Sunday, 8 October 2017

Crab Mousse with Sauce Remoulade

Lately I have been watching Royal Recipes on the Lifestyle Food channel on Foxtel, but have mostly found the recipes decadent, unappetising or just too much work to bother!  This one however, caught my attention, as both delicious looking and manageable.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get the exact recipe from the show, probably because they want us to buy the cookbook, but that's not going to happen, so this is my best estimate.



  2 sheets leaf gelatin
  cold water
  2 cups fish stock
  1 1/2 cups brown and white crab meat
  1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
  1 tsp paprika
  3/4 cup double cream
  2 tbsp mayonnaise
  1 tsp Dijon mustard
  1 tsp chives
  1 tsp tarragon
  1 tsp lemon zest
Melba Toast to serve

1. Soak gelatin in cold water until soft.  Warm fish stock on stove, gently squeeze out gelatin and add to stock, stirring until dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Chill until slightly jelly-like, but still pourable consistency.
2. Mix together crab meat, mayonnaise, paprika and 2 large tbsp of the chilled and thickened fish stock. Add double cream and fold together gently until well combined.  Place mixture into circular moulds on a lined tray, smooth down top and refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
3. In a separate bowl mix together sauce ingredients - mayonnaise, mustard, chives, tarragon and lemon zest.  Spoon into small serving bowl.
4. Take mousse out of fridge and pour chilled and thickened fish stock on top of mousse until approximately 1 cm thick. Return to drive to chill until set.
5.  Demould mousse onto plate and serve with Melba Toast and Sauce Remoulade on the side.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Motivation High, Expectations Low

The new school year has officially begun, and I am feeling both happy and melancholy as I send my Big Boy off for his last, first day of school.  While I am delighted that he is growing into an exceptional young man, I can't help but feel that this is also the beginning of the end of this phase of motherhood.  I guess I have been so focused on raising my boys to adulthood, that I haven't given much thought to what happens next. As I have a few more years ahead of me with the Cheeky One, I am more curious than concerned at the moment.

While I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, I do tend to put things off until after the boys start school, and this year was no exception.  I promised myself that once I had my days free again, I would dedicate some time each morning to writing.  After seeing this photo of me taken at Christmas, I amended that to writing and working out!

The first day of school happened to coincide with First Movie Tuesday* so plans were postponed for 24 hours, which allowed for some actual plans to be made.  At midnight last night, I weighed myself for the first time in 3.5 years, and while not as bad as I thought it could be, it was certainly worse than I'd hoped - a whoppingly confrontational 97.1 kg.  I am officially the heaviest I have ever been, having put on the 13 kilos I lost three years ago, with a little extra for good luck. 

As always, I'm worried that once again my efforts will fizzle and burn and ultimatley amount to nothing, so I am keeping my expectations low and aiming for a slow burn.  I am opting for the 5:2 diet, of low caloric intake (fasting) two days per week and normal healthy eating (without counting calories) the other five. This is the recommended diet for the Constant Craver according to What's The Right Diet For You, and with the Cheeky One on a health kick at the moment, I figure now is probably the best time to give it a whirl.  

So the plan is to:
  • Work out every day for 15-30 mins
  • Write every day for 30-60 mins 
  • Weigh in & blog weekly on Wednesdays
and then watch what happens ...

* a long standing annual tradition where myself and a fellow mother and cinemaphile shed our mothering responsibilities at the school gate, after seven weeks of school holidays, and enjoy our first child-free movie of the year.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Mandarin Semolina Cake

I came across this recipe on Pinterest today after I began following a board committed entirely to German Desserts.  What shouldn't have surprised me, but did, was that the recipe was in German!  So thanks to Google Translate, I have deciphered the recipe and repeat it here with thanks to (link to original recipe at the bottom). 

This recipe brings together two of my favourite childhood memories, picking mandarins at my Grandparent's farm and semolina porridge with Milo on top, one of my mother's top ten recipes from when I was a child.   Although when I found this recipe, it was alongside another for coconut flour and almond flour pie crust, so now I am tempted to substitute coconut flour for the semolina and see how that works out.  I can't wait to give this a whirl ...

Ingredients for a 25 cm loaf tin*

  • ·     225 g soft butter
  • ·     160 g sugar
  • ·     1 vanilla pod
  • ·     3 eggs
  • ·     230 g flour
  • ·     1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ·     100g ground almonds
  • ·     100 g semolina
  • ·     150 ml milk
  • ·      Juice of 4 mandarins (250 g)
  • ·      1 tsp mandarin zest
  • ·      Powdered (icing) sugar


  • Grease the loaf tin and preheat the oven to 180 °.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the softened butter with sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and continue to stir everything diligently until creamy.
  • In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, almonds and semolina and stir into the butter-sugar-egg mixture.
  • Finally add milk, mandarin zest and juice and stir. That's it.
  • Pour batter into the greased loaf tin and bake at 180 ° upper and lower heat for about 1 hour baking *
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Dust the cake before serving with powdered sugar, cut and serve!
  • You might want to mix powdered sugar and mandarin juice to make an icing.

