Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Good Old Fashioned Home Made Cookies and the Teapig Giveaway!


Hey there bloggers, how are you all today? i’m blugh, its that time of the month coming soon, and i have ZERO motivation, i struggled through insanity cardio recovery, with minimal effort (not.good.enough!) and i’ve been a hungry horace all day long! i’ve gone over cals today, but hey ho what you gonna do, its been healthy stuff thats taken me over, so its not the end of the world!

Lets get started on food:

Breakfast today was strawberries, blueberries and nectarine with apple and pear compote for dipping


And a Raspberry Breakfast muffin, i think, like i said i undercooked these and i mixed them too much, still their nice and keep me full for a good amount of time (recipe coming soon)


Mid morning i snacked on a tropical nut oaty (recipe coming soon) which saw me through to lunch.


Lunch was a pot of roasted veg, in the mix, butternut squash, onion, beetroot and parsnip……hmmmmhmmmm deeelish! i love roasted veg best


Along with a food doctor pitta, these are so much more interesting than regular pitta, i love the seeds through them.


So it was all good until there, and then i was a snack monster!

I started out with a Prickly Pear, have you ever seen one of these before, i was mooching in the fruit/butchers shop, and found this little gem, i had never heard of or seen one before.


What a funky little creature!


Goshmeeshers this little beasty lives up to its name i wound up with 2 spikes in me from handling it for this pic! their almost invisible but hurt like hell! after a little googling, turns out this is the fruit of a cactus, hence the name and the cactus like spikes i got in my fingers!


I persevered though and peeled it and split it and munched away, i was so surprised at the colour, it wasn’t what i was expecting! it tastes a little like a sweet watermelon with a hint of raspberries, it has seeds through it like a passion fruit except their much harder than a passion fruit so you have to spit em out! twas worth the effort though, it was deeelish! i’ll defo be buying another one.


After that i had a nectarine


And a while later some grapes


Dinner was a bit of a flop, i made a beautiful big stir fry with lots of fresh veg, cashews, chicken, water chestnuts, and udon noodles, i used african hot sauce and a scotch bonnet chilli, it blew the roof off!!! it was toooooooooooooo hot! Buddy said he couldn’t taste the heat! Yeah right! but half way through announced he didn’t like it as it was a bit tasteless, i think the heat was too much but he wont admit it! he threw his away and i made him tuna pasta, but i served it when the pasta wasn’t cooked so he threw that away and i made him beans on toast, i burned 3 of my finger tips on the grill whilst making him that! kitchen fail!!

I ate mine though, heat and all!


After dinner i had some natural yoghurt to help with the FIYA in my mouth, with some jam, and some nuts and seeds, and dried cherries! ok ok enough with the food! i wont eat another thing today i promise!!


Ok let me share the cookie recipe from the wknd with you guys, these are pretty awesome and painfully simple and quick, i made some for buddy and i made another batch on Monday morning before work to take to a team meeting, buddy just raised an eyebrow when he saw the Kitchenaid on the go at 6.50am on a Monday morning! heh heh!

Good Old Fashioned Cookies:

100g brown sugar

100g butter/marg

150g white self raising flour

1T golden syrup

1 bag (100g) choc chips (any kind you like)

heat the oven to 180degrees

Cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy (i.e. bang the food mixer on and walk away!), no add the golden syrup, and mix well.

Add in the flour, mix well and finally stir in the chocolate chips. 

Divide mixture into 14 balls, and place onto a baking sheet, space them well apart and do not flatten them out, i used 2 baking sheets to allow enough room.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes till slightly golden brown!


I’m going to try fiddling with the recipe, using wholemeal flour and other add ins, dried fruit, nuts etc! so versatile!

They work out around 145cals per cookie

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So its time for the Teapigs giveaway, the lovely peeps over at Teapigs not only sent me some samples to try out but they send me 2 full size boxes for giveaways for my fab readers (i.e. you!)

They sent me Superfruit and English Breakfast (i’m pretty jealous about the Superfruit, i fancy that one!)

