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‘Food Stuff’ Category

  1. How do!

    February 20, 2015 by rachy

    Ey up!

    So it’s Feb 2015. It’s been a nice year so far in many ways, none of them very exciting. Am still happily going to SW. Christmas was interesting and I struggled to get the Xmas weight off so I started SW again and cleared all my history off and started again. It feels like it took the pressure off a bit. 

    This week is half term holiday from school. Which I was really looking forward to, LT hadn’t been off school in ages. Oh, hang on that’s not right! The week before this holiday he was in Monday, off Tuesday and Wednesday and back in Thursday, then they had a teacher training day on Friday. Ahhh one day he will manage a full week/month/term at school. Poor thing had Conjuntivitis this time. It was not fun for him or infact for us. Have you ever tried to get a very head strong 5 year old to wash their hands constantly and to not touch their eyes? Thank heavens for the Hulk shaped soap dispenser! However he is back to normal and has been bouncing away as usual for most of the week. (Though not right now, thankfully he is in bed right now. *content sigh*) 

    My parents came down on Sunday and we went to a local Carvery for dinner. Which could have been better quality. In fact it was quite a shame, we’ve eaten there a few times and never been disapointed. This time it was Valentines weekend and there was some sort of sport on, so we suspect they weren’t as fully booked as usual and the quality of veggies reflected that. The meat was scrummy though! After food we all trotted over to Tesco for some goodies and then hiked home to relax and watch a film. Mum had knitted a teddy for LT, he had called her recently and said something on the lines of “Grandma? If I am really well behaved with Mummy in Cardiff can you knit me a teddy please?” And Grandma said yes. So of course LT reels off the instructions for what he wants out of this teddy. “Can it be rainbow please? If not rainbow, yellow and if it can’t be yellow can it be bright green? and if it can’t be bright green can it be dark green?” (this was repeated for a few colours.) Well she did it. And it came to live with us this weekend. As soon as he got up on Monday morning it was demanded that the teddy got dressed. Because of course a naked bear simply isn’t on! So LT decided that this new bear needed to wear the Else Frozen dress he had bought at Christmas for his new Build a Bear animal. And here he/she is! I think you will all agree that is an awesome bear! (Thank you very much Mama! It’s been every where with him this week.)


    Monday morning we went to the pub for breakfast to meet my parents, and lovely Welshtroll had the day booked off work so it was quite nice for us all to be together. After that we drove off to Cwmbran where we wandered round the shops for a while before heading into the worlds oddest cafe and confusing the staff with what should have been a very simple order. I think I can safely say that I shall never visit that place again, partly because I don’t think they would want us back and partly because the prices and food were not equal to each other. Though we did discover a new artist that we intend to buy some prints from. Though I can’t link you to the chap at the moment because we intend to buy one for a friend who has a bday soon and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. After our wander we headed to my parents hotel room to shove some stuff in there and then off to Blackwood to see the Shaun the Sheep movie which was super fun! After that we went out to the Otter for dinner and then home. Tuesday morning Welshtroll was back at work, LT and I met with my parents for breakfast and then they were off on their travels and then home. LT and I pottered about the house for a while and then it was off to his swimming lesson which he enjoyed, though I suspect he liked seeing his friends more than the lesson itself. 

    Wednesday went by in a blur, we popped out to get some of the new SW meals from iceland but I don’t think we did anything more exciting than that. Then Thursday dawned, we did LT’s homework, read some books, played games and then in the afternoon we went to our local theatre to see a magic show. It was only an hour long and it was good fun. They had some kids up on stage to help them and they gave them balloon animals as rewards and then had the gumption to have enough balloons for ALL the children in the audience. They were also selling magic sets which LT desp wanted and at £2 I didn’t have the heart to argue. So far he’s turned our cat into a Unicorn and an Owl with the magic wand and he’s made a friend better after she was poorly. (Though the magic takes 10 days to kick in for that one.) SW weigh in last night and then we move onto today which wasn’t overly exciting. The morning at home then off to my in laws for a couple of hours. An ice cream van drove by while we were there and we were treated to the biggest 99’s I have ever seen care of my FIL. Gosh that was lovely. I was mean and sent a picture of it to Welshtroll. I feel no remorse muahaha!


    This weekend Welshtroll will be doing his driving lessons and I shall be sorting the school uniforms out but not a lot more. Though my sister has asked me to do a stag picture for her so I shall spend some time on that. I have decided to take part in the “Diva Challenge” this week, which my mother often does. You can find the picture over at my crafty page. I can’t think of much more to say at the moment. 

