Friday, 10 January 2014

SHOPPING ALONE

Often means eating alone


Aaah....... I think it’s all blown over now, the festive period I mean; I do love it all, but once the decorations make their way back to the loft, there is this blissful feeling of relief, and I don’t even have a husband, children or a Christmas dinner to contend with. Of course, I love the sales that come before, during and after as well, but I do hate the hustle and bustle of scavenging for a parking space or rummaging through screwn discounted goods that have fallen off the clothes rail, so I prefer to let things calm down before I go traipsing through the stores for my sales treats; I’m willing to risk missing out on a good bargain just to avoid the chaos.

Now, call me Billy No Mates, a recluse or a loaner but I must confess that I’m not all that keen on going shopping with other people.  I can be quite impatient, so if I have to stand around gawping at what my friends are admiring or trying on, I tend to get somewhat irritable and truth be told, I’m conscious that I can be very irritating to shop with too because I’m quite indecisive and I spend a lot of time idolizing pieces that I can’t afford or don’t need. I just like my own space (in terms of nobody accompanying me personally) when I’m perusing the shops, especially if it’s for something in particular. So this week, with pretty much everybody back at work, including my friends, I had a little snoop around the Bullring -  our main shopping centre.

With shopping alone, comes eating alone. My shopping sprees (window-shopping or otherwise) usually last about four hours so by that time, being the foodie that I am, I like to treat myself to a meal. I don’t prefer to dine alone in a restaurant, but I certainly don’t have a problem with it; I probably do it at least three times a month. My favourite cuisines are Italian and Thai. My last meal out, alone, was Italian and I treated myself to one of my all-time favourite dishes, Penne Carbonara - I’m not very adventurous I know. Carbonara is probably one of the most calorific dishes on the Italian menu thanks to its rich, creamy sauce, but boy it tastes good, especially if you go to a top-notch Italian. Anyway sitting there, by myself, deep in thought, I started to think about how I could make one of my favourite dishes a little less calorific and here was my attempt: swop some of the full fat creamy ingredients for low fat fromage frais, although be warned it can curdle if you leave it too long. The instructions serve 4.



I used tagliatelle pasta and cooked it al dente, just how I like it, whilst I prepared the carbonara sauce.
I decided to substitute the pancetta for smoked salmon (I've eaten more than enough red meat over Christmas) and lightly fried the salmon in a tablespoon of olive oil. 


Mix together 70g of parmesan cheese (I used  Grana Padano for its sweet and nutty flavour; use a low fat parmesan if available), 5 tablespoons of fat free fromage frais and 3 egg yolks and a sprinkle of black pepper (although I don’t like pepper). Add this mixture to the pan.





Stir in the cooked, drained pasta and top with some chopped parsley or basil. Voila!       


What’s your favourite type of restaurant/cuisine and what’s your favourite dish?  Do you mind eating alone in a restaurant?

(I bet you thought this was going to be a post on what I bought in the sales didn't you!)

Later x

28 comments:

  1. I like eating alone sometimes as well even tho I have a partner. sometimes we arent in the mood to eat the samething or he doesn't like a specific restaurant but i love to get a mag or paper and people watch. But i definitely shop alone - i used to shop with people in my twenties but i am super decisive so i felt i was wasting my time. but then again i rarely go shopping these days anyway. i am kind of glad things are back to normal as well! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, love a good people-watching session! x

      Delete
  2. Hi Colleen! Lol, I am the one who when first read the title and saw the first image I thought you were going to talk about shopping and sales! Regarding it, Im as you, prefert shopping alone with calm though I like help others when they have to shop. Btw, I dont mind to eat alone in a restaurant, I enjoy time when I am with myself and nobody, especially when Im outdoor. I am a foodie too, I love Thai too!! One of my fav cuisine (I love also Indian and Japanese). Regarding the Italian, Carbonara was my fav when I was a child, now that I stopped to eat meat your recipe just comes in my help. Yum! What a shame I never thought to use the smoked salmon, I imagined the taste..mmm definitely to try!:) Have an amazing weekend my dear, kisses! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did turn out scrummy with the smoked salmon x

      Delete
  3. Love your bags and meal! Perfect! Love it!
    All the best from Munich,

    Vanessa
    www.pureFASHION.tv

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmmmm!!! Looking good!!! I prefer to cook at home, but really like to go out for coffee and discover new nice cafes!
    XOXO from Shanghai! Keep in touch!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got hungry now lol!!! I don't know how to cook, can you believe it? I normally eat my mom's food, it's delicious! Keep in touch, ok? Xxx.

    www.juliechagas.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not the best cook, nothing beats mums food!

      Delete
  6. With shopping i´m like you. I like to shop by my self. So i have more time for me. It´s horrible to shop with my 24 years old daughter. She wants me the whole time on her side for saying my opinion.
    But a littel bit i´m proud that she listen to her "old" mother. ;)
    Eating by my self is not nice, i prever the community.