To be in with a chance of winning one of these boxes just leave me a comment in this post, or send me an email at rowena dot dennis @ btinternet dot com

And tell me what your favourite recipe is, baking or cooking, healthy or non healthy, preferably with a link to the recipe.  Please also put in your comment or email which tea you would like to try, and i’ll make sure to pick one winner from each group of preferences! sound fair? :-)

Commenting/emailing will close at midnight British time on Tuesday 7th September


Night night folks! much love <3 <3 <3 xoxo

Monday, 30 August 2010

Fudgy Brownies


Hey there peeps.  How are you all? I hope you had a great Monday.  I see a few new faces around here lately so a big welcome along to my new readers, i hope you like the bloggy and hang around.  And i just wanted to say thanks for all your comments i love each and every one of them! and thanks also to the readers who dont/cant comment i appreciate you stopping by too!

I only have one foody picture for you today, breakfast, a peach, strawbs and a raspberry muffin (these turned out ok i think i just undercooked them, so i will share the recipe later in the week)


I went out for lunch with my work colleagues, this is the meal that i called ahead at the end of last week and asked them to prepare me a vegan meal, WELL they DID.NOT.DISSAPOINT! it was amazing, the chef made a me a superb veggie stir fry with rice, everything was cooked to perfection, in a home made sauce that was thick and a little bit sweet and a little bit salty, and hmmmm OH MY! there were a tonne of different veggies in there too, he really went all out for me! i was delighted, then he had prepared me a fruit plate with strawberries, raspberries and physalis, again OH MY! i was delighted – a bit of a different story from my meal out on Saturday night huh! phoning ahead is definitely the way to go, i’ll be doing that more often in future! i wish i could have got pics for you!

We were still eating lunch at 2.30pm so i wasnt hungry, i had 1 slice of toast with PB, some strawbs and a small bowl of cheerio's for dinner – unpictured, the battery died so it was charging.

So these were the Teapig samples i was sent to try out:
Popcorn tea

Rooibos Creme Caramel

Chocolate Flake Tea

Jasmine Pearls

Darjeeling Earl Grey


I tried the popcorn tea, it was pretty good, completely different to anything i’ve tried before, there is definitely a distinct flavour, aftertaste and smell of popcorn, its amazing! you could totally be at the cinema, its not over powering though, its not strong, just a subtle flavour and beautiful after taste! i would buy a box of this flavour.


So here’s the Vegan Fudgy Brownie recipe as promised:

I must give full credit to Angela from Oh She Glows, check out the link for the original recipe, her pics are way better than mine, but i’m sure the brownies tasted just the same.

Vegan Fudgy Brownies

I always like to lay all my ingredients out before doing anything, makes life easier!


1 Avocado

162g Brown Sugar (1C)

90ml Agave (Angela used Maple syrup but i didnt have any) (1/3C)

2T Vegetable Oil

1T Ground Flax

2t Vanilla Essence

2t Coffee Granules

43g Dark Chocolate (angela used chips, i used finely chopped dark choc) (1/3C)

167g Wholemeal Plain Flour (1 1/4 C)

69g Cocoa Powder (3/4C)

1/2t Baking Powder

1/4t Baking Soda

1/2t Salt

Set oven to 175degrees (350)

Blend the Avocado till smooth, then add the sugar, agave, oil, ground flax and coffee


And Blend


Now mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder and salt


And slowly add in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, till well mixed together – LOOK.AT.THIS.DOUGH!

Then add the chocolate chips and stir through


Now dollop (definitely more of a dollop than a pour! this is sooo thick!) into an 8”x8” lined baking tin


And i found the best thing to do was put on some disposable gloves (you could use bear hands but i’m a bit of a prude like that!) dampen with cold water and get stuck in and smooth it out, it was the only way!


And bake for 20 – 25 minutes – Angela says make sure you bake for no more than 25 minutes, i did mine bang on 25 minutes, she also suggesting letting cool for approx 30 minutes i think then popping into the freezer to set for 30 minutes, i didnt do this, i just let it cool naturally and then cut


When cut into 16 piece (which is pretty small – but personally i dont think you need the pieces any bigger) its 135 cals per square.


