Sunday, 10 April 2011

And about time too!

For a long time, I've been threatening to establish a new blog for my recipes and other foodie musings - leaving this as more of a rant-space and techie post blog.

If you're more interested in the food than anything else, you may want to trot along to: A Cottage Kitchen. See you there!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

PHP: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by .. on line 1

Just a quickie which may save you a bit of time - certainly buggered me up for a few minutes.

If you're doing something in PHP which requires starting a session, writing a cookie, etc and you get the dreaded "headers already sent" error, e.g: "Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by xxx.php;1" - and the error line indicated after the semi colon is the first line, what do you do?

It's normally because you've got content above the header output - which means it can't be sent, but if it's line 1 at fault, theres normally no content.

Easy - at least in my case - check your file is saved on the server in UTF8 format - NOT ANSI. I was using Beyond Compare to upload/edit a file and it had changed the format without telling me - quick tweak - and everyone is happy again!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Tinned Mince and Moving House

Hmm. Possibly my wierdest blog title ever. Well, probably not, but hey it's still a little odd.

The recent lack of activity here (I really should stop apologising for not blogging often) is because we're in the process of buying a new house (well, cottage), and frankly it's eaten what little spare time is normally left after work.

Packing is in progress now and further updates will follow assuming all goes to plan.

In unrelated news, if you're into food, as I am (and thats why/how you found me here, perhaps), you should check out a relatively new foodie forum: Tinned Mince. It's much better than /actual/ tinned mince, which I suspect is probably not very nice.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

More Yoghurt..!

OK, so after some experimentation, it seems the best Jersey Dairy milk to use is the "green one" (referring to the colour of the carton, not the milk itself, thankfully) - which is "Fat Reduced"; one "lardiness grade" above semi-skimmed.

This, with no milk powder, produces a slightly-too-runny-yoghurt which needs to be left in the flask a little bit longer - and then chilled overnight, but is then just about the right consistency for breakfast. Hurrah!

In related news, a few tweaks to blog layout have taken place (mainly removing references to Mattched IT, as this is my *personal* blog) and hopefully you will now see these posts appear in my FB profile feed, rather than as silly "notes" - I didn't really want Facebook to import the whole contents, so that had to change!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Homemade "Jersey" Greek Yoghurt!

An odd title, I admit - and perhaps odder still, not a grumpy post! You may have noticed my mention on facebook of some experimental cookery last night - this was in-fact, my first attempt at making yoghurt.

I followed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipe in "River Cottage Everyday" (link below - it's a great book), as I'm still trying out things from my Christmas/Reyes presents.

It's a simple process and calls for a half litre of milk, 25g of milk powder to thicken and 3 tablespoons of live yoghurt to start the culture off (in the future you can use your own yoghurt for subsequent batches).

Mix the milk and milk powder, heat to 46 degrees, pour into a bowl, add the yoghurt, seal in a thermos and leave overnight. Simple.

I was worried it wouldn't work, as if anything, homemade yoghurts tend to be a bit runny, however, given that I used full fat Jersey Milk (which contains more fat and is richer than 'average' milk), it thickened to virtually the consistency of Greek Yoghurt!

Lovely, but I think we'll try a batch with no milk powder and see what that produces (keep it natural) - and if it's still very thick, may step down to semi-skimmed and see what happens.. will keep you all posted!

PS. Played with advert config a bit to get rid of some really pants ones. No more weight loss ads on this blog - and more posts about lard, methinks!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Northern Rock fail again!

It's probably no great surprise to read the title of this post, but still. I'm annoyed. And grumpy. So I'm going to rant.

I called NRK this morning (or technically NRAM as they seem to have split the company into two, renamed bits and generally made it as confusing as possible). i wanted a Certificate of Interest - or a statement - for last year (calendar) so I can do my tax return.

Simples. Or not. Firstly, the frigging automated "Say the first line of your address now", clearly stood no chance with a Jersey address and failed to understand me. It still had a good few goes, just incase, though. Same with the reference number - I'm not sure what the value in having a speech recognition system that can't even recognise the numbers 0-9 is?

After several frustrating minutes, it gave up and put me through to a human - who in his defence, was as helpful as possible. Until one of the security questions was "what is the approximate balance on your account?". I don't know. I don't carry my latest statement around with me - besides.. IM CALLING YOU TO GET A STATEMENT!

