Posts by Chris Bennett

Morphy ‘Innovators’ Review – The English Kitchen, Flavour Savour

By Chris Bennett | 07/09/2018 | Posted in Kitchen, Product Reviews, Morphy 'Innovators'

Now that the clocks have gone back by an hour, we’re well and truly into slow cooker season. Last month, several of our ‘House Proud Innovators’ were sent a Morphy Richards Flavour Savour to review. The first ‘Innovator’ to review this slow cooker was Marie who blogs at ‘The English Kitchen‘, you can visit her original blog post here.

A Slow Cooker with a wonderful Difference and some tasty Meals!

In October as a part of the Morphy Richards House Proud Innovator scheme I was sent a lovely 4.5 litre Flavour Savour Digital Slow Cooker. As a House Proud Innovator I am encouraged to put the appliances I am sent through their paces and to really give them a good work out, something which I am always happy to do.

I am no stranger to slow cooking. I often use my slow cooker and in fact have two sizes already, both Morphy Richard’s as well. I use them most often on Sundays and will cook a meat dish in the larger one and then a side dish in the smaller one.

The new Flavour Savour Digital Slow Cooker though is a machine with a big difference. You can use it in three different ways, which makes it very versatile and useful for more than just slow cooking. The Flavour Savour has 3 in 1 cooking functions, meaning you can seal, fast stew and slow cook all by using the one machine. The pan heats to around 200 degrees giving you an excellent sealing functionality, which means that you are able to brown any meat you are cooking without having to use a separate pot for that purpose. You can now brown and slow cook in the same pan. That is one function that I really loved with this machine.

It has a beautiful glass lid, which means that you are able to look inside and see what’s going on without lifting the lid, with cool touch handles which makes it very easy to transport from one location to another. With the older models that have a ceramic insert, this just isn’t easy to do. The cooking pot is also dish washer safe, which is a real bonus!

I found the instructions very easy to follow, which is also a bonus. I find that as I am getting older I often have a difficult time understanding instructions . . . blame my menopausal mind! I had no problem with this. The instructions were clear and concise.

Here it is plugged in and warming up to brown some meat in the cookpot. That function worked really well. I was well pleased.

The first dish I cooked in it was a proper slow cooking recipe, using pieces of chicken and a sauce, called Crock Pot Barbeque Chicken. As you can see it turned out quite deliciously scrummy! This I served with rice and a vegetable on the side.

*Crock Pot Barbeque Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Tender, sticky delicious chicken. You can use only breasts or a combination of breasts and thighs. Delicious.

4 to 6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken
1 bottle barbeque sauce (I used the Jack Daniels one)
1 ounces white vinegar (1/4 cup)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 ounces soft light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 tp 1 tsp garlic powder

Place your chicken pieces into the slow cooker. Stir together the barbeque sauce, vinegar, pepper flakes, brown sugar and garlic powder. Pour this over top of the chicken and give it a stir. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

The next recipe I tested on it was for a Crock Pot Beef Dip Sandwich. I love Beef Dip Sandwiches. It was always one of my favourite things to order when I lived in Canada and we would go out for supper. I remember having a particularly delicious one in Winnipeg Manitoba back in 1977 whilst we were waiting to board a train for Calgary. (You know something is good when 30 years later you are still thinking about it!)

This recipe is one I found online (forgive me as I can’t remember where right now). The meat turned out deliciously tender and we both enjoyed this very much. I will make again. It was almost as good as that one back in 1977, and I loved that I could brown the roast a bit first by using that function in the Flavour Savour.

*French Dip Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

Easy to make and oh so delicious with meltingly tender beef tucked into a soft roll, topped with cheese and then served with a beef broth for dipping.

1 medium brown skinned onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 fluid ounces beef broth/stock (3/4 cup)
2 fluid ounces dark soy sauce (1/4 cup)
4 fluid ounces water (1/2 cup)
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS grainy mustard
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 pounds beef roast for braising (I used a rolled brisket)
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
6 to 8 soft sandwich rolls
6 to 8 slices of provolone cheese, or an equivalent
amount of grated emmenthal cheese
one pint of beef broth (about 2 1/4 cups)

Rub the beef all over with some salt and pepper. Place the onion slices in the bottom of the crock pot. Stir together the beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, mustard, garlic and water. Put the beef into the crock pot on top of the onions. Pour the broth mixture over top. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours until meltingly tender.

To serve, warm the rolls and cut open. Shred the cooked beef and pile onto the warmed rolls, top with some of the onion and a bit of the juice from the pan, along with a slice of cheese. Close over, cut in half diagonally and serve along with a small bowl of beef broth for each person to dip their sandwich in.

