Beat Blue Monday with Propercorn

Falling on the third Monday of the New Year, Blue Monday is officially the saddest day of the year: the excitement from the festivities finally fizzles out and the cold, dark winter gets to us.

As a result, many of us lose motivation, ditch our diets and go back to old habits. Lucy Fry, our Crisps and Snacks buyer, reveals the telling data from…

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Bacon-wrapped jalapeños and water chestnuts recipe

Blog_Bacon_JalapenosCanapés are brilliant. They’re perfect for feeding a group of people, they look adorable, and because they’re small you can try lots of different things. Our recipe for bacon-wrapped jalapeños and water chestnuts is quick, easy and mouth-wateringly good.


12 streaky bacon rashers, cut in half widthways
12 Kingfisher whole water chestnuts
1 sprinkle brown sugar
12 fresh jalapeño peppers, deseeded
25g cream cheese
3 tbsp chilli sauce or chutney, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.
  1. Cut the bacon rashers in half widthways and lay them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over them.
  1. Deseed the jalapeños and fill the insides with cream cheese.
  1. Place them on top of half the rashers, and place a chestnut on top of the other half (cut the chestnuts in half if they’re particularly large). Roll up and secure with a cocktail stick.
  1. Bake in the oven for 20 mins, or until crisp. Serve with chilli sauce or chutney for dipping.


Have a Happy New Year, everyone.

Easy entertaining: a no-fuss New Year buffet

Whether you’re throwing a big festive bash, or a more casual dinner, why not let your guests help themselves? You get to spend less time in the kitchen, and they get the pleasure of your company. We’ll say cheers to that!

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12 drinks of Christmas – The Jalisco

The ninth cocktail in our series, the Jalisco, is a fresh burst of apple and cucumber with a tequila bite.


  • 50ml tequila blanco
  • 20ml lime juice
  •  20ml cloudy apple juice
  • 20ml 1:1 sugar syrup
  • Cucumber slice

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Happy Chinese New Year

10th February 2013 marks the start of the Year of the Snake. Hopefully it will bring good luck to all of you born in previous snake years. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ways to mark Chinese New Year no matter what animal of the zodiac you were born under. Check out my suggestions below.

Happy New Year!


SNAKE_Sophie_Conran_Salad_BowlThe Year of the Snake

1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Those born in the Year of the Snake are intelligent, graceful and have an eye for luxury. This Sophie Conran bowl is a great gift idea.

RAT_MacaronsThe Year of the Rat

1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Those born in the Year of the Rat are clever, have excellent taste and are very generous and sociable. This recipe is perfect to share with friends.

OX_Caroline_Gardner_Address_BookThe Year of the Ox

1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Those born in the Year of the Ox enjoy time with family, make good leaders and are very methodical. An address book will be a gladly received gift.

TIGER_Mark_Jordan_Passion_Fruit_SouffleThe Year of the Tiger

1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Those born in the Year of the Tiger are authoritative, charming, warm-hearted and adventurous. This recipe will appeal to their sense of adventure.

RABBIT_Art_JarThe Year of the Rabbit

1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Those born in the Year of the Rabbit love entertaining at home and are compassionate and artistic. Channel their artistic side with this art jar.

DRAGON_Peanut_Protien_BlastThe Year of the Dragon

1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Those born in the Year of the Dragon are energetic, natural born leaders and charismatic. These protein blasts are great for fuelling their active lifestyle.

HORSE_KettlebellThe Year of the Horse

1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

Those born in the Year of the Horse are sharp-witted, love travelling and very sporty. This will help them keep fit!

SHEEP_essieThe Year of the Sheep

1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

Those born in the Year of the Sheep (sometimes known as Goat) are disorganised, creative and take pride in their appearance. This nail polish will keep them right on-trend.

MONKEY_Chocolate_and_almond_tortelliniThe Year of the Monkey

1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

Those born in the Year of the Monkey are amusing, energetic and very popular. This fun recipe is right up their street (or tree).

ROOSTER_CosmopolitanThe Year of the Rooster

1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

Those born in the Year of the Rooster are resourceful, traditional and perfectionists. This old fashioned cocktail will get their party started.

DOG_ShimmerThe Year of the Dog

1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Those born in the Year of the Dog are honest, animated and attractive. Making this shimmer a must-have!

PIG_DumplingsThe Year of the Pig

1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

Those born in the Year of the Pig enjoy the finer things in life, have hidden depth and are very popular. Just like these dumplings!