Posts tagged ‘Cooking’

“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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae

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Ohmigod…

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Oh. My. GOD! If you haven’t already figured out what this shining beauty is, it’s Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae and it’s AMAZING!

I told mum I was going to make her dinner with a dessert that would blow her mind, and I did it! After seeing Nigella cook up a storm with this recipe on youtube the other day I’ve been hanging out to give it a go. It’s really easy too, just 200mls Condensed Milk, 100g Dark Chocolate Chips and 100g Smooth Peanut Butter all melted in a saucepan. Nom nom nom! If you want an easy and delicious dessert option, I highly recommend this!

For dinner I made pizza bread with rosemary, olive oil, garlic and salt.

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It was YUMMY too! Took forever though because there was a bit of drama concerning the dough… I’ve never made dough like that before and I was home alone all day today with no parents to assist me. The dough I made first was great! I kneeded it and it became gorgeously smooth and elastic, just the way it should, so I put it outside in the sun to rise without knowing that UV Rays kill yeast… Epic fail…

So my perfect dough didn’t rise 😦 SO I decided to try again with some new dough, but the second batch was disastrous, it was flaky and tough and wouldn’t go smooth and elastic the way it needed to. I got so frustrated I just wanted to throw it out the window.. To top that off, the second batch wouldn’t rise either even though I didn’t expose it to sun!!! Oh well, I used the first dough and the pizza bread actually turned out very nice 🙂 It was crisp and tasty and soft on the inside. Success!

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I used the recipe out of my currently favourite recipe book:

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It doesn’t look like much but WOW! I discovered this tucked away at the back of my mother’s cookbook cupboard and it’s so full of easy, delectable recipes that I haven’t seen before. I can’t wait to try out more!

Anyway, I’m full so I’m going to go and read more of my insanely addictive book, “Needful Things” by Stephen King. Night!

NeedfulThingsBookCover

October 3, 2010 at 5:48 am Leave a comment

Blueberry Muffins

12 glorious, delicious blueberry (well, mixed berry actually) muffins.

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I actually baked these for Dallas for his 18th birthday which was yesterday. The lovely recipe courtesy of my new favourite read- Cupcakes and Muffins.

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I used mixed berries instead of plain old blueberries because we only had frozen mixed berries. I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t turn out so great because I made a mistake in the recipe, but they turned out great 🙂 They weren’t so great the next day when they were cold, but they were amazing when they were still hot from the oven.

I find it endlessly amusing how I’ve all of a sudden developed this random passion for cooking and baking. I’ve never been one to enjoy cooking and be inspired by the kitchen, in fact most of the time I’ve detested cooking and found it a drag and nothing more than a pain in the backside whenever the prospect of creating any sort of culinary delights arose. I can know honestly say that baking has become my “happy place”, a place of solitude and therapeutic benefits. I spend more time baking these days than I do anything else in my spare time. They only issue from it is the cost of ingredients… I’ll start focusing more on savoury food because I’m using up all our sweet food ingredients like sugar and butter.

Last night I cooked potato wedges for dinner, glazed in Olive Oil and various different herbs and spices. They tasted so great 🙂 I believe the satisfaction of knowing you created something delicious also adds to the experience.  I’m planning what I’ll have for dinner tonight… I’d like to try a recipe using Quinoa but so far I can’t think of anything particularly creative to do with it. I think I’ll make something using pumpkin, I’ve still got a pumpkin in the pantry from the other day with the intention of pureeing it for Pumpkin Scones, but maybe pumpkin soup? I do love a good, hearty pumpkin soup 😀

I’ve been doing yoga everyday since I bought the DVD and I think I’ve fallen in love with that too. What makes this trial run of yoga so different from all the others is that I’ve let go of the thoughts that I’m “not doing enough”, that yoga isn’t enough of a workout and that I should be slogging away at the gym for 2 hours to get any real results. I’ve just focused on being relaxed, working towards becoming more supple and achieving the proper movements. I’ve felt myself being more relaxed throughout the day and I think I’ve been handling stressful situations more effectively. EPIC WIN FOR YOGA! 😀

Anyway, I need to clean my room and get my daily dose of yoga in, so I’m outties! Bye!