I then decided to test out it’s normal cookery function and did a tasty stew in it. I was able to brown my meat and vegetables perfectly and then proceed as per the recipe. At the end we were rewarded with a deliciously tasty Irish Lamb and Barley Stew.

As you can see the lamb was beautifully browned. Stews gain a lot of their flavour from the browning step. All those rich caramelized meat juices really add a lot of taste and colour to the gravy.

*Irish Lamb and Barley Stew*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A delicious stew that cooks either on top of the stove or in the slow cooker.

2 TBS olive oil
1 kg (2 pounds) diced lamb shoulder
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped coarsely
1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped coarsely
1/2 small swede, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 litre of chicken stock (4 cups)
1/2 litre of boiling water (2 cups)
200g of pearl barley (1 cup)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped coarsely
1/2 of a small savoy cabbage, finely shredded
a handful of flat leaf parsely, coarsely chopped

Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan; cook the lamb, in batches until browned. Remove from the pan. Add the remaining oil and heat. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. Return the lamb to the pan, along with the stock, water, barley and thyme. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, for 1 hour, covered. Add the potato and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered, until tender. Add the cabbage and simmer for about 10 minutes longer, uncovered, or just until the cabbage is tender. Discard the thyme. Serve the stew ladled out into heated bowls and sprinkled with the parsley.

Note: if using the slow cooker, brown the meat and vegetables and then put them into the cooker along with the barley, hot stock and water and the herbs. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours. Add the potatoes and recover. Cook on high for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, uncovered on high for 10 to 15 minutes.

Finally I decided to try making some buttery toasted nuts in it. This is the time of year when these are really handy to have around. People will be dropping by off and on during the holidays which are coming up all too quickly and savoury nuts are a delicious little bite to serve along with a drink. (Next time I am going to try a sweet variety) As you can see they turned out fabulous in the Flavour Savour!

*Crock Pot Butter Roasted Pecans*
Makes 6 cups
Printable Recipe

Moreishly buttery and scrummy.

4 ounces butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 pounds pecan halves
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Optional ingredients:
garlic powder
onion powder
dried herbs (savoury, basil, oregano)

Place the butter into a 4.5 litre slowcooker. Heat on high for about half an hour to melt the butter. Add the pecans and toss to coat with the butter. Cover and cook on high for 1/2 hour. Uncover and cook on high for another 2 1/2 hours, giving them a stir every 1/2 hour. (You want to keep an eye on them and stir them often so that they don’t catch as you are cooking them on a high temperature.) At the end of that time they should be nicely roasted. Spread out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with the sale and pepper, and any optional ingredients you wish to use. Give them a good stir together and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

All in all I am very pleased with this machine. It has a lovely round shape which fits well into my kitchen. The cord is of a nice length and also stores very easily in the base when you want to put it away. I love that the cooking pot and lid wash up beautifully in the dish washer. I love that I can brown and stew with it, as well as slow cookin on a low, medium or high temperature . . . and I just adored the keep warm function, which means that it will hold your food for a further 2 hours at a warm temperature without over cooking it.

I would give the Morphy Richards Flavour Savour Digital Slow Cooker a full 10 out of 10 points for ease, looks and functionality.

Many thanks to Chris and the Morphy Richards people for having afforded me the opportunity to put it through it’s paces. I would highly recommend this machine to anyone, absolutely.

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Slow Cooker recipe inspiration

By Chris Bennett | 09/11/2012 | Posted in Recipes, Slow Cookers, Kitchen


 

The weather’s definitely getting a bit nippier now, so what better way to enjoy an evening in than with a healthy and hearty meal that all the family can enjoy?

It’s time to make your slow cooker a permanent fixture on the kitchen worktop. It’ll allow you to cook up incredibly tasty, great value meals by getting the most out of cheaper cuts of meat, while you get on with whatever else you have to have to do!

If you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve pulled together a couple of delicious recipes to try out. Whether you’re the owner of one of our innovative slow cookers or not, give them a try and let us know how you get on.


Thai Pork Curry

This dish is the perfect meal for frugal slow cooks. You can use inexpensive shoulder meat for the recipe, which will tenderise, thanks to the long cooking time.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 4 hours on high/8 hours on low

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sunflower oil

800g pork shoulder, diced

1 onion, sliced

90g red Thai curry paste

6 tbsp lime juice

400ml coconut milk

2 tbsp soy sauce

8 dried lime leaves

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped

3 baby aubergines, quartered

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

2 tbsp chopped basil leaves

4 tbsp fish sauce

Thai jasmine rice, to serve

Method:

First, cook the pork and onion in the Sear and Stew Slow Cooker for around five minutes, to brown it all over.