Sadly asking a different question isn't an option - so you have to take a guess. And fail the check. Please call back. Nooooooo! That means wrestling the IVR again... argggh!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Make sure you give your customers the right information..

.. especially if you're a restaurant, your customer is liable to be a bit grumpy and is also hungry!

For instance, do NOT put up a big chalk-board outside with "Dinner 6pm - 9:30pm (Sunday)", but then tell people who amble in to enquire about a table that Dinner is from 7pm in the winter.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Are you following the Fish Fight?

Well, are you? Odds are if you're on Facebook you won't have missed it - even if you haven't spotted it on TV.

Hugh's fish fight (more info here) is aimed at raising public awareness of the damage we are causing - both through our fishing methods and our eating habits - to the marine environments.

Although I'm not generally one to bang on about environmental issues too much (apart from the odd rant about using less electricity - but that is more directly pocket-motivated), this is something you should read about if you eat fish regularly.

Swapping under-pressure species such as Cod, Haddock and Halibut for "direct" alternatives such as Coley is a great way to both get involved and to try new things as well. Or you could go the whole hog and switch to a different type of fish - mackerel and chips anyone?

Speaking of which, I couldn't see any locally caught (Jersey) Mackerel in the fish market yesterday - only Cornish - is this because they don't get picked up in our waters, or for another reason? Anyone know?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Domain or not Domain?

I've had a number of different domains registered (notionally to run either blogs or little shops on) for quite some time - I've finally gotten around to consolidating the list of them over the last couple of days.

Now it's time to figure out whats happening with them. I suspect when each was acquired I had a "great idea", which I've since forgotten.

Does that happen to you?

You start something, put it down because you're busy - then when you finally get back to it you think... "What on earth was I doing with THIS??"

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Good with Food?

Is it just me who found the new Co-Op advert (you know, the one with the guy talking to his wife about not wasting the weekend) both surreal and totally inconsistent with my own shopping experiences?

I wouldn't use the Co-op if I wanted to save time. Odds of being trapped trying to get to or from a shelf by someone frantically restocking it - or just stuck in a queue for ages - very high.

Oh well; I'll just have to make going to the butcher, greengrocer and fishmonger one of my aims for the New Year!

That ties in nicely with the lovely presents I got for "Reyes" (the Spanish celebration of Epiphany, when the wise men / magic kings brought their gifts). Two more Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (aka Hugh Fearnley-Eats-It-All) cook books!

The links are below if you want to check them out - I've only had a quick read through, but they seem to have some good recipes and I managed to find something in the Meat one for dinner, pretty quickly!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Adverts, Organisations and Blogs Ahoy!

Please don't be too shocked by the fact I've actually been updating my blog recently - I'm not sure how long that will last! :)

I've found a possible new outlet for 'food related' posts, which is great as thats something I really wanted to split out from here, which leaves most of the business stuff over at Mattched IT and really only personal notes on any fun/annoying/interesting things which happen to us, or which I notice.

You may also notice some adverts, because I'm running a few experiments at the moment - and whenever I want to try things out, this blog tends to be the guineapig! Some of them will probably stay, but others are quite likely to go.

PS. Rosa got me a copy of "FISH" - The River cottage book - by Hugh Fearnley eats-it-all and his friend Nick, for Xmas and if you're into fishing (or eating fish), it's really brilliant. :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Kinect Carnage!

We popped round to see some friends last night - the usual - wish them a Happy New Year, have (quite) a few drinks, etc. What we weren't expecting was XBOX Kinect!

I must say, it works much better than I expected - and some of the sports games are really fun (and much more involving than Wii sports was at the time it came out). It'll be very interesting to see what happens with it in the future - and we might even have to get one at some point.

However, it does have it's downside. Way back in the days of the NES, you could end up with "Nintendo Thumb" if you played too much - and "Wii Arm" is still a big danger. However, with the Kinect, I seem to have ended up with a sore EVERYTHING! On the bright side, I suppose it'd stop you spending the whole day playing games.. :)

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, it happened again - another break (as suspected, our holiday ensured I didn't get back into blogging). Anyway, happy new year everyone - I hope it's a good one for us all!

I've got a possibly new blogging venture on the go which means I need to re-assess what I post here - I think I may limit it to short personal notes of interest, but then again there is generally a shortage of those and they tend to get slapped on Facebook these days!

So we'll see.. but very much still alive!