Some Dolly Parton Musings and a Broccoli and Stilton Soup Recipe

Does anyone else struggle to spell broccoli? No? Just me then…

It’s mid March and in the UK that means it’s still effing freezing but we pretend it’s not. I popped to Asda in the week and saw some bloke loitering around the ready meal section wearing a pair of shorts. Shorts! A couple of days after the snow had cleared. We spend so long hibernating away in chunky knits and fur coats (that one’s for you Jess) that as soon as the temperature goes into double digits we want to show a bit of skin and get the limbs out. I get it. But really, it’s not shorts weather. I’m just about managing to ditch the wooly coat and swap it in for a Spring like trench but the thermal vest is going no-where fast. Welcome to 30 kids!

This in-between weather means you don’t quite want to eat the heavy stews and casseroles of winter but shudder at the thought of a salad. What am I saying? I always shudder at the thought of a salad. The beauty of this broccoli and stilton soup is that it’s warming and nourishing but vibrant and, well, it’s green. Which means spring, right? It’s also easy, cheap and a sneaky way to get some veg in.

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 750ml vegetable stock (from a cube)
  • 100g stilton
  • double cream, optional

What you do:

  1. Sautee the finely chopped (or as finely chopped as I can possibly manage) onion in the oil and butter with a pinch of salt over a low heat for about 5 minutes, making sure the onion doesn’t colour too much. Pale gold is your limit here.
  2. Separate the florets from the stalks on your head of broccoli and finely chop the stalks. Add these to the onion and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring regularly, before adding the florets and cooking for 5 minutes more.
  3. Add in the vegetable stock, pop on a lid and cook for around 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Remove from the heat and blend until very smooth. This is not the time for chunky soup. I use a stick blender which makes it super easy but you could transfer to a normal blender if that’s all you have. Season with pepper, you shouldn’t need salt, then crumble in about 75g of stilton and stir to melt. Taste just to make sure I’m right on the salt, I think you’ll find I am.
  5. Serve the soup in bowls with the rest of the stilton crumbled on top and a little retro swirl of cream if that’s a bit of you. Lovely for lunch with some crusty bread or as a relaxed starter.

I had a bit of a random thought today. I had Smooth FM on and they played Dolly Parton’s Jolene. I realise I am really late to the party here, like decades, but I don’t know why she was so obsessed with Jolene. I mean, yeah Jolene should know better but come on Dolly, its your waste of space man you should be singing about. Don’t be begging Jolene not to take your man, it sounds to me like he’s already gone and you’re better off without him girl.

On the point of randomness, Dominos now have a GPS tracker on their delivery service. As if the pizza tracker wasn’t already up there with the world’s best inventions, you can now literally track your pizza from store to door. Love it.

Have a wonderful week all!

Tania x

Help – I’m a Food Addict

So here I am, slumped on the sofa in my leggings and dinner-stained t-shirt, eating my way through yet another bargain price Easter egg when I catch a glimpse of myself in the switched off TV. At first I convince myself that the TV has turned itself on and I’m halfway through a Wayne and Waynetta sketch, before I realise that’s not Kathy Burke. That’s me. I’m Waynetta. Sitting there cocooned in a blanket, hair shoved up on top of my head in a bid to avoid washing it, dropping chocolate crumbs everywhere, I am a vision. A feast for the eyes.

Does this image make me want to want to change? To ditch the chocolate and start drinking green tea? Hell no. It makes me want to snatch the next Easter egg from the fridge and crawl even further under the duvet. I’m in denial you see and do my best to conceal my inner fattie, a task becoming increasingly more difficult the fatter I get on the outside. I’m in a constant state of despair about my ever increasing waist line whilst fighting a losing battle with my food addictions. Unfortunately, though, I’m not addicted to celery. Or carrots. Or cabbage. I like coleslaw though and that’s kinda the same thing right? No, you’re right, it’s not. I have issues with junk food. Pizza, McDonalds (screw you Ronald), chocolate, crisps, they’re always there to guide me down the dark path of temptation, away from the light of the chia seed brigade and towards the never ending tunnel of doom. Once I’m on that path I find it very hard to turn back, as I think is the case for most of us.