Combine the curry paste with half the lime juice and all the coconut milk, soy sauce and lime leaves. Heat until it’s simmering and pour it over the browned pork. Add the red pepper and aubergines. Cook it for four hours on the high setting or eight hours on low.

Stir in the additional lime juice, coriander, basil and fish sauce.

Spoon portions of the curry over the cooked Thai jasmine rice and serve up your delicious meal.


Sausage, Red Onion and Bean Casserole

This is a great meal which all the family are bound to enjoy. This particular version’s made with spicy sausages, but you could use ordinary sausages or even veggie ones, if you want.

Serves: 6

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 4 hours on high/8 hours on low

Ingredients:

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 red onions, diced

1 carrot, diced

450g merguez sausages

450g pork or veggie sausages

2 garlic cloves, chopped

½ tsp chipotle chilli paste

200ml beef stock

400g can of chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp chopped rosemary

100g pinto beans, soaked overnight, or 420g of canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Jacket potatoes, to serve

Sour cream, to serve

Method:

Cook the sausages in your Sear and Stew Slow Cooker for five minutes, to brown them, then add the onions and carrots, cooking for a further five minutes.

Add the garlic, chilli paste, stock and tomatoes to the sausages, onions and carrots, bringing the whole mixture to a simmer.

Season it well, then stir in the rosemary and pinto beans. Cook for four hours on the high slow cooker setting or eight hours on low.

Serve the casserole with jacket potatoes and sour cream.

So there you have it, two simple and delicious recipes to tickle your taste buds. If you’re in need of a versatile new slow cooker, why not check out or brand new Sear and Stew. It makes the whole process even more hassle-free, allowing you to brown your meat and slow cook in the same pot. 

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Chicken Curry – £4 Slow Cooker Challenge Recipe

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

Our latest ‘£4 Slow Cooker Challenge’ recipe has been submitted by Angela who is responsible for the ‘My Frugal Journey’ blog. Angela’s recipe is for a delicious Chicken Curry, you can see her recipe below:

I am trying to use my slow cooker more on busy days, and when I saw the Morphy Richards £4 slow cooker challenge, I knew just the recipe to try.

We love curry in our house, and I have been playing around with curry in the slow cooker for a while. This version usually fills us all up and comes out tasting lovely.

Chicken Curry

Ingredients

4x chicken thigh fillets (£2)

1kg potatoes chopped really small (50p) based on 2.5kg at 99p in the basics range

1x tin chopped tomatoes (33p)

5x mushrooms (20p) based on 4p each

1tsp curry powder / 1tsp cumin / 1tsp coriander (from store cupboard)

Rice to serve (30p) based on basics range at 60p for 1kg white rice

Total cost = £3.33

One tip I can give you is to chop the potatoes up really small as they take a long time to cook. I usually find this curry is perfect on high for about 5 hours or low for 8 hours. You just have to cook the rice before you’re ready to serve.

Overall taste is lovely. I would probably add some green beans or other vegetable to taste for overall appearance.

If you regularly use a slow cooker or think slow cooking sounds right up your street, we’ve got a tasty treat for you with our ‘£4 Slow Cooker Challenge’. You could win £200 worth of Morphy Richards items in our monthly draw. To find out more information about the challenge, click here.

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Meet our Soup Maker…

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

At Morphy Richards, we work very hard to develop new products and are constantly coming up with innovative ideas and looking at different ways to make existing products even better.

Our latest new product launch is a fantastic Soup Maker – perfect for the cold snap that the weather forecasters are predicting is on the horizon. Please allow us to introduce the Soup Maker to you:

We’ve designed the Soup Maker so that it’s even easier to make homemade soup to your individual taste, with the minimum fuss needed. All you have to do is place all of the ingredients needed for your favourite recipe inside the Soup Maker. Then it’s as simple as selecting either the smooth or chunky setting, depending on your preference, and then waiting a short amount of time for the Soup Maker to blend and gently cook the ingredients for perfectly delicious homemade soup – it really couldn’t be any easier. If your chunky soup is a bit too ‘chunky’ for your liking, there is a ‘blend’ button to blend the soup to your perfect consistency.

Food doesn’t get much better than fresh, homemade soup, but it can be complicated and time-consuming, especially when you’re juggling the demands of a busy life. That’s where the Morphy Richards Soup Maker comes into its own. The Soup maker is very easy to use – all you have to do is select your desired setting with the press of a button and then walk away. In as little as 15 – 25 minutes you’ve got a perfectly delicious meal, cooked your way.

