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Obese woman who became a heroin addict after being bullied for her 379lb frame has lost half her body weight and had 10lbs of excess skin removed to become a fitness coach

A formerly obese woman who claims being bullied for her 379lb (27 stone) frame drove her to become a binge eater and heroin addict reveals how she overcame her demons and halved her body weight.

Lifestyle coach Michelle Bakal, 26, from New York, now tips the scales at 189lbs (13st 5lb), having had 10 pounds of excess skin removed, and has discovered a new love of fitness after previously struggling to walk short distances.

Michelle knew she was larger than those around her from a young age. She often felt as though she didn't fit in at school, with bullies calling her 'fat' and even shouting 'watch out' as she walked through the corridors.

'I've been overweight since I was a child and I remember seeing the doctor at a young age and hearing that I was heavier than I should be,' Michelle admitted.

'I didn't think it was a problem until school started and I felt like I didn't fit into how everyone else looked. I became aware that not only was I heavier, but substantially taller than all the other girls. I felt like my body wasn't normal.

'In school, people would call me names and say fat jokes. I would walk down the hall and boys would yell "watch out!" as I was minding my own business.

'At my largest I did absolutely no exercise. The most I could do was to walk a short distance, but even that was difficult.' 

The cruel jibes made Michelle feel as though she wasn't normal and at 16 she started experimenting with alcohol and Class A drugs.  

'I started using drugs at 16, starting with marijuana,' she said. 

'That progressed to whatever was offered to me. How I got onto heroin was a prescription to opiates by my doctor. Feeling as amazing as it did, heroin was just the next step - especially when I would run out of my prescription. 

'Once that line was crossed, there was no turning back.'

During this difficult phase, Michelle gorged on food and her weight increased to 379lbs (27st 1lb), becoming a size 4XL on top and a UK size 32 in trousers.   

When she was 21, Michelle decided to try to get clean as she knew she wanted to turn her life around. 

'I got sober in 2014 off heroin and all mood-altering substances,' she said.

'It was about a year into my sobriety when I realised that I had been using food my entire life to fill an emotional void. So, if I could get clean off drugs and alcohol then I could lose the weight too. That was the turning point.'

Michelle was diagnosed with a binge eating disorder in 2015, which highlighted that she had been turning to food as an emotional support.

She had grown accustomed to eating two pounds worth of spaghetti for a meal, or an entire pie to herself. 

'My first step was going to an eating disorder clinic,' she recalled. 'I realised that I could not eat for long periods of time and then binge on food to the point of feeling physically ill.

'When I found this out, I wanted to lose the weight for myself – it wasn't for anyone else, which I think was important.

'As I started to notice the weight falling off, it felt surreal and I wasn't expecting it. But at the same time, I felt like this time would be different because I wasn't trying to lose weight to impress someone else. It was for me and me alone.'

To kickstart her dramatic weight loss, Michelle had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy in October 2017.

Now Michelle goes to the gym five times a week to do weight training and body building, and hikes up mountains with her husband Zachary, 23. 

'These are things that I could never do when I weighed 379lbs (27 stone) because my mobility was next to nothing,' she said. 

Michelle's weight has plummeted to 189lbs (13st 5lb) and she wears a size medium. 

After hitting her goal weight and maintaining it for eight months, Michelle was able to have surgery to remove the excess skin she was left with. 

In July 2019, surgeons removed 10 pounds of skin, adding to Michelle's impressive transformation. 

She had a belt lipectomy, reverse tummy tuck, breast lift and extended arm lift to remove excess skin from her stomach, breasts and arms. 

'My bariatric surgeon recommended that I wait until I hit my goal weight and maintain that weight for a minimum of eight months before considering skin removal surgery. So that's exactly what I did,' she said.

'The only difficult decision about it was wanting to get it done before having any kids. I had to tell myself that carrying and delivering a child would not leave me with the same amount of excess skin I had from losing 196lbs (14 stone).

'They ended up removing 10 pounds of skin which had all been hanging off me since I shed the weight!

'I am still recovering from surgery, so I don't really recognise myself physically quite yet. Emotionally, I feel like I have a better handle at life and how to deal with things now because before I would just bury my emotions with drugs and food.

'It'll be a 12-week recovery period which is going well so far. I'm focusing on taking it easy because that's exactly what the doctor said to do. It's hard when I've been independent for so long and now, I have to rely on others to shower and dress myself.' 

Although she is still recovering from surgery, Michelle is looking forward to seeing the results.

