Rough Measures Foodie Christmas Gift Guide and Hotel Chocolat Giveaway

I am never one to be organised around the Festive season. Instead I seem to find myself running around on Christmas Eve eve frantically trying to get everything I need. This year I am trying to be a little more prepared. I also know that I am pretty difficult to buy for. So I decided to put together Rough Measures Foodie Christmas gift guide. Here you’ll find small gifts to larger ones, and hopefully something to please even the fussiest loved ones.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

GIFTS FOR… THE FOODIE

Christmas in my family always involves gin, good quality and lots of it. House of Elrick hand crafted, artisan gin is liquid beauty. Flavours of juniper, coriander seeds, angelica root and citrus peel, are built around a core of heather, pink peppercorns, sweet fennel and rose petals for a wonderful flavour. This one is not going to last long.
If you’re looking for stocking fillers then check out Gourmosa. Their range of revamped authentic sub continental snacks are great for Asian food lovers. The samosa leaves are great for parties, the chana chaat is perfect for a busy lunch-on-the-run, and they’ve even got a fab range of sweet vegetable based pots too – the carrot halwa is gorgeous.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without something mulled. I adore Steenbergs Christmas crackers filled with mulled spices for wine and cider, a great way to warm up during these cold evenings.
I go through cacao powder at an alarming rate. I have tried a fair few brands but Choc Chick has to be one of my faves. Their cacao butter is so smooth and is my go to for when I make raw chocolates.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

GIFTS FOR… THE TEA AND COFFEE LOVER

In my eyes, the world would be a sad place if we didn’t have tea and coffee. Hot, cold, green, fruit, decaf, the variations are endless. I’ve whittled down my long list of favourites to these. Hackney Coffee Company claim to be Hackney’s finest specialty coffee house, and they sure aren’t wrong. Their Dr Strangelove extract coffee has subtle notes of almond biscotti and cherry compote; dessert in coffee… why not?!
I do try and limit my coffee intake, but if I’m craving something hot later in the day I reach for the green tea. Tg Green Tea ginger and lemon zest is what I need this time of year. Punchy and zesty these organic tea bags need a place next to every kettle. Their range of chilled green teas offered a variety of flavours, all natural and low in sugar.
T-tox have done something clever with matcha, they’ve combined additional powders to make the special brews; Health, Energise and Recovery. With additions like moringa powder (health), ginseng (energise) and spirulina (recovery) there is one for every eventuality.
With all these hot drinks floating around, you’re going to need something to carry it around. The use of cardboard beverage cups is insane, and only 17% of all take-away cups are recycled. Ecoffee Cup are passionate about reducing the 100 billion coffee cups that end up in landfills each and every year. I love their William Morris range, and my personal favourite is ‘seaweed’. Do your bit for the planet AND carry your beverage in style.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

GIFTS FOR… THE SMOOTHIE LOVER

I have a whole kitchen cupboard dedicated to smoothie and protein powders. From ashwagandha to wheatgrass, it’s all in there. Herbal, plant and protein powders make great additions to a daily smoothie or shake. For gym days, I alternate between Bio-Synergy Lean + Green vegan mint chocolate chip protein powder, with 20g of protein per serving and the most delicious peppermint taste, and Vivo Life; Perform raw cacao plant protein; with 25g of protein, BCAA and amino acids for growth and repair.
I jazz up smoothies regularly with Indigo Herbs great range of powders. Their Super Vital Powder makes a great addition to any smoothie.
Moringa is also something that I love to chuck in my blender or stir through porridge. I use Aduna, they work with rural small holders and create sustainable livelihoods for their small-scale producers in Africa. I adore their new range of printed tins, perfect for storing powders and potions.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

GIFTS FOR… THE DIFFICULT TO BUY FOR

A kitchen is not a kitchen without a good set of scales. Having always been limited to small kitchens with minimal worktop space, I love these Salter scales that also double up as a chopping board. Now you can weigh and chop all your items. It can weigh up to 15kg, it’s also nice and slimline, so it packs away into a drawer neatly. Plus, it also doubles up as a handy thing to weigh your small furry friends!
Gut health should be on everyone’s radar by now, a healthy gut will help all manner of issues. Fermented food is great for gut health. I have been making kombucha regularly these last few months, and have recently started fermenting other food items. This nifty fermenting crock from Mortier Pilon makes making a big batch of sauerkraut or kimchi easy peasy. The 2L crock pot means you can make a big batch at a time, and is easy on the eye too.
Natural, cruelty free skin care is important to me, and I love discovering new bits to add to my washbag. Faith in Nature shampoos, conditioners, face creams and other beauty items are organic, natural and cruelty free. I’ve been lathering on their pineapple and lime shampoo and dreaming of the tropics.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

