My Foodie Adventures

Recipes, workouts, skincare... I'm all about it

Category: Miscellaneous (page 2 of 2)

How To Not Screw Up a Burger

I love burgers. Anyone who has ever eaten food at my house, or instigated a conversation about burgers with me, can attest to this fact.

I love simple burgers, pub burgers, gourmet burgers and I’m even willing to tolerate a well made vegetarian burger (even though I don’t think you should call it a burger unless it uses mince; e.g. the so-called “chicken breast burger”). I don’t like pre-made supermarket burgers though, they tend to use too much white pepper and, because of this, I now hate white pepper.

In my years of eating and making burgers, I am not too proud to admit that I have made many many mistakes. From each one, I have learned, I have grown and I have conquered.

So, follow me fellow burger lovers! I will lead you to the promised land of juicy, delicious homemade burgers!

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5 Reasons to Sing While You’re Cooking

Today, I thought I would go for something a little different to the sporadic barrage of recipes you’re used to from me. I thought I would write something whimsical but fairly profound. I thought I would offer my own piece of advice.

When I cook, I sing. I don’t mean I hum to myself or sing the odd word. I mean, I set up playlists full of songs I know the words to with a variety of tempos and moods, set the burner going, press play and sing like I’m auditioning for some sort of emo musical. If I get the right song (looking at you Brandon Flowers or Future Islands) I may even throw in some dance moves.

You know what I’ve realised from my kitchen performances? Singing and cooking are a perfect combination of activities. And here are my 5 ideas as to why:

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First, an Apology. Then Food…

Before I return to sharing my dietary habits with you all, I feel I should apologise to the handful of you who were even mildly put out by my lack of blog updates. Suffice it to say, I am aware that an explanation is probably in order.

The first straw that didn’t quite break the camel’s back was the fact that my phone broke. That may not sound like much of a big deal, but the camera on that thing was/is amazing. I couldn’t afford to fix it for a while and every other attempt I made to take pictures with another device were met with sentimental cynicism. Yeah, they were all right, but my phone would have been  better.

I later realised that this was the closest thing I had to a salient reason for giving up. The truth is…

…I had an existential crisis. I had set up this blog as a “Foodie Adventurer”, despite the fact that I hate the word “foodie”. I felt as though I was living a lie, who am I to call myself such a thing?

“Why call it that then?” I hear none of you asking.

Thank you for asking, imaginary person I just invented. The truth is that I didn’t. This blog was a gift from my brother who knows that I have always enjoyed cooking and can form a sentence when pressed. I don’t feel like a “foodie”, I feel like a hungry person who wonders what happens when I cook random thing A with whichever spice I end up grabbing hold of.

I am not even close to a “foodie”. I don’t much care about food on a day-to-day basis and I only really eat when I’m hungry. I am the definition of a lazy chef.

I can’t remember the last time I actually chopped an onion. I peel it and blend it. Same with garlic.


I regularly set rice at the lowest cooking temperature so that I have longer before I’m forced to get up and sort it out.

I have my toast lightly warmed because I’m too lazy to stand and wait for it to be crispy and golden brown.

But recently, a few things seem to have struck me.

My laissez-faire attitude towards the culinary arts is my forte. I may not be a “foodie”, but I can cook. I’m a lazy chef who somehow manages to make pretty decent meals. I like flavours from around the world because I’m curious as to what they taste like, I just don’t feel like putting a lot of effort in.

Also, I am an adventurer. In one evening I have overthrown a dictatorship in Kirat, brought justice to the streets of Gotham and rescued a kidnap victim from the slums of Brazil. Later on, after a couple of drinks, I brought down The Empire with little more than a lot of rage and a shiny stick.

I am an armchair adventurer. I have traversed entire worlds from the comfort of my incredibly cushioned sofa.

This realisation gave me a new lease on life and a new passion for cookery.

As though they had heard me, my family met my new found vigour with appropriate gifts. My brother bought me a subscription to something called The Spicery. Which is a company that sends you spices and a recipe from some far-flung corner of the world every month and you simply follow the instructions. It is amazing and I highly recommend. (I will do a review every month of the recipes)

My Mother bought me a spiralizer (so everything I said about that in a previous blog, discount it as the ravings of a lunatic) and a recipe book for it.

My Grandmother bought me a mussels pan. Despite the fact that I’m pretty much certain that I’ve never even mentioned shellfish in front of her, I was still very touched.

So I resolved myself to returning to form in the New Year. I have since fixed my phone and recovered some of the joy I felt cooking.

I will return to form. I will be the [lazy]Foodie [armchair] Adventurer once more….


How a Song Called “Flower” Defeated Me…

I’m not massively into fitness, but I have recently been looking for a new workout which:

  • Doesn’t take too long
  • Doesn’t use anything outside of a barbell, dumbell or kettlebell
  • Isn’t just repetitive motion (I know that seems like a far-fetched idea, but there are a few workouts which can be, dare I say it, fun…)

After searching online for serious workouts like “Batman training”, “Become the bat”, “Bane”, “How to work out like Arrow”, I remembered one I used to do ages ago.

I recalled my halcyon days of running through this workout like a breeze. Retrospect, it seems, was out to destroy me.

The workout I’m talking about goes by many names; “The Flower Challenge”, “Bring Sally Up”, “Moby Press-up Challenge”, “Reason I Cry When Moby Comes On Shuffle” (only one of those is untrue).

The principle behind it is disarmingly simple. Do press ups, or any exercise you choose really, in time to a song. It’s about 3:30minutes and roughly 30 reps. It sounds like a dream.

It isn’t. It really is not. I can’t stress enough how this is not a dream.

Here’s a link to the song, go ahead and enjoy it. It’s a great song, classic Moby. Gospel Blues vocals over a piano melody and thumping drums. It gets you pumped up, you feel like you’re ready to do this.

I was not ready to do this.

It lulls you into an entirely false sense of security. I am a fairly strong person. I have worked out for a large proportion of my adult life, I spent 3 months in Africa doing press-ups like someone was casting for a version of Bronson where he has a tan, thick lustrous hair and the slightest hint of a moustache. I made it 1:30 minutes into that song before I physically gave up. Which is 1 minute longer than it took me to mentally break.

The first few reps are fine, you establish a rhythm and it feels ok. “Bring Sally up” and up we go. “Bring Sally down” hello floor, my old friend.

*Something to remember, when you’ve brought Sally down, whatever the hell that means, you don’t lay face down on the floor. You go into a really low plank. This is probably what broke me*

About 5 reps in, you feel the burn. “Bringing Sally Up” takes a fraction of a second longer. In turn, you get a much shorter break at the top before Sally needs bringing down again.

Then comes the kicker. After the 8th rep, in case you’re starting this for the first time and haven’t heard the song before, there is a pause while the singer waffles on about being “dead and gone” – I have no idea what she was saying, it was difficult to hear over the sound of sobbing and swearing. The pause is at the bottom, you know where I said before about a really low plank? Yeah, that point. In your mind, it’s a brief moment of respite. It’s a break while you wonder why you chose to do this. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Right now, get down into a really low plank. Hold it there for about 8 seconds, then push yourself up. It’s not so fun now is it? You sarcastic, hypothetical person! It’s agony! And now, guess what?! Do 7 more slow press ups, safe in the knowledge that this scenario is going to repeat itself for 3:30 minutes.

I have yet to finish the workout, as the areas of my body which currently hurt are:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Abs
  • Pride

If I ever find out Sally is, I will give her a piece of my mind!

I’m going to go sulk now

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