Cooking up a treat


Dale gets creative in the kitchen with his cook's essentials Universal PanDear followers of the BOTF,

Thanks for all the comments on my last blog, mostly to do with my last-minute Elemis performance and trying to guess the exact name and animal combo for a new Charlie Bears creation featuring at the end of February, or my New Year's Zumba treat!

Whilst I did appreciate the kind words for my Elemis performance, all the plaudits should go to the fabulous guest Keeley, who was also not feeling a 100% – what a star! 

My twins Ali and Jack turned 15 last November, and as anyone knows, it's a really difficult age for both the individual and their parents. They're not kids anymore and yet they're not quite adults, even though they would argue that point! We're blessed that ours haven't morphed into a Harry Enfield character (yet!) and we remain on great speaking terms!

So what gifts do you buy them? Like many parents we did spend quite a lot on their birthdays but my daughter's favourite present was a large cardboard box – honestly!

My wife Tracey enjoyed gradually buying all sorts of Kitchen bits and bobs including ingredients, cake mixes, cookery books, the Prepology Silicon Cookie tray etc. and packing them into this box.

For Jack and I, there's nothing better than coming back from a freezing rugby game and opening the door to the gorgeous aroma of baking! So the gift has gone down well with us all.

Ali  has really got into her baking in a big way and it's quite reassuring that sometimes the simple things in life are still appreciated – whilst I love my gadgets, gifts don't always have to be the 'latest thing' to be really well received.

So, she now takes a particular interest in anything for the kitchen that I bring home from the Q.

Regular viewers will know that I love my FOOD – both I and my stomach (it is a separate entity!) are so lucky to work with some great kitchen guests who are such great cooks.

Cook's essentials Aluminium Induction Ultra 24cm Deep Universal PanSimon Brown is one of our most talented kitchen stars and I'll be working with him at midnight on Wednesday into Thursday, with a brand new cook's essentials TSV. The Aluminium Ultra Universal Pan – this one has new non-stick by Teflon and even works on induction hobs!

It's a 24cm pan with a glass lid and comes in great colours like purple, cream, duck egg blue and classic black, which I used (you can see me with it in the pic at the top of this post). It has all the usual great features, including a lifetime guarantee, and all for under £18 plus P&P! It's really amazing how quickly the pan heats up – I started with a really complex recipe first – fried eggs! Then I progressed to a homemade risotto with bacon and chicken – delicious – if I say so myself!

I will also be launching a fun TSV on Friday into Saturday from Microsoft. It's the amazing Xbox 360 Kinect with a fantastic bundle offer that'll get you up off that couch and having fun whilst working out in front of your TV screen instead of others down at the gym! So why not join me on the Q, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings this week.

Well, that's all for now, love to hear your comments as always, so until next time – stay safe, happy and satiated !

Dale x


  1. Liz January 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale, Enjoyed reading your latest blog. Great to hear your daughter is a baker. My daughters are really competent bakers too…taught by mother of course… but it can be a struggle to keep the waistline in check! Recently I baked a batch of cakes for my son to take to work. I gave him his Lock n Lock box full of cakes the night before he was due to take them to work. His flatmate had some friends round spotted the cakes and ate most of the chocolate cakes!
    Always look forward to your shows and your pithy comments!
    Regards, Liz.

  2. Dale Franklin January 20, 2012 at 12:30 am -  Reply

    Thank you Liz, Pithy comments eh? Nice to hear from you and it’s so funny to read your son’s story – Ali never makes enough of anything and it’s always a bit if a scramble especially when Jack or I are around ! It must please you that your daughters have learnt to bake at the Master’s knee ( or should that be Mistress’ ?) Dale x

  3. Gail January 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale, that’s a lovely present you got Ali. It’s good for the children to realise that everything edible doesn’t have to come ready wrapped or straight out of a packet, and I’m sure Ali would admit that things taste better when homemade. I’m sure you are all benefiting as you said. I bake, but nothing fancy; muffins, scones, quiche, cupcakes and bread. It’s all round Dales for tea then (only joking Dale, only joking).
    If ONLY the simple things in life were appreciated more Dale. Most people have what is most important under their very noses, but never see it.
    Have a nice weekend Dale and happy baking Ali.
    Pithy comments – never heard that one Dale; perhaps you could enlighten me.
    Galileo xx

