Some things

Oct. 6th, 2012 03:37 pm
lnr: (Default)

Item: Train tickets. Greater Anglia have sent me a voucher for £5 off train tickets - to refund my £1.20 and give me £3.80 extra for the inconvenience. I wonder if I should ask them how to use a voucher in the ticket machine :) Shelford station only has staff Monday-Friday 6am to 10:30am (I thought it closed much earlier than that actually, I'm pleasantly surprised!). They've confirmed the London Terminals ticket is OK for changing at Tottenham Hale, and said that basically if I have a similar problem again with the ticket machine there's no alternative but to pick the best ticket you can think of and then complain.

Item: Pregnancy. Still pregnant :) Definitely getting a visible bump now. Had my flu jab today, with no incident. Next appointment is my "foetal anomaly scan" at 20-weeks, aka 23rd October. Not quite definitely feeling the baby move yet - a couple of feelings that *might* be that or might just be tummy gurgles.

Item: Baking. After the success of last week's buns today I've baked cookies. Dairy-free chocolate cookies to be precise. They look rather good. Recipe.

Item: Books. I've finally finished cataloguing all the books and maps onto LibraryThing - though looking at Heather's I've been reminded there may be a knitting book lurking in a drawer with all the yarn which I've missed. There are 415 books in our catalog - and roughly 320 in the list to sell/giveaway. If you're interested there are still some books left here. At some point I shall give up and give the rest to charity though. I was particularly bemused to find there was one book which the internet entirely refused to believe exists, even though it has an ISBN, so I had to add it completely manually! This one! It feels good to be finished, but I keep wondering what to do next :)

Item: Slimming World USA. Slimming World are launching their site in the USA in earnest this month, with a "Lend a Hand" campaign which gives me the heebie-jeebies. It feels at best patronising and at worst downright insulting. However I do have to admit that Slimming World has in fact been a great plan for me in terms of losing weight, maintaining that weight loss, and even continuing to eat healthily while pregnant. I don't believe it's the *only* way to do so, or even necessarily the best. I don't believe that everyone who is overweight or obese should in fact want to or even need to lose weight. However, all that aside, if you're in the states and interested I have a referral link and you can go find out more here.

I think that's about it for now :)

Puddings

Jan. 14th, 2010 10:15 pm
lnr: (Default)

I suddenly have a lot more sympathy for dad's infamous rice pudding disaster. When the packet says in the oven for 2-3 hours at 160C, and you give it a half hour head start on the hob before putting it in the oven for just over an hour at 150C you don't expect it to be *quite* so well stuck to the dish. One small and very stodgy portion to share was very tasty, but I fear for the washing up.

Perhaps using fake sugar and half milk/half water doesn't help :)

Other news: new boiler went in this week, and our house is now toasty warm and much quieter and hopefully more efficient (Facebook people have had a blow by blow account of that already). And I went back to the hospital to talk to the doctor in the parathyroid clinic. They've taken another blood test and want to see me again in four months for another, to keep an eye on calcium levels - apparently they normally check people for about a year after surgery, but in my case as I'm very young to have had a problem they'll probably continue a bit longer.

Oh, and First Person Tetris is mind-boggling but rather fun: http://www.firstpersontetris.com/

lnr: (Default)

I cooked this on Friday for me and Mike and Karen, and promised her the recipe, so may as well post it here.

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 3 small carrots
  • 4 rashers of smoked bacon
  • 1 cup of dried red lentils
  • 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • oil or fry-light for frying
  • 1/2 a glass red wine (optional)
  • 100g chorizo - whole rather than sliced (optional)

(In this case I used 1 tsp olive oil, 75ml red wine and no chorizo, to serve 3)

Method

Peel and dice the onion, peel and finely chop the garlic, gently fry in the oil or fry-light until softening. Chop the bacon (remove fat if desired) and add to the frying pan and fry until cooked. Peel and dice the carrot into reasonably large pieces and add to the pan, along with the lentils and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. If desired add the wine and the chorizo, chopped into large dice, at this point. Add the tomatoes, season with the chilli, salt and pepper, and slowly bring to the boil. Turn down low and simmer for around half an hour until the lentils have absorbed most of the liquid and it's thick and tasty.

