Dealing with cramped conditions and limited cooking resources has meant me resorting to constructing dishes that require minimal (if any) cooking but still look and taste good. This breakfast ‘Sundae’ is a variation on a theme that I often put together on a lazy Sunday… and believe me when I tell you today was one of those Sundays!
Note the little jar which I spied in our favourite secondhand store in Penzance, the glorious Steckfensters. I could honestly spend hours rummaging through their wares but on this occasion we had limited time so it was a bit of a smash and grab affair in which I came away with this plus a super cute headscarf. I’ve been wearing a lot of headscarves lately - another result of living in a camper… a headscarf hides a multitude and this little bob ‘o mine needs a trim triminy big time.
Being away from London is such a reality check and the transition is harder due to the fact we haven’t been able to find one flat I’ve even been remotely interested in living in. I’ve honestly felt like throwing a tantrum every time we’ve dealt an estate agent… if we have another week of fruitless searching I may just have a breakdown. Remember, we left a pretty adorable flat at an outrageously good price so I don’t think we’re asking for much but it seems to be an impossible task at this stage.
At least this breakfast/dessert dish helped take my mind off our property plight for a few minutes and can you believe what we have managed to find down here… vegan clotted cream!! Seriously, I almost squealed with excitement when I found it in Archie Browns (remind me why I’m moving to Falmouth when I clearly adore Penzance?). So now that we can fully partake in Cornish eating habits (Rowes do a very nice vegan pasty indeed) I feel like we are almost locals again. All we need now is a bloody flat.
soya yoghurt (this provamel orange-redbush flavour is my new obsession)
vegan granola (we like Dorset Cereals Oat Granola)
vegan clotted cream
… starting with the berries and followed by the granola, a little agave, apricots, chopped nuts, hemp powder and soya yoghurt – layer that bad boy up until your jar is full. Top with vegan clotted cream, smooshed strawberries, hemp powder, agave and a blueberry. Perfect.
Are you as crazy about coffee as me? Are you as fussy about your coffee as me? If the answer is yes, I may just have a very agreeable caffeine filled suggestion that has quickly become our favourite weekend cup ‘o joe in the form of Kopi coffee.
I don’t accept many offers to review products on this blog – unless it is something I genuinely like. I’m a bit fussy like that. But I can’t deny I wasn’t a wee bit pleased to sample the goods on show here ….I loves ma coffee, and anything in the name of research, right?
Being the creatures of habits we are, we tend to stick to tea during the week and indulge ourselves on Saturdays with a fresh pot of the black stuff. We’ve been through dozens of coffee brands over the years and have definitely figured out what we do and don’t like.
Because I tend to prefer mine strong with a little bite whereas my Husband is all about the mild and smooth, we sometimes have difficulty finding a coffee that keeps us both happy. Weirdly this particular flavour seems to satisfy our differing tastes although I do recommend popping in an extra scoop just to give it some added oomph.
It transpires this is a perfect brunch brew and believe me when I tell you we’ve now tried it with just about every breakfast option available. Pancakes – tick! Fry up – tick! Cereal – tick! All round coffee winner – tick!
I’m not sure that constitutes as a review but there you have it. Enjoy!
Overnight oats are a breakfast revelation. They’ve been on my morning menu ever since I discovered them a few years back. One serving: 3 heaped tbsp oats, cover with plant milk (i like unsweetened almond), place in fridge overnight and top with fruit, nuts, a dusting of cinnamon, drizzle of agave and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Obsessed.
I’ve been very quiet of late on this little space of mine. I obviously needed a time out. Call it quiet time. Sometimes our minds need quieting – I know mine does – but in this age of constant sharing and over-sharing (ahem, reluctantly raises hand) we can forget to take time out of the chaos. Just to ‘be’, y’know?
In real life I’ve actually been pretty busy – with some exciting developments professionally speaking. We’re even allowing ourselves to take a much needed holiday this coming weekend ….off to France we go! Calvacade, woodland walks and baguettes. Bliss.
I can’t get enough of Toast clothing right now. They have another incredible sale in full swing at the moment (13th-17th May so you’d better get your skates on if you want to nab a bargain) and I couldn’t resist buying myself these super summery stripey culottes …now, if only we get the weather so I can actually wear the blighters! Obsessed.
