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
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
I’ve been home for about a week now and have been settling back into life in boring old Upstate New York.
If you know me, you know that I’ve got major phone phobia. Earlier in the week, the phone rang. Unaffected, I sat in my chair, typing away (probably on pinterest….)
‘You going to get that?’ I shouted, as Mom hurried down the stairs, grabbing the phone on its last ring.
Mom talked and walked for a bit (as Moms do) and announced that we had both been invited to a book club meeting of someone she knows through E’s boy scout troop.
‘Mrs. W thinks very highly of you Hannah, I would be flatted,’ Mom told me
‘Oh, I am!’ I replied, truly tickled to have been invited along, as an affirmation of my movement into adult life.
‘And she’s made a pie.’ Mom continued, ‘which you must plan on eating if you’re going to go’
It has been year since I’ve eaten a piece of pie. Sure, I’ve had pie, if by ‘had pie’ you mean a spoon/fork/finger full, one berry, bit of crust, or crumb from the topping. An entire piece? Not so much.
To be honest, my first thought was, ‘what kind?’ then, ‘I wonder if you could handle this…’ closely followed by, ‘god, no you can’t have pie!’
Reading my mind, Mom told me it was to be Strawberry Rhubarb. Before my family members developed our respective food difficulties (allergies, eating disorders, intolerances, etc) Mom and Dad used to spend all day in the garden, harvesting our now fallow beds. Often, they would pick our strawberry plants bare and cut down the thick stalks of rhubarb and Mom would make a strawberry rhubarb crisp or pie.
I’d always be able to smell it cooking in the oven. Juices bubbling, sweet strawberries melding with tart rhubarb underneath a perfectly browned crust. As a small child, I’m pretty sure I had piece after piece, not caring about sugar, fat, or calories.
Memories of childhood combined with my affinity for adults and books won out and come thursday, we were in the car on our way.
I’m not sure whether it was the fact that neither Mom nor I had read the book (not having been given time) or the deadly pie sitting under saran wrap on the table that impeded my ability to pay compete attention to the discussion of the book, but my mind was wont to wonder.
Just as I thought she was going to forget all about the gooey creation, she pulled out a book, read us a rather touching excerpt from the book, Making Piece, and transitioned into the kitchen with a pie slicer.
As she cut the pie, Mrs. W asked whether everyone would be having a piece. I stifled the small urge to decline, and gravitated towards the piece which had been placed in front of my mother. Sitting around the table, Mrs. W explained that this recipe had been her mother’s and we began to eat.
The first mouthful and I am suddenly 10 again, before my life was complicated, before I was constantly aware of my body. The two fruits were combined just as I remembered, the crust, I left for last as always. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their pieces, which is how eating should be. A lovely social activity.
As I take another forkful, I realise that I’m not exactly sure how to eat pie anymore. Why can’t I dip it in nut butter? Put yogurt all over it? Where is my mini fork and my festive plate? No, it’s just me, a fork, and a plate full of pie. This experience is meant to be truly mindful, and I’m suddenly aware. I don’t shovel it in, but my bites are normal, as my tongue rejoices in flavours I haven’t tasted full on in years.
‘Does anyone want another piece?’ Mrs. W asks, although none of us have finished.
My inner child, peaking out from behind Ed’s grip yells, ‘Oh me! Yes, the entire pie please!’ But my 21 year old self remains silent. I know that one piece is enough. And I am proud for having let myself eat that piece.
Who knows, maybe this is the start of my renewed relationship with pie.
After all, our rhubarb plant is getting kind of big….
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
All sorts of misfortunes are happening around these parts! I burnt my finger whilst making that bread the other day.
Fun Fact: All my burns take the same shape because they are the shape of the bars in the oven!
I used to worry about being sad because I had to leave all my dinnerware in London when I flew home. At this point it doesn’t matter because oddly enough, I have broken it all!! This bowl was the last to go. When did I get so clumsy?
See this bread? Our oven is such a nonworking piece of rubbish that I had to slice the bread and put it on the grill in order for it to cook!
