Mortel Foodies

Cooking Healthy, Living Better


One Of The Best Christmas Gifts I Ever Got For My Kitchen

I am pretty good and dropping hints to my family when the holidays come around and they usually come through for me. This time I really got my heart set on a new countertop toaster oven and so when Thanksgiving rolled around I had start to lay on the charm. Luckily for me, my daughter took notice and got me the exact model that I was hoping for. Now I know it seems petty, but with the amount of cooking that I do for everyone they will more than benefit from my present.

So What Did I Get?

Initially I had hoped for the Breville BOV800XL as it has for years been rated as one of the best toaster ovens. However, I noticed that they had come out with a newer model that has an interior light and one extra cooking function, so I set my mind to get the BOV845BSS. They both are basically the same oven except for those two features. Now this is perhaps the most expensive convection countertop oven on the market but I can tell you that is well worth it after just having it for almost a couple of weeks.

What Can This Oven Do?

I have literally used it every day and I already know that my full sized oven is just going to collect dust or store pots and pans. This Breville “Smart” oven can do everything I need and more.

The very next day I decided to really put it to the test as I wanted to cook some ribs for three of us. The interior is quite roomy and I was able to use a regular sized baking dish for the ribs. I set it to cook for just under 2 hours with the convection fan on. After that I took them out, loaded one side with BBQ sauce, and then I broiled it for 6 minutes. I flipped them and repeated the sauce and broiling on the other side. You want to talk about tender, these ribs came out perfect. Falling off the bone and tender and juicy, we were all amazed. We couldn’t stop talking about how good they came out.

The following week I ended up making bread, baking cookies, frozen dinners, baking salmon, roasting peppers, and reheating some pizza. Everything came out great. The one remarkable thing that I love about this oven is that I didn’t even have to read the instruction manual to learn how to use it. The controls are really simple to master after playing with it for a couple of minutes.

The oven operates at a pretty low noise level, even with the convection fan going. Clean up has been a breeze as well. The front crumb tray was something that I also love about this oven as my older toaster oven had one that you could only get to from the back. It is easy to keep looking brand new which is a great thing because it looks so modern in my older kitchen.

Any Issues With This Oven?

One thing to be aware of, and I think this goes for most toaster ovens, is how hot the top gets when in operation. You really cannot keep anything stored on top of this appliance while it is cooking. Here is the kicker, I also got a bonus gift from the hubby as he got me the Breville cutting board made to sit on the top of the ovens. I do not know how many people use them to cut anything on, but they make great shelves. This way you can reclaim some of the countertop space. The cutting board has heat resistant feet and lets you store items on top of it without worrying about them melting. This is the ideal accessory for the BOV845BSS.

Our Verdict

Clearly we have been enthralled with this toaster oven and if you spend a ton of time in the kitchen then chances are you will too. Kind Green Planet has complete toaster oven reviews so you can see just how well the BOV845BSS stacks up to other ovens. This is probably the best convection countertop oven that you can buy and even though it is expensive, it is so worth it.

I just hope it holds up over time as I plan to put it to good use. Cooking is more fun and eating is now more rewarding. This turned out not just to be a great Xmas present for me, but one that the whole family is sure to enjoy.


Of Course We Must Start Things Off With Some Homemade Ice Cream

A melty, creamy, fruity scoop of ice cream atop a crispy, crunchy sugar cone is something that just makes your mouth water just thinking about. There is nothing better than a frosty, luscious homemade dessert right after dinner. These treats not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but also bring the family closer. They are delicious, fresh and fun to make. What’s more, you can use the best quality ingredients or customize your flavors. Below are just a few of the many recipes that you can create when you have your very own ice cream maker machine.

Huckleberry Homemade Cheesecake Ice Cream

When made with the season’s sweetest ingredients, this dessert captures the heart of summer. This frosty treat gets its delectably rich texture and taste from an immersion of fluffy cream cheese. Try this fruity ice cream with fresh huckleberries. If huckleberries are not available, try substituting blackberries or raspberries.

For the recipe:

  • Take 2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature.
  • Pour in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Add 1 cup castor sugar and continue whisking until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium pan, whisk together 4 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Place pan over medium flame and whisk mixture until fluffy.
  • Strain into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • Next, whisk in 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 cups huckleberries.
  • Blend huckleberries or blueberries or raspberries with 3/4 cup sugar.
  • Add the berries to the prepared mixture.
  • Whisk in cream cheese mix until well incorporated.
  • Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours until chilled.
  • Next, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and process it accordingly. Once it is made, stir in some more berries.

This recipe is super tasty and healthy. The berries are rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins that are indispensable for your health. Enjoy this summery treat!

Peach Cobbler Homemade Ice Cream

Turn juicy summer peaches into creamy ice cream. This fruit adds a twist to this luscious and balanced frosty recipe. Addition of basil and fresh figs make for a syrupy taste. A pinch of cinnamon, adds depth to the ice cream.

