Hey folks. Here I am! How’s things? I know things have been a little quiet around here, I won’t bore you with the details because we’ve all got our own things going on! Things happen, ya know. I read THIS great article over the weekend, and it hit home a lot. So I’ll keep it short and sweet tonight, so we can all have some happy heart time with our loved ones, plus I’ve got an overdue hot date with my sofa this evening. Hold onto those happy hearts. Read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hey friends! How’s things? I hope you all had a nice long May Bank holiday weekend? Whatch’all been up to? We’ve had a hectic couple of weeks, with only one day off in 14 *burys head in hands* and I feel like I’ve been buzzing about like all the spring bees, without much chance to catch a breath. But today was a bank holiday and I lapped up some fresh air in Bristol with my mum, saw some food demos as part of Bristol Food Connections and generally enjoyed being outside instead of behind a PC all day!
This weeks post is all about this AWESOME book from the ever so lovely Dannii of Hungry Healthy Happy. I ‘met’ Dannii via Facebook and she has been there for help and advice from day one. Dannii’s blog started as a quest to change her unhealthy diet due to health problems. She started cooking from scratch using fresh produce, exercising more and documenting it. Dannii lost almost 100 pounds (!!!) and has maintained a healthier lifestyle ever since. Her new book, Hungry Healthy Happy, is full of delicious healthier versions of some classic recipes. From pancakes, to apple nachos to ice lollies, this book has all events covered. Each recipe has the measurements in grams, ounces and cups – which I love because my scales aren’t always working! The book includes meat dishes, but there’s a great selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes. Every recipe contains a break down of nutrients and there is a photo per recipe – something which seems to get missed in a lot of recipe books. A photo really does speak a thousand words!
I was sent Hungry Healthy Happy a few months back and have already made the avocado hummus, raw carrot cake bites, baked beans and gingernuts (see below!) Dannii’s recipes are easy to follow and use ingredients you can find at any basic supermarket. If you are looking for a new book to get you inspired then go out and buy it now.
I decided to make the Gingernut biscuits because a day without a biscuit is a sad day. They come together so quickly and are a great afternoon treat.
- 70g unsalted cashews
- 70g whole almonds
- 20g desiccated coconut
- Pinch sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- First up, preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
- In a food processor, mix the nuts and coconut until the resemble a floury consistency. Tip the mix into a large mixing bowl.
- Into the bowl, add the salt, baking powder, ginger, lemon juice and maple syrup. Mix it well until it forms a dough.
- With your hands, roll the dough into balls, it should make about 8. Place on a lined baking tray.
- Press the palm of your hand down onto the balls to flatten out, you want them about 3 inches wide.
- Put your tray into the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Leave to cool for 5 mins before transferring your gingernuts onto a cooling rack, make sure you let them cool fully before tucking in!
Thanks to Dannii and her publishers, Jacqui Small, for the advance copy of this book. Recipe by Dannii Martin.
Hungry Healthy Happy – RRP £20 Available from all good bookstores (support your local bookstores!)
I was not paid to review this book, and, as always, all opinions are entirely my own.
A quick post and this lovely turmeric hummus recipe for you lot today. We are having more and more issues with our internet, and it’s proving difficult for me to have access to upload my recipes online. Boat life is good, and it’s good to be away from the World Wide Web for a wee bit. So I’m sat here on my lunch-break getting this uploaded for you. I hope your week is filled with sunshine and good food!
Find more hummus recipes here
Like this recipe, you can find more over on Pinterest!
- 2 tins chickpeas (keep 2 tablespoons to one side)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- juice of 2 lemons
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (optional)
- Drain the chickpeas (see notes).
- Add everything to a food processor and blend for 1-3 mins. Add more oil if needed.
- I like to leave some whole chickpeas to the side to stir in after.
Charlie and I have done our fair share of road tripping. His parents live 5 hours away, a journey that is long without traffic, but is notoriously busy and has, on some occasions, taken us over 8 hours. We’ve travelled all over the UK and Ireland, for many summers, for our festival work. From Scotland, to the Isle of Wight and back to Scotland, in the space of a few weeks. Long car journeys to the Alps in the winters. Quicker trips to the hills to get out and explore nature. Yeah, we’ve covered some miles together. I hope we’ll cover many more in future years. In all instances we prep snacks like a boss. A journey is not a journey without snacks. Energy bars, date and nut balls, cakes, savoury treats, but mostly and always, cookies. Without these snacks we would crack under the strain of long journeys. I am the worst passenger, but I am the best road-trip-snack-planner.
