There’s nothing quite like a bowl of steaming soup on a cold day to make you feel warm and cozy. Whether there’s rain pounding outside or a few inches of snow making PJs and a blanket look like the best option, soup is definitely the winning winter meal for lunch or dinner.

While it’s easy to reach for a tin of soup on the supermarket shelf, there’s nothing quite like whipping up a fresh batch that is full of flavour. Not only does it mean you get to use up all the leftover meat and vegetables in your kitchen rather than putting them in the garbage, you can also make enough to freeze so reheating homemade soup is just as easy as opening a tin.

Soup also isn’t too difficult to make, and yet a lot of us make the same mistakes. Not making soup correctly can mean it lacks flavour, is a bit watery and doesn’t quite hit the spot on a cold and wet winter day.

If you want to make the perfect soup, here are some common mistakes you should definitely avoid:

1. Using a weak stock

No one wants a weak and watery gravy with a roast dinner and it’s the same with stock when it comes to soup. Your stock is where a lot of the flavour comes from, so you need to make sure yours is packed full of taste to provide the perfect base. Ditch the stock cubes and try either making your own with meat, vegetables, fish or bones – you can tailor it depending on what soup you’re making and what leftovers you have – or buying a high-quality, pre-made version. Once you have a good stock, you know your soup is going to be delicious.

2. Not sweating your vegetables

Soup really is all about layering up the flavours, so you need to bear this in mind even if you do have a good stock. A great way to introduce more taste to your soup is to start off by sweating aromatic vegetables like garlic, onions, carrots, celery and peppers.Simply chop up your chosen aromatics and put them on a low heat. You don’t want to brown or caramelize them, instead, the idea is to soften them and allow their flavour to be released. This works so much better than just popping your veggies in the pan with the rest of your soup ingredients, as it creates a more layered and complex flavour that you won’t get from tinned soup.

3. Using dried herbs

The chances are you have a selection of dried herbs in your cupboard, which make cooking a lot easier. However, fresh herbs tend to have a lot more flavour and are the perfect choice when cooking soup. Fresh herbs smell and taste great, leaving your mouth watering when you’re both cooking and serving your soup. Rather than putting fresh herbs into the pot in a bundle, chop them as finely and as quickly as possible, as this will release all the oils and flavour. Some fresh herbs start releasing their flavour straight away, so be ready to cut them and get them in with the rest of the ingredients straight away, giving them a good stir. You’ll be amazed at the difference this simple change can make.

4. Overseasoning

Most of the time, you need to season what you’re cooking along the way in order to bring out the best flavours. However, if you do this with soup, you can end up with a super salty bowl that is far from appetising. The combination of stock, vegetables, herbs and meat can add enough saltiness to your soup on its own, so if you keep seasoning throughout the cooking process, you’ll find the flavour totally ruined. This is why you should save the salt and pepper until the cooking process is almost finished.If you’re leaving your soup nice and chunky, add seasoning – a small amount at a time – a few minutes before serving to finish your soup off. However, if you prefer a smooth soup and are popping yours in a blender, don’t season it until you’ve done this as blending it will release more flavours. Always give your soup a taste to see what it needs, as you may be surprised that it is full of flavour without any salt or pepper.



What is better than a family Christmas meal? To get the magic to work, traditional dishes are invited to join our table. We present ten essential Christmas dishes from around the world.

1.  France: dishes prepared with scallops 

Scallops take pride of place in France as starters served in their shells, but also lightly fried with some herbs and butter. A tradition that is a hit with the entire family!

2. Portugal: Bacalhau Cozido delights the entire family

Traditionally, Christmas dinner is the opportunity to savour a serving of Bacalhau Cozido (cod prepared with potatoes and cabbage). And those with a sweet tooth love the thirteen desserts, a treat for young and old alike.

3. United States: traditional dishes that vary for each state

In the United States, traditional dishes generally differ from one state to another. However, some recipes are popular everywhere, such as delicious apple pies which very often from part of the meal, served with vanilla ice-cream and plenty of cinnamon!

4. Canada: Add something sweet and savoury to the menu

Canada is know for loving all things maple, that’s why a Maple Glazed Ham is the perfect dish to add to your holiday meal spread.

