Blogs from Thinking-Cooking.com

Thinking-Cooking could be great for your customers

Why not consider stocking Thinking-Cooking in your shop? Your customers will probably thank you for it...

Thinking-Cooking products are available from Amazon, where we've gained a loyal fan-base. They are also available from online grocer Ocado, where once again sales are very much in an upward trend.... and we hope to have some big news fairly soon with regards some other major outlets.

But we're also keen to supply farm-shops, delicatessens and food halls; smaller shops where we think customers will love the products.

If you're selling fish, for example, our steam-cooking bags are fantastic for seafood... so why not pop some on your seafood counter. If you're selling meat, then our nylon roasting bags could be just what your customers want, or our slow-cooker liners could be that extra product they purchase. Or if the sun comes out, our BBQ/Oven bags could fly....

If you sell fruit and veg, our shelf-life bags are incredible, and I'm certain your customers will be back for more...

So why not have a look at the range, and then get in touch...we 'd love to hear from you.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING 

Microwave steam-cooking fish: cooked to perfection in a bag

Microwave steam-cooking bags for fish/seafood

PEOPLE'S perceptions of cooking food - and in particular seafood - in a microwave, are often erroneous. For some reason, people are perfectly happy to put a cooking bag in the oven, but are somewhat snobbish or reticent - or perhaps just nervous, who knows - when it comes to the microwave. Microwave dinners have had bad PR.

There really is no justification for this at all. In fact, the irony is that fish is often tastier when steam-cooked in the microwave.

Steam-cooking is perhaps the easiest and tastiest way of cooking seafood. You don't lose any of the flavours or juices, the fish cooks beautifully, and it is simple to do. Steam-cooking bags allow the user to add sauces, glazes and other ingredients that turn the simple piece of fish into a culinary masterpiece. They make cooking a great tasting fish dish easy...

And the microwave is just as effective as the oven. In fact it is even easier to get it perfect.... if your food needs three minutes and you set the microwave to cook for three minutes, then for three minutes it will cook. The oven doesn't do that, you've to get it up to the correct temperature, and then remember to take it out, in order to achieve perfection.

It's not just fish.... steam-cooking bags are great way to cook poultry, and also vegetables. Asparagus, for example, with a tasty chilli butter, cooked in just a few minutes in the microwave, is a great way to enjoy the asparagus season. And there's no over-cooked soggy vegetables, as long as you get your timings right.

Our Thinking-Cooking Oven/Microwave Steam-Cooking bags come in packs of 10, and even come with suggested cooking times printed on the bag. They are easy to seal, and once sealed are leak-proof and odour-proof, so you've no worries about making a meal and popping it in the fridge - or even freezer - for later. 

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

Supermarket trolleys free so long as it is not too hilly

Finally. Finally.... the story that made me sit up and take notice this week was not the Brazilian national football team forgetting how to play football (collective amnesia, is that the term?). It wasn't even the incarceration of a once-popular kids' cartoonist. No, it was Morrisons scrapping the £1 trolley 'deposit' scheme.

According to Morrisons 43% of customers found it 'inconvenient', while 27% often didn't have the correct change. Well I would go as far as to say that I never have the correct change. In fact I never carry coins. In fact I rarely carry cash.... I often have to borrow money for parking from a small child, who has started charging interest.

I became the customer Morrisons probably hate. I would go in to the store and ask for a token - a lot of people didn't realise they offered that service, but I made sure I took them up on it, regardless of whether I actually had a gleaming one pound coin burning a proverbial hole in my pocket or not.

I mean, seriously, what kind of deterrent is £1 anyway? What can you actually buy with £1? Two packs of Panini World Cup stickers? A can of Coke? Certainly not a small bottle of Coke... £1 is not worth a great deal any more in the general scheme of things. If you wanted to steal a supermarket trolley, losing £1 wouldn't stop you.

Interestingly, it is not being got rid of in all stores. No, it is being kept in 'city centre stores' and 'stores on hills'. Presumably in a city centre store on a hill, the risk of theft of trolleys is so high that you have to offer your first born child as security. This also raises the question why people on hills steal supermarket trolleys so much? Is it to transport their shopping up the hill, in order to make it easier, or is it erring delinquent youths riding down the hills in trolleys 'Denace The Menace-style'?

Presumably also, this rule doesn't apply if the store is at the top of a hill, as everyone will be going downhill when they leave? Am I thinking about this a little too much? And are there any Morrisons stores perched proudly atop a decent-sized hill? If so, you mightn't have to deposit £1 to get a trolley.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

 

Finding food in the middle of nowhere - literally...

