Posts Tagged With: Flake

Win-Win!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a Redmond Pressure Multicooker in an online competition! I was absolutely thrilled – couldn’t quite believe my luck, to be honest – as I had read some food bloggers’ reviews on the new Redmond Multicooker and been very impressed. As you know, I bake for my dogs and I also bake for family visits on Sundays, and I love to cook, but it’s just the 2 of us at home now that DD has  moved into her own place with her partner.Even though we have solar panels, electricity is so expensive and I am very aware of how much energy my fan oven and hob use, so I try to limit my baking and washing to sunny days… That can be tricky in England because our weather is nothing if not unpredictable! That’s why I wanted a Multicooker – far more energy-efficient and they can steam, bake, fry, cook, deep fry – all in one gadget that uses a mere 900 watts.

So, I was super-excited when my Pressure Multicooker arrived…

RMC-110E-2

Isn’t it beautiful??!! Look at all the things that come with it….

redmond-RMC110E

A 4.8 litre cooking bowl (totally non-stick); a trivet and steam basket; spoons; a measuring pot; a deep-fry basket and a 100-recipe book. This cooker has 55 automatic programmes, but you can use the “Multichef” settings to cook the way you want to and for how long you want. I haven’t used a pressure cooker for about 30 years, so I was a bit intimidated at first!

My first meal was a gammon joint, baked from frozen, followed by roasted potatoes and root veggies. Look at this!

RMC-gammon

That was incredible… the meat was cooked to perfection, in half the time it would have taken in the fan oven and the veg were perfect too! My next venture was the Meatball soup following the recipe in the Redmond book:

Meatball-soup

Super-tasty and nutritious, cooked in 20 minutes. This is the life – chuck it all in, press a few buttons and forget about it! A couple of days later, I was craving something sweet. I don’t eat biscuits or cookies as such, but I enjoy a slice of cake, so I decided to bake a Victoria-style sponge cake. That’s a great favourite here and I didn’t have all the ingredients required by the recipes in the book, so I winged it, using my basic sponge recipe and adding some coffee and stem ginger curd left over from a hamper I won at Christmas! Fingers tightly crossed, I pressed the appropriate buttons and left it to cook/bake!

RMC-CoffeeCake1

When it was cooked, this is what it looked like. I tipped it out onto a plate, (put the plate over the top of the bowl and up-ended it!) – et voila!

RMC-CoffeeCake2

A large, round, super-fluffy cake, dusted with icing sugar!!

RMC-CoffeeCake

As light as a steamed pudding and it tasted amazing – Bravo, Redmond! I can’t tell you how delighted I am – oh and not forgetting my husband, who is dining like a King lately!! The cake was incredibly light and moist and stayed that way until we demolished the last 2 slices  4 days later!

Today is Father’s Day and I am treating us to steak – with some vouchers courtesy of the Tesco Orchard Programme – #TriedforLess, which will also be cooked in the Redmond. However, I did use the oven today to bake the dogs some peanut butter, carrot and oat cookies, and I have mini meringues baking now for our dessert with Tesco’s fresh berries – also #TriedForLess!!

Zeus and Flake had me virtually pinned to the oven when their cookies had finished baking… Understandable, as they really did smell great!

PeanutButter-dog-cookies

So that’s it from me today – do you bake for your dogs too?

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REGGIE needs a Forever Home

REGGIE

This is Reggie… one of the dogs in rescue to Loving Homes Dog Rescue at the moment. This is the dog rescue I work alongside and where Flake came from. I hope this lovely boy finds a home soon. ❤

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The dogs enjoying the sunshine!

Zeus and Flake have had a lot of fun sunbathing, playing and sleeping lately. The weather has been gloriously sunny, although the air temperature has dropped considerably now… Here are a few fun photos the kids managed to get on Sunday of Flake, and yesterday, of Zeus. Both dogs appear to be enjoying posing in sunglasses…

Flake's "Robert DeNiro" look...

Flake’s “Robert DeNiro” look…

They're both gorgeous!

They’re both gorgeous!

Hello!!

Hello!!

Dis is mah smug face.... 'cos I has swagger!

Dis is mah smug face…. ‘cos I has swagger!

Priceless! I am so thankful for the modern technology that makes these memories for us. Such happy faces! 🙂

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Cold carrots = real goodness!

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Zeus and Flake are very healthy rescue dogs, due mainly to their food! They both love their frozen stuffed Kongs (as I have already shown you), but they also have a penchant for cold carrots, straight from the fridge!

zeus-carrotI highly recommend them as treats – full of Vitamins and sweetness, healthy, good for their teeth and coats and they don’t put weight on your pet either! Flake likes to lay down and delicately devour her carrots:

Flake-carrot

She’s such a lady!! 😉

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Zeus & Flake Doggy-Popsicles

It’s been such a beautiful couple of days here in the UK – well, here in the East Midlands, at any rate! The dogs have been sunbathing and we’ve had the doors and windows open for the best part of the day. I make them an AirKong each every day, sometimes it has peanut butter and banana in it, mostly though, I fill 75% of it with chopped apple and add a few tsps (teaspoons) of plain, cheap cream cheese to the end, to stop the apple from falling out. I put them in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes to set/firm the cheese and then they can enjoy one each.

