Saturday, March 27, 2010

Going Bananas

I am a huge ginormous fan of the lovely Gee Gee who has a fantastic foodie blog and her very own Facebook page called Uplifting Food One of her recipes has been taunting me for a while now and it's her Banana Muffin creation. It works out at only 2.5 WW points per muffin, so I can happily make and eat these beauties.

This morning, I got up and did a skills test online for a temporary contract I'm being put forward for and saw The Hubs off to work. The fruit basket caught my eye and I decided to bake the muffins as there was a money-sized bunch of bananas just lying there doing nothing apart from being sliced into my breakfast cereal.

The recipe is dead simple. Preheat your oven to Gas 5/160F fan/ 190 normal/375 and get out your 12-hole muffin tin. Either grease & flour it, or use muffin cases (I use the M&S ones) and get your ingredients together

Mash the bananas, add the sugar, a beaten egg and melt your butter (the 1/3 cup is just over 75g).

Sieve your flour, salt, baking soda & bicarb into a large bowl & then mix in all your wet ingredients, taking care not to over beat.

Use an icecream scoop to measure out the portions - you actually do get 12 out of this mix, and bake for 20 minutes.

The smell will paralyse you - it's just intoxicating, wafting all that banana yummy goodness throughout the house. And to accompany it, I made a very skinny Hazelnut Mocha with skimmed milk, Green & Blacks cocoa powder, Monin Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup (a b*stard to source here) and some of my Senseo coffee. Time to eat, drink and be merry!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Isn't he gorgeous! We met him at the a-zoo yesterday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Manflu : A Woman's Perspective

When The Hubs is stricken by the Manflu, the world comes to a halt. There's loud rummaging for special tablets (which we have invariably run out of), then there's quiet sighing and finally the "I don't feel well" comment. So, it's stay in bed/go back to bed for the poor likkle invalid.

This time, my special ray of sunshine aka my beloved husband decided that "sharing was caring" and gave me his dose of lurgy. The complete and utter bastard. I haven't had a cold since last September when I ended up being diagnosed with late-onset asthma and a right stinker of a chest infection which ruined my birthday plans. I know I'm sick if I'm too sick to drink. And here we are again.

As some of you know, I sing in an AWARD-WINNING ladies choir (yeah, boast!) and we were in rehearsals for a competition on Mother's Day. We were being dragged in for practice every chance our choir boss got, and we were wrecked, therefore susceptible to all germs possible. So, under the guise of a lovely snog, The Hubs infected me with his manflu. It kicked off after our final rehearsal when I was uncommonly tired. Next came the achy bones and then my favourite, the sore throat. Yeah, 24 hours before a competition, I was croaky as a frog. Brilliant.

By the time we lined up to sing, I was high as a kite on Honey & Lemon Lockets and paracetamol. I even winked at one of the judges... and he smiled back. Jesus. Anyway, it must have been a good omen because we won. For the second year in a row. There were many celebrations & toasts with drinks of an alcoholic nature. Except for me. I was in tatters & went home for more drugs. And to make the dinner for the poor sickly Hubs.

That night, the nose started to run, and run, and run. I don't think it stopped. Which meant that I didn't sleep. No sleep makes me very grumpy. Then I had get dressed and make up for the missed Mother's Day visit. The Mammy was very happy with her Cath Kidson Nintendo DS cover... beats a bunch of daffs. Still no sleep that night.

And this blasted dose is getting worse, no better. I've ulcers all over the back of my throat and (joy of joys) I've gone off food. I made a massive pot of courgette & tomato soup this morning and that will have to keep me going. On a positive note, I definitely should have lost weight this week... I'll find out at the WW meeting tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nemo Pie

Finding Nemo is one of my favourite kids films, indeed I even have a cuddy Nemo at home which temporarily distracts the nieces & nephews when they come a-calling. However I'm much more fond of Nemo & his underwater buddies for my dinner.

Tonight I was home alone for dinner, seeing as The Hubs was off somewhere watching Man U-Bloody-nited play football in a pub, so I decided to have a very nice but very lazy dinner. I am a huge fan of Delia Smith and her part cheat/part cook approach to food, so here's how I made my Nemo Pie.

I chopped up some carrot, shallot, broccoli and green beans, tossed them into a reused Chinese takeaway container, added a drop of liquid stock and water, and popped it into the microwave (lid on) for 90 seconds on high.

Then I chopped up some smokey Coley (reduced to clear in Tesco to 80c) and took the tails off some deveined cooked prawns (which were lurking in my freezer as a free gift from my Mum)
Then I made up a packet of Beurre Blanc sauce we bought in France last year, added a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and mixed it all up with a handful of frozen petit pois. Finally I topped it off with some frozen spring onion mash and threw it into the oven on 200c for 25 minutes until it was all bubbly and yummy.

It tasted even better than it looks.

Let's Get Physical

I would never be considered to have a model-like figure, unless we were transported back in time to the 17th Century - then myself and the Nigella one would be on the cover of Baroque Monthly!

Curves are good - the Hubs never complains - and my niece wants to have boobies like me when she grows up (dear heaven, no... be nice and manageable like your mother instead). However, the cup was spilling over due to sloth and indolence induced by unemployment and general apathy. Watching The Biggest Loser while eating crisps on the sofa was really wrong. Something had to change.

So, off I wandered down to our SuperShed where we have an cobweb-festooned elliptical trainer which gives me guilty looks every time I open the door to get a bottle of wine or out clothes in the tumble dryer. I hoovered away the grey tendrils, plugged it in, and on I hopped. Holy Sweet Mother of Jesus. I nearly dropped dead from the sheer effort required to move the handles. And I kept glancing at the control panel which wasn't clocking up the kilometres half as fast as I would like. So, I racked my rapidly atrophying brain for a solution to keep me on the Instrument of Torture for longer. And then, as if by magic, it came to me.

Watch TV on the laptop. I am easily distracted, so if an episode of Come Dine With Me or The Amazing Race can keep me going for longer, then who am I to argue? Guess what? It works! I prop my laptop on the BBQ and I can now manage 6km at a time which is great work for somebody with a dodgy knee. I'm trying to do this every second day, more if possible, to get me into a good habit. So far, I've only missed days because I've been hungover (I know... my body is a temple & all that) or migraine-stricken, so I'm rather pleased with my progress. The Hubs is in shock/awe and has now started to go out for a stroll in the evening, so as not to feel left out.

I doubt you'll see me signing up for marathons and fun-runs just yet, but one step at a time eh!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Funtime

I found this in the Sunday Times Style magazine and it made me laugh so much, I woke up the (not so gently) snoring Hubs!

And this is my favourite one (God, this has happened to me far too many times to count!!!)

Thanks to The Sunday Times Style Magazine. Copyright Missled and with Gemma Soames