How to make the Perfect Christmas Dinner

How To Make The Perfect Christmas Dinner

Preparing a roast dinner any time of year can be a stressful process, let alone on Christmas Day! With lots of people to cook for and all the trimmings to prep amongst presents being opened and the excitement of Father Christmas coming to visit, you need an easy and effective way to remember and prepare everything from the stuffing to the pigs in blankets! With the benefits of using digital kitchen appliances, you can be sure to enjoy the day whilst making a delicious meal!

Most definitely one of the key parts of making the perfect Christmas dinner is to prepare early!! Getting organised will really help you on the day and you would be surprised at how many of the dishes you can make in advance, saving you so much time and stress. One of my mum’s tips is to parboil your potatoes the night before and freeze them meaning you don’t have to be peeling potatoes from 9 am on Christmas morning. Some other elements you can also make in advance include your gravy, bread sauce and of course Christmas pudding. This, in fact, tastes better when made a few months in advance as it allows all the juices and alcohol to really penetrate the fruit!

Another really important tip is to make sure you have all the right equipment including pans, oven trays and knives. If you’re planning on making lots of dishes from scratch, Salter Cook can provide you with an ultimate interactive and digital experience, whether you need to weigh out the sugar for your cranberry jelly or measure up how many sultanas you’re going to need for your Christmas pud, our top-of-the-range Bluetooth Pro Kitchen Scale equips you with modern advantages to the traditional mechanical scale. Allowing you to save recipes with our Salter Cook App you can ensure you have everything ready for the big day way in advance and if you’re stuck for ideas, recipes are only a click away! Timing and accuracy are essential on Christmas Day but with the app you can easily plan and set multiple timers and name them, ensuring everything is cooked to perfection without confusion! Part of the Salter Cook Bluetooth range includes a thermometer which can measure both oven and food temperatures. The recommended temperature for a perfectly cooked turkey is around 65 degrees Celsius, so with the Salter Cook app just set the required temperature as a target and wait!

One of my family’s favourite Christmas desserts (other than Christmas Pudding) to have over the festive season is a yule log- my Grandmother has been making one for years and its definitely something I store in my Salter Cook app so I can use it every year, making sure I get all the quantities right. If you don’t have your own recipes to enter into the app, you can easily save them straight from the internet. You could even try an alternative to the traditional chocolate recipe by using salted caramel, making a great centrepiece for the table! There are many other festive treats you can try; mince pies, trifle, hot toddy fruit cake or maybe a festive cheesecake! Remember to cook what you and your family like on Christmas Day, don’t feel the need to have to produce every single dish especially if you don’t like them! Trust us, you won’t enjoy the process!

It’s near enough impossible to think there will ever be the ‘perfect’ Christmas dinner, however with a little bit of organisation and preparation in the run up you can make the day stress-free and enjoyable! Get the family involved and show everybody how convenient the Salter Cook app can be on a busy day in the kitchen. Of course, a little wine may help along the way!


When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

If you’re someone who loves staying fit, you’ll probably be aware of the process of tracking and monitoring your weight and its benefits. However, with our busy schedule, it can be easy to lose track of your current health situation. Depending upon how much you exercise, the process may vary from person to person, and with the advent of digital technology, tracking progress is only getting easier and beneficial to your training.

If you regularly track your weight, you may not need to be convinced. However, still, keep reading as this is still for you! If you do not normally track your weight, read on to understand why it may be important.

Here are 5 benefits of tracking your weight

  1. Efficiency

Tracking your weight increases your efficiency in terms of your time and workouts. Not only will it push you to do better, but will also drive you to be your own competition!

  1. Added Motivation

Tracking your weight is surely motivating and reinforces to remind you why you are doing this in the first place. When you notice progress, by looking through your logs, it immediately makes you realise how far you’ve come, only motivating you further. There is absolutely nothing like hard work being paid off!

  1. Forming Healthy Habits

While you’re working hard to shed off those extra pounds, or even just to stay fit in general, tracking your weight on a regular basis makes you choose healthy food options for your regular meals. Make this a regular affair, and staying fit will be your second nature!

