As a literary-minded person, I liken my somewhat sporadic absenses to book loans. With full intentions of posting, I take photographs, only to find myself long overdue.
I suppose you could say life has been more like a self help book lately, rather than a thrilling page turner. But who is counting? Return me if you will, I’m not going to stop writing.
I’ll just remain a book on the shelf, check me out if you care to see what’s inside.
Some days I may be drama, and others, comedy. Still others expose cookbook interiors with graphics to delight eye and tongue.
Just don’t judge me by my cover
But really, this post has nothing to do with books. (I kid, my life has to do with books always)
Perhaps todays page will show you a giant smoothie/fruit bowl, whose smoothie overflows into another glass.
Author’s note: Always add a bit of crunch to your smoothie bowls.
Perhaps I shall disclose my secret name- Sleeping Beauty. See the vines growing around my castle?
In the how-to section, I’ll tell you how to contemplate making egg white oats
only to realise that they wouldn’t fit inside your small nut butter jar.
I will also attempt to teach you about the perfect parts of a yogurt bowl.
and what to do with a large bowl of plums.
Obviously, the answer is, ‘make a plum crisp.’
Want to know a secret? Homemade hummus is fab.
The sociology and child development looks into the mind of the bourgeningly romantic preteen (my sister)
Obviously, they all write their crush’s name with homemade cheese stick crackers.
The ultimate useful stress reliever in the self help section?
Baking with loud music on, of course. Only the most seriously calm health gurus do it.
Deductive reasoning tells me that if you like to cook, your siblings will too.
But if she develops that common interest, always remind her to share.
Common sense might tell you this, but in case you wondered, cinnamon does well when used in copious amounts.
Always read cookbooks whilst eating…..Upsidedown…
I’m pretty sure I couldn’t write you a book on how to make these. I got the instructions from a book and it was hard enough to follow them!
But whatever you find here, it’ll be a smattering of everything.
Just call me the Encyclopedia D’Quirky
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
Apparently, I also can’t resist popping in for WIAW, Jenn really knows what she’s on about.
It’s just life.
Does anyone else think that cereal is much nicer when it’s all mixed together, such that you never know which sort is going to end up on your spoon?
That’s also life.
Life is also giant smoothies and cereals mashed into one. It’s no secret I love breakfast.
When life hands you phyllo dough and you’ve got no idea what to do with it- make it up!
Basically: phyllo, butter, cinnamon, sugar, wind up, bake, bingo.
A simple dessert with lovely shock value. In a nice way, naturally.
and the shock isn’t that I ate these for breakfast, because I didn’t. The shock (to me) was that I ate one at all.
Bowls of yum after AquaZumba. Yeah. I’m doing Aquazumba with my Mom.
If you’ve never tried to do zumba underwater, just give it a go. It’s harder than it sounds!
Life’s better coated in Cinnamon
and stacked in a pancakemountain.
Sunday, life brought me pancakes. But you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to hear about those
I had little of my Black Current Lindt Dark Chocolate bar left, so into the mug it went. Life likes to put a twist on things once in awhile. Plain dark chocolate just wasn’t in these recipe cards.
Life loves to let your hair grow so you can get it into a real live braid!
and apparently make you make the duck face.
In life, you hate your family, and love them, all at the same time.
My Father put his MP3 player on this chair and proceeded to cover it with papers.
My brother, E, sat down on the chair, causing my mother to reply hastily, ‘That’s not a chair it’s a-….table…’ as he sat.
I laughed. You won’t find it funny, but the tone in which she said it made me appreciate the small moments we have with those we love.
Life gives you a family who eat up peanut butter so you can have multiple jars.
Life Chobani gives you yogurt so you can make mug cakes!
Like a recipe, life is what you make it. I’m realising this, as I grow up. At 21, I can’t pretend to have experienced everything, but I don’t believe we ever can.
Not getting all sentimental on you now, of course.
When your life seems too dull, watch Skins and pretend you’re in it. . Anyone else into it/has seen it and wants to discuss? The British version, naturally.
No, not ‘Call Me Maybe’ (which is my sister’s current choice of song, whilst my brother prefers ‘Firework’- hey, they’re 11!)
Happy WIAW, first off.
