Friday, 28 February 2014


If you have suddenly lost a Follower that's me! I'm afraid I somehow deleted all the blogs I was following - everyone from Grow Your Blog 2013 and 2014! I am so sorry - and annoyed, as I can't remember everyone I followed.

I will slowly start to join you again, but I'm grovelly and sorry.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Food, Films and (new) Followers

The week has rolled by once more - and I had meant to write a post mid-week, but never quite got round to it! Sorry, folks. Never mind, I can't imagine everyone was exactly waiting with bated breath, so I won't worry too much!

I think yesterday's Pan Haggerty was the star of last week's food - it was a very basic sort of dish, but really enjoyable. I added about a quarter of a small head of cabbage into the mix, which worked, and we had the Pan Haggerty with a tin of baked beans. It's certainly a dish I'll be making again.

I see that I have a couple more followers - a lovely thing indeed.
So, a Big Fat Dormouse Welcome to
  • Chane from Odd One Out. Chane sent me some lovely, lovely things for a Secret Santa. They arrived much later than Christmas, but were brilliant for cheering me up mid-January. She is a really talented sewer/creator of fab accessories. Check out her blog!
  • Janina Lynet from three Spanish (I think!) blogs. Including this one where she showcases perfumes. If your Spanish is good, then do see what she's recommending!
I hope you find useful snippets here.

So, what do the menu plans look like this week?

Hairy Dieter's Crispy pork schnitzel with potato salad and other salads 
This is the original Hairy Bikers' recipe which has been "re written" for the Dieters   among us...there is no parmesan or egg in the crumb coating, but rather natural yoghurt to help the breadcrumbs stick to the pork. The schnitzels are misted with spray oil and baked instead of fried. The potato salad has red onion, celery and apple (though I may add a few cornichons too!) and is made with 2 tbsp light mayo and 2 tbsp natural yoghurt (low fat) instead of the creme fraiche and ordinary mayo. I think it's a good example of how "normal" recipes can be reasonably easily remodelled to cut out a lot of excess fat, without losing out on taste - which, in my opinion, is what the Hairy Dieters do well.

(semi fasting - vegetarian)

Hairy Dieters' Leek and Mushroom risotto (Theirs has chicken in, making it 317 calories per portion. I'm replacing the chicken with leeks, so I guess the calorie count may go down a little with that)

excapt we're having pollock, as there was no haddock in Carrefour (églefin, in French, in case you're interested) We'll have this with a baked potato and salad.


 Mr FD's cooking day - we're hving Healthy Pasta Carbonara In order to get some veggies into the meal, I'll get Mr FD to add a couple of leeks to the mixture. That will bulk it out and give us one of our five-a-day.

Nothing except some veggie soup, and lots of drinks, all day. Then in the evening, we'll have
Chicken with celeriac cakes - this link is to an earlier post where I gave the recipe foer the celeriac cakes. I'll roast the chicken, and we'll have a sauce made with cider. It's not exactly low calorie, but it's not exactly high either - just over 300 calories the lot.


Vegetarian lasagne. Similar to this, but I'll cheat by using a can of ratatouille, and frozen spinach. It won't be so big either - only serving 4 (and I'll put half in the freezer).


I don't know - it's 1st March and I haven't planned March's menus yet. Watch this space!

What else have I been up to this week?
  • Well, I spent yesterday preparing a few parcels...I have my two Grow Your Blog giveaways to send. The one from The View is ready to go, but Accroquilt, I'm afraid you will have to wait a little longer for yours, as I have to print the notecards. I also am taking part in a "Share Your Country" swop, organised by Kimberley at Creative Chaos. She kindly let me join in, even though I was late signing up. I am going to post about that over on the NEW! IMPROVED! View From the Teapot site. Please do start visiting me over there too.

  • I made a delicious smelling soup this morning:
Sweat 1 leek and 1 onion, plus 1 clove of garlic in 1 tbsp oil. Add 3 chopped parsnips and 3 chopped carrots. Add 1 big splotch of curry paste, 200 ml coconut milk, and 600 ml vegetable stock. Season to taste. Simmer till vegetables are soft. Zuzz until smooth. Add more water if it seems very thick.

  • I went for a walk yesterday - about 3 km: not far, but I've had tendonitis in one foot, so with that and my arthritic knees, I've not been getting out much. (Plus the fact I'm a lazy so-and-so!!) My foot made a few complaints, but it feels okay this morning.

