5 Fun Ways to Spice Up Christmas!

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5 Fun Ways to Spice Up Christmas!

If you’re looking to spice things up in the kitchen this Christmas, you’ve come to the right place. We have put together a go-to guide on how to turn everyday ingredients, spices and herbs into different festive goodies! Here’s how to experience a delicious holiday season.

Read on to find out more. Happy Holidays!

1. Festive Spice Rub
A great spice rub for pork, chicken or salmon! Simply blend 4 parts sea salt with 2 parts of dried cracked rosemary until the mixture is fairly ground. Add 2 parts minced garlic and 1 part coarse ground black pepper until the spice rub is well-blended and you’re done!
Use a pestle and mortar if you can to allow the herbs to fully release and bring out its aroma and flavour! If you don’t have dried cracked rosemary, simply put dried rosemary into a disposable bag and pound it with a rolling pin until the dried rosemary breaks apart!

Recommended tools:
Cole & Mason Ceramic Pestle & Mortar
Cole & Mason INVERTA Flip Back Acrylic Pepper And Salt Mill

2. Spice Mixes for Baking
Prepare a batch of aromatic spice mix for baking cookies and pies, or store them in little glass containers as Christmas gifts for friends and family.

All you need is cinnamon (1 tbsp), nutmeg (1 tsp), ground ginger (1/2 tsp), allspice (1/4 tsp) and cloves (1/4 tsp). Simply grind these whole spices in  a spice grinder, give it a little shake-up with a whisk and you’re all set.

Try adding a dash of it into your apple pie filling before baking – the aroma alone adds an instant festive touch to your Christmas dessert table!

Recommended products:
Cuisinart Spice and Nut Grinder
Magisso Balloon Whisk
Jamie Oliver Pop-Top Spice Jars, Set of 5

3. Sugar? Yes, please!
Flavoured sugar is all the rage now – they are great as Christmas gifts, and add an instant burst of flavour to your culinary creations. Here’s two to get you started:

Lemon & Mint Sugar
What you need: Rind of 1 lemon, handful of fresh mint leaves, ¼ cup granulated sugar
1. Microwave the lemon rind and mint leaves separately until completely dry (make sure not to burn it!)
2. Finely chop the lemon rind and mint leaves
3. Add sugar and process till very finely ground

Basil & Lime Sugar
What you need: Rind of 1 lime, handful of basil leaves, ¼ cup granulated sugar
1. Microwave the lime rind and basil leaves until completely dry (make sure not to burn it!)
2. Finely chop the lime rind and basil leaves
2. Add sugar and process till very finely ground

Feel free to mix and match your favourite herb and fruit – strawberry and basil, peach and mint… the possibilities are endless!

Recommended tools:
Zyliss Fast Cut Herb Tool
Cuisinart Mini-Prep® Plus Processor

4. Fancy Flavours – DIY Herb-infused Olive Oil
Herb-infused olive oil is a perfect way to jazz up a salad, drizzle over a plate of pasta, or as an appetizer served with slices of artisan bread! Instead of using store-bought herb-infused olive oil, try making it yourself! It’s simple and best of all – there are no added preservatives or additives! Here are some of our favourite flavour combinations:

Garlic & Chilli Olive Oil
What you need: 3 roasted whole garlic, red chilli flakes (4 tsp), 2 cups olive oil
1. Combine roasted garlic cloves, red chilli flakes and oil in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer
2. Allow to cool. Place garlic cloves into bottle and add remaining oil
3. Seal and refrigerate up to 1 month

Rosemary Olive Oil
What you need: 2 cups olive oil, 6-8 sprigs fresh rosemary sprigs
1. Combine oil and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
2. Allow to cool. Place rosemary sprigs into bottle and add remaining oil
3. Seal and refrigerate up to 1 month

Recommended tools:
Jamie Oliver Serving Board and Bowl
Jamie Oliver Big Drizzler

5. Christmas Snowballs! 
A perfectly creamy chocolate truffle is your answer when it comes to satisfying that sweet tooth this festive season. Add a few cracks of black pepper to spice things up – you’d be surprised that the combination works really well! Here’s a handy dandy recipe:

What you need: 150g chopped good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), 150ml heavy cream, 25g unsalted butter, cracked black pepper, toppings of your choice
1. Heat the cream and butter on low heat till fully melted. Remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Leave it untouched for 5 minutes
2. Stir until smooth. Add a few cracks of black pepper – taste and adjust to your liking!
3. To shape your truffles, use a melon baller or a mini-scoop and scoop the mixture. Shape it with your hands and place onto silicone baking mat or greaseproof paper to prevent sticking.
4. Coat with powdered sugar, nuts or any toppings you desire!

