02 September 2015

Dryathlon - Day 1 & 2

Yesterday was the first of September, the first day of the Dryathlon.

I walked into a pub and drank absolutely nothing and didn't feel weird about it at all. In fact, I felt good about not spending any money. Especially as I went out today and got to spend the cash I would have spent on cider on really good food instead, at Lucky Days for lunch and at Goji for cake (both in York).

At Lucky Days (a cafe where if you roll a six with a dice you get each food item for £1!), I had a cute little bowl of their pea & ham soup and some really good bread.

At Goji, after some window-shopping, I had a piece of Vegan Chocolate Orange cake and h'ohhh was it t-a-s-t-y. The whole thing in the window display looked a bit like this but with a softer topping:

ooh la la - this is in fact the normal Vegan Chocolate cake minus the Orange
My window-shopping consisted of me resisting the purchase of a lime top and a red dress so, as one does, I treated myself to some giant chocolate buttons for the bus journey home.

Image via

31 August 2015

60 Thoughts I Had Watching GBBO - Episode 4

  1. Mel and Sue now know, if they didn't before, what it's like to live in North West England.
  2. OHMYBAKE, Mary's blazer this week is a thing of dreams.
  3. 2 hours for Crème Brulées. We're looking for that "delicate little wobble" says Paul 1.0. Thanks Paul 1.0.
  4. Red Nose Man is back, with an even redder nose.
  5. Sandy's jumper wins 10 points. 
  6. Her choice of liquorice loses her 10 points.
  7. Mary + alcohol = guaranteed positive response.
  8. Mel mishearing Alvin and thinking he said "edible pants". Just this.
  9. Nadiya's Cinnamon Tea Crème Brulées sound like per-fection.
  10. "Not everybody's got a blow torch." EXACTLY, Mary. Speaking for the common people.
  11. Mary's sniffing Paul 2.0's almond liquor. Mary "looks forward" to his creation (because it contains booze).
  12. RNM is creeping on others' wobbles.
  13. Sue just did an impression of Jessica Rabbit's 'wobble'. Sometimes this show is better than actually eating cake.
  14. Noooooooooooooooooooo. Paul 2.0's alcoholic brulees have gone wrong.
  15. Mel has now gone and stuck her hands through some of Flora's edible tuile biscuits to wear them as cuffs. They were not trial runs.
  16. Alvin didn't put his grill on! ALLLLLLLVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN (sorry)
  17. Paul 2.0 has created 'Boozy Scrambled Egg'. Sounds a bit like perfection tbh.
  18. Ian, yet again, is on fire. Creamy with a caramel top fire.
  19. Poor RNM. His coconut let him down. It happens to us all.
  20. Poor Alvin. His memory let him down. It happens to us all.
  21. Cute beardy guy has lost at least five of his to Sue. Can't have been bad.
  22. Rainy rainy rain, la la la la laaaaaaa.
  23. The idea of Mary and Paul 1.0 going to a foam party in Woking is better than the dream I had last night about unicorns.
  24. Round 2 is a tall meringue construction. I've never made meringue before and however much I'd love to devour the entire thing (very much) I would not want to have to make it.
    Definitely more complex than A-Level Maths
  25. Ian is actually telling us what to do. This is how good he is. (He could be totally wrong of course)
  26. Alvin thinks a violet is a flower. Good man.
  27. Can Sandy bake the cake stand?! She's doing it anyway. OK.
  28. Ian's overwhipped his cream. First world problems. At least he's letting us all feel a bit more human.
  29. Judging time. RNM's has "different" violets. Don't we all.
  30. Ugne's made an appearance and gurl she's done good.
  31. Mary knew that Ian overmixed the cream. SHE KNOWS EVERYTHING.
  32. Wooooo! Paul 2.0 won a technical!
  33. Alvin's putting pressure on himself for the last challenge.
  34. RNM is in danger! Sandy is in danger! Ok to sum up Paul and Mary's little chat there are a lot of people in danger.
  35. A tower of cheesecakes is the final task.
  36. Ian's going for spices. "Interesting," says Paul 1.0. In a cheesecake though... yeah what's with that.
  37. I've found out Cute Beardy Guy's name. It's Tamal, and his cheesecake creation sounds wunderbar.
  38. Paul 1.0 was just cruelly waiting for Alvin to comment on his own failure so he could agree.
  39. Mary loves the fact that Paul 2.0's using liquor (again). OK PAUL WE KNOW THAT YOU KNOW THAT MARY LIKES TO DRINK OK STOP TRYING TO BE BAKER'S PET THAT'S IAN'S JOB OK
  40. Ombre frosting. How?!
  41. Just googled ombre frosting. Erm ok, it's super beautiful:
  42. Flora's choice of elderflower is a good'un. Approved.
  43. RNM is doing three chocolate cheesecakes on top of each other. He's using honeycomb. His red nose now represents a beacon of genius.
  44. Cute Tamal seems to know his cheesecake stuff. Teach me, Senpai.
  45. Nadiya, you've done AWESOME. Now, make the levitating cheesecake. Or whatever you're doing.
  46. 1 hour left.
  47. Flora's making some macarons to put on the top. She did not plan this. She's just adding them with an hour to go, as you do.
  48. The Bake Off music is getting louder now... 5 MINUTES! ERRRMEEEGHEEERD
  49. Cute Tamal saved Sandy's cheesecake like the heroic baker he is. Ahhh, Tamal.
  50. Ian's creation looked a-mazing. I do not jest.
  51. Mary's been hatin' a lot on bleeding berries this episode.
  52. Oh, Tamal. Your cuteness has not only saved Sandy but helped you make an awesome cheesecake. When are they inventing Tastyvision because we really need that.
  53. NADIYA I DO NOT HAVE WORDS. Holy ****.
  54. Yes, RNM. I send you applause. Through the TV. Into the past.
  55. Ian v Tamal v Nadiya. The game is on.
  56. "The cows of the UK are empty." - Sue Perkins 2k15
  57. Ian won again!
  58. Noooooo. Sandy and her magical jumper are leaving. She's so lovely though. Even though she just tried to throttle Paul Hollywood.
  59. I feel like Ian is going to get a professional baking job after this.
  60. NEXT WEEK IS ICE CREAM ROLLS (dairy free but still). Not one to miss.
Images via via via via via via via via via via via via via via via via & finally via

