The past couple of weeks have been full of more ups and downs than is usual for me. Nothing major, just stuff that could be done without. And really, as of today (I started this post yesterday), I feel the stress ebbing away to a manageable trickle.
I am naturally a person who likes things on an even keel. I absolutely do not thrive on stress – I would be quite the worst business person. Certainly you will never see me cowering before The Dragons’ Den dragons, touting an idea. Or even pitching up in a pinny for The Great British Bake-Off, like my brave and talented friend Urvashi. That’s just not me. With the exception of GBBO I don’t even like to watch shows with conflict, confrontation or stress. Well, an exception for House of Cards, too. How can anyone resist Kevin Spacey’s sly, to-camera asides, delivered in that snake-oil Southern drawl? Continue reading →
I said on Monday that I wouldn’t be back unless I had some kind of brainwave. I don’t know if this qualifies as a brainwave, but we have just demolished a stack of the best pancakes we have had in ages. And it all started from a pack of something that the health and safety brigade would have chucked in the bin.
Here is how it happened that our near-trash turned into bona fide treasure. Continue reading →
Regular readers will know I am a bit of breakfast-head. If breakfast were a religion I would be proselytising on a street corner, shoving avocado-smeared toast in your hand as you rushed by, late and ratty for your train. In other words, a bit evangelical. Small e, mind.
Happily, I’ve noticed in my nutrition groups that when we discuss breakfast and its importance for blood sugar control (and consequently weight control), energy and basically running on all cylinders, I am preaching to the choir. A calm, unratty, insulin-controlled choir. Hooray! Big H.Continue reading →
Milkshakes for breakfast. Not quite what you might expect from food to glow. Kale shakes, like my kale berry smoothie perhaps. But not a milkshake. And most certainly not one for breakfast.
I have previously had a rant about terrible breakfasts, but not a word did I write about milkshakes. Who in their right mind would have a milkshake for breakfast? All that sugar and saturated fat? Surely this is something only children might crave. Well… despite my predilection for savoury, kale-infested packed breakfasts (my recipe index tells all…), the idea of a milkshake – a healthy one – on a hot summer’s day actually sounds kinda nice. So, if I think it sounds nice, 99% of the population probably thinks so too. And, this bad boy is adults only. Unless you like your children wired and tearing around the house like Superman. Continue reading →
I love breakfast. No, make that I LOVE BREAKFAST. It is without question my favourite meal. As you can tell from this blog I love other meals too. A lot. But breakfast is sine qua non to my daily happiness. Although it is rarely elaborate, and often involving no equipment other than a knife and hot overhead grill – or bowl and spoon – any sustenance is gratefully received. If ever I have to skip breakfast (I can’t remember when that last happened) I get seriously grumpy. Dropped pacifier, burst football, home team lost kind of grumpy. Stay the heck away if that happens is all I can say. Continue reading →
I was almost going to call this A Nearly Store Cupboard Shakshuka, but I realised that might be a tad presumptuous. I have had plenty of times in my life when the cupboards contained barely a tin of soup, let alone the fixings for a whole meal, so I can’t assume that the likes of marinated artichoke hearts are going to be sitting idle in your pantry. Tinned tomatoes, I hope, but perhaps not the ‘chokes or the roasted peppers. The point is that these aren’t fresh, and you don’t have to do anything but chop them and thrown them in the sauce. And they are optional anyway. So it’s just plain old Easy Shakshuka. I digress… Continue reading →
I had hoped to come up with something profound to say on the subject du jour: New Year, New You. I might have gone on about fresh starts, turning over new leaves (leafs?), spring cleaning your diet/life/soul/refrigerator (maybe I should do the latter, if only as a good incentive to actually do it). But, to be honest, I am assuming that most of you are sorted for that stuff. And to be doubly honest, I hold no expertise in any of that. Continue reading →
Don’t you just love it when you come across something that does double, or even triple, duty? I’m not talking about moisturiser, or Swiss army knives (which if the latter is really swish will do about a 36 jobs, including scale fish and remove the hook – cool Crimbo pressie?). As always, I am talking food. This food specifically, cocoa granola. Continue reading →
Hands up, who likes granola? Excellent, that’s most of you. But did you know that some of the granola we eat should really be re-classified as dessert? Despite its rather saintly image, most granolas are quite high in both sugar and fat. And we tend to eat rather more than the suggested serving size. Unless I weigh it out, I know I can certainly tip in quite the little mound. And no, not even the fact that it may float innocently in unsweetened soya milk and be topped with decidedly healthy fresh berries makes it a super-healthy breakfast choice. If granola were a person I believe it would be batting its lashes coquettishly before leading us very astray.
So, does this mean you should relegate your favourite granola to the status of treat? Or, perhaps, just try an easy, no-brainer recipe instead? To help you make up your mind I have had a wee look at some popular UK brands, as well as a read of an interesting article that appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper. Despite knowing that commercial granolas are certainly not for dieters, I was quite taken aback by how ‘dessert-like’ are many of the brands – good, trusted brands. That’s not to say we should not have them. They aren’t evil or bad for us, just not what we think they are. Continue reading →
This morning I treated my daughter to the smell of freshly baking bread. Don’t I sound like a brilliant mother? Can’t you just picture a Mad Men vision of pinafore and pearls, oven mitts at the ready? Well, don’t be too impressed because it was actually due to neglect on my part. When Mr A left for work I noticed the bread bin was open – empty, save for a forlorn wrap bread of unknown vintage. On the countertop there was no sign of a plate, lidless jam jar, or butter-smeared knife – universal man-signs indicating the finishing off of bread. Super-sleuth me realised that Mr A probably went out the door with just a bit of fruit for his breakfast as there was also no soya or dairy milk (ruling out cereal). As Mr A often doesn’t have time for more than a five-minute lunch (I am not exaggerating) I was feeling very guilty. In mitigation I’m neither a bread or cereal person in the morning so can be completely unaware when things reach crisis point, such as today. Short of zooming out to a shop, pre-shower/pre-face, the only thing for it was to make some bread, a quick, delicious soda bread. Although this was not going to assuage the guilt at my 6’1” husband facing the day with a ‘fun-size’ banana, at least Miss R wasn’t going to go hungry. Or me for that matter.