Older women ROCK!!!

January 27, 2012

After watching Denise Welch win Celebrity Big Brother.. I had a little rant.. not about her, about what she went through in the house, purely by being in the company of young women some years younger than herself.

“ewww put it away!” is something many many people would have said when she got naked in the hot tub.. why?? she has a beautiful body, olive skinned, full and curvy.. what’s ew other than our twisted perception of all women over the age of 45 who still feel 20 and aren’t ashamed to celebrate their bodies! The other thing that really stuck in my throat was the endless comments about her (and lots of women I know) who are older and get drunk and cry and fall over.. when Nicola got smashed and was slurring and flirting with a teenager no one said anything even though she’s a mother and the whole situation was highly inappropriate!

Whenever Michael was topless no one said ew, even though the image of his pasty saggy nipples turned me off my tea! Why do women get such bad press about their sexuality beyond a certain age when men in their 60/70’s don’t get a mention!

The arrogance of the young females both in the house and in society in general is quite disturbing, making comments such as “a woman her age should know better”.. the thing is sweethearts your body may age but your mind doesn’t! just wait only ten years or so and you too will start to feel over the hill, past your sell by date, and guess what? you’ve got way many more years feeling like that than you did feeling (and looking) young!

so enjoy your body, the flirtation with men, because blink and you’ll miss it, and you’ll be just like Denise.. a beautiful woman, trapped by the apparent opinion of society (which is blatantly media orientated or she wouldn’t have won) but spare some thought for women senior to you, tell your mum and gran they look beautiful! comment on your middle aged colleagues legs in that a-lined skirt, grab someone older than you and dance with them, tell them who you fancy, braid their hair and wear a face mask together, as you’ll be that person before you know it, and hell then you’ll regret the things you said, and ache to be ‘one of the girls’ for just one more day..

I’m 32 in March, I’m not unattractive and I’ve got a great figure.. five years ago I turned heads in the street, now I’m invisible.. it’s tough being a female :0/

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rising from the darkness

December 12, 2011

for the last 8yrs I’ve been through a lot.. leaving a damaging relationship, the entire breakdown of my family, huge financial problems, losing the love of my life, an anxiety/depressive breakdown and someone close to me dying of cancer…. but…I’ve come though the other side, mended my broken family, got the love of my life back & we’re stronger than ever, released my financial burdens and found peace in myself.. I’m proof that you can overcome anything, and that after many years of thinking the key to success in life is wealth & career success.. I’ve discovered that it’s not.. many people I’ve met with a lot of money are the most unhappy people, and in fact the key to success is happiness & finding yourself.. if you can achieve this you can feel an overwhelming sense of peace & almost smugness, I have a warm beautiful home, only small but perfect, I have just enough money to pay my bills with a tiny amount left for a bit of fun and nice food, I have a beautiful relationship built on trust, respect and friendship, a family who may be different but who love each other despite all the trauma.. and I can look at myself in the mirror and smile :0) so people strive only for your own happiness, be brave enough to do exactly in life what you want to do, don’t ever say “I should do this” or “what will people think” but stand up and say “this is me, these are my rules and I’m playing this game of life for myself”… I hope someone will get hope in their darkest times that things will shape out in the end, but only you can solve the riddle to your own happiness… :0)

ok these are a mega treat, I shudder at the thought of the fat/calorie content but refuse to let it ruin my excitement at eating them!

100g strong cheddar cheese GRATED
2 bags of ready salted crisps CRUSHED
70g plain flour
1 teaspoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon Marmite
pinch Cayenne Pepper
70g melted butter

throw everything in a bowl and mix really well, I got in there with my hands in the end and mushed it about.

line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place walnut size balls of mixture onto it.

bake in oven at 190• gas 5 for 15mins or until golden on top, transfer to a wire rack to cool and enjoy!

please comment if you like/dislike etc 🙂

stir fries are so healthy and so versatile.. I use them to cook veg to retain it’s nutrition as much as possible..

the most important thing with stir fries is how much depth of flavour you add, otherwise they can be so bland. I’m not one for adding pre-prepared sauces so here I show how you can do it from scratch, really quickly.

I’m a huge fan of frozen veg.. it’s said to retain 40% more nutrition than fresh http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1255606/Why-frozen-vegetables-fresher-fresh.htmlbut
of course, this eventually comes down to how you cook it, which can ruin it all tbh including the taste which a lot of people struggle with when it comes to frozen veg.. that’s why stir-frying is perfect as it retains more of the vitamins etc.

