How to cook the perfect crispy belly pork in the microwave….

I love to cook a great Sunday roast for my family, it’s not something we do every week or even once a month. However when I do, it’s always enjoyed by the whole family. Due to my Hubby’s working hours it’s not often we sit down all together as a family to enjoy a meal, thats another reason roast dinners are enjoyed by us all even more.

Panasonic have just realised a new combination microwave which is going to change the way people cook at home. Panasonic have teamed up Chef Tom Kitchen who says you can cook the perfect crispy belly pork in the microwave. As we had a rare Sunday with us all at home, I though I would take a trip to the local butchers and buy some belly pork, before heading to the market to buy some lovely fresh vegetables.

Crispy Belly Pork In The Microwave

Ingredients

  • 1kg Belly pork
  • rock salt
  • seasonal vegetables

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin making criss-cross inserts.
  • Rub the pork belly with rock salt and place on a tray before cling filming and placing in the fridge for 6 hours.
  • Pre-heat the microwave oven to 200°C using the convection setting.
  • Place the pork belly on the wire rack and rest it on the metal tray. Carefully pour boiling water directly over the pork belly and fill the tray with 2″ of water.
  • Place the metal tray carefully in the lower shelf position with the belly on the wire rack in the middle shelf position.
  • Cook on the convection setting at 200°C for 20 mins. Then lower the temperature to 160°C and cook for another 3 hours.
  • If at the end of cooking the skin needs more crisping, cook on the grill setting 1 for a further 5-10 mins.
  • Serve with your choice of seasonal vegetables.

Crispy Belly Pork In The Microwave

Now, my microwave is a very basic one, which is only really used for defrosting the odd thing, cooking baked beans or peas for the children. So I didn’t have a shelf option or the ability to put the pork on a metal tray, so I went without.

Into the microwave it went, set the time and kept my fingers crossed it would be a success.

I have to say I was quite impressed with how my belly pork cooked in the microwave, it was crispy, succulent and delicious to eat. It wasn’t something I have ever thought about doing before and I was honestly a little bit worried about how it would turn out.

Have a look at this video that shows you just how to cook the perfect crispy belly pork in your microwave.

I would love to hear about you favourite ways to cook belly pork.

*This post has been made in collaboration with Panasonic.*

 

The Origin of Leather

I love a great looking leather handbag,  I’m drawn to the beautiful styles and colours of the leather. Yet, I never stop and think about why leather is used and where it originates from. And I don’t just mean from large animals.

The Origin of Leather

Leather tanning goes back in history for thousands of years, it is believed to be one of the oldest human activities along with hunting. Our Ancestors found that the animals they hunted for food also had skins that could be used. They realised that these skins were durable and they begin making clothing, shoes and tents with them.

In the colder months the items became stiff and unusable, yet in the summer they started to rot with the heat. So they started to look at ways to make the animal hide more flexible and stronger by rubbing animal fats into the skins. It was soon discovered that drying the skins in the sun or by using salt to dehydrate, stopped the rotting process.

As the centuries passed methods to preserve and maintain have become more refined yet the basic processes are still being used today.

Uses of leather through the ages

The Egyptians tombs shows that in around 5000BC leather was used for sandals, clothes, gloves, buckets, elaborate jewellery items and even for sending off after death. It is believed that they preserved leather by using tree bark and leaves that they soaked in water to coat the hides.

The Romans used leather for footwear, clothes, military equipment, including shields, saddles and harnesses for their horses.

As the centuries passed leather became more and more popular and by the medieval times most villages had tanneries. They were located by the rivers so there was a constant source of water.

When the Tudor Boat the Mary Rose was recovered it showed that they had started to use leather for not only clothes, bags and footwear but also used for furniture. Chairs, leather cases, wall coverings and also elaborate carriages.

During the 18th and 19th century there was more demand for different leathers, lighter weight items. So new machine processes were being used to make the leather thinner, lighter weight more readily available and more durable.

Leather today

Today leather continues to be a popular choice of material, it is used for so many everything items. Bags, shoes, furniture, phone cases, passport covers, wash bags, today leather can be made into just about anything. All produced in a variety of beautiful colours. It is not just used around our homes but also within the automotive, aviation and marine industries as well.

What is your favourite leather product? Mine is my beautiful tan leather handbag, that cost more than I am happy to admit to my Hubby.

 

Top tips for getting your house summer ready

Well the summer has arrived, yet the Sun doesn’t seem to know if it should be delighting us with it’s beauty or not. So hot one day you almost have to do nothing but eat ice-cream and drink a cold gin and tonic, then the next day you need to get your coat out.

