Friday, 30 November 2012


One more week and then I am free.
Free to go home for a month and enjoy the Christmas period and all its fine festivities!

As much as I love my little workspace I think a change of scenery would be warmly welcomed right now.

Okay, I'm technically not free.
No... not free at all actually due to a lovely workload consisting of a 1500 word report, 3500 word project, 3000 word essay... oh and a  two hour exam to revise for too!
*and that 12,000 word dissertation but we won't go into that...

I do however have lots to look forward to! For starters...
I have a lovely family and (warm!) home to return to. Then there's the annual process of transforming our house into a tacky Christmas grotto (it gets worse every year...). Frosty winter walks in the woods. Plus I'll also be making Mince Pie's with my Nana - she is going to teach me how to make a GOOD pastry this year!

To ease myself into the spirit of all things Christmas I am hosting what will hopefully be a rather jazzy Christmas Dinner this Sunday with some of my favourite boyos and I also have a few little Christmassy themed cooking/baking sessions and projects lined up for the weeks ahead so I will be keeping you posted with those. 

But for me right now...

Bring on the home comforts and some Christmas cheer!

Sunday, 25 November 2012


There's nothing quite like a bit of good old Saturday night baking.
I've been planning on making these for about a month now but have only just got round to them!

Blondies are the brownies alter ego.
Made with brown sugar and white chocolate instead of cocoa powder and plain chocolate these are a a fun and new take on the wonderful gooey classic.

There are several rather fantastic recipes on blondie variations... peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, macadamia nut, gingerbread, toffee the list goes on!

After looking at all the above lovely recipes, I had a little mind explosion of inspiration and decided I wanted my blondies to have a bit of a CRUNCH. I chose to use up some leftover granola (I used this one) and I also went down a relatively healthy route with this recipe by substituting half of the butter for a mashed banana.



200g of White Chocolate
60g Butter
1 small ripe Banana
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
180g of Brown Sugar
180g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp of Salt
100g of Granola


1.  Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease and line a baking tin (20x20cm).

2.  Place the butter and 100g of the White Chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and place in the microwave on a medium heat for 3 minutes or until melted.

3.  Mash the banana and add this to the melted butter/chocolate mixture along with the eggs, vanilla essence and sugar.

4.  Gradually fold the flour and salt into the mixture, then add the granola.

5.  Finally chop the rest of the white chocolate (you could also use white chocolate chips for this part) and add half of it to the mixture.

6.  Place the mixture into the baking tin and scatter the rest of the white chocolate chunks on top of the mixture.

7.  Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and allow to cool (you must do this as they are VERY gooey when fresh out the oven!). 

Friday, 23 November 2012


This month has gone very quickly.

Lots of work and not enough play has unfortunately sent this little one into a rather crazy spiral.
Friday nights in are now a "regular" for me...but to be honest I need them!

 During my spare time I have been trying to beat the final year uni blues by doing a spot of therapeutic diy.
It also adds as a nice distraction to covering up all the damp patches on my wall... just one little insight into how terrible a condition my apartment and room are in!

I have been taking advantage of my free printer paper (thanks Kodak!), a lovely little free programme called Poladroid (you can download it here), garden trellis's from the 99p store, balls of string and wooden pegs. I am currently the owner of two bags of wooden pegs...both different sizes!

Yes. You see what I now mean by crazy?

Friday, 16 November 2012



So much stress. So much drama. So much eurghhhhh.

My first "official" dissertation deadline is looming (3000 word hand-in) next Friday and I am running around like a headless chicken. My days are over-run by sticking to a routine fuelled by severe amounts of built-in procrastination.

Not so productive...

Anyway, sorry for being M.I.A. as of late.

To make up for it I'll share with you a little bit of my procrastination.
I did a little breakfast feature for the Leeds Student news paper on the benefits of oats...including some delicious porridge variations/recipes which you can check out online here.

This weekend is unfortunately procrasti....WORK-orientated.
I am however very much looking forward to a sneaky bit of Saturday baking tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled! Let's hope it's a bit more successful than my All-Bran loaf which I made last Saturday...

...can anyone tell I forgot to add the baking powder?!
(It was still pretty damn tasty!)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


 It's cold. It's very, very cold.
I am jumpered up to the max, thermal tights aplenty and have a hot water bottle attached to me permanently like a little kangaroo baby. I need WARMTH.

Porridge is good. Soup is good also. But sometimes I want something a little sweet y'know?
So what better way to heat up your body than embracing some lovely British seasonal produce in the form of APPLES and turning them into a winter warmer.

Pictured above is one of my favourite ways to eat apples in the winter.
Stewed with cinnamon and topped with greek yogurt or custard (AKA baby food) and a variety of crunchy toppings. A quick fix for boosting up your internal thermostat.

Below is a list of relatively, quick, cheap and simple sweet AND savoury APPLE recipes to inspire you and keep you toasty:

(If you like the sound of this then check out my Apple and Custard Bread Pudding Recipe!)

Monday, 5 November 2012


Oh HI November! ...You crept up pretty quickly didn't you.

Last week was a bit of a mad one for me.
Lots of work, appointments, sorting and ENTERTAINING to do!

I had the pleasure of my parents visiting for a few days which was just wonderful.
We got a bit stuck for finding somewhere to eat on Wednesday night as all the taxi companies were overloaded by Halloween-crazed students, so we ended up down my local pub for our evening feed.
I must admit that I wasn't initially hopeful, but, I was terribly impressed with the Hyde Park Pub's offer of two puddings for £4.15. We shared two rather generous portions of Sticky Toffee Pudding with ice cream and Toffee Apple Crumble with custard which were very obviously microwaved from frozen but really managed to hit the spot. I also tried the special edition Rekorderlig Winter Cider which is apple cider flavoured cinnamon and vanilla - everything I love in a bottle.
I am already planning on heading back there this evening after some firework/bonfire night fun for an indulgent pudding overload and some mulled cider fun (they serve the Rekorderlig warm too!).

We also went back to a favourite of mine on Thursday. Thai Aroy Dee, a remarkably cheap yet authentic Thai restaurant located between an adult superstore(!) and an oriental supermarket on Vicar Lane in Leeds.
Thai is perhaps my favourite cuisine and this place comes second (next to Horai in Krakow) on my list of the best Thai restaurants I've eaten at.

Friday night was David's birthday!
We made Banoffee Pie (sorry for the bad picture) and donned some birthday tasche's, then we headed down to A Nation of Shopkeepers for some good old times.