-POOKIE-'s SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=%2DPOOKIE%2D -POOKIE-'s Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ The new Jamie Oliver book.... SO good! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6206903 <link>www.amazon.co.uk/Super-Family-Classi<BR>cs-Jamie-Oliver/dp/0718178440/ref=sr_1<BR>_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469538641&sr=8-1&keywo<BR>rds=jamie+oliver+superfood+family+classics </link> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a91eb635-bf30-4d62-b175-361ba6c1ae8b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I just got this at the weekend. In marking the pages I want to try I have pretty much marked every 2nd or 3rd page... I cannot choose where to begin! There is SO much good in this book. <BR> <BR> I ... Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:13:32 EST Great. Our car was broken into. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6206182 Parking change of about £5 stolen, whole car rifled through,nothing else taken or damaged. <BR> <BR> <BR> That's not point though. I feel disgusted somebody has been in my car touching things. No point calling Police, they are far busier with more serious things... But that is exactly how the general state slides to being worse. <BR> <BR> <BR> Resigned to the fact people suck. Mon, 25 Jul 2016 04:46:22 EST My colourful lunch! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6205697 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/62235a95-b4f7-4452-9e1b-f68e6b30e2df.jpg"> <BR> Red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, red cabbage with a little balsamic. Medium fat Turkish cheese (halloumi in all but name!) cooked with herbs. So delicious. Sun, 24 Jul 2016 07:43:39 EST 10 days to go! (any muggles may be confused!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6204777 10 days to go! <BR> <BR> I have already paid for my copy at Waterstones ready to collect! <BR> <BR> <em>54</em> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:57:47 EST 25th Book in Cookery Challenge: 2 recipes from The Hairy Dieters Eat for Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6204198 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7efaf652-60b1-4415-86dc-ec97035df69e.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Firstly I have to say I can not recommend this book if you are interesting in vegetarian cooking. There is literally ONE main dish thats vegetarian. <BR> <BR> I understand what these guys are trying to do, help Joe-Public to eat better in easy no fuss ways, but I think this is a bit rubbish to only have one vegetarian dish. I was disappointed, and glad I got this from the library. <BR> <... Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:19:49 EST Busy morning. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6203633 I went swimming, yesterday we had temperatures of over 30'C and today we had storm and flash flood warnings! Had a power cut due to thunder and lightning storms. I only swam 3/4 of a mile today, just wasn't feeling it and started getting a bit of cramp in my stomach so finished early. <BR> <BR> Just not feeling quite with it today, bit down, slept poorly due to the high heat and humidity. <BR> <BR> Then came home and made the pepper puree for our breakfast burritos, I made the smooth peanut... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 08:36:36 EST How to deal with a Very British Heatwave. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6203030 1, Unbutton top button (only that one mind) <BR> 2, Ponder removing vest, but don't risk it. <BR> 3, Complain loudly and profusely to everybody <BR> 4, Listen, nodding in appropriate places to others complaining. <BR> 5, Relax, it will be raining soon enough <BR> <BR> At which point you can go back to complaining about the rain!! <BR> <BR> Ahhh Britain, at least we can still unite over complaining about any and every state of weather there can be. You have to laugh (between complaining mind... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 08:08:21 EST Pendle Sculpture Trail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6202418 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/cded4708-d499-4b51-bc02-9a52c4d251a9.JPG"> <BR> <BR> For our wedding anniversary we went for a walk to the Pendle Sculpture trail, we had seen it was a little way out from where we could park, but didn't realise it was an upwards trail, ending up a the end of the trail about 250m higher than where we started! <BR> <BR> Pushing a buggy up part of it was impossible, my little girl's sturdy little leggies managed to get her up! The picture is u... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 08:42:19 EST You know what's a good workout? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6200188 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/de7edc29-c61b-4ef0-ba8d-f79c3e60ffd5.jpg"> <BR> Making this much mess, in loads of steam from the stripping machine and singing along to bouncy Euro-pop! Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:25:08 EST Exhausted looking for Cookie Monster http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6199613 We saw HUGE 50cm plush Cookie Monsters in Home Bargains, but as our little girl was with us, I didn't get her one, then realising later it would be perfect to go with the Cookie mug I got her for Christmas already. <BR> <BR> So now, I have been back to 6 yes 6 stores looking for him and not one has got any left. My step counter on my phone says I've walked 3 miles today! <BR> <BR> I'm really disappointed now. You can get him from Argos, for about 3 times the price sadly. I'm cross as myself... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 06:11:35 EST On our own this week... and sad I missed something in a shop. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6198520 My husband has gone away for work to London again this week, so me and the little Pickle are on our own. She is realising more and more when he goes away and it gets harder. She actually is old enough to miss him now... but also old enough to "bribe" good behaviour with the promise of Daddy bringing her back a present! <BR> <BR> So also no new recipe book challenge this week. <BR> <BR> I saw in a discount store (Home Bargains) BIG plush Cookie Monsters and didn't get one, then remembered I... Mon, 11 Jul 2016 08:25:11 EST A weekend on plan. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6198148 So I have made it. Followed my plan all weekend. <BR> <BR> I am really pleased with myself but the damper is knowing next weekend really will be unable to be planned! We are going to a country show/food festival. While I CAN make sensible choices, I am unsure that I WILL make them. Also we are going hopefully to the Pendle Sculpture Trail and having a picnic for our wedding anniversary celebration... <BR> <BR> It's more that I have found focus and am scared I will lose it again with a free... Sun, 10 Jul 2016 14:48:27 EST Halfway through Saturday and on track. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6197431 Woke to a rainy miserable day, we didn't want to be trapped indoors, both of us are feeling a bit down right now, my husband suggested the Trafford Centre, but as I had planned and defrosted food I said no to that. <BR> <BR> We went out and I successfully bought nothing I shouldn't have. <BR> <BR> Had our planned lunch (soup, in July, so seasonal, but then neither was needing all the lights on and wearing raincoats), he popped to corner shop for milk and came back with a snack as well that ... Sat, 9 Jul 2016 09:03:28 EST Something I read when Tim Peake returned to Earth. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6196917 This thought honestly made me cry... He saw so much, things so amazing we cannot comprend. The thought I read was why would you want to return to this world right now? It's broken and hurting in so many ways. My country disgusts me with the insane rise in racial hate crimes since the EU referendum. Earth from space is still beautiful. The view from down here isn't so good. We have to try and find beauty and hope but it's in precious short supply. Fri, 8 Jul 2016 09:57:30 EST 24th Book in Cookery Challenge: Nadiya's Kitchen http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6196348 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/16a6bd12-8f17-4679-a0ce-143826b88035.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I got this book from the library, and well, I'm glad because I was very disappointed in the recipes. We love Great British Bake Off and Nadiya was a really amusing contestant and deserving winner. But this book just didn't inspire me. <BR> <BR> I liked the way she mentioned her Mother cooking eggs for curry when she was little, I made my own Dal recipe, and tried cooking the eggs from the b... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 08:56:50 EST Massive confessional for me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6195717 Ok, I have wasted 7 months. <BR> <BR> For the last 7 months I have maintained a weight I don't want to be. <BR> <BR> If I had even lost 1 pound a week for all this time I would be over halfway to my goal weight, had I been amazing and lost 2 a week I would be at it. <BR> <BR> Instead? I waste my weekly efforts by eating and eating every weekend, undoing all the careful meal planning, nutrient balancing I do ALL WEEK, EVERY WEEK... wtf is WRONG with me? <BR> <BR> I want another baby and it... Wed, 6 Jul 2016 08:17:52 EST Where shall we go? What should we do? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6195070 On our first wedding anniversary I was still in a bit of a fugue with Post natal depression, and a wild 5 month old, so we didn't do much. <BR> <BR> Our second anniversary we went to Northern Ireland and had a wonderful week away, lots of beautiful scenery and great food (lots of potato!). Our honeymoon was in Ireland, so this was just perfect. <BR> <BR> So this year, our third anniversary we are at a loss as to what to do, we cannot go away, my husband is far far too busy with work project... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 08:20:54 EST First met my now husband 6 years ago today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6194204 We met online, had been talking a few weeks and agreed to meet. <BR> <BR> It was a hot sunny day and we decided to have iced coffee and he gave me a little present of strawberries he had grown in his own garden. <em>45</em> <BR> <BR> Well that first "date" went pretty well looking back over where we are now, married, owning our own home and with an adorable cute little pickle together. <BR> <BR> So today we had strawberries with homemade healthy waffles for breakfast and when our littl... Sun, 3 Jul 2016 16:18:15 EST 23rd Book in Cookery Challenge: Rick Stein's India http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6192476 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/5c4ca72d-db8f-40d4-b0d5-f3a81c48b66d.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is the companion book to a really interesting BBC series, we really enjoyed it and the book is full of interesting anecdotes of what he did there. <BR> <BR> I made the Maa Ki Dal, also known as dal makhni more commonly. <BR> <BR> I added some extra vegetables and as this dal is traditionally swimming in ghee, I used coconut milk to add the nice texture that gives, but only one can ov... Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:21:56 EST Hello Autumn! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6191702 While I know I would be complaining of if was really hot... What on earth is going on with 40+ mph winds and sideways rain at the end of June! I had to take off my jeans I good so wet popping to corner shop for milk and collecting my daughter from nursery just round another corner! Also wearing fluffy socks! Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:54:48 EST Frozen Avocado... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6191029 So Tesco has frozen avocado halves. <BR> <BR> Since moving away from London, one of the only things we miss is the Turkish food store! Their produce was always amazing. <BR> <BR> Avocados are so annoyingly hit and miss and expensive while being that, so when I saw the frozen ones I thought we could give it a go. <BR> <BR> Well... yeah, no good for eating alone, we wondered if they could go in our breakfast burritos, but no, the taste is different and the texture. I made it into guacamole l... Tue, 28 Jun 2016 08:29:09 EST 22nd Book in Cookery Challenge: The Big Bean Cookbook. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6190633 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/578f11e1-63e3-40ef-b31e-5f0166632a65.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Love this book, loads of lovely pictures, a section at the start with descriptions, uses and history of loads of legumes, grains and their basic products (like flours, tofu, pasta etc). <BR> <BR> I made a split-pea balti, using quorn chicken again instead of real to make it vegetarian for my husbands sake! <BR> <BR> I added some extra spices, I am confident with Indian cooking and thought ... Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:51:58 EST 2016... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6188691 ... can just eff off. <BR> <BR> This year has been wretched and hateful and I have had enough. <BR> <BR> So much loss, horror and turmoil. <BR> <BR> Stop the ride, I want off. Fri, 24 Jun 2016 08:28:05 EST 21st Book in Cookery Challenge: Slow Cooker and One-Pot Cooking and Casseroles http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6188039 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/d0d3a807-c3eb-4144-bd10-0112748b7fc7.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Another repeated book. It's a great book so why not! <BR> <BR> This time I made the Mediterranean Vegetable Bake, roasted vegetables in, ok honestly it's a giant yorkshire pudding no matter how you look at it! <BR> <BR> Served with vegetarian sausage and a roasted aubergine, I roast them whole, no oil, nothing, just throw them in the oven and they go gooey and delicious with no fat-spongi... Thu, 23 Jun 2016 06:30:40 EST Horrified at senseless vandalism at a local special needs school. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6187432 I am so angry right now. <BR> <BR> Senseless, mindless, nasty idiots have vandalised the playing area of an amazing school here in Blackpool. <BR> <BR> The School is for students with special educational needs and goes right up to sixth form age. Where I used to work I used to help provide work experience for these students who wanted to work with children or in sports providers. They where lovely, polite eager to learn students and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. <BR> <BR> These p... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 08:24:08 EST Got a "new" phone, Spark App a lot more useful now! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6186797 My husband got an upgrade to something fancy and gave me his "old" still pretty fancy phone. <BR> <BR> I'm not obsessed with phones to be honest, it annoys me how much some people use them, but I am pleased to get this phone as it can actually use the SP App properly now, rather than the really basic functions all my old phone could access. <BR> <BR> Getting used to it still, I do love having SP on my phone, makes food tracking and tweaking easy. Tue, 21 Jun 2016 08:56:57 EST Woes of finding supplements for my vegetarian husband. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6180123 Morrisons used to stock a Vegetarian Omega 3+6 capsule... which also means the capsule is vegetarian, not gelatin. <BR> <BR> Obviously vegetarians struggle to get this in their diets. Nobody wants to just chew on flax! <BR> <BR> Tesco makes an Omega 3+6+9 with all vegetarian oils for filling, but a beef gelatin shell! Who on earth this is market aimed at I have NO idea, any non-veggie would be likely to take a better, more accessible version from fish oils, and no vegetarian would choose th... Fri, 10 Jun 2016 08:16:56 EST 20th Cookery Challenge, not from a book this week. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6179524 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/325982e5-70c3-4a0a-b30e-40d32873cfc6.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Navratan (9 jewels) korma. We enjoyed this, took picture of my husbands bowl as it looked better with the rice than my half empty bowl! Had with some delicious naan. Thu, 9 Jun 2016 08:47:48 EST Phew! Over 2.5 hours cooking later... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6178779 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/54572141-d9b1-4341-be58-03e3405c91c6.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Thats 12 boxes of chili, 6 boxes of curry and 23 bags of black beans! (23 breakfasts) <BR> <BR> Phew! Done now! <BR> <BR> Waiting for it all to cool to freeze now. Wed, 8 Jun 2016 05:43:38 EST Busy cooking day tomorrow. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6178169 Firstly, got a huge pot of black beans soaking right now to cook up and portion out for our breakfast burritos. Freezing cooked beans works really well. <BR> <BR> Then, an even bigger vat of vegetarian chili for freezing in portions as well, my chili recipe varies every time depending on whats laying around. An end of butternut squash and a lonely leek are headed that way after being left over from another recipe! And anything else that isn't busy and I can do a favour to and use up. <BR> ... Tue, 7 Jun 2016 09:00:56 EST 19th Book in Cookery Challenge: Everyday Superfood by Jamie Oliver http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6177453 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/4318e30b-f88a-490f-9ca1-bd34aebd7870.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Repeating this book, its a really great book. <BR> <BR> I made the Cacciatore, but made it vegetarian. (used quorn, can't imagine hunting down wild quorn though!) <BR> <BR> Really nice, made 6 portions, so froze 4 for another day. My husband really enjoyed it as well. Mon, 6 Jun 2016 09:15:24 EST Brilliant swims this week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6174914 The lovely pool right near me unfortunately is closed to public due to school swimming sessions at the times my little girl is at nursery, so I have to travel to the other, not so nice and permanently chilly one down on South Shore. <BR> <BR> but during school holidays, they are open to the public during those time, so this week, schools are on half term, but the Council forgot to update the timetable on the website. <BR> <BR> So at one point I was the ONLY person in the pool and had TWO li... Thu, 2 Jun 2016 06:05:06 EST 18th Book in Cookery Challenge: Pretty much every other book I own! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6174245 I made Piperade. <BR> <BR> It's a french/spanish traditional dish. <BR> <BR> It's in many of my recipe books, I made the scrambled egg version. <BR> <BR> It's so simple, 1 of each red, yellow and green peppers, 2 tomatoes, bit of black pepper and a little chili pepper and 5 eggs at the end to scramble. (for two people) <BR> <BR> I was surprised how good it was for something so very simple, I often cook dishes with so many herbs and spices, something like this was really good and quick for... Wed, 1 Jun 2016 08:00:23 EST 17th Book in Cookery Challenge: The Sugar-free Kitchen http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6173604 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a77ed9a4-e8ab-49eb-8ea4-b90cd58a86cb.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I made a frittata, but did it in the oven as I don't have a pan I can use on the cooker and in it. <BR> <BR> When I went shopping, the store managed to not have any feta, so I used mozzarella, which perhaps wasn't strong enough. It was ok, would eat again, but frankly things I would rather make first, so not one to do again. Tue, 31 May 2016 08:26:04 EST Also excited about the stained glass windows in the porch. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6170632 Right now my Dad is "double glazing" the beautiful stained glass leaded windows we have in our porch. They are also original to the house, but they are fragile. And the wooden frame they where in is rotted and leaking. It would be a HUGE and expensive undertaking to take them out and get them professionally set into double glazed units. <BR> <BR> So my Dad, being the clever, handy man he is, is glazing them again from the outside (after we carefully cleaned them!) to protect the fragile stai... Thu, 26 May 2016 09:02:30 EST Excited about whats under the floorings... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6169980 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/9f5fd8d7-a437-4bda-ab40-403666fb8716.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Under THREE layers, yes three, two of vinyl tiles, and the last a real old linoleum, glued down with bitumen glue (BLACK GOOP) there are the original Edwardian tiles this house was built with. <BR> <BR> I had hoped and hoped they where down there, it would be crazy to remove them as they are deep, so hoped they where there. Using a hot air paint stripper to melt the glue, peeling up each la... Wed, 25 May 2016 08:19:57 EST 16th Book in Cookery Challenge: Let's Veg Out (Again!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6166015 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/558f4314-b47a-44d5-a6cc-ca5d2092bc8f.jpg"> <BR> <BR> No apologies for repeating a book, I have so many books its good for me to actually use them more! <BR> <BR> Courgette fritters this time. I forgot to add thyme so they where a little wishy washy, but they where nice enough. I used soya flour to cut carbs and add a load of protein. That was very tasty batter, so saved it from forgetting the thyme! <BR> <BR> Might make again, but need some ... Thu, 19 May 2016 04:17:29 EST No swimming today, recovery from a migraine. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6165420 I absolutely LOVED being pregnant, for 9 months I had NO migraines. <BR> <BR> Apparently its a semi common thing, but not understood why. I would have given blood Every.Damn. Day, if it could have helped research into this effect! <BR> <BR> So yesterday on waking, a bad headache developed very quickly into the worst migraine I have had in a long time. complete with vomiting and lights, my poor little girl didn't understand, but my husband is super busy with a new project at work so couldn't... Wed, 18 May 2016 08:56:47 EST Why I love Friday 13th! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6161981 When I sat my exams at college, I did 13 exams, with the candidate number 1013 <BR> <BR> I passed my driving test on the first attempt on a Friday 13th. <BR> <BR> After surgery I was allowed home on a Friday 13th. <BR> <BR> When my husband proposed, we decided not to wait for ages for the wedding, meaning it would be in 2013, I pondered a Friday 13th, but the reality of getting guests meant we settled for Saturday 13th July 2013. <BR> <BR> My little girl was due on February 13th and I was... Fri, 13 May 2016 07:35:37 EST 15th Book in cookery challenge: Healthy Meals, Healthy Heart http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6159228 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/82ba578e-99ad-42a2-8a2a-e4f9a1c2684b.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is a book from the British Heart Foundation full of Indian recipes, authentic recipes designed for those in Asian communities, not ersatz anglo-indian things! <BR> <BR> I really like it, I have made a couple things from it before and decided to try this new tofu recipe. <BR> <BR> Instead of paneer, it uses tofu. Cannot say it was an exact replacement for paneer, but it was a nice use ... Mon, 9 May 2016 08:33:45 EST Bonus Book in Cookery Challenge: Shaker recipe book from Pleasant Hill, Kentucky http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6149333 I found this book in a antique shop here in the UK. It's called "We Make You Kindly Welcome" Recipes from the Shaker house, Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. It's from 1970. <BR> <BR> I used this recipe as a competition entry in an online game I play, it hardly fits with my healthy eating recipes, but its so interesting I wanted to share it. <BR> <BR> It has a wholemeal crust for super crunchy texture and the filling is unique! It's very thinly sliced WHOLE lemons, left to macerate overnight in suga... Sun, 24 Apr 2016 15:22:00 EST International Shipping Rates... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6147829 I KNOW that the USA is a long ways away from the UK, but a recent experience has left me wondering, somewhat paranoidly I'd admit, that maybe the US Government just don't want you to use the Postal Service! <BR> <BR> it is honestly the only explanation I can think of for the insane shipping prices to get things from the US to UK these days, I know it had gone up, but its beyond comprehension now. <BR> <BR> Within Europe, before Christmas I sent a really quite heavy parcel to Germany, and it... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 09:10:08 EST Oh that moment when you finish a book... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6147012 ... and have no idea what to read next as it feels like nothing will compare. <BR> <BR> I have had multiple books like this, but recent examples where "Thud" by Terry Pratchett, I have yet to read another Discworld book, I am rationing them out since sadly there will be no more, but I thought this was one of the best I have read. I do like the Watch ones. <BR> <BR> The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson was another, I was very lost after finishing this. <BR> <BR> And the book I have just finished... Thu, 21 Apr 2016 06:23:06 EST My favourite way to prepare tofu! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6146222 MEWHENRYSMAMA asked how I like to prepare tofu, so I thought I would share a quick blog with my favourite way. <BR> <BR> I like to press my tofu first, wrapping in kitchen roll and using something heavy to press some of the liquid out. <BR> <BR> Cut into slices and in a non-stick pan, adding a little oil, I fry them on one side until they start to crisp a bit. Cooking tofu takes longer than you think! <BR> <BR> Then I flip them over, and pour over this sauce. For two people I used 2 tables... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 06:39:20 EST 14th Book in Cookery Challenge: Let's Veg Out http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6145822 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ba11f3d4-e85c-48dc-9480-4b7b2e7cc7cd.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <link>https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lets-Veg-Ou<BR>t-null/dp/1472384903/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF<BR>8&qid=1461095117&sr=8-1&keywords=let%2<BR>7s+veg+out </link> <BR> <BR> I made the Greens, Beans and Pea Patties. <BR> <BR> It's a use for watercress that I actually liked! Watercress is amazingly nutritious, but I really don't like it very much, these little patties had it and they where absolutely ... Tue, 19 Apr 2016 15:50:20 EST Brand leader Dolmio/Uncle Ben's warn consumers to only eat these once a week http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6142766 <link>www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36051333 </link> <BR> <BR> Interesting move by the company to warn you off eating certain products of theirs more than once a week. <BR> <BR> It won't help those who don't read labels anyway, arguably the people who need to read them most, consumers of cheap, processed food with a lot of fillers. Going to a store like Iceland can be shocking how cheap a huge bag of "chicken" nuggets is. <BR> <BR> Mars (the owner of the brands) wants to reformulate their produ... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 08:32:57 EST New recipe this week, not from a book. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6141944 When I tried pumpkin seed butter I found it unpleasantly bitter and it put me off the jar of sunflower seed butter I had bought, it's been staring at me guiltily from the cupboard for months so I decided to make something with it at last! <BR> <BR> A seed/bean veggie loaf thing, I cooked them in big muffin cases so they where easier to deal with than slicing a big loaf. <BR> <BR> And they are really lovely, a lot better than I expected for quite a simple recipe. <BR> <BR> And I used and di... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 06:03:44 EST Do you help your future self with easy batch cooking? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6139691 Rice? Lentils? Beans? <BR> <BR> You can batch cook a huge pot of these, allow to drain and cool enough to touch, bag up into individual bag servings, spread out on cooling racks (especially important for rice) to cool quicker and freeze. <BR> <BR> it works so great, and saves SO much time and money. Dried goods like this are far cheaper than canned or ready cooked, and sodium is more controlled as well. <BR> <BR> Batch cooking? <BR> <BR> It only takes a few minutes more chopping to make a... Mon, 11 Apr 2016 08:32:39 EST 13th Book in Cookery Challenge: The Secret Ingredient: Family Cookbook by Sally Bee http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6138319 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/8be58e82-e74e-4730-8b9f-419d711c8362.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <link>www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Ingredient-F<BR>amily-Cookbook/dp/000742017X/ref=sr_1_<BR>1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460203294&sr=8-1&keywor<BR>ds=sally+bee+family </link> <BR> <BR> Nice book with easy recipes, the authors story is scary, she was only 36 with several young children when she had 3 major heart attacks and her family told she wouldn't survive... she fought and turned to healthy sensible... Sat, 9 Apr 2016 08:11:22 EST New Eatwell Plate for the UK has been released http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6137668 It's just been released, in the hubbub over the sugar tax it's kinda not been noticed. <BR> <BR> The Sugary foods recommendation for daily consumption has been removed! <BR> <BR> How great is that? <BR> <BR> Not sure that making the now tiny sliver being fats consumption is entirely correct, we need to eats fats, but I guess thats included in dairy, fatty fish etc as well, and that tiny sliver is for pans etc. <BR> <BR> <link>www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/t<BR>he-eatwell-guide.aspx... Fri, 8 Apr 2016 07:56:21 EST