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My Perfect Steak


I have been a nearly vegan for just over six weeks now, no meat except fish, no dairy. I’ve not been super strict about it and have slightly faltered a couple of times but on the whole my diet has improved loads and I have reduced my saturated fat intake by a significant amount. As it is mainly health reasons that have caused me to adopt this diet I am this evening going to enjoy a treat, STEAK. Here is how I cook my steak.

Ingredients

1 10oz ribeye steak (one that has been hung for at least three weeks)

1 big clove of garlic

1 Splash of extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp veg oil

1 knob of butter

1 portion of Alphabites/Smiles/Waffles

1 big handful of Spinach leaves

salt and pepper to taste

oh and some nice red wine ๐Ÿ˜€

Ribeye, it is the perfect combo of tasty and tender. In a big steak like this you might find (depending on where the in the joint it is cut from) a big white lump of fat. First thing to do is to cut that out, finely chop it and smush (best word) it into the steak. If you left it in you wouldn’t eat it and the middle wouldn’t render down to impart any of its flavour, this way your steak is mega tasty. Next I finely chop my garlic, and drop a teeny splash of olive oil onto each side of the steak to rub in with the garlic. Then pop it in a sandwich bag in the fridge for a couple of hours to do its thing.

Get the steak out of the fridge 20 minutes or so before you cook it to get it up to room temperature, and pre-heat your oven to whatever it says on the packet of your chosen potato shapes. The reason I’ve opted for smiles or their equivalent is that I could try to make my own chips, or go with some fancy herby new potatoes, but these really are dead crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle and you don’t have to do anything. You can take the man out of Morecambe but you can’t take the Morecambe out of the man. Anyway, oven’s on, steak’s warming up, now is the time to season. Adding salt earlier on would release too much moisture from the steak, not good. Be liberal with the salt, a good idea is to put loads of salt and pepper on a plate and then lightly press the steak into it.

When the carbs have about 12 mins to go get a pan on the heat, and get it super hot. I have a mini le cruset iron skillet, it is non stick and really retains heat well but any heavy non-stick pan will do. Pour 1 tsp of veg oil into the pan and about the same of butter, and when the butter starts to foam place the steak in. The best way about it is to use lobster style tongs to manhandle your beef, making sure that you first sear all the edges. I’d give it about 2-3 minutes each side, that is for medium rare. With fillet I am a rare steak man all the way but the fat marbling in ribeye needs chance to melt, otherwise you end up with a tender bite but not a very nice mouth feel.

Once it is done to your liking pop it on the plate, pour any juices over the top and place a small knob of butter on top while it rests. You need to leave it to rest for about 5 minutes so that the proteins can relax and the fat/juice that has melted inside the meat can distribute evenly. Take this time to quickly dress your spinach. A dash of the old extra v, a good dose of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon are all it needs.

Bish bash bosh, done!

PS: Oh yeah I didn’t finish, put the alphasmaffles on the plate with the salad, pour a glass of the wine and feel like king of the world!

PPS: Don’t forget to spell out words like โ€œsteakโ€ or โ€œbeefโ€ with the alphabites hahaha

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Diet and exercise – An honest account

I went for a jog today for the first time in absolutely ages. It was horrible.

I am unfit. I am overweight, and pretty lazy. I could eat a lot healthier, and I could exercise more but I always seem to find ways of not doing either. I always seem to have a great excuse as well – “My asthma is bad” “I wrecked my ankle a couple of weeks ago” “it’s too cold/dark” “I don’t know where to go”, there are plenty more where they came from. When I do decide to go for a jog, I am suddenly beset with even more procrastinatory problems – I need the right music to jog to, so I must spend hours making a playlist on my mp3 player, the mp3 player needs charging, what have I eaten today/when did I last eat? what should I wear? If I put this amount of effort into actually exercising then I’d be in a lot better shape. I was going to write this blog post earlier today, but I forced myself to wait until after I’d been out, as really it was just another weapon in my massive fobbing off arsenal.

There are people who really enjoy jogging (or running, as it is known if you go faster than tectonic plates move, which I currently do not). I know why they enjoy it, it’s proven that a prolonged increased heart rate triggers a release of endorphins, giving you a euphoric buzz, and on a general more gradual level increases your day to day energy levels and enhances your mood. Also simply knowing that you are healthy, especially when you are used to being unhealthy is an amazing feeling, it’s the feeling that you are the master of your own destiny, and if you want to you can change things, and naturally this viewpoint spills over into the rest of your life, and you feel you can take charge of any problems and issues you may have and do what you need to feel fulfilled and happy. That’s how I want to be.

