Creamy dreamy WIAW

Happy What I Ate Wednesday, people! It’s that time again.

 

I think that most people are intrigued about what other people eat. I mean obviously WIAW is clear evidence – it has a huge following. But I’m pretty sure that even people who don’t have as keen an interest in food and fitness have a bit of curiosity.

Everyone eats. But everyone eats different foods, different amounts, at different times and even for different reasons (we can try and convince ourselves that chocolate is a good sustaining fuel but really who are we kidding??). And I think people are nosey and like to know what their neighbour is doing. Whether to compare, trade notes, or just curiosity for curiosity’s sake. And I’m a great believe in food bringing people together.

Sorry random tangent!

Riiiight, on to the good stuff. I’ll share Saturday’s eats just because it was so darn tasty.

As I mentioned in the last post I did a really scenic 7 mile trail run in the snow. I never eat breakfast before a morning run. I know I probably should but I like my sleep and I don’t want to get up earlier than I have to. Plus I love getting back from a run and really enjoying my breakfast. Yes I could just have a snack beforehand but honestly, I literally wake up, walk Alfie and then run – pretty much 20 minutes from waking up I’m outta that door. I can’t run if I’m digesting.

But anyway, so I finished the run and decided it was that time again. PANCAKE TIME. It has been too long! I used THIS recipe but also added 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree to get some really beasty, chunky pancakes.

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Yep, I am not ashamed to say I wolfed all those bad boys down no problemo.

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With a side of PB2 which I intermittently smeared over them. Oh it was divine! Oh pancakes how I missed you.

So then after some housework and mooching about we had lunch. I’ve been really loving my soups lately. And as we actually didn’t have that much food in the cupboard since the snow prevented our weekly shop, chicken soup was the perfect choice to just kind of throw the dregs of the freezer together and hope for the best (really selling this aren’t I?).

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Basically chicken with a lot of frozen veg as we had nothing fresh, apart from a couple of lonely onions. But it was goooood. Especially with the cold weather. I also had a side of (unpictured) roasted butternut squash. I have tried putting the squash in the soup while it cooks but it’s just not as good as roasting it and then dipping it in the soup – is that weird?

Hmm I’m sure I did some fanscinatingly interesting activities on Sunday but I can’t quite remember them…maybe watched some reality rubbish TV, read a magazine…took Alfie for a walk in the snow…usual Sunday leisure activities post-household chores are complete.

Then dinner! I have found my latest favourite recipe. And unfortunately cannot recreate it until I get more pumpkin puree *sobs uncontrollably*. But apparently Waitrose sells it and my parents shop there quite a lot so I might put in an order to them Smile

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OK I realise it doesn’t actually look that appetising. However, it tasted amazing. I didn’t use a recipe, I just kind of threw some bits and pieces together due to lack of alternate options. Ben refuses to eat pumpkin (can I get a collective, whhaaaaat??) so he had a corned beef sandwich…enough said.

Creamy Pumpkin Pineapple Chicken (serves 1)

  • 1 tsp. oil of choice
  • Clove of garlic, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 small tin of pineapple and 2 tbs. of pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin (I roughly estimated this, I probably used a bit more to be honest) 
  • Big dollop of light Philadelphia
  • 1 tsp. paprika

– Fry the onion in a little oil until golden, add garlic and fry for another minute before adding chicken.

– Add the pineapple, juice and pumpkin.

– When heated through add the Philadelphia and paprika.

– When all combined and heated through feel free to add some random veggies to bulk it up a bit (that’s what I did!)

It was creamy, dreamy and I didn’t want it to end! The hint of sweetness from the pineapple really complimented the creaminess of the sauce. Seriously, this needs to be in your life. I am devastated that I have no more pumpkin.

I have to say that Philadelphia is my saviour for meals. It can liven up anything. The other night when I had fish I didn’t have anything apart from vegetables to accompany it. Now I’m not much a carb fan. You can take your rice and pasta and, to some extent, bread. I’d much rather have some more protein or fat, like cheese. So I roasted up some butternut squash and added a dollop of Philadelphia and blended it all together.

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I had the fish with a herby/spicey sprinkle, veg and roasted creamy, dreamy butternut squash.

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It rocked my world. It rocked my taste buds! Really delicious. And really easy.

In the evening we treated ourselves to some ever so yummy but probably not healthy at all Krusher dessert.

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It’s basically angel delight. You mix the powder with milk (I used almond milk) and then put it in the fridge for 5 minutes and it goes all airy and thick. Then you sprinkle chocolate sprinkles on it and voila. Done. Creamy and dreamy Winking smile

On Sunday we did a task that has really been too long not done. Bathing Alfie. Oh he was not impressed. He literally stood in our bath with a look of absolute indignation on his furry face. He didn’t even try to escape for the futility of his situation, but just shot daggers at Ben and me. But afterwards he smelt so clean and lovely and he was so fluffy!

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He still needs a haircut though…

On a fitness-related note. I’ve been trying to get the runs in early this week as I’m off to Derby on later today until Friday for work and though I know the hotel has a gym I can’t guarantee I’ll be bothered get there. So I ran 6 miles on Monday.

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It was a good run but my route was all over the place trying to find a safe place to run without a) falling over in the snow and b) getting hit by cars. I’ve found I have to run on the road to guarantee that I won’t hit any ice but then I can’t guarantee I won’t get hit by cars!! Nightmare.

Then yesterday I ran 4 miles with intervals spread through it.

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So I’m pleased I’ve banked some runs in early. Today I’m off out at lunch with the guys from work but I’m seeing this as more of a recovery run than an intensely fast run.

Now please don’t judge me. I’ve had my Garmin a while now. Until recently, I haven’t ever connected it to my laptop…I  know, that’s terrible isn’t it? I finally did it on Monday after getting hassle from the people at work for being such a technical dunce and seriously what have I been missing?? Full stats of every run, splits, maps, times, average paces, fastest paces, PBs. Oh wow!! You could waste hours analysing your runs. I haven’t. Yet…

Annnd lastly, here’s what I’m wearing today!

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Yay new jumper from Next!

That’s all I’ve got! Have a lovely day Smile

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week?

What do you prefer, carbs or protein? A warm crusty piece of bread or a lovely roast chicken?

Full steam ahead! WIAW

Hi guys. Thanks for your reassuring comments regarding my latest confessions. I don’t feel so alien and crazy now Smile

This week at work has been a ‘thrown in the at the deep end’ kinda week. We’ve got a new project going on so suddenly there are a hundred pages of documentation to get my head around and understand.Docs

Fun, fun! But I do love my job and the people I work with are great. Working with a bunch of software developers is always quite relaxed and jovial.

Enough shop talk. Today is Wednesday so, as always, it’s WIAW. Thank you, Jenn, as always for hosting! This is yesterday’s eats.

As always, nothing exciting for breakfast, just my usual oats and almond milk cooked in the microwave until a beautifully stodgy consistency.

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This filled me up perfectly. Nothing added, just pure oats and milk. I am an oatmeal purist and not ashamed!

Lunch time I took my usual salad to work and copious snacks.

Lunch packed

So for actual lunch I had my usual tuna salad with lots of random veg and salad bits (tomatoes, leaves, carrot chunks, peas, beets – just anything really).

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Eaten at my desk while reading blogs. I know should go out and have a walk and get some fresh air but I also love this time to enjoy my lunch while reading some good old blogs. I followed that with a Babybel…IMG_3435

…and a big dollop of Soya yogurt over a fruit salad [took this photo in the morning – I use frozen fruit so it’s defrosted by lunch].

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I love Soya yogurts, so creamy and vanilla-ry. As you can see, I’m loving my Alpro products at the moment!

Then a bit later I snacked on some carrots that I had peeled and chopped.

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A bit of an embarrassing snack considering they crunch so much in the office…oh well!

I had two black coffees, peppermint tea and lots of water with squash in my funky glass during the day.

Squash

Then I had an apple and a banana about 4pm when the munchies set in [old picture sorry – it’s embarrassing enough sneakily taking photos of lunch but snacks are quite tricky!].

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And then home-time an hour or so later and dinner – my favourite meal of the day as it’s the one meal Ben and I eat together. It’s lovely because he’s usually in before me and has walked Alfie and then while I cook dinner he sits and chats with me about his day and my day and it’s just a nice catch-up time. I made a salad with chicken fried in balsamic  vinegar, with mozzarella dusted with basil and had roasted vegetables also in balsamic vinegar (addicted to that stuff).

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Delicious and very easy! I’ve basically been eating a lot of these style meals. You know I love my salads and adding balsamic roasted veg just rocks my world.

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This was Monday’s dinner: grilled halloumi and salad with roasted veg.

Other than that I’ve been snacking on lots of chocolate…

Chocs from Bruges

These are chocolates from Bruges which I’ve kept in the fridge…oh so good!

And I made some banana bread at the weekend.

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What’s life without a few treats? Winking smile

This morning I went on a 5 mile tempo run (as part of my training plan). I find 5 miles (dare I say it?) an easy distance.

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It’s not too short, and not too long. I have a great route I always do and the time flies by. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still tough (especially the tempo run) and at times during the run I want to give up and go home (usually within the first 5 minutes), but there’s always those good moments throughout where the ‘power of the run’ feels damn good. Especially afterwards when you’re finished running Winking smile

And I’d though I’d share with you my post-run picture and then my post-shower ready-for-work picture. Run and goAs you can see, still dark outside before and after. Oh the joys of winter! And behind is the rowing machine that never gets used… (*whispers* I told you so, Ben!!)

My running is going good – honestly, having such a rigid goal works wonders for motivation. And it’s quite nice to not just run the same all the time in terms of distance and speed. Finger’s crossed it remains as good!

And that’s me! Have a great Wednesday Smile

Are you back fully into the swing of work/education after the break?

What’s your favourite meal of the day and why?

In Bruges – WIAW

Hi all. Apologies for the long delay. We got back absolutely shattered from Bruges on Sunday night and then from Monday I’ve been suffering from being ill and just want to stay in bed all day. I went to work yesterday but just felt so ill I had to come home. So I’m currently camped out on the sofa (in a ‘nest’ as Ben calls it – lots of blankets) feeling very ill and very sorry for myself.

So I’m writing this post and then going to sleep. Sounds like a plan. I thought it might be fun to do my WIAW as What I Ate in Bruges.


We got up at an ungodly hour to drive to the station to grab the train to Waterloo, to then grab a taxi to St. Pancras, to grab the Eurostar to Brussels, a train to Bruges and a coach to the hotel. WHEW!IMG_3136

This is us hanging around St. Pancras. I was very pleased to have that coffee!! For breakfast I grabbed a chicken wrap from M&S and some fruit. In terms of breakfast options at train stations there’s not much really that aren’t pastries or at least resemble something healthy!

As my dad works in the company as well we travelled with my parents which was nice. When we got to St. Pancras we met up with the other guys from the company and we were given a goodie bag per couple which we opened on the Eurostar. It contained sandwiches for lunch (which we didn’t actually need as the Eurostar served food), chocolates, Christmas cake and a mince pie, a Bruges guide book and champagne!!

Bruges collage

Let’s ignore the fact that it was 11am. When the boss cracks open his champagne, you know you’re free to do the same! We amused ourselves by reading magazines, eating and playing hangman. Everyone was in great spirits (as you can imagine!)

Soo after much travelling we arrived in Bruges! And the hotel was beautiful.

Hotel

On the Friday evening we had a quick wander around Bruges before showering and getting ready for our mussels and frites night out.

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It was just lovely and I was very excited about our next day outing to explore the city. But first the dinner. We got dressed up reasonably smart…

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And then met up in the hotel bar with the other guys who were going as well. And this is when I began drinking…I thought that I must try the beer as it’s a speciality in Bruges. However, it is very strong. I’m not usually a beer drinker but it was nice.

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And then we moved on to the restaurant. The starter was like a little preparation of what was to come.

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Some spaghetti, tomato sauce and a few moules. And then dinner was just a MAMMOTH bowl of never-ending mussels and chips.

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They just kept bringing them out whenever we got near the bottom. And honestly, I couldn’t stop. They were so damn tasty. As were the gin and tonics… whoops. So needless to say that I never want to see another mussel again for a while at least. And in the morning I was pretty certain I’d never drink another G&T again either!!

So I woke up Saturday morning feeling a little delicate. But I enjoyed a nice breakfast in the hotel of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, a seeded roll and a slice of fruit bread.

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We spent the day walking around the beautiful buildings and streets and, of course, the shops.

Bruges sights

We went into a lot of chocolate shops, as you can imagine…and brought a fair amount home!

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We stopped for lunch in a tiny little tearoom. Tearooms were prolific in Bruges; all very small and quaint. I chose a light smoked salmon salad as I knew Saturday night would be quite a big meal.

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Very yummy and freshly prepared. We then looked around the Christmas markets and partook in some more ‘must-do’ Belgium activities…i.e. eating Belgium waffles!!

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It was surprising how light and fluffy it was. The texture was very pastry-like rather than stodgy pancake. I’ll pretend that made it healthier hehe. And Ben enjoyed some gluhwein (mulled wine).

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I wasn’t quite ready to begin drinking just yet…

So after a quick nap, Ben and I got ready for the big evening party. We had a pre-dinner drink in the hotel bar with everyone (yes, this is how it always seems to start) and then left for the restaurant where we given champagne and canapés. Very posh.

Then we sat down for dinner to begin. You know you’re in for a good meal when there are FOUR forks.

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I started with goat’s cheese tart with a mango salad.

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Very yummy! Then the music started and people got up and danced, my parents leading the way!

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So I obviously tugged Ben onto the dance floor too, along with all the other smiling wives and grumbling husbands haha.

Then there was sorbet to ‘cleanse the pallet’.

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Then followed the main. I went for a trio of dover soles.

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Then more dancing and more drinking…

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And more food…

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Fruit salad for pudding. Though obviously I tried some of Ben’s…

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Chocolate mouse in a bauble!! The top bit was marzipan. How cool is that?? And yes, it was DIVINE. I kicked myself for not ordering it.

And, honestly, if that wasn’t enough there was then cheese. And THEN muffins and chocolates!!! I was finished by nibbling at the cheese though. I mean if anyone seriously had room for the muffins I applaud them. The person I was sat with though jokingly threw all the chocolates in my handbag. And there they stayed Smile They are now in the fridge. Hey, you gotta take what you’re given!

So we got in fairly late after much dancing. And woke up feeling fragile…to have an EIGHT HOUR journey home (coach, two trains, taxi, another train & car). Needless to say I was in bed by 9 and fast asleep Sunday night! It was a brilliant weekend though and very lavish. I felt very lucky to be enjoying it all to be honest. I knew the parties were good as my dad has been with the company for over 15 years…but seriously, it was amazing.

Unfortunately I am now suffering from feeling very ill. I guess I partied a little bit too hard. And no, I have done absolutely no exercise since Wednesday. And until I feel better I won’t be. Humph!

Have you ever been to Bruges?

What did you get up to at the weekend?

What do you do when you’re ill? I’m just planning on napping and watching rubbish mindless TV.

Pumpkins, Pilates and Cinderella

And it’s Monday again! One week closer to Christmas…

This weekend was great. We didn’t really ‘do’ anything but we got a lot done, if that makes sense. Basically, we had no plans to go anywhere but we had a lot of chores to get on with. Mundane things like getting the car washed, then cleaning and vacuuming the inside, putting things up the loft, taking clothes to the Army and Navy… Yep, exciting stuff. I’m a married lady now, this is my life now! Winking smile And I love it! It’s just nice to get all those niggling jobs done that have been driving me mad. I’m a bit of an obsessive cleaner so I’m in my element.

I saw my sister, brother-in-law and their little girl, Ellie. We gave her her present from Disney World (a Barbie Cinderella) and she was over the moon. Though I ended up having to speak for the Barbie in a ‘princess voice’ for longer than comfortable period of time. Though I think I got off lightly, Ben was her human climbing frame haha.

I also went to a local farm shop to buy a pumpkin. I could have bought so much veg but I refrained as I’m pretty sure Ben would get fed up eating squashes every night…

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So I just bought a large pumpkin, a mini pumpkin (a munchkin!) and a corn on the cob. All for under a fiver. Bargain!

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How cute is that little thing?? I just had to buy it. For 30p you can hardly not, right? I made a delicious soup with that little guy – which I will share for WIAW soon.

