January Highs

Getting back to normal life after Christmas is always hard and after two weeks at home, and exams in the first few days of the new year.That being said, I’m excited to be back in Grenoble and to throw myself into this term.

So, what’s on the cards for the next few weeks?

VeganuraryĀ 

Veganuary has reminded me of the benefits of whole foods and a plant based diet so this month I’m eating 80% vegan. I eat a lot of vegan meals anyway so this isn’t a huge challenge for me but I’ve been searching for lots of #foodinspo online. These are some of my favourite food bloggers who are either vegan or create a substantial amount of vegan recipes:

Veganuary on a budget: Cooking on a Bootstrap

Jack’s recipes are unbelievably cheap and delicious. From Beetroot Chocolate Loaf Cake to Mushroom and Spinach Bolognese, Jack is unafraid to tackle innovative recipes but also shows us how to recreate old favourites in the thriftiest way possible.

Fancy Veganuary:Ā Minimalist BakerĀ 

This is my all time favourite go-to website for vegan recipes. Everything Dana and John create is beautifully presented and exciting to look at, especially when you’re on the third day of a batch of five bean chilli. While Ā some of the ingredients used are expensive, this is a great site for inspiration, or if you’re in the mood to try something different.

Not really Veganuary:Ā Lorraine PascaleĀ 

Lorraine Pascale isn’t a Vegan but she often puts together vegan recipes, and more importantly she’s one of the most inspiring women I follow on instagram. Lorraine’s philosophy on life centres around self love, positivity and eating well. Oh, and her work out pics are enough to make you drag yourself out of bed and get down to the gym!

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Amsterdam

I am so excited to be visiting my friend Carys whose studying in Amsterdam. I’ve already booked my tickets to Anne Franke’s house and she’s promised to show me around all the main sights like Amsterdam square and the Red Light District, as well as the other museums of course. Amsterdam’s somewhere that I’ve wanted to visit for ages as it seems to have a unique charm, different to anywhere else I’ve been in Europe.

Ski SeasonĀ 

Ski season is upon us and although I have all the coordination of a baby gazelle I will be attempting to get myself down some mountains in one piece (namely in Lex Deux Alpes and Chamrousse).

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Mindfulness, Meditation and Me Time

Sometimes, being control of the way you feel can be an endless uphill struggle. As I intermittently write about mental health it will be no surprise that I’m vowing to spend less time on social media and more time Ā doing things that will benefit my brain (or allow it to calm the fuck down every once in a while). I would love for this to be the year that I actually learn how to meditate and enjoy it properly.

So do I think of a new year as a new start? Not really, but I do think of it as a chance to get back to the way I really want to live. Good food, travel, creativity and calmness seem like a great way to kickstart the year after aĀ hangover of negativity from the end of 2015.

Hope you all had a wonderful new year, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.

Dita

 

 

 

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Festive Bake: Sacher Torte

Over Christmas I always get back into baking, and this year I decided to make a dark chocolate cake that is super indulgent without being full of sugar . The Sacher Torte is an Austrain cake which is dense and packed full of flavour from the dark chocolate, espresso and apricot jam.Ā The cake was fairly simple to make, with just the issue of separating the eggs and adding the whites and yolks separately making it slightly more time consuming than an average sponge.

I followed this recipe from Good Housekeeping, although I didn’t do the icing as I didn’t want it to be overly sweet. I found some other recipes which look just as good like this one from BBC Food and this one from Delia online. Overall, this is a perfect occasion cake which doesn’t need to much expertise in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Bake: Oreo Volcano Cupcakes

I’ve been wanting to try oreo cupcakes for ages, and the fact that these are called ‘oreo volcano cupcakes’ is just a blog friendly term for ‘messy icing’.

The recipe:

I used my moms basic fairy cake recipe which is ‘four ounces of everything plus two eggs’ (we’re not very technical)

For more detailed instructions see this recipe.