  1. Improved Mood and Habits

Research shows that staying fit in general can improve your mood and decrease symptoms of depression. Better nutrition, higher self-esteem, and the benefits of exercise all contribute to an improved outlook on life.

  1. Cancelled Cravings

As you make eating healthier foods a habit, you’ll notice that your tastes and food preferences will change. While you will always have a favourite indulgence, but over time you will become more selective on where you save and where you splurge calories. For example, you may splurge on chips or fries and not like how you feel afterwards, which will reduce the likelihood that those cravings will creep up again.

Even though the conventional wisdom says to weigh yourself once a week, it might be time to rethink that advice.

How do you track your weight? Our favourite scale is the Salter Memories 180kg Digital Bathroom Scale which perfectly shows you the difference between your current weight and your previous weight measurements! Detailed with helpful up and down arrows, you can quickly tell how well you’re progressing.


How To Throw A Last Minute Halloween Party

Planning any party can be stressful however when it comes to Halloween there seems to be a lot of pressure to throw the most extravagant and spooky party ever! However, with a few simple and quick recipes as well as easy DIY decorations, throwing a last-minute party has never been easier.HOW TO THROW A LAST MINUTE HALLOWEEN PARTY

  1. Spooky Spider Biscuits 

This super quick recipe could even be completed by little ones at the party as they will love decorating the vanilla biscuits with spooky spider legs and goggly eyes! Simplicity is key when baking last minute and biscuit decorating can act as an activity at the party if you run out of ideas!  DOWNLOAD THE RECIPE HERE

  1. Pumpkin Cupcakes 

Using the iconic vegetable associated with Halloween makes for a brilliant party recipe plus you can make use of your pumpkin carving leftovers! Again, this recipe is quick and easy and will go down a treat with all ages. You could decorate the icing with pumpkin shavings, orange coloured sprinkles or make little pumpkins out of fondant icing.



  1. Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels 

Getting perfect melted chocolate to cover the sweet n’ salty pretzels requires the perfect temperature. Using a kitchen thermometer helps to achieve the temperature required; 40-45 degree Celsius, making the process quicker for those in a hurry! These sweet treats can be decorated in any style to make them as scary as you want.



  1. Halloween Pizzas 

For those with less of sweet tooth, these savoury slices are great for parties as they can feed so many! Decorate the pizzas with spiders using peppers, olives, salami or mushrooms. You could even make a healthy version using a cauliflower or sweet potato base as an alternative to wheat-based.HALLOWEEN PIZZA


  1. Frozen Halloween Ghosts 

Only 4 ingredients are required for this recipe and they look really effective once they’ve been dipped in chocolate and desiccated coconut. If your party isn’t so last-minute, you can keep prep them early and leave them in the freezer until the day.



Decorations for Halloween parties are by far one of the most important elements but if you don’t have enough time or money to splash out on fancy lanterns or table decorations, there are some simple yet effective DIY alternatives. One of the most obvious and cost-effective decorations is pumpkin carving! Carve as many pumpkins of all different shapes and sizes, fill them with candles and place all around the venue. They can be used in recipes afterwards or thrown on the compost so completely re-usable! You could even paint or decorate your pumpkins using glitter or craft accessories to make them completely unique!

So, if you decide to celebrate this frightfully fun holiday last minute, you can still enjoy making ghostly treats young and old without the need for precise planning and stress.






Getting your bake on doesn’t have to break the bank!  If you’re inspired by The Great British Bake off, baking from scratch, without using packet premixes, is cheap and easy. With a few basic techniques, you can create tasty treats at home in no time.  Baking like any new skill, the more you practice, the better you will be at it.


Whether you’re doing a quick bake to impress your housemates or celebrate the end of the exams, these 5 simple budget recipes are the answer to everything.

  1. Basic Muffins

 “A simple, chocolate chip muffin recipe, to which you can add fruit, chocolate or nuts.”

What could be nicer than warm muffins on a morning breakfast table? Quick and easy to make, particularly since the ingredients are only lightly mixed, not beaten smooth, they are perfect for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks!  

