Category Archives: - News

Your own personalised cookbook on-line

OK I know I am probably stating the obvious but do you realise that you can find a recipe and the ones that you love you canclick on ” add to favourite” so that you can keep all your favourite recipes with your own comments in your personal profile space on MyDish?   In this way you don’t need hundreds of cookbooks but just your homepage at MyDish which holds all your favourite recipes – yours and others you have selected and made from MyDish so you don’t have to search for it each time you want to make it.
We have also made it a lot easier to follow other cooks that you know or like.  Evereytime they add a recipe you will get a notification on your wall so that you have access to all your friends recipes too!

So when someone asks you for a recipe, just tell your friend to follow you – and by the way the first person with 100 new followers from May 2011 will win a Kitchen tabletop mixer as a thank you from us!

If you have any questions on how to make MyDish really work for you please email me at [email protected]

MyDish has had a Make Over!

MyDish  has been growing and evolving for over 3 years now and we thought it was time to freshen things up a bit – We got a lot of feedback, and from your input, we have made it much easier to search for people’s homemade recipes. We have a “What’s in My Fridge” section (more search options on the search box)to allow you to put in your ingredients that you have at home and see what recipes you can create.
We also have made your own personal area much cleaner and easier to follow – and talking about following now when you see a cook with some great recipes all you need to do is go to that cook’s profile and hit follow, and then every time they add a new recipe you will get a notification on your wall and have easy access to their recipes from your homepage.
So now all we need you to do is to get your friends and family to follow you – so you can swap and share recipes with people you know.  In fact to help us achieve our goals we are offering £500 to spend on your Kitchen to the first member who gets an additional 100 followers from today– (not including me of course!)

We're in the press which is great news for MyDish

I had to spend the morning having hair and make up done for a newspaper piece about MyDish.  Now if you know me well you would know I am not a hair and makeup girl.  I have 3 boys and I am more of a jeans and hoody girl but when it comes to helping grow our recipe collection and telling more people about MyDish I will do quite a lot of things.

MyDish secures Tesco deal
MyDish secures Tesco deal

But just to keep you abreast of all the stuff we have been doing since the airing of Deborah Meaden’s What happened next -  we have been in the local papers (local to where I live in Elstree) Announcing our partnership with Tesco which we are hoping will help to grow our numbers of both members and recipes.

I have been interviewed by The Mailon Sunday which was a great piece talking about how at MyDish you can preserve all your treasured recipes.

The Daily Mirror did a feature on our personalised recipe calendars which we have done with the profits going to Great Ormond Street Hospital – It is a fantastically unique and thoughtful Christmas present because you choose all the recipes that you (or the person you’re giving it to) like (s) and then you put in your own photos and special dates.

Todays publicity was for the Express which I will let you know when it is out.  It was quite a bit of fun.  Debbie came and did my hair and make up and Dan photographed me making a pasta dish and chocolate brownies – which all my kids (and their friends) devoured that afternoon.  Finally I made a chicken balti with apricots for dinner with pumpkin soup and tomato soup so we could keep warm for bonfire night.  That together with the mulled wine kept us going through the fireworks display.

MyDish secures Tesco d

The Truth behind the Tesco deal

I should have written before but have been busy with the site and responding to people’s comments and good wishes but I wanted to tell you about The Tesco deal and what actually happened.

I was really reluctant to approach Tesco as I felt they were far too big for us and would eat us alive and I was proved SO very wrong!  The hardest thing is getting through the door to the right person …so I went to the very top, and my letter was passed on to the appropriate person.

I remember walkimng into their offices and meeting Mandy maketing manager for on-line grocery.  I had 45 minutes to pitch to her and we needed a decision really quickly because I knew that if they went for the idea we had to then build it in time for the airing of Dragon’s Den.  What I suggested was that it would be a real partnership – we would provide MyDish and all its functionality for / Real food and they would supply their shopping facility to help us really achieve what we wanted to do – make it easy for people to plan their cooking for the week , or for a dinner party and get the ingredients delivered to your door by

What impressed me SO much was that they liked the idea and made a decision to support us the very next day.  No meeting after meeting or delay.  The best thing was that huge British company decided to support lil’ ole us.  I think Mandy saw what we were trying to do and decided to go for it and without her this wouldn’t have happened (so thanks Mandy!)

The other thing that really impressed me about Tesco was the empowerement that the teams had, it was like they are all running their own little busineeses – very different from the corporate worlds I have worked in.