THE GIFT FOR… THE FRUIT LOVER

Known someone who guzzles juice like no tomorrow? How about Breville’s Pro Kitchen Whole Fruit Juicer – the extra large feeding tube takes whole fruit, no need for pre – chopping, the parts disassemble easily and are dishwasher safe, and the jug holds 1.25l of juice. There’s also a large pulp container, which will hold 2l of fruit waste.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

THE GIFT FOR… THE KEEN BAKER

Long have I oggled various stand mixers. High end to lower budget, drooling over their stainless steel bowls and soft pastel colours. But many of them are large and bulky, and too big for smaller kitchens. Breville have found a solution to this with their Pick & Mix Stand and Hand Mixer – with a detachable hand mixer, this is perfect for every bakers needs. The bowl is large at 3.2L, but the mixer is surprisingly compact. With 10 mixing speeds, 2 bowl speeds and dough hooks, I know what I’m going to be asking Santa for this year.

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

THE GIFT FOR… THE ONE WHO IS ALWAYS LATE

I am not a fan of lateness. A good time piece will help your loved ones stay on time for every appointment or train. I find a lot of watches a bit too bling for my taste. But when I discovered Wood Watches, I knew these were the time pieces for me. With their natural wood straps and subtle accessories, they are pieces of beauty. The Franke 35 in dark sandal wood is my personal favourite. With sapphire crystal glass and built with a Swiss Ronda Normtech Caliber 763 motor, there are no more excuses for those not on time. Their JORD range offers a variety of looks, from zebrawood and navy, to sandalwood and slate, there is something for everyone. Hurry now and grab $25 off your order (until 28/1/2017).

Rough Measures Christmas Gift Guide // roughmeasures.com

THE GIFT FOR… THE CHOCOLATE LOVER

And finally, because Christmas isn’t Christmas without an abundance of chocolate… Hotel Chocolat‘s festive range comes highly recommended from me. Delicious dark chocolate is my bag, and who can resist a little chocolate reindeer in front of your favourite Christmas film (hello Home Alone 2!). Hotel Chocolat grow all their cocoa on their plantation in St Lucia. The festive chocolate wreaths would look great around the tree, and the snowflakes are a perfect stocking filler. You can be in with a chance of winning some Hotel Chocolat goodies yourself – just enter in the Rafflecopter form below. What’s your favourite chocolate treat at Christmas time?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent some of these items to include in this Christmas gift guide. I was not paid to write a positive review and all festive opinions are my own. Christmas cheer and all that. Some links are affiliate links. Information correct at time of writing – November 2016. 

Honey Ginger Bundt Cake

This weekend saw a celebration. A rather big one in fact. My big brother married the girl of his dreams in a wonderful ceremony in Surrey. I feel like we had been waiting an age for their special day to finally roll in, and all of a sudden it was over too soon. We cried, we laughed, we danced, we possibly had one too many glasses (or pints in my case) of Prosecco, and our hearts were full with happiness for this amazing couple. I had the honour of being a bridesmaid, and getting to walk down the aisle watching my brother’s face light up as he saw his bride-to-be walk in was a moment I will be sure to treasure forever.

I always feel that bundt cakes are cakes for a celebration. Something about their shape and curves is a thing of beauty. I finally got myself a bundt tin last week and knew I needed to bake something special. This honey ginger bundt cake is sweetened with natural ingredients, costcutter.co.uk‘s Independent Honey. The soft flavours of the spelt match the honey and ginger so beautifully, I knew I was onto a winner. I was all out of any sort of natural icing ingredients, so dusted it with some coconut flour, but I bet a cashew icing would set a slice of this cake of beautifully. Happy celebrating friends.

Honey Ginger Bundt Cake // roughmeasures.com

Honey Ginger Bundt Cake // roughmeasures.com

Honey Ginger Bundt Cake
 
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A honey ginger bundt cake for everyday baking or to celebrate. Pair with a honey cashew cream, plant based yoghurt or simply dust with coconut flour. Dairy free.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Baked goods
Ingredients
  • 250g / 1½ cup wholemeal spelt flour (If you don't have spelt flour, Costcutter's Independent Plain flour would work just as well)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 free range Independent eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 125ml / ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 125ml / ½ cup Costcutter Independent honey
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • Zest from 1 large orange
  • 130g plain dairy free yoghurt
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / Gas 4 / 350 F
  2. Grease a bundt tin with olive oil
  3. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together
  4. In another bowl, beat the eggs, add in the vanilla, oil, honey, grated ginger and orange zest. Fold in the yoghurt.
  5. Add the wet mix to the dry and mix gently until combined and no lumps.
  6. Pour into the bundt tin and bake for 35-40 mins, until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.
 

Honey Ginger Bundt Cake // roughmeasures.com

Independent, the brand owned by Costcutter, offers a range of quality, affordable products across all categories including fresh vegetables, baking supplies and cupboard staples. I am always on the hunt for ways to keep our food bills down, and these products are great quality at low value. Independent is available from Costcutter, Mace, Kwiksave, SuperShop and SimplyFresh stores across the UK. You can find more about them here costcutter.co.uk and find them on Twitter and Facebook. 
Disclosure; this post was sponsored by Costcutter. All opinions are my own.