Basic Muffins
Basic Muffins

Download the Recipe Here

2. Lighter Gingerbread

“This dark and sticky ginger cake is made healthier with naturally sweet dates, buttermilk and plenty of cinnamon and fresh ginger.”

Craving for cakes? This quick Lighter Gingerbread recipe just proves that baking doesn’t have to be time-consuming – this easy and cheap recipe takes just 35 mins to prepare and about 40 mins to cook which makes it perfect any night of the week. If you’ve got some spare time during the holidays or looking for a way to procrastinate, this is the perfect hassle-free recipe.

Lighter Gingerbread
Lighter Gingerbread

Download the Recipe Here

3. Buttermilk Scones

“These savoury scones are perfect with potted fish. Make early in the day then warm before serving, for the best results.”

Scones are the ultimate go-to snack solution when unexpected visitors turn up or you’re hungry in the afternoon. They are cheap, easy to make and incredibly versatile – basically, everything you need a snack to be. Perfect for the afternoon tea, these scones are a delicious treat!

Buttermilk Scones
Buttermilk Scones

Download the Recipe Here

4. Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies

“An easy chocolate chip cookie recipe for soft biscuits with a squidgy middle that will impress family and friends. Make plenty as they’re sure to be a hit”

Is there anything even better than chocolate chip cookies with milk? Passed down through generations and always baked with love, these vintage cookie recipes are a must-have in every baking list. Beware: you might see an increase in the amount of love that your housemates shower you with once you serve them this.

Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vintage Chocolate Chip Cookies

Download the Recipe Here

5. Classic Victoria Sandwich

“The perfect party cake, to bring a gathering or serve as dessert for a potluck, a Victoria sponge is a traditional bake everyone will love.”

This tasty tea-time treat consists of strawberry jam and vanilla. The jam and cream are sandwiched between two sponge cakes; the top of the cake is not iced or decorated apart from a dusting of icing sugar.

Classic Victoria Sandwich
Classic Victoria Sandwich

Download the Recipe Here


Always Preheat the Oven. If the oven isn’t hot the fat in your baking will melt before the mixture cooks and may result in flat, greasy baking (pastries in particular). Mixtures will not rise properly and may end up overcooked or undercooked depending on the recipe.

Always Preheat the Oven
Always Preheat the Oven

You can be a great baker. Baking isn’t a mystical gift passed down from mother to daughter in secret rituals. It’s not a talent one must be born with, nor does it take years to master.

You can save a lot of money by baking simple cakes, muffins, biscuits, and cookies at home to satisfy your sugar cravings. It’s cheap and easy.

5 Simple Dinner Recipes For Students


They say cooking is an art, however, it can be a daunting task for some. Many people find it difficult to eat on time, leave alone cook for themselves as the basic idea of cooking can seem exasperating. And when it comes to students, we can all imagine how tough it can be for them to manage everything on their own. While some may often trade a healthy home-cooked meal in favour of an expensive take-away pizza, others may rely on microwave meals to get them through their time away from home.

5 Simple Dinner Recipes For Students
5 Simple Dinner Recipes For Students

We’ve put together 5 simple recipes that are sure to help every student hone their cooking skills:

  1. Chorizo & Fried Egg Wraps

Cooking as a student must be cheap and relatively easy but also hearty and nutritious to sustain you through long hours of essay writing – and socialising. Enjoy this super speedy flavour-packed wrap as a cheap and light supper.

Chorizo & Fried Egg Wraps
Chorizo & Fried Egg Wraps

Download the Recipe Here

2. Refried Bean Quesadillas

Craving something Mexican? Here we give you a wonderful nutritious healthy version of this lovely evening meal. Beans are nutritional powerhouses; they are full of fibre (great for bowel and digestive health) plus they release energy slowly, meaning that you have more consistent energy throughout your day. This casual meat-free main is a cheap and cheerful way to fill you and your friends up as you revise for those heavy uni exams!