Lucky this chocolate was only £1 because it is probably the worst dark chocolate I’ve ever had! Just doesn’t even melt in your mouth at all. Sainsbury’s £0.35 chocolate tastes 10x better!
Basically that progression shows the end of term onslaught of clubbing posters no one bothers to read. As if every single person in our flat needs to read a separate one….
Fail number many = our kitchen and how no one (except me) bothers to clean it. The cleaner and I have a special bond because I feel so bad for him every time he comes in to see it in its naturally messy state. And this picture? That is it when it is CLEAN.
Fail next= protein powder almost win. My flat mate left for the US on monday and left a whole bunch of his things in the kitchen for us to free range on. One of the things he left was a hot kettle, which I helped myself to since we’ve already got two in the kitchen.
The other was this GIANT thing of protein powder (see picture of hand above for size comparison). I was PUMPED to try all the awesome protein powder recipes I’ve been reading about online and pinning, etc. BUT this protein powder had SPLENDA in it? Seriously guys? Who puts nonnutritive sweeteners in something that is supposed to be good for you? I was majorly bummed. There went all my hopes of making protein pancakes and protein bread and protein bars and protein frosting and protein shakes. Sad times.
I read an article today about nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners in hopes of finally coming to an understanding of what the heck sugar and splenda and the like are for. I can’t bring myself to ingest those artificial things, yet find Stevia to be okay. I don’t do granulated sugar much, but fruit sugar is okay. I want to know more about it. I guess I can’t eschew something entirely. No one should, it is unbalanced.
On that note. But not really on that note at all. Today I went to the Wellcome Collection to see the exhibit on Brains with my friend S, who I will be living with next year. It was a really fascenating exhibit with brains of people on display, instruments, casts of brains, blood vessels, spinal chords, medical cool sciency stuff. No pictures allowed though, so I had to do without.
Lunch was delicious curry hummus atop some crispbreads with roasted onions and cinnamon and herbs. I’m a huge fan of this lunch but am now out of the hummus
On life: I decided to rescind my application to be unit director at the camp this summer because of the conflict with the two Fulbright essays that would have been due smack dab in the middle of the camp season. It was disappointing, but cliche as it may sound, when one door closes (even if you shut it yourself) another opens. I emailed my brother’s teacher to ask whether there were any opportunities to volunteer or observe in the summer school classroom and she emailed me back saying the school board wondered if I would be a personal literacy tutor to three families who could not afford or could not get to summer school!
I immediately said yes! I’m so excited because I’m really interested in literacy ,especially ways in which different forms/philosophies of education approach reading and learning to read. This will give me an opportunity to work with the school district and see a bit of behind the scenes. I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to ask because you think you will fail. There is no such thing as an outrageous question. Sometimes you can get something you never imagined if you only ask.
Love, Hannah x
Good Sunny Morning!
I honestly could not think of a title for this post. I have been sitting here for the past five minutes staring off into space, thinking of everything that is too corny or cheesy (why are those both having to do with food?) and altogether confusing.
So there you have it. Something literal. Because yesterday I was museuming again.
My wonderful body woke me up early again so that I could have time to putz around before I left. (<– not really, but I DID have time)
I decided it might be a good idea to make some jam since I had some rather squidgy plums taking up space on my shelf in the fridge.
I love plums for a few reasons.
1. They seem to always be the cheapest fruit here, so I’ve kind of been buying them exclusively. (and probably will lay off them once I get home for awhile haha)
2. They are the perfect mixture of tart and sweet.
Two minutes zapped in the microwave and BAM –> JAM!
It pairs well with yogurt cheese, and cinnamon on toast.
Toast in tummy, I set off to the bus stop wearing my vintage dress that I figured might be appropriate for where I was headed: The Imperial War Museum.
I got to the bus stop and, what do you know? There was another woman there wearing a vintage dress! I kind of looked around and made like, ‘no, we are not going to a convention’ and boarded the bus.
I took the bus through London, south of the River to Elephant and Castle. After winding my way through the meandering tunnels that burrow underneath the traffic circle there, I found myself leaving behind the dangerously complex traffic and walking towards the park in which the museum was located.
