October 29, 2016

The To Make List - November 2016

This lentil soup from Oh She Glows

A Christmas themed enchilada casserole? Um yas.....

Chocolate Chia pudding sounds awesome (I mean, chocolate....)

Broccoli cheeze soup. Well.... Um.... Broccoli. And vegan cheese. And...

Cauliflower mac and cheese? And so easy? Basically comfort food made out of veggies....

Candy Cane Beta Brownies

Quinoa for breakfast. With chocolate. 

I made this pumpkin bread last year. And I'm gonna make it again this year.

Gingerbread overnight oats... sign me up...

Actually basically all of the overnight oat recipes from My Whole Food Life......

Because you can't go wrong with these for breakfast

This kidney bean pasta looks super simple (and thats okay with me)

You can never have too much Quinoa, especially at breakfast.

These smokey chickpeas look great!

And even more breakfast Quinoa. This time in gingerbread.

Another remake with these vegan meatloaf burgers.

All the soup. Like, all of it,

Falafal burgers.

Rice pudding.

Lamington Baked Oatmeal? Yas

And more gingerbread.... cause....

And then maybe some actual gingerbread men...

Chai tea + chocolate = winner

Just yah. 

October 07, 2016

Katy by Jacqueline Wilson

This book review is inevitably going to contain SPOILERS. Of this book (KATY by Jacqueline Wilson) and the original WHAT KATY DID by Susan Coolidge. 

The picture takes you to Amazon

I was trying to describe What Katy Did to someone last week. 

"Spoilers much?" 

Well... I'd like to see him describe What Katy Did without explaining she fell off the swing. 

"I think it even says it on the cover." I pointed out. I checked. It did. 

Added to that I don't think I have ever known of one single copy of What Katy Did without it containing a picture of Katy on her swing. I mean, lets face it, it's not just grown-up readers of What Katy Did who find it predictable. I think I was about ten or eleven the first time I read it; and I think I knew pretty much THE ENTIRE plot line by the end of the first page. 

If anyone's ever read Heidi, you know girls in classics generally don't stay confined to their wheelchairs forever. Medical miracles seem to happen a lot to little girls in old books. I'm not complaining; I like a good happy ending. 

What Katy Did, is an excellent example, of how it's not the destination that matters, its the journey. 

The first time I read it, I could have probably looked at the cover, read the blurb, maybe the first page for assurance, and then blagged to anyone that I had read it. I didn't need to REALLY read it. I already knew what happened.

But that's okay. I liked reading What Katy Did. As an eleven year old, and when I read it last month. I'm kind of glad I used my Waterstones rewards to 'buy' it, because I'll probably enjoy reading it again sometime. 

It doesn't matter that it has a totally transparent plot. That is not the point of that book. 

That is even more so with Katy, the 'modern version', by the author of Tracy Beaker Jacqueline Wilson. 

I just checked my version of What Katy Did and the library copy of Katy. Katy is just over twice the size of What Katy Did. Thats a lot more story to tell. 

If What Katy Did is about the journey, Katy is about the trek, the hike, the expedition. 

What Katy Did is lovely little book about a colourful character who has an accident, learns to be a good person despite her hardships, and then is 'rewarded for her good behaviour' almost. 

It's a classic for a reason, it's AWESOME. 

Katy is not a lovely little book. It's, like you would expect from Jacqueline Wilson, a slightly more true-to-life version. But don't worry, this Katy still gets her happy ending, even if she isn't 'fixed.'

Katy is a real life girl. She has real life brothers and sisters, and has a stepmother instead of an overly pious aunt. Helen isn't a cousin she's never met, she's one of her Dad's patients. She's much more fleshed out than the original Katy. So are her friends, her brothers and sisters. Her life is a lot more fleshed out. Her Dad is a lot more present. She IS Katy. Just a Katy from the 21st Century - and so there is a lot more to her than can be expected from a book written in the 19th Century. 

At first, I did feel like Katy was just What Katy Did rewritten, the details and the settings changed. Basically, What Katy Did 'modernised' to try and convince reluctant readers that classics are good. For the first few chapters, there really is no difference in the story. It is purely a modernized version of the original. 