23 August 2015

57 Thoughts I Had Watching GBBO - Episode 3

  1. OOooh title sequence.
  2. Mel and Sue are the best.
  3. 'Quick breads'. What are they. FAST BREADS?! Arhhhhhh
  4. Ok thanks for explaining Paul and Mary, I'll nod and try and convince myself I now know what a quickbread is.
  5. This is the most exciting bread-making I've ever watched.
  6. Oh prosciutto guy you have won this already on my account. Well done sir. 
  7. Not sure I'd want cranberries creepin' round in ma bread thanks, Paul 2.0.
  8. Ugne's using chocolate. Prosciutto man has competition.
  9. Ugne's name is very hard to type with a predictive keyboard.
  11. Guy with red nose is anxious. Here he is looking non-red-nosed.
  12. Guy with red nose just sighed. Paul just did that thing where he looks over someone's baking and says absolute zilch and the baker melts with anxiety.
  13. Someone's brushing stuff over their bread. I'm now significantly hungrier.
  14. "I can hardly keep my hands off them." - Mary Berry 2k15
  16. I've just noticed the yellow-ness of Mary's blazer and am in awe of this woman.
  17. How did I not notice that someone's put bacon in their bread.
  18. Mary can smell a lot of baking powder standing over the chocolate and caramel one apparently. Tension. Is. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh
  19. Paul 2.0 is up. Receives handshake from Paul 1.0! Cracking.
  20. Now it's Crusty Baguette time. Yes this is my JAM (in the form of bread not jam)
  21. Ok, Original Paul. How are people going to know that they need steam for their bread? How?! Google, that's how.
  22. These contestants are heroes. Given next to no instructions and they come up with... - well we'll see actually.
  23. Red Nose Man is "not confident". C'mon RNM you can *Doooooo iiiiiittttttt*
  24. Mel's done her job well by reminding unknown male contestant that they're in fact making baguettes and not ciabattas.
  25. Young girl making me nervous with a sharp knife near her hand, of which a finger is already wrapped in an attractive blue plaster.
  26. Anyway, wherever they are, the scenery is hella pretty.
  27. Beeps going off. Baguettes coming out. Breaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad
  28. Oh damn some of these look so t-a-s-t-y.
  29. Nooooo! Ciabatta guy has been accused of making ciabatta-like baguettes! Lesson of the day: listen to Mel Giedroyc at all times.
  30. Lots of under-baked baguettes. Sad sad baguettes, deprived of the heat they love so dear.
  31. See, Paul 1.0?! No one knew about the steam.
  32. Yay Ian!!! Baguette King.
  33. Paul Hollywood now destroys dreams apparently. He's that powerful. Must be the eyes.
  34. If I had to write a list of my favourite things, Mel Giedroyc's laugh would be on that list.
  35. Flora may be good but she doesn't even come close to the wonder that was past contestant Ruby's resting bitch face.
  36. 3D bread sculptures. Sounds well easy.
  37. Cute beardy guy is making a bread-cycle. N'awwwwww.
  38. Paul 2.0 is making a lion. With olives (bonus points).
  39. PH: "How're you bonding them together?" RNM: "Gravity." Classic RNM.
  40. Steam everywhere!!! This is what you needed with the baguettes, guys.
  41. Ian the Baguette King is making something in a flower pot. If Ian goes out this week he should definitely create a food chain called Baguette King and have his blue-eyed visage all over bags of delicious perfect baguettes. Just an idea.
  42. Ugne, the Keyboard Enemy, is making bread with coffee and cardamom in. Yes yes yes.
  43. Sue's shirt is ON POINT.
  44. There's a bread snake in the tent. I repeat - bread snake in tent.
  45. Seriously impressed. Their third week and they're already making sculptures with food.
  46. YES, Sandy. Less is totally more.
  47. Alvin has created an insane amount of bread. (This is Ciabatta guy btw.)
  48. Paul "isn't sure" about truffle oil with brioche. Poor Original Paul.
  49. Ian is kicking baking butt.
  50. Paul 1.0 says Paul 2.0's lion is very tasty. GO PAUL (either).
  51. Some cool lady made a bread bed and some of it is raw. Nightmare. Geddit - bed, nightmare, k I'll leave now
  52. I love how Mel concentrates so hard on pretending to understand what on earth Paul and Mary are chatting about.
  53. Aw! Paul gave Paul a special commendation. He deserves it though for that mighty bread lion.
  54. Ian! Star baker and Baguette King. Starry Baguette Baker King.
  55. Cool lady who made the bed of bread is leaving. She's called Dorret (just found this out). Bye, Dorret.
  56. Next week is meringues and soufflés and stuff. 
  57. YEAHHH. Simple really.
Images via via via via via via via via via via via via