September 22, 2010 at 4:06 am Leave a comment

BUSY DAY! + Good news! :D

Today has been buusssyyyy! I got up at 7am with the intention of going for a run and then a bike ride and then a swim later on in the day, well, that did not happen. I had my pre-workout breakfast of PB + J on toast and half a large banana with a cup of coffee, but then Ma asked me if I wanted to go to the Farmers market with her and that she’d be leaving early. I love the Farmers market simply for the cheap books they sell, I always pick up a seriously good Stephen King book or something and I didn’t wanna miss that opportunity again.

I went and never got around to exercising. I bought “Needful Things” by Stephen King because Emma has highly recommended it to me, and even though I find Stephen King a bit intense, I wanted to check it out.

I started getting really grouchy because I hadn’t exercised since Monday and that’s a looonnngg break for me. When I’m off for that long, my mind starts playing tricks on me…. I get really self-conscious, start becoming convinced that I’m gaining weight and get really fussy about my food. Usually, when I’m exercising regularly I don’t care about what I eat, but when I’m not, every. little. calorie. counts. It’s probably a really unhealthy mindset to have but I can’t help it.

We went to check out some op-shops after that and I got the cutest little running skirt!!! I was very pleased because I’ve wanted one for ages but they cost around $70 in the shops 😦 I got mine for cheapsies 😀

We also went to the SPCA to visit the cute animals… I fell in love and made a new best friend with the cutie-pie, TUESDAY 😀

There were also some cute Labrador puppies 🙂

Aren’t they sweet?! I really hope someone comes along and offers them a safe, loving home.

After that I came home and went straight over to Emma’s. We chilled for a bit and then went to see Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” (which I will post a full review of tomorrow). By time that was finished and we got back to her house it was 5.30pm, I dashed home on my scooter, got ready and went down to the gym…

Epic fail.

I forgot that the gym closes at 6pm on weekends, so I got there and it was shut. I freaked out a little bit because I felt as though I needed exercise but the GYM WAS CLOSED!! It’s been so long since I exercised outside of the gym that I kinda didn’t know what to do :/

I followed my new training plan and went for a run. I did 5 minutes running with 2 minutes walking, 5 times. Felt great to get outside and I felt fit and fast, but after about 15 minutes my knees started hurting 😦 not good… I came home, stretched and iced them. I sat down and watched the Simpsons, then I cooked dinner for myself. It was DELICIOUS! At the Farmers Market we picked up 2 big fat Butternut Squash pumpkins– my FAVOURITE vegetable in the entire world. I chopped them up, put them in a baking tray and roasted them for 30 minutes on high with paprika, salt and pepper for seasonings. They were soooo good. It was like Butternut Squash chips.

I also had a whole wheat bread bun filled with cheese, salad, beetroot, tomato, sundried tomato, hummus and chutney, I also put some leftover roasted pumpkin inside… Man, it was awesome.

I should’ve taken photos but this was a meal where I was too hungry to remember lol.

Anyway, moving onto GOOD NEWS….

I GOT INTO THE ARMY CAREERS EXPERIENCE!!!!!! 😀 So happy! When I found out I was jumping for joy like CRAZY! I’m so proud of myself and I cannot believe I made it. I DESERVED to make it though, I worked so damn hard at the fitness test. This is one of my all time greatest achievements and I’m SO excited for the holidays so I can get into it 😀

I can’t wait and I look forward to keeping you guys updated on the haps 🙂

Have an AWESOME Sunday tomorrow!

xoxo

March 6, 2010 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

Roasted Pumpkin Penne with Autumn Pesto

As some of you may know, a New Years resolution of mine was to learn how to cook. I haven’t really made any serious attempt to put that goal into action, but after discovering some tasty and easy looking recipes, I’m going to give it a shot!

To celebrate the beginning of Autumn (March 1st), I decided to cook an Autumn meal for dinner the other night.

My stomach was still a bit off, I came home sick and I don’t think I’ll be eating chocolate yoghurt for a while… but I was craving vegetables and fruit like crazy. My body’s going through withdrawals from having none for so long!

