Wednesday, 22 June 2011


IMAG0132 by **amanda*jane**
IMAG0132, a photo by **amanda*jane** on Flickr.

Yesterday I discovered Xanthan Gum. I read quiet a lot of healthy eating type blogs and everyone swears by this stuff for making smoothies nice and thick.

My first experiment didn't go so well because I hadn't realised quite how little you need!!! I put two teaspoons in and it completely clogged the blender and made a rather oddly tasting inedible lump.

Smoothie number 2 with about a quarter of a teaspoon was much nicer!!!!

Into the blender I put

1 banana
Some milk (regular moo milk)
two handfuls of spinach
1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1 teaspoon smooth whole peanut butter
1 teaspoon Nutella
squirt of almond flavouring
6 ice cubes

if I'd had more soft fruit I'd have put it in there but our strawberry crop is still growing and I'd eaten the only ripe raspberries on the bush already!!!

This photo is one I made quite a while ago. I completely forgot to take a photo of the new and improved version until I'd finished the lot!!!!!

The funniest thing about Xanthan Gum is trying to wash it off a spoon. As soon as you get water near it, it turns into slime (which if you're strange like me is quite fun to play with!), but you just can't wash it off easily! I've left the spoon to soak. I'm not sure my sister-in-law is going to have been very impressed to find it in the washing up bowl!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Banana Bread the revenge...

I posted a banana bread recipe a while ago and have to admit to being slightly addicted to it. It's just SO easy to make, especially for someone who is irrationally terrified of baking.

I've made a few changes to the recipe each time I've made it (adding cinnamon, cocoa and random other bits and pieces and using muffin tins instead of a loaf tin) but yesterday I decided to use half the recommended amount of butter and substitute the other half for coconut oil. In hindsite I should have warmed the oil up a little because at room temperature it's solid and not very easy to work with so I actually ended up chopping it up into little pieces as I'd already started mixing the wet ingredients.

Anyway, the result was fantastic!! You can't actually taste the coconut (until next time when I add some dessicated coconut to the mix) but it has a completely different texture, almost chewy, which I really, really like.

Next time I'm going to add some dessicated coconut and possibly (though I'm not sure about this), some crushed pineapple and make a totally tropical loaf :)

Friday, 17 June 2011

Just be yourself

I've lost count of the number of times I've been told this over the years. "Stop trying to impress others", "stop trying to be one of the cool kids", "just be yourself and they'll like you for who you are".

But to be honest, after many years of trying to be someone else, I've rather lost track of who I am. Even now, I look at myself and think "who do I want to be?". I'm 35 years old, I'm not a kid any more. I'm married and on the verges of starting my own family and yet I still feel I have no idea who I actually am......

I'm sure this can't just be a "me" thing. I'm sure other people must try to be something they're not a lot of the time.

There are a couple of people on my bloglist who *do* inspire me and I *do* want to be very like them. They're both a little older than me and despite their ups and downs, they're both strong women living their lives the best way they know how and keeping to their own priorities despite what the media throws at us all.

Goodness, that sounds quite silly and gushy really, but all I'm trying to say is... oh piffle, I'm not sure what I'm actually trying to say, I'm just saying it.

Edited to add: Sometimes I get sidetracked and recently when I've been trying to write a blog entry, I just end up on such a tangent that I don't know how I go there (in my head) or how to get back. Often, it's just easier to let the words fall out of my mouth and see what happens.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I do still exist...

I've just not been very "talky" recently. I feel like I'm doing exactly what my blog title says, "plodding along" and to be honest, that's not very interesting at all to anyone...!!

A and I are trying to be good and watch the pennies. It's no secret that in the past I've had a serious shopping problem. I used to buy things I didn't need on an alarmingly regular basis because I thought they'd make me feel better or because if I only had "that jumper" or "that skirt" or read "that book", I would automatically become a better person. The sort of person I would like to be.

I've realised (very slowly I'll admit) that the things you own don't make you the person you are and won't make you the person you want to be. It's got to come from inside and that's just something that you can't buy.