The cake has a nice consistency through the meal and the almonds. This is again something else. The cake is quite powerful and juicy. It tastes very vanilla and very buttery.

* Only 2/3 of the recipe prepared was used for a 20 cm box mold. The baking time then was about 45 minutes.

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Long Overdue Revamp

Previously I wrote, "I can't believe it's been three months since my last post", and here I am, three YEARS later with the promised revamp!  I'd like to say that a lot has happened in the past three years, but in the greater scheme of things, life has been happily plodding away without any significant news to report.  

The children are older and bigger, and so am I. 

The revamp includes a new background and colour scheme in my favourite blues, I've added a new profile pic and have been agonising over how to re-purpose this blog. I have struggled to find a theme now that weight loss is no longer a viable subject and have finally settled on a plan of writing about what interests me and seeing where the dust settles. If my Pinterest page is anything to go by, I could well be blogging about stained glass windows, landscaping colour schemes or German recipes.

One aspect of the blog that won't be changing is the title.  I love the name FattyBoomBrakes, it evokes many childhood memories - mostly of me being an obnoxious brat - but I also love the way it rolls off the tongue, and the karmic vibe I get, now that I could be a recipient of this childish taunt. So that's staying, but I have changed the blog description to "Overweight, over 40 and an overabundance of blessings" as I think this accurately sums up my life at this point.  I do feel extremely blessed in all the facets of my life that matter ... 

  • I have a husband who is way too tolerant of my flakiness (this is probably the secret to our 22 years of marriage). 
  • My children are wonderful creatures who continue to surprise and delight me.  
  • I have a job that I enjoy, gives me fulfillment and pays enough to keep me in lentil chips and books.  
  • I have a close, loving extended family who encourage and support me and 
  • I have a small network of close friends who accept me warts and all, and keep me sane.
My life is nowhere near perfect, and daily (sometimes hourly) I become exasperated by my own inadequacies and limitations, which will no doubt feature in this blog as well, but the one thing I have noticed about writing, is that it gives me perspective.  It makes me clarify my thoughts and opinions to accurately portray a situation.  Most of the time I love this process, and other times it's pure agony.  Either way, I hope it makes interesting reading!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Welcome to The Heap ...

I can't believe it's been three months since my last post.  My apologies to everyone who has come here in that time expecting an update - and there have been a few of you.  I guess the update is, that there is no update ... well no positive, weight loss update anyway. The combination of sickness followed by apathy, killed my desire to continue on my fanatical weight loss adventure.

Most of August saw me exercising a couple of days a week, but not watching my food intake.  Then September came along, and the lure of our approaching South Pacific cruise had me half-heartedly giving it another go in the hope of being sleek and sexy for the cruise ... ha ha.  In both instances, I didn't stick to it long enough to write a post about what I was doing, by the time I worked out what I wanted to write, I was back on the lounge eating Tim Tams and watching 'Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta'.

At the end of September I had my final Get Healthy assessment, and let's just say that I felt so embarrassed about my slump, that three days later, I signed up for boot camp - AT SEA! It was only four sessions over the 10 night cruise, but the evil, SOB instructor, ensured that we paid for every chocolate, every dessert and every cocktail that passed my our lips.

Although we've been back from our cruise for a couple of weeks, I'm still not game enough to get on the scales.  Firstly - denial, denial, denial.  Secondly, I'm just not in the right frame of mind to rectify the situation. On the plus side, having previously thrown out all of my really fat clothes, and taking-in the rest, I'm happy to say that all my clothes still fit, even the new ones.

Looking back, it's obvious to me now, that I was doomed for failure, again.  I'm not even sure how I sustained that level of intensity for so long - six months (where it's normally only three). Instead of the usual obsession about every morsel of food that went into my mouth and exercising the minimum, it was the reverse ... exercising like a crazy-person and only occasional forays into fanatical food obsession.  It didn't help, that I was advised to exercise 60-90 mins at least 5 days/week.  This extrapolated in my mind to 60-90 mins of hard core, heart-attack-inducing, hill climbing.  So if my day didn't allow for this time commitment, which could easily take me through to lunch time (with time for travelling and showering etc), I didn't see the point - it was all or nothing.

Over the years, this has been my modis operandi - start out sensibly, then get caught up in the excitement of weight loss, become fixated, then over zealous and eventually burning out and falling in a heap - and that's where I am now.  Welcome to the heap!

From here on, I'm going to try and get my mojo back, starting with realistic goals and a new look for the blog.  Let's face it, Adele's not coming back, so it's time for a revamp!