Product Specification

  • 1 litre capacity
  • Stainless steel jug
  • Smooth or Chunky soup setting
  • Unique pulse function – for blending to desired consistency
  • Programme indicator lights – a light will indicate the selected programme
  • Audible notification – a beep can be heard when the programme begins and ends
  • Overfill sensor
  • Easy clean, compact design

Check out the video below, Dean Cowan, a design and innovation engineer at Morphy Richards talks over the key features of the Soup Maker.

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Coming Soon…

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

Here at ‘Home of the House Proud’, we’re very excited about the impending arrival of a new product next week – our Meno Milk Frother! The frother is perfect for creating milkshakes or frothing milk for coffee.

Watch this space for more exciting news about the milk frother over the coming week – we’re sure that you’re going to love it!

Ahead of its launch, we’ve teamed up with the guys at Crusha to give somebody the chance to win the first frother of the production line. You can enter the competition on the new Crusha website.

We’re going to be working with Crusha over the coming months to bring you a whole host of different milkshake ideas and inspiration – please stay tuned!

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Adventures in Gluten-Free Breadmaking, By Karin Joyce

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Gluten Free Resource, Kitchen

Here at ‘Home of the House Proud’, we’re delighted to introduce Karin Joyce’s latest blog post. As regular visitors will know, Karin is one of our wonderful coeliac ambassadors and she regularly shares details about how she copes living with the condition. This week, Karin’s been testing out a Morphy Richards breadmaker, which allows her to cook delicious gluten-free bread at home.

When I first was diagnosed with coeliac disease, a source of sadness for me was the loss of “normal” bread. I love bread. In every shape and size. When I lived in France in 2005, I got a baguette nearly every day. It exfoliated the roof of my mouth but I didn’t care! The pain was worth it. Bread was good.

Now I find out that bread is the enemy. And one of the worst parts is that the crucial ingredient that makes bread bread is GLUTEN. Making gluten-free bread is not easy. You seem to either wind up with something that weighs 37 pounds or tastes like wool. Neither option is overly appealing!

In the first few weeks of going gluten-free, I passed on the store bought gluten-free alternatives. Mainly because I couldn’t rationalise the price! Most store-bought, gluten-free bread is 2-3 times the cost of their “normal” alternative. £2.89 for a teeny loaf of moderately edible bread is not my idea of fun. For the sake of taste-testing, I did buy a loaf of Genius bread. It’s not too horrible but I still can’t justify the cost. When I received my starter kits from Juvela and Glutafin there were small loaves of bread and bread rolls included in the kits. Again, these samples were not half bad. I did find that they were best eaten toasted which was fine by me as toast and tea is my usual breakfast. I could have toast again! Rejoice!

Juvela and Glutafin are prescription only brands, however. I wanted to MAKE my own bread to not only save money but to be able to eat it fresh and warm and say, “I MADE that bread!” I gave the Juvela Fibre Mix a whirl without the use of a breadmaker and lo and behold…I created BREAD. It was light and lucious and didn’t cost a thing! (Well, I had received the mix for free in my starter kit) I will most definitely try this method again when I am able to fill my prescription.

But I’m funny. I like to make things with my own two hands (or my own breadmaker) by measuring and mixing, not pouring it from a mix. I guess I’m not funny…I’m a control freak with a need for constant reassurance!

Last week, I unpacked the Morphy Richards breadmaker that I received as a contributor to the Home of the House Proud site. I was so excited as I washed the baking pan and lovingly “seasoned” it for its first trial run. I used the following recipe for my first attempt in my adventures in gluten-free breadmaking:

  • 300ml tepid water
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 120g Juvela white mix/120g Glutafin white mix/120g Doves Farm White bread flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast

Method:

Add the water, oil and salt into the pan. Add the flour mixtures. Sprinkle the sugar followed by the yeast onto the top of the flour mixture. Place the pan into the breadmachine. Use the Gluten-Free programme. Wait, watch and hope for the best.

The gluten-free programme takes approximately 2hrs 35 minutes. I regularly kept peering through the window to check on the progress. It didn’t look promising for a while. There wasn’t much rising going on initially. In fact, most of the progress on it looking like a normal loaf of bread didn’t take place until the last 45 minutes or so. Doesn’t it look scrummy?

 

The finished product? Well, IT TASTED GREAT!!!!! I couldn’t wait for the requisite 30 minutes cooling time. I yanked the pan out of the breadmachine, turned the loaf out (it actually slid right out), placed it on a make-shift rack to cool and stared at it. I tapped it (sounded like good bread should) and then, after about 10 minutes, I cut off the end and had a taste! Very, very nice! Not at all like wool and quite light, thank you very much! Have a look!

Pretty huh?! I was rather proud of it! The hubby approved and Little Miss scarfed it right down. 2 votes of approval right there. Now, my recipe is slightly unorthodox. It was not perfect as it was a mixture of 3 types of gluten-free flour and I went off the rails to make that up. But it was tasty and went down a treat AND was gluten-free. It lasted the night with a few slices left for my toast in the morning. Result! 

