A Month of Mondays- Pass the lettuce!

 

garfUnsurprisingly, living without a kitchen for just over a week whilst having one set of parental units staying and the other set on standby for a blow out birthday lunch has not resulted in me having a good loss to report.

If you aren’t cooking for yourself, accurately calculating weight watchers points is nigh on impossible. I would also hazard to say that when faced with nothing more than a kettle and a plug in blender in terms of cooking equipment it is pretty much impossible to stick to the plan anyway. I had two workmen and my mother to account for from a fridge and bread basket which I can promise you is not an easy fix with one vegetarian and two fussy sods prone to hangry fits. It was 8 days in total. There were takeaways and pub visits amounting to, I think, four hot meals provided by others. The rest was accounted for from ruthless attacks on the cheese, cold meat and quiche section of my local co op.

I put on this week.

200g.

Yip, my weigh in after a good ten days off target, eating cheese and drinking too much has resulted in a gain of roughly one fifth of a kilo. I don’t know how this isn’t 10 times this much, but I’m going to take it gladly and crack on. Oddly enough by the fourth or fifth day living on Camembert sandwiches and hummus pots both the Mr and myself reported feeling generally pretty crap. He was full of flu-like symptoms and I was visibly bloaty, pale and gross. More so than usual. Come Saturday morning, when the cooker was back in and the sink had a drain we trundled off to fill our German discount trolley of choice with a massive amount of vegetables. Peas and green cabbage never tasted so necessary. Other than the obvious win of my spanking new floor tiles and worktops, I am not proud of nor happy about any of this. I feel like I should go back to my scales and ask for some appropriate punishment because this is not right. Ok so it was stressful so there were some adrenaline calories burned and I moved a couple of things about and de-weeded my entire garden but that can’t account for this much straying. For every hour I ran I spent three on the sofa introducing the Mothership to House Of Cards. I sense a full week on the rails only to go up a couple of kilos next week, and I will have to take that one on the rapidly developing double-chins.

Mantra for this week is mass hydration and excessive greenery. I’m actually looking forwards to it. Now where did I leave that grapefruit……..

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The Perfect Fishfinger Sandwich Hunt: The Rosebud

The Rosebud Fishfinger Sandwich. The secret is in the peas.


It’s been a while since I went out for a decent fishfinger sandwich, infact some previous outings had rather put me off the idea for a spell. Not so this week, when the Mr and I found ourselves out for a local pint and a spot of dinner. As a holiday treat, we head to our closest favourite The Rosebud where we could rely on an array of fresh seafood delights to tantalise our tastebuds. Blame the cooler evenings and a day of drinking for us being faced with their stunning menu and both rather sheepishly admitting that amidst all this haute cuisine glory we could right go a fishfinger sandwich. 

Well.

Two fat cod fingers battered and measured to exactly fill a perfectly warmed ciabatta roll, gloriously topped with a slightly sweet tartare that I suspect has a mystery ingredient or two. All good, all lovely in fact but the winning touch, the piece de resistance, the stroke of simple bloody genius was the layer of seasoned crushed peas across the bottom half of the roll. I have no idea how they manage this without residual sogginess, but to be honest I don’t need to know. 

Inspired. 

Incredible.

Lots of other complimentary ‘I’ words.

I award a score of roughly 28 out of 10 and that’s before you consider the side of Godzilla-esque chunky chips and plate price of just six of your English pounds. The search might finally be over.

20 Questions with The Farmcafe

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Today on 20 Questions we are at Farmcafe in Marlesford, an excellent eatery and stores in lovely Suffolk that you may remember from little plugs past.  Assistant manager Sarah has joined the heady ranks of our Questioneers with a love of all things beefy and a rare vote for our Chefs of The Zombie Apocalypse.

1: Describe what you do without being boring?
I’m an assistant restaurant manager at the Farmcafe in Marlesford, Suffolk.

2: What’s great about what you do?
Being part of a great team and dealing with members of the public. Every day is different!

3: What sucks about what you do?
The washing up!!!

4: Do you eat breakfast?
Yes if we have time. Usually its just toast and jam

5: Where/who is your favourite local food/drink business (other than your own)?
The White Hart in Otley is one of my favourite places. It does the most amazing food and the atmosphere in the pub with all the locals makes it a great place to socialise.

6: Which celeb chef would you want in your gang in the event of a zombie apocalypse and why?
Rick Stein…his ability to improvise and cook up a storm would help me get though any zombie attack!

