No pressure cooking with the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic
No pressure cooking with the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic
Malcolm Harradine

Festive Food Time

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Wherever does the time go? Here we are only days away from Christmas and a dinner table groaning with delicious food, so it really is time to spring into action and do some forward preparation.

I would imagine that you have already placed your order for the turkey and other meats, listed all the vegetables you need and thought through the table setting but there are things that you can do now to make life easier on the day.

With all the rings on the hob in use and a full oven, we always find it helps to get a few things in the freezer a week or so before, so the first thing we do is the Cauliflower Cheese. Just defrost the day before you need it and then when you are ready to cook it, cover in extra mature cheddar cheese and bake till crispy brown on top. You might want to par boil your carrots so that they are easily finished off in the steamer and also, if you like parsnips with your festive lunch, parboil these too. You could either do this the day before or anytime now - just pop in a sealed bag or container and freeze. Now onto Day 2 - Boxing Day!

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The general rule is that the leftovers are eaten up so if you have plenty of turkey, you could throw together an easy Turkey Curry and if you have a pile of leftover sprouts (not in our house as Mel has a taste for sprouts), try my What to Do with Leftover Sprouts recipe. If you wanted to add to the meats, a gammon joint cooked in Coca Cola is a tasty option and easily done too.

Going back to prepping beforehand, as a treat for the kids (I say kids, they are 20 and 21!) I rustle up their favourite cake, a Chocolate Xmas Yule Log. I bake this ahead, freeze and defrost the night before and then decorate with the chocolate icing, adding a festive sprig of holly. Looks lovely on the table too before it is devoured!

Whatever you choose to eat, I am sure you will have great satisfaction preparing it for yourself and your family, so all that remains is for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Cheers!

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Mal's Tried and Tested - road testing must- have kitchen products

I am often asked to test products before they even get to market, so off I go into my "lab" to start the testing process. My top 3 considerations are does the product work, would it be used on a regular basis and not just consigned to the back of the cupboard and does it look good? If it gets 3 ticks, then it will appear on what will become a list of my personal "tried and tested" products.

I hope that when you read on and are armed with all the facts, that this helps you to make a considered purchase.

More products are being road tested and added to the website as we speak so before you buy, have a read at my reviews - remember they only get on here if I really rate them! Click onto my Tried and Tested pages for more details which include halogen ovens, pizza ovens, ice cream makers, cone and wafer makers, bake-ware, blenders, cookware, oven-to-tableware, the wonders of silicone, safety products, clever fridge storage and the amazing Anyway Spray for your trigger bottles.

New Image TitleThe VisiCook Home Baker - compact, lightweight but packs a punch
New Image TitleA must-have for your kitchen - the Maoui Deba knife
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