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(This post originally appeared at www.foodfashfit.com – please visit me there for my latest updates!)

I was recently sent a complimentary box of Alibi pretox drinks to review on the blog, so I thought I’d follow up from my health kick on the 1953 vintage diet to review them!

Now, I’ve never been on a detox in my life – I only occasionally eat rubbish with any regularity (usually during the party season) and I rarely drink, so detoxing doesn’t quite have the urgency to me that it might have to someone who really parties hard (but I am definitely up for trying a detox at some point!). So, the idea of a ‘pretox’ sounded great – prevention is better than a cure, right? And, if all you have to do is sip delicious drinks, then I’m up for it!
Alibi pretox
Alibi comes in two flavours, Sparkling Citrus and Sparkling Pomegranate – which, as you might have guessed, are both fizzy. The citrus flavour is heavy on grapefruit and lime, and very fresh, whereas the pomegranate flavour is a little sweeter. I have to admit, I much preferred the pomegranate when I first tried them, but the citrus has really grown on me. I guess I associate the flavour of grapefruit with health, so that added mental boost gives it a bit of an edge!

Citrus Cut Out

Of coure, there’s more to these drinks than just a nice flavour. They contain 11 vitamins (including 100% of your RDA of vitamin K), three minerals, five herbal extracts and beta glucan (to boost your immunity), making them a great supplement whether you’re dieting or not. The sweet taste comes from stevia – which is sweeter than sugar but contains less calories. I know that artificial sweetners are a bit controversial – I use them a lot, but I am always looking into alternatives, and stevia is definitely something I’ll be trying more of in future.

The whole concept of Alibi is that it’ll boost your body’s defences with its healthy supplements – and I’m definitely a supporter of the idea that dietary supplementation is wise, especially given that the average diet is fairly low on fruit and veg. Even when you’re actively trying to lose weight, it’s always good for your peace of mind to know that you’re still getting some vitamins and minerals from somewhere. Of course, you can’t just drink this instead of following a healthy diet, but it’s great to have an extra safeguard in place.

Unlike many other health or diet drinks, this isn’t low calorie, because it doesn’t contain anything artificial. Coming in at 99 calories, though, it’s hardly going to break your calorie allowance, and you can drink it without worrying about putting weird chemicals into your body!

I’ve been drinking Alibi daily for just under two weeks now, and definitely enjoy my daily dose! As for results, I can’t claim anything earth shattering has happened – but then, I’ve also not been feeling as run down after Christmas as I thought I’d be, either. It was definitely nice to be able to drink something ‘healthy’ that felt like a treat following the Great Christmas Binge, and if you already enjoy fizzy drinks (don’t we all?!) but feel guilty every time you pop a can, substituting Alibi for your normal soda mught be a good way to supplement your diet!

Alibi is available from many stockists in the UK (list here) including Waitrose, Holland and Barrett, GNC and more. You can buy online from Ocado for £1.59 a can, or in packs of 12 from Amazon for £11.99.

Pomegranate Cut Out

Autumn is my favourite of all the seasons – and I love all of them already! But there’s so much great stuff you can do in autumn that I can’t help but love it. In order to help me get the maximum out of the season, I’ve created a check list for myself. I’ll be heading back every now and then to check my progress, too!

New Forest Autumn 3

The beautiful autumn colours of New Forest - by stevestreet

Autumn to do list

  • Have Halloween party
  • Have Thanksgiving dinner
  • Make pinecone decorations
  • Make a leaf wreath
  • Make jam
  • Walk through the leaves
  • Gather chestnuts
  • Make Christmas pudding
  • Celebrate Bonfire Night
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Cycle down a hill with my scarf flying behind me
  • Make the best hot chocolate
  • Make pickles

What’s on your to-do list this autumn?

Well, it’s nearly the weekend, and I’ve spent all week drooling over Nigella Lawson’s latest book, Kitchen, and I’m ready to put my spatulas to the test on Saturday. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up Kitchen yet, it’s pretty much Nigella as she always is – cooking ridiculously fattening foods, claiming to have no time to cook, and yet still being able to pour forth an entire library’s worth of completely different dishes, all of which she intimates she cooks all the time. I swear she eats six times a day, the amount of things she says are well cooked favourites, or something the kids always demand to eat, or stuff she always cooks for dinner parties, etc.

Anyway, let’s just make this clear – I love Nigella. Even though her ever-expanding waistline is a testament to the fact that you shouldn’t really cook (or at least, eat) like this regularly, it’s hard to resist someone who loves food as much as she does. And, luckily for her, she’s one of those rare women who actually do turn curvy rather than just fat the more they eat (note to the media – championing ‘curvy’ women is not the same as ‘real’ women. Most of us do not put weight on Christina Hendricks style, in perfect, desirable ratios across our busts and hips – it’s just as unrealistic as all those skinny ladies, the only difference being you can imagine Hendricks eating cake.)