However, being the control freak that I am, I was not satisfied with this first attempt. I felt that I wasn’t doing my readers and any possible gluten-free readers, a service by relying on prescription-only mixes. So, I set up the bread maker the next day to make another attempt at gluten-free breadmaking using Doves Farm flour and the recipe on the back of their White Bread Flour package. A package that anyone (in the UK) can buy. Tune in later this week to see the results! In the meantime, enjoy this first attempt in adventures in gluten-free breadmaking. I know I did!

My name is Karin Joyce and I am a freelance writer and parent blogger. I am the author of Cafe Bebe, a parenting website where I share my adventures in motherhood, marriage, mealtimes and moi. I am the mother of an energetic and entertaining two year old and the wife of an Englishman who is fully supportive of my coeliac diagnosis. I will be a regular contributor to Morphy Richards ‘Home of the House Proud’ where I will share posts, tips, recipes and reviews.

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Win a Flavour Savour….. and enter our ‘£4 Slow Cooker Challenge’

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

To celebrate the launch of our ‘£4 Slow Cooker Challenge’, we’ve got one of our fantastic Flavour Savours (4.5 litre) to giveaway to one lucky visitor to ‘Home of the House Proud’. 

At this time of the year, there’s nothing better than enjoying hearty, wholesome food to warm you up.  Slow cooking is one of the healthiest and cost effective ways of cooking, allowing you to use cheaper cuts of meat and left over vegetables – the long cooking time tenderises cheaper cuts of meat releasing sumptuous flavours. What’s more, slow cookers use a lot less energy than conventional ovens, which means more money in your pocket.

Slow cooking is great for busy households – you just have to place all of the prepared ingredients into the slow cooker (depending on your Slow Cooker) select the time/temperature and away you go until the timer sounds. Slow cooking is so convenient, you can set it off on a morning before work and a delicious meal will be ready for dinner by the time you return in the evening.

If you regularly use a slow cooker or think slow cooking sounds right up your street, we’ve got a tasty treat for you with our ‘£4 Slow Cooker Challenge’.

We want you to create a main meal (the main component) to feed a family of four using your slow cooker. Here’s the interesting bit, you can’t spend any more than £4 when creating it.

Because we’re kind people here at ‘Home of the House Proud’, we will let you have a number of ‘free ingredients’ that don’t have to come out of the £4 budget. These ingredients are as follows: Salt, Pepper, Herbs, Stock, Oil and Water (obviously). Think you’re up for the challenge?

Once you’ve cooked up your treat, it would be great if you could send us your recipe along with a picture of your dish so we can share it with visitors to Home of the House Proud’, please submit it along with your photo here or e-mail it to us at morphychallenge@finncomms.com. Please remember to state the cost of each ingredient when you submit it to us. If you’re a blogger yourself, it would be great if you could post it on your blog too.

From all of the entries, each month we’ll select an entrant at random to win £200 worth of Morphy Richards products, however, you must have fulfilled the criteria – the ingredients don’t exceed £4 and it can feed a family of four.


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Great Reviews Brewing for Mattino Espresso…

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen, Product Reviews

Since its launch before Christmas, Morphy Richards’ Mattino Espresso has been receiving some rave reviews from people that have treated themselves to the machine. We’ve included some of the feedback that we’ve received below:

“It’s Easy to use and there’s no waiting for the machine to warm up.  The Espresso Mattino looks modern and classy. The removable tank is excellent; the steamer is great, as is the water hardness setting. All of its features are useful and work well. I love this machine!”

“It’s compact and looks great on the side in the kitchen. Above all, it is easy to use and makes a great cup of coffee.”

“It works brilliantly, I can’t praise this enough, all the functions work well and it looks beautiful too.”

The Mattino Espresso really is a stunning looking product, if you’re looking to invest in an espresso machine; we strongly advise that you check out this little number as we’re very proud of it– we’re sure you’ll love it!

Mattino Espresso is an intelligent, versatile espresso machine that delivers great tasting coffee with minimum effort required. The built in Smart Press System intuitively tamps your coffee, maintaining 18 bar pressure. It is compatible with both ground coffee and E.S.E. pods and has three temperature settings meaning you can vary the taste and temperature according to your preference.

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Food Shopping as a Coeliac, by Karin Joyce

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Gluten Free Resource, Kitchen

‘Home of the House Proud’s’  lovely coeliac ambassador, Karin Joyce has been telling us how her life has changed since being diagnosed with coeliac disease last year. In her second blog post, Karin explains how she now has to shop for food.

