An overdue catch up… with SAUSAGE ROLLS.

I am going to desperately try to commit a little more to this page. As I have previously mentioned, I am far better at using my instagram, but for the last year I have been frantically working ridiculously hard to pass my PGCE (and I did!). It really didn’t leave me with a lot of time to post on here, or on my instagram. BUT, I am really going to try this time.

I love cooking. I love everything about it – not just eating the final product. 

And I miss this blog. I miss it. So I am coming back, and we will see how long it lasts.

The truth is, in the last few years I have become very independent when it comes to cooking. I don’t often follow recipes anymore. I throw together what I fancy and something new is born. BUT, as useful as that is for me, its really not that useful for those of you who message me and ask for the recipe. Truth is, I have no idea what the recipe is.

Alas, I’ll give this one a go.

Now this is a favourite of mine. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE A SAUSAGE ROLL then you need to listen up. 

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These babies are good – they are great. I saw the idea on an episode of “Eat Well for Less” and I never looked back.

First thing is first, get yourself to Marks and Spencers because they do the best skinny sausages I have ever had. (Added a link for you – because I’m good to you). These are GREAT and they have never not been on the 2 for £5 offer. If you fancy popping to Sainburys, they stock heck super lean sausages which are great too – I just prefer the juicier M&S ones. ** GIVE IT A GO WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGES TOO – THEY ARE STILL GREAT! **

However, if you really aren’t the bothered about the fat content of your sausages then just go ahead with your favourite bangers – BUT THE BETTER THE QUALITY, THE BETTER THE SAUSAGE ROLLS. Please get some bangers with a good amount of pork percentage. (Equally, if you are a veggie or vegan then given these a go! I made these at christmas with some chestnut and cranberry soy-sages from a great little vegan shop in Norwich called Tofurei – give them a visit if you are ever around because I just eat their soy-sage rolls because they’re great).

Enough with the chit-chat, right? You want the sausage rolls.

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Ingredients

  • 50g/1¾oz butter or vegetable oil
  • 6 pork sausages (or whatever else you fancy!)
  • 6 large sheets filo pastry, room temperature (ideally remove from the fridge 20 minutes before needed)
  • salt and pepper
  • OPTIONAL (but a must-have if you are me) – caramelised onion chutney. (Here’s a little idea that I like to use – whack in whatever you want! I’ve tried chilli jam, mustard, pesto when using chicken sausages.. whatever you fancy!)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210C/190C Fan/Gas 7 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and season with salt and pepper. If using oil, just season the oil in a bowl with a pastry brush to hand. Meanwhile, make a slit along the side of the sausages, peel the skin off and discard.

  3. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a clean work surface and brush with the melted butter/oil. Layer another sheet on top and brush with more butter. Lay two sausages along the shortest edge of the filo, then roll it up to form a long sausage. If you are using the caramelised onion chutney they layer a thin line on top of the sausage meat and roll with the sausages. Cut into four pieces and place onto the baking tray. Repeat this step another two times.

  4. Brush the tops of the rolls with any remaining butter/oil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until cooked through and golden-brown.

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I mean, they are beautiful right?

I’ve seen various slimming world videos circulating around facebook where they use wraps as the pastry too – worth a go if you are feeling inventive! 

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Lots and lots and lots of love,

Henrietta x

Surgery 2 (or 3..) in the bag..

GUESS WHO IS FOUR MONTHS POST OP?! Me.

AND GUESS WHO IS INSANE ENOUGH TO DO IT ALL AGAIN?! Also me.

Anyone who follows my Instagram knows I have upper back skin, giving the whole “back boob” illusion. IMG_4050Yikes.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks.

I’ve completed a 12,000 word thesis to complete my degree – and received a first class mark for it. I’ve booked my second (or third, if you count my hip re-operation) skin-removal surgery on June 5th, where I will be getting an upper back lift and breast augmentation. But, most importantly, I have reintroduced cheese into my diet. 

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I DO NOT TRUST MYSELF WITH CHEESE. It is the devil. You always want to pile it on, rather than having the recommended 30g, but MY WORD THERE IS A LOT OF SATURATED FAT IN THE STUFF.

