Tag Archives: lifestyle

Berry & Honey Muffins

I absolutely love baking, and working full time means I rarely get to cook for my own pleasure, it’s usually just a rush to eat something before the day starts or when I come home in the evening. Over the last few years, I’ve tried to incorporate baking, cooking & experimenting with my favourite foods throughout the week instead of waiting until the weekend.

As well as being a lover of everything sweet, I am also health concious and do try to modify traditional recipes so they suit the eating habits I like. Simple things like using natural honey and cinnamon instead of sugar, oats and brans instead of flour all make a difference in a recipes nutritional factor.

Today was Berries & Honey Breakfast Muffins (or a snack), I can make these on a Sunday and enjoy them for an on-the-go breakfast throughout the week, as they will keep for 5 days in an airtight container. So here’s the recipe, which can be adapted with different fruits and flavours depending on your taste :)

Ingredients

2 Large Ripe Bananas
250g Porridge Oats
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Greek Yoghurt
2 Tablespoons Natural Honey
1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut butter
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1-2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Blueberries
Raspberries
(Make it as fruity as you want!)

Method

Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, and grease a 12 dip muffin tray.

In a blender, add the oats, bananas, Eggs, Greek Yoghurt, Peanut butter, and Honey. Blend until almost smooth (a few chunky bits will just give the muffins extra bite).

Once blended, pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the vanilla extract, cinnamon and chia seeds.

In a pan, add half the blueberries and raspberries that you want in the muffins, and heat up until runny. Once hot, marble the fruit through the Muffin mixture.

Spoon the mix into the muffin tray. Add the last of the berries on top, as these will slowly soften whilst in the oven.

Place into the oven and cook for 15 minutes! (Check and 10 minutes and then leave them for an extra 5).

Enjoy!

Elena xxx

Simple Spaghetti From Scratch

Ingredients

6 Large Eggs
600g Italian 00 Flour

Method

Empty flour onto a board (you can use a bowl if preferred) and make a dip in the centre. Beat the Eggs and then pour into the dip.

Slowly working from the inside towards the outside of the dip, mix the eggs with the flour, running the mixture through your fingertips.

Repeat this until the Eggs and flour have combined and you have dough!

Knead the dough thoroughly, as this will allow the ingredients to develop to make the perfect pasta.

Once finished (your dough should be a silky texture) you will need to leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before rolling it out and fashioning into shapes.

Some people like to use a pasta machine, I do have one at home, but this can be done the traditional  way.

kitchen-aid-pasta-maker

If you do have a machine, then take a lump of dough (no bigger than an apple) and run through the machine – it should be on the widest setting. Do this for all dough and repeat the process 5 times.

Tip: Make sure you dust with plenty of flour so this doesn’t stick, keep sprinkling if you see it getting stuck.

This rolling process means you are working the dough, the ingredients are combining and perfecting your pasta.  If you can, try to work through all the width settings on the machine, as this will ensure you pasta is stretchy and lump free.

Once you are satisfied, roll the dough through the machine into a rectangular shape, then fold in half, and in half again until you have a square of dough. For the final time, run your ready made square through the machine until you have got a long golden piece of dough!

Now – you can choose the shape and width you like. Cut and shape away! Try to do this within a minute of rolling out the final piece.

Tip: If your dough becomes too dry, this is an indication that you may need to stop playing around with it, pasta dries out very quickly.

After either hang on a spaghetti tree or place on individual trays.

Cook and Enjoy!

Elena xxx

 

13/09

I just started reading a new book by Sam Red (@authorsamred) ‘She who is Unto Herself’ and it’s been one of those times where you feel like you were meant to pick up a certain book at a certain point in your life. Sam writes about self-empowerment and mindfulness. The practice of living completely in the present moment without regretting the past or fearing the future. I have to say, even though I’m only a third of the way through it’s aiding my thinking of ‘life’ in a whole new light.
Sometimes we become stuck in the rut of acting a ‘Victim’ to our experiences, when really the way we conduct ourselves in certain situations is our own choice. Without trying to get too personal, earlier in the year when my dad was diagnosed I couldn’t help but ask all the questions like ‘why him?’ and ‘why now?’ which I guess is only natural. Everybody deals with things in a different way but towards the end of his treatment I started to think about how him & I should live our lives according to this, and instead of being vulnerable to the situation, I let it empower me. ‘She who is Unto Herself’ states that painful life circumstances, which we all face at one point or another, lead us into a higher state of consciousness and honestly I couldn’t agree more.

I’m still not sure why it takes a kick up the backside, putting our noses out of joint for us to realize that we need a change. Humans are creatures of habit after all, but sometimes changing is a hell of a lot easier than staying the same – scary – but ultimately easier. Sometimes things can hold you back, ideals and expectations, that vision that presents itself in your head of how things could be. Holding on because you think it will make you happy is actually what is making you unhappy because you are not accepting where you are in your present. And you can apply this manner of thinking to any trials or tribulations in life. Obviously my dad becoming ill is far from ideal, but being strong for others and adding value to their lives is really what creates the difference from being a ‘victim’ and instead allowing those things be a catalyst for your own happiness.
Remember that you can take positives out of anything. Realization of realizations are real, I thought I had already accepted the fact that everybody has one life, a certain amount of years to do as they please, extraordinary or otherwise. But again and again life likes to remind me that we really don’t have shit guaranteed, you could take your last breath tomorrow and all that matters is how you live now, and that includes how you think about yourself and others inductive of your happiness.

Buy the book here on Amazon
Sam’s Blog 

You & Your Possibilities

Perhaps too often we settle because we don’t believe that we can achieve or materialize into anything higher. This can be in terms of writing, art, business, life. Sometimes this is because of what others tell us, or how we grew up maybe even our own self perception but your success will always be negotiable with you. I was thinking about this a lot while away and what I would tell somebody in my shoes a year or two ago and these are tips about writing and blogging in general, and in a business sense to pass on.

  1. Stay connected to your biggest source of confidence
    What uplifts you? The same thing that makes you happy and proud will probably be connected to your passion. Anything we really want we work for without being asked which builds up our strength and ability. For me writing started like baby scribble and then when I started to focus it grew from there. When you start to invest in your ability you become more confident in it and you should be!
  2. Nothing is certain but anything is possible
    Keep reminding yourself of this. For example you might have an ideal in your head which never materializes but what you are left with is something different – or better. This means that anything is possible and you are free to create and have fun with that. I suppose this is the same in business where you will have to improvise with the unexpected.
  3. Think of Your Weaknesses as your features
    Don’t fear criticism because it’s your friend. My biggest weakness is thinking that people already know what I’m talking about so explanation of my point of view is something that I had to grow through others misunderstanding. Ultimately they all help to build your profile!
  4. Break the Mould
    Firstly the one around you. Most of the time things are overdone, if you have another point of view or way of doing things then share it, maybe people will be more captivated by originality than similarity. Sometimes we can be hesitant to do this but it helps you improve. When I started ‘The Islands’ it was a stab in the dark and i’m pretty sure everyone was like ‘whaaaat?’ but a lot came out of it. Secondly – step out of your own comfort zone and try to see things through the eyes of others to gain different perspectives.
  5. Retain your simplicity
    Simplify and clarify. In terms of writing/blogging – it doesn’t have to be miles long, just try to get your point across. Keep things simple and clear so you are better equipped to handle it all. I am guilty of trying to do too much with one thing sometimes so mastering that saves confusion and hopefully helps my readers.

Art Cred@JonasGerard