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Monday, 4 April 2016

Yay it's Monday, bring it on...

4th April 2016 

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.

Another lovely day yesterday, watching mom eat cake, although I will own up to finishing off the piece of banana cake she didn't want any more of, she only scored it 2/10 I'd have given it a 7, the lemon cake received an impressive 8/10 though!  We went to Dudmaston, another National Trust property we had visited once before in September 2013, we did the longer walk then, the dingle and big pools, this time I just hoped mom would walk down to the lake and back, but we actually did the slightly shorter walk which took 45 minutes, through the dingle and around the one lake, it was perfect walking weather too.  Alfie loved being out in the countryside, all the smells, and mom enjoyed the challenge I think, two walking sticks are definitely the future!

Food wise,I had a 5sp start to my day slice of toast, cherry tomatoes, topped with a dry fried egg, then I didn't eat anything else apart from that bit of moms cake until we got home, then I cooked yet another Simply Cook recipe, this time we had Lebanese lamb and aubergine pilaf rice, very tasty and so simple really.  I think I may have used the wrong rice as it was in a jar and I didn't know if it was basmati or not, I just cooked it a little longer and added a little more water.  I also didn't use all the oil they had in the recipe, it said to use 2 tablespoons on the aubergine, I used spray light, I think it would be good with chicken too.  I've bought much less food this week because I've only bought what those cards told me too, I also buy too much food normally. 

If you do fancy trying a pack for a £1, use this link.

I've had a wonderful weekend, doesn't the sunshine make such a difference, it really lifts my mood I know that for sure, although I'd already started to feel better, my hormones had seemed to improve, I've got a bit more energy, could it be the half stone I've lost since January? Who knows but it won't have done any harm that's for sure.

Back to getting stuff done today, got a few jobs to get done, I'm thinking Vietnamese Pork for dinner today, I'm getting posh ain't I but I'm going to balance it out with Heck sausages for breakfast, either a sarnie or a cooked brekkie of some sort, we shall see, I've not long been up, just lay there listening to the birds this morning, lovely way to start my day. 

My April so far has been awesome, I plan to make sure it continues that way but making sure I'm planning what I'm eating before I cook it so I know the Smart Points, I also plan to get mom out and about more, we both benefit from a nice walk like yesterday, more time in my garden too.  Right now though, I need to be doing the washing up, making breakfast, phoning the dentist and the vets and doing those things that have to be done, then who knows, if the sun comes out and the mood takes mom, we may be on the move again later!  I have 12 hour work days tues/weds/thurs I may as well enjoy Monday!

Now there's been a lot of lemon cake floating about this week, the wonderful Julie make the amazing lemon and lime crunch cake on Wednesday, so I thought it only right that I share the recipe with you so you can all have a bit of cake at the weekend and invite family round for tea maybe! This cake is proof you can make a healthier version of a good cake!

Here you go;

lemon and lime crunch cake, 5sp a slice

Makes 12 slices, smart points per slice

175g self-raising flour (17sp)
A pinch of salt
60g low fat spread (8sp)
100g caster sugar (25sp)
1 egg, beaten (2sp)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
150g fat free natural yogurt (3sp)
40g Demerara sugar  (10sp)

Preheat the oven to Gas Mar 3/180oC/160oC fan oven.  Line a 900g loaf tine with non stick baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.

In a mixing bowl, cream the low fat spread and caster sugar together for about 3 minutes using an electric mixer.

Beat in the egg and 2/3rds of the lemon and lime zests.  Add half of the flour to the mixing bowl and mix briefly, followed by half of the yogurt and mix again.  Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture and yogurt.  Don't over mix or the sponge will be rubbery.  The mixture iwll be quite stiff compared to a standard sponge cake batter.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared loaf tin and spread out evenly.  Bake on the centre shelf for 35-40 minutes.  A skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean when it is cooked.  Remove the cake from the oven.

Quickly mix together the rest of the citrus zest with the lemon and lime juice and the Demerara sugar.  Use a skewer or fork to make little holes all over the cake, spoon the citrus drizzle on top and leave to soak in.  Cool the cake in the loaf tin.

Store in an airtight tin for up to 3 days.

Cooks tip: to get more juice out of citrus fruit, warm them for 15-20 seconds in the microwave before halving and squeezing.  Alternatively, simply roll the whole fruit on the work surface, pressing down firmly as you do so, to release more juice.
Have an incredible day, a brilliant week and an awesome April BeYOUtiful, you know you want to!

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