30 October 2012

I passed the 15 kg mark!

15! 15! 15! 15! Landmark! Woohoo!

For a while, I thought I wouldn't even get passed the 12.5 because I was horribly stuck on a plateau, but look at that! 15! I won't reach my first goal this year any more, though, because that would mean another 17.5 to go in 2 months. But oh well. I'm surprisingly okay with that. Slow and steady wins the race, after all!

29 October 2012

FO: Turkey hat

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a picture of a hat on Facebook. It was a crochet hat with two turkey legs sticking out the sides. As I was expecting, he decided he needed this to be a Real Thing, and came to me asking if I could make him one. Challenge accepted! (Please imagine me saying that in a Barney-voice, it makes it ten times better)

Now, the picture linked to an Etsy page for a pattern but since I'm a: lazy, b: cheap, and c: like to pretend I'm up for a challenge, I decided to see if I could do it on my own without a pattern. The hat that he posted was a simple beanie with a tightly rolled-up brim, and had two turkey legs sticking out the sides, crocheted in a thick, camel-brown wool. Simple enough, right?! Right. Except the rolled-up brim was giving me a headache because whatever I did, it wouldn't roll up as tightly as I wanted it to. In the end, I realised that my crocheting in the round was making the fabric curl inwards, so I turned the hat inside-out and voilá: rolled-up brim! (I may be doing something wrong in my stitching, though. Maybe too tight, that whenever I make a rounded figure it rolls up towards the inside? This requires further investigation!)

The legs were a bit of trial and error, too: the first one I made was far too small, the second one was waaaay too big, and the third one was perfect the first time, but I forgot to make notes so I had to measure again and again to make sure that it would turn out the same size.

In the end, though, it all turned out fine. And the hat is hilarious. I might have to make one for myself just for fun!

(Oh, and I decided I was long overdue for a hair cut (last time was in July of last year...) so, to celebrate that it's finally Autumn and getting cold and dark, I got a hair cut and dye! It's lighthouse-red, according to the hairdressers at the salon. What's lighthouse-red, you ask? Good question. I asked the hairdresser, but she couldn't explain either. I assume it's like fire engine red, only with a big light on top... Yeah. They weren't the brightest crayons in the box, bless 'em, but they were a hoot!)

21 October 2012

Cheese biscuits

My dad has some health issues and needs to go into surgery soon. Nothing serious, don't worry, but serious enough to warrant some treats!

The only problem is... He doesn't have a sweet tooth. How he and I are related, I still don't understand, but he does not like sweets. Candy, cookies, biscuits, cake, ice cream, pie.. Doesn't like it. So what would you make a man that does not like sweet stuff?!

Savoury things, of course! Cheese biscuits! These are delicious little morsels and are great on their own, but could go great with some cream cheese-esque substance or garlic butter, or a mustard dipping sauce, some bacon or other salty meat... Or anything, really, because these are delicious!

I found a recipe for home-made goldfish crackers on Smitten Kitchen but they are made with cheddar and my dad happens to not really like cheddar. Thankfully, I live in the land of cheese, so I made these with regular Gouda cheese. The cheese itself is relatively sharp and salty, but creamy enough to make the dough hold up. The rest of the dough? Easy as pie! Some butter, some flour, and some salt and onion powder!

While the recipe calls for only 12 to 15 minutes in the oven, these were in for 25. Not only are mine bigger than the goldfish, but my test subject, the BF, likes his cheese biscuits really nice and crispy so I flipped them over after 20 minutes and baked them for another 5. The result? Delicious, crispy, crunchy biscuits, with a nice, salty, onion-y flavour.

Cheese biscuits
(makes +/- 25)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cup coarsely grated cheese (I used Gouda 48+)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon onion powder (keep in mind that this is most likely a concentrate so be careful with adding more! I used 1/4 teaspoon and it was very overpowering.)
A pinch of salt, depending on how salty the cheese you are using is.
A pinch of pepper, depending on taste.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it forms a ball. It will be slightly crumbly, but keep mixing, it'll come together quick enough!
When the dough is formed into a ball, wrap it in foil and stick it in the fridge for half an hour. In the mean time, prepare a clean surface by dusting it with flour and preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celcius.
When your dough is sufficiently chilled, carefully start rolling it out until it is about 1/2 cm thick and cut out your biscuits with a cookie cutter! Mine was about 3 cm in diameter and yielded me 25 biscuits. Place your biscuits on a clean cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are turning golden around the edges, then flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Take the sheet out and let cool on a rack before transferring the biscuits to a bowl, bag... or your stomach, I won't judge.

11 October 2012

Lunchtime: turkey salad

I have some serious salad issues. As in, I really, really love salads. It's becoming an issue.

Nah, who am I kidding, there is no such thing as too much salad! I have been on a bit of a salad kick recently and have been eating salad for lunch a lot. Normally, I hide it by wrapping it in a tortilla, but tortillas aren't exactly the healthiest of foods. So I left out the wrap and put it in a bowl! Then put a bird on it. That's how I roll. (and apparently I'm a poet and I don't even know it.)

