Benefits of Eating ‘Good’ Carbs During a Marathon

 

Greetings from Boxerchips HQ! Now, we know that marathon season is in full swing and that we have some very active little Spudmuckers out there, but we want to make sure that you awesome marathon runners are giving yourselves the best chance to do as well as you can (aren’t we nice?!). We l-o-v-e a good carb here at Boxerchips – but sadly we know that sometimes they get a rough deal. Well, we’re here to tell you the mahoosive benefits you will reap from incorporating ‘good’ carbs into your marathon diet. Long live the carb!

 

 

Did you know that carbs can aid athletic performances?

Why? Simple – they give you bundles of energy! Carbohydrates break down into smaller sugars that get absorbed and give the body energy. ‘Good’ carbs – we’re talking wholegrain here people: Wholegrain bread, wholegrain rice, wholegrain pasta (you get the picture), break down into these sugars at a slower more leisurely pace. The result? They release energy over a longer period of time, meaning just when you think you can’t go on, BAM those good carbs come to the rescue with a blast of energy!

Carbs also help after you’ve finished your mammoth marathon (hooray)

That’s right, not only are carbs vital during your marathon, providing you with essential energy, but they are equally important afterwards too! How? Well, there’s no doubt that you’ll be a tired wee Spudmucker after running a whopping 26 miles, because, as we so eloquently explained, all those energetic sugars will have been gobbled up. Lucky for you, carbs will be on hand to restore you to your former sprightly self!

If that wasn’t enough, carbs are also one of the key ways to avoid feeling too achy the next morning – because let’s face it, facing an innocent flight of stairs after an hour’s workout can feel like standing at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro (let alone after you’ve run a whole marathon). Carbs, however, help repair your exhausted muscles. The moral of the story? Eat plenty of carbs once you’ve crossed that magical finish line!

For all those training for a marathon at the moment, good luck and keep carbo-loading. From all at Boxerchips HQ, we salute you!

Be Sociable, Share!

For a Spudmucker on the Go: Quick and Easy Microwave Meals

Aloha spudmuckers! Now, down in the land of spuds galore we have been singing your praises, blessing your poor souls and fretting over those busy days you all have to endure. We love a bit of rock’n and a roll’n, a to’n and a fro’n, ourselves, but filling your delightful little bellies with proper grub can fall by the wayside amongst the chaos. No! We say no little spudmucker should suffer from the old grumbly tummy due to a jazzy lifestyle. So Boxerchips HQ have come to the rescue once again, because we love you my dear fellows, and have rustled up two quick and easy meals that simply have to be popped in the microwave.

Loaded Potatoes: Broccoli and Cheddar Style

This simple recipe gives your basic jacket potato a bit of oomph, in record time!

Cut a wedge out of your potato about 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch deep. Next, put the little rascal onto a microwavable dish and place in the microwave, cooking it for 10-12 minutes. Remove and fluff the potato until it is as puffy as a midsummer’s cloud.

Add some buttery spread and a pinch of salt to your potato’s fluffy interior.

Aha! Now for the filling. Place a large cup of mini broccoli florets into a bowl with one tablespoon of water. Cover the tree-like lovelies and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes. Drain and sprinkle onto your seasoned potato.

Finally, sprinkle your potato with ¼ of a cup of cheddar cheese and microwave one last time on a high heat for 2 minutes.

Greek Salad Baked Potatoes

Who knew that you could fit a whole meal, and a hearty one at that, into the humble baked spud? Prepare to be amazed my friend.

Microwave your potatoes for around 15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork, then remove (careful now, don’t burn those fingers will you).

Combine 1 cup of chopped and de-seeded vine tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, 4 coarsely chopped black olives, 2 teaspoons of red-wine vinegar, 1 ½ teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil with some dried oregano, salt and pepper.

Finally, spoon the mixture into the baked potatoes and crumble over as much feta as you desire.

Bad-a-bing, bad-a-boom – easy peasy baked potato treats in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven.

Happy cooking!

Be Sociable, Share!

How to: Make a Boxcar

Greetings all! Yes, it’s time for that next fix of knowledge and wisdom to be passed down to you by those crazy cats down at Boxerchip HQ. ‘What do we have in store this time?’ I hear you cry. No need to fret little Spudmuckers, it’s a cracker. We have been re-living our childhood fantasies, and have mastered the art of constructing a boxcar! Yes you heard right, a boxcar – that nifty vehicle usually made of wood and commonly used in competitions. Now, before we reveal the art of building the ultimate boxcar, here are a few driving tips (not that you need them of course). To steer the little fellow you have to be sure to use both your feet and hands at the same time – it’s all very quirky we know. Finally, you will need a hill – but, my friends, do try to supress your cocky streak. The steeper the hill doesn’t actually make the Spudmucker or Spudmuckerette, oh no, the not so steep hills will actually allow you to ride along for longer – giving you more time to show off your skills! So here goes: here’s how to make the ultimate boxcar.

