Brew-ming marvellous

Is that title too pun-tastic? Guess what I had this afternoon!

But last night first- we went out for dinner to a steakhouse (yes not the first choice for a veggie but all my friends are meat eaters!) but they have a daily veggie special so I was hoping it would be something good. It was a lentil moussakka served with green beans, and it was lovely. It was a good evening all round.

This morning I woke up to grey skies, drizzle and cool air, so I decided to try the Rude Health porridge.

It was gooooooood! I have made a proper review page here. The apple flavour was lovely, and the bits of dates and apricots meant that each mouthful was different. Totally filling and perfect on a cold day. Great running fuel too 🙂

Today for my baking I fancied something like oatmeal raisin; my clif bars came from wiggle yay- So I sort of combined the flavours. I used the base of the Hummingbird oatmeal raisin cookie, but I subbed a few things. In place of the plain flour I used wholegrain spelt (gives such a lovely flavour, kind of nutty), and instead of raisins I used some plain chocolate chopped up, and a handful of walnuts and brazils chopped very finely.

Here they are baking in the oven:

They look so lovely and chunky and tasty- am looking forward to sunday tea tomorrow.

I am also making some sundried tomato bread to have with dinner later, so I might add in a picture.

EDIT- here is the bread waiting to go into the oven:

To make it I put 150g malthouse bread flour, 1tsp yeast, pinch of salt and pinch of sugar in a bowl. Then I added some sundried tomato paste and 90ml warm water. I kneaded it all together, and then added in about 4 chopped sundried tomatoes (I used the merchant gourmet ones). Then I put it in a bowl covered by a tea towel. After an hour of rising (approx) it went into the preheated oven (220Cish) for about 25 minutes.

Here it is fresh from the oven:

And here it is on my plate with some vegetable and bean bake:

Now to the brew-ming marvellous part. I tried some of my teapigs tea- this time it was Darjeeling Earl Grey.

This tea is also good (I expect nothing less)- it has black tea, cornflowers (!) and bergamot flavouring, and it was very perfumed. A lovely light tea, perfect for the afternoon. I had it while I listened to Just A Minute- I used to love this and by chance heard some on Sunday, so I decided to listen to it on the website. Very funny as usual.

I had a walk this afternoon as the rain had stopped (it actually got really warm) and have been catching up on TV. I saw some of the e-numbers story and I found it pretty interesting. For example they talked about vitamin C, and how it was disvovered to stop scurvy. It was in fact trial and error; they gave sailors loads of different potions, and they found that citrus fruits stopped it. We have all heard of anti-oxidants, and the program had a good way of explaning it. Basically, oxygen destroys certain things that it comes into contact with- when you cut open an apple pretty soon it goes brown. But if you cut an orange in half, it won’t, and that is because of the high levels of anti-oxidants- they stop the oxygen doing it’s damage.

I also saw some more of the bake off and it got me thinking- what would your signature bakes be?  So far they have made their signature breads, cakes, biscuits and puddings.

For me I think I would choose maybe cinnamon and raisin bread, banana bread for the cake (as it is really a cake), and peanut butter white chocolate cookies. I have no idea what pudding as I don’t tend to make those. They made things like suet based puddings, treacle sponge and so on. Actually they did have to make one bread-based pudding so maybe I would make bread pudding with hot cross buns and marmalade. That is always good in the winter!

Over to you- any signature dishes you would love to bake?

More teapigs tea and your ABC’s

Last night I decided to try another teapigs tea (keep getting the moonpig theme song in my head); this time it was spiced winter tea.

Again it comes in the cute tea temple, and as soon as you pour the water in the colour changes dramatically- you don’t need to squeeze the bag or anything as the water circulates so well (you can see in the picture how deep the colour is, and that was as soon as I poured the water in).

The tea is made of:  Rooibos tea, flavours, orange peel, ginko, orange blossom, cinnamon, ginseng root, cloves and safflower.

I had it with milk, and it was still a strong reddish brown.It was much nicer than plain rooibos which I have tried before. The spices really came through, lovely and warming, with almost a liquiorice hint. As it was caffeine free it was probably better to have in the evening too. It’s not like I normally lay awake at night but I slept like a log last night for the first time in ages and I suspect this played a part. 9/10 cherries. Pretty close to perfect!

Today was a normal work day (so busy and I had some of my squash and carrot soup for lunch which is never good when I am in a hurry because I have to heat it up and then wait for it to cool- not an efficient use of my time!).

After work I went to the waffle house to catch up with some old friends, which was fab. I had a waffle with sliced banana and toffee sauce (no ice cream though!).

