Archive for October, 2008

Useful cooking things

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Measuring jug: This is something you’ll use a lot if you have it and something you wished you had if you don’t get it. You’d be surprised how many things do need measuring – think of the gravy!

Colander: You can drain all sorts with a colander! Get one with smaller holes as then you can use it for rice, pasta and draining boiled veg.

Potato masher: Despite the misleading name you can use the masher for things other than potato such as carrots or swede.

Tin opener: I’ve thought this one through over and over again and can’t think of a better way to open a tin. Unless you only buy cans with ring pulls you are going to need a tin opener.

Frying pan: 100% worth getting a good one as you’ll be using it a lot. Get a decent hardwearing one that’ll last – cheap ones tend to lose their non-stick and you find little black bits in your food from the bottom of the pan. Not pleasant.

Good knife: I’d say this is number one in terms of the quality you should buy. It makes life a lot easier if you get a good knife. Look for one that’s a quite big (generally it should be twice as big as what you’re chopping) as this will take a lot of the effort out of chopping.

Chopping board: No chopping board = scars on the work surfaces = bye bye deposit. Think about it…

Sauce pans: You can get good-quality sauce pans really quite cheap now and I’d recommend you do look for fairly good ones. I’d also suggest you get 2-3 sauce pans of varying sizes, this way you can have a few things on the go at once i.e. pasta and a sauce.

Cheap plates, bowls & mugs: Don’t spend lots of this!!! Plates, glasses and mugs get broken all the time. Don’t take your best stuff as it’ll simply be ruined – unless you keep it all in your room and hoard it like a squirrel who’s planning a dinner party.

Cheap cutlery: Clue is in the name. Once arrived everyone’s cutlery is more than likely going to end up in the same draw. Plus a cheap fork still does the same as an expensive fork – why pay more.

Don’t go anywhere without these…

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Pasta – whether it’s spaghetti, pasta, fusilli, doesn’t matter. Takes about 15 minutes to boil and has the carbohydrates you need in a balanced diet.

Garlic - You break off the cloves as and when you need them, and if it’s kept in your cupboard where it’s cool and dark, it will last around 6 weeks. You’ll use it alot.

Onions - You’ll use them a lot (again), so make sure you’ve got two or three in your cupboard. They’ll last about two weeks.

• You can really get into herbs (legal herbs) as they each add their own flavour to your dishes, and can really boost an ordinary meal. But, as we’re on a budget, we’ve just got a packet of mixed dried herbs. Because they’re dried, they’ll last ages.

Tin of chopped tomatoes - always useful to have. A quick fix for spag bol, lasagne in your cupboard.

Stock cubes - whether they’re veg, chicken or beef, these are good to have. Just crumble them into a bowl, add boiling water and stir. They’ll add flavour to your dishes and soups.

Olive oil - one thing you should try and spend a bit of money on, as a good one will make a lot of difference to your cooking. You’ll only use a small bit at a time so it’ll keep.

Salt and pepper – Whenever you boil rice or pasta, you’ll need a pinch of salt in there and you can season your food when you eat. Plus, you can pretend to be posh and say ‘would you mind passing the condiments?’

Top Tips for saving the pennies!

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Whether you’ve just got your loan through and have money to burn, or you’re at the end of term and are struggling to pay for a pint, the one thing you’ll have to spend money on throughout your whole time at uni is…food. So it makes sense to work out how to get the most for your money and how to waste as little of it as possible!

Here’s a few hints and tips to help you save those pennies:

• Try planning your weeks’ meals
You don’t have to do this every week, but it definitely helps you save! Work out what you’ll be eating throughout the week and the ingredients you’ll need, then draw up a shopping list. When you go shopping – stick to it! This should mean you won’t spend money on stuff you don’t need, saving your cash for that all important pint at the union.

• Look out for special offers
Keep your eye out in the supermarket for any special offers such as Buy One Get One Frees or Half Price offers. These are great ways to save money.

