I recently bought an Ooni pizza oven, which you can read about here. When I did the post it was suggested that I add a subject to the blog of the pizzas I do, so here you go. This, is that…
Still going to work through the format but lets do it this way:
Base – Shop bought Pizza Express ready rolled. Pretty good and nice and thin. Makes a big one you can share too so great for when you have guests – which we did.
Sauce – I made my own marinara with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper.
Toppings – Pastrami and Roquefort cheese
Cheese – Roquefort and Mozarella
Verdict – It works. Really works. Roquefort is a blue cheese, so salty and strong, and the sweet sauce balanced it up nicely. Base was super crispy, so it was just one of those pizzas where you want to keep shovelling it in because it just tastes and feels great in your mouth. And cutting back on the mozarella meant it wasn’t too oily or dripping with cheese, so I felt like I was almost having diet pizza – which meant I could eat twice as much!
It pass the morning after test? What’s that, I hear you ask.
When it comes to pizza a good test is just what it tastes like the next morning, cold, with mayo or salad cream. Well, it was really good. The saltiness and the vinegar of the salad cream were a perfect blend and the pastrami was still rather good cold.
All in all, a top pizza and one I shall make again- though next time I will add sun dried tomatoes too to balance out how strong the Roquefort is…
We all know there is a cost of living crisis going on, right? Turn on the news and there is an endless list of reasons to feel like, what is the bloody point. Brexit, Tories, Ukraine, fuel costs, heating prices, covid…oh the list goes on and on.
Well on the upside, and it is a very small upside when compared to the yawning chasm of doom of the downside, our company gave us each £1000 to ease the strain of the burden of the rocketing costs of just being alive.
So what did I do, you ask? Did I put it towards my heating and electric bill, which is about to double? Did I put into savings for a rainy day? Maybe I donated it to those more needy that I am?
Did I fuck. I bought a pizza oven, that is what I did.
I have cancer, as I have written about before, and whilst not the worst type, it has certainly given me more of a ‘French’ approach to life recently. You knwo what I mean. If I was French and I had been given £1000 then I know for a fact that I’d be bollocks deep in brie and baguettes whilst sipping on red wine and contemplated what industrial action to take next.
Yup, so with my blue and white stripy t shirt on and a string of onions around my neck I thumbed my chin to the world and took my pedal bike to the internet and ordered one of these. (That is the last of my French stereotyping I promise)
Oh and how glad I am that I did.
I still need to get a table for it, but I did also pick up a little garden kitchen table this for the prep toop, and with a shop bought dough and a few choice toppings I hooked it up, turned it on, and waited for 30 minutes. It can do a 16 inch pizza apparently, but I am still waiting for the large pizza peel so kept it small to start. Mrs afterwards is away at a spa with her mum and sister and niece this weekend so it was just us boys at home…
The dough was a bit rubbish, but I fashioned a pizza-ish shape and chucked it in and 80 seconds later we had a perfectly cooked pizza! Our Tom thought it was fabulous, and Sam agreed wholeheartedly as he wolfed his down, still somewhat hungover from the night before.
I then played about and made a few more and didn’t burn them too much, especially given it gets to 500 C.
By the time I had fed everyone a few times, including a special one for the dog, it was time for mine I was ready to sit down with a bottle of rose prosecco and my anchovy and Pineapple pizza! But alas there was no pineapple, so it was just anchovies, and my god it was good. Crisp base, delicious toppings and a wood oven taste even though it is a gas oven. They do one with wood but I wasn’t overly fussed by pushing the boat out too much. I was quick and easy.
Oh and I realise you may have thoughts on pineapple and anchovies. Well you’re just wrong, ok. It is a perfect balance of salt and sweet. I do occasionally throw olives on, or I will have Roquefort for the saltiness, but keep your pizza gatekeeping to yourself! 🙂
The kids helped clear up kind of and then disappeared, and I then had a nap in the hut with the dog. I think it was the prosecco to be honest.
Anyway, I am off work this week and imagine it will be pizza most nights…
What a perfectly normal post. feels odd really. Even a little dirty, like I’m role playing being an adult…
Right so there’s just about time to do another month of whole30 before Christmas give or take a day. The last few months have been a bit on off for all manner of reasons but I am feeling motivated to have another round and get things back on track.
Looking back I feel so much better that I did when I started in July with my energy noticeably improved, I am sleeping better and obviously weight wise it has been a winner too. I have discovered all sorts of things I enjoy to eat (I’m looking at you here guacamole) and my family are enjoying some of the benefits too but I do think I could have done better.
So for the next 30 days I am going to do my damnedest to give it one big push and I shall share the experience more often that just weekly…Might be tricky in the run up to Christmas but if I can do it until the 24th then I know I can do it any time.
So how has today gone? Well I missed breakfast as was on the school run and straight after I popped to do some grocery shopping. I decided to stay away from red meat but did stock up on fish and a little chicken too. I bought a ton of vegetables and already had lots of fruit in too.
For lunch I made a salad with mackerel, tomoatoes, onion, salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and you know what, it was bloody gorgeous. For those that like to count calories the fish was about 330 and the other bits take it to maybe 500 in total. I also had an apple, a pink lady, which is my favourite. The mackerel is just the sort that is vacuum packed so probably not perfectly whole30 but meh, I was shopping at LIDL it’s hardly the easiest place to shop…
Anyway, taste wise it was fabulous and as I have half a pack of the fish left I am going to have it for my tea tonight too.
The biggest challenge today has been resisting the rice pudding sat in the fridge that I made yesterday. I did it with paella rice and oh god it is so delivious, especially this time of year when its so chilly out, but resist I did 🙂
Okay so it’s going to be a challenging day. I am afraid to head downstairs right now…
Last night I had a few friends over to play poker and have a few drinks. I was mostly restrained and had a small pizza, thin crust, and just two beers and a couple of rum and ginger ales. Oh, and a few snacky things, but nothing major and whilst not Whole30 I was kind of finished with the last 30 days so for the most part I felt good that I hadn’t gone crazy.
Alas though there is a ton of pizza leftovers in the fridge right now and I do not know if I am strong enough to resist it. It doesn’t help that there is little else in the fridge as I need to go shopping. If I go downstairs right now I think it will all go to shit and I will be eating cold baked bean pizza (yes that’s really a thing at our local place) and making dirty groaning sex noises before you know it.
I dont think I can even take a photograph to show you it’s that tempting…
Perhaps I can get dressed and just head out the back door and avoid the kitchen completely as I need to go into town. Oh bugger no I cant, the keys are in the kitchen.
I think I shall ask the kids to fetch them for me. That might work…
So after confessing to having a bad month I girded my loins, did a healthy shop, planned my meals meticulously and then prompty ate most of a bloody cake again.
This was no accidental cake though, no slip of the tongue, no unintentional mountain of chocolate goodness, this was a cake of my own making. One minute I am wondering what ingrediants I have in the pantry and the next minute its an avalance of eggs, sugar, butter and a ton of chocolate and caramel which is filling the house with a heady and intoxicating cocoa scent.
I told myself I wouldn’t eat it, just make it, but I am a damned chocolate mouthed liar and the sweet batter was barely mixed before I was shovelling it into my my mouth like a crack whore desperate for a fix. The whole time I convince myself that this is just for the enjoyment of others but deep down I knew I would end up eating it by the damning light of the fridge in the middle of the night.
By the time the butter cream had been smothered all over it was just too difficult to resist and any slim resistance I might have been holding onto was gone and I succumbed.
God it was good…
Lets try have a better week eh. I have bought a ton of prunes and seeds and stuff which I am certain cannot be baked into anything pleasant at all.
Well October was a bit of a loss really. I didn’t do terribly I just kind of lost focus with everything that was going on and found it hard to stick to things as I had been for the Previous few months.
I travelled a fair bit with work to Cardiff and London and Chester so that is always a bit of a problem when trying to find something healthy and yes, there was that time I had 3 pints of Guinness at three in the afternoon and by the time I got to the station I was ‘drunk hungry’.
Drunk hungry is the type of hungry that causes you to burn your mouth on a Cornish pasty that has a filling as hot as molten lava as you gorge on it near a train station toilet before it is safe to consume and to then wash that down with a sausage roll and a rather large Bounty.
Maybe I should call it ‘Dr-ungry’.