The Next Step Forward…

After being undergoing a gastroscopy as a formality for subsequent coeliac diagnosis, I began eating a gluten-free diet the next day. The idea of going gluten-free was a bit daunting. I had previously been entirely too fond of gluten-filled food items like pasta, bread and more pasta. What was I going to do? Whatever was I going to eat?

Of course, there are tons of naturally gluten-free foods like fruits and vegetables, meats, potatoes and rice. The mine-field that is gluten-free living is in searching out the hidden gluten in things that you’d never guess had gluten. For example, oven chip: made of potatoes correct? Yes, oven chips are made of potato but certain brands and styles will coat the oven chips in a dusting of flour and/or spices to make them crispier when baked or to prevent them from sticking together thus rendering them inedible for coeliacs.

Your first point of call, when planning your first gluten-free meals and shopping trips should be to check the Coeliac UK, Juvela and Glutafin sites. Registering with these sites will allow you to receive starter kits including written information about appropriate gluten-free food items and samples of prescription items such as flour, pizza bases, pasta and bread. Coeliac UK will also send you the Food and Drink Guide which will become an essential part of finding gluten-free food items while out and about and for shopping.

Juvela Prescription

Every major grocery chain will have a “free-from” section. Not every item is a gluten-free item but all of the items are targeted to those individuals with food allergies and intolerances. Thankfully you can purchase staple items like bread, pasta, flours, pizza bases, biscuits, crackers, crumpets and more. What is unsettling, however, is the price of most gluten-free items which is double and sometimes triples that of the non-gluten-free alternatives. If you’re desperate for a bagel or a crumpet though, you do have options.

I have found that through process of elimination, looking up specific items that are favourites and lots of label reading, in a relatively short span of time you will establish a list of items that you know are gluten-free and become staples on your shopping list. There are some items you may have to pay more for but for the sake of convenience that expense may be worth it.

A happy result of adopting a gluten-free diet is that I have gotten stuck into the kitchen and cooking again. I gave our cupboards an overhaul by clearing out all of the items with gluten in them and started fresh with gluten-free pantry items like flours, pasta, baking powder, gravy granules and soups. I’ve taken old recipes and adapted them to suit my gluten-free needs and my husband has been exceptionally supportive of the changes. This support is essential for a smooth transition to a gluten-free life.

Taking the next step forward can be a bit daunting but with help from organisations like Coeliac UK, your favourite grocery chain’s free-from section, a bit of label reading and some kitchen re-organisation you can confidently take that step into gluten-free living and hopefully never look back.

My name is Karin Joyce and I am a freelance writer and parent blogger. I am the author of Cafe Bebe, a parenting website where I share my adventures in motherhood, marriage, mealtimes and moi. I am the mother of an energetic and entertaining two year old and the wife of an Englishman who is fully supportive of my coeliac diagnosis. I will be a regular contributor to Morphy Richards ‘Home of the House Proud’ where I will share posts, tips, recipes and reviews.

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Steam ahead with your healthy eating…

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

As you may have read from our earlier blog post on steaming, this is a great, healthy and nutritious way of cooking food – perfect for this time of year when a lot of people are eating healthily. Here at Morphy Richards we have a range of steamers that we’re very proud of, especially our Intellisteam.

The Intellisteam is quite a unique product as it looks quite different to other steamers on the market. The intelligent timer on the Intellisteam ensures that all steamed ingredients are perfectly cooked and that the whole meal is ready to serve at the same time, here’s some more of the product’s key features:

Easy to use digital display

  • The digital display mirrors the steaming compartments, which enables you to easily see the time that is remaining in each individual compartment

8.2litre capacity

  • It cooks complete meals for up to 4 adults

Pre set time guide

  • There’s a pre-set time guide for different foods including chicken, fish, vegetables, rice and sauces – so no more guesswork

Personalised memory

  • The Intellisteam cook times can be personalised and saved to memory for future use

3 individually controlled heaters

  • It gives greater control, allowing you to set different times for different containers

Auto keep warm function

  • It keeps food perfect when cooking has finished for up to 40 minutes until you are ready to serve

External water top up

  • This is for handy water top up during cooking

Visible water gauge

  • It allows water levels to be checked during cooking

Dishwasher safe

  • All containers, accessories and the drip tray can be cleaned in a dishwasher

See how the Intellisteam works in the video below; please accept our apologies about the average quality of this.

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New Year, New You?

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

We’re two weeks into the new year and Christmas seems like a very distant memory now! If like us you’re on a strict new year’s health kick, then over the course of the next month or so, we’ll be sharing hints and tips to help you keep those calorie demons at bay.

