Monday, 29 October 2012

What's on the Menu this week?

Well, first of all, I need to say a very Happy Hello to my three new followers. What a surprise to find the number has increased. You are very welcome, and I hope you find something to interest you here.

My healthy eating campaign wasn't great last week - and I forgot to weigh myself this morning! - but I enjoyed myself immensely! Our party on Saturday was fun, and although there was quite a long time at the beginning where there were two guests and a lot of awkward silences, things got better. Perhaps predictably, there was a gradual separation so we got English in one room and French in the other, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves. The punch-like drink that we made went down very well - and rather too easily!
It contained 2 litres of ready-made Sangria, 1/2 a bottle of "Ambassadeur" (sherry-like apero), a bottle of red wine, 20 cl of Poire Willem eau-de-vie, a couple of shots of vodka, a carton of orange juice and a carton of cranberry juice, plus chopped up fruit. It looked very murky and sludgey, but it tasted good!

 No, I didn't really get very tipsy at all, despite drinking lots of fruity sludge! So the cats were safe, and nobody woke up wearing a traffic cone.

 There was lots of good food, but I feel I should mention Michel's salad. He and Monique couldn't come, but he still insisted on making the salad. It was layers of chicory, avocado, pink grapefruit and crab-sticks - I wasn't convinced by the mxture, to be honest, but it was delicious! And it was typical of his generosity to insist on providing it (plus a bottle of grapefruit wine and a bottle of peach wine as well!)  even though he wasn't coming to the party.

So, back on the wagon today!

MONDAY: Hairy Vegetable Jalfrezi, with rice. The recipe in the cook book is for chicken jalfrezi, but I'm going to use aubergines, mushrooms and courgettes instead of the chicken. Otherwise it will be the same recipe. I'm doing this to cut down on the amount of meat that we eat.
As an aside, I think that is a downside of the otherwise wonderful Hairy Dieters: almost all the meals are meat based. I know that this is part of their "style" - hearty "British" cooking, but, in the current economic climate, I think more people are trying to cook with less meat, and this would have been an extra selling point. But that's only my opinion!

TUESDAY: Today we're having Hairy Cajun spiced chicken and potato wedges. Or possibly turkey, depending on what I buy. We'll have this with salad, as the recipe also includes a chive dip to go with it.

WEDNESDAY: I think I'd planned to have this recipe once before and not quite got round to it. It's Roast fish with Parma Ham & Peppers I'm using pollock fillets that I've got in the freezer. It looks a really easy recipe that's quite quick to prepare and cook.

THURSDAY: Baked potatoes with home made coleslaw and some grated cheese. Not too much cheese. I might make up a cheese-and-onion-and-light-mayo mix to make it go further.

FRIDAY: Hairy Mushroom risotto I can't find a link for this recipe. It is, in fact, a recipe for chicken and mushroom risotto, but I'm missing out the chicken again. Basically, make up your risotto, as you would normally: fry onion, garlic and chestnut mushrooms, add arborio rice (35g per person.) and add chicken stock. Add some dried wild mushroms which have been soaked for about 30 minutes. To make it creamy and delicious, stir through a spoonful of low fat creme fraiche and about 10g parmesan (for 2 people).
If you want to add chicken, the Hairy Dieters suggest one breast for 2 people, gently poached in the stock before you start the risotto. Then slice it into strips and add with the crème fraiche, making sure everything is heated through.

SATURDAY: Hairy Cottage Pie A straightforward hearty recipe, which I'll probably serve with some kind of green vegetable.

SUNDAY: Hairy Lamb Tagine .
The dish itself is named after the original  dish in which it was cooked - the traditional tajine (or tagine) pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides, and a large cone or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is so designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving. They are rather lovely, but I'm not sure it would fit in my oven!
I might try this in the slow cooker. Several bloggers have said that it worked well for them - although the sauce may need to be transferred to a pan to thicken it on the stove top.

* * * * * 

Nancy- I'm glad you liked the sound of the salmon dish and the cake. The cake was really good - I topped it with some caramel sauce and coconut which made it very yummy, although, in my opinion, it was a bit dry. Others have disagreed with me though. It certainly isn't a dieter's cake though! I'm not sure it followed the "pound cake" rule of 1lb of each ingredient either, but it was rich and tasty.

Fishcake Random - Thanks for getting in touch about the prize. I hope you got my email, but if not, I've now added my email address to my profile.
Mags - I'm waiting to hear from you about your win!