One of the best things on television for me this year has to be Channel 4's The Island with Bear Grylls. For anyone who didn't see it, the concept was simple; put 13 men on an island in the middle of the Pacific with only a few machetes and a few knifes, leave them there for a month armed with video cameras, and see what happens.

Briliant. And of course everyone could have predicted what would happen. It would all go a bit Lord of the Flies-ish, which I'm sure delighted the producers. Some people would hunt, others would sunbathe for a while before realising how hungry they were, and everything - and I mean everything - would boil down to one thing. Food.

Well, Food and Drink. Within the first few days the men had found a water source. It was dirty-looking, had to be boiled (and watching them try to get fire was TV gold in its self), but it was wet and quenched their thirst - vital in the humid tropical conditions that were prevalent on this particular plot of island paradise.

But what would they eat? Now Bear Grylls kept on assuring us that there was enough food on the island so long as the men were 'smart enough to find it and kill it'. But what? Within days hunger had driven two men to bring down a Cayman crocodile, but apart from that they seemed to spend days living on coconuts and snails.

I just found myself getting frustrated watching it, especially when about two weeks in a group of men went hunting for Cayman - in the dark. Now if I was going to try and hunt down one of nature's most fearsome predators, I'm not sure doing it in the dark in a Pacific mangrove swamp would be time I would choose to do it.

Granted, it is the time the Cayman is active and hunting - but how easily could the hunters have become the hunted? With potentially fatal consequences... I reckon a Cayman could sneak up on a tired, hungry 39-year-old IT engineer from Crewe in the dark in a Pacific mangrove swamp quite easily if it decided it was hungry.

Fish. Why didn't they fish? Yes they put a few nets out, and caught what was trapped, and speared the odd stingray, but surely a raft and some nets would have brought in a catch? After all, there was only 13 of them. 13 fish a day, surely not too big an ask on a Pacific island? Or sea-birds? Surely they could be trapped?

So what did they eat? Well, Cayman (once), snails (lots), oysters, fish (species unknown), some strangle vegetable that looked a bit like a sweet potato, coconut, a sea-bird (which they found dead, and didn't trap and kill), some stingrays and some honey. Did they miss anything on the island that was an obvious food source? Well we were never told if they did, but for all we know there was a Subway the other side of the island giving away free meatball marinaras. Subway is, after all, everywhere.

Anyway, there's apparently to be a second series! So if you fancy watching a few British business men and builders from Bognor combing the rockpools for snails while a frustrated Alpha male tries to track Cayman crocodiles in swamps - only to end up feasting on snails anyway -  then I can thoroughly recommend The Island with Bear Grylls.  

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

 

BBQs and basking in the Bournemouth beach heat

So, the sun's out. Finally. The long despressing winter-that-was had seemed to have an aura of indefiniteness about it. I was starting to feel like the penguins in the huddle at the start of Happy Feet, unable to imagine being warm or when it all might end. But end it did - and we're promised, so I believe, a good summer.

Now, partly because I used to work as a journalist, I've learnt never to believe what I read in the papers. Particularly certain newspaper who are obsessed with the weather, rolling out a picture of a scantily-clad someone eating an ice cream on the beach at Bournemouth every time the temperature tops 25 degrees.

The same newspapers will predict the 'storm of the century' or 'snow chaos' with alarming regularity. It rarely happens, it's just a bit windy. And so if the same newspaper says it is going to be a nice summer, well, it means it might be, it might not be - no-one really knows as it still months away. Yes, I am right to be cynical.

Still, the point I was going to make is that every time that press photographer makes his annual pilgrimage to Bournemouth beach in search of a photogenic girl in a bikini eating a Magnum, about the same time Britain en masse heads out and gets a few packs of sausages, a few firelighters, and wheels the BBQ out of the garage.

Which all goes to say Sirane's new BBQ bag could be good news for may people. I'll get in trouble for calling it a BBQ bag, also it can also be used in the oven, but to me it is a BBQ bag - as that's what I will use it for. The concept of these bags is simple; you put your ingredients, be it fish, poultry, steak, vegetables etc, in the bag. You fold it over twice. And you chuck it on the BBQ. You can place it carefully if you prefer. Sauces, glazes, marinades etc can be added to the leak-proof bag.

We're also bringing out a self-seal version, meaning your local supermarket, butcher or farm-shop can sell you the bag, ready-filled, over the counter. All you've got to do is go home and get the damn thing lit and smouldering. So, good barbecuers of the UK, enjoy our new bags - we love them.

These bags will be added to the Thinking-Cooking range - and be able on this site - very soon. Watch this space for more information.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING

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