First things first here’s a list of bits and pieces you will be needing:

  • Hammer

  • Screwdriver

  • Wood saw

  • Nails

  • Screws

  • Rope

  • Wood planks

  • A bolt for a steering pivot

  • 4 wheels with axle bars

  • A ready-made seat for the driver’s seat

Step 1

Cut the ‘chassis plank’ to size. This jazzy-named number is the longest plank, and will support the rear axle and seat at one end of the boxcar and the steering axle plank at the other, so it’s a bit of a big-dog in the boxcar construction world.

The length will depend on your height. Cars are typically between 48 and 72 inches (120 to 200 cm) in length.

The width will depend on the width of your bottom. Cars are typically 24 to 36 inches (60 to 100 cm) wide.

Step 2

Cut the axle planks to length. These need to be longer than your chassis plank is wide, plus enough to allow the wheels to turn about 30 degrees in either direction.

Step 3

Make the pivot. Drill a hole through the front end of the chassis and the middle of the front axle plank to make the pivot point for the steering plank. Fix the steering plank to the chassis plank using the bolt.

Step 4

Attach the rear axle plank. Fix the middle of the rear axle plank square to the chassis at the back end. Still keeping up? Jolly good, let us continue.

Step 5

Next, attach the rear axle plank. Fix the middle of the rear axle plank square to the chassis at the back end.

Step 6

Fix the axle bars to the axle planks. Secure them well with four or more U-brackets spaced evenly across the axel.

Step 7 

Add the seat. Fix it to the chassis and rear axle plank. The rear axle plank should be underneath the chassis.

Step 8 

Build the steering. Drill a hole through the chassis behind the left and right sides of the steering plank, and slip the rope ends through. Attach to the steering plank near the left and right ends of the plank for maximum efficiency. Make the rope loop a comfortable length for the driver when he is seated (your life is in their hands after all).

Step 9

Slide the wheels onto the axles and secure them.

Ta da! One fully functioning boxcar! Go have fun you little rascals…

Be Sociable, Share!

Winter Warmer Potato Recipes

Brrrr, howdy there spudmuckers! Now I don’t know about all of you but here at Boxerchip HQ we are freezing our tootsies off, and are pretty fed up of the crazy weather. Sadly, although we possess many powers, we do not have the clout to control good old Mother Nature (she really does have a bee in her bonnet at the moment eh?). However, whilst the storms may rage on you can be sure that the spud will be there to help you through these dark winter days. With you solely in mind we have been kind enough to rustle up some winter warmer recipes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This is a hearty winter warmer that is surprisingly good for the waistline weighing in at only 159 calories (in that case I’ll have two bowls please).

Right, to make this delectable delight; fill a large pot with 6 white diced potatoes and salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes are ‘fork tender’ – by our calculations this should take around 15 minutes. When they have reached this stage drain them, and set them aside.

While the potatoes are cooking get ahead of the game and line a baking try with parchment paper. Next, prepare one head of broccoli chopped into bite size pieces. Place the broccoli on to the prepared baking tray, drizzle (lightly) with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, add a pinch of salt and a half a teaspoon of garlic. Finally, roast in the oven for 20 minutes until crispy – note crispy does not mean burnt, our little spudmuckers.

Heat some olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and sauté one chopped leek, along with half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper and some garlic until the leeks have softened. Add 2 cups of frozen cauliflower and two cups of vegetable broth (top tip: look for stocks low in sodium; the body is a temple and all that jazz). Increase the heat and cook until the cauliflower is soft, once it’s cooked remove the pot from the heat, add the potatoes you previously set aside, plus 2 cups of 1% fat milk (you can buy it from any supermarket and it tastes exactly the same as semi-skimmed – genius!)

Transfer your mixture to a blender and puree until the soup is smooth and creamy. To serve garnish your masterpiece with some grated cheddar cheese, the roasted broccoli, pieces of bacon (cooked previously) and some chives.

Italian Red Pepper and Potato Stew

In a large pan sauté one chopped red onion in some olive oil over a high heat, when it has softened and is beginning to brown add a few cloves of chopped garlic in. Continue to cook for a few minutes then add 8 bell peppers (maybe two of each colour) seeded and sliced. Lower the heat and stir well, partially cover the pan with the lid and allow them to soften for about 10 minutes.