These are heavy and doughy and claggy and really really stick to the roof of your mouth, theres nothing light about these, but you know what thats what brownies are all about – you want light and moist you bake a cake, you want doughy and claggy you bake brownies!


Coming up: cookies recipe, more Teapigs reviews and the New Blog Celebratory Giveaway!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

I am a baking machine!


Evening all!

Have you missed me! i had a fab night out last night! the best i’ve had in a long time! there was 10 of us went out, 5 couples, one of the girls is one of my BFF’s i’ve not seen her in soooo long! it was Catherine i went to Ayia Napa with when I met Buddy (for those of you that dont know I met Buddy on holiday 6 years ago!).  Well Buddy and Catherines boyfriend got on like a house on fire.

Buddy and I have been talking about booking out holiday for July pretty soon, and we’ve been saying we fancied going with some friends this time, turns out Catherine and Darren have been having the same thoughts lately, so we decided why not go back to Ayia Napa (our first holiday – other than honeymoon obviously) as a married couple to go back to Ayia Napa would be awesome and also to go with Catherine and Darren would be awesome! a little reunion of sorts! so we’re all psyched and ready to book it soon! EXCITING!!

The meal last night was a total FAIL! the menu was a horror story, everything was deep fried or in batter or pastry of some kind! i asked if they could do me a chicken breast with some veg etc, and apparently no they couldn't accommodate! so i ordered the vegetarian sweet and sour with carrots, pineapple and onions and cripsy veg parcels and rice, minus the parcels! it arrived and was ewwwww, like a whole bag of sweetener had been used in the sauce! i couldnt eat it, so i had some of the rice and some boiled veg from the tables veg bowls.  RANK! soooo unaccommodating!  that was all i had, no started and no drinks (as i was driving) but because we split the bill and agreed to split the bill for the girl who’s birthday it was, i winded up paying £20 for that terrible rice and veg! total FAIL!

I did however have a fabulous time, so much fun to hook up with my BFF, and her boyfriend, and a whole load of other couples we didnt know so well.  Confession time, i broke the rules and had 5 gin and slim line tonics! i kept it really slow and was under an immense amount of peer pressure to keep pace with everyone else, i reckon they each had around 15 drinks each, so i was pretty proud of myself! not a hang over in sight this morning (well for me anyway, Buddy can’t say the same – he’s been one sick puppy all day!) i kept within calorie allowance for the evening though, so its OK, i’ll let myself off, oh and i was in bed for 2am, unlike the rest of the crew who i hear were up past daylight this morning!

I suffered alot of peer pressure for my easy going drinking and some stick too BUT i got a tonne of compliments about how i looked and how much weight i’ve lost and some of the girls were a bit in awe of my new healthy lifestyle and will power!

Right then lets get to the good bit, the pics!

Bfast yesterday – podge, peach, natural yoghurt, flaked almonds and a little agave, this is the first time i had yoghurt on podge and man it was gooood!


Lunch was some ikea crispbreads, houmous, strawbs, bluebs, peas and runner beans, i tried to keep things light yesterday and cut out snacks to save cals for last night, i also did a mega hike earning 500 cals, it worked well huh!


Yesterday afternoon i had done all the house work and was showered and hair done for going out and found myself with a couple of hours to spare so i made some healthy fudgy vegan brownies, recipe to follow this week, they are beeeeeautiful! this recipe is a keeper!

The space would be quality control at its finest!


Then i finished getting ready to go out

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Buddy and I and Catherine – the statutory funny faces! i believe were shouting “Ayia Napa” for the camera!


Today I felt great, no hangover, a little fuzzy this morning and quite tired all day but otherwise great! HUGE improvement from the year ago me! i’d have had those 15 drinks and a greasy deep fried meal stayed up , thrown up all day Sunday, suffered a 4 day hangover, felt off balance all week, strayed off plan for at least 3 days, and wondered why the scales weren’t being friendly! HUGE STEP FORWARD for little me!

