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.
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.
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.
My heart is full today, bursting in fact. Bursting with love and happiness and all the good things that come with it. There is something so magical about spending a day, watching two people you love, make promises to love each other forever. I managed to hold back the tears, but watching my best childhood friend walk down the aisle to marry her guy was beautiful. I got the honour of walking down in front of her, in awe of how beautiful she looked. I also got to make their wedding cake, weeks of stressing was instantly forgotten as soon as I saw their faces light up when they saw it. It’s been a magical weekend and my heart is happy.
Since moving into the new house, I feel I have been scrabbling at life and trying to fit everything in, whilst still trying to unpack, re-decorate and find our feet with this new life (albeit in the same town, but very different surroundings). I am more tired than I have been in a long while, and a little overwhelmed with it all. Trying to find a new routine whilst trying to do something different every day to keep my brain happy. I get a little frazzled when I’m busy. Some people thrive off it, but not me, I need to keep a few days or evenings free just to calm and re-sync myself.
Trying to make small routines every day keep me sorted. Little things like my 11 o’clock banana at my desk, 2pm mug of green tea or my regular 10pm bedtime. The newest routine which has started every day in our new home is smoothie making in the morning, together. We get up, grab breakfast and then decide on a smoothie to make and take with us into our offices. Do something different every day for sure, to keep life interesting, but daily smoothies? Keep them in your routine of repetition.
Especially this cucumber peach smoothie, it’s totally rocking my world right now.
This cucumber peach smoothie is a favourite of mine at the moment. It’s oh so easy and full of good vibes. I throw everything in my Froothie Optimum G2.1 , 30 seconds blending and there ya go. Great for busy mornings when you need something quick. Since moving and now having access to a constant electricity source, we have used the Optimum G2.1 every day. We’ve made dips, soups, smoothies and even sorbets!
This smoothie is:
- loaded with vitamins
- flushes out toxins
- contains calcium and zinc
- a source of fibre
- vegan and gluten free
- ½ cucumber (peeled)
- 2 donut peaches (de-stoned)
- 2 large strawberries
- ½ cup / 125ml dairy free yoghurt
- 1 cup / 250ml almond milk
- ½ cup / 125ml coconut water (or filtered water)
- Add everything into your Optimum G2.1 (or regular blender)
- Blitz for 30 seconds - 1 minute
- Pour into glass and enjoy.
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!
I have many fond memories of long afternoons spent in our local park, picnic-ing under the summer skies. My parents had a good group of friends, all with little ones of similar ages, and we would all congregate on the grass for big picnics. We would run around, learn to ride our bikes, or spend hours testing out our new roller skates, and occasionally run back to the group to grab a snack and re-fuel. We must have clocked up a fair few hours in that lovely park. Whenever I go there now, those memories all come flooding back. I am grateful for a happy upbringing, with so much time spent outdoors.
We haven’t really had the right weather for picnics this year, and the British nation is patiently waiting some serious sunshine (rumour has it some heat is on its way this week). I decided that I wasn’t going to let the weather stop us from eating alfresco this weekend, so we opted for a garden picnic. Our new kitchen leads directly out into the back garden, so it’s handy for running back inside if it does start to rain, which coincidentally, it did! Picnic foods aren’t just great for alfresco dining, I love simple, quick bites that you can throw together for a quick, fuss free dinner in the week.
Whilst I try to make wholesome, homemade recipes most days, sometimes you just need something you can grab and go – right? That’s why I love Higgidy’s range of pies and quiches. Higgidy’s range of products offer a large range of delicious flavour combinations, and make a great picnic addition. Each product is handmade (no robots here) with love. I’m taking part in their #HiggidyPicnic and bringing this zesty quinoa and sweet potato salad along with me! Quinoa is great (incase you didn’t already know!) as it contains iron, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, and is one of only a few plant-based foods that is a complete protein. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, yay!
