Posted in exercise, fitness, food, gluten free, gluten intolerance, rest

Back with a sensibly paced and measured minor explosion…

In preference to a bang as I’d probably put my back out! In fact I have, so it’s measured walking again, hey ho, that’s how my fitness life goes. Rest, baths, Diclofenac,common sense, and I’ll be back with the programme soon enough.

That said, it’s been a funny old year, not least because I’ve been dealing with a health problem for some time that effectively scuppered my exercise plans, drained all my energy and put me in a funny old frame of mind.

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I started another one called “Barley Free Living”. Well, as it turns out, I’m actually gluten intolerant and it appears that that’s been at the root of the IBS I’ve suffered from since 1996. Mercifully, I’m not Coeliac, for which I am very, very grateful.

When the barley problem really started to cause me a problem, (Allergic reaction – how wonderful) OH persuaded me that it might be a good idea if I consulted my GP to get some guidance, and to get checked out. As an experiment (and to eliminate the chance of cross contamination which actually caught me out once or twice) I went GF for a while. It was great. A number of grisly symptoms gone in a couple of days and the headaches and brain fog I’d had since my son was born (and before if I’m honest) went too.

What wasn’t so great was the dietician that I’d been referred to suggested that I have an initial Coeliac disease test and that I have to start eating gluten containing foods again in order to the appropriate antibodies to appear in my blood stream. This involved actually eating more gluten containing foods than I had previously been eating.

Gluten “rechallenging” (A mimsy term if ever I’ve heard one) is rank. If I had blogged about it, you, dear reader, would have had to endure 6 weeks of me whinging about the parlous state of my hoop, gassy gurgling like a lava lamp with a major flatulence problem (for the Whovians amongst you, the Slytheen are a good reference point) and with a permanent headache. It’s actually a good thing I was utterly devoid of any mental spring or energy, because no-one would ever read anything I’ve written ever again, so mired in self-pity was I. Never again. Gluten-free may be a major inconvenience (and I’m slightly bemused by people solely doing this as a lifestyle choice – one for people with more time on their hands than I have I suspect) but at least, I don’t feel like I’m on the verge of bursting anymore. Literally.

Reader, you’ve had a lucky escape!

Posted in food, goop, gwyneth paltrow, kale, kale chips, recipe, walking

A Paltrow moment (one from Sunday)

(This post is from Sunday) As the weather is ghastly, my son is off colour and my husband is travelling back from a stag do, I’m in the house and naturally my thoughts have turned to food.

Thing is, because I’m working on this eating better thing, I have been rummaging about the internet. One particular recipe that keeps jumping out all over the place is the kale chip. Gwyneth raves about this shizzle.

To be honest, I was skeptical. After all, it appears to be the staple diet of actresses who need to take their kit off a lot. (Please see Jennifer Aniston) and some of the strategies that are utilised to maintain a “hot bod” seem, frankly, insane. The idea of the Kale chip is only several steps away from eating hay with seasonings, or at least it was until I tried it….This really isn’t the most demanding recipe I’ve ever executed.

  1. Set your oven to Gas Mark 3.
  2. Get your kale out of the bag, take out the big stalky bits that are a bit like chewing on the nearest tree branch and give it a wash.
  3. Dry it off by patting it dry with a tea towel, or alternatively, if you’re feeling particularly wild and daring, you can bundle it up in your tea towel, and windmill it. (Much in the style of Pete Townesend when the Who were in their pomp)
  4. Once you’ve picked the kale from the light fittings, your childs’ hair and the walls, coat it with a small amount of olive oil (1tbsp-ish), salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Spread it out on lined baking sheets and hoof in the oven keeping an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t burn. It should be dried out, not browned.
  5. Eat.

(I’m writing this from perspective of being a massive brasicca-phile).

Now I’d love to say that this is the future of snacking for me…..but it’s not. It’s good in that you get a hit of flavour, and kale is good stuff. I neglected to mention that you will be lucky to encounter any feelings of fullness at all, though the olive oil/pepper/salt/paprika thing ensures that it’s not entirely without merit.

It’s just there’s nothing that really tickles my pleasure centres, though I am tempted to try this again in a more “crispy seaweed” style, only with less deep frying. It’s not bad, but I’ve got to be honest, it’s culinary Calvinism. I think what I’m struggling with is that it appears to be a bowl full of dietary virtue, and my inner bon viveur isn’t happy with that at all. So my skepticism has remained completely intact.

But….I’d do it again, I think…or I could walk the long way to the shop and buy a bag of crisps. I think I like the second option more.

Posted in food

More cooking – Part Deux

So at roughly 11.35 on Christmas Eve I ran out of wrapping paper and also managed to finally get 24 red velvet cupcakes out of the bloody oven.

For info, I’ve been planning to make the damn things since June, but considering that was when I went back to work, the opportunity and enthusiasm to complete the job has been in tragically short supply. So like a total muppet I decided that Christmas bloody Eve was the optimum time to do this. Because I am a f**kwit.

To be honest, from a baking perspective, there are two things I bake regularly (i.e. more than twice in any ten year period) – and they are Victoria Sponge and my mothers gloriously easy chocolate cake (which is rather fab BTW).  Red Velvet turned out to be significantly more complicated than I anticipated  That possibly has something to do with a) a mate having a *really* bad Christmas Eve b) Cava – lots of, cunningly being filtered by my kidneys and de-alcoholised by my liver c) trying to finish off Christmas for my wee boys 1st Christmas – having suddenly been driven that weird state of guilt /insanity that grips parents from time to time – even though there’s more chance of him remembering his 12 month jabs and d) I ran out of wrapping paper for the child who *won’t fecking remember it anyway*.

So yes, the perfect state of mind for attempting this sort of thing. And then ended up decorating them in a fury of “I’ve got this far, I’ve got bloody finish it” (I’m a compulsive completer/finisher and unfinished projects tend to haunt my thoughts).

Not very bloody red….
Some had a strange bicarb of soda globule patina on the surface.
I tried to ponce on piping…then decided that trying to refreshing an old skill while growling at cake is probably quite a rubbish idea.
Quite pretty, eventually.
Here’s the link to the recipe again –  and everyone who tried one liked them, but next time I’m not going to do it at a really stupid time. And I’m going to buy a mixer. I had one popeye-like arm for 4 days afterwards.
Posted in food

well the pig was a roaring success…

We had another cracking evening with some chums, generally filling ourselves to the gunnels. And making a fairly respectable dint in the nations wine stocks. It was tremendous 🙂 x

Starter – antipasto which is always a winner, grilled halloumi, feta, salami, chorizo, marinated mushrooms, sun blush tomatoes – I’m drooling again. Roast pork with heritage potato mash, roasted green peppers and greek salad for main and brownie with ice cream and raspberry coulis to finish, oh and cheese. I’m surprised we both managed to fit through the door!

Posted in food

Cretan Roast Pork

In the previous post there is a picture of one of my experiments with pig in a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and enough garlic to knock out the proprietor of our local accidental Italian/Tunisian fusion restaurant* which will be marinating away for the next 23 hours.

(It’s been in the fridge for an hour already and it smells absolutely divine!).

As it happens, when I bought this joint I thought “Blinking heck! We’re going to be eating pork for weeks!” however it looks like we’re going to be taking it for a walk to a friends house, instead of a planned day out in Newcastle (Boo hiss). However as it’s the same people that I would have been going to the Toon with anyway, I’m sure my disapointment will ebb somewhere around the first glass of rose.

I’ll report back with the results after it’s been slow roasted and devoured.

*Restaurant Verdi – the most concentrated garlicky-ness in the known universe with a “quirky/mental” take on italian food.