Later on I had some toast with half almond butter, and half rainforest butter (brazil, macadamia and cashew). I read somewhere (maybe runners world or womens running mag) that ABC nuts have all the amino acids for complete protein (almonds, brazils, cashews) so a handful of those would make a good snack. Well I can confirm that those spread on toast is also a delish snack.

Body Pump was not on tonight (the instructor is away and they have no replacement boo) so I had a nice walk in the evening instead and now it is TOP CHEF time yay!!

I love clif bars

I had my last baked apple last night (sob)- the last batch I made with some blueberries stuffed in the core, as I ran out of blackberries. They worked just as well but I didn’t take a picture. I will be making them again soon (once I get more apples that I can cook with).

Today has been uneventful really- but later on it is aerobics (yay) so once home from work I had my last oatmeal raisin clif bar;

It was a long time since lunch (roasted pepper and cream cheese sandwich, cherry toms and peach) and it will be a while before dinner!

I might pop over to wiggle now and order some, as they are cheaper in a big box and they are scrumptious 🙂

Have a lovely evening all


PS I think I would also love Larabars, and over on chocolate-covered-Katie she is having a giveaway here:

Fingers crossed as they look yummy- carrot cake flavour- imagine!

Teapigs chai

Hooray! Today I decided to treat myself (well, after 2 days at work I needed the weekend!!!) to a lovely cup of teapigs chai tea.

Teapigs chai is made from tea (assam), cinnamon, ginger, cassia, cardamon pods, vanilla and cinnamon flavour.

It comes in a pretty “tea temple” and you can see all the spices through the fabric.

I had mine with milk as I like chai like that, and it was soooooooooo good. It really tastes so warm and spicey; the cinnamon flavour is delicious, but not too sweet. A lot like the starbucks chai tea (which I love by the way) but in a nicer teabag! And you can keep a box in your kitchen- bonus!

See the pretty bags?

Anyway, if you like chai I bet you will love this! Look on the teapigs site here for more info if you want to!

Aside from that, I went to work, came home and went on a gentle 2.6 mile run (27 mins) and then did the level 1 shred- helps to get over the body pump aches! My run was very up and down today; I think I kept speeding up and then realising it and trying to slow down as I wanted a gentle run- save some energy for my longer one tomorrow.

I made some nice bread to have with dinner (didn’t take a pic) and also had a walk this evening in the sunshine. Honestly, each year as soon as the schools go back the weather gets so much better!


New faces and new tea :)

Well, today was back to work after my lovely long summer! It was great to see everyone, and we had loads of new staff starting, so loads of new faces (and names) to get to know.

But on to last night first of all. It has been feeling so autumnal lately, and I had a load of apples from my parents tree, so I decided to make my own version of an apple crumble (in my clean oven 🙂  )

First, I cored the apples and stuffed some blackberries into the holes. I had some blackberries left over so I put them in the parcels with the apples. Then I added a little squirt of agave, and sprinkled with cinnamon.

I baked them in the oven for about 25 minutes (low-ish heat)- they were still quite firm but had that lovely cooked apple taste. If you like them squishy then keep on baking!

Then I put one in a bowl with some caramel alpro (instead of custard) and a sprinkle of bear granola (that was the crumble bit). It was heaven! Autumnal heaven in a bowl. This was perfect after our walk in the evening as it had got a little chilly by that time. The blackberries had almost melted into a sort of jam in the core. yum yum yum!

Then at work we had fun- it was mostly art today, lots of sketching, and look what I made!

It was some kind of printing with ink- with tissue paper, looks pretty impressive but not sure how easy it will be with 5 year olds!

Anyway, when  I got home I was so excited to find this on my doorstep:

While looking for chai tea (can only normally get it in Whitards) on the net I came across Tea pigs (what a cute name!). They offered to send me some samples to try in exchange for some reviews- and I am always happy to try tea 🙂

Look at pretty chai tea mmmm

The tea bags are pretty pale nets, biodegradable and very delicate looking.

I decided to try some rooibos creme caramel  (don’t want caffiene before body pump!) :

An attempt at a close up of the pretty tea bag and all the bits inside. Proper tea, not just brown dust 🙂

And lastly brewing in my cup 🙂

Oh my, this stuff tastes amazing! I have had plain rooibos tea before, and I could never decide if I liked it or not as it seemed very “earthy”. Well, this stuff is soooooo good. I tried it first without milk, then it was a bit hot (and the site recommended adding milk) so I added some milk to the last half of the cup. Good both ways!

It tastes sweet, really like drinking warm caramel, soooooo good!  10/10 for me and as it is caffiene free would be a good drink later in the evening. Look here for the info. It could easily replace hot chocolate as a comforting winter drink.

I am off to body pump later (yay) and have another training day at work tomorrow so am being broken in gently!