After discovering a love for fitness since halving her body weight, Michelle enjoys motivating others to turn their lives around through posting about her transformation on her Instagram page.

'Now, I weigh everything I eat – which sounds more annoying than it is but it's quite simple once you get the hang of it,' she added. 

'I have a greater understanding of what kind of proteins, fats and carbohydrates I need to put into my body based on my energy expenditure.

'For breakfast I eat two protein bars every day. Since I'm a vegetarian, I get my protein from plain yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs and protein powder. 

'Lunch is usually a cranberry walnut salad, and dinner would be vegan meatballs with some fresh veggies on the side.

'Late night snacks are a must still, so I'll make a protein mug cake using flap jacked protein pancake mix, along with peanut butter powder and sugar-free syrup.  

'If I can do it, anyone can. Five years ago, I was a 379lb (27-stone) heroin user but then I got sober, lost weight and learned to love myself again.'


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U.S Woman Reveals Drinking Her Own Pee and Applying It On Her Face Has Given Her A Glowing Skin

You hear something new every day – and by new I mean batsh*t insane.

I can’t even imagine applying your own pee to your body, not to talk about drinking it, but that’s exactly what a U.S lady claims she’s been doing for the past 10 years.

30-year-old Ruby Karyo from Maryland claims drinking and applying her urine to her face has given her a glowing skin.

According to her, her father gave her the tip when she was younger, and she’s been applying it ever since, calling it urine therapy.

“My dad told me about urine therapy when I was 19-years-old. He said ‘if you want to be a beauty queen use it on your face and your body.”‘

She took the advice and now drinks five ounces of urine twice weekly, whilst also applying it to her face because she claims it’s a skincare product.

“When I wake up I rub my morning pee onto my face and use it like a moisturizer. You can leave it on for a couple of hours, or leave it on all day,” she explained, via MailOnline

“Every night when you go to sleep you can put it on your face. For the first few days your face might look a bit raw because all the impurities will come out, but then it will become clear.”

She went on to list numerous alleged benefits to drinking urine.

“It’s good for healing scars and pimples. I pee into a travel spray bottle and then spray it into my hands and then rub it onto my face.

“I also drink about five ounces of morning pee about twice a week. It can lower blood sugar and cholesterol and help diabetes.

“My skin glows when I use it, I took a break from it a while back and my skin began to look dull. I feel younger and I look younger when I use it.”

She added: “People don’t want to talk about it, they think it’s disgusting, but then they go and eat things like hot dogs, and they have no idea what is in hot dogs.

“We know what urine contains and everything that is in urine is essential for the body

“I want to bring light to the fact that it can change your life without using all the chemicals that are in store-bought products.”

Karo also claims she convinced her 56-year-old boyfriend to start drinking his own pee for his baldness and now he’s growing back his hair.

How wild are you willing to go for a glowing skin? For this kooky lady apparently, waste materials are the answer.


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Bagels are a breakfast staple for many, sometimes with savoury spreads, sometimes with sweet spreads, and sometimes even on their own. And these honey beauties are just that good. The honey does give them sweetness, but they are simply great with cream cheese. If you would like a more balanced flavour, you can increase the salt amount ever so slightly, so they are of a more neutral flavour, which would, in turn, be fantastic with smoked salmon and freshly cracked black pepper.

For the bagels
400 grams strong bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 ½ teaspoons salt
300 ml warm water
For the baking soda solution
500 ml boiling water
3 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons raw honey
For the glaze
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon raw honey


Take a large bowl, and sift in the bread flour. Add the yeast, and mix really well. Add in the warm water, honey, and salt, then mix with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms. Once the dough ball forms, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 5 minutes, until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic. Depending on your flour, you might need to add another tablespoon or two of flour. Place the dough into a large, greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rest and rise, in a warm spot, for about 2 hours.

Once the dough has risen, press to deflate it in the bowl, then transfer it to a floured surface, and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a sphere, and let them rest for 30 minutes, covered. When they have rested slightly, working quickly, shape each piece into a bagel by pinching a hole through the centre of it. Keep the rest of the dough pieces covered whilst working and shaping them. Let the formed bagels rest and rise for another 30 minutes.

While they are resting, prepare the baking soda solution – let the water come to a boil in a deep pot or a saucepan, then reduce the heat and let the water just simmer. Add in the baking soda and honey (it will bubble up, so be careful, and use a deep pot), and prepare for dipping the bagels.

