Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

OI! TUBBO!!!!…..a phrase you dont want to hear at Uni.

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Well it’s all getting very exciting at the moment isn’t it?! In a couple of weeks you’re going to flee the nest (unless you’re at a boarding school and fled the nest when you were 8).  You’re probably a bit worried at the moment about courses, accommodation, whether or not you’ll be the floor weirdo who doesn’t make friends…the list is endless.

What you’re probably not worried about is something a lot more terrifying and unseen.  Little did I see the titanic sized iceberg I was heading into (and heading towards becoming) when my parents dropped me off on that sunny September morning in Leeds.

One problem which affects most freshers in their first year of university is piling on the pounds from high calorie foods, eating at irregular hours, gorging on takeaways after a night out and drinking like an Irish landlord on St. Patrick’s night.  Even the strongest willed will fall foul of these gastronomic sirens. I myself went to university a trim 12 stone 8, regularly going to the gym for two to three hours, achieving 40 pull ups and playing football like a younger more attractive Lionel Messi.

However, university food was all to tempting, breakfast was a full English, lunch was enough sandwiches to fill a Darby and Joan social, and dinner was random meat in random sauce with chips, chips and chips.  This would be followed by a couple of leftover sandwiches later in the evening and if my equally greedy roommate could tempt me, a dirty great pizza and 4 cans of cider.

Even if you’re not subject to hall food, the temptations of the tummy are still great.  I knew many people in self-catering who, rather than knocking themselves up a nifty little salad or bowl of pasta, would regularly frequent the local take-away and conjure up such disgusting foods such as Pot Noodle on toast. It’s also pretty probable that you’re not going to do that much exercise as the bus is much easier and you’re going to be knocking booze back at most social occasions.

Okay so here’s the deal, nearly everyone I knew must have piled on between 6 pounds to a stone, if not more. However, there is a solution! There is salvation! It took a doctor to diagnose me as ‘clinically obese’ for me to turn my life around. I walked out the surgery determined to shed my 16 stone of flab and return to the demi-god body I had before. I walked straight into a Subway and ordered a 12 inch TUNA mayo sub with low fat mayo….IT HAD BEGUN!

I’m now back to (after 2 years) a lean 12 and a half stone, I play football, the crippling pain in my left arm and taste of copper in my mouth has gone! Girls don’t throw up because I’m fat when I talk to them, they throw up for other reasons. There are ways to beat the bulge and I will share it with you ‘cos I am nice.

1. Just say no! When your mates want the second or third takeaway of the week you really have to show will power.  The average takeaway pizza has double your recommended calorie intake for the day, and such an overload will pile on the pounds in weeks.

2.Snack on healthy stuff – not just crisps, chocolate or my favorite, Pepperoni. Dried fruits such as prunes, apricots and goji berries are perfect, also rice cakes are getting tastier…  I used to (and still do) snack on gherkins.  Don’t be daft and deny yourself everything, you can still eat your faves, just not in excess.  Chili is good, ask for extra chili on your kebab, it will speed up your metabolism.

3. Watch the alcohol. Aside from killing brain cells (which you’ll need in second year) you will put on a ton of weight.  Beer, whine and alcopops are the worst, go for diet coke and vodka.

4. Soft drinks. It’s very easy to think you need energy drinks to get you through the day…you don’t…all they do is pile on the pounds and give you an artificial high.  Drink lots of water, it keeps you awake, it’s free, activates your brain and helps your metabolism….possibly.

5.EXERCISE…half an hour of walking a day is really good for you, it’s probably the least you should be doing a day and isn’t back-breaking.  I try and walk everywhere now, it saves money and helps shed the man boobs.  Another great way is to join a sports society.

6.Eat loads of fruit and veg. Snack on fruit – very tasty, cheap and low fat.  Instead of buying a sandwich at the union or the twelfth pack of Macoys that day, take a bit of fruit, saves pounds!

7. Have a balanced diet. Have a good breakfast which will keep you going through the day,have your main meal at lunch and try a lighter evening meal.

8. Don’t eat late at night – it’s harder to digest and your body wont burn it off.

9.Don’t give up! If you have a bad day, i.e you eat a ton of crab quiche….balance it with a good day, filled with lovely exercise! Vegetables! Ryvita! Water!

10.REMEMBER…your mate who lives next door who is toned and a good weight might have a higher metabolic rate than you, so don’t be sucked in to his debauched, over eating world…that’s what happened to me.

The Winner Takes it All…In The World of Busking

Thursday, April 9th, 2009


I wasn’t really surprised that Simon and myself won to be honest. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way it’s just that Callum and Scott’s act was rubbish.

On a serious note though doing the film was a lot of fun. It actually wasn’t the first time I’d been busking although it was the first (and last) time I’d done the name your favourite food and we’ll sing about it act. Busking can be a really good way of earning some extra money when you’re at uni especially around the Christmas period.

The best thing about it is that it is good fun as well not like a job or anything but you can earn a bit of money to put towards your food bill meaning a few nights a week you could treat yourself to something special for sitting and playing guitar!

Goin’ Shoppin’ on da Meryl streep in London Bobby Brown? Follow the Link…

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

There are loads of other markets and great shopping areas all around London as well as the ones Lily 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 here are a few useful links!

Recycling Tips 101…

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Recycling is easy.  The hardest part though is making it a habit.  But hopefully, these handy hints and tips will make your life a little greener:

1.  Put your recycling box next to your bin.  That way, it’s as easy to recycle as it is to throw away.
2.  Glass jars will need a quick rinse out, but you don’t need to bother with taking any labels off-the recycling process will remove these.
3.  A lot of universities have prizes for the hall that does the most recycling-if your uni doesn’t do it yet, try suggesting it!
4.  Put a recycling bin in your bathroom-put all the toilet rolls and empty shower gel bottles in there then move them to the kitchen to recycle.
5.  Remember, recycling doesn’t just mean throwing away.  Take any unwanted clothes, books and CDs to your local charity shop to carry on doing your bit for recycling.