The icing:Ā 

3 tablespoons of icing sugar

1 tablespoon of butter

1/2 a tablespoon of vanilla essence

3 crushed oreos & 2 for decoration

I whizzed the oreos in the blender until they had a crumb like consistency. I then mixed the icing sugar and water to my desired consistency and added the butter for a touch of creaminess. Next, I mixed in the oreos and vanilla essence. Once I’d covered the cakes in icing I crushed up the extra oreos and sprinkled them over. The result was a bunch of messy but delicious oreo cupcakes!

A week in pics

  1. I love this, and I love Khloe Kardashian in general (she’s the best one)
  2. On Thursday I had leaving drinks with a few friends so we made margaritas and I drank way too much gin.
  3. I went to a local restaurant called Daniel’s BistroĀ and had this amazing peanut butter cheesecake with caramel ice cream for dessert.
  4. I found my favourite vegan dish at Wagamamas! It’s the yasai itameĀ and its made with a coconut milk base. I don’t think its the healthiest thing on the menu but lets ignore that.
  5. I wore this simple outfit to go for drinks- the knitted crop top was a Primark bargain at the start of summer and the skort and sandals are both Topshop.
  6. Some monochrome inspo from White Hart DesignĀ onĀ instagram.

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Dita

Sunday Bake: the best vegan granola bars ever

If you’re looking for a protein packed breakfast or snack bar then look no further than this delicious date and nut packed recipe. Dana, over at minimalist bakerĀ has created a 5 ingredient, vegan recipe that only takes one bowel, one saucepan and one baking tray to make. Oh, and you don’t even have to faff around with the oven because these are just popped in the freezer for 45 minutes. As with any recipe involving dates, it gets a bit messy and a bit sticky but it’s definitely worth it for the end product.

A week (of mainly food) in pictures

1. Some Monday motivation from insta // 2. One of my dogs, Holly, looking innocent while refusing to go on her leadĀ // 3. A mixture of chickpeas, black eyed peas, onion, chilli, garlic and herbs for veggie burgers // 4. Saturday’s dinner table // 5. A mezze style platter to go with our burgers (guacamole, sun dried tomatoes, olives, salad and cheddar cheese) Ā // 6. Quinoa and blueberry breakfast muffins for next week (I hate most breakfast food so i’m experimenting). I can’t find the exact recipe but it was very similar to this. I know they don’t look appetising but they taste pretty good.

I hope everyone’s having a lovely weekend! I’m considering doing these posts weekly instead of a recipe (or maybe as well as), so do let me know what you think if you get a chance.

Sunday Bake: mocha cake with latte icing (and a side of coffee)

I can’t start the day without a cup of coffee. Hot, iced, lukewarm after being left on the side for half an hour, as long as caffeinated I will drink it. So naturally I love baking with espresso. This weeks Sunday Bake is dedicated to a beautiful mocha cake with latte icing, you can find the recipe here.

Recipe info

Difficulty: If you can make a Victoria sponge, you can make this cake. It’s really straightforward and easy to follow.

Cost: Price wise i’d say this recipe is average. It seems pricy because of the instant espresso, but its much better to invest in a jar rather than compromise on flavour (I used carte noir). If you’re not so much of a coffee lover then you could make do with normal instant coffee.

Result:Ā Rich coffee cake with light, buttery icing. I made half the suggested amount of icing because I can find it overly sweet, and it turned out just right.

CoffeeĀ Sin vs SaintĀ 

While we’re talking coffee I thought i’d share what i’ve been drinking this month.

Sin: I’m the sort of person who will choose the calorie laden option nine times out of ten so i’ll start with the 600 calorie Starbucks Venti Java Chip Frappuccino. I don’t even care, sometimes you need the coffee, cream and sugary goodness.

Saint: Just this week I discovered The Rebel Kitchen, namely their coffee and coconut milk drink. It’s super refreshing, tastes great and is a fraction of the frappuccino calories. Oh, and its dairy and refined sugar free, what’s not to love?