Coming Home to Chocolate Cake
Back from a hectic trip around central Portugal, I’m still in recovery mode. My 5:2 diet programme has been on hold while I’ve been travelling and I was very grateful for a couple of lovely samples that were sent to me which were waiting for me.
Chesil Smokery has a fabulous reputation and I was sent a mixture of smoked fish and meat to try. I saved the smoked duck breast for one of those days when you just don’t want to cook but fancy something quite luxurious. It didn’t disappoint at all with just a delicate smokey flavour complementing the rich duck breast.
My simple lunch was a mixed green salad with duck breast and olives and a balsamic drizzle. Very delicious and the sort of dish you could serve up as a starter for a formal dinner if you were pushed for time. There’s a special offer on the Chesil Smokery site at the moment, so if you spend £25 you’ll get a free gift of some fish!
And then there was the chocolate cake.
Now, I know I am supposed to be doing the 5:2 diet. But, last week I was travelling and for the most part this week I’ve been out at events. And if someone offers you a cake to try, it would seem very churlish to turn it down don’t you think?
Chocolate cake in particular.
Arapina sent me one of their delicious butter free, healthy (ish) chocolate cakes. They won’t tell me what is in the cake, but I can vouch that it tastes delicious. It is very moist and light in texture despite being made with dark, rich chocolate. Apparently each serving is around 200 calories, because there’s no butter so it’s ALMOST diet friendly. And I’ve been eating it every day since it arrived (apart from 5:2 Diet Fast Days). It also keeps very well – up to 7 days in a cool place. Yum.
My final outstanding review item is something I really wanted to try. Morphy Richards have sent me a nine in one steam mop to trial and I am still at the stage of finding out what I can do with it. But, so far it looks on track to revolutionise my housework. Most of my flat has wood or tiled floors and the steam mop is much the best way to clean. There’s no need any cleaning fluids – just water. And the re-usable cleaning pads can be washed once finished.
What’s particularly nice about this model though is that the central part unclips to make a hand steam cleaner. It really did make light work of my bathroom tiles and shower screen and I love all the little brushes and squeegee attachment that mean you can find the right attachment for every crack and crevice that might be in need of a cleaning shot.
I’ll report further once I’ve used it a bit more, but for now everything seems very, very promising. They’ve promised me a video and a discount voucher for my readers and at this rate I might even end up justifying the Morphy Richards Home of Houseproud badge!
Meanwhile I have been 5:2 diet fasting today. The menu plan for my fast day was quite simple:
Spinach and celeriac soup for lunch – coming in at just 55 calories a bowlful. I made this almost the same way as the watercress and celeriac soup, but added just a little cumin for kicks.
Supper was a wonderful low fat version of one of my favourite dishes – chicken parmigiana. I cut the calories right down by baking the aubergine rather than frying it and by using a relatively small amount of low fat mozzerella cheese. The result was sublime and very filling, served with courgettini, just 300 calories for the whole meal.
Links to the recipes will follow soon.