After walking around a bit and enjoying the sunshine, I found my friend and the two friends he had invited, and we went inside.
While my D and his friends perused the hall, I made for the loos (tmi?) since my bus ride had been long!
Taking pictures of yourself in the full length mirror is totally okay….right?
Obviously. Because I kept doing it.
We made our way upstairs and thank goodness for this sign:
Because I would have been more than happy to climb all over this old double decker!
Probably wouldn’t be safe….in my opinion, the best museums are the ones you can touch!
D did get a picture of me going into the body of a plane though. Sort of….I’m in motion!
This one was better.
After viewing all the tanks and aeroplanes and such, we made our way through the Holocaust Exhibit (I’m a bit of a WWII buff in this category) and down to the general War areas where there was a Trench Experience (which smelled like pee…) and a Blitz Experience (which made me want to build a bomb shelter in my back yard…)
Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong century? Which century would you choose?
I’m in love with all the wartime propaganda posters- the art really pops! The best ones were those for the victory gardens though!
The messages and graphics are cute and catchy.
and as a self identified cheapskate and food saver, I identify with these posters. Maybe I wasborn in the wrong time period….
There was one, however, that I couldn’t get behind.
For me, bread is something that has always meant fear. I don’t know what it is, but the staff of life strikes me dumb. I’m slowly working to overcome this, but I simply could not get behind a poster telling me to eat less of it
I had a look at this picture after I’d uploaded it and freaked out before I realised that those are D’s fingers, not mine.
Do any of you guys know this song? My Dad always sang it when I was a child to encourage good manners.
I even bought three post cards to put on my wall. I forgot to take pictures of them but they say:
-Eat your greens
-YOU deserve victory
-Start Fresh today
All are about victory gardens, except the YOU one, which has Winston Churchill on it. Fun Fact: Did you know that Winston Churchill and I share the middle name, Spencer?
Did you know that (I think) this building has been the Imperial War Museum since 1919?
We had a truly lovely day, and the humidity even stayed away so that I could enjoy a lovely breeze on my walk back to the bus.
I even managed to beat the heat until I got back to my heat box of a room with the window that only opens 2 inches
I baked some bread in our rubbish oven and had to flip the entire thing over to cook the insides as well because it doesn’t ever cook things all the way through. Gosh what I’d give to be home able to actually cook things. It is a bit gooey in the middle, but it came out alright.
I’m currently sitting in my room listening to Nickel Creek and reading about Nutritive and Non Nutritive Sweeteners. I’m setting off to the Wellcome Collection museum after lunch to look at some brains!
Hope today doesn’t get too hot!
Love, Hannah X
ps: Does anyone want to do a guest post for me while I’m in Morocco from June 7-14?
If you know me, you know that I hate hot weather. (Says the girl who is setting off to Morocco in a few weeks and is applying to work in Taiwan)
Yes, it’s true. I’ve said it. I hate summer.
Maybe a bit harsh, and perhaps I don’t hate all of it, but I really do dislike hot weather. Unless I’m swimming in a lake. Then I’m fine.
Just a couple of weeks ago we had this:
Everything was beautiful and shadows were cast of two friends in a park
There was even foreboding, ominous sky.
Regents Park gave us sunshine that shone through leafless trees
In break from my poetic banter, I don’t know why that picture is so big. I’m no good with formatting….)
and some springtime babies! This is a blurry picture because I snapped it as the baby duckling was flapping its wings because it was just so darn cute! I hope you can sort of see…
Skies were blue and buildings were tall.
Okay, this one has always been tall.
Days were brisk, but perfect for fruit at Borough Market. Yes, I finally got around to taking some pictures!
and veg, of course.
and a…thanksgiving spread?
But of course, we all know that I go to Borough Market for the samples.
My favourite condiment**? Mustard! They had wasabi and truffle and fig and just so many!!
**savoury. Nut butter is in its own category, obviously.
I’ve heard this is great. Haven’t gotten it yet though.
They’ve got so many great samples at Borough. Favourites include: Jams, rosemary flavoured olive oil, white balsamic reduction, CHEESE and the most wonderous mushroom pate. Seriously, I don’t know how they do it.
