Life Hacks – 1: Toothpicks for cleaning.

As I get older I’ve picked up a few wee life Hacks along the way which can make those harder jobs just a little bit easier. You probably already know some of them but I’m going to post a series of them for posterity. 

Toothpicks.

Those tricky wee cracks n crevices that seem to collect grime and gunk. Well just grab a wooden toothpick snap it in half and use the snapped part like a small brush to scrape the grime out. For smaller gaps use the sharp end. 

 

You’ll be amazed how easy it is to get the gunk out and how much cleaner everything will look. 

Chicken Satay Skewers

Chicken Satay Skewers

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Delicious grilled skewers marinated with spices.

Servings Prep Time
4 people 50 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

Servings Prep Time
4 people 50 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

Chicken Satay Skewers

Print Recipe

Delicious grilled skewers marinated with spices.

Servings Prep Time
4 people 50 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

Servings Prep Time
4 people 50 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

Ingredients

Satay Marinade


Servings: people

Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into strips. Set aside

  2. Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor, add a little water if required

  3. Combine the cut chicken and marinade. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight or minimum 6 hours.

  4. Thread 3-4 strips onto each bamboo skewer.

  5. BBQ or grill the chicken skewers 2-3 minutes each side until the meat is fully cooked and the surface is nicely charred. Brush with some oil while grilling.

  6. Serve hot with the peanut sauce (seperate recipe)

Recipe Notes

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Best Peanut Sauce

Best Peanut Sauce
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Authentic spicy peanut sauce. Goes great with the chicken satay recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Best Peanut Sauce
Print Recipe
Authentic spicy peanut sauce. Goes great with the chicken satay recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Spice Paste
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Crush the peanuts till fine in a food processor.
  2. Chop the spice paste ingredients corasly and blend in a food processor till very fine. Add a few tbsp water to help blending.
  3. In saucepan heat the oil on medium and add spice paste. Add two of the strips of lemon grass. Fry until aromatic and smell spicy.
  4. Add ground peanuts, water, tamarind, salt, palm sugar, coriander powder and sweet soy sauce. Stir to combine well.
  5. Reduce the peanut sauce on medium-low heat, stir continuously for 5-10 minutes or until the peanut sauce thickens to your desired consistency, or until the oil and the peanut sauce separates.
  6. Let cool to room temperature and serve with satay chicken.
Recipe Notes

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Sams Favourite Meat & Vege Glaze

Sams favourite meat & vege glaze
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It's a real simple glaze for roast veges and meat. It's got sugar in it so works best when not cooked too long. Baste while cooking for a sticky gooey deliciousness.
Servings Prep Time
3 people 2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 2 minutes
Sams favourite meat & vege glaze
Print Recipe
It's a real simple glaze for roast veges and meat. It's got sugar in it so works best when not cooked too long. Baste while cooking for a sticky gooey deliciousness.
Servings Prep Time
3 people 2 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 2 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Combine all and mix well. Slather over meat and veges before roasting
  2. baste a few times during cooking
  3. Brush the pan juices and thickened sauce over food and grill until caramelised and gooey. Yummo
Recipe Notes

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IKEA Meatball Recipe

In the spirit of COVID-19 IKEA have released the recipe for their famous Swedish meatballs.

Here it is. Enjoy

IKEA Meatball Recipe
Print Recipe
In the spirit of being kind during COVID-19 IKEA have released their famous Swedish meatball and cream sauce recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
IKEA Meatball Recipe
Print Recipe
In the spirit of being kind during COVID-19 IKEA have released their famous Swedish meatball and cream sauce recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Meatballs
Cream Sauce
Servings: people
Instructions
Meatballs
  1. Combine beef and pork mince and mix with your fingers to break up any lumps. Add finely chopped onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, and mix. Add milk and season well with salt and pepper
  2. Shape mixture into small, round balls. Place on a clean plate, cover, and store in the fridge for 2 hours. This will help them hold their shape whilst cooking.
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil on medium heat. When hot, gently add meatballs and brown on all sides.
  4. When browned, add to an ovenproof dish and cover. Place in a hot oven (180°C or 160°C with a fan) and cook for 30 minutes more.
Cream Sauce
  1. Melt 40g of butter in a pan. Whisk in 40g of flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add 150ml of veg stock and 150ml of beef stock; continue to stir. Add 150ml of double cream, 2 tsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp dijon mustard.
  2. Bring to a simmer and allow sauce to thicken.
Recipe Notes

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Easy Roast Chicken & Bacon Pie

Easy Roast Chicken and Bacon PIe

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A easy make chicken and bacon pie with a creamy sauce. Family favourite

Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30-45 minutes

Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30-45 minutes

Easy Roast Chicken and Bacon PIe

Print Recipe

A easy make chicken and bacon pie with a creamy sauce. Family favourite

Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30-45 minutes

Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
30-45 minutes

Ingredients


Servings: people

Instructions
  1. Once the chook is cold remove all the meat from the bones. You want a range of sizes for the chicken bits. Cube up the stuffing.

  2. .Fry up the bacon, Get it good and nicely well done. Chop up roughly once cooked

  3. Spray oil a 10x10 square baking tin. Cut Once sheet of pastry in half and use this and one other sheet to line tin. Seal edges by squeezing together

  4. Put the chicken in the pastry lined tin. Dot the stuffing over top and the baked beans then spread the chopped bacon around.

  5. Mix the soup mix with a cup or so of boiling water. Pour the soup mix evenly around the pie. Cover with last sheet of pastry. Seal edges well. Cut a slit in the top to vent steam.

  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on oven. Fan bake for a bit then classic bake so the pastry doesn't get burnt.