The best thing about these truffles is that you can customize and personalize them however you like! We love the combination of chopped pistachios and dried cranberries!

Recommended tools:
Cole & Mason CRYSTAL Acrylic Pepper Mill
Giesser Melon Twin-Baller

8 Berry Recipes for Summer

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8 Berry Recipes for Summer

The quintessential summer fruit, berries are chock-full of anti-oxidants and a wonderful way to brighten up drinks, dessert and mains. Here are 8 of ToTT’s favourite recipes from around the web!

1. Very Berry 

First, let’s kick things off with this tangy Very Berry Spritzer by Deliciously Sprinkled. Perfect for summer parties, this concoction combines the tartness of lemon-lime soda and sweetness of berries beautifully.

2. Summer Berry Smoothie

Craving for something more decadent? Look no further than The Messy Baker’s Summer Berry Smoothie. With bananas, an assortment of berries and added protein, you’re basically getting breakfast in a glass. This highly customisable recipe can also be made vegan by replacing cow’s milk with nut or soy milk.

3. Nuts About Berries Salad

Who said berries were only meant for dessert? This delightful recipe from I Heart Nap Time tosses berries and fresh spinach together for a refreshing salad. Topped with homemade cinnamon sugar almonds and a light poppy seed dressing, this salad is sure to please.

4. Grilled Chicken with Blackberry Sweet and Sour Sauce

Reminiscent of turkey and cranberry jam, this dish by Jaden at Steamy Kitchen will make you feel like you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in July. Featuring fresh blackberries and cognac, it’s great for weekday dinners, yet fancy enough to impress guests. Best of all, you can cook it in under 30 minutes.

5. Blueberry Yoghurt Cake

If berries and savoury dishes aren’t your thing, whet your appetite with this wholesome Blueberry Yoghurt Cake by Simone’s Kitchen. Greek yogurt and lemon zest complement the natural sweetness of blueberries perfectly, resulting in a dense loaf that’s rich in colour and taste.

6. Roasted Berry Sauce With Cardamom

Psst, we’re going to let you in on a secret. Did you know that berries taste even better when they’re roasted? Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast Blog claims that roasting berries brings out their sweetness and intensifies the flavour. With such a convincing recipe, who’s to disagree? Have it drizzled over ice-cream, pancakes or s’mores.

7. Yogurt Ice Pops With Berries

What could be better than a popsicle on a sweltering day? A yogurt ice pop of course! We love how simple and foolproof this recipe by Fany Gerson is. Perfect for an afternoon with the kids.

8. Berry Mascarpone Almond Tart

Did you really think we’d end this list without a classic berry tart? We reckon nothing encompasses the spirit of summer better than this stunner by What She’s Having. A sight to behold, this tart is as delicious as it is beautiful.

Here are some items from ToTT for your berrylicious adventures!

Zyliss Smart-Touch™ Salad Spinner

The award-winning Zyliss Smart Touch® Salad Spinner features fast-action pump dry technology, bringing fun and ease to salad preparation while cleansing greens, berries, and herbs of dirt and other impurities. The easy to use one-pump lever creates a smooth spinning action while delivering speed and yielding quick, effortless results. Eliminate watery salads and keep produce fresher and longer, with the use of this precision engineered and high-performing Zyliss Smart Touch® Salad Spinner.

PERLE Salad Servers 2-Pcs Gift Set

This PERLE Salad Servers Gift Set from Regent features generous bowls for serving salads, as well as a variety of other foods. One of the bowls in this set has soft-edged prongs, creating a fork-like design. Made of high quality stainless steel with a high gloss polished finish, features a simple and elegant design that will mix well with your existing flatware pieces.

Plastic Ice Lolly Moulds, Set of 4

Keep the kids cool this summer with this wonderful set of eight ice lolly makers. Just add your favourite juice, fruit or yoghurt for a delicious and healthy snack that the whole family will love.