* * * * *
So, there you are, dear friends. Next week's menu planning. I hope you might find something new here that YOU might like to try. Let me know if you do!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Growing Bigger

Not in weight, I hope, but in Blog friends.

I know that blogging isn't all about followers, but it is niice to think that there are people who are interested in reading one's offerings. Comments are great to receive, and to read. So thank you to those of you who are following me, and popping in from time to time.

I am joining in with Vicki over at 2 Bags Full in her Blog Event, designed to introduce bloggers to new blogs and maybe increase followers. I'm a great one for lurking - I don't follow a huge number of blogs, nor do I comment as often as I should. I will try to do so more. - but I think this is a lovely idea.
So if you'd like to Grow Your Blog too, why not pop over to see Vicki, and read the guidelines she's put up there.

Speaking of followers, I am embarrassed to recall that I announced, with great fanfares, a Giveaway "to celebrate my lovely followers" way back in September. And then I promptly forgot about it!!! So here, later (much later!) than planned are the results:

The winner of the bag is:
The winner of the book is:
Fishcake Random!!!

And, I showed you a photo asking you to guess which you thought were my favourite children from the Summer School:
My favourites were Ezra, Antoine and Luis - the midde three sitting on the bench. Antoine looks a little horror here, but he wasn't at all. And one who looks a little angel (no names, no pack drill) was a complete nightmare and was sent home early for misdemeanours in the boarding house, involving sleeping boys and tubes of toothpaste. Nobody got all three correct, and quite a lot of you definitely chose the wrong one!!!

I may be back later today with next week's menus, but it may wait till tomorrow.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Update so far this week

Menu planning when T-up again this week - but it doesn't matter!

On Sunday I went for a walk with Cathy in the late afternoon. We did about 3.5 km, which I was pleased with, particularly as I found my sciatica didn't bother me until the last .5 or so. Last time I did the walk I had to hobble the last 1.5 km or so. Anyway, on the spur of the moment, I invited her for dinner, before remembering that I only had two chicken legs. So, quick thinking, I used the pack of smoked salmon that I'd bought for lunches, and made a smoked salmon and creme fraiche pasta sauce. Easy and yummy.

Monday saw us eating the chicken legs with a vegetable dauphinoise that went horribly wrong, with the sauce splitting and becoming blobby and watery all at the same time. Not a good look.

Tuesday was work, French lesson, swimming and shopping day and I really didn't fancy the Chicken Caesar salad that I'd planned. Not at all. So we had something else, but for the life of me I can't remember what! Something with baked potatoes, I seem to recall.

Wednesday was my birthday! When I got home from work (my only real day of work at the moment. Boo, hiss) Mr FD popped out to get a half bottle of champagne and some steak. We had this with leeks and potato noisettes. And Vienetta. This is where healthy eating starts to slide.........

Thursday was our Thermomix meal. I thought about taking photos, but never quite got round to it. Come to think of it, I haven't seen the camera for a bit - I wonder where it is... Anyway, the fish was lovely, the sauce was indeed sublime, and the Iles Flottante were also very nice. This was consumed with quite a lot of white wine, and a cheese-and-crouton-and-walnut salad with walnut oil dressing for starter.

Friday (today) was the Mediterranean burgers planned for Wednesday. I hid a bit of mozzarella inside, which melted nicely, but it didn't add much to the taste sensation. We had these with oven chips and salad. Soup for supper tonight.

I was busy this morning though - despite being riddled with cold, I made two lots of houmous: one red pepper (not sure about this) and one over-chillied ordinary houmous. I also used up some coconut milk that had lingered in the fridge for a bit too long, in a coconut milk pound cake.

And then, as Richard had brought some grapes from his vine yesterday,  I made a grape clafoutis. (note the ingredients list doesn't mention sugar, but the method does. I made a guess at about 3/4 of a cupfull) The clafoutis required egg yolks, so I made a pavlova with the whites. I had to adjust the recipe to make a smaller pavlova as I only had 2 egg whites and I didn't want to find myself left with 2 extra yolks to have to use up! This will be decorated with more grapes and cream. All these goodies are for tomorrow's party to celebrate mine and Cathy's birthdays.

Somebody gave Mr FD a 2 litre bottle of Sangria in payment for a computer repair. Added to half a bottle of "Ambassadeur" apero - another payment for a computer repair (I don't really like it & Mr FD doesn't tend to drink aperos ), and a litre of orange juice, some lemonade and cranberry juice, we're going to have a punch-like drink for people. Plus the usual stuff.