I got this recipe off Rachel Ray when I was home sick the other day. I made a mental note to repeat it when I felt well enough. And the time came and I did it!

The result tasted great and I was amazed that for the first time in my life I cooked something that worked out well. It was also the first time I have ever cooked pasta. I never knew how but I winged it and it came out perfect!

Last night I also cooked vege burgers (man my cooking skills are just on fire, lol). They were amazzinnggg. I forgot to take photos but they were AWESOME!!

Expect to see them again here on the blog 😉

Anyway, if you have any questions, just leave a comment.

Have a great night! 😀

March 6, 2010 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

Food for thought.

Morning all! Hope you’re all excited and have some amazing plans for this beautiful Saturday morning 🙂

I love Saturdays. They’re by far my favourite day of the week, and as of this year the only day I have completely off! :O That’s because of school and that I work on Sunday’s now.

Anyway, last night I had an excellent gym session.

I was very excited to go! 🙂 (btw, do you like the new hairdo? dyed it black and got it cut)

I hadn’t been in THREE DAYS and so it had to be good. I had a fabulous cross-training workout which consisted of:

  • 2 minute walk warmup on the treadmill
  • 10 minute run on the treadmill
  • 5 minutes interval training on the spin bike (10 seconds of high resistance followed by 20 seconds recovery with low resistance)
  • 10 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 10 minutes on the rowing machine
  • 10 minutes on the Elliptical
  • 5 minutes spin bike interval training

I then did about a minute of skipping, a few press-ups and some hip strengthening exercises before coming home. The whole thing took about an hour and 20 minutes or so.

Today I reeeeaaallly need to go for a swim :/ Swimming sports is on Thursday and I’m no where near prepared for it. I’ll either try to fit one in before 10am (because we’re hosting a Japanese exchange student for 12 days and they have some activities planned at the beach at this time) or this afternoon.

I didn’t do the triathlon that I had planned for the 12th if anybody noticed. I came to the conclusion that I was simply ill-prepared.

ANYWAY! Moving on, as the subject line reads, here’s some food for thought..

I’ve discovered that with my body, when I have a more stabilizing, solid breakfast that somehow incorporates 2 eggs and 2 pieces of bread or toast, it sets me up for the whole day and I snack less on sugary foods and junk.

My usual morning breakfast is either French Toast with a dribble of maple syrup and a handful of frozen blueberries on each slice, or scrambled eggs on toast with the same toppings. I also try to fit in a piece of fruit somewhere along the line.

I have found that this breakfast is the only thing that keeps me full. Come interval and I’m still not hungry! it’s fantastic because then my interval snacks are enough to carry me happily over to lunch time.

Here’s the breakfast I had this morning:

As usual, eggs and carbs 🙂 I hate people who claim that carbohydrates are bad.. That’s such crap in my opinion. I eat a ton of carbs because that’s what my body craves and I’ve LOST weight! You need carbohydrates to help keep you full and give you more energy, if you’re eating the right sort of carbs (wholegrains etc) then it’s not a problem!

Another thing is that I’ve decided to switch to a different Physiotherapist. And not just within the business, I mean an entirely different clinic. I have some serious issues with the very rude and unintelligent receptionist who has caused me more problems than I care to deal with, and I just can’t stand that revolting tongue bar she flashes around when she grins when she realized she completely screwed something up.

I have my first physio appointment with my new physio on Monday afternoon. Here’s hoping it works out!

I’m reading “Scar Tissue” by Anthony Kiedis again. It’s an incredible and inspiring autobiography, I think I’m more in love with it this time round than I was the first.

the Red Hot Chili Peppers are just so darn talented. They keep producing incredible music, over and over again. I heard rumours that there’s a new album on it’s way out this year, and I reeaallly hope that’s true! They’re my favourite band and I would die to see them live.

They’re also really really funny 🙂 That’s something you’ll notice if you read AK’s book.

Check out this video clip for “Hump De Bump”, I love it! It cracks me up 😀 and seeing AK with grills… lol, no words….

What sort of foods do you eat to keep to full and sustained longer?

xoxo

February 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm Leave a 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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