This salad is the easiest of salads because it requires just 5 minutes of your time to throw together and requires only a tiny amount of cutting and chopping. You could even do it without the cutting and chopping. And with a total of 300 calories a bowl (give or take a few, my calculations say 308) it's a perfect lunch that'll keep you going for a while. For dinner, I want to make this with grilled chicken breast, maybe marinate it first, and more tomatoes, maybe some peppers, maybe a decent dressing... Maybe even some grains to bulk it up.. The possibilities are endless, people, endless!

 I know this is so easy it doesn't require a recipe, but here is one anyway.

What you need:
1-2 cups of rocket lettuce
3-4 cherry tomatoes (I think I used 4 here)
2 slices of turkey lunch meat
50 gr. light feta cheese (This is Arla Apetina)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (0,075 ml)
dried Italian herbs
(optional) 20 gr. pine nuts (leave these out to cut calories. I would, but I love these so so so much..)

What you do:
If you are adding pine-nuts, they're best slightly toasted. Grab a pan, pop it on the stove with the burner on low, wait until your pan is relatively hot, throw in the pine nuts and toast them lightly, stirring or shaking occasionally, until they turn more golden and fragrant and are luring your boyfriend into the kitchen with their enticing scent to come see what you're cooking. Turn off the heat, shake occasionally until you're ready to use them. (And be mean like me and waft some of that enticing scent down the hall to the study where he's sitting.)

Grab a small bowl, add your oil and add a dash of salt (don't overdo it, there's plenty in the cheese and turkey!) and some pepper and Italian herbs to taste. Stir well and set aside.
Slice your turkey slices into squares. Quarter the cherry tomatoes.

Fill your bowl with your lettuce. Then start topping up! Add your turkey, tomatoes and feta cheese, top with the toasted pine nuts if you have them, and drizzle the dressing over the top. Done! Enjoy your tasty, tasty lunch!

8 October 2012

Crunch time, in more ways than one

Today was my first day back at work. I only worked for half an hour, mind you, because I only attend the weekly meeting and then bugger off again, but still. Back to work is back to work. I followed it up by going back to the gym. That took longer than half an hour. An hour longer, in fact. I jumped back into it, cautious at first, because I was afraid that running might be a problem after two weeks of nothing, but it went well! So good, in fact, that while I started at a 5-5-5 schedule, I quickly boosted up the running part to 6, and then 7 minutes. Back to where I left it before my holiday! Not too shabby, if I say so myself.
I may have overdone it a bit on the weight training, though. Might end up being magnificently sore tomorrow. But that's okay, I'm working all day tomorrow anyway!

I had to pick up my bicycle at the BF's parents' house afterwards so I walked there. On the way, I realised that it really is Autumn now. Beautiful colours everywhere, leaves falling, crackling underfoot... Don't you love that sound? I do. Plus, I like to kick them around when there's a whole pile of them. Yes, I'm five years old.

I can't wait for the first chance I get to head out to the woods and go for a long walk with my parents. My dad always manages to find the weirdest trees and the best walking trails. Plus, the mandatory tea and apple cake afterwards is something to look forward too, as well!

6 October 2012

Merged, relaxed, and ready for October

Just a quick note to say that:

1) I'm aliiiive! I've survived the Vintage barbecue, have sort of survived September, and am now enjoying the last few days of my two weeks off in which I have done absolutely nothing. Nothing. Haven't even gone to the gym. Only went out to get groceries or because I had to. Other than that? Sat on my bum, played the new WoW expansion, played with the birds, slept in, took naps during the day... I haven't even crocheted a single stitch so far! Only two days to go though, so I'm slowly preparing myself mentally for the whole going-back-to-work thing, combined with the whole going-back-to-the-gym thing, and let's not forget the going-outside-of-the-house thing, either.

That's not my house, by the way. Before you ask. That, my friends, was the house we rented for the weekend in the south of Holland (Limburg), where we spent 3 glorious days in the garden, soaking up some late-summer/early-autumn sunshine and made fun of our neighbours the cows, chickens and Tony the Pony (who was probably not called Tony), drank too much alcohol, and grilled lots and lots of tasty food. We lounged, watched some dvds, went for a walk or two into town or drove to the nearest town for a saunter and some shopping... I had a great time. Thanks guildies, for being so unbelievably awesome! (also, if you're Dutch and looking for a great and cheap place to accommodate a group: It's part of De Vinkenhof. I can really recommend it!)

2) I have merged Tecrin gets Fit with Tecrin Tries. I no longer saw the point of using two separate blogs since they got mixed up quite a bit already. I'm still fiddling with stuff though, and am on the fence about some earlier decisions I made about my blogs, so don't be surprised if posts go missing or appear twice. You're not nuts, and you're not seeing double, it may be that I posted it on both blogs and haven't removed it yet.

3) I may change my whole blogging thing entirely, but more on that later, since I haven't made up my mind yet as to what I want to do with it. It might become something more.. *gasp* organised than it is now *gasp*. But before that can happen, I need to do some serious thinking. And jotting down of ideas. Which means I have a reason to buy more notepads! Yay!

4) It appears my camera is well and truly buggered. Did someone drop it while I wasn't looking, or something? Because really now, the sudden switch in quality is just absurd! The picture of the house was the only one looking decent out of the whole set I took while we were away for the weekend. In the end I just started taking pictures on my phone because the quality was so shoddy! It also randomly resets all my settings when I put in new batteries, which means I keep having to remember how I turn off the sound effects... Maybe I can bribe my sister into letting me borrow hers for a while.