Friday, January 11, 2008

A personal chef ???

To some it may seem extravagant that I am taking advantage of my new friend's (health and fitness guru Jenni) personal chef but if you take into consideration that I am learning to prepare a meal I've never cooked, taking home the results for dinner, freezing one portion for another night, and socializing - hey, it's a lot cheaper than therapy and so far Rick has enjoyed the benefits! This week we prepared crab cakes and they were delich (as Rachael Ray would say). I learned several tricks. First we mixed the lump (and very pricey) crab meat with shallots, garlic, fresh tarragon, lite sour cream, lite mayo, lemon zest and lemon juice...always salt and pepper. Dan is also big on hot sauce. We formed the cakes, lightly coated them in whole wheat flour, dipped them in lightly whipped eggs, and then coated them in plain organic breadcrumbs. Dan likes to use the Japanese panko crumbs but couldn't find them. Handle the crab cakes with care tucking them into little patties. Now here is the secret, he fried them in hot grape seed oil. He usually uses olive oil for everything but grape seed oil has no taste and cooks at a very high temperature which makes it better for frying.....see that was worth the lesson, right?! He browned them in the oil and then baked them for about 10 minutes. We also made a mango salsa and a spicy sour cream dip to serve on the side. We always celebrate our success with a glass of wine and then I trudge back to our flat hoping that no one tries to mug me for my delicious smelling packages, "Here, take my purse instead!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

2008 Resolutions

Happy New Year! Actually I don't hear anybody saying that so it must be past the appropriate greeting period - it is the 7th already. Rick and I are disgusted (him more than me but I'm supportive!) with our "50+ year old, ate and drank too much over the holidays" bodies so we have resolved to get back into shape. That's a new one, huh? This weekend we wore our pedometers-a great Xmas gift from Haley!- everywhere we went, tracking our mileage, calories and steps. The funny thing about that is I took more steps and burned FEWER calories than Rick who walked the exact same distance. He says it's because he is carrying a heavier load (if you know what I mean!) and has a wider stride.....whatever, I am charting the same thing for both of us! Already the competition has begun! One of our walking trips lead us to my new tennis venue- it took us about 45 minutes with 2 train changes and a walk through the projects. I decided that I will email the list of tennis players and see if anyone else is making the journey by train.....maybe I will find that one Kennsington-Chelsea Women's Club member who has a driver....she'll be my new partner! We play every Tuesday and we don't start until 10 am, maybe lunch afterward, surely I can make it there and back before dark. If I wear my pedometer when I play I will be able to bank some mileage - this is going to be easier than I thought!

Here's a little diet hint I read in the Sunday Times; "If you are devoted to your white wine, you'll miss it at first, but stock up on Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut champagne is my advice - practically carb-free (only 65 calories per glass), though not cheap. So use your brain - aforementioned toasties, for instance, should be a treat rather than a daily staple."

Off to Pilates....and then the wine store! Cheers!