Hey 2017! How ya doing? We’ve been waiting for you! Thanks for showing up, let’s make this year a cracker, yeah?! I hope everyone had a banger of a Christmas and a sparkly new year?! I spent some much-needed quality time with my family, hanging out, playing charades and eating ALL THE sprouts. I had to work between Christmas and New Year, and I’m not gonna lie, it bummed me out, but hey, I like my job and there are worse things to be doing. We had a very quiet evening on New Years Eve, curled up on the sofa under some blankets and watching films. I know everyone has been saying how sucky 2016 was, but amidst the political nightmares, the deaths and the woes, 2016 was really good to me. Continuing this blog has opened up some amazing opportunities for which I am so grateful. We bought our first (non-floating) home, settled into our new suburbs and played house. We even got 2 gorgeous cats that I have fallen head over heals in love with. Yeah, 2016 had some bumps, but it was good to me. I’m excited to see what 2017 will bring.
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.
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?
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.
I have been pretty horizontal for the past couple of days. My feet, undeniably ‘put up’ – on the sofa, on the bed, or the grass. Rest is such an undervalued pleasure. We constantly push ourselves to make the most of the hours left in the day. Making sure we get as much as possible done. Why is it more of an achievement to hurtle through life, wearing ourselves down? I feel I’m winning when I rest. Rest is good for the soul. Rest does not make you weak, it empowers you to live a longer, stronger life. So yeah, I’ve done ziddly squat these last couple of days, and it feels fantastic!
I did however, let my much-needed-rest-time be interrupted by a little walk. Charlie had given me the heads up that there was a blackberry bush near the boat, overflowing with juicy fruits. I took my tub and off I trotted to find this berry oasis. And oh boy, he wasn’t wrong. Hundreds and hundreds of fat, plump blackberries, dangling from their thorns, waiting to be plucked. I was there for a good 45 minutes, scrambling around and under their bushes. Trying not to get spiked to death or end up with 100 thorn splinters. One such thorn took a good 10 minutes to dig out of my thumb, much to the amusement of the nearby railway workers. Who’s laughing now guys?!
I now have more blackberries than I honestly know what to do with, and am currently compiling a list of possible blackberry recipes. But I am happy, a big purple smile of happy. Plus, free food is the best food.
Blackberry and Oat Muffins
Makes 6-8 muffins
250g organic spelt flour
70g rolled oats
65g coconut sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1.5 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
200ml almond milk
2 organic free range eggs
Large handful of wild blackberries (washed) – if you don’t have any blackberry bushes nearby, source them from a local farmers market
Sprinkle of oats & coconut sugar for the topping
Preheat over to Gas Mark 6 / 200 C
Line a muffin tray with 8 muffin cases.
In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk and eggs together, then fold them into the dry mix.
Gently fold in the blackberries.
Divide the mixture evenly between your cases, making sure you fill them right up – this will create nice big muffins.
Sprinkle the additional oats and coconut sugar over the top of your muffins.
Bake for 15 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Here’s some other blackberry recipes that I recommend testing out:
This week seems to have been a pretty busy one. I’m not one for filling my diary with dinners, social events and brunches all day, every day. I don’t think I could call myself a social butterfly. I like to have at least 3 days a week, event free, just to know I can come back to the boat and relax. To come home and try out a new recipe, I like to have time to create in the kitchen and not feel rushed. Some days, I just like to flop down on our (albeit rather uncomfortable) sofa, put my feet up and CHILL. But not this week, it’s been crammed full with socialising, days to vintage markets by the seaside, and visiting friends who’ve had a new baby! It’s been great, but also exhausting. I used to hate being on my own, I feared the loneliness, the quiet. Now I embrace it.
I’m not used to this lifestyle, I’ve got an old soul and don’t like the fast-paced life. This morning I took myself out for a run in the sunshine, nice and early, before the Saturday crowds rose. Once back at the boat, I sat with my tea and completely zoned out for a good hour. It was like magic. Like readjusting that internal pendulum, to get it swinging back to your beat.