An Evening Soirée at River Cottage

Last week saw another trip to Devon, to attend an evening soirée at River Cottage. It has been just over a year since my last trip there, and I was excited to explore the place once again. River Cottage, was of course made famous by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his famous Channel 4 show. Hugh has a wide range of cook books, and has been vital in promoting reducing waste. At his River Cottage Canteens, nothing goes to landfill!

I travelled down with some local bloggers; Chris from Thinly Spread, Kate from Veggie Desserts and Diana from Little Sunny Kitchen. We all live within 30 minutes of each other, and it was good to have a natter and catch up on the way down. We arrived and rain welcomed us. We ran into the shelter and huddled around the wood burner until our chauffeur driven tractor ride arrived to collect us. The ride takes 10 minutes, down a bumpy mud track, but the views across the Devon landscape and down onto the farm were stunning.

River Cottage // roughmeasures.com

River Cottage // roughmeasures.com

River Cottage // roughmeasures.com

We managed to have a quick wander around the gardens, checking out their autumnal crops, before heading into the main barn to watch a cookery demo from one of the chefs. Unfortunately it was a rather meaty one, so I took in the surroundings and had a nosey around. After the demo, we headed into their yurt, to play some foodie games around a large fire. A selection of items were placed into a box, and we had to stick our hands in and guess the item. I thought I had done pretty well but missed out some key items (persimmon, chestnuts!). After the games, we all sat down in the cottage and had a discussion on blogging, and collaborative blogging.

We were called into the main barn for dinner. We were welcomed with apple brandy and a selection of canapés. I was sat next to Tara from Tara’s Busy Kitchen, and Ceri from Natural Kitchen Adventures. We had a good natter about produce and our favourite ingredients. Dinner consisted of a roasted romanesco amuse bouche; celeriac ravioli with with mushrooms starter; parsnip rosti, poached egg, pan-fried cabbage with carrot puree, with a side of Hodmedod’s haricot beans in tomato, fennel and onions. I ended the meal with a small platter of local goat’s cheese with pear and apple (and watched in envy as everyone else tucked into their creme brûlées… damn this no sugar malarky!) It was a beautiful, seasonal feast. The chefs at River Cottage have no set menu, and decide on the day what to make, using the veg and produce that are picked from the gardens or from nearby farms.

The evening had flown by and all too soon it was time to say our goodbyes. We ran through the rain and hopped back on the tractor, to head back up to the car park and then home.

Do you fancy getting festive at River Cottage? You can find more information and details on their events here.

River Cottage // roughmeasures.com

River Cottage // roughmeasures.com

River Cottage log pile // roughmeasures.com

 

Thanks to Foodies100 and River Cottage for inviting me on this trip. All opinions are my own.

Sweet Potato and Apple Loaf (sugar free)

I had it in my head that come my blogs second birthday I would try to create something special. I was thinking I still had a couple of weeks left but it turns out my blog turned two last month *Happy Birthday to Me!*  How did I miss this? 2 years have flown by. I feel I have come a long way since my first blog post (and I cringe at that photo)! But I am currently struggling to find time to create and share with my dear readers. I read this post recently and it completely sums up my feelings about blogging. I love blogging and the opportunities it brings me, but I feel so much pressure to put all my time and energy into it if I want to make it ‘big’. Trying to juggle a full-time job and a blog is HARD, unless you want to sacrifice any leisure time you do have. I wanna hang with my friends, I wanna laze on the sofa at the weekend, I want to explore the land on these short winter days. I don’t always want to plan my day around daylight hours and how much time I have to get a photo in the perfect light. Posts will still be coming, so bear with me, some may have one image, some may have seven. I think keeping things different is the key to a long, happy life. So here’s to slow blogging, slow living and a long life.

Sweet Potato and Apple Loaf - sugar and dairy free // roughmeasures.com

I’m currently not having any type of sugar apart from whole fruits, not even my beloved maple syrup. Due to some health reasons and also to see if I could snap out of some very bad snacking habits *hello office cake table 3 times a day*. It’s going ok, the headache has gone and I am into my third week. I want to see if I can keep it up for as long as possible. When Costcutter asked me to come up with a baking recipe using their new Independent range, I thought it was a good opportunity to try some sugar free goods. This sweet potato and apple loaf is a hearty, dense loaf to keep you satisfied. I like to toast a slice and spread with almond butter.

