April 22, 2015

I Love Exams.... Said Nobody Ever

Actually- I think I did. Once (well- like, several times). In my defence, I was young (like, 11), I was foolish- and OH SO STUPID. 

Okay - so I have committed myself to publishing a blog post once a week. Have you noticed that each week my posts are getting later and later... Cause I have (like- seriously noticed!) I mean- my week starts on Thursday.... and today's Wednesday..... and I am oh so desperately super speedily typing this because I HAVE AN EXAM TOMORROW. 

And- you know- I wanna revise (although I have had an exam 3 time's this week and each time I had to revise the same stuff for it- so I'm getting good. I am brilliant if you want to know the percentage uncertainty of a measurement. Not so good if you want to know how to integrate something which is tending towards infinity. Luckily - that isn't going to come up tomorrow). 

So.... I wanna tell you what's going to happen on here for the nest two months. (Or just under. But we're not talking about that. Because that's scary.) 

I start my exams. I finish my exams. And I don't care if you try and make me feel better by saying 'they're not that important'. 

These exams (A levels) are the most important exams that I will ever have sit. To be honest- after examining the evidence- they may well be the most important exams that I will ever sit. 

So - as much as I love you guys - right now - I love getting good grades more. And as much as I love you guys- I have all summer to love you guys. Any time after June 18th is too late to love getting good grades. By then - I will be all done.

And I will have asked my teacher how to integrate something that is tending towards infinity. Cause I have read the textbook like- 6 times now. And I am still none the wiser. I think all A level textbooks should be in color. And have pictures of anthropomorphized veggies everywhere.

So until then- I am not going to commit to writing any blog posts. Luckily/unluckily for you- I have already written a load. And so - each week (usually on a Thursday) there will automatically be a new post up here. Hopefully. Unless it all goes wrong. In which case there won't be- and in that case I'm sorry.

So luckily- there will still be new content each week. So you won't have to look at this - rather sad- picture less post that is being written by a girl - who- to be quite honest- is more bothered by her integration skills. Or lack there of.

Unluckily- they just aint' that grate. I take pictures ALL THE TIME. And sometimes- they amass on my computer- all neatly put into folders by which future post they belong to. But then something else more exciting comes along. Now- I know I shouldn't of let this happen. I should have posted these ages ago. In some cases - like 8 months ago. (Wow- I say that and think 'Have I had this blog that long? And then realise I've had my blog more like 18 months). But for one reason or another- I didn't.

And then I looked back- and wondered what on earth was I thinking? Cause.... some of them are just plain...... [enter swear word here]. So I decide that I'll just press delete on the photo- but I can never do it. I just can't bear to delete something that- although is now so awful to me- I tried really hard with and thought was really good at the time.

I know it may not seem like it to you- because a lot of my posts are no where near as good as I want them to be. Some of my posts seem to be worse than ones that I published at the beginning.

But I am trying my best- and inside- I feel like I have gotten better. I feel like I'm improving- I feel like I am making progress. And a lot of the time- I'm proud of myself.

And that means- that I started these posts. I want to see them through.

So what you are going to see for the next two months isn't going to win any awards. But hey- I'm not in this to get an A*. I'm in this because I love it. And so hey- learn to live with me. I'm not perfect.

Just a head's up- you're going to be seeing a lot of bento boxes.

I'm not saying that I'm going to be ignoring you completely. I'm getting into quite the routine of Insatgraming at breakfast - if I ever have a revision break- you can bet that I'll be on here (very excited as she nears 5000 page views- cause- exciting!) I will be CONSTANTLY thinking up recipe idea's - cause that part of my brain isn't turning off at the moment. We're talking Princess Aurora Smoothies and Honey Mustard Stir Fry. I will be writing- cause there is a lot I want to write about just now - but maybe don't expect anything to be published. Cause I will be spending way more time writing essays. I may add notes to the pre-scheduled posts- just to say hay in real time. I'm not going to ignore you completely- but I can't commit to you. As much as I love you.

If it makes you feel any better- all this summer? I am going to be doing lot's of blogging. And writing. But a lot of blogging. Like- several hours a day. And lot's of cooking. I have some taste tester's lined up already.

So- just to warn you what's going on. I have already written all the post's you're going to see for approximately the next two months. They aren't grate. But I'm busy.

So- I hope you all have a good time- enjoy the sunny weather which we all know will end the moment exam's finish- and I'll see you on the other side.

If I don't return- Einstein's Theory of Relativity has killed me (and that is actually on the specification, so...)

Wish me luck! 

