Tag Archives: food

It’s all about the cheese!

What is it about cheese that makes everything all right with the world?cheese

SC loves cheese, the stronger the better and as long as I generously sprinkle it over his food, I can pretty much hide the fact he’s eating the dreaded vegetables – mostly!

Much as I love my cake, I have to say if there was a choice between cake and cheese it would be a tough call but the cheese would win – unless it was cheesecake of course 😉

If I’m feeling a bit blurgh my favourite go-to food would have to be cheese on toast, and I’m sorry to say I like putting baked beans on the top.

SC’s favourite food, in fact he would eat it every day if I would let him is cheesy pasta – just cooked pasta with grated cheese stirred and melted in. One quick, easy and filling supper – for the record I do add the dreaded vegetables to mine!

And yes, one of my favourite Monty Python sketches is the “Cheese Shop.”

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How important are the senses when it comes to food?

The world has people who are deemed ‘visual eaters’ – they eat stuff if it looks good, and if it looks bad then they do not eat it. (That’s why parents tend to try to make pretty cheesecakepictures with their children’s food in an attempt to get them to eat green vegetables and the such)

Can we, therefore, assume that other senses can come into play when approaching food?

And, if so, would it be possible that this sense reaction could have the same effect?

I was just wondering.

Now, I admit that I can be somewhat fussy in the food department – after all being a vegetarian is never a good starting point with potential boyfriends, especially if they are carnivores and they can’t seem to accept that you just don’t like meat – and I’m not very adventurous either really. Plain, wholesome cooking is a winner in my books.

But to get back to the point, SC is very much a visual eater. If he doesn’t like the look of something, savoury or sweet, he will literally crawl under the table in an attempt to avoid even smelling it, let alone trying it!

Whereas, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I am an “aroma eater” – if it doesn’t smell good I will not go near it.

As an example, I have never eaten Indian food in my life. The reason? Oh, that’s too simple. It’s purely because I cannot stand the smell that wafts out of Indian restaurants. I don’t know what it is, and I know, deep down, that individual dishes will not smell bad, but because of the smell I cannot bring myself even to attempt to cook a curry.

Similarly, parmesan cheese, to me smells like vomit, and I cannot bring myself to use it. Even though I have been told that fresh parmesan smells nothing of the sort!

On the plus side, it has helped me kick my addiction to biscuits. I have not had a biscuit in 2 years. After about a week the smell changed. It went from being a scrummy smell, to me being able to smell only the fats and other industrial components, and as a consequence I now cannot eat them.

This I believe is one the foremost techniques in NLP when trying to get someone to ‘kick a habit’, by getting them to give the habit a different smell or taste. So, if you like chocolate, I believe the idea is that when you take a bite instead of enjoying the chocolatey flavour, you train your brain into thinking it tastes of brussel sprouts, so after a few days when you reach for the afternoon ‘pick-me-up’, your brain screams “YUK! Brussel sprouts!” and you think twice about eating it.

But would it work the other way around?

So, for instance, if SC refuses to eat something because of the way it looks, should I try the blindfold test?

Similarly, should I try to cook a curry and hold my nose in the first instance of tasting?

After all, if you can train your brain to think one way, surely you can train it to think another?

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Starter or Dessert?

When you are out to dinner, would you rather have a starter and a main, or a main and a dessert?cheesecake

To be honest, I’m generally a main and dessert girl.

“Dessert is the whole point of the meal.” (Simply Irresistible, 1999)

As far as I’m concerned the sweetness of dessert sates the appetite, whereas not having one can leave you wanting something else even when you are feeling F.T.B. (full to bursting!)

Not eating chocolate (yes, I know, total freak aren’t I) sometimes the dessert choice can be limiting, but I’m a sucker for cheesecake.

Vanilla cheesecake with mango sorbet – heaven on a spoon 😉

Or, if it’s winter and I’m sat by a roaring open fire it has to be crumble and custard – I had raspberry and peach the other week, it was delicious 😉

So, what do you prefer – starter of dessert? And what is your favourite?

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The humble sprout!

It’s a bit like Marmite.brussels

You either love ’em, or hate ’em.

They are forever associated with Christmas, frequently ridiculed (after all you need to start cooking them in April so they are ready in time for Christmas) and despised.

But why?

What is it about the humble little sprout, that makes people gag at the mere thought of them?