I’m always wanting to hear your opinions and feedback, or got a recipe idea you’d like me to make? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Sweet Potato and Apple Loaf
 
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A comforting slice of this loaf will keep you going in these long afternoons. I like to toast a slice and slather with almond butter. Stay cosy.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Baked goods
Serves: 10 slices
Ingredients
  • 115g / 2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 150g / 1 cup grated sweet potato
  • 60g / ½ cup grated apple
  • 60ml / ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Method
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 C / Gas 4
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift in your flour and all the dry ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Add the grated sweet potato and apple and mix through.
  4. In a mug, whisk the oil and egg together, then pour into the loaf mix.
  5. Stir everything to combine, be careful not to over mix the mixture.
  6. Pour into a greased, lined loaf tin.
  7. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until a knife or skewer comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
 

Independent, the brand owned by Costcutter, offers a range of quality, affordable products across all categories including fresh vegetables, baking supplies and cupboard stables. I am always on the hunt for ways to keep our food bills down, and these products are great quality at low value. Independent is available from Costcutter, Mace, Kwiksave, SuperShop and SimplyFresh stores across the UK. You can find more about them here costcutter.co.uk and find them on Twitter and Facebook. 

Want to see some more Independent creations?

Simple Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake – Thinly Spread

Disclosure; this post was sponsored by Costcutter. All opinions are my own.

 

Cosy Pumpkin Spice Latte (caffeine + dairy free) for #virtualpumpkinparty

I know, I know, my last post was a pumpkin recipe. But remember how much I love Autumn, well I figured I would shower you with some more pumpkin love. Things have turned even chillier here in the UK, and the last few days have just been gorgeous. Nothing says Autumn like pumpkin, so when Sara from Cake Over Steak asked me if I’d like to participate in this years #virtualpumpkinparty – she had barely finished her sentence and I had agreed. Along with Sara and myself, a whole army of bloggers are joining in, with so many awesome creations. There are over 100 (!!!) talented lovelies taking party. See the full list below. Seriously, with all these gorgeous recipes, we can eat pumpkin forever! Hey, we might even turn into pumpkins, would that be such a bad thing?

Pumpkins // roughmeasures.com

Cosy Pumpkin Latte (caffeine, dairy + sugar free) // roughmeasures.com

I know how much the world goes crazy for a Pumpkin Spice Latte this time of year. The coffee-chain-bought ones are rammed with processed sugar, and laden with dairy, too heavy for my little tum that’s for sure. This cosy pumpkin spice latte is caffeine + dairy free, has zero sugar in if you use homemade hemp milk, but still gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. It contains actual pumpkin, and not just that sickly sticky syrup nonsense. I whizzed it up in no time in my Froothie Optimum G2.1 – it made it silky smooth in seconds. Use the #virtualpumpkinparty on Instagram to drool over all these fantastic recipes. Now, who’s joining us for some pumpkin loving?

Cosy Pumpkin Latte (caffeine, dairy + sugar free) // roughmeasures.com

Cosy Pumpkin Latte (caffeine, dairy + sugar free) // roughmeasures.com

Pumpkin lovers unite!:

Cake Over Steak • Quick Pumpkin and Kale Risotto + Arancini

Twigg Studios • Sausage Stuffing Baked in a Pumpkin

Donuts, Dresses and Dirt • Pumpkin Spice Latte Popsicles

Cloudy Kitchen • Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla German Buttercream

Vegetarian Ventures • Smoky Pumpkin & Black Sesame Hummus

Eat Boutique • Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings

A Little Saffron • Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Maple Caramel Baked French Toast

Wallflower Kitchen • Mini Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Butterscotch Banana Split

Style Sweet CA • Pumpkin Creme Brulee Cake

Nommable • Pumpkin Biscuits with Mushroom Thyme Gravy

With Food + Love • Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread

Hortus • Creamy Roasted Squash Soup + Pumpkin Risotto

Sevengrams • Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Jojotastic • 1 Pumpkin, 2 Ways: Pumpkin Trail Mix & Dog Treats

Grain Changer • Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Cranberry Flax Crisps

Earthy Feast • Pumpkin Grits + Pumpkin Home Fries + a Fried Egg

Harvest and Honey • Truffled Pumpkin Papardelle Alfredo

Tasty Seasons • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Butter Pop Tarts

Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad

The Sugar Hit • Super Soft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Delicious Not Gorgeous • Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble

Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Bread Pudding

The Green Life • Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk & Hazelnut Skillet Cookie (Vegan)

Foolproof Living • Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage

The Monday Box • Pumpkin Mini Bundt Cakes

Design Crush • Pumpkin Whiskey Cocktail

The Road to Honey • Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Layer Cake

My Name is Yeh • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah

Give Recipe • Orange Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

Heartbeet Kitchen • Magic Vegan Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Beard and Bonnet • Marbled Pumpkin Muffins

Eat Within Your Means • Vegan Pumpkin Blender Muffins

Snixy Kitchen • Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Ruby Josephine • Moroccan Sweet Pumpkin + Beef Tagine

Lab Noon • Pasta Bake with Roasted Pumpkin and Saffron Sauce, Pistachio and Goat Cheese

An Edible Mosaic • Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding

Hey Modest Marce • Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie

Inspired By the Seasons • Pumpkin Applesauce Smoothie

CaliGirl Cooking • Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Spiked Cream Cheese Glaze