Stay tuned ...

Friday, 26 July 2013

Under Construction

LIZ:  In trying to come to terms with this current slump, I have been inspired by a couple of quotes.  The first one I came across on Facebook during the week: "The road to success is never a straight line".  The second, I came across this morning: "There's no easy way to success.  You have to stumble and fall first, and it's up to the individual to get up and try again. Because the road to success is always under construction."  So that's where I am at the moment, under construction.

I was so disillusioned by my weigh in on Monday (85.1 kg = Total 3.1kg gain!!!), that I decided to banish that memory from my brain and weigh in again on Friday and go from there, but now that I'm headed in the right direction, I'm happy to share ... well, sort of! 

Stats:   Week 24 - Friday, 26 July 2013 
  • Starting Weight:    94.8 kg 
  • Current Weight:    84.6 kg 
  • Loss this Week:    - 0.5 kg 
  • Total Loss:            10.2 kg
It has been soooo cold this past week (still -4 at 7am), that I have barely stuck my nose outside, let alone gone walking.  I have been trying to stick to the Aerobics Oz Style  workouts, but have had mixed success as you can see above.  I'm realising more than ever that for me to continue to keep losing weight at my previous pace, I need to continue to push myself, hard.  Lots of hills, lots of running, lots of long workouts.  My Get Healthy coach also advised 60-90min workouts most days, and this is what I'm struggling with at the moment, especially in winter.  It's not just the cold I have to contend with, but also the shorter days and more hectic schedule with the children's multiple sporting commitments.

BUT, I am still committed to continuing down this road, no matter how many detours I may come across.  This road might be under construction at the moment, but it's not a dead end!

So my plan is:
  • workout Mon-Fri for 45-60 mins.
  • go for one long walk or climb a mountain each weekend
  • get my workouts over and done with as early as possible, weather permitting.
  • recommence food tracking with MyFitnessPal.
Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

In The Red

LIZ:   I obviously spoke too soon in my last post!  Looking back, I'm not sure what I was thinking.  With my birthday looming, three weeks annual leave and the kids on their school holiday break, it was never going to happen!

I went back to work last Thursday, but it took me until yesterday (Monday) to jump on the scales and see the damage.  With my heart in my mouth, I stepped on the Wii scales and held my breath - then remembered an experiment at uni that proved that air had weight, so quickly breathed out (one day I'll let you in on my whole weighing-in ritual, but I think that's enough for this episode of "embarrassed to be me").  The results were bad, but not as bad as I'd feared (or deserved). 

Stats:   Week 23 - Monday, 15 July 2013 

  • Starting Weight:    94.8 kg 
  • Current Weight:    84.0 kg 
  • Loss this Week:    + 1.5 kg 
  • Total Loss:           10.8 kg 

So with my previous weight gain of 0.5kg, this puts me 2kg in the red!  This probably isn't the best attitude to have at this point, but they were 2kg thoroughly enjoyed! 

That being said, I'm ready to get back into it and if I needed a sign, then Foxtel delivered one on Saturday, when I noticed that they are airing old episodes of "Aerobics Oz Style" on Aurora! This used to be one of my favourite ways to workout, back in the day.  I remember getting up at 6am to huff and puff in front of the TV for 30mins every morning, often taping the episodes, so I could replay the ones I liked over and over.  I probably still have the video cassette somewhere in the garage.  So with the IQ set to tape it every day (again, with the intention of keeping my favourites) I had a blast this morning bopping along with June, Wendy and all the crew.  Mind you, I had my teenager in the background laughing away at how "cute and old fashioned" it all looked. 

I followed this up with another 30mins on the Wii Fit, and was rewarded with a new jogging route, which took me up a ramp, over rooftops and onto the ship!  Both my teenager and 10yo were quite impressed with that, and soon hijacked the Wii to experience it themselves. 

The eating part of the day, wasn't so easy... I've gotten back into some pretty bad habits over the last month, and had to keep reminding myself that I was supposed to be making better choices.  For instance, this morning at work, while trying to find some post-it notes, I came across an open packet of Tim Tams (oh joy) and without a second thought, I plucked one out and had inhaled it in three bites.  Eater's remorse didn't even set in until after I got home and was getting ready to weigh myself.  Preferring to weigh-in with nary a drop or a crumb having passed my lips, I suddenly remembered the glass of water and Tim Tam I had consumed earlier. It was enough to set me back yet another day (I was supposed to weigh-in on Friday, but there were still too many good things to eat and enjoy, that I put it off until Monday). With these defeatist thoughts running around my head, I opted to go for the "close enough is good enough" mindset and hopped on the scales. 

While the good news is, that I've only put on 2kg, I fear the bad news is, that I feel like I'm back to square one in terms of creating good habits.  I guess on the plus side though, at least this time I know I can do it.