Soundtrack #1

So, I thought I’d introduce a bit more variety on here, because a food blog without any pictures turns quite quickly into a pretty mediocre affair! Therefore, expect a few posts blabbing on about a few random things, and episode one is music. I’ve listened to Ben Howard for a long time now (I’m not going to claim to have heard of him before anyone else though, don’t worry hipster-phobes) but this song. THIS song. Just beautiful. B-e-a-utiful. Have a listen and enjoy.

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Winter Warmer Porridge

It is cold. It is damp. It is November. This means one thing; porridge season is most definitely upon us. Time to start the day with a belly-warming bowl of delicious goo. Cereal, please step aside.

I think I’m currently in the midst of a mild addiction to porridge. It’s a fantastic blank canvas for a near-infinite list of toppings, so I’m not going to get bored of it any time soon. Now, I know people can be very specific about their porridge (I haven’t yet summoned up the courage to try it Scottish-style with salt and a side of kippers), but here’s my recipe for how I like it.

As well as being yummy and comforting, it’s also a whole league better for you that most cereals and ‘healthy’ granolas on the market today. That is until you stir in some Nutella, but hey, let’s live a little! Oats are jam packed full of all the good stuff, fibre and vitamins, and will hold off those mid-morning tummy rumbles for a lot longer that Mr Kellogg can. And of course, they’re cheap as chips!

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Packing my bags – a week in the south-west

Next week I’m disappearing off on a little British adventure to go and visit some friends from university, just because I can (and I’m bored!). First things first, I’m heading back to Cardiff for a few days, my beautiful home from home, then going into the unknown and visiting Devon and Bristol for the rest of the week. It’s safe to say I’m super-duper excited for this, mainly because a) I get to hang with all my uni buddies I haven’t seen since we graduated in July and were released into the big bad world, and b) I get to go to places I’ve never been to before. Just to show how excited I am, I’ve already packed my bag. This is coming from a girl who went to live in France for a month and packed that morning. I’m that excited.

I thought I’d share what I’ve packed for a week of adventuring, just because I like snooping at other people’s stuff so I assume you’re the same, right?

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(Apologies for the awful photo quality! I’m using a broken camera lead/cheap pos camera/pure laziness/dark bedroom floor kind of excuse)

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Welshcakes

British food often gets a bad rap, and in my opinion it is an entirely undeserved reputation. My gran has lots of old recipe books from the Milk Marketing Board celebrating the great range and variety of local produce from different regions of the country, complete with some rather unappetizing 70’s era food photography!

I went to university in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, and was very gladly introduced to the local speciality, welshcakes. They are essentially a flat scone, studded with sultanas before being cooked on a hot griddle and liberally sprinkled with sugar. They can be eaten hot or cold, on their own or split and filled with jam, even with lemon curd (although I’m not sure what the traditional Welsh purists will have to say about that!) It goes without saying that the best place to get them is at the Cardiff Bakestone in the indoor market, where stacks of cakes are constantly being churned out from an enormous hot griddle bigger than the average table, then sold at a charming 30p a pop.

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Decadent Chocolate Brownies

Now, I know that chocolate brownies don’t exactly scream frugal student living, but bear with me. At university, birthdays seem to occur on an almost weekly basis, squeezing that already tight budget. With the absence of parents, cake can often go overlooked, so these brownies are a great alternative, as well as being much cheaper that the average shop-bought offering. I like to cut them into squares, pile them high on a plate and liberally cover them with icing sugar and candles – party ready!

Brownies are a brilliant starter for a baking novice. They’re meant to be a bit on the squidgy side so it takes off the pressure of baking something perfectly! You can also personalise them however you like. I’ve added mixed chopped nuts, but you can substitute them for chocolate chips, other nuts or even cherries – get creative!

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