Dip each bagel completely into the baking soda solution, and let it bathe for 10 seconds, then remove it, and place it onto a silicone mat on a large baking sheet. Continue doing the same with the rest of the bagels, then immediately place the baking sheet into a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), and bake the bagels for 15-20 minutes. While they are baking, mix together the softened butter and honey, and keep it ready for the bagels. Once you take them out of the oven, use a silicone pastry brush to generously coat them with the honey butter. Serve warm. Yields 12 small bagels.

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After a good workout, your body needs to refuel, rehydrate and recover. These easy to make and easy to digest workout smoothies provide the protein you need to build muscle, the carbs you need to restore glycogen, and the powerful punch of antioxidants you need to fight inflammation and repair damaged cells. These nutritional powerhouses will replenish you after a tough workout so you can get back out there tomorrow.

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Soft cornbread, as well as sweet cornbread, are my absolute favourites for the winter time. With fresh cottage cheese and eggs, this is a fancier version of a well-known quick bread, proja. These lovely muffins can be served instead of dinner rolls, breakfast rolls, and they can even be grilled and toasted. Although they could be slathered with soft butter, and some tangy jam for a fantastic snack, my favourite way to serve these is with sauerkraut and soured cream.

200 grams cottage cheese
2 eggs
200 grams finely ground cornmeal
100 grams soft bread flour
100 ml oil
300 ml sparkling mineral water (carbonated water)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt


Sift together the cornmeal, bread flour, baking powder and baking soda, add salt and whisk well, then set it aside. Break up the cheese with a fork, add the eggs and cream the mixture using an electric mixture, until smooth; add the oil and blend it on low, until creamy. Add the flour mixture and half of the water and mix it in on low, then continue mixing while pouring the rest of the water in a thin stream. Finally, mix the batter on high for about a minute, to make it completely smooth and creamy. Line a 12-count standard size muffin pan with muffin liners, divide the batter evenly and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 200?C (400?F), for 18-20 minutes. Serve warm


Since early age, we are taught to associate baking and pastry with feelings of comfort and cosiness. With the much colder weather approaching, what better way to keep the chill away, then with a batch of crispy, golden Mozzarella rolls.

They do not take a lot of time, and they are very easy to put together – start to finish they take about an hour of your time. If you are so inclined, feel free to lightly sprinkle them with minced pepperoncini right before rolling up the dough.


200 grams Feta cheese
200 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
300 grams Graham flour
½ teaspoon salt
250 grams Mozzarella cheese, grated


Place the softened butter into a large bowl, and use an electronic whisk on a medium setting to cream the butter until it becomes smooth and lighter in colour. Add in the Feta cheese, along with the salt, and blend on a lower setting until just combined. When blended, increase the speed and whisk until completely creamy. Start gradually adding in the sifted flour, blending with the whisk at first, then with a wooden spoon or a sturdy, reliable spatula, until you get a very soft and pliable dough. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, so the butter can firm up slightly, making the further rolling and slicing easier.

Lightly flour the work surface, either with Graham or plain flour, and quickly roll out the dough to about 5 millimetres thick, then lavishly cover the whole surface with freshly grated Mozzarella cheese, making sure you leave one end of the dough bare, so the dough rolls could be sealed properly. Brush a small amount of cold water on the bare edge of the dough, and starting from the opposite side, roll it into a tight log, just as you would a Swiss roll.

Using a very sharp knife, carefully divide the dough into 16 equal rolls, and arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, cut side down. Although these rolls have no leavening agent in them, do space them apart generously, as they will bake crispier on the edges that way. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Serve them immediately, either with tomato sauce or plain. Yields 16 rolls, 8 servings.

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Introducing the Lidl Christmas Coach

Christmas offers so many ways to celebrate with food and drink. To help plan for success, we asked cook, restaurant manager and party planner Elaine McDonnell to take Lidl’s Deluxe range as her inspiration and coach us through the Christmas party season. 

Over the next four weeks she’ll tackle cocktail parties, a traditional Christmas and lots more. 

She starts here with a decadent Fireside Feast for sharing with friends.

The buildup to Christmas is a very special time: it signals a chance to finally get off the treadmill or, at the very least, slow it down to a walking speed. As the winter days get shorter and darker we want to burn our fires brighter. It’s a season of winter walks, red noses, cosy socks, candles and feasts and conversation by the fire.

