Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Slimming World - Italian Meatballs

Well, I survived week one. It was pretty easy to get back in to the swing of things AND I managed to shift 6lbs! I realise it's not going to be such a dramatic weight loss every week but it's a good start and a huge boost of confidence for me. Fingers crossed I manage to shift enough this week to get my 1/2 stone certificate and sticker......it's all about the stickers!!

I'm enjoying trying new recipes and I think the Monsters are quite liking the variety. One they absolutely loved was the Italian meatballs and wiggly pasta  - or tagliatelle to us adults! I can't do spaghetti, I'm scarred after reading The Twits when I was younger. I don't want a plate of worms, thank you!

Anyway, here it is....completely syn free on all plans, though add 6 syns if you are not using the meat as a Healthy Extra on Green days.

What you'll need - 
  • 380g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsps chopped parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
and for the tomato sauce -

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 level tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chopped basil or oregano
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp artificial sweetener
How to do it -

  1. Make the meatballs. Put the minced beef, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley and seasoning in a large bowl and mix well together. Bind with the beaten egg and then divide into 16 small portions.
  2. Roll each one into a small ball, using your hands. Place the meatballs under a preheated hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes, until they are starting to brown and the fat stops dripping out of them.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce in the pan, cover and cook gently over a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
mmmm, meat juices(!)

Do you think they liked it?!
Above is the original recipe, but ye know me....I like it saucy *wink wink* so I doubled up on the chopped tomatoes and puree to make it all go a wee bit further. And a word of warning....grating onions is the most HORRENDOUSLY EYE WATERING task I have ever put myself through! The best way to avoid your mascara dripping on your feet.....get some other mug to do it!

x


(recipe taken from Slimming World website:  http://group.slimmingworld.com/recipes/italian-meatballs-in-tomato-sauce.aspx)



Friday, 20 June 2014

Slimming World - Diet Cola Chicken

This sounds....different, right? I'm not a huge fan of cola and I'd never cooked with it (though I hear its pretty yummy poured over gammon and chucked in the slow cooker) but I thought I'd give this a go as it's one of Slimming World's most popular recipes and it's good to try new things!

What you'll need:
  • Low calorie oil spray (less than one calorie per spray)
  • 1 red pepper, 1 yellow and 1 green pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 8 tbsp passata 
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 330ml can diet cola
  • 200ml chicken stock
And how you do it....

  1. Place a large pan sprayed with low calorie oil spray over a high heat.
  2. Add the chicken, peppers and onion and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned
  3. Add the diet cola, stock, passata, tomato purée, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and dried mixed herbs and stir well. (I mixed these together in a jug first then poured on top)
  4. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes


From this......


.....to this!
This was really simple to make and is syn free on Extra easy and Original! Be patient though, it takes a wee while to thicken up. I served it with brown rice but I reckon it would be yummy with spuds too (in my world, EVERYTHING is yummy with spuds). We really enjoyed it, its not a flavour I can say is similar to anything I've tried before but it was surprisingly tasty. There is a similar recipe using orange Fanta that I want to try soon, I hear its like a sweet and sour flavour - I'll definitely like that one!



(recipe taken from Slimming World website: http://group.slimmingworld.com/recipes/diet-cola-chicken.aspx)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Slimming World Journey!


I'm on a weight loss journey and guess what, you mofos are coming with me!


If my step-dad read this he would rip the piss out of me because every fecker on X-Factor/The Voice/BGT is on a journey these days! But Big T, my journey is a real one.....no sob stories.....no 'I've had a hard life and this is my last chance' nonsense.....no meloncoly music playing woefully in the background of a montage of me walking along empty streets, gazing far off in to the distance and looking pitiful. Nope, none of that here sunshine! The only story I have is I love food, I hate exercise and this combination has given me a fat ass that I now want rid off. Its as simple as that!

I struggle with sticking to a diet, healthy eating - whatever you want to call it. I've tried to go it alone MANY times and just cut out the junk food but I found I ended up cheating myself and 'forgetting' that jaffa cake I had - what am I saying, who eats only just one Jaffa cake, we all nail the whole packet, admit it! - and 'promising' myself to go out a run and then it would never happen. I'd then get to a point where I thought bugger it, the diet will start next week....or the week after....maybe the week after that would be better.....

I lost a lot of weight on Slimming World on the run up to my wedding so I know it works for me, and that's why I'm doing it again. It's a bit different this time though, I've a family to feed now so I need to be able to still cook the things they enjoy. I definitely don't want to be cooking seperate dinners. As most of you reading this are mummies with Monsters to feed, you'll know how hard it can be getting the wee cherubs to eat healthy well rounded meals while you try to cut out the naughty stuff. Sooooo I was thinking (dangerous, I know), the Monsters and I will be the guinea pigs. I'll cook family friendly Slimming World recipes and report back to you on their success or failure, then you can go forth and create fab healthy meals and they'll be none the wiser! Deal?!