I will be missing the market lifestyle when I’m back in the states. Anyone know cities that have good
sample opportunities markets?
Tomorrow I’m off to the Imperial War museum with a friend. I can’t wait!! Hopefully it isn’t quite so hot though, I’m going to ride the bus. No tubing for me in this weather, I’d imagine they are stifling.
fewf! I just spent the last 10 minutes dancing wildly around my room and am now wildly out of breath.
Well Great Hannah, you are now ready for dancing with the stars.
Not by half, but hear me out. When you are stressed, there is nothing like expending super amounts of energy to loud music to help you calm down and centre yourself. Today’s picks were:
Magic Carpet Ride for a nice warm up followed by the all out energy burst of Outkast.
Sure, we all get stressed from time to time and this is one of my favourite ways to cope. Not all my coping skills are and have been healthy, bus this one is one of the best. Others include:
-Going for a walk/run
Why am I stressed this time? Since the beginning of the year, or really, since second term last year, I’ve been in the process of applying for an ETA (English Teaching Assistantship) Fulbright Felloship.
The Fulbright is a US Government funded felloowship that gives post grads the chance to either teach or do research in another country for a year as emissaries of the US. I’m applying to Taiwan, the country where my sister and brother were born and where my great grandparents lived and taught English themselves.
Taiwan, in case you’re one of those oddly confused people (which I sincerely hope you are not) is not Thailand. It is also not China. It is its own country off the coast of China.
I am lucky because my college has one of the highest acceptance rates in the country for Fulbright Fellowships. Lucky as I am, however, this also means that the process of applying is very daunting. You must first register your interest, then submit a questionnaire to the FPA (Fulbright Programs Ambassador, DA, as I like to call him). If you are approved to continue, you will be admitted into the program and given a whole new set of links protected by password. You will then register with a 23 page document, which will lead you on to another 23 page document (where I am now) which has two 10 page documents (where I also am) which work within and feed into it.
If this sounds confusing or daunting, just don’t forget that this all comes with mountains of pages to read and strict deadlines to which to adhere. Next up will be drafting and writing two essays and meeting to secure affiliates and cultural enrichment programs. Did I mention I was also applying for a Language Enhancement Grant (LEG HA) to improve my Chinese?
I may or may not look a little like this right now:
Literal pressure. Not to mention that I’ve applied for a job as the Unit Director at a summer camp back home. There are two problems with this:
1. The job begins 17 June. I fly home 17 June. They’ve said I could be there in the morning 18 June. Which gives me about 10 hours with my family (minus sleep) before I jet off again for another month.
2. I’ve got to have two Fulbright essay drafts in by 15 July, which is, as luck would have it, smack dab in the middle of the camp season.
So I have no idea whether I’ll take the job or not. Great money, awesome summer outside with kids? Of course. But also time is of the essence here and there is no computer access there. So either I work myself with nose to the grindstone for the next two weeks before I go to Morocco, or I say, no thanks, to the job.
Why is life so hard?
With that off my chest, we can move along to something a bit more aesthetic.
Unidentified Flying Egg Discs!
Only….I just told you what they were, so no surprises there.
I probably slathered these with yogurt, cinnamon and nut butter, if I know myself well enough to discern that….
You know what I love about the Holland and Barrett Penny sale?
Having to buy multi vitamins and realising that sunflower seeds in a 500g bag are only 1p. Winning.
Once more, with feeling
You know what’s even better?
When the fixer people FINALLY come to fix your hob/oven after it has been broken for a week and you can roast your sunflower seeds.
and add melted chocolate to it.
Okay, that is seriously enough nut butter pictures.
I’ll disappoint you now and tell you that those have been gone for a week and replaced by plain peanut butter.
I told myself that I’d be okay buying the sunflower seeds because they would last me until I went home.
I told myself, ‘Okay, so you’ll probably only need one 200g bag of peanuts to last you until you go home’
Guess I actually eat more nut butters than I thought I did? Good for me, TAKE THAT ED!
We are the best of friends, obviously.