Personally, I LOVE them.


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Why do women have an unhealthy interest in food?

Why do we beat ourselves up trying to look like those impossibly skinny stick insects that parade up and down the catwalks of Milan, Paris, London and New York?

Why do magazines berate anyone in celeb-dom that looks vaguely healthy because, goodness me, they have curves and maybe just a little bit of a tummy?

Why does anyone think that looking like a bag of bones covered in skin is vaguely attractive?

… because at some point in our lives we all do.

Take me.

I have never been overweight, but that has not stopped my life being ruled by food. In times of trouble and stress it has been the one thing I used to control my life.

My unhealthy obsession with food started in my formative years.

I did Ballet like most little girls, and was always being told to hold my ribs in. Now when I was little, I thought this was an indication that I was fat, it was only later when I started developing that I realised my ribs naturally stuck out.

When the bullying started at secondary school, that’s when the anorexic tendencies began. I say tendencies because I never did the full throwing up stuff.

I just stopped eating.

I literally lived on a sandwich a day for nearly 2 years, until my parents found out what was happening.

Once life started returning to semi-normality I put weight on. But then I hated what I saw in the mirror.

I saw a big ugly ball of fat.

So, I started to control my food again. I would exercise in secret, forgo meals, but pretend I had eaten, where I could.

At sixth form my confidence wasn’t helped by the other pupils. I was constantly being called ugly, stupid, and then when they saw me in a bathing costume that’s when the taunts about my rib-cage got worse. Obviously I was some deformed mutant as I had 4 boobs!

At 17, I went under the knife. I had excess costal cartilage removed – if I remember correctly I had about 4 inches shaved off one ribcage and 5 off the other. Some may call it vanity, for me it was more of a psychological barrier. With the object of taunting removed maybe I could regain some self-confidence.

But I still hated what I saw in the mirror!

When I was at university fending for myself for the first time I put weight on – to the extent my mum taunted me (not in a vile way, just jokingly) about it – so I did something about it.

This time I didn’t starve, but  lost weight carefully, although I did start obsessing about what I put in my mouth.

The one thing I couldn’t live without was biscuits. And if I got down about my studies I would have a cup of tea and happily munch through literally a packet of biscuits, without thinking anything, until afterwards.

I had some really good friends at uni – most of whom I have lost contact with – but I will never forget their concern at the beginning of our final year when I came back weighing pretty much the least I’ve ever weighed. I weighed just under 7 stone – and I stand 5’9″ tall. So I did look like a lollipop long before it became a popular look in Hollywood. If we went out for a meal, and I went to the bathroom someone would always tailgate me to make sure I wasn’t throwing up. Not that I ever did – seriously couldn’t do it. I tried it once, but who likes being sick?

For that I will be eternally grateful. They were true friends.

Throughout my twenties I didn’t starve myself, I just became obsessed that I didn’t eat too much. I would live on one meal a day. I didn’t have breakfast. I went to work and lived on water and then ate a small meal in the evenings. I did still binge on biscuits.

But I was in control, or so I thought.

Looking back, I was not in control rather my obsession was controlling me.

From the taunts that haunted me about being ugly and the one that has scarred me for most of my adult life that the only person who would go out with me would either be blind, drunk or mad the only thing I thought was that if I lost just a little bit more weight I would be prettier. I could not look in the mirror. I hated what I saw. I just saw the imperfections.

Through Mr Wong No. 1 until I got pregnant I would always use food as my coping mechanism.

If I was stressed I would stop eating, when I was depressed I binged. Simple.

Nowadays, I have thrown away the scales. I do not weigh myself. If I can fit comfortably into my jeans, great. If not, I cut down on the carbohydrates until I can. I am not obsessive any more. I have finally given up biscuits and now find I cannot actually eat them. But if I fancy a piece of cake I will have a piece of cake.

I try to eat healthily and ensure I get adequate exercise.

It’s taken me most of my life to realise that I am not an ugly ball of fat. I am what I am. Like everyone I have good bits and bad bits. I just focus on the good nowadays.



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Horsemeat Scandal

The ‘horsemeat scandal’ just makes me glad I’m vegetarian 😉

That’s all!