By the way, PomPom, well done on your menu planning! I certainly find it easier to plan in advance, so I don't end up with a random selection of ingredients thinking "What the heck can I make with these?!" Sometimes, I don't fancy what I've planned, or I don't have time, in which case creativity has to come to the fore, but as I'm using the Hairy Dieters a lot, I look forward to most of the meals.

And, as I didn't update you earlier in the week:
Drum roll, please!
In 6 weeks I have lost:
Aren't I clever?!
My friend Danièle said she noticed the difference. I'm not sure I can see it, but I don't mind. If I can't see the loss, then I guess it's going from around my internal organs, which can only be a good thing!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Hello everyone!

There's a cheery greeting for you. 

It's not a very cheery day today - it's not cold, but it's grey and cloudy. Still, we had a great time yesterday evening at the Richard Hawley concert. There was a small, raised seating area, where I grabbed a chair - we were there very early - but Mr FD chose to stand, as he thought it was a better view of the stage. It was in a small hall, which was great, and we met some interesting people to chat to, including someone who used to work at ILS (where I work - at least, until the end of October!) 

As we were driving in to Clermont I spotted an advert for the concert, and was able to tell Mr FD that the support was the Smoke Fairies - another group that he likes very much. He was a Happy Mr FD!

They have a slightly different "timbre" to their voices - edgy, perhaps, or hard. I'm not sure quite how to describe it. What would you say?

The Hairy Spicy Bean and vegetable stew was lovely, and I have indeed made it into soup - Mr FD is heating a bowlful up in the microwave as I type. He's in a rush to eat lunch in good time before he goes cycling this afternoon. We'll be having the postponed prawn omellette tonight with a baked potato and coleslaw - in front of Strictly Come Dancing. Woo-hoo!

SUNDAY - Hairy Chicken Paprika - I think we'll have this with mashed potato and leeks. My teeth are already watering (as my Nana Disley used to say.) I shall go and get the chicken portions out of the freezer now, otherwise I'll forget and we could end up eating mashed potato and leeks. Full stop. Toodle pip. Back after lunch!

 (Just to keep you informed, the soup was very nice. Possibly, even better than as the stew!! I added a bit more Harissa paste and a tin of ratatouille to make it go even further with fewer calories. It worked. I think we have enough soup to get us through till Thursday!!)

MONDAY - Hairy Meat Pie with carrots, broccoli and gravy. I made the pies a couple of weeks back, using pizza dough as a lower fat pie crust. It worked quite well, and half the recipe for 6 individual pies provided enough meat for 2 pies serving 2 people. No potatoes though as the crust will provide the carbs for today.

TUESDAY - Hairy Chicken Caesar Salad. The recipe says 2 chicken breasts. I think in a Thrifty way I shall use one. We'll be having this with a jacket potato so it will be more filling. Thus, I think one chicken breast will be sufficient. I might be tempted to fry some lardons and make it a chicken-and-bacon Caesar salad. 

WEDNESDAY - Hairy Mediterranean burgers but I'm not serving them in a bun. It's difficult (impossible?) to find ciabatta rolls here, and the burger buns that are available are horrid pappy bread. So I think I'll serve them with salad and Slimming World chippies instead. The addition of a grated courgette bulks out the meat making it low fat. I may be able to get low fat Mozzarella - it's not always available in Lidl, but it sometimes is.

THURSDAY - We are having our Thermomix lunch today! Fish in a creamy sauce and Iles Flottantes. Not very good for a diet, but it's my one-day-after birthday lunch. And two-days-before Cathy's birthday lunch! In the evening it will be soup and something light. Or maybe nothing at all!

FRIDAY - Hairy Italian Meatballs You can use pork or beef mince for these. I'll probably go for beef as it's easier to find out what the fat content is. It's not often marked on the pork mince packs - though I could equally buy two low-fat pork steaks and whizz them in the food processor. That way I can gauge the amount of fat. I really like meatballs, so I will look forward to these.

SATURDAY - Cathy and I are having a joint birthday party, so I'm not counting today. I will make some low fat Hairy Roasted Red Pepper Houmous. There are mixed reviews of this on line. I'll cheat though and use roasted red peppers in brine, rather than roasting my own. Basically, sweat onion, cumin and coriander for a few minutes, and then cool. Zuzz the onion mix with the peppers, 400g (drained) tin of chickpeas, 2 cloves garlic chilli and lemon juice. It's got no tahini in, which is a flavour I love, so I may use sesame oil for the onions. I may well make some Nigel Slater full fat version too!  
I'm thinking that if I try to dance the night away (not with Mr FD though. He loathes and abhors dancing!) I may burn off at least some of the calories I consume!