Bloggers have gotten flack for having posted pictures of themselves with nut butter before, but I’ll just say that nut butter has saved my life and helped my recovery, so I can and will post pictures like this because they DO express the relationship we have. My mom always says, ‘thank god for nut butter!’ and you know, she is right!
What we have is real okay? (in a lighthearted voice, mind you)
Here is a nice ending note, in case you DO believe that posting pictures of oneself with jars of drippy nut fat is not a-okay.
I’m really glad to have time for blogging. It makes me smile. YOU make me smile.
Why does everyone hate it so? I’ve never felt that drag of a feeling everyone describes as, ‘the mondays,’ but I can feel a bit of a general drag today.
Because my exams are now over, as of friday (yay!), I’m left with basically two free weeks until I’ve got Field Day
on 2nd June and then a couple more days until I go to Morocco!
So until June, I’m completely unoccupied.
Being a person given to Anxiety, I’ve made myself a giant list of things to do if I feel lonely, anxious or bored. One of those was to go to the Wellcome Collection today, after I returned my books to the library. But apparently someone is testing me, because nothing on my list if open on mondays!
Resigned to sit on my bed all day (kidding) I’ve been cleaning out and organising my internet bookmarks. Seriously? Do I really need five links to the same cauliflower pizza crust? Why on earth do I have that article from 5 years ago in my bookmarks folder named, ‘awesome youtube,’ and what on earth does the folder ‘banana’ contain (hint: it isn’t banana recipes).
I’ll share with you some of the fun links I found though, because it is as much fun for me to rediscover them as it was to find them the first time.
1. 43 Things - This website lets you set goals, see others who have the same goals as you, and cheer and be cheered. You can check off when you’ve accomplished something and write a little blurb about it.
2. Wedding Gawker- I’m assuming you’ve all seen Food Gawker (another favourite of mine) but if you haven’t found yourself its Wedding component, set aside some hours. For a girl who hasn’t even ever dated someone, I love to dream on this site.
3. Regretsy- You guys know Etsy, right? Well this site is like etsy, but the products have gone a bit….off. Where else can you find cinnabon earrings, foaming cake batter body wash, and top 5 bag overalls.
4. Sporcle- Sporcle gives you timed quizzes based on a given topic of your choice. My first year room mate was constantly on this site, and I’ve since developed a similar fondness, although cannot say to have spent nearly as much time quizzing as she had The quizzes are actually good for learning as well, such as countries in Africa or name the presidents.
5. The Oatmeal- I surprise myself sometimes with what I find and enjoy online. I wouldn’t peg myself as a webcomic reader, but this blog has some really hilarious things such as the one I’ve linked to where the author describes just what we mean when we say, ‘literally’ It’ll make you think thrice before you say it again, or at least laugh as you use it incorrectly!
So besides refinding joy in the internets, what have I been doing with myself? My friend S and I went to see Foster the People a couple weekends ago. It was a pretty good show- they even played the same song twice (we had a talk about whether this was by accident or not)
I would have to say though, that my favourite part was the lighting. It was so dark and we were way up in the balcony (which is what you get with £15 tickets) but we could hear (everything but each other) and see the light show.
There was one point when bubbles came down from the ceiling, but we couldn’t get under them because we were on the balcony.
I’ve done the dark room-wet bubble/foam thing, if you remember, and it wasn’t fun.
My friend D and I have walked around London some, Borough Market (DELICIOUS MUSHROOM PATE!) and Tate Modern (strange). We came across this and he had to take a picture with his fancy film camera in B&W.
Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention.
D and I also found an interesting nonconformist colouring book at a local bookshop. I will be getting this for my kids.
D got one of those super fancy swirly coffee drinks.
I’ve been to Borough Market many times, and yet I never feel quite right about taking pictures while I’m there. I might go again later this week and see whether I can overcome this because if you want to see food beautifully presented, Borough is your place! So I took an awkwardly close picture of myself instead on my walk home?
Oh, and those are ear phones, not supersonic bionic silver ears or giant earrings. And you thought I was starting a new trend.
