June 24, 2016

Caramel Bananachino


Because I am sitting here in Seattle on vacation and sucking a dum dum lollipop and about to go out..
 Brevity is my friend guys - I'm sorry.

So I signed up for Popsicle week a long time before I realized that it would be whilst I was on vacation, when I would be without my laptop. And here Popsicle week has come, and although I had every intention of writing this post BEFORE I got on the plane... Well life happens. Life being me, going out for bubble tea with my friend to talk about Comicon costumes. I'm sorry guys. I'd say you can shoot me but really you'd just be shooting your computer/phone/other electronic device screens and that would just mean you had to find a load of money to repair/replace above mentioned screen. So I won't say that. 

So let's get on to Popsicles. And bad - unprecise  recipes. 

Caramel Bananachino Popsicles 

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 mug coffee (black, brewed how you like) 
  • Caramel pudding (I used ready made (vegan) from Alpro, you could also probably use any vanilla/butterscotch pudding and adjust the name accordingly) 
  • Milk to thin, if needed. 


  • Place coffee and bananas in a blender (to tall jug with a stock blender) and blend until totally combined and no lumps of banana remain
  • Use milk to thin the pudding to a pouring consistency.
  • Choose either mixture as the first layer and pour part way up the Popsicle mould (alternatively you could use a freezer safe cup and a Popsicle stick) - freeze for several hours 
  • Use the other mixture to create a new layer and freeze again (if the two mixtures start to combine the Popsicles should be frozen for longer between layers are added) 
  • More, thinner layers will take longer to make than Popsicles with fewer, thicker layers. If you want your Popsicles sooner - the two mixtures can be mixed together to form a single mixture and unlayered Popsicles can be created. 
  • ZOKU MACHINE TIPS - layers will take minutes rather than hours to freeze- the layers do have to be of an easily pourable consistency, and make sure not to use sugar free pudding as this will freeze solid and be unremovable. 

June 17, 2016

Book Club Friday: Intimidating TBR Tag

One of my favorite things to do when I have time (and lets be honest, very occasionally when I don't.) (I mean Ive never missed a lecture but Ive been 5 minutes late a couple of times) is to watch booktubers on Youtube. My favorite being Sasha Alsberg from A Book Utopia. I only started watching them about a year ago, but its quickly become one of my favorite things to do. Especially as this last year I've been reading a lot in French- which I still find harder and more tiring then reading in English, it's actually quite enjoyable to get excited about books in a way that's not... actually reading. I've also heard about a lot of books I REALLY WANNA READ this way. 

But one of my favorite type of videos is the tag videos. Partly because here is often where you get to see some older books being featured, as opposed to the new books that normally take precedence. Also, its often quite interesting to see how different booktubers answer the same question. 

So I thought I'd join in, cause.... well..... why should I miss out on the fun just because I'm not a booktuber? And because this is more of a food blog? But those things don't matter - right? 

Right. 

So I thought that I'd start with the tag that seen circulating most recently - the intimidating TBR (To Be Read) tag. I thought it fitting as, although I am now 6 weeks (wow) into my summer vacation - I still have a lot of summer left - and with that comes a lot of TBR. 

I've not been tagged by anybody to do this tag specifically (well duh, I'm not a booktuber) but I have seen a couple of people who have tagged anyone who wants to be tagged, so I'm gonna take that as - I've been tagged. Also - I would love to link the original video, but I can't find it. :( Trust me, I have searched, and apparently it was done by someone called Lindsey, but I just can't find the original video. Sorry (to you and her). 

Enough of this, lets get to it shall we? Unless you want to talk about how I'm currently consuming jelly (vegetarian) from a pouch and it's weird - no? We'll get on with it then. 

1. A Book on Your TBR Pile That You Haven't Finished 
Well, there are several books on my TBR that are semi-finished, mainly because of how I read. Normally, I have a fiction book in English and French, and a maths-physics book, as well as my big one-story- a-day book that I'm reading as part of my New Years Resolution (read about that here). Because of that - I have several books that are on my TBR that are in the process of being read, but I'm not going to talk about those here. Apart from the 5 lines that I just used to tell you that I'm not going to talk about them, obviously. No, for this I'm going to talk about Dicken's Christmas Books. I got a lovely little copy of this Book in December - for a really amazing price of £2.99 from Blackwell's up in Edinburgh, with a beautiful picture of Santa Claus on the front... And I did start to read it... But I had my exams just before my Christmas vacation (which was only a few weeks unlike some of my friends who had over a month!) and so that meant that come Christmas, there was a lot of other books that were on my TBR, and for some reason they all got read, but I didn't have time to finish the Dicken's. Which, looking back, wasn't the most sensible thing I could have done - I should have read this one first, because come January I was going back to uni and... I didn't really want to read Christmas books. Cause you know.... Christmas was over for another year. So this book is still standing there... unread; waiting for next year when I will pick it up again. It still has the bookmark in and everything - although I will in all probability start from the beginning and go for the full experience - including finishing it. But it's still sat there part read on my Goodreads currently reading shelf - which is really rather annoying. 

2. A Book That You Just Haven't Had Time To Read
At the aforementioned Christmas break, I somehow ended up in my brothers room (a rare occasion - I think I'd gone in to borrow his Star Wars DVD's) and we were having a really long conversation. And I left with the complete set of Anthony Horowitz's The Power Of Five books. Also - when did they become complete? I mean - that one went totally under my radar - I waited so long for book four.. then the same with book five - and it turns out that it had come out completely without me realizing. Like... when did that happen? Okay - so I got these books at Christmas - but as I've already mentioned - I had a lot of books to read at Christmas. And then they wouldn't fit in my suitcase back to Edinburgh. And then I was only home for a few odd days over Easter. And then I came back and I had other stuff I wanted to read (to the sheer disgust of everyone around me I read the Twilight books over again). And now it's gotten to the point that I'm flying in a few days to Seattle... and I don't want to start reading them now and have a big gap in between.... so I'm waiting till I get back. But my brother is constantly pestering me "Have you read them yet?" No... I just haven't had time yet. 

3. A Book You Haven't Read Because It's a Sequel 
For this I'm gonna go with The Second Jungle Book. Yeah - did you know it had a sequel? No one else seems to - not even the people in Waterstones. This year, for the anniversary - Macmillan Childrens Books have bought out new editions of the Jungle Books with really awesome covers (I also have a feeling it's something to do with the OH MY GOSH SO AMAZING film that came out this year... but who cares?) I bought a second hand copy of the first one on Amazon (I know so bad, but means I can afford more books)... but they didn't have any second hand copies of the second one, I'm guessing because not that many people bought it in the first place not realising there was a second one. So, in the end I used my Waterstone's rewards points to 'buy' this book for free... but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. 

4. A Book You Haven't Read Because it's Brand New
This book is so new that it's not even been released yet, but I'm going with Summer Shadows by Joss Stirling. Which is released on July 1st. (although it doesn't have a listing for the Kindle edition yet which worries me slightly because I have all the other books on Kindle) Annoyingly, this is just after I get back from holiday - so I don't have it for holiday reading - but it is the day I get the train back - so it will kind of be holiday reading. (If it comes out on Kindle... it will - right?) I literally, can't wait for this book to come out - it's a good job that I have 8 other books by Joss Stirling to keep me occupied until then. Summer Shadows is the last in the Savant's series (will all the Benedict brothers find their Soulfinder?), the first three of which I reviewed a while back here.

5. A Book by an Author You've Read Previously But Didn't Really Like
This one is kind of a bit of a cheat - I mean, I've read 'books' of his that I've liked, but overwhelmingly ones that I've disliked. Not the 'books' themselves, but more the experience of reading them was... not so good. At the moment, I really fancy reading some Shakespeare.... not studying it to death and at great pain like we did in school..... but just picking up a copy and reading it, like a novel. And after seeing the BBC adaption of A Midsummer's Night's Dream I think I'll probably find a paperback copy of that to have a go at. 

6. A Book on Your TBR Pile That You're Just Not in The Mood To Read
When I first heard that another book by Harper Lee was coming out... I was really excited. To Kill a Mockingbird being one of the few books that even school couldn't ruin for me. But... Now I've got it (and have had it a year)... I'm just not sure. I've heard a lot of things about it... That the Atticus character that I've loved for so long now is just not the same... and that this book was never intended to be published. I don't know if that is true or not ... but... I guess I've landed back on Earth with a bump after falling from Cloud 9, and I'm just not in any mood to read this. I think for the foreseeable future ... I'm gonna just stick with To Kill a Mockingbird, and Go Set A Watchman can just stay on my shelf unread. 

7. A Book On You're TBR Pile that You Haven't Read Because It's Enormous
You know those beautiful hardback books that look so good on your shelf? The ones that bind together several books and are probably heavy enough to hold open a fire door? I have one of those with C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. I took it up with me to university the first semester... and I bought it back with me at spring break... still unread. I LOVE the Chronicles of Narnia, they are probably always going to be up there on my list of favourite books - BUT, this bind up of The Space Trilogy is just so big. I mean - it's totally not practicle for throwing in my bag and reading in-between lectures etc, and so I've just kept putting off actually getting even as far as the front page. So far, it's still just sat there looking pretty, if a little scuffed at the edges (so it does at least look as if it's been read). 

8. A Book On Your TBR Pile That You Bought Because of the Cover 
I've just had a sudden mini-panick that I'm not allowed to use series of books for situations like this... but if not.... well I guess everyone's just going to have to deal. Okay? Because I'm using a series again. This time it's the Harry Potter series. I would just like to point out to everyone that I am not some sort of hermit who's never read Harry Potter, I most definitely have (I finished The Deathly Hallows at 1500 on the day that it came out). But.... I've not read them since that first time. Partly because as kids, me and my brother had the entire collection of (narrated by Stephen Fry) audiobooks. And we listened to them. Continously. As soon as one finished, we started the next one. To the point my Mom got to the point where she refused to read them to my brother because he would correct her if she made a mistake (like, even very tiny ones). But recently, I've been working to purchase myself a set of the books - much to the confusion of my parents. "But we have a set upstairs". Yes, but thats the family set. I would like, me, myself, a set. You know, I'm not going to be at home forever, and I'd quite like to own my own set. But I am being fussy. I wanted paperback (they take up less room than hardback). And I wanted the ORIGINAL (British) covers. You know, the ones with the pictures on the front. But they've CHANGED ALL THE COVERS (how dare they, there will only ever be one real cover) which means I've been buying them all one book at a time from Oxfam, whenever they have them in. Which means that sometimes you have to wait till the one that you want comes in, and that you also end up getting them in some sort of higgledy piggledy order. As soon as I get my hands on book 6 - I'm going to read them. But I don't want to start until I know I will be able to go all the way through with no interruptions. 

9. The Book on your TBR that you Find Most Intimidating
Probably at the moment that would be Fascination. Fascination being Twilight in French. But I want to read it this summer, taking a step away from the kids books where my French reading level is at the moment - but even with the kids books (about 7-11 range) I find that some or more difficult then others - or not difficult exactly but tiring because of longer chapters and more words I need to look up. And I know that Fascination will be a step up from that - but I feel like I want to try and take that step - because I want to get to the stage where I can read whatever I want in French - not just kids books. But it's very intimidating because I know that it'll take me a while and that it'll be a lot harder than what I'm reading at the moment. But I won't get there without practice - right? 

Okay, so I guess I tag anyone who's reading this - pick one question from the tag and answer it in the comments!!! 




March 19, 2016

Roasted Mediterranean Carrot and Celery Salad



So last night I got all my work done early so that I could write a blog post. Cause I love y'all. And I kind of have a backlog of things that I need to post. It's the curse of the killer lab report...

And then I spent SO LONG sorting out all my photos that.... no recipe was posted. I mean... I have no clue why I don't just sort out my photos on... I don't know... a weekly basis? Then it would take me.... tops 10 minutes. And it would be a lot less confusing and stressful. 

As it is it took me.... well long enough to listen to the ENTIRE and UNABRIDGED Alice in Wonderland audiobook. (As read by Scarlett Johansson - which was VASTLY better than the version I had as a child. I think it's only available on Audible - but if you have Audible I recommend that you go check it out!) 

So yes. It took a long time to sort them out. And I still haven't sorted them all out. I have big virtual piles of photos to sort through dating back from.... August. I REALLY wish that I was joking. And the worst thing about the whole situation (apart from the fact that it's not finished)? I probably wouldn't of done it if it wasn't for the fact that my iPod had used up all it's storage space. That's what having roughly 3000 photos does to storage space.... And I couldn't sacrifice either Frozen Free Fall or the Disney Tsum Tsum game.... so obviously it was my photos which needed to be sorted out. I mean... I think I had about 30 of one photo - just so I could find the PERFECT angle... 

The whole experience was also quite embarrassing... I realized just how many posts have been photographed.... but have never gotten to the stage where they have been published. Which is a shame because a lot of them are from summer/September when I had REALLY GOOD LIGHT. Something which I can barely remember it was so long ago.... 

This recipe is one of those. I can also tell you exactly when the photos are taken - because this was the dish I took to my universities VegSoc the first week I went...

So that was the middle of September. I know - long time no see. 

But better late than never - right?


This 'salad' (it was salad week) is based on one of the dishes from my favorite Mediterranean buffet. I mean - it's also the only Mediterranean buffet that I know of - but don't let that change anything for you. The actual dish was served warm (simply roasted veggies) and kind of greasy with olive oil. Greasy with olive oil is the kind of thing that's nice when served fresh out of the oven and warm - not so nice when eaten cold as a salad, so I scaled the oil back here. I also wasn't sure what herbs are used in the original dish - so I just went with two of my favourites. Try and slice the veggies diagonally - and get the slices as long as you can - they're much better for eating with your fingers that way! Lastly - I served it cold. I'm not entirely sure at what point you can call "roasted veg" a "salad" - but I'm gonna go with when they are cold.

I actually went to that buffet a few months ago for the first time in years. To be honest; it wasn't as good as it used to be. But this salad still tastes just like I want it to - so who needs to pay extra to have someone make it not as good? (Also it's like a 4 hour train ride away now I'm at uni).

If you want to serve it warm as a side dish - that's perfectly fine - but this is really good mixed together with other salads - either super simple just lettuce leaves and roasted carrot and celery, or a more complex mix of whatever salads you can get your hands on (leafy, veggie, grainy, pulse based etc). The flavors are distinctly herby - but they don't overpower or clash with other flavors - so go on and go crazy with the mixing!


Roasted Mediterranean Carrot and Celery Salad

Serves 2-4

  • 1 cup carrot sliced diagonally 
  • 1 cup celery sliced diagonally
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • several sprays of olive oil - or about 1 teaspoon

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
  • Wash and prepare the vegetables. It's up to your own preference whether you peel the carrots or not (I'm not sure how you would peel the celery so I would advise against it!) 
  • Mix everything together in an ovenproof/baking dish. I used an 8x8 pan
  • Place in the oven and bake (roast) for about 30 minutes. The veggies should be soft - but not crispy/burnt or falling apart
  • Give the veggies another mix before allowing to cool (or eating immediately). Remix before serving/taking a portion. 
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February 25, 2016