Serve with crusty bread or garlicy mashed potatoes (just peel a couple of cloves of garlic and chop in half and add to the water while the potatoes are boiling, and they'll mash in once cooked). This quantity serves 2-3 people, and it is even better with the chorizo as well.

lnr: (Default)

Consultant appointment today. They took my height, weight and blood pressure first - where I proved you get weird results from the automatic machine if the cuff is too small - 160/94 became 100/70 when done again manually with a bigger cuff, and she checked it 3 times, once standing up, just to make sure. Consultant took lots of medical history information and didn't say much that I didn't already know, other than to mention that actually my calcium levels are only *just* above normal, and if I were older they wouldn't bother operating, and that after surgery my bone density should go back to normal. They do want to do a DEXA scan to check bone density at three specific points (spine, hip, forearm) and I've got to collect some urine samples and have another blood test done, but if the results of those all confirm the diagnosis so far then I'll be referred to the surgeon. Should take 6-8 weeks to get an appointment to see him and then another 6-8 weeks before the operation, so I guess I'm looking at October. Oh and if the tests *don't* confirm the diagnosis I'll be back to see the consultant in 3 months time, because they only run the clinic once a month and she's not available in 2 months time. I really do hope they say the right thing, I just want to get this *over*. Still, at least I can probably now thing about booking a holiday in late August.

I also got an appointment for a CT scan for the kidney stone through this morning, and that's in a fortnight's time, and will also be relevant. I'm a little unimpressed that wasn't sooner, given that if I were still in pain I'd have to go back to the GPs for a bigger supply of painkillers. Just in case I'm getting hospital withdrawal symptoms in the meantime though I've got an appointment to give blood at the hospital's blood donation centre next week.

In other news this morning I managed to make a boiled egg explode, and cover both myself and the kitchen in egg, including the clean clothes and the clean washing up. It was *not* what I'd call a good start to the day. Don't believe Delia when she says 7 minutes is long enough for a hard-boiled egg, especially not in shallow water. And do prick the yolks *before* microwaving the resulting shelled lumps of half-cooked egg-like mess, if you're attempting to finish the cooking process off. They were fine in the microwave itself, but the one which was most whole did not react well to me cutting into it to see if it was done. Thank goodness I was wearing my glasses!

lnr: (Default)

I'm not going to try and play catch-up, mostly because I simply can't remember anything particularly exciting of late. At least until this weekend. Emily and John have finished decorating their room, so the guest room is now available for the first time, and they invited me to stay, to coincide with my birthday, or at least the nearest weekend to it.

So we arrived on Friday night to find that Steph and Dave were also staying the night, though on the living room floor. A nice curry from the local takeaway and lots of chatting and drinking ensued, with children in need on the telly as background, and us getting to bed around 1:30am.

Saturday Emily had to work, and John had taekwondo, family and football, so Steph and Dave took us off to spend the day out and about, but not before we'd had danish pastries and crumpets for breakfast. Being in Hull, and Mike not having seen it before the first stop was... The Humber Bridge. We didn't go over it in the end, as I'd thought to toll might be a bit expensive for just driving across and back, but in retrospect maybe that was a mistake. However we did walk down from the visitor area under the bridge and down to the shore, which was briskly windy and rather cool, in both senses, especially impressive when the sun came out. Then we walked back up through the trees of the country park, which was rather lovely, and kept us nice and sheltered. Then we headed into Hull and spent 45 minutes trying to get parked. Here we had time for lunch and a bit of pottering, and looking at some historic ruins, before heading over to the shiny new St Stephens shopping centre to find Mum and Dad buying shoes in Em's shop. Well OK, mum buying shoes. Steph then joined in, while I popped into New Look to find a top - it's nice to be in one that actually stocks the Inspire plus-size range. Then the six of us headed over to a rather nice pub called the White Hart for nice beer, before heading back to Em's.

Mum, dad, Steph and Dave headed off to check into a hotel for the night, while Em and John tried not to panic about the oven not working. Thankfully it eventually got up to temperature, allowing us to have a lovely 3 course dinner. Steph and Dave provided a starter of cold meat and assorted anti-pasto with bread and salad, Em and John proceeded to stuff us with chicken and bacon cooked with cherry tomatoes, along with broccoli, spuds and butternut squash (hint, you can roast it with the skin on, and then either eat the skin or remove it while eating, which is much easier than trying to remove before cooking, and hadn't occurred to any of us but John). Then we needed something of a break before we cracked open the champagne and cerise liqueur and tucked into the tiramisu, all courtesy of mum and dad. It was another lovely evening sat around talking.

Sunday morning they all came back for a big cooked breakfast at about 11, leaving me just time to finish off my French Harry Potter before I had to get up, and then they insisted I open my presents a day early, since otherwise they wouldn't get to see what I thought. So now I have some lovely artwork on the wall in the living room (though I doubt that will be its final home), a gorgeous lamp sitting by the stereo, a fab clock made from a CD with a picture of a VW campervan, and a huge box of dark chocolates. We barely had time for all the food to go down before it was time to head out yet again to the Pipe and Glass pub in South Dalton (http://www.pipeandglass.co.uk/), for a 3 o'clock Sunday Lunch. The website has menus which are rather out of date but can give you an idea of just how good the food is. I had the hare, pork and fois gras terrine to start with, served with toast, pease pudding and a sail of air dried ham. Followed by a lamb casserole with rosemary dumplings and carrots cooked in local honey. And finished with a fabulous warm plum and almond tart with eggnog ice cream. And then they even brought us truffles with our coffee. We could barely move by the time we left at around 6, but it was utterly utterly wonderful. And just a shame they didn't have space for us to sit in the bar for a bit before we ate. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.

When we got back to Em's again everyone else had to get off, to get home and get a reasonable night's sleep, but we sat up watching telly for a while, including Top Gear which had an item featuring not only the Humber Bridge but the Alfa Romeo 159, which happens to be my dad's shiny new car, in rather an impressive coincidence. It was strange seeing James May down on the beach in the exact spot we'd walked past only the previous day, in the car we'd just been driving in. We didn't have room for dinner, just a very large gin and some pringles, before we bid them goodnight and thanks for having us. Sadly while Emily had booked the week off work she ended up having to work on Monday after all, for the induction of a new team leader, which was definitely a shame.

So in the end my birthday itself featured a lie-in, a long journey, a lazy afternoon geeking, and a lazy evening watching TV and eating fish and chips. Very quiet, but lovely nonetheless. And today I got chocolates in the post from Janet, and couldn't be happier, noting it's also now 2 years since Mike and I went on our first date. Yay!

Lent

Feb. 20th, 2007 05:06 pm
lnr: (window)

I wrote this yesterday as (part of) a comment on [livejournal.com profile] beckyc's journal (friends-only). I thought I'd reproduce it here for those who don't know Becky.

I'm not Christian, but I do tend to give things up for Lent, even though some people find that contradictory, and occasionally even offensive.

I find it an interesting exercise in willpower, in doing without a luxury for a reasonably long period. I don't think you have to give something up entirely for it to be worth while giving up at all. And having it be in a fixed timeframe makes it more attainable: think SMART. It can also be easier to explain to people why you've given something up, without having to go into long discussions of motivations. And it can often lead to it being easier to have reduced consumption thereafter: I gave up sugar in tea and coffee one lent when I was 11 or 12, and never went back. And periods of drinking no alcohol at all (usually for medical reasons) have meant I drink less now than I used to - although this may partly simply be the fact I'm no longer a student and have to get up and work in the mornings.

This year however I have a specific goal of making sure I can still fit in the bridesmaids dress which was bought in October when my sister's wedding comes round the weekend after easter. I've put on around half a stone or perhaps a bit more since then, and I could really do to shift that. I'm using Lent as a tool to help in that. I don't have the willpower for dieting "properly" at the moment, but Lent is something I've done successfully in the past.

Normally I only give up one or two things, but this year I'm going to be harsh. So I'm giving up:

  • alcohol
  • junk food

The latter is a very broad category, though I'm not including sandwiches in it. Basically my downfall at the moment is crisps, chocolate, cake or pork pies with my lunch at work, and pizza and chips and such things for dinner in the evening. Cut those out and what I'm left with isn't too unhealthy or fattening. I may allow myself to drink on my sister's hen night, and a glass of bubbly when we move house, but usually I give things up for the entire period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday inclusive.

Day 7

Nov. 22nd, 2006 11:09 am
lnr: (cake 2005)

Tuesday )

And that concludes a week of logging my food. This has been crossposted between [livejournal.com profile] lnr and [livejournal.com profile] incendiaryfood, although I've been cut tagging it on the former. I was particularly amused to be asked to make the cut text include the word "food" so some people could avoid reading it, when the whole point has been to be public about what I'm eating. This has not been a diet, it's been what I might eat on a fairly ordinary week (ok, including a birthday and an anniversary, but still, there are parties many other weeks). I still don't feel particularly militant about it.

Day 6

Nov. 21st, 2006 12:32 pm
lnr: (nekkid 2006)

Monday )

Day 3

Nov. 17th, 2006 01:11 pm
lnr: (big nekkid 2006)

food )

lnr: (wok)

An interesting meme started yesterday (well OK, yesterday is when I first saw it). The idea is to truthfully blog for a week everything you've eaten, in a no fear or favour sort of way, and trying not to change what you would have eaten to make it look any different. Anyway this is what I ate yesterday, and I'll try keep it up.

Addendum: it's supposed to be a sort of anti-diet thing really. Openly eating what _you_ like, regardless of what anyone else might think. Read the original article for a better explanation.

Food diary )

lnr: (brrm!)

Friends round for dinner last night, it was a lovely evening. Food:

Mozzarella, Avocado and Tomato salad
. o O 0 O o .
Chicken breasts with Sage and Onion Stuffing, wrapped in Smoked Bacon, served with Roast Vegetables
. o O 0 O o .
Gin and Tonic Jelly, assorted Cake, After Eights



Tickets for Monday's gig arrived. They'd sent tickets for the balcony (seated) rather than for downstairs (standing). Not v impressed. However when I complained and said I'd be in the previous gig on Sunday they've actually arranged to meet me there and exchange tickets! V impressed indeed.

Driving theory test this morning. 35/35 on the multiple guess (for the third time running) - pass mark is 30. 64/75 on the hazard perception - pass mark is 44. You can score up to 5 points for each hazard, depending on how soon you spotted it developing. And there are 14 clips, one of which has 2 hazards in it instead of 1. I scored 9 on the clip with 2 hazards. Of the remaining clips I scored 5 on 5, 4 on 6 and 3 on 2. Pretty damned happy with that. Next step: leave it til next working day for number to be passed on to booking system, then organise myself an intensive practical course (prob 10-15 hours over a weekend) with the test at the end of it.

Now I just need to decide what I'm doing this evening. Want to help? [Poll #630236]

lnr: (Default)

Ingredients:

  • 3 rashers smoked bacon, fat removed
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 320g tin mixed beans
  • fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 2 lean lamb steaks
  • 2 low fat sausages
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 400g tin tomatoes

Method:

Chop bacon and garlic. Put in oven proof pan with beans, herbs, and a pint or so of water. On a low heat simmer for a long time til thickened. Meanwhile cube sausage and lamb and fry in the olive oil until sealed. Add the tomatoes and the meat, place lid on pan and put in low oven. Leave to cook for several hours until thick and rich with the lamb tender enough to fall to pieces. Serve with mashed spuds (with more garlic in!).


In other news I think I'm going to give up alcohol for the meantime. At least a month. And that's the second low fat filling meal today (having had a 3 egg omelette for lunch with onion, a little bacon, peppers and mushrooms, made with only the remaining fat from frying the meat for dinner). I'm wearing a brand new pair of jeans today, and want to get too thin for them as soon as possible. At least partly because I'm sick (sic) of the fact being overweight gives me terrible indigestion.

Dinner

Jul. 8th, 2005 09:53 pm
lnr: (cake2)

Toad in the hole, spinach, plus leftover new potatoes sliced and fried with garlic.

Cherries halved, stoned, stewed in orange juice, to be served with Clare's frozen gingery pudding and with amaretto over the top.

Any minute now it will be ready and hopefully very good. Getting hungry. Still, good to actually cook for a change.

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