Please don’t miss my “Toasty Seeds” recipe at the bottom, this is famous with all I know as I’ve converted many a seed sceptic after tasting them!

Stir Fry Base

1 onion CHOPPED
1/2 a leek CHOPPED
1 chilli CHOPPED (and deseeded if you can’t take the heat)
1 tsp fresh grated Ginger
1 tsp capers
1 tblspn olives (green or black) CHOPPED
4 sun dried tomatoes in oil CHOPPED
1 tblspn of Tamari Sauce (can be bought in Tesco or health shop)
4 anchovies CHOPPED (you won’t taste them it’ll just make things so tasty)
1 garlic clove CRUSHED

you can use soy sauce in replacement of Tamari but I find it’s taste superior

heat wok to a high temperature and add a splash of rapeseed oil and also a splash of the oil from the sun dried toms. swirl the oil to coat the wok then add the onion and leek.. keep it moving, this is important for stir-frying as the heat is high, when the onion/leek is slightly soft add the chilli and ginger and stir, then add capers/olives/toms, quick stir for 5secs then add Tamari (or soy) and finally the anchovies and garlic. I always add garlic last as this can burn really quickly add taste horrid.

stir well.

from here on you can add whatever you wish, veg (I use a vast variety of frozen) meat, fish, anything goes!

I also choose either rice/pasta or noodles, cook AND SEASON these separately and add and toss just before serving adding an extra splash of Tamari to taste.

the key to this recipe is the base which adds a depth of flavour often missed in stir fries and will match whatever you choose to add to it. Add any herbs you fancy, I haven’t here as you can add depending on the meat/fish etc you choose to cook.

Toasty Seeds

as a topping for this or in fact salads, pasta dishes etc I like to add an extra punch of nutrition/flavour with my famous toasted seeds.

I have converted many people to the wonders of seeds through this technique which is truly delicious.

sprinkle seeds and/or nuts (sunflower/pumpkin/sesame is a fav but you can use any nuts seeds you enjoy)
on a baking tray and pop under a medium grill, shake when one or two start popping and when a soft golden colour remove from grill, tip into a dish and immediately sprinkle with a good tablespoon of Tamari or Soy and mix. This makes a wonderful sizzle and the smell is lush! wait to cool and dry then sprinkle on food or eat by the handful these really are delicious!!!

IMPORTANT NOTE – DO NOT BURN SEEDS/NUTS AS THESE CAN BECOME HARMFUL (carcinogenic) YOU WANT A GOLDEN CARAMEL BROWN COLOUR SO KEEP AN EYE OUT!

comments? 🙂

yay it’s a meat dish!
I’m following a low carb, high protein diet at the moment. I find this, combined with no alcohol 😦 is the quickest way to shed pounds..
I’m not a diet freak, I just like to keep my weight down as when my clothes are tight I feel miserable.

I also find when I follow a high protein diet my general eating habits improve as I’m not eating/craving carbs as I’m full for ages….

anyway! enough about Poppins! on with my yummy spicy lamb chilli!

I thought chilli would be too simple to blog about but after some encouragement from twitter buddies I decided, any recipe is a good recipe when shared..

1 onion CHOPPED.
1/2 a leek CHOPPED.
2 cloves of garlic CRUSHED.
1 chilli CHOPPED (with seeds if you like heat, take them out if not).
1 standard pack of lean lamb mince.
1 tin of chopped tomatoes.
1/2 OR whole tin of red kidney beans (your preference).
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree.
1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce.
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup.
2 beef stock cubes CRUMBLED IN.
6 chestnut mushrooms CHOPPED CHUNKY.
pinch sugar.
pinch salt.
pinch pepper.

preheat a deep frying pan and when you can really feel the heat on your hand when held over the pan add a drop of rapeseed oil (or whatever you usually use) and throw in the onion and leek, turn heat down so sizzling but not burning. When soft add the garlic and chilli and stir around, after only 30 seconds add the lamb mince and mix well.
When the mince has browned all over
pour in the chopped tomatoes and refill the can halfway with water and throw this in too, add all other ingredients at this point (kidney beans, tom puree, Worcester sauce, tom ketchup, crumbled stock cubes, mushrooms, sugar, salt and pepper) stir well, lower heat, cover and leave to simmer for at least 20mins although the longer the better!

and that’s it!

I serve this on it’s own, with crusty bread and salad, with rice, in wraps (nom) or on top of a jacket potato

versatile and healthy! enjoy!

One of my favourite things to make is pizza.. I use this all rounder as a perfect opportunity to pack in the nutrition and as you’ll see I put a couple of unexpected things in but this adds an incredible taste..

I start by showing you my base recipe.. if you don’t have time to make the base or just don’t want to, ready made bases are cheap, so skip to the extra veggie topping recipe.

Pizza Base

500g flour (should be strong but plain works fine)
7g sachet yeast
pinch salt

put these ingredients in a bowl then in a jug add –

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
then pour in tepid water to 300ml mark

pour the water mixture half at a time onto the flour and fold in with either hands or wooden spoon, when it’s almost mixed tip onto a well floured surface and get kneading!
you should knead it for about 10mins, sometimes I do this if I want to take out anger (lol!) but sometimes I admit I don’t do it at all.. does it make much difference? for pizza base.. no!

I’ve made enough here for four bases, so break into four and wrap three in cling film and freeze! Next time you want pizza take it out in the morning and you save yourself a job..

put to one side.

Before I show you the sauce recipe I do something unusual..

Extra Veggie Topping (optional)

1/2 a small leek CHOPPED SMALL
a handful of curly kale or savoy cabbage CHOPPED

melt a small knob of butter in a medium saucepan and sweat the leek/cabbage until soft, then put to one side.

use the same saucepan to make the sauce, don’t rinse it out.

Pizza Sauce

1 onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon flour
a tin of chopped tomatoes
4 sun dried tomatoes
1 crushed clove garlic
squeeze of tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch pepper

soften onion in saucepan (the butter from sweating the leeks should suffice for this if not add a splash of olive oil)
when onions are soft add flour and mix until onions are coated. add chopped tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients above, mix well so flour makes the sauce thick, turn the heat down low and leave to heat gently, stir occasionally. (if you like sauce extra smooth blitz in food processor)

next..

the other toppings I use apart from the leek/cabbage are – mushrooms, fresh sweet basil and cheese so..

grate some cheese (whatever your preference)
chop some mushrooms into very thin slices
rip leaves of sweet basil off the stems

Assembly!

flour your surface well, roll out your pizza base until it’s around a centimetre thick, this takes patience as it will spring back, but it will come.

spread a quarter of the pizza sauce on the base, the rest can be separated into three pots and frozen for next time!

now scatter your leek/cabbage mix over the base.

now lay your mushrooms on top

then scatter the basil leaves, whole or ripped.

sprinkle some pepper over the mushrooms

cover with cheese and finished with a sprinkle of dried oregano.

cook on 220c for 10-12 mins and enjoy!

The one thing I would say about this recipe is if you use my base recipe it will be hard to get it crispy in the centre, so may need to be eaten with cutlery (:0O) if anyone has any tips for me on making it more crispy this would be appreciated! although it’s so yummy I don’t care 😉

NOTE FOR MEAT EATERS!

As usual you can either replace something for bacon or chicken or pepperoni or ham etc etc.. or just add it on top of the mushrooms!

I usually serve this with my home-made chips-

chip potatoes (skins on) sprinkle with olive oil spread on baking tray and bake in 200c oven for 20mins.

any comments would be welcomed 🙂

This is the second post of many more where I blog about my cooking obsession.. hope you enjoy 🙂

it so happens my first cooking blog was about curry and this one is too! but everyone loves a curry don’t they? This one is quite different to the last.

Griddled Fish with Coconut Curry Sauce and Rice

fish marinade

2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1 lime
splash of olive oil

make this marinade and cover your fish with it, leave it while you make the curry sauce. I say fish as you can use anything from Salmon to Coley, your choice.

Curry Sauce

pour a kettle full of boiling water into a saucepan and add various veg of your choice, I used broccoli, cabbage and peas, but really the more varied the better and as much as you like. Of course if you don’t want to add veg, don’t! I add it for nutrition and because when it’s covered in sauce it tastes fab too!

while veg is cooking (max 5mins don’t destroy it) make the sauce in a frying pan.

splash of Olive Oil
1 onion CHOPPED
1 chilli DESEEDED AND CHOPPED FINELY (or if you like heat leave seeds in)
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of Garam Masala
1 tablespoon plain flour
350ml Coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon brown sugar
pinch salt
pinch pepper

sizzle the onion, chilli and crushed garlic in a splash of olive oil, when softened add Garam Masala and flour and mix well until onion etc. are coated. Add coconut milk a bit at a time and stir so the flour/garam masala makes the sauce thick. plop in tomato puree and sugar when sauce is lightly bubbling and stir in, add cooked veg and pinch of salt/pepper, mix and leave to bubble gently while cooking fish and rice.

