22 November 2014

I missed you, but I'm back

My oh my, I have been gone a while, haven't I? I remember swearing to myself when I started this blog that I'd stick to my three-posts-a-week schedule no matter what, but you know, life has a tendency to have a shuffle things around every now and again and if blogging isn't your full time job, it may just take a back seat while you get other things in order.

As a sort of re-introduction, I thought I'd let you know where I've been, you know, just in case you've missed me as much as I've missed you. I haven't taken many proper photographs on my camera, but here's what I've been up to, in a series of snaps taken from my Instagram feed.

http://photos-c.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xaf1/10723851_267019106755506_1505538064_n.jpgAbout a month ago I made myself the nicest lunch before going to work for a late shift. I was so pleased with my little assembly of healthy foods! It's so satisfying having so much fruit and veg in one meal... Just me? Pictured: Orange juice, peppers and mushrooms cooked in a little butter, sliced avocado with balsamic glaze, rye bread, homemade coleslaw and a dollop of houmous.

http://photos-e.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xfp1/891390_595749080536980_44203245_n.jpg Wild Friday night in: Out came the bunny onesie, and I officially called it onesie weather. 


I started to feel really unwell and it was such bad timing because it was the ten year friendship anniversary of me and my best friend Bethan. We had booked a trip to London to see The Lion King and although I felt like death I couldn't miss it – and I'm so glad I didn't, it was incredible. Possibly the best West End show I have seen to date – a must see.

http://photos-h.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xpa1/10748102_872048419474463_1710907939_n.jpgBack home from London and I spent my Halloween wrapped up in a blanket watching Lost in Translation. It's one of my favourite films. I've seen it twice – I have to be in a particularly melancholy mood to watch it. It makes me want to go to Japan and also to be Scarlett Johansson.


Do you ever get cravings when you're not very well? About a week into my bug (it felt like it was never going to end) I wanted nothing else but cinnamon grahams. These sweet crispy squares kept me going in the long despondent days spent aching on the living room sofa.



In a way, I enjoy the pressure of exams, and I think I prefer them to coursework. I love the learning and remembering of facts and theories and dates, and then getting an answer right when tested. But doing this when feeling poorly was difficult. The exams (NCTJ media law and public affairs) have been and gone now (praise the Lord) so I can finally relax in the hope that I've passed.

http://photos-a.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xpa1/925598_1519507195002528_568103269_n.jpgPopped into Tesco before work yesterday and discovered this beauteous pot of decadence. Yes, that is Maltesers chocolate spread you see, and it is exactly what you think – a Maltesers Teasers bar, in chocolate spread form. Out of this world delicious, and the texture – just spot on.

http://photos-d.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xpa1/10808828_1501901783421907_51118493_n.jpgFinally feeling like a normal human being again, this morning I was able to enjoy an indulgent weekend breakfast. Today I whipped up a batch of pancakes, blueberry syrup and served them with sliced banana and a cup of freshly brewed coffee. 

I can safely say I am feeling 100% myself again and I have never been more happy to see the back end of a horribly long and dull virus. Not sure I'll be so quick to jump on the 'I love autumn/winter' bandwagon now, but seeing as it's nearly Christmas I certainly won't say no to a cosy jumper, snuggle Sunday or hot chocolate.

What have you been up to in the past month? I have a HUGE amount of blogs to catch up on and so much I want to share with you, too. Stick around?


1 November 2014

Strawberry Dream Cake

Long time no blog! I've been a poorly thing this week, and I feel as if I'm not 100% here so all my commitments have gone out the window while I try and get myself back to normal. Before I began to feel a million miles away, however, I made this cake which I wanted to tell you about because it was one of my favourite creations ever (with the help of my sister, Sarah).

It's pretty simple, and only lovers of the strawberry creams in Quality Street will fully appreciate a cake like this, but I am most definitely one of them, and my friend Drew is too. It was his birthday a couple of weeks ago so I decided to make him a cake version of his favourite sweet - the strawberry dream.

I baked a chocolate cake from a recipe in a Sainsbury's book I have – can someone please tell me why it's so difficult to find a simple recipe for a chocolate cake online?!

Once cooled, I sandwiched the two sponges together with a thick layer of strawberry jam. I got this jam from Aldi and it's really good – it has lots of strawberries and seeds in it and because it's 50% fruit it's not too sweet or jelly-like.

For the icing I made a simple ganache (cream, brown sugar and dark chocolate) and spread it all over the top of the cake. If I was any good at presentation, I would have covered the sides of the cake, too.

To finish, I topped the cake with all the strawberry creams in one of the boxes of fruit cremes I bought - they're two for £4 in Tesco which is bad news for me as I'm addicted to them. Except for the lemon ones of course (who thought they would be a good idea?)

You see, pretty easy and pretty cool. I think chocolate and fruit work so well together, especially berries. Will you have a go at making a strawberry dream cake? Quality Street fruit cremes are back but only for Christmas! I'm gonna have to stock up...

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