Fish oils could be the “Elixir of Life”


During my search to find what’s best to eat while trying to lower my cholesterol, I find that apart from porridge oats, the omega-3 in fish oils can be another “super cholesterol reducer”

Not only that, it appears from recent research that an added bonus could be their anti-ageing properties too.  The report makes interesting reading and I shall certainly be increasing the amount of oily fish in my diet.

Read the report in the today’s ” Mail Online”  http://bit.ly/cm6Sg7

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So….it’s porridge for me!


Since finding out that my cholesterol level is 8, not a good number to be, I have been reading up on what to do about getting it lower.

I have found out that porridge oats are an excellent thing to eat if you have high cholesterol, as the soluble fibre and beta-glucans helps get rid of the nasty cholesterol stuff in your blood stream.

In the course of trawling the internet, I came across this amazing site that tells you all you ever need to know about oats, how much is grown, how long we have been eating them and why you should add them to your diet.

http://bit.ly/cUY9G9

So, I will now start each day with a bowl of porridge oats and see if they can help me get from a level of 8 to one of 5 which is much more healthy

How do I lower my cholesterol?


I have had a blood test recently to try and find out why I feel so tired all the time and have no engery.  The tests didn’t find anything other than I my cholesterol level is too high.  It is 5 which is not good evidently.  So I have set about trying to find out what I should do to get the level down.  It seems that we make cholesterol in our bodies anyway but it is only when it is high that it becomes a bad thing.

I have read lots of stuff on the internet, some of which is quite confusing, but there is evidence that you can reduce the level by changes in diet and exercise. So out go prawns, eggs, red meat, cakes. biscuits, pastries

 and in come porridge oats, walnuts, olive oil, blueberries, chicken, oily fish, turkey….

     hmm doesn’t seem too bad!      

I will also have to start doing some exercising as I have been quite lax of late.  Do I have to hit the gym or would swimming be OK? Anyone got any other tips, they would be gratefully received

Thinking about comfort food


The winter has been unusually cold here, as a result I found I have been making more dishes that can only be described as comfort food.

Chilli con Carne – wonderfully warming

Bangers and mash – the best way to eat potatoes

Fish Pie – big chunks of tasty fish, creamy sauce and mashed potatoes again

Shepherd’s Pie – spicy tasty mince beef,  oh and mashed potatoes..

Macaroni Cheese – lovely pasta and tangy cheese

Lasagne – layers of creamy pasta and melted cheese

Sticky Toffee Pudding – my all time favourite pud especially with custard

My mouth is watering just writing about them

What are your favourites?

Halloween or Hallowe’en


Well the clocks have gone back one hour, so I guess that summer has offically ended and that is where, according to history, Halloween has its’ origins. It is from the old celtic festival know as “Samhain” which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summers end”

All sorts of celebrations have taken place down the ages at this time of year. The ancient Celts for instance, belived that the borders between this world and the Other World were particularly “thin” at this time of year and the spirits, both harmless and harmful, could pass back through. The family ancestors were honoured and welcome, but harmful spririts were warded off, it is thought, by wearing masks and strange costumes. It was also a time to take stock of food supplies for the coming winter and celebrate the harvest.

The name Halloween or Hallowe’en is shortened from All Hallows Eve which is the night before All Saints Day on 1 November. All sorts of traditions have been handed down through the ages, but nowadays most involve dressing up in scary costumes and masks, carrying lanterns made out of pumkins with faces carved on them and enjoying time eating and drinking with family and friends. Orange and black seem to be the colours associated with Halloween and you see lots of different shaped cookies and cakes iced in this way

A lot of sweetstuff and candy are eaten at  Halloween and I have a couple of family recipes to share – mainly for the children:

Toffe (Candy) Apples

12 ripe eating apples

400g granulated sugar

100g butter

30ml water

oil for greasing

12 wooden skewers

Wash and dry the apples and push a large wooden skewer through the centre of each one. Put the sugar, butter and water into a heavy based saucepan and dissolve the sugar very slowly over a low heat. Once dissolved, bring to a fast boil and continue to boil until the small crack stage (140 degC)  Dip apples one at a time into the toffee and place on a greased plate and leave to set.  Red apples look wonderful coated with shiny toffee, you can also sprinkle them with coconut or crushed nuts before the toffee sets

Treacle Toffee (Bonfire toffee)

Oil for greasing

100g butter

100 black treacle

150g soft brown sugar

30ml water

Pinch of Cream of Tartar

Grease a 15cm square tin, Put the butter, treacle, sugar and water into a heavy based saucepan and let the sugar dissolve over a low hest. Add cream of tartar, bring to the boil and boil to hard ball stage (120degC).  Pour the toffee into the prepared tin and, when beginning to set, score the surface deeply making squares.  When set, break up, wrap in waxed paper and store in an airtight tin. (Cooking time approx 20 minutes)

Hope you all have a great time celebrating with friends and family!