Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fitness? Schmitness!

For the last two weeks (or thereabouts) I've been trying to become fitter, and to lose weight.
Apart from the great chocolate cake investigation, where I was trying to find an edible sugar-free chocolate cake, I have been eating really really well. Hardly any carbs, minimal sugar, vegies galore and more water than you'd believe. I've cut out my normal sugary white tea and porridge for breakfast and having green tea and weight loss smoothies instead. No bread, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes, etc etc etc.
I've been walking and skating and generally moving all the time - Buddy has started walking all the time so chasing him has helped.
Last night I attempted my Level 2 test for roller derby and ended up absolutely knackered and my legs felt like jelly.
Afterwards I weighed myself to see how the weight loss is going, and I've gained a kilogram.

Maybe weight loss is not for me?

PS I still have not passed my Level 2 roller derby test.

Photo bomb - May 27 2014

May 27 - MEAL
I met The Man in town today during his lunch break. We went to a bakery where he bought himself some lunch, then scurried back to work. I came home to a hearty meal of air pie. Yum yum!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Photo bomb - May 26 2014

May 26 - PET
This is one of the men who lives at my house. He is 35 years old in dog years and a rat bag. He is the younger of my furry sons, but the bigger of the two, and he and Buddy are best friends.

Photo bomb - May 25 2014

These cranes are a new addition to our neighbourhood - their names are Ben, Cranium, Maximus and Lucy. Their job is to help build the new Bendigo Hospital.

Photo bomb - May 24 2014

May 24 - SUNRISE
The view of the sunrise on my way to work this morning.
If it weren't for the clouds, it would have looked fantastic!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Slapped hand!

For the first time in years of blogging, I have had my hand slapped for posting up a photo that's not mine.
So if you you wanted to see the Shakshuka recipe that I posted last week, I've had to take it down because the photo I put with it came from the original recipe. Never mind I linked to it twice within the post.
Anyway, as I can't afford getting into a cyber brawl, I will wait until payday and then purchase more ingredients to make another batch.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Photo bomb - May 21 2014

May 21 - CARD
This card lives on my coffee table.
I have many many sets of cards and ones such as the above card are spread across my loungeroom.

Photo bomb - May 20 2014

I know! This looks terrible, that I took a photo of Buddy when he was so upset. I had just dished up his dinner and it was too hot so I put it in the freezer. So in this shot, he was waiting for about two minutes to get his dinner.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Photo bomb - May 19 2014

May 19 - ALONE
I knew I had to take a photo for this prompt and then this song began playing on Spotify. It was a sign that I needed to use it for my photo.

Photo bomb - May 17 2014

May 17 - BAG

I don't travel lightly when I go to work. Handbag, plastic shopping bags and sometimes a back pack (but not this time).

Photo bomb - May 16 2014

May 16 - CREATE
Today I created a tiny seed of an idea that I could pursue.
I need to thoroughly look into it, but I do think my idea is do-able and accommodates my various skills and interests.
PS. The seed in the photo is a sunflower seed. I didn't actually create it. I created the idea. The seed is a metaphor.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Photo bomb - May 15 2014

This is the bottom of the hill at my work. I walk up here every time I get the train to work. They are doing some work in there and so I have to walk up towards the right instead of the left.

Photo bomb - May 14 2014

May 14 - LINES
Back in high school, I used to learn how to draw buildings like this in a subject called Graphics (now called Visual Communication - maybe).
This building is in Collins Street, Melbourne.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chocolate Cake - Take 2

I'm on the hunt for a low-carb chocolate cake that doesn't taste like 'chemical warfare'
This is how I described low-carb chocolate cake on the Facebook yesterday
My tastebuds are so angry at me for subjecting them to the cake I made on Thursday and so yesterday I got The Man to dig out all of my hippy foods to see if I could figure out how to make an edible chocolate cake to appease them.
Who has heard of chocolate mug cake? I found a low-carb version...

3 Minute Chocolate Cake (serves 2)
(Linda's Low Carb Menus & Recipes)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour, 1 ounce (I used almond meal) (also, I suppose the 1 ounce is an alternative measure for the 1/4 cup).
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp granulated stevia
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 egg
  1. Place all ingredients into a 500ml microwave safe jug. (if you want, sift the almond flour to get a lighter cake texture - I didn't do this). Make sure you mix thoroughly or else you'll get lumps of cocoa in the cake.
  2. Cover the jug with cling wrap and poke a hole through the plastic to act as a vent.
  3. Cook on HIGH in the microwave for 80 seconds (or 1 minute and 20 seconds)
  4. Leave to cool - it will be very hot.
Was this meal cheap? I can't remember how much almond meal costs as it was already in my cupboard...
*checks the Woolworths website*
It seems that the amount of almond meal that I used in this recipe costs approximately $1, which seems quite reasonable.
Was this meal quick to prepare? Three minutes! The longest bit of preparation was melting the butter.
Was this meal tasty? Obviously sugar-free is not for me. I didn't like it. It also could have used some vanilla because it tasted too dark to me. Maybe I was not built for sugar-free food?
Would my family eat this? Honey liked it, and after giving it a good stir, told me that she had made it herself. I left her to it. Luckily because it only serves two, I didn't feel guilty about dumping it on the plate with my last cake effort.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Photo bomb - May 13 2014