Today i arose at the ridiculously late hour of 10am and had some podge, peaches and almonds


Lunch time was a nutritious fail but still within cals



A small cheese scone, home made and delivered by my sister – who am I to say no!


After lunch I made Buddy some chocolate chip muffins (recipe to follow this week)


Raspberry breakfast muffins ( i *think* these were a fail – but we’ll see tomo at breakfast – if their good i’ll share the recipe)


I also made some tropical nut oaties, i forgot to picture, but their awesome, pics and recipe to follow mid week.

Dinner was a monster plate of veg – to make up for lunch – butternut squash, parsnip and carrots roasted and french beans, runner beans, peas and broccoli steamed with a sprinkle of cheese. – hmmmmm twas perfect!


And for dessert a peach and a small apple.


We had a Dexter season 3 marathon tonight – arghhh i frickin love Dexter! and now i’m off to the land of Nod.

I hope everyone had a good wknd!

Have you been on your holidays this year? are you still to get away? anywhere nice? we are itching for our honeymoon now, and are pretty lucky that just 8 months after our honeymoon we’ll be going away again!

Coming up: lots of yummy recipes and the Teapigs giveaway.

Nyt all, much love! <3 <3 <3 xoxo

Friday, 27 August 2010

Eating Out


Evening all! hows your wknd kicking off? good i hope!

Sorry for my absence last night i spent the evening with my mum, having dinner and watching movies! you gotta love a bit of mum time!! especially when you have a poorly tum, theres no better place to be than on mums couch with a blanky!

So i wanted to talk a bit about eating out first of all, what with the big Boot Camp Challenge under way and the final wedding push in full flow, i want to be mindful when eating out.  Eating out isn’t something we do a whole lot of at the mo, what with saving for the wedding, BUT this week i’m eating out twice, once tomo night with a large group of friends, and again on Monday lunch time to celebrate a colleagues 50th.  So for Monday, we’re going to a pretty posh place for lunch, i looked at the menu and there was nothing that suited me on there, so i rang up and asked if they could prepare me something special, they put me onto the head chef, i told him i was vegan (i figured the best bet to getting a healthy but lovely meal) and could he prepare me something special that was healthy….Well he was delighted i’d rang up, and said he would enjoy the challenge and get me some lovely fresh veggies in and prepare me a nice meal! i was delighted!!!

I then rang the place we’re going tomo night (not so posh) and asked if they would prepare me a vegan meal, and was told by the dippy waitress “ummm i think you’ll really struggle here, we dont really DO vegan!” OMG just think if i was actually vegan and was here on holiday OUTRAGEOUS!! so anyway i figured i would offer myself up as the designated driver to ease the problem of transport and keep me away from alcohol (which i had vowed not to have any till the Hen night anyway), as soon as i’d offered i felt a slight panic, what if i wanted to drink when we got there? theres a large group of us going out, what if i feel out of place not drinking!? but then i hushed myself and reminded myself of Boot Camp and THE DRESS etc etc, and figured this was the perfect excuse to exercise some self control and bring on feeling of sainthood! also i’ll be up and working out early on sunday fresh as a daisy whilst everyone else is a tad groggy huh!

Next on the agenda, is a quick review of BOOT CAMP


  1. 6 workout per week – i did really really well with this since the beginning of Boot Camp up until Tuesday, i did the full programme of Insanity every day with one rest day, i did sooo well but i was rained off on Tuesday with a dodgy tummy, resulting in my not being able to be far from the bathroom for a few days! as a result i had tues/wed/thurs off! Fail! but i  think it’s excusable.
  2. 4 of which insanity – complete – all of my workout have been insanity!


  1. Count the calories – all the calories and KEEP within the allowance, every day, not most of the time, EVERY DAY!  - Complete!
  2. Drink Protein shakes on work out days  - A high five complete – i’m pretty proud of this one! as there have been days i’ve wanted to use those cals for other stuff but have had a little chat to myself and had the protein shake!
  3. Assess, daily, my levels of fat, carbs and protein intake, to ensure its bang on track! – bang on target
  4. Cut alcohol out completely for the next 9 weeks, apart from 2 nights for the hen wknd and 1 night for my works night out. – complete so far so good.

