Tag Archive | recipes

An Amazing Lady

Many may recall how last year, I set about losing weight in a sponsored slim to help send my little great-nephew, George, to America for a life-changing operation to help him cope with cerebral palsy. The operation was a major success and I will bring you an update on his progress very soon. I managed to lose 2 stones. It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, particularly as there are many food groups I cannot eat a lot of, and some I have to avoid altogether. I’m still very much overweight. I never used to be, I was a skinny child, as my family can testify; I only had issues with my weight following the birth of my daughter some 40+ years ago. But this post isn’t about me; it’s about someone I wish I had met twelve months ago, if not before.

JUSTINE FORREST (PROMO SHOOT 07.02.2013)

Four years ago she was morbidly obese, barely able to walk a few yards, and experienced many indignities only us big people can. She’s happily married with three lovely children, two of whom have serious medical conditions. It was her love and concern about them that finally persuaded her to do something about her weight once and for all, otherwise she wouldn’t be about much longer to care for them.

So she devised an eating plan, something that was easy to follow, didn’t cost a fortune in expensive or special foods, with recipes which provided nourishing home-cooked meals that all the family can enjoy. And the weight started to fall away. It was only after having lost a considerable amount of weight that Justine could start to exercise, mainly walking the family dog regularly. But what a difference now – Justine now does regular exercise and with her husband runs marathons, fundraising to support the two charities that have helped her in the care of her children, and are running in the London Marathon this April. I certainly will be supporting and sponsoring them.

Justine loves to cook and bake cakes, something that doesn’t help when trying to lose weight. As the weigh fell, her confidence and courage grew, so much so she applied to appear on one of the reality cookery shows on TV, taking part in and going on to win Michael Winner’s Dining Stars in 2010, culminating in cooking a dinner party in Michael Winner’s home for guests Sir Roger Moore and Lady Moore, Andrew Neil, Giorgio Locatelli, Christine Bleakley and Kym Marsh. Wow! This led to several further TV appearances on Harry Hill’s TV Burp and on GMTV.

JUSTINE FORREST (PROMO SHOOT 07.02.2013)

Spurred on by this and praise for her chocolate brownies, Justine set up her own bakery business online (Brownies by Justine Forrest)and supplying outlets and restaurants in her region. Having tasted these brownies, I can assure you they are heaven. My husband’s comment after eating one was, “Tell her she should sell them online, they’re fantastic. Best I’ve ever eaten!”  They are. You simply must try them! Justine now gives regular talks at food shows and on radio and demonstrates regularly – just this week appearing at the Ideal Home Show in London. She also appears regularly at the Wellbeing Farm in her home region.

Justine is so full of enthusiasum for what she does, it rubs off; it certainly has on me, with a JJ Final Cover Smallzest for life she wants to help others in the position she was in. In her own words (no ghost writer for Justine!) she has written an honest, moving and heart-warming account – Justine’s Journey – of how and why she achieved such a weight loss, as well as telling what goes on behind the scenes of a reality TV show. She tells of the many heartbreaking moments in her life, told with such open passion and raw emotion, it made me cry in places, along with many ups and the downs along the way. In the book shares her “Plan”.

Hear why Justine wrote her book

This isn’t just another diet book, it’s a way of life full of tasty, easy to follow recipes, lots of tips and hints, and so full motivation and inspiration it can help anyone achieve a complete change in their life. It’s certainly encouragement enough for me to lose some more weight. If Justine can do it, so can I.

But you know what is even more encouraging in all this, Justine’s Plan allows for cake. Yes, cake! What’s not to like about following her Plan? Give it a try. I’m on it now!
Buy Justine’s Journey (available at all Amazon sites)

Website: www.justineforrest.co.uk

Facebook www.facebook.com/justine.b.forrest

Twitter https://twitter.com/JustineForrest

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Cake Recipe: Apple Crumb Cake

In response to numerous requests following my blog on German Easter Traditions, I’m happy to include a delicious Rachel Allen‘s recipe for Apple Crumble Cake on my Recipes page. Often eaten as part of breakfast in Germany any day of the year, this cake is equally delicious made with plums. I do hope you’ll give it a try.

Applecake for Breakfast?

Come to my house for Easter and you will most probably be served Applecake at breakfast, as German a tradition as sauerkraut and bratwurst, Christmas trees and Schnapps.

Brought up in England by my English father and German mother, I consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed the best of both cultures, both so similar and yet in many ways worlds apart. Easter (Ostern) was a particularly enjoyable festival, heralding the end of winter. The house would be full of vases of daffodils picked from the garden and nearby orchard where they grew in profusion.

The custom of boiling and painting eggs, the symbol of new life, began in Germany during the 16th Century, the bright colours representing sunlight and growth. When we were little, my mother would wait until we four children were tucked up in bed before boiling eggs then painting and decorating each one before hiding them in the garden, either amongst the flowerbeds or often as not hanging from the branches of trees and shrubs for us to find on Easter morning. These, she told us, had been put there by the Easter Hare (der Osterhase). An article this weekend in one of the newspapers decried the arrival of Easter trees in the shops as a commercial extension of the Christmas tree but Egg Trees have long been part of traditional Easter celebrations in Germany.

As we grew older, we would help decorate eggs to be served for breakfast along with cold meats, cheese and bread followed by applecake. My father would also give each of us a small chocolate egg into the package of which he would place money for us to buy as much chocolate as we wanted. The first edible Easter Bunnies were also made in Germany, in about 1800. These were frequently made of marzipan covered in chocolate.

On Good Friday, toasted Hot Cross Buns would be served for breakfast, the day spent in quiet contemplation although we were not a religious family. On the Saturday evening a bonfire would often be lit, as a way of driving out the Winter spirits and welcoming in the warmth of Spring, although this was a good way for my mother to get rid of the trimmings from the shrubs she had cut back in March.

My German grandfather (Opa) was the baker in the village where my mother grew up and his cakes and pastries were legendary.

He would also bake a special Easter cake in the shape of a lamb. Many of his recipes have been handed on but, sadly, many were not written down and the recipes consequently lost. Thankfully, my mother inherited his talent and baked delicious cakes and confection but as the years have taken their toll, she has forgotten many of the recipes, so it was with relief and pleasure we came across Coppenrath & Weise Apple Crumb Cake in shops such as Makro. This is the nearest to the real thing you can buy and you don’t have to wait until next Easter to enjoy it.

Traditional Lamb Cake (Delicious with fresh-brewed coffee)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions: With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar, then add in the water. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add into butter mixture and mix well. Add in the vanilla. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add into batter.Grease and flour one lamb cake mould, and pour in batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F (175 C) for about forty five minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When cold, dust with icing sugar.

 Tip for the Day: Does your butter go rancid in the heat yet if you keep it in the fridge it is rock hard. Instead of putting a whole block of butter out, keep only small amounts in the butter dish, say a quarter or half block. That way, it gets used quickly and the butter is always fresh. Unless, that is, you honestly prefer the oil-based concocted whips that spread straight from the fridge or you like playing games with the microwave guessing how long the butter will take to soften before melting, and melt it usually does.