We love the Summer, long light evenings, country walks, picnics, days at the beach, holidays and BBQ’s with friends. With the longer days it give you just that bit longer to do those little jobs that just never seem to get done during the darker days of the Winter.

When we moved to our current home, we had some changes to make the main one being new windows. The children’s bedrooms are in the roof space, so are freezing cold in the Winter and little saunas during the Summer. With no way of securing the windows on vents meaning the windows were even open or closed. With our bedroom downstairs it use to make me worry about the children at night with the windows open, so they would always be closed. New windows were essential. Choosing them very carefully to ensure they could be opened wide, have vents and also lockable. Now meeting the fire regulations and being security safe. So, this year having had the expense of the windows, we are just doing little bits around the house to get it ready for the summer. Although I have big plans for decorating, it will have to wait a while.

Top tips for getting the house summer ready

Getting Your Home Summer Ready

For those hot summer nights, change your duvet down to a lower tog. There are so many different ones available from 15 tog for those extra cosy winter nights down to 2.5 for the hot summer nights. We have summer duvet of 4.5 tog that we change over to at some point during May. I like to have a cover over me at night so this is perfect.

Getting Your Home Summer Ready

Fan’s in the bedrooms, in our house it’s a must. The children’s bedrooms get so hot that even though they only blow warm air around the room, it makes all the difference. I have got my eyes on a Dyson Cool Tower they are amazing, however with a price tag of £349 they are little bit over the budget.

Flies coming into the house is something that drives me crazy, buzzing around and annoying everyone. I do however love candles, so I find that using citronella candles helps to keep them away. A lot of people think to use them in the garden while having a BBQ to keep the wasps away, however they work wonders in the house as well.

Taking down your curtains and washing them, the warm summer days are perfect for this. Getting them all hung out on the line, fresh and cleaned ready to dry on a lovely day. Why not get the cushion and sofa covers washed and hung out as well.

The summer is the perfect time to get a few jobs outside completed. Painting the fences, making sure they are all secure, cleaning out the gutters, painting the garage door or even those beautiful wooden window frames. Lots of smaller things that just don’t get done during the winter.

Give the garden some love, tidy those flower beds, weed and feed the lawn, clean the decking and patio areas. Then enjoy the summer evenings with a BBQ, and cocktails and some friends.

During the summer we tend to leave the windows open we pop out, or we head off on a holiday without making sure we have home insurance that covers everything we need. Chill Insurance have some fantastic levels of home insurance cover, just make sure whatever your summer plans are you have your house insured.

 

*This is a collaborative post with Chill Insurance.*

 

The perfect designer bags by Philini

Finding the prefect light wight summer bag is not always easy. Something that looks fabulous with the everyday casual jeans and a t-shirt or a cute summer dress, but is also practical and spacious. Designer bags by Philini offer just this, with their range of cotton cross the body bags that have been designed for Spring/Summer 2017.

Designer Bags By Philini

Who are Philini?

Philini is a German based designer brand owned by Nataly Brunner. Nataly started to create items of clothings at the age of just 13 using her mothers old clothes. By the age of 20 Nataly had opened her own fashion house in her home country of Moldova. Later moving to Germany to working hard to make her designing dreams come true. Nataly now runs a very successful designer brand making luxury leather based items.

Designer Bags By Philini

Philini specialise in making very limited numbers in each style and colour of bags, so seeing someone else with your stunning bag is very unlikely. With a designer bag, the last thing you want to be walking about Covent Garden to see other people with the same one.

My ‘Flora Black’ across the body bag

The ‘Flora Black’ is a very light weight bag, perfect for those summer days. The bright floral cotton fabric, making it the prefect statement bag, that would complement any outfit this summer. Great for simple dresses or just that casual jeans and t-shirt look. It’s a spacious bag with two zipped pockets on the inside, to keep your valuables safe. Then has a magnetic button style closure at the top. The straps and edges is made of black calfs leather, the strap is adjustable. So if you wanted it slightly longer or shorter it can be adjusted to suit your outfit, or to change from a shoulder bag to across the body.

The size of this bag is great, not to small not to big. Measuring 30 x 30cm square and just 2 cm wide but that expands depending on what you fill it with.

My ‘Flora Black’ bag cost €159 so is a investment bag for the summer months. Think weekends away with the girls. A flight bag with enough space for tickets, passport and money. Heading off to a festival or even if you are just popping to the shops this bag is versatile for so many occasions. I love it.

*Thank you so much Philini for gifting me this beautiful bag, looking forward to using it over the summer months. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*