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August 2009

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Ingredients:
115g unsalted softened butter
50g granulated white sugar
1 large egg
140g all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
100g of your choice of nuts, finely chopped (I used a mini food processor to finely chop them into pieces)
A jar of your favourite flavour of jam (I choose Strawberry)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180°c. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk (separate yolk from the white) and beat until combined.

3. Siv the flour into the bowl (so there are no lumps) with the mix and a pinch of salt beating until mixed thoroughly into a dough.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy and place your choice of chopped nuts on a plate. In your hands, roll the dough into small balls. Taking one ball of the dough at a time, dip into the egg white and then roll into the nuts coating it completely. Place each ball on the baking tray and using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each ball filling the indents with 1/2 a teaspoon of jam.

5. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until brown. Once ready, remove from oven and cool down before eating. These little cookies are golden brown on out outside & taste like buttery shortbread inside, perfect with a glass of chilled milk 😀

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While out looking at flooring for the house renovations the other week, the car tyre on my mom’s car went flat.

No biggie right?

Well wrong! The nut bolts were too tight so we couldn’t get them off to change it. Mom then calls her insurance company as she has breakdown service with them to get them to come out to us.

This is when the problems start!

Unknowingly, my mom’s europe wide breakdown coverage was canceled in 2008 without prior knowledge. It is supposed to carry on automatically yearly, but now they are saying its void. Mom was so pissed off, we were stuck in a shopping car park in the pouring rain and a flat tyre! Mom shouted down the phone and said once her motor trade insurance was up in October, she’ll be looking elsewhere!

We then call my brother & ask him to come rescue us, which he does 30 mins later. In the meantime while waiting, mom calls up The AA breakdown service which she pays for but on my brother’s car. She explains the situation to them and they quickly change the breakdown coverage into joint names (paying extra) so that it can be used on any car and they organized someone to be out within the hour.

My brother then arrives and manages to get the nuts off after several attempts, jacks the car up, takes off the flat tyre, puts the spare tyre on the car, tightens it all back up…. Then The AA guy turns up lol! The AA guy then checks to see if the nuts are tight enough and pumps the tyre with some air and after signing paperwork sets us on our way…. To a garage to buy new tyres!

Moral of the story?

Yay to brothers who can change tyre’s
Yay to The AA for coming out fast
Boo to Norwich Union Insurance Company! Make sure you choose another one, click here to compare rates, should be even cheaper, I bet.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Ingredients:
1 Lemon Cut into Quarters
2 Tbsp Runny Honey
50ml White Wine (or White Grape Juice)
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley
Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
8 Small Chicken Thighs
500g Baby New Potatoes
1 Red Onion, Halved & Sliced
Low Fat Cooking Spray

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°c. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a large bowl and add the squeezed out lemon into the bowl as well. Stir in the honey, wine, tomato puree, basil and parsley. Season well and add the chicken stirring to coat. Set aside to marinate.

2. Half the baby new potatoes and add then into a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain and cool under running water. Then place them in a large casserole dish. Scatter the onion on top, season well and mist with low fat spray.

3. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and drizzle with the marinade. Roast for 1 hour turning the chicken over every now & then until cooked.

4. Plate up & enjoy with added vegetables if you want. I used whole baby carrots ^_^

This recipe takes approx 5 minutes to prepare & 1.5 hrs to cook. Serving 4, it has 372 calories per serving or 5.5 Weight Watchers Points

Ingredients for Curry Paste:
4 Shallots chopped roughly
4 Garlic Cloves chopped roughly
3 Green Chillies chopped roughly
2 inch piece of Fresh Ginger grated
3 Lemon Grass Stems sliced (or use 3 tsps of a jar of lemon grass already mushed up)
Zest & Juice of 1 Lime
4 tsp Water
Handful of Coriander

Method:
Place all the ingredients into a mini blender and whizz it all up until all slushy 😀

