Exciting package delivery!

I don’t know about you, but I still get childishly excited when the post arrives. Especially when there’s a package for me! Open-mouthed smileDSC03847

Tearing straight into it…any guesses?DSC03848

It’s this!DSC03850

Michael Pollen’s ‘In Defence of Food’. After hearing many rave reviews of this book, I decided to order it and see what the fuss was about myself! I have a huge interest in this kind of thing, so I can’t wait to dive right in! And of course I’ll give you a lovely book review when I’m done! Smile

Another surprise this morning was some natural light, believe it or not! I feel like I’ve been living in darkness for ages, so when a bit of natural light comes, I hurry with the food so it can be appreciated!DSC03846

Aah, light! It soon went again though, and I returned back to my world of artificial light. Sad smile This bowl of delicious creamy simple oats (1 cup oats+wheatbran, a sprinkle of oatbran, 1 cup soya milk and a handful of raisins) warmed and cheered me up though!

On today’s agenda was making granola! I love granola, but hate how much sugar is added to shop-bought varieties! That’s also what I love about dried apricots- they’re one of the few dried fruits that usually never have any added sugar! Open-mouthed smile

Coconut, Apricot and Almond Granola (adapted from Sound Eats)

  • 2 cups (jumbo) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons tropical (or orange) juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (I used melted vegan spread)
  • Desiccated coconut (optional- I used approximately 3 Tablespoons)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Combine the oats, almonds, apricots and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in all of the liquids until all the oats are evenly coated.
  3. Spread out the granola on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake granola for 15 minutes. Take the granola out and turn it, then bake an additional 10 minutes. (It won’t be very hard- the granola will continue to harden after you remove it from the oven).

I remember it taking me ages to find rolled oats when I first bought these, but you can get them almost anywhere now! They are great for baking, so much better than normal oats!DSC03859

The original recipe called for nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but I didn’t  have any. Regardless, I’m definitely a cinnamon girl anyway, so would have added this King of Spices anyway! Smile with tongue outDSC03860

All mixed together:DSC03854


Unfortunately, I over baked mine a bit, as I have a fan-assisted oven, so you have to judge by how much to reduce time/temperature. And apparently I didn’t judge very well! But anyway, it still turned out delicious:DSC03862

Filled a whole tub! This’ll last me a while! I had some sprinkled on the remains of my soya yoghurt as an afternoon snack:DSC03874


Very tasty, and brilliant with yogurt! Smile

Lunch was light, as I had basically been snacking throughout the day-mainly on this moreish granola! Smile with tongue out I had spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms, which make a great light lunch or snack, depending on how hungry you are! Basically, you take a large flat mushroom (or two, in my case), and destalk:


Take about a handful of fresh spinach, and chop roughly:DSC03864

Stuff the mushroom with the spinach. Grate some cheese, and then sprinkle on top. Then place on a grill pan and grill on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until ready.DSC03868DSC03866


Before lunch, I tackled the cardio section of Nell McAndrew’s Ultimate Challenge again, which is definitely my favourite workout DVD at the moment:DSC03322

Did about 40 mins, which was still a challenge! I’ve actually yet to do the whole thing from start to finish, mainly because it’s about an hour and a half long! Smile with tongue out

So have you read ‘In Defence of Food’, and if so, what did you think? I’m also thinking of reading ‘The End of Overeating’ by David Kessler, so if you’ve read that, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! And do you use workout DVDs? If so what are your favourites?

Have a great evening! Open-mouthed smile


Illness and Icing

I was ill today Sad smile Hence the late post (sorry about that!). I was switching between headachey, nausea and a combination of the two throughout the day. Hopefully it’s just one of those 24-hour bugs, as I feel slightly better now, so lets hope tomorrow is better!

Breakfast was very, very dull. I felt really nauseous and didn’t want to eat at all (a first!) but choked down a couple of slices of toast, then settled down to watch some quality daytime TV, which included the same episode of Friends three times (The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion, if you’re interested! Smile with tongue out)

And obviously, I had to spend some time in the kitchen. As I always say, “when (fill in blank: ill/in doubt/bored/angry/happy/etc), bake”! Actually, today’s escapades involved very little baking, but copious amounts of this…billingtons_fairtrade_light_brown_sugar_500g

So what did I make, I hear you ask? Well I made (no-bake) ‘cookie dough truffles’! Open-mouthed smile Basically, it’s my little cousin’s birthday party at the weekend (she’s going to be seven!) and I promised her I’d make something for her party. When I asked what she wanted, she said “something with cookie dough in it!”. Er…okay then…! Obvious issue here was the small matter of raw egg! Much as I ate it as a kid and survived, I don’t think parents would like me possibly giving their children food poisoning! But this saved me:Nestles_Carnation_Sweetened_Condensed_Milk_397g_115

