Learning to Cook #2

During the past couple of weeks I have learnt a few new skills to do with Cooking which I feel make me look more professional in the kitchen despite the fact that in reality I’m still pretty close to my cooking knowledge before. My boyfriend will still only let my be in charge of stirring when we have cooked dinner. I’m still a long way off from being trusted with a knife if he has anything to say about it. One day…

1. Wear an apron. Sounds simple but an apron (no stupid puffy hats) with a few flour marks and a confident smile makes you look like a proper chef in the kitchen when friends come over.

2. When cutting chicken place the point of the knife just above the top of the meat on a chopping board, placing fingers either side of the meat with the knife over the middle of the chicken (fingers over knife just to clarify) and slice downwards in a confident (yet slowish) motion. This leaves straight bits of chicken and fingers are safely avoiding the knife.

3. If you are unsure on the seasoning front – don’t put nothing in the dish. Go with the mixed herbs jar.

4. Doing fancy icing on a cake requires time. Do not leave this 5 minutes before guests arrive. Practice the day before or if, like me you, don’t want to waste icing draw out templates on grease proof paper and then cut ready roll icing from those shapes.

5. The art of chopping vegetables fast is tricky. First rule is to fold back the first bit of your fingers (where your nails are) and hold the vegetable to try and limit fingers being chopped off (that wouldn’t be good). Second rule, start off r-eee-aa-l-l-y slowly and practice over time. I get bored of practicing but it will be worth it in the end!

Hope your cooking is going okay!

Risotto #2

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I never thought I could make risotto but look at this, a blog post on how I made risotto!

  • Firstly gently fry some onions and once browned add in the mushrooms.
  • Once the mushrooms have softened slightly (not too much as they will still be cooking) add in the rice
  • Add 2 stock cubes with hot water to fill a jug
  • Around half a cup at a time, add the stock to the rice mushroom mix
  • Continuously stir – don’t even think about stopping unless you want some lumpy rice mmm
  • I added tomatoes just before the last batch of water
  • Once all the stock water has been used and you’ve had a cheeky taste to make sure it’s cooked, add in the spinach
  • Mix mix mix
  • Add any cheese of your choosing – I chose Brie but I think parmesan would be good too (the brie was slightly overpowering)
  • Mix once more and serve!

Disclaimer – this recipe is from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3245/mushroom-and-spinach-risotto but I did add my twist on it.

Learning to Cook

I have literally no cooking knowlegde #learningtocook

I mean that statement isn’t totally true. I know how to make excellent beans on toast. I know roughly how to make a Shepard’s pie. However, I deem cooking knowledge and ‘know how’ as which garnish/sauce goes with which dish, how to do fancy frosting on a cake or how to cut vegetables super fast.

Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be trying to learn the little tricks of the trade and improve my cooking skills… or I shall hopefully look like I know what I am doing at least!

You will of course Chum, bring up my previous failed cooking attempts where I forgot to put in flour when I made brownies, or when I forgot to put sugar into the mixture when I made brownies a second time. Or when I accidentally turned the oven off while a third batch of brownies and my friend’s desert was also being baked.

I am currently compiling a list of skills I want to learn so if you have any suggestions please let me know and I will write and let you know all about it! Number one on my list is to make your last blog post Chum! It looked delicious!

Fingers crossed I don’t burn the house down!

Indian Cooking #1

Green Daal – Green lentils
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First boil the lentils (daal), cover with lid if needed
water(3) : lentils(1)
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Begin making the tharka (aka thurka) while the daal cooks
4-5 tbs of oil and add 1-2 grinded garlic cloves – cook until brown
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Add half an onion (grinded) and 1 tbs of cumin seeds (jeera) – cook until brown

 

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Next, 2inchs of ginger (grinded)
With the ginger add in the spices: turmeric (haldi), garam masala, and powdered chilli (mirch)

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Once the ginger has browned add in half a tin of tomatoes

 

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Add green chilli to taste

 

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While making the tharka keep checking the lentils to make sure they do not over

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Once they have been cooked (do not drain them), add in the tharka and mix.
Daal made!

There’s no end photo because i forgot to take one, but you get the idea

It can be eaten with roti (flatbread), naan or rice. It should be runny in consistency but can also be thick if preferred (add water to thin)

Helping others :D

I know technically that this is meant to be a food post to start off our Food Month however I have yet to cook anything this month that is of interest. So I thought I would write about helping others since that is a big thing in my life at the moment!

I have decided to cut off eight to ten inches of my hair to be donated to The Little Princess Trust to be made into a wig for a boy or girl suffering from hair loss due to illness such as Cancer or Alopecia. The charity work with specialists to make the wig as close to the child’s original hair to help with the transition of hair loss. Some children find loosing their hair to be a horrible experience so I want to help someone’s life become a little better during these difficult times.

I think that it is amazing that strangers can help strangers through so many different avenues! I mean volunteering in a charity shop, doing a sponsored walk (do you remember those from school chummy?), shaving off hair, dressing up to doing doing crazy activities like bungee jumping – all in the name of helping others.

There is always talk on the news about people harming people but i’m sure there is an equal amount of people trying to do good in this world which is important to remember.

To find out more information about my personal fundraising look here – https://www.justgiving.com/choppingthelocks

To find out more information about The Little Princess Trust look here – http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/

P.S. On a slightly more selfish note – I will need a new hair style once my locks are chopped off; any suggestions? It will be about shoulder length – tell me your thoughts :)

Sport on TV – good or bad?

Throughout our fitness month on ChuckleChums I have been trying to motivate myself to keep healthy and do regular exercise (although sometimes failing because getting out of bed is quite difficult). However, without this fitness month I’m not sure I would have tried so hard to be healthy. Therefore I am asking if having sport such as the World Cup and Wimbledon, which is now gracing our TVs, actually encourage the general population to exercise?

Now I did actually google to see if there was research about this but I couldn’t seem to find anything but I personally think that having sport on the TV can make a difference in people’s exercise routine. Kids want to be like their heroes and when my next door neighbour cheers when he scores a goal to celebrate, his team is certainly doing better than the UK did at Brazil right now. Similarly, from personal experience I always get the tennis itch when Wimbledon comes on.

However this did backfire today as I watched Wimbledon the film today (have you seen that film? It’s a favourite of mine :) )

The other aspect of how this idea of mine could backfire is that people do sit and just watch the TV… which isn’t too good for exercising.

But I will still go with my idea that having sport on the TV will help people exercise/partake in sport because people see all of these amazing role models (not the pumped full of drug kind though – those are bad) and want to join in.

Do you agree?

Mini Workout Series

Lets workout!!

Step one – Stretches
–       Lunges
–       Tip toe calf stretch
–       One foot in front of other straight and weight on the bent leg (name?)
–       Pull arm across body and hold (no idea what its called)
–       Hand over shoulder reach as far down (again, no idea)
This is the most important step to ensure that you aren’t in a lot of pain later.

Step two – Cardio
–       Running
–       Jogging
–       Skipping rope
–       Etc.…
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Step three – Specify
–       Plank (abs)
–       Press ups (abs and arms)
–       Squats (quads, gluts and a little abs)
–       Sit ups (abs and stomach)
–       Leg lifts (hamstrings)
–       Hula hoop (abs and stomach)
Repeat steps two and three if you feel like you can still go on. And before you finish, don’t forget to stretch again.
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If there are any other exercises you like or do you can do those instead or add them in, mix and match it to what you feel comfortable with. I would recommend doing this for at least half an hour every day if you feel ambitious or maybe for when you eat that pizza and ice cream and now feel like you shouldn’t have… it’s okay…

To switch it up sometimes I like to head over to YouTube and do some Pilates with Blogilates. https://www.youtube.com/user/blogilates/videos
I have to admit, its pretty intense and can be difficult but stick with it, its ganna get good.
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Good luck Chum

Capitalise the Moment

This week I’m not going to write a post due to extreme tiredness from trying out FitnessBlender. I found this from ViviannaDoesMakeup and I am so grateful because I get into moods of ‘must exercise’ therefore I can capitalise on the mood before it passes from sanity. It is SO GOOD – I always feel a little self conscious when doing exercise so if you can find space in your room to do these exercise then this is brilliant! Have a go yourself :D

Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender

Explosion of Excitement

chucklechums:

I was lucky enough to write about my experiences working for the London Volcano at the Natural History Museum this week – amazing team and great memories!