Best get cracking :)

x

Monday, 16 June 2014

Monsters, Dragons and Tight Shorts

Oh look at me doing that thing I used to do....then stopped because I fell out with it....then tried again but couldn't.....hmmmm....So here we go again!

I'm not going to bore you with six or so months of catching up, to be honest not that much has happened. Let's do a 'best bits', I can't think of anything.....numb brain. Hold on a wee minute until I look through the photos on my phone, that's the only way I remember shit these days!

*scrolling*


*scrolling*


*scrolling*

Well it would seem I did a bit of this.....


FYI, that is not my ear sticking out like Dumbo's, it's a dude's head beside me!

The wife ;)

And, randomly, this....
You can't beat a bit of facking about about in Primarni with the sis in-law
  
With a smattering of this....
We got bored waiting for auntie Sheesha to decide on a top so we made use of the full length mirrors and got snap happy.....or not so happy as Monster #2 is demonstrating beautifully!

We also took a couple of trips to Kenilworth Castle with the Monsters. It's great fun there, the troublesome twosome love it! It's a hard job getting Monster #1 to leave the place. We ended up buying an English Heritage family pass as there is loads on over the summer holidays and we intend on making many return visits!

A wee fact for you here - this is apparently a dangerous method of drowning out the bang of the loud canon. You should cup your hands over your ears, leaving a gap at the back, otherwise you can damage your eardrum?! Well, so the shouty man in costume said! Don't worry, I helped the Monsters do it properly.


Freaky looking thing....I kept my distance!

Sir George and the Dragon


Gotta get into character!


Can't take credit for this one, daddy Monster is the one with the photography skills here!

Bloody hell, how could I forget!!! We went a jaunt to Twickenham to watch thighs in tight shorts running up and down a pitch, occasionally rolling on the grass and getting extra dirty  *drools*. Well, I went to watch thighs in tight shorts, my husband went to watch some rugby final or something......same thing! D'ye know what, it was awesome! The atmosphere was amazing, the fans were inspiring (and merrily drunk) even when it was super tense and down to the last few seconds. 


Be rude not to, right?

Two words  - Craig. Doyle. Hubba!
I've been to a fair few rugby matches in my time, I went to a grammar school and spent most Saturdays standing on the side lines cheering on the boys *coughs*, but I've never been to one on this scale. I got showered in Guinness when the team won, which was refreshing in the sticky heat but also made the loooong bus journey home quite wiffy, and how could I forget the smooch from a random sat beside me! He also declared his love for me, naturally, but when he leant over and planted a smacker on my hubby I felt a little cheated and deflated, heartbroken in fact! Totally over him now.....totally.....

And in between the fun and shenanigans I had all the joys of school runs and work, ye know all the bits we look forward to when we're trying to make the weekend last longer than two days(!) Think I did alright for my first time in a long time. I'm not sorry for the picture overload!

x

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hello, anybody there?

*brushes off cobwebs and blows away the dust*

This feels really strange, it's been over three months since I've so much as read a blog, never mind putting any words on my own. We've done plenty I could write about but I simply Couldn't. Be. Arsed......

I don't know what has made me start writing today, considering I have a basket full of clothes that aren't going to iron themselves and an irritable poorly Monster hanging off me trying to blow dribbly wet raspberries on my face......oh that's right, I'm procrastinating!

Back in May I signed up with Rosalilium to challenge myself to blog every day for a month, 31 days of waffle (lucky for you I only managed 19 of them). It stressed me, it made me tired and slightly panicky when I sat up late most nights struggling to string together a sentence or ten to get a blog post out every day. It annoyed me greatly when I couldn't keep up, I felt I was letting the team down, but when I noticed she was doing it again I stuck my name on the end of that damn list......sucker for punishment!

So that's the plan, 30 days of blogging to gently ease me back into the bloggersphere (that's a word, right?!).....I'm already late for the party!

x



Sunday, 16 June 2013

Pinterest love: Monster bedroom ideas

We moved in to our house just over a year ago and so far have only completely decorated one room....our bedroom *smug face*. The poor neglected wee Monsters have been living in squalor, well not quite, their rooms are just creamy/beigey boxes and boring. So this summer I have promised myself to get them sorted into rooms they will enjoy spending time in (haven't told hubby this yet...oops!).

And where else to look for ideas....Pinterest, of course! (You can follow me here)

Here are a few ideas I like the look of, not saying I'll be replicating them...they are merely inspiration.......

I really like the idea of having a huge world map on Monster #1's wall. Colourful and educational!
Pinterest
Genius idea...Ikea spice rack! These are on my list for our next trip to Ikea.

Pinterest

Monster #2 is obsessed with lorries,  I like the idea of displaying the chunkier ones on small shelves.

Pinterest

This is a bit OTT but I think Monster #1 would love it!

Pinterest

I'd love to be able to do something like this for the Monsters.....ain't gonna happen though, kids!
 
Pinterest



 Erm......WHAAAAT?!
Pinterest


x