{WIAW} {RECIPE} Pancakes and a celebrity chef

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For this week I am going back to last Thursday – a very busy day at work. As I had a bit of extra time in the morning I started the day with the usual water and cider vinegar along with my ultimate breakfast – pancakes 🙂

 

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The first with apple, yoghurt, raspberries, pumpkin seeds and agave, the second with apple, cashew butter and jam, all with a huge mug of jasmine green tea – heaven!

 

Spelt flour pancakes

 

Serves 1 (makes 2 thin pancakes for rolling):

1/4 cup spelt flour (or another of choice)

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

Optional add ins:

1/2 tablespoon cocoa

1/2 teaspoon ginger/cinnamon/pumpkin spice

1 small capful vanilla extra

 

Whisk all ingredients together until well combined with no lumps. Het frying pan on a medium/high heat and add in a little oil/oil spray/butter to prevent sticking. Pour in half the mixture and tip the pan until evenly spread. Wait until bubbles have started to appear – the pancake is now ready to flip. Loosen edges with a spatula and flip over. Keep checking the other side until golden (much quicker than the first side). Repeat.

 

Then it was time to cycle to work, and what an incredibly beautiful morning it was:

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For lunch I had made a brown rice salad with heaps of vegetables and balsamic earlier, delicious:

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Mid afternoon I felt a bit snacky so had a banana:

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Before I knew it it was time to cycle home again for an early dinner. I just fancied something simple so had tuna steak and roasted kale, always forget how amazing roasted kale is!

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As I knew I had a long evening at work ahead of me I had a chocolate cake in a bowl (similar to last week’s post!) with cherries and yoghurt, and my lovely Dad made me a soy cappuccino to try and wake me up!

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Finally, it was off to my next job. The company I work for runs occasional supper clubs with guest chefs. For this one it was the turn of Cyrus Todiwala, of the Incredible Spice Men. He was there with his lovely wife Pervin and I must say it was such an honour to work for such a lovely, relaxed duo. Here is a sneaky picture of Pervin getting the puddings ready:

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Naturally, I had to buy Cyrus’s book and get it signed…such a geek! But what a beautiful books, it is all about Bombay and is full of stunning photographs – I can’t wait to try out the recipes.

 

Do you have an ultimate pancake topping? Have you met any exciting chefs lately?

 

{RECIPE} Chocolate and almond snack bars

Wow, what a busy week it’s been! Lots and lots of work has left me pretty exhausted but finally starting to catch up on sleep now – phewph. So it’s just a little post today…

On Sunday morning I fancied a bit of baking therapy before work and came up with this little recipe that I thought I’d share with you all (although, technically I guess it doesn’t count as baking…)

 

Chocolate & almond snack bars

 

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1/2 cup dates (stoneless)

1/2 cup prunes (stoneless)

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup almonds

3/4 tablespoon cacao powder (or cocoa)

1 small capful almond extract (this gives them quite a strong almond essence flavouring which I like but you could omit)

Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture clumps together. Press flat into a tray lined with clingfiilm and freeze for about 30 mins with another layer of clingfilm on top.

Cut into about 6 slices (or more depending on preferred size!), wrap in foil and store in freezer.

These make a great snack on the go and a much cheaper and healthier alternatives to most shop bought bars.

Do you have a favourite snack?

{WIAW} A day out and an ugly pudding….

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I cannot believe that it is already time for my second ‘What I Ate Wednesday’! For this week, I am going to look back at last Friday when I had the day off and so went off exploring Cheltenham…

I woke about 7am and started the day with the usual apple cider vinegar in water and a green smoothie. I always like to have a smoothie on Fridays as I feel like it’s almost a mini cleanse before my weekly yoga class!

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This one had banana, apple, spinach, almond milk, flaxseed, peanut butter and a little raspberry jam – it was lovely but think it needs more PNB next time… Then it was off to yoga, I got stuck in lots of traffic on the way to had to sneak in late but luckily wasn’t the only one!

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After a quick turnaround, and a pear, at home I was ready to go to Cheltenham – such a beautiful drive! I’ve noticed that recently I’ve started to appreciate where I live so much more…a sign of getting old?

When I got there lunch was the first thing on my mind and I found a lovely little café where they served brunch ALL DAY. Ideal. I had scrambled egg on toast and a soy cappuccino. Both were delicious but the egg was £9??!! A bit overpriced I think, it was also meant to come with roasted tomatoes…unless these were mixed into the egg but I couldn’t taste them.

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Anyhow, I did plenty of shopping (oops) as there were lots of mid-season sales on – surely this counts as saving money? But I was really pleased with what I bought, some great bits for work/play and winter/summer that I can take to Buenos Aires. Finally I managed my first ever trip to Wholefoods and I thought I was going to burst with excitement! I mean I knew the place was amazing but…wow. I definitely shouldn’t be allowed back there alone. I had a delicious soy hot chocolate in the café beforehand, so refreshing to find one that isn’t overly sweetened – I definitely notice these things a lot more now.

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Before driving home I felt a bit lightheaded (maybe a slight sugar crash) so had an apple Nakd bar which seemed to do the trick. I’d forgotten how delicious these were.

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Finally, for dinner I cooked some scallops I had purchased earlier that day with olives and garlic in a tomatoey sauce with lots of green veg.

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For dessert I made my latest microwave cake – vanilla and raspberry. My housemate Hannah and I ate plenty of the chocolate version of these (inspired by this recipe) during finals as our treat at the end of a long day in the library so this one’s for her and is my first recipe! Although it definitely isn’t the prettiest pudding…

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Raspberry & vanilla microwave cake

3 tablespoons white spelt flour (can sub. for others)
1 tablespoon stevia (or sugar)
0.25-0.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1 handful raspberries
Soya milk (or milk of choice) to mix

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add the vanilla, raspberries and enough soy to mix it into a similar consistency of a standard cake mix.

Microwave on high for 2 mins (please bear in mind my microwave is the same age as me so your cooking time may vary!). Great served with more raspberries on top and a spoonful of yoghurt.

Finding a little perspective…

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago on the first day of my holiday in Grenada – I hope you are able to take something from it 🙂

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Recently, I have been starting to stress about my body again… be it that my stomach is too big and wobbly or my face being too puffy. Quite frankly, this is irritating the hell out of me! So the word that I keep bringing myself back to is that of perspective…

I know full well that I have worked so hard to change my attitude towards both food and myself and I can safely say that I have improved but, naturally after 22 years of the same habits, there are still some wobbles. It is hard not being in the same routine all the time but I need to recognise that is just the way my life is right now and work with it the best I can.

I’ve had my idea of my perfect ‘goal’ body and you know what? I was bloody miserable. A size 8, sometimes even a 6, no proper boobs, no curves, sharper cheekbones but no sparkle in my eyes. I couldn’t concentrate on a conversation let alone enjoy my friends’ company or write a decent essay on a topic I loved (ironically, famine). Food was constantly on my mind and exercise simply a way of burning more calories to further my perpetual hunger. How is that a life?

Okay, so now I might have a few more curves than I am happy with, but let’s look at the positives here. I read somewhere the other day that we, women, don’t boast enough about our achievements so here goes… I have just graduated from one of the top universities in Britain with a high 2:1 in Economics and a 1st in my dissertation that I worked bloody hard for (I now know the meaning of putting your soul into something!). My family and personal life has been pretty turbulent the past few years but I have come out smiling, most of time, and I feel it is something that has made me stronger and the person I am today and you know what? I think I kinda like her. I am realising my passions in life, the things that make me happy, and I am not afraid to pursue them. I like listening to Radio 3 in the car when I am stressed, but when I am in one of ‘those’ moods I simply have to blast out some tunes and sing along at the top of my voice. I am fascinated by healthy living and cooking for a healthy lifestyle, yet sometimes a girl just needs a piece of cake. Preferably chocolate. I believe life is an adventure and I am damn well going to enjoy the ride. I worked for this, and fought to get myself to where I am today and I am going to make the most of it. (Ideally whilst wearing a fabulous outfit, and no, that’s not shallow.)

So, perspective. What a word. If having a few extra wobbly bits is the worst thing going on in my life right now then I can safely say I am pretty lucky. I am not unhealthy nor dangerously overweight; deep down I know that all it will take is ‘dialling it up’ for a bit with more veggies and less fats in my meals, lots of smoothies (YUM) and some extra gym sessions. It’s all about making the best decision in the situation that you are in. Remember though, life is made to be enjoyed – did I mention I am currently lying in bed (slightly jet lagged) in Grenada listening to a Caribbean downpour outside my window? Today is the first day of the trip of a lifetime and I’m going to have an incredible time, no stress, just a bit of perspective.

{WIAW} Take one…

It seems somewhat appropriate that my first proper post is for ‘What I ate Wednesday’ – my favourite blog post to read being the nosy person that I am! So, keeping it simple, here goes…

My day started at 6.30am (it is definitely getting harder and harder to get up in these dark mornings!) with a much needed soya coffee and a few prunes before the gym, along with my usual water and apple cider vinegar for a mini cleanse.

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I had a great workout of 10 min HIT on the x trainer, some weights, 10 min HIT on the x trainer, more weights, another 10 min HIT and then plank and core. My timer on my plank stopped halfway through though – so annoying! After a shower at the gym I quickly ate my breakfast in the car – chia seed pudding made with apple, almond milk, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Then it was off to work – this time at the petrol station…all sorts of customers!

After work I was able to grab a quick lunch, before heading into town to give out my CV to try and find an extra job. Quite proud of my organisation on this one – I roasted some veg in curry spices the night before which I mixed into some cous cous…definitely need to work on my food photography though…

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After getting home I flopped with a cacao cherry smoothie infront of my guilty pleasure – Made in Chelsea 🙂

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Then I had some time to indulge in my favourite passtime, baking. I made Laura’s baked oatmeal (from keepinghealthygettingstylish.com) with pears from the garden and plums, yum yum.

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For dinner I made a variation of the pad thai from celeryandcupcakes.com, purely because I didn’t have all the ingredients! This one was full of bean sprouts, carrot, courgette, egg and some leftover roast chicken from the weekend – absolutely delicious.

Then, to finish the day I always need something sweet. This time it was melon, frozen cherries (spotting the addiction here?), fig and sheeps yoghurt. A tiring but productive day I feel, and British Bake Off was definitely the cherry on the cake – how appropriate.

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Welcome to Cherries & Chisme!

Hello there, I’m Pip – 22, just graduated from university and now living back home in the West Midlands. I work part time at events and any other odd jobs that come my way to fund my on-going volunteer work with an international development charity, whilst attempting to learn Spanish before heading to Buenos Aires in 2014 for a human rights internship – phewph!

For a bit more about me, a few things from my love list:

Golden sunny evenings…yoga…the seaside…longs flights to new adventures…moments of total calm…baking…coffee with friends…that massive high after exercise…a new outfit…change in seasons…being transported back to a moment just by a song…laughing so much your stomach hurts…discovering new green smoothies…learning something new…gaining a different perspective…big dreams…freedom…soy chai lattes…autumn mornings…cosy days at home with bad weather outside…long cycle rides…contributing to make something better…frozen cherries (of course!)

I’m hoping that Cherries & Chisme (Spanish for gossip – I think…) is going to mould into a collection full of healthy ideas for baking, explorations into cooking, travel adventures and general ponderings. Please enjoy!

edd