• Try shopping at the market
Although you may think it’s the place where your gran goes to buy her pound of mince, the market is a great place to shop when you’re a student. Unlike the supermarket, you can buy things in much smaller quantities, meaning it’s loads cheaper. Market traders will also knock off a couple of quid or give you a student discount; something most supermarkets won’t do! One last thing-people at the market will be able to tell you how to cook what you’ve bought. So if you’re not quite sure how to cook that piece of cod you’ve just bought, ask and they’ll be able to help you!

• Remember to freeze!
If you buy more meat or fish than you need, then remember you can always freeze it and have it for another night. Whatever you buy, split it up once you’ve bought it and separate it out into freezer bags. Label it up then pop it in the freezer and defrost it the day before you want to use it.

• Buy supermarket-own brand
Supermarket own-brand products taste pretty much the same and are usually cheaper than any big name products. When you’re cooking at uni, you won’t be able to taste much difference between the two, but you’ll save a lot of cash.

Food shopping in Loughborough?

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Check this out!

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around Loughborough as well as the ones Lucy showed us on her tour. It’s fun to get out there and find them for yourself but just to point you in the right direction, we’d say check out these websites for more useful info – Charnwood Council (markets in general) and again, Charnwood Council but especially Farmers Markets.

Shopping in Sheffers

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around Sheffield as well as the ones Tom showed us on his tour. It’s fun to get out there and find them for yourself but just to point you in the right direction, we’d recommend checking out the Sheffield City Council website (info on ALL the markets – v useful!), as well as Sheffield Central.

Best Bargains around the Toon!

Monday, October 13th, 2008

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around Newcastle as well as the ones Lorna showed us on her tour. It is fun to get out there and find them for yourself but just to point you in the right direction, check these websites out for more info – Newcastle City Council (more about the Grainger Market) and Newcastle Gateshead (your guide to things going on in the toon!).

Top Tips for shopping in Liverpool

Friday, October 10th, 2008

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around Liverpool as well as the ones Georgia showed us on her tour. It’s fun to get out there and find them for yourself but just to point you in the right direction, it’s worth checking out the Liverpool City Council website for more info about markets, as well as Liverpool’s Heritage Market website – great for more info!

Useful links for shopping in Leeds

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around Leeds, as well as the ones Joe showed us on his tour. It’s fun to get out there and find them for yourself but just to point you in the right direction check out the Leeds Market and Leeds City Council websites!

Top 10 Essential Student Ingredients

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

With all the great choice of stuff you can get at the market, it’s easy to get carried away and just concentrate on the main thing you need for your dish. There are, however, some essential things you will need to be the base for most meals that you should ALWAYS have in your cupboard!

Here’s out top 10:

Pasta – whether it’s spaghetti, pasta, fusilli, macaroni…it doesn’t matter. Takes about 15 minutes to boil and has the carbs you need in a balanced diet.
Garlic – Break off the cloves as and when you need them, and if it’s kept in your cupboard where it’s cool and dark, it will last around 6 weeks.
Onions – You’ll use them a lot, so make sure you’ve got two or three in your cupboard. They’ll last about two weeks.
Herbs – You can really get into herbs (legal ones!!) as they each add their own flavour to your dishes, and can really boost an ordinary meal. But, as we’re on a budget, we’ve just got a packet of mixed dried herbs. Because they’re dried, they’ll last ages.
Tin of chopped tomatoes – always useful to have. A quick fix for spag bol and lasagne.
Stock cubes – Whether they’re veg, chicken or beef, these are useful. Just crumble them into a bowl, add boiling water and stir. They’ll add flavour to your dishes and soups.
Olive oil – one thing you should try and spend a bit of money on, as a good one will make a lot of difference to your cooking. You’ll only use a small bit at a time so it’ll keep.
Salt and pepper – Whenever you boil rice, pasta or potatoes, you’ll need a pinch of salt in there and you can season your food when you eat.