    Once baked remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

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Pan Seared Lamb – Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients

Pan Seared Lamb - Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients
Print Recipe
Pan-seared lamb with fresh basil, tender new potatoes and green pesto
Servings Prep Time
3 15
Cook Time
25
Servings Prep Time
3 15
Cook Time
25
Pan Seared Lamb - Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients
Print Recipe
Pan-seared lamb with fresh basil, tender new potatoes and green pesto
Servings Prep Time
3 15
Cook Time
25
Servings Prep Time
3 15
Cook Time
25
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Halve any larger potatoes, then cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender, adding the peas to the party for the last 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rub the lamb all over with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Starting fat side down, sear the lamb in a non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat for 15 minutes, turning regularly until gnarly all over but blushing in the middle, or use your instincts to cook to your liking. For larger pieces of lamb you may need to finish it in an oven.
  4. Remove to a plate to rest, then, with the frying pan on a low heat, make a liquor by stirring in a splash of water and a little red wine vinegar to pick up all those nice sticky bits, leaving it to tick away slowly until needed.
  5. Drain the potatoes and peas, tip into the liquor pan, pick over most of the basil, add the pesto and toss it all well.
  6. Serve with the lamb, sliced thinly, then pour over the resting juices. Pick over the remaining basil leaves, and tuck in.
Recipe Notes

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Sticky Teriyaki Aubergine – Jamie Olivers 5 Ingredient.

Sticky Teriyaki Aubergine - Jamie Olivers 5 Ingredient.
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Sticky Teriyaki Aubergine - Jamie Olivers 5 Ingredient.
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Put a 26cm non-stick frying pan on a high heat and pour in 250mls of water.
  2. Halve the eggplant lengthways, quickly slash the skin of each half a few times and place skin side down in the pan, then season with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Cover and cook for l0 minutes, or until it boils dry and begins to sizzle (listen for the change in sound).
  4. Meanwhile, trim the spring onions. Cut the whites into 3cm lengths at an angle and put aside.
  5. Deseed the chilli and finely slice Iengthways with the green part of the spring onions. Place both in a bowl of ice-cold water and put aside to crisp up.
  6. When the eggplant starts to sizzle, add l tablespoon of olive oil, the white spring onions and the peanuts to the pan, stirring regularly.
  7. After a few minutes, add a splash of water, drizzle in the teriyaki and reduce to a medium heat.
  8. Turn the eggplant, jiggle the pan and let it get sticky for a few minutes, then serve sprinkled with the drained green spring onions and chilli and a few peanuts scattered over the dish.
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Google Home Commands That WORK.

SO I’m compiling a list of commands I’ve used with google home that are confirmed to work. It’s starting out small and hopefully will grow large.

Sanity Check: Commands can and do change as Google updates and generally screws round with the Google Home app. I’ll try keep a status and last confirmed date but hey things change.

I use a simple setup. I’ve got a Google Home mini, a bunch of chromecasts and some of the last available Chromecast Audio’s which are a great way to add an old but awesome set of speakers with an analog or optical input and turn them into a cheap Sonos type speaker that you can add to speaker groups or use as a single set of speakers.

“Hey Google. Play the latest episode of Aly & Fila on the Kitchen Stereo

Hey Google. Louder.

So here are some things you can try on your Google Home while you listen to some awesome music.

Hey Google. Whats the Time.

Hey Google. Whats todays weather

Hey Google. Whats tomorrows weather.

Hey Google. How hot is it.

Hey Google. Turn on Kitchen Television

Hey Google. Turn off Kitchen Television

Hey Google. whats the time in Denver Colorado

Hey Google. Tell me a limerick

Hey Google. Add Milk to my shopping list

Hey Google. Whats on my shopping list

Hey Google. Show my photos on living room tv.

Hey Google Play Aly & fila on all speakers

Hey Google Change to Channel One on Kitchen TV

Hey google Turn on Kitchen Lights

Hey Google Turn on all lights

Hey Google Turn on Kitchen heat pump

KFC Secret Recipe

Bottom line, could this be the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices? We sure think so. The only folks who can say definitively are the keepers of the recipe at KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands. We asked, but the company would only say, “Lots of people through the years have claimed to discover or figure out the secret recipe, but no one’s ever been right.”

Home-made-KFC-featured

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All we know is the recipe we tested certainly tastes like KFC. And whatever it is, it’s finger lickin’ good. Continue reading “KFC Secret Recipe”

Baked Pork Chops

There’s just a few simple ingredients you’ll need for this recipe and chances are most they’re already in the pantry. Salt, pepper, brown sugar and ketchup. The only things you’ll need to buy are some of your favorite pork chops and an onion. The onion was actually my favorite part. They’d get nice and soft on top of the pork chops with that delicious brown sugar cooked right in. Continue reading “Baked Pork Chops”

2016 Ocean Giant vessel evolution at McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Every year the United States Antarctic Programs annual resupply vessel Ocean Giant travels from the United States, via Chile and Christchurch, New Zealand on it’s way to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

The vessel carries approximately 1000 20 foot shipping containers of supplies and equipment needed to keep the station running for another year. The vessel offload is one of the busiest times of the year on station.

The Ocean Giant comes in via a channel cut in the sea ice by the US Coast Guards icebreaker Polar Star, which is the most powerful non-nuclear icebreaker in the world. The Antarctic Treaty prohibits leaving any waste on the continent so once the cargo is unloaded all the previous years waste and old equipment is loaded back on the vessel for transport and disposal back in the United States.

Click through to watch a nice time-lapse video of the evolution taken by one of the crew of the Ocean Giant on 6 GoPro cameras. Continue reading “2016 Ocean Giant vessel evolution at McMurdo Station, Antarctica”