Shaming Myself Into Dieting

I’ve been eating far too much rubbish recently – cheese, chocolate and way too much sugar. It’s giving me the jitters and a few spots, and I need to get myself into a healthier eating regime, especially before the Christmas over-eating season starts.

I struggle with dieting because I seem to have no self-control whatsoever, so I figured I could shame myself into dieting by publishing everything I eat. I realize that nobody will be in the slightest bit interested in this, but the fact that I’m committing to do it might make me think twice about hitting the biscuit-tin constantly in between meals!

I’m not planning on eating an overload of lettuce and no sweet treats whatsoever, but I am going to try and stick to 3 meals a day and cut down on my snacking.

So today, I’ve been pretty virtuous, I’ve had a bowl of unsweetened muesli for breakfast and pita bread stuffed with Greek salad stuff for lunch. Now all I have to do is get through to dinner without whipping up a quick batch of biscuits

Wish me luck!

*UPDATE*
I made it through to dinner time, had a healthy home-cooked Szechuan Chicken with rice and broccoli for dinner followed with a mini pot of chocolate mousse just because my sugar cravings were SO bad (to anyone who says sugar isn’t addictive try being me right now). The chocolate mousse didn’t touch the cravings so I won’t bother with that again, lesson learned. I did snack a little in the evening, but only on olives with a small glass of wine, so at least that’s a step in the right direction… Day one complete, and with no emergency biscuits made 😉

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Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m beginning to see a bit of a trend with my food posts, they all seem to be biscuits, cakes or puddings!I like to think that’s because they are the most appealing recipes rather than I eat more sugar than health-food but I’m beginning to wonder.

It doesn’t help having children of course. I’d rather bake and give my 7-year-old home-baked biscuits than rubbish stuffed full of aspartame and trans-fats. Still, it isn’t doing my waistline any favours, especially when the biscuits are THIS delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 250g/9oz butter
  • 150g/5.5oz caster sugar
  • 300g/10oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 50g chocolate chips

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas 4/fan oven 160 degrees.
  • Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy
  • Stir in flour, orange zest and milk and mix well
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix gently
  • Divide the mixture into 18 portions and put flattened balls of cookie dough on your baking sheets, leaving room for the biscuits to ‘spread’ in the oven
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  • Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets then remove to a wire rack to cool and crisp up.

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Spectacular Slow Cooking: Moroccan Lamb with Apricots and Almonds

Slow Cooking recipe: Moroccan lamb with apricots and almonds

I’m not sure the photo really does this one justice, but WOW this dish is packed with flavour. It was one of those slow-cooked dishes which I really struggled NOT to eat before dinner time, it just smelled so GOOD!

It’s really simple to make but the flavours are fantastic, I really can’t recommend this enough.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 550g lean cubed lamb
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
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Making Brandy Snap Baskets

Making brandy snap baskets

I love those occasional weekend days you get when there’s nothing to do. The boys are entertaining themselves watching football/watching motorsport/playing cars/doing boy stuff (delete as appropriate) and I’m free to just potter in the kitchen for an hour or two.

What I really fancied making was a cake, but I’d run out of eggs and couldn’t be bothered to trek to the shop, so I searched for something else instead. And what I settled on was Brandy Snap Baskets.  Just because I’d always meant to try them but had never got around to it.

The mixture is easy to make, but the rest of it takes a little more patience and a bit of trial and error.  The spoonfuls of mixture spread ENORMOUSLY when they cook (a tablespoon spreads to be approx 6 inches across) so you have to leave MUCH more room than I did in the picture below. Also, watch the oven like a hawk for the last 2 minutes of cooking, they go from underdone to burned very quickly.  They’re well worth the effort though, they make a scoop of vanilla ice cream into something really special!

Ingredients:

The joy of jelly

joyofjelly2

Sometimes it’s nice to just stop and remember the simple pleasures in life. Like eating wobbly jelly with a spoon: something which gives you huge pleasure when you’re 7, but which I haven’t done in years! I was making this spectacularly retro-pudding and hand some jelly left over which my little boy wolfed down amid much concentrating and giggling.

Ah, the joy of jelly. Not to be underestimated.

The joy of jelly

Strawberry Swirled Meringues

Strawberry swirled meringues

There’s little in life as delicous as a home-made meringue, especially when they’re served with whipped cream *sigh*

I made these meringues for our Halloween Harry Potter party and thought that the strawberry swirl would make them look suitably ghoulish. I called them ‘Bloodthirsty Meringues’ and they didn’t last long at all!

They’re super-simple to make. Just make regular meringues and swirl some strawberry sauce through the mixture before you pop them into the oven. The strawberry sauce makes for a slightly gooey strawberry-flavoured toffee-type swirl on the top of the powdery meringue. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 3  egg whites
  • 175g white caster sugar
  • Strawberry sauce (like the kind you put on ice-cream)

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The Shocking Facts about Fast Food advertising to Children

Some shocking facts about fast-food TV advertising aimed at Children. I guess it’s not too surprising really, but when it’s put into an easy-to-read infographic like this it makes for pretty cross-making reading.

I took my son to McDonald’s yesterday, he was desperate to go (which kind of surprised me). I discovered through that  it wasn’t particularly because of the food he wanted to go there, it’s because they have iPads to play on at our local McDs (of course we have iPads at home, but somehow iPads at McDonald’s are more exciting).

The first thing he did (after sitting and watching the big animation screens while we ordered) was to check out his Happy Meal toy. All these things certainly make eating at McDonald’s a stress-fee experience as a parent, the kids are happy and entertained, so I was pretty happy too. Having read this information though I’m less surprised by how much he wanted to go to McDonald’s in the first place. I’m guessing it’s because he watches Cartoon Network and Nicktoons. Hmmmm. Not sure what to think about that…

The Shocking Facts about Fast Food advertising to Children

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