indulgence

What I Ate Wednesday No.37 – Paris Edition!

Hello lovely readers,

I am back from Paris, which was absolutely wonderful, and I have lots to share with you! Plus I have loads to catch up on – I need to read all of your fabulous blogs 😉 As today is Wednesday and therefore WIAW, I thought I would share with you the delicious food I enjoyed over the past five days in Paris…

As usual, if you’re new to the WIAW scene then go check out Jenn’s fantastic blog to learn more!

Of course, Paris is famous for its wonderful food and as a massive foodie I was really excited to try all of the delicious food available. There is something special about eating in Paris, even though the weather was not great whilst we were there, it somehow feels more romantic and dreamy to eat in a cafe in Paris…

We had an amazing flat with a surround balcony which I will show you tomorrow and this made for lovely breakfasts each morning.

Freshly baked baguettes and brioches every morning with blackberry jam served with a glass of orange juice.

Every street in Paris is a feast for the eyes, there is so much temptation everywhere. There seem to be as many bakeries in each street as there are Starbucks coffee houses in London. I could have spent hours walking around all of the food shops we saw.

Lunches and dinners were both delicious each day, sometimes eaten out in cafes and restaurants, sometimes eaten in the comfort of the flat. I may have put on a couple of pounds over the week but I sure enjoyed myself doing it!

Pizza bought from a restaurant down the road and then taken back to the flat and eaten with a green salad.

Alice’s delicious looking chocolate fondant.

This was possibly one of the best things I ate throughout the week, apple tart with caramel ice cream. Seriously good…

Apperitif of radishes, nibbles and juice. Such a nice relaxing

Tri-colour pasta with tomato sauce and lettuce eaten by the balcony in the evening.

Grilled Mediterranean vegetables.

 Coffee and white chocolate ice cream for dessert – delicious!

As you can see, we ate a lot and we ate well. I loved the food experience in Paris, it was beautiful and it tasted fantastic.

Tomorrow I will be back with a post full of photos of Paris and details of what we got up to.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Have you ever been to Paris?

Which is the best foodie city you’ve been to? 

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Aaaand Relax.

Hey lovely ladies! (And gentlemen??)

I am home sweet home and just so relieved. The journey was particularly slow as we had my bike strapped to the back of the car and it always feels so precarious, not matter how many bungee cords and ties you use to secure it.

As you may have seen if you follow me on twitter somebody decided to throw out the food I had left in my freezer so I had nothing to eat for my breakfast this morning. I thought I had been so smart by leaving a couple of English muffins in the freezer as I had a pot of honey in my cupboard and that would be great for my last breakfast but anyway… I texted my dad this morning and asked him if he could bring me something to eat.

He shows up at around 10am with this in tow:

Best dad ever? I think so. There was also a chocolate muffin in a packet which got eaten up in the car so I didn’t take a photo. Definitely a good way to start the journey!

My mum is amazing too as she was there waiting for us when we finally got home and had a delicious lunch in front of me within half an hour of my walking through the door. I’m definitely being spoiled today but I am not complaining.

Lunch was a homemade beef burger with salad and a little piece of baguette. So rustic and tasty, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall gets it just right once again!

The afternoon was pretty much spent relaxing. I’m not going to lie, not much unpacking has been going on… I’ve already decided tomorrow shall be made up of a morning stretch and physio session, followed by some pampering, unpacking of the important things, an afternoon cycle and some more relaxation. Sound like a plan?

Dinner was pretty fantastic too, we had a gorgeous tomato tart with a courgette salad to begin with…

It’s just such an appetizing looking plate and it tasted so fresh. My favourite sort of meal 🙂

Not that it stops there, dessert followed!

That traditional English dessert of Eton Mess, one of my favourite summer treats. Broken up homemade meringue, fresh strawberries stirred into whipped cream mixed with natural yogurt. Such a beautiful indulgence.

Speaking of indulgence, as you can tell from my blog posts over the last couple of weeks, lately my diet has become rather indulgent. I’ve been feeling a lot more comfortable  with my body and my relationship with food is finally starting to become a lot more positive, however I’m beginning to feel the effects of all of this heavy food. Although I’m not letting myself feel guilty for any of it as I had the most amazing time with Tom and enjoyed every bite I ate but I do want to take a step back from it all. I feel as though I need a bit of a cleanse so I’ve decided that for the next week I will be sticking to three main meals a day consisting of whole grains, lean proteins and lots of vegetables, eating fruit for snacks and staying completely clear of processed foods and sweet treats. I’m not doing anything as drastic as a detox, I just want to eat really healthily and focus on other parts of my life 🙂

I hope you’ve all had a really great weekend!

What have you been upto this weekend?
What do you like to do when you’ve been indulging lots?

Have you ever done a detox? 

Essay Writing + Little Indulgences.

So I’ve been getting a bit behind on my blogging again even though I meant to carry on positing everyday. To those of you that (maybe) missed me I apologise!

Basically, as many of you already know, it’s essay writing and exam season. Arguably my least favourite time of the year. Having said that, I’m more or less on top of my work. Also, the essay I’ve left till last is possibly my favourite literary topic ever.