I won’t tell you that I’ve been cooking lately because you know that. We’ve got a kitchen so why wouldn’t we cook?
If you know me, you know that I hate having things that languish in the kitchen. We’ve had this open box of Bulgur with soy for ages, so I looked on the back and, as we had all the ingredients, I decided to make tabbouleh.
Adapted from Hodgson Mill Website/packaging
1-1/2 cups dry HODGSON MILL BULGUR WHEAT WITH SOY CEREAL
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 package baby tomatoes
1 bunch parsley (in my case, a very large bunch curly parsley)
1/2 block reduced fat feta
Cover Hodgson Mill Bulgur Wheat w/Soy Grits with hot water. Soak at least 2 hours. This can be done in the refrigerator. Drain excess water and squeeze reconstituted Bulgur. Chop all vegetables very fine. Mix vegetables with reconstituted Bulgur wheat.
½ cup vegetable or olive oil; ½ cup lemon juice; 1 tsp. salt. Pour over wheat/vegetable mixture and refrigerate. Let stand for 2 hours before serving.
Mom yells at me because I often pick out the veggies. But they are so goooooooooood!
I’ve also been trying to rekindle my relationship with coffee.
Loving milk toast. This is whole wheat toast (probably charred, knowing my proclivity for burnt food), cherries, grapes, raspberries from our vine, blueberries, peanuts, random cereals, and soy milk. So. Darn . Good.
I love salads. I’d missed not being able to have them since the lettuce was super pricey (just wait until I have to pay for it myself- GE READY HANNAH) but for now I’m loving on hummus, flat bread crackers, and good ol’ lettuce with a sprinkle of brewer’s yeast. Not the nutritional yeast I’d been hoping for, but it really isn’t as bad as I’d read.
Rooibus oat bran with cherries and yogurt sauce. So darn good. I’d missed oat bran as well.
I’d finally tried the cooking oatmeal in tea trick and let me tell you, it is well worth it. It adds a new dimension of possibility to oats.
The other day Mom called me downstairs,
‘Hannah, there is a rather large package for you on the front porch!’
I roused myself from my chair and went to see what it was. What I found was a rather flat, long box, which contained this when opened:
Oh, my spacesuit! Gosh I was beginning to think that it wouldn’t arrive in time for my impending trip to mars.
Kidding. I knew it was from none other than Chobani,and I’m CHO glad it came (Yes, I’ve been thinking of ‘cho’ jokes ever since it came)
As indicated above, I was tickled pink that it came, and immediately made the CHOice of which one to sample first.
Now, admittedly, I’m a plain yogurt person. In the odd time, I’ll do lemon, vanilla, or maple, but mostly I stay towards the creamy, tart stuff. But I wanted to give these a try, so I plucked the Mango one out and pulled back the foil covering.
All I can say is, there is nothing like 2% yogurt. I can’t wait to try the others!
Keeping with my streak of invention and unwillingness to let things languish in the house, I found a serving of quinoa in our house.
Here is where I get weird. Quinoa has been all over the blog world and I’ve never been able to take to it. It’s got a strange texture that I can’t get over, but I knew I needed to make something with it. I knew it wasn’t going into my belly in its natural form so what could I do but….make milk!
More on this tomorrow.
Still in love with Meridian Nut Butters. I’ve been nursing them, since I can’t get them here in the states, but I’m sorry to report that the Almond Butter has come to its end. Luckily I didn’t lick the jar clean before I had the change to add some Apple Chamomile tea oat bran.
And of course, you knew it wouldn’t all fit in that little jar. I don’t even think they MAKE jars that small here in the US!
I also tried a new to me smoothie- honeydew! I really dislike orange melon, but green melon is delish. I loved the cool smoothness of this. Maybe add cucumber next time to smoothify my old favourite bath and body works scent? Kidding.
Making some blueberry ice cream. I don’t think this one turned out quite right. I’m still a bit scared to try it, if I’m honest.
Dinner the other night: Portabello mushroom, grilled, broccolini, salad, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast/white bean cheezy sauce I made (recipe to follow).
and this morning’s concoction after work:
Do you ever get so hungry you can’t decide what you want and you just go around nibbling everything as if that will somehow tell you? <–This morning
every cereal we have except the ones I dislike (note to self: natural fruit hoops do not taste good with cottage cheese), cottage cheese, necterine, cinnamon, maca powder.