Ingredients for Curry:
Low Fat Cooking Spray
400g Peeled Butternut Squash cut into chunks
1 Small Aubergine cut into chunks
Curry Paste (all of what you made above)
400ml can of Light Coconut Milk
200ml of Chicken or Vegetable Stock made from 1/2 a stock cube
400g Skinned Chicken Breast cut into strips
100g of Green Beans halved
1 tbsp of Whole Peppercorns
Handful of Coriander

Method:
1. Heat a large pan and spray some low fat spray adding the squash along with a generous splash of water. Sauté for 5 minutes and then add the aubergine adding more water if necessary. This is to prevent the vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for a further 3 minutes, then turn down the heat stirring in the curry paste you made previously.

2. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes more stirring, then gradually add in the Coconut Milk and then the stock. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the chicken and beans simmering for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Stir in the peppercorns and scatter the Coriander on top.

3. Add cooked white rice onto your plate, add your Thai Green Curry and enjoy 😀

This recipe takes approx 15 minutes to prepare & 30 minutes to cook. Serving 4, it has 497 calories per serving or 7.5 Weight Watchers Points

It’s hard to imagine that is been a whole year since my grandfather passed away. On August 20th at 2:20pm, he passed away after a 3 month battle of Bowel Cancer which spread to his liver. I wish I could say that he wasn’t in any pain, but he was and had to be pumped with morphine & forced into a coma-state just to hold on.

Not a day has passed when I haven’t thought about him, it’s the tiny things that pop up in daily life that get to me… some make me smile, some make me cry but good or bad, they are memories I’ll treasure always. For years, my grandfather always wanted to see this little sea-plane taking off from near to where we live or catch it in the sky, but he never did get to see it. Ever since he died, near enough every single day, I’ve seen it fly in the sky, seen it land and seen it take off. It’s times like these that make me smile but wish he got to see it for himself.

In the past year, my brother got engaged and it’s sad that my grandfather won’t be able to see him get married, but luckily he met his future wife and liked her. My parents bought my grandfathers house and I’m staying in it full time now along with mom & his dog Bobby (Doggy Dog aka Chewy). We’re going to be renovating the house and extending it to give it more space. I’m glad my parents made the decision to buy the house, even though in the beginning I was against it. I like living here, it’s peaceful and it’s full of memories even if we’re going to be renovating it.

Today, mom & I went to the place where his funeral was held & his ashes scattered. We arranged flowers in vases and put a single white rose next to the tree where his ashes were placed. It’s hard going back, the memories of his funeral keep popping back but I know he’s happy now, he’s with my grandmother smiling and together again after 10 years apart.

I loved my grandfather more than anyone alive and will continue to do so. Even though the days have flown by and even though he is no longer here, life has to go on but in my heart he’ll always stay.

Way back in June, my parents & I decided to go check out the Doctor Who Exhibition which is currently taking place at the Kelvingrove Museum here in Glasgow. Genuine props, costumes and monster characters from the long running television series are featured as well as over 100 exhibits, including the mysterious Autons, Ood, Costumes from the most recent Christmas specials and the frightening Stone Angel.

When we went there, we were slightly disappointed because we pretty much expected that the exhibition would be in a huge hall. However, the exhibition is in several small rooms with no staff around, it’s more like a mini museum. Saying that, I still had a great time, loved the scary looking monsters and dalek’s 😀

Tickets are £7.50 for adults and the exhibition will run until Monday 4th January 2010

A few weeks ago I got my eyes tested when I went to buy new glasses and they suggested I get this new feature of where they take photographs inside your eyes. For £10, you get your eyeballs tested, checking the optical nerves and other eye bits for any health problems such as diabetes and cancer.

They then ask for your email address as they forward the images to you so you can keep them for your own records and to compare against any future pictures you get taken (every 2 years an eye test is recommended in the UK).

So here are my eye balls, all nice & healthy 😀

lefteye

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