Christmas Cookies and an Accidental Mile

Yesterday I baked my own body weight in Christmas cookies. Three types of dough: gingerbread, chocolate-dip chocolate-chip dough balls and various chocolate dipped sugar cookies (in festive Christmas shapes.) The family were pleased to say the least. And I got one hell of an upper arm workout. If there is one thing I have an edge on, it is baking cookies. Hope they were well received 🙂

In running news, Monday was the most horrible run I have ever embarked upon. I was excited to go for my run and started out on my usual 2 mile route, same as always. Then about a mile in, I had to stop. Okay, I think, quick walking break and I’ll be fine. Then I start and have to stop again. Eventually I am so disheartened, I plod home, fit to cry. Because all my black and white brain could think was “You can’t run anymore. Fail on you.”

Yesterday I was afraid to run, lest there was a repeat incident. So I made do with an hour of intervals. Today, I wasted half my morning just trying to make myself do something, anything, because I was in one of those moods where everything seems like too much effort. I though about going to the gym but the thought of walking there seemed excruciating. So eventually I plucked up the courage to go out for another run. But this time, I would do a new route. Basically, I ran to the very back of the industrial estate and back. In-there-abouts of three miles. In what Dad later informed me was -10 degrees. Lovely. My face couldn’t move. High on endorphins, I sealed all the goodness in with an hour of yoga before I got ready for work. 🙂

So I suppose the lesson here is not to give up so easily. Or maybe, one should change their running route before the thought of the old one makes you want to die.

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Kate’s Awesome Wheat Free Yeast Free Pizza

“I could murder a pizza,” says I.

Why, asked Little Sister.

Why? Because I haven’t had a pizza in 3 years. Mmmm allergies. That’s why.

So I whipped up this. Note: my first time ever making pizza. And it didn’t come out half bad, all things considered.

Ingredients:

  • 120g self raising wheat free flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • around 100ml water, depending
  • oregano
  • pepper
  • chili
  • basil
  • 2 rashers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 slice cheese (I used Dutch Gouda. And I only had one slice left. Use as much cheese as you want.)
  • 3/4-1 cup arriabatta sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp onion relish

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celius and oil a baking tray.
  2. Mix flour, salt and oil in a bowl and gradually add water to form a dough. You want the dough to be slightly stickier than is necessarily comfortable. Trust me.
  3. Plop your sticky dough straight onto the tray and spread out with your hands. I advise flouring up your hands before you start. This is messy work. You could form a shape before you put it on the tray but I knew that this would end in my epic failure. And more cleaning. Not fun.
  4. When you have the dough to your preferred thickness (I did a very thin base which crisped up really nicely,) place in the oven for around 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, prepare everything else. First off, the sauce. Put onion relish, tomato puree and arriabata sauce in a ramekin (or anything. I’m not fussed.) and give it a good stir.
  6. Chop up your tomatoes, slice p your cheese into thin strips and tear up your rashers however you like.
  7. After 10 minutes, take your base out of the oven. Spread sauce generously. I love sauce. So there was lots. Next came the tomatoes, the bacon and finally, the cheese on top.
  8. Give the pizza a good grind of black pepper, a touch of basil, however much chili you can handle and a liberal amount of oregano. Oregano is pizza’s BFF.
  9. Place back in the oven for 15 more minutes.
  10. Offer to your family before nomming a substantial part of it yourself.

Worth the three year wait? I think so.

Kate’s Awesome Wheat Free Tuna Melt

Flicking through the many cookbooks we had picked up in the library turned out to be quite the muse for culinary experimentation. Well, nothing impressive or complex (we are still only students in student accomodation. With limited utensils.) but man, did I get one daaaaaaaaycent dinner out of it 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 can tuna
  • 3 ryvita
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce (or any sauce. Most people would use mayo I suppose. But I think sweet chili sauce should go on everything.)
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped onion (you can leave this out, I just really like onion)
  • 2 triangles Laughing Cow Extra Light Cream Cheese (or any cheese. But I will explain later why the cream cheese is extra amazing.)
  • All the salad-y things you want for a side dish

Recipe

  1. Stick on the grill.
  2. Drain the tuna and put in a bowl. Add in the chopped onion and chili sauce and mix up really well with a fork.
  3. Lay out three ryvita on a grill-safe plate and spoon the tuna mix all over.
  4. Slice up the triangles of cheese into smaller bits and lay on top of the tuna.
  5. Put the plate under the grill for about 5 minutes (maybe more, I wasn’t really timing.)
  6. Whilst this is happening, make your salad or whatever side dish you are jonesing for.
  7. When the ryvita and tuna are just a little browner, then its all ready!

