Saturday, 21 July 2012

Vivitar DVR 892HD Digital Camcorder Giveaway

 I am giving away to one lucky follower a Black Vivitar DVR 892HD Digital Camcorder.
Extra compact, High Definition camcorder with colour display and built-in "flick" USB arm. The DVR 892HD also has 4x digital zoom and image stabilisation to creatre a lightweight HD recorder that is so portable you'll forget that it's always packed and ready to shoot.

To be in with a chance of winning,  read my previous post entitled 'Tuscan Inspired Recipe' and...

1) Follow this blog,
2) Answer the simple question below based on the Tuscan post I have written:
3) And if you love the look of this dish, PLEASE scroll down & vote for it here:To Tuscany


Question:
How many tomato halves are used in the final picture of this dish?

Please leave your answers in the comments box below.  Winner will be notified by e-mail. Competition closes Midnight 28th July.

_______________________________

Congratulations to Chevaune Stanley! 
Thanks for sending in your picture.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Tuscan Inspired Recipe


"I want to win a week in one of your Tuscany villas!"

This 'feel good' Tuscan inspired starter I have invented myself, is both super-stylish and sophisticated, and will leave your guests reminiscing of the sun-drenched climbs of Italy. It’s a dish you will be proud to serve.

Put together using 3 staple Tuscan ingredients; (olive oil, tomatoes and parmesan) - and a few others, I wanted this trinity to speak for itself, because although I have never had the privilege of visiting this Foodie hotspot, one thing I do know is that good quality ingredients don’t need fussing with – they simply speak for themselves!

Try not to scrimp on ingredients, buy the best tomatoes, olive oil and Parmesan you budget will allow.

 Tomato Consomm√© with Parmesan Croutons – serves 4

Consomme:
1 1/4 kg of overripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove of garlic peeled and chopped finely
½ tsp salt

Croutons:
50g finely grated Parmesan
¼ ciabatta cut into cubes
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of salt

Garnish with:
½ cucumber sliced, and slices cut in half
12 halved cherry tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
A handful of Parmesan shavings

Additional equipment:
Muslin cloth

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180oc
  • Put the cherry tomatoes, garlic and salt into a food processor and pulse them until the juices release.
  • Place a sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with a piece of muslin cloth.  Pour the tomato mixture into the muslin and allow the juices to drain through.  This should take 30 minutes or so.  After this time gently squeeze the muslin to get a bit more out (not too tight as it’s nice to keep the soup clear).  Set the juices aside

  • Next, in a bowl toss the ciabatta cubes with a generous drizzle of olive oil, then sprinkle over the Parmesan, a pinch of salt and toss again.  Scatter onto a baking tray for about 5 minutes until golden.

  • To assemble – divide your cucumber and halved tomatoes into 4 bowls in an elegant fashion followed by your Parmesan croutons and shavings of Parmesan.  At this stage I think you have 2 options:  Either pour the consomm√© into 4 individual bowls drizzled with olive oil, allowing each guests to pour the consomm√© into their soup bowl at the table (this is visually the best option, and adds an element of fun), or carefully pour yourself into each soup bowl and drizzle with olive oil!

Buon Appetito!

If you love the look of this dish, PLEASE vote for it…just scroll to the bottom of this link:

I’d love to blog some more about my first ever trip to Italy and the gastronomic finds!
The Tuscan Trinity




**Top tip – Make this dish the day before, so it’s one less dish to do on the day. Store the soup in the fridge the croutons in an airtight container.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

'Local Catch' The South Coast's first Seafood Mobile App Launches

Calling all seafood lovers....

I have just caught wind of a new mobile phone app that has launched for the south coast, and could have the ability to revolutionise the way we think, buy and eat fish!

Developed by South East Seafood with the aid of Portsmouth University students, the app, called Local Catch, lets fishermen along the south coast send out alerts on what they've caught that day to anyone who downloads the app and registers, meaning local people can meet their local fisherman/fishmonger and purchase same-day caught fish. Restaurants can join in too. It's one of the only ways to be sure you're getting same-day caught fish that's 100% local.

This FREE app can be found via www.localcatch.co.uk  and is available on Android.  Unfortunately you will have to wait a little longer for the iPhone version (which is due out before September), so I was unable to trial it and review it for you, so until then any feedback on your experiences of the app would be more than welcome!

For me this is very exciting news, as it is bringing an age old industry forward by using cutting edge technology to make sure the consumer can plan ahead,  become more aware of seasonal seafood, inspire you to be more adventurous, and much much more.

Read on to find out more....

If you like the sound of fresh locally caught fish and seafood, but aren’t quite sure how or where to get it, then brace yourself for a change thanks to South East Seafood. Working in partnership with the south coast’s fishing community, the group is excited to be launching Local Catch, a revolutionary new smart phone app and website designed to connect you direct to your local fisherman’s catch of the day.

The launch of Local Catch means anyone on the south coast can register to receive alerts about their local catch of the day direct to their smart phone, tablet or computer. Whether it’s crab, lobster, bream or bass, the south coast’s fishermen and the fishmongers, restaurants and cafes they supply will all be uploading details of their freshest catches, along with their exact location every day. All you have to do is pop along to your local fishmonger, or meet your local fishermen directly and you’ll be guaranteed fresh local fish and seafood, the day it’s caught.

To ensure you really make the most of your fish, Local Catch gives you access to a whole range of recipes, inspiration and ideas, as well as cooking tips and videos on the preparation of various fish and seafood dishes. So whether you’re making bouillabaisse, bisque, crab cakes or chowder you can be sure your fish supper will be the freshest around. 

In addition to guaranteeing you fresh fish that’s 100% local, the launch of Local Catch also means a fairer price for the fishermen of the south coast. Henriette Reinders, Director of South East Seafood, explains: “The launch of Local Catch means a lot for the local fishing community. It will put them in contact with a much wider range of buyers than ever before, creating a better deal for everyone involved.”  Henriette is keen to encourage local residents from across Hampshire to download the app: “Local Catch is all about supporting the local fishing community and getting the freshest possible local fish. This is a truly unique opportunity and one of the only ways to really be sure you’re getting fresh local fish on the day it’s caught. Residents along on the south coast are the first to trial this exciting scheme. If everyone in the community gets behind Local Catch it could be a real local success story, revolutionising the way we get our fish.”

Local fisherman Roger Ramsden, who fishes off the coast of Hayling Island, is equally excited about the launch of Local Catch: “I think it’s fantastic news and a really great opportunity for the local fishing community and lovers of fish. There are lots of people who may not previously have known how to get their hands on fresh fish and seafood, so I am really looking forward to letting local people know about what I catch. It’s great to have a way to reach out and tell local people what I’ve caught. I’m really hoping lots of local people download the app.”  

And it’s not just consumers who can benefit from the app, as Henriette explains that local chefs and restaurants can get involved too: “We are really keen for chefs, restaurants, pubs, cafes, delis and fishmongers to use Local Catch too – they simply need to register in the same way as members of the public would. Once they’ve purchased from their local fishermen they are then able to send out an alert that lets people in the local area know they’ve got fresh, locally caught seafood on the menu.”
Local Catch is simple to use and free to download now from the Android Market. It’s also just as easy to use Local Catch on your computer, simply log on to www.localcatch.co.uk to sign up and find out the catch of the day.