Enter my new cheese favourite – eat lean protein cheese. This isn’t an ad, I genuinely just want to sing praises on the stuff. It is a super low fat cheese that is only 3% fat, and 1.7% saturated fat. But what does this mean? IT MEANS YOU CAN PILE ON THE CHEESE AGAIN, FOLKS!

Anyhow, clearly the small things in life make me far too excited, so back to reality.

(Oh my god wait, did you see the sparkly laptop case I hand-made!?)

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Super cute, right!?

AND OH MY, GUESS WHAT I FORGOT TO MENTION TO YOU ALL?!

I REVERSED MY TYPE TWO DIABETES!!

Anyhow..

I am four months post op, and I’m still having issues. 

Since my hips were re-operated on, new scar tissue has formed (and it is solid!!!) and it is preventing the normal fat and swelling to subside, so I have a very annoying half-sided swollen belly lump STILL. But my surgeon is going to fix it in my coming operation – given the skin has relaxed and theres another cm he can remove.

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How cute is my belly button though? Long were the days when I lived with a sagging mass and wrinkled load hanging off my stomach. 

And do you know what the best part is?! I’m at the lowest weight I remember being (other than when I was seven years old and weighed seven stone).. 63kg! Pre-surgery I weighed in at 71.7kg, so I’m super happy with that progress.

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Celebratory naked burrito, anyone?

Henrietta x

8 and a half weeks post-op..

I think it’s about time for another update since the last thing I left you with probably gave you nightmares. 

Yes I am talking about those horrible open wound images. 

I’ve had a lot of proud moments since then! I have a somewhat floppy and wrinkled bikini body! 


I managed to fit into some 28-inch waist super skinny jeans.

 

It’s a shame about my poor taste in socks.

I even managed to fall in love with a dress that I then purchased in a UK SIZE 10 because it fit me! 

I was a UK 22 previously, meaning I am now less than half the size I used to be! 


I’ve even been posting some considerably under-dressed photos on my Instagram account – prompting some rather cringe private messages asking me when I will “remove the heart emojis”. 

Yuck. 


I have never posted these photos to show off how “sexy” I am, I have posted them to show people the ins and outs, ups and downs, benefits and drawbacks of skin removal surgery. I have excess skin still! I have back wrinkles! 


I’m 8 weeks outs and I’m still not sure what to expect after the swelling goes down. 


I love my back boobs and my wrinkles and my sagging breasts (… wait, can I take that back?) but I had little idea that they would exist after my surgery because nobody posted a clear picture! 


I will never love the thighs though. Yikes. 

But damn, am I 100 times better than I used to be! 


Henrietta x



5 weeks post op.. 

So, on Monday, I’ll be 5 weeks post op. It was only 3 days ago that I was re-operated on after both my hips had horrendous open wounds. 



After all the progress I made recovering, I am back at square one. Unable to travel, move, and unable to wear my compression garments. The swelling has come back to unmeasurable levels. I’m in discomfort but I am confident I’ll be okay. 

On the brightside, check out these arms! 



It was never going to be easy, but I’m determined to recover enough to work on some recipes and go for walks at least. 


I can’t wait to see my new body when it eventually reveals itself to me. 

It’s a huge step in my weight loss journey, and it’s a decision I made because I could not have kept the sagging skin hanging off my torso.

Wish me a speedy (-er) recovery! 

Henrietta x 

9 days post-op.. 

I finally had my surgery! 


So, on the 19th December, I had a belt lipectomy and brachioplasty to start my journey in removing my excess skin. 


It seems a lifetime ago that I was 119kg, morbidly obese, and somewhat unhappy. 

If you feel good about yourself being plus-sized then that’s great for you, but I never did. 

How could I? I was bullied, I was often breathless, and I didn’t even want to do anything.

My life has completely changed.


My belly button isn’t a sad face anymore, and my abdomen doesn’t resemble a ballsack! 


They took three kilograms of skin away from me.


Since then, I’ve been happy. No post-op blues, no severe pain, no inability to move – swollen, a little stiff perhaps, but happy. 