Right now I’m not very happy with me. I know I am fat, but I’m not really bothered about looks. If somebody wants to judge me by my size then oh well, if that’s how shallow they are then I’m probably not losing out. When I say I’m not happy with me, I mean I just wish I was fitter, more healthy. I wish I wasn’t knackered all the time, and I am worrying about the long-term effects of being overweight. Losing weight would help with my asthma too. I don’t want to be 40 with loads of heart problems and diabetes, and I’m 26 now, so I better sort it out while I can.

I need serious motivation to exercise, because at the moment I am so unfit that when I do go out jogging it is such a horrific trauma, the breakcore style heartbeat and screaming lungs and the ever present desire to just collapse and die are too much to deal with when you are used to mainly sitting at a desk doing shit all. When it comes to the actual act of jogging I am hopelessly hopeless at it, which doesn’t help. I really need to fully concentrate on my breathing when I’m jogging, I can’t abide distractions of any kind, if I lose concentration my breathing loses its rhythm and kaboom, asthma attack, game over. Things that distract me are: other people, I have to go jogging alone, if I’m with friends they will talk to me, and if they are behind me (not likely, tortoise boy) I can’t help but look around manically because for some reason I need to know where they are. Any changes in the thing I’m jogging on, ie. if I have to cross a road, or if it goes from gravel to grass, or if a branch of a tree is looming, or if a dog comes to say hello. One thing I dread is seeing a people up ahead facing the same direction as me that I am soon to overtake, once I’ve gone past them they will see me, and I need to carry on at at least the same pace as I am for the time that I am in their view. Then I think to myself “They’ve never seen me before, for all they know I could be on my 10th mile by now” but then I think “I can’t do it” and I have to quickly find an alternative route before I get to them. This of course knocks my breathing rhythm out of whack and I have to slow down to a walk. One thing that does motivate me though is the feeling of utter failure that washes over you as you hear your carefully selected running song hit the best bit where you are supposed to be feeling amazing and running for your life but you are sat doubled over on a park bench cursing yourself for being crap. Moments like that are awful, and when that happened today I got up and carried on, forcing myself to appreciate the music and imagining that I could run and run and run. And afterwards I felt proud of myself, hopefully I will get more and more of those bits as I continue and it gets easier.

Another facet to this problem that I’m really going to try to sort out is my eating habits. I am willing to admit I have a problem with food. I would go so far as saying that I am addicted to food. I don’t know how anyone else’s brain operates, but I think about food all the time, I have been known to overeat to a ridiculous level, and sometimes it really is like I have no self control, and I eat loads and loads of food, until either all the food is gone or I can’t physically eat any more. Afterwards I feel absolutely wretched, I feel like an idiot, and I honestly wonder how it happened, as if it wasn’t a conscious decision to have such large quantities and I’ve suddenly snapped out of my trance and realised what I had done. If you do this then throw up it is called bulimia, and there are lots of people ready to help and support you, everybody knows about bulimia, and it is horrible. If you don’t throw up you are just labelled fat and greedy, and shit. A lot of people overeat because they feel shit, I have done that before, and it is a bad place to be in. It is hard to get help, or even to talk to your friends about this sort of thing, because hardly anyone gets it, to most people it is just a lack of willpower and an abundance of selfishness and greed, I don’t think that I am a selfish person. A lot of people say as well that if you label whatever your vice may be as an “addiction” then you are simply alleviating the responsibility of your actions, “It’s not my fault, I have an addiction, please pity me”. I’m not saying that, I know that I am the only one who can get myself better, but is it wrong to ask for help? I looked at the beat website (beat is a charity that helps people with eating disorders) to see if there was anything appropriate, and after searching around I found out about Overeaters Anonymous, well good. They have meetings, just like AA or something, and they give you advice and support to help you change the way you think about food. Sounds great eh? Well sorry to be rude but it fucking isn’t. I read the “12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous”, and by step two I will have “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”, and step three I will have “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” I am not a religious person, and it offends me deeply when people try to force their beliefs onto others. When I read this I was furious, I am furious now after reading it again. Apparently the only avenue for support for people in my situation is to change your whole belief system and decide that there is a God and be “.. entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” I don’t get proper seriously angry very often, but that is so unfair.

