Jamie’s Recipes for iPad

It’s easy to make fun of celebrity chefs, especially Jamie Oliver – ask any lazy comedian. But it’s also worth noting that as a nation a lot of us eat *terrible* food when we really don’t need to. There’s a fallacy that good food is expensive and time-consuming and Mr Oliver has gone out of his way to disprove that through a series of TV shows, books and, because he is a thoroughly modern man, apps.

Jamie-Oliver-iPad

After some successful adventures on the iPhone, Jamie Oliver has landed on the iPad (as an interesting side note, despite all iPhone apps being able to run on the iPad, the awful looking nature of 2x blown up apps on the iPad – Apple’s way of telling devs to go make iPad apps – seems to have been a remarkable success). With a new step-by-step interface, Jamie’s Recipes for iPad makes cooking a nerdy pursuit involving touch screen computing … and therefore awesome.

The app, designed and developed by Jamie Oliver and Zolmo, includes a growing collection of 120 step-by-step recipes, is replete with step-by-step photography and has exclusive videos with cooking tips, hints and techniques. It’s as if Jamie Oliver were in your kitchen giving you directions. Only less annoying (I told you it’s easy to make fun of him).

“I’m so proud of all the people who tell me that their lives have been made easier thanks to my apps.” said Jamie. “By taking out the guesswork and making everything really clear, we’ve been able to introduce a whole new audience to cooking. With this app I wanted to take it to the next level – it’s not only easy, it’s great fun too”.

The interface is designed specifically for the iPad, with each recipe into bite-sized steps (pun fully intended), each with high-resolution photography and voice-prompts from Jamie. In an interesting business move, the app is free and comes with a taster pack (pun once again fully intended) of 10 free recipes. There is an app store with recipe packs available for a limited period for a special launch price of 69p (normal price £1.49). Each pack includes at least ten delicious recipes and a video tutorial. Packs available to buy now include Classic Comfort Food, 10 Minute Meals and Tasty Tray Bakes.

Additionally, a range of comprehensive video tutorials guide cooks through techniques such as Knife Skills to Carving a Roast.

Jamie’s Recipes for iPad out now.

BIBO water filter dispenser: Hot or cold water on demand

Wouldn’t it be great to have boiling water without having to wait for the kettle to boil? And wouldn’t it be equally as great to have chilled water without having to wait for it to cool in the fridge? Well dream no more as now you can have boiled or chilled water in an instant with the BIBO water filter dispenser.

Bibo-Water

If your kitchen, with its mass of ‘convenience enhancing’ appliances and cooking utensils covering the work tops, looks more like the inside of the tardis than a kitchen, why not get that even bit more plush and modern by sitting a BIBO water filter dispenser comfortably on the work top, if you’ve got any room that is.

Although jests aside it does seem uncanny how we seem to happily consume cup after cup of chilled water from the water dispenser in the office at work in an attempt to maintain the golden ‘eight cups of water a day’ rule, whilst at home all yearnings for a glass of water are replaced by a longing for a glass of wine or ice-cold beer. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact chilled water at the touch of a button is not readily available to us at home like it is at work.

Encouraging daily hydration outside of the office, the BIBO water dispenser will give you an endless supply of water – hot or cold – in an instant – well not quite endless, but 7 litres which equates to approximately 30 cups of cold water and 15 litres or 60 cups of hot water an hour, by all intents and purposes may as well be endless.

The water you consume out of the BIBO dispenser will be completely pure, thanks to its ultra-sophisticated and powerful UV filter, which removes all traces of heavy metals, pesticides and other chemicals – definitely preferable to the water we consume out of taps, particularly for those living in London may I add!

This ultra-modern, health-boosting, dishwasher-proof kitchen appliance costs £363 – perhaps we will stick to waiting a couple of minutes for the kettle to boil and chancing our chocolates with comparatively unfiltered tap water.

Breville toaster radio: Breakfast gets a musical accompaniment

Friends are often keen to hear about the latest gadgets I’m trying out, but all I seemed to get when I told them I was trying out a toaster/radio was a lot of smirks.

But it’s from Breville, and it looks really cool, I proclaimed. They still weren’t convinced. However, my first impressions out of the box were of a very solidly built good-looking piece of kit – with shiny steel body and glossy black sides. There’s a hint of retro about it, with the round speaker in the side and the silver knobs for on/off/volume and store/search.

Breville-Radio-Toaster

Turning it on revealed it to be even more stylish than I first thought – the digital display showing the radio stations glows bright green, while the on light when you’re toasting is a cool blue. More reminiscent of a stylish hi-fi than a kitchen gadget.

The toaster itself is well constructed and works well – the two adjustable toaster slots are wide enough to toast muffins (the English kind) and crumpets, as well as your average slide of daily bread. It also offers defrost and reheat settings. Those good looking glossy black sides do get rather warm when toasting though, so be aware if you have smaller children.

So, on to the radio. If you’re still not sure why you could want this multitasking gadget, the idea is to save on the number of plug sockets you use – a good idea when the average kitchen is crammed with electric gadgetry goodness.

