Tag Archives: Food

Come Dine With Me (Part 4 of 4)

Well… we eventually got round to the last night of our Come Dine With Me saga and lets just face it- Mork and I didn’t stand a chance against Shminzel or Tom.  So with Lindsey’s night out the way, the only one left to dazzle us with brilliance,was Tom 🙂

We were all sent the following menu:


It was a brilliant evening with the highlight on the food front being the icky sticky ribs and the highlight of the entertainment being Mork’s face when we freaked him out by entering the lounge all wearing masks of his face 🙂 Tom was a fantastic host and made a great 3 course meal. It was of course the last night and so the winner was announced… And the winner was… (drum roll please)….

Tom AND Lindsey 🙂 !!!!!!


Out of 30, our individual total scores were:

Mork- 19

Tayla- 25

Lindsey- 27

Tom- 27


We all really enjoyed cooking for each other and the experience on a whole 🙂 It is a lot of fun and I would recommend it- even if you aren’t a great cook (like me).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone 🙂



Who is the real Mork?????
Who is the real Mork?????

Come Dine With Me (Part 3 Of 4)

Lindsey has cooked me hundreds of meals… and I can honestly say that I have never faulted one. She is an amazing, creative cook and so on her night of Come Dine With Me , I didn’t expect anything less than spectacular!! With a menu as follows, we were all in for a great evening…

We were welcomed with home-made cocktails and sat in a garden filled with fairy lights and candles. By this time, Lindsey was already winning and we hadn’t even had our first course.

The three meals were delicious and the entertainment of a play-dough version of Pictionary was fun too. Who knew that trying to make and show play-dough “mud” would prove difficult? 🙂  Lindsey scored very high by the rest of us and it was a wonderful evening on a whole.

One more night to go… Let’s see what you got Tom!!!

Music Festival Checklist

From the previous post below (Beer for Breakfast @ Reading Festival 2012), I have come up with a list of items that one would need at a weekend festival. Whether you’ve never been to one before or you’re a regular- I hope this helps. I did a bit of research before I went to Reading  Festival and with a little help from my friends, I got by 🙂


And so… in no order of importance:

  • Tickets – Besides the (obvious) festival tickets, you will also need any relevant travel tickets too. Booking travel tickets for the bus/train in advance can save you money and is less stressful than waiting in long queues or risking the chance of not getting a seat. Don’t forget to book a return journey and plan how you will get to the station/s beforehand.
  • Cash & Cards – They say that you need at least £100 for each day that you spend at a festival. If you plan properly, it doesn’t need to be that expensive.  Festival ATM cash machines are normally surcharge machines and always have long queues. Don’t always rely on ATMs in the surrounding town/area as those are just the same. Budget your money for the days that you are there and withdraw the cash on the morning you leave for the festival. Keep your money very safe and split it into different pockets, in your shoes, in your bag etc. Take your card for emergency cash or if you simply run out.
  • Directions – If you plan on driving to the festival, find the best route possible and make sure that if you use a Sat Nav, that it works properly. Remember to pack your car park ticket! If you are using public transport, make sure you know where to go when you arrive at the station as it won’t be fun being lost with loads of things to carry. Make sure you know which entrance you’re allowed to use at the festival as you can end up walking for miles.
  • Personal Identification – For some UK festivals, having a form of ID is often a requirement to get in through security. For example, Glastonbury won’t let you in if your ID does not match the name on the ticket. This is to avoid fake tickets being sold and to abide to any age restrictions that apply. Check the festival terms and conditions in advance. Always read the small print.
  • Keys – Keep these in a very safe place. Car keys, house keys, gate keys, everything. It won’t be fun arriving home, salivating over the thought that you get to sleep in a bed and have a wash, and then find that you’re locked outside. If you are prone to losing things- ask a friend, family member or trusted neighbour to keep a spare set.
  • Camera – This is number one on my list for everything. I love taking photos and so at Reading Festival, I made sure that I had 3 spare batteries to last the weekend.  Also make sure that you’ve got a protective case and strap for your camera as once you drop it, you can basically kiss it goodbye. Check that your memory card has enough space on it and take an extra one for just in case.
  • Mobile Phone – Make sure that it’s fully charged and if it’s a spare/old phone- make sure you have all the numbers you need in it: Home, parents, family members, partners, close friends, landlord, taxi etc etc. The battery life is likely to run out if you stay over a weekend and use it a lot. There are usually charging points in the arena, but they will cost you around £8 an hour, so try and stick to texting and if possible- dim the brightness, turn off your 3G internet, turn off vibrations and switch it off at night to save the bars from decreasing.

  • Bags – if you decide to use a bag to carry your stuff around in at the festival, make sure you know where it is at all times. Divide your money in different pockets and remember it’s another responsibility to worry about. A lady at Reading  put her handbag on the sofa and went to dance in the guest tent- when she came back, her handbag was gone- along with her money, keys, everything. Not cool.
  • Wellies – These are the shoes that you will most likely be living in throughout a festival weekend. Don’t take new shoes or trainers as they will get ruined, and for heaven’s sake, do not bring high heels- they don’t mix well with fields. Wellies are relatively cheap (especially off eBay) and they do a good job in protecting you from the expected mud. You can get some really funky ones and they tend to last ages! Loud and proud!
  • Hat – If the sun is shining, you’ll be grateful that you brought a hat as there’s not much shelter at a festival. I’d suggest taking a winter hat/ beanie for the night time too as it will keep your head warm and may block out some inevitable noise when you are sleeping.
  • Waterproof Jacket – Even if it says that it won’t rain… it will anyway! It’s a festival tradition. The venues normally sell waterproof ponchos, but they are over-priced and don’t do a great job at keeping you dry!
  • Sunny G’s – take a cheap pair with you as losing a £150 pair of aviators won’t leave you smiling.
  • Glasses / Contact Lenses– Be sure to bring spares if you have them.
  • Other Clothes & Shoes – Organise your outfits for each day so that you don’t have to pack loads! Take an old pair of shoes to use to get in and out of your tent without leaving a messy trail from your wellies. Hoody, extra socks, clean clothes for the trip home etc etc etc.
  • Accessories – Festival fashion loves accessories! Hairbands, bangles, scarves, rings, flower garlands, furry animal hats, pendants and so on.


  • Tent – For obvious reasons, you would definitely need one of these. Before you leave, make sure that you have all the pieces and if possible, take extra pegs with. Make sure you know how to put it up too as they can be a little tricky. Also take a mallet/hammer* with to hit the pegs into the ground as it will save you time and save you from getting sore hands and feet. (* Some festivals may confiscate them, but it’s worth a try). Use a flag or fixed point to mark the site of your tent so you don’t get lost when you return in a drunken (what-is-going-on) state.
  • Bedding – Sleeping on the ground isn’t particularly comfortable, so if you’re lucky enough to have a blow up mattress- well, that’s a no brainer- TAKE IT!! If not, your bedding should include: A sleeping bag, roll mat and an extra blanket (believe me- it gets FrEeZiNg!). You can also bring a pillow, but to save space, just use your rucksack or a spare jersey.
  • Electrics – If you are going to be at a festival with plug power sockets, you can take your phone/camera chargers and won’t have to worry about running out of battery. Forget about taking hair dryers, straighteners, music docking stations and other impractical items.
  • Torch – Everything looks different at night.
  • Rubbish bags – These are really useful when you are packing up as you can put your muddy wellies and wet clothes in them so that they don’t mess on anything else. They are also useful for discarding rubbish in- who knew? 🙂