    Thanks for reading and have a nice evening! *Slurps tea*

  2. World o slim!

    August 22, 2014 by rachy

    For a while now I have been going to slimming world as some of you may know. I have rather enjoyed it, it’s as not difficult as I thought it would be. They explained the in’s and outs of it, the do’s and don’t’s and none of it seemed to be too scary. It took a couple of weeks to get the hang on things but it was going well from the start. In that first week I lost 6lb, which is great, it would have got me slimmer of the week, but because they sort of expect you to loose quite a chunk in the first week they leave it until the second week to put you in for that sort of thing, which makes sense. My next loss was good too, 4.5lb so very pleased that within 3 weeks of joining I had lost 10.5lb. The next I had another 2lb off and the following week I didn’t loose anything but I did maintain my weight. So in my first month I managed a 12.5lb loss and was lucky enough to get slimmer of the month. I felt and still feel rather proud of that. 

    It makes such a massive difference going to a group and sitting and talking about things, doing this with other people who are in situations similar to mine. I have done various diets before and although they’ve worked they never did much after the first month and there certainly wasn’t the support there with them for real life stuff. Being able to talk to folk online is all well and good but sometimes a real world connection is needed. The people in my group are very nice, in various stages of their weight loss goals and are so supportive of each other, it’s lovely.  In fact it’s nothing like I imagined it to be. I thought it would be daunting and people would judge you. I thought they would announce your weight at each weigh in, I thought everyone would see the dreaded numbers come up, I thought there would be a shaming type thing going on. I couldn’t have been more wrong honestly! You go in, you hand your card over and it logs you at the meeting, you pay your money over, then you go and get weighed. (And of course you come to group in light clothes and take your shoes off. I make sure that I’ve been to the loo for a 2 before group, TMI I know BUT I stick by my theory that it works!!) Once you’ve weighed, you put your piece of fruit in the bowl that is awarded to slimmer of the week at the end of the session. Then you have a sit and a natter with the people there, you look at the snacks, books, magazines and recipes that are there. The lady running the group (she’s bouncy and lovely) goes around the group and talks about how we’ve done, though she doesn’t say “Oh! You’ve put on 3lb this week!” or anything like that. She tells us how much the person has lost that week, we clap, or how much total loss is and we clap, how hard people have tried etc. We clap a lot, at first I didn’t really feel comfy with it if I’m honest. It felt silly to me, but it’s not, not at all. I understand now, you praise and celebrate all the good points, and you encourage people to keep going and keep trying. It doesn’t matter if someone has gained or had a bad week, you move on and keep going. We discuss what we could have done better, what our downfalls are and of course we don’t focus on the negative totally, we talk about what things we can use to make things easier, what we like to make or eat. The group helps each other, suggests things and supports themselves so well. (Though often conversations go off on a good tangent, which usually lead to giggles all round.) It’s a nice feeling being there. I am so glad I joined. (Another good reason to go is you get stickers and certificates! How awesome is that? As an adult where can you get STICKERS as a reward?! If I had been told years ago that I got stickers and free tea if I went to SW I would have been off down there to sign up in a flash!)

    I went up to Yorkshire for 2 weeks, so I had a week off of group (though kept eating healthily, and then would arrive home in time to go to the following group. The second week of my stay was not quite as healthy as the first. But you know what? I had treat, and they felt like treats. The difference between eating junk and crap all the time and having it now and then really is that it feels like a treat and it becomes so much more enjoyable. My Thurs night dinner has become Steak, Syn-free chips, veg and I have a bottle of fruit cider throughout the evening. Then my dessert that night is a Galaxy Ripple bar. My god it feels and tastes like heaven. I don’t use many of my 15 daily Syn points. I don’t want to, so this is just world stoppingly good! I came back to weigh in expecting to have either maintained my weight (at best!) or to have gained. And after a lovely week and treaty food that would have been fine, I would have moved on and started again. However I was pleased and shocked to find I had lost 1lb. That may not be much but it was more than I thought would happen. 

    Well last night was my SW weigh in night, and I wanted to loose 1/2lb which would have taken me up to a stone lost. This would have given me my second certificate to stick up on the fridge. And more stickers for the back of my book. I have had quite a good week. One thing I have discovered that works better for me is to not snack. I have breakfast, lunch and dinner. All healthy, all good size portions. I haven’t felt hungry in-between my meals at all so far. In fact the only time I have got peckish when it wasn’t a meal time is on nights where I stay up until 2am. At which point I just go to bed rather than having snacks just before sleep. So I’ve been sticking to my plan this week, it’s the first week I haven’t written a food diary and I thought that I would have lost my 1/2lb. I also said that if I didn’t I would be chopping off a limb! So in we go, hand our card over. (I don’t pay at the moment as I bought 6 weeks for the price of 5.) Then it’s shoes off, deep breaths and on the scales. 