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Sarah votes Mr Stein for her zombie apocalypse team! Here he is demonstrating his camouflage abilities. Ahem. 

7: What’s your go to comfort food?
Steak! Just amazing on every level.

8: Who taught you how to cook?
My mum. She is a total legend in the kitchen and I have learnt from the best.

9: What’s the weirdest thing you have ever put in your mouth? Keep it clean!
Witchetty grub and a termite…I’d be great on “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!”
Ed- but why would you go there if you weren’t on I’m A Celeb?!??!?!?!?!? 

10: What one food would you erase from all existence?
Tongue….who ever thought to eat it???

11: What’s on your kitchen playlist?
Anything by Daft Punk! Its music to create beautiful food to.

12: If you could eat out anywhere tonight where would you go and who would you dine with?
Hawksmoor in London with my partner.
Ed- given your comfort food choice I’m guessing this isn’t for the weekly vegan special!

13: Do you have a signature dish?
Yes it’s chicken stuffed with brie, wrapped in parma ham. Winner, winner chicken dinner!!!
Ed- Yes!!!!

14: Confess your biggest food sin….
Charcuterie

15: If you had to restrict yourself to the cuisine of one country which would it be and why?
Italian…so many wonderful flavours and tastes.

16: Cake or biscuits?
Biscuits…I’m quite partial to a chocolate finger or 3!

17: Tea or coffee?
Tea please.

18: Chunky chips or curly fries?
Curly fries..so good with a huge dollop of mayo!

19: Wine or beer?
Am I allowed both?? If not it would be wine.

20: Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
Not in my book but each to their own I guess.

Get your net stalker on for Farmcafe here:
Web: http://www.farmcafe.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/165318203505733
Insta: @farmcafe_shop
Twitter: @farmcafe_shop

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Last time: Bumbles!

 

20 Questions with Bumbles!

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Bumbles of Brightlingsea! No, I don’t know what that dude in the top left is up to either…..

I love a bit of 5-A-Day action from my local greengrocers Bumbles, and they are with us this week to answer the most burning questions that life/this blog has to offer.

Are you ready?

1: Describe what you without being boring?
We are purveyors of the finest fruit & vegetables aka Greengrocers

2: What’s great about what you do?
We offer an alternative old fashioned way of shopping

shilling

Only ask for ounces if you want to pay in shillings!

3: What sucks about what you do?
Everything’s heavy & people not knowing what kilos are- come on people it changed over 40yrs ago!!

4: Do you eat breakfast?
Yes fruit or pancakes or pancakes with fruit 😂
Ed- I think that’s my favourite answer #4 yet. There are not enough pancakes in my life. 

5: Where/who is your favourite local food/drink business (other than your own)?
Being a vegan The Den at 23 in Colchester it’s the only place I don’t feel a pain in the arse for being vegan!

6: Which celeb chef would you want in your gang in the event of a zombie apocalypse and why?
Gordon Ramsey without a doubt he would be a bad ass!

7: What’s your go to comfort food?
Buffalo cauliflower wings Mr Bumble makes the best ones!

8: Who taught you how to cook?
Mr Bumble

9: What’s the weirdest thing you have ever put in your mouth? Keep it clean!
As a kid liver, I can’t eat anything that I have actually got inside me!

10: What one food would you erase from all existence?
Faggots

11: What’s on your kitchen playlist?
At the moment it’s The Beatles the red album, am a massive music fan so my playlist changes with mood. Mr Bumble is currently playing Royal Blood.

12: If you could eat out anywhere tonight where would you go and who would you dine with?
Genoa Italy, I found a tiny little place that did the best bright green pasta dish that looked hideous but was the best I’ve ever had and I still don’t know what it was called! I would dine with the fam.

13: Do you have a signature dish?
Vegan bolognese everyone loves it!

14: Confess your biggest food sin………..
Marmite spread on a lump of vegan cheese 😋

15: If you had to restrict yourself to the cuisine of one country which would it be and why?
Italy so many beautiful veg based dishes!

16: Cake or biscuits?
Cake

17: Tea or coffee?
Coffee

18: Chunky chips or curly fries?
Chunky chips

19: Wine or beer?
Beer from Two Brews in Colchester

20: Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

peppers

A pic of peppers pinched from the Bumbles blog.