Being away from my own blog doesn’t mean I haven’t been on others. I love getting inspiration from my favourite go-to websites (Calivintage, Avant Blargh, Oh So Lovely Vintage to name but a few) so I was ecstatic when A Beautiful Mess announced their incredible new photo app. Truth be told i’ve never bought an app in my life but as soon as I witnessed the greatness happening on instagram(obsessed) I knew I had to have a piece of the action. Unfortunately it may mean another impromptu hiatus from the blog whilst I ‘messify’ all my photos ….I feel an(other) obsession comin’ on, eek!
Sleep is one of my favourite pastimes – duvet and bed (oh memoryfoam, how I love thee!) equals happiness in my world. Is it possible to be both a morning person and love a good lie in? What I snooze in is just as important as what I snooze on, and this cute and colourful Zandra Rhodes flower print cover helps me sleep that little bit sounder. You could say i’m…..obsessed?
Um, cutest highlighter pens ever? I love these little guys, they really brighten up my desk:)
I’ve not been instagramming as much as I’d like recently because my iphone camera is playing silly buggers – more than a little annoying, I may even be experiencing instagram withdrawal symptoms! It’s mainly the focus that is shot and Hubby has bought a replacement one, which he intends to fix soon, so until then I’ll make do with these slightly grainy offerings….
Breakfast might be my favourite meal of the day – I say might because I have a soft spot for lunch and dinner too;) If I eat badly (or not at all ) in the mornings it messes with my day big time. It might mean leaving myself with a ridiculous amount of time in the am but I’d much rather wake up early and ease myself into the day ahead than rush out the door in a blind panic.
Ah, the elevator shot! I love this vintage top I recently found in a charity shop, it was a real find. The neon running through it is so ‘now ‘too, some might think I was attempting to jump on board some kind of fashion trend….but you know me better than that;)
Would ya look at these! Hilda Maha wonders….beyond fabulous in every way. If I were to choose one pair of summer shoes these would be them. Just wow.
Willows – don’t you just love ‘em? This is a walk near our flat, which also houses an animal sanctuary of sorts. There are deer, peacocks, goats and a whole host of lovelies. A much needed place of calm in a City of chaos.
I almost didn’t post this but I needed to take my mind off some sad news I received today. Sometimes focusing on the small things in life can help you appreciate the bigger picture and this Sunday was an exercise in recognising how terribly fleeting our time here can be. With that in mind I might have clung a little tighter to my Husband, hugged my Sister a little closer and tried to be a little kinder to those around me.
These are just photos from our morning meal and I’m not even sure they’re blog worthy – other than to show you a glimpse into our weekend routine. I don’t always make a big hoohah at breakfast, so often rely on cereals and bread. Of course, I can’t resist multiple toppings and one of my frequent favourites is plain soya yoghurt, chopped dates, fresh fruits, nuts and date syrup.
I’m also obsessed with this rye bread, which toasts perfectly and is a staple in my cupboard. This morning I opted for cashew butter, chopped strawberries, desiccated coconut and date syrup. Not forgetting a good grating of nutmeg and generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Not exactly a recipe, I know, but still delicious and really satisfying on a lazy Sunday morning. Right now I’m preparing myself to travel back to Ireland to be with my family during this difficult time, and tonight I will be savoring every single second with my beloved Hubby knowing that these small moments matter.
When I first heard about this frozen dessert I was more than a little dubious – how in the heck can banana make ice-cream?! Like I said. Dubious. In my pre-vegan days I considered myself an ice-cream connoisseur and truth be told it was the one thing I genuinely missed at the very beginning of my journey. The lack of good substitutes didn’t really help either. In case you weren’t aware the dairy free frozen dessert section in most British supermarkets is not even worth talking about – apart from Swedish Glace there’s not much in the way of authentic tasting ‘ice-cream’, so I have to rely on myself to satiate those urges.
You could say then that this humble little recipe is a bit of a lifesaver for me. I’ve made it in so many variations – adding fruit, desiccated coconut, flavourings, and all with great success. The banana flavour is not terribly strong so even if you’re not a fan of the fruit you can still enjoy it. Texture wise it’s very similar to that glorious soft serve ice-cream you used to enjoy by the seaside (I’m sure you can enjoy it in city centre’s too but I always associate with small coastal towns).