Anyway, so, I’m going to spend this Saturday with my dear friend R, making Nigella’s version of red velvet cakes (ALWAYS wanted to make these), blondies and chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

But of course, that’s not enough for me, so I present to you my top three most wanted-to-cook dishes which-I’m-not-planning-on-cooking-right-now…

Grasshopper Pie, Cooks Country

3: Grasshopper pie – from Nigella’s Kitchen, a bright green gooey pie she also describes as Ghostbuster Pie. Now if that’s not screaming Halloween at you, what will?

Tomato, basil and feta skewers, from Cook Sister

2: Vampire-slaying tomato, basil and marinated feta skewers… Can you say, again, HALLOWEEN? I love this idea, it looks so fresh and delicious, and as an added bonus, is a no-cook recipe.

Lemon Drop Jell-O Shots from Bakers Royale

1: Lemon drop Jell-o shots… Oh my, these look divine, and so simple!

If I ever get around to making these beauties, I will, of course, let you all know, but in the meantime, I wish you a drool-inducing Thursday!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a loyal Lostie since the show started. While I’m sure I’m not going to love the finale (so many unanswered questions!) I’m sure I’m going to have a blast watching it – because I’m planning my very own Lost finale party! When it comes to parties, there’s only one thing I care about, and that’s the food. So here’s my lowdown on the best menus for a Lost finale party, culled from the interwebs, and in places, my own imagination. I’ve got three ‘menus’ to choose from, although in reality they are just three lists – food inspired by the show, food from the show itself, and an extra special, cos I love ya low-fat/low calorie diet menu. Plus, as an extra special bonus, a list of drink ideas!

Menu from the show universe

  • Peanut butter (Charlie’s present to Claire – bonus points if it’s in a Dharma-labelled jar!)
  • Fish biscuits (from the Polar bear cages – as eaten by Sawyer and Kate) – recipe here.
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches (brought to Jack by Juliet when he was being held captive by Ben)
  • Muffins (cooked by Juliet for her book club)
  • Mr Cluck’s Chicken (fried chicken from Hurley’s fast food chain – use generic fast food fried chicken!)
  • Foraged fruits: mango, banana, passionfruit, guava, papaya, coconut, oranges (for Locke-smiles…). Serve them whole on a chopping board with a hunter’s knife for added drama and authenticity. Or, make them into a fruit salad like Hurley.
  • Hunted meat like boar (cop out and use pork! Roasted pork tenderloin, pork ribs, pulled pork… Mmm!), rabbit and chicken
  • Grilled fish, or sashimi ala Jin
  • Dharma-labelled food, easily created by printing out labels and sticking them on pre-existing packages. Some of the most famous Dharma food includes the aforementioned peanut butter, ranch composite (ranch dressing), Dharmalars (probably a version of Mallomars), and mac and cheese. Click here for an amazing array of Lost labels for your food!
  • Apollo bars (dark chocolate and nuts)
  • Alcohol salvaged from the plane in mini-bottles, or provided by Dharma, including beer, whiskey, rum, red and white wine.

Menu inspired by the show

Low-calorie Lost menu

Lost-inspired drinks

  • Tropical fruit juice
  • MacCutcheon whiskey (stick a fake label over a bottle of whiskey to create ultra-rare Lost whiskey!)
  • Wine from Moriah Vineyards, as made by Desmond the monk (as above)
  • Zombie (2 parts white rum, 1 part dark rum, 1 part golden rum, 2 parts lime juice, 1 part orange juice, 1 part pineapple juice, half part sugar syrup, ice, shaken in a mixer)
  • Pina Colada (1 part white rum, 2 parts coconut cream, 2 parts pineapple juice, shaken and strained)
  • Banana Daiquiri (2 parts white rum, 2 parts lime juice, dash triple sec, 1tsp sugar, crushed ice, 1 ripe banana, blended until smooth)
  • Mai Tai (1 part light rum, 1 part dark rum, 1 part Cointreau, dash Grenadine, tsp lime juice, 3 parts orange juice, 3 parts pineapple juice, shaken over ice and strained)
  • Blue Devil (3 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 tbsp maraschino, shaken over ice)
  • Blue Lagoon (3 parts vodka, 1 part blue Curacao, 3 parts pineapple juice, shaken over ice and strained)
  • Non-alcoholic fruit cup (2 parts orange juice, 2 parts grapefruit juice, 2 parts pineapple juice, 2 parts apple juice)

You can find some Lost-themed menus, ideas and resources at these sites:

Have fun! And, be sure to tell me what YOUR Lost party menu consisted of…

DISCLAIMER: I didn’t create any of the content linked to here, nor can I vouch for the reliability or deliciousness of any of the recipes, save Nigella’s awesome peanut butter fudge sauce… Click and make at your own risk!

You might have noticed I’ve been missing for a good few months. If you’ve missed me, God bless you! The sad truth is… I’ve been on a diet! I’ve been focusing my energies on a very special day to take place next year – my wedding! I plan to blog every now and then, and maybe one day I’ll be able to show my low-cal creations off with pride, but for now, especially in these cold winter months, it’s all I can do to count the calories, do my job, plan for my wedding, and do lots and lots of exercise!