Get your vegetable stalker act on and follow Bumbles here or alternatively, go and see them at 24 The High St, Brightlingsea, CO7 0AG for all your veggie produce needs! And some vegan treats to boot.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bumbles.Greengrocers/ 

Instagram: @bumblesgg

Tweet to: @BumblesGG

Blog: https://bumblesgg.wordpress.com/ 

 

Last Time: Gourmet Anglia

Next Time, The Farm Cafe at Marlsford.

A Month Of Mondays- Death By Hangover

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I have less than zero motivation to get this post written, which is why it is probably more important than the ones I actually want to do.

My week on the Weight Watchers wagon went really well, for as long as it was actually The Week and not The Week’s sexy older sister The Weekend, who always gets you into trouble one way or another. It usually goes to shit around Friday lunch time but I made it past dinner this time, enjoying a fat curry and even a mass cookie within my weekly limits, left with two days of standard eating and 1 extra weekly point to get through until Monday. It all could have been fine. But for the fact that I was desperately overdue a long haul sofa-bitching session with my bestie.

It all could have been fine, but for Gin.

Urch. Skip to an early Saturday morning start where someone developed the most intensely temple-throbbing dehydration head of the last five years and someone else couldn’t manage to brush their teeth without retching on the reminders of a Tanqueray too far. Skip to the kind of bone shaking, soul sucking hangover than necessitates crawling into a dark space with three packets of biscuits and listening to The Sound Of Silence on loop until you fade out of consciousness.

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seafood sticks, soft white rolls and too much mayo. Hangover Heaven.

It isn’t the empty calories in booze that should stop dieters from drinking- it is the day after. Because I could have made amends for as much gin and slimline as you can fit into a six hour session, but I can’t catch up with the constant carbohydrate stream that was required to allow me to function through the subsequent Saturday. It started with a frankly life saving bacon sarnie, which needn’t have broken the day but along with that was a large latte too, leaving me roughly 10 points at a hazardous guess to stay within limits. This was at 10am. By the time my lunch date came around, after resisting the urge to cry and/or vomit in the hairdressers more than once, my willpower was oddly high and I opted for a simple veggie pasta plate for lunch, no cheese. Yeah, and some icecream. So that was that. Buggered. After some more retail therapy I found myself limping through M&S on the long walk back to my car just as the next sugar low hit me and after some saintly browsing and a good self-talking-to as I passed the cookie aisle, I scored myself two supergreen salads, a skinny tzatsiki, some celery hearts and a box of cherry tomatoes.  Plus, my ultimate hangover want of those gross fabricated pink seafood stick things that have had no actual seafood anywhere near them, ever. I love those things, and they are pretty low in points. The additional submarine rolls and ready mixed prawn cocktail were not. Shit.

I told myself some of it was for The Mr. I told myself that there was lots of hydration in all that celery. I told myself I would be asleep before I had the chance to eat that much of it.

Shit.

It’s hard to maintain the will to stick to veg and live off your own bodyfat when your body is a toxic waste ground of gin and artificial sweeteners and you are home alone for the evening with no witnesses other than Dr Foster on catch up, and frankly she’s not one to take a moral highground as far as I’m concerned.

In a roundabout way, this is what leads me to pimp out Weight Watchers. Because today, despite eating (at a rough guess) about double what I should have eaten for the week (mostly over the last two days of the week), I have stayed exactly the same weight. No loss, no less of me or my arse but hey, no more either. In net terms, it’s like I never had any of it! So it’s fine. Sort of.

I will do better. I have to, because I am now at the age where a hangover lasts an hour for every year you have been alive and cannot be fixed with a can of redbull and liberal application of hobnobs.

BMI Today: 30.5, still half a point past the official obesity point.

How do I feel today? Like an old lady who should know better but would/will do it again.

Did I stay on points last week? Until Friday, yes. I racked up quite a few fit points too with a reasonable physio run, three shopping miles walked on Saturday and a long slow Sunday walk. Yes, I know that doesn’t make it OK.

How bad was the weekend? See entire above post. I had fish and chips for Sunday lunch too as I was still recovering and too weak to order the sad salad. I have saved this information until now in the hope that the judgier people stopped reading at the summary.

Insights: I did actually select a lot of veg and dips from a direct craving, and they did make me feel much better and I wonder if when your day to day habits are better, you actually crave healthier crap when you’re ill, even if it is self inflicted. The mere concept of my old hangover favourite of a spicy pizza and endless toblerone would have actually killed me before I made it home. In fact it is making me feel a bit queasy now.

