard to hold the food securely when slicing, as I can imagine the damage it could cause if you were daft enough to slice without it.  Flesh is softer than veg (and more painful when run across a blade this sharp!)

The Mandoline slicer has a soft grip handle and foot to prevent it slipping in your hand (even if wet) whilst you slice.  It also has a groove on the back so, that you can pop it over a bowl to slice directly into it.  It retails currently at £15.00.  The Jar Opener currently retails at £7.50 and both can be bought both online directly from OXO, or from good cook shops /stockists.

The OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicer and the OXO Good Grips Jar Opener were sent to me free of charge to review. I was under no obligation, however, to provide a positive review. The comments above are my own personal and honest opinion of the items sent to me.

Cake Pops with Rangemaster

When you get home from a long day at work and find this waiting for you, it can only put a big smile on your face, can’t it?  Well…. what was inside? Do you want to see?
This is what was inside.  A recipe sheet from Rangemaster and pretty much all the ingredients needed to make a batch of cake pops, including butter, flour, vanilla extract, icing sugar, cocoa, cake pop sticks, chocolate and sprinkles. Just add egg, a bit of love and an oven.

Obviously (but sadly) the box wasn’t big enough to fit a Rangemaster oven in, so my own kitchen one had to do! Although they did send me a brochure full of their ranges which I could only dream of buying. The brochure was strategically left open and marked at the relevant page for hubby.  Soon be Christmas, don’t ha know! Haha!

The recipe sheet and instructions were easy to follow, so I stood back and allowed my daughter and her friend to create these fabulous looking cake pops.  They didn’t last long, and I’m lucky that I actually managed to photograph four of them before they were devoured!

Thanks to Rangemaster for sending me the box of ingredients, not to mention giving me green eyed envy at what my kitchen NEEDS to continue to help me create plates of amazing (but easy) food. 

BBC Good Food Show Ticket Winners

What a fabulous amount of entries for my ticket giveaway to the BBC Good Food Show, Winter 2014 at the NEC in Birmingham. Thanks to everyone that took the time to find the answers and send them to me.  I’m delighted to announce that a pair of tickets for the show will be going to each the following three winners (chosen from the ‘hat’ by my lovely daughter):

Helen Bailey
David Burke
Zoe Goodwin
The tickets will be sent directly to you using the address you provided in your emails.
Enjoy the show!

Wine Review – Central Co-Operative – Bio Bio Valley Malbec

It’s Saturday evening, the oven is on and the smells of a rich & spiced Lamb Tagine is filling the kitchen.  The red wine I’ve chosen to go with tonight’s dinner is the Bio Bio Valley Malbec from Chile.  Specially selected and imported by the Co-Operative, it’s a dark, dense and robust wine, perfect with tomato based meals such as casseroles, quality burgers, sausages and red meats.
The Malbec grape wines sit between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot.  It’s detailed as having a mix of sweet blackberry and boysenberry fruits laced with incense and cigar box.  We found it to be dark in colour with ample tannins, smooth on the palate and silky in texture.  It complemented the flavours and spices of the tagine and certainly wasn’t intimidated by the bold meal with which it was served and was equally enjoyable on it’s own with a second glass after dinner was finished.

This review was carried out on behalf of the Central England Co-Operative.  You can find other wine reviews on the We Like Wine Blog and by following them on Twitter @we_like_wine.

I was sent a voucher with which to purchase the wine and was allowed free choice of the bottle that I chose and meal that I paired it with.