Originally posted on londonvolcano:

Today’s guest post is by Emilly Kitching – one of the many volunteers who have helped make London Volcano a success!

While being lucky enough to work as a ‘volcanoteer’ for the London Volcano I noticed something amazing. It’s the immense enthusiasm everyone has to learn how, why and what causes stuff to happen in a volcano!

Preparing the volcano after overnight rain on Monday. Jon and Holly with brooms; Jennni and Emilly measuring the safety zone for the bin bang
Preparing the volcano after overnight rain on Monday. Jon and Holly with brooms, Emilly measuring the safety zone for the bin bang

When working with children in school workshops and listening to so many groups debate about the safest location to place their house, on our St Vincent Island by assessing volcanic risk, was amazing. They considered all the factors we spoke about, such as previous pathways of lava and the potential benefits of living near the coast, showing off their new knowledge. I had a flash back to my old school trips…

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Source: http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-badhabitsgoodforhealth/12/

Everyday Exercise for us Lazy Folk

I don’t know about you guys but I hate exercise. Quite frankly I should go plug this laptop in before it dies however that requires moving so I’m just gunna type super fast.

Due to my laziness I just cannot find the motivation to actually do exercise so I have tried to come up with a few ways to get exercise into my daily life so I’m somewhat healthy! Continue reading

Hula-hoop Review

Basically, I bought a fancy hula-hoop.
It’s got magnetic weighted balls stuck on the inside of the hoop so when you do it, it puts pressure on your stomach and back areas toning it all up. What else you ask? Well, because it’s weighted you use up more calories trying to keep it spinning around you. The hula-hoop is size adjustable as well when you want it to be more of a challenge, the hoop can be broken apart and made smaller. The larger the hoop the easier it is to keep it up.

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It was very easy to set up and put together, just click in the plastic parts together. When I first got it, I was a bit unsure of the plastic, but its really strong and easy to get use to.

In the first week it is recommended that you only hula for 3 minutes, as it can be quite painful. During the second week, build it up to 5 minutes. After that slowly increase the time until you’ve reached 20 minutes. Then do 20 minutes intervals. For example: once you can do 20 minutes without stopping then try doing 20 minutes without stopping, but twice a day, maybe morning and night…

So far I can hold it up for around 10 minutes before I crumble. I have to say the first week was the worst, I sometimes didn’t feel like doing it because it hurt so much from the previous day but after a minute or so the pain was gone. Until you stopped after the 3 minutes…
photo 4 I haven’t adjusted the hoop size yet, I have been thinking about it but I can’t stand the idea of not having the colours alternating; so I’m leaving it for a day when I have the courage to face that. Also I have to say, although painful, it is quite addictive. I’ll find myself finishing watching TV series at around 1 or 2 am (I’m working on it…) and think hmm I’ll just do some hula-hoop before I sleep. I always regret this decision in the morning but I always do it again the next day.

Hope this review was helpful, and once I’ve got to 20 minutes I’ll do an update
Byeeeeee x

Early morning flower run

My mum is a wondrous woman, and one of the great things she does is flower arranging. This weekend there was a wedding and as far as weddings go, flowers are a necessity. So off we went in the early hours of the day, 5am to be precise, to the flower trade shop.

It is magical, like a field of flowers, all different designs and colours, shapes and sizes.

Even though waking up so early is a pain, and you really don’t feel like going into a big cold warehouse. When you get there it’s the best.

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Maybe one day, with a bit of coffee, we could get you up and take you too. Even though its really just a big building full of flowers, there’s something about it…