This is Zeus, rolling his very frozen Kong around the decking…

He is a greedy pupster, and will always make sure he eats every last morsel, whereas Flake is lazier – she’s just after the cream cheese or peanut butter, and has a “take it or leave it” attitude to the apple! She is also much slower to consume her Kongs!

The Buffalo Horn is fantastic! It’s much harder for the dogs to destroy and is still pretty much in tact. However, I can’t say the same for the stag bar, which is no more! We’ll definitely be buying more buffalo horn in the future – the only chewable treats that we’ve found equal to a Staffy’s jaw-power are these and the Anco roots. It’s great to have options!

I have now discovered Youtube Capture which means I can upload more videos easily from the iPad so expect more footage over the next weeks!! How cool is that! 🙂

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Found something new!

Today we went off to our local Kennelgate Pet Superstore to buy a new stag antler and another Anco root for the dogs. On the same section, I discovered a new product for “aggressive chewers” – Buffalo Horn! It’s blacker than Zeus, comes in 3 sizes and is about half the price of a stag antler…

Buffalo-tag

On the reverse, it states: Standard Buffalo Horn also available in mini & jumbo sizes…

  • Low in Fat
  • Long lasting
  • No additives
  • No preservatives

…. and will not splinter. This sounds brilliant. We don’t buy roasted or smoked bones because they do splinter. We don’t buy raw bones as my two will fight over an imaginary toy so they’d probably kill each other over a meaty raw bone. This limits our choices to raw hide chews, all manner of tripe sticks, jerky, etc. and the costly stag bars which should last months, but in our house, mine get through a large stag antler in a couple of weeks! The Anco Roots last longer – a lot longer and the dogs seem quite happy to chew on them daily.

Here’s Zeus, getting to grips with his first ever buffalo horn:

Zeus-buffalo-horn

It’s quite hard to photograph an almost black dog on a black, red and white rug, chewing a black buffalo horn, so this is the clearest pic I managed to get before he felt annoyed and wandered off!!

The Buffalo Horns are from Hollings Ltd. – who have a pretty comprehensive website and an active Facebook Page. I wish they’d make us product testers!! Come on, Hollings people! We’d love to collaborate with you and review your range of products. 🙂

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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News, pics and trialling new products!

I have lovely news! Flake and Zeus have won a Pawesome Box! I have no idea what’ll be in it, but it should arrive in March sometime… and of course, I’ll post photos of the box, the dogs and what happens!! Pawesome boxes are available on a monthly subscription basis, for both cats and dogs! Just follow the link above. 🙂

Zeus trying to prove he's Top Dog!

Zeus trying to prove he’s Top Dog!

These two lie on top of each other constantly. In the evenings, it’s for body warmth. During that day, I have no idea!

When Amber’s Baby Oleg toy arrived, we discovered that Flake really took a shine to it. Whether it awoke her “maternal” instincts, we’re not sure, but she did become a little obsessed. Thank goodness Oleg survived and lives in Ambs’s bathroom now!

I really want Baby Oleg...

I really want Baby Oleg…

I love this pic… 🙂

Apart from the dogs, I have another addiction – comping (entering prize draws and competitions). It’s a very absorbing hobby and brings lovely rewards. I recently won a beautiful Armani gift set from Dave Lackie – it came all the way from Canada.

My "Armani smile"!

My “Armani smile”!

Gorgeous, isn’t it? I never thought I’d be wearing Armani, in any way, shape or form! Just goes to show what lovely things you can win. At the moment, I’m taking part in a market research project for a collaborative marketing company called Trnd.com who have sent me a bottle of the new 007 Perfume for Women. Needless to say it’s divine! Nick has all the Bond fragrances for men, so I was delighted to get a chance to be a Bond Woman with this fragrance. It’s really lovely – subtle, with lots of special notes that intrigue the senses! This is the pack I was sent and already 7 of the samples have gone to friends to test!! I await feedback eagerly…

007 - licensed to thrill!

007 – licensed to thrill!

I’ll keep you posted as far as the dogs’ and my wins are concerned. Happy days!! 😉

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New dog biscuits recipe…

A friend involved in dog rescue sent me a book last year from Parragon Books called Dog Treats and I’ve made a few of the recipes – Tuna Triangles being a favourite. However, there are a lot of ingredients in these recipes which are a bit specialist, like Spelt flour which isn’t always easy to come by/inexpensive.

I am becoming more confident baking for the dogs, so I adapt the recipes I use to suit my 2: They don’t do well with liver – it gives them the runs… so I use fish (sardines or tuna) instead. This batch of reward biscuits were made with ham and cheese and I made 1 and a half times the amount so they’d go a bit further. Instead of wholewheat flour, I used cornmeal for a crisper biscuit; grated cheddar instead of parmesan and shredded wafer thin ham. I also added a tbsp of poppy seeds for texture.

Reward Biscuits recipe

Reward Biscuits recipe

Step 1

Step 1

Poppy seeds & egg

Poppy seeds & egg

The dough

The dough

Bring it all together with a fork and then add enough water to make it manageable!

Rolled out to about 1cm thick

Rolled out to about 1cm thick

Tip: I use a silicone baking sheet for my dough. It’s brilliant because I don’t have to use extra flour when rolling out as the dough doesn’t stick to it.

Cut into bite-sized biscuits on a baking sheet

Cut into bite-sized biscuits on a baking sheet

These are baked at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes and then left to dry out in the oven till cold. They are tasty, crunchy and nutritious – the dogs love them. I often pop a sweet potato in the oven to bake when I’m cooking, to add to the dogs’ food in the mornings. It’s a really nice treat for them and makes a change from just dry food. A large baked one lasts them 3-4 days and they really enjoy it.

The left-over chicken version, without poppy seeds

The left-over chicken version, without poppy seeds

I baked these this morning! They keep well in the tin which I picked up for £1 at B&M Stores in Mansfield 🙂

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New Year’s Eve Food… and cuddles

Our New Year’s Eve feast was great. Both the kids are a bit picky and weren’t too sure about the *Finest Party Food I’d bought, but it looked so good they opted to try it anyway!! They did bring some spicy chicken and pigs-in-blankets with them, just in case, and devoured most of the mini sausage rolls I’d baked too!

Camembert

Canapes

Profiteroles

Of course, the Irish Cream Profiteroles were a big hit with all of us – although I could only manage 2! We had wine and port to toast the New Year and the kids left at about 10pm as I had an early start at work – on New Year’s Day! As if people hadn’t bought enough food over the Festive period…

When I get home, the dogs are overjoyed to see me and once we’ve all greeted each other, it’s lovely to sit down and have a cuddle with Flake…

Flake-cuddle

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2014 in review…

Zeus has been with us for almost a year now… and having got through Christmas without blubbing because our beloved Thor wasn’t around, we remember him fondly and I still catch myself calling the pupster ‘Thor’, especially when he’s under my feet!

I’m looking forward to 2015. 2014 ended up being a good year for us as a family: DD found herself in a new relationship which developed rapidly and resulted in her leaving the nest and setting up home with her new man – both are hard-working young people and look to become a very successful and loving couple, with a great future ahead of them.

Nick’s battle with skin cancer continues, although it’s become active again in his nose and I foresee hospital visits again next year, but on the whole we are both 100% healthier than we were last winter. We’re eating well and sensibly (well I do love to cook!!), regularly taking multi-vitamins and we had flu jabs this year too. I discovered the Nutribullet this year and decided that if I couldn’t win one (did I mention I’m an avid comper?), then we’d treat ourselves to one for Christmas. And we did… We’ve been having our “Nutriblast” every morning at about 11-ish and feel better and more energised for it even though it’s only been a couple of weeks. My main aim is to boost our immune systems and get as much cancer-fighting material into Nick as possible, without setting off his IBS, poor man!

As far as our two rescue dogs are concerned, they are now inseparable. They play and squabble and sleep together, just like siblings and take it in turns to be the “dominant” one for the day, hour, whatever… Zeus is only crated when we go out, or Nick takes me/picks me up from work, or if he’s in real need of a “Time Out”!

I’ve stopped baking treats/biscuits for them more than once a week because the last thing they need is to become overweight. Seriously, I still spoil them, but they get a filled Kong each once a day* which is very good for them, probably way better than so many treats – even if they’re home made!

Filled Kongs: Chopped apple and cream cheese, banana and peanut butter, frozen stock and cold meat (a bit like a lolly!!). I also bake a sweet potato for them when I use the oven and that lasts them 3 days added to their food bowl.

I don’t really make “resolutions” as such, but my intention is to blog more, post more photos and shoot more video of our fur-babies, so do pop in and see what we’ve been up to, won’t you? Now I’m off to shower and change before DD and her BF come over to spend a few hours with us this evening. We’ll be devouring some lovely Party Food from the Tesco *finest range which I got to try out for less through the Tesco Orchard Programme… They give me vouchers to spend on new products and I review them and share on Social Media – good for us, good for them too! #Triedforless

#Triedforless

#Triedforless

Will share pics and my thoughts next time… Happy New Year! 🙂

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