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?

Lunch in style with monbento – Pasta & Tuna Salad

Lunch in style with monbento - Pasta & Tuna SaladWhen it comes to packed lunches a lot of people tend to skip on the more adventurous foods due to transportation issues. The result, salads and soups just aren’t as popular as the humble sandwich, and I believe that it is mainly due to the fact that they aren’t easy to pack… well with the right tools everything is possible.

Sometime ago I was introduced to monbento.

Monbento is a French based company offering beautifully designed kitchen accessories that are perfect at helping us enjoy our more adventurous lunches. Monbento are mainly known for their bento boxes, which are ideal for lunch at the office, picnics or TV dinners but I discovered that this is not all they have to offer.

The product which caught my eye the most was a double wall bowl. This airtight, BPA-free, dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe bowl has simple stylish looks and is perfect. It is just the right size for a lunch (450ml capacity) and it even comes with its own spoon already built in, so no need to worry about forgetting your cutlery any more.

Having this new funky looking bowl became a great inspiration for spicing up our lunch menu.

So today I am sending Mark to work with a Pasta & Tuna Salad 😉

Lunch in style with monbento and Pasta & Tuna SaladIngredients:

  • 250g pasta, I used simple macaroni
  • 2 tins of tuna chunks in oil
  • 1 tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 small onion; fine chopped
  • 1 pepper (I used half a red one and half a yellow one, just to add a bit more colour)
  • 2 large celery sticks
  • ½ iceberg lettuce
  • ½ lemon; juiced
  • 3tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Spring onion to garnish

Method:

Cook your pasta as per the instructions on the packet, be careful and do not overcook it; then drain and allow to cool. Oh, and don’t forget to salt the water.

Whilst your pasta is cooking you should have just enough time to prepare everything else.

Chop the peppers and celery up into small chunks – ideally you want to have more or less the same amount of peppers as celery – and place in a large bowl.

Finely chop the onion; add to the bowl.

Cut the lettuce into small pieces and also pop into the bowl.

Open and drain the sweetcorn, pop it into the bowl.

Open and half drain the tuna – you don’t want to get rid of all oil just the excess bit.

Gently mix all the ingredients, ready for pasta.

Once your pasta is cooked, cold and well drain; add it to the bowl holding all your other ingredients; add lemon juice, pepper and paprika as well as mayonnaise and mix gently.

Garnish with spring onions and serve… or place in a monbento container ready to be taken for lunch.

Lunch in style with monbento – Pasta & Tuna SaladLunch in style with monbento and my Pasta & Tuna SaladLunch in style with monbento – My Pasta & Tuna SaladWhat’s your favourite packed lunch idea?

What would you put in a monbento bowl?

Future proofing the nursery

Future proofing the nursery with Worlds ApartWith the time flying by so quickly our nursery is now no longer fully functional. Baby has learnt how to crawl and he is wondering all over the house; to keep him still he needs entertainment and that means a lot of toys to keep him busy… and toys need storage space.

As it ended up we are lacking quite a bit in this department.

But not too worry… just when we were trying to figure out how to resolve this problem and what to buy Worlds Apart came to the rescue.

We were offered pieces for a review from new HelloHome collections:

HelloHome StarBright Toddler CollectionHelloHome BearHug Toddler CollectionBoth collections are truly beautiful, well designed and definitely child friendly, wouldn’t you agree?

We actually struggled with our choice; StarBright will go much better with the rest of the room colour wise, but BearHug is just so adorable that we simply couldn’t resist. Thinking about the future and what we would need to transform the nursery into a toddler room we chose BearHug… and thinking about the present and what we need right now we went for the BearHug storage stack.

Future proofing the nursery with Worlds ApartHelloHome BearHug storage stack comes flat packed and it takes literally just a few minutes to put it together. All you have to do is to attach a few screws to poles and you got your stack ready; really simple and totally foolproof, as they say, even I could do it.

HelloHome BearHug Storage StackThe stack itself looks beautiful; the pastel colours make them a suitable addition to any kids’ room and the bear faces just make them extra cute and friendly. We were wondering if the pink / red box will not look out of place too much in a boy’s room, but it doesn’t; it looks really great and it is adding that so much needed warmth into the room.

Future proofing the nursery with Worlds ApartFuture proofing the nursery with Worlds Apart.Future proofing the nursery with Worlds Apart...A very big plus of this stack is its weight or lack of. The stack is very light which makes it extremely portable and a breeze to move for cleaning. For now our BearHug storage stack has its place on the floor, box next to box, so Baby can reach and simply grab any toy he fancies at the time, but in the future when more toddler furniture’s will start to arrive in the room and floor space will become more of an issue, it will be stacked as it should or even placed on the shelves… as it ended up each box fits perfectly in our built-in unit; it almost like they were meant to be there from the beginning.