Next, add half a can of Pelati potatoes (blended until they are smooth) along with 1 pound of russet scrubbed and cut into cubes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste, stir well over medium-low heat, and cook for about 1 hour.

To help the sauce come together add a cup of vegetable stock, ladling it in to the mixture when needed. The type of tomatoes you’re using and the ripeness of the peppers may have a bearing on how much stock you need to use, a handy way to gauge if you need more is to remember that the final consistency of the stew should be thicker than a pasta sauce.

Happy cooking spudmuckers!

Be Sociable, Share!

Boxerchips Guide on how to Beatbox!

Greetings one and all. Boy oh boy do Boxerchip HQ have a whopper of a treat for all you spudmuckers to enjoy. If you’re anything like us (which we know you are since you also possess great taste, and luurve Boxerchips) then we know you revel in taking on a challenge, the weirder the better. So, with that in mind, we’ve been channelling our creative juices into another area of artistic excellence, beatboxing. Take a look at our advice on how to nail the basics, and before long you’ll be giving the pros a run for their money (aim high my friends!). Go on give it a try, I know you want to.

1)     There are many sounds to master, but let’s focus on the three core sounds

The three basic sounds of beatboxing are: the classic kick drum {b}, the hi hat {t}, and the classic snare drum {p} or {pf}. Experts advise beginners to practise these sounds in an 8 beat rhythm combination, so naturally we are going to pass on that advice, being experts now and all. Try a combination like this: {b t pf t / b t pf t } or {b t pf t/ b b pf t}. The most important thing to focus on is getting the timing right, you can start slow and always build up speed as she gain in confidence.

2)     Practise the classic kick drum {b}

Simply, say the letter ‘b’ to make the classic kick drum sound. However, to make it sound louder, and altogether more epic, you’ll need to perfect something called a ‘lip oscillation’ –oerr fancy. This is where you let air vibrate through your lips, like blowing a raspberry. Once you’ve got this down you can begin to make shorter oscillations. So, make a B sound (as if you were about to say Boxerchips). This time keep your lips closed and let the pressure build, you need to control the release of your lips to ensure that they vibrate for a short time.

3)     Try and duplicate the hi-hat {t}

Make a {ts} sound but, aha, have your teeth closed or lightly closed. Move the very tip of your tongue forward behind the front of your teeth for a thin ‘hat’ sound, and to the traditional ‘t’ position for a heavy ‘hat’ sound. Top tip alert – breathe out for longer to create the open ‘hat’ sound.

4)     Why not give ‘successive’ or ‘advanced’ (ooo look at you) hi-hats a go

You can make successive hi-hats by making a ‘tktktktk’ sound. What’s that? I hear you cry, well it can be made by simply by using the mid back of your tongue to make a ‘k’ sound. You can make an open hi-hat sound by drawing out the breath in the ts hi-hat, which simply means it sounds more like tsssss. Another way of producing the old classic which is the hi-hat is to make the ts sound with clenched teeth.

5)     Tackle the classic snare drum {p}

The easiest way to make the snare drum is the ‘p’ sound, but alas as we have previously seen easy isn’t always best. The classic ‘p’ sound is sadly too quiet. But never fear my spudmuckers there are some simple tricks to crank up the decibels, you can use our old favourite the lip oscillation – or breathe out at the same time making a {ph} sound. To make the ‘p’ sound more exciting many beat boxers add a second sound to it such as: pf, ps, psh, bk.

There you have it Spudmuckers! A Beginners guide to beatboxing. Now, we know our instructions were crystal clear (because if you didn’t already know we are pros), but just in case you need slightly more clarification here’s a little video demonstration found by our fond friend Youtube.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

Start the Year with a January Detox (Involving Potatoes, Of Course)

Well hello wee Spudmuckers! We don’t know about the rest of you, but down at Boxerchips HQ we are feeling well and truly sluggish. It’s safe to say too many Turkey sandwiches have left our usual temples of health a little worse for wear – some have argued this may have something to do with the fact we may have indulged in a cheeky tipple or two, but we definitely blame the wrinkly necked bird for our woes. So, like every other poor soul we have embarked on the treacherous January detox in order to revive ourselves, and make sure we are back to tip top condition in order to concoct scrummy Boxerchip treats for y’all. However, whilst many a misinformed rascal will be ditching the carbs and, brace yourselves this isn’t pretty, most notably the potato (the scoundrels) we are here to provide you with some health recipes to detox your body from the tip of your head right down to your toes, without having to ditch our truly beloved spud.