Here at Morphy Richards we have numerous products that can assist with your healthy eating. Healthy eating isn’t just about choosing the correct food; it’s also about selecting the correct preparation and cooking methods. Arguably our best line of products for cooking healthy food is our range of steamers, in particular, our Intellisteam.

Steaming is one of the healthiest and most nutritious ways of cooking food and you can do far more than just cook vegetables with one. Below, we’ve highlighted a number of benefits of steaming food:

  • Food does not come directly in contact with water when using a steamer, this means that nutrients that would otherwise be lost  are retained in the food:
  1. Compared to raw consumption, a food steamer reduces folic acid by 15%, and boiling reduces it by 35% (source)
  2. Again compared to raw consumption, a food steamer reduces vitamin C by 15%, and boiling reduces it by 25% (source)
  • Steaming is a gentle way of cooking food, this results in the food retaining its aromatic composition and cellular structure (this means that it won’t lose its shape or break up)
  • Fish is delicious when cooked in a steamer. It keeps all of its flavours and nutrients e.g. Omega-3. Fish doesn’t fall apart during or after the steaming process
  • A food steamer can be used to cook a lot more than just vegetables; you can steam chicken, dumplings, and even custard!
  • Overcooking or burning food can destroy most of the health benefits. This can be easily avoided through the use of a steamer

Don’t just take our word for it; celebrities who swear by steaming their food include: Claudia Schiffer, Angelina Jolie and Madonna.

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Happy New Year!

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012

Everyone at Morphy Richards and ‘Home of the House Proud’ would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.

We’re very excited about the year ahead here at Morphy HQ, we’ve got some great product launches on the horizon that we’re eager to tell you about! Please keep visiting ‘Home of the House Proud’ for all the latest news from the world of Morphy, reviews, competitions and promotions.

We’re delighted to announce that throughout January we are keeping all our product prices at 2010 VAT rates. That means we won’t be putting prices up until 1st Feburary 2011 if you buy from the Morphy Richards.

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Happy Christmas Shopping – but please take care!

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Kitchen

The Christmas shopping season is well underway with Monday (‘Mega Monday’ as it’s widely known) being the busiest day of the year for online purchases, with tens of thousands of pounds being spent every minute.
 
For those of you who haven’t started your Christmas shopping as yet, plan on doing the bulk of it online and have an electrical item in mind as being the perfect gift for a friend or loved one, Home of the House Proud would just like to remind you to exercise caution when buying from unknown sources on the internet, especially if the source is outside of the EU. There are a lot of products from outside of the EU that not designed to be used in Europe and do not meet European safety standard as a result.
 
In a recent BBC article, an industry safety body says as many as one in ten items bought online can result in a fire (especially from outside of the EU) and highlights some of the things that you should look out for when you’re shopping for electrical goods, these are outlined below:
 
- Companies with a ‘.co.uk’ suffix may not be based in the UK, make sure that you can find a postal address for the website before you commit to making a purchase

- Try not to be drawn into cheap deals – there are always some great bargains to be had from trusted retailers, but if you see a very good deal and you know little about the retailer, make sure you do your research before committing to buy

- Stick to purchasing brands that you’ve heard of, if you’ve not heard of the brand, make sure you do a little research using a search engine
 
You can read the original BBC article here

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Are you on Facebook?

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012

If you are, we’d love you to become a fan of our page. It’s a great community for you to interact with other Morphy product owners to share and swap hints, tips and advice. You can also keep up to date with the latest news from Morphy HQ and there will be regular competitions for you to enter!

What’s more, at the end of today (Wednesday 1st December), we’ll be selecting five lucky friends at random to win a £10 Argos gift voucher. See you over there!

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Shirley, Launceston, Cornwall

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Product Reviews

Pros: Easy to use, Excellent grip, Glides beautifully, Looks lovely, VERY GOOD VALUE
Cons: A little heavy for some
Best Uses: Good for heavy fabrics, Lovely finish

Excellent sturdy base and usefull cord storage.
Makes light work of large items as it glides so well.
I thought it might be a bit heavy, but because it moves so easily it was not a problem.

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Graeme the trainer, Stafford

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Product Reviews

Pros: Brilliant bleep reminder, I love the Turbo Boost, It’s an excellent Iron, Tank filling is so easy, The swivel cord is great
Cons: There are no cons
Best Uses: It does all ironing well

The iron has been in constant use since we got it. It is used for shirts trousers, our sons lifeguard uniform, as well as dresses and blouses. It is so easy to control. It fills with such ease with the large filler top, and the Turbo Steam system deals with any stubborn creases.Most definitely the best iron I’ve ever had!