April 14, 2015

In Other, Less Interesting News # 6

I compile these posts by adding any photos into a folder- and then creating a post when I have enough uninteresting news.

That's how I know that it has been way too long since I have done one of these- because the photo's in here? They're from a long time ago. 

We're talking last September people. > 6 months = too long. 

So... Since I am really really late doing this- and also because I should REALLY be revising- let's just get on with it. And hope that none of this is too outdated to bear. 

And sorry that this weeks post is AMAZINGLY late. A combination of revision, busy back to college rush, and being ill. I know- excuses excuses!!! Also, please bear in mind that these photo's are a) unedited, and b) taken over winter with, like, no light!


1. I have started loom banding. Yes, I'm very late to this craze- possibly too late- but hey. It's cool- it's fantastic, and I love it. That loom broke the first day I used it :( Never fear- I now have a non breakable loom. 


2. Last September, I did a review of Innocent's fruit tubes.  It was a bit of a disaster- turned out they weren't vegan and it was during Vegan MoFo. But Innocent very kindly sent me some money off vouchers - I wasn't asked to write about them, it was just a nice surprise that they sent me some vouchers for writing about them! And my brother liked the smoothies, and I liked the alphabet magnets. Because yes, I collect the alphabet magnets.


3. I spent a long time trying to convince my parents that yes, you are supposed to leave persimmons until they are beyond soft and squishy- because that's when they taste their best. 


4. My parents decided that I didn't need a piano and decided that was wear Christmas presents were going to be stored this year. This little (Christmas) bunny was not impressed!


5. Cafe Nero do banana hot chocolate. Yes, I know. I mean, I know. I know. 


6. I got a goodie bag from BEAR because I collected enough cards. Yes, like collecting magnets, I am a sucker for gimmicks. But I got a goodie bag through the post. HOW COOL IS THAT. Free yoyo people- come on!


7. Vegetarian jelly. Enough said. 


8. I decided that I like veggie sushi and I know want to eat it. All. The. Time. Like literally. All the time.


9. Pre-Senior Section sushi. 


10. We found a card with 'Grampy' on it. He's waited almost 27 years- but finally a card with 'Grampy' on. 


11. Breakfast sushi and miso soup. Because yes, I will even eat sushi for breakfast now. 


12. Talking of breakfast, apparently, if you sprinkle a few oats on the top of a cereal bar, you can then call it a breakfast bar. Who knew?


13. I had a lot of putting away to do after spending possibly too much in Waitrose. And they didn't even have what I went there for (buckwheat). Apparently every Waitrose but ours sell it. What?


14. Speaking of Waitrose, sushi from there even comes with sushi ginger and wasabi paste. And Inari sushi. Be impressed. 


15. Again, Waitrose: B for Basil, M for Mint, T for Thyme, and P for.... Rosemary? Anybody going to explain how that one works?

Okay- until next time (when I promise you will get a better post than this.)!

TTFN, Ana


April 04, 2015

Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal




The girl who sits next to me in physics is the best. She introduced me to Agent's of SHIELD and Marvel (and now I'm hooked). She explained to me just exactly how cashews grow on trees (who knew they didn't grow inside the fruit like a peach stone or apple pip), she is a fellow vegetarian and so sat in solidarity when the rest of the class were eating the spoils of the M & M experiment. (Yes, that is an actual experiment that A level physics students do). She revises with me. She gets DVDs (Captain America) out of the college library for me so I don't have to explain why I have still got books from almost 2 years ago (I was off ill and then...). She is interested in a lot of the same things as me and so we can have good conversations which I enjoy having (education, second languages, coconut oil etc...) She's awesome. 

And she doesn't like raisins so this is probably not the oatmeal for her. She could always just leave them out I guess...

For some reason early sunday morning at the gym they have CITV on the big televisions. And early sunday morning's on CITV are currently sponsored by Kellogg's cereals- including.... wait for it.... Coco Pop porridge!!!!! How cool is that!!!!

What is not cool is that you can't get it in Sainsbury's yet. :( 

I wanna try Coco Pops porridge. :(

So- as soon as I can get my hands on a box expect a review of it on here. 

But until then- I decided that I would just make some Coco Pops porridge- which as far as I can tell is basically just sweetened cocoa flavoured porridge- which is officially 300% cooler because it is in a yellow box with a monkey on the front. 

No I am not joking. That monkey should not be allowed to advertise on children's TV. He makes me want to buy oatmeal never mind poor defenceless children who do not know the cruel tricks of advertising! (Although if he get's kids to eat oatmeal maybe we should let him for just a little while longer...) 