I eat well some of the time, in some cases more often than not, but I quite simply can’t say no to the bad stuff. There’s balance – porridge and fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, chicken and veg for dinner then a small bar of chocolate as an evening snack, for example. Then there’s me – porridge and fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, a large Domino’s pizza with chicken strippers for dinner then a share size bar of chocolate to finish it off. That’s not balance, that’s being a greedy fat pig. Oink Oink.

At the beginning of the year I vowed to not go on a diet and I’m sticking by that. Diets don’t work, at least not for me. I’m an intelligent person and I know what’s good for my body and what’s not. Domino’s, I love you, always have, always will. But you are not my friend and my feelings for you are unrequited. For you do not love me. Instead you treat me badly, making my clothes tighter and my chins multiply with every slice of you I consume. You are bad. But oh so good. Who can resist a glistening pizza, cheese oozing into the sauce with slices of pepperoni winking naughtily at you? STOP IT PIZZA!

I’m not saying goodbye to pizza, for I can’t quite summon the strength for such a commitment, but I’m really not feeling the Waynetta look right now and need to try to eat better. At least until Friday. And once this last Easter egg is finished.




What I Ate in a Day #6

I’m feeling a bit grumpy. We’ve got an issue with our boiler resulting in no heating or hot water. ‘Tis like living in Dickensian Britain and as such I am feeling very sorry for myself. Washing in a sink with just a kettle full of hot water is really not the one. Food, glorious food is the only thing that’s kept my spirits up during this cold and miserable time. However, I’ve been needing to get back on the healthy stuff and used a typical work day to get some goodness into me. My office was, for once, blissfully cosy. To be honest I did overtime just to stay warm.

Despite the chilly temperatures in my kitchen, I whipped up a frosty smoothie to take to work with me to start my day right. This one had a pear, a big chunk of cucumber, some frozen spinach and a little apple juice plus a splash of water. It’s a lovely, refreshing combination, probably more suitable for the summer months, but an easy way to inject a little green goodness.


Breakfast number two was a few diced strawberries, coconut yogurt and some homemade almond and sultana granola. I make this granola so much, you can see my recipe here. I can’t wait for summer when strawberries actually taste like strawberries. I usually avoid buying them out of season but my local shop was a little low on fruit options this week and I couldn’t be bothered to venture further afield.


Now my lunch doesn’t look that appetising, I’ll give you that. But it was in fact very tasty. It’s the chicken teriyaki recipe from Joe Wicks’ ‘Lean in 15 Book’ which has been so popular since it’s release last year. It’s a great book actually, full of really speedy recipes that focus on healthy ingredients. Joe is known as The Body Coach on social media and the like, check him out if you are into fitness and nutrition. Then probably skip the rest of my post as it goes downhill from here.

The chicken teriyaki contained chicken (obvs), noodles, pak choi, spring onions, spinach and lots of yummy Chinese style seasonings.


More al desko snacking with some pineapple in the afternoon.


Barely an hour later and I need another snack. I tend to avoid cereal bars and the like as they tend to be full of sugar but pointlessly so. I mean, I have no issue with eating sugar when it’s disguised as chocolate and it gives me great pleasure, but just to fill a hole I prefer to have something a bit more nutritious. Anyhow, I had this in my bag for a ‘just in case’ moment, and this was just that. Honestly, I’m always hungry. It was quite nice too actually.


And here’s where it all went terribly wrong. Please see below for reason number one of why I’m fat. I just love pizza. This wasn’t planned. Tyler was meant to make dinner but finished work late and we had nothing to make at short notice so ended up buying a couple of pizzas to chuck in the oven. I had a pulled pork pizza by Chicago Town and ate all but a slice. I’m such a pig.


Just to finish my day off, I had one of these super cute little Kinder chocolates. They are new (I think) and have the trademark creamy white filling that Kinder are known for. I’m kidding. I had five, not one.


This is such a typical day for me. I start out with my fancy little smoothie and homemade granola and end the day in a tracksuit covered in pizza crumbs. I deserve it, I had to wash my hair with a jug of lukewarm water.