Believe it or not but the spud is actually a vital component of an inspired detox plan. But, alas not in the form you may be used to observing this classic species. We give you the sweet potato, she’s delightfully delicious, sassy, and as you may have guessed a bit of a sweetie. Sweet potato is a real head turner with a fiery inside that gets those bog standard, but no less delicious, spuds hot under the collar.

If the sweet potato wasn’t enough of a catch take a look at these facts, the mind boggles. This sweetie is astonishingly low in those pesky calories, contains BOTH vitamins A and C – which help build the immune system, fight infections, and assist you in being an all-round healthy Spudmucker.

So whilst others are eating tons of iceberg lettuce you can sit with your sweet potatoey goodness feeling smug and healthy at the same time. Why not try out:

Baked Sweet Potato

Bake the sweet potato as you would your normal spud, and pair it with a mix of grilled veggies (like red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and whatever else you fancy for that matter) with oodles of salad, and a spicy dressing to compliment the sweetness of the baked potato – and boost your metabolism too! Oh we do spoil you.

Sweet Potato Soup with Leek, Apple and Ginger

Talk about helping you to get your five a day eh! This little gem is both uber healthy and gift from the Gods for your taste buds. Simply, heat a pan and add the leaks and cook for five minutes. Add the ginger and stir for a minute before adding the sweet potato, apples and enough water to cover the contents. Add seasoning to taste and leave to simmer for around 45 minutes, or until all the ingredients are tender. Finally, transfer the contents to a blender and blend until smooth. Voila!

Happy detoxing! May the force be with you, and us at Boxerchip HQ too…

 

Be Sociable, Share!

What to Do With All Those Boxes after Christmas

Happy New Year all you Spudmuckers out there! Down at Boxerchip HQ the festive frivolities are now a far flung memory, which left a little memento in the form of a tight waistband, and it’s back to the hustle and bustle of daily life. But, whilst all those jazzy Christmas baubles given to you by Auntie Marg have been safely packed away, and you’ve finally used up the monumental amount of turkey, we all have a sorry (and rather obstructing) pile of boxes devoid of pressies lurking in the shadows. So, we made it our top priority to conjure up some fun ways to revitalise your left over packaging – showing you that a box can be for life and not just for Christmas.

Here’s an old classic that is bound to keep the mini spudmuckers entertained for hours upon hours, and make you feel like a lemon for spending a small fortune on the latest gadgets for your little angels this Christmas. Using an array of boxes of all shapes and sizes, here at Boxerchips we have a firm no box discrimination policy, make your kiddies a makeshift car, train or plane –the sky’s the limit. You could even get them involved making a whole host of accessories for their vehicle which make it truly individual, batten down the hatches (in over words cover up the carpets) the little sweet hearts are bound to throw some form of paint overboard.

Ever wondered where to store all those internet recipes you’ve printed off when on the search for your next potato masterpiece? How about a home-made, one of a kind, magazine holder style device which will make you the talk of the town darling. Simply find a rectangular box, as we know they aren’t in short supply, Draw a diagonal line from the four inches from the bottom of the box to the top opposite corner of the box, as shown. Repeat on the other side of the box. Use a sharp craft knife to cut away the top portion of the box, following the pencil lines. Then go to town decorating your new kitchen accessory with photos, wrapping paper or spray paint, go on go wild you crazy devil you.

Be Sociable, Share!

Spudmuckers Travel

Howdy you little potato loving spumuckers and muckettes! Down in the darkest depths of Boxerchips HQ we’ve been having a touch of wanderlust, pining after an escape from the dull, damp, and downright dismal winter we’ve been blessed with. Many an hour has been spent dreaming of far flung shores were the humble potato has taken root, and blessed the land with the Holy Grail of any delectable meal. Oh but where to go first? The potato, as you may or may not know, has touched the culinary and agricultural lives of so many cultures, leaving us spudmuckers with many a realm to discover on our quest to fully appreciate the spud.

We could have a stay-cation and hang out with our fellow Irishmen, as we know a good spud will never go unloved here! What could be better than an array of potatoey goodness washed down with a pint of the black stuff? But, alas, we decided to take our search further afield.

So, then we toyed with the idea of heading to the fiery Latino countries of Peru and Bolivia, the first states in which the potato was domesticated don’t you know. Sun, salsa and the samba – we’re getting hot and bothered just thinking about it. Exploring the Inca Trail we could take a step back in time, and appreciate the stupendous role the spud played as the principle energy force for the Inca Empire, impressive!

