Saturday, 22 November 2014
I have finally given into temptation and bought myself a soup maker. After doing my research I opted for the Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup Maker. You need to do your research when it comes to prices, they vary from supplier to supplier, £99 directly from the manufacturers website, £69 at Curry's etc. The cheapest I managed to find it was £59 from Amazon. You can also get the non sauté one for £20 cheaaper.
It really is as easy as they claim. Since receiving mine on Tuesday we have had soup everyday. One thing though they claim your soup will be ready in 21 minutes, not the case if you are using root vegetables. I had to run it for another 21 minutes to ensure that the vegetables were cooked and the soup had a creamy consistency.
Today I decided to make roasted peppers and garlic soup. I cut up the peppers and roasted them in the oven along with tons of garlic still in their skins. Chopped in some celery, chicken stock cube, squirt of tomato and basil puree and finally a couple of twists of the pepper grinder.
Once the pepper and garlic were roasted I simply added them to the soup maker (ensure you peel the garlic before adding) along with the rest of my ingredients. Add water to the max mark.
Put the lid on and select the mode you want to use. As there were no root vegetables this soup only took the 21 minutes.
And in under half an hour you have the yummiest nourishing homemade soup. If you buy yourself any gift this Christmas, make sure it is a soup maker. I have never eaten so many vegetables, it can only be good for my health.
Friday, 21 November 2014
Christmas has arrived in Hertford
I have driven past The Snug every day after work and never gone in. Well that won’t be the case again. Danielle and I received an invite to sample their Christmas menu on Thursday evening, the 20th of November. We dragged David with us, as we did not fancy having to make him a meal before we hit the town. We arrived to a warm welcome and were immediately made to feel at ease by the Manager Kyle, who is a lovely friendly guy and a brilliant host. The evening started well with a lovely glass or two of Prosecco, you can’t go wrong with that.
The purpose of the evening was to sample their new Christmas menu, and Wow did we do that. We started with their festive platters which were piled with delicious nibbles which make a great addition to their cocktails. The platters include: Potato skins with turkey, cheese and caramelised onion topping; chicken wings tossed in a Bourbon and cherry glaze; mini sausages in a honey and mustard glaze; fig and Wensleydale & cranberry skewers; miniature prawn cocktail; bacon and Brie quesadillas and chutney and Brie bruschetta. Our table cleared the platters in minutes and we all agreed they were delicious.
The nibbles were followed by their new Christmas burger. A first of its kind as a homemade 7oz British Beef Burger is topped with turkey, Cheddar cheese, smoked back bacon, bourbon & cherry sauce and pickles, served with a side of pulled pork in BBQ sauce and skinny fries. It is sure to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. They also have Rib-Eye steaks on offer too, along with creamy penne pasta and a Vegetable Medley.
Thank goodness after all the gorgeous food, we had a reprise and a chance to sample and make their new Christmas cocktails. The Snug Bar has created two festive cocktails which combine the best premium spirits with recognisable Christmas flavours. Danielle was behind the bar in a flash to try her hand at cocktail making, she still needs a bit of practice with the making of them but needs no help when it comes to the drinking of them.
If you want to try your hand at making them here are the recipes for their two festive cocktails:
THE CANDY CANE COCKTAIL
20ml Raspberry Vodka
10ml White Cacao
5ml Minttu (or Crème de Menthe)
50ml Cranberry Juice
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a candy cane straw
MINCE PIE MARTINI
10ml Apple Schnapps
50ml Apple Juice
Shake all ingredients and double strain into a Martini. Top with foamed milk and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve with a mince pie!
One of the guests suggested they heated this one up and I must say it was a brilliant suggestion. It had that warm Christmassy feel and taste about it.
Cocktail making and drinking over it was time to sample their desserts. These had a divided opinion around our table, we all had our favourites, and mine was the eggnog cheesecake, a creamily decadent dessert to top any Christmas do. David and Danielle loved the Terry’s Chocolate Orange Sundae, a combination of Vanilla Ice Cream, chocolate sauce, layered with crushed chocolate orange pieces and topped with whipped cream.
The Snugs Christmas nibbles menu costs £10 per person, a fair price for what you get.
If you are looking for a warm and a truly snug venue for your Christmas functions or just looking for a place to entertain friends, I can highly recommend you give The Snug in Hertford a try.