Sunday, July 17, 2011

Healthy Baking

I am trying out a few variations to my cake baking.

You see, cakes taste lovely because they are full of butter, sugar and other yummy things. They are fattening. You can add wholemeal flour if you like to make you feel they are a bit healthy. Or sultanas. Or put fruit in.

How about saying to yourself that if the cake has wholemeal flour, bananas, sultanas and some nuts in the recipe you are somehow getting part of the food groups covered for the day.

Except for that ingredient butter. That is what makes the cake so delicious and moist. Especially if you are making vanilla cup cakes. Mmmmm.

Well, in my efforts to make my treats a bit healthier I substituted apple sauce for the butter.

The recipe I had was for a seriously buttery batch of cup cakes. I worked out that the butter alone added 2178 calories to the recipe. So, per cup cake the butter alone would have been an extra 100 calories per cupcake on top of the flour, sugar and egg portion. And then there is the saturated fat portion. It's just not healthy.

I don't use margarine because that is full of strange ingredients that I am not keen on.

So, tonight I made a batch of cup cakes using this replacement.

They looked very nice.

Just as a cup cake should look.

However, they were actually kind of disgusting. Sort of chewy and tasteless and stodgy. Which could be good in a strange way because you would not go back for seconds.

K said that they could use something moist in the middle and he only ate one. Normally he would eat two or more.

It reminds me of the time I made a low fat vegan banana cake. It was grey in colour and most unpleasant in taste. Never again.

Now, what shall I do with the remaining 22 rubbery cup cakes? There is no way I am taking any to work. I could never live down the ribbing I would get. They would be thrown at me. Bounce off my head.

Ah, I have it. They would do very well in a trifle. Just add loads of custard, cream and jelly in the mix.

Oh, yeah, and some tinned fruit. You know, to make it "healthy".

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Real People

It's Sunday and I am once again enjoying being a lazy sloth.

Not really lazy but just enjoying being at home. It's cool outside and not much to do. I suppose some gardening could be done but we scratched around in the front yard like two lazy chooks and pulled out some weeds yesterday. In fact, I finally pruned a very big native bush that impinged on the driveway and made getting out of the car on a wet day particularly unpleasant. I am quite attached to it as it has very tactile foliage. But, it needed a trim and will grow back.

I've been out in the half finished studio feeling very excited. The skylight is in and the roof on so it is now all waterproof. On Tuesday they will put in the insulation, clad the walls with timber lining boards and put up the ceiling. Then the electrician will fit off what needs fitting off. The room even has heating and cooling. Once I paint inside the floor goes down. The count down to moving in my stuff is officially on.

On Friday night K and I went for a run. Five km's in about 30 mins which is good enough. Tonight we will do seven. It's easier to motivate oneself if another person is involved. Yesterday morning I was out of bed early for an exercise class. It was 2 degrees and ice was on the window of the car and all over the grass where we exercised. But the sky was blue and the sun shining on the icy ground. My favorite mornings. I felt really very fresh in my head. Adding more exercise in the routine makes a difference I think. I like that I am doing a charity run. It makes me more interested in getting out and doing it. It's not just for me but for others.

Sunday has become a rather indulgent day for me in that I have been watching old movies on television. Anything from the 1930's to the 1980's. It's hard to believe that the 1980's is so far away now. I left school in 1980. Then I spent the next thirty years growing up.

Anyway, back to the movies. One thing I notice when watching old movies is that people look real. They look like people I might see at work. Or down the street. Or at the beach. You know what I mean. They have uneven teeth. Or wrinkles. They are not manufactured looking. And not strangely smooth like some sort of waxwork figure. They almost look their age. One of them I watched had Bette Davis in it and she was about 53 and looked like a fantastic wrinkly old woman. It was great to see.

Today I was watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's not the first time I have watched it. Each time I watch it I think "oh, not this again" and once I get into it I see things in it that I had forgotten. One thing that stands out is the colouring of everything. The lighting. It must be the use of real film as opposed to digital. It's so raw and natural. I could imagine looking out of a window and seeing those same colours whereas when I watch movies these days the colour looks sterile or something. I cannot quite explain it except to say that it does not look real anymore.

But I suppose I should ask what is real anyway. I get up each morning, shower, wash and blow dry my hair and put make up on. Does that make me a bit real? It might be three times a year I don't wash my hair. I have big hair. I have hair that likes to frizz and I can look like a witch especially now I have more grey hair. Whilst I don't care who sees me without my make up I am not so keen to be seen with my hair all natural and that is because it just looks too scruffy.