I have gone off on one a bit, and for that I apologise, it’s good to talk innit? Anyway, from now on I am going to make a decided effort to eat healthy amounts of food at proper times, if I catch myself thinking about eating loads, I will do my best to stop myself doing anything stupid.

Lets not end on such a grim note. I’ve realised what is ahead of me, it’s not going to be easy, or fun, but I’m going to try, I promise. I will need help though, If anyone reads this please encourage/congratulate/nag me as right now I really don’t feel like i can do this on my own ๐Ÿ™‚

And to play us out, the song that was playing earlier when I was running, that made me get up and carry on, despite feeling like I was defeated:

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Pancake Day (and what it means to me)

First off, I know I haven’t posted anything on here in about six months, and I apologise (because obviously you were all waiting with baited breath, whatever that means). Second off (?) This isn’t going to be a mega big blog post, so don’t get your hopes up (disappointment after crushing disappointment). But… it is all about food, like my last inebriated post promised, woohoo alright yeehaw etc.

Third off, and they’re off:

When discussing pancake day, I usually bill it as my second favourite day of the year, second only to Christmas day. I am not a Christian, in fact I’m not at all religious, but I love food. Christmas dinner in my house is always an immense banquet, and as a child I looked forward to pancake day almost as much. I completely blame/thank my Dad for my love of food, and my love of chilis (every year at Christmas we have Chili yorkshire puddings!!!), and I’m sure he loves pancake day just as much as I do. Last year I took a week off work to fully appreciate the festival, and this year I am flat broke and I can’t afford the ingredients until tomorrow, so I am having my pancake day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I have always been much more of a savoury person than a sweet one (make of that what you will lol), and pancakes are no exception. When I was a kid my favourite pancake was (and still is) a work of art. A ritual, in which even the way in which you eat it is vitally important. I would have a cheese and tomato ketchup pancake every single time if I were allowed. What you do is generously sprinkle (heap) a line of grated hard cheese (cheddar or whatnot) just below the centre of the pancake, add a droozle of tomato sauce, then roll up with the seam side down. Then cut it into five even pieces, then you have to eat the rightmost one, the leftmost one, the right one,the left one, and then the centre. This way you get the crispy edges first, then it slowly gets more gooey and pancake-y as you get nearer the centre. Call me wierd, I don’t care, but try it, you will be converted I assure you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional lemon and sugar topping as well, or if you can get hold of it:

http://littlemunchkin.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/img_0170.jpg

(picture there nicked off/courtesy of the amazingly talented, and simply amazing in general Little Munchkin)

Once whilst I was on holiday in France with my friend we had a pancake eating competition, cor blimey, it was fun. I can’t really remember how it started, but I think it was me and my friend Tommy arguing over who could consume the most (this seems to happen a lot with me, I do not know why) so I think about six of us joined in, and some people just had a couple. The first people to drop out of the running fell at about 6-8 pancakes (simple lemon and sugar ones to keep things fair), i think after 12 ish pancakes there was just me and Tommy left. Tommy had to say no more at about 20 ish I think, but something took ahold of me and I kept on going. In the end I came to a halt at I think either 31 or 32, and that was because we had run out of ingredients. Suffice to say although I am proud of my achievement (and similar achievements) I do realise that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle, and I am trying very hard to eat as healthily as I can. As a friend of mine said I can have a bikini body by summer if I really want to, I’ve just got to work hard to get it.

For those of you (ie. all of you) wanting to eat some tasty pancakes today, I will post the recipe. Anyone who plans to make pancakes with shop bought “pancake mix”, I will hunt you down, you have been warned lol. I saw a mix once that actually said on the packet “Just add egg and water!” WHAAAAA??? So it was ยฃ2 for a tiny box of flour and milk powder and loads of stabilisers and preservatives and anti-caking agents. You should be ashamed.

Anyway, enough blabbering on about crap, enjoy:

  • 4oz (115g) flour
  • 2 eggs (if you want to double the recipe, double everything else but only add one more egg)
  • 1/2 pint milk
  • a pinch of salt (yes, even if you are making sweet pancakes, as a small amount of salt will enhance the flavour of the flour and remove any possible bitter favours, tru dat)

That makes about 4-6

—————————————————————————————

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs.

