Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives

Knives are the most basic of essentials and a must have in every kitchen. No matter how many wonderful gadgets you have in there, without a set of good knives you will still struggle. Cutting, chopping or slicing, every job belongs to a different knife and it’s good to know why.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of BelgraviaYears ago, when I was a child, I remember my grandparents having just one big sharp knife for all the jobs in the kitchen. My gran always said that this was all she needed. Well, I am not sure I would be able to function in the kitchen with just one knife. Yes, I am sure things would still get done but at what cost? As humans we like to make our lives easier so why not start with such basics as the right kitchen knives?

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Chef’s knifeChef’s knife

Size: 6-14 inches

Blade: straight

Main task: All round knife, which will be able to handle most jobs around the kitchen. Its large size allows for cutting of large ingredients or large quantities with ease.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Paring knifeParing knife

Size: 3-5 inches

Blade: straight

Main task: paring fruit and vegetables. The knife has a short and sharp blade therefore it is very easy to handle while peeling or coring. Perfect tool when dealing with small ingredients such as shallots, garlic or ginger.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Bread knifeBread knife

Size: 6-10 inches

Blade: serrated

Main task: as per its name it is a bread knife. This type of blade allows you to cut through any hard crust of the bread without crushing any of the inner softer parts. The bread remains light and airy during cutting process resolving in a perfect slice.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Slicing knifeSlicing knife

Size: 6-12 inches

Blade: straight with scallops on both sides

Main task: well… slicing! The scallops on each side of the blade serve two purposes, firstly it helps eliminate food sticking to the side of the blade through suction and secondly it reduces the drag on the knife while slicing and this all allows easier separation, which results in paper-thin slices.

Rough Guide to Kitchen Knives - Edge of Belgravia precision knives - Filleting knifeFilleting knife

Size:  6-11 inches

Blade: thin and straight

Main task: filleting and boning. The knife has a long and flexible blade which allows you to make cuts in meat that are in difficult areas such as the backbone or for gaining under skin access which isn’t achievable with other types of knife (or at least not with ease). The shape of the blade provides supreme control and resolves in tight clean cuts.

Getting the right type of knife is one thing, but getting a “good” knife is something totally different. Good knives will last a lifetime, they will be well made with a no stick blade which will stay sharp for longer and once dull will be easy to sharpen. I have had the pleasure to work with some Edge of Belgravia precision knives for a while now, and I am not able to fault them in any way. To see the full range please visit Edge of Belgravia or you can purchase them from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Pimp Your Kitchen Gift Guide – The Power of Red

A change of colour scheme is one of the easiest ways to revamp any place, if you are on a budget … well accessorising is even easier as long as you pick the right pieces. Adding a splash of colour in the form of well thought through items can easily turn your nice looking room into an amazing one.

I love red, I always have and I assume I always will.

Red is the colour of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, strength, power, determination but also with love and passion. Red is a very emotionally intense colour; it’s energising, it excites the emotions and motivates us to take action but it is also strong-willed and can give a confidence boost to those around us who are shy or are lacking in will power.

A few years ago, we decided to accessorise our kitchen in red… it is still a work in progress. We bought a few nice pieces but there is always room for improvement. I have my “wish list” and hopefully one day I will collect them all. If you love red as well and your kitchen might benefit from some sprucing up, have a look at my Pimp Your Kitchen Gift Guide.

