Taking The Stress Out Of Christmas Dinner

Christmas can be a stressful time especially when it comes to preparing and cooking your Christmas dinner. Below are some of our helpful tips to help you enjoy more of your day without being locked in the kitchen all day!

Other supermarket turkeys are available... 

Other supermarket turkeys are available... 

Plan Ahead - This may sound utterly boring and over the top but this is the key to a stress-free day. Planning oven space and timings to ensure you have everything ready at the same time will benefit you so much. Also ensure you work out how long your turkey will take in the oven the last thing you want is a raw turkey.

Itemise your shopping list, break it down by course or meal so that you're not left frantically searching the back of the cupboards for the cranberry sauce or goose fat that you forgot to buy. 

Essential for making perfect roast potatoes. 

Essential for making perfect roast potatoes. 

Don't Cram! - It's tempting to cram everything into the oven at once in the hope that everything cooks, but trust me this isn't the case. All you end up doing is reducing the temperature of the oven and slow the cooking time down. 

Make sure the bird fits in the oven before you do any prep, the last thing you'd want to do is find out it doesn't fit. So while its still in packaging place onto the tray you're intending to use and make sure it comfortably fits in the oven. Remember if air cannot circulate around the bird it won't cook evenly leaving you with pockets of raw meat. 

Your roasties won't cook if the oven is crammed full of other items. 

Your roasties won't cook if the oven is crammed full of other items. 

Prepare - Don't leave everything until the day. Try and prepare what you can ahead of the main event, veg can be prepared the day before, gravy can be done even further ahead of time. Make the gravy as per your usual recipe then let it cool and add to freezer bags, squeeze excess air out and zip up. Lay flat in the freezer and defrost on the day adding the juices from the bird for added flavour. 

Stuffing can be made the day before and refrigerated ready to go into the oven. Use a steamer for veg, not only will it taste better but it saves hob space.

Carrots, Parsnips and Potatoes can also be prepared the day before and left in pans of cold water (this also frees up space in the fridge)

Get your partner, sibling or children to help peel veg. 

Get your partner, sibling or children to help peel veg. 

Don't Do It All On Your Own! - Don't let Christmas pass you by as you slave away in the kitchen, get the family involved and spread the workload. Including the washing up, washing as you go will save you a lot of time and stress after the meal. If you have a dishwasher put it on shorter cycles and don't put anything in there that you may need to re-use. 

Leftovers - You can turn your leftovers into many yummy dishes, left over Christmas pud can be chopped up finely and mixed into some softened vanilla ice cream and re-frozen to make delicious ice cream. Left over turkey, veg and potatoes can be mixed into a savoury cream sauce and topped with some shop brought puff pastry to make an easy pie. 

Merry Christmas from all of the Shreddies team, and we wish all of our customers a very happy new year! 

 

 

IBD v IBS

You may be confused between the difference between IBS and IBD so we thought we'd write a simple blog to define the two.

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and IBD stands for Irritable Bowel Disease.

When you're suffering from IBS your bowel will appear as normal but won't work as it should, this is because it's a functional disorder only involving the colon. It causes symptoms duch as cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea. There is no treatment with IBS however it is usually managed with lifestyle and diet changes plus stress reduction.

Image: Mayo Clinic

Image: Mayo Clinic

With IBD you will suffer from inflammation, ulcers and other long term damage. IBD is an umbrella term used for a group of bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It can cause ulcers to form in the digestive tract that can appear anywhere from the mouth to the stomach. Treatments for IBS range from tablets which you can take to surgery to either remove parts of the intestines or a Colectomy where a stoma bag may need to be fitted.

50-ibd-2-28-11.jpg

We hope you've found this blog useful and if you feel you may have some of the symptoms mentioned we would recommend going to see a doctor.

Spanish Sunshine

As the weather is slowly taking a turn for the worse and winter is well and truly on its way I thought I'd share with you some sunny inspo to get you through this cold weather! 

In September I visited the beautiful village of Frigiliana located up in the mountains on the south coast of Spain (around an hour from Malaga airport). We stayed in a villa down a very isolated windy road with beautiful views of the surrounding area and a little glimpse of the sea! 

The view from our terrace area looking over the villa.

The view from our terrace area looking over the villa.

image1 (1).jpeg

Around 10 minutes drive from our Villa was the village of Frigiliana, made up of small winding streets and beautiful white washed buildings - it really gave you a taste of Spanish culture. The streets were lined with small shops and restaurants and once a week there is a market selling everything from leather bags to ceramic home ware and clothing located in the village square. Everything here felt so authentic and there was a distinct lack of souvenir shops and coaches full of tourists! There were so many amazing restaurants - even though it was quite a climb to get there sometimes! 

image2 (1).jpeg
image6.jpeg
image3.jpeg
door.jpeg

Whilst in Spain we also visited the town on Nerja which is a little more lively and home to some beautiful beaches and lots of shops and restaurants! If you're looking for somewhere a little more tourist friendly but still very beautiful Nerja is just right for you! The Balcón de Europa offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean sea and you can see for miles!

image4.jpeg
Balcón de Europa

Balcón de Europa

Southern Spain definitely won my heart and I'll definitely be back! 