SUNDAY- Hairy Cheesey pasties - not a very "Sunday" meal, but never mind! I hope that the pasties freeze well, so I'll make all 8, and freeze 6 for other meals...probably lunches. The recipe uses bread mix, instead of traditional flour/fat pastry. I have seen various bread mixes on sale in Lidl, so I hope they work as well as UK bread mix! I'll also be using full fat cheese so will have to adjust the calories - half fat hard cheese is not easily obtained here. We'll have these with salad.

* * * * * *
Nancy - what on earth are pot stickers and egg drop soup?! You sound as though you relish the thought of eating them, but they both sound more than a little suspect!  Mind you, could they be any more suspect than "Hairy Cheesey pasties" - who wants hairy anything?! Thanks for your good wishes about the car bump. People have been so nice - including Mr FD!

PomPom - I wish I lived closer too. I'd be happy to have you over for dinner every week! Your blog is always so lovely that I am sure you are a wonderful person. Still, you can at least see what we're eating here. I am fine after bending the car - I was only reversing out of a parking spot, and I hit a stationary car, so there was no speed involved at all. I'm just so annoyed at myself!!

June - I'm not too sure I understand the copyright thing either, but some people maybe feel that they don't like others using their pictures for whatever reason. I think the two pics I've used are okay, but I've linked to the source. Though I don't know if that makes it any better! Thanks for your good wishes about the car bump too!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Best Laid schemes...

...of MICE and men!

My menu planning has gone all wibbly. I don't think we've eaten what I'd planned once this week so far!

MONDAY: Yes we had meatloaf and beans - but I fancied chips. So I made Slimming World chippies. They were a bit pale and flaccid though as I'd forgotten Mr FD wanted to eat early to start his shift at Carrefour. They were cooked. Not crisp.

TUESDAY: When it came to it, I got home late from shopping/work/French lesson/swimming and didn't really fancy the Griddled courgette recipe (I think I'll give up on it, quite frankly! I've planned to eat it three times now and somehow never have got round to it!) We had some ravioli in the freezer (brought home past its sell by date from Carrefour!) so I made a sauce with a jar of roast pepper pesto and a splash of wine, and we had this with sliced chicken (also brought home past its sell by date from Carrefour)

WEDNESDAY: I bumped the car and made a big dent in the drivers side door. I also scraped the other guy's bumper - it's definitely an insurance job. Grrrr, about my stupidity!  Mr FD was lovely and not at all angry (I admit, I had expected him to be a bit snitty) so I made a favourite Salmon in Asian inspired coconut sauce with spicy noodles. "That was very tasty, Mrs Mouse" quoth he,as he licked his bowl!

THURSDAY: (today) I don't know why I didn't do the omelette. Instead I made Hairy Crispy Chicken - using turkey escalopes, I made a crumb cover with 2 slices wholemeal bread, 10g parmesan, pepper, dried herbs, salt. Then coat escalopes in a little flour, then natural youghurt, then crumb coat & bake. Very nice, though I wonder if using an egg rather than the yoghurt might result in a slightly less "claggy" coating, without changing the calorie rating TOO much! We had it with a few Slimming World chippies and coleslaw and green salad.

TOMORROW -I will do the veggie/bean casserole, as planned, but in the slow cooker as I'm out in the morning at the dermotologist. We'll eat at lunch time, and then we're off to Clermont to a Richard Hawley concert. Here he is singing one of my favourites:

The hall is standing only, but I've checked and I can take a folding chair, as I can't stand for long periods of time; I shall take my walking stick too - not that I need it, but I think it will give me the "sympathy vote" so people won't tut too much about my chair!!

I hope other people are having more success than I with their plans. Still, I've been generally okay on my calorie levels and have fitted in half an hours swimming (8 lengths of a strange froggy paddle on my back) and a long walk round a lake yesterday, where I saw these
(both sorts, grey and white herons)

and these
                                         (it's a cormorant, in case you're not sure)
as well as these
Edited on Friday to add that I assume this big "Hotlink" sign has appeared because I have been a bit naughty and taken someone's copyrighted picture. Should they come here (no real reason why they should but...) I can only apologise. I do forget that there are copyrighted pictures that are online, that appear to be available but aren't. I'll try to remember to use free-to-use images in future. Mea culpa.

These aren't my photos, but they'll give you an idea of the birds I saw. The area is an old gravel works, converted to both fishing and wildlife habitat lakes, and it was lovely to have time to walk around them. A 50 minute quick stroll - just what the doctor ordered. Literally!

