Heya blogmates! Long time no speak! But don’t feel left out – I haven’t spoken to anyone in almost a week! I lost my voice last Friday due to laryngitis. This was no easy feat for someone who loves to talk as much as I do. Not to mention I have no singing voice & for someone who loves to belt out the occasional tune in the shower, car, wherever it takes my fancy this has been the hardest part. Manly Matt hasn’t minded too much that I have lost the power of speech …. I did try my best to recover it last Saturday night drinking copious amounts of liquor & dancing till the early hours with him on a rare night out… Normally we go out for food & a few drinks before retiring back home….and despite the filthy hangover the next day it was a really good night with new friends.

I’ll confess I’ve also been feeling a low/down on myself as my waistline increases and my motivation for crossfit has taken a big hit. Normally I love getting up in the colder weather and heading into training but lately I’ve found this difficult and so I’ve lost some of my confidence. Plus added to this is I seemed to have lost my baking mojo.

I'm a baker I love to bake. Cooking a meal isn’t my biggest priority but I love to bake and I have a little reputation amongst friends for being a dessert queen….My hall of fame desserts are:

mousses

Two toned chocolate mousse – recipe found here.

choc meringue pies

Chocolate meringue pies – recipe found here.

roast veggie quiche

Roast vegetable quiche – I made this for Good Friday and everyone loved it! Recipe is here.

sponge cakes

Sponge Cake – to my mothers horror I have mastered a sponge cake (she couldn’t get her’s to rise). The times I’ve made this the cake has been light and so fluffy…My filling is always cream and fresh strawberries with a dusting of icing sugar across the top. Sorry I can’t find the recipe for this online – the one I swear by is form a cakes recipe book gifted to me years ago!

My confidence in the kitchen faltered a couple of weekends ago when I thought I’d use up the last of some shortcrust pastry I had in the freezer. I made tart cases in rectangle, round and mini and filled them with the roast veggie quiche filling in an effort to try and eat healthier at work (which would of course help with my expanding waistline issue). The cases were fine and baked well – the filling was delicious but in a fit of arrogance I decided to not set a timer as I would ‘keep an eye’ on the goodies baking. Rookie error. Big time fail! All of the quiches burnt and I couldn’t bear to throw it out so I froze them….But we all know I won’t be eating browned quiche.

Despite this I did manage to cook a near perfect bacon and vegetable frittata that same day and then the other day I decided to try out a Mexican Chicken dish I’d found the recipe for: 

Method: Basically you put the chicken into the slow cooker and sprinkle the spices, water and tomato paste over the top before mixing through to ensure all the meat is coated. Then put the cooker on low and leave for 8 hours until chicken is cooked through. The chicken was so tender I could shred it with a fork when I got home from work.

 

You can use the chicken in any Mexican inspired dish you want. I decided to have it in fresh wraps with cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomato and lettuce….delish! I set it up like a make your own wrap station:

Mexican Wraps

There was so much chicken I froze half of it to use when I’m back home next week! Did I mention I’m in Cairns for work this week? No, well I am. Cairns is a gorgeous city located right near the Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and more importantly the Great Barrior Reef. I’m here for meetings at the largest tourism trade show held in Australia every year – ATE (Australian Tourism Exchange).

To sum up – my confidence in the kitchen is returning. I’m feeling like I might be ready to tackle the triple choc cheesecake for Manly Matt when I get home. I’m also re-thinking my usual gym schedule to make sure I get myself back into the crossfit box – especially now as my voice has started to return. So far the plan is that I won’t be walking Coco before gym for the first week I’m home – I struggle with this as it’s still dark and too early in the morning with the winter months coming on. Instead I’ll get up, get dressed and head straight into gym and walk her when I get home from the office.  I don’t mind walking her after work and I’m sure that after a week of being back in the box I will be motivated again to get up a little earlier and give her a short walk before gym like normal…fingers crossed.

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