Posted in Fat, Food, Life, Random Thoughts

I Created the Perfect Creme Brulee

A tough claim I know. But I did. It was glorious!

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Up until last month I have never had any interest in either cooking or eating a creme brulee. Mainly down to the fact I HATE eggs. When I thought of a creme brulee I thought of an eggy mixture with sugar on top. How wrong I was.

Despite my 20-odd year hatred of eggs I will eat an omelette (as long as there are enough ingredients to mask the egg taste), french toast, fish pie (the type with cut up boiled egg in), and egg fried rice. With the exception of the latter, you’ll notice that non of these dishes have the egg in the name – a crucial point. The moment that one of my friends offered me some eggy bread for breakfast I pulled a disgusted face and refused, when only a day before I was eating French toast which is basically the same thing.

That said, my parents always bring me six eggs from our home farm when they visit. I google “What to do with eggs when you don’t like eggs” regularly. A lemon creme brulee recipe suddenly popped up.

 

This recipe from a page called Foxes Love Lemons looked incredibly rich but more importantly, incredibly easy.

I halved the ingredients so that I wasn’t wasting a large amount of cream if everything went wrong. It is Wrong with a capital “R” to waste something as delicious and pure as double cream.

For my recipe I decided to try to make 2 creme brulees with the following ingredients

1 cup of cream

3 tablespoons of sugar

2 egg yolks

Zest of 1 lemon

A drop of vanilla

 

My method was slightly different to the one suggested on the website.

I put my oven on to heat up (150C/300F/Gas Mark 2)

I put the kettle on to boil and placed 2 ramekins in an oven dish

Putting the cream and 1 and 1/2 spoons of sugar in a pan to heat (not to boil, stopping before bubbles appeared)

While this was warming I added the lemon zest, vanilla, remaining sugar and egg yolks in a big green mixing bowl (colour of mixing bowl optional) and beat with a whisk.

Little side note – zest the lemon first, it was a lot harder than I had planned and the cream would have caramelised by the time I’d finished.

Once the cream was warm I slowly added it to the lemon-eggy mix drop by drop whilst whisking. I’ve watched too many cookery programs to know that a hot mix could scramble the eggs. Thank you Bake Off!

I poured the mix into a jug (through a fine mesh sieve, although I’m not sure what this achieved). The jug made it easier to pour into the ramekins. Hot water went into the oven dish, the dish went into the oven.

 

The first time I tried this, inevitably it went wrong, I set my oven to 300 degrees until about 25 minutes through I noticed they looked more like souffles and I was working from an american recipe on a british oven, I’d made the crucial mistake of not checking the temperature first. In the UK, it should be 25 – 30 minutes at 150 degrees C.

Checking at 20 – 25 minutes is also a huge relief, I don’t want to burn the little pots of loveliness.

Pulling them out of the oven, giggling at the satisfying wobble and leaving on the side to cool, I marvelled at the light lemony scent floating around my flat. As the recipe stated (and my stomach disagreed with) I put the ramekins in the fridge for 24 hours.

 

Awk's Creme Brulee 1
Before the Brulee

 

At this point I remembered a little pearl of wisdom my mother imparted, pull the ramekins out of the fridge and let them come up to room temperature before hitting them with the heat of the blow torch.

 

It took me 4 days to find a gas canister to fill up my mini blow torch and about 5 minutes to fill my father with horror when I called him to say that he didn’t need to do it for me.

“Go outside and don’t blow yourself up!!” comforting advice

Once the blow torch worked and I was satisfied that I wasnt going to blow up my apartment, I sprinkled a thin layer of sugar over the yellow custard and attacked it with blue fire.

Result? A perfect looking desert.

Awk's Creme Brulee 2
The Perfect Result

It took so much will power to make it to my sofa and let the top cool slightly before hitting it with my spoon to see the sugar layer crack.

The sunshine coloured silk that lay below was the best thing I have ever made. I was in heaven for a full 4 minutes whilst I devoured every single spec of goodness. Who cares about the calories?!!

 

The best thing? Apart from it now obviously being my signature ‘go-to’ dish… I have another one in the fridge for tonight!

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Posted in Fat, Food, General Issues, Life, Weight-loss

Waiting for the weight-loss

So after weeks of general complaining and trying a number of ‘quick fixes’ I can honestly say… I’m still fat.

Has anyone had a positive result from a quick fix diet?

I’ve caught myself googling “why am I still fat?” on too many occasions now.

Way back, during the week I decided to “change” I was weighed by a nurse so I had a pretty good base weight to go on. This weekend I finally unpacked my scales that I’d intentionally left in a storage box when I moved in May.

I placed my scales in the bathroom and whilst my Sunday evening bath was running I weighed myself. I’ve always told myself it’s better to weigh myself in as little as possible because jeans are obviously the heaviest thing known to man and it is their fault the scales say I’m obese.

My heart sunk as the stupid little dial showed that I have put on 4kg. That’s 8 pounds!

How!?

I’ve been cutting down portion sizes, changed my sugary morning cereal for low-fat smoothies, made sure I ate as few carbs as possible and I’m eating salad. Salad!

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Incredibly I thought I’d been losing weight, I’d been feeling better. Well up until last week when I had a week free of morning smoothies. I noticed a significant drop in energy levels when I don’t have my bananas and berries.

 

I asked my friends what they thought. Not the ‘nice friends’ but the brutally honest best friends that have similar problems. I received 5 common answers.

 

1. “It’s just water retention”pexels-photo-113734.jpeg

Retaining water has been an issue since I was about 10, I wasn’t sure why but I always knew if my shorts wouldn’t button up I should go to the loo and 9/10 it worked.

Now I know it’s more my fault. I don’t drink enough.

I have my morning smoothie, (sometimes with a coffee), then maybe 4 or 5 cups of tea whilst I’m at work. I go home to a glass of juice (or wine).

I don’t really enjoy water and I can’t spend any more time going to the bathroom. I’ve already wondered if I should move my desk in there.

 

2. “I blame the pill”

Yes, it’s a well googled fact, the pill increases your appetite and makes it harder to lose weight. I think it’s also makes the water retention worse.

I’d like to blame the pill but as I’m not going to stop taking it, I’ve got to find a way around it.

 

3. “You don’t exercise enough”

Yes, I know I don’t. I’m working on it. Next.

 

4. “You’re not calorie counting”

No, I don’t want to spend my life having a breakdown because I’m 3 calories over my daily intake.

pexels-photo-944361.jpegI refuse to be one of those people who read the label before they eat.

I eat low-fat yoghurt in my smoothies, I have cut the majority of carbs out of my diet and I eat salads with low fat or no dressing. I’m not going to starve myself of everything I love. I’ve already given up bread which has left a huge hole in my life.

 

5. “Your Expectations Are Unrealistic”

This sounds more likely.

I have never really tried to lose weight properly so I’m not really sure how fast it’s supposed to happen. Watching the tv weight loss reality shows does not give me a good comparison. They have specialist trainers, diet experts and coaches to slap the cake out of their hands. Plus they’re on tv for some family/life saving/personal mission with a purpose. My aim is to fit back into some old clothes so I don’t have the stress of buying more.

Trying to combine a weight-loss regime with a love of food and lack of motivation to exercise is not easy.

It’s not possible.

If I read one more article on how I shouldn’t be dieting but I should be changing my lifestyle I will scream.

Posted in Clothes, Fat, General Issues

Jeans and a nice top

If there is one phrase I cannot stand it’s the answer to that immortal question

“What are you wearing tonight?”

“Jeans and a nice top”

What person feels that this is an adequate answer?

What constitutes “nice”?

 

I’m going to a concert on Saturday night, not a big pop/rock thing, it’s an acapella band in a theatre. It doesn’t matter how big or small this concert is, I am still over excited and I’ve been looking forward to it since I bagged front row seats back in January.

It’s the 3rd (or 4th) time I will have seen the band and I love them. Each time I get more and more excited and when it comes to the meet-and-greet after I become a shy little school girl, too embarrassed to ask for a picture.

The trouble arises when I asked the bff what she’s wearing. Jeans and a nice top.

No. I refuse to accept that answer. I want specifics.

The last concert of this kind we ended up in matching outfits with the only difference being shoes. We need to coordinate before Saturday arrives.

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Do I wear jeans and a nice top? Do I wear a skirt? Would I look too formal in a dress?

These are all important questions, not helped by the fact that we’ll be going on to a bar or club afterwards.

 

As usual, I’ve googled it. Strangely enough, jeans and a nice top didn’t appear, at least not in those specific words.

I don’t want to wear a band t-shirt and the world will not be subjected to my body in something figure-hugging.

I’ve tried in vein to search through my favourite clothes websites and nothing screams “WEAR ME!” so I will resort to going to an actual shop – not happy about this.

 

Jeans and a nice top will not cut it. These photos are going to be plastered all over social media and my lounge wall. No one is ever going to say “I like what you wore to that concert”. Jeans and a nice top do not warrant any compliment. They are the beige boring sheet of the outfit world.

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Posted in Clothes, Fat, Food, Weight-loss

Swapping Cereal for Smoothies to Drop 5lbs?

So I read an article a few weeks back about how someone swapped all their unhealthy meals for smoothies. I don’t really agree that this will work or at least do anything for me but I’m going to give it a go.

 

I’m combining this with some of the points in “12 tricks to drop 5 pounds in a week”. It may sound slightly at odds as the first “step” says to only drink water but I don’t like water.

The 12 Steps in a nutshell:

1. Drink Mainly Water

2. Swap Refined Carbs for Veggies

3. Do Cardio 30 Minutes a Day

4. Drink Coffee an Hour Before Working Out

5. Have Nightly You-On-Top Sex

6. Do 36 Push-Ups and Lunges Every Other Day

7. Sleep 30 Minutes More a Night

8. Make One Food Sacrifice

9. Eat Salmon

10. Pop an Anti-Gas Pill

11. Stand Up Straight

12. Do Squats and Sit-Ups

 

Why am I doing this?

Firstly, it’s Monday morning and I’m going to a concert on Saturday night so to feel better in a dress I thought I’d give this week a try.

Secondly, I love smoothies and I ran out of milk.

So…

This morning instead of my beloved Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, I threw a large handful of frozen mixed berries into my blender along with a banana, orange juice and some low fat Greek style yoghurt. It was delicious and I almost forgot about my lack of flakes.

Drinking it from my new bottle I was able to take it to work and sip throughout the morning, this stopped the usual mid-morning munchies and meant that by the time it came to lunch I only wanted a sandwich and not the usual extras of either a lemon posset or flapjack (my favourites from our building’s canteen).

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I’m not one for product placement but I love this bottle. It’s simple, it doesn’t leak and it’s pink! I found it in Wilkinsons at the weekend and it’s the best one I’ve come across. The infuser bottles draw me in but I know I’m never going to use them properly. This is the only one that had a decent “mouth piece” that will allow those random un-blended bits of banana through and it won’t get blocked with seeds. I LOVE it.20170703_121327

Side Note: I sucked the smoothie up too hard so created a vacuum, I made a very loud kissing noise when I pulled it away – slightly embarrassing moment in the office.

 

 

I don’t want to radically change my diet so for lunch I had tuna mayo with lettuce and cucumber on brown bread and tonight I plan on having salmon, green beans, baby corn with sweet chilli sauce (Step 2 and Step 9). I’d been planning on having this anyway, luckily it fits farily well. Keeping the carbs in the middle of the day is probably going to be a better option for my digestion – after dinner I plan on being lazy… I mean getting those extra 30 minutes of sleep (Step 7).

 

The part I’m going to struggle with is the exercise. Do 30 minutes of Cardio a day (Step 3)? The last time I did a cardio workout was the summer of 2014 at a fitness class in the middle of a sports shop. The first and last time that’s going to happen.

 

But for the purpose of trying to impress a band member, that is likely to already have a girlfriend, I will try. I will try for my own ego’s sake… You never know, he might like a chunkier girl (is what I keep telling myself).

 

If you want to try this yourselves I would be very interested to hear if it works.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a5614/drop-5-pounds-in-a-week-0509/

 

And for those of you who read my Friday complaining post, I apologise, but I did manage to find some wide-legged trousers that I loved… Of course, I had to hem them as they were 3 inches too long. *sigh*

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Posted in Clothes, Fat, General Issues, Thighs

Embrasing The Wide-Leg Trouser

Anyone else got that impulsive friend who decides on a Friday afternoon “Hey, let’s do something this weekend”? They have no regard for the fact it takes a small army of people to help me decide what I’m going to wear.

