# Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If you have become a little tired of poor tasting supermarket chickens then you might find this article interesting. It looks at so called “designer” chickens as it calls them. What it means is birds that are raised in a free range environment and reach maturity slowly rather than those that are raised quickly and cheaply. The resulting chickens are much more expensive that your £3.00 supermarket chicken but what the article asks is whether they taste any better. Chickens from various suppliers are tested and not surprisingly are found to be full of flavour. Ranging between £18.00 and £31.00 they are certainly not cheap chickens are perhaps and are a little expensive for daily meals but I would rather purchase a good quality chicken on those occasions when you want something a bit tastier. I suppose if you can stretch it to provide two of three meals then it doesn’t work out as expensive, and personally I always make a salad with the left over chicken the next day and usually boil the bones for stock which I use as a basis for soup. I will certainly be ordering one of these to test the results for myself so watch this space.

posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:09:22 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, March 28, 2011

The Cumberland sausage has recently been awarded protected status meaning that only sausages made in Cumbria can now carry the name. The move should be a major boost to Cumbria’s butchers. In order to display the PGI mark (Protected Geographical Indication status) the sausage must be produced, processed and prepared in Cumbria and have a meat content of at least 80%. The actual recipe does vary from butcher to butcher but the sausage also needs to include seasoning and be sold in a long coil.

posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 10:52:50 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, March 27, 2011

I came across this interesting article about the benefits of gardening. It seems it not only makes you feel younger but will also help you to exercise and tone your physique. We have a large garden that takes up a lot of my time so it’s good to know I am getting some other benefits out of all that digging and weeding I keep doing. The article suggests doing at least 30 minutes of gardening a day for a beneficial workout and using as little machinery as possible. With 45 minutes of gardening burning as many calories as 30 minutes of aerobics I should start getting very fit as I dig my new vegetable patch. Just out of interest digging for 30 minutes burns off approx 202 calories whilst weeding burns about 182 and raking burns 162. Time to get out in that garden I think.

posted on Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:47:57 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, March 26, 2011

article-1366480-0B2E140500000578-564_306x586Is probably how you would describe this property. At just 7ft wide and 308 square foot inside it is one of Britain’s smallest houses. The house in Framingham, Suffolk has one bedroom with a kitchen, shower room and toilet and sitting room. It was originally part of an Victorian steam mill but the rest of the mill was redeveloped and made into new buildings.

posted on Saturday, March 26, 2011 11:17:51 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, March 25, 2011
Chicken in Tempura Batter

I have been experimenting with batter mixes recently having been inspired by some really nice tempura prawns I had a few weeks ago. This is my first attempt at a tempura batter. Not having any prawns I decided to try it with chicken and ended up with something resembling the chicken balls you would usually get from a Chinese take away. The recipe for the batter came from here. Basically you combine 1 egg, 1 cup (100g) of plain flour and 1 cup (200ml) of ice cold water. Then just get your oil really hot (so that a piece of bread will cook in about 2 minutes) and fry them in batches. I rested them on kitchen paper for a few minutes whilst I finished the noodles. The end result was quite good, soft perfectly cooked chicken in a very light batter. The noodles were boiled and then fried for a few minutes with some ginger, spring onion and soy sauce. Next time I will be trying this with prawns and adding a sweet chilli sauce.

posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 11:35:36 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, March 24, 2011

That’s according to this article which suggests the rising cost of cotton may mean the end to cheap fashion. High street chains such as Debenhams, Next and Primark have all been affected by the rising cost of raw materials such as cotton and as such are likely to increase their prices by around 8%. This would mean an increase of about £2.40 on a pair of jeans or about £4.00 on the cost of a £50 dress.

posted on Thursday, March 24, 2011 11:50:03 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 23, 2011

article-1300205674571-0B2AE1BE00000578-261121_636x389Have you ever wondered how long the world’s longest noodle might be? I’m guessing, probably not. Well the answer according to this article is 1,704 metres long. The noodle was created by a group of cooks in China and has recently set a new Guinness World Record for the longest handmade noodle.

posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:34:50 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1366421-0B2E36A700000578-682_468x626If you don’t like the thought of using “naked” scanners at airports then this may be the solution. It’s a range of underwear which claims to be x-ray proof so that your most private parts don’t show up on airport scanners. The range which includes pants and vests for men and women has been invented by a man called Steve Bradshaw. He claims that they are able to coat body parts whilst still allowing operators to see potentially dangerous objects such as guns, knives and explosives. They work by using a paint made from barium sulphate, aluminium, ground glass and other materials which reflects and scatters the x-rays in a particular area, diffusing the image but also allowing dangerous items to still be seen. It looks like an interesting idea but is still yet to be tested with a scanner.

posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:30:04 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, March 22, 2011

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These are interesting, they are made by artist Kobi Levi who makes unusual sculptures out out of shoes. The artist from Tel Aviv, Israel spends about a week making each sculpture by hand and all the finished pieces are supposed to still be wearable. They are certainly interesting and I’m sure you would create an impact with one of these designs that looks like a swan, slingshot or children’s slide. I quite like the toucan ones.

posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:34:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article champagne sales in Britain jumped last year after a two year slump. Figures show that around five million more bottles of champagne were drunk in Britain last year than in 2009. With shipments of champagne increasing 16.3 % to 35.5 million bottles, Britain is now the second biggest drinker of champagne after France. Much of the growth is though to have been driven by the supermarkets offering champagne discounts as a way to drive customers to their stores. Whatever the reason it appears that we have developed quite a taste for the sparkling stuff.

posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:29:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback