WIAW- a fun Saturday

Hi all- Thanks to Jenn for organising the midweek party.

This week I chose Saturday- some of my food is even in daylight when I took the picture!


Note photo taken in the daylight! 🙂

Gingerbread pancakes with coconut chocolate spread and coconut yoghurt. I freestyled it with the recipe- spelt flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin puree, molasses, milk..

Cooked in a pan gently (that seems to be the key)

Tasty anyway.

Then I had a wander around a local Christmas market, and a 4 mile run in the wind.

Post run snack:

In the daylight! Yummy alpro chocolate milk.


Toast (sourdough wholewheat, although it tastes nice when not toasted) with red pepper hummus and tangerines. I also had some tea (cinnamon tea from Whitards although I don’t think they make it any more) and an almond Christmas bar. This is an old photo so it is not in the daylight 🙂


Bean and veggie bake with some wholewheat bread and cheese. Yum I love it when the cheese melts a little bit.


Lime and coconut yoghurt cake.

Hmm, not the best day food-wise- (not an awful day either- this is why I like WIAW as it is true to life and not trying to be perfect all the time)- not much fruit/ veg in there (I meant to have a pear with my lunch too but totally forgot). I was feeling pretty tired as we had a late night on Friday, so I think I was going after the sugary foods for some energy- especially for breakfast as I was starving!

Anyone else feel more hungry after a late night or tiring day?

It is time…. (and a jam-tastrophe)

Yup, I am going to put my gingerbread air freshener in my car. This may be the extent of our decorations this year!

And now onto the jam-tastrophe. Using my SuperJam book I was very confident- I followed all the steps so no idea what happened. I have made jam before (plum and cinnamon- yum). The idea of the superjam is to use concenrated grape juice instead of regular sugar. Sounds simple, right? Well in the book it said to reduce the 3 litres to 1/4 in about 30 mins.

Grape juice in pan above.

Grape juice after 30 minutes below.

Yeah, not really reduced to 1/4 yet.

This took about an hour and a half. My gas bill!!!

The fruit was looking good- I used cranberries and blueberries (frozen ones).

Then you had to add the reduced grape juice to the fruit and boil it all up.

It boiled like crazy. I added pectin (to help it set)- I followed the recipe to the letter. I skimmed the foam off the top and checked that it got to the right temperature on the sugar thermometer.

But it will not set- it is very runny, more like a sauce than a jam. Hmm. Next time I am going back to regular sugar I am afraid- I am going to try mango and apple next so wish me luck! And any idea what went wrong? (I am blaming the grape juice myself)

It seems like a waste of all the fruit to throw it away, so I might call it “coulis“- will that work? (But of course give them real jam too once I make it hopefully!).




Coconut lime yoghurt cake recipe

I have still been enjoying all the lovely yoghurt sent to be from Rachel’s. Last weekend I tried out a recipe by Lucy Hyder, who created recipes for their “Moment’s” campaign. I fancied making a yoghurt cake, and so after reading lots of recipe books and scouring the internet, I came up with these.

I made these on Saturday, and they were so tasty that I made another batch today to take to work!

I based the recipe on the Lime yoghurt cake with rosewater and pistachios, from Rachel Allen’s Bake.

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a tin with 12 muffin cases.

In a bowl mix 225g self raising flour, 1tsp baking powder, 50g ground almonds and 100g caster sugar.

Then add in one egg, 50g honey, 50ml rapeseed oil, 300g natural yoghurt, the juice and zest of one lime and some coconut extract. Then stir in 30g grated coconut. The batter should be fairly runny, so if it seems too thick then add some more yoghurt/ a little milk to thin it out.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture into the cases, and bake for 25-30 mins (until a skewer comes out clean). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Icing is optional- for the first lot I used 100g light cream cheese, icing sugar (couple of tbs) and some coconut extract, and then sprinkled more coconut on top. The second lot I left un-iced. If you had some lime juice left then I suppose a lime glaze would be fab too- with lime juice and icing sugar or something.

Yum. Quite a summery flavour I suppose, but they were so tasty 🙂

Last weekend I made some pear yoghurt muffins for work. I used a recipe for plum yoghurt muffins (here) but I swapped in pears and added some ginger. I also only used one egg and possibly a little more yoghurt to make up for it.

Everyone at work loved them! I love it when pears are cooked anyway- they go all soft and so so sweet.

I also had one for breakfast last Sunday with some amazing Rachel’s coconut yoghurt and a papaya. Yum 🙂 The yoghurt helps keep them so moist and delicious.

Thanks Rachel’s for all the tasty yoghurt 🙂

View New Rache...JPG in slide show

Andy requested something he could eat with custard, so I made some little gingerbread pumpkin loaves.

I based it on the pumpkin spice cake recipe, only I added in a few tbs molasses and added even more ginger.  So they are vegan too.

Yummy they look good even if I say so myself!

I was off for a run this morning- about 8.5 miles in 1hr31, in the wind! It was more windy today than yesterday I am sure. I focused on enjoying the run and did not look at my Nike+ once to see pace or time or distance or anything. Plus because I did all that baking this morning the house smelled wonderful when I got back home!

Also this is what I got for my Dad for Christmas:

At Hatfield House there are some lovely shops, including a gallery. A local artist makes these mosaic tiles – they are paving stones for the garden to be sunk down into the ground. Anyway I saw this when I did the Willow 10K, but as I did not have any money I did not even ask about it. When we went yesterday they had other ones, but not the kingfisher one (which was perfect for my Dad)- I asked if they had any and they phoned the artist (who was local) who brought it up straight away! I am so glad I asked. It was heavy though (it is a bit bigger than a dinner plate I suppose). I am really excited as I think he would never guess what it is 🙂 Especially as he asked for clothes!

Lime and coconut- yes or no?

Yoghurt in cakes- yes or no?

How is your festive shopping going on?

Fun weekend

Hey peeps!

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend, and all the US folks had a lovely Thanksgiving.

I came home on Friday to another veg box:

I think that is Kale? Any suggestions will be gratefully received! And some leeks too- I saw a nice recipe for goats cheese and leek tart, but as I don’t like pastry I will have to change it a bit! I love the curly peppers too.

Last night we went into London to see “Million Dollar Quartet” for Andy’s Christmas work do. It was brilliant! I had no idea what it was about, except it was something to do with Elvis. Well it was basically a live rock show- these people who acted as Elvis, Jonny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis (is that his name?) and someone else (Karl Perkins??) played live music the entire time- the guy on the piano was crazy and it was so lively- it made you want to be around in Memphis or whereever in the 50’s. We didn’t eat until after the show (went to a nice Italian where the veggie option was a butternut goats cheese salad- literally a pile of rocket, dressing, butternut cubes and goats cheese- plus a lovely lemon tart to share with Andy mmmm) and we got the last tube train by the skin of our teeth! We got home at 1.30am (so late for me!) and I surprised myself by sleeping until 11. I never lie in, most weekends I am awake by 8am, even if I had a super late night, so I was shocked when I saw the time. But it was a great evening and at least we could take it easy today.

I cooked some pancakes for a later breakfast while enjoying my new cookie monster PJ’s- how cool are they??????

Then we headed over to Hatfield House for the Christmas market- it was so packed there! It was lovely to wander around and see all the stalls- so many pretty decorations and gift ideas. I bought myself something:

Some tangerine marmalade and some vanilla curd. They also had banoffee curd which I was tempted by, but it was not with real bananas, and I don’t normally like banana flavour. They had Christmas preserve (lemon and ginger) which I was also tempted by. And a fab Christmas teapot (red and white stripes in various widths with reindeer and star shapes on it)- I was so tempted! I got my Dad his present too- might take a photo tomorrow in the light. Now I only have to get something for my brother (and do all the home-made gifts).

We wandered out of the market bit to look at the house.

It was a very wintery day.

Very busy too- so many cars parked up!

Trying to keep my hair out of my face- it was very windy out there! The grounds are lovely, I often forget how close by it is.

Once we got home I went for a quick run (4 miles) in the wind- managed it in 39 mins so I am keeping the fast pace up for a little further too. I have been challenged on Nike+ to run 60 miles before Christmas, but as I only have 3 weeks for this I am not sure I will make it. But it will give me a little extra incentive to get out there.

I was meant to be going on a Christmas cupcake decorating course tomorrow but it has been postponed until next weekend now, so I did a little baking this afternoon (will post tomorrow I think) and have been doing a spot of tidying and things too.

We are taking it super easy this evening with a film at home- no battling on busy tube trains for us tonight!

So- any nice leek or kale recipes? Is that kale? 🙂

Have you seen (or even heard) of Million Dollar Quartet? And which west end show do you love the most?

Expanding my hummus-orizons

That makes sense, right?

I never used to like hummus much at all- too garlicky and lumpy. But I had eaten a few nice (ready made) hummus sandwiches, and after reading about how smooth Sabre hummus is, I tried it and loved it.

This weekend I popped to Waitrose and noticed a little stack of hummus pots on offer.

Slow roasted tomato, roasted red pepper and lemon and coriander. I deliberated for ages over buying these, how silly! Mainly because I don’t like coriander.

Anyway, they are so tasty! I had the red pepper hummus for lunch one day with a food doctor pitta and a red pepper for dipping.

I had the most delicious dinner- some rocket, roasted sweet potato/carrot/butternut (so loving this right now) topped with some goats cheese, and a toasted wholewheat tortilla to dip in the roasted tomato hummus. Amazing. My best dinner for ages and ages and ages! All I do with the tortilla( you know the flour wrap things) is put it on a baking tray, heat it in the oven for 5-10 mins (the longer the crispier) and then slice with a pizza wheel.

I had the lemon and coriander hummus for lunch and actually liked it! I surprised myself. Nice and lemony, not too much coriander.

Following on from my excitement that I might like other types of hummus, I bought some red pepper hummus from Sainsbury’s too. I had it with some quinoa beetroot and squash risotto, goats cheese,more roasted orange veg and some pumpkin falafels. These were not as good as they sound, tasted like normal falafels for me. But the hummus was another success!

Finally, I don’t think I have put a picture of some tea on here for a while. What is going on??? I have been really tired this week- my run was hard work on Monday, we got worked like crazy at aerobics on Tuesday and I was soo soo tired! Last night I had a short run which turned out to be pretty speedy- 3.5 miles in 35 mins, and I had to wait at road crossings for a while. Any sub 10 min miles for me is good 🙂 So today I am having a cup of tea (Teapigs chocolate tea) and a Christmas almond bar thing to give me some energy for body pump later. I hope I don’t chop my head off with the bar.

So what is your favourite type of hummus?

And anything you tried recently to expand your horizons?