In association with McDonald’s

Ever since I went to McDonald’s in Exeter recently to make a Big Mac live on Twitter, (as you do), I’ve been trying to remember the first time I ever ate a McDonald’s.

I know that we didn’t have a McDonald’s in our town when I was young, but I couldn’t remember when it did open. I asked my sister Annabel, who is four years younger than me but has a much better memory. She reckons it was the early 1990s, which would have meant I was probably at least 14 or 15.

‘I remember being very excited it was opening!’ she told me. ‘I also remember the smell of the chips being so irresistible that Grandad (Eric) had taken me to the drive-thru after school once for some reason and actually asked if he could have a chip WITHOUT CUTLERY AND WHILST DRIVING.’

Our family WhatsApp group did NOT know what to do with this information. My Grandad (Eric) was not the sort of man to do anything whilst driving, let alone eat a chip.

‘MY LIFE IS A LIE,’ wrote Bee, unable to process the information.

Needless to say that I can’t remember a time when a cheeky Big Mac has not been a part of my life.

Big Mac close up

McDonald’s has changed a lot however since I used to take Bee in as a toddler. View Post

Post in association with Princes

I know! They go together like bread and butter right? John Lewis and canned mackerel.

But think about it like this – you go to John Lewis, you wander around for ages, gazing at all the things you’d have in your house if you won the lottery and didn’t have children/a partner who spoilt everything by leaving dirty cups on your carefully Instagram styled vintage sideboard, and then you come home, exhausted, and whip yourself up my mackerel salad nicoise and eat it on your fancy new John Lewis plates!

Job’s a good ‘un, as we say in our family, fondly mocking my mum’s partner Mitch.

Canned mackerel salad

As you almost 100% definitely read my mackerel recipe post earlier this week, I expect we’re already on the same page. View Post

homemade Jaffa cake recipe

I know what you’re thinking – ‘Homemade Jaffa cakes? WTF? Why on earth would you go to the effort to make your own Jaffa cakes when you could just crack open a packet of McVities?’

Well yes, I can see your point, but making your own Jaffa cakes is more something you do for the activity than for the end product.

It’s like any kind of cooking really, or gosh, anything in life at all when you start to think about it. It’s satisfying making things for yourself from scratch, and fun in the process. (Sometimes. Unless it’s a complicated pastry or something.)

It’s the journey not the destination and all that.

PLUS, when you make your own Jaffa cakes you get to do things along the way like eat a casual square or two of Bournville and lick the cake bowl. View Post

Post in association with Princes

mackerel salad recipe

Take a minute if you will to think about a can of mackerel.

(Stay with me.)

What are you imagining? The classic old mackerel on toast at your Granny’s on a Sunday afternoon? Well, THINK AGAIN. It’s time to look at mackerel in a whole new light.

(Yes, this is my actual job.)

If you don’t have a stash of canned mackerel in your cupboard then you’re missing a massive trick. You know how you always have tins of beans and chopped tomatoes? Well mackerel should be like that – a store cupboard essential that you can grab for a quick and tasty lunch whenever you’re in a rush. View Post

Post in association with Breville

cauliflower hummus recipe

I seem to have become a bit obsessed lately with roasted cauliflower. Often when I’m pottering about in the mornings at the weekend, doing fun stuff like emptying the bins, I’ll chop up a cauliflower, pop it in the oven and then casually nibble a floret or two every time I go past.

GET ME.

(NB: an entire cauliflower is a bit much to eat all at once and can give you tummy ache.)

I just LOVE cauliflower so much though. If you ever want to impress me through the medium of roast dinner, then include a side of cauliflower cheese. That’s literally all you need to do.

When Breville got in touch recently then to ask if I fancied using the Breville Blend Active Accessory Pack to make my own hummus, I was like ‘Cauliflower? What?’ I had my roasting tray out before you could say ‘creamy cheese sauce’.

I’ve written before about the Breville Blend Active, when I came up with four unusual smoothie recipes, and the accessories pack works in combination with this to give you a whole load of extra features, including:

  • a compact food processor
  • a grinding mill
  • a whipping disc (ooer)
  • and a citrus juicer

View Post

Here’s a scenario that may sound all too familiar…

It’s 7.45am. You’re behind schedule already, still have cats to feed and a child to ‘encourage’ to school, and you’re making yourself a piece of toast. It’s a good piece of toast too – thickly sliced and real butter.

And then the worst happens.

You drop the toast on the floor. Fortunately it lands butter side up, so you quickly swoop down and pick it up. Five second rule right?

I KNOW this is going to sound familiar because I did a poll on Twitter and rather worryingly, a shocking 46% of people believed that the five second rule was a legitimate thing. Like there is some kind of unspoken law amongst floor bacteria that if you see food fall on the floor you have to count to five in your head before you’re allowed to clamber aboard.

(Note to self: do bacteria have a concept of time? Probably not.)

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but this does NOT HAPPEN. It doesn’t even help if you blow on the toast, or sort of brush at it with the back of your hand. The research is pretty conclusive on this one. I’m not saying I don’t DO it, but it’s not SCIENCE.

I did the poll on the back of research from FoodSaver Fresh, which identified some of the top food myths around storing and eating food. I thought it might be fun to compare the FoodSaver Fresh research results with the results of my own polls – surely the kind of people who follow my witty, intelligent thoughts on Twitter are the kind of people who are going to be clued up when it comes to food hygiene right?

WRONG.

In the FoodSaver findings, only 25% of respondents believed in the five second rule. We were not off to a good start. View Post