Sunday, 2 April 2017

Tom Kerridge Dopamine Diet - Book Review

Update: I've lost 12lb!!!

Love, love, love Tom Kerridge. His recipes and television shows are a delight to watch and to eat. Our Christmas turkey has been based on Tom's recipe for the last three years. So it was with great anticipation that I bought this diet book. I have to admit that it also arrived at a time that I needed to loose some weight. Too many puddings were sitting heavily on my hips and waist.

The huge advantage of this book is that it comes from the prospective of a chef rather than from a dietitian. So the emphasis is on the taste of the food rather than from a tick list of  ingredients that happen to be low in calories. Tom Kerridge claims that this book will make you feel happy and to date I have not eaten one of the meals and not felt happy. 

I started using this book to make soups for lunch and Tom has given recipes for soups that are quick to make and delicious to eat.

I have made his chorizo, cabbage and kale soup. This may not be a looker but it tasted delicious which is what we all want when we are on a diet. It was filling and I have to be honest when I say this, not at all what you might expect from a diet soup. It was thick and really did what you book claims as it made me feel very happy and not at all deprived.

If you like omelettes, then this is also the book for you as there are omelettes a plenty. They are wonderful standby for lunch. A good way to fill up and avoid eating bread! Where Tom Kerridge is particularly clever is that he uses his omelette as a substitute base for pizza toppings. What is not to like about pepperoni pizza omelette and quattro stagioni omelette?

The meat section will have you drooling. There are marvellous mince curries and hot pots with clever substitutes for potatoes and will make you think that this cannot be a diet book.

A big test of the book is that my husband, who never needs to diet, drat him, eats all of the food with real relish and does not feel at all deprived. I just add rice or potatoes to his plate.

It is, however, important to remember that this book does not give you menus or weeks plans. It is a cook book and all the better for it.

The bottom line is that I have already lost half a stone in two months without feeling that I am on a diet. Before you throw up your hands in horror and say is that all, I have not starved myself, I have been full and I am happy this it is going down. I only have a stone to loose in total. Half way there then.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Let's Knit a Cute, Soft Rabbit

I have three grandchildren and it really is not possible to make for one without the other three wanting the same or similar. So when I made the rabbit with the pink spotty dress, the other two put in their orders. 

For my little grandson, I have decided to make a boy rabbit complete with clothes. The rabbit is finished but the clothes will arrive within a couple of days. I need some black and grey wool and I, amazingly enough, don't have any. This does come as a surprise to me as I have a lot of bits of wool floating around this house. 

The picture shows the new addition to the warren. I've seated the two rabbits together so that you can see the difference in their sizes. Surprisingly the larger rabbit only took 50g of yarn. That's pretty good value for such a sweet toy.

I'm sure that by now you will want to know more. 

Let's start with the pattern. It came from a back copy of 'Let's Knit' magazine. You can see this magazine, while it's still live on this link:

I started by knitting all of the pieces and I've set them out below. I really had to force myself to do this as I am usually a kit a piece and sew it up as I go along kind of girl. 

I did get around to the sewing and here's the first leg.

The head. I thought that this was too small at first but it sewed and stuffed up to a good size. On reflection, if I made it again, I would make the head a bit bigger. By that I mean I would put in a few extra rows rather than stitches, It needs to be longer, not wider.

For stuffing, I used my trusted pillow stuffing and made sure to put plenty in. if you want this toy to sit up you can't make it too floppy.

Did you see my earlier post? The one where I knitted a cute soft rabbit using the Julie Williams pattern that I bought from her web site? If you missed it you can find it here. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Low Carb, Chorizo, Cabbage and Kale Soup

Low carb food does not have to be boring . It is not only about hunks of meat and cheese. You need a fair sprinkling of veg if you are to survive all the meat and cheese and you want to eat a nutritious diet. So I spent a bit of time looking at combinations of food that I rather likes and this is yummy and satisfying bowl of comfort is the result.

The other great advantage of this soup is that you can serve it to other members of the family that don't want to eat low carb. They can have chunks of crusty bread to make a filling lunch time meal. My husband loves it and has asked for it again and again.

I promise you that you will want to lick the plate. 

So, let's get cooking.

For 4 servings you will need:

1/2 a white cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion
1 chicken stock cube
1/3 of a chorizo sausage. I buy mine from Lidl
100g of Kale. Remove the tough stalks
Grated cheddar or red Leicester cheese 
Salt and pepper

To make 

Put the oil in a large saucepan. Put on the heat and add the chopped chorizo. Cook gently until the oil starts to turn orange. I always love this part as the smell is simply divine.
Add the onions and sauce for a few minutes until the onions turn translucent.
Throw in the cumin and stir around to bring out the flavour.
Now add the cabbage and the kale. Cook slowly to sweat the vegetables. This should take a further 5 minutes. 

Make up a pint of stock with the stock cube and boiling water. Add to the pan. Turn down and cook until the cabbage and kale are tender. Approx 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you like a chunky soup you can serve the soup as it is. I prefer this soup smooth so I whizzed it up with a hand blender. Yumm.

Label out into warm bowls and pile the cheese in the centre. Or if you don't like cheese then a swirl of cream will make a rather boring looking soup smile. This is probably necessary if you are serving fussy children.

If you're in a hurry this cooks up a dream in the pressure cooker. Depending on the make of your cooker it should only take 10 minutes.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Never show your granddaughter a pretty soft toy unless you are prepared to make one. It's a good idea to read the pattern first to make sure that you have the patience. This took me far longer than I thought it would and now the other two grand children want one each. LOL.

This fabulous rabbit is made from a pattern that I bought from and is by a lovely and talented designer called Julie Williams. Here's her page.

She has lots of patterns. I have also bought the bear pattern so that will be the next one.

I have to admit that you need to know what you are doing as far as knitting is concerned. It is a bit tricky when you have to cast on so many stitches to form the shape of the head and feet. It didn't help that I used a stiff yarn that had no give in it. 

You will also see that I deviated a bit from the original pattern as I didn't have the right wool. Hence the purchase of the bear pattern. I used the feet from the pear to make the rabbit feet.