Refried Bean Quesadillas
Refried Bean Quesadillas

Download the Recipe Here

3. Kidney Bean Curry

Being a common addition to most delicious meals across the globe is what makes kidney beans so popular. Their name comes from their close resemblance to kidneys, and their nutritional profile is linked to lowered rates of cancer and heart disease. If you’re looking for a satisfying meal that comes together in less than half an hour, this is an excellent choice. An easy recipe when you fancy something pocket-friendly, delicious and filling at the same time.

Kidney Bean Curry
Kidney Bean Curry

Download the Recipe Here

4. Quick Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne

This quick mushroom and spinach lasagne just proves that making lasagne doesn’t have to be time consuming – this easy and cheap recipe takes just 15 mins to prepare and about half an hour in the oven which makes it perfect any night of the week. A great way to consume greens, this preparation also freezes well – making it perfect for make-ahead meals for those days when you are tired from the day.

Quick Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne
Quick Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne

Download the Recipe Here

5. Minestrone Soup

Filled with goodness, vegetables & energy boosting carbohydrates, this big bowl of carb-based joy with a hefty garnish of vegetables will surely gladden the heartstrings of your health! This soup is cheap and super easy to tweak according to the vegetables you currently have in your fridge.

Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

Download the Recipe Here

So, whether you’re revising for exams or are on the next Summer Holiday countdown, we have got you covered! From being pocket-friendly, nutritious and super speedy, these recipes are here to make your life in the kitchen easy and delicious, all the while preparing you to master the art known as cooking! 


The Benefits of Swimming

Exercise in general, as we all know is always beneficial. However, many of us have certain preferences for one exercise over the other. While some may focus on yoga, others may choose dancing. No matter what your fitness level is, many exercises allow you to go for a full body workout in a fun way, and swimming is one of them!

Swimming is the perfect way to work your entire body and the cardiovascular system being an all-rounder activity for people of all age groups. Having a low-impact workout and a way to relax. – that’s what it’s all about! An hour of swimming burns off all those calories, without impacting your bones and joints.

Here are a couple of benefits of swimming:

  1. Entire Body Workout:

Using all the muscles in the body from head to toe, swimming works out your whole body. Whether it is a gentle breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle or a butterfly, by swimming you can increase your heart rate without stressing your body. Each style focuses on different muscle groups and the water provides gentle resistance thereby toning your muscles, building strength and endurance. As exercising in the water makes your body work harder, 30 minutes in a pool is worth a good 45 minutes on land.

  1. General Wellbeing:

While your muscles are getting an excellent workout, so is your cardiovascular system. Swimming makes your heart and lungs strong thereby reducing your risk of high blood pressure and an irregular blood sugar. Spending 30 minutes swimming, twice a week, alongside a balanced diet, is one of the best ways to stay fit. It not only impacts your physical health but also helps you gain a positive mental outlook too.

  1. Destress and Relax:

Spending some time in the water alone can calm our minds down. Studies have shown that by swimming regularly, one can lower their stress levels, panic attacks and even improve your sleep pattern. To feel the mental benefits of swimming, take a light swim today and notice the difference!

  1. Burn Calories:

Swimming has proven to be one of the most effective ways to burn those extra calories. A light swim can burn around 200 calories in less than an hour, which is more than 2 times that while walking!

  1. Exercising Without Sweating:

Sweating may put many people off while exercising. However, as self-explanatory as this may be, as a swimmer you won’t have to even be concerned about sweat!

So, if you’re just starting out to exercise, or are looking to try something new, reach for your cossie and take a plunge into the pool today. Once you’re through with the basics, aim for 20-40 minutes of regular swimming to keep your heart rate elevated. As well as being beneficial, swimming is a great way to make new friends!

5 Benefits of using a cooking thermometer

It’s easy to fall into a routine when cooking your favourite meals, but it’s always important to ensure that your food is safe to eat. After enjoying a fun-filled barbecue, some of us may complain that we feel unwell from sitting out in the sun too long when instead, it could have been something you ate. We’ve all been in a situation where we eat something and think – is that cooked properly? Thankfully, there are a variety of different tools available that can maintain your peace of mind when it comes to food, and a cooking thermometer is one of them.