Gender writing.

I love this topic so much that this is the fifth time in two years that I’ve chosen it for the basis of my essays. I know, a little bit like overkill. I’m starting to worry that I won’t be able to write about anything else if I carry on this way. But I can’t even make myself care as I just find the whole thing incredibly interesting. Pretty much anything related to gender and writing I am sure to be fascinated by.

I don’t know if it’s because it is still so relevant today, or if it’s because it covers a huge time period and endless writers and poets. Either way, I’m obsessed.

Today has been spent reading through pages and pages of secondary criticism and putting together a plan (which is almost half of the essay’s word count). I have made notes and taken quotes from around eight texts today. I could have gone further…

Anyway, now that I’ve got my literary obsession off my chest I can share with you some photos of recent eats and tell you about my workouts!

Breakfast this morning was one I haven’t had in a while. (I say this as though it’s completely different to normal. It’s not. I just changed toppings.)

Weetabix with raisins and cinnamon. Out of all the spice bottles I have in my cupboard the cinnamon has by far the biggest dent in it, followed by cayenne pepper. I think everyone knows how much I like my cinnamon!

Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in a long time… I exercised! And I’m not talking a short session of weights or a little bike ride, I mean a proper, full-0n, hardcore, high-intensity strength training session. It felt so good to get properly sweaty and out of breath from a workout again, it’s been quite a while if I’m honest. I won’t be doing them everyday but I do think that it’s good to exhaust my body physically from time to time, it’s as though it reminds my body what exhaustion feels like when it is unrelated to chronic fatigue! It clearly worked anyway because I slept for 10 hours last night. 10 whole hours. Crazy stuff!

Lunch today was something I don’t eat often but really should:

A sandwich. As a child I was a super fussy eater and particularly hated sandwiches. I know it’s a strange thing to hate but there you go, apparently I could be a strange child.

I’m still quite fussy about my sandwiches now, I prefer having them in baguettes, pitas, ciabattas or bagels and if I can’t there is one very important criteria: the bread must not be in any way soggy. Got that? I abhor soggy bread. So I always lightly toast mine and only eat freshly prepared sandwiches.

Apparently I’m still quite fussy.

My lunch was made doubly reminiscent of childhood because I also had an innocent fruit tube. These are definitely aimed at children but I just don’t care. Plus they were on special offer so I got two packets and that means I still have 11 more tubes!

Dinner yesterday was a celebration of bright colours:

Edamame bean, broccoli and quinoa stir-fry. It tasted as fresh and delicious as it looks. You will no doubt be seeing this again sometime in the next few days!

Dinner tonight was of a somewhat less healthy but still incredibly satisfying variety:

Tomato ravioli with a heavy covering dusting of Parmesan. I needed some comfort food after a long day of being sat at my desk researching and writing. I have to say, my love of pasta will probably never diminish.

Over the last couple of days I’ve had a huge craving for coffee of the iced variety so I’m going to have to get some in the next few days, I’m sure it’ll help with my work anyway 😉

Although this doesn’t satisfy my craving it definitely still tastes good:

Lesson in how to make something super healthy become less healthy. Stir one ENORMOUS spoonful of Nutella into some Fage Greek yogurt. Pure indulgence. Delish.

Last of all I will leave you with a photo of a little treat, another small indulgence, I bought myself the other day:

This is the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait. I’ve been seeing these lip butters on heaps of beauty blogs lately and I just had to get myself one. During exam period I tend to get incredibly stressed and anxious so I’ve created a little tradition of treating myself to a few little niceties now and then to cheer myself up. I might sound a little materialistic but oh well! I’m really glad I bought this, it’s a lovely colour and the sheerness makes it really subtle and pretty.

What was your favourite thing to research/write about whilst at college or uni?
Any strange things you’re fussy about eating?
Do you like to buy yourself treats when you’re having a tough time? Bought anything recently?

Saturday Snaps, Waffles and a Beautiful Plate.

Today I leave for uni.

I haven’t yet packed but I’ve got about three hours so I figure I’ll be okay!

I’ve been at home for almost six weeks and it’s been a really lovely holiday. We had a wonderful family Christmas, I got to be with my amazing boyfriend for hours on end, I spent some fantastic time with my lovely friends and I did lots of really fun things. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to all of that.

But I do have things to look forward to, I have heaps planned for this term and I’m hopeful that things are going to be getting a lot better.

Yesterday I stayed up watching TV with my mum so I was too tired to post but we had some really delicious food.

I started the day off with the usual bowl of weetabix mush but I decided to stir in some of my mum’s lovely homemade apple sauce which worked so well. It made the bowl so juicy and fresh and I loved the touch of cinnamon it added. In my opinion cinnamon pretty much goes with most sweet food, it’s the queen of spices in my book (the king of spices is cayenne pepper). Of course the bowl had to be topped with granola. I’m going to miss this granola this term, it’s way too much of a luxury for me to buy it as a poor student!

I spent the morning lounging around reading. I go through phases when I don’t read quite so much because I’m too busy but lately I’ve been reading in every teeny spare moment I have. I’m devouring books at the rate I used to before exams and stress came along a few years ago and I love it!

