21 July 2014

Thermomix Everyday Cookbook (EDC) Weight Watchers ProPoints Conversions

I got some new boobies on Thursday. The pain is so much worse than I was expecting so I have been constantly drugged up to my eyeballs since the surgery. My lack of movement means the only thing I can really do all day is watch TV and play on my MacBook.
As I haven't even been capable of looking after myself, my Mum has kindly taken my kiddies for a few days to give me time to heal. This has left me with so much spare time I don't know what to do. Usually I'd use the time to cook and clean and get things prepared for the coming weeks, but obviously my limited movement rules that out, so I literally just have to relax. It's harder than I thought it would be!

I also re-joined Weight Watchers online. After months of sitting stable at 52kg, I realised I actually needed to get off my bum and make some sort of effort if I want to be slim and perky for my wedding. This meant I had two options: A. I could continue eating whatever I want and start exercising for an hour a day; or B. I could start eating healthier and take note of portion sizes. Given I was about to get a boob job meaning my movement would be limited, and I barely have any time with my babies as it is, I decided to go with option B. I also decided that Weight Watchers would work best for me as I don't have to give any of my favourite foods up.


Anyhoo, given all my extra time I thought I'd do something semi-productive and went through the Thermomix EDC and converted all the recipes to Weight Watchers ProPoints. I'm positing a link to it here on my blog because perhaps it might come in handy for other weight watching thermomixers!

A few things to note:
  • I worked out the points based on the ingredients, not the nutrition information provided in the book;
  • The ingredients were counted using the full-fat versions of everything (i.e. milk = full cream milk NOTT light/skim milk etc);
  • Where there were multiple options for ingredients I used the first option (i.e. 1 tbs raw or rapadura sugar = raw sugar NOT rapadura);
  • These recipes tend to use a lot of oil/fat where I don't think it is really needed. You could definitely make these recipes quite a bit healthier with a few little tweaks here and there; and
  • I'm human and I make mistakes. If being 100% accurate with your ProPoints count is important to you I would recommend you double checking by using the Weight Watchers recipe builder tool to work out the points yourself.
Without further adieu, here is the link:


Happy counting!


14 February 2014

DIY budget homemade Valentines Day ideas for him and my fail proof shortbread recipe

Today is Valentines Day! We live in one of the most expensive places in the world, we have two kids, we have a mortgage, we have a car loan, I am on maternity leave, basically money is tight.
In spite of our lack of moolah, I wanted to do something for the husband to be (he LOVES surprises) to show him how much I love him and how much he means to me and the kiddies.

Here's what I gave him this year:

 A box full of heart shaped shortbread cookies:
For this I made some shortbread cookies (see recipe at the end of this post) that I cut into heart shapes before cooking. Once cooled I popped them in a gift box and made a sign out of scrapbooking paper which I glued on the front.

'I love this guy' mirror:
 A week or so ago I cut the shapes out of pink self adhesive contact and, knowing that I'd have to get up at stupid o'clock during the night, stuck the shapes to baking paper. I've got to say, this was a stroke of genius by me, the shapes peel so, so easily away from the baking paper but remain nice and sticky so adhere well to the glass over the mirror. Then I got up at 2am (or whenever the girl child woke me up) and stuck them to the mirror as a first-thing-in-the-morning surprise for him.

 A handmade card:
 I made this card out of scrapbooking paper in a few mins. Here's how I did it.
1. Fold a piece of pink scrapbooking paper in quarters, so the coloured paper is on the inside and outside of the card.
2. Unfold the card, put glue on the inside (the white side) and fold in half.
3. Cut a circle out of white paper and use glue to stick on the front of the card for an eye.
4. Cut a heart shape out of darker pink paper and use glue to stick on the front of a card.
5. Once glue has dried, use a thin, black, permanent marker to pop in your lovers name and draw in the detail as shown on the card above.

I love you because...' frame:
I think this was my favourite of the gifts because it is kind of like an 'ongoing gift'. First I cut a piece of pretty scrapbooking paper to fit into a 6x4 frame. Then I wrote 'I love you because' witch a black marker and popped it in the frame. Now I can use it to write reasons why I love him every day directly onto the glass in whiteboard marker!

His favourite meal:
As I mentioned previously, the husband to be has been on a Nightshade free diet for the past month to try to assist with the pain caused by his arthritis. Today marks one month from the day he commenced the diet so he is going to try some food containing Nightshades to see what effect it has on his and his pain. Anyway, he has been complaining about craving lasagne and if that's what the man wants, that's what the man gets! Unfortunately I haven't cooked it yet so I don't have a photo. Stay tuned!