- 1 sweet potato (scrubbed)
- ½ aubergine
- 1 cup / 190g quinoa (I used a mix of red and white)
- Lemon thyme (optional)
- ½ cup/120ml extra virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Handful fresh oregano
- Olive Oil - for roasting
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
- Chop the sweet potato and aubergine, place on a lined baking tray, scatter with S+P, lemon thyme (if using) and coconut oil. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the veg is soft.
- Rinse your quinoa in a sieve under some cold water. Place in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Put on a hob and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and let it cook for 15 mins (you want to retain a little bite in the quinoa)
- While that's cooking, make your dressing.
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender (or into a jug and use a stick blender) and blitz for 10 seconds, taste and check for seasoning.
- Once the quinoa has cooked, drain any excess liquid, then add the quinoa to a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the roasted veg, and a good glug of your dressing.
- Stir it well so the quinoa can absorb the dressing.
- Enjoy al fresco.
See who else is joining the #higgidypicnic ;
This recipe is sponsored by Higgidy. All opinions are my own, stay individual friends.
Oh hey guys, didn’t think I’d forgotten about you, did ya? You did?! Ah jeez, I am sorry. It’s been all kinds of crazy over here recently. Coupled with some pesky tech-y issues with my site, blogging just hasn’t happened. I think I have only managed to turn my laptop on twice in the last month?! My camera has been sat neglected, gathering dust. But all for a good reason dear readers. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! I wanted to keep it quiet until we had the keys in our bare hands. After a very long search with multiple sellers pulling out, we finally completed on our perfect little cottage 3 weeks ago.
It was (and still is) a crazy time, moving off the boat and into the new place in a day, then I went to Madrid for a week (more on that at a later date), so I’d barely had any time to enjoy the house and get settled in. It still feels a little strange, kinda like we’re just house sitting for someone and soon we’ll have to head back to the boat. There is still so much to unpack, sort through, more furniture to buy, but it’s slowly coming together. My heart is heavy that we’ll no longer be residing in our floating home (if anyone wants to buy our lovely boat, we’re open to offers!), but the time was right and you gotta grab life by the youknowwhat right?! It’s going to take some adjusting, our new kitchen actually has less space than the one on the boat! But the simple things are exciting me like mad (hot water!! out of a tap!! without turning an engine on!!!) I’ll be sure to show some snippets of the new place once it’s photo worthy. Let’s eat shall we?
I’ve been using Hodmedod’s pea flour for a while now, and love how versatile it is. Cooking these fritters with ground pea flour also means they’re gluten free! The flour smells wonderful and has a very subtle taste. Hodmedod’s grow and make all their produce in the UK, their quinoa is grown in Essex! They’ve got a fantastic range of flours – I love this one. A wide variety of snacks like these salted fava beans. They’re passionate about their produce, and this shows in the quality of their products. Be sure to check out their range of awesome pulses and more.
These courgette and pea fritters are simple and speedy, for quick evening dinners, but still pack flavour. Courgette is probably one of my favourite green vegetables. I like to make a big batch of them, to keep on the side, as an afternoon snack, or to bulk out a salad for dinner.
- 2 large courgettes (peeled)
- 1 cup / 150g cooked petit pois
- Handful fresh mint
- 1½ cups / 140g Hodmedods green pea flour
- 1 organic free range egg
- Sea salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Coconut oil - for frying
- Add the grated courgette into a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, stir it through and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
- While the courgette is left to sit, add all the other ingredients into another bowl.
- Take the courgette and, using your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid (over the sink).
- Add the courgette to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it well.
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat.
- Take spoonfuls of your fritter mixture and dollop into the pan, use the back of the spoon to flatten the fritters down.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side.
- Eat immediately, or leave to cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Here’s a few tasty recipe’s I’m loving this week:
Choclette’s courgette and chickpea pancakes look heavenly.
Jessie’s courgette (zucchini), asparagus and corn pasta looks like a big bowl of love.
Amanda’s yellow split pea flour bundt cake is the bomb!
Becca’s courgette fritter waffles make me want to eat brunch for every meal!
This recipe was sponsored by the lovely people at Hodmedod’s. I am a long time fan of their products and ethos, and was not paid to write a positive review. As always, all opinions are my own. Buy local folks.
June has arrived, it is officially summer here in the UK. The sky is blue today and with the blue sky comes bright light that highlights the many shades of green that make up our current view. Left is green, to my right is green, green is my happy colour. I can here the lambs calling to their mother’s, the birds tweeting to each other, and if we are lucky, the tiny squeaking of the newest members to the canal – 7 little signets. Our little floating home is like an observatory into the wonders of nature. Life is good.
I bring this post with a huge dollop of excitement! Whilst this was slowly roasting in the oven, I could smell the faint, sweet wafts of gentle rose, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I am very much pro granola, remember this awesome oat-y bowl? Or this one? As I am sure you are aware, dear readers, I am passionate about using organic produce. My recent experience of a night with other organic food lovers only cemented what an important thing it is. Wake Up To Organic has already launched, in partnership with Soil Association and The Organic Trade Board, and is gearing up for a nationwide event on June 15th 2016. Independent retailers across the UK will be hosting #WakeuptoOrganic events serving up breakfasts, hosting blogger demos, and visits with visits from local suppliers and producers. I was keen to get on board and be part of encouraging people to eat more organic produce. Wild Oats are taking part and you can find all the ingredients to this recipe in the store. You can also pick up a recipe card to take home with you, so you can get making this awesome granola. Head over there on June 15th to see how they’re spreading the organic love!
Eating organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. How about swapping your daily latte for a packet of organic flour? Ditch that weekly takeaway and go and stock up on a basket of organic veg. This rose and pistachio granola recipe is low cost, and will make satisfy many a grumbling belly. Slow roasted oats, nuts and rose petals, coming to a bowl near you! Happy organic summer pals!
- 4 cups (360g) organic oats
- ½ cup (75g) organic almonds - roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup (50g) organic sunflower seeds
- Small handful organic dried rose petals - ripped/ chopped in half
- ½ teaspoon organic ground ginger
- ¾ cup (180ml) organic coconut oil
- ¼ cup (60ml) organic maple syrup
- t teaspoon organic rose water
- ¾ cup (110g) organic pistachios
- Pre-heat your oven to Gas 2 / 150 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof / parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your oats, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, rose petals and ground ginger. Mix it well with a large spoon.
- Heat a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and rose water. Whisk it and take it off the heat as soon as the coconut oil has melted.
- Pour the oil mix over the oat mix. Stir it well with your spoon and make sure the liquid coats all the oats.
- Spread the granola mix evenly onto your baking tray.
- Bake for 30 mins, stirring it after 20 minutes.
- After 30 mins, add in your pistachios, and bake for 10 more minutes.
There has been an awful lot in the media recently about the healthy/’clean’ eating craze. Foodies and cookbook authors have been getting a lot of bad press. The thought is that the ‘clean-eating’ phase is getting taken to the extreme by some people, resulting in eating disorders. The media deems it necessary to target the current top ‘wellness’ stars and pick faults. It saddens me that as a nation we always need to pick a target and point the blame at someone. Some of the people who are being targeted are some of my main inspiration sources. They do not tell you what will work for you, just what has worked for them. They believe in a balanced lifestyle and use natural ingredients and healthy fats. If that encourages someone to cook a homemade meal instead of a ready meal then I think that’s fantastic. I have never been on a diet in my life, and don’t intend to. As soon as I tell myself I can’t have something, it is all I want. Moderation is key. I listen to my body, some days it needs extra carbs, some days it’s happy on salads. My plant based diet, and regular exercise, makes me feel good, in my mind and in my body. I also love cake. Life is about balance. As Michael Pollan said; Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
If you are a regular here, you’ll know my love for beets is high. Those pure purple hearts with their bright pink juice. I love it in stews, salads and this awesome hummus, yeah, beets are my bag! We eat salads a lot here in our floating abode. We pretty much have the same 5 salads on rotation every week. It’s easy for dinner and sometimes we are both too exhausted after work to cook anything different. Every now and again, I fuel us up with a hearty stew, something a bit comforting after a long day at work.
I was recently sent this gorgeous Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish from Steamer Trading. The dish is from their Vida Brazil range. I’m totally crushing on the colour – Marseille Blue – it reminds me of roaming French hypermarkets as a child and gazing at all their kitchenware. Steamer Trading Cookshop have a vast range of kitchen cookwear. Set up in 1985 by Liz and David, they opened their first store in Sussex. Now with multiple stores across the UK, they’re firmly established as one of the nation’s favourite cookshops. I’ve currently got my eye on a shallower casserole dish to match the one I made this stew in. I need more baking tins and adore this cute heart shaped one! They also offer free delivery on orders over £45 – all the more reason to stock up your kitchen supplies.
This Beetroot Bourguignon is an adaption of a lovely recipe from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see my daily eats!
- Glug of extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tablespoons coconut oil)
- 2 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
- 3 large beetroot
- 2 carrots
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 bay leaves
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 500ml vegetable stock
- ¾ cup pearl barley
- OPTIONAL - 150ml red wine
- First, finely dice your shallots.
- Then, peel and roughly chop your beets, carrots and sweet potato.
- Place a casserole dish on a medium heat on the hob, add in a glug of oil and throw in the shallots. Stir well to coat them. Add in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the onions for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Now, add all your vegetables, stock, tomato puree, harissa and pearl barley. If using, add in the wine.
- Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Enjoy with some crusty bread.
I’m adding my recipe to these awesome link ups;
Steamer Trading Cookshop sent me the Le Creuset pan you can see in my images. I was not paid to write a positive review, and of course, all opinions are entirely my own. Happy cooking!
I have had a fantastic, yet mad, couple of weeks. The first of which saw my mum and I travelling up to London to attend the Soil Association BOOM Awards, where I (and this dear blog of mine) were shortlisted for the Best Food Blog award. I was in total shock when I found out I had made it into the top ten, with 9 other fantastic foodies. It was a fantastic event, taking place in Borough Market and a huge amount of effort had gone into making the place a foodies dream. When we arrived we found out that I was in fact down to the final 3, which was incredible! I was so honoured that my little blog had made it to the awards with so many other amazing organic brands. Huge congratulations go out to everyone nominated, and of course to all the winners!
This weekend saw me heading up to Birmingham for the FLEA Enterprises #BlogCamp2016. Blog Camp is like a conference / learning day for food / parent / interiors and travel bloggers. There were about 200 of us there, including around 15 of my food blogger friends. I have met so many wonderful people because of Rough Measures, and it was fab to catch up with some of them. The day was filled with talks on food styling, Pinterest tips, stories from some top bloggers, writing workshops and more. I have come away with a head full of information!
Last week saw some sunshine, and I got all excited and wanted to make a salad with flavours that take me back to my time spent travelling Asia. Something like this Asian kale salad, with my favourite ginger dressing. The strong tastes of ginger and umami flavours make my mouth and belly happy. The crunch of the massaged kale and carrot keep the textures strong here. I haven’t enjoyed a salad this much since this one I made last year! Enjoy pals, and stay dry (apparently the British summer lasted all of 3 days!)
- Big bunch of kale - washed, de-stemmed and leaves loosely shredded
- ¼ red cabbage - shredded
- 1 carrot - peeled into thin strips
- 2 spring onions - finely chopped
- Zest 1 lime
- Handful peanuts
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- FOR THE DRESSING
- A thumb sized piece of ginger - peeled and grated
- 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup tamari (sub for soy sauce if you don't have tamari)
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- Juice 1 lime
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- Get all your ingredients ready.
- Start with the dressing; in a large bowl, add the grated ginger and garlic.
- Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, give it a really good whisk. Pour the dressing into a sealable jar, leaving around 50ml left in the bowl.
- Add your shredded kale into the bowl. Using your fingers, massage the kale into the dressing. Do this for a couple of minutes until all the kale has been coated.
- Throw the cabbage, carrot and spring onions into the bowl, and mix with your hands.
- Toss through the peanuts and sesame seeds, serve into a large salad bowl.
- Add more dressing if you wish!
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