Friday, 28 August 2015

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How to Make Perfect Coconut Oil Popcorn - Easy Recipe

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So Monday was National Popcorn Day. Naturally I made some popcorn, because Broadchurch was on and I needed something tasty to nibble on to stop myself from squealing “ohmygodilooooovethisshowsoooomuch” and annoying my housemates too much.

Popcorn is amazing really, when you think about it. How an inside out dried up seed can explode to reveal such a fluffy inside once reversed, it’s kind of like a coconut? Ok, no, it’s nothing like a coconut. I’m trying to work out what it’s like but I just don’t have the time... answers on a postcard please.

And who actually stumbled across it, is my next thought? I have visions of a cave woman, basket of dried corn in her arms as she heads out to plant them in a neighboring field, but she trips over a dinosaur egg that’s been left out (I’m playing fast and loose with historical facts here) and accidentally spills some into a hot pan, much to the delight of her cave crew, a short ‘pop pop pop’ later.

Anyway, I digress.

I've always thought making homemade popcorn was difficult and that microwave popcorn was easy, but I have to tell you – it’s a big fat LIE!

Each and every time I have bought microwave popcorn, I balk at the plastic stench seeping out as it goes round and round inside, and I can’t count how many times I have had to dump the bag the sink as I peer in to find the congealed steaming mess of popcorn surrounding a blackened core hotter than the centre of the earth...

But it needn't be so dramatic, and here’s why. Making homemade traditional style popcorn is bleedin’ as easy as hell, there’s hardly any kernels left over as wastage and you can make as much as you like! And it’s much cheaper. And you can control the flavour. It’s goes on.

The recipe is below – please enjoy! And do let me know how you get on if you make some.

  • Coconut oil
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Large pot/casserole dish with lid (lid is crucial)
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper (or whatever seasoning you fancy, chilli?)



  • Place the pot on the hob, add three large table spoons of coconut oil into the pan and turn on the heat
  • Add a few, between 3 – 4 kernels into the pan, put on the lid and wait for them all to pop, this will let you know the oil is at the perfect temperature, so take it off the heat for about 30 seconds
  • Pour in the amount of kernels you want, there’s no easy way of knowing how much, it depends on the size of your pan. I suggest playing it safe – there was a moment when we thought the popcorn would never end
  • Put the pot back on the heat, but give the pot a quick shake from time to time. Soon you will hear the kernels starting to pop! Keep shaking the pot every 30 seconds of so. The popping will be pretty constant, but worth having a peek under the lid (a small peek, be very careful not to take the lid off of it will go everywhere!)
  • Melt your butter, about 2 – 3 table spoons again, in a pan on a low heat
  • When the popping slows down a lot, or there looks like there’s not much more room in the pot to fit popcorn take it off the heat. Transfer the popcorn into whatever dish you will eat from, pour the butter over the popcorn and stir, then add salt and pepper to taste.

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That’s it! Honestly the best popcorn ever.


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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Porridge – This Time it’s Personal

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Goldilocks had it easy.

When she broke into that country cottage back in the day to have a wee sit on the three bears’ chairs and sample a spoonful of their cooked oats, she need merely decide whether she preferred the porridge that was too hot, too cold or juuuuuust right.

 If the thieving blonde was around today, her head would probably explode at the variation available.
There wasn’t any honey, compote, raisins, or golden syrup to flavour it with. 

She didn’t have to choose from whole oats, rolled oats or oats that had been soaked overnight. She had no worry about whether to make it with skimmed, semi or full fat milk – or if she was really being stingy with herself, tap water.... yuuuumm.

Then there’s the question to salt or not to salt.

However do we manage to get through each day? It’s a minefield! Sort of....

Almost a third of British people eat porridge every day. That’s 21 million bowls of porridge being consumed each morning. If we think the standard porridge serving is about a mug full, the equivalent of 1,890 Olympic swimming pools full of porridge oats are being gobbled up by us Brits every day of the week.

That’s a lot! Can you buy shares in Scot’s Porridge Oats? Hearty food for thought.

It’s hardly surprising.  Porridge is a fantastic start to the day as it is full of protein, low in carbs, keeps you full until lunch and  can be customised within an inch of its life so keeps everyone happy.

