Tag Archives: Takeaway

Curry Kit’s A Hit

14 Dec

Regular readers will know how much I love a cooking kit – from little cakes to a full menu – not being a natural cook I thrive when every tiny thing is written down and weighed out for me.

So I was more than happy to try out a curry kit from Hari Ghotra. I chose a Xacuti Kit because I liked the name, but I should have done a little research first as this was one hot and spicy dish.

Anyway – the kit is a tiny bundle of spice sachets with an easy guide – you just add the meats and vegetables you like. I decided on lamb and here is mine waiting to be curry kitted:
curry1Add the first little bag of tumeric to the lamb and let it sit while you get on with making the paste. Now this is a little fiddly as you have to toast the spices from the second bag (but how do you know when they’re done? I trusted my nose and stopped just when they started to smell lovely and… toasty!).

curry2You grind this concoction up and add it to water – et voila your very own curry paste. Aren’t you clever?

Then there is the very small matter of mashing up some tamarind in hot water while you cook your meat and paste together. Just add this sieved water near the end with the final bag of spices (some lovely nutmeg which I never think of adding to a curry) and you’re done!

It tasted incredible, although I did add maybe a little too much water and this particular curry choice was a little hot – but hey you’ve got to live a little right?

The sauce was more than enough for two people, reasonably easy to make and absolutely a far better bet than buying a ready-made sauce full of stuff that has no place being in a curry. Or ordering in a takeaway obvs.

Plus it makes your house smell completely wonderful and had my family considering the very unusual fact that I might actually be doing some ‘real cooking’ for a change.


No, I didn’t make the bread.

PLEASE NOTE: This curry kit was provided to me free of charge for an honest review from someone who can’t cook.


Pot Noodle and I Grow Up

27 May

I used to love a Pot Noodle when I was younger, they seemed incredibly modern and were very useful during my early ‘vegetarian years’ when I lived at home and refused to eat anything my family cooked (and of course never cooked anything for myself).

I grew up, moved out, moved on, started eating meat again, but the hankering for the naughty noodle remained. Chicken and Mushroom was my favourite or Chow Mein at a push (never Beef and Tomato) and so usually once a year the feeling would over take me and not be satisfied until I had mixed up my little sachets and boiled that kettle. Sometimes I couldn’t even wait until it had all softened up and chose to eat those noodles hard.

However, my very real MSG intolerance caught up with me and my beloved PNs had to go because of course they were full of the stuff, which is why they tasted so great. Sigh.

Now I am a lot older and not only have to deal with the fact I can’t eat MSG but wheaty things give me a terrible bloat and almost everything causes my stomach acid to come back up – but that’s a different story – the thing is I have to be a bit more careful with what I eat. So I am always MORE than happy to find things that not only stop my tummy blowing up but are easy and remind me of being young.

photo[1]Bring forth the Kabuto Gluten Free Rice Noodles – and praise them for what they are, for they are decent, tasty noodles in a pot that you activate with boiling water but without that wheat protein that causes me a bit of trouble. Simple enough for students, the inebriated, the hungover, me, everyone. And about as far from a Pot Noodle as you can get without going too far if you know what I mean?

And having just downed both the Chicken and Miso versions I can confirm that there is no sign of any bloating. Win, win, I’m in.

Thanks to Kabuto for sending me some of their Gluten Free Rice Noodles to test out, it’s like they knew about my early love affair with Pot Noodles, it’s like they knew about my poor digestion, it’s like they can see into my very soul…


McCan’t Cook Muffin

13 Jun

I do love a McDonald’s breakfast. I love that adrenaline pumping race to get to the drive-through before 10.30am when the menu changes into boring burgers and fries (usually with a hangover – for which their hash brown is the only real cure in this world).
An Egg McMuffin is a total joy, my son likes them too now, he doesn’t even make me wait until after 10.30am so he can get a Happy Meal anymore.

I decided to make them for us one morning, I mean how hard could it be? I had cheese, eggs and muffins in the fridge.
Away we go… breakfast any time of the day without getting in the car!

Wasn’t sure how to approach the egg (such a specific shape) so broke it into a ramekin, then panicked I wouldn’t be able to get it out again so dumped in some butter too. But how to cook? Microwave? Surely not! Hot water? Let’s give it a go:
muffin1This took absolutely ages to get anywhere near cooked, but I waited patiently and put my muffins and cheese in the oven to warm up.
The butter just melted on top of the egg. Which meant that yes I did have trouble getting the bloody thing out:
muffin2Tap Tap Tap.
Hmmmm, nothing doing.
Scrape Scrape Scrape.
muffin3Oh well, no point crying over broken eggs, or some other similar saying.
At least it’s cooked right?
I stacked it all up and voila:
muffin4A not bad at all approximation of an Egg McMuffin. Tasted pretty super too, a must try the next time I have a hangover, although that would still mean going out for a hash brown…

Oh and McDonald’s sorry for any inappropriate use of any words or pictures. Please don’t be mean to me, I know there is no substitute for the real thing.