Chia seeds are so versatile, and have been getting more and more popular over the last few years. They are packed to the brim with nutrients, full of fibre and protein, and those amazing vitamins like potassium, zinc and vitamins B1, B2 and B3. What more could you want from a tiny little seed?
This Chocolate Chia seed pudding is such a great all-rounder. It’s creamy and decadent, but completely guilt free. Have it for breakfast, pudding, or keep a few pots in the fridge for a quick afternoon snack. It takes about 30 seconds to make, make it the night before and it’ll be good to go for breakfast the next day!
Chocolate Chia Pudding (v) (gf)
Makes 2-4 servings
160g (½ cup) chia seeds
650ml hazelnut milk (any milk would work)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
Optional toppings: Cacao nibs / goji berries / maple syrup / coconut yoghurt / chilli flakes
In a bowl, combine the seeds, milk and cacao powder. Whisk or mix really well, until fully combined.
Leave in an airtight container, in the fridge, overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Layer the banana at the bottom of a jar, pour the pudding on top and enjoy.
Don’t forget you can follow me on instagram – tag #roughmeasures so I can see all your creations!
The sun is still shining in the West Country. Parks are rammed with passed out sun worshippers. Beer gardens are brimming with smiley cider faces. I’m going to leave it on that note and join those smiley, cider drinking, sun worshippers. Enjoy this weeks recipe friends!
Cookies are always a good idea. A must have lunch box addition. The best rucksack snack. Mid morning bite. Cookies are my favourite.
I’m really into nut flours at the moment. Yes, they are slightly more expensive than regular flour. But they provide much more flavour and protein to a recipe. Plus it means these little gems are gluten free!
Peanut and Chocolate Chunk Cookies (gf) (df)
Makes 6-8 Cookies
100g peanut flour (I used Sukrin)
Handful GF rolled oats
40g unrefined Muscavado sugar (can be light or dark)
100g dairy free 80% dark chocolate (crushed into small chunks)
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon date syrup (sub with maple syrup if you don’t have date)
2 tablespoons almond milk – if needed
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
In a bowl, mix flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and chocolate chunks.
Whisk together the eggs and the date syrup, for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Mix wet with dry, add a touch of milk if needed.
Chill cookie mix in fridge for 1 hour
Remove dough from fridge. Mould into balls and place on a lined baking tray, press down on the cookies to form circles about ½ inch thick.
Bake for 10-12 mins. Leave to cool fully before enjoying.
Sukrin kindly donated the flour for this recipe. Opinions are all mine.
Today started off miserable as hell. I’ve heard some loud rain, but this was something else. Living on a (metal) boat, when it rains it feels like the world is ending. The rain pummels on the steel and makes such a racket all I want to do is hide under the duvet and make a nest! However, after an hour, the clouds cleared and it became such a beautiful, sunny autumn day. As if it had never rained at all. The sky turned that crystal blue, and it almost felt like summer again.
So I felt today deserved a shining salad, (to be honest, I think everyday deserves a salad!) packed full of colour and flavours. Let’s pretend that summer is still here, let’s eat lunch in the garden… in a coat.
Mango, Pomegranate and Lemon Balm Salad
1 Mango (peeled and de-seeded)
Handful of Lemon Balm leaves
7 Cherry tomatoes
Red chilli (optional)
Cos or Romain lettuce
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chilli flakes (optional)
Slice up your peeled mango into 1cm cubes. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to a mixing bowl with the mango. If using, dice and de-seed chilli and add to bowl.
Scoop the seeds from the pomegranate, removing all the white membrane. If you have excess juice, pour this into a separate bowl. Add seeds to mixing bowl.
Roughly chop the lemon balm, and add to the bowl with the rest of the salad.
In the bowl with the pomegranate juice, add a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the chilli flakes if using. Mix well.
Serve salad on a bed of Cos and Rocket leaves. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!