Oven’s, the outlet for culinary creativity! Well, until they go wrong that is, that’s what’s happened to ours. Imagine coming in late from work, thanking your other half for preparing you dinner for getting in late. You turn on the oven to warm it up…….


The electric box trips and you are left in complete darkness. We now don’t have an oven to cook in and need to get a new one……….We are at a stage now where we cant cook an elaborate dinner…….or so you would think!

The key to success

That’s where this bad boy comes in.

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I can not recommend these enough, turn the timer for the desired time then the temperature and you have instant heat. No warming period, no preheating. BOOM, direct heat straight away and you can cook anything in them and I mean anything. They are also easy to clean, fill the kettle pour all of the boiled water in the halogen. Squirt a generous portion of washing liquid and use the self clean function. After 10 mins pour it all out, give it a wipe and your ready to go again.

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I would strongly recommend getting one with what they call, an ‘extension ring’. No it’s not some kind of marital device that comes free, it allows you to create more space. You place it on top of the bowl, lift the cooking lid and close on top of the ring. This allows more space and the ability to ‘stack’ the foods you are cooking.

A practice far removed from Italy 

Don’t do what my step son did………

H. How do you do the time for this halogen? The pizza box says 15 mins but it’s blitzed it on 5

Me. I don’t know, it’s never done that before. If you get another one to do just keep an eye on it.

We later found out that he sacked 2 pizzas but didn’t put the extension ring on. The heating element was no more than a few inches away from the pizza. Effectively GRILLING the pizza! ūüôĄ Less said the better I think, apart from that they are something that I recommend in any kitchen. And doing a joint in there, well it comes out so succulent words actually fail me.

When you buy one you get a small round tray, a rack and a little lifting device. The rack can be placed in to either grill food (but not pizza) or upturn it to ‘oven’ cook the food. I cooked ‘slimming world’ roast potatoes in it, I have to say they were so so nice.

So……get yourself one, you won’t regret it. Having said that I still want my oven back.

However……now we have over used it due to not having a proper oven, our halogen has also now failed! This post ends here, head in my hands with a groan that would wake sleeping beauty.

What cooking gadgets have you got in your kitchen? Which one do you swear by?

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Healthy lunch with SWEET POTATOES

We have been going¬†slimming world¬†now for about 31 weeks and what started out as a way to lose weight changed into a complete life change and brain reprogram. So far to date I and my partner have lost bang on the nose 3 stone in weight each. When i became a taxi driver I ballooned from 12 stone right up to 16 stone 10 (do the math). My partner is an education as she comes up with a lot of meal ideas, and because of the plan we never go hungry. And that’s exactly what slimming world is, it is not a diet but a healthy eating plan a re-education of how you view food, so here we go with the latest invention.


sweet pots



  1. Bake the sweet potatoes in a fan oven  mark 200 until they are soft inside (make sure to prick with a fork first)
  2. Cook lean or medallions of bacon in a non stick pan with a few sprays of fry light cooking oil
  3. Chop one onion and 2 peppers (any colour) and toss into the bacon and cook together
  4. Once the potatoes are soft half and scoop out the inside and place into a separate bowl
  5. Once the bacon mix is cooked to taste, chop and place in the bowl with the mush from the potatoes.
  6. Mix well and combine together and place back into the skins of the sweet potatoes
  7. Add a sprinkling of grated cheese on top ( if you are on the slimming world plan either syn the cheese (weighed) or count it as your HEA
  8. Serve with a massive side salad
Sweet potatoes with bacon, peppers and onion
Sweet potatoes with bacon, peppers and onion


Those of you on the Slimming world plan will know all about the syns that you could add to this recipe, having said that we had the cheese as our HEA, so it is completely syn free. Those of you not on this plan SYN FREE and FREE FOODS basically means (believe it or not) you can eat as much of this as you want.

Enjoy  xxx


Tony Martin