Last week we decided to have a bit of a different meal for Friday night. We tend to have more exciting meals on Friday and Saturday just because it’s the weekend. So I bought some chunky pork ribs from the butchers and a jar of BBQ sauce (I was feeling lazy – I know I could have easily made one myself…next time). So Friday morning I marinated the ribs in the sauce and put it in the fridge. I wasn’t too sure how to cook ribs to be honest so I Googled it as work. FIVE HOURS they said to cook it. Well, that isn’t going to happen for sure! So I found a ‘quick’ recipe for an hour and a half. OK, fair enough, ribs are probably better slow roasted but I’m a busy hungry girl and I really wanted them Friday night. You know when you just really fancy something? Anyway, that evening after roasting them for a ridiculously long time in the oven (almost 2 hours) they were done (or if they weren’t, I didn’t care by this point. It was either uncooked ribs or my own arm that I would have eaten at this point).

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They were pretty yummy I have to say. We had one and a half ribs each. I had some veg on the side while Ben had some garlic bread. Thumbs up.

On a food-related side-tangent…I’ve been really enjoying my salads as of late as well. I tend to throw in whatever really, and usually a bit of fruit. Recently it’s plums or mainly figs but I’ve just bought a mango so I’m really looking forward to that.

Salads October

Salads left-to-right: flaked tinned salmon, goat’s cheese with fig, fried egg, more figs and mozzarella, & homemade paprika hummus and two hard-boiled eggs.

On Saturday I went to my first Pilates class. It was a one-on-one so I get the basics before actually starting a class. It was brilliant. The instructor was very good. Really good at giving direction and clearly knew her stuff! We used the reformer machine [see below picture] as well, which I was so excited about.

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My legs were in the air and everything. It was crazy. The hour whizzed by. I’m going again next Saturday and I’m so excited. I wanted a less intense exercise to strengthen and stretch my muscles, and this was perfect. The only tricky part was how technical it all was. Imprinting your spine, inhaling here, exhaling there, neutral position…a lot of technical jargon that I need to master. But it’ll come I guess.

So that was pretty much it! Here’s what I’m wearing.

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Blazer and belt from New Look, top from Warehouse, jeans from Top Shop.

I’m loving the blazer look – stylish while warm! The best kind of outfits in my opinion.

What did you get up to over the weekend?

Have you done Pilates before?

Obsessed with eggs

Do you ever have it when you can’t stop craving a certain type of food? I’m guessing this isn’t an uncommon thing. I know it happens to me a lo [I used to eat carrot and coriander soup like every day]. I just get a type of food in my head and I just want to eat it with every meal. Eggs are my current obsession.

I just think they’re amazing. Powerhouses of nutrition within their own little package. And very versatile. You can cook them in so many different ways. But my two favourites are scrambled and fried. Personally, I think you just can’t beat a runny yolk. And with scrambled egg, pretty much anything goes with what you can throw in with it. I love scrambled egg and tuna, and onion is always a must! Maybe a few cheeky cherry tomatoes as well. Or salmon (smoked or tinned) goes amazingly as well. Ahh bliss.

But lately, my favourite salad du jour is this:

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I promise you, there is feta and salad underneath that beasty egg. I made a mega egg by adding an egg white to one egg.

29.08 egg feta salad

Within this salad there’s feta, beets, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumber, lettuce, errrm yep that’s it. It might seem like a weird combo having egg and feta but it really goes! Or at least, I’ve convinced myself it goes…

I’ve also been eating an egg white alongside my morning breakfast oatmeal to increase my protein intake. Nothing fancy, just an egg white that I zap in the microwave for like 50 seconds and have after my oats. I’m thinking of adding it actually to my oats but I quite like just eating it on its own. Makes it feel like an extension to my normal meal! There are many reason I’m not a vegan, but not being able to eat eggs is a strong argument against it. Not that I have anything against being a vegan, I fully respect anyone who is a vegan, but personally for me it would be too hard. The only foods I don’t eat are ones that I don’t like the taste of (yes, cheddar, that is YOU). But I digress.

I also wanted to share my crazy flip-flops:

Shoes

I won’t show you me wearing them up close as, seriously, feet are gross and I hate mine especially. But I love these shoes, they’re a bit crazy, I love the colours! And the feathers!

What are your favourite foods that you just can’t get enough of right now?