Thursday 28 March 2013

Apricot Cream Cheese Muffins for Dad

The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. ~ Feodor Dostoevski

We are all of us creatures of habit.

I've only recently noticed just how many habits I've collected along the way: how I have coffee in the morning before the cereal, how I always sit on the right-hand side of the bus,  how I check the same websites every morning.

My Dad was no exception.  In fact he could've been the poster boy for habitual living.  We used to go out for lunch as a family every weekend.  For years it was BB's Cafe in Wairau Park.  And every single weekend he would order exactly the same things: a cappuccino in a bowl with chocolate, a ham and cheese croissant (heated) and an Apricot and Cream Cheese Muffin.

We were such regulars, I even ended up working at the place.  And Dad would still come in, every Sunday, for his coffee, croissant, and muffin. 

It's eight years today since he passed away.  And I can still see him sitting there just like it was yesterday, with the paper in one hand and a muffin in the other.  So today, I broke my morning habit to bake Dad's favourite muffins and remember all his quirky habits with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

Apricot and Cream Cheese Muffins for my Dad.  I love you.  I miss you so much.  

Sunday 17 March 2013

Resisting the inner fat kid: Roasted Kumara and Almond Salad with Feta and Chickpeas

I have an inner fat kid.

Much like the proverbial angel/devil on one's shoulder, my inner fat kid whispers delicious nothings in my ear:  Go on, eat that whole family sized block of chocolate, you know you want to...

And from time to time, I succumb to its urgings.  Yes, I ate that whole bar of Whittakers Hokey Pokey Chocolate. On my lonesome.  For breakfast. 

What's more, I've found the more you feed the fat kid, the stronger they get.

Like when my two besties came down for a girly catch up weekend a couple weeks back.  It was a glorious weekend of gossip and giggles, wine and cheese and chocolate and churros.  An epic eat-a-thon weekend.

{harbourside markets, wellington, nz}

But, alas when one is knock, knock, knocking on 30s door, one finds that for every binge, there needs to be an equal and opposite detox.  So the plan was to atone my eating sins with exercise and healthy food for a few weeks. 

It was super hard.  Inner fat kid was not happy.  Inner fat kid resisted.  There was a lag period, a struggle for dominance, a battle of the wits with the casualties being a whole pack of hokey pokey flavoured marshmallow easter eggs, another whole packet of pineapple lump easter eggs, half a block of blue cheese, lots of ice cream and half a block of black forest chocolate.  Junk food: why you so tasty??

But eventually I triumphed, with the help of some delish salads like this Roasted Kumara and Almond Salad with Feta and Chickpeas.


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