We never eat in front of the TV in summertime but, come winter, all rules are broken: bowls of comfort food and sweet treats take centre stage as we settle down to spend quality time together, perhaps watching the Toy Show or an early Christmas movie. For me, fireside feasts are all about relaxation, taking it easy and making dishes that are quick to prepare, but delicious.

Lidl Deluxe is a fantastic range, packed with exciting ingredients and readymade sweet and savoury treats.

The selection here is designed to inspire you to create your own personal fireside feast.

1. The Crowd Pleaser (Mezze sharing platter)

A mezze platter is perfect for a group of family and friends and suits both meat lovers and vegetarians. It’s the heart of your fireside feast. Here are a few tips to consider when putting a platter together.

  1. Give your platter an individual stamp, make it a plate of tastes that you love.
  2. We use all of our senses when eating so include a variety of colours and texture.
  3. Try not to serve directly from the fridge, give all of the wonderful flavours time to reach their maximum taste potential. We enjoyed a Lidl platter over the weekend with friends and here are some of the ingredients we used.


Deluxe Prosciutto Di Parma; Deluxe Salami with Porcini Mushrooms and Deluxe Buffalo Salami.


Deluxe Cooleeney Camembert, Deluxe Irish Vintage Cheddar and Deluxe Brie de Meaux.


Lidl’s own Country Loaf; Deluxe Charcoal & Sesame Wholemeal Biscuits; Deluxe Oat & Chive Wheat Biscuits. I also included a small bowl of truffle dipping oil with the bread.

Added extras

Deluxe Lidl Olives; Apple & Fig Chutney which was delicious with the Cheese selection; Deluxe Moroccan Hummus.

I also include some stuffed and wrapped Medjoul dates and I dressed some Deluxe melba toasts. I picked up some of Lidl’s Deluxe Salmon sensation, a wonderful product that I could have easily eaten on its own but instead I put a teaspoon on a melba toast with a sprinkle of Deluxe Capelin Roe and a sprig of Dill. A delicious little bite! I also did another delicious bite, this time using Brie De Meaux and Deluxe Caramelised Onion Chutney on melba toast.

2. Out of the Ordinary (Tuna Carpaccio with Horseradish Cream and Rocket)

I was delighted to see tuna carpaccio as part of the Lidl Deluxe range. Tuna Carpaccio is a favourite of mine on family holidays and since all of the hard work is already done, this is an easy to assemble savoury treat that will be gone in minutes. All I needed was a dressing.

Serves 2

  • 1 Pack Deluxe Smoked Tuna Carpaccio
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tsp Deluxe Horseradish Cream with Cranberry
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1 handful of rocket
  • Cracked black pepper and sea salt.


Arrange the Tuna Carpaccio on a plate and sprinkle with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Place rocket salad at the centre of the dish. In a small bowl, mix the horseradish cream and olive oil together and drizzle over the rocket salad. Simple and ready to eat.

3. A Decadent Touch (Risotto with Asparagus and Smoked Salmon)

Risotto is a dish that some might be a little nervous cooking. I used the Lidl Deluxe Carnaroli Risotto with Asparagus. The instructions on the pack tell you to add the pack to one litre of cold water, bring to the boil , stir occasionally and then simmer for 15 minutes. It really was that easy. I added a little butter and smoked salmon at the end and it was an absolutely delicious bowl of comfort.

Serves 3

  • 1 Pack of Deluxe Carnaroli Risotto
  • 100g Smoked Salmon
  • 1 oz Butter
  • 25g Deluxe Parmigiano Reggiano PDO shavings.


For the risotto, follow instructions on the pack. Towards the end of the cooking time add smoked salmon and butter and stir through the rice. Garnish with parmigiano shavings and enjoy.

4. Something Different (Stuffed and wrapped Medjoul dates)

These little bites are a delicious combination of salty and sweet. Medjoul dates are large, sweet and succulent. Enjoy a few with red wine or port or add them to a mezze platter to share.

Makes 9

  • 1 Pack of Deluxe Medjoul Dates
  • 1 Pack of Deluxe Roquefort PDO Blue Cheese, allow 1 teaspoon per date 
  • 5 Slices of Deluxe Prosciutto Crudo, dry cured Italian Ham.


Making a small incision remove the pit from each date. Depending on the size of the date, stuff it with one teaspoon of blue cheese and gently pinch it closed. Wrap each date firmly with a half slice of the Prosciutto Crudo and secure with a toothpick. Place on a baking tray and bake at 160 degrees for 10 minutes, just long enough to gently melt the cheese.

5. Cheesy Twist (Baked Cheese in a Box)

The Lidl Deluxe Cheese range provides a lot of choice and taste. A baked cheese is a quick and delicious dish and there are so many flavours that you can use to suit your taste buds. Here I simply used garlic and rosemary.

Serves 2

  • 1 Box Deluxe Pont L’eveque PDO French Soft Cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Olive oil.


Open the box and remove any cheese wrapping and place back in the box. Make some small incisions in the crust and insert garlic and rosemary. Drizzle the cheese with olive oil. Place in the oven – still in the box – and bake for 10 mins at 180 degrees. This is just enough time for the cheese to soften. Serve with breadsticks or carrot sticks.

6. Kid's Favourite (Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich)

There is an amazing frozen dessert section in Lidl, so much delicious choice. Their cookie selection also caught my eye and it reminded me of a simple childhood dessert, an ice cream Cookie Sambo. I also spotted a lovely gift jar, the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. I bought the jar as a gift and bought some pretty Milk Chocolate Butter biscuits from the wonderfully Christmassy Favorina range. A large scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between two cookies, brought me back to my childhood.

7. Indulgent Dessert (Caffe Affogato)

This is a delicious Italian dessert that honestly couldn’t be any simpler or easier. The name Caffe Affogato translates to ‘drowned in coffee’. Traditionally served with an espresso coffee shot poured over vanilla ice cream.

Lidl have a beautiful range of ice cream with some fabulous flavours. I chose a deliciously creamy hazelnut version. I poured an espresso over a scoop of ice cream and, because I was feeling indulgent, added a drizzle of Deluxe Irish Chocolate Cream Liqueur. So easy it was hard not to serve seconds.

8. An Adult Christmas Treat (Port and Chocolate Board)

And to finish things off once the youngest are in bed: one bottle of the wonderful Armilar Ruby Port, some Deluxe Cream Truffles with dark chocolate and/or white chocolate truffles with orange. Perhaps a luxurious mince pie or two, one log on the fire and relax.

Everyone’s favourite time of year is fast approaching and here at Lidl, we want to make every moment as easy for you as possible. We’ve put together an amazing range this year and we think you’ll be as excited about it as we are. With top quality, fresh turkeys and hams, locally sourced fruit and veg as well as our premium Deluxe and Favorina ranges on offer, you’re sure to have the most special Christmas yet when you shop with us – while stocks last.

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Canadian Marijuana Stores Face Shortage Supply After Legalisation

Jess Hardiman in  News

After becoming the first industrialised nation to legalise marijuana, Canadian stores are apparently already running low on stock.

According to the Daily Mail, Canadians seeking out legal recreational marijuana on Thursday not only had to contend with long lines, but also supply shortages in the wake of the historic change.

One man called Alexandre was apparently turned away from a store when it closed at 9pm, having been waiting in line for a painful seven hours.

"It was hell, it was cold," Alexandre said. "But we had fun anyway, talking with people in the crowd and sharing joints."

Supply shortages were also reported in the provinces of Newfoundland and Saskatchewan, and also in the Arctic territory of Nunavut.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Alexandre clearly wasn't too put off, as he was back early on Thursday morning to try again.

"Yesterday was the day that everyone was waiting for but I think that little by little the queue will decrease," he said.

Meanwhile, 41-year-old Genevieve Despres had slightly better luck, having managed to make it inside the store - describing the atmosphere in the queue as 'super friendly'. She told AFP: "We sang, we laughed, we made friends."

She added: "'I do not usually smoke but since it was a historic day for Canada I thought I'd try."

Genevieve had bought weed with a low level of THC, the psychoactive agent in cannabis, referring to it as 'the bomb' before returning with friends on Thursday to buy more.

The Cannabis Act came into effect on 17 October. However, due to the sheer size of the country, the landmark moment had to sweep the country in waves, as each time zone struck midnight.

Newfoundland, being the furthest province to the east, was the first to make the sale, with a festival atmosphere taking over the city by midnight as people lit up joints in the street.

As hundreds formed queues around the block, 46-year-old Ian Power was first in line at a store in the city of St. John's. He purchased a gram, but said he would not actually be smoking the weed.

According to CNBC, he said: "Prohibition has ended right now. We just made history.

"I can't believe we did it. All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis.

"I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I'm not even going to smoke it. I'm just going to save it forever."