  • I've put on 400g this week - not a lot (and I got weighed wearing knickers and socks, instead of nothing-but-my-glasses, as usual! They must account for at least 200g!!) but I have been aware that I've been slipping a little extra bickie here ("but it's only 50 calories!") another slice of bread for my lunch ("but I've made too much egg mayo for just one sandwich!"), and not so much fruit as snacks as chocklit!  So - slightly more rigorous this week, please, and I think I can walk to the Chambre de Metiers tomorrow! I took the car last week, because of my tendonitis, but I think it's okay enough to walk tomorrow, which means that's about 3 km in all. I'm still in the next decade down, but I don't want the weight to be going UP...I want it to be going down!

Angela and Jo - I'm not sure you would be an emotional wreck after "Philomena"...I cry easily and though I did shed the odd tear, I wasn't too bad! I think that the Catholic church, as an establishment, isn't shown in a good light, but individual Christians - Philomena, herself, for example - are shown as normal, broken but ultimately Christian people! (If that makes sense!!) 

I'm glad that Keith also enjoyed the film. We are lucky to be reasonably near Roanne where VO films are shown quite frequently and Mr FD keeps a sharp eye on various websites to see what's coming.

He is an avid listener of the Mayo and Kermode film review show on Radio 5 Live, so he always knows what is coming up soon, and what has been recommended.  I must admit I enjoy listening to the podcasts in the car. Mr FD puts them onto CD for me, and even though the actual films being talked about are way out of date, I still really enjoy the discussions.

And I think that's about it! I hope everyone has a good week, full of healthy, delicious food.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Winner! Winner! Winner!

Randomly chosen was number 16 who is Accroquilt

Felicitations, Accroquilt! Tu as gagné les 5 cartes de voeux avec le chat en zentangle.
J'ai besoin de ton addresse pour le courriel.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Looking forward to next week...


It's my second post of the day, so if you missed the earlier one you can find it here. That was looking back; this is looking forward!

TODAY (vegetarian)
Change of plan - because we were out last night, we didn't have the planned bean burgers. We went to see the film "Philomena" - it was really interesting, and moving, with excellent performances by Steve Coogan and Judi Dench. If you've not seen it, I do recommend it

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith,  PHILOMENA focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee , mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock - something her Irish-Catholic community didn't have the highest opinion of - and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn't allow for any sort of inquiry into the son's whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Lee meets Sixsmith , a BBC reporter with whom she decides to discover her long-lost son.(From "Rotten Tomatoes" site)

We'd planned to go out for a pizza afterwards, but forgetting it was Valentine's Day and Friday night, all the restaurants we tried were full. Finally we gave up and came home, where I whipped up two "pizzas" using giant flat breads as bases. They were very nice, and much cheaper than going out... but it did mean we didn't share the time with our friend Richard, who came to the film, but decided to have a McDo when the restaurants were full. Mr FD "doesn't do" McDo.

SUNDAY (meat)
I'm definitely going off-piste concerning diet food. I have a tin of cassoulet in the cupboard and this grey winter weekend seems the perfect time to crack it open. Not really on a weight loss programme - but yummy nonetheless!
MONDAY (vegetarian)

Dinner will be Mushroom and Aubergine curry, with a bit of rice. It's 212 calories a portion, plus 100 calories for the rice (25g raw rice). The rest is an egg for breakfast and a mixed salad for lunch. Plus fruit if necessary - I reckon I probably tip the counter at 600, rather than 500 calories, but I'm not worried.

TUESDAY (fish)
Salmon in coconut milk, with leeks, noodles and bean sprouts This is a similar recipe, but I use leeks & beansprouts in the sauce, and pour it over noodles. It's a kind of soupy dish, but not quite. 

 Yummy yummy: Hairy Dieter's Spanish Style Chicken Bake, but using sweet potato instead of new potatoes, and throwing in a few more veg (courgettes would be nice, I think!) Mr FD is in charge, but should have no difficulty with this little beauty!

THURSDAY (vegetarian)
It should be a full fasting day, with Mushroom crepes for dinner - basically crepes with a mushroom/tomato filling and salad.

FRIDAY (meat)
Mr FD's other cooking day as I'm teaching till late. Meatballs with tomato sauce, green veg and some pasta.