Eliminate the Guesswork

You cannot tell if a piece of meat is ready simply by looking at it. If you only use cooking time to determine that, you may end up with some pieces being perfectly cooked whilst others may still be underdone or in worst case scenarios, even burnt! By referring to a target temperature you can ensure your favourite meals are cooked to perfection every time.

Prevent Overcooking

Don’t let your brilliant barbecue be ruined by dry, overcooked meat. With a cooking thermometer, you can easily beat the heat! When cooked at the correct temperature, the meat will stay juicy and tender for you to enjoy. Different types of confectionery, such as caramel, also need to be cooked with precision when it comes to timing and temperature. A cooking thermometer can help ensure your favourite sweet treats are ready to go, whilst also saving your saucepans from being burnt.

Sublime Steaks

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to how a steak should be cooked. If you’re used to cooking a steak well done, it may be a daunting task when one of your guests requests their steak to be done medium rare. By using a cooking thermometer, you can make sure your cut of steak is just right, even with different requests. By double checking the temperature, you can reassure yourself that everything will be cooked to perfection.

Maintain Safe Temperature

If you’re serving a barbecue buffet, some of your food may be left out for a longer period than other pieces. As meat begins to cool, it tends to become a breeding ground for bacteria. If you’re worried about how long a piece of meat has been out in the sun or even out of the fridge, you can check if it’s still edible by checking the temperature.

Reheat Foods to Safe Temperature

When it comes to organising lunch at work, many will now choose to prepare a meal the night before or use leftovers from their previous dinner. Whatever you choose to eat at lunchtime, it’s important to reheat meats to safe temperatures. A kitchen thermometer will come in handy in these situations.

Whether you’re a barbecue beginner or a pro at pulled pork, there are a variety of thermometers to suit your cooking needs. With easy to read displays and distinctive silicone grips, our range of kitchen thermometers not only look good but deliver precise measurements for safe cooking as well.

3 Major Benefits of Tennis: Why Should You Start Playing?


As we move into summer, we welcome the UK’s biggest tennis tournament – Wimbledon. The inspiring performance of the professional athletes will encourage many of us to pick up a tennis racket and try the sport– but have you ever wondered what the real benefits of playing tennis are? There are always new workout programs popping up everywhere, but heading down to the local tennis court can be an easy way to improve your overall fitness. We’ve picked out some of the best benefits of playing tennis.


Full body workout

During a game of tennis, you’re always on your feet and having to move fast to keep up with your opponent. It’s a workout for your entire body as you run, swing, twist and stretch. With all this activity rolled into one sport, it’s easy to work up a serious sweat. Getting involved in tennis matches on a regular basis is a great way to keep your body fat percentage at a healthy level.



Tone your muscles

If you want to hit the ball further than your opponent can reach, you’ll need to hit it hard. Tennis can be a great way to develop your endurance and strength. You’ll find yourself running, turning and stretching in all directions to keep a rally going. A long game of tennis can help to increase your strength and tone your muscles, especially in your legs and arms.



It’s fun!

Although not a specific health benefit, tennis can be great fun and a good way to unwind after a stressful day. The great thing is, even if you’ve never held a tennis racket in your life, you can be sure to find someone of your ability to play with. It’s also open to all ages, so you can get the whole family involved.  Tennis is also an excellent way to meet new people and enjoy a bit of healthy competition.





5 ways to enjoy your summer and keep fit


Summer is often thought of as the time of year to focus on fitness, especially after indulging in a variety of foods during winter. We’ve all been in the position of being stuck in the gym and wishing we were out enjoying the sunshine but guess what? It is possible to enjoy the warm weather and keep fit at the same time. We can just imagine all the raised eyebrows to this statement – but it’s true. Summer may be the time for ice cream and parties, but the days full of sunshine also create lots of opportunities for us to keep fit and healthy. We’ll dive straight in.