So how effective is it? The built-in FM/AM radio has ten preset radio channels: for FM radio you’ll need to pull up the aerial – just make sure it doesn’t sit over the toaster slots then they’re on. You can set your favourite channels by turning the ‘store’ button quickly and it will search for the next strongest signal. Then simply hold in the store button until it beeps. FM stations were easy to find, which is more than I can say for AM stations, and the panel doesn’t tell you which station you’re on, which is a bit of a let down. But as an occasional radio for the kitchen it works okay. If you’d rather have your own tunes you can plug in an MP3 player (no lead supplied).

All in all, anyone who has digital radio might be a bit disappointed with the quality and functions available on the Breville toaster, but as it comes in at about the same price as any other upmarket toaster (£49.99) and looks so good, the radio could be viewed as an added bonus.

The Breville “2 Slice Radio Toaster” is £49.99 from the likes of Argos and Amazon.

For more information head to www.breville.co.uk

Too busy to wait for the kettle to boil? You need the T6!

If you have better things to do than wait for the kettle to boil, or want to create the impression that your time is too valuable for such mundanities, then you need the T6 water dispenser.

The T6 (I’ll explain the name is a minute) is a counter-top machine that is fed directly from the water mains and dispenses water in a choice of four temperatures – boiling, hot, ambient and chilled. Because it is connected to the mains there’s no need for delivery of water bottles – good for the environment and cheaper too.

T6

The time issue may be important to some, but probably the most important element that it addresses for most people is an environmental one. Many people are trying to get away from the delivery of water bottles and a move back to more environmentally friendly methods of water delivery, which the T6 delivers by being fed straight from the mains, allowing control over how much water is used.

It also includes a triple filtration unit that its makers say removes odours and particles of sand, silt, rust and chlorine in the water supply down to 0.6 micron. Chilled water is exposed to a computer controlled UV lamp which destroys micro-organisms and its ‘Zero Air Gap Technology’ prevents bacteria.

Tana Water’s MD Nick Heane believes that the T6 is bringing the process of boiling water into the 21st century:

“We are used to technology charging forward in all sorts of aspects of our lives. But the kettle has been ignored during this technological revolution. Its basic form is pretty much the same as 100 years ago – you put water into a metal container, heat it and wait for it to boil. It is very inefficient.”

The T6 comes in 12 different colours and is pretty stylish to look at – and if you’re making coffee for a horde, you can make up to 80 cups an hour – which probably makes it a top choice for an office – no more valuable employee time wasted waiting for the kettle!

Oh – and that name? Tana Water believes that the T6 will become the sixth indispensable kitchen gadget – I’ll leave you to work out which the other five are!

More on the T6 and pricing options at www.t6water.co.uk

Kitchen gadgets roundup

Listen to music while you make room in your freezer for that big leg of elk

“No gimmicky offering to get tongues wagging,” assures the latest press release from Slovenian brand Gorenje (and with England actually managing to win against them we don’t need to hold that against them). World Cup victory aside, just wait a cotton-darn pickin’ moment. It’s a fridge-freezer with an iPod dock on the front – isn’t that just a bit of a gimmick?

Kitchen-Gadgets

But the Slovenian firm is blowing its own Vuvuzela about the RK 1000IP freestanding iPod touch fridge-freezer, which also boasts two 50W speakers and wireless internet connection. So what’s the point of this fridge freezer cum music player? Well, the makers envisage the user scrolling through handy household hints and tips via the iGorenje portal (www.igorneje.com), while listening to their favourite music. (Our favourite tip on the site? How to make room in your freezer for that big leg of elk.)

The fridge itself has an A+ energy rating and a state-of-the-art cooling system to keep power consumption to a minimum. Other design features related to food rather than fun include two Ready ‘n’ Serve removable trays that can be used in place of a conventional serving tray for ready meals and a cheese and deli container with a wooden cutting board on top.

Finished in Jet Black Steel, the fridge freezer is arguably a good-looking addition to a contemporary kitchen, and we guess that it saves taking up worktop space with a separate dock and speakers. But at £2,000, we’d rather spend a few quid on an extra shelf. However, for anyone kitting out their kitchen with top-spec gear, it may well find its way on to their shopping list.

At a considerably lower price, Gordon Ramsay’s Panini Press is a cheap way to produce those trendy sarnies that can be pretty pricey if you buy them from the sandwich shop. Minus any high-tech gimmickry – though we were slightly disappointed to discover it doesn’t swear at you if you don’t chop your onions small enough or slice the panini quick enough – the Panini Press can also be opened out to use as a grill – ideal for breakfasts. (£39.99). The Cooks by Gordon Ramsay range is due out in August,

To complete the coffee shop experience in your own kitchen, splash out on your own coffee making machine. Sadly, it doesn’t come with the rather attractive Italian barrista who serves coffee round the corner from our office, but the Dulce Gusto Circolo Coffee Machine is still pretty good looking with an eye-catching circular design – and uses the familiar Dulce Gusto pods to make Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato and Espresso, among others. It’s a not-cheap at £159.99, but if you spend £2.50 a day on your favourite coffee, it’ll only take you a couple of months to break even. Log on to www.krups.co.uk

And if you want to brighten up breakfast time, here’s a toaster with a difference. Tefal’s Brighten up Breakfast with the Toast N’ Light. This little kitchen helper changes colour while it toasts, starting at blue, green, yellow, orange and finally red. Apparently this means you can keep track of your toast cooking – possibly a case of information overload?
The cost of knowing exactly how ready your toast is? £44.99 .
See www.tefal.co.uk for more