Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Whole 30 - Week 2

Breakfasts are looking pretty much the same as last week but I've tried to completely vary the mid-day and evening meals -

Do you do fruit omelette? My s.i.l used to work in a mountain refuge and on bad weather days when the clients were few and far between, her boss would to make her runny omelette with sugar and jam!  I don't like runny eggs and obviously sugar and jam are out at the moment but I tried some blackberries that the kids had picked, with a kale, bacon and mushroom concoction and it tasted just delicious.

Avocado stuffed with sardines and boiled egg - mushrooms and broccoli.

Salmon and salad

Ground Beef Chilli (minus the kidney beans) over lettuce.

Cauliflower Fried Rice - this would have been even better with some peas but I didn't have any!

 Tuna Steak.

Roasted Veggies with Bolognaise Sauce.

Chicken Stew.

Still going strong, but don't know how I'd get through this with out avocados (which unfortunately are ridiculously expensive here).
Missing my morning porridge!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yarn Along - A little catching up...

It's been a while since I last joined in for a Yarn Along.  My needles haven't completely been in summer hibernation but they've definitely been putting their 'tips' and enjoying a rest.
However, I've finally finished my Nordic Trail Vest - with a little arm hole modification.  The arm was meant to be in the same rib as the front bands but I just couldn't seem to pick up the correct number of stitches, which made the arm hole too tight.  I opted in the end for one row of backwards single crochet (I think it's called scallop stitch).

As it's getting a bit chilly here in the mornings  I've been wearing it quite a bit - no photo's of it been worn I'm afraid - I'm three months into growing out a pixie cut and lets just say every day is a bad hair day!!

And I had just enough yarn left to do the sole's for a pair of slippers.

My Favorite Things Scarf is coming along slowly, just added these owls and am thinking of an abstract motif next in pink and purple.

Also made this little guy for my little guy.  Must admit, I don't enjoy sewing all those little pieces together at the end.

Currently on my night stand is A Tale of Two Cities which I'm quite enjoying.  Found the first chapter a little tough going but now the characters are a bit more established I'm getting in to it.  I'm also being inspired by Junk Genius and Rediscovered Treasures.

As you can see it's not really a night stand - it an old box.  It was the kids outdoor toy box but they have this annoying habit of not putting their toys away - (they throw them into the sand pit at the end of the day, at least that's something) so I reclaimed it - sanded it down, put on a coat of clear varnish and voila!

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along, what are you knitting and reading this week?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Whole 30* - week one

30 days of Meat, Fish, Seafood, Eggs, Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts and Seeds
30 days of NO Grains (wheat, rice, quinoa etc), Dairy, Alcohol, Sugars (including honey or maple syrup) or Legumes
Easy peasy!
Well it is only week one.

Last time I did the Whole30 was back in November and apart from a wee slip up with a slice of cake and glass of bubbly on Rémi's birthday I managed it.
But this time round it seems much easier.
I think it's the time of year, the garden is giving plenty and an 'endless' supply of veggies to hand makes things far more simple.

 This time I've planned a little better, re-read the book...
but like I said it only week one...

Here's a little sample of what the Whole 30 is looking like in my kitchen...
(the light in some of the photo's is a bit off as they were taken either at 6.30 am or 7 pm)

Roasted Beetroot (this is basically the only time I use tin foil,  I've tried kitchen paper and a covered pyrex dish but it just doesn't cook the same)
Creamy Ranch Coleslaw (I added carrot and red cabbage to mine)

Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

Salmon, Sweet Potato and Avocado

Coconut Wonder Bars

Pumpkin & Bacon Soup with Coconut Cream

Grain free pancakes - mashed banana, teaspoon of almond butter & egg.
Mix and fry in coconut oil just like a regular pancake.

Omelette with Kale and Horn of Plenty Mushrooms.

Chopped Un-Sweetened Dates, Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Shredded Coconut with home made Almond Milk, Blueberries and Peaches.

White Fish on a bed of Courgette Spaghetti

Roast Meat & Salad

*Potatoes are not on the Whole30 approved list but I can't resist a few fresh from the garden!

This eating program is great, I'm not craving anything that I can't have (well maybe dark chocolate just a little bit) and my energy levels stay constant throughout the day!
I may or may not have lost a few pounds, I don't know as I don't own a weighing scales but I'm certainly feeling good and 'trimmer'!!

Bring on week two!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

If you go down to the woods today...

... you might find some mushrooms!!  I did and I wasn't even looking for them!!!  I'd long since resigned myself to the fact that all the secret mushrooms spots here were to remain eternally secret to me, seventeen years of living in this valley and never found one. Until today that is...