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Mcdouj, Wiltshire

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Product Reviews

Pros: Copious amounts of steam, Easy to fill tank, Lightweight, Longer than usual flexCons: Frequent refilling
Best Uses: Brilliant results, Timesaving
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Regularly use this product and the time I spend ironing in a week has been noticeably reduced. It is particularly effective on heavy items, such as jeans which and the results more than meet my needs. The extra long flex allows me to set up my ironing board wherever I wish. And also makes it easy to use the copious steam productions on curtains whilst they are hanging! The only downside I have noticed is the great steam production means having to refill more frequesntly.

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jhdune, Bradford, West Yorkshire

By Chris Bennett | 06/08/2012 | Posted in Product Reviews

Pros: Brilliant to use, Easy to Fill, Easy to handle, Great colour and design
Best Uses: Fantastic at all ironing
Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I just love the design and feel of the iron it’s really great to use.

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A Big Welcome to Our New ‘Innovators’!

By Chris Bennett | 26/07/2012 | Posted in Floor Care, Garment Care, Ironing, Kitchen, Morphy 'Innovators'

We’ve had a busy few weeks here at Morphy HQ, reading all of the great entries that we’ve received from food and mummy bloggers to become a Morphy Richards ‘Innovator’ for the next 12 months. Our ‘Innovators’ do a very important job by testing and reviewing our latest appliances and giving us the valuable feedback that we need in order to make them even better!

With the support of Sally Whittle and her team at the Foodies 100 (which Morphy Richards sponsors) and the Tots 100, we asked bloggers to submit an entry around the following, whilst looking for individuality, personality and great writing:

  • Top Tips for Housework…
  • Domestic Disasters…
  • Kitchen Inventions…

In total, we received over an incredible 130 entries – thanks to everybody that took the time to write an entry! We have painstakingly narrowed down all of the entries to 25 bloggers, who will become our new ‘Innovators’. Our ‘Innovators’ are…. *drum roll please*

Seasider in the City

Make It, Bake It

At Home with Mrs M

The Crazy Kitchen

Made by the chef

The Vegetarian Experience

Ramblings of a Suburban Mummy

Turquoise Lemons

The Five Fs

Casa Costello

London Unattached

92three30

Lavender and Lovage

Over a Cuppa

The Gingerbread House

Bad Fiction

Being Mrs C

Me and My Kiddywinks

A boy with Asperger’s

Knees Up Mother Brown

Inside the Wendy House

This is Me. Sarah Mum of 3

Lilynhaangel

Domestic Goddesque

Slummy Single Mummy


A big thanks again to all that entered. Those bloggers lucky enough to be selected will be hearing from us via e-mail over the next couple of days.

If you weren’t lucky enough to be selected, worry not, we will be running a whole host of activity through our sponsorship of the Foodies 100 that you’ll be able to get involved in. Alternatively, we’d love you to sign up to the ‘Morphy Members Club’ on Facebook.

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80 Recipes for your Bread Maker by Richard Ehrlich (in partnership with Morphy Richards)

By Chris Bennett | 26/07/2012 | Posted in Kitchen, Recipes

Once you’ve purchased a Morphy Richards appliance, we want to make sure that you get the most from it – that’s why we created ‘Home of the House Proud’ and it’s also why we recently teamed up with author Richard Ehrlich to launch a brand new recipe book for bread maker owners entitled, ’80 Recipes for your Bread Maker’.

Richard Ehrich has written on food for The Times, Guardian, Financial Times and Time Out, where he is also a contributor to the Time Out Eating and Drinking Guide. He has won two Glenfiddich Awards for his drinks column in the Independent on Sunday and is currently the wine editor of Good Housekeeping. In addition to this bread maker recipe book, he’s also put one together for a Halogen Oven and Pressure Cooker.

’80 Recipes for your Bread Maker’ really does demonstrate how versatile this appliance can be and includes tasty and nutritious recipes for every occasion. The book covers classic, simple loaves, such as White Bread and Rye Bread; Flavoured Breads, such as Goat’s Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread, and Peanut Butter Bread; and cakes and sweet laves, including Chocolate Marmalade Marble Cake and Pear Cake. The book also teaches you how to use a Morphy Richards bread maker to knead dough so that you can effortlessly make anything from Mushroom Pizza to Raisin Buns.

The mouth-watering photography in the book will inspire you to get your apron out and start baking today. Packed with reliable advice and inventive recipes, this book is just what you need to get the most from your bread maker.

You can get your copy of ’80 Recipes for your Bread Maker’ from the Morphy Richards website or by calling our customer care team on: 0844 873 0726. The book is priced at £14.99.

If you pick up a copy and make a recipe from it, or have your own delicious breadmaker recipe that you regularly make, we’d love you to share it with us on our Facebook page!

Happy Bread Making!

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