Pogo your oats! The new Porridge measure

Pogo3I received an e-mail last week asking me if I would like to review ‘Pogo’ the new Porridge cooking aid. With a great name like Pogo I was tempted and agreed. A few days later Pogo bounced through my letter box (sorry can’t resist a pun) and I got cooking….

Pogo ‘the perfect Porridge measure’ is essentially a plastic measuring beaker for oats and milk/water to make Porridge. Follow the instructions on your Porridge packet, measure the oats and water in Pogo and away you go.

Pogo has a nice little design. I like the fact that you can measure all types of oats, including oatmeal and even oatbran.

Pogo2Getting oat to fluid quantities right, It’s one of the most FAQ’s I get on Twitter. The ratio and measuring correctly is something that I rely on ‘Porridge Mug‘ for. If you haven’t already got a PM then this may be the device for you!

So after plenty of Pogo Porridge practice what did I think about it?

  • Pogo is clear and easy to use, and comes with a great little info card with lots of handy tips on how to make the best Porridge.   
  • However I didn’t like that the ‘oats’ measuring rule on Pogo didn’t differentiate between jumbo oats and quick cook oats. In my opinion because of the different surface area of the two types of oats, the measure was out.
  • Pogo It’s light and portable BUT
  • Pogo is not dishwasher safe and for me this is a huge downside to the product.

So who is Pogo for?

A Porridge making newbie who wants to move away from individual sachet Porridge to making their own.

A keen cook who wants to get the essentials of Porridge making right.

A great Xmas present for a Porridge fanatic .

Pogo1* This is an independent review of Pogo. I do not work for ‘Human Needs’ the owners of the Pogo TM. I did not receive any fee for writing this post. My review reflects my own personal opinion and should be a substitute for yours.
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Date & Coconut Porridge: A recipe for a warming Autumn breakfast

Date & Coconut PorridgeiThe leaves are changing from green to red, the morning lawn is wet with dew and a touch of frost, Autumn is here.

Autumn is my favourite month, after the heat and energy of summer and before the cold hard days of winter, comes the brief respite of Autumn. It’s a beautiful month for walking and enjoying the leaves changing colour and the crisp days. Autumn also signifies the start of ‘Porridge Season’ a time when people put their muesli and fruit salad breakfasts aside and come back to Porridge. To celebrate the return to hot oats I have written a warming recipe to start your day…

Date & Coconut Porridge

Date & Coconut Porridge

Serves: Two

Cooking & Preparation time: 7 mins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of jumbo oats

2 cups coconut milk

1 cup cold water

4 Medjool dates

2 tablespoons dessicated coconut

Optional – garnish with nutmeg or warm maple syrup.

Method:

Place the oats, coconut milk and water into a deep, heavy based saucepan and stir thoroughly.

Place the saucepan over a high heat and cook the oats for 2-3 mins.

Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 2-3 mins or until you have a nice thick Porridge consistency.

Remove the saucepan and pour the Porridge into two bowls.

Take the Medjool dates and cut into thin slivers.

Garnish the Porridge with the dates slices, sprinkle on the dessicated coconut and finally drizzle with a little maple syrup or grate a little nutmeg over the bowls.

Enjoy your warming breakfast and Autumn.

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Causing a stir on Marys Meals World Porridge Day

Press WPD2014iiWow what a busy day it has been and that’s thanks to you! A big thank you to everyone who tweeted me a photo of their Porridge breakfast and all of you who got involved in making #WorldPorridgeDay trend on Twitter.

There were lots of successful Porridge mornings across the country, Porridge fever even spread to Jersey where over a £1,000 was raised for Mary’s Meals. 

Whilst Porridge has been a social media trend for the day, the star of World Porridge Day is Mary’s Meals and the work they do everyday. From Malawi to the Ebola affected areas of Liberia, school children are being fed every morning thanks to the donations we all make the the efforts of the Mary’s Meals workers.

Press WPD2014However you made your Porridge today I hope you had a happy Mary’s Meals World Porridge Day.

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Get your oats ready for Mary’s Meals World Porridge Day 2014

Barley, oat, fig porridgeThe 10th of October is World Porridge Day, the day to celebrate the best breakfast in the world!

Established by The Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships, World Porridge Day is an annual event created to support the work of the Scottish Charity ‘Mary’s Meals’.  Now in it’s fifth year, the event is a celebration of the traditional Scottish dish, and a chance to draw attention to the vital role that porridge plays at the charities school feeding projects in Malawi.

The morning Porridge ‘likuni phala‘ served by Mary’s Meals to over 690,000 school children in Malawi it is a powerful incentive to go to school and, for many, the only nutritious meal they will have that day.

Mary’s Meals ‘World Porridge Day’ needs your support! So tomorrow please join me by following @Mary’sMeals and tweeting a photo of your Porridge breakfast with the #WorldPorridgeDay.

If you can, please also consider making a donation to Mary’s Meals. It doesn’t matter how small it is, perhaps you could make your own Porridge tomorrow, instead of buying a takeaway breakfast, and donate £4. Or forgo your morning cup of coffee and donate £3. When it costs just £12.20 to feed a child for a whole year your donation, not matter how small, really does count.

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Pomegranate Porridge; the recipe just got a whole lot easier!

Pom Porridge 3I love Pomegranate’s, an gem of a fruit whose seeds bejewel my Autumn Porridge. However I’m not a fan of the mess they make when trying to remove the little ruby seeds from their leathery peel. Then today I came across this simple mess free method of seed removal;

Simple when you know how! And now that you know, making my recipe for Pomegranate Porridge just got a whole lot easier!