For the recipe:

  • Take a medium saucepan. Add two cups sugar and 4 eggs.
  • Whisk them together and gradually add 1 cup whole milk and a pinch of salt.
  • Place pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk until mixture becomes a little thick.
  • Lower heat and whisk mixture for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Strain into a large bowl.
  • Next add 2 cups peeled and pureed peaches and incorporate them well into the mixture.
  • Add 1 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup half-and-half to the mixture.
  • Whisk well.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Now refrigerate for approximately 4 hours until chilled.
  • Pour mixture into your ice cream maker.
  • Add 1 cup figs and some basil. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and process it accordingly.
    Another nutritional and healthy recipe! Peaches provide 6 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A. They also provide 15 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Figs and basils are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and nutrients. Enjoy this sweet and healthy treat!

Strawberry Delight

If you are looking for a refreshing and light way to end your meal, this is a perfect recipe. Fruity yet rich- this is a classic homemade ice cream.

For the recipe:

  • Chop 600 grams strawberries.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of castor sugar over it and leave them to impregnate with flavor.
  • Pour 500 ml milk and 500 ml double cream into a large saucepan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Place pan over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk 4 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy.
  • Put the pan back on the heat with milk, cream, sugar and egg mixture.
  • Stir for 10 minutes until it thickens.
  • Puree the strawberries in a food processor.
  • When the mixture is cool, fold in strawberry puree.
  • Sprinkle some lemon juice.
  • Next, add this mixture to your ice cream maker.
  • Allow it to freeze for a couple of hours.
  • Garnish with some strawberries and lemon zest and enjoy!

Fun At Home

These are just some of the fun things that you can make with your family when you have your own machine. If you are looking for a great activity that will get your kids out of their rooms then ice cream is the way to go. They are not that expensive. After combing through some of the reviews of the best home machines we found high quality options for every budget. Nothing brings everyone to the kitchen like the call for dessert and this is why we always recommend one of these small appliances for any home with children. You might just be surprised with the enjoyment one of these machines can bring to your family and why they are worth every penny.


Some Of The Distinct Advantages Of Using A Home Juicer

Not only does the right drink add to your overall experience at the dinner table, it can also provide you with essential health benefits that your entire family can enjoy. We are always finding ways to make the most of our juicer and it has proven to be one of the more important small appliances that we have on our countertop.

Drinking a glass of freshly prepared juice can be a a fast acting energy boost as it is something that the digestive tract can easily absorb. It is a very efficient way for the body to get the vitamins and minerals that it needs to survive. Consuming a glass of juice early in the morning can also provide enough energy without resorting to stimulants such as coffee. The juice is in an easily digestible form and assist in revitalizing your levels of energy in a very short period.

How Juicing Can Benefit You

There are several reasons why you will need to consider including vegetable juicing into your main health program. Here are some of the greatest health benefits of juicing:

Nutrient Absorption

This is very essential to people having a weakened digestion system due to making less optimal food varieties over a number of years. This reduces the ability of the body to absorb all the nutrients required by the body (from vegetables).

Juicing will assist in “predigesting” them and therefore this will guarantee enough nutrients.


Generally, most of the health experts highly recommend that we consume 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Most of us do not accomplish that. Juicing is a simple way that can guarantee you to achieve your daily nutrition target.

You can add a large variety of fruits in your diet. Several people eat same side dishes or vegetable salads every day. This simply violates the regular food rotation principle and raises your chances of developing a strong allergy to some foods.


Vegetables and fruits will offer special benefits to your body. With juicing, it is possible to make a mixture of different fruits, which you may not have enjoyed eating as a whole.

Weight Loss

In one study, adults who took a minimum of eight ounces of fruit juice as part of their diet lost five pounds over 12 weeks. Those who followed the same health program, but did not take the juice lost only one pound.

Additionally, the vegetable juice drinkers significantly improved their intake of potassium and vitamin c, while lowering their overall intake of carbohydrates.

Immune Boost

Juicing supercharges your immune system with concentrated phytochemicals. In addition, raw juice contains bio-photonic light energy that can assist revitalize your body.


When your body has sufficient nutrients, and the level of PH is optimally balanced, then you will feel energized. It can be utilized in your body immediately. This will generate instant energy for various body processes.

Brain Health

According some studies, people who consumed juices (vegetable and fruit) more than three times in a week were 76% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who took less than once a week.

These are just some of the ways in which juicing can help you feel and look better while increasing the quality of your diet. It is okay to splurge a little and indulge in fast food and dessert, just as long as your body is still able to get what it needs to perform. You can compensate for some of your more indulgent and less healthy side dishes and desserts by adding fresh juice to your diet.

Home juicers can help alleviate some of the guilt of enjoying a decadent meal which makes it one of the more valuable tools that you can use while you cook. It is also fun to constantly try out new recipes and experiment with different flavors and fresh produce. It is the gift that keeps on giving.