So all thats pretty good! However i stayed the same at weigh in this week! NO IDEA WHY! i hope its something to do with my tummy being poorly! i cant think of any other reason!

Bfast yesterday was a banana, bluebs and half a mango, i haven’t had many bananas since switching to cal counting, i think thier kinda high in cals for what you get, so this was a nice change.


And the usual breakfast pumpkin muffin


Mid morning yesterday i went away from my desk and when i came back i found someone had kindly left me a biscuit! not cool though guys! everyone i work with knows about my big wedding push! someone tried to sabotage me! was a bit too kind though!  i think it was an oaty biscuit.  look at the size of it, thats a regular post it pad its hanging off the edge of there!

So i looked at it and thought i dont want you, i bet your about 250 cals at least! i’m going to leave you sitting there for a while then i’m going to throw you in the bin!


It didn’t even look that appetizing! the old me would have eaten it anyway, and sod the calories, its only one biscuit right! WWWWWRONG!! thats what got me into this pickle in the first place!

So after about 30 minutes i picked it up to put it in the bin and LOOK.AT.WHAT.I.FOUND!!!

look at the state of the post it! so much grease! from just 30 mins of the biscuit sitting there!




It even went through to the second page! i just dont want that crap in my system! i threw it in the bin in disgust! feeling like i’d earned a sainthood in the process! it wasn’t a difficult decision though once i saw the post it!


I snacked on this baby instead!


Lunch was some squash stew – it was OK, not brilliant, i’ll work on it some more before i share the recipe.


And a food doctor pitta


Mid afternoon was a couple of those perfect plums!


I went to my mums for dinner last night, we attempted the artichoke, she boiled it for approx 20 minutes, and served it with a butter dipping sauce, i tried a leaf and didnt like it.


I was promised goodness at the heart of it! it didnt deliver though! you apparently have to take off all the hair before you get to the heart, ewww!


We did that only to find a flat ukky looking thing under it that was tough, like tyre! i dont know if we didnt cook it long enough or what but seriously the whole thing just made me feel icky! i mean who discovered this! who discovered which bits you do and dont eat! they must have been pretty desperate to try it out! needless to say i dont think i’ll be visiting artichoke again anytime soon!!



I did have a large portion of this garden salad

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And about half of my mums home made parmesan and courgette pasty. (all within cals!)


Today’s breakfast was a quick muffin and a peach, nothing fancy today, i’d just finished an awesome session of insanity and had a big to do list to deal with so i munched on the go.


Lunch was an unpictured PB sandwich and some roasted broccoli


Dinner tonight was a lovely Friday night treat, we’ve not had enchiladas for like ever! so i got some whole wheat wraps and off we go!

Onions, peppers and shredded chicken thighs


A jar of enchilada sauce and spice mix


wraps spread with extra spiced refried beans


with the spiced chicken mix and added sweetcorn on top


Wrapped up in their little blankets and tucked in to bed (budge up make room for one more!)


All snuggled up under enchilada sauce and grate cheese


And baked till golden and chewy!! OH MY.


Serve (2 for me, 3.5 for him) a slice of garlic bread for me and the rest of a mini baguette for him, and a little salad on the side! OH MY.

Goshmeeshers its good to be back on the exercise wagon and be able to “afford” (cal wise) a special meal!


Right then i’m off to hang out with my two favourites!

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And a little teaser to come: The lovely folks at Teapigs sent me a little package of goodies to celebrate the new blog name! some samples for me to try out and review and couple of full size boxes for me to giveaway to you lovely readers!

Stay tuned, i’ll be kicking the giveaway off next week.


Question:  How do you deal with eating out? not for big special occasions but just sociable eating out?

Coming soon: Teapigs reviews and Giveaways.

Nyt peeps, much love <3 <3 <3 xoxo