Man Vs Food

Ever since 2008 I've been glued to an American television programme called Man Vs Food. It follows the exploits of Adam Richman and his attempts to take on the most extreme food challenges in the U.S. 

In the past 4-5 years we've seen an increase of U.S style restaurants and barbecue joints pop up across the UK. This weekend I went to one in Nottingham that offered some mind blowing and stomach busting food challenges. 

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

On arrival to Rub we gazed over the extensive menu trying to decide if we should order something sensible or go for one of the challenges. 
Both myself and my brother went for one of the challenges, this would turn out to be a bad decision. 

Buy one get one free on Mojito's is always a winner with me

Buy one get one free on Mojito's is always a winner with me

IMG_2394.JPG

My brother decided to take on a challenge called Nugzilla, which is the equivalent of eating 85 normal sized chicken nuggets and a portion of fries. I thought it'd be fun to try the Yorkshire Pudding Burrito, a monster burrito made from Yorkshire Pudding batter, filled with cheesy mash, beef brisket, onion jam, greens and gravy. 

When the meals reached the table we soon realised it would take a mammoth effort just to put a dent into the challenges given their size. My burrito was big enough to comfortably feed a family of four but looked amazing. 

Yorkshire Pudding Burrito

Yorkshire Pudding Burrito

The Nugzilla was almost the same size as the tray it came on and looked impossible. After 20-30 mins of eating I conceded defeat after eating just under three quarters of the burrito. My brother battled past the meat sweats and the other three of us around the table watched him struggling with the last dozen mouthfuls of chicken. 

Nugzilla

Nugzilla

Each mouthful looked like torture as the chicken was getting harder and harder to chew. Trying different dips and covering it all in Mayo, Ketchup & BBQ sauce he somehow managed to finish it. 

Sometimes you just need a cold flannel after a meal! 

Sometimes you just need a cold flannel after a meal! 

I'd definitely go back to Rub but i'd want to eat something a lot smaller, and try a dessert too as some of them sounded incredible. I'm going to leave food challenges well alone from now on and just enjoy watching them on television. 

 

 

Tenerife

A few weeks ago I returned from a relaxing break in Tenerife. It's been 5 years since I had a holiday where I could just lay by the pool, so to say I was excited when we booked was an understatement. 

A week without worries or chores was just what I needed to recharge my batteries ahead of the cold dark winter. 

Mount Teide standing proudly in the centre of Tenerife. 

Mount Teide standing proudly in the centre of Tenerife. 

I'd never been to Tenerife before. And on arrival to Tenerife you're treated to quite spectacular sight of Mount Teide. Which looks even better on a cloudy day as the summit stand majesticly above the layer of cloud. 

We stayed at a hotel called Hovima, which is based in the heart of Costa Adeje approx. 15-20 minutes away from the airport. 

Hotel Hovima

Hotel Hovima

The hotel was tucked one street away from the beachfront and was the perfect place to unwind, relax and catch the sun. With two pools overlooking the sea it offered amazing views all day long. With fantastic staff and an excellent entertainment team we were well looked after and are already longing to go back. 

We joined in several activities when we were at the hotel from Aqua Aerobics to Rifle Shooting to Darts and Football. It turns out my wife is quite handy with both a rifle and a bow and arrow... should I be worried? 

My Wife & I collecting our certificates for winning the Rifle Shooting & Darts Tournaments. 

My Wife & I collecting our certificates for winning the Rifle Shooting & Darts Tournaments. 

Away from the hotel we visited both the Loro Parque zoo & Siam Park water-park, both have recently been voted the best in the world in their respective categories. 

One of the Gorilla's at Loro Parque. 

One of the Gorilla's at Loro Parque. 

A white Tiger at Loro Parque

A white Tiger at Loro Parque

Siam Park was amazing (unfortunately no pictures to share with you), but the rides are phenomenal and I can't wait to go back. The Tower of Power is probably the best way you can spend 10-12 seconds of your life. 

IMG_1936.JPG

Tenerife left a lasting impression on me and I cannot wait to go back. 

 

Ginger Powder - a wonder ingredient?

The majority of herbal medicines that you will buy will have ginger in them, for years ginger has been used to treat a number of health issues and we thought we'd investigate some of the most talked about health claims.

Image: well-beingsecrets.com

Image: well-beingsecrets.com

Relieving and upset stomach

Perhaps the most helpful use for Ginger is to help an upset stomach. Due to it's anti inflammatory properties, it helps to neutralise stomach acids and stimulate digestion which in turn eliminates excess gas which can often be the cause of stomach pain.

Improving metabolism

Dry ginger powder contains thermogenic agents that can burn fat. Regular consumption can help boost your metabolism and burn off extra fat helping you to loose weight! 

Curing motion sickness or morning sickness

Mixing ginger powder with water is highly effective in reducing nausea, it soothes the stomach and gives relief from inflammation.

An aid for the common cold

Again, the anti inflammatory properties help to relieve the common cold. Mixing ginger powder and warm water can have immediate effects on colds by unblocking airways.

Culinary benefits

You will often find ginger used as a spice in curries along with ginger sweets that are said to reduce flatulence.

Beauty benefits

You may see ginger in the ingredients to some of your favourite face mask, the anti-inflammatory properties help to fight acne by unclogging pores and killing bacteria!