    Last night I swear to you, you could have knocked me over with a (weighty) feather! I thought the scales were broken or something. I looked at the ladies gadget and thought “nah that’s not right” What I was seeing didn’t make sense. I had found it more difficult to loose my last 1.5lb toward my stone than any of the rest of it. So this was very confusing. The lady looks at me, the lady behind me in the line looks at me. I am totally confused. I had lost a whopping 8.5lb since last Thursday nights weigh-in. How is that possible? I don’t know, but it was! That’s a total loss of 1 stone 8lb. Off I go to sit down and wait for our group natter. In which I’m not only presented with my 1 stone certificate but my 1.5 stone certificate too. I felt super embarrassed and a tad proud too. It felt nice to know that doing this was making a difference to me and that other people thought I was doing well too. At the end of the group I was then presented with a Slimmer of the Week certificate and the bowl of fruit that comes as your prize. I came home to tell Big Troll who was pleased with me and for me, and Little Troll who had been allowed a late night playing on his games on my computer while I was out said that he was “Very proud of me for winning the mummy competition and he wouldn’t ever sell me.” I think you can all appreciate the weight that took off my mind, which of us don’t worry that our children wont sell us eh?

    So yes! That is me feeling a little smug and a lot happy, as well as being rather hopeful that I can continue to loose weight in a nice healthy way- even if in a smaller weekly number!


    Take care all! xox

  3. Pies, pies and pies! (And bread)

    March 13, 2013 by rachy

    A while since my last post, though this isn’t the first one I’ve written. I have done several and not quite finished any so not published them. So that makes me only semi-rubbish.

    I don’t really have anything super interesting to report at the moment.

    Little Troll seems to be enjoying nursery and is coming on nicely, though it seems he doesn’t like to listen or do as he’s told, but then again what 3 year old/boy/child does?

    I’ve got some new toys on their way to my house at the mo! My birthday pressy from my parents and hubby troll, a Big Shot Die Cutter, I am VERY excited about it.

    Today I am going to show off some of my baking/cooking goodies. I seem to be getting rather good with pastry!

    This is my Gammon, Chicken and Leek pie. Made with smoked gammon, and it was utterly mouthgasmish.

    Brief recipe:

    Chop up a couple of gammon steaks and a couple of chicken breasts,

    Soften leeks and onion in a pan.

    Get a bowl put diced meat, leeks and onions plus some sausage meat and an egg.

    Season then stir it all together.

    Make up basic pastry (200g flour, 110g butter, splash of water, X2) then put it in the fridge to cool.

    When cooled roll out, line a greased tin with the pastry, fill with meaty goodness and put a pastry top on it.

    Pinch it to seal the top and give it an egg brush. Needs about 2hours cooking on about 180c degrees.

    Two lots of bread I made yesterday, just basic white bread recipe (500g strong flour, 300ml water, 2tblsp oil 7g yeast) and chopped into balls and put in a pie tin to cook instead of a bread tin. Rather satisfying, looks nice and makes good tear and share bread

    This is the same recipe as above but cooked in a bundt tin, looks nice but breaks easily because it doesn’t have the middle bit to hold it together. I intend to do this recipe again very soon but use slightly less oil and add crispy bacon bits into the dough. See how that works out!

    Blaenau Gwent-20130313-00697

    The first picture here is my first attempt at Bara Brith. The outside was a little harder than I would have liked but it tasted amazing. The second picture is my most recent attempt and it was glorious. Moist, rich and not too hard on the outside, though the brown sugar in the mix give it a nice toffee-ish-ness to the outside.

    This is a link to the recipe I use,

    However you might like to add some nuts or different dried fruits, I suspect this would taste good with dried blueberries and cranberries. The fact that you have to soak the fruit in tea just sells this to me everytime!

    The other things I’ve made today are a Corned beef Pie and a Giant Chicken and Veg Pot Pie. Both have turned out quite well. Really pleased with the pastry, nice and crisp and just the right amount of crumble to it when you bite into it.

    Blaenau Gwent-20130313-00700

    This is similar to the recipe I used for the Corned Beef pie, though I used Hendersons/Worchester Sauce instead of ketchup and a squirt of tomato puree.

     The Chicken pie is literally just:

    Onion, celery, carrot diced and fried till soft.Fry diced chicken breast till cooked then mix together, crumble a stock cube (veg or chicken) and pour a little boiling water on then mix, season and tip into a baking dish and put a pastry top on. Milk or egg wash then bake till golden, 30-45mins tops.

    Blaenau Gwent-20130313-00703


    So that’s some of my recent cooking adventures. Am still loosing weight, more slowly now but that suits me fine. For St David’s day the kids dressed up for newpaper photos and Little Troll was in it, he is of course the only child not looking at the camera…. well done Little Troll.

     st davids arrow

    Looking forward to visiting my parents and some friends in a few weeks up in Yorkshire. Had an appointment to discuss my next arm operation, which they have said will be 6 months, which as you can imagine I’m thrilled about! However the doctor did say he would put me down as Urgent, so it may be sooner, who knows?


    That’s me done for the night, nothing more to report at the mo.

    Take care all.