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This is one of those old-fashioned, rustic pies you savour with a small cup of very strong coffee, enjoying every bite. It really is what comfort food, especially dessert, is all about. The pie dough is very tender and soft, and the filling is ever so slightly tangy, preserving the essence of the plum flavour. Topped with just a dash of icing sugar, giving it the balance it needs. It is best served completely chilled, but it is perfectly understandable if you savour it still warm from the oven, it is the bakers' right, after all.


For the pie dough
250 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
100 grams light brown sugar
100 grams unsalted butter, cold
50 grams sour cream
1 small free-range egg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
½ teaspoon ground ginger
For the filling
800 grams fresh plums, stones removed
100 grams light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dark rum


To start off this wonderful pie, remove the stones from all the plums, then roughly chop them, place them in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, sprinkle brown sugar all over them, and let them macerate for 30 minutes or so, while you make the pie dough. The pie dough is quite simple, yet full of warm, autumnal flavours, with just a hint of bright orange flavour. Sift together the flour with the baking powder and salt, and set it aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, brown sugar, egg, and the spices, then set that bowl in the refrigerator. Take the cold butter, dice it into small pieces, and then add them to the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, mix the butter into the flour until thoroughly blended. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the egg and sour cream mixture, and quickly make a dough, without handling it too much, so the butter does not start to melt. Wrap the dough into cling film, and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

While the dough is firming up, make the flavourful plum filling. Place the pot over medium-high heat, and let it come to a boil. Add the lemon juice, and let the plums cook away for 25 minutes, stirring often, until all of the liquid the fruit released has evaporated, and the plums are starting to cook down into a lovely jam. You do not want to make a firm filling, so if your plums have cooked into a soft jam after only 20 minutes, it is perfectly fine. It is important that the liquid has evaporated, so it doesn't soak the pie dough. Once cooked, remove them to one side, add the rum, and let the filling cool down.

When the dough is chilled and ready, and the plums have cooled down, prepare to assemble the pie. Divide the pie dough into two equal parts, either by weighing them or just by eye, and roll each piece between two sheets of baking parchment. One thing to keep in mind - the dough is very soft, be patient with it.

Line a small square baking tin (18x18 cm) with baking parchment, then transfer one of the dough squares into the bottom of the tin. Press it down lightly, and use a fork to poke holes all over it. Gently spread all of the filling over the dough, then top it with the other piece of the dough. Again, poke holes all over the top piece of the dough, and bake it immediately in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for 20-25 minutes. Let the pie cool down completely, slice it up, dust liberally with icing sugar, and serve with strong coffee. Yields 9 rich servings.

By Tina Vesi?

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Frying pan pizza with aubergine, ricotta & mint

For the dough

200g strong white bread flour, plus a little for dusting

½ tsp fast-action dried yeast

¼ tsp golden caster sugar

a little oil, for greasing

For the toppings

4 tbsp olive oil , plus a little extra

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

200g passata

pinch of golden caster sugar (optional) 1 small aubergine , sliced into discs

100g ricotta

small handful mint , roughly chopped

extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

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Recipe: Chicken Meatballs with Fresh Tomato Sauce

When you think of comfort food, you might initially envision a steaming bowl of your favorite soup or chili.


But summer’s a great time for comfort classics, especially when they’re light and fresh enough for the season. Enter this delicious, family-friendly meal. Let’s start with the meatballs. Made of boneless, skinless chicken and baked instead of fried, these meatballs are hearty and heart-friendly. Now for the marinara, which is perfectly timed with tomato harvest season, and cooks in just 20 minutes.


Pair the meatballs and sauce with a big salad for a delicious and nutritious summer comfort dish.




For the marinara:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, diced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 large sprig basil


For the meatballs:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ of a yellow onion, chopped

1 large egg

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




To make the marinara, in a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and the basil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Discard the basil

To make the meatballs, first cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and put into the freezer to partially freeze.


In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Let cool.


Put the chicken, onion, egg, parsley, lemon zest, oregano, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse several times until the chicken is finely chopped but not smooth.


Heat the broiler to high. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.


Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (you should get about 16) and place on the prepared pan. Broil 12 to 15 minutes, turning as necessary to prevent burning, until browned and cooked through.


Add the meatballs to the marinara and stir to coat. Serve hot.

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Good Old Fashioned Pancakes


* 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

*1 teaspoon salt

*1 tablespoon white sugar

* 1 1/4 cups milk

* 1 egg

* 3 tablespoons butter, melted


In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

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Roast chicken with creamy sauerkraut.

Try something new for Sunday lunch – serve creamy sauerkraut flavoured with juniper berries, bacon and apple alongside roast chicken and potatoes using this recipe by Valentine Warner.


1.5kg free-range chicken

50g unsalted butter, plus

30g for frying

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

100g British free-range smoked streaky bacon lardons

2 medium white onions, halved and thinly sliced 3 medium carrots,

diced 6 juniper berries 2 bay leaves 2 braeburn apples, peeled and coarsely grated 75ml gin 410g jar sauerkraut 200ml double cream

Boiled new potatoes and dijon mustard to serve. 

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indeed aloe vera is beneficial to treat fibroids. This is an aloe vera recipe that you can try: mix ¼ cup of aloe vera juice with 1 cup of beet juice in a glass. Add some lemon juice and 1-2 tablespoons of un-sulphured blackstrap molasses. Pour enough water to fill a glass. This mixture helps shrink fibroids.

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Scott Conant's Grilled Salmon with Asparagus Tapenade

I love this dish because it's seasonal, healthy and easy to enjoy. It's a great dish for a broad spectrum of guests. It's not often you can find a single dish that checks all the boxes and makes people happy.

Technique tips: To get nice grill marks on your salmon don't season it until right before you plan on cooking it. This will help avoid any moisture being released.

It's important to get a firm flesh fish. Something flaky, like cod or halibut, won't grill nicely.

Try grilling your fish with the skin on. I like the crispy texture and char flavor. Also, the skin helps hold it together so it doesn't fall apart on the grill.

Swap option: If you don't have salmon, try this dish with tuna steak or even grilled chicken.



  • Asparagus tapenade

    • 4 cups finely chopped grilled asparagus
    • 2 cups diced pickled pearl onions or pickled shallots
    • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Salmon

    • Four to six 6-ounce portions fresh salmon filet, skin off, room temperature
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt, to taste
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Freshly baked homemade pastry is one of the best things in life. And biscuits, a lovely, soft snack, are always welcome. Usually split down the middle and enjoyed with sweet or savoury fillings, they are so very soft and fluffy, with a gorgeous crispy and crunchy exterior. The ingredients are simple, but the baked biscuits are very delicious, as all old-fashioned pastries are.

They are very easily tailored; you can make them larger, by dividing the dough into six or less pieces, so they can be a fantastic version of burger buns. You can also make them smaller, and serve them with dips, or as sliders. They are amazing with marinara sauce, and all cheese-based sauces, as well as tangy jams and clotted cream.

400 grams soft bread flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
120 ml light olive oil
250 ml tepid water
100 grams butter, softened



Sift the flour twice, add in the yeast and the salt, and make a little well in the middle. Pour in the oil and water, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to form, then knead with your hands for 5-10 minutes, until you get a smooth and elastic dough that doesn't stick to your hands. Depending on the flour, you might need to add a tablespoon or two more, if the dough sticks too much to your hands. Once the dough is smooth and ready, oil the bowl, place the dough in, oil the dough surface, then tightly cover it with cling film, and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.

After the dough has slowly risen, knead it briefly or a floured work surface, then roll it out to a very large rectangle - as large as your work surface allows you. Take one half of the softened butter, and spread it evenly over the entire dough surface. Fold the dough in half, then spread the other half of the butter evenly. Fold the dough in half again, very lightly roll it out, just to thin it out to about 1.5 cm, then cut it into eight square biscuits. Place them on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment, let them rest for about 15-20 minutes, then bake in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for 18-20 minutes. Serve warm. Yields 8 large biscuits.

it has a neat and nice taste

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Tiffin or a fridge cake, is a type of confection made up of crushed biscuits, often chocolate syrup, and lots of dried fruit, and it comes from Troon, Scotland. It is really one of the most popular and loved desserts, and it does not require baking, so it is perfect for summer or hot weather in general. As you know, I love Jaffa cakes, so this rich chocolate tiffin is full of orange zest, orange liqueur, as well as chopped up Jaffa cakes.

You can glaze the chilled tiffin with more chocolate (or even melted Terry's chocolate orange), or you can serve it just as it is, it will be equally delicious. When cooking the chocolate syrup, make sure you stir constantly, so it does not burn. The butter can be at room temperature or straight from the refrigerator, it makes no difference. And finally, you can increase the amount of Grand Marnier, or replace it with fresh orange juice, if serving the tiffin to the little ones.


