Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Sandwich 21: Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Pineapple Salsa

I'm not a fan of fruit and meat combined but I'm willing to give it a go. We're hoping this sandwich will bring a tropical feel to today since it's dull and cold. Hurrah English summer :D

Ingredients: a million things -.-

For the salsa: red onion, red bell pepper, pineapple, salt, pepper, lime juice and honey.

Chop everything up small, stir and set aside for later.

For the chicken marinade: chicken (duh), garlic, brown sugar, spring onions, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, lime juice, sea salt, pepper, allspice.

Mix all the ingredients (except the chicken) in a food processor to make the marinade. Pour over the chicken, cover and put in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight if you're organised like that)

 Grill or bake the chicken and then put in some bread rolls. Spoon on the salsa and you're done.

The salsa was good, weirdly pineapple and red onion go well together. The chicken was delicious, really moist (some might say too moist, in fact they did - it was JD). JD also thought the chicken would be better on rice (which we may try). It's one of the best sandwiches we've had from this book. The chicken is meant to be barbecued but it wasn't the weather for it today. maybe next time we have some sun. :)

Ratings: JD - 3/5 Emma - 3/5

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Almost the summer holidays...

This time of year almost drives me crazy. It's just a few weeks until school is finished for summer and I find myself wishing it was already here. For a few reasons:

Being a thrifty (tight) and conscientious shopper (tight) makes me obsessively avoid buying any new uniform despite how much it's needed. The kids complain of tight trousers or worn out shoes but it falls on deaf ears. We MUST make it to the end of term without buying any new uniform. I sewed a hole in Erin's school trousers and glued Leigh's school shoes so now there's just 19 school days left for them to get through. Any normal person would just buy what they need, but not me. It's like a personal challenge every year. Come on! We can make it. :D

The last month of school term always feels like a whirlwind of activity. School plays, sports days, awards ceremonies, dressing up days, bun sales, summer fayre, leaving assembly etc etc. My mind is always full of trying to remember as the kids go off to school if there's something they're supposed to take or be dressed like. Why can't they spread these activities out a bit instead of filling the last few weeks of term with a myriad (approximately) of stuff to do. My current missions are helping Erin learn school play lines and scouring charity shops for either something yellow or cycling wear. Argh!

The kids are tired. I see them flagging towards the end of term every year (somewhat less as they get older but still). They're ready for the holidays and can't wait to be off school. I feel the same. Especially this year as we're having a holiday in America to visit family. We're all looking forward to days not getting up so early and plenty of time to spend together on days out. Roll on the summer holidays. :)

P.S. Due to a lack of photos to go with this post I've included some old school uniform pictures of the kids to embarrass them. After all that's one of the main joys of being a parent!

Monday, June 16, 2014

What being A Fat Woman is Really Like

I've been reading a lot of other blogs lately and I've seen this set of questions answered a lot of times. I've enjoyed reading others opinions and thought I'd answer them myself too. After all, I am a fat woman myself.

It all stems from this article from Cosmopolitan magazine. So, here we go:

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?

I feel two ways usually. Sometimes I just roll my eyes to myself because they're most often much slimmer than me and it's somewhat rude of them to be insensitive to my feelings as a bigger woman. But also everyone has the right to feel how they want to about their own bodies so a slim woman can feel fat if she's bigger than usual even by a few pounds. I suppose it makes me realise that women of all sizes feel discontent with their bodies and are striving for a goal of perfection. It's not going to happen though so I wish people could just enjoy life and stop worrying about weight/size so much.

How has your body image changed since high school? College?

I was quite sporty in school. I played hockey and netball, I did well at high jump and 400m on sport's day. After school I didn't carry on with sports so lost my fitness and love of exercise. My body image in school was the usual, worrying about every little thing and comparing myself to school mates.

Have you tried dieting? What happened?

I've tried many many diets over the years. Sadly I look back now and the first diet I tried was Weightwatchers when I was 17 I think. I was only 20 lbs or so overweight and if I'd just accepted my body as it was then and been happy things could be very different now. A few years ago I decided never to diet again because it makes me feel unhappy to focus on my weight so much. Instead I eat healthily and exercise every day. Last year I lost 2 1/2 stone doing that.

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?

I don't think so. Other members of my family have struggled with their weight but I think it's mostly down to just having a love of food. I love making food and eating it. Also food is a comfort to me when I feel down. I'm a classic comfort eater.

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy?

I do consider myself healthy. I walk everywhere, do situps and exercise most days for 15-30 minutes. When we go hiking I get out of breath on hills but much less than I used to. It gives me a boost to see changes in my fitness the more I exercise/walk. I eat well mostly too, we cook as much food ourselves as possible and I try (try) not to eat too much sweet stuff. I don't smoke or drink alcohol either. I assume people who see me in the street think I'm unhealthy because I'm fat, which is fine I guess. It's reasonable to assume I have been unhealthy in the past to gain the weight and they don't know I've changed my lifestyle to try change.

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you're at? Have they always been?

I feel my Dad is supportive of me now as I am, I'm not sure about in the past. We're closer nowadays and he encourages me to be active. We go on walks together and he's been pleased about me getting fitter through that. I feel unsure if my Mum is supportive of me. She's spent her own life dieting and I know she'd like me to lose weight too.

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people?

Just by accepting that there's a need for bigger sizes in main-stream shops. I'd like to see more choice because I often find myself choosing clothes because they fit rather than picking things I love.

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How?

I find this question difficult to answer because I've no idea what it's like to be a plus-sized man. I see fat people being mocked in the media in general but maybe it's harder for women because women are judged much more on how they look. I don't know :)

Being judged has been a thing that has worried me over the years. It's stopped me doing certain things  in case someone looked over and shouted 'Hey look, there's a fat woman doing -whatever it is-, haha". I feel uncomfortable eating in public sometimes because I feel judged as greedy. Lately, I've started to get over this feeling. I'm trying to push outside of my comfort zone and do more things I want to. I should be able to manage it, I'm a big girl, after all ;)

Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?

Yeah, generally we're perceived as lazy and greedy. Probably worse things too like stupid. I don't know. I don't like generalizations of any kind, all people are different. Skinny people can be lazy too. Stereotypes are a way of judging people as something without getting to know them and find out what they're really like.

Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight?

I don't think I'd ever appreciate anyone (other than a doctor) telling me they were concerned about my weight. My size is my business and if I decide to do something to change myself it's my decision and nobody else's.

What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?

I've been called names in the street before like whale or fatty etc. It upsets me obviously but I think when someone is shouting a name in the street it says more about the shouter than the recipient. People are usually mean because they feel bad themselves about something.

How did you respond?

I don't respond. Shouting something back will only escalate things and I hate confrontation. My usual 'response' is to go home and cry a bit then forget it.

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?

I'm lucky to have a very complimentary husband who comments often on my body. ^_^ I read another response to these questions and it summed up how I feel too. She said "I'd rather be complimented on something I put effort into because how you look is just how you look." I don't wear makeup, most days I just wash my face, clean my teeth and comb my hair. It's always nice for someone to compliment me of course but I can't really take credit for looking great. :D

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?

No, that's as weird as only having friends who have blue eyes like me! What I do find is that my size feeds my social anxiety and stops me from being as social as I'd like. I've lost some great friends over the years because of feeling bad about how I look has made me shy away from accepting invitations.

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?

It has in the past due to being uncomfortable being naked. Since I met JD though my confidence has grown and now I'd say that my size doesn't affect my sex life at all. I feel that now in my 40s because of my new confidence I'm enjoying the best sex of my life.

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?

That's never happened to me, so I don't know.

Do you feel weird if he's only dated slimmer women before you?

This is usually the case! It can make me feel a bit insecure but only if I let it. I suspect most women are tempted to compare themselves to their partner's exes in regards to size, weight, boob size, hair etc. He's with you because he wants to be though and that's all you need to know.

Answering these questions and posting my answers here is something outside of my comfort zone too. I've done it though so my zone is a bit bigger, just like me :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Saturday Sandwich 20: Chimichurri

The Chimichurri (or Chimi) is a Dominican burger served with fried cabbage and onion, tomato and a cocktail sauce. You're supposed to serve it with ice cold beer but we had ice-cold cider instead as we don't like beer!

Ingredient: burgers, burger buns, onion, cabbage, tomato, ketchup, mayo, mustard, oregano and chilli sauce.

Make up the sauce by mixing 1 tbls mayo, 2 tbls ketchup, 1 tbls mustard, pinch of oregano and a dash of chilli sauce.

Cook your burgers as you usually do. Sadly it wasn't quite the weather for the barbecue. Slice the onion and cabbage then saute them until they're soft.

 Toast your bread buns and assemble the burgers. Burger then tomato then cabbage/onion then sauce.

We had one Chimi each and another burger with cheese and home-made tomato chutney each. Served with cider from the freezer.

The burgers were great! I really loved the fried onion and cabbage on top. I'm not usually a fan of tomato in a burger but it wasn't too bad at all. The sauce was nice but a bit bland, I'd maybe use more chilli sauce next time to spice it up. These burgers are perfect for a summer's day barbecue to have a change from the usual cheeseburger. I can't rely on JD for comments this time as he's got a cold and his taste buds aren't working properly.

Ratings: JD - 3/5 Emma - 4/5

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Saturday Sandwich 19: Philly Cheesesteak

These sandwiches always looks great. They seem easy to make too so I'm looking forward to trying them. Originally from Philadelphia in the US and created by brothers Pat and Harry Oliveri this meaty sandwich is really popular stateside.

Ingredients: onion, bell pepper, garlic, steak, cheese, sub roll, salt and pepper.

Saute the onion, bell pepper and a garlic clove.

Remove them from the pan, cook the steak and return the vegetables.

 Stir in some cheese until it's melted then season with salt and pepper. Fill your sub roll with the pan's contents.

This sandwich did look great but the taste didn't quite live up to the hype. I really enjoyed the soft onions and how peppery the steak tasted. The sub rolls were fantastic too. Chewing the steak made my jaw ache after a while which detracted from my enjoyment of the sandwich. JD recommends you go heavy on the pepper if you make this because peppery steak is really the best part of it. We only had mozzarella to use when really a tastier cheese would've been much better. Maybe next time :)

Ratings: JD - 3/5, Emma - 3/5

Life Skills

Recently I saw a quiz on Facebook testing how many life skills you had. I filled it out and had about 60/100 which was respectable. I was let down by my lack of car knowledge! I disagreed with whether a few things were needed but most of them were good ranging from old fashioned skills like darning a sock to more modern ones like setting up a router.

I've mentioned on here before how I want the kids to be independent and know how to do things for themselves but as I looked through the list I noticed how many basic things they have no idea how to do.


Coming soon to a blog near you (this blog in fact) will be an attempt to educate Leigh and Erin on doing a few basic tasks like sewing on a button or making a good cup of tea :D

Should be fun!
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