What I’ve been up to these last few weeks.

I’ve been really sick, but I’m feeling heaps better obviously and have been cooking my way through Annabel Langbein’s cookbook “The Free Range Cook”. I was going to create another blog for the challenge but I didn’t want the added responsibility and it’s too hard to properly maintain two blogs. SO ANYWAY, in photos, here’s what’s been up:

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October 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm 1 comment

“And then the wheels fell off…”

This is kinda gross and I don’t really know why I’m blogging about this, but the other night at around MIDNIGHT I went to see the Doctor in E.D at the hospital who told me I have Shingles. It’s pretty much the “grown-ups” version of Chickenpox, only worse. It’s spread across my chest and down my left arm/armpit. I’ll be popping pills like it’s my job for the next week, I’m on anti-viral antibiotics which I take 5 times a day for 5 days as well as pain relief which I take every 4-5 hours or so as needed.

I’m so annoyed that this had to happen now because I’ve just started being proactive about my health and fitness, and instead of moping around at home complaining about how unfit and unhappy I am I took action to change. I bought a 10 concession card for the local outdoor swimming pool so I can start swimming since everything else hurts and I bought a soccer ball to play soccer with my friends. I also just got Annabel Langbein’s beautiful cookbook which is full to bursting with amazing healthy and delicious recipes, as well as dragging out mum’s old “deliciously natural” cookbook so I could put together a two-week meal plan for mum and I.

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However… It will take anywhere between 2-5 weeks for the Shingles to go away completely, and it’s extremely contagious. I can’t swim because, well… just, EW and I can’t cook because the movement hurts too much. So it’s like Karma just slapped this in my face, sort of reminding me that this is what I get for faffing around with my health for months. It’s as if it’s saying “Hi there! Remember me? Karma? Yeah well I’m back again! Just a friendly reminder that you should’ve maintained your health instead of falling into an emotional and physical rut. I’m just going to give you a hideous virus to deal with for a few weeks while you think about your actions. Bye now!”

Not to mention the fact that we’re in the middle of Mock exams right now 😦 I have my drama and biology exams tomorrow and it really does not look like I’ll be able to sit them. I think the reason I got this in the first place is from all the stress I’ve been dealing with lately… You only need to look at my poor, torn nail beds to see that…
The last thing I feel like doing is sitting in an exam hall for a collective 6 hours, making a noise every few hours by taking my medication and pain relief. Not to mention the contagious aspect…

Yesterday I begrudgingly and very painfully cooked a Pumpkin Pie for my dear ole’ sis. My sister, her partner and my gorgeous little nephew are staying with us for a few days. She arrived before I was diagnosed so I was feeling good (itchy though- the first sign) and promised I’d bake her a pumpkin pie since she’d never tried one. True to my word, I pump my veins full of pain killers and took to the kitchen. The result was a delicious, perfectly cooked pumpkin pie, with a slightly over-worked crust unfortunately, but hey, it still tasted good. I decided not to cook dinner last night and wound up sleeping for 2 and a half hours in the afternoon.

I’ve really lost my appetite these last couple of days and I’ve been really REALLY tired. I have grasped the opportunity of my lack of appetite to sort of correct my eating habits. I’m trying to lessen the amount of sweet foods I have.

Anyway, that’s what up these days… Who knows how I’ll feel in a few days. Since I caught the virus early with anti-biotics it might now get any worse… hopefully.

Ciao!

October 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm 2 comments

Busy People’s Bread

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Yesterday my amazing Mother bought me this book:

The_Free_Range_Cook_cover I nearly fell over with happiness.

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I have wanted Annabel Langbein’s new cookbook since I first saw an episode of her show “The Free Range Cook”. Her recipes just seemed so delicious and simply. And then of course there’s the natural factor, all her recipes she makes with free-range products. (That isn’t really possible for me because I don’t live out in the country with a ENORMOUS garden, but hey, I try).

Today I tried to cook my second Annabel Langbein recipe, the first was her Chocolate Cranberry slice:

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Today I made the Busy Person’s Bread.

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I had fun with the yeast haha, I was amazed at how it frothed up!!

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There is something so, so satisfying about making things like bread, dough and pastry. I’m not sure what it is but those things are probably my favourite things ever to cook. I did quickly learn that I was going to need a bigger bowl than my Pyrex bowl though…

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I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top at the end so I used some others, the name which I forget… It may have been Linseed but I’m not sure. I split the mixture between two loaf pans, sprinkled the seeds on top and put it in the oven.

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I swiftly learnt that three pans are better than two as I watched horror as my beautiful dough started spilling over the edge of the pans and onto the racks below. I lost quite a lot of mixture and I could only look on in dismay. In future, I shall use three pans or use two BIGGER pans. It also saves the pain in the ass job of cleaning the oven.

They cooked for 20 minutes at 80 degrees first and then they baked for a further 30 minutes at 210 degrees. However… I noticed that not only were they massively overflowing, but the tops were starting to burn! I turned the temperature RIGHT down and cooked them for a further ten minutes. When mum came home she moved them to a lower rung and told me to leave them for a little while more. Eventually they sounded hollow when I knocked on them so I took them out of the oven and set them on racks to cool.

They do not look pretty and DEFINITELY do not look like the pretty picture in the book, BUT… They taste yummy 😀

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Overall I was generally happy with the result. There are definitely things I’d do differently in the future but I’m learning all the time 🙂 It’s all part of it. Next time my bread will kick BUTT!

I bought a 10 concession card for the local pools today… I plan to swim or aqua jog. I’ve been really upset and depressed lately because I’ve become so unfit because my knee pain is so bad that EVERYTHING hurts. I decided water is the only way I’ll get in a decent workout without pain. I hate hate HATE swimming though, but it’s something I plan to work on. Now I’ve paid for a concession card I have no choice but to use it. Stay tuned!

In other news,

I’m addicted to this song:

October 15, 2010 at 2:08 am 1 comment

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Introducing…

Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at jennyeatliverun@hotmail.com

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