(Sorry to Coke too for the use of ‘the real thing’ just then – I know that one is yours.)

Crispy Plastic Duck

16 May

Proper, almost, disaster this week!
As a treat I bought a huge tray of crispy duck. I love this stuff, I order it from Chinese restaurants and adore the supermarket versions you can bake at home as a mid-week indulgence.
They come complete with little packs of pancakes, chopped cucumber, spring onions and sachets of hoisin or plum sauces, that you take out of the tray and put to one side before cooking the prepared duck.
It’s so simple, you just take out all the accompaniments and bake the duck for nearly and hour and then serve with the bits and pieces, that you have taken out of the baking tray before putting in the oven.

Once you have cooked your duck you can prepare all of the little bits and pieces that you have taken out of the tray previously and put it all together into delectable crispy duck pancakes. How lovely.

Well, you can see where I am going with this… Duck happily in the oven, my little packets of cucumber and pancakes are on the side waiting to be rolled up. But there is a smell in the air, a black acrid smell of something dangerous burning. Duck must be ready?

Well yes, it was ready, but the little plastic sachet of sauce I had left under it had melted into a hellish pit of bubbling black goo. The kitchen filled with possibly toxic smoke. Brimstone Takeaway anyone?
duckAs you can see we ate it. We haven’t died.
But there might just be some melted plastic reforming inside me somewhere…
Sometimes I can’t believe I am allowed to use an oven.

For more dangerous

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cooking courtesy of me, please see here.

Toddler Takeaway

5 Oct

As you know I love Chinese food. Love it. Especially the usual takeaway dishes.
Hard to make it home though right? Authentically. (Well it is for me!)

A recent attempt to make an oriental style dish of greens was a bit of a mare.
I find it difficult to tread that fine line between cooked quickly and raw. So I end up over-compensating and over-cooking.
I boiled

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the broccoli and pak choy first, before adding to a hot wok of

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oil and garlic:
Sadly of course it was too much and everything turned a bit mushy. To try and crisp it all back up I cooked it for even longer in the wok, adding more oil, more soy sauce and really turning the heat up.
All far far too much.

Still after a sprinkling of sesame seeds I almost got something worth eating…
One sniff of the fork and it all broke down into a greeny nothingness.
I know! – Takeaway Food For Weaning Toddlers, it could catch on right?
Don’t steal my idea ok, I’m working on the packaging right now.
Going into Dragon’s Den next month.

One Year On… A Poem!

21 Aug

So Alice Can’t Cook is one year old.
It’s the first birthday of my blog and if I may be so bold?
I shall celebrate with a rhyme or three…
Remembering the best and worst of my cookery

So I’ve served raw eggs to an unborn baby
Made a risotto so solid it could have plastered a wall, maybe
My roasted vegetables just won’t roast
But now and again I can have a bit of a boast

My self-imposed Veg Box Challenge was really trying
The hideous shrunken-head celeriac had me crying
I created some fruit compote that ended up in the sink
And a toxic hummous that kicked up a stink

Jamie Oliver’s Fritters won the vote but still got burnt
I’ve been a student but still haven’t learnt
There has been SO much trouble with eggs and rice
But thankfully I have a failsafe dish that usually turns out quite nice

Toad in the Hole nearly burnt the kitchen down
And even an easy kids recipe made me frown
A slimy festive turkey had me skidding across the floor
But my Christmas kit cakes had them crying out for more

Just don’t talk to me about curry!
I either make it like soup or a nasty slurry
My pretend birthday cakes reveal me to be a bad mother
But this years castle creation has made me think not to bother!

I’ve made my dog sick and my son scream
But weirdly my really difficult salmon dish turned into a dream
In the past year I’ve laughed and I’ve cried
I’ve served crap food but still no one has died.
Thanks for reading this year, for all your helpful comments and the laughs!
Alice Can’t Cook (still)…
But She’s Getting Better x


12 Jun

Regular readers will know I have a thing about Chinese food.

But when you are trying to lose weight or save cash regular deliveries are not a good idea, so I do try to make some of my ‘favourites’ at home. I even have a book called ‘Chinese Food Made Easy’ which includes plenty of the takeaway menu staples.

One of my favourite dishes is an Egg Foo Yung, or a ‘woky omelette’ as my husband likes to call them.

Basically it’s eggs with mushrooms, spring onions, soy sauce and sesame oil scrambled. Yes it really is that easy.
So why did mine break up into a million dry pieces this weekend?Because I didn’t use a wok dear friends, I used a big frying pan. Yes, rather than stretching up to get my wok out of the

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top cupboard I resorted to the easiest option and bent down and got out a frying pan.

Lessons to be learnt:

  • There is a reason certain cooking methods favour certain implements
  • Cooking requires a reasonable degree of effort
  • I need to stretch myself a bit more
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