Produce Review – OXO Soft Works Y Peeler

Being an avid cook, you can imagine I have a few bits of equipment that I love to use.  For many years I had the most amazing potato peeler which was comfortable to hold and use in my small hand, remained incredibly sharp and so a pleasure to use.  That was until my husband decided to throw it away with the peelings (although he still denies doing that to this day!) Since that fateful day, I’ve been through about 8 different ones in search of the holy grail of peelers, only to be disappointed with every purchase and resigning them to the bin as a waste of money.
A true dilemma of a cook in the kitchen, indeed!
Well, that was until I bought myself an OXO Soft Works Y Peeler a few weeks back.  OMG! What a tool!!!!! It’s comfortable to hold, speedy to use and incredibly sharp. So good in fact, that I actually don’t mind peeling the potatoes and other veg again now.  It’s the first time I’d tried a Y Peeler and I’m glad that I did.  I won’t be looking back and going to a ‘stick’ peeler again.
So here’s my top tip: go and buy yourself one. Like me, I’m sure, you won’t be disappointed.
I’m so impressed with the quality, that I’ll be buying their tin opener as that’s the next essential tool that drives me insane due to inefficiency! 
This post was not sponsored in any way by OXO. The Y Peeler was purchased personally.  I just wanted to share a positive product review with you.

Fusilli Al Vegetali

A quick and easy supper for 2.

150g Pasta Shapes
30ml Rapeseed Oil
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 medium Carrot, cut into Julienne (thin strips)
1 medium Courgette, cut into Julienne (thin strips)
100g Mushrooms, sliced
400g Tomatoes (tinned or fresh, chopped)
Salt & pepper to taste
25g Fresh Parmesan, grated

1. Put a large pan of water on to boil for your pasta.
2. Heat your oil and gently fry the onion, garlic and bay leaf together until the onion is transparent.
3. Add your carrot, mushrooms and courgettes and cook for a further 2 minutes on a high heat.
4. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
5. Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
6. To the juices in your pan, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes.
7. Return the vegetables to the pan to warm through.
8. Drain the pasta.
9. Add the pasta to your vegetables and mix well.
10. Serve sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan.

Veggie Pasta Pie

Continuing the pasta and vegetarian theme of recipes.  This is a mixture of pasta, vegetables and a creamy, cheese flavoured béchamel sauce.  Simply delicious!

30ml Rapeseed oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 each, red, green and yellow pepper, sliced
2 medium courgettes, sliced
225g Mushrooms, sliced
400g can Chopped tomatoes
15ml Tomato Puree
Salt & Pepper to taste
275g Pasta shapes
25g Plain flour
25g Butter
300ml Milk
115g Cheddar cheese, grated
50g Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Parsley to garnish
1. Preheat your oven to 190°C.
2. Heat your oil and fry the onion for about 5 minutes until soft.
3. Add the peppers, courgettes and mushrooms, then fry for about 8-10 minutes.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, bring to the boil and simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.
5. Season to taste.
6. Meanwhile cook your pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente (just firm).
7. Drain your pasta and rinse well under cold water to cool.
8. Place your flour, butter and milk into a saucepan and heat gently, whisking constantly until you have a smooth, thick sauce.
9. Add your pasta and half of your grated Cheddar cheese to the sauce and stir until the cheese has melted.
10. Spoon the vegetable mixture into a shallow, ovenproof, dish and top with the pasta and cheese sauce.
11. Sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar cheese and the Parmesan.
12. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.
13. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Ronnie’s 50th

This was a double layered vanilla traybake. Commissioned by Lynn for her husband Ronnie’s 50th birthday. It was also their 5th wedding anniversary around the same time so I decided to make 2 little ducks swimming on a heart shaped pond in his garden.

Being a keen gardener of both flowers and a little vegetable plot, Lynn had asked me to make his cake to that theme.

I loved the collection of this one, as he was taken out on a ‘magical mystery tour’ in the car and ended up at my house to receive his cake!