* * * * *
Sandra - I hope your fish was nice. Do you have a favourite way of cooking it? One of my favourites is the aforementioned salmon with chilli & coconut sauce. The Hairy Dieters have some nice looking ways which I will endeavoutr to try over the next few weeks.

PomPom - Pot roast sounds delicious. I shall have to look up some recipes and try them out too. Oh! There is so much food and so little time!! We are very blessed to not have to worry too much about where our next mouthful is coming from, aren't we?

Monday, 15 October 2012

My Weight Loss This Week unavailable!

I went to get on the scales and discovered they needed a new battery. So I will buy one today, and weigh myself on Wednesday (tomorrow is an early get up, so I won't have time to check)

* * * * * *

Fishcake Random - I certainly think it sounds like a good plan. I think I'd rather have tried a meaty dsh, but Richard is a fish-eating vegetarian, so fish it was! Let's hope it all tastes as good as it sounds. And I still won't be buying a Thermomix, however good it tastes!

PomPom - I'm not sure I've ever cooked a pot roast. I assume it's a joint of meat cooked (no, really!!!) in a pot-with-a-lid in the oven, rather than roasted like a traditional joint. Does it turn out moister than a traditional roast? TBH, we don't cook joints of meat very often, as I think they are too expensive for two - though of course, you can always use the meat through the week!

Mags - Yes, I really did say Kangaroo. It was very tasty and had a lot fewer calories than my steak a couple of weeks back!! It's a very lean meat - 137 calories for 150g as opposed to almost double that for sirloin (according to My Fitness Pal, anyway) I know Tesco used to sell meat such as ostrich and kangaroo, but they may have stopped selling it now; I get mine frim Lidl, when they have it in the freezer section. It's cheaper than steak too!
(Sorry, Kanga, you are rather tasty!)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Thermomixes and Other Culinary Delights

OOh! Two more new Followers! That's exciting (and quite surprising too!) I hope you find something to interest you here.

Yesterday was a delicious day - but not very good for my Healthy Eating regime. Cathy and I went to friend Claire's Thermomix demonstration. If you don't know Thermomix, let me say that it is - what? I don't really know, actually. The publicity says it can take the place of 30 (I think) pieces of kitchen equipment - including your cooker! Cassandre who was the rep made bread (though it needed to be baked in a conventional oven), sorbet (though the fruit needed to be frozen in advance), soup, fish in sauce, steamed vegetables and potatoes in the Thermomix. En passant she also made fruit smoothie and icing sugar. It was very interesting - but these machines cost 999€ each!

And while Cassandre showed us that it can save you 1€ a day, that that equals 30€ a month and there is a plan where you can buy one over however many years, paying 30€ a month - well, I still wasn't that tempted. Impressed, yes, but tempted? Not really. However, part of the package (and yes, I know she's trying to sell Thermomixes, but still...) is that Cassandre will come to our house and cook a meal (demonstrate again how fantastic the Thermomix is) in the Thermomix. Yes, we have to buy the ingredients, but she does the work...So Cathy and I are combining forces. I chose fish in a sublime sauce (!!) and she chose Iles Flottantes, and Cassandre is coming the day after my birthday - we're going to make it a birthday lunch! We'll invite Richard over as well, and have a nice lunch!! Whoop-di-whoop!

This is what we'll be having, together with
The demo itself wasn't too bad for my regime - we did taste the food, but only a little bit each - it was the chocolate chip cookies and the nut tart that Dawn and Susan brought, together with the rosé-wine-with-grapefruit-juice that Claire served. would have been rude to say no, wouldn't it?! I had full intention of just eating a tiny piece of tart..but it was so good!!!

Anyway,what's been cooking?

I followed last week's planning but a bit mixed up - we had something different on Tuesday (pepper/squash/onion/chorizo roasted together served with a fried egg. Delish!) then on Wednesday I cooked the mushroom stroganoff planned for Friday (thanks for the heads up to the recipe, Keith!) On Thursday we had something else, on Friday we had the Hairy feta stuffed peppers (one extra left for my lunch today!).