Best Thing I Ate All Week:  A supergreen salad and frekeh tahini grain salad thing from Marks & Spencer, in the late afternoon throws of my suffering. Bloody nice, and not too evil on the grand scale of diet things. Positively angelic vs the rest of the day.

See you next week, when I will be building a new kitchen. What could go wrong?!?!?!

 

20 Questions with Gourmet Anglia!

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Today on 20 Questions we have Tracey from Gourmet Anglia– purveyor of truly gorgeous small batch kitchen and homewares. I think I could only like this webshop more if it offered a one hour gin-to-desk delivery service, but there is always time to expand.
We are also doing a little giveaway inspired by her love of Italian food, so look out for details of that below.

And the questions commence:

1: Describe what you do without being boring?
Picker, packer, parcel dispatcher at Gourmet Anglia www.gourmetanglia.co.uk

2: What’s great about what you do?
Sourcing utterly gorgeous products is pretty fabulous and, as an online biz, it’s great to connect with amazing, like-minded individuals on social media.

3: What sucks about what you do?
The boxes, THE BOXES! We have a mountainous store of packaging.

4: Do you eat breakfast?
Does a handful of dried fruit and nuts count?
Ed- yes!

5: Where/who is your favourite local food/drink business (other than your own)?
Tough question as there are so many passionate and hardworking local businesses producing a vast array of quality products. As a homage to FoodieBoomBoom homeland let’s throw in Coles Puddings, Kelly Bronze Turkeys, Maldon Salt, New Hall Vineyard wines and Wilkins & Sons but that really is a tiny drop in the teacup.
Ed- All great examples, I’m prompted to give a quick wino shout out to the Bacchus from New Hall vineyards- it is superb. 

Shy Owl Pot Holder from Gourmet Anglia with two Local Lovelies (2)[1112]

Tracey loves a bit of local heroes Wilkin & Sons jams, shown here with the Shy Owl pot holder available on http://www.gourmetanglia.co.uk

6: Which celeb chef would you want into your gang in the event of a zombie apocalypse and why?
Nigella (whom I have met) would surely stop any zombie dead in their tracks with her mesmerizing loveliness.

7: What’s your go to comfort food?
Something cheesy or eggy, Croque Monsieur, Welsh Rarebit, Eggs Benedict or Florentine.

8: Who taught you how to cook?
Delia Smith, Raymond Blanc, Nigel Slater …. c/o their books of course!

9: What’s the weirdest thing you have ever put in your mouth? Keep it clean!
A wasp!!! It landed, unseen, on a boiled sweet a split second before I popped it in my mouth, ouch! I was about 12 at the time!

10: What one food would you erase from all existence?
Mean, tart little blackcurrants … or ‘fruits of the devil’ as I prefer to call them.

11: What’s on your kitchen playlist?
Anything chilled and mellow.

12: If you could eat out anywhere tonight where would you go and who would you dine with?
Le Cinq, Paris … want to tag along Jenna? Closer to home, Le Talbooth, Mistley Thorn or The Company Shed for some succulent Mersea oysters.
Ed- Le Cinq looks great I’ll get my coat!

parmesan crust salmon (1024x761)[1111]

That’s a good looking bit of salmon!!!

13: Do you have a signature dish?
I love to cook simple dishes using terrific quality ingredients, an example would be Salmon with a Parmesan & Herb Crust.

 

14: Confess your biggest food sin………..
Heinz Tomato Soup (… is that a sin?), also cold leftover sausages are not safe.

 

15: If you had to restrict yourself to the cuisine of one country which would it be and why?
Italian …  pasta, pizza, parmigiano reggiano, prosciutto, panna cotta, prosecco.
Ed- Thanks to Gourmet Anglia we are frankly thrilled to be giving away not one but two gorgeous Italian cookery books! Details at the end of this post. 

16: Cake or biscuits?
Cake. Carrot can be good, or something chocolatey. I also love pears in cakes, or a Pear Frangipane Tart or a pear or quince flavoured vodka but I digress …..

17: Tea or coffee?
Both. Morning coffee. Afternoon darjeeling.

18: Chunky chips or curly fries?
Chunky thrice cooked, or oven baked with a generous sprinkling of olive oil and Maldon Salt.

19: Wine or beer?
A large glass of an oaky smoky full-bodied red for me please.

20: Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
Not a fan but fine if you want it … tho’ ‘fusion’ toppings do make me slightly twitchy. Chicken tikka, Cajun prawns, Black beans & banana … just isn’t right is it?

Catch up with GA’s musing and meanderings on
Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/gourmet_anglia/
Twitter  https://twitter.com/gourmetanglia
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/gourmetanglia/

Last time: Boneman’s BBQ

Next week, our buddies at Bumbles!

Now, as promised here is your chance to win your very own copies of Rome, by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi AND Anna Del Conte on Pasta in association with the lovely bods at Gourmet Anglia with a combined RRP of over £40.

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To enter head over to our twitter page @foodieboomboom  and see our pinned tweet or if you don’t tweet simply comment below this post with I Want To Win! For a bonus entry sign up for email updates! 

Terms and conditions:
Entrants to be UK resident and over the age of 18

Winner to supply UK postal address for prize delivery
Giveaway is not associated with, sponsored or moderated by Twitter
Entries close at midnight on Friday 6th October 2017 winner will be contacted directly and announced on Twitter feed. 

 

 

The Skinny Thing: A Month Of Mondays.

 

garf

I’ve done OK since we last checked in on my weight loss thing. By OK, I mean I haven’t put any weight on. In fact I don’t think my weight has moved more than about half a kilo either way since June. This is surprising, as I have had some seriously bingey DGAF periods in this time and my exercise patterns have been all over to the place due to training for a long run then quite abruptly stopping all movement for fear of re-upsetting my idiot calf muscles (who hate me). I have been horrible at using my Weight Watchers app consistently for no good reason other than that I can’t be arsed, but I have fallen into some good habits from when I was using it all the time and it’s these habits that I think have steered me away from piling on the pounds again over a long summer of too many G&Ts. Still, on looking at my lack of progress of late I found myself considering dumping Weight Watchers and trying a Slimming World regime again. In fact, I was going to start this very day, which is a Monday.

Like my childhood hero Garfield, I hate Mondays, and like most cycling dieters I can happily kid myself into believing that I can reset my self discipline against all the odds on the most soul testing day of the week. Apparently Monday is the most common day that people start a diet. No surprise there really. It’s a new day, the start of the week, and a convenient excuse to cram in 48 hours of beer and pizza over the weekend before embarking on your New Lifestyle. I have voted Monday for a few reasons. First off, see the above weekend-of-beer-and-pizza explanation. Second off, the only Slimming World meeting I could conceivably attend is on a Monday night. Third off, my Weight Watchers week is set to reset for points and a weigh in on a Monday, so it seemed the right day to switch.

I am not going to switch to Slimming World this Monday, however.

There are multiple reasons for this turnaround, and not just that I enjoy living as a total hypocrite. First- Slimming Word is (comparatively) very expensive compared to my WW app. Second- I hate Mondays and am never going to attend a weigh and shame session on a Monday night because I will be PJed up and on my sofa well before 1900hrs. Lastly, and most relevantly- I don’t bloody need to.

I. Don’t. Bloody. Need. To.

I know what to do. I know how to do it. Switching over to limitless pasta and potatoes with a different set of books to calculate the same equation is only going to offer a temporary relief by changing up the rules and tricking myself into thinking I don’t miss eating cake all the time. So I am sticking with the double-dubyas but I am also going to give myself a new Monday accountability tool, which is basically you people*. Because I know I can’t stand to join a class and be conventionally social about this and no one but me knows what goes into my app, so I will fit my chosen virtual lifestyle and have a check-in session here, on a Monday. Maybe it will force me to reflect more and own up to my downfalls. Maybe I will learn something or say something funny about buttercream icing or the size of my arse. Maybe I will start to hate Tuesdays instead.

*Yes, i did just call you a tool.

BMI Today: 30.5 which puts me a half a point into the obese category. Shit.

How do I feel today? Generally amused by and mildly ashamed of myself.

Did I stay on points last week? hahahaha, no. Not even a bit.

How bad was the weekend? In practical terms I achieved a lot over the weekend, including a ton of lugging crap in and out of the garden and two very long walks with the Mr. My cruddy calf is getting better. As usual I over carbed but didn’t have any crazy desserts or sweet stuffs. I did put away 2/3 of a bottle of white wine and a couple of full tilt G&Ts since finishing work on Friday.

Insights: Er……..not really. Other than that I really like gin.

Best Thing I Ate All Week: Roast beef and yorkshires for Sunday roast. I don’t want to know how that should have pointed.

So I guess I’ll see you next week.