Sally’s Baking Addiction • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Well and Full • Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus

Appeasing a Food Geek • Cheese Fondue Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin

SweetPhi • Pumpkin Chili Biscuit Bake

Warm Vanilla Sugar • Buttermilk Pumpkin Doughnuts

Mademoiselle Poirot • Cinnamon-Pumpkin Mousse on Honey Panna Cotta topped with Hazelnut Brittle

Heart of a Baker • Pumpkin Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Flourishing Foodie • Massaman Curry with Pumpkin and Chickpeas

Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Pumpkin Jeon

Lindsay Jang • Best Ever DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Fix Feast Flair • Hokkaido Pumpkin + Sage Mac and Gouda

Will Frolic for Food • Pumpkin Kale Patties with Coconut Cilantro Rice

A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oats

Vermilion Red • Pumpkin Pie Souffle

  1. Britnell • Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Displaced Housewife • Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts

Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin and Condensed Milk Cakes

Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce

Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Kale & Caramel • Goat Cheese & Sage-Stuffed Pumpkin Challah

Okie Dokie Artichokie • Pumpkin Chorizo Chili with Sweet Potatoes + Pinto Beans

Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Bread

Liliahna • Chicken Legs with Pumpkin and Tortellini

TermiNatetor Kitchen • Whole Wheat, Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Brioche

Vermilion Roots • Sweet Rice Dumplings with Pumpkin

Celebrate Creativity • Pumpkin Mini Cheesecake Tarts

Serendipity Bakes • Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake

So Much Yum • Vegan Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

The Brick Kitchen • Pumpkin, Pecan & White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches

Lisli • Pumpkin Pie Cake

Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Pie Dip

Fig+Bleu • Pumpkin Granola

The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies

Cook Til Delicious • Fall Cliche Cake (Pumpkin Spice Cake / Maple Cream Cheese Frosting / Apple Cider Caramel Sauce)

Floating Kitchen • Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

The Wood and Spoon • Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

Fork Vs Spoon • Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin and Coconut Caramel Flan

Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Chocolate Icebox Cake

Chicano Eats • Pumpkin Butter Pan de Muerto

On the Plate • Pumpkin Pancakes, Salted Caramel & Pecans

Brewing Happiness • Pumpkin Ginger Breakfast Cookies

A Butterful Mind • Pumpkin Cheesecake with Vanilla Whipped Cream

The Little Loaf • Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Gnocchi

The Little Epicurean • Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie

Bourbon and Honey • Spicy Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Feta

What to Cook Today • Spicy Pumpkin Noodle Soup

Food by Mars • Pumpkin Pie (Grain-Free, Diary-Free)

The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding

Oh Honey Bakes • Pumpkin Cake with Gingersnap Toffee

Long Distance Baking • Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Jam Lab • Pumpkin Madeleines Dipped in White Chocolate

The Lemon Apron • Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with an Olive Oil Glaze

Sun Diego Eats • Thai Pumpkin & Sticky Rice Cakes

A Cozy Kitchen • Pumpkin Chai Scones with Black Tea Glaze

A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Shrubs

Eating Clean Recipes • Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Kingfield Kitchen • Vegan Fresh Pumpkin Soup

Drink and Cocktail Recipes • Pumpkin Dirty Chai

The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Sage Cannelloni (Dairy-Free)

My Lavender Blues • Pumpkin, Banana & Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Betty Liu • Pumpkin + Pear Butter Baked Melty Cheese

Happy Hearted Kitchen • Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Tahini Yogurt + Hazelnut Dukkah

InHappenstance • Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter

Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

Cosy Pumpkin Spice Latte (caffeine + dairy free) for #virtualpumpkinparty
 
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A cosy hug in a mug for you. Caffeine, dairy and sugar free (if using homemade hemp milk).
Rough Measures:
Ingredients
  • 225g / 1 cup pumpkin - peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 400ml homemade hemp milk / or any plant based milk,(you can use store bought but be wary as it is likely to contain some sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix (or a mix of ground cinnamon / ginger / nutmeg)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon - for sprinkling on top
Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 C / Gas Mark 5
  2. On a lined baking tray, scatter the pumpkin over the tray.
  3. Toss in the coconut oil and pumpkin pie spice
  4. Cover with foil and roast for 35-45 mins, or until soft.
  5. Once cooked, add to a blender with the hemp milk.
  6. Blend for 30 seconds and pour into a large mug, scatter the top with cinnamon.
 

 

Disclaimer: Expect to see lots more Froothie Optimum G2.1 posts as I am now an Ambassador for Froothie.  Any links to their site in this post or future posts are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission, it won’t cost you any extra though. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support Rough Measures! 