Deborah Meaden and Carol Savage at Tesco
Deborah Meaden and Carol Savage at Tesco

Anyway – we then had 2 months to build MyDish for them and to build their shopping application into our site.  We are still developing the scheduler / planner so you know which recipe to cook on which day – but today you can choose your recipes add it to your shopping list and then it automatically goes into the shopping list for you to add to your basket.. We decided not to add everything in one go as you might already have some of the ingredients in your cupboard and not want to buy another packet of flour – or whatever.

Deborah Meaden, Laura Wade Gery, Mandy Minichiello, Megan Powell and Carol Savage at Tesco
Deborah Meaden, Laura Wade Gery, Mandy Minichiello, Megan Powell and Carol Savage at Tesco

Deborah was incredibly supportive along the way – and inputs into our strategy and proposals.  At the final meeting it added huge weight that she came with me to meet the CEO and sign the deal.  We had a really inspirational meeting discussing our ideas for where this can go – and with Tesco helping us we really can create a British user generated recipe site that has all the applications that makes MyDish the place to go if you are looking to make a meal at home.

Meet the team

We are all working really hard to make changes to the site and to prepare for the Dragons Den follow up in October, so I thought I would stop and take a moment to introduce to the team and tell you a little about what everyone is currently up to.

Starting with Tony

He is our Chief techie, basically does everything from strategy to implementation with support from some really special people  (Jason and Sam – pictures needed please)

Tony is currenly doing the work of a 3 man team configuring our database, web servers all to allow up to put in place the development we have planned over the next few months!

Anna has joined us from the Mailonline and is helping to create commercial partnerships for us and to get our advertising working for MyDish (so we can afford to do all the things we want to do).

Anna has just come back from Honeymoon- was Anna Brewer but has emerged as Anna Gayner!  Her first major project has been to gather feedback from users of MyDish and pull together what we can do better, passing this on to Becky to turn these ideas into improvements for MyDish…WATCH THIS SPACE!

And this is Becky

Becky showing us her new designs today
Becky showing us her new designs today

Becky has been working so hard and has done such a fab job presenting ideas for MyDish future…I was SO impressed!

Becky does all of our new design work, pages for our partners, campaigns and of course she designed our personalised calendar.

Andrea has been with us from the start.  She does everything to keep MyDish going, from making sure all the recipes are entered properly in the database to making 1000 chocolate chip cookies today for Caroline (below) and my husband Ken

who are going to Mancherster Freshers fair tomorrow to get people to check us out – and thanking them with a cookies.  My Husband has also been with us from the start and although he refuses to actually work for Mydish as he runs his own digital marketing business, he still loves us and helps out when we need (beg) him to.

And our newest member is Caroline, who is working as an intern for us.  Caroline has a masters in journalism and she is emersing herself in on-line copywriting and helping with loads of editorial work that I have done – but she does it better!  Caroline is going back to Manchester tomorrow to try to recruit new members…..good luck.

Caroline at work - looking very comfy
Caroline at work - looking very comfy

If you know anyone who is going to manchester freshers fair tell them to look out for Caroline and Ken and the MyDish stands where they can get one of the best homemade cookies ever!

Anna has joined MyDish – Yahoo!!!!

I am delighted to announce that I have someone new to help me talk to brands about Partnering with MyDish.

Anna Brewer used to work at Assoicated newspapers where she was rersponsible for commercial deals for the Mailonline, the Metro, This is Money and The Evening standard to name a few.

When I went to Anna 2 years ago to persuade her to take the MyDish concept onto the Mailonline she put me through my paces and 18 months later we launched the Mailonline MyDish site.  This was through a lot of hard work from both sides but mainly from Tony who works tirelessly at improving the site and what people can do on MyDish.

Then 3 months ago I was sitting having a drink with Anna , celebrating the launch of our new site when we decided she loved MyDish and was going to help me do all the things we are planning to do- especially help me to gain contracts so that we can continue to develop and grow MyDish.

So meet Anna – who is 31 and about to get married to Justin Gayner and then honeymoon somewhere exotic and come back and work with the rest of the team to help build and grow MyDish to what we all want it to be.

Anna’s favourite dish is “her husband to be’s pork belly” and now that we have written it there is NO excuse why it isn’t up on the site.  She loves Pasta and her favourite is Pasta Puttanesca and she is aiming to be our pasta expert with her new pasta making machine

Deborah Meaden and Carol on Market Kitchen Good Food Channel 6pm tonight

Just to let you all know that Deborah Meaden and I appeared together on Market Kitchen along with the  new celebrity chef Ching who made a fab quick and easy sweet and sour stir fry duck.

Deborah Meaden, Ching & Carol on Market Kitchen.
Deborah Meaden, Ching & Carol on Market Kitchen.

I haven’t seen it myself , so join me tonight at 6 O’clock on Good Food Channel and see how our site comes across on TV – Amanda Lamb has a go at navigating the site and does quite a good job of showing how you can share recipes with friends you are connected to as well as how you can create shopping lists for dinner parties and then print or email the list and shop online.

They asked me about our future development plans and were really interested in our upcoming tool to allow people to search their fridge and get recipe ideas with the ingredients they have got.

Lets see if it comes out that way tonight!!!

Also repeats on Good Food Channel at 10pm and tomorrow at 7 am and 12pm and an hour later on Good Food Channel Plus 1.

Politicians go head to head in the Kitchen!

Whether you are chomping at the bit to get to the polling station on Thursday 6th May or can’t bear the thought of all the political machinations that are taking place pre-election,  you can’t help but get involved in one of the biggest election debates currently on the political scene – what do the politicians actually eat?

Gordon Browns favourite dish is ‘rumbledethumps’, what on earth is that you ask but as Mr Brown is a Scot, and any Scot will tell you it is the delicious Scottish dish made from cabbage, swede and potatoes, often using leftovers from Sunday lunch. England has Bubble and Squeak, Ireland Colcannon and in Scotland Rumbledethumps.  He enjoys making vegetable and mozzarella parcels at the weekends for his family.

On the other hand David Cameron’s favourite smell is food cooking on a bbq but makes a mean Italian sausage meat pasta.

Nick Clegg’s wife is Spanish so eats a lot of  Mediterranean and Spanish food, Paella being one of his favourites when out

Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg at Tapas Brindisa. Photograph: Linda Brownlee
Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg at Tapas Brindisa. Photograph: Linda Brownlee

as a family as they can all share it and he loves his wife’s ham & Cheese Croquetas.  He does however have a favourite biscuit.  Rich Tea (when no one is looking and can dunk) or HobNobs if not.  Although apparently when he is back in his constituent he eats a lot of cakes which the Spanish aren’t very good at making!

Alex Salmon, leader of the Scottish Party favourite is not surprising another Scottish dish Cullen Skink;  Clare Short, The independent MP for Birmingham Ladywood is a fan of Japanese food – but she didn’t taste rice or spaghetti until she got to university and David Blunkett likes fine dinning (slightly different to his Yorkshire upbringing of bread and dripping).

So who ever you are voting for let’s hope he comes out as the Master Chef……

Order Order in the MyDish House!

Why have we killed off the fairy cakes?

Why have we killed off fairy cakes in favour of cup cakes?

I grew up with fairy cakes at my birthday parties. My mum used to experiment …putting happy faces on some and sad on others. None of the kids would eat the sad one, they were always left over. Was that a ploy so that the adults could eat yummy homemade cakes without feeling guilty that they were taking them away from the children???

MyDish Fairy Cakes

But since I have had kids and bake the goodies for our birthday parties, I seem to be the only person calling them fairy cakes. Its like the red squirrel and the grey squirrel…the cup cakes have been flown in and wiped out our fairy cakes. Well I want them back!!!!!

There seems to be an enormous industry that has emerged with cup cakes…a homemade product that has now been commercialised.

Lots of people know how to make really tasty FAIRY CAKES, which are simple products with cheap basic ingredients. it doesn’t require a large amount of capital investment, and it’s relatively easy to scale up without hiring lots of workers. I really support this new industry but can we PLEASE use our own language and not change its name just because the Americans call then cupcakes. Let them eat cupcakes!

MyDish Fairy Cakes

Best of British

In celebration of the return to traditional home cooking, MyDish and the Ideal Home Show is launching the ‘Best of British’ Collection recipe book.

Deborah Meaden, the Dragon’s Den business woman and investor in, launched the competition at the Ideal Home show on Monday 22nd March.

‘The Best of British’ Collection will combine the UK’s best home cooked recipes and traditional family cooking secrets passed down through the ages.

Deborah Meaden officially launched The Ideal Recipe book at this year’s Ideal Home Show, calling for all cooks, amateur chefs and families across the UK to enter their best home cooking recipes, traditional family recipes passed down through the years or those simple adaptations of traditional dishes to add to the Best of British Collection.  To find out more and enter your recipe click here.