I love making pancakes and Yorkshire puddings. One thing I’ve never attempted to make – probably because I don’t have the proper kit – is waffles.
The waffles that you tend to find in supermarkets never look very appetising and the ones at foodie markets are always really expensive. Waffles, like pancakes and Yorkshire puds, are basically eggs, flour, milk and fat… with the addition of yeast or baking powder.
I think I’d make good use of one of these waffle makers – or waffle iron – especially one that can store away in a kitchen drawer when not in use. I don’t have the spare counter-top space to have one permanently out on show – even if it’s as attractive to look at as the Dualit example. Also, much as I like its dual-purpose as a toasted sandwich maker, I think I’d choose the mid-range Nordic Ware version.
- Double waffle maker: £18.99, Clas Ohlson
- Nordic Ware original stovetop Belgian waffle maker: £62.50, Divertimenti
- Dualit toastie & waffle contact toaster 73010: £199.99, Nisbets
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We spent a lovely weekend with friends in Windermere at the weekend. When it comes to this wonderful corner of the country there are lots of attractions – walking, climbing, cycling, breathtaking views, country pubs…and of course, the large Lakeland store!
We had an hour’s mooch as we drove in. The store is full of useful things – some you knew you needed before entering the store – others that suddenly seem essential as you wander round. They always have a good selection of kitchen appliances on display, and we got to mulling over the deep fat fryers. Our last one gave up the ghost a few years ago and we never replaced it. We used to use it for tempura, fried Camembert, crispy onion rings – and of course, delicious home-made chips.
There are all manner of fryers on the market – electric and stove top options – with various oil reduction, cleaning & filter systems. We’ve chosen three at various price points. What’s the first thing we’ll make when we get ours? Will it be the spicy vegetable tempura? Maybe… but probably not – the chips will no doubt win the day. We can almost smell the salt & vinegar!
- LOGIK L30PFS12 professional deep fryer – stainless steel: £19.99, Currys
- Premier Housewares enamel deep fryer – black: £32.99, Argos
- Sage™ The Smart Fryer™: £117.00, Lakeland
Coffee connoisseurship keeps reaching higher and higher levels. We have become more discerning about where our coffee comes from, the taste we prefer and how we like to take it. Many people have coffee makers of one kind or another in their kitchens. The simple, classic Bialetti stove-top percolator, the coffee filter machine and the high tech bean-to-cup machines.
The obvious progression is an increase in the popularity of home coffee roasters. The basic models are surprisingly affordable and, as they don’t need electricity to run, are perfect for use al fresco or when camping. If you’re not the outdoorsy type, there are many others available – at a range of price points – for stove-top or counter-top use.
- Nuvo eco ceramic handy coffee bean roaster: £33.77, Amazon
- Antique coffee roaster: £135.03, Etsy
- BOCABOCA 250 coffee bean roaster with cooler: £345.99 eBay
Coffee is our morning brew of choice – double shot, flat white for both of us (soya milk, no sugar, for me – cows milk, sugar for Justin). I must confess, our first mugs of the day are usually instant (the horror!). Fiddling about with coffee machines when you’re only half awake is frustrating.
When I win the lottery (once I start buying a ticket!) I’ll travel ’round the world… and buy a top of the range Jura Bean-to-Cup. It’s the height of luxury having a coffee machine that you can control remotely from your phone. Pre-program your preferences into its memory and, at the touch of a button, it can grind and brew you your perfect cuppa… just to reiterate – that’s a double shot, flat white with soya milk, no sugar, if you’re asking!
- Dualit Multi Brew 84440 espresso coffee machine – chrome: £199, ao.com
- Sage Barista Express coffee machine – stainless steel: £ 599.95
- Jura E8 Bean-to-Cup automatic coffee machine: £1,195.00, John Lewis