May 13 - I SPY
I spy with my little eye, a little lady who was meant to be hiding behind a tree but took matters into her own hands.
This was taken at Lake Weeroona during a family walk. It took many tries before I could get a photo that didn't have a random dog, or person or something weird in it. I'm not sure what the green band is, but I liked it so it stayed.

Photo bomb - May 12 2014

May 12 - READY
Honey was ready to go, and was impatiently waiting for the rest of us to get a wriggle on so we could walk to the park.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Photo bomb - May 11 2014

May 11 - MOTHER
This is my lovely mother at the taping of Dirty Laundry Live at the ABC studios in Elsternwick. The Man was meant to come with me but backed out because he went to a seminar, so I took Mum instead. I ended up with a parking ticket, but it was a good night otherwise.
**one of the people in the above image is not a cardboard cut out.

Photo bomb - May 10 2014

On May 10th, the actual day I was supposed to take this photo, I was inside the Bendigo Stadium at a roller derby bout, with not a flower or blade of grass in sight, so this photo was taken outside the Bendigo Library in the autumn leaves.

poster from the roller derby bout I attended on May 10

Photo bomb - May 9 2014

These are my favourite people hanging out at the playground at Lake Weeroona. I couldn't get everyone to look at the camera at the same time, so I got everyone to look away from the camera. Skill!

Photo bomb - May 8 2014

May 8 - BLUE
This is my boy sitting on top of my car after his swimming lesson. There were so many blue things we could have taken photos of, but in the end it was the dazzling blue sky that I used.

Healthy chocolate cake

Continuing with my efforts to eat more healthily, I decided to have a go at a low-carb chocolate cake. I ended up sending it to my parents-in-laws house as a thank you for minding the little people while I went to Melbourne to see Dirty Laundry Live being taped.
So here is the recipe:

Low-Fat Low-Carb Chocolate Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup Splenda (I used stevia instead)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup skim milk
  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees
  2. Mix cocoa into hot water until there are no lumps left
  3. Combine wet ingredients and mix until blended
  4. Add cocoa mixture and mix until well blended
  5. Sift together dry ingredients
  6. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well blended
  7. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch cake tin
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Was this meal cheap? Pretty much. The eggs were the most expensive part. All the ingredients were already in the cupboard.
Was this meal quick to prepare? Yes, but it took a long time to bake. The original recipe said baking would take 25 minutes to bake. It was closer to 40.
Was this meal tasty? Not really. It wasn't very chocolate-y at all and the taste of the baking powder and soda overtook everything else. Also the stevia just made it taste weird.
Would my family eat this? The little people, especially Honey loved it. The Man wasn't too impressed. I thought it was awful.

Updated the blog

I've updated the look of my blog - do you like it?
The busy-ness of how it looks has been annoying me, pretty much since I started blogging on it, and today when I was graced with an extra two hours to the day, I decided to fix it.
I can't credit anyone for its design - it's all me. Except for the cute little ninja that I found on Google Images, but he was a free clipart anyway.
Well... back to the midgets now...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Shakshuka! Bless you.

Yesterday I had left over pizza for lunch, so when I picked up Honey and she told me that she wanted pizza for dinner (but no vegies on it, OK Mum?) I decided to make something different, but I had no idea what.
So while I was at the supermarket I was googling low-carb dinner ideas, and shakshuka came up, it's a vegetarian Israeli meal. I think?
Anyway, I made a pot (or in my case, a frypan) of it for dinner, and had heaps left, so now I'm eating it for lunch.
It actually made 5-6 serves, but I ate about a third of it for dinner, so I think portion control is something I need to, ahem, address...

Shakshuka (makes 5-6 servings)
(Tori's Kitchen)
My very own photo. Luckily my stove was clean today!
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium capsicum, chopped
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes (I used Ardmona because they are Australian grown)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5-6 eggs

  1. Fry the onion in the olive oil in a largish frypan until the onion has softened
  2. Add the garlic and continue to fry on a medium heat until you can smell that its cooking.
  3. Add the capsicum and fry until it has softened.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste to the pan and stir till it is blended.
  5. Add the sugar and the spices and allow it to simmer until it starts to reduce.
  6. Taste the mixture and then season according to your preferences.
  7. Crack the eggs and add them to the mixture (I put six eggs into the mixture as in the picture above).
  8. Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. The eggs will cook on top of the tomatoes.
  9. Make sure the sauce doesn't burn!

Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast lunch or dinner.

Was this meal cheap? I already had most of the ingredients. The tinned tomato and eggs were the priciest bit - the tomatoes were $1.40 a can (multiplied by two cans), and then the eggs were $3.50 for half a dozen. I already had eggs, but I've just bought another half dozen for a recipe I am going to try. But divided by the number of serves, it's pretty reasonable.
Was this meal quick to prepare? Sort of. It took a little while, but I could go and do other things once it was combined, and then just set the timer to remind me when it would be ready.
Was this meal tasty? I reckon this recipe lends itself to add all sorts of ingredients and flavours. As it is, it was quite good (especially if I was going to eat it for breakfast), but I was tempted to add bacon, but then decided not to so I could see what the proper recipe was meant to taste like.
Would my family eat this? Yes. Honey stole some of it as I was eating my tea (just after she finished her 'pizza-with-no-veggies'). The Man might want something more substantial with it, and Buddy just enjoys food. But yes, they would all eat it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Photo bomb - May 7 2014

This is my manly man having a snooze.
Sometimes when its cold, you have to wear your sisters old sleeping bag to bed to prevent your feet from turning blue and falling off.

Photo bomb - May 6 2014

The Man is a super-giant.
Photo is edited so you can't see his belly skin.

Photo bomb - May 5 2014

May 5 - 4PM
At 4pm I was reading the paper at the shops after work and before picking my people up from daycare.
Coincidentally the newspaper has an image taken at around 4pm (well, 4:15pm).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Photo bomb - May 4 2014 (Star Wars Day)

May 4 - US
Me and The Man. I do like him a bit.
Poor guy was forced to take a selfie.
At least he's smiling! And at least he's not holding a teacup or something else to take the focus off himself.
I did my makeup especially for this photo. In real life I don't really have eyebrows.

Photo bomb - May 3 2014

I have an enormous collection of egg cartons on the fridge. Not sure why I am so loathe to throw them in the recycling.

Food confusion

So you may have noticed via my ramblings that I dabble in roller derby.
Well, currently I'm doing Freshmeat training and a few weeks ago they did Level 1 testing, and soon they are doing Level 2 testing.
Since I began derby training I have tried and tried to pass the Level 1 test, which is pretty much a safety test to make sure you can stay upright on skates. On my last try, I failed by .3 of a point. GAH!
Anyway, Level 2 testing is coming at me (all the Freshies are doing it) and there is a fitness component and I'm not really fit so have been practicing push-ups and sit-ups and planks and stuff.
Then I thought, how easy would this planking business be if I weighed less? And I've been googling weight-loss plans and recipes. And I'm totally baffled. One page says more veggies, another says no grains, then there's things like 12WBT and Weight Watchers and Lite N Easy, and the overriding concerns for me are the following:
1. I am poor, and no matter how much I want to lose weight, I can't afford to pay for the privilege.
2. I have a husband who does not need to lose weight.
3. I have children who need all the food groups
4. I am essentially lazy and I like having dinner cooked quickly with minimal mess as I don't like cleaning up afterwards.
So after asking lots of people what I should do and getting lots of answers, I've decided to try everything (I am probably setting myself up for failure).
But anyway - here we go with my first healthy meal option:

Two Ingredient Wholemeal Pizza Dough (makes a large pizza that serves 4)
(Lose Baby Weight)
  • 1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 cup natural or Greek yogurt (I used Pauls Natural Yogurt as it had half the kilojoules of the Greek yogurt)
  1. Mix together in a bowl.
  2. Knead with your hands until it's springy when you poke it.
  3. Roll out with a floured rolling pin.
  4. Top with tasty ingredients.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven until cooked.
My toppings were tomato paste, mushrooms, red onion and cheese.

Was this meal cheap? Yes. The ingredients worked out to cost about $3-$4.
Was this meal quick to prepare? Pretty much - because the base is just flour and yogurt, I reckon I could prepare a bulk batch of bases and freeze them for whenever I want to make pizza.
Was this meal tasty? It wasn't bad. Perhaps I could have put more toppings on the base, or used some Italian herbs (The Man loves Italian herbs) for more flavour.
Would my family eat this? Probably. The Man would probably supercharge it with toppings - the midgets however like picking toppings off pizza so they'd probably would be just as happy with a bowl of pizza topping and we could forget about the base.

Midget-free Tuesday

So I've been a bit busy in the last two weeks with this:

Roller derby
And this:
Graduating from my university course

And especially this:



But today is midget-free Tuesday (for this week anyway) and I'm going to take lots of photos!
So stay tuned eh...

Friday, May 02, 2014

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Photo bomb - May 1 2014

Do you realise that I've completed a third of a year's worth of Photo A Day?
If you know me in the real world, it was quite difficult not use the J object that I was looking at for most of the day.