    Dear Colleen, i know my english is really bad, but i hope you understand what i mean. ;;))
    Have a nice weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fully understand hun, it's perfectly clear, don't you worry. I was more surprised how young you look to have a 24 year old daughter!! Wow! x

      Delete
  7. So yum! Love it. My favorite dish is Roasted wild banana with roasted peanuts along side with fresh grape juice or wine mixed with hot ginger. Love it to bits..
    I saw your super hot picture on your facebook fan page, must confess,Sizzling!!!
    Enjoy your weekend,Kisses..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of that, sounds yummy! x

      Delete
  8. yummu Colleen.. you are so talented and a great cook! this recipe seems and looks so tasty! I am defiantly like you-shopping alone!! I love to stroll and take my tine without feeling that I'm keeping anybody. I also mostly have a strong solid opinion about the purchases make-so.. don't need anyone's advise:)

    I do love to eat by myself at restaurants.. but also love to eat with friend and my love one.. enjoy the both ways.

    Have a great weekend hen,

    http://rosdays.blogspot.co.il/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ooooh I'm really not that talented in the kitchen but I do like to experiment. Yeah me too I enjoy both ways

      Delete
  9. I agree with you girls. I prefer it alone too but you know making decisions is sometimes difficult ;) The food looks so yummy Colleen! <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, I did, where's the haul?!?!?!:D But seriously, can I come over for dinner sometime, would you cook for me?? I'd lick the plate, cross my heart. And do the dishes in return.:) I've never eaten alone, not that I'd mind it, it just hasn't come up - yet. But I've always wanted to go to the movies alone. That to me is the ultimate sign of self-sufficiency for some reason. Although, now that I think about it, eating out requires even more independence, doesn't it? But shopping alone - yes, please! Otherwise you have to wait for people or hurry and I just can't deal. Great, you've made me craving for some food, shopping and alone time all in one post, good job!!:D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a photo from before Christmas so the haul are either hanging in my wardrobe or in the wash at present. How funny you mentioned about the cinema, I've wanted to do that a couple of times when someone wasn't keen on watching a movie I wanted to watch. I will do it by the time this year is out!

      Delete
  11. so nice and beautiful blog :* Do u wanna follow each other ? If yes , follow me and let me know ! I will follow u back as soon as it possible ;*

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy New Year to you! Wishing you good health and happiness in 2014! I definitely thought we would get a peek inside those bags! Carbonara is a favourite dish of mine but your healthier version is definitely one I shall try as i love all those ingredients too. I understand what you mean about shopping alone as I can be indecisive too and often return to the first store to buy something i saw hours earlier (hoping it's still there of course!)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Colleen, like you I also don´t like it to go shopping with other people because I think I haven´t enough patience for this. The only exceptation is my husband and were in the past our now grown up kids. And it is also okay for me to go alone in a restaurant, I have to admit that sometimes I like it this to do, e. g. on business trips, because I find it very interesting to watch other people and I enjoy also time with myself alone :) How great that this is also not a problem for you because I know many woman for whom this is a problem ...

    Wish you only the best and a good start in the new week.

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks a lot my dear! Same here about u! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lol! You are right, I was gearing up to see new shoes and bags!

    I also prefer to shop alone. I go shopping with specific items in my head and when my friends keep making pitstops at every store they see, I almost get pissed. I'm impatient like that.
    I also like to take my time and make sure I get exactly what I want without someone hovering around. Lol

    Oh and that food looks super yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very nice post....it is such a joy to read your blog...Take care...

    Lubica
    http://lttreasure.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yep, I much prefer to shop alone, not that I do it that much. Only when I need to replace something and then I scan the shop and if they don't have anything at first glance, I don't bother going right in! Eating - prefer not to these days. Only in cafes - which I do all the time of course!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I too prefer to shop alone - I tend to be quite focussed and determined about what I want (which means I quickly lose patience with friends who are indecisive and/or want to try on half a store worth of merchandise and/or need a lot of reassurance that they are making a good purchase.) I am less a fan of eating alone, but I do that fairly frequently, too since my husband works evenings. And it can be a great time to experiment. I must admit that your carbonara looks positively divine!
    xox,
    Cee
    www.cocoandvera.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Haha, yes, I did think you would show what you bought! I totally agree with you, argh, parking spaces can irritate one - the lack of it, of course :) And I also agree about going shopping alone. I normally go with a friend that has the same shopping "style", but I have some other friends that I avoid going with. I do prefer doing it alone. I seldom eat alone in a restaurant, but just because I am a fussy eater, I told you. The carbonara dish looks great - and as a fussy eater (again) I take off the meat ingredient :) But I loooove pasta! I went to the Bullring last Saturday especially to eat at Yo! That being said, you may think what? Fish? No, I eat the avocado sushi, the vegetable tempura and... that't it. Believe it or not, I went there for those two things! denisesplanet com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love shopping alone too! And yes, I too end up eating alone outside at times. I used to do it all the time when I was younger but now I eat out mostly with my boyfriend, but we also drink a lot along with the food! haha. I love Italian and Thai too and have been eating only both cuisines for the past few days!! Carbonara is a hot favorite of mine. I recently made it at home too, and I used chicken as I did not have any bacon at home!
    xx
    www.JuneWantsItAll.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Enjoy the weekend my dear! Kisses! xo

    ReplyDelete

Hey....I'd love to see your comments, and given one of my pastimes is reading other people's blogs, I'd love for you to leave your URL if you have one too. Later xx