1.  Go for a swim

In winter, you’ll only find one or two people swimming in the sea or the outdoor pool, and it is absolutely freezing! As the temperatures rise it’s a lot easier to tip more than a toe in the water. In summer it’s a great way to cool off from the scorching temperatures and get in a workout.




2.  Feast on flavours

Make the most of the sunshine and brush the dust off your barbecue. If you don’t want to be bloated by extra bread, throw together a spicy side salad to complement your meaty main. Host your own barbecue and invite guests to bring a dish to enjoy a feast of flavours.





3.  See the sights

If you need a break from an intense gym routine, combine holiday relaxation and fitness by heading out on foot. From wandering along the beach to heading out for a cool morning hike, walking is one of the most relaxing ways to keep fit. Pack your trainers to make sure annoying blisters don’t spoil your fun in the sun.



4.  Sweet Snacking

Summer is a great opportunity to try a range of dishes with fresh ingredients. For example, summer means strawberries. Pub gardens, restaurants and of course the organisers of Wimbledon love to dish out this delicious snack on a hot day, so you have no reason to avoid this sweet treat.



5.  Buddy Up

Finding the motivation to do a full-on workout in the summer can be a challenge by yourself. Stir up a little competition between you and friend by challenging them to a tennis match or even invite them to tag along with you in the gym. Having someone there to support you through a workout is always a great boost. If your buddies are coach potatoes we’re sure they would appreciate the motivation as well.



Whether you’re jetting off on holiday or simply enjoying the company of your friends this summer. All the training you have done earlier in the year doesn’t have to go down the drain. If you want to try some exciting new recipes just search online and you’ll find so many tasty treats to enjoy. Remember a bit of extra sun means it’s time for fun, so there is no need to be on a treadmill feeling miserable. Get up on your feet and make the most of the wonderful weather.


Notes of Nutmeg – Cactus Cupcake Recipe

Summer is almost here! It’s the time of year that we’re looking for new activities to keep us busy whilst we enjoy the good weather.  Last summer, I decided to take up cacti collecting. I loved trawling round garden centres and flower shows to find the new addition to my little cactus plant family.  Some of the real troopers have even lasted the winter! To pay homage to my cacti pals, I’ve decided to work on my piping skills to create this fun cactus cupcake recipe. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did.





  • For the cupcakes
  • 4-5tbsp boiling water
  • 40g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 115g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
  • For the decoration
  • Approx. 36 Chocolate fingers
  • 125g butter
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • Milk (if needed)
  • Zest of 2 limes (optional)
  • Green food colouring
  • Chocolate fudge icing
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Fondant flowers










  1. Preheat your oven to 200°c/390°c/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease your plant pot moulds and place them on a baking tray. If using cases, place 12 cupcake cases into a muffin tin.
  2. In a bowl mix together your cocoa and boiling water to make a paste. Add the rest of the cupcake ingredients and using an electric beater, combine the ingredients to make a batter.
  3. Evenly pour the batter between the 12 moulds. Place them in the oven and bake for 12 -15 minutes until they’re springy to the touch.
  4. Whilst the cakes are cooling, beat together your butter and icing sugar to form a light buttercream. If the mixture is too stiff, add a splash of milk and beat again. If you’ve been daring and added the chilli powder to your cakes, try adding the lime zest to the icing now to give it another kick! Add the green food colouring and mix it through until you get the shade of green you’re looking for.
  5. Once your cakes have cooled, coat the tops of the cakes with chocolate fudge icing and dip them into your chocolate sprinkles to get a soil-like effect.
  6. Now take three chocolate fingers and stick them together using your buttercream. Push them into the top of the cake firmly so they stand up unaided.
  7. If you’re using a disposable piping bag, snip the end of in an upside-down V-shape. If you’d prefer to use nozzles, select a V-shaped nozzle. Fill your piping bag with the green buttercream and begin to pipe vertically up the edges of the fingers, rotating the cupcake as you go so you’ve piped all the way around.
  8. Place a fondant flower on top of the cactus to disguise any rough edges and add a little colour. Repeat for all twelve cakes. These can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days!





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