Yesterday I made a meatloaf in the slow cooker - it's turned out okay. A little bit crumbly though - I reduced the amount of meat by half and also the amount of egg/breadcrumbs/oats. I think I should have kept the egg quantity the same as that might have bound it together more. We had it with a spicy tomato sauce, peasncrots, and roast-in-a-tiny-bit-of-oil potatoes. There's loads left to eat with pickle in sandwiches, and with beans and mash for a filling meal. The recipe is relatively easy:

Italian Meatloaf
2 pounds of ground beef
1 egg
1 onion chopped
½ cup spaghetti sauce
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup rolled oats
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or sprinkle in some basil and oregano)
garlic, salt and pepper to taste (I think I use 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)
2 tbsp spaghetti sauce
Mix together first seven ingredients (everything BUT the 2 tbsp spaghetti sauce)

Shape into a round loaf to fit into crockpot.

Place meatloaf in crockpot. Top with the remaining 2 tbsp of spaghetti sauce. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. You can also bake this for 1 hour at 350 in the oven. (It is best slow cooked, but good any which way!)

(this meatloaf looks about as crumbly as mine did!)

SUNDAY: Today we're having kangaroo steak with a mushroom stroganoff type sauce and rice. I have cabbage to use up too, so I'll slowly cook that with some onion and a tiny bit of oil, and regular shaking to stop it sticking. I usually do that in the oven, but as I'm not using it for anything else, it would be a bit of a waste of energy.

MONDAY: Meatloaf with beans and mashed potatoes.
Despite what a million housewives allegedly say every day, there're no other beans for us!

TUESDAY: Griddled courgettes with feta, lemon, mint and puy lentils. With a salad and probably a baked potato too. I'd planned this for last week, but somehow didn't get round to making it. I don't know what we had instead...

Ingredients (for 1 person)

500g courgettes, the smallest you can find (90 cals)
30g feta cheese (83 cals)
15 mint leaves (1 cal)
1 tsp olive oil (40 cals)
30g (2 rounded tbsp) cooked puy lentils (35 cals) -  1 tbsp raw lentils if cooking your own
lemon zest (1 cal)

Total 250 cals
  • Cut the courgettes into long, ½ cm wide slices. Mix with the oil and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat a ridged griddle until smoking, then cook the courgette slices, turning once, until striped with dark brown on both sides. You will probably have to do this in at least two batches.
  • Transfer the courgettes to a bowl and mix with the lemon zest, feta and lentils. Just before serving, mix through the ripped mint leaves. If the feta is more salty than sharp, you may want to squeeze over a little lemon juice.

WEDNESDAY: Hairy Salmon with chilli ginger sauce, with rice and broccoli. The recipe includes preserved ginger - I won't bother with that, I think, but just use ginger purée, and a bit of ready made sweet chilli sauce.  Basically, you marinade the salmon in ginger, garlic, soy, orange juice and red chilli. Then bake the salmon, while making a sauce with the marinade.

THURSDAY - Hairy Prawn and chive omelette, maybe with some Slimming World chips and a whole heap of salad. (I say Hairy Prawn Omelette, but quite frankly one omelette is much like another!)

FRIDAY: Hairy Spicy bean and vegetable stew  I like the suggestion that someone made to zuzz the rest up and make a soup from it. Clever!!! We may do that. Spicy bean and vegetable soup sounds just the ticket for grey dismal Autumn days - and with added stock it will bring the calorie count down!

SATURDAY:  Hairy Chicken and coconut Thai Curry It's interesting how this is labelled as "cheap as chips" by the reviewer. But for 4 people,  it includes 3 chicken breasts, 2 peppers, coconut milk, mangetout (I'll use green beans if I can get them) - none of which are particularly cheap. It might not be expensive, luxury food, but for many people the chicken breasts alone might be quite pricy for a weekend meal (mind you, I do insist on free range chicken breasts,which makes it more expensive. If you buy bog standard don't care about the chucks chicken then it might well be cheaper) Certainly, I don't consider it cheap as chips - just not too expensive! As we've also got chicken tomorrow (albeit thighs not breast) I may be able to get it cheaper...or adapt a recipe to fit what I've got. We'll see.

SUNDAY: Spanish Style Chicken Bake I think the "hints" at the end of the recipe are very helpful. On MFP there is a comment that it comes out at more calories than the HD book says - 501 instead of 370. I will maybe reduce the potatoes which may help a little. But with a walk that day I may be able to "win" calories!

 I'm hoping for another weight loss tomorrow - another 500g would be acceptable, but I'd prefer more, of course! I didn't go swimming as planned last week, as the times that the pool in Roanne is open didn't correspond with the times I was in the town. However, I hope to manage a dip in Clermont on Tuesday. I'm there for a bit of teaching (before I'm officially unemplyed) and for a French lesson, so I'll take the opportunity to also go for a swim. I did do a couple of walks - but the good of the was cancelled out by over eating elsewhere!