Pimp Your Kitchen Gift Guide – The Power of Red A change of colour scheme is one of the easiest ways to revamp any place, if you are on a budget … well accessorising is even easier as long as you pick the right pieces. Adding a splash of colour in the form of well thought through items can easily turn your nice looking room into an amazing one. BODUM 10938-294 Brazil Coffee Maker | Bodum Presso Glass Storage Jar | Bugatti Diva Espresso Coffee Machine | Bugatti Vela Blender | Bugatti Vera Kettle 1.75L | Bugatti Vita Juicer | Bugatti Volo Toaster 2 Slice | Falcon 87030 F1092DXDFRD/NM 1092 Deluxe Dual Fuel Cooker in Cherry Red & Brushed Chrome with Matt Pan Supports | Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Plus | Joseph Joseph Cut & Carve Plus | KitchenAid 5KFP1644BER Artisan Food Processor 4L | KitchenAid 5KHB2571BER Hand Blender | KitchenAid 5KSM6521XBCA Artisan Bowl-Lift 6L Stand Mixer | Mason Cash Strawberry Red Mixing Bowl | Morphy Richards 461000 Sear and Stew Slow Cooker | Morphy Richards 46241 Bread Bin Roll Top | Morphy Richards 46391 Pan Set | Smeg DI6FABR2 60cm Wide Standard Dishwasher | Smeg FAB28QR1 Retro Style Fridge with Ice Box

What do you think?

Would you like to own any of the pieces featured in my gift guide?

*Post written in collaboration with Tots100 & Give as You Live.
Give as you Live is a shopping and price comparison website with a heart, a percentage of every purchase you make will be donated to charity. You can shop for products from thousands of leading online retailers and use a price comparison tool to ensure you get the best price and even save money by using the exclusive offers and deals available on the site.

My Top 3 Kitchen Must Haves

I don’t know how about you but every month we collect more and more kitchen gadgets… they are all useful… to a point, I guess, but we are simply running out of space in the kitchen to store them. With so many new products on the market it is impossible to have them all. Mark is nagging me again to “clean up” some of the less used items… invariable making space for new gadgets to arrive soon 😉

This got me thinking… if I were to get rid of all the less essential kitchen products and were allowed to keep only three things which would three would it be?

Well… my kitchen would have knives, chopping boards and a kitchen timer!

My Top 3 Kitchen Must HavesKnives – they take the number one spot on my kitchen must haves list.

I can’t imagine doing any cooking without a good knife. I am not sure how my gran did it but she used to have one sharp knife… one knife in the entire kitchen and believe me she cooked a lot.

Mark is a little bit knives obsessed, we even had to find a dedicated large kitchen drawer to accommodate all his sharp, proper (how he likes to call them) knives. A good knife can make any cooking related task so much easier… peeling, chopping or slicing when paired with a good, sharp knife isn’t all that scary.

Lately we were given a set of Precision Chef Knives from Edge of Belgravia. Well, each of these knives not only look like a hundred bucks they also perform as one. Despite being stainless steel they feel quite light, almost like a ceramic knife; this said they do offer perfect balance and being super sharp outstanding performance. Highly recommended if you are on the market for new knives.

Chopping boards – this is my must have number two.

I know some people could easily function without a chopping board or boards like in my case, but I can’t.

I used to favour heavy wooden chopping boards until one day when I prepared myself a fruit smoothie with hint of garlic and onion leftover from the night before… well, the board was washed properly of this I am sure but some of the flavours must have imbedded into the knife marks in the board and then stuck to my fruit once I was chopping them up. Since that day we have replaced all the wooden boards with thin plastic ones… I think we got them from Ikea; fairly cheap ones but they come in a selection of colours so it was easy enough to assign a specific colour to a specific type of food that you will be chopping on it. I do like them; they are light and bendy so moving prepared ingredients from a work top to a pot isn’t a big deal and as they are cheap you can replace them more often without breaking your bank balance.

Kitchen timer – third and last spot on my kitchen must haves list.

Well, I know that there are a lot of other useful items I could pick but I am unable to cook without it.

Sometimes I have 1000s of thoughts in my head all at once and the attention span of a toddler so you see without a reminder in the form of a loud buzzing noise I would never remember to remove things from the oven until they are very well done (sacrificial burnt offerings as Mark likes to call them) and most likely uneatable or until the fire alarm reminds me it is time to stop cooking the eggs which were done well before the entirety of the water has evaporated into the air.