But then you realize it's not quite, there are little details that are added. I guess now Katy has more to loose, you see more of her life. More of her feelings towards Izzie; there is a reason why she is so detested which gives Katy more to overcome than is the case of just a nuisance Aunt who thrives on neatness. There's a fallout with Cecy. There's a few more characters, in Eva and Ryan. 

There's a story before the fall, instead of the content of the book before the fall being there solely to lead up to that point. There is also a better lead up to Katy's fall, with her bad day being more than just a bit of contrariness, but full of fully formed emotions. 

And then here, is the bit where Katy really comes into a life of it's own, as Katy follows a more realistic path. Katy spends weeks in hospital, not at home surrounded by her family. There is uncertainty and ambulances and surgery. 

And there's the knowledge that she isn't going to walk again. 

And that's fine - that's what this book is about. It's about a girl who falls of a rope swing and damages her spine, not a girl for whom a miracle worked a couple of years later. 

Katy spends a lot of time in hospital, and although I've never been in anything like as horrific as Katy's situation, I have been in hospital (and for more than an overnight stay) and I have to say, it's pretty spot on (although I never had any visiting hours, that did strike me a UTTERLY bizarre. I didn't realize those existed for Childrens/Young Adult wards. Well... I'm very lucky I guess.) Toast late at night while chatting to a nurse? Totally... People having bad days? Oh yes. Not eating/hungry/want to stay in bed/want to be anywhere other than bed/nice nurses/not that great nurses/awkward friends/too enthusiastic family/missing family. It was all there. And friendships. I'm glad Dexter is there, because there are times that no one can understand you and be there for you more than the person in the bed next to you (or bay next to you.) 

But the book really comes into its own when Katy is let out of hospital. It starts with that first journey home, with the struggle that is getting home, and the worry that hometime, after all that longing, came just a bit too soon. 

For the 19th Century Katy, staying in bed (or a reclining chair) for two years was totally fine. 

But this is not the 19th Century. We're gonna need a wheelchair (or two). Although I do kind of wish Katy had had a little more struggle with hers. It would have made me feel a bit better about the fact I never really did learn to push myself... This Katy had to learn to get in and out of cars, finding the right clothes (and shoes), getting on buses, not being able to get up stairs (if you become unable to walk overnight, your house doesn't suddenly turn into a bungalow. TRUST ME.) 

She had to deal with the range of reactions from other people. The whole range. People being wary of her, people treating her like she was mentally incapable (and just incapable altogether.) Of people who she barely knew before hand suddenly becoming her supposed best friend. People who try and fit her into socioty by ignoring her wheelchair, and people who try and be too accommodating. But also those who just get it right. 

I think the bit I liked best was the bit where Katy went back to school. And not just the school of pain, but a real, mainstream, not accessible school. With teachers and other pupils. And all the struggles that come with starting a new school plus a load of extra ones. Even being allowed to go to school was a challenge for Katy, and I think my favorite scene in the whole book was the high five between Katy and Dad after wearing down the headteacher into letting her attend. 

This book, is all about a girl called Katy, who falls of a rope swing, and then learns that being in a wheelchair does not stop her having a life, and doesn't mean she has to hide in her bedroom for the next forever. She faces challenges, some set by herself, some set by society, and she does it all as a fully fleshed character with a range of emotions. But it's not a gloomy book, its not depressing. Its a true to life account of how a girl, and her family, OVERCOME those challenges. 

I love What Katy Did and always well. I think Katy is amazing. Do I have a favorite? Not really. They're both awesome books, but in very different ways. They're written 150(ish) years apart, for different audiences, and in the way, they're very different books. Each special in its own way. I'm also not sure which one I would suggest to be read first. I guess that would depend on you (or the child as both books intended audience is). What Katy Did is half the size, so although Katy did take me longer to read, it's a modern book and so is a 'quicker', 'easier' read, so they probably even out in difficulty. 

They're both good books, and both definitely deserve their place in the 'read' list. A modernization of a classic is, like a movie adaptation, terrifying to lovers of the original. But What Katy Did lovers need not fear, Jacqueline Wilson has definitely done Katy proud. 