Stir the eggs round in the well with a whisk, incorporating the flour a bit at a time till it becomes a mad yellow blob, like a thick gooey paste.

Start adding milk a splash at a time and mix it in well with the blob, eventually it will get more and more liquidy and you’ll end up with proper good, ace, thick batter.

IMPORTANT
You HAVE to leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour (there’s science going on*), once you get it out of the fridge it might look like it has separated slightly, don’t worry, just give it a quick whisk around and it will look gooorgeous again.

Get a small/medium frying pan really hot, then turn down the heat to just above half, add a tbsp of vegetable oil. Your first pancake will most likely be sacrificial, as it will soak up more fat than you want from the pan, and it is hard to judge the amount you need on the first go.

Pour about 1/2 a cup or a small ladle bang in the middle of the pan, then tilt the pan all over the place, you are looking for a nice thin even coating along the base of the pan, about 1/2 a cm thick.

Don’t be tempted to jiggle it, poke it, lift it up, or do any other innuendo-laden monstrosity to it, not for at least 30 seconds, we are waiting for the underside to set. After as long as you dare, pick up the pan and swirl it around in a circular motion, so as to free it from its moorings. If it is stuck in places, carefully unstick it with a spatula, making sure not to make a squidgy mess.

Once it is loose, cook it on that side for another 20 seconds or so while you mentally prepare and psych yourself up for tossing the fucker. Tossing the fucker is easier than a lot of hilarious blue peter episodes make it seem. The trick is to have the pan leaning forwards slightly (like 10 degrees) then to just go straight up, not too vigorously, and the lip of the pan will do the work for you. If you don’t want to go through the trauma and stress and horrible horrible panic of tossing the fucker, don’t worry, no one will think bad of you if you simply use a spatula and turn it over with dignity.

It only needs about 10-20 seconds on the flipside (biatch), once it is done, slide it onto a plate and top with your hearts desire.

HAPPY PANCAKE DAY EVERYBODY

*Flour contains about five different amino acids (amino acids are simply put long chains of hydrogen and carbon) and in flours normal state they are all tightly coiled up. When you get them wet and monkey around with them, they unravel, but they eventually relax and go back to their original shape. If you don’t leave your batter to rest then the protein (proteins are long combos of amino acids) wont have chance to relax, and you will find it a lot harder to keep your pancake in one piece in the pan, and it will end up being a bit chewy as you will have to cook it for longer to get it ready to eat.

See you next time folks ๐Ÿ˜€ xxxx

PS: I’m really sorry about the state of the layout of that recipe, I’ll work on it)

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Man Alive

Right. Here goes nothing, idiot.

I am here and I have promised that i will post something. I should most probably say that I am sorry for my misgivings, as I believe that I have caused a ruckus. i just did some shit on facebook and apparently I am most like Ron Burgundy out of all Will Ferral’s characters, isn’t that good to know. One for the bank of knowledge. I am personally amazed at how good my grammar is at this stage, I am certainly keeping up appearances.

I think I am going to have a break. Then I will describe to you the things that I can see whilst I sit at my computer, that way you can get a grasp of who i am.

Even got basic html down mate. Kinell.

I will come clean. By “break” I was referring to getting a drink of water and having a wee.

Ok, I am going to describe my immediate surroundings.

To my left is my bookcase. The top shelf (ooh err) is not books, but cunningly DVDs. Not a million of them, but every one is a charming delight.

Most of my books are either non-fiction, or I shouldn’t really have them in my possession. Parked up square and sharp next to my books is my guitar, a lot of fun, now we come to the main event. my fucking desk.

Here we are. Here I was, minding my own busyboz, then I went and said I would dooby-do this blog. And my chum pal mate friend ace aquaintance Philippa suggest I just go for it and write freestyle, so I have. So there. So thanks.

My desk is a tip. Loads of cups and bits of paper. a big computer screen, some chilli sauces from last weekend (see my previous entry for more details), and my really cool SkullCandy headphones.

I really am very sorry for this post. My next post will be all about food. Yum yum bloody yum

Good night good gracious good nytol.

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A dark, dark, warning. Brace yourself.

This is sort of a pre-blog post. I am about to go round to my friend Shiny Biscuit‘s house to watch Disney films and get really drunk off of red red red red wine, and I am going to write my proper blog post this evening. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Goodbye,

FOR NOW HAHAHAHAHA

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