No eggs here baby! Isn’t this beautiful? The finished result:DSC03341

Also, it happens to be one of my best friend’s birthdays tomorrow, and I know she has a sweet tooth that could (almost!) take on mine, so I made a special few for her:DSC03347

Did you notice the truffle with the ‘I’ iced on it(pretty badly!)? Her name is Izzy, so I personalised one for her SmileDSC03342

Packaged up in a cute little box and tied with a ribbon:DSC03346

Cute, huh? Obviously I bought her a present too, but this was way cooler! Smile with tongue out

Cookie Dough truffles (based on a recipe from Food Network)

Makes a ton. Depending on how big/small you make them, you can get 25+

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chip

Mix together the butter, sugar,vanilla,and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl until well combined. This was one seriously sugary mixture. DSC03300

Add the flour and chocolate chips. You might be able to form this into balls at this point, but I couldn’t, so I chilled my dough for about half an hour. Trying not to ‘accidentally’ eat too much cookie dough like I did, roll into small balls. Or do as I did and make some huge, and some tiny-variation is the spice of life after all! Smile with tongue outDSC03303

Place the balls in the freezer for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, melt  12 oz chocolate chips with 1 tbsp butter. To melt, place in a microwave at 25 second intervals, stirring between each, and be careful not to overheat. The best thing to do I think is just to wait till the chocolate is mostly melted, then just stir as the rest will melt in the meantime. I also used different types of chocolate for fun! Dark…



…and white for decorative drizzling purposes:DSC03335

Now for the messy (and most fun!) bit! You can dip the balls using a spoon (like I did) or any other method you think is best (e.g. with an icing bag). Once done, store them in a fridge till solid. Then if you like, drizzle white chocolate over them. I used my loverly icing syringe:DSC03340

Looks very ominous doesn’t it? Smile with tongue out I do love using my syringe…maybe I should be a doctor, then I could use one every day! Not quite for the same purpose, but just as fun I’m sure! Smile with tongue outDSC03339

Then pop back into the fridge, and voila! They’re done, and you end up with this beauty:DSC03341

So hopefully a very happy bunch of little girls this weekend, and two sets of very happy birthday girls!

Anyway, back to me! Smile By lunchtime, I was feeling a bit better. Still not particularly hungry, but in need of some nutrients and a pick-me-up. Enter: The Green Monster! What else? I assembled my ingredients:


2 handfuls of spinach, a banana, a pear, 3/4 cup soya milk, 1/2 tsp xanthan gun, 1 tsp cinnamon and some cereal, all blended together…DSC03328

…and poured into a bowl to enjoy…


…and then topped with Grape Nuts and dried fruits. So good. Smile Also, I was randomly craving sweet potato fries. Don’t ask me why. The sick girl must have what she desires!DSC03321

Enter wedges of sweet potato mixed with the following:DSC03313

Paprika, sea salt, and EVOO, and then I threw in some black pepper for good measure and tossed the wedges around and ovened at 200C for half an hour until crispy perfection is reached:


Hello yumminess. While I was waiting for the oven timer to go, I did a bit of DVD workout:


While I wasn’t feeling quite up to the cardio yet, I did about 20 mins of the strength training/stretches part that I’d never done before. What did I discover? That I have killer butt and leg muscles, but my abs and biceps+triceps are non existent! I will work on that!

After lunch, I felt much better. To the extent that I tried a finished truffle or two… Delicious, if I say so myself! Definitely not a healthy option though with that amount of sugar! Smile with tongue out 

I had a short run planned today, but didn’t want to risk worsening my bug. As I was feeling slightly better, I did about half an hour of the cardio bit of the workout DVD, which was tough, but I felt good afterwards! Didn’t look quite as good as I felt though:DSC03336

Oh dear. Sweaty unattractive mess! Smile with tongue out

Excited for tomorrow, as I’m supposed to be getting another delivery! Not a food one this time, but some running tights I ordered online, that were in a sale and reduced from £40 to £5!! Open-mouthed smile I’m also going to my friend’s birthday party in the evening. She said there’s going to be a big surprise, so I wonder what it is…! Guess I’ll just have to wait and see, and hopefully I’ll be feeling 100% again! Smile

So today was a mish-mash of random eats in the hope that I would recover quickly and wouldn’t bring anything back up! What things do you eat when you are ill?