Fuss-free Dinners with M&S AW18 Cookware

I won’t lie: leaving France three weeks ago after a wonderful break with family and friends was tough. I wouldn’t trade our life here though and I had something to look forward to straight after our return. The team at Marks & Spencer Home had invited me to try out their AW18 cookware. They had planned a cooking workshop at The Woodspeen, a beautiful restaurant and cookery school in Newbury.

It was pouring with rain when I left home so I put away the summer dress and sandals I’d planned to wear and replaced them with jeans, a jumper, wellies and a raincoat. I might have looked like a fisherman lost in Central London, but I was dry!

The day was beautifully planned, starting with pick-up near Paddington station and breakfast to go. The Woodspeen was the perfect cooking school, with a large vegetable patch, lots of natural light, fab cooking stations and a huge table for us all to sit around and chat. 

I spent the day with a small group of friendly ladies, putting together recipes with Steve and Laoise, development chefs at M&S, using M&S AW18 cookware and kitchenware as well as fresh produce.

The menu was Michelin star material and I couldn’t wait to start cooking! I paired up with the lovely Miriam at ‘London Kitchen Diaries’ and we worked brilliantly as a team, sharing the cooking and getting our brains together to remember the steps to follow. 

First, we made sour potato flatbreads to go with velvet houmous, keema mince, toasted nuts and spices. It was my favourite course as I love food you put in the middle of the table and guests can help themselves to as little or as much as they want. I’ll definitely be making it again. 

Look how scrumptious it looked!

Steve and Laoise had prepared the slow cooked lamb shoulder with pomegranate molasses as well as saffron roast potatoes for our main course. We focused on the side: a whole baked cauliflower served with a delicious courgette baba ghanoush. We also put together whole roasted carrots with cumin, yoghurt and pickles. 

Dessert was baked yoghurt with poached spiced pear and blackberry compote topped with a sweet rose dukkah. 

What a day! The food was out of this world, conversation was flowing and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the products from M&S AW18 cookware we’d been using all day. I already had some favourites: 

  • everything in the Albany ceramic collection, a range of products that can be taken from oven to table and look great
  • the cast aluminium casserole dishes in the Colour Collection
  • the pans
  • the sharp knives

The new M&S AW18 cookware reached the shelves in my local M&S a couple of weeks ago and I left the shop with a fair few bags! I treated myself to the ivory cast aluminium casserole dish as it’s so light and versatile. Don’t get me wrong; I love my cast iron casserole dish, but it can be hard to clean and it’s so heavy it makes it a tricky one to work with when my children are helping. It’s nice to have something similar, but non-stick and as light as a feather. It’s also ovenproof and it looks great!

We used it to make fajitas last week, pesto pasta this week and our favourite soup for Beanie’s birthday: our vegan creamy carrot and parsnip soup. 

My new pan is an absolute dream too! It’s non-stick and so easy to clean! I somehow managed to overcook some chorizo when making chorizo pasta and it still didn’t need any scrubbing afterwards. Result!

As for the measuring cups in the Albany range, I’ve been using them every single day, not only to measure ingredients but also to serve small portions of condiments, for popcorn and I even used the biggest one as a porridge bowl one morning!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the launch of M&S AW18 Cookware. All photos and opinions are my own. The photos of me were taken by Miriam at ‘London Kitchen Diaries‘ using my camera. 

20 Comments

  1. 28/09/2018 / 1:41 pm

    What a perfect pick me up after coming back from your summer hols. The food looks droolworthy and the new pan looks fab – perfect for cooking up some lovely heartwarming Autumn food.

    • Mel
      Author
      28/09/2018 / 4:59 pm

      I’ve been using my new pan and casserole dish every day. I never thought I’d ever say that, but they’re as good as my Tefal ones!

  2. 28/09/2018 / 2:28 pm

    This looks like so much fun, so delicious and your images are absolutely gorgeous!!

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:06 pm

      Thanks lovely lady. It really was a brilliant day and I love the new range of cookware M&S came up with 🙂

  3. 28/09/2018 / 5:15 pm

    Oh I love this! It all looks so delicious and a lot of fun too. The new pans look is good, we do a lot of casseroles though the autumn./winter!

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:06 pm

      Me too! Almost time to get the slow cooker out of the cupboard and dust the cobwebs off it!

  4. 29/09/2018 / 9:30 am

    Ooo what an exciting experience to get involved in. The food created looks totally yummy x

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:08 pm

      Thanks lovely. I was so full when I got home!

  5. 29/09/2018 / 11:24 am

    Sounds like a great quality, versatile range of cookware- just what you’d expect from M&S! Love the sound of the nonstick casserole dish, absolutely perfect for this time of year.

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:07 pm

      It’s just perfect!

  6. 29/09/2018 / 9:55 pm

    I would absolutely love to spend a day here! It looks like a lot of fun whilst a great skill learning experience too! Lovely photos – you really sold it to me!

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:05 pm

      It was brilliant and I hope I get to go there again for more cooking classes 🙂

  7. 29/09/2018 / 10:25 pm

    That sounds like a really fun day. And I love the sound of that aluminium casserole pot. I have two cast iron ones and like you, I love them but they’re very heavy and can be buggers to clean. So that pot would be ideal to use instead!

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:05 pm

      It’s absolutely brilliant and I’ve surprised myself by using it instead of my trusty old cast iron casserole dish!

  8. 30/09/2018 / 12:07 am

    I do love M&S kitchenware and glad you had. a lovely time in London even if you dressed like a fisherman lol.

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:04 pm

      🙂

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 12:04 pm

      They’re definitely essentials. I had no idea M&S had such a great range of cookware to be honest!

  9. 30/09/2018 / 7:49 pm

    You can’t beat a non stick casserole dish! All of our pans are non stick too. I am always over cooking something so I am thankful it’s always easy to come off lol!

    • Mel
      Author
      01/10/2018 / 11:52 am

      Same here! I have burned a few things in my big cast iron casserole dish 🙁

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