  4. Marian Bolton January 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm -  Reply

    Lol Dale, looking at Gail’s comment, I think you mentioning your wife’s name has got us both on our best behaviour! You know what to do then in future and we’ll take that as a cue for ‘no sauce’!
    I wasn’t going to blog at all cos it’s very much a ‘Dale, the family man’ blog and I wasn’t sure I could behave myself! (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE some might say!!) I know I get carried away sometimes Dale but it’s all down to THE USUAL SUSPECTS encouraging me really – you know, Gail, Galeo and Galileo (the Unholy Trinity!!) Hi Gail, love you really xxx
    You’ve coaxed me on here though Dale with your ‘mistress’ comment. That’s it, I thought, green light! But I’m still going to try and behave.
    As you know, I’ve met Keeley several times now and have to agree she is an absolute star. A genuinely lovely lady and so very dedicated to her work.
    I have to say, a bonus of not having kids is not having to worry about what to buy them. All the more to buy me I say. And I never have any bother deciding what to buy me!
    I recently tried fried duck eggs for the first time. Have you tried them Dale? Absolutely Dale’icious …….. ooohhh I mean delicious! (This behaving lark is not easy!!)
    I will definitely be watching the Sat TSV repeat in the morning and no doubt will have more to say after that!
    PS. Love to Tracey ……. and thanks to her for sharing you with us ……. if only on your blog!

  5. Dale franklin January 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm -  Reply

    Thanks Gail, Galeo, Galileo (think that covered it)? You are so right about the best things being under your nose and much closer to home than you might think – we could get all deep and heavy here but I’m sure readers would agree – going for a simple afternoon walk in the Countryside with Toby and stopping off somewhere for a Cuppa, makes a perfectly relaxing day for me! Am I getting old? Or just wiser ! Both !!
    Dale x

  6. Dale franklin January 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian, You really crack me up – Please don’t feel you can’t comment on a BOTF ! You always make both myself and I’m sure many others chuckle! I’m not going to the Beauty Bash this year are you? Dale x

  7. Marian Bolton January 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm -  Reply

    ‘You really crack me up” – is that an ‘eggs’ joke Daleo??!! Yes, I’m going to the Beauty Bash on Thursday afternoon and I’m VERY excited.Though not quite so much now I know you’re not going to be there. Shame that cos I’m bringing some Dale’icious …… ooops I mean delicious home made chocolate muffins. I’ll see if Ali will take one back for you. Of course, there’s no guarantee it will get to you is there???!!!!

  8. Christine January 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale, I love cooking too, my mother taught me lots of things and I also enjoyed cookery at school. I make a good scrambled egg though I say so myself! I am an eggspert! The TSV pan looked very good, yes Simon is great. Re gardening I love watching Richard Jackson, he’s an expert and a good laugh! He was good with Julian Ballantyne the other day, they were very funny! I like when he mentions the roots! Well take care and I hope I get to see your Zumba routine soon!! Christine xx

  9. Elaine Marsh April 25, 2012 at 11:18 am -  Reply

    Hi Dale – I was at the Friday session of Gem Day(20th) previews and sadly didn’t get a chance to speak with you but I did stand close at one stage! You are as sweet and professional off stage as you are on and tall, as were the lovely ladies, Lorrie, Sally and Tania. I did manage to speak to your silver buyer, (dark haired lady) from the viewpoint of being in a minority of ladies without pierced ears, we miss out on the beautiful fine jewellery earrings to match up with rings and neckware all the time. I do resort to adapting some peirced ones but have not been brave enough to try with diamonds, rubies, emeralds or sapphires etc., just in case it didn’t work, as that would be a costly mistake. My ultimate goal is a AAA Tanzanite set. So with that in mind I would ask that perhaps some clever designer/buyer might consider clip on/screw backs (in plated metal) finding being attached/moulded to a fine stone earring in precious metal – thus giving the appearance of same metal fixture but without the high cost of the finding. I enjoyed the event and look forward perhaps to another in the future, hopefully when you are all settled into Chiswick studio…thank you again for the invite and generous goody bag. As my hubby got one too, we have called the bears (there are two) Right and Left!!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent poll

Never miss a post!

Sign up to our QGossip feed to get the latest posts in your mailbox.