Tag Archives: sweet treats

Five years of marriage

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Hello all,¬†sorry I’ve been so quiet lately… there’s been a stack of stuff going on, much of which I’ve been longing to blog about, but there just never seems to be enough time. ANYway, I’m sure life’s exactly the same for you too ūüôā

Anni 1

The other day Ninja and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. As clich√©d as it may seem, I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed since my wedding day ūüėĮ

We celebrated the occasion with a fancy romantic¬†dinner at an Italian¬†restaurant recommended to us by a friend. (Another goal worked on: Goal #70, visit 5 new restaurants. This was the third so far.)¬†What a gorgeous dining experience! The restaurant is Caf√© del Sol in Olivedale, Johannesburg, and here’s what we enjoyed for our three courses of the¬†meal…

Anni 2

My starter

To start the evening I ordered the Italian Primavera Rolls ‚Ästrice pastry rolls¬†filled with real imported Parma Ham, rocket¬†and smoked mozzarella, then deep fried & served with a creamy white wine sauce. They were oh! just incredible! :mrgreen:

Ninja's starter

Ninja’s starter

Ninja chose the tasty¬†Avocado al-Ritz, which involved¬†pan-fried queen prawns dressed in homemade basil pesto mayonnaise, served with avocado, rosa tomatoes¬†and a zesty Parmesan¬†and rocket salad. (I must apologise that some of the pics aren’t that clear; it’s a bit tight trying to focus¬†with a 50mm prime lens on a crop-sensor camera when I’m stuck at the table and can’t ‘zoom with my feet’! And I didn’t spend too much time taking pics because we were so eager to start eating.)

My main dish

My main dish

I was tempted by just about everything on the menu, but since our friend had specifically suggested we try the risottos, I obeyed. I ordered the Porcini Mushroom Risotto, which is a warm creamy mix of earthy Porcini mushrooms, green peas and a drizzle of truffle oil. I was not disappointed at all, but I’d forgotten how filling a risotto can be! Next time I would definitely ask for a half portion.

My man's main meal

My man’s main meal

Now, I ain’t no steak-chompin’ cowgirl, but whoah! Ninja’s main course was fantastic! He didn’t take long to choose the Lamb Rack (which Caf√© del Sol rightfully claims is one of their bestsellers) ‚Äď 400g of French trimmed lamb rack served on Porcini mushroom and pea risotto with a deep & delicious red wine jus. That meat just melted in our mouths (Ninja was benevolent enough to let me taste a bite).

And then came the best part…

My dreamy dessert

My dreamy dessert

…the sweet treats! To round off the delicious evening, I picked the Amaretto Semi Freddo: creamy and cool, this homemade delight is drowned in the Italian liqueur Amaretto & garnished with crunchy Amaretti Biscotti. Say it with me: ‘Ahhhhh…!’ It was so good that when I took my first bite I had to hold up a hand to stop Ninja in the middle of his sentence, just so I could close my eyes and enjoy the¬†exotic flavours.¬†Yeah, I¬†literally did that. Poor man ūüėČ

Ninja's 'dessert'

Ninja’s ‘dessert’

You’d be right if you thought that looked like a starter. It’s the Haloumi Stack that¬†my funny hubby ordered for ‘dessert’. (You see? I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that Ninja doesn’t do dessert. He¬†wouldn’t know a sweet tooth if it bit him in broad daylight!) Still, what mattered was that he was just as happy with his meal’s ending as I was with mine…

Ninja & Zest ~ 5 years

Ninja + Zest ~ married 5 years!

…and that we’re both even happier together now than we were when we started this journey five years ago ūüôā

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Resisting temptation

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Temptation

Six days left of the 21-day sugar detox, and I’m quite proud of my progress. I’ve¬†managed to¬†avoid sweet and carby temptations¬†for over two weeks now ‚Äď though it’s not so easy¬†when they get handed to me on a platter!

The cute vanilla and white-chocolate cupcake pictured above is from a work colleague’s birthday tea. My friend and I who are doing the 21DSD each took a cupcake… not to eat but¬†to freeze at home, in readiness for this coming Sunday when the detox ends.

Shew. I haven’t been so close to sugar in weeks. I held it close and inhaled the sweet¬†creamy scent…

But since I’m so close to the end I didn’t want to spoil my good streak. So I snapped a pic and hastily stashed away the cupcake in the freezer.

A marvel of self-control.

:mrgreen:

Seriously though, this detox hasn’t been as hardcore as I expected it to be. In fact, once it’s over I think there are quite a few lessons I can take away and principles I want to adopt on a more permanent basis.

For example, I’ve discovered that I really don’t need sweetener in my tea. With the possible exception of some rather earthy herbal infusions, most of my teas¬†are palatable enough¬†without honey.

I’ve also realised that although carbs do have a place in my normal¬†diet, I can happily reduce the amounts I eat and still feel full. So I can enjoy a warm bowl of oats on a winter’s morning ‚Äď but it doesn’t have to be a big bowl, or every morning, or sweetened overly much.

I’ve learnt that there are many other fine flavours to be enjoyed other than just ‘level-10 sickly sweet’! So¬†I’ve started looking at sweet treats with new eyes now. I feel drawn to flavourful,¬†healthier,¬†freshly baked, homemade treats rather than store-bought ones packed full of unnecessary extras.

I’ve been surprised at my resistance to my old cravings.¬†I think the beauty of the 21-day sugar detox is that by telling your brain that ‘it’s just a detox, not a diet’, somehow your body relaxes and doesn’t feel so deprived anymore ūüôā

On the downside, though, I would be happy not to see meat for the next month. Cutting out carbs has¬†made me increase my protein portions, which isn’t so appealing to someone who was never much of a carnivore in the first place. Hmmm… methinks that once this detox is done, I should give that month of¬†vegetarianism another shot…