Enjoy my Autumn recipe without all the mess!

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Stop Press: Winner of the 21st Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championships is announced

2014 Golden Spurtle winner

Dr Izhar Khan, an NHS consultant from Aberdeen, has been announced as the winner of the 2014 Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championships.

For the first time in the Golden Spurtle’s history the specialty category has been awarded to two winners;  Chris Young, co-founder of the Handmade Oatcake Company in Perthshire and Christina Conte a Scottish Italian food blogger based in Los Angeles.

Congratulations to you all!

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New and beautiful Porridge bowls, ready for an Autumn of recipe writing

Ridgleine BowlsOver the weekend I acquired a new set of bowls. These beautiful bowls are hand thrown, will all the lovely little imperfections that come with handmade pottery.

Ridgeline Bowls2I really needed some new bowls, as it was pointed out to me last week, that I use the same bowl everyday for my breakfast photo posted on Twitter (@Porridgelady). Oops!

Ridgeline Bowls4As a recipe writer I need a bevy of beautiful bowls, crockery and cutlery for my food styling and food photography. However at home I use pretty much the same bowl everyday. So step up new bowls and grace Twitter with your presence!

Ridgeline Bowls5I think this bowl is perfect for serving up my recipe of ‘Hobbit-y Porridge‘.

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Who is the world’s best Porridge maker?

The Golden Spurtle (2)With just over a week to go until the 2014 Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships, there is just one question on all Porridge lovers lips… who will be crowned the worlds best Porridge maker for 2014?

GS Group smlThe Golden Spurtle takes place every October in the beautiful setting of Carrbridge in the Scottish Cairngorms. The competition is a global event, in the past few years it has attracted competitors from countries such as; Canada, USA, Germany and Scandinavia, all vying to be crowned the worlds top Porridge Chef.

I’ve loved being a competitor at the Golden Spurtle and I am happy to say that in 2009 I won the competitions the specialty section, with Matthew Cox winning the traditional section. It was the first time that the championship was won by an English person – me! and a non-UK nation, with Matthew taking the Golden Spurtle trophy back to Bob’s Red Mill in Oregon, U.S.A.

Winning in 2009 Porridge Lady & Matthew Cox

Winning in 2009 Porridge Lady & Matthew Cox

The big question in 2014 is will the much coveted Golden Spurtle stay in Scotland this year or will the global rise of Porridge popularity see it go overseas?

If you can’t be at the competition in person, keep an eye on the Golden Spurtle website and my Twitter stream (@porridgelady) as I will be relaying events as they happen.

Good luck to all the Golden Spurtle competitors and may the best bowl of Porridge win!

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Raspberry Chia Jam Porridge; a recipe for a refreshing breakfast

Chia Jam Porridge2I have been adding Chia seeds to my Porridge a LOT recently. After I’ve tweeted photos of my Chia Porridge breakfast’s (@PorridgeLady) I’ve had questions in return asking what Chia seeds are and how to use them.

Chia are small grey seeds which come from a plant native to Mexico. Whilst small in size the seeds pack a nutritional punch with high levels of:

  • Fiber
  • calcium,
  • manganese,
  • phosphorus, 
  • healthy omega-3 fats
  • and protein.

Much has also been written on Chia seeds and their role in disease prevention. A quick read of the internet will show you how the tiny seeds have been linked to reduced rates of diabetes and increased heart health.

Chia 2How do you add Chia seeds to your diet? Well the great thing about Chia is that you can eat them raw and cook with the seeds too. I add handfuls to cooked Porridge, sprinkle on salads and add to bread dough. For this Porridge recipe I cook the seeds to make an interesting and healthy fruit jam.

Raspberry Chia Jam Porridge

Serves: Two

Ingredients

1 punnet of raspberries

2 teaspoons of honey

3 tablespoons of Chia seeds

200ml cold water

1 cup of jumbo oats

2 cups of milk

Method

Wash and place the raspberries into a heavy based saucepan, adding enough cold water to cover the base of the pan.

Drizzle honey over the raspberries, then place the saucepan over a low heat and allow the berries to slowly break down.

Stir in the Chia seeds and add the water a little at a time. The amount of water that you need to add will depend on how juicy the raspberries are.

Keep cooking and stirring over a low heat for about 10 mins or until the Chia and raspberry mix is really thick, with a jelly consistency.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, allow to mix to cool fully then transfer to a sealable box and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning make your Porridge with the oats and milk, cooking slowly, stirring plenty, and when it is thick and creamy pour into two bowls.

Spoon two or three generous dessert spoonfuls of the Chia jam onto the Porridge and swirl through.

Serve hot and enjoying a refreshing and super healthy breakfast.

Chia Jam Porridge1

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A recipe for the perfect oatcake?

WOM OatcakesOats are so versatile but aside from Porridge, their other culinary uses are all to often overlooked. That’s why I was so pleased to see the Guardian Newspaper featuring Oatcakes on their ‘Word of Mouth’ blog today.

From the type of oats to use, to the amount of liquid you should add to achieve the perfect consistency, the feature ‘How to cook the perfect oatcakes’ provides plenty of top tips.

My favourite method of making oatcakes is the Hebridean way, with coarse oatmeal and sea salt and you can find my recipe on Mornflake website.

Couthie Spurtle

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