But then I was munching on chocolate raisins (and yes, if you hadn't already gathered from this post I am going through a chocolate raisin phase. Next stop- chocolate raisin cookies.) and I thought- chocolate raisin oatmeal.

Happy days.

I tried something new here- I wanted some really creamy oatmeal- I didn't want to add any cream (even any non dairy cream) because really- (non dairy) cream is for special occasions- it's expensive and once you open it you then have to face making sure you use up the rest of the carton before it goes off.

So I added instant hot cereal. As in Ready Brek, but the cheaper version. When I told Mom that I wanted to get some- she said that it would make a mess. She was right. That stuff is like icing sugar- it creates this cloud of oat dust- like some sort of chemistry experiment gone wrong - but without the nasty smell of the chemicals. And despite how careful I was- I managed to get oat dust on the table. I didn't get it everywhere- but I don't think I can count this as being a no mess breakfast.

And no Mom, I did not want to get the sachets because a) I am trying to reduce packaging and b) I only want a tablespoon at a time and so trying to get a tablespoon out of a sachet is probably harder than trying to get a tablespoon out of the big box. Plus, the big box is cheaper.

Win win win on using a box rather than the sachets.

Although the sachets do come in gingerbread flavor. And who doesn't love gingerbread?

And they made the oats so creamy. They are supposed to make super smooth oatmeal (which is nice sometimes) but because I was mixing them with oats (that are not super smooth but have some nice texture) it made some sort of best of both worlds oatmeal. (If you want to start singing the Hannah Montana song at this point, please feel free. I've just got it up on Youtube).

Add the dry stuff to the pan

So if you want super creamy but still textured oatmeal and don't mind a bit of mess (which to be honest- I think if you transferred it to a jar would be reduced because you wouldn't be dealing with the inner bag)- then add a bit of quick oat cereal to your oats. If this isn't your thing- this oatmeal will still be totally awesome without it.

Because all oatmeal is awesome- right?

Add the milk and stir

I need to start an oatmeal is awesome club. They said at the uni's I've visited that if there is a club that you think should exist and doesn't - you can start one. Do you think they'll pass an oatmeal club? Because- oatmeal!!!

Seriously- when is oatmeal appreciation day?

Start it cooking slowly
I didn't add any sweetener to my oatmeal- but the cocoa can be quite bitter so if you want to add some- feel free- just taste as you go. I used my favorite milk- almond- here- but you can use what ever you have in - I haven't tried any others- but it's oatmeal. It works perfectly with whatever milk you want. (although I would suggest thinning down canned coconut milk if you really want to use that). Sometimes I've added a whole tablespoon of cocoa to one portion of oatmeal before- but here I've used less- 1 teaspoon. I wanted a more chocolate-ly taste- rather than a dark cocoa-y one. I love both- but I think using the lesser amount is preferable here. If you want a really dark cocoa-y taste (that won't be at all like Coco Pops porridge) then go ahead and add more cocoa. No one will give you funny looks- because who can blame you for wanting more chocolate?

It's really hard to take a picture of bubbling oatmeal! 

On that note- hopefully I'm going to be getting some cacao today. For some reason the prospect is making me feel all grown up. Like drinking coffee for the first time.

One tablespoon of raisins is a serving (according to the governments five a day leaflet)- and I added a  tablespoon- then decided to add a few more (maybe, like, 6-8 more) because raisins are so yummy.

If you don't like raisins (hello fellow coconut oil loving friend)- then leave them out. But still call it chocolate raisin oatmeal- just to mess with peoples mind. (Like this week's episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. I mean- wha...) Or put them in- and then painstakingly pick them all out. But as far as I'm concerned- that would be a bit pointless. But each to their own.

If you want- I would suggest that soaking your raisins in the milk before cooking would make for really plump and amazingly 'juicy' - but please stop before you resort to adding grapes to your oatmeal. They plump up some whilst cooking anyway.

Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal

Serves 1

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 Tablespoon instant oat cereal (or oat flour- just blend/process up some oats and measure after blending)
  • 1 Tablespoon raisins 
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (not hot chocolate mix or drinking chocolate)
  • 1 cup milk of choice

  • Measure all the ingredients into the pan and give them a stir. You don't want a clump of oat-y oatmeal and a clump of hot oat cereal-y oatmeal. Not good. 
  • Put the pan on the heat- you want a gental heat because there is a lot of milk in there so it will need to cook for a bit longer than normal. 
  • Keep stirring while the oatmeal cooks- it makes washing up a lot easier if the oatmeal doesn't stick!!!! (I guess you could always use a non stick pan if you have one.)
  • Cook it at least until it's bubbling. Then cook it until your happy with the texture. I wanted it quite thin here- but not runny. I thought this thinner texture went well with the milder, creamier oatmeal. But its up to you how you like your oatmeal best. 
  • Transfer to a bowl and eat it whilst it's hot! and if you want some 'real' chocolate raisins- then chocolate for breakfast every now and again can only be a good thing - right?
Try eating when listening to Bright by Echosmith. It's awesome. 

"oooh, la, la, la." 

March 27, 2015

This Girl Made Crackers


You know how there are some things that you just think are beyond you. In the culinary world these are the things that you give up on making yourself before you've even tried. 

People, I have broken down (some of) these barriers- I HAVE MADE CRACKERS. 

Yeah- you read that right. This girl makes crackers now. 

Blueberry coconut socca crackers to be exact. 

For those who don't know (and because I just had to google it myself) socca, or farinata, is a thin crepe made of chickpea flour- originating in Genoa- that is mixed with water and olive oil, and baked in an open oven before being sliced into triangles or fingers and eaten. 

I didn't make socca (although I am now wondering what the difference between socca and my chickpea omelettes is)- I made socca crackers

Are you impressed? I am. 

I made crackers. 

Before going in the oven

To back up that these crackers are brilliant - my Mom has just come in and said that the Aldi crackers have gone soft. 

After the first bake

No Mom, I just was too scared of burning my HOMEMADE CRACKERS and so didn't leave them in the oven quite long enough. 


But not only are these crackers awesome- they were made by me. AND I've even done all the washing up. 

Toasted coconut!

I didn't set off to make crackers. I actually started the day thinking "what can I do with the blueberries". You know when you get carried away and you buy something without checking it out fully first- yeah. I did that with dried blueberries. I saw dried blueberries and thought- oh- great!!! I so want some. Who wouldn't want dried blueberries? Think of all the things you could do with dried blueberries!!! 

But then I got them home... and tried them... and was sadly disappointed. There was just something - something- not right. 

It was the fact that they were heavily sweetened. Like- 40% sugar. That is almost half sugar. And I'm sure a lot of people would find them great- because I'm sure totally unsweetened blueberries might be a bit tart for some people. But for me? It meant that the blueberries were just meh. They didn't taste crystallised or super sugary- but the sugar seemed to neutralise the blueberry flavor totally. I could barely tell they were blueberries. 

I was not impressed.


But what do you do with disappointing blueberries? 

I didn't want to snack on them as is, because, meh. 
I didn't want to make something like fruit and nut bars where the recipe relies heavily on the dried fruit- because it's hard to make a feature of meh. 
I didn't want to plan a whole meal around them - like a salad featuring dried blueberries- because I have other things I want to eat far more than dried blueberries. 
And no, I couldn't just throw them away. 

So I decided to make a snack or baked good. Something that uses up a load of dried fruit at once- but isn't to 'saturated' with them. Also- something that I could snack on as opposed to a main meal. 

And then I saw the packet of Aldi crackers (those were cranberry flavored wholewheat mini 'crisp bread' crackers). And remembered a recipe I had found ages ago but discounted because it looked to hard and what on earth was buckwheat and garbanzo? 

But I have come on from there. 

I have both chickpea (garbanzo) flour and buckwheat (I used it for the first time today) now. 
And I decided that I was ready to make crackers. 


I used this recipe from Edible Perspective. It is an amazing recipe. It was so quick and easy!!!! And simple. The hardest bit was getting them in and out of the oven. These are easier than cookies!!! They are so simple and just amazing. 

I did change up a few things. Apparently, Ashley from Edible Perspective has never accidentally bought over sweetened dried blueberries, because she doesn't have a recipe for dried blueberry crackers. So I used her Cinnamon Sugar Socca Crackers, and swapped the cinnamon and vanilla in the batter for 1 T of desiccated coconut (mine was practically coconut power though- very fine!), 1/4 cup of dried blueberries and 1t of coconut extract (although you could keep the vanilla if you don't have any coconut extract). I then replaced the cinnamon topping with 2 T of desiccated coconut. And so cinnamon sugar crackers have become blueberry and coconut. 

And they are so good, they get mistaken for ones from the super market. 

I did manage to forget to add the sugar and salt though. And I was so scared of burning them I took them out a minute to early. And they were still good. 

This recipe is adapted from one from Edible Perspective, which is one of the first blogs I read and still one of my favorite- so you should definitely go check it out!!