Anyway, it’s a cinch to make, tastes delightful and best of all you can even have it for breakfast – at least that’s what I did when I enjoyed this peanut butter and chocolate version on Sunday. I can’t think of a better way to start the day, can you?
3 frozen bananas chopped into pieces (chop it prior to freezing!)
1 tbsp agave or other sweetener
1 heaped tsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 small bar of dark chocolate finely chopped or grated
blueberries and strawberries to serve
Place the frozen banana in a hand blender and blitz until smooth – it will go through several stages before becoming creamy so just keep blending until it happens, scraping down the sides with a spatula now and then.
Add the agave and peanut butter and blend together before stirring through the chocolate.
Place a handful of blueberries and chopped strawberries in the bottom of a glass. Spoon over the ‘ice-cream’, top with a few more berries, a little more grated chocolate and serve.
Let me tell you why I’m not shy about calling these ‘Ultimate Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms’. Not one for making big claims about stumbled upon creations that are bourne out of what I simply have in the fridge, this recipe was the fluke to end all flukes when it’s comes to stuffed mushrooms. It’s not just that they’re tasty, work well at every meal time or are stupidly easy to make. It’s the fact they put every other stuffed mushroom I have tasted to shame….and I’ve eaten my fair share of stuffed mushrooms.
If you happen to be vegan you’ll be rejoicing at the all encompassing flavour – that certain ‘umami’ you often hear people bang on about (mainly in reference to its apparent absence in vegan dishes) will be silenced because it is totally present here. In bucketloads. If you’re not vegan, I’d be more than a little surprised if you enjoy them any less than their usually cheese laden counterparts – trust me, they do not need it!
There are several secret weapons when it’s comes to achieving such stuffed mushroom greatness and eliminating even one of them will sacrifice an essential layer of deliciousness and may even render them simply good instead Uh.ma.zing.
The nutmeg and cayenne pepper are musts – omit at your peril and against my advice….I can be quite bossy when I want to be. The coconut milk could be replaced with soya cream but it would be a less healthy choice. At a push the leek might be swapped with half a very finely chopped onion but in all honesty the earthy flavour the leek lends to the dish would be sorely missed. I also insist on the double dose of garlic – fresh and pureed…it’s an absolute must! Oh, and the nutritional yeast is crucial in achieving that perfect stuffed mushroom crust.
Ready for the recipe? Here ya go….
4 portobello mushrooms
several handfuls of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves plus 1 tsp garlic puree
generous grating of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.
Peel the mushrooms and remove stalks. Rub each with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Finely chop the leek. Heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the leek until soft. Mince the garlic and add to pan along with the garlic puree (if using – recommended) and gently infuse for several minutes before adding the spinach.
Generously grate the nutmeg over the spinach and sprinkle over the cayenne. Season and wilt.
Add the coconut milk, gently heat through, season and set aside.
Fill each mushroom with the creamy spinach filling and top with nutritional yeast. Bake for 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Serve immediately with hot ‘buttered’ toast. For extra B12 goodness, spread marmite on one slice.
I’ve been itching to blog all week. But not about food or clothes. What I want to thrash out on this here space ‘o mine is the fact that I can be a total and utter social nit wit. That is, in many situations that involve, let’s say, other people, I turn into a rambling, babbling, bumbling mess. Or the opposite. Painfully self aware and unable to breathe let alone speak.
Not being able to say what I really mean and articulate myself in the way I know I’m capable of, I find myself, quite honestly floundering and feeling like a fish out of water. Large groups terrify me and even though I’m better one on one, with certain people I am, what can only be described as, a marginal social mess. Filling space with utter crap or stuck for even a single word to offer. Take your pick, I can play both roles with aplomb.
On many levels I consider myself a social pariah and whilst this may not be immediately obvious, if you look a little closer, you’ll soon see how blatantly obvious it is. As an actor I’m reasonably skilled at masking these glaring insecurities but deep down is a girl teetering between excrutiating insecurity and a quiet but shakeable confidence. How so? Well, let’s take a quick look at the details.
