And the winner is…!

Well, thank you SO much for taking the time out to enter my competition to win the clearly much-coveted Ninja Foodie Max! I’m sorry I’ve not responded personally to the 500 or so comments below, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning about your special recipes for cakes, stews and family favourites and you’ve definitely given me inspiration to try something new myself!

As there was only one of these 15-in-1 cookers to give away, sadly there can only be one winner, but I’m delighted to tell you that Joanna Terry is now the proud owner of this fantastic and versatile product – well she will be once I’ve parceled it up and sorted the courier! I believe the first thing she plans to cook in it is a Real Ale beef stew, with buttered crusty bread which she’s going to serve to her entire family as they were all poorly over Christmas! CONGRATULATIONS Joanna.

As you’ll know from my previous blog, both Colin and I were also poorly over Christmas and had to cancel everything we had planned. On top of that in the last three weeks almost all the children have had Covid so we’ve not managed a separate get-together up until now.

But last Sunday we transformed the building site that used to be our sitting room, cleared away all the tools, strung up some fairy lights, lit the log burner and plugged in several fans so it was cosy before setting the table and bringing the remainder of the furniture in from the container.

We served a traditional roast turkey – the one I’d put in the freezer on Christmas Eve, and gammon, with all the trimmings, and successfully fed all 15 of us! It was an absolute joy to have everyone together and to see the little ones too, and we played daft games, listened to Christmas music, caught up with the family’s news and even exchanged the last of the presents – it was great fun.

I do hope if you had to postpone your celebrations, you’ll soon have the chance to get together, and that if you like so many others are feeling poorly that you’ll be better soon. It does seem that finally the numbers of people with Covid are dropping and the spread is slowing down so fingers crossed we may be through the worst of it now. Onwards and upwards!

Do keep in touch with me here or follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and thanks again for such a fabulous response to the competition.

With my love,

Ali xxx

18 Responses

  1. Hi Ali,
    Sorry you were all ill but it ended well in the end. Christmas Day was quiet in my house as my husband is a chef, so i only saw him after a 12 hr shift in his Restaurant. My son was with his girlfriend and family as it was their turn, but i did see them both and my 4 yr old Grandson on Boxing Day.
    I am recovering from a broken upper arm at the moment although its 3 months now and movement is still restricted. We are off to one of your favourite places Mexico in March , i only hope after walking through the security bar it doesn’t go off, as i can’t lift my left arm sideways very far if they want to search. 🙂 I can’t remember where you stayed in Mexico i’m sure you have been there twice. We are staying at Akumal Bay a small hotel recommended to us by a friend, so here’s hoping.
    I didn’t enter your competition, maybe next time .
    Hope the house renovations are going well, bet you are looking forward to the finished house.
    Take Care
    Kathy x

    1. Dear Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear about your arm especially as it’s been over three months and the movement is still restricted. Hopefully by the time you get to March it will be feeling much better and you will be able to enjoy your holiday in Mexico. Yes, we were staying not far from the Akumal Bay hotel and it’s such a beautiful part of Mexico. I don’t think Colin and I will be travelling anywhere until the house is finished which won’t be until about May. I’m sure you and your husband will enjoy the break. Thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  2. So glad you managed to have a belated Christmas celebration, Alison. Hope everyone is fully recovered now. I have a lot of sympathy with the ‘living in a building site’ feeling – we are doing the same. I have to keep telling myself that it will all be worth it when it’s finished! As you say, onwards and upwards! Lots of love xxx

    1. Ooh Cherry I do hope you’re not having to cope without heating or hot water?? We had a couple of days like that and I had to shower at work! It will definitely be worth it once it’s finished but that seems quite a way off at the moment. I hope you don’t have too much longer to cope with it all! Take care and stay warm, love Ali xx

  3. Hi lovely Ali, so sorry to hear you and Colin were both ill but so glad you managed to have a belated Christmas meal all together. How lovely. Hope you are both fully recovered and Happy New Year to you both. Saw you on last nights Liz Earle show with the lovely Caroline. Always watch the LE shows even if im not looking to buy as Caroline always gives such great hints and tips. Lots of love xx

    1. Dear Karen, thanks for your kind words and I’m so glad that you always tune in for the Liz Earle shows. Caroline is a joy to work with and I agree, she always has so much advice and knowledge to share that it makes the hours just fly by! I do hope all is well with you and yours? Love Ali xx

  4. Hi Ali, so sorry that you were poorly for Christmas but glad to see you’re now back and that you were able to finally celebrate Christmas with your family.
    I managed to see my sister and had a very enjoyable time – although it seems ages ago now!
    I loved the picture of your lovely hellebore in your last blog – it’s very pretty.
    I recently bought a lovely pair of Skechers boots that have a lovely fur collar and are extremely comfy and were reduced in price.
    I am trying to be more healthy in 2022 and plan to eat more vegan food.
    I look forward to seeing you on the Q and to your next blog!
    Love Tina xx

    1. Dear Tina, I’m so glad that you got to see your sister – is she a vegan or vegetarian? I think eating healthier is always a good thing – says she after a mighty cooked english breakfast! 🙂 I do though try and include more fruit and veg and make a lot of my own soups too which are always enjoyable. Loving the sound of the Skechers boots. I bought a pair a few years back that are specifically for walking and have faux fur around the top and inside too – great value for money and still going strong. I’m off now until the 6th February but will have a new blog for you before then.
      Love Ali xx

  5. hello Ali
    Been a while since we spoke … so pleased you all have recovered from covid, its been a nightmare for so many. thankfully our family has escaped it, i was obviously shielded for the best part of 2yrs but i came through it, only to have a heart attack a week before christmas! they found my right coronary artery was 85% blocked, i am slowly recovering from from the angioplasty and stenting, but i managed to be discharged on the 22nd, but the menfolk with shouted instructions from me haha got the xmas dinner cooked bless them … is times like these we appreciate life and those we love that share it with us.
    god bless as always to you and yours Ali xx ❣️

    1. My dear Lynn, what an awful time for you! I’m so glad that you recovered well though and were home in time for Christmas too. I’m sure your Christmas dinner with all the family was a relief to you all – and you’re right, it’s definitely the tough times that make you appreciate the more ‘normal’ times. God bless to you and your family, and may you stay well and happy. Love Ali xx

  6. Hi Ali, I sincerely hope that you and Colin are now rid of Covid; I know it ruined the plans of many of my friends and work colleagues but hope your belated Christmas day was a good one!
    Thankfully we have all been well and were able to have a fabulous Christmas day and albeit a very emotional one too as it was the first one without mum and many tears were shed. It’s was her year anniversaryon 12th January, does not seem possible and although it was inevitablethat she was going to die as she was so poorly I am finding the restrictions put upon us because of covid19 and the fact that for the last year of her life we were unable to physically touch, kiss hug and be close to her very very difficult to accept and the fact that we couldn’t have a wake after her very small funeral is hard. . I am angry, sad and have to, like thousands others accept that but it’s not easy.
    After the business of Christmas day I walked the dog on boxing day and then chilled..perfect..and finished off the Bailey’s!

    Been back at work for 3 weeks and now looking forward to half term in 3 weeks time. .how mad is that? The garden looks soggy, i did a tidy up last week and the beginning of new life are emerging, probably earlier than it should because of the mild weather.
    My grandson Arthur is now 3 months old and pure joy..I will tweet you a photo.
    I hope the house renovations are going well…I can only imagine the chaos; I’ve just had the bath and vanity unit replaced in my bathroom and that was bad enough!
    Well the sun is shining today which makes a change from the horrible damp freezing fog we’ve had most days this week, so I am off to the beach with Olly.
    Have a wonderful day and a great weekend.
    Mary x

    1. Dear Mary, Good to hear from you, and yes thanks, both Colin and I are completely over Covid and feeling well and much stronger. It’s all go here with the work – I’ll take some photos for the new blog and post them. The second part of the house will be closed down this week which will leave us with just the back bedroom, shower room and kitchen to live in! Mind you, everything is going according to plan so once the plumbing and electrics are all in we can start to think of colours and fabrics etc. which will be nice. I’m sure your bathroom looks lovely now with the new bath and vanity unit. I’ve got to clear out our en suite tomorrow which I’m not looking forward to although I’m pretty sure there’s a lot I can throw away.
      I am sorry to know that it’s been over a year since your mum died and I fully understand your mixed emotions especially as the year prior to her death was so difficult. I know counselling isn’t for everyone, but sometimes talking through how you’re feeling with someone who truly understands can help? The Good Grief Trust are very specialised and as a charity have helped thousands of people who are struggling. Just a thought… be kind to yourself. As someone once said to me, you need to love really deeply to hurt so badly… and that is true for you I know. I’m sure though that Arthur brings you much joy, and yes please do tweet a photo of him for me. They grow up so quickly don’t they?! Corey will be 10 months old on the 31st January and he is just gorgeous. My pots are just beginning to present little green shoots so my tete a tete, crocuses and daffs should be making an appearance soon. It’s been pretty grim here too but the last couple of days have been far milder and perfect for walking. I just wish I was near a beach like you! Take care, love Ali xxx

  7. Hi Ali, so sorry you both were ill over Christmas, but how lovely that you got a belated celebration with your family. Hope your renovation project is going well and looking forward to seeing the finished results 😊.