17 August 2015

Train of Thought - 1

Hello blog readers. Sorry I've neglected you for a few days. I'm writing to you now with a cheese salad on my little train table in front of me having rejected Wuthering Heights so I can spill my woes out to my friends online in various places. Sometimes data gotta get USED. My stop is the next stop so I'm almost where I need to be. Honestly I can't wait to get home and clean my room to atmospheric music and then collapse into my bed to watch multiple episodes of Secret Diary of a Call-Girl. I've had a good weekend, definitely, but I'm completely worn out and am on a low right now and need a hug. A comforting one, not one of those one-armed/half-arsed ones you get from acquaintances who haven't quite achieved each other's friend status'. Having promised myself I would eat the entire vegetable part of my salad I've been distracted by the grated cheese topping. The unevenly-distributed reservoir of mayonnaise has removed any possibility of the left half of my salad tasting nice. On the other hand, there's an absolute butt-load of delicious shredded carrot so all is not lost. Raw carrot is the best.
Ten minutes til' arrival. I'm excited to head back to uni in a few weeks but I'm also not looking forward to it a tiny amount having settled at home. I'm one of those people who either has to be on the move constantly (so I don't have time to think about it) or chilled in one place and as of yet I haven't even opened the door of the room I'm staying in for second year.
Five minutes. I cannot totally cannot will not be ill for my interview this week so I'm going to eat all the natural antioxidants and vitamins I can tomorrow, A-Z, all over the shop, the vitamin shop, BOOYAH
Une minute. "Approaching."

13 August 2015

Bar Crawl Blog

I'm writing this in a favourite bar of mine (bora bora) with some of my favourite people, including the magnificent Holly Crawford oh yessy yes. She's wearing some bohemian stuff and it looks very bohemian. She says "always remember you special little cucumber sandwich, think for yourself and drink to the point where if you wee on a carpet at new year everything's fine. Be the weirdest you can be and always love and squish other people's noses and this may not be appropriate for your grandma but fuck that shit  and go live how you want to its your life go rock it"

01 August 2015

The Top 10 Smoothies I Need to Make

With some of the monies I gratefully received from relatives for my birthday earlier this month, I decided to buy three things. The first two were books (Girls Will Be Girls - Emer O'Toole, Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell) for holiday-reading purposes. Brilliant books by the way, O'Toole's especially is really important; I might even do a cheeky review of them at some point. The third item was this:

THIS MAGNIFICENT BEAST (excuse the screen shot). The Breville Blend-Active. Honestly, I haven't tried it out yet having only just washed all the parts (I follow instructions okay, that's what you're meant to do before you blend up any deliciousness) but I can tell that it is going to make my future uni days super exciting when I'm living in the middle of a city with so much fruit everywhere. Not that my uni city is inundated with lemon groves and has a tropical climate (HA - FAR FROM IT, my friend) but I'll be able to go to the market and cute individual shops that I'll blog about when I eventually get there.
As a challenge for myself, I'm waiting 'til I move in to use my shiny Breville baby and in the meantime, I've compiled a list. A scrumptious list which I encourage you to take smooth-spiration from until I have the chance to invent my own recipes. *cue dramatic and booming yet not terrifying voice*...