Happy 4th to you all!
I want to do a Q&A post, so if you’ve got questions either email me at email@example.com or put them in the comments below! I’ll do a vlog I think, so that’ll be fun
Being home has been mostly glorious in that I get to cook and bake and have clean surfaces. If I ever recover the pictures on that memory card *sniff* I shall show you the massive tip that was our kitchen all.the.time.
It’s that time again! Anyone know that reference? From Frosty the Snowman? I barely remember it, so perhaps that isn’t so much of a point as I thought it was. But you know what IS something we can all follow through with? WIAW!
One snack of recent- speaking of snacking- was from a local tea house where I went with D. D was abroad with me in London and I guess we both missed tea because he asked me to go with him and I immediately agreed.
I’d originally told myself, ‘no snacking for you- just tea!’ but as he said, ‘Would you like a scone?’ I couldn’t say no. I mean, he had TWO. Take that, Ed. Honestly.
and these scones? They were GOOD. You know a perfect scone that has the ability to be both cakey and crisp at the same time. Plus, it was lumpy. None of that shaped stuff. This was a SCONE.
We also got tea. D got some very pungent tea that was supposed to taste like wine, although neither of us thought it did. I got kombucha plum tea, which was lovely, although I couldn’t taste any of the aforementioned elements.
Overall, a lovely outing. I’m a huge fan of this tea house, so I’m always keen on stopping by. They’ve got a sniffing bar as well, which naturally took up at least an hour.
On friday we all went to my college so I could have a meeting with my Fulbright mentor. This was the first time we’d met and I love her! She’s got faith in me, which is great.
We stopped at TJs on the way home and I stocked up on some goodies.
That soy milk is not good. Not. Good. I figured out why: it is sweetened. I should just stick to silk.
Can we just talk about how I immediately opened the jar of cookie butter as soon as the guy at the till had scanned it? Yes, I’ve been waiting that long.
I finished my baked beans.
Let me just tell you that soaking beans is hard, if you’ve never done it. Even after I’d soaked them for what seemed like a week (but was probably only 2 days), AND baked them, they were still a bit hard. So I stuck them in a crockpot for awhile.
These are really really tasty. Recipe coming.
I was going through some papers in my room and came across a Vegetarian Times page I’d clipped from a magazine (why it wasn’t still in the magazine, I’ve no idea) for Tempeh Bacon and knew immediately I needed to make it. I knew it wouldn’t end up like bacon but that wasn’t my aim.
My aim was really to use the tempeh that had been languishing in the fridge. I think Mom was afraid to cook it or didn’t know how or couldn’t be bothered.
Breakfast this morning was a delicious bowl of wheat puffs, a random mish mosh of cereals, and a smoothie. Does anyone else like cereal in their smoothies? Or smoothie in their cereal. I was trying to disguise the soy milk that I’m not really digging.
I’ve decided to try for my drivers liscense, so I spent a bit of time revising for that today.
*note: I’m 21….if that says anything…..
I love the baked beans. I’ve never had such delicious ones and I can hardly believe I made them myself.
A bit later, before dinner, I decided that the beans needed something to go with them.
I was surfing pinterest and came across Katie’s cornbread. I’ve come across it numerous times before, of course, but somehow it just set in my mind to make it.
I turn metallic when I cook. Don’t you?
It turned out nicely, although I think the cornmeal I used was a bit off….
Beans again. Of course. Can’t get enough.
I mean, there could be worse things to eat twice a day, right?
Thanks Jenn, for giving me something to look forward to midweek!
Today I wanted to talk about foods I miss from the US/home. I’ve got about three weeks left here in London (two, if you count my week in Morocco) but I’ll be back for sure.
Living in a really messy kitchen that only I and one other flat mate (out of 7) can be bothered to clean and being allocated one shelf in a mini fridge shared between four people is tough.
I thought I’d do a WIAW post about what I cannot wait to be eating again when i am reunited with a kitchen where I can have control over the cleanliness and actually have pots and pans and a blender and a food processor and a working oven and so many amenities!
