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Gadgets I’d Like on MY Christmas List – Yes I Know it’s only October

It’s no secret that I’m a gadget girl.   Between Air Frying, Soup Making and Pressure Cooking, I tend to fall for lots of ideas and then not always follow through.

Some gadgets have been absolutely disastrous for me.  I bought an egg cooker that I thought was a saving grace, but within a month, I hated the blasted thing.  It kept cutting out, never cooked how I’d like it to, and the eggs just didn’t taste right.  A rice cooker that I was loving, packed up after a few uses and I couldn’t find the receipt to take it back.  On principle, I wouldn’t replace it.  I see rice cookers and I eye them suspiciously from shop aisles.  I was even suckered into an Air Fryer as my one had packed in.  I have regretted that choice for the last 2 months that I’ve owned it, but it does get lots of use.  I should have stuck to what I know, but it’s done now.

I have a yoghurt maker that I love, and works a treat.  My breadmaker, however will soon need replaced.  Mine is years old and I think is beginning to wilt.  For years, every loaf turned out perfectly, but now, it’s hit or miss.

So – the top gadgets for me are:

1 – New Soupmaker

My husband decided to drop mine, into a bucket of water.  Ahem…..  If you ask me, I think he dunked it to wash, then realised it doesn’t like the electrics being flooded with water.  He did dismantle it to dry it out, but although it still worked to heat, it no longer blended.  He owed me a new one.  I actually just went and bought this, so Christmas won’t be without a soup maker after all.  It’s a little more fancy than my last version, and has a lift out inner to make for easier cleaning, and today, yes, today, will be the first day I try this out with a new recipe.  I do need to review this soon.

(Aff Link)

2 – Actifry

My last Actifry blew up.  It had been used for hundreds of hours, and didn’t really stand a chance against loads of teenagers constantly making chips…….  The ideal thing about that, is that I don’t have to get involved.  The teens found it easy to throw in some chips, bung in a spoon of oil, and when it finished turning, the chips were ready.  AND, if they got distracted and forgot about the chips, they weren’t burning the house down.  When they put food in the oven, it invariably ends up burnt, or with the bottom of my oven seeping whatever food they cooked.

I was in Costco when my Actifry blew up, and they had another make on offer, which I ended up buying.  And while it’s great for other features, it fails miserably for chips.  For the teens to use it on their own, they have to put the chips into a closed basket, which rotates.  It’s rotation feature is amazing for chicken, but for chips, not on.  To get the chips out, they either have to open the basket with their hands wrapped in a towel or oven glove, or lift the whole thing out and do it.  If’s fiddly, and there’s a bigger chance of getting burned.  If they put the chips on the bottom of the pan, they have to be moved around in person half way through cooking, which sort of defies the potential of air cooking.

Anyway, I’m stuck with a machine that is actually good for many things, but just not for chips.  A new Actifry isn’t in my future, but one of these, I’d like.

(Aff Links)

3 – New Phone

Again, this isn’t actually in my future, but I’d love the new, super dooper iPhone.  I guess most of us Apple gadget fans would.  It’s just too pricey for me, so I’ll stick with my old iPhone 6S Plus, which is now out of contract and only costs me airtime.  It does have a teensy scratch on the screen, but I haven’t managed to persuade myself that it’s worth the cost of replacing with something that costs around a thousand pounds.  It doesn’t stop me looking at the picture with pure envy….

I can’t afford the phone, but maybe if I buy an iPhone X case, I can pretend there’s one on the way for my Christmas.  Given that the hub and I only give token pressies to each other for birthday and Xmas, I’ll just live and dream..

(Aff Link)

4 – Hoover – Vaccuum Cleaner

The name depends on where you come from.  Up here, we say hoover, but online, people all tend to say vacuum cleaner, and think Hoover is just a brand of vacuum.  Our is borked.  I don’t buy these often, but when I do, other people tend to be the ones who break them.  Kids – are you listening…….

These are what I’d like.  I haven’t pressed the button on buy yet, as I keep hoping for a sooper dooper sale, but I think I’ll have to go for it soon.

(Aff Links)

5 – Breadmaker

In actual reality, the first one below is the one I’d ideally love, as it also makes pasta.  I haven’t tried making pasta flour in my old breadmaker, so it might be worth trying to see if my dying machine can make anything suitable before splashing out.  I suspect that although I’d love one that also makes pasta, it’s a bit on the pricey side for me, so the second one is more likely to be my replacement one after Xmas. I like the idea of a black breadmaker that’s more likely to blend into my worktop than the light coloured machines.

(Aff Links)

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Review: New Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup Maker

I bought this Morphy Richards Sauté and Soup Maker with Serrated Blade recently, to replace my older Morphy Richards Soup Maker.  I love the quantities and ease of cleaning with the Morphy Richards soup makers, so there was not even a discussion in my mind as to whether I should get one or not.    I was lucky enough to get mine from Costco at a great price, though Amazon seem to have them for around £52.

I have six people to feed, and my mother, who had dementia, is also diabetic.  To get good food into her, the soup maker is just so easy.  I throw all the ingredients into the pot, then twenty minutes later we have bowls of great tasting soup for her.

I did find that trying to sauté ingredients with my old maker was a bit of a faff, as it had to be done separately, so another pan to clean.  Because of that, I rarely bothered, unless I wanted a specific taste.  I did get a bit of a surprise when I switched on the Sauté and Soup maker, to find out just how quickly that it heated up the integrated sauté function.