I know that in the future we will need even more storage to help keep all toys neatly in order but for this moment our BearHug storage stack is ideal and just what we need. I think it is a great starting piece for transforming a baby room into a toddler one. Next piece on the shopping list is the BearHug toy box; we just need Baby to start walking so he can reach into the box 🙂

Future proofing the nursery with Worlds Apart. Future proofing the nursery with Worlds ApartWhat’s your storage idea to help keep all those toys tidy?

Do you like the look of our new BearHug storage stack?

Packed Lunches, Mexican Chicken and The Wrapper

Packed Lunches, Mexican Chicken and The Wrapper

I don’t know about you but given the choice I would take a packed lunch over a shop bought one any day. With so much nastiness going into our food these days it is nice to know what we are actually eating. This means making your own food from scratch from good quality locally sourced (if possible) ingredients.

A lot of people don’t prepare their own lunch. When asked why the most common answer would be lack of time and energy, lack of ability to actually cook or simply a lack of good will. Making your own lunch can be fun 🙂

A few days ago I prepared a quick and easy Mexican chicken which we used as a filling in our lunch sandwiches.

All you need is 15 minutes and you can have a tasty fresh chicken sandwich on your plate.

Ingredients:

Method:

Heat up a heavy bottom frying pan.

Cut your chicken into desired size – 1cm x 1cm cubes work for me.

In a medium size bowl mix oil, chicken stock and flavour pot.

Add the chicken chunks into the bowl and mix well massaging the flavours into the chicken.

Fry on the well preheated frying pan for 10 to 12 minutes; stir and toss well to ensure that all pieces of the chicken are cooked.

Remove from the heat and allow it to cool down a little.

Add mayonnaise and mix gentry.

Serve with your favourite bread or as an addition to salad.

My Mexicans Chicken went into a sandwich. As it contained mayonnaise I didn’t even butter the thins 😉

Then my Mexican Chicken sandwiches went into The Wrapper… a brilliant product perfect for packed lunches.

The Wrapper is a reusable sandwich wrapper. It costs £5.50 and it comes in many lovely designs. I totally love the idea behind it; no more wrapping our food in foil or paper. Now everyone has their own personal wrapper to keep their food fresh for longer.

The Wrapper is extremely easy to use:

Packed Lunches, My Mexican Chicken and The Wrapper

And if it gets dirty you simply wipe it clean 😉

Not only is it perfect for packed lunches but it also doubles as an eating mat. No more crumbs in the car; no more eating from the dirty table in the park and no more unnecessary rubbish.

I hope that The Wrapper idea takes off and it becomes a must have product in every household. Can you even imagine how many tons of rubbish we could avoid if everyone swapped to it and simply wrapped their food in The Wrapper?

Packed Lunches, Mexican Chicken and The Wrapper.

What do you think? Would you use The Wrapper in your own home?

Babypotz – Weaning Made Easy

Babypotz Starter Set – Weaning Made Easy

Weaning means a lot of different foods, a lot of mess and a lot of work, unless you feed just shop bought pouches and jars, but even then you still most likely have some leftover which means… a lot of different foods, a lot of mess and a lot of work 🙂

We were sent a box of Babypotz to help us get through the weaning stage and I must admit they are a great help.

Babypotz - Weaning Made Easy.

Babypotz are dishwasher, steriliser, microwave and freezer safe, BPA Free, reusable and stackable pots. They come in different sizes and our starter pack contained 10 of 30ml, 60ml, 90ml, 120ml and 150ml pots. Babypotz make for an ideal storage solution during weaning. Different sizes are just what you need so you can fill them with different food and quantities depending on your requirements.

As we are just starting for this moment we use carrot, peas, potato, parsnip, pumpkin as well as apple, pear and bananas. Babypotz make measuring of the food easy. I know the size of each pot and I can easily mix different flavours to get the total quantity of food I need for each meal.

Each Babypot comes with its own lid. The lids are quite secure and so far we haven’t experienced any accidents with them coming off. The pots are easy to clean but I wouldn’t personally recommend putting them into dishwasher – they are very light and tend to move to much; after a wash cycle I never seem to find one in the same spot that it was in before the wash program started.

Babypotz Starter Set has a RRP of €21.99 (or £17.98 via Amazon.co.uk) There is an option to order some labels (at an additional cost) or you can purchase pots in your favourite size only – currently you can pick pots starting from 30ml going up to a massive 710ml. For the full stock list please visit Babypotz website.

In addition to using Babypotz during meal times, we also use them for freezing. They are simply ideal for this purpose. Here is our creation of a pumpkin puree ready to take a trip to the freezer 😉

Babypotz – Weaning Made Easy.

Do you batch cook and freeze baby food or do you prefer shop bought pouches and jars?

Do you like the idea of Babypotz?

Babypotz – Weaning Made Easy