Choosing A New Range Cooker

Choosing a rangecookerWe have been kitchen shopping over the last few weeks and have finally decided on a kitchen.  One of the last remaining big decisions was around our cooker.  We wanted a range cooker as we’d had one before, but which one?  I decided to ask for some advice and Rangemaster who were at BritMums Live earlier this year have given me some pointers.

What is a range cooker?

Range cookers are typically larger and have more features than standard freestanding cookers. The three main sizes are 90cm, 100cm and 110cm. The Rangemaster also comes in different fuel types; dual fuel, induction, ceramic and all gas.

We have decided to go with a 90cm one as we feel that will be big enough for us as a family of three.  We also had a 90cm one at our last house and it worked well for us.

What are the benefits?

Range cookers look great in any kitchen.  Whether you are planning a traditional or an ultra contemporary kitchen, there is a range cooker designed to fit perfectly into your design scheme.  Often they are a more cost-effective solution because when you purchase a range cooker, you only have to buy a single item rather than all the other pieces associated with buying a built-in option e.g. worktop and cabinets.

Range cookers tend to have bigger ovens. Typically, they are 20% bigger than an average 60cm built-in oven which means you can cook more and worry less about timing your dishes and keeping food warm.  Often they offer more burners too. A 90cm and 100cm range cooker will usually offer five or six burners and a 110cm product offers as many as seven burners giving you all the flexibility you could need to create the most sophisticated of menus.

Jus Rol

IMG_8579 Sometimes life is just too short to make your own pastry.  I’ve been trying out Jus Rol, which is ready-made pastry.  You can buy it in the supermarket and keep it in your fridge or even keep a roll or two in the freezer for when you might need it. The other week we stumbled across some ripe blackberries and decided to make a pie or two.

Jus Rol asked me to try out a couple of different products, so I made a pie with short crust pastry and one with puff pastry to ring the changes. Both came in an easy to use roll and are pie ready.

jus rol blackberry pieAs well as being easy and quick to use, our pies tasted great.  The pastry is good quality and has just the right texture: crunchy for shortcrust and flaky for puff.  Delicious! I’ve been using Jus Rol for a number of years now and I’m likely to continue to do so as I do find it a very convenient way to make pastry items.

Tesco Fresh Fish

Tesco Limited Edition Fish CakesWe been trying to eat more fish for some time now.  It’s not that we don’t like it, we love it, but I do struggle with cooking with it sometimes.  I go to the shop, but they may not have the type of fish in that I was hoping to buy, so my recipe idea and meal planning goes out the window.  I could try something different, but what will I cook with it?  Sometimes in the shop my mind is a blank.  I even tried an app on my phone where you put in the fish type and it comes up with options, but that all seemed a bit stressful. So I was interested to try out Tesco’s Fresh Fish range.

fishcakes for teaTesco have recently refreshed their range of pre-packed fish.  We decided to try out some of the new limited edition fish cakes from the Finest range.  They have some gorgeous sounding flavours, but we settled on the Salmon Fishcakes with Sicilian Lemon and Spinach.  They were full of lovely salmon and the lemon and spinach were the perfect complement to finish the dish.  For a summer’s evening’s dinner they are perfect as they aren’t too heavy and they team up well with some lightly steamed vegetables or salad.

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