My kitchen timer isn’t super lush, I think I picked it up on the cheap from a TKMaxx but it does the job well and that is all that counts.

My fourth would be a temperature reader with a probe but as I only allowed myself three things for this list I can’t have it, bah.

So, these are my top three kitchen must haves.

Which three kitchen essentials would you put on your list?

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Joseph Joseph Expandable Dishrack

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackIf you are like me, you pop everything into your dishwasher… plates, pots, cups and a variety of plastic containers. All is good in our house until the wash cycle is done; then a problem begins… all the plastic pieces are still wet, soaked with water droplets and they need drying out 🙁

When we first bought a dishwasher I was hoping for more kitchen space and really wanted to get rid of my dish rack, which would give me the option to replace our kitchen-sink for a smaller one… well this wasn’t an option as I still needed space to dry my soaking wet plastic dishes.

Mess bothers me (unless it is my own mess, the so called organized mess) and a pile of plastic bits stuck one on top of the other to dry out simply drives me mad. Yes, I know that there are such inventions as tea towel or even kitchen roll and I could simply dry them out and pop into the cupboard but I truly dislike drying dishes, almost as much as ironing. When I was a child this was my chore… help with the washing up by drying the dishes… I hated it so much it left me with a not so positive feeling towards drying things.

Anyhow, a while back, Joseph Joseph got in touch asking me if I would like to try their new expandable dishrack with draining plug.

Yes, please… there was no option I would pass on this fantastic opportunity.

So I now have an expendable dishrack and my life is a lot easier and calmer. I have more than enough space to dry all plastics without creating a Mount Everest in my kitchen.

Joseph Joseph expandable dishrack with draining plug comes in a choice of two colours: white (with green) and grey (with white cutlery drainer). They are priced at £50, which might seem a little bit high for a dish rack but believe me it is worth it.

Kitchen Storage Solutions - Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackFirst of all it looks great, which is actually very important as you will look at it every time you enter the kitchen. The rack is made to very high standards and its finish is simply perfect.

Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackSecondly you can expand it to almost double its size; from 32 × 36.4 × 16.1 cm when closed to 52.7 × 36.4 × 16.1 cm fully extended. That is a lot of drying space.

Kitchen Storage Solutions – Joseph Joseph Expandable Dishrack.Third it has a draining plug. You can leave it closed if for some reason you should want to trap the water on your dish rack (maybe useful if you’re worried about losing very small items) or you can open it, which will allow all the water to simply drain away, leaving your dishrack looking nice and clean and fairly dry most of the time.

Kitchen Storage Solutions & Joseph Joseph Expandable DishrackFourth it is customizable to your particular needs. It has a movable cutlery drainer, which allows you to place it in any spot you desire and it also has a removable steel rack, which also can be moved if needed.

Oh, and did I mention that it can be almost doubled in size? 😉 Very useful I found after visits from friends and family where the dish volume has shot up.

Mark thinks that I am silly by getting excited about things like a dish rack but keeping the home looking nice and fairly clutter free is obviously far more important to me, so if the dish rack makes me happy why not share some love?

I am loving this expandable dishrack. It is truly a great idea to incorporate a flexible size into the design.

What do you think?

Do you like the idea of this new dishrack or are you like my Mark totally indifferent to its existence?

How do you deal with wet plastics coming from the dishwasher?

It cooks, it fries, and it bakes… my journey with a Redmond Multicooker

1. Redmond MulticookerA good few months ago I was gifted a beautiful looking Redmond Multicooker to “play with”. At first Mark wasn’t too impressed as any new appliance in the kitchen inevitably means less work top space; but as it ended up it actually helped us save some space 🙂

My Redmond Multicooker (RMC-M4502E ) has 34 programs – 16 automatic and 18 manual programs which enables you to cook meat, fish, poultry and seafood, vegetables, oatmeal, soup, pasta; deep fry, make yogurt and desserts, bake, and more! 3D heating helps save valuable minerals and vitamins in the food. The Redmond Multicooker features a wide temperature range from 40°C up to 160°C in handy 20°C intervals and cooking times range from 5 minutes all the way up to 12 hours in 5 minute intervals. It is perfect for making traditional meals, as well as yogurt, cottage cheese, fondue, French fries, and nuggets; it can also bake bread or cakes, prepare baby food, proof dough, pasteurize, sterilize, and more. And in this hectic modern life if you are late for dinner it will keep it warm for you for up to 24 hours 😉

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

I found this lovely introduction video which shows the cooker in its full glory.