Actually, there was the incident with the salted caramel cheese cake which needed ice cream to make it less sweet. And that sticky toffee pudding that I ordered when I forgot that I am still rather fat. Oh and that time I ate most of a cake. Hey, it was a small one before you get all judgy. Only fed 6 I reckon. 6…pfft.
So, those things aside it was just a case of a bit of this here and a smidgen of that there and before you know it Ive put on maybe 2 pounds (which ain’t much given I have lost over 30 in the preceding 3 months) but I should have done better.
It is November now though and what better than to reboot things on the first of a month right? I’ll let you know how it goes…
I haven’t posted about this for a while have I. To be fair I haven’t really posted much for the last three weeks on my blog generally.
Work and life and just general stuff got in the way of writing so I put writing on hold and with that it seems I did the same with my diet. This is not to say that I blew it, I didn’t, but I did not have the same rigour I had had previously. Where I may have had a salad before I now had a salad sandwich. Where I would have had a diet coke I had a couple of Guinness and oh, there was that day when I ate all the kids pepperami’s and told each of them the other had eaten them and then berated them both for lying. Little buggers.
I did discover that I really like Guinness too though I don’t know why I never tried it before. Perhaps it’s because I prefer my drinks brightly coloured with umbrellas and Guinness seems such a manly drink to me. If you were going to get into a fight and had the choice of having a Guinness or a strawberry daquiri as back up it would be Guinness every time. Guinness probably did karate when it was younger and is a bit lively in a scrap outside of a kebab shop at 2 in the morning. Not that daquiri doesn’t have it’s place, but it’s more of a bitchy cat fight and a good hair pull.
Anyway, whilst I do love the whole 30 thing it does require you to shop and cook properly and if you let things slip and the fridge runs low it is pretty hard to stay on track. I’ve started shopping twice a week to prevent that happening and am now just about back on track.
Oh apart from yesterday when I went to this little place that sells South African stuff an ended up stuffing my face with Tomato Fritos which you cannot get over here. Actually, England has a real dearth of tomato flavoured things in general.
Let’s see how the next week goes shall we. I am still about 33 pounds down on where I started three months ago so still happy with that.
This week seems to have passed me by and I am not sure where it went. I was off work with the boys as it is the last week of the summer holidays. Early on in the week we headed to Wales for a few days and headed up Mount Snowden and had a mooch around Wales. Back end its been back to school shopping and getting all of those things done I wanted to do these 6 weeks.
With everything we had on I’ll admit I haven’t given much thought to food really. We stopped off at a place next to the motorway on the way there and faced with eating something I would likely kick myself for or nothing at all I went for nothing. When we got to the top of the mountain there was mostly pies on offer so I had a bite of each of the boys and that was enough. They had ice cream and I didn’t.
Now in the past this would have felt like a victory, and perhaps it is , but I was actually quite happy waiting until I could get something I really wanted.
There is certainly something of a change in my thinking and whilst there is a long way to go I am happy that for the most part I keep trying to make the right choices.
Oh and then I ate a gigantic gummy worm. I mean freaking huge.
As weeks go this was considerably better than last and I found myself generally not thinking about food much after I ensured I did the shop and made sure there was plenty in to prevent myself feeling peckish.
And then a friend of mine brought around the curry.
He worked for me a couple of years ago and I supported him through some pretty tough times when he had cancer and thankfully he is in remission. His mum was always grateful of how I supported him too and has often expressed that gratitude through the most delicious medium of food.
Given that it was Eid this week she sent what I can only describe as a box of pure bliss. There was no way that I was saying no to any of it and I will happily have my life shortened for the goodness that was inside.
In the first box were the most delightful pieces of chicken, samosas, kebabs, mushroom rice, lamb chops and chicken pasta. The second held a quite fragrant and spicy Thai green curry and in the third was one of the most delicious things (that I had never had before) in sweet rice.
He was barely out of the door before I had the kids downstairs and we were tucking in. We had already had dinner but like hobbits we were most keen on the idea of second dinner and tucked in. All thoughts of calories and points and whole food went out the window and instead I simply enjoyed a meal as delicious as any I have had in a long time and you know what? I am most glad I did.
Well I am nearing the end of another month of Whole30 and whilst the weight loss has not been as good as the first I continue to enjoy it immensely. Well apart from last week at least.