However, after watching old movies and seeing people who looked real I thought I may upload a photo of myself that shows me sans anything. This was the morning after the Oxfam walk. I had washed my hair the night before and gone to bed with it damp. It was such a rare event to see it so fluffy that K wanted to take a photo for posterity.

I am hideously tired in the photo so I don't care about the tired and unmade face on show but when I look at the hair I just cannot ever imagine me just letting it go natural ever. I intend to wash and blow dry my hair for ever and a day.

Also, just want to say once again how much I love make up and hair product.

That photo might be the "real me" but putting on make up and doing my hair is what makes the "really happy me".

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Crap Day

This morning I made the fatal mistake of putting on a pair of cherry red tights.

I hate the colour and I don't know why I even bought them. But I did and now feel I should wear them at least a few times before they become plant ties or something.

I am wearing them with a denim skirt and feel frumpy. And I am wearing a cardigan.

But the worst thing is the tights match the hand towel in the work toilets.

Great, years ago I would have worried about them matching someone elses tights but these days a matching hand towel is just as depressing.


One of them days.

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday In July

Today is my son's birthday.

He turns fourteen. It seems like a lifetime ago we brought him home from the hospital. Totally clueless on the whole parenthood thing but we appear to have managed well enough just as millions have managed over the centuries.

He is now almost two inches taller than me and I find that very strange as I now have to tilt my head back a bit to meet his eyes. I have no idea how much taller he will get.

We bought him a few things that he asked for along with a few things that he did not which included a few t-shirts, two of which I have to return because they were "too nice". I knew I should have bought the one with the zombie on the front. Or maybe the one with the half naked girl. Anyway, looks like another visit to the department store tomorrow. Booooooooooooring.

In nine months he will be getting a part time job. Over those months we will be getting him used to using public transport and getting about without us driving him. Although, I just know my husband will pick him up and drop him off where ever he ends up working. I mean, he drives him to school each morning which is a ten minute walk away so I can see him being a softie and doing the same when he gets work.

My son could not rely on me to drive him to school since I just won't. Apart from the fact it is unlikely I would be ready to leave the house by the time he needs to get to school, I just think he should walk his arse up the street. He takes ages to get out of bed. Ages to get dressed. Ages to just be ready to go. That is unless my husband has to get out to a job early. Then my son has no problem getting to school very early. I just have to say "Dad's going to work early so you have to walk to school" and he is ready in a flash. Only have to say it once.

My husband and I have regular chats about the fact that our son is perfectly capable of walking to school. K then resolves that from the next week onwards S will have to walk to school. Full of resolve and then S sleeps in again and pfaffs around again. Then K the enabler drives him.

But you know, I am glad one of us is like that. It is a nice balance.

Here are some other nice balances that help my son:

1. I swear, my husband does not
2. I sleep in, my husband does not
3. I am untidy, my husband is not
4. I shout, my husband does not
5. I love watching tv all the time, my husband does not
6. I love my computer, my husband can take it or leave computers
7. I change the bed linen, my husband would never think of it

So my son gets to see that two different people can get on well and things work.

Anyway, happy birthday to my beautiful son.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cooking Shows

I hate cooking shows. Every television station has at least one, if not ten, on them each week.

Then there are cooking segments on morning shows.

That's because I hate cooking. The basic meat and three veg is about the only thing that holds my interest. And I don't eat it. I just dish it up to be eaten by K and S.

I can cook if I really, really have to. Soups, stews, pasta sauces and the like. Then freeze as much as I can so that I do not have to endure the utter boredom of cooking them for a couple of weeks.

Baking is okay. Generally I don't need more than half a dozen ingredients and it is pretty easy to whip up a cake.

But chop vegetables, saute anything or contemplate a recipe that requires more than six ingredients will ensure my utter disinterest pretty quickly.

I hate how cooking has become this big wanky gourmet thing. Outdoor BBQ areas that are geared up like and indoor kitchen really intrigue me. I put them on par with movie rooms. I don't think they are social things. I think they stop people going out.

In fact, in Melbourne there have been restaurants doing a roaring trade cooking BASIC foods like casserole, meat and three veg and bread and butter pudding because people are sick of anything with "jus" in the recipe and just want boring again.

It's just all a big wankity wank.

If I want to catch up with six people for dinner I would rather eat out at some cheap Italian restaurant and that is it. Let someone else cook and clean.

However, I will watch Nigella Lawson do her cooking thing because I don't think it matters what she dishes up, it would be eaten.

She looks great.

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