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James McIntosh

Confessions of failed New Year resolutions.

Posted by James McIntosh Tuesday, 14th January 2014


Every year I set myself a target and I jump into January really meaning to get there. My will power is strong and I'm either giving up something, refining something or starting something.  Every year I tell my friends and family, every year they laugh. Every year I try to convince them, and sometimes even spend money on the process (like German lessons at the local college, I survived for one week), and you know what, I fail every time....




My friend is the manager of a squash club, he tells me that every year on the 1st January they bring in extra equipment, membership is up 400% and by 7th January they put the new equipment back into storage again.  People fail at their resolutions, so it's not just me, and I hope you take comfort in the fact that it's probably not just you either.  If you do succeed, well done.  There is nothing wrong with making resolutions, it's good to look forward to a new year as a new start, to consider what we should do to improve ourselves.  I'm looking at it differently for 2014.  I'm going to make the most of what I have and try to use the value of what's in my home to the very best.  This I can do.  I don't need to spend any more money, I just need to have a year of consolidation, my term for what my other half calls "austerity", a word that makes me shiver.  Austerity as a word sounds painful, it sounds like something between a disease and a procedure.  I like neither.


I've been writing this blog for a few years now and my task is to help you use your Rangemaster more, so, that's my challenge to myself.  Use my Rangemaster more, well the family sit around it every day, so why not get to know my Rangemaster better.  


I know every magazine and advert will talk of "new year, new you", they talk about slimming, reducing debt, and everything that to me sounds painful, so I'm going toconsolidate.  A word of 4 syllables that can also be used in polite conversations.


So, making more of my Rangemaster is easy, when you buy a Rangemaster you know they have 3 different sizes, 90cm, 100cm and 110cm.  Some are gas, some electric (ceramic or induction), and some dual fuel.  Family meals can get repetitive due to busy lives, and I must say I plan my weekly meals. It takes 10 minutes to write a list before shopping and having a list does reduce my grocery spend.  So this year (and yes I have already started early and I'm sustaining it) is to find out exactly what my Rangemaster can do.  It's full of features.  I'm going to use the features on my Rangemaster, yes all of them.  Why?  Just to make my life easier.  My house is busy, I seem to be cooking for work, and from one thing to another, but planning is key to saving money when making meals. The chaps in Rangemaster Research and Development tell me the features they build into every Rangemaster are too.


You know what, after trying some of them (I still have more to work through), they are right.  Take the Handy Grill for example, it's so easy to wash, and is located at just the correct position for beautiful grilling and browning, not too high to attract fat splashes and not too low to dry out food.  The programmable Multifunction Oven has a great feature too.  Defrost.  Have you tried it?  Just place the frozen food inside on the defrost setting and air circulates to defrost.


So what about you? ....   How will you use your Rangemaster in 2014?


Happy New Year !!!

Oh, I nearly forgot....and as for this month's recipe....  It's using-up what's in the fridge in a healthy way.  A bright dish to add a bit of sunshine into the January gloom.


Prawn, Orange and Ginger 

Shutterstock _141737101



  • 5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried chillies
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500g peeled, raw tiger king prawns
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 2 large spring onions, sliced
  • 2 large oranges, segmented
  • a few snow peas or mange tout



  1. Place all directly onto the Rangemaster Teppanyaki griddle or into a hot wok on the hob and mix until cooked.

    Enjoy with freshly cooked rice or on its own









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