SATURDAY (meat-ish) *
Hairy Dieter's Pan Haggerty Lite. The link is to their Pan Haggerty "not lite" but the only difference seems to be that the "lite" version uses only 200g of lean bacon, rather than streaky in the original, and the cheese is half-fat cheddar. I'll make it with lardons (streaky bacon) and with full fat cheese, so mine won't be "lite" at all! Of course, I'll be dividing the ingredients into thirds as well! 
WHat is Pan Haggerty? Here is Wikipedia's description:
Panackelty (also spelt panacalty, panaculty, panhaggerty pan haggerty, or abbreviated as panack) is a casseroled dish, traditional throughout the northeast of England, consisting of meat  and root vegetables (mainly potatoes and onions) left to bake throughout the day in an oven pot on low heat. The dish exists in a number of local variations that differ in name, meat and vegetable content.
The Northumberland version, pan haggerty, comprises potatoes, onions and cheese baked in a baking dish,while panackelty, in the Sunderland region, comprises leftover meat cooked slowly with root vegetables. The dish is also sometimes cooked in a frying pan, or made in a large pan and served as a soup, which allows it to be left on the hob and later reheated.
* Yes, I know bacon is meat, but what I mean by this is that there's a limited amount - only 30g or so each, as opposed to the 150g+ in other recipes.
Which looks the tastiest day, in your opinion? Have you tried any of these recipes? Please let me know!

Looking back at last week

Good morning lovely people! If you're a late arrival to the Grow Your Blog event, a special welcome. You can find my "official" post here. There is also my not-so-food-orientated blog over at the View from the Teapot where you can read a bit more about life here in France. However, as the Wibsite (blogging host) is becoming more difficult to work with, the View might change its provider fairly shortly. I'll keep you posted.

Here is the real View from the Teapot - a view of our village. You can even see our house! The Hotel de Londres is dead centre, with the stepped roof (it has had a face lift since this picture was taken, but never mind!) We are the house to the left of the hotel - still attached to it - with the brown shutters.

I also need to say ANOTHER big Fat Dormouse welcome to some new followers. This is really lovely! Three more Followers have joined me, and I hope that my recipes, menu plans, food comments and other snippets are interesting for you.

  • Mara Paz from Africa to Algarve is another English teacher. Bem-vindo, Mara (Google Yranslate assures me that this means "Welcome" in Portuguese. Mind you, one can't always rely on Google Translate!)
It is lovely to welcome you.
Onto last week...

Isn't it odd how, even though I didn't have a huge number of lessons to teach , I still found I didn't have time for things like cleaning the house ?! Or for blogging, for that matter...I did find time to do some zentanging, however, and have done a beautiful little gecko that I'm rather proud of

and another cat - although the cat is a bit small.

I also made a birthday card for a friend - zentangled, of course!

Around the circle I wrote "Happy Birthday" in English, French and Welsh. Why Welsh? Because it was the right length to fit in the space!!

I have found myself becoming rather addicted to zentangling - though it's possible that purists might say that I'm producing "zentangle-inspired art" rather than zentangles, which I believe are officially "tiles" of a certain size. Be that as it may, whatever I'm doing, I really enjoy it! I can find myself getting lost in a design for an hour, just listening to gentle music, and concentrating on the pattern. It somehow engages the mind and yet leaves it free to wander.

(Those are not my feet & it's not my weight! SOURCE)

Weight wise, I've maintained this week. Of course, I'd rather have lost weight, but I'm reasonably happy to maintain. 

Food wise, last week was okay - the long awaited wild boar was delicious! Mr FD even declared it "was better than Christmas" - I think the cèpes sauce was better than the wine sauce that we had at Christmas. The package that my student gave us included the Filet Mignon again, so we had that on Sunday; I also cooked the Cuissot, and then sliced and froze that in its sauce - I got 10 portions of meat from it, so that will be some tasty treats for the future!

Kamchatka was good (as always!) and kept me full on my Fast Day evening. Otherwise, things were fairly enjoyable, but nothing was stand-out-great...but then, why should it be? It is just normal, every day fare.

Thank you again for your lovely comments.

Pompom - keep holding out for that kitten! In the mean time, here's one just for you

Jean - did you find the Special K biscuits? They had them in the big Carrefour & the Carrefour Market shops that I went to recently. I definitely prefer the chocolate ones to the fruit ones.

Lori - It's lovely that you are joining me! There will be more Food News later on today (or maybe tomorrow) so I hope that will inspire you some more.

Jo - I think the easiest way of describing the taste of boar is "like pork used to taste" - it is basically a flavoursome, slightly more toothsome type of pork,that definitely needs marinading to break the fibres down a little. It also benefits from long cooking time too. Coleslaw with cheese sounds deliciously decadent...maybe I'll try that one day!

Trish - I'm glad you liked "Kamchatka". I think it's fab! On a less-good-for-you note, I've cooked a similar dish, with roast sweet potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and onions, with chorizo again, which then had an egg broken into it. That too was delicious!

Meal planning for next week will follow in another post.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Another week's Deliciousness

Hello, hello, Lovely new followers!
Last week I welcomed my 100th Follower (Stalker?!) and now I have 6 more to welcome. How fantastic is that?! I do hope that you all find something that is of interest to you.

So, without further ado, let me give a Big Fat Dormouse Welcome to:

Yesterday my student-who-is-a-hunter (who provided us with our Christmas dinner) gave me another hunk of wild boar. It was frozen, and I knew that I couldn't get it home still frozen, as I had two more lessons and a load of shopping to do. So, although my plan had been to freeze it, I decided to let it defrost, marinade it and cook it, then freeze it in meal-sized portions. When I opened the package there was also the Filet Mignon so that also is being marinaded for our dinner tomorrow. Oh, yummy yummy! I have some Cèpes sauce in the cupboard, so we're going to have a feast tomorrow!

It won't be a low calorie meal, but with careful management during the rest of the day, it shouldn't be too bad. But I don't think a filet mignon of sanglier deserves anything but full enjoyment!

So far, in four weeks, I have lost 3 kg - 6.6 lb. I'm certainly happy with that! I know it won't continue, because this is still my body saying "Help! Why is the food intake so low?! Emergency...emergency!" but I think that this way is sustainable. I don't feel particularly deprived, I don't feel worried if I have a little "extra" from time to time, but we are eating sensible, reduced portions of slightly lower calorie food.

Incidentally, I bought these recently:
They aren't at all bad - I bought the Myrtilles ones too, but they're a bit over sweet and jammy, whereas the chocolate ones give a reasonable chocolate hit. At 50 calories for 1 biscuit they're not bad. I find that if I break 1 biscuit in half, I can have one bit, and then save the other for later. And it's like having two not-particularly-tiny chocklit biskits.

Anyway, our menus for this week are as follows...Don't forget you can click on the links to find the recipes, should you wish to do so:
Aforementioned wild boar, roast potatoes, cabbage, carrots and other delicious things!

Fish from freezer (it's ready prepared, so I can't remember how many calories. Not too bad though), rice and veggies

Pork skewers with coleslaw, Slimming World chips and salad.
Marinade 300g pork loin (cubed) in a mix of 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup (sweet chilli sauce for us!), 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp Chinese Five-Spice, 1 tbsp orange juice for at least 15 minutes. Thread onto skewers (if you can be bothered!) and grill on "High" for aout 7 minutes, basting with the marinade & turning occasionally, until cooked. Serve with coleslaw

Coleslaw: 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp piri-piri sauce, a pinch of sugar, 2-3 tbsp low fay mayo, 1/4 red cabbage (I'll be using Chinese Leaf, as I'll have some left), 1 carrot, grated, and 1 thinly sliced spring onion. Mix it all together.
(300 calories a serving. Serves 2)

Meatloaf from freezer, baked potatoes & ratatouille. Easy cook for Mr FD who is at college all day, but needs to cook as I don't get home until 7.00. 

The meatloaf was a Hairy Dieter's recipe - very tasty - which I cooked a couple of weeks ago.

Kamchatka! Huzzah! A favourite diet meal! We'll have it with some chorizo thrown into the mix. Mr FD will probably have a roll with this as well.


Hairy Dieter's Bean burgers - not quite the recipe, but almost. With potato wedges, salad and a Grek yoghuert/mango chutney dip. I might make a tomato salsa as well...but no buns!

Spicy Lamb Steaks with Tabbouleh which sounds delicious and yummy.

My lunches are generally home made soup, 1 slice bread with a 25g serving of protein, radishes/cherry tomatoes, 1 biscuit (not necessarily Special K) and fruit. And this now keeps me going until dinner. 

Thank you again for your comments - I love reading them & try to answer each one on the next (or nearly next!) blog post.