I usually add more substantiative text to my WIAW posts, but here goes nothing.
1. Giant bowls of oats!
side note: A few of you have asked me if I had put mustard on my oats. While I love mustard, I wouldn’t ever put it on my oats. What you see there is pumpkin puree + yogurt. HAHA. I laughed out loud that you’d think I’d put it on there….so funny.
2. Waffles/Pancakes/French toast
3. Smoothies/Protein Shakes/Interesting non dairy milks
4. Tofu/yogurt messes/cereal
5. Kabocha and Sweet Potatoes
6. Epic Salads
9. Giant Fruit
10. Different dishes/freedom to choose dishes!
I’ve been using the same ones here over and over (and breaking them…) so it will be nice to use all the bowls, plates, cups, and such that I miss.
A preview to tomorrow:
Cheese. Why I GO to the Farmer’s Market. It is hardly a secret.
Guess what this is?
and some reviews/recipes/DIYs!!
Love, Hannah x
Let’s hear it for our starchy friends!! Yeah C6H12O6! (Someone with a science degree tell me if this is wrong, please. I’ll only be embarrassed that I can’t remember high school chem)
AND we should also hear it for Jenn, who is still putting this on.
Aha. Much better. Let’s get going. Obviously this isn’t what I ate in a day. It would be completely unbalanced to only eat quick bread, pastries, and pancakes in one day. So I didn’t do that. But I would like to pay homage to a few wheaty (and not so wheaty) friends who resided for a bit in my belly.
My friend S and I went to Chinatown to visit the chinese markets there. We popped into a bakery which immediately reminded me of Taiwan. The smells!! Of course, I had a bit of trouble deciding what to get, but since this was only £1, and quite traditional, I settled on the steamed cake:
It was the right choice as well, because it was just the right balance of light and sweet, for someone who hasn’t got a sweet tooth. Don’t be deceived, I didn’t eat the whole thing in one go. I’m working on it. (Mom, I know you’re reading this!)
Believe it or not, I’m actually getting a bit sick of this bowl? I’ve got a couple different ones at home that I rather cannot wait to get back to. What’s in the bowl, however, is timeless.
Lime pancakes, take one.
This recipe was perfectly moist. I know you all hate that word. But it was, okay?
Chickpea Flour Breakfast Bread
adapted from Dinners & Dreams
makes about 1.5 loaves (1 regular, 1 mini)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup chickpea flour
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 banana, mashed
2 cups mixed dried fruit (so essentially trail mix)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8X4 loaf pan and a mini one if you think you’ll run over, like I did. Or you can just use a square pan and make a cake!
Mix the butter, eggs, honey and vanilla until well combined.
Combine the chickpea flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a separate bowl. Add them to the moist mixture. Mix again until fully combined.
Fold in the banana, and trail mix
Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and slightly browned, 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool beforeunmolding.<– very important!
This was the bread that I kept one loaf and donated the other to St. Paul’s Occupy London- I hope they enjoyed!
I had a visit from an old friend:
Making my own nut butters is great, but it does not OIAJ make; I keep reusing my jars so I never buy new ones. Therefore the nut butter isn’t quite as stuck to the sides as it might be if it had been packed in there by an extrusion machine. Sorry to ruin your mental imagination of a nut butter packing plant.
Lime pancakes take two:
Let’s go pancake monday!
This time topped with coconut flour paste. and sided with lime yogurt, of course. I just squeeze the…well, I’ll just give you the recipe.
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
sweetener of choice
2 tbsp soy milk
juice of two limes
Mix. Put in pan. Eat.
Coconut flour paste: water/soy milk + 1 tbsp coconut flour
And they’re nice from all angles. They are a great way to start my monday and a TOTAL love after denying myself pancakes for such a long time. Next time my family has delicious pancakes, I can too.
Tonight, I went out with a couple friends to Karaoke in the JCR (Junior Common Room, for you non Brits). In respect for my New Year’s resolution (WHICH I”VE KEPT!!) to say “yes” to everything, I met them all downstairs at reception at half 7. I’ll get into this in another post, but I chose not to drink. I was unsure whether I’d have a great time, but ended up having a pretty alright evening. One of my friends and I sang “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys. I’m sure you all know it, but in case: