Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A much better day today!

I didn’t do anything exciting, but I just enjoyed today so much more and felt calmer and more productive!

First off I trained today – one hour on the elliptical walker, which left me feeling sweaty, tired, and even a little bit wobbly on my pins – in a good, worked hard kind of way! I was quite amused to see that the elliptical walker’s computer calorie count showed as 666 calories burned!

Then I shopped and bought lots of eggs to allow myself to start the Christmas baking today! I should explain this bit... you all know that last November I got married in St Lucia. None of the family could be there, and we had a large wedding cake that got largely wasted because we couldn’t get a box suitable to bring it home. This was very sad, because it was the best fruit cake we’d ever tasted – so me being me, when I got home I looked online for ‘St Lucian wedding cake’ because the weddings consultant said it was a traditional island cake. And I found a recipe! Over a month ago I started soaking a vast quantity of dried fruit in a mixture of rum and sherry with the idea that I would bake the cake as our Christmas cake. Then I realised the recipe would produce a truly ginormous cake – but having already started the soaking I felt committed. So I decided to change my ‘project’ – I would make one cake exactly per the recipe (but halving everything) and one cake slightly healthified – replacing some of the butter with applesauce (home-made unsweetened), reducing the sugar a bit and replacing some of the eggs with egg whites, and then do a comparison, but nothing’s wasted unless we hate either version. Today I baked the ‘as recipe’ one – except that due to a lack of large enough baking pans, it turned into 2 sandwich-sized cakes – and tomorrow I plan to bake the healthified version. At the moment today’s experiment are sitting in the pans, and in the morning I’ll be sprinkling them with more rum and then wrapping them in foil to mature a little before Christmas. They don’t look very special right now, but here’s a picture anyway:

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I’ll be icing them with some kind of plain white icing (no marzipan) and I figure I’ll use one of each as cakes to serve here when people visit, and give wedges of the other 2 as gifts to the family (so I can’t eat them all.) The only problem is I can’t taste them in advance – I guess I should have tried saving a little batter to make a muffin for tasting purposes! The batter was nice before baking though, and they smelled absolutely wonderful while they were baking!

After that I made another huge batch of soup to supply my lunches for the next week or so and then cooked dinner – so a productive day, as I said!

Food today:

Breakfast: Was weird… I’ve been reading about savoury (and spicy) oats on a lot of blogs for a while now so today I decided to try it! I cooked some oat bran in water, then added plain whey, laughing cow light and parmesan cheese to it. I topped it with a poached egg, some sauteed mushrooms & onions, and some hot sauce. The verdict? Not sure. I think when I have a savoury breakfast I like it to be chewy rather than soft and creamy, and I’m not sure I’m a big enough fan of hot sauce to want it for breakfast. It wasn’t horrible, but I think I enjoyed it more because I knew (almost immediately) that it would be a one off! Still, an interesting experiment – you might have noticed lately that I’m trying to vary my breakfasts slightly more, though I remain a creature of habit, and this certainly satisfied that!

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Lunch: less weird! A CBLT sandwich (laughing cow, bacon, rocket & tomato to be precise) with the last portion of my last soup. I spiced it up – literally – by adding slightly too much thai red chilli paste to the soup!

Dinner: Prawn stir fry. I flavoured the prawns and veggies with garlic, dried red chilli flakes, soy sauce and a splash of the vinegar I bought at the garden centre the other day. It was delicious! Now I can’t wait to try the vinegar on a salad, and as a dipping sauce for bread! With it I had a Christmas Ale to try – it was stronger than the beers I usually drink, at 6.2%, but I was trying to get into the Christmas spirit!

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Snacks: A protein smoothie as a post-training snack, and a fruit compote with fromage frais for ‘afternoon tea’ – this consisted of melon, mango, plum, banana and nectarine gently cooked in a little water, some rum and a touch of honey. It was good – apart from the fact that I should have added the (slightly overripe) banana much later – it virtually dissolved! It still felt like a tasty and healthy snack, and the warmth of the fruit was nice since we’ve had another horrible wet day today.

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Weight today: 10 st 5 lbs exactly – not bad after yesterday’s nibble-fest! I managed to stop myself from carrying on the piggish behaviour after dinner by single-handedly erecting and decorating the Christmas tree, which took ages (not one of my favourite jobs, it brings out the Grinch in me) and occupied both hands so I couldn’t eat at the same time!

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4 comments:

  1. Oh, I am so curious about your cake! How interesting. I've been looking for a rum/fruit cake recipe. Hmmmm.

    Happy late anniversary!

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  2. Hi Chrissie. I'd be tempted to sandwich the two bits together with marzipan and then when you scewer the cake and pour alcohol over it'll sink into the marzipan as well. (You could make the marzipan yourself adding Ameretto?) Scrumptious! And to hell with the calories! You only have Christmas cake once a year. I don't think it's done properly unless there is marzipan. In fact the cake is so sweet I think icing is superfluous and often makes it too sweet for me. I prefer it when the top is covered in dried fruit and nuts and then glazed.

    In some ways it's better to bake in two pans because the usual problem with fruit cake is that the outside is totally overdone before the inside is cooked. I've had so many fruit cakes with a thick crispy crust on them!

    I can sort of see the breakfast. Sort of. Without the hot sauce maybe. Maybe.

    Seems you're still missing those buffet breakfasts!

    Glad you had a better day.
    Bearfriend xx

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  3. Hi Chrissie,

    The cake looks super yummy. St Lucia must have been a beautiful place to get married. We got married on the big island of hawaii. It has been cold here and I have been dreaming about the sun and swimming with dolphins.

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