ANGELA: Thank you for the tip about moving my scales. They can stay where they are!! I remembered to weigh myself today, anyway - 500g down from last week. 1 lb a week is fine for me!

MICHELLE: The fritatta ended up being Thursday's dinner, instead of Monday's, but it was very nice. I roasted the squash before using it, rather than pan-frying it - because I had the oven on to cook chocolate brownies to say thank you to my wild-boar-supplying-student. As a vegetarian I guess you know what we call Kamchatka (and the rest of the world call Chachouka) - I think it's fab!

LORI: I hope you like the recipes - and "The Red Tent". I found it a fascinating book, & have probably read it two or three times.

JOLUISE: I'm glad you & Pompom liked the cat badges. I think they're great! My cat Bib is sitting watching me type at this very moment. I fear she may be planning a lightening raid on my fingers!!

POMPOM: STILL no kitty?! My kitties send you special licks-and-purrs to make you feel better.
And here's something you could order on Amazon, if you wish:

Altogether now: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A belated Secret Santa!

This is a reblog from The Teapot, so that people can see my lovely Secret Santa gifts, as I can't load photos on the Wibsite. Honestly, after the Grow Your Blog furore has calmed down I think I will take the Teapot over to another Blog provider. I'm heartily fed up of not being able to show photos. ANYWAY:

Before Christmas I signed up with Char at t*rexes and tiaras for her Secret Santa swap. I love Secret Santas, and swaps and Giveaways - and hope to take part in a few more this year. So, if anyone knows of any going on, please give me a headsup - so I was happy to take part in this one.
I sent off my gift to my recipient (necklace, scarf, bookmark) and waited in anticipationfor my Secret Santa...

But Christmas came...and went...and there was no sign of my parcel. I resigned myself to the fact that it had been lost (or perhaps purloined, as was a birthday card with money in, that my mum sent me.) Until last week I got home from teaching and found a delightfully exotic parcel all the way from South Africa...

In it were lots of delightful goodies: there was:
  • a gorgeous scarf, in greens and browns and yellows, with my favourite sunflowers on it. I have already worn it loads and loads.
  • 4 brilliant cat badges...One is being worn by Mr D (it says "The Cat's Whiskers" on it!), one by me, one is on my everyday winter hat, and the other is waiting for a home.
  • Six cunning little cat clips
  • A beautiful corsage made from reclaimed fabric.
  • Lemony scented soap
  • Soft and cuddly wool, which has already started being knitted into blankets for Spanish Stray Cats.
  • A jolly cat Christmas card
 Cat badges! With cat faces!!

beautiful sparkly corsage

Cat card!

 All my lovely, lovely things!

All of these came from Chane at OddOneOut. I love my Secret Santa gift - and I love it all the more because I didn't think it was going to ever arrive!

P.S. Menu plans are on the post before this one.

Ninety eight...Ninety nine...One Hundred!!!

No, that's not my age, but...

Oh goodness, golly gosh! My number of Followers has leapt up to 100. Tarantara!
How lovely is that. Thank you Vicki for your Grow Your Blog event that has brought people here..
If you have come to visit, my Grow Your Blog page can be found here.

I hope to do another batch of visiting this afternoon, while Mr FD watches the first of the Six Nations rugby matches. The weather is grey and mibsy, with drizzly rain, so I think it is the day to be cocooned in my cosy study with a hot water bottle and a cup of something warming. I do hope that those of you who have started following me enjoy your visits here and find inspiration for your own food and menu planning.

So, I need to give a big, Fat Dormouse welcome to:

I hope you find something interesting!

I keep forgetting to weigh myself in the morning - maybe because we keep the scales in the bedroom, and after my shower I scurry in from the warm bathroom to the not-so-warm bedroom and scrabble into my clothes as quickly as possible. I might move them into the bathroom (but then I'll have to remember to take my glasses in with me, so I can read the numbers!!) However, I do know that I have cut down what I eat, and so I should be at least staying the same, even if I'm not losing weight!!

At the weekends, I do have a cheeky glass of wine - but a small glass, instead of the two big glasses I was having most evenings. And without the snacks! (except that tin of honey roasted macademia nuts left over from Christmas...very hard to resist!!) One sandwich with sliced bread at lunchtime, instead of a hunk of biscuit a day, instead of several...fruit instead of biscuits...1 chocolate in the evening, instead of two or three...very few snacks during the day...fewer carbs, less fat, and more veggies and fruit. I hope it's working!! (Though to be honest, I haven't really felt very deprived!)