... two 'cepes' and five 'chanrelles'!!
Combined with what the garden had to offer we had ourselves quite a feast this evening - Croute Savoyard and salad.

There's no particular recipe for a Croute - every family has their own depending on what's in the pantry.  It's one of those fantastically frugal dishes, originally made with stale bits and bobs - dry bread dipped in white wine to soften it up, the 'Croute' (the hard rind of a piece of cheese), the end bits of ham etc all covered in cream and baked in the oven.  For mine I added my 'two cepes and five chantrelles', some left over potatoes, an egg and a sliced tomato.

My own secret mushroom spot, I almost feel like a local!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fruit glorious fruit - Mirabelle

Tiny and sweet, in a 'boozy' pie (as a friend called it), a mixed fruit tart, jam or simply left on the table for nibbles, this years Mirabelle are delicious and bountiful.

For the August Chamonix Ladies Book Club meeting (pot luck buffet) I used the following pie recipe...

Pastry case 
800g of pitted Mirabelles (any plums would do)
1 egg
120g sugar
100g slivered almonds
65g melted butter
100ml 'eau de vie de prune' (this is basically a distilled clear alcohol made from plums but grappa could be used as a substitute or just leave it out altogether!)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and bake blind the pastry case for 5 mins
Put the fruit into the pastry case and cook for a further 15 mins
Mix the sugar, egg, butter, almonds and alcohol (I used only a small shot glass full)
Cook for 20 mins or until golden

the bouquet was for Sylvie, this months book club host
... for the kids I substituted the alcohol and slivered almonds for wild raspberries, rhubarb and powdered almonds...

... and a simple plum jam was turned into something a little special with the addition of a few spoons of lavender honey.

Oh how the garden is good to us!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 - July

There a change of destination for this months Slow Living Essentials Monthly Nine.  After creating and running the monthly link-up since 2012,  Christine has passed the baton to Linda at Green Haven


Lots of jamming going on: strawberry freezer jam, blackcurrant jam, red current jelly, red & blackcurrant jelly and apricot & strawberry curd.  Also been brewing up some infused vinegars - clove & garlic and raspberry. Have found that Rémi's hockey kit drying rack is great for herbs and have some lovely mint, sage and oregano drying out in the garage for use this winter.  I'm finally going to give soap making a whirl so have a batch of dried calendula flowers macerating in sunflower oil to put in my blend.

Despite the abundant rain we've been having (apparently the wettest July since 1965) the garden is blooming.
It's lovely to pop out there every day, even if it's just to pick some lettuce and gather a few eggs

summer herbal tea mix - mint, borage, lavender, raspberry + leaf, black-currant leaf and nettle
Potatoes, carrots, leeks, courgette, pumpkin & butternut squash, kale, cabbage, onions, garlic, gherkins, peas, green beans, rhubarb, plums, red & black-currants, parsley, sage, rosemary, chives, mint, oregano, edible salad flowers, swiss chard, corn, sunflowers and calendula.  See my recent garden post here.

OCM - Oil Cleaning Method!  for someone with quite oily skin this has been something of a revelation.  Simply rub the oil of your choice - I've been using a sunflower/castor oil mix - on your face in place of soap or other cleanser, and rinse off with warm to hot water.  Nothing else.  I was a bit wary at first as it didn't feel like I was getting all the oil off, but come next morning, my skin feels wonderful.  The great thing with oil is a little goes a long way, so this method is very economical.  No plastic bottles to recycle every few weeks either.

Turned this rarely worn dress into a tunic by cutting the frill off.  I rather liked it as a dress but it tended to blow up and reveal my underwear to the world.  Now I can wear it over jeans where as before it was a tad too long. 

Not a lot going on the knitting/crochet front at the moment, but I was inspired by Rémi's wood burning to have a go myself.  I think I shall make a few more as Christmas present (with a nice pot of jam).


Quite by chance, while watching a hockey game, I got to chatting with a friend who told me his dyslexic nephew had been helped with some kind of physiotherapy.  He was a bit sketchy on the details so I called our physio and she gave me the number of a qualified Kinesiologist here in Chamonix.  It's hard to sum it all up in one short paragraph but the idea behind Brain Gym, as it is also known, is to stimulate both sides of the brain and get them working more efficiently together.  It's not a cure for dyslexia by any means but I'm convinced that any yoga/workout, for whatever part of the body, can only be beneficial.

I'm afraid I come up a bit short here this month!

A short holiday in Montsapey at summer house belonging to Richard's dad's family.  The house has quite an interesting story that deserves a post in it's self - which it is going to get just as soon as I locate some old pictures.

Despite the soggy weather July get a thumbs up from us...

... and how was your July?