Monday, 21 September 2015

Top Chef -blogger competition with Grana Padarno

I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in Grana Padano's Top Chef competition hosted by chef Fracesco Mazzei, probably best known for being in Masterchef.

The brief was to create a 2 course meal, capturing the real taste of Italy and using Grana Padano Riserva 24 months as the star ingredient.

We were lucky enough to receive a bag of goodies and a delivery of ingredients to Inspire me and also a voucher for tesco just incase I needed anything else. I felt like Christmas had come early with all these deliveries.

First was my starter, I chose to make a starter of Italian gralic mushrooms and pancetta on toast.

Italian garlic mushrooms and pancetta on toast

200g of mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
Half an onion diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Grana Padano plus some to sprinkle on the top
Half a glass of wine (optional)
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
77g packet of pancetta
Basil to garnish
1 slice of warbutons soft white wrap

1.Heat the oil in a pan 
2.Chop the garlic and add to the pan 
3.Add the onion and cook until a translucent colour
4.If desired add half a glass of wine and cook for around 3 mins
5.Add to the mixture the pancetta
6.Add the mushrooms and cook until they have reduced in size
7.Add the herbs and a the Grana Padano to the pan and stir
8. Toast the slice of bread in the oven, take out when toasted and cut to desired shape. Drizzle with some olive oil
9. Top with the garlic mushroom mixture
10. Top with a sprig of basil and enjoy

It really makes a great starter or even a main if you prefer.

I chose for my main a dish my mother likes to cook, but switched it around for an authentic Italian dinner.

Roasted butternut squash and creamy chicken tagliatelle

This serves 4

2 chicken breasts diced
250g squash diced
1 garlic clove
Half a finely diced onion
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
4 tablespoons of grated Grana Padano
100g tagliatelle
6 oz of natural or greek yogurt plain
Sprig of basil chopped

1. Heat oven to 180
2. Roast squash in oven until soft
3.Mix chicken, yogurt, herbs, garlic and onion in a bowl and add half of the Grana Padano
4.Put in an oven proof dish and bake for 35mins
5.Cook the pasta, drain then toss in a little olive oil
6.Remove the chicken out of the oven and mix in the squash and some of the basil
7. Place pasta on a plate, then the chicken and squash mixture on top, garnish with basil and grated Grana Padano

Both dishes go well with a nice glass of wine and I enjoyed taking part in this round of the competition.

I just want to wish the other bloggers good luck and thank Chef Francesco and Grana Padano for letting me take part.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Oh the weather is lovely - Making the most of it!

Fun in the sun with my baby girl. The weather has been great hasn't it. At the moment whilst I'm back at my dad's we have been making the most of the weather, back garden and space.

What's your favourite thing to do in the sun?
Any suggestions to keep the kids occupied this summer?

Friday, 10 April 2015

If I can dream - Panasonic Review

Well everything has considerably changed since the last time I posted. I made the very difficult choice of being on my own and focusing on Juno. 

All this upheaval and change means looking for a place of our own for me and Juno and starting from scratch again. (more on that soon)

One of the most important things for us is being able to watch Frozen repeatedly to our hearts content. The need for this means a new T.V and the solution to this problem may lie in a Panasonic Smart Viera LED 4K TV 

It is a 4K display TV which means it fits four times as many pixels into the screen. So basically it looks like Anna, Elsa and Olaf would be as real as if they were looking at you through a window. (freaky thought really, imagine seeing a scary movie or Jeremy Clarkson that clear!!)

Another thing I love is gaming, and this definitely has the features for it. It has the very latest 4K 50/60p input which means gaming, computers, cameras and camcorders can benefit from a new dimension in definition and clarity. 

The Panasonic Smart Viera is also a 3D TV too, personally I'm not too keen on having 3D at home, but this may convert me. It comes with two pairs of glasses too which is a bonus.

If you are a bit of a technophobe like me it's also very easy to operate and set up, with the help of voice interaction,voice guidance and also E- Help, you should have no problems. With a touch pad controller life could be no simpler. 

You can also browse the internet too as this TV is internet ready and has it's own apps, is blue-tooth compatible and has it's own swipe ans share feature which I think is pretty cool.

At an impressive 65 inches, it may seem a bit too big for me but lets face it, you wouldn't need anything else would you?

If you want more information on this Panasonic Smart Viera TV -  

(* This is a sponsored post on behalf of Panasonic)