I personally have eaten porridge almost every day for the past 3 years – only skipping my hearty breakfast for a poached egg on rye.

The nation’s love of porridge has even spawned a world porridge making competition The Golden Spurtle. Last year’s winner was John Boa from Skye, in case you were wondering.

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So today, whilst eating my steaming bowl of whole rolled oats, cooked in the microwave with skimmed milk and garnished with blueberries and strawberries I wondered... what does your porridge say about you?

Here’s a little flow chart based on no science or research whatsoever.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thursday’s Things – Food, Fitness and Fashion

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Adidas meets The Farm Company: EIEIO!

When shopping, two things are certain to set my spending control spiralling south.

The first, sportswear. It is my absolute vice, I cannot get enough. The more different and daring, the better.

The second, floral prints. From cropped trousers and camis, to dresses and bikinis, I’m DFP (down for prints).

So imagine my utter glee at the news of Adidas partnering with a Brazillian fashion label called The Farm Company, whose mouth-watering tropical prints look good enough to eat.

The result is a juicy collection of Adidas’s traditional garments given a sumptuous twist, with the famous three stripes and logo set against bold fabrics of fruity, floral and fauna designs. 

Shell suits look set for a fabulous come back – bring it on!

I love the shorts, I love the crops. Come next week I’ll hit the shops. Electric blue, pink and teal. It’s good enough to make you squeal!

Here’s hoping we see some blindingly bold bikinis soon too...

There are four vibrant prints to choose from across apparel and accessories available at Adidas outlets nationwide from 1st April.

Courtesy of Adidas and The Farm Company

FitBit Flex: Tech-ing note of your fitness

According to a recent study in America, 69% of the US population tracks their health and fitness stats in some capacity.

It may be by using an app of some kind or the notepad function on their phone, some even put pen to paper and jot their findings in a notebook (I know - retro!) and the rest just keep a - probably quite inaccurate - tally in their head.

I fall into the first category, religiously recording my WODs and weights on my iPhone.

I rarely look back at them to be honest, but I know they’re there. When I do refer back, it’s always great to see how far I’ve come – heavier lifts, bigger reps, basically just better.

The SleepTime app is also one of my favourite personal data trackers. For some reason, being awarded a percentage for the quality of my sleep is something exciting to look forward to in the morning.

I even feel competitive when I compare against other people – bizarre!

There is a point to all this.

If you’re a gadget fan or follower of tech in anyway, you will know that ‘wearable technology’ is all the rage; one of the biggest trends to come out of CES this year.

One such gadget I have my eye on is the FitBit Flex. The wrist band looks rather cool and comes in a variety of funky colours, tracking both your daily activity and nightly sleep quality.

It allows you to set goals which you keep tabs on via the lights on the wristband itself, so you know if you need to get up and out to meet the bar set for calorie burning that day.

It also syncs wirelessly with all your devises, creating your own personal dashboard to gain insight into your stats and progress. Geektastic! 


Courtesy of  FitBit

Valleau Apparel – Sports bras you want to wear

I’m a fan of finding cool new brands and products, and funding them on Kickstarter if I can.

So imagine my sheer disappointment when I missed out on funding Valleau Apparel’s first crowd funding foray last autumn... by just a day!

Created by a Californian called Katie, the collection of workout tops offer something different. Us ladies out there know that sports bras aren’t always the most sightly, which is understandable as they often have to prioritise structure over style to ensure we’re supported in the best way possible.

Valleau Apparel’s range offers bright colours and the unique back shapes ensure you’ll look great whatever angle. They come with a variety of support levels as per most sports bras; from the light support Mermaid bra, to the Sea Breeze and Signature for more intense work outs.

Whether they are supportive enough is yet to be determined, but I’m definitely going to give them a try.

val together

Courtesy of Valleau Apparel

Bounce Bars – A cute and tasty boost

These scrummy little natural energy balls are my latest love – the Peanut Protein Ball and the Coconut & Macadamia Protein Ball are must haves for the transfer journey between work and the gym, when you need a little boost without the bloat.

Delicious little bites of energy, the balls are gluten free and high in protein so great mini post-gym recovery snacks too.

Buy them online, at many supermarkets and health food stores nationwide.

Bounce together

Courtesy of Bounce