Fairtrade Vs Normal…PRICE WAR!!

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Beer 500ml


Biscuits 125g

FAIRTRADE £1.23   NORMAL £1.15

Tea Bags (80bags)

FAIRTRADE £2.62    NORMAL £2.05

Instant coffee 100g

FAIRTRADE £1.79    NORMAL £2.98

Sugar Granulated Sugar 1kg


Honey 340g



FAIRTRADE £1.25 per kg   NORMAL £1.09 per kg


Fairtrade £12.10

Normal £12.66

*only non Fairtrade alternative

**based on buying 1 kg of bananas

Chili Con Carne: To Hot To Handle?….Our Guide

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

If you would like to make a successful chilli con carne rather than a disaster here are a few tips to make it extra tasty and that innit:

1.    Cook it for a long time – the longer you cook it the more the flavour of the chillies get into the food. Makes it more spicy and I think more tasty.
2.    BOOZE – don’t just add any booze indiscriminately, I’m talking about wine. It doesn’t have to be an expensive wine but adding it does give a nice flavour. Add it early on and cook some of it off before you add you tomatoes.
3.    Adding Worchester sauce makes it taste amazing. You may call me crazy but I think you should try it. Add it in little bits to taste.
4.    Add some beef stock, just one Oxo cube will make it taste like an actually cow. Delicious.
5.    Always make too much, re-heating the next day you will find it tastes even better than the first time! Do make sure it’s piping hot all the way through though, stick a fork in the middle. If the end of the fork is hot when you pull it out it should be okay.

A Recipe What Has Booze In It

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

A Boozy Recipe

Pork Chops with Cider and Apple

Serves: 2


Olive oil

2 pork chops

1 red onion, peeled and chopped

100ml double cream

200ml of cider

1 red apple, sliced into wedges

salt and pepper


1.  Grab a frying pan and heat a drop of the olive oil over a high heat.

2.  Once the oil is hot, place the pork chop in the pan and cook for around 5 minutes or until the side has turned brown.

3.  Flip the pork chop over and cook on the other side.

4.  When both sides have turned brown, remove from the pan and turn the heat down to about halfway.  Add the chopped onion (and a little more oil if the pan is too dry) and fry until the onion starts to soften-about 2 minutes.

5.  Now add the apples, pour in the cider and stir with the onions.  Leave this to bubble gently until about half of it evaporates.

6.  Now pour in the cream and stir it all together.

7.  Add the pork chops back in, then add some salt and pepper and continue cooking for about 10 minutes (you may need to flip the pork chops over again halfway through this last cooking time.)  Serve by putting the pork chop on a plate, then pouring over the apple, onion and cider sauce.  Serve with some mash potatoes or vegetables.

The Boys From the Band

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Filming this video for was a pretty crazy experience for us  – the day was a very busy one for the band as we were coming straight from a different piece of filming in Buckinghamshire to our drummer Olly’s house in Acton where the studentcooking film was going to happen.

Once we were back and ready it was quickly decided that Tom and Fabio should be the spokespeople. The rest of us were more than happy to come up with and play bizaare little excerpts of songs to realistically mirror the emotions felt by Tom and Fabio at each stage of the tasting process.

The expert hands of the studentcooking staff knocked up some serious dishes for the boys to work with – the idea was to give people some tips on what kind of drinks would go with what kind of foods – red wine, white wine, different type of beer etc. Being as they are true gastronomic connoisseurs, Tom and Fabs had no trouble making the right choices, as you can see for yourself. We hope that this video will help you out a little bit next time you’re stuck on the food/drink dilemma, and therefore improve your life a bit.

Guide To Booze

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Picture the scene…’It’s a Tuesday and you’ve finally landed a date with the girl of your dreams and you’re taking her out to a fancy restaurant. It comes to ordering the wine and due to your ignorance you simply ask for the cheapest wine on the menu. In a fit of pompous anger she spits in you face, pushes over the table and leave!

To help avoid this here is a guide to wine.

Choosing The Right Wine

Wine isn’t just a cheap way to get drunk quickly-whenever your mates are round or if you’re eating out, choosing the right wine is an easy way to make a meal even better.

As a rule of thumb, white wine goes best with fish and white meat (chicken, turkey etc.) and red wine with meat dishes-steaks, burgers or even pasta that has meat such as spaghetti bolognaise.

Here’s a brief guide to the different kinds of red and white wine:

Varieties of Red Wine


Not as strong as other red wines, it has quite a soft, mellow taste to it.  It is a great match for pasta dishes, like spag bol.


(Pronounced ree-oka) Quite a strong taste, rioja is a Spanish wine and goes well with steak and other dishes that are full of flavour.

Cabernet Sauvignon

(Pronounced cabernay so-vinyon) Cabernets have a rich blackcurrant taste.  They are traditionally aged in oak, so can take on an aromatic woody flavour.  Cabernet goes well with beef, or lamb.

Varieties of White Wine

After something a little more refreshing?  Then white wine it is…

Pinot Grigio

(Pronounced peen-oh grijee-oh)  A very light and refreshing wine.  Usually a house wine in restaurants, goes very nicely with fish or chicken dishes, or cool salads in the summer.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc are typically very light wines, and tend to be crisp and acidic, making it ideal for more heavier foods such as risottos.


Chardonnay can be one of the cheapest wines to buy, but still tastes great.  The taste varies depending on where the grapes have grown.  It goes best with poultry or seafood, like lobster or scallops.

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.