The Top 10 Smoothies I Need to Make:

1. Vegan Peach Oat Smoothie

Not only does this look why-haven't-I-tried-this-before-amAzing (especially thanks to that artsy agave syrup swirl), but it also comes from an adorable website by Minimalist Baker, Dana. Check out this recipe (and while you're at it, more of her gorgeous recipes) here.

2. Pear and Vanilla Smoothie

This honestly sounds like heaven; pear is one of my favourite fruits and seems to be rare in smoothie recipes so I tracked this down deliberately. By Deliciously Ella, who's renowned for healthy (and stunning, can I also add!) food and drink ideas, this smoothie can be created in your VERY OWN BLENDER after having a click here. H'ohhhh yesh.

3. Melon-Raspberry Smoothie

Yes. HOLY FRUTA YES. If this smoothie picked a fight with me, I wouldn't even get to step up to the ring because it would win hands down from its magical aura alone. As for its ingredients, you might not have to be so specific on the yogurt flavour or brand - I'll most likely try and find something similar though. Le recipe: voila!

4. Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

This being my all-time favourite ice cream flavour, I couldn't possibly miss it off the list. Even though it looks like it belongs on the unhealthy side, Clarke Russell's creation contains fruit, veg and chocolate. All in one. Is this the solution to getting our 5 a day?! If so, I'm in.

5. Green Detox Smoothie

Kale, apple and pear give this smoothie its lime-green colour. Despite how much I love Naked's Green Machine, I wanted to find a cheaper student-friendly alternative to make at home. Check out this recipe from ScalingBackBlog and get some goodness in ya' belleh.

6. Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie

Not only does this look and sound super tasty but I'd never considered having smoothie in a bowl with cereal before... and it might be one of the greatest culinary ideas of all time. Smoothie and cereal. SMOOTHIE. AND CEREAL. YESSSSS. *ahem* Miriam Wilcox made this for her food blog 'Sometimes I Veg' and kindly shared it with us interwebbians here.

7. The Happy Shake

Okay I couldn't wait any longer to show you this one. This, dear reader, is a perfect medicine for chocoholics who can't stand chomping on mouthfuls full of salad or other tasteless greens. By Stacy Stowers, as featured on StyleNectar here, this recipe needs greens, fruit, ice cream, liquid Stevia and various powders; it's unlikely that you'll have all the ingredients in already so make a special trip to the shops and then you're ready to go!

8. Strawberry, Lychee and Mint Smoothie

Lychees are available in most supermarkets - often tinned, but that's perfect for this recipe. If you've no mint in your garden/have no garden, a mint pot plant is really easy to get your mitts on too. Not that you'd be wearing mittens in August, but then again you may not be overseas. Love you, England. One Hungry Mama has the ingredients for you over on her website here.

9. Green Grape Smoothie

Grapes taste great, right? This smoothie might not look like the most appetising thing in the world but I can't wait to try it anyway. With pear, pumpkin purée, and coconut water amongst other weird and wonderful ingredients, it promises something a little different. Reviews are all positive over at Vegan Yack Attack's recipe here.

10. Eat the Rainbow Smoothie

Another one from StyleNectar, this looks devine. I couldn't resist searching for a rainbow drink but to avoid consuming my own body weight in E-numbers I chose the healthy route. Full of goodness and amazing on the outside too: it's the perfect recipe to end my list with. Find it here.

29 July 2015

belated update

As of two weeks ago, I had:
  • Been clawed by a tiny, previously innocent, cat
  • Seen Derren Brown live and creepily predicted one of the answers myself
  • Had an overly atmospheric taxi ride listening to Nat King Cole
  • Enjoyed a Watermelon & Strawberry fruit cooler from Costa and entered a temporary state of pure bliss
  • Cleaned out a fridge (yay)
  • Washed my muddy raincoat and hung it out on the line only for it to be sh*t on by a bird as well as El Poopo, the miniscule bug that victimised us at lunchtime
  • Drank when I said I wasn't going to (this is becoming a regular thing now)
  • Watched an absolute shed-full of Pretty Little Liars episodes (silence! - I'm only on series 2)
  • Bought, yet again, items in Topshop because I'm evidently incapable of resisting their sales
  • Promised myself that I will one day own a pug
I'd also forgotten to publish this post, hence the timing