  • Toilet Roll Don’t be surprised when you don’t find toilet paper in the cubicles. Keep some in your bag or pocket for when there’s none available.
  • Wet Wipes – This is a MUST! Use them to freshen yourself up.
  • Toothbrush & Paste – (Alternatively, using cider for the toothpaste is always a great idea :))
  • Washing Essentials – Shampoo, conditioner and soap.  The shower facilities range at different festivals, but don’t expect comfort or luxury. HOWEVER, no one will judge you if you choose not to shower as you will be clean for about five minutes before you start smelling like the rest of the crowd. You’ll be amazed at how well the nostrils can adapt and personally, I think it’s more of a mission than anything. Wet wipes do a good job at giving you a “refreshed” feeling. But it’s your choice.
  • Towel– Take two if you have the space. (You can always use one as a pillow).
  • Deodorant – Festivals usually have a size limit on these sorts of things so a travel-sized one should do.
  • Hair Brush – Not essential, but will help detangle your hair after a shower.
  • Mirror – To use for when putting contact lenses in, applying make up, face painting and so forth.
  • Dry shampoo – if you choose not to shower, dry shampoo makes your hair look clean for an extra day or so.
  • Anti-bacterial Hand Gel – Use to clean your hands before eating or putting contact lenses in.
  • Sun Lotion – For when/if the sun shines.

  • Mini First Aid Kit – Plasters, burn cream, anti-histamines, anti-bacterial cream etc. There are First Aid points at the venues, but this is for when you’re at your tent.
  • Prescription Medicine – Make sure that you have enough supply of your personal prescription medicine such as inhalers, painkillers (be careful when drinking too much), insulin, heart medication, whatever.
  • Paracetamol or Nurofen – Again, this is a must for headaches or hangovers.
  • Berroca/ Booster Thingy’s – They will get you going for another day!
  • Contraception – Be safe people.
  • Food and Drinks – When camping at a festival, you are allowed to take your own food and drinks into the camping site. However, no glass is allowed in the site so make sure that if you take alcohol, that it’s tinned or in plastic bottles. Take energy drinks, cereal bars, crisps, sweets and other dry snacks with to get you through meal times. Festival food is ridiculously over-priced, but to be honest, it is a lot easier to fork out £8 for a burger than cooking one yourself. But if you insist on taking your own cooking materials, then good luck with that.
  • Water – that’s it.
  • Bottle Opener – Using your teeth to get that beer in your belly is never a good idea. Take a bottle opener with to avoid such- a key ring type is easy and cheap.
  • Pen Knife – This will probably come in handy more times than you think, but there is a chance that it too may be confiscated.


And lastly, arrive with an AWESOME festival attitude!!!

Even if you rock up to a festival without all of the above items (most likely to happen),  it’s not the end of the world. You will survive as long as you keep your good spirits up (with the help of  booze) and remember these things: You will  get back home at one point where you can get clean again. If you lose your friends- they will be found and if you see a porta loo set on fire- well, that’s normal too 🙂 Just roll with it and have fun!

Come Dine With Me (Part 1 of 4)

For those of you who know me, know that I freak out in the kitchen while I’m cooking when suddenly everything is ready all at once. One thing’s boiling over, one thing’s smoking the kitchen out and all while the other thing is burning the pan. That’s the point when I call Tom over to rescue the situation. That’s why it may seem as a shock when I suggested that a few of us do a COME DINE WITH ME event.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the TV show, here are some guide lines of what it’s all about:


These dinner dates will take place over a number of days/weeks at each participant’s home.

The host needs to sort out a three course meal menu and send this to the other contestants.

If you commit to this, then you will have to make sure that you can go to all of the nights.

At the end of each night, the participants score the host out of 10 (We have judged on the food, presentation, entertainment and hosting skills) where the winner is revealed on the last night and wins a prize.

The rules:
-No ready meals or shop bought desserts
-No help from other people
-Once your menu has been sent then you can’t change it
-You must attend every dinner party
-No sniffing for information on what people do or don’t like- just cook what you know.
-If everyone has any allergies or dietary requirements (no fussy eaters) then please let the host know.


Last weekend was the first of 4 nights, hosted by Morkalfish (Mark). The menu was as follows:

Going first adds more pressure and seeing as thought this was the first time that Mark has cooked for me, I was very impressed indeed. The starters looked and smelled amazing! The main was very tasty and satisfying and then dessert was… interesting 🙂 It wasn’t the best course according to us all, but points for the originality. He did sweeten us up with tea and chocolate afterwards.

Mark was a great host, making sure that we always had a drink in hand and a smile on our face. I can’t reveal the scores yet, but on a whole, it was a lovely evening and I am looking forward to the rest.

I host my night on August 11th- I only have my dessert planned, so any suggestions are welcome 🙂