Enjoy your week's meals, whatever you're having!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Just popping in

to say hello...

I've spent a couple of hours today browsing blogs and admiring people who manage to post every day - and then realised I hadn't posted, and could have done. So here I am!

I came across the term "to nip" recently with a student. "Brits nip across the Channel to buy wine" - Yvalda was really interested in the phrase, and asked me where it came from. I have no idea! We had already met "to pop" (as it "I'm just popping in to say hello") so I made the connection between the two expressions. But I still don't really know where either expression comes from.

I made the Hairy Mushroom, hazelnut, and feta stuffed mushrooms today. Very tasty. As another blogger suggested I put the breadcrumbs over the top to give a crunchy topping, rather than mix them in the stuffing. They were yummy! Mr FD had three pepper halves, but I only had two - I'll have my third one for lunch tomorrow.

Yesterday, at the market I bought a jambonnette that had been cooked under the rotisserie chickens
We had it with a gratin Dauphinoise (low fat) yesterday dinner, and there is now plenty for sandwiches. I think I'll make some soup so we can have ham sandwich and soup this evening. I have quite a lot of rather elderly veg lurking in the fridge, so maybe it's time I did a clear out!!

PomPom - thank you for your kind comments - I probably don't eat as much fruit and veg as I ought to...particularly fruit, as there's not many I really like. But I have made some plum compote to have with my Lemon Jelly Ice Cream (which is made up of a failed mousse mixture - it didn't set. I hope it will make ice cream instead!)

Sandra - thanks for your comment too...I have to say, I'm not that fussy about where my butter comes from (hence my need to diet!!) but I do find that I still miss salted butter even after 7 years here. Salted butter melting and dripping on hot toast. Oh my!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Yay for me!

Down another two blocks of Kerrygold this week!


I suppose I am slightly disapointed. 500g doesn't sound much, BUT I have (save for 100g) reached the target I set myself a week early. I wanted to lose 3 kg in 5 weeks, but I have done it in 4. Let's hope I don't put on this next week!! If I do more exercise and continue with this (TBH, not very arduous) eating plan I should be OK. 
So, next target is to lose another 3 kg in another 5 weeks.. Hopefully by 19th November, I will be doing a very happy dance!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Stop the Wagon - I need to climb back on!

I blame Cathy! Now she's back in town our social life has picked up and so has the eating and drinking!!! 

We went out for a meal last Sunday, we had Girly Catch Up Night on Thursday, it was the Cyclo Dinner last night (that's not Cathy's fault!) and she came for lunch today! I have managed to drink less, by way of forcing myself to drink a cup of fruit tea, or more water first, but it is difficult. I'm not an alcoholic, but I do love the taste of wine, and the relaxed feeling it gives me. And (usually) I stop quite happily after 3 glassfuls!
STILL, never mind, I hope I will have lost a little weight tomorrow - even 500g will be enough - and I hope to be swimming a couple of times this week too, so that'll be a few calories used up!

Our meals are still mostly from the Hairy Dieters book. These recipes really are the Bee's Knees, the Cat's whiskers, the Dog's bollox!!

MONDAY: we didn't eat all the chorizo/prawny rice with the jambalaya that we had for lunch today, so I will add some more veg and a few more slices of chorizo and we'll have this on Monday evening.

TUESDAY: Because it was the Cyclo Dinner on Saturday, we didn't have the stuffed peppers that I'd planned. So we'll have them. If you want the recipe, you can find it here. We'll probably have this with salad.

WEDNESDAY: Roasted fish with parma ham and peppers. Dave and Si suggest cod, but I have a couple of pollock fillets in the freezer to use. I try to avoid buying cod now, because of overfishing and rising prices.

THURSDAY: Griddled Courgettes with feta, lemon, mint, and puy lentils This recipe is taken from the 5:2 diet - which is where you fast (or eat a minimal amount) for two days and eat normally for the other five. This apparently has only 250 calories in the meal. I will probably up the calorie level with maybe a rice salad, or some potato wedges. Otherwise, I think it sounds very nice.

FRIDAY: This recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff  was recommended on My Fitness Pal, and looks tasty. So, I think we'll be having this plus a jacket potato, and a green salad.

SATURDAY: Cathy and I are going to a friend's Thermomix demonstration.
I'm not sure what time we'll get back, so I think I might throw beans and veggies in the slow cooker and make a bean-and-veggie stew for dinner. Easy to cook!

SUNDAY:  I have no idea, I don't have the recipe book handy and I can't be arsed going to find it!!! You'll have to wait till next week to find out!

