At the risk of repeating myself (again and again and again), this has been a naughty week. I’ve been busy – busier than I generally like to be. I’m a bit of a homebody at heart; I actually enjoy spending time alone at home, resting and relaxing and recharging my batteries. If my diary gets too full I get a bit panicky and overwhelmed. I have a constant battle balancing my need for solitude and rest with actual neediness – sometimes I get a bit sad if I haven’t seen friends for a while. I spent a lot of time with friends this week but this always leads to me misbehaving with food as we tend to eat out when we meet up.
On Tuesday I finished off the n’duja with this delcious n’duja pasta bake. The best thing EVER happened too – I discovered that 25g of n’duja (which is plenty when stirred into pasta) is only 4 points on Weight Watchers! This is literally game-changing; I’m SO happy about this because it’s about the least diet-tasting food there is. Make this pasta bake – it’s easy, delicious and, it transpires, not that bad for you.
On Wednesday, I had some pork mince that needed to be used up. I raided my Chinese food cupboard (I genuinely have one) and made these spicy, garlicky, Sichuanesque ho fun noodles (recipe to follow soon). I took the leftovers in to work the following day – this was NOT successful. We don’t have a microwave and it transpires that congealed, room temperature noodles are not so good the following day. I abandoned them and ate cereal instead.
On Thursday evening, I went to the launch of the Ginger Pig Farmhouse Cook Book (available here) where we were stuffed with sausage rolls, pork pie, ham, corned beef…basically a whole lot of meat with a token bit of cheese on the side. The launch was fun – Shed was brilliant (isn’t it weird when you see your friends being all professional?!) and the book looks great. Here is a picture of an enormous pie:
On Friday, I had an impromptu night out with my friend Janie to Honey & Co. Honey & Co is a tiny Middle Eastern restaurant tucked away in the rather strange location of Warren Street. Janie called up early in the morning and managed to bag us the last two seats at the counter. For £26.50 per person, you can get a selection of all the starters bar one (the octopus was excluded – we ordered it anyway and it was amazing) plus a main. Starters included carrot and butternut squash fritters, a spring salad of peas, broad beans and manouri cheese, falafel, mashawaha (like hummus but nicer), homemade pickles, labneh and breads with olive oil to dip.
There was so much starter and we made the mistake of doing it a bit too much justice. We ordered poussin with sumac and freekeh and lamb shawarma as the mains and shared them.
Amazingly, we found that our pudding tummies were still open to suggestion so shared what turned out to be the star of the show – cheesecake with kadalf pastry and honey. This was incredible – I’m not really a pudding person but I’d go back to Honey & Co just for this.
Honey & Co was excellent. We had a 2 course set menu at £26.50, a 3 course at £29.50, an extra starter and 2 bottles of wine and we paid £60 each including service. Great value, delicious food and lovely service – I can’t wait to go back.
On Saturday, my friend Jassy opened the cafe at Stepney City Farm which coincided with their first Farmers’ Market. I went down to help out on the cafe’s stall selling cakes, pastries and vegetables from the farm which was a big success and a lot of fun. The Farmers’ Market was a huge hit and will hopefully become a regular thing. The farm is always looking for more volunteers, particularly in the cafe, so if you have a bit of time on your hands, I can really recommend it. Plus, they have the best owls (seen below with my friend Cherry) and the goats are INCREDIBLE.
That evening we went for a celebratory dinner at Bob Bob Ricard. I’ve been for drinks in the (temporarily closed) bar on a number of occasions and loved it – it’s expensive but it’s just such a lovely, luxurious experience. This was the first time I’ve eaten at BBR and although it was perfectly OK, I shan’t rush back. I had potato and truffle vareniki to start followed by lobster macaroni cheese.
We decided not to stay for pudding and went to Gelupo instead where a mere £4 scored me a cup filled with blood orange sorbet, bitter chocolate and caramel ice creams. The blood orange was seriously good.
I spent Sunday cooking for the freezer and made Chinese beef in the slow cooker, bolognese and chicken and tarragon casserole. Dinner was the Chinese beef with rice and tenderstem broccoli drizzled with a little sesame oil.
Finally, on Monday I had pilates with my neighbour and needed something quick afterwards and, as it was nearly 10pm by the time I ate, I had a fried egg sandwich.
PHEW. It’s been quite a week. I haven’t weighed myself today, partly because I just can’t face it (can you blame me?) but mostly because I have my first Weight Watchers meeting on Friday and I will start from scratch then.