Pumpkin Spice Bliss Balls

Every year, when the seasons shift, I get all excited. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, I love the heat, I love long, light evenings in the garden. But dang, I do love autumn. The temperature fell a few degrees this last week. Sunny, chilly mornings greeted me. Crisp, fresh air, chilling my hands. Time to pull out my winter coat and big snuggly scarf. The days are shorter, which I do find a struggle, and it’s harder to get up in the mornings with this new darkness, but these orange-y hues and red leaves paint the landscapes so well, it makes it worth it. Nature giving it one last hurrah before they shed their years bounty. Autumn, it’s good to see you.

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With Autumn comes a new season of foods. Orchards bursting with apples, hedgerow brambles have those juicy purple blackberries, sloes are out tempting me to make some sloe gin, but mostly; pumpkin. Pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, squash variations a plenty, oh yes you lovely orange football of goodness, I’ve missed you.

Last year, on a trip to NYC, I discovered Trader Joes, and went a little crazy buying things to bring back. Pumpkin spice mix was in my basket, and I couldn’t wait to use it. I’ve been using it sparingly. trying to make it last, and am down to my last few tablespoons, but this recipe deserved my treasured spice mix. Because it’s Autumn, and in Autumn we pumpkin spice! Pumpkin Spice Bliss Balls to be precise. I’ve been meaning to make more energy balls since this lot, but never got round to it. I whipped up a batch of these over the weekend and have had to hide the tub from myself, I just want to eat them all. Here’s to a happy season!

pumpkinspice4

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Pumpkin Spice Bliss Balls
 
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A tasty, spiced snack to keep you going. I rolled mine in hemp seeds and oats, but coconut would also work well here. Store in an air tight container and they'll keep in the fridge for 3 days
Rough Measures:
Serves: 8-12 balls
Ingredients
  • 90g / 1 cup rolled oats
  • 300g / 1½ cup cooked and mashed pumpkin / pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix (OR ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon / ½ ground ginger / pinch nutmeg / ¼ all spice)
  • Hemp seeds + extra oats to roll balls in
Method
  1. Place the oats into a food processor and blend into a rough flour
  2. Add in all other ingredients and pulse until fully combined
  3. Mould into balls with your hands
  4. If using, roll in oats / hemp seeds.
 

Like bliss balls? Check out these awesome recipes:

Hot Cross Balls Sweet Potato and Fresh Ginger Protein Balls – Veggie Desserts

Camp Power Bites – Happy Hearted Kitchen

Chocolate Maca Protein Bites – Faring Well

Superfood Brownie Bites – The First Mess

Matcha Tea Energy Balls – Celery and Cupcakes

Maca Brownies

We had some new arrivals in our house this week. 2 new, smiley, cute, furry little friends. We have adopted 2 cats via Cats Protection. We met them for the first time two weeks ago and totally fell in love. We picked them up on Friday and this weekend has been full of snuggles, mouse chasing and getting to know our new additions. They’re still a bit shy and Scout is quite timid and still a bit unsure of everything, but they’re slowly getting used to their new surroundings. Arto has made it quite clear he likes lap time and purrs loudly when he wants some affection. They seem to spend their time sleeping in odd places or catapulting themselves around the house and full speed. They have also taken to straight running up my leg when I get their food. I’m excited to watch them grow and learn. I’ll be sure to post some photos soon, when they sit still for more than 10 seconds. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories to see their daily antics!

Maca Brownies // roughmeasures.com

Maca Brownies // roughmeasures.com

Autumn seems to have hit the UK with its full, wet force. I always find baking comforting on rainy days, and often find myself trialling another brownie recipe. These maca brownies hit the spot. Maca has a malty, almost butterscotch flavour to it. It’s full of vitamins (B, C and E), calcium and zinc. It is a natural energy booster, and can also balance hormones! I’ve also used fava bean flour here, to make these brownies gluten-free. The flour also adds additional protein into the mix. Once again, I am using all organic ingredients here, as my last recipe this month supporting Organic September. So, grab a square, enjoy and know you’re getting some goodness in ya! Happy new season everyone!

Maca Brownies // roughmeasures.comMaca Brownies
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Energy boosting, hormone stabilising, vitamin packed maca brownies. These are fudgey brownies, I like them soft and a little bit gooey. Cook for longer if you prefer them a bit more cake like. All ingredients used are organic.
Rough Measures:
Ingredients
  • 340g / 2 cup fava bean flour
  • 80ml / ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 60g / ½ cup cacao powder
  • 60ml / ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 80ml / ⅓ cup hot water
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 160 C / Gas Mark 2
  2. Grease and line 9" long baking dish.
  3. Throw all the dry ingredients into a bowl and give it a good mix.
  4. Stir in the oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
  5. Slowly stir in the hot water, adding a touch more if necessary.
  6. Pour the mix into the dish and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is slightly crisp.
  7. Leave to cool before digging in.