I am heavily bruised, especially around the groin. But I cannot wait for the swelling to subside and my body to reveal its true form! 

People say it’s a tough decision, having surgery, and I suppose it is – but the outcome is so much better than you could ever possibly imagine. 

If you’re in the same boat I was… do what’s best for you. There’s no time limit. 

All the best to everyone, whether happy or unhappy, small or large, healthy or not, it’s Christmas. So enjoy. 


Henrietta x 

Past the point of excited..

I literally have 8 days until my skin removal surgery. 

One week tomorrow and I will be leaving the effects of my old, binge-food life behind.

And how do I feel? Beyond excited.


Just like I was when I finally won the 2kg toblerone after three consecutive years of failing.

Obviously I’ve done my research, and I know how much pain I am likely going to be in after having a belt lipectomy and brachioplasty. It’s a difficult decision to make – having surgery. 

I know a lot of people just choose to keep the excess skin, but I’m a strong believer that you then fail to see what you’ve truly achieved when you look at your body. 

I’m 21 years old, I’m 5ft7, and I’m 72kg. My BMI is healthy, But my body looks far from it. I shouldn’t look like this at a healthy weight. My wrinkles shouldn’t have their own wrinkles, and my belly button certainly shouldn’t look this sad. 

Now I’m not very toned, that was never my aim. My excess skin isn’t as empty as some one hiding a six pack underneath theirs, but I’m happy with what I have achieved.



At my heaviest, I weight 119kg. When I started my weight loss journey, I weight 115.6kg. 

I have lost seven stone. I have pretty much reversed my diabetes (it’s not medically official yet, but I really have). 

I’m so unbelievably happy with how far I’ve come. I was embarrassed, upset, and appalled at the way I was. It was horrible worrying about how heavy I was breathing when walking up the road with a friend. I was exhausted at the simplest of tasks. 

Now, all I have to complain about is my arthritic joints and my constant lower back pain. 

I’ll take it. 

Again, super excited for 8 days time. 


There’s that excitement for the toblerone again! 

If you’re reading this, and you’re struggling at all, just know that you got this. It’s a slow process, but every week when you step on the scales and see even a tiny difference you’ve done something huge. You’ve achieved something great and you can keep going. 

Happy health everyone.

Henrietta x 

Wagamama regular.. 

Anyone who know me, or even follows my Instagram, will know the endless love I have for wagamama. 


I mean, come on, just look at it. 

Besides tasting great, my Wagamama favourite dish is actually surprisingly healthy too. 

None of that Katsu curry rubbish, just chilli beef ramen for the soul. 

Well, I have the Wagamama cookbook and I do often make my own ramen, and a few of you have commented asking for the recipe. It is easy to find online but I’ll post it here too. 


I’m a true Wagamama fan, and a few years ago they used to sell their ramen bowls and spoons online. I don’t know why they don’t anymore, but I gathered a collection luckily! If you don’t have the ramen spoon then it might be slightly difficult to slurp the amazing broth, but you can always use a straw! 


Now the chilli sauce that you add to the broth is open to interpretation. I’ve followed the recipe for the chilli sauce before and it wasn’t the same, but I asked someone who worked for Wagamama (dream – free food on your lunch break!!!) and they suggested using sriracha because that’s what Wagamama used to print on their recipe table place-Matt. 

So that’s what I do, and it is so close to the real thing that it’s insane. My only suggestion is that you make your own stock if you can – because using a stock cube or stock from the supermarket makes it taste less authentic. The stock is the only difference I notice when I make my own ramen vs when I eat at Wagamama. It’s such a shame I’m so close to perfection with this dish. 

Anyway, I’m sure the suspense is killing you, so here is the recipe. 


Now if you would like to try and make this chilli ramen sauce then I will post the recipe for that too, but I really do recommend sriracha. 

And if you’re not into steak, you can make the same ramen with a chicken breast. 


The secret to wagamama’s stock is that they use a mixture of chicken and pork bones – so definitely try making their stock if you can. If not, it doesn’t matter too much – but you can taste a slight difference when using supermarket stock. 




Happy cooking! 

Henrietta x