What you will notice is that the cream cheese doesn’t look melted. This is all part of the process. Because once you cut into that creamy gold, it is melted inside. Win.

Or should I say om nom nom nom….

Je Veux Etre Femme Au Foyer…

Well, not really. But I have become quite the domestic goddess in the last three days. Cooking, cleaning, sweeping, recycling, who’da thunk it? A buttload of chinese food does’t hurt either. Although apparently the argument “How many fat chinese people do you know?” doesn’t necessarily carry…

So I quite enjoy living alone (Well, I say alone, but Sister is here too.) Its quiet and I get tons of work done.  And can leave my folders hither and thither without guilt. Although the temptation just to stay in bed in the mornings is a hindrance…

Also there’s something about knowing that the rents aren’t around to pick up after you that gives you an impulsive urge to give the cupboards a logical and organised layout 😀 Or maybe that’s just me.

Now, off to check those towels I have drying…

As a side note, colours day tomorrow. Hate all my clothes. So when in doubt, ground tissue. I mean, white shirt.

J’aime Manger…

In the words of Bridget Jones, “The way some people know the alphabet or times tables, I know calories.” The classic quote of the classic yo-yo dieter – and one which I often find myself uttering, while I struggle to remember what seven times eight is. Some days are perfectly controlled and others (such as today) are beautifully fat. I filled out a rough version of my CAO form today which is my exucse, but normally I wouldn’t have one.

But I can’t help it, I just love food. In the process of writing answers for our Scrudu Cainte in Irish class the other day, one of my answers included Is iad mo caitheamh aimsire ná leitheorieacht, an idirlion, ag suil agus ag ithe*… I rest my case. When I was younger, although not a picky eater, I had my rules. No cauliflower, no mushrooms, no ham out of a packet, etc, etc. Nowadays, if it doesn’t kill me, I will throw it down my gullet. I specify “doesn’t kill me” because of that large list of allergies (I said I was a nerd didn’t I?)

I can cook. Kind of. I make killer pancakes. Wheat free of course. 🙂 But I can’t make anything really outstanding. Dad’s trying to teach me. This time next year I’ll be living off stir frys and frozen veg. One thing I’m determnined to master, though, is chowder, the ultimate of all comfort food. No amount of chocolate or chips can compare. When I was a kid, it was delightfully referred to in our house as Daddy’s Fish Surprise. Over the years, ingredients have been adjusted, variations made and undone, names changed, yet the awesomeness of it all still remains. I would attempt to write up the recipe but I know I’d just get it wrong. So Dad, if you’re looking for blog ideas… When I perfect, I’ll post. Until then, Bon Appetit.

*For all you non-Gaeilgeoirs, ag ithe means eating.

The Art of Oatmeal

Between setting up RSS feeds on my phone (yeah, they finally got me) and watching My Wife and Kids with my mom, it dawned on me to make another attempt at porridge. I must point out that an incident with my sister, some butter and an essential kitchen utensil a few months ago ended in the household becoming microwave-less. Needless to say, my cooking skills still require a little honing. My first try (yesterday morning) was veering in on disastrous. Today, not so bad. And so, I present the Three Golden Rules of  Porridge-Making or The Art of Oatmeal.

Golden Rule #1 – A Big Enough Pot is Essential

This lends itself to rule #2, but basically, oats expands. Quite some bit.

Golden Rule #2 – No Will & Grace Re-Run is More Important Than Watching the Pot

The bag may say simmer for 10 minutes but stepping away from the stove ends up in a mini-explosion. My bad.

Golden Rule #3 – Turn DOWN the heat

Keeping the heat on 5 all the time just ended in milk skin. Which is tough to scrub off after the aforementioned explosion.

 

Today, my only mistake was making a double serving. I’ll be all learned-up before I leave for college. 12 months is enough time, right? Right?!

 

UPDATE: Porridge was spot on today. Oh yeah.