Fish

when veg has cooked replace saucepan with a griddle and leave to heat up while cooking sauce, I use a microwave steamer for rice so I’d put this on now but cook this however you usually would.

While rice is cooking place fish on griddle, turn after a couple of minutes, if griddle is hot enough this should take no longer than 6mins but stick a knife in thickest part and if it flakes it’s done.
When cooked transfer to a piece if foil and squeeze a good amount of lemon juice over it and either leave whole or flake.

just before plating add any ‘liquor’ from cooking the fish to the curry sauce and stir in.
Plate up rice and sauce, scatter flaked fish or place whole on top and enjoy!!!

any questions or comments please ask..

Mary P x

So I’m thinking of writing a ‘quick healthy food on a skin tight budget’ blog… For example the meal below cost £3.50 and will feed us tomorrow too!

I cook every day from scratch and we’re living on one pay packet at the moment so everything gets used and waste is a swear word!

I want to get the point across that healthy eating is not only cheap if done sensibly, but quick and ethically sound too!

You will notice I use as many veg in each meal as possible, and always veg I have in the house, or is in season, the point to my cooking is using things you already have and not buying especially. I also feel when cooking at home why stop at a couple of trendy ingredients, toss as much nutrition in as possible!

Dean fancied a curry this evening, one thing we have cut back on is take-away food and quite frankly I don’t know why we wasted so much money on it before when I can cook it so easily myself.

Dean is vegetarian, which isn’t a problem for me, I don’t miss meat when I don’t cook with it as I feel I have found so many ways to make vegetarian food delicious I don’t even think about meat…

I think people make too much fuss about the replacement of meat with a suitable ‘alternative’ instead of just enjoying the same meal you would have had, without the meat. I find the only time I would maybe miss meat is with a dinner (meat, veg, potatoes, gravy) and I only make those on Sundays… You will see that even though my cooking is mostly vegetarian you can easily just add a chicken breast or bacon strips if you wish, although I would find this rather costly.

So I’ll tell you about tonight’s meal in the format I would do the blog, then you can tell me if you’d like more!

When we have a take-away we always have rice and chips, if I make a curry at home we do the same, so tonight’s meal is –

Veg Curry with home-made chips and rice – TOTAL COST £3.50 (try buying a curry, chips and rice for that!)

I’ve made enough sauce here to last 2 people for 2 nights, I’ll blog tomorrow to tell you how I used the leftovers!

Ingredients with prices (taken from Tescos website)

Base curry sauce (this is mild but just add more spice if you wish)

1 teaspoon rapeseed oil

1 knob of butter

2 medium white onions – £0.32 (£0.16 each) CHOPPED

2 large cloves garlic – £0.06 (£0.25 clove) CHOPPED

2 rounded tablespoons of plain flour – £0.01 (£0.75 for 1.5kg bag)

1 rounded tablespoon of Garam Masala – £0.05 (£0.77 for 38g jar)

3 Oxo vegetable stock cubes – £0.24 (£0.98 for 12) DISSOLVED IN 1 LITRE WATER USED TO COOK VEG

Veg for curry sauce

(use any selection of veg available i.e. peas, cabbage, sweet potato, squash, broad beans, green beans, cauliflour etc etc doesn’t have to be the following)

2 medium carrots – £0.14 (£0.07 each) SCRUBBED AND CHOPPED NOT PEELED! (peeling removes nutrients from under skin)

1 large stick of celery – £0.07 (£0.78 each) CHOPPED SMALL (Dean hates this but chopped small and cooked it’s tasteless. I use this for extra nutrition)

4 stringless runner beans – £0.60 (£1.20 per 250g pack) CHOPPED (I don’t peel, strip, anything, I just chop!)

1/3 of a broccoli head – £0.25 (£0.75 per head) CHOPPED INCLUDING STALK (huge nutritional value in stalk and tastes like peas)

5 or 6 closed cap mushrooms – £0.85 (£0.17 each) WIPED AND ROUGHLY CHOPPED

Chips

2 large baking potatoes CHIPPED – £0.70 (£0.35 each)

1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil – £0.02 (£2.85 litre)

pinch sea salt

pinch pepper

Rice

1 cup basmati rice cooked as you would usually – £0.14 (£1.47 for 1kg)

Method

cook chopped veg in saucepan (all in one none of that 1 veg per pan malarky) drain but keep 1 litre of cooking water.