Movie night under the stars:
This was going to be my BIG surprise, but ALAS, plans got in the way and I can't do it. However, I'd totally recommend you doing it for you and your loved one, it would be amazing.
Basically I was going to put up a white sheet on our backyard deck and use it as a screen to project movies on to. I also planned to cover the deck in candles and put our incredibly comfy blow up mattress out there with big fluffy pillows so we could snuggle while watching the movies.... oh well, next time. To make up for this I caved and bought him an Adventure Time DVD (to be honest, I don't see the fascination with this show - but whatevs!)

Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour, sifted
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 200g cold butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • icing, if desired (I don't use it)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Knead gently into a smooth dough.
  2. Divide dough into three balls, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 180c. Cover a two baking trays in baking paper.
  4. Lightly flour a surface or use a thermomat. Roll one ball out until about 5mm thick and cut cookies using cookie cutters or a knife. Place on tray and pop back in the fridge. Roll remaining dough into a ball, cover in cling wrap and return to fridge.
  5. Repeat with remaining two balls. Combineremaining dough balls to create more cookies.
  6. Place trays of cookies in the fridge and cook for 12-15 mins, until very lightly browned on the edges.
  7. Remove from oven, allow to sit for 2 mins (to harden up a little), then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.
  8. Apply icing if desired, otherwise serve.

13 December 2013

Coconut Cherry Friands (Also entitled: YAY THERMOMIX!!!)

Cheery cherry goodness!

So guess what happened to me! On Wednesday I officially became the owner of a beautiful new Thermomix! I can't even tell you how much I love it.
Along with trying to find recipes to fuel my Thermomix passion, I am also trying hard to reduce food wastage around this place. So these cherry friends used up my excess cherries perfectly.
My only drama was I didn't have any almond meal, as the original recipe called for, so I used oatmeal and desiccated coconut instead. The result was coconut awesomeness.
In an effort to maintain full disclosure, I haven't actually ever eaten a friand before so I have no idea what they are supposed to taste like, but in my humble opinion these were scrumptious!

Coconut Cherry Friands

Coconut Cherry Friands
Servings: Makes 12
Recipe Source: I kinda read a bunch of recipes and made it up.
Weight Watchers Pro Points: 7 per friand

Ingredients

  • 60g rolled oats
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (240g)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour (75g)
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 egg whites, beaten lightly
  • 120ml olive oil (90g)
  • 250g fresh cherries, halved and seeded

Directions

  1. Preheat ove to 180 degrees celcius (fan forced). Grease or line 12 friand pans or a 12 hole muffin pan.
  2. Place rolled oats and coconut in the thermomix bowl and pulverise until you reach an almond meal like consistency. Alternatively use a food processor then pop in a bowl.
  3. Place butterfly in Thermomix bowl (if using). Add flour and icing sugar and mix (on speed 3) until combined (about 15 seconds).
  4. Add butter and egg whites and stir using the wooden spoon setting (or an actual wooden spoon!), until just combined (about 10-15 rotations).
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pans. Top with cherries. Bake, uncovered for 25 mins. Stand for 5 mins then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Notes

These freeze really well. You could easily replace the coconut or oats or both with almond meal (which will not require pulverising) for a more authentic recipe.
Thermomixes seriously rock!!
Also, just for the record, I've gone off Weight Watchers and exercise (shame on me, I know!) until after Christmas… in fact I've been off it for longer than I'd care to admit. I've decided that getting fit and fabulous is going to be my New Years Resolution.
One more thing - I'm now, finally, a fully qualified bookkeeper. Woo hop!!!!

20 November 2013

9 thing you didn't know about Jess and some other stuff I feel the need to share with the world.

I'll start with the most boring stuff. Here is my food and exercise diary for the past two days:

Monday 18 November 2013 - 40 ProPoints eaten, 4 ProPoints earned
Breakfast
Banana porridge (45g Aldi rolled oats, 125ml water, 100ml Aldi light milk, 1 medium banana) - 5pp
1 blueberry muffin (made using Betty Crocker 97% fat free muffin mix) - 4pp
Lunch
Leftover french provincial chicken (made using an Aldi packet mix) - 8pp
1/2 cup boiled brown rice - 3pp
Dinner
1 serving Chow Mein Mince (made using Continental packet mix) - 9pp
36g Cadbury Willy Wonka chocolate - 5pp
Snacks
1 apple - 0pp
1 Cup-a-soup (Continental - potato and croutons) - 3pp
1 blueberry muffin (made using Betty Crocker 97% fat free muffin mix) - 3pp (2 = 7 points)
Exercise
16 minutes on the cross trainer (high intensity) and 2 run throughs of 'my circuit' less the squats and lunges (my legs hurt!) - 4pp

