Winter Warmers

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Although it has been a tad mild here in the UK these past few days, it does not discourage me from indulging in some hearty fayre this time of year. When else would a rustic apple and blackberry pie with lashings of cream or custurd feel almost obligatory to consume?. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my fav winter warmers (time to put those weighing scales and skinny jeans away into hibernation...needs must).

Starting off with breakfast and as per usual, I have a mug of hot water on an empty stomach to rehydrate myself. After about half an hour or so, I warm some semi-skimmed milk in a pan (or any milk of your choice), which I find just takes away the cold edge and when poured over a bowl of Bran Flakes, dried fruit, crushed walnuts and a dollop of almond butter, proves to make an unctuous concoction to start my day off right. Fast forward to lunch and I have been lamenting the lack of winter appropriate lunch options available in supermarkets. All the healthier choices are limp and dull lettuce leaves mixed with tomatos and shredded carrots...not the "warm-me-up", filling lunch I want. That's where soups are my No1 friend: heated gently, you cant beat some potato and leek soup with a crusty baguette.

Next stop is the mid afternoon pick-me-up: By 2pm I am seriously flagging at my desk and the thought of doing some mundane task such as stapling those 300 leaflets together in time for the parents coffee morning the following day, seems a delightful prospect. So its time for a treat and what better than a lovely, creamy hot chocolate. I am fortunate to have numerous coffee shops and cafes near to where I work, but my favourite is definately Costa. I am steadily working my way through their Xmas drinks menu and so far the Black Forest chocolate is my fav (hmmm, I think it was my fav last year too). The cups are so cute and fun and this year seem to have a "winter jumper" vibe to them

Hometime!..and its time to think about supper (I love that word :). Usually, it would be a jacket potato or salmon fish cakes with rice and salad, but its that time of year where I think only a roast will do. Of course, its not always practical to russle up a roast with all the trimmings on a Monday night (its an achievment if I muster the energey to peel the celephone off my ready meal on an avergae week night). So, come the weekend its time to up-my-game and try the Jamie Oliver roast Lamb recipe. The leftovers will do nicely for sandwiches or dinner the next night.

For those of you who are trying to shift those extra, stubborn, pounds (as I am), being surrounded by chocolate is difficult to deal with, especially at this time of year, when everywhere you turn, you are confronted by a bar of dairy milk the size of your house, so I am allowing myself only the smallest amounts and try substituting chocolate for dried fruit whenever possible (same intense sweet hit, but without the refined sugar). 

Wishing you a wonderful, winter!

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