If at this point you are wondering why you would need it… well let me explain…

Firstly, the Redmond Multicooker offers a fully automated cooking system, which means that you can simply pop your ingredients in and forget about it until it beeps 🙂 unless you are cooking a recipe which requires you to add something mid cook of course. Sometimes our busy lifestyle gets on top of us, and I bet we have all had at one time or another a cooking disaster resulting in a burnt dinner because we didn’t turn the stove off on time because we are distracted with the phone, kids or another emergency that requires immediate attention.

Secondly, due to its enclosed nature, cooking in it doesn’t present any hazard. We all know what toddles can be like… little hands go everywhere… using a multicooker means no risk of potential injuries… no hot surface to get burned on, no risk of running into the cooker with giant pot of soup or stew cooking on top.

Third, a Redmond Multicooker actually helps you to save space. Instead of a steamer, rice cooker, deep fat fryer, or a separate baby food warmer all you have is one machine, which does it all. It is an ideal all in one cooker for small kitchens. Not only does it save space, it also saves money as cooking in it is much cheaper than using an energy hungry stove or an oven, and it’s an absolute doddle to clean.

2. Redmond Multicooker

A Redmond Multicooker comes with a good range of handy accessories that include: a steam basket, deep fry basket with handle, measuring cup, serving spoon, tirpaddle, spoon/paddle holder, bowl extraction tongs and of course the main cooking bowl which has a durable non-stick coating.

We have cooked a range of dishes in our Redmond Multicooker and I would like to share with you two of my favourite.

First I want to tell you about a Fresh Mushroom Soup.

To be honest I’ve never had a mushroom soup based on fresh mushrooms before but it tastes great and the smell is simply amazing. The best part is that you can actually have this one soup served three different ways and it will taste ever so slightly different.

Redmond Multicooker and Fresh Mushroom Soup

“Plain” just as it comes from the cooker.

Redmond Multicooker and My Fresh Mushroom Soup

With added cream, which makes it more mellow and creamy (surprise, surprise).

With or without the added cream but blended into a silky smooth creamed soup (I am sorry no picture of this one).

Redmond Multicooker and My Banana Nut Cake

The second recipe I would like to share with you is for a Banana Nut Cake. We were a bit sceptical when it comes to baking in our multicooker, but just have a look at this cake… I am not sure I would be able to get a bake like this in my traditional oven to be honest.

Redmond Multicooker and Banana Nut Cake

Baking in a Redmond Multicooker sounds a bit tricky… This is due in part because mid way through the bake you have to flip the cake over. I was terrified the first time we tried it. I simply thought that my cake was going to fell apart… but it didn’t…

Redmond Multicooker and Banana Nut Cake in the making

… actually the whole turning process was extremely easy and straightforward: use tongs to remove bowl; put a large plate on top of the bowl, turn cooking bowl upside down allowing your cake to fall onto the plate and then simple slide the cake back into cooking bowl, the whole action took less than 30 seconds… it sounds much more complicated than it actually is.

Redmond Multicooker RMC-M4502E is priced at £139.90 and it can be purchased from their website at Multicooker.com. This is a mid range multicooker; their basic model starts from just £69 and goes up to £184.90 which will give you a pressure multicooker.

I really like my multicooker 🙂

What do you think about it?

Would you like one?

Does it sound like something you might be interested in?

*I was compensated for my time needed to fully test Redmond Multicooker.