Cooking galore

Warning; If you don’t want to read about my cooking, then look away now!

Yesterday I felt like something warming and filling for dinner, so I had a chilli (aubergine, peppers, tomatoes, chilli, garlic, kidney beans and quinoa).

T’was delish.

Today it was time to deal with my garden home-grown pumpkin (a lot of pictures were taken to commemorate the occasion).

Farewell beautiful orange pumpkin!

Chopped in half;

In the pan with a tsp pure spread, a squirt of olive oil and some rosemary;

Then add some stock (I was excited to try this in place of normal crumbly veg stock cubes; verdict= smelled like marmite, dissolved OK in hot water, I possibly added a little too much) and some garlic;

Simmer for about 20 minutes, and then blend away baby!

Then enjoy it while it is still steaming away (and put some in the freezer for another day). Scrumptious pumpkin πŸ™‚

I also made some snickerdoodles. False advertising alert- they do not contain snickers. Neither do they have a snickers flavour. They do not contain peanuts, chocolate or even caramel. But I had seen them on a few blogs, and there happened to be a recipe in my Rachel Allen Bake book, where she describes them as “A somewhat soft and cakey biscuit with a spicy, autumnal flavour”. Sounds good to me. They were fun to make- you made up the dough (which is normal cookie dough with nutmeg grated in), then you put cinnamon and sugar in a bowl, rolled the dough into little balls and then roll them in the cinnamon mix, before they go on the baking tray. My hands got covered in dough (so no pics lucky you!!!) but I did take a picture of them out of the oven.

They went down a treat at Sunday tea today πŸ™‚ I would make them again for sure, as they were really tasty- the right amount of nutmeg and cinnamon. Perfect for this time of year.

I also had an empty jar of peanut butter, so this morning one my porridge was cooked I added it to the jar. Porridge with a hint of PB is such a treat!

Although what is a mystery to me is that I weigh out my porridge ingredients, so I know I have the same, but when it is in a bowl it looks like loads, and then when it goes into a jar it looks like hardly anything. Some kind of alternative jar dimension. Hmm.

So, cooked anything nice this weekend?

And normal running service should be resumed tomorrow! πŸ™‚

New running gear!

Evening all- and thanks for all the comments on my last post- I really appreciate everything you say πŸ™‚

I hope you all got out and enjoyed the beautiful weather today. I was raring to go, and got to try out my new sports bra;

I like Shock Absorber ones, but was put off this one before because of the double strap at the back. But Rose convinced me (thanks πŸ™‚Β  ) and I am so glad she did. I read on the Womens Running forum that the easiest way to put it on it so have the top strap done up (it’s like a bikini strap) and then do the other one as normal. It was really comfy (I was surprised) and this morning I did my fave 8.5 mile route and it was comfy the whole way. Hooray! I spent a lot of my run listening to the new marathon talk podcast, and now I can listen to it without feeling like a fraud πŸ˜‰ ! I am also tempted by some Thoosa running gear- I have a code for 20% off and free postage before the end of October so I think I will order some tomorrow. Once home, I had a fab snack;

My fave part was the yummy Cranberry Apple Cherry Clif bar- I love them! The fruity flavours are turning out to be my faves so I am looking forward to stocking up at Christmas. I still cannot get over how much bigger the American ones are.

Now I just wanted to mention marathon talk, and specifically one of the guests they had on this week. It is a guy who has so far lost 120 pounds, and has gone from being totally inactive, to competing in 5k, 10k, half, full marathons and even an ironman. There is a link to a video of him, which is totally inspiring- it has footage of him right frrm his first runs. My fave part is his tag line at the end- If you want to do it, all you have to do it do it. Anyway, I really enjoyed the interview and I would recomend the video if you are in need of inspiration.

This afternoon has been spent mostly laying in front of the TV, and partaking in some of this;

Teapigs chocolate tea with coconut milk- yum!

So, my question today is what inspires you?

The M Word

Hello guys! Can you guess what me and Andy did today? Here are some clues- yesterday I was looking here, and also here.

Guessed yet?

The other day I was reading Womens Running magazine, and it had a full page advert for the Ottawa marathon. Me and Andy were chatting, and he was saying how he would likeΒ a new challenge to keep him motivated to run. I have been half heartedly looking for a marathon to sign up for, but have yet to bite the bullet. We realised that this marathon was in half term and we both loved Canada when we travelled there a few years ago, and would love to go back and see more. Anyway, we looked into it but to cut a long story short you had to collect race numbers etc from the expo on the Saturday before 4pm, which would mean we would have to get a flight out on the Friday night, and as I would not be able to have a day off, we felt it was cutting it fine. Plus, although a Β£400 flight is not bad, times by 2, add the entry fee, accomodation, car hire……. it was too much.

But I had my heart set on a marathon- next May I will be 30 and I was thinking it would be a great way to celebrate my birthday. So we realised that the Stockholm marathon is on the same weekend, looked into it (got a lot of good reviews) and have signed up! Woohoo! I am very excited about it, but very nervous too. So at the moment I have been having training plan meltdown, as I am looking at books I have, and all over the internet ( Rose I like the look of your plan). I have some time to decide anyway!

So in celebration (and to help ease my body pump aches) I had a gentle 4 mile run this morning, before some shopping and some pumpkin baking.

Yummy pumpking spiced gingerbread, baked in a brownie pan so you have little squares of gingery pumpkiney deliciousness.

This afternoon (also in celebration) I treated myself to a scrummy Booja Booja truffle. These babies are organic, dairy free, vegan, gluten free chocolates which are handmade in Norfolk.

What a cute box! I love the way it opens;

This is an Italian hazelnut truffle (ingredients Dark chocolate (cocoa solids, cane sugar, soya lecithin), Coconut oil, Hazelnuts, Cocoa powder) and it is amazing! It is coated in cocoa (so make sure you don’t breathe in when it’s right by your mouth!) and is so rich and chocolatey. It is not bitter like some dark chocolate can be, but it is strong enough that one (or two) would be perfect. I got very messy hands – cocoa powder everywhere!!

So, back to the M word- if you have run a marathon- any tips? Any useful training plans? Also, any good ways to work out your estimated finish time (this one has a 6 hour limit eek)? And if you haven’t run a marathon- what are your plans to challenge yourself? (When I started running, the 5k race was my challenge, and it was a big challenge for me- see my running journey page if you want to see where I started!).

PS I have updated my recipes page so feel free to have a little look πŸ™‚

Christmas Cake!


One of my favourite half term pastimes is making a Christmas cake. I use Rachel Allen’s recipe from Bake , and it is delicious. You have to soak a load of dried fruits in brandy first, so I did that before breakfast today. After some jobs and a nice long walk I set about making the batter.

Then altogether;

I put it in 2 tins (I always make some to give to my parents etc) and then into the oven they go.

They smell so good at the moment, baking away. I will save the icing for sometime in December πŸ™‚

I had my other munchkin pumpkin today- I baked it with some cinnamon and maple syrup, then I cooked a tiny bit of flaked pudding rice in some coconut milk, and then for the last bit of baking, put that in the middle.

It went all gooey in the middle- I added a little splash of maple syrup at the end, and it was delish! Perfect pudding. I might make some pumpkin gingerbread later as it was so good. Plus, I found that Ocado also have tinned pumpkin!

(Randomly a different brand to the one in Waitrose)

So now I have half a cupboard full! Tofu pumpkin pasta could become a regular feature- yippee!


Hello- I am well and truly into the swing of half term now.

This morning started with a level 2 Shred (boy, I have not done it for a while and I felt the upper body stuff especially), and then a run. I wanted to do some speedwork as a) I didn’t have long, and b), again have not done it for a few weeks. I went for a mile as a warm up, then spent about 15 mins going 20 counts fast, 20 counts slow (each count was about 6 steps), then another 10 mins or so as a cool down. I managed a pretty good pace- I managed 3.8 miles in 36 mins, my pace was very wiggly (because of the intervals) but it felt like a great workout. By the end of the last few intervals my lungs were bursting!

Once home I had a snack;

Some berry nuun, a new nakd bar (cocoa delight is possibly my new favourite) and a few cinnamon nuts left over from yesterday. Yum.

Then after a shower I had a quick lunch (nearly burnt it as was on the phone whoops)- roasted beetroot and pepper on bread with cream cheese;

Then I had to rush as I was getting my hair cut. I love getting my hair cut- I used to be all worried as I have very thick hair, and the stylist would always manage to persuade me to get layers or something, and then it would not work. But now I have a hairdresser that actually understands my hair, and it’s now quite a treat. πŸ™‚ Last time I got a kind of fringe added in, as I am growing it long and wanted something interesting, so I had that trimmed again.

I was finding it hard to smile and take myown picture at the same time haha!

Anyway, after getting my hair cut I was free to roam the shops. I was after some boots for winter, and I wanted some which I could wear under trousers (I have chunky over-the-jeans ones) but that would also go with leggings and a dress. I found the perfect pair, but had to deliberate for ages in the shop as they were quite expensive. Tada;

Ok I also need to improve these skills but I could not work out another way of taking it myself! Close up for those who are interested;

I *heart* my new boots. πŸ™‚

I also got some cheaper items;

I had used all my rainforest butter so jumped at the chance of getting some more. Some pumpkin puree from Waitrose (it was with all the tinned fruit in Waitrose not by the tinned veggies like I thought it would be) and some coconut milk- this stuff was lush- I had a sip (it actually tastes like coconut unlike coconut water) and then had it with nesquick as when I got home I realised I was very hungry. Did not have a big enough lunch!

I had fun shopping by myself today and I am much better on my own than with other people. I always get persuaded by friends to buy things that I am not keen on, or not sure about, plus I like to be in and out of a shop quickly and some friends like to spend ages! I like going shopping with friends if they are getting stuff, but for me I much prefer to shop alone (or actually, on the internet!). So, do you like to shop alone or with others?