IMG_0910.JPGIMG_0907.JPG

I’ve been gone two months now. Sorry about that. The transition from unemployed grad/stay-at-home-daughter to independent, employed, financially responsible (maybe) adult has been a tricky one to navigate. Life just gets in the way, you know? I’m left wondering how anyone ever has time to do more than get up, go to work, come home, eat, and sleep. But I’m getting there.

For someone with a food blog, my day to day meals aren’t all that inspiring – to put it mildly. Case in point: this morning’s breakfast was a slice of bread. Literally a slice of bread. Grabbed straight from the bag. Not even toasted. Eaten whilst running to the tube station half dressed, untied laces, wet hair, no makeup, just oversized sunglasses in a desperate attempt to look more with it. Whilst running down the road with a slice of bread in one hand. Before doing my makeup on the Northern line. Lunches are either non existent, whatever is reduced in the local shop, or the (very) occasional sandwich brought from home. For dinner I eat out, have leftovers, or throw the contents of my fridge into a frying pan.

Every now and then, though, I feel like I should make a better effort to look after myself (that’s what adults do, right?) and that to me means loading up on fruit and veg. So I go all out. This is one such example. I got it into my head I needed to get some vitamins and probiotics in me. Which I probably did, in fairness. And I love that citrus is in season, so that was part of the motivation. So I blitzed up an orange, a grapefruit, frozen raspberries and coconut yogurt. The result was a bright, sharp, fresh tasting thick smoothie which I topped with homemade granola, more coconut, and half a mango. It’s not quite as good as being on a beach in the tropics, admittedly. But it doesn’t taste too far off. View Full Post

Firstly — apologies for the two-week absence. What with a hectic new job and a whirlwind trip to the UAE (I’ll tell you all about that sometime. It was a hundred-miles-an-hour trip) there really hasn’t been a lot of time or energy for baking. I’m rarely home in daylight hours so photography is impossible, and my little time at home needs to be directed towards sleep.

Today, though, I’m in PJs all day, drinking hot coffee and eating fresh cookies. And I know what you’re thinking: if there’s one thing this blog really doesn’t need, it’s another cookie recipe. But hear me out. Firstly, you can never have too many cookies. Secondly, these are Christmas cookies. Yesterday was my official playing-Christmas-music-for-the-first-time-this-year day, because although I normally try to restrain myself until 1st December, when you’re still crawling down the M1 late on a Friday night, knowing that there’s still the underworld of TFL to deal with once you actually make it back to London, you need the emotional comfort that only Christmas music can bring. Which means that for me, Christmas season is here. And therefore the Christmas recipes can start to come.

If you’ve been hanging around these parts for a while now, you’ll recognise the basic recipe. It’s my go-to for cookies. Because why fix what ain’t broke?

View Full Post

COURGETTE CAKE | MAGPIE & MAPLE

It’s courgette season, and our garden produced so many this year that for a while we seemed to be eating them at every meal. Although we’re at the tail end of the glut now, I thought I’d experiment with ways to use up the healthy vegetable while they’re still in season. After all, there’s only so many times you can add it to pasta.

Although it isn’t a novel idea to add courgette to baked goods like cakes, loaves and brownies,  it’s not something I’d ever tried before. Much as I love vegetables and advocate eating them in abundance, I’m not a fan of them sneaking in where they’re not welcome. In my experience, ‘healthy’ cake made with things like sweet potato/ beetroot/ spinach/ [insert vegetable here] just don’t taste right and the only people who think they do are those who haven’t eaten proper cake in a decade. Baked goods are never going to be superfoods, so if you’re going to indulge it should at least taste nice.

The one exception, however, is carrot cake; everyone likes carrot cake. Somehow, it just works. So I thought I’d be brave with the courgette, remodelling a Hummingbird Bakery recipe to make it a little more wholesome (and vegan friendly) and I’m pleased to repot that it operates far more according to the carrot cake model than the sweet potato brownie model — i.e., the courgette flavour is undetectable and it just contributes to making a beautifully moist, delicately spiced cake. I’m pleased to report that everyone who tried it loved it, and no one came close to guessing what was in it. View Full Post

SINGLE SERVE STOVETOP GRANOLA | MAGPIE & MAPLE

Does your morning routine change with the seasons? I find mine does. I’m not one to leap chirpily out of bed at any time of year, but the darker mornings make me even less inclined to do so. Whereas in summer I’m content to wander downstairs in light pyjamas and blend up a cold smoothie, even drinking it outside on the patio on particularly sunny days, the chillier autumn mornings mean that getting from duvet to dressing gown is a test of mental strength and the journey to the kitchen can only be undertaken when well wrapped up.

I know you’re probably thinking that it isn’t even that cold yet and I’m being overdramatic. Well, maybe. But either way, icy smoothies and fridge-based breakfasts are dead to me until next spring. And yet it’s not quite porridge season either. Granola is a happy middle ground, but the problem is that I don’t always have granola on hand and when I do, it doesn’t last very long. It’s a perpetual temptation, sitting in the cupboard and asking to be snacked on whenever I’m in the vicinity. Which is why this single portion is perfect — especially as it only takes a few minutes. This, served with almond milk and accompanied by hot coffee, is the perfect autumn morning in a nutshell. Whilst wearing a warm dressing gown, obviously. View Full Post