I neglected to go shopping on Sunday for reasons I cannot recall but before I knew it I was running short of all sorts of stuff and time seemed to get away from me. I also started a new job on the Monday so things were just pretty hectic. I wasn’t eating badly, just cobbling things together or compromising here and there and I quite suddenly found myself thinking about food more than I had been.
Well, by Friday I was like a man possessed. By the time I got home from work I could think of nothing but eating. Everything. I didn’t care what it was, I was ready to eat it.
Salsa from the belly button of a syphilitic tramp? Yeah count me in. Horse scrotum hot dogs in week old buns? Yes freaking please. Flame grilled just-about-anything from a sexual deviant’s food truck smothered in his extra sticky ‘special sauce’. I’ll take two with some of those really really dirty fries.
Anyway I think you get the picture.
Fortunately the fridge was empty apart from some past its best garlic bread, a bottle of champagne and some Tiramasu, Now I may have been desperate enough to wolf down a milkshake made with Bridgette Nielsen’s 54 year old breast milk but I have to draw a line somewhere – I’m not a bloody animal and that stuff I cannot abide.
Anyway, by the time I had eaten 6 chicken thighs cooked with chorizo and a packet of Mr Ben’s quite delicious spicy rice the red mist faded and as I licked the last pickings from my fingers a sense of sanity returned.
I have since been shopping and have some fabulously yummy and healthy stuff in and all planned out for the week and feel it was a valuable lesson learned about myself and what triggers me.
Archaeologists recently confirmed my fatness outdates the internet mostly.
I have been fat for as long as I can remember. Or at least I believed I was. There has been the odd occasion where I definitely wasn’t but for the most part I have been.
I have always loved food, and still do, and I am going to assume that had something to do with it. I believe my nick name was officially ‘Fat Kid for a few years amongst a certain crowd when I was younger but if I recall correctly they were actually my closer friends and it didn’t last that long and whilst I would say it never bothered me it has stuck with me.
Thinking back before that I was broad shouldered and pretty handy at rugby growing up and through my teen years, and whilst not massive I always carried extra weight which helped on the pitch. I do remember joining a club after school and hearing one of the players comment in Afrikaans that it was good to have “another nice fat front rower’. Looking back at photos though, I don’t think I was that big. Certainly nowhere near where I am now.
I guess it is something I have always lived with, though I don’t quite recall my first diet. I t must have been quite some time ago because I found this when I was going through stuff in the cellar this week.
The oldies amongst you will recognise a 3.5 Inch drive and it seems that probably 18 years ago I was attempting to do something about things. Made me really question myself because 18 years is a bloody long time to get progressively fatter and fatter. I mean what was the world like in 2000?
Well there was the shenanigans over the Y2K bug – so I must have had that to worry about on top of having hefty man boobs, and I was likely sobbing into my breakfast cake as the final ‘Peanuts’ was published following the death of Charles M Schulz. Oh lordy, Bob The Builder was top of the charts here in the UK. I was likely comfort eating for sure.
I tried to remember making it but cant so am looking forward to firing up an old PC I still have to see what is on it. I do wonder what goal weight I set for myself. I’ll let you know
Now here’s a curious thing. The longer I remain focussed on what I put into my body (no – this is a diet post not one of the weird posts I am prone to do so stay with me) the less interested I become on food in general.
Food for me was a comfort, a reward, a treat but five or six weeks in and I find myself not only considerably less hungry than I have ever been but also less fixated on the deliciousness of it. Perhaps foolishly I watch quite a lot of cooking shows, and mostly ones that focus on desserts, and in the past these would have inspired me to chocolate and cream filled monstrosities of pure delight but now I am mostly filled with something of a sense of indifference. Perhaps at the time I think I might whip up a triple layered mousse cake or a dozen scones to be savoured in the bath or in the middle of the night but it soon passes.
That said, I have been making some ice cream, but that’s just because I am not getting through the milk and don’t have the heart to tell the milk man to deliver less. Oh and there were those cup cakes with the vanilla frosting. But those aside, I do feel generally less compelled to feed my face.
When I set out on this journey I wanted to love better, lose weight, teach my kids to eat better and to sort out my relationship with food. I don’t think I am there yet and would probably still rub Nutella all over myself when the cravings strike but things certainly do seem to be changing.