I promise that once I get home and have access to some assemblance of schedule and more picture taking, I won’t do mostly photo/mind dump posts. I realise they can be difficult to follow.
But while we are on the topic of being random, I’ve got these ‘table talk’ cards from home that somehow made their way into my suitcase (I blame…..Mom encouraging me to be social?) The first question on it is, ‘If you could get a VIP pass into any special event, what would you attend? What would be the best way to celebrate it?’ My answer? Well, 3rd June is the Jubilee here, and I would love VIP tickets to get to spend the day with the Queen and get to know her and have fun together. I’d celebrate by eating eaton mess with her in a beautiful garden somewhere.
I’m off to work on my Fulbright and listen to Queen
Love, Hannah x
So, I know it is exam time and you probably all think I’ve gone under in light of that, but I could not stay away. I’ve got too much to say! Not regularly, since most days these days consist of….revising ALL DAY intermixed with some time on facebook and eating and pinterest and skyping my mom and trying to figure out internships and my Fulbright.
I’ve been out a few times with friends. Don’t hate me, but I actually really like clubbing?
Hear me out. As someone recovering, drinking still means calories for me, but on the one hand, I’ve learned that a night out here and there does not automatically make me unhealthy, and on the other, I can go out and still have fun without drinking. Both of these facts are reassuring, although it only decreases my irrational fears somewhat. I’m working on this. I’m sure this is relatable.
I’ve been a bit lonely since everyone has been revising. Not to mention that everyone who wasn’t was off traveling. How they’ve got the time to do so, is beyond me. Some other international students are on programmes, but I’m here for the full year, directly enrolled in uni, so I’ve got to stay until I’ve gotten the exams sorted.
So what have I been doing with myself? Besides revising, that is. My friend D and I went to see the London Marathon last sunday, which I’ve been waiting for literally all year. I don’t know what I was expecting but it was a lot of this :
It was actually really emotional. Having only run two 5ks, I cannot imagine how it would feel to conquer the beast that is 26.6 miles, but watching this made me tear up. Notwithstanding the physical triumph, but some people were running for others. Could I ever set this as the ultimate goal? To show my body that I care for it and trust it to care for me as I challenge it?
I said to D, as we were watching, that I’d enther be crying the entire time (that’s a long time, folks) or stopping to help everyone who stopped or looked ill. Yeah. I’d better get a grip first haha.
The sky over by Blackfrier’s Bridge was beautiful and baby blue at around half 12 when we were there.
So we walked around a bit and D taught me how to use a film camera while we had tea by St. Paul’s.
You have no idea how many pictures I have of St. Paul’s.
This one especially. How can you not love the rooftops?
We soon relocated to Sainsbury’s where D bought a baguette which I stuck in my bag.
Not knowing what to do, we decided to check out the Tate Modern, which I haven’t been to yet. Don’t hate on my lack of tourist capabilities. I’ve got a lot on my mind.
We crossed the Millinnium Bridge, like the one from Harry Potter.
Except the real one crossed to the Tate, where we were going.
The Tate Modern is WEIRD. I shall confess to being more of a classic art girl, so this was a bit odd, but it’s so close so I had to go.
Luckily, there was something on the wall near most of the art that gave you the ‘bigger picture’ in case modern art wasn’t your thing. Or you weren’t feeling especially sharp that day in terms of abstract applicatoin.
Some of them were just like….hm…..
When we finally left the Tate, it was pouring. I went over to D’s flat for a bit where I had some ginger tea while D ate baguette and cheese. Then we watched My Drunk Kitchen (if you haven’t seen this DO IT) and some Feminist videos and chatted about intellectual things.
In terms of food, I’ve been trying to save money/eat everything in my room so I don’t end up with things to take home with me. It is actually kind of fun because it forces new combinations into things.
This was my first attempt at overnight oats. 1/4 cup barley flakes, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1 tsp maca, 6 strawberries, 1 tbsp coconut flour, 1/4 cup soy milk. Left overnight. Hm. It was….I don’t know how I felt about it. Perhaps it was the barley flakes, but they just felt a bit soggy. And the yogurt was almost off (which is why I used it) so I think I’ll try it again. In general, I’m certain that I prefer oats to barley flakes, so I’m not sure I”ll try them again.