150 grams Jaffa cakes
120 grams vanilla biscuits
100 grams granulated sugar
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
120 ml lukewarm water
75 grams unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier


Crush the biscuits into pieces, and place them into a large bowl. Chop each Jaffa cake into quarters, then add that to the bowl as well. To prepare the chocolate orange syrup, take a large saucepan, and sift in the cocoa powder. Add the granulated sugar and the water, and stir really well until there are no more lumps. Take a rubber spatula and clean the sides of the saucepan, so there are no bits of cocoa and sugar, then place it over medium high heat. Let it come to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. It should reduce and thicken up. Remove it from the heat, and add in the butter and the orange zest. Stir until the butter completely melts, then set it aside for a few minutes so it starts cooling down.

When the syrup has cooled slightly, so it doesn’t start melting the chocolate on the Jaffa cakes and absorbing into the biscuits, add in the liqueur, stir well, then pour it all over the biscuits and the Jaffa cakes, and immediately mix very well with a spatula or a large spoon. Place the mixture in a small springform pan (15 cm) lined with baking parchment, for easier removal. Press the mixture well into the pan, so there are no pockets later on. Cover the top of the tiffin with cling film, and place it into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. When ready to serve, decorate it with some additional melted chocolate, whipped cream, fresh oranges, etc. Yields 12 servings.

All Good to go...

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Traditional ice-cream recipes start with a rich, silky custard base, which gives a thick and luxurious ice-cream, exactly because of the cream and egg yolks. Many homemade ice-cream recipes require an ice-cream machine, as it needs to be frozen as it churns, because that way, air is incorporated into the ice-cream, the ice crystals are broken up quickly, making the finished product creamy and light, instead of being one large ice block.

This ice-cream recipe, however, requires no ice-cream machine, no custard, and no egg yolks. Only a couple of ingredients, and a few hours of freezing time. No-churn ice-creams have become more and more popular over the years, simply because they are so easy to make, yet they still have a non-icy texture. The magic ingredient is, of course, the sweetened condensed milk. It replaces the cooked custard base, and when combined with the lush whipped cream, it will not solidify in the freezer, which is a problem lots of homemade ice-creams face.

This ice-cream is just like a frozen chocolate cheesecake, with rich Mascarpone, lots of cream, and a fantastic dark chocolate flavour. Mascarpone, because of its high fat content, will also help the ice-cream not solidify in the freezer. Remember to use a really good, dark chocolate bar, at least 70%, because the bitterness of the dark chocolate is there to balance the sweetness of the condensed milk, and the richness of the whipped cream.

200 grams sweetened condensed milk
250 ml heavy whipping cream
100 grams Mascarpone, softened
100 grams dark chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


Start by melting the chocolate over low heat, or in the microwave, and setting it aside so it can cool down slightly. Take the Mascarpone out of the refrigerator, and place it into a large bowl so it can soften up just a tad, then pour in the sweetened condensed milk, and the vanilla, and gently fold everything through. You do not need to whisk this mixture, just a fold will do. In a separate, large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cooled melted chocolate to the Mascarpone and sweetened condensed milk, and again fold it through. Finally, add in the whipped cream in a few additions.

Gently fold in about a third of the whipped cream into the condensed milk and chocolate. This will lighten the condensed milk batter, and make it easier to fold in the rest of the cream. Add in the rest of the whipped cream, and keep lightly folding it through until blended. If it at all looks odd, maybe with a few lumps or streaks, just keep softly folding, and it will transform into a smooth, silky, uniform batter. If only a few streaks of the cream remain, it is best to leave it at that moment, so you don’t deflate the ice-cream batter. Pour everything into a freezer-safe container, cover tightly with a lid, and place it in the freezer for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Serve with some additional chocolate flakes, or more melted chocolate. Yields 600 ml of ice-cream. You can try one at home

 Keep the ice-cream in the freezer until serving, and use it within two weeks.


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How to Make Banana Fritter


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon margarine, melted
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar



  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and bananas. Sift in the flour, salt, and baking powder. Thoroughly mix in the eggs and margarine.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  3. Carefully place spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until brown. Flip the fritter and continue to brown. Remove fritters from the oil and drain on paper towels. Dust the fritters with confectioners' sugar and serve while warm.
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How to make Good old Day Pancakes


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
  3.  Good to Eat.
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How to make pineapple upside down cake

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 9 slices pineapple in juice (from 14-oz can), drained
  • 9 maraschino cherries without stems, if desired
  • 1 1/3 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg


  • 1

    Heat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch square pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.

  • 2

    In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.

  • 3

    Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered


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