Lunch was another lovely fresh tasting dish:

Courgette and Cherry Tomato Pasta.

serves 1

1 medium courgette
a handful of cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
a handful of pine nuts
a glug of olive oil
60 g of wholemeal pasta

  • Heat the oil gently in a non-stick pan. Thinly slice the courgette, finely chop the garlic and halve the cherry tomatoes. Whilst the oil heats, bowl a kettle of water.
  • Add the courgettes and the garlic to the pan and stir till coated in the oil. Whilst they start to fry gently, put the pasta in to cook.
  • Keep stirring the courgette and garlic so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Once the courgette is starting to soften, add the cherry tomatoes and the pine nuts. Keep stirring occasionally.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the pan. Tip the courgettes, cherry tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts into the pasta and mix together.
  • Serve and enjoy!

It’s a really simple dish, only takes about 15 minutes to cook and tastes just like summer. I love light lunches like this, they’re perfect for when you just want something easy but healthy. If you have a larger appetite just up the quantity of pasta and pine nuts for a more filling meal 🙂

I spent part of the afternoon formatting and printing off my essays. There is something so satisfying about having the proof of all that work in your hands. Even if it does use up a lot of paper!


 Dinner yesterday evening was a delicious plate of steak and chips with a peppercorn sauce. It is not a meal with pretensions of healthiness. It is purely a meal of indulgence. But despite not being a big meat-eater I do like a nice piece of steak. And for someone who is hugely fussy about things like fat in meat and eating off the bone, I like my steak to be red on the inside. And maybe even bleeding a little still. Call me crazy. (I’m sorry if that description made any of you veggies feel a bit disgusted!)

Anyway I probably won’t eat any meat for the next two months so I might as well enjoy this one meal. It did taste spectacular. And it’s an achievement in a way because this dish holds several of my former fear foods: chips, meat fat and cream. And so to be able to just savour the meal and accept how it feels good.

 

This morning my mum made me a rather delicious last breakfast:

Waffles 🙂 I had one topped with raspberry jam and one with a liberal sprinkling of icing sugar. They were rather delicious.

My parents also surprised me this morning with a completely unexpected gift…

A beautiful ‘Love Live and Learn’ plate. Isn’t it gorgeous? I absolutely adore it! Think how pretty it would look piled high with fruit or homemade muffins. I was overwhelmed by it, I had no idea they’d commissioned it for me. I’m so happy, it’s really lovely and it’s such a nice gift to be given.

It’s a lovely way to end the best Christmas holidays I think I’ve ever had!

I know I ask this a lot but any new book recommendations?
What indulgent meal do you enjoy despite its lack of healthy credentials?
Have you done anything particularly fun this weekend?

 

What I Ate Wednesday No.19

It’s Wednesday again! Which means it is only two and a half weeks till the Christmas holidays. And only two weeks till I see Tom again :-). And only a day till I open the first flap in my advent calendar. And…

It’s WIAW again!! Thank you Jenn once again for the chance to share Wednesdays with so many bloggers 🙂 (And for giving me the opportunity to snoop around what everyone else eats :-P)

My breakfast was my absolutely typical start to the day:

I do love my breakfasts, even if they are nearly almost the same!

Today I had a 9am lecture followed by a small gap before a doctor’s appointment. And I’m pleased to report that this doctor’s appointment was much better than the last. I think he’s starting to take me seriously and understand the severity of my pain and lack of mobility. I guess he had to take me seriously after I collapsed. So we spoke for quite a while about how things have been for the past two weeks and about the fact that things have gotten a lot worse since I got to university. I have to say, whilst I knew it was likely to get worse because it’s a whole new environment with a new routine but I am shocked at how much worse it’s become in the space of two and a half months. So as I only have two and a half weeks left this term he made the decision to double my dose this week and if that all goes without a hitch then double it again next week. We’ll see how it goes… I’m feeling a lot more positive about it though!

Lunch was pretty yummy, I tried these new meatless meatballs along with some whole wheat pasta, my homemade tomato sauce and some Parmesan. The dish was really good but I have to say the meatballs slightly lacked flavour, I wouldn’t recommend them without some kind of sauce or they are a bit bland. But still a very enjoyable cooked lunch.

This afternoon I did quite a bit of work and then laundry and food shopping. Both chores are pretty tough on me physically but I bought lots of nice food so it makes up for it! Hopefully I’ll be able to cook some more interesting and tasty dishes towards the end of the week.

As I was so tired when I finally got back I decided dinner was going to be a quick and easy option:

Dips. Made up of a carrot chopped up, half a cucumber chopped up, a handful of mini breadsticks and then some taramasalata 🙂

Followed by a little indulgence…

It’s hard to tell what that is in this awfully lit photo but the bowl consists of some greek yogurt with a teaspoon of nutella mixed in and then a load of frozen raspberries mixed in. The result? A creamy nutella and raspberry flavoured half frozen yogurt! So delicious.

Anyway I’d best be off, more work to slave over…

Happy Wednesday everyone 🙂

What’s your least favourite chore?
Tried any new foods recently?

Best thing you’ve eaten in the last few days?

Sophie x