Yellow Tomato and Bean Gazpacho

This weekend saw the start of my 28th year. 10,229 days on this planet we call home. Somehow this birthday feels more poignant than the others, maybe because I was at home, having a chilled, quiet birthday, rather than the last 10 years of birthdays; filled with rum, beer, Sambuca and more rum. As I lay in bed with my coffee, I sat and reflected on my time here so far. Many memories, some regrets and most definitely a whole load of fun.

In the spirit of fun, celebrations and reflections, here are 28 things I wish I could have told my younger self:

  1. Be thankful for what you have, and don’t waste time crying over what you don’t.
  2. Learn to love exercise, the first few weeks suck, but you’ll find your mojo, and wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
  3. Travel, near and far, travel wherever and whenever you can.
  4. Broken hearts heal, they suck, but they heal.
  5. Say yes more, live a little.
  6. Have a safety net of savings, enough to cover you for a month or so should anything bad happen.
  7. You do not need 5 credit cards, ever.
  8. Don’t buy that dress, it is overpriced and doesn’t suit you.
  9. Stop comparing yourself to others, you will never have Kate Moss’s figure and thats A-OK.
  10. Tell your family you love them, often.
  11. Stop treating your parents like crap, they will forgive you, but don’t do it, it’s mean.
  12. Cook more, you’ll see why when you get older.
  13. Laugh often.
  14. You’re going to live on a narrowboat for a while, and you will love it (yeah I know, crazy right?)
  15. Growing up is scary, but it’s also kinda cool.
  16. Stop freaking out about your future career.
  17. Do what makes you happy, and if it stops making you happy, do something else.
  18. Jump out of that aeroplane, it will be the best thing you may ever do.
  19. Look after yourself.
  20. Cherish your friendships, especially with your oldest friends, as these are the ones that will last long after you leave school.
  21. Forgive others, it is hard, but it helps.
  22. Never stop listening to Blink 182.
  23. Go to festivals and dance like no-one is watching.
  24. Smile more.
  25. Fake it till you make it, be your number 1 supporter.
  26. Learn to enjoy time alone.
  27. Don’t change yourself for anyone, ever.
  28. Eat the frikkin’ doughnut.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho // roughmeasures.com

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho // roughmeasures.com

I figured I would celebrate the weekend by going for a long walk to a manor house and gardens, drink lots of coffee, pick up some more vegetables from my parents back garden and make this yellow tomato and bean gazpacho. I made this in my Froothie Optimum G2.1 blender – it does a great job of blitzing the tomatoes and their skins into a beautiful smooth texture. The weather here hasn’t quite turned into chilly autumnal days, but more muggy, stuff end of summer feels. Stuffy days and 28 years needed something refreshing.

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho // roughmeasures.com

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho // roughmeasures.com

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho // roughmeasures.com

Yellow Tomato and Bean Gazpacho
 
Prep time
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A refreshing summer gazpacho with all the flavours. This soup is just as good warm. Enjoy this bountiful summer ingredient.
Rough Measures:
Serves: 1-1.5 litres
Ingredients
  • 1 tray (between 500-800g) yellow tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tin organic cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • Few sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Water (to thin out as needed)
  • S+P
  • Dash olive oil
Method
  1. Turn on the grill.
  2. Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking tray with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add a small dash of olive oil.
  3. Grill for 10 minutes until slightly charred.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients into a high speed blender. Blitz for 1 minute until smooth.
  5. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  6. Once cooled, enjoy and chill.
 

 

Disclaimer: Expect to see lots more Froothie Optimum G2.1 posts as I am now an Ambassador for Froothie.  Any links to their site in this post or future posts are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission, it won’t cost you any extra though. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support Rough Measures! 

Smokey Pepper Dip

I am currently somewhere on the South West coast of France, hopefully on a beach by now, watching the sea, or attempting to finally master surfing once and for all. I am most likely flailing around in the water trying not to look uncool. Tagging along with my parents once again, for a 2 week break in the sunshine. There will be sailing on the lake, paddle boarding with my sister, market meandering, 3 hour long lunches (featuring this smokey pepper dip) with wine in hand.

For now, here’s a quick recipe that you can make at home or camping. Grilled peppers release their sweet, charred flavours in this delicious smokey pepper dip. With ground almonds for extra protein. I’m using organic produce here to raise awareness for Organic September. Organic peppers have a richer flavour than non-organic. This dip requires minimal fuss, just a bit of skin-peeling before you can throw it all in the blender and dip to your hearts content. Happy summer grazing friends.

Smokey Pepper Dip // roughmeasures.com

Smokey Pepper Dip // roughmeasures.com

Smokey Pepper Dip // roughmeasures.com

Smokey Pepper Dip
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
A smokey pepper dip that is similar to Muhammara. Grilled peppers release their sweet, charred juices into this dip. Vegan and gluten free. Makes a bowlful.
Rough Measures:
Ingredients
  • 4 x large organic peppers (I used mixed colours)
  • 60g organic ground almonds
  • ⅓ cup / 60ml organic extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice 1 organic lemon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • S+P
Method
  1. Place all peppers on a baking tray and grill for 1015 minutes, turning regularly. You want the pepper skins to blacken.
  2. Once the peppers have softened and charred, remove the tray and rinse the peppers under cold running water. You need them to cool down before you start to peel them.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, over the sink, peel the blackened skins off the peppers. Pull out their stems and remove the seeds.
  4. Add the flesh into a food processor along with all the other ingredients.
  5. Blitz for 30 seconds. Serve in a bowl and dip away.
 