5. Romania: a traditional, warming soup for the entire family

The traditional Christmas soup is called Ciorba de Perisoare and mainly comprises meatballs, rice and eggs cooked in stock. The perfect way to start a meal!

6. Mexico: Chiles en Nogada is a must for every celebration

It’s the colours in particular that make it so traditional: Chiles de Nogada recalls the colours of the Mexican flag. This dish, served at Christmas, comprises a roast and stuffed peppers covered with a walnut sauce and accompanied with pomegranate seeds.

7. China: a large variety of dishes throughout the meal

In China, a festive meal is characterised by a very large number of different dishes. Very little rice is served. Instead, preference is given to dishes that are not normally eaten during the year Recipes prepared with meat and fish, but also Chinese fondue.

8. Italia: the famous and truly delicious Panettone


In Italy, it is impossible to imagine a Christmas meal without the famous and truly delicious Panettone. Whether it is filled with cream, candied fruit or chocolate, it is always part of the festivities on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

9. New Zealand: Pavlova is integral to the party!

With Christmas falling in the middle of summer in New Zealand, light and fresh dishes are the order of the day. Therefore Pavlova, a meringue served with whipped cream and seasonal fruit, is always a welcome guest at the Christmas table!

10. Germany: Stollen is a delight for those with a sweet tooth

At the end of the Christmas meal, young and old alike enjoy savouring a portion of Stollen. This cake made with dried fruit and filled with almond cream is also covered with icing sugar. Delicious!

11. Switzerland: Chinese fondue given pride of place!

It may be surprising, but Chinese fondue is chosen by many families for their Christmas meal. This friendly dish allows each person to select their own ingredients and sauces and to share a moment together.


It’s that special time of the year where we celebrate the holiday season.

T-fal wants to celebrate with you and your family by giving our followers a chance to WIN a different T-fal gift everyday for 25 Days! PLUS, we’re giving away a $1000 grand prize to one lucky winner on boxing day!



Looking for the perfect appetizer to satisfy all of your guests different tastes? Try serving assorted canapés! If you aren’t sure what these are, once we tell you, you will fall in love and want them all of your parties.

Canapé: is a type of hors d’œuvre, a small, prepared and usually decorative food, consisting of a small piece of bread or puff pastry or a cracker topped with some savoury food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite.

 They are delicious, fun to make, and are guaranteed to be a hit with your guests. All you need to create these is bread, your favourite toppings, a toaster, and little bit of creativity.

Cooking tip for cocktail parties, toast it

Armed with your toaster, you can create an entire buffet of tasty, crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth titbits that are sure to be the highlight of the evening!

Not sure how to make them? 

It’s simple. Your guests have arrived and you nip into the kitchen for a few minutes to make your toasted canapés. If possible, toast your bread at the very last minute so that it’s still warm and cut into small bit-size portions. Then all you have to do is add your toppings – this is where you get to be creative! Here are some of our favourites:

  • Spread cream cheese and top with smoked salmon and sprig of dill
  • Chop tomatoes and onions and scoop onto each piece of toast, then drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Melt your favourite cheese on the toast and add a piece of spicy salami onto it
  • Spread brie cheese onto your toast and add a small scoop of berry jam (we love cranberry or blueberry!)

These are just a few recipe ideas of canapés you can make at your party – but the possibilities are endless! Remember: presentation is key, so experiment with different shapes (squares, circles, triangles etc) and with different kinds of bread – sliced white, rye bread and even toasted brioche.

Happy entertaining!


When it comes to cooking with oil, you might think that any type will do. As easy as this would make life, not all oils you see lined up on the supermarket shelves are suitable for cooking, especially when it comes to frying.

There is so much choice nowadays when it comes to types of oil, with trends for different varieties often making it even more confusing. On top of this, you also have things like health benefits to consider, which don’t always line up with the best option for cooking.

While using an ActiFry can make meals healthier as you don’t need as much oil, you still need to know what will give you the best result.

To help make things a little easier, here are some of the most popular types of oils that people opt for in the kitchen and what they should and shouldn’t be used for:

Vegetable oil

One of the most popular and affordable options, vegetable oil is a pretty good all-rounder. It is generally a good option for most forms of cooking, being particularly excellent for deep and shallow frying – as well as in the ActiFry. You can also use vegetable oil in other forms of high temperature cooking, so don’t be worried about using it in your oven.

Another benefit of vegetable oil is that it doesn’t have a super strong taste so won’t detract from the flavours of your food. However, you never know exactly what kind of oils are used in it as it tends to be blended. This can mean that different supermarkets’ oils have different levels of saturated fat, so make sure you check the labels to ensure it isn’t too high.

Extra virgin olive oil

Many people reach for extra virgin olive oil because of its health properties – including healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol – and its rich, fresh taste. This makes it ideal for drizzling on salads and pasta, as well as eating with breads. It is also perfect for making dressings or dips, which means you can enjoy its taste as well as it’s heart-boosting properties and healthy cholesterol.

However, you shouldn’t use extra virgin olive oil for cooking because it has a very low smoke point. This means it won’t be long until your pans start smoking and you’ll find smoke billowing out of your oven when you open it. Save yourself from frantically trying to shut off the smoke alarm by avoiding cooking with this oil.

Sunflower oil

Some seem to think that vegetable oil and sunflower oil are basically the same thing, but this isn’t the case. It has a different taste to vegetable oil – which is why it is often used in spreads as an alternative to butter – and isn’t necessarily great for low-temperature oven cooking.

Sunflower oil is best for deep frying and will result in crispy chips and batter, which means it’s ideal for your ActiFry as well. On top of this, sunflower oil has been found to keep your skin clear, strengthen your immune system and keep your heart healthy, so it’s worth adding to your diet.

Coconut oil

More and more people are starting to use coconut oil in the kitchen as it is so versatile. Coconut oil that isn’t overly processed has a lovely nutty taste that is nice in both sweet and savoury dishes, as well as when it is uncooked.

It has a low smoke point, though, so you should avoid using it in high-temperature cooking like baking or deep fat frying. You can use it in pans if you just need to grease them slightly rather than shallow frying, while a teaspoon in your ActiFry can give food a great taste.

Just be aware that coconut oil is quite high in saturated fat, so it isn’t the healthiest oil in that regards. However, it does contain a lot of lauric acid, which improves heart health and has been found to be good for helping you to lose weight. Coconut oil should still be used in moderation though, especially if you’re counting calories.

Other oils you’ll find in kitchens:

Sesame oil – This oil has a really distinctive smell and taste that works really well with oriental dishes. It is best used sprinkled over food before serving rather than for frying. Sesame oil helps to reduce blood pressure and aid digestion.

Almond oil – You can add a nutty, toasted flavour to baked goods with almond oil, while it is also a great source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. When cooking with almond oil, you should only use a refined version, which is great for baking and frying.

Chilli oil – This oil can be bought or made at home and adds great flavour and a bit of heat to almost any meal. It can be added to hot dishes when cooking but shouldn’t be used for frying as the chilli can burn easily, which will taste bitter. You can also sprinkle it over cooked and cold dishes for extra flavour.

Rapeseed oil – A delicate tasting option, rapeseed oil is being used by more and more people instead of olive oil as it is lower in calories. It also has less saturated fats than all other common cooking oils You can use it in all forms of cooking, including deep fat frying and it won’t flavour your food.


Iconic chef Jamie Oliver draws inspiration from around the world to create recipes that are both delicious and inventive while remaining loyal to their origins. A passionate globe-trotter, Jamie embraces herbs, spices and traditional ingredients from the countries he visits to bring the whole world straight to our dinner tables!

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Discover exotic flavours

Whether you fancy an epic pad Thai from Asia, a delicately-flavoured traditional tajine from North Africa, or succulent linguine prepared the Italian way, Jamie invites you and your family to gather around dishes inspired by the traditions and flavours of the countries they were born of.

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Veg, spices and herbs – the perfect mix

The mix of vibrant colours and fresh ingredients in Jamie’s cooking keeps children’s taste buds happy, while helping all the family to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet. Delicious vegetarian recipes from around the globe, such as this Mexican omelette, champion fresh, seasonal ingredients that not only taste amazing but are also good for us.

He shows you how to cook using fresh vegetables, fruits and grains, all the while adding a dash of colour and originality that takes you on a voyage of the senses you’ll want to repeat again and again.

Want to cook your Jamie Oliver recipes to perfection? Discover the  Jamie Oliver cookware created by T-fal to release your inner chef!


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