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Supermarket Sweep – Part 1

Mmm, supermarkets! Love ’em or loathe ’em, they are essential establishments for the vast majority of us. What would do without BOGOFs, buy one get second half price, not to mention the “they’re a bit past their shelf life but if you’re game they’re cheap!” and in all fairness the choice?

Having said that, however, there are several things that can leave one feeling a little exasperated! And the next couple of posts I shall get these little irksome annoyances off my chest 😉


Why is it shoppers seem to think it’s OK to try to put a trolley load of shopping through the “10 items or less” checkout? This is not as daft as it sounds. I actually witnessed a woman with a mountainous trolley push her way in front of me and proceed to empty the stuff onto the “10 items or less” conveyor belt. Cue a volley of abuse when the checkout staff politely pointed to the sign and asked her to reload her trolley and go to another till. What part of “10 items or less” did this woman fail to understand? Why did she deem herself to be immune from this particular little detail of the checkout in question? She may have been in a desperate hurry, who knows. But even in a great hurry, one would have thought she would have the intelligence and the courtesy not to be quite so arrogant, or alternatively had the foresight to plan one’s shopping trip to leave enough time to pay for such a huge amount of shopping.

I do, however think that some supermarkets are over-zealous in their attempts at keeping 10 items or less to just that. I have been in the supermarket and have seen people turned away from this till with 11 or 12 items and made to stand in the large trolley queues whilst the “10 items or less” remained empty and void of shoppers. I think that when the shop is not busy it would be appropriate for checkout staff to exercise discretion if there are only 1 or 2 items over 10.

The other thing that slightly irritates me is the paper/lottery/cigarette tills at the front of the store. Please supermarkets, leave them as just that! When the shop is busy this queue becomes the longest in the shop and an extension of the “10 items or less” till for those that have the couple of items over 10. If you want a paper/lottery ticket/cigarettes get them before you do your shopping or after. I appreciate that the great British past-time is queuing but I only went in for a paper I don’t want to have to queue for as long as I do if I’m doing my weekly shop! Is that too much to ask?

Oh and whilst I’m about it, how about re-opening a cash only till. I know cash is very much an alien concept these days, but sometimes I just don’t feel comfortable using a card for 2 items that cast me precisely £1.47!

Finally, self-service checkouts. Innovative, yes. Annoying, definitely. The great thing about them is you get to scan your own shopping. Fantastic. Less queuing time, generally, and you don’t have to pack like a madman because the shopper behind is encroaching in your own personal space whilst you are trying to pack and tut if you go slow! (Oh, I just love that, I purposely slow right down to the point of having a conversation with the cashier just to annoy ;-)) BUT, how annoying is it to get the “skip bagging item” or the beep because the weight device didn’t actually feel you pop the item in the bag because you put it on top and you have to ask for assistance and feel like the IT duncehead because you’re asking every 2 minutes. And whilst I’m on the subject of the assistants, is it part of the job description to look at everyone like they are some kind of master criminal about to leave the shop with a hot can of baked beans?? Finally design-wise leaves a lot to be desired, if I’m using cash I want to know my change is going to appear somewhere in the vicinity of where I put my money in, not from a hole that looks like a reject from a Las Vegas one-armed bandit, ditto the receipt. Aside from this though I do recommend self-service especially if you have a small child in tow, getting them to help with the scanning makes it much more fun!!

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Cooking Pasta

It’s supposed to be the simplest thing in the world to cook, so why does my pasta always take longer than the cooking time indicated on the packet?

It’s not that I’m an atrocious cook – I take pride in being able to whip up a 3-course meal, but this just beats me every single time!

Pasta the other day said “cooks in 5 minutes.”

I followed the instructions to the letter, and lo 5 minutes later the pasta was still far too ‘al dente’, it was like eating chewy toffee but without the stickiness, just the chewiness. 15 minutes later and it was just passable.

What state is one supposed to eat pasta in?  Chewy toffee state, mush state, or some happy medium in between?

Someone said that I could be cooking the pasta too fast! With a 5 minute cooking time and instructions to bring water to boil, add pasta and keep boiling for 5 minutes, what part of that would be cooking it too fast?

Also, why whenever I cook pasta and replace the lid when cooking does the water always bubble up and spill over so I literally am sitting watching a pot boil (as opposed to a kettle)?

If anyone has any hidden gems about these matter they would be gratefully received.

Maybe it’s the pasta I buy, maybe it’s just me 😉


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