This weekend, my annoying but lovely friend and I are off for a chilled day in Oxford. Cue weather checks to rule out outfits.

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As my beautiful boss has told me he’ll cover the office for most of the afternoon so I can go home early, I have a little extra time to plan. A quick search of ‘relaxed nice outfits’ (I know, so inventive), has not helped.

I, as usual, have a few issues with outfit planning.

396H

My friend is a guy who regularly dresses in the salmon-shorts-white-polo or designer jeans-hoodie combo – as you can imagine he’s at the slightly posher end of the spectrum so his outfits are relatively easy to sort.

As he’s got this posh side, we regularly end up in some of the most expensive places around…other times he’s obsessed with a McDonald’s. Other fast food chains are available.

This makes outfit planning difficult. My sizeable thighs do not help. I’ve come to the realisation that even though they make up 90% of my wardrobe, skinny jeans are not my friend. They’re too warm, too restrictive and make my legs look very short and fat.

My only inspiration right now are the girls that confidently wear the wide legged trouser and a cute vest whilst strutting through the streets with a floppy hat, massive sunglasses and an oversized handbag.

I can guarantee I won’t look that good but they remind me of my pjs so at least I’ll feel that good.

Huge problems arise when I think of the average length of leg, I am never average. I’ve got to spend my Friday night shopping for the perfect length or at lease a pair I love to give myself enough time to alter them tomorrow. The pressure is on!!

 

 

 

Posted in Fat, Thighs, Weight-loss

Fat Thighs & Good Pies

How many times have you been out with friends thinking you looked good in your little black dress or skin tight body suit tucked into a pair of skinny jeans?

How many times have you been wrong?

 

It has been exactly a year since I have left University. I spent a good 4 years living with three girls, who are three of the nicest humans I have met in my 20-odd years on this planet. Pushed together by worried parents on the first day of university we bonded over a love of tea and biscuits. I was the shortest of my little group and in terms of weight, I was 3rd out of 4.

I know University was the main cause of my weight gain but I’ve never considered myself to be obese until a pharmacist blurted out that it was normal for obese people like me to have a higher blood pressure. I just thought of myself as chunky.

The problem for me started this weekend. A bi-annual meet up with the Uni chums and suddenly I was not only the shortest but now the fattest.

Horror flashed through me and although I put on a brave face and congratulated my former chunkier friend on her new found skinniness, I was truly mortified.

 swings

 

As usual we got drunk and I forgot all about it…. UNTIL THE PHOTOS.

It’s never a nice feeling after a night out to get that notification

“Jessica has tagged 98 photos of you”

I can’t be the only one whose heart sinks and involuntary mutters the word “b****”.

The photographs from the weekend show a group of happy and rather intoxicated friends having a good time. On closer inspection, we see a shorter girl in a beautiful dress that sticks to her every curve. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this girl has bought this dress to compliment her hour glass figure, there’s only one problem… Her thighs are a match for this guy.

Luke McAlister

This is Luke McAlister, All Blacks Rugby Player. Yes, he is gorgeous but imagine him in a dress… still gorgeous.

 

Now I’ve decided to try to do something about *dramatic sobs* the size of my thighs.

About a month ago I spent my well-earned cash on new sports equipment, a barrel bag, swimming costume and goggles and then they sat in the bag in the boot of my car waiting for the day I finally worked up enough motivation to go. They are no longer in said bag, as I used it as a weekend bag this week, they are however still in their original packaging in a corner of my room.

 

So it is now Thursday, I’ve spent 3 days googling “How to lose weight in 2 weeks” which is when I see my new skinny friend again and also a minor pop star that I’ve been besotted with for about 2 years – I need to look slimmer.

For all you defeatist attitudes, yes, I have already bought a body shaper, or as we affectionately refer to it, all-over-fat-pants.

My main problem area right now are my sizable thighs – Not something you can control with hidden fat pants, especially when you’re barely 5’2” and all your dresses are t-shirt length on an average heighted person.

To make matters worse, I am a northern country girl living ‘down south’. My love of pies and everything with gravy gets stronger the more homesick and lonely I become.

I (after Saturday, as I’ve got a family sized trifle to finish) will attempt to lose weight using any method that doesn’t involve going under the knife.

 

I am very appreciative of any tips. Please be aware that I am one of the laziest humans on the planet and already eat relatively healthily MOST days.