 

Then, a deep rooted fire began to burn and desire took over. Our brains became consumed with the magnetic draw to North America. Why? I hear you ask. One word for you all Idaho, and its awesome museum ‘The Idaho Potato Museum’ – the mecca for potato lovers and, more importantly, for those of us who have dedicated our lives to producing totally tasty potato creations. The museum showcases the epic history, the growing and harvesting process, nutritional information and educational and trivia facts about the spud – it’s getting our starch flowing just thinking about it. But, this inferno of desire resides inside us comes from our ultimate goal – to be featured in The Idaho Potato Museum’s hall of fame. An accolade awarded to those who people and businesses which have contributed to the potato as a food and a product. Through misty eyes we envision our deliciously moreish Boxerchips sat amongst the greats enshrined in the hall of fame.

Yes all you Spudmuckers are ultimate wanderlust is tied up without ultimate ambition, to take our rightful place amongst the other potato legends in the “potato capital of the world”. One day, Spudmuckers, oh yes, one day we will be there.

Be Sociable, Share!

Creative Potato Christmas Ideas

Greetings from Boxerchip HQ! We are all feeling suitable festive, and can’t wait for our visit from the Mr. Clause himself. Now, as you all know we use potatoes to make utterly delicious crisps to tickle your taste buds. However, you too can use potatoes in order to produce some breath taking creations. With the festive season upon us why not use this opportunity to flex your muscles in the elite world of potato art? This is a great way to have some Christmas inspired fun with the kiddie winks (and use up that packet of spuds which, quite frankly, just didn’t make the ‘ultimate Christmas dinner roast potato’ grade when it came to the cut throat auditioning process).

 

One spiffing idea we have rustled up is a festive twist on the classic potato printing activity, bound to be endorsed in a nursery class near you. Simply cut a few potatoes in half, and carve festive symbols into their starchy interior (you know the drill, Christmas trees, bells, stars – be as creative as you dare). A word of caution, be sure to supervise the little ones with any carving equipment – we don’t want their artistic spirit to go into over drive, resulting in them going all Van Gough on us. Once you’ve got your awe inspiring shapes, go to town dunking them in paints galore, then print them on some colourful card – you can even pass them off as Christmas cards to soppy family members ( two birds, one stone comes to mind here).

 

Or, why not make your very own festive Mr Potato head? Simply scrub up your chosen spud until it looks shiny and new, and get decorating. Maybe add a cotton wool beard, a mini read hat and create your own Santa. Or, stick in some home-made antlers (or twigs), an inventive red nose and voila, Rudolph the red nosed potato is born! As you can see the possibilities really are endless.

That’s it, go and get stuck into creating the potato equivalent of the Mona Lisa in time for the 25th of December!

 

Be Sociable, Share!

The Boxerchips Halloween: The Loved and the Loathed

Halloween has been and gone in a haze of fake blood, white face paint and numerous sugar overloads. The spooky antics that have haunted the globe have not gone unnoticed by those savvy smarty pants down in Boxerchip HQ. So here, for your entertainment and to ease your burning curiosity, are the Boxerchips teams highs and lows, loves and loathes of that epic night which is all hallows eve.

We all reminisce about that little knot of excitement we used to get as Boxerchiplets, not yet fully fledged, when school was over and the nights trick or treating frivolities could begin. Ma and Pa’s tyranny over all things sweet became a distant memory as we ravaged the streets in search of those gloriously good treats. The thrill as we delved into the un-known dish waiting for our fate, to find again and again a series of spookily delectably delights, was immense. But, as the years went on, and the growth of our brains reached fever pitch, it soon became clear that those treats that terrified out taste-buds were nothing more than your standard bar of sugary goodness – just as easy to purchase from the corner shop, no need for your epic Halloween quest. Alas, some joy was lost to the knowledge that the spookiest thing about your trick or treat snack was the sheer speed it managed to navigate the jump on to the ghostly bandwagon of terror – however, the delightful sugar rush still remained.

As carb heads Halloween can seem a little isolating to the Boxerchips family, we can join in on the eerie antics too don’t you know! So you can imagine our delight at the introduction to the new craze, sure to push those bog standard witches and ghouls off of their top spot as Halloween favourites, the scary potato. Not one to be messed with, the scary

potato lures you into a false sense of security, from the back its pale skin with flecks of the ground it has risen makes the stomach groan in longing for a piece of its starchy goodness, but then it all changes. Slowly turning you see its sinister side, with razor sharp teeth jutting from its surface waiting to take down anyone who even attempts to bake this potato, we love it.

Finally the Boxerchips family want to give major props to all those master pumpkin carvers out there. Who knew that it was possible to etch anything from your classic smiley face to the Mona Lisa onto the face of such a humble vegetable?Pumpkin artists everywhere we salute you!

Be Sociable, Share!