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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

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Good news: it’s March. The month that begins as winter and ends as spring. My least favourite months are behind us so things can only get better from here on out — it also happens to be the month of thesis submission (finally!) and my 21st birthday (!!) so even though I’m currently writing this at 1am with a messed up sleeping cycle, a diet that’s 90% lattes and 5,000 words still to go, I’m feeling fairly positive. Either that or I’ve descended into some kind of sleep deprived state of madness. Possibly both.

It’s pretty cool that citrus fruits are in season at the coldest, greyest, gloomiest time of year — they are one of the few things that I’m sad to say goodbye to as we slide into spring (that and parsnips, I absolutely love parsnips. And kale, obviously). They bring a small slice of sunshine to any recipe, with their beautiful bright colours and flavours. They also happen to be packed with flu-fighting vitamins; this smoothie also has a kick of ginger and a drizzle of honey (known for their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits respectively) making it the perfect drink to fight cold weather lurgies.

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carrot cake porridge | magpieandmaple.com

I’m back from New York and, although I miss my friends and the time away from my thesis, I do not miss the weather. It is bitterly, bitterly cold, with an icy wind that cuts through every layer of clothing and drives the watery snow sharply into the face, eyes, nose, mouth, and slashes at any exposed flesh. 5 degrees C now feels positively tropical. I’m also happy to get back into a breakfast-eating routine; the on-the-go nature of my visit, little sleep, sporadic eating, and the fact that none of my friends eat breakfast (must be an American thing) meant my favourite meal didn’t really get a look in. And that’s fine – but I’m searching for positives amidst post-holiday blues and breakfast is one of the few.

The first time I tried this, I used far too much carrot and didn’t cook it for long enough, leading to a rather unappetising bowl of congealed oats and raw carrot. I’ve discovered that the trick is overnight soaking — it serves a dual purpose of allowing flavours to infuse whilst softening the carrot, making cooking time minimal. I transferred mine to a slow cooker in the morning and cooked it on high for an hour or so, but I’ve given instructions for heating it over the stove too. View Full Post

Have you ever tried writing nice things about food when you’re absolutely stuffed? It’s a strange sensation for me because I almost always have room for more, but after a three course meal, two desserts (being friendly with the catering staff gets you a long way in life) and a few glasses of wine it’s hard to think appetising thoughts. So rather than talk about how tasty this fruit salad is (which it is) I’ll talk about how easy it is. All you have to do is cut up the fruit and throw it in the slow cooker overnight, if you want it for breakfast, or in the morning if you want it for evening dessert. If you don’t have a slow cooker, I imagine you could do the same thing in a saucepan, just watch it closely as it doesn’t take long to cook that way. The fruit you use doesn’t matter either; I chose winter fruits to fit the warm winter theme, but use whatever you have!

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