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’Tis the season to be jolly… and bake

Nothing says ‘Christmas’ more than the smell of festive baking wafting deliciously through the house. Here’s two recipes to get you started this winter. Whether you fancy making gingerbread men from scratch, or would rather cheat your way to freshly baked mince pies, there’s a recipe to suit any ability in the kitchen.

Gingerbread men

If you don’t have a ‘man’ shaped cookie cutter, try out different festive shapes, such as Christmas trees, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you could even try a gingerbread house (just eat the evidence if it doesn’t go as planned).» >

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Go slow to save time

Slow cooking is perhaps not the most exciting part of cooking, but it is an easy, cheap and brilliant way to prepare your food. You can leave the food to cook for up to 6 hours and come home to a ready-made dinner, what’s not to love?

There are a lot of slow cookers out there, all from different makes, varying sizes and prices ranging from £15 to £1000. I find it best to invest a bit of money (mine cost £25) but there is also no use in buying a pot that feeds 10 people if you only plan to cook for yourself.» >

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Recipe: Nutella cookies

Whether its smothered on toast or heated up with strawberries and marshmallows being dipped in it, everybody’s favourite guilty pleasure is undoubtedly the delicious Nutella. I always love finding new ways to try out my old favourite and this has to be the tastiest way I’ve tried so far. This recipe involves very few ingredients and most of it is probably lying around in the backs of your cupboards somewhere. It’s so easy because it’s literally a case of mixing it all together and baking – job done!» >

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Save money with Shopitize

Shopitize is a free app for iOS and Android phones, offering money-back deals on products and brands that you’re probably already putting into your supermarket trolley each week. The app features deals from ASDA (which most of us students will be familiar with), Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Co-operative and Waitrose (for the lucky few). Last week the deals ranged from bacon to yogurts, from washing up liquid to shaving gel.

The app is easy to use – you select the offer of your choice and the supermarket that you want to shop in, and answer a multiple-choice marketing question, generally about your shopping habits or the product itself.» >

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Recipe: Warming winter stew

This is a really flavoursome winter warmer that can just be popped in a saucepan and left to simmer on the hob. Use any vegetables you fancy, but chop them chunky so that they keep their shape. You can  omit or swap the meat as you like.


Beef rump steak, diced

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1 swede, peeled and chopped

1 large parsnip, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

2 beef OXO cubes

Salt and pepper to taste


Firstly, pour a tablespoon or so of oil into a large saucepan with a lid and fry the beef and onions until the onion is translucent and the beef is browned.» >

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To eat or not to eat?

One of the biggest controversies in health is whether it is best to eat or fast before workouts. Some experts support exercising on an empty stomach, while others argue that we should always eat something before working out. But who’s right?

Those in favour of working out on an empty stomach claim that this method is most beneficial for people who want to lose weight. Firstly, eating one meal fewer in the day might mean that we consume less calories overall.» >

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Think takeaways can’t be healthy? Think again

Takeaways are convenient, quick and delicious, but the only problem is that they are usually unhealthy as they can be packed with salt, sugar, saturated fat and calories. However, with just a few tips and better choices you don’t have to feel so guilty about chowing down on your favourite takeaway meal.

If an Indian takeaway is your thing, then you should choose dishes such as Tikka (without the creamy masala) for a full flavoured, yet delicious alternative to a curry with lots of sauce.» >

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Getting Mexi-crazy with Doritos

Having been bought a copious amount of lightly salted Doritos by my mother, I was faced with the dilemma of having to consume them in different ways so as not to develop a life-long hatred for them. One of the best moments I have had with these delicacies is my Dorito-nacho epiphany during a tedious essay writing session. Perfect for an after exam Mexi-party and uses up the vegetables your mother makes you buy.» >

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