Tuesday 19 November 2013 - 42 ProPoints eaten, 4 ProPoints earned
Breakfast
2 slices vienna rye loaf (Bakers Delight) with a smooshed banana and cinnamon - 5pp
Lunch
Leftover Chow Mein Mince (made using Continental packet mix) - 9pp
1 blueberry muffin (made using Betty Crocker 97% fat free muffin mix) - 4pp
40g dates - 3pp
Dinner
1 serving Cantonese barbecue pork (made using Aldi packet mix) - 4pp
1 serving Not-Takeout Vegie Fried Rice - 4pp (should've been 5 but I stupidly forgot to add the eggs)
Snacks
2 cruskits with 2 tsp Nuttelex Lite and 2 tsp Vegemite - 2pp
1 x 95g can tuna in sweet chilli sauce (Greenseas) - 4pp
Exercise
16 minutes on the cross trainer (high intensity) and 2 run throughs of 'my circuit' less the lunges - 4pp

So to sum up my week:

  • I spent ALL of my daily ProPoints every single day
  • I spent ALL of my weekly points (which I've set as 35) far too early in the week
  • I earned 17 activity points and spent two of them.
  • I weighed in this morning at 50.1kg, so, while I technically lost 1.5kg since my last weigh in, I really only lost 200g.
Not a great effort by me. On the plus side, as of today I have 17 months until my wedding to get hot. I'm gonna wait until I finish breastfeeding the little one before I start putting in a concerted effort though.

New story!
Yesterday on Facebook I joined in this game where you basically write down 9 things about you that not many people know, basically in an effort to let people know you better. Unfortunately, I am generally an open book so found this very hard to do. But, for interests sake, here's what I wrote:
  1. My middle name is Jean. So is Ayla's and so is Mum's... all named after my late, beautiful Grandma
  2. I hate being held down. It scares the crap out of me. (Why do guys do this? I mean, I know you're stronger than me, you don't have to prove it!!!!)
  3. I'm getting married on 20 March 2015 in Pambula to my 'baby-daddy', love of my life, Mitch
  4. My favourite colour is sparkles (OK, EVERYBODY knows this)
  5. I find it really hard to say the word 'vagina'. It always comes out of my mouth as 'bagina' or 'giney'. The word just grosses me out.
  6. My favourite movie of all time is The Little Mermaid.
  7. My 'list of celebrities I can have sex with without Mitch getting mad' is: Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Travis Fimmel, Ryan Guzzman and Rebel Wilson.
  8. I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up (apparently mermaid is not a real career choice)
  9. I can't help but constantly think my kids are better than everyone else's.
If you want to play let me know, I'd love to learn about you!!!

Next story!
OK, not a story but a hilarious joke:

     Q: Why did the koala fall out of the tree
     A: It was dead

     Q: Why did the second koala fall out of the tree?
     A: It was stapled to the first koala

     Q: Why did the third koala fall out of the tree?
     A: Peer pressure

     Q: Why do emu's have such long legs?
     A: To step over all the dead koalas!!!

Last story!
My baby girl is 6 months old. The time has passed so quickly it makes me feel physically sick to think about it. She's my ray of sunshine.

Not-Takeout Vegie Fried Rice Recipe

Best fried rice EVER!

Well, in my humble opinion anyhoo. I really like this fried rice. It's even better if you chuck in some cooked chicken.

Not-Takeout Vegie Fried Rice

Servings: 6 as a side
Recipe Source: I've been making different versions of fried rice for a while now, this one is kind of a mix of all of them.
Weight Watchers Pro Points: 5 per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 30ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 tbs kecap manis (sweet dark soy sauce)
  • 2-3 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups pre-cooked brown rice

Directions

  1. Combine ginger, sweet chilli sauce, keycap manis, soy sauce and garlic in a small bowl. Add 2 tbs water and stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or large, deep sauce pan over medium heat. Spray quickly with cooking spray and cook eggs, stirring constantly, until almost set. Leave for a moment to set. Remove from pan, allow to cool a little, until set completely, then slice and set aside.
  3. Add onion, mushrooms, carrot and broccoli, and stir fry for about 3 mins, until onion and mushrooms have softened and broccoli is bright green.
  4. Add combined sauces etc to vegetable mix. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until combined.
  5. Add rice and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, until heated through.
  6. Serve rice topped with egg.

Notes

This freezes quite well. Stir the sliced egg through the rice dish, allow to cool completely, then freeze in serving sized portions.