On the plus side, I have lost 11lbs since the beginning of November, and I’ve also managed to lose 2lbs over the Christmas holidays. Now, if that doesn’t deserve a round of applause, I guess I’ll have to do something drastic!

In other news, I’m plotting the decoration of my own wedding cake using the fondant flower cutters from my birthday cakes. Now, I could be being overly ambitious here, but it seems to me that it’s going to be a total cinch! Could I be more wrong? Find out after the big day! Ha!

I’m getting so excited about Halloween! Is anyone else planning a party to celebrate the spookiest night of the year? I’d love to hear your plans – what are you going to cook? What are you going to wear?! Leave a comment and let me know… I’m dying of curiosity!

You might notice that, in the spirit of the event, I’ve added a handy new link to your left, which when clicked, will lead you to all my posts with the category ‘Halloween’, so if you want to find the Halloween marshmallow recipe, my pumpkin fondant tutorial or anything else to do with Halloween, you know where to find it! Throughout the year I’ll be changing this to reflect the seasons, the holidays, and my latest obsessions!

Purple buttercream and stars

This year, my menu is nowhere near organised… but I do know what my costume will be. Thanks to a quick shop in Primark, I will be an ’80s zombie, complete with acid yellow dress, purple tights, orange legwarmers and a heck of a lot of purple accessories. I am perfecting my moaning noises every morning whilst getting up, I assure you! And I have a magic lipstick that looks green but turns pink when you put it on. Now, how scary is that?

Pst – I’m totally honoured to have been featured in Indie Fixx’sHalloween Tutes from Around The Interwebs‘ – in the same list as Martha Stewart, no less! Watch out, Mazza…

Well, I’m overjoyed to see that people are finding my site helpful when they search out specific terms. Hello to the readers today who found me using the terms ‘Peggy Porschen’, ‘potato soup’, ‘horrible story’ and, most thrillingly, ‘grey chicken meat’. I hope I was of use!

It’s a very special day today, Scatty Pigface Distracted Gourmet readers! That’s right – it’s my birthday! What did you all get me? Something good, I hope!

cake-chic-peggy-porschen

Thanks to the Royal Mail, it’s debateable whether my pressies will arrive today or not, but I’m sure I can wait a few extra days. My obsession with cake decorating continues, so from my nearest and dearest, I’ve demanded asked for (very nicely) some cake making accessories. (Every girl knows it’s all about accessories, even slobby ones like me.) Cake Chic shall be my bible!

My good friend Lisa, who lives an hour and a half away from me, and whom I don’t get to see very often, had her birthday a couple of weeks ago, so R and I had the fantastic idea of baking her a load of cupcakes and taking them with us when we went to visit.

Lisa's cake

So, we got to work. The plan was R would bake the cakes during the day, I would prepare the buttercream and organise cutters, and then we’d decorate them in the afternoon before we drove up.

Cakes vs Books

I made a new recipe for cream cheese frosting, which included delicious shards of caramel, making a great crunchy texture and smooth sweetness to contrast with the cream cheese.

Rachel's scary Care Bear

Rachel even made the world’s creepiest and disturbing Care Bear, which to me looks like one of those poignant social services adverts about broken childhoods.

Side on view

We dyed fondant all kinds of beautiful bright colours, cheerfully telling each other how much Lisa would love to see her gorgeous little cakes, and how much we’d appreciate it if someone made us some kick ass cakes for our birthdays.

Mixed cupcakes

Then, when we were halfway through, I remembered something somewhat vital.

Lisa's cupcakes

Something that, had we remembered before we started, would have been most useful indeed.

Sakura blossom cake

The last time we met her, Lisa told us she cannot eat flour.

Flowery cupcakes

She’s on a gluten-free diet.

Starry cupcakes

Oh pants.

Flowey cupcake

Sorry Lisa.

We hope you enjoyed looking at the cakes, anyway… Ah, fudge.

Please note, no Lisas were harmed during the making of these cakes, and also note that I did buy her a present she could use, unlike R, who bought her chocolate which now Lisa also cannot eat. We love you Lisa, please forgive us!

Autumn feels like my season. Ever get that with a season? Something about it just makes me feel like I’m coming home. It helps that my birthday is in October, but I love the fact that autumn is a real season of celebration. Halloween, harvest, bonfire night, Thanksgiving – even Christmas, although it’s obviously in winter, is ever-present. The crisp air of a sunny, cold day, the colour of the leaves, the smell of bonfire smoke. Ah, I love autumn.

Sugar pumpkin

I bought a couple of beautiful sugar pumpkins at the farmer’s market last month – I love having pumpkins and gourds on my windowsill all through autumn and winter, but when I saw this recipe in Good Food magazine this month, I had to eat it. A whole mini pumpkin, stuffed with garlic and thyme infused cream and milk, with a generous helping of parmesan cheese? Yes please!

Hello autumn!

I ate this for lunch and it was really good, but way too much for me. And I felt like a slug afterwards. But, you know, it was still totally delicious and I don’t regret a thing, except maybe my thighs…

Hello autumn! I’ve missed you!