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Author Archives: Alicia

About Alicia

I once wanted to live a life that is rich in experience and contentment. I once judged myself by what I did at work and how I felt physically. Life was about breakfasts, blue skies, friends and family, the beach, dinner parties, travel, menus, fresh provisions, fashion and books. I had a food blog, La petite cuisine (bigcheflittlekitchen.wordpress.com) that captured my exploration with food and nourishment. I started a personal blog, thisbeachlife, that ruminated on elements of life in Manly. This was my shit. This was me. It was real. And then I changed. As I hope I always will. I got stuck. Stuck on the idea that what I did for a living had to line up with who I wanted to be. Now I explore a new philosophy. It's not what I do, it's how I LIVE. It's not my day job. It's not about having a PhD and a blah and doing the BSc and solving all the issues. That's too much for one person, most of the time (occasionally an exceptional person comes along). I can live gently, tread carefully and BE the change - as they say - for my beautiful boy, so that he can live in the best world possible and safely navigate his way through the changing future.

Cappuccino Mousse Slice with Berries From Heaven

Impressive, easy, and not at all healthy.

Preparation time 45min. Refrigeration time 3h or overnight.
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Ingredients
250g plain chocolate biscuits
155g unsalted butter, melted
1 cup thickened cream, whipped
2 tsp cocoa powder (I found that this was too much. 1 tsp would do)
Cappuccino mousse filling:
185g dark eating chocolate (I used Lindt 70% Cocoa dark chocolate)
1 egg, separated
2 tsp instant coffee granules
½ cup thickened cream, whipped
¼ cup castor sugar
Berries from heavenmix:
½ cup frozen mixed berries
2 cups red seedless grapes
1 small ripe banana, sliced vertically
¼ cup raw almonds
¼ cup walnuts
100g Lindt Strawberry dark chocolate, broken into coarse pieces

 
Method
Grease a 20cm x 30cm rectangular slice pan. Line with baking paper.

Process biscuits (or crush them with a rolling pin) until fine. Add to bowl and mix through the butter until the mixture is thoroughly wet. Press the mixture over the base of the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make cappuccino mousse filling:
– Whip ½ cup of cream. Melt the 70% dark chocolate.
– Combine melted chocolate, egg yolk and coffee granules in a medium bowl. Fold in the whipped cream.
– Beat the egg white and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until it is thick and the sugar has dissolved.
– Fold the sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture in two batches.

Spread the mousse filling over the chilled base. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Whip 1 cup of cream and spread over the mousse filling. Dust with sifted cocoa (tip: place the cocoa in the sieve/sifter away from the slice and sift gently over the slice).

Loosely mix the berries from heaven ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve a small square of slice with a large spoon of the berries mix.

 
Tips
Use un-iced chocolate biscuits. Chocolate ripple are best.
This slice tastes better the next day.
Store in an airtight container.
Contains wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and raw egg.

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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Food

 

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Homemade protein and energy bars

You know me, I love to try a new gym and a new challenge. Since my previous post, I have moved on to other health and fitness shores. In December 2012 I joined Vision Personal Training. My goal was to lose those last few kgs that I just couldn’t budge before our wedding. Vision have a very detailed food education program and a goal-orientated approach to health and fitness. They teach you how to understand macronutrients and provide you with smart-phone apps, web tools, you tube videos, recipes, not to mention you own personal trainer, and they teach you the good, bad and down right dirty about food packaging information. As long as you turn up and do most of what they say, it’s a no-fail to lose weight and improve fitness. I was able to shift those last few kgs and, post-wedding, I am continuing to stay with Vision because there’s so much more to learn and more that I can achieve.

I asked my trainer for some new healthy snack ideas for work. He gave me a heap of suggestions, and here I share my modified protein/energy snack bars that do a pretty good job at representing sweet treats, without adding all that fake stuff that goes into sweets. Here is a choc-coconut protein bar, and a choc almond energy ball. Let’s see how they go at the beach tomorrow!

Chocolate coconut protein bars

50 g oatmeal *(I used almond meal)
120 g chocolate protein powder
50 g crunchy peanut butter
100 g skim milk powder *(I don’t like milk, and didn’t have a substitute in the cupboard, so I added a little rice flour ~ 20 g ~ but coconut milk powder or soy powder would have been a good non-dairy substitute)
5 g desiccated coconut *(I added 20 g and dusted more on the top)
1 cup of water *(I used 2 cups)
20 g raw cacao *(this was my addition)

1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add water while stirring, until the mixture has a sticky consistency.

2. Line baking tray with baking paper and spread the mixture evenly, at about one inch thick.

3. Refrigerate for 30-60 min until the mixture becomes hard (I gave it an additional 30 min stint in the freezer too, for good measure).

4. Cut into bars.

5. Wrap each bar in cling wrap and store in the fridge (mine are in the freezer).

Makes 20 bars.

Per serve (35 g bar, my modified version):
Carbs 1.5 g
Protein 6.8 g
Fat 3.7 g
Calories 67

Choc almond energy balls

60 g chocolate protein powder
50 g crunchy peanut butter
2 egg whites
5 ml vanilla
2 g cinnamon
2 g xylitol
20 g crushed almonds or pistachios

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until the mixture forms a course dough-like consistency. Roll the dough into a ball and place in a sealed container in the freezer for 30 minutes until the mixture becomes firm.

2. Remove from freezer and divide the mixture into 5 parts. Roll the parts into small balls, and then roll through the crushed almonds.

3. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Per ball:
Carbs 2.5 g
Protein 21.3 g
Fat 7.5 g
Calories 163

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weighing

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Food

 

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Bride Chef

It has been a little quiet around here lately.

Partly because I have been planning my wedding, and blogging about it here and here and here, and writing about Manly beach updates here. But mostly because I have been following the Bride Body fitness and nutrition program. This program is an online food and fitness plan which keeps me busy cooking and exercising and, at $30 per month, is a great way to get bride fit for our wedding in Feb 2013. Yes, it’s plenty a while off, and I’m pretty fit, but it wouldn’t hurt to get ahead start and if I can shift 3-4 kgs to look svelte in a dress and honeymoon photos, well, bring it!

So, while I can’t share the AMAZING recipes, I can show pictures of the fabulous dishes on the program, which focussed on meatless Mondays, legumes, more fish, salads and which dropped me a size in clothing and even showed a glimmer of abs.

While I’m taking a hiatus from the program in preparation for the run to the Bridal finish line, starting Nov,here are some of my favourite (and oh so easy) step-by-step Bride Body meals…

The recipes…

Thai fish pie (served with sweet potato or cauli mash on top)…
Steamed ginger barramundi…
Sweet corn fritters…
GF eggplant lasagne…

Lamb koftas with minted yoghurt…

BBQ salmon and vegies…

Stuffed capsicums…

Results…

Bride fitness…

Running on dark mornings…

And then there were sunrises like this…

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Food

 

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Juicy Carving Board

Look what I purchased with my Commonwealth Bank True Awards points (aka credit card points, this is not an endorsed post by the way… But I welcome any free trials 😉 ) – a Curtis Stone parquetry chopping board. A solid hunk of a man, I mean board, set at a 2 degree angle so the roast meat juices run off the board into a tray (instead of across your benchtop) for use in a gravy or jus.

I can’t wait to try it out! (Actually I suspect Fiancé will wrest carving rights).

But for tonight it’s vegetarian lasagne for Meatless Monday!

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Vege lasagne:

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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Food

 

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Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake


Coconut flour chocolate cake with chocolate ganache bacon frosting, from Paleospirit.com.

Oh wow, here is the cake I have been waiting for! From paleospirit.com, a nutritious and dense chocolate cake that is gluten-free, grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free and nut-free so it should be ok for anybody!

I may have to make two, just to try the different frostings: chocolate bacon ganache, and coconut honey frosting. Afternoon tea at my place anyone?

Visit the creator’s website for the recipe details:
http://paleospirit.com/2012/paleo-chocolate-birthday-cake-coconut-honey-frosting

Coconut flour chocolate cake with coconut honey frosting, from Paleospirit:

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Food

 

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Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

Recently I haven’t paid enough attention to my blogs. The wedding planning fun of perusing flowers, decorations, cars, dresses (yes it IS fun) has satisfied my creative outlet while my blogs have suffered from neglect. So here’s a little update with a new recipe for a delicious and healthy roast chicken dinner.

First a little back-story: While surfing the internet for bridal thingys, I came across an online personal trainer. The online program met all my schemes and dreams for fitness even prior to me receiving The Question and starting to think “wedding fit”. I had been looking for a source of fitness inspiration for quite sometime (see my lifestyle blog) and the online program that I found called Bride Body satisfied all of my wants even pre-engagement. Note there is an obvious target market for this program, but the lessons learned in the program would work for anyone.

In addition to a week’s worth of workouts, Bride Body sends me a weekly list of recipes plus a shopping list for all the ingredients. The meals use fresh whole food ingredients that are mostly GF and DF (I modify when I want to) and because I love to cook this program works well for me. I’m loving being sent new cooking ideas, trying different ingredients and generally having someone do all the thinking for me! I feel well nourished, and after only 3 weeks on the program I fit back into my post-breakup skinny jeans* for the first time in 2.5 years! Awesomeness.

Tonight we had lemon thyme roast chicken from Week 4 of the program… Healthy, refreshing and (to quote fiancé): “another awesome dinner cheech”. Nom nom!

* A story for another day.

Ingredients (I halved these portions because I used 2 small chicken breasts instead of a whole chook)
1 whole chicken
2 lemons, one cut in half, and one half into quarters
Lemon thyme
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
200g green beans
Frozen peas (I used a head of broccoli instead)
1 bunch asparagus

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.

Place chicken in a roasting pan.

Fill the cavity with lemon quarters and chopped thyme, secure with a toothpick or string (I filled the cavity of the breast).

Squeeze juice of the lemon halves over the chicken, sprinkle with thyme and lightly spray with olive oil spray.

Scatter garlic cloves in the dish around the chicken.

Roast for 1 hr (or 40-45 min if you have small breasts 😉 ). The chicken is cooked if juices run clear when you pierce the breast with a skewer.

Steam the vegetables for 3 minutes.

Serve the chicken with steamed green vegetables.

I only ate half of one breast and save the rest for lunch the next day: shredded chicken breast on cos lettuce leaves with ricotta and an almond salad. Triple NOM!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Food

 

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Link

Yes folks, you read it right, chocolate ganache bacon frosting. That’s right, chocolate frosting with bacon pieces! This recipe comes from Paleo Spirit and it sounds amazing. Or at least, you must agree that it sounds interesting (provided you eat bacon of course)? I love chocolate, bacon is good, so let’s see what romance these two conjur together. Results coming soon… (or if you’re good to me then I’ll even let you know when I make it 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Food

 

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