    Love Anne x

    1. Hi there Anne, yes it was great to see all the family together and something we hope to do again soon. Everything is heading in the right direction with the renovation, but we’re definitely in for the long haul. Colin reckons May before everything is completed internally but then there’ll be more work externally too! I’ll post a few pics in the new blog. I hope all is well with you and yours? Love Ali xx

  8. Hi Ali
    I’m glad to hear that you and Colin are both well again. There’s nothing better than feeling well energized again and ready to take on what needs to be taken on. I had a very quiet Christmas and went and spent it with my close friend John. John was left on his own in June 2020 when his wife of him caring for her for forty-eight odd years was taken into a nearby home not far from where I live. He had looked after her for right-wing odd years and feeding her medication every day for her epilepsy. She had to go into a home as she had had a couple of calls down the stairs but lo and behold she was alright.
    I spent the day after Boxing Day with daughter. I had a fairly good day but I didn’t think too much of her cooking! She had cooked roast pork but she hadn’t cooked the meat long enough and it was tough so I didn’t enjoy my Christmas dinner and I was rather hungry!
    Well Happy Year to you and Colin and I hope that all you wish for will come true! I am hoping to work on property investing this year to give me more income so that I’m able eventually to move to Greece one of the islands! It’s been my dream for many years!
    Keep well and you are one of my favourite presenters! You do a good job so well!

    1. Hi Debra, Good to hear from you and to know that you got to spend Christmas with John. That must be very hard for him to accept that his wife is living away from him, but he certainly was an incredible carer and I’m sure she appreciated it. I always find pork a little difficult to cook well – chops are easier than a joint – but the crackling is my favourite part 🙂 Loving the idea of you being able to move to Greece. Any one of the islands would be wonderful – I think Zante is my favourite. Good luck to you with your property investments, and thank you for your kind words. It’s a great job to have! Love Ali xx

  9. Hi Ali pleased to hear that you & Colin are feeling better & you were able to celebrate Christmas albeit later than planned. I think a lot of people seemed to have their plans scrapped with Covid rearing it’s ugly head again. I was fortunate I was able to spend Christmas & New Year with Charlotte Adam Ivy & Edith so I wasn’t on my own anytime. Seeing Christmas through the children’s eyes was very special. Ivy was so excited & Edith is such a smiley baby to bring us joy after so much sadness.
    I want to thank you for mentioning me in your thoughts before Christmas it meant a lot to me.
    I am still attending a friendship group for those who have been bereaved. It is a drop in & very relaxed I and others have found it a great help. Quite a few weren’t able to be with their loved ones (which makes things that is going on parliament all the more shocking) – that’s enough talk on politics!
    My latest QVC purchase was on advanced order and was a velvet fleece lined bedspread. It’s a lovely teal colour & it covers my king sized bed. It is so warm & comforting I would definitely Cozee Home products.
    I was able to get my eyes lasered last week & what a result I now only need reading glasses! There is a corner of one eye damaged by the stroke but everything now is so vivid. Only one drawback is that I can see more wrinkles & places at home I thought I had cleaned I obviously hadn’t! But a small price to pay…
    My sister has bought me a garden shrub in memory of Keith. I have chosen a Skimmia called Rubella. It doesnt need pruning & there is something to see all year round. I also got a Rosemary plant called green ginger if you rub the leaves it smells of fresh ginger & can be used in cooking too. He loved anything with ginger in plus it grows well at the seaside.
    I look forward to seeing photos of your renovations I bet you will too – it will be worth it.
    Take care sending lots of love from Julia xxx 🤗🤗

  10. Dear Julia, how good to hear from you and to know that you were able to spend your Christmas with Charlotte Adam Ivy and Edith. Being with the children is what Christmas is all about and although I’m certain you have mixed feelings, being with people you love Nexilva difference. I’m glad you are still attending your friendship group – shared memories and experiences can be very cathartic. How funny! I also bought the teal coloured velvet fleece lined bedspread! And in king-size! We have definitely needed it without any heating over this last month. My friend Jo is getting her eyes lasered soon so I will pass your comments on to her. I know she will be thrilled to know it’s worked so well for you, and I really wouldn’t worry about the wrinkles or dusty corners. Seeing things as they actually are is always a bonus. Are you interested me with the rosemary plant cool green ginger. I’m going to put it on my birthday list for March. I too love anything with ginger in it and would really like to own a plant.
    I will be putting photographs of the renovations on the next blog but it still looks like a building site. You need to have vision – as Colin reminds me! 🙂 Take care Julia and I’m glad to hear that you are slowly getting stronger. One day at a time… Love Ali xx

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