I’ve been making lots of spreads (and eating them, obviously) lately. I finally put tahini in hummus (I used to be scared to do so because of extra calories- PSSSH) and it tastes so good! I’ve also been experimenting with different beans and different mix-ins. This certain one had peanut butter in.
I didn’t take this picture at night, but rather in bad lighting on a brown scarf. Yes, I know you’re all jealous of my photography skills. But fear not, I’m taking photography in the fall!
I broke my blue plate, so there will be no more blue plate special (aka: every single meal on that blue plate) but now we’re working with boring white plate. Sorry. 2 months guys, two months. Then I get my gnome plate back!
The market is my love. Last week I bought 2 large square punnets of Strawberries for £1.50. They’ve been eaten. Oh yes.
I love strawberries. They are also the most beautiful fruit to photograph.
Since I have basically no food left in my fridge, I had to improvise. I looked around my room and saw that I had some things. 3 eggs, coconut flour, leftover peanut butter hummus. Hm…thought I, what can I make with these? I hopped online and found this recipe
I love Leanne’s recipes and her photography is phenominal. Where do you live Leanne, that you get such great light???? Obviously not London with its relentless rain….
Chocolate Coconut Protein Bread
Adapted from THIS
makes 1 small loaf, serves 4!
1/4 cup chocolate protein powder ( I used GoTein, since that’s what I’ve got on hand)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup hummus (I used PB hummus, but you could also use some other puree like carrot, prune, pumpkin, or applesauce)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup wheat bran
1. Combine protein powder, coconut flour, baking soda. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix eggs, puree, and vanilla until incorporated.
3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just mixed.
put in greased bread pan
4. Bake on the middle rack for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (about 1 hour) before serving. <– that didn’t happen, I ate it.
Seriously so much protein in this bread- 10g per slice!
Sliced into 1/4′ths they are pretty thick slices, so I sliced one slice in half and ate it open faced. Enough slice?
I had another slice for breakfast this morning, sans topping at all, since I was in a rush to get to the library to revise. Speaking of which, did you guys hear about the guy who threatened to blow himself up on Tottenham Court Road today? That’s near where I was, I tried to go buy nut butter there, but the police had cordoned it off.
If you know me, I’m as stingy as they come. Not only because I like to save, but because I’m literally petrified of spending. I have a credit card, but I never use it. I never take money out of the bankomat, and I always use cash.
Take today, for instance. I am utterly out of nut butter. I’ve been making it for myself since peanuts are only £0.56 at Sainsbury’s and my flat mate has a mini food processor. But lately I’ve been going through it quicker (yay me!) so it’s gone and gone. I decided to challenge myself and get something that came in a jar. Product of choice?
I’ve seen this on some blogs and know they don’t sell it in the US so I had to give it a try.
But it wasn’t as easy as all that. I’d prepped myself and even asked my mom if I coud justify buying it rather than making it for cheap. I’d been at the library for a couple hours and then at a revising session. I headed to one store, as I mentioned above, but was turned away because of the hostige situation. ‘Could this be a sign that I shouldn’t spend money?’ I thought as I walked to the other more local natural foods shop. In I walked, surveying the nut butters. They all looked delicious and I imediately saw the one that was the most “interesting” and yet the one that cost £5.39. Yes my friends, that would be how much I’d spend on about 6 packages of peanuts at Sainsbury’s which would last me until I go home, and then some.
I walked out of the store.
I walked around the block. I thought I lost my oyster card. It was in my bag.
I walked back into the store and bought the damn thing.
And friends, it tasted good.
I had to add a bit of salt, because I couldn’t taste it that much, but that could be because I was just hungry. Or perhaps I didn’t know what it SHOULD taste like. Definitately realy mild, and not very nutty, but distinct. The texture was the same, quite drippy with a lovely flecked almost rosy colour. High in protein too, which you’d never know. Oh the things you can make into nut butter these days.
The next challenge will be to actually fill my fridge this weekend, for I cannot live on plums and nut butter alone. Well I could….but….