To make base sauce –

while veg is boiling heat up frying pan and plop in oil and butter,

when sizzling add onion and cook until soft,

add garlic and stir,

add flour and garam masala and combine,

add oxo stock bit by bit stirring as you go to thicken

add veg and keep stirring,

lower heat and stir occasionally whilst cooking rice and chips

To make chips

toss chipped potatoes in oil, salt and pepper

spread on baking tray and place in oven on high heat for 20 mins taking out and shaking halfway through

To make rice

I use a microwave steamer – add rice to steamer with two cups of water and cook on high for 9 mins

well… that’s it… hope you enjoy this, tomorrow I’ll be blogging what I do with the leftover sauce which I put into a Tupperware pot in the fridge when cooled.

🙂

Mr Big

September 7, 2009

‘It’s the poo of the antelope, the poo of the giraffe
It falls onto the earth and becomes the blades of grass
The grass is eaten by the cattle, which comes out the other end
To make food for the humans and start all over again’

The delicate balance of the earth, described poetically above, an earth many claim to be ‘designed’ for human existence. The point I really want to get across from this post is my own opinion of the overwhelming arrogance of ‘man’.

kansas-evolution

Homosapien fossils date back to 200,000 years ago, we might have been here twice as long, fossil evidence is so hard to find, but in the big scheme of things, where do we fall? Pretty pathetic really when you think dinosaurs roamed for some 250 million years! Why are we so convinced that (a) the earth was ‘designed’ for us and (b) we are somehow going to be around forevermore and one day discover the meaning of life, and indeed, the universe!!!

Go outside, look the wrong way crossing the road and we’re dead, a flood kills us in 100’s, tsunamis in 1000’s and volcano’s in hundreds of 1000’s.. wow, impressive constitutions there people!

Lets face it we’re going to be wiped out, all other ‘mammels’ have been at some point. Yes, life in it’s lowest ‘simple cell’ form has been around on this planet for a long time, but humans have wrecked this planet more in 200,000 years than any other form of life ever has.. and yet we’re invincible? sounds silly really.

Take religion, we’re going to continue to exist after we die.. reassuring isn’t it. We ‘scare’ people into thinking if they don’t believe in ‘god’ (in any form depending on the religion) they will suffer for eternity in a fiery furnace.. really? Much more scary is the thought to the average human that when we die.. that’s it.. gone.. forgotten.. extinguished.. this maybe some people’s idea of hell and indeed it was mine up until around four years ago. I thought ‘hey, I’m going to be safe rather than sorry, I’ll believe and then even if it’s not true I won’t miss out!’ My Christian mum then informed me this is not the point of religion and I should give up on reasoning and ‘believe without sight’ when I asked her for proof she said ‘proof isn’t the point, just believe’ this became unbearable to me, non sensicle and I became an atheist. This revelation was so much more powerful than becoming a Christian, I felt at peace, easy in the knowledge that once I die, I’m gone, back to the Earth, part of evolution, at rest, extinct.

jlvn694lSpace travel, deep sea exploring, explorations to discover Noahs ark, billions of £’s $’s being spent on all of this pointless discovery when millions of people are dying from disease, famine, cancer, malaria, altzeimers, AIDS, etc etc etc!!! Get back to earth, climb out of the sea, get off that mountain and put the money into saving the life that we have here now, and is being destroyed! Transporting food across the world so we can strawberries in winter and coconuts in the UK and we’re running out of oil, (this is another post) keeping vast lawned gardens and using sprinklers to drench grass that no one can walk on as they will ‘spoil’ it and water is in shortage across the globe (yet another post), all arrogance..

The mutation of intellect that gives humans the ability to be self-aware, have reasoned thought, create, have scientific thought, build economic systems etc etc will be our undoing. We will destroy ourselves, never know the meaning as our own greed and arrogance will destroy us way before we could come close to knowing.

A friend said to me today, ‘don’t be silly, ‘they’ will think of something else to do before disaster happens..’ I’m sure ‘they’ will try for as long as possible, but the earth will win, and life will continue without humans.

Arrogant views you say? Well I’m only human… ;o)