Pro Form Quiche/Tart Pan

Makes lovely tarts and quiches with a self-crimpled edge with this 10 inch quiche/tart pan from Nordic Ware. This pan has removable bottom, which makes for easy release and serving.

Easter Baking Ideas

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Easter Baking Ideas

Easter Day is just around corner and we have some Easter baking ideas for you to try!

1. Carrot Patch Cookies
These adorably photogenic cookies are a sight to behold and  almost too pretty to eat! All you need are wafer biscuits, Oreos and Gummy carrot sweets. Firstly, stick the wafers into the shape of a tiny trough. Then crush your Oreos into Oreo dust. These will act as the “soil” in your carrot patch. Fill the wafer troughs with the Oreo dust and stick your carrot gummies in. Voila! Your tiny Instagram-worthy Carrot Patch Cookies are now ready for your tummy!

2. Carrot Cake
The perfect dessert for Easter Day. Soft sponge punctuated by bits of shredded carrot and topped with sticky sweet icing, can you resist? Who says we don’t eat our vegetables? For extra cuteness, roll out some sugar fondant into little carrots to decorate the cake!

3. Hot Cross Buns
A traditional Easter dish, nobody can resist Hot Cross Buns that are fresh from the oven. Make a batch of these delicious bundles of joy and serve them with a sweet butter. The smell of these buns wafting from the ovens will send all the kids back to the dining table!

4. Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet
Take a break from all the candy and chocolate with this five-ingredient recipe that is so refreshingly light. Just combine agave nectar and strawberries and process for a minute until smooth. Next add in the buttermilk and blend well. Lastly, add raspberry-flavoured liquor and pulse to mix. Chill the mixture for an hour before transferring to an ice-cream freezer. Once the mixture is set, you may proceed to indulge.

5. Crème Egg Chocolate Brownies
Be warned, these delicious nests of warm oozing chocolate lava are incredibly sinful. Melt down your leftover Easter chocolate with butter, mix the eggs and flour and whisk till fully combined. Pipe your brownie batter into a baking tray and proceed to cut your crème eggs in half. Garnish each brownie with half a crème egg before popping them into the oven. Once they’re out of the oven, let them cool for a bit before you start devouring them. Good food is worth waiting for!

7 Unexpected Foods You Can Cook with a Waffle Maker

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7 Unexpected Foods You Can Cook with a Waffle Maker

7 Unexpected Foods You Can Cook with a Waffle Maker

Celebrate International Waffle Day (25th Mar) with a twist! With a bit of imagination, a waffle maker can be much more! Here are 7 wacky ideas that you normally would not use a waffle maker for:

1. Maple-glazed Bacon
Slather some maple glaze over the bacon, stick it in the waffle iron to cook, and you’re in business!

2. Scrambled Eggs
What goes better with bacon and waffles? Just whisk an egg or two in a bowl and pour it onto the waffle iron. Season generously and cover and cook for 1 to 3 minutes. Serve it with the maple glazed bacon and fluffy waffles – breakfast is served!

3. Cinnamon Rolls
Sticky, fluffy and undeniably addictive. Need we say more? Just grab a box of packaged cinnamon rolls and slap them on the waffle iron for 2.5 to 3 minutes. Be careful though, they become a bit too hard and crunchy if you cook it for too long.

4. Brownie Sundae
A classic favourite with a twist! Substitute the standard waffle batter for a brownie batter, cook it like how you would a regular and serve with generous scoops of your favourite ice cream! Pure bliss.

5. Hash Browns
Another delicious breakfast favourite. Slap the hash browns on the waffle iron and it will crisp up beautifully on both sides, while ensuring your potato stays fluffy and warm on the inside. Remember to squeeze the moisture out of the potatoes or else the hash browns will not crisp up properly and you’ll end up with sad, soggy hash browns!

6. Margherita Pizza
Cooking a pizza in a waffle iron gives it an extra crispy ridged crust and tiny wells for the pizza sauce and melting cheese. Absolutely heavenly. Roll out your pizza dough, brush both sides with olive oil and slap it on the waffle iron. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Spread the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, place the pizza back on the waffle iron and hold the top of the iron just over the pizza until the cheese melts. Garnish with basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Dig in!

7. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are the ultimate comfort food. Start by buttering 2 slices of bread on one side. Place one slice of bread butter-side down onto the waffle iron, place cheese on and then cover with the other slice of bread, butter-side up. Close the lid firmly and cook until golden.