Social ineptitude is usually down to feelings of inferiority or thereabouts. We all have a desire to be liked and accepted and in that respect I am no different to everyone else. One of the reasons I keep this blog is a way of forcing myself to be more daring in my self expression. This is the way I would like to be seen but I know it’s not the whole truth.
With my closest friends, I can, of course, totally be myself – mainly silly, chatty, even loud. But only a small group of people ever get to see the whole me (you know who you are!) and I’d like that not to be the case. I want others to know my funny side, my sometimes quick witted humour and my intelligent discussion but I struggle so badly to bring this person out when I most need her.
Instead, I find myself either grasping for words, terrified to utter a word (lest I embarrass myself for life) and with a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ expression on my face. Or! Talking for England and Ireland combined. Talking sheer nonsense I hasten to add – on reflection this probably explains my love for improv…
I really could shake myself sometimes because I know only too well that I am my own worst enemy and this awkwardness needs to be put to bed for good. Determined to lose those ridiculous (and they are ridiculous!) insecurities forever, I am setting out to be more forthcoming and less fearful of being disliked. I mean, if you don’t let people in a little they’ll never have a chance to make their mind up anyway!
So, here I am, open and willing to make a go of it. I’m putting it all up for judgement, critique and we’ll see whether I can use it to my advantage. No doubt I’ll always have a quiet side (who doesn’t?) but I am not going to allow social situations to overwhelm me. And if you don’t like what you see, then I guess we were just not meant to be friends.
All pictures taken from my Instagram account, which you can follow here, should you so wish.
Can you believe today is officially the last day of Christmas. We’ve eeked it out to the bitter end but will reluctantly be taking down the tree and decorations today. Whilst I’m sad to say goodbye to a wonderful holiday I am excited about what the future holds so it seems only too appropriate to look back on what has been another fun year in blogging terms, as well as a pretty eventful year professionally also – I’m one step closer to a full time job in fashion with my new placement at the Financial Times starting next week:)
On the personal front, it’s all about making our flat more ‘us’, saving money so that we might be able to put a deposit down on a property at some point soon and just generally relishing every minute with my Husband and Family because really, when it comes down to it, that’s what makes me happy. Forget burning ambitions and dreams of a successful career, Family and home life will always be my priority. That doesn’t mean I won’t be making music(getting back into my violin playings kids!), learning to dance(laban here I come….) and sharpening my acting skills(i’m thinking a masterclass in method?!) because that’s all happening too. But you can only do those things if you have your priorities straight and I think for once I can safely say I do.
I can’t remember the last time I was properly ill but over the last two days I have been knocked sideways by some sort of horrendous tummy bug. It had been so long I’d forgotten what a dreadful patient I am. Not being one to sit still for any length of time, I find resting quite a challenge. My poor Hubby kept telling me to take it easy especially as I was determined to continue my normal daily work for the magazine plus answer any emails – all this in between doubling over in pain, of course.
Thankfully, I began to feel more like myself this afternoon and managed to get up, showered and dressed although I can’t say I’m fully recovered. I really hate how powerless sickness leaves you. It makes me so grateful for my generally good state of health. Yep, I am a total wuss. I apologise in advance to any midwives that may have to deal with me in the future. In all probability I will be the woman cursing her Husband with the gas and air attached to her mouth. Something to look forward to I suppose!
After surviving mainly on ice lollies for two days (only thing I could stomach) I was up for a little nourishment today. I went in for a late breakfast of weetabix, almond milk, banana soya yoghurt, strawberries, pecans, dates and coconut. Sounds like a mountain of food but it really wasn’t. By mid afternoon I was craving greens and so I sauteed up some spinach, which we had with some english muffins and pretty much tasted like heaven. Toasted ‘buttered’ perfection.
To match my greyish mood, I put on a very grey outfit. These little round specs are my hometime glasses because they’re so light and never give me a headache – most other glasses always seem to do that if I wear them for any length of time. They either pinch around the nose, ears or eventually feel like a ton weight pressing down on my face.
Those gorgeous sunflowers you see at the top were just about the only thing bringing colour to my otherwise dreary day(s). I know it’s an obvious question but how do flowers do that? You could be having the worst day ever but when you see a bloom or catch a whiff of its delicate scent, you’re mood can be completely, albeit momentarily, transformed. I love flowers, I really do.