Archive for March, 2008

Celebrate Persian New Year in style

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Did you know that the Persian New Year (or Nowruz) falls around the spring equinox? It’s a time of new starts – so what better time to sample some food from the region and find out a little about Iranian cookery?

So, what should you expect? As in all Middle Eastern cookery, you can expect to find generous helpings of lamb and yoghurt, as well as familiar items such as kebabs, koftas and koresht. Chicken is a favourite, almost always accompanied by rice dishes which are delicately seasoned and enlivened with additions like onions, raisins and dates. And sweet foods certainly get a look-in with pastries and dishes featuring nuts like pistachios and walnuts.

Here are some links that will help you read around the subject and find great recipes:

  • IranMania: Persian recipes – a chance to get an insight into the kind of food that is served in Iranian homes.
  • FarhangSara: Iranian food culture – learn about everything from the use of meat and vegetables to sweets and side dishes and meal etiquette and customs – and get recipes too from this Iranian cultural website.
  • New Food of Life – Najmieh Batmanglij’s book of this title features 250 classical and regional Iranian recipes, sumptuous photographs and extensive cultural insights. Sample a little of it on the Asia Food website….
  • RecipeSource: Persian recipes – including soups, stews, relishes and sweet dishes.
  • Google Directory: Persian cookery – find your way to a host of links on the subject.

Majestic Wine: pre-budget prices until April 7

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Vinophiles may have been cursing the name of Alistair Darling on Thursday as the chancellor announced that he was putting up duty on wine by 14p a bottle.

But all is not lost. Majestic Wine is offering its customers a chance to stock up at pre-budget prices.

Buy before April 7 and you can take advantage of great offers including half-price Champagne, 20 per cent off any two wines from the South of France and extra deals on Majestic classics.

Check out this retailer’s top 10 Easter offers here >>

Discount code for Bennetts Electrical

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Great news for anyone looking to buy white goods or kitchen appliances. Bennetts Electrical is offering MyKitchenFinder readers the opportunity to save £20 on orders of £250 or more.

So, what’s on offer? Quite a lot, actually, as this retailer has a spring sale on as well as this extra offer. And there’s finance available with a ‘buy now, pay in a year and a day’ deal on everything over £99.

Here are some of the kitchen products that might catch your eye on the Bennetts site at the moment:

  • Belling 664 Black – this free-standing cooker offers sophisticated style and superb performance, with four zone ceramic hob, an A energy rating and a LED clock minute minder.
    Was £449.98, now £398.00.
  • Servis M7055-7FF Silver – this A energy rated silver frost-free fridge freezer has a 143-litre fridge capacity and four freezing compartments. Was £329.99, now £279.
  • Zanussi ZDF511 dishwasher – This freestanding full-size dishwasher has a high-temperature wash, an A energy efficiency and five wash programmes. Now £269.

Check out the full Bennetts household range here >>

To claim your £20 discount, enter the code 20EMAIL03 at the checkout when purchasing online. The voucher is valid until March 23 and excludes purchases of laptops or iPods.

Seasonal eating for March

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

In like a lion and out like a lamb – and at the moment we’re somewhere in the middle! The beginning of March can still feel like the worst of winter but by the end of the month we will hopefully be seeing the first signs of spring.

And it’s time to introduce some new flavours and cheer up the warming but by now somewhat routine fare that we’ve been eating all winter. So, while root vegetables and brassicas will no doubt still feature, we can now aspire to some slightly more exotic flavours.

So what seasonal foods are on offer in March? This BBC Food article on the subject suggests keeping an eye out for early rhubarb. And its delicious sweet-yet-sharp flavour shouldn’t just be making an appearance in desserts. You can use it to flavour soups, hotpots and roasts as well.

If you’re crying out for some fresh green stuff on your plate then now’s the time to shop for flatleaf parsley which is a great ingredient in stir-fries and sautés. On the root veg front there’s plenty of carrots, leeks and beetroot about and purple sprouting broccoli is a wonderful seasonal treat.

Check out some recipes by following the links here – and if you’ve got some sure-fire March food secrets then be sure to leave a comment and share!

Wickes: Easter specials available now

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Looking to give your kitchen a quick spring lift? Then check out this Easter special offer from DIY retailer Wickes.

The company is offering up to 50 per cent off selected take-away kitchen cabinets – you can choose from its wide selection of modern or traditional designs.

Each one features base units with legs that are easy to adjust and wall units deep enough to accommodate 12-inch dinner plates.

Check out the Dallas and Houston ranges for a sleek contemporary look while the Davenport and Lincoln ranges are perfect for creating a cosy, traditional kitchen. You can even get Shaker style with the Daytona range!

Check out the full collection here >>

Chocolate Trading Company: top tips for Easter

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

If you want something special, go to a specialist – which is why we couldn’t resist a pre-Easter peek at the Chocolate Trading Company’s website.

Here are some of the treats we found – your biggest problem might actually be bringing yourself to give any of them away…

Oeuf Orfevre dark chocolate Easter egg

  • Oeuf Orfevre dark chocolate Easter egg at £25.99 – perhaps the ultimate Easter Egg? This beauty is decorated with 22 carat gold and silver and filled with gold-speckled dark chocolate and croquant mini eggs. Described by the retailer as “a true connoisseurs’ Easter egg.”
  • Handmade gift egg with Champagne truffles at £23.99 – a beautiful and unusual gift, these eggs are created in Kashmir for Booja Booja using paper mache with a hand-painted, varnished finish. The eggs contain Booja Booja’s award-winning dark chocolate Organic Champagne truffles. Each egg is unique and designs vary.
  • Chocolate-filled hens’ eggs at £19.99 – each real egg shell has a delicious milk chocolate praline filling made from ingredients including cane sugar and Bourbon vanilla. Presented in a genuine egg box they are a fun but also seriously good Easter gift.
  • Oeuf Amande dark chocolate Easter egg at £12.99 – this lush dark chocolate egg features sweet crushed almonds and is filled with gold speckled, dark chocolate and croquant mini eggs. Stylishly packaged in its own bespoke box.
  • Organic chocolate hamper at £35 – a selection of the finest organic chocolates from around the world, including Booja Booja dark chocolate truffles, a milk and dark chocolate bar from the French masters Valrhona and a milk chocolate bar from Austrian Chocolina made from goats’ milk. Finished with satin ribbon, gift tag and gift card.

Get 10 per cent off at Heals this weekend

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Home store Heals has a special offer on that will allow you to stock up on some gorgeous kitchenware this weekend with a 10 per cent discount on everything on its website.

So, what’s available online? Here’s a few items that caught our eye:

Heals: Irony barstool

  • Irony barstools at £150 – instant chic for your breakfast bar with this seamlessly-curved Italian design in chrome.
  • Jamie Oliver anodised cookware collection from £40 – featuring lovely, curved shapes as well as tough, hard-wearing performance, revolutionary dishwasher-safe technology and clear glass lids so you can keep an eye on your cooking. Go on – who need ever know?
  • Longchamp decorative glassware from £20 – not for the faint-hearted, but it certainly seems to be making a splash at the moment. Guaranteed to brighten up absolutely any dinner table!
  • Kitchen accessories from the retailer’s Sping Brights range from £5 – groovy tea towels, oven gloves, colanders and utensils. Cooking need never be dull and boring again…
  • Pantone mugs at £8 – named after the eponymous colour charts these carry a big cachet with those in the know as well as complementing absolutely any paint scheme you care to name. The challenge will be buying just one.

To claim your discount just type in pd1019 at the checkout when prompted. Offer valid until Sunday March 16