Category Archives: Food

Adventures in Food… Sweet Trees

A couple of weeks ago me and my friend Sian went on a day course for making sweet trees. They are basically centre pieces for tables or fantastic gifts to be able to give people. We made a chocolate one and a flying saucer one and it was great fun.

I don’t want to tell you exactly how we made each as it is someone’s business but they are easy to make and you could use pretty much any type of sweets on it.

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I still have the chocolate one as I gave up chocolate for lent, so am waiting to enjoy it after. I was going to give it as a gift, but couldn’t think of anyone who loves chocolate as much as I do, who also had a birthday or event coming up (such a shame). It was also fairly expensive and my friend has since been making some at home and has said getting set up to be able to make them all is not cheap. So overall a fun day and something great to learn how to do as it would be a fun and different gift to give someone.

 

Adventures in Food… Golf Course Cupcakes

Otherwise known as ‘I finally made something I found on Pinterest!’.

I decided to make my Dad a cupcake golf course for his family lunch for his 65th birthday and I was really pleased with how they came out.

I used a basic sponge recipe:

  • 6oz self raising flour
  • 6oz stork baking margarine
  • 60z caster sugar
  • teaspoon baking powder

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I then used another basic butter cream recipe for the icing – a block of butter and a box of icing sugar, with a dash of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Whizz it up for 15 minutes – yes one five (fifteen) to make it super creamy.

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I then had a selection of coloured fondant and sugars to decorate. Also food colouring and butterscotch pieces.

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I forgot to take photos once I started decorating!

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20140323-175037.jpgIt went down well and everyone liked how it was easy to pull apart and no knife was needed :)

 

Food Addiction

I was really impressed with a recent blog post by Hank over at The Business of Losing WeightYou Wouldn’t Give a Drug Addict a Cheat Day.

I am also a food addict. I’ve never thought of it that way, but food is always on my mind and I eat to comfort myself in times of extreme emotion (or any emotion really). Food it the first thing that comes to mind in the morning, and food is the last thing on my mind at night. It’s not a peaceful place to be.

The post by Hank really resonated with me. I’ve no trouble sticking to things or stopping things as long as they aren’t food related. With the below quote I thought I was actually saying it myself:

“Being addicted to food is worse than being addicted to a drug like heroin because my body NEEDS food. I can’t quit food cold turkey. I can’t detox off of food. The ONLY thing that I can do is MANAGE my addiction.”

If I could quit food completely I would avoid temptation. That is not possible. We all need food to survive. Therefore I have to go food shopping. I have to eat and put food in my mouth. I have to go out for meals with friends to have a life. Food is everywhere and therefore temptation is everywhere, so all I can do is manage my addiction. For me that means avoiding trigger foods and tracking my food intake. It also means using my CBT tools to manage my thoughts and behaviour.

“And the only way to MANAGE it is to fully embrace the idea that overcoming your addiction means changing the way you think about food and committing to living as if you truly WANT to change.”

I have to want it. I have to make Project Lifestyle what I want in order to make it sustainable and liveable forever.  I have always used cheat or treat days. I used it as something to look forward to each week. I would plan it out to make the most of it, but really it was just a binge. A behaviour I want and need to stop. The next paragraph hit me hard.

“Would you ever consider telling a drug addict that it would be ok for them to have a cheat day? A full day in which they were allowed to do whatever drugs they wanted. No? How about offering them just one cheat high? Not a full day of uncontrolled drug use, just one fix. A cheat “meal” if you will.  That would be ridiculous, right? Offering a drug addict a day to go back to their old ways would ruin every effort to help them overcome their problem.  So why should ANYONE who is grossly overweight because of their food addiction be allowed a day to cheat on their recovery?”

It would be ridiculous to offer some addicted to any kind of drug a cheat day. So why do we promote it for people who are overweight and addicted to food? I know I can undo an entire week of good work in one binge! I’m not exaggerating as I’ve done it. One binge can for me might as well have meant I’d eaten exactly what I wanted all week and not binged at the end. This next quote was a kick in the stomach and made me want to change my attitude and approach.

“Cheat” days or even meals for an obese person are a sign that someone doesn’t truly want to change themselves. They have not set aside their former self for their new and improved self.”

I want to change, therefore I have to change. There will be slip ups along the way, but that is what recovery is about. It’s not about being good or bad, but rather recognising that food, for me, is not simple. I want to eat to live, not live to eat.

My name is Angie and I’m a Food Addict.

Changes I will make:

  • Be active everyday

  • Focus on whole foods with little processing

  • Cook my own ready meals and make use of my freezer

  • Do not buy trigger foods – chocolate, cake, biscuits – anything with processed sugar

  • Try new foods – legumes and grains first

  • No more treat days – enjoy every meal for what it is and how it fuels my body

Adventures in Food… Learning to Bake Bread Part 1

 

So I have finally gotten round to baking bread and it’s going great! I started two weeks ago and have been taking my bread in for lunch everyday at work since. I started with white bread and made in in a loaf.

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I realised my yeast was slightly out of date, but went with it. This one used olive oil, which was new to me, but I liked it.

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I let it rise in the bowl and then again in the loaf tin (I should have probably let it rise a bit longer in the tin) and then dusted it with flour.

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It came out wonderfully golden brown and smelt amazing. I tried an end piece warm with some butter and it was heaven. I say I should have let it rise a bit more as it came out a denser loaf than I would have liked, but was great as doorstop ham sandwiches.

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The following week I made a crusty cob, which used butter instead of the oils form the previous bread.

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This one rose wonderfully in the bowl as I pretty much left it all day. so it came out nice and round and fluffy.

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I then shaped it into a round ball-ish shape and let rise again.

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I had to improvise a bit as my house got a bit cold, so under the radiator it went and it worked a treat.20131117-145616.jpg

I then dusted it with flour and let it bake into a wonderful golden cob. This was amazing! Lighter than the previous loaf, which meant I got more portions (2 weeks worth of sandwiches). I may have also gone a bit overboard on the yeast as realise my scales had a funny moment while weighing it out, but had already put it in the flour. But it worked out really well.

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I loved kneading the dough and letting it rise then watching it turn into bread. It was quite therapeutic really, so I’ll be carrying on working my way through the book I have and trying out different breads with different flavours.

 

Adventures in Food…Baking Cookies

For leaving my job I decided to make cookies to take in as I knew they would keep for a few days and with it being half term it meant people were off for the odd day here and there.

I decided to make two types the weekend before I left:

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My friend Ingrid introduced me to the peanut butter cookies and I’ve made them a few times now and love them. I would recommend cooking them slightly longer than directed and also adding chocolate chips is a good option.

I foudn the banana cookies on the Pastry Affiar blog and thought they would be a bit different. I think if I made them again I would keep some bigger chunks of the banana chips, rather than make it all in to flour, to add a bit on crunch. Again I also needed to cook them slightly longer – maybe it’s my oven!

I made a batch of each and throughly enjoyed baking them. The new organisation I’ll be working for is very tea and cakes friendly so I might get to do more baking over the coming year, with new testers :)

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