The inside of the soup maker has a coating, which you can effectively fry onions, butter, garlic and any vegetables you fancy on it.  The smells that come off are amazing and to be honest, they really do make any soup taste much more appealing.

morphy richards saute and soup maker featured

The secret to good soup is always great stock, but there are ways to cheat with good herb and stock pots.  You have to find a way that suits you.

Here’s a little about the maker.


Just pop a little butter or oil into the bottom of the jug and throw in onions, bacon bits, some herbs, garlic, ginger or spices and let them fry for a minute or two.  I use a wooden spoon to give the vegetables a little stir around while they’re cooking.

Morphy richards saute and soup maker 3


We can choose which settings to use.  Smooth takes the soup into a quick pureed state, while chunky is just that, although it takes a few minutes more for the soup to be ready.  There’s actually even a pause setting that allows you to remove the lid and add some seasonings before the cooking starts again.  There’s a blend function for if the soup isn’t smooth enough for you, and the last one is the juicer function, which I have to admit, I haven’t used with this soup maker yet.

Morphy richards saute and soup maker 4

Serving Capacity

1.6 litres, or 1.4 litre options.    The booket says for servings up to 4 people, but I manage to get enough with one kettle full for three adults and three children.  And if we need more, it only takes 20 minutes to make it, so I can have another pot brewing while we eat our first bowlful.

Non stick coating

This is a fabulous addition to the soup maker.  I’m not sure what more I can say.  It is easier to empty the soup immediately out of the soup maker and rinse it off there and then.  Dried on soup is harder to remove afterwards and you don’t want water to get into the electrical points.

Morphy richards saute and soup maker 2

Making soup is a dawdle in a soupmaker.  It even means that I can just leave it to get on with the job while I do something else.  Anything that saves time foodie wise is a bonus in my eyes, and I don’t have to worry about a pan drying out or boiling over.

A soup maker is the one item, apart from an oven obviously, that I will replace time and time again in my kitchen when one fails.  I can’t say more than that really.  Have I said before how fabulous these are?  Maybe so, but I’ll probably repeat myself for the rest of my life on this item.

I have a fair few soup recipes online.  You can find them here if you’re interested, or check the soups section on the menu bar.


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Giveaway: Morphy Richards 1.6 Litre Soup Maker – Ends 13th Dec 2013

Earlier this week, I reviewed this Morphy  Richards soup maker after trialling it for a few days.

Morphy Richards Soup Maker Featured

I did say that I would be putting one up for a giveaway and here it is.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to complete the steps in the rafflecopter widget and obviously get in touch within 7 days if you are picked as the winner through random generator.

It’s currently on sale at the discounted price of £44.99 by using the code GH2255 on the Morphy Richards website.

Good luck to you all, this is indeed a time saver in the kitchen and one that is now my new best friend.

The winner will be drawn by random generator on the 14th December 2013.  The competition closes at midnight on the 13th December 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the widget sticks you will find the direct link here.

The Rules

  1. Open to UK Mainland Entrants only.
  2. The prize will be delivered to you and you must give us your address to send it to you.
  3. Winners will be notified within 3 days of giveaway end. If the winner does not respond within 7 days, a new winner will be drawn.
  4. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter random generator.
  5. Morphy Richards reserves the right to amend, add or withdraw this giveaway at any time.
  6. Each entry method entitles you to one entry into the draw.
  7. You may tweet daily.  Each tweet counts as a rafflecopter entry, only if you enter it into the rafflecopter widget daily.
  8. The prize will be for one Morphy Richards Soup Maker.
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My Gorgeous New Kettle from Palmers Department Store with an Unusual Result

A lovely email popped through last week, asking me to take a look at Palmers Department Store.  I hadn’t heard of it, so I had a pop over to see what they sell.

The lovely PR people sent me a gorgeous Morphy Richards Accents Kettle to test the service, which was very good all round.

The box came packed inside another sturdy box to give it plenty of protection on route to Scotland.    The kettle is slightly darker than it looks on the website pictures, but it’s still a lovely appliance and fits in well with my cream coloured kitchen.

I really do have to say a huge thanks to Palmers, and for more than the great delivery service.

The one thing that has really surprised me with the kettle is how much easier it is for me to lift than my old one.  My old kettle is a regular jug type kettle that means I have to turn my wrist side on to pick up.  With damage in my wrist that has caused some arthritic type pain, I find the movement quite painful at times, yet I never thought about changing my kettle.

With the Morphy Richards handle at the top, I can pick up and pour hot water by  moving my whole lower arm from the elbow, without twisting my wrist at all.   I was looking forward to a gorgeous new kettle, but I am really happy with the fact that my wrist can pour without any pain.   Why on earth I didn’t think about that before, I have no idea, but I won’t go back to a jug kettle now.

Thank you Palmers, you have no idea how much easier making a cuppa is now.

I’ve also got my eye on a fabulous Swan Stone Raclette in the future as the idea of asking the kids to sit and pick their food, and have them watch while it cooks appeals to me.   I better get my skates on and make some pennies to pay for one.

Palmers Department Store carries ranges for kitchens, bathrooms, living, dining and bedrooms.  There are also some unusual gifts, with some neat Jamie Oliver mugs.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a Morphy Richards Accents Kettle by Palmers Department Store.  I was not told what to write, and was given a choice as to whether to review.