Organic September – What Do Yeo Know?

Since starting this blog, I have been invited on some great days out and trips away. This last week saw an invitation to Yeo Valley Farm, organised by the Soil Association, to learn more about Organic September and why we should all be more aware of what is in our food. Yeo Valley is set in the beautiful Mendip countryside, not too far from Bath. I hopped on a train to Bristol and waited eagerly with some other like-minded bloggers.

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley is set on Holt Farm, which has been in the Mead family for over 50 years. They started selling their yoghurt from their Morris Minor a few years later. Fast forward to 2016 and they now make over 1900 litres of yoghurt a week, and 3 million litres of milk a year. They also offer a range of other dairy based products.

We arrived on a hot, sunny morning and were greeted with an array of breakfast goodies (including some immense gluten free macarons….mmmm). We grabbed a coffee and sat down to the first part of the day, an introduction to Organic September from the Soil Association. I have always known and supported the benefits of choosing organic produce over non-organic, but the chat really opened my eyes to some points I wasn’t aware of before (see facts further down in this post). After the talk we met with Jon Wilson, the farm manager. Jon took us on a tour of the farm, explaining how they rotate the crop and pasture land, how they balance the mineral levels in the soil to create the lushest green fields, and encouraging us to sniff the soil he had dug up! We were introduced to Yeo’s heard of Friesian cows. They were very friendly and were an incredibly healthy and happy looking bunch. It was so good to meet someone so passionate about what he does.

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

We concluded the tour back at the cafe, where the head chef from Yeo Valley’s organic cafe had come to give us a cooking demo. He whipped up a batch of dhal, sautéed cauliflowers (romanesco has stolen my heart recently) and of course, a yoghurt dip. We sat down and chatted about our different loves of food and food politics. It was great to catch up with some blogger friends in gorgeous surroundings.

All too soon it was time to leave (with goodie bags galore) and say our goodbyes. My head was full with ideas and a stronger passion than ever before to promote an organic lifestyle.

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Soil Association are running Organic September to raise awareness and spread the word on the benefits of choosing organic. So, why should you choose organic? I could write all night about why, but here’s some points to get you started:

  • There are more than 320 different pesticides used in the UK, and traces of them can be found in 75% of non-organic foods. 31,000 tonnes of manufactured chemicals are used in farming every year, to kill insets, pests and weeds. A study recently done in Europe showed that 40% of city dwellers had traces of weedkiller in their urine. Ewww!
  • Glyphosate, which is heavily used in non-organic farming, is a probable carcinogen and has now been found in 30% of the bread we consume.
  •  Organic milk has 50% more omega-3 fatty acids in, higher concentrations of iron and Vitamin E in than non-organic milk.
  • Antibiotics are given to healthy animals (namely poultry and pigs) to compensate for their low-welfare cramped conditions where outbreaks and disease are harder to control and more common. Antibiotics in animals means antibiotics in our dairy and meat. Routine use of antibiotics is banned in organic farming.
  • Intensive animal farming frightens and disgusts me. Animals are kept in in-humane conditions and often barbaric conditions. Under organic farming standards, animals are allowed to roam free range on organic land. They are fed non-GM food and are only given antibiotics if they truly need them. They cannot be given hormones (as done in intensive farming) to force them to grow quicker.
  • It’s nutritionally different. The British Journal of Nutrition has just published ground-breaking research with the findings that there is a significant nutritional difference between organic and non-organic farming. Organic food is higher in antioxidants and lower in nasties like pesticides and toxic metals.
  • Organic farming helps to create healthy soil that is resistant to floods, drought and the consequential impacts of climate charge.
  • The Soil Association is one of the most rigorous certifying organic bodies in the world. It’s a not-for-profit charity that campaigns for sustainable, healthy and humane farming, food and land use. Look out for their logo on packaging when choosing organic.

So, how can you get involved? Organic September is encouraging everyone to make one small change in their purchases. In the egg isle? Opt for organic free range eggs. Choosing your veg for the week? Pick the organic carrots. Little changes make a big difference, to our bodies, to the animals and the planet. Share your swaps on Instagram and tag #organicseptember

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

See more accounts of the day:

Choclette – Tin and Thyme 

All the thanks go out to Soil Association, Yeo Valley and Good Energy (who sponsor Organic September.) Big love to all the brands who donated their gorgeous products for the good bags. I was invited on this trip and not paid to write a positive post. Make a change, choose organic.