So, here are the plans for this week:
Hairy Dieter's Meat Loaf - the introduction to which recipe is full of awful puns: Eat our meat loaf and you won't end up looking like Meatloaf - we take the fat out of hell!
This is made with pork and beef mince, plus lots of vegetables, and served with a spicy tomato sauce. We're going to have it with a jacket potato and some green beans. I'll slice the rest up and put it into the freezer for other meals in the future.
Another Hairy Dieter's recipe! This time it's their Spicy Pork and Veggies - a one-pot meal  at 395 calories a portion. With careful eating through the day I shouldn't go much over 1,300 calories with this yummy looking dish!

Scrambled egg for breakfast, green salad + 50g lean pork  for lunch, and Butternut Squash & Ricotta fritata for dinner (248 calories a portion)
It's basically cooked onion and 225g butternut squash, cooked in a thick omelette batter made with 4 eggs and 60g ricotta, served between 2 people. We'll probably have more salad with this.
 I'm not fixing rigidly on 500 calories, as I'm trying to cut down the rest of the week as well. In all, I don't think this day's food exceeds 600 calories though.

Hairy Dieter's again!! It's their home made fishcakes  today, with roasted vegetables and some Slimming World chips. OR I might try to make tartare sauce and have it with salad instead.With low fat mayo mixed with yoghurt it should be okay on calories, methinks. And I LOVE tartare sauce!

Mr FD is in charge, but he's got an easy one! It's the left over pork from Sunday. With extra vegetables if we didn't save enough!

This is my "proper" fast day with an attempt to eat nothing until dinner (but often with a quickie soup made from 80g frozen veggies, a smidgeon of harissa and half a stock cube!)  For dinner we're having Aubergine curry with 25g raw rice (but cooked!) each.

Another Mr FD cooking day - every alternate Friday I'm teaching till 7 pm so don't get home until about 7.45. It's nice not to have to worry about cooking, especially as, between lessons, I'm running about doing the shopping for the week! So tonight, we turn (yet again!) to the Hairy Dieters, and their Enchilladas. They require kidney beans in chilli sauce, but I've not seen those in France! We did buy a couple of tins of mixed beans in chilli sauce, when we were in the UK, so he could use those...or make his own chilli sauce and use ordinary kidney beans. Frankly, in our house, one needs to busk a little when cooking!

Thank you Si and Dave! I am loving your new book!
Si King (left) & Dave Myers, the Hairy Dieters

Tonight's dinner is Hairy Dieter's Shredded duck wraps - but using Chinese leaf as a wrap, rather than Chinese pancakes! I'm a bit worried I won't be able to find Hoisin sauce, but I put my trust in Grand Frais, where I can usually find the more exotic ingredients! I'll be going there for the Chinese leaf anyway, and it's not out of my way on the Friday shopping run (from my lesson to (Grand Frais) to Lidl to Carrefour to another lesson...)

Thank you for all your lovely comments! I can't reply to all the ones on the Grow Your Blog post - most of which were admiring the Dormousehold's Management Team (I haven't told them, as they might get big headed!)  But it is so lovely to read them all - and they will be entered in my Giveaway (to be drawn on 15th February)

From last week's post, I can reply to your comments though:
Pompom: Yes, do try leeks! I like them very much - they make a good basic filling for a quiche, and I always think they go well with ham. We had a ham, leek and mushroom pie yesterday (in a cheese sauce, topped with thinly sliced potatoes) It was lush. And leek-and-potato soup is a classic!

Purrfect Lady: We didn't have the quinoa in the end, as (possibly TMI) Mr FD can't eat too many lentils, so I changed the recipe. In fact he cooked the pork in a tomato and pepper sauce on Wednesday - it was delicious. We'll have the lentil/quinoa mix another day. I don't cook it very often, but I don't remember mine going mushy...

Maria: I think that this week everything was successful. The Fish gratin was a bit "Meh" but it was perfectly edible. Just not as interesting as it might have been. I'm quite excited about some of next week's recipes though - especially Saturday's duck! 

Busy Little Chicken: Sorry you missed the Grow Your Blog event, but you've still got another follower in me! I like your blog very much and encourage any of my readers to pop over to see you!

Thank you everyone for popping in. Tell me - which day do you think sounds the most tempting?!

Not with the Hairy Dieters!!!