Also, can I just say, if I grow up to be Miss Lambert, that's perfectly fine with me. 

September 26, 2016

Plum Chia Jam

More P fun today. 

This time we're doing something fun with plums. 

Cause plums are the perfect P fruit. Pears are great, but you cant make jam with them. Or can you? Any jam aficionados got any thoughts on that? I love peaches, but not everyone likes the fuzzy skin. Pineapples are great, but slicing them makes my hands hurt (seriously, it makes them red and itchy. The price you have to pay for essential vitamins.) 

Also - I had plums. That made them especially great. 

I didn't fancy crumble (well, I always love crumble, I just didn't fancy turning the oven on and making my room all hot to make crumble). 

So I made jam. 

Also - I like jam. I dont like all the sugar in jam. 

Making my own jam is a great remedy for that. 

Also little Tesco don't sell plum jam. Plum jam is the best. (after grape jelly, damson jam, blueberry jam, and the jam you lick out of jam tarts before leaving the pastry.)

And I've just been informed by one of the girls in my Senior Section Unit that under water hockey is a thing. I know. Who knew. 

So this recipe is based on the berry chia jam from Deliciously Ella's first cookbook, although most chia jam recipes that I've seen in various places have been pretty much alike. I've given instructions for cooking in a small slow cooker though, because I was too busy doing other things to cook it on the stovetop where stirring is required. 

So this was supposed to be a super-quick-not-much-writting post while I download a program I need to do my homework. Hence I didn't have much planned to say, I thought Id just give a brief intro and a recipe. However I underestimated how long it would the program would take to download, and so I've babbled a bit. 

Plum Chia Jam

Makes 1 jar

Based on the recipe from Deliciously Ella

  • About 1 pound plums, washed, de-stoned and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds

  • Place the plums in a small (about 1.5 litre / 6 pint) slow cooker with the honey. Stir well. 
  • Cook on low for about 1-2 hours
  • Add the chia seeds and stir in well, making sure none are stuck to the sides, then continue cooking for 2-4 hours.
  • Remove from the slow cooker and leave to cool (the jam will continue to thicken as it cools.) 
  • This jam can either be frozen or is should last about a week in the fridge. I've just finished mine off on day eight and it was fine, but I'd be wary of keeping it much longer. 
Note: There are seeds in this jam. If you're new to chia jam, you might want to start with something like a raspberry version where you'd expect the seeds. 

September 25, 2016


Quite often, I get that look from my friends when they're questioning your sanity. Like when you tell them your favorite food is apples (whats wrong with that?) or that you've never watched The Lion King (I know exactly what's wrong with that) or when they find out that you read stuff in French for fun. 

The last couple of weeks, I've been on a real badge kick - I've been trying to get as many clauses for Girlguiding badges done as possible before going back to uni this week. (So yes, there is a posiblity I should be studying right now. Who cares?) This flurry of activity has, I'm not going to lie, gotten me several more of those looks recently. 

Learn the Nato Phonetic Alphabet? Check 

Read The Magical Faraway Tree books? Check. 

Made Cupcakes I wont eat? Check 

So, there is this badge celebrating the letter P, and how All The Best Things in Life Are P. 

Why P - I still haven't QUITE got the bottom of that. But there are going to be a few more P related posts to come and so maybe by the end of them I'll have worked it out. If so- I promise I'll tell you. 

Pancakes begin with P. 

And you have to admit, pancakes are pretty perfect. 

But I awoke on a Sunday morning (involving a long story about how forgetting my library card RUINED my plans for the weekend and so I had Saturday morning pancakes on Sunday), and I decided that I wasn't going to be happy with just any old pancakes. 

I wanted P pancakes. 

And so ensued the persuance of P provisions to make purely P pancakes. 

And what ensued may be one of the most peculiar pancakes to ever prevail. 

And yes - I did get my Thesaurus out to write this post. Did you predict properly? 

Polenta, Pear and Pineapple Pancakes (vegan)

  • 5 Tablespoons Polenta (cornmeal)
  • 1/4 cup plain flour (I used fine wholewheat) 
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped dried pineapple 
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds (linseeds) mixed with 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice 
  • 1 pear, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses (or British treacle) 
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil 
  • coconut oil/cooking spray/vegan spread to cook (I used Flora Freedom) 

  • Make the 'flax egg' by mixing the ground flax with water
  • 'Sour' the milk by combining it with the Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Mix together the polenta, plain flour, baking powder and chopped dried pineapple. 
  • After the flax egg and milk have been sitting for about 10 minutes, combine along with the coconut oil and molasses. 
  • Mix wet into dry and stir until just combined. Fold in chopped pear. 
  • Heat a frying pan over a medium high heat with cooking fat. When the pan and fat are hot, add 1/4 cup batter to the pan. It should start sizzling. Cook for about 5 minutes on one side, before flipping over and cooking on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter. These pancakes are still quite delicate when half - cooked, so a lot of care needs to be taken when flipping. Or be content with pancake scramble. 

September 08, 2016

Owl Cupcakes

Looks aren't everything. As is (quite clearly) evident. 

This is not the best looking owl cupcake that I have ever seen. If you want to look at beautiful pictures of gorgeously decorated professionally done pictures of owl cupcakes - Google it. Or check Pinterest. Its up to you. 

But are those amazingly awesome cupcakes vegan? 

Nope. See - I win there. 

That's not to say that vegan cupcakes can't look as good as professionally done ones - that's too say that vegan cupcakes can't look as good as professionally done ones WHEN I (with my un-superior skills) MAKE THEM. 

But hey - who cares what they look like - right? 

But I'm gonna let you into a little secret. I don't actually like cake. So when I'm trying to do a Girlguiding UK Challenge Badge (these are 'fun' badges created by different units, usually to raise money for that unit) and one of the things you need to do is to make a cupcake look like an owl - 

a) I am not going to get a load of stuff in that I don't eat to make them. I already had everything I needed to make these cupcakes in my cupboard apart from the icing sugar. (admittedly it was a fluke that I had the Skittles candy, but it doesn't change the fact that I still had it in my cupboard.) 

b) I am not going to make a whole batch. Cause why would I? 

It was pretty easy to 'just make these vegan'. To be honest - it didn't really require any special thinking - currently 99% of the food I own is vegan (I can only think of one thing in my cupboards which isn't) and so it really was just a case of pulling it out the cupboards. But in case you need a little inspiration (or want to follow what you think is an actually achievable owl cupcake decorating tutorial - not that I don't think you're capable of achieving greatness, I just like to think that I'm not the only one who's decorating skills are questionable.), here's how I made them. 

What you need: 

  • 1 cupcake (I used the Single Lady Cupcake from Chocolate Covered Katie) 
  • About a Tablespoon of chocolate icing - I made mine by mixing 1T cocoa powder, 2T icing sugar and then adding water by the 1/2 teaspoon till it was spreadable but not too runny. In the picture above the icing is thicker, but it was the best way to photograph it. 
  • 1 orange/yellow Skittle candy or similar
  • 2 dairy-free white chocolate and 2 dairy-free milk chocolate buttons (I got mine from Tesco) 
  • A small amount of icing in a color of your choice. I chose pink because - why not. I made this simply by mixing a spoonful of icing sugar, some pink food colouring and about 1/4 teaspoon of water. Remember to go slow when adding the water. You don't want it so thin that it will spread uncontrollably. 

Now can we take a moment to appreciate that Skittles (in the UK at least) are now vegan. 
I know. 
It's great. 

Okay, so back to business:

  • Spread the chocolate icing over the top edge of the cupcake. 
  • Place a small dot of coloured icing on the centre of the the bottom (flat side) of the white chocolate button - I used a cocktail stick to do this. 
  • Press the Skittle candy sideways into the centre of the cake. 
  • Place the white chocolate buttons on either side of the 'beak' 
  • Press two milk chocolate buttons sideways into the cake above the 'eyes' to make the 'ears'. 
  • Feeding to poor, unsuspecting friend because you don't like cake is an optional step, but one that I find ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY

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? 


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