On the other fronts:
Back-wise I'm doing okay. It was a bit stiff and sore this morning, as I'd been standing for about 3 hours, serving drinks and preparing food for the Cyclo Dinner yesterday evening. Tomorrow I'm going to try doing without my morning painkiller to see how it goes. I'll try swimming a bit this week (if I can coordinate my visit to the pool with when it's open to the public!) and continue walking. To be fair to Cathy, she loves walking too, so she can be a good influence too!

Jobwise: I've got an appointment at the Unemployment place on Tuesday to see what's what, but I've been told that I am eligible for some benefit even though I'm auto entrepreneur. I've also applied to an online teaching site (with this company) - at the moment I've not heard back, but I'm reasonably hopeful. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

What's cooking?

What's cooking?
Well...not much at the moment, but lots of things have been cooking!

This morning I made
  • some Thai style pumpkin/butternut squash soup. This was with a coconut red curry sauce that I found on offer. I sautéed the onion and garlic, added a bit of ginger, and chopped pumpkin and butternut squash (using up bits that had been hanging round in the fridge). Then I added the sauce, and some vegetable stock. After a zuzz with the stick blender - hey presto! Soup.
  • the Hairy Dieters low fat minced beef pies. This used pizza base as the pastry, which worked quite well, and I put some harissa in the mix which gave it a bit of a kick. I made two, and one is eaten and the other is in the freezer.
  • Some flapjacks - all oaty, nutty, coconutty and syruppy. Yum! I threw in some rather nasty, oversweet cereal that I'd bought, and it mixed in well. I shall use some more of this next time. Not brilliant for dieting (130 cals a bit) but still not too awful!
  • A Hairy Carrot and sultana cake to have on Sunday, when Cathy (but now not Gilles and Sylvie - Mr FD has issues with Gilles at the moment. To be resolved soon, we hope!) comes for dinner.
and now, in the oven at the moment, there is
  • some soda bread. I've never made this before, as it requires buttermilk, which is something I've never seen before in French supermarkets. However Cro, over at Magnon's Meanderings said he makes his with yoghurt. So I've tried that. We shall see. It is for supper tonight with the aforementioned soup and some roast pork.
   I would like a glass of beer with supper, TBH - I feel a bit down today, mostly about the job situation, as Mr FD isn't very happy with his job and I feel all guilty I'm not contributing to the financial pot, but I hope to bounce back again soon. I've only been unemployed for a week - and actually, I'm not really officially unemployed until the end of October when the paperwork goes through - so I think I'm panicking a bit too early, truth be told! Maybe this is just one of my Menopausal Feelings of Impending Doom that I get from time to time (sorry, is that TMI?!)

Anyway. At least I'm cooking!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Steak Shock!!

Well, who'd've thought it?! (Probably lots of you, but not me!)

I thought steak was relatively low in calories, so when I paired up the Hairy Biker's Cumin Crusted vegetables (199 calories a portion) with a smallish (250g) piece of steak I thought that was a reasonable main meal. Oh no! Oh no!
I discover, via My Fitness Pal, that my piece of steak weighed in at over 500 calories. Eeeeeeeeeek!!

I was left with 190 calories for the rest of the day. Luckily we'd eaten our main meal at lunchtime - it suits Mr FD's digestion better, plus I'm not working so I don't need to take sandwiches and can cook at lunchtime - so it gave me the opportunity to go for a walk. I was a little ambitious, so I was only able to log the first part as "moderate" pace on MFP. After about 45 minutes, my sciatica started to complain (on the other side today - just for variety!) so I slowed down to a "slow" pace. But I did a good hour-and-a-quarter's walk with some up in it, meaning I was breathless for some of it. It gave me enough leeway to have soup, bread and (what luxury!) an ounce of cheddar cheese for my supper!

Hairy Chicken Korma today - 294 calories per person + 50g of rice. I will try to go for another walk as well - if not for the calories, for the health of my back!

Monday, 1 October 2012

This week's weightloss

It's not as dramatic as last weeks, but I have lost another

Which means that in two weeks I've lost 10 packs of butter that were slathered all over my body. While this week's loss was nowhere near as dramatic as last weeks, I'm still happy to say that over two weeks I've lost 2.5 kg. That's good going.

We went out for dinner yesterday. I thought I was choosing "well" but I'm not sure I did really...and the three glasses of wine didn't help! But I enjoyed it, it was good food and company, and I can have a good day today. Just as long as it doesn't become too much of a habit!