This last week was a different kind of journey, but one that needed cookies to calm our souls. A house plan fell through (again) and we are back to square one on the house hunt. We sighed and swore but told ourselves something even better is out there. But this weekend, we needed those cookies.
These beauts are packed full of goodness, with lots of oats to keep those stomach grumbles at bay for a while. To distract you from the long hours, or tired levels of a journey. I hope yours is always a happy one.
This recipe is measured in cups, as my scales are broken!
Cranberry Oat Cookies (v)
1 ½ cup spelt flour
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice / or cinnamon
½ cup coconut oil (soft but not melted)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp date syrup
1 chia ‘egg’ (1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water) leave for 5 mins
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chia seed protein powder (any protein powder would do)
Preheat your oven to Gas 5 / 190 C
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cranberries, oats, baking powder and mixed spice. Give it a stir.
In a separate bowl, cream the soft coconut oil, with the sugar, date syrup and chia paste. Give it a really good stir so it starts to cream together.
Add the dry mix to your creamed oil mix, fold it all together so theres no dry bits. If you need to, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to help it come together.
Press into circles, about 1cm thick, in your hands, and place cookies on a lined baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 10 mins, until lightly brown.
Let me give you some advice. Do not try to frantically cook 3 recipes for your blog, on a Sunday afternoon, when you may or may not be nursing a sore head from one too many Somerset ciders from the night before, with only an hour of daylight left. It will result in a kitchen resembling something of a war zone, you will stress yourself out and fall over things in your hurried, rushed state. Not unless you have a strong mind and 6 arms.
However, the result is some darn tasty treats, preparing you for the week ahead. Some little bites of love, for your loved ones. I’m not one for a soppy love fest on St Valentine’s day, but hey, this is chocolate, and you’d have to be crazy to say no to that, right?!
Raw Chocolate Hearts (gf) (v)
60g raw cacao butter
50g raw cacao powder
Optional: 1 tablespoon maple syrup / 1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
Bring a pan of water to the bowl, place a bowl over the sauce pan, it should be sitting just above the boiling water, not submerged.
Add your cacao butter to the bowl and melt slowly, turning the heat down so the water is lightly simmering.
Once melted, add in the cacao powder and whisk well to combine.
If using, add coconut oil and maple syrup. You could also add in a drop of peppermint essence, or some rose water, to flavour the chocolates.
Once combined, pour the chocolate into the heart moulds.
Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour.
This recipe comes to you with a wink. A little bit naughty, a little bit indulgent. Because we’ve had 2 weeks of our new clean eating, fitness mad, alcohol quitting regimes, and now it’s time for a break. I’m an advocate of the 80/20 (sometimes 70/30) rule. Restriction only leads to failure I say! Well done, give yourself a little pat on the back, have a break, have a mocha muffin.
I love chocolate, that is a well-known fact. I used to love nothing better than digging into a big bar of Dairy Milk, easily eating the whole thing in one go, and then feeling terrible afterwards. Chocolate is my vice, but now I’m more of an 80% dark chocolate girl, those purple packets no longer tempt me, no longer do they magically appear in my shopping trolley. Cacao is chocolate in its raw form, a slightly bitter taste, but delicious and earthy. Cacao contains magnesium, calcium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and also is a great anti-oxidant.
These muffins are still full of goodness, and have a lovely nutty flavour from the buckwheat, with an added treat inside. If you’re not feeling the Baileys, you can easily leave it out. They’re low in sugar, so they won’t set you up for a rollercoaster ride of highs. They come together quickly and bake in 15 minutes. I’ve used an egg to help bind them together, which adds protein, but I think a flax egg would work well here too.
Buckwheat Baileys Mocha Muffins (gf)
Makes 6-8 muffins
120g (3/4 cup) buckwheat flour
35g (1/4 cup) raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
50g coconut sugar (unrefined brown sugar would also work)
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
50ml espresso / strong coffee
75ml nut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 organic free range egg
Preheat your oven to Gas 4 / 190 C
Get all you ingredients ready.
Line a muffin tin with approx 7 cases
In a bowl, combine the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
In another bowl, add the melted coconut oil, sugar and coffee. Whisk well to combine. Add in the Baileys and the egg, whisk again.
Slowly fold the dry mix into the wet, adding the milk a little at a time. Make sure all the mix has combined and you have no lumps.
Divide the batter evenly between the cases, filling them about ¾ full.
Bake in the oven for 15 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Here’s some more tasty Baileys treats: