Pancakes for One


Monday to Friday breakfast tends to be a yogurt and some berries, or porridge with some fruit.

On a Saturday or Sunday though, I like to make pancakes.

I’ve been playing about with recipes for the last few weeks, and most recipes I’ve found cater for four people and after a bit of trial and error I have a recipe which caters for one.

This makes four to six small pancakes, and if I have it in the fridge I’ll add a handful of blueberries to the batter.

Ingredients

75g Self Raising Flour

Pinch of Baking Powder

1 Large Egg

10g Melted Coconut Oil

75ml Milk

Recipe

Mix the dry ingredients.

Create a well in the mix and add the wet ingredients.

When the Coconut Oil has melted, and the pan has reached a medium heat start ladling batter into the pan. Once bubbles start to form on the pancakes flip them to cook on the other side.

Serve with Strawberries, sliced Bananas or Raspberries.

Six Reasons to See Matilda The Musical before it Leaves Plymouth

Matilda the musical has been at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal for the last few weeks, and I am so sad I didn’t get to watch this as a child.

I got invited to attend on a press ticket in January, and I’m so grateful. I was previously part of the Theatre Royal’s Blogger Programme, and have been visiting the Theatre since I was earning enough to buy my own tickets.

This was the first musical I’ve taken Matt to see, and I’m glad. The humour, sharp wit, and Matilda’s sense of wrong and right make for such a unique show.

I really enjoyed the shows. The songs are catchy and stuck in your head, they gave a much loved classic a really original spin. Here are a few of the reasons I would recommend the show;

1) The set is incredibly detailed. The show is framed by Scrabble tile like letter boxes, which spell out key words from the story. As the play goes on, it’s like a word search as they appear before your eyes.

2) The choreography is something else. Be it the alphabet the older students compose on the gates of Crunchem Hall, of the swings in When I Grow Up.

3)The Trunchball is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. I didn’t go into this thinking i would enjoy a song about The Chokey

4) The Children are so incredibly talented.

5) The songs are catchy. Just mentioning the show in work the next morning resulted in two of my colleagues, unprompted breaking into Revolting Children. I am still humming When I Grow Up and Miracle.

6) The story about The Escapologist & The Acrobat had me crying. It’s beautifully told, and terribly bitter sweet.

The only change I would want, would be for the show to last longer. I would have loved to see a bit more of the story, but not enough for any part of the play to be removed.

The show is in Plymouth until February 16th (Saturday), and with a handful of £10 tickets at each show for 16-25 year olds.

(For anyone suffering withdrawal like symptoms, the Matilda film with Mara Wilson is currently on Netflix)

[The tickets were gifted by the Theatre Royal, but the words and opinions are all my own. Photos are courtesy of]

Filo Pastry Mince Pies Bites

I don’t really post about it here, but I belong to Slimming World. I rejoined recently to eat healthily and mindfully.

Tonight we have a taster session, effectively a buffet full of healthy food designed to give you a pile of ideas for food to try at home.
After a bit of googling and checking of syn values I settled on Filo Pastry Mince Pies Bites. I bought a jar of Mincemeat from Waitrose which came in a 1 syn a TSP, and after playing round came up with a recipe.
These a 2 syns (or 40 calories) a bite/pie. They are really light, and more inspired by Mince Pies than anything but when your average Mince Pie can be 11 syns (220 calories) it’s a nice alternative.

Recipe
Two Sheets of Filo Pastry.
Jar of Mincemeat
Egg (for binding and glazing)
Frylight (to grease)
Preheat the oven 180°C (mine is fan assisted) and spray a 12 hole cupcake tray with Frylight.
Lay out the two Filo pastry sheets, lengthwise ontop of each other. Cut in half, and half again.
Layer the pastry together and cut into thirds.
Lay out twelve squares of Filo on a clean counter top.
Crack and beat an egg, using now using a pastry brush, lightly brush egg into the centre of the pastry.
Add the second piece of Filo ontop of the twelve squares, in a star type pattern. Add a level teaspoon of Mincemeat to each Filo star.
Fold one corner of the pastry in over the Mincemeat, level out if needed. Using he pastry brush egg wash each section of pastry before folding another section ontop. Repeat until folded into a parcel.
Place each Filo bite into a hole in the cupcake tray, and add an egg glaze ontop of each.

Bake on on 180°C for 10 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

-Emily

(These are family approved, I left these on the cake plate Sunday evening and by Monday when I got home from work they had all been eaten.)

Triple Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Brownies are my ultimate sweet treat.
They are chocolatey, gooey whilst holding thier shape. I’ve been making them for about five years now, and they are the perfect treat for a birthday gift or dinner party.
The bake time is really important with brownies. Overcook them and they turn to dry biscuits, undercook them and they won’t hold thier shape.

If you have self control, they also freeze well. I’ll often freeze half the batch either for later or a specific occasion.

I’ve spent the last week baking, and am on my third tray of these, and I wanted to share my recipe;

Ingredients
185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate (broken into chunks)
250g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
65g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
50g white chocolate (chopped small)
50g milk chocolate (chopped small)
50g Fudge (chopped small)
Preheat the oven to 160°c, and line your tin.
Before starting cooking weigh everything out, and read the recipe twice.
Start by melting the chocolate . I do this in a microwave in15-20 second intervals, but you could also use the Baine Marie method. Be careful the chocolate doesn’t burn, by stirring and checking. Once the chocolate has melted start incorporating the butter, add it gradually and keep stirring. Heat it gently with the same method as the chocolate if needs be. Once melted together leave to cool.
Next the most time consuming step, creaming the eggs and sugar. Use an electric mixer, on the highest setting for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture has got fluffy and light.
Once the egg mixture is ready, fold in the cooled chocolate butter.
Next sift in the cocoa/flour, and fold until combined. Add in half the chopped chocolate and fudge.
Pour the batter into a tin, and add the final fudge and chocolate chunks. Prod them into the batter.
Put the brownie mix into the oven for 30-35 minutes. If you want to take the bake out earlier to tell if it’s done, give the bake a light shake bake and forth. There will be some movement but it should still hold together.

Once done, put in the side to cool in the tin. Its best to leave it 3+ hours (or overnight) as the brownie is very dense and takes a while to cool fully.

Peanut butter and Nutella; as 50 g of melted Peanut Butter to the butter/sugar mix. Substitute 50g of Nutella with dark chocolate to the chocolate butter. At the end, melt together another 50g of peanut butter and Nutella and mix this through the tip of the bake.
Caramel; add small measures of caramel evenly across the lined tin before adding the batter. Add the batter ontop of the caramel in the tin and ad 100g of melted caramel across the top of the bake.

Creme Egg; follow the recipe above and 15 minutes from the end of the bake remove the brownie batter from the oven and add mini creme eggs into the par cooked batter. Add to the oven for the last 15 minutes.

Barbican Blogger Night; Cocktails, Pizza and Cinema

A little while ago, the The Barbican Leisure Park invited a few bloggers on a night out.

I’ve been visiting the Leisure Park since I got a Saturday job as a teenager. It was the venue for my first date, and many, many subsequent dates. It’s where I first discovered Cheesy Bites, and that I am terrible at bowling.

It’s the only place I feel completely, unhesitatingly confident driving as I know the route so well.

Accepting that invite was an easy yes.

We started off at Pizza Express, where there were cocktails and doughballs (and olives, and sun-dried tomatoes and all sorts of incredible things).

We got to sample the new drinks menu, with a light Tails Cocktail as a welcome drink. Espresso Martini’s are an easy favourite any time, and Pizza Express’ addition of vanilla added a sweet edge to the cocktail.

At Bella Italia, we shared some of the new menu options family style. Carbonara, Marinara pasata, Pollo Piccante pizza and a couple delicious vegan options with the both a pizza (i can’t find the name of), and a spaghetti in a lentil ragu.

The pizza was my first time trying Vegan cheese and there was no, noteable difference, i really enjoyed it.

We then split off into smaller groups, a few of the bloggers went to see A Simple Favor (Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick👌), a couple made their way home and Nicole and I went to see Venom.

Avoiding spoilers, it was as fun as the trailers made it look.

We were lucky enough to be treated to the evening, but a trip to the cinema is one of my favourite things to do with Matt, family or friends.

It’s one of the better things about the cooler months, in the last couple weeks I’ve been to see First Man, and Bohemian Rhapsody.Mow just to tick A Star is Born off the watch list…

I’ve added a little highlights section on my Instagram from the evening if you fancy a gander.

Seven tips for your first time at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

We left Fringe over a week ago and I am missing it. So. Much.

This year was my first experience of the festival, and it won’t be the last. I wanted to pull together a few tips for any other first timers;
Install the Fringe app. I used this;
  • To find the ticket office, there was only one show i attended by myself which was an impulse buy. Finding the nearest ticket to the show I was attending prior was really useful in planning my day.
  • The planner section of the ap. You can add shows to a schedule, with locations and times to structure your day.
  • The Nearby function, where you can see shows in an area you define. Useful if you find yourself with a free hour or two and want to impulsively attend something.
Leaflets. There are so many leafleters at the Fringe, this was really helpful on the second day when we wanted to pass out our day, as the week went on it got annoying. After a show we went for drinks in the courtyard at the Pleasence, in half an hour we were approached by at least eight people for future shows, even as out body language communicated we wanted to be left alone. We avoided the space for the rest of our trip because of the leafleters.
Anything tagged with “Free Fringe” means there is no admission fee. At the end of each show the performer/s will be waiting with a bucket for donations as you exit the venue. Performer’s tended to request a £5/£10 donation, which is expected.

If the show says you dont need a ticket, but you can reserve a seat, reserve a seat. We made this mistake, arriving at a show half an hour before its start time and were asked to sit to one side and wait until those with tickets were seated. We waited until late comers had been seated, and were permitted to enter the venue a couple minutes after the shows scheduled start time.

Experience Edinburgh. Yes the festival is incredible, and it feels like there is always something happening but explore the city. We climbed Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano the base of which is a short walk from the city centre. It’ll take you 30-40 to climb, and is a little bit of work but completely worth it for the panoramic views of the city.

I also stumbled across Calton Hill whilst watching some shows by myself. Walking here just before sunset I was awed by how beautiful the area was. I Messenger called my partner from the top of Nelson Monument to share the incredible views with him.

Over excited from the top of Arthur’s Seat

The National Monument of Scotland
View from the top of Nelson Monument. Worth the £5 to get to the viewing deck.

Opt for a backpack with a hidden pocket, or a cross body bag. Areas like the Royal Mile are rammed with people at all times are there are signs everywhere advising attendees to pay attention for pick pocketers. Security aside, you’ll be able to carry a water bottle easily. Supermarkets and corner shops weren’t the most obvious things, so water bottles we could ask venues to refill were helpful.

Schedule in some downtime. Fringe is incredible, but it can be full on with shows running from the morning until midnight. Ours was a few days in Glasgow where we justtook things slowly

The Festival was a real high point of this year. My schedule has been ridiculously full (I’m quickly moving towards Hen Do number four of five this year) , and just spending a week with two incredible friend’s watching comedy, live music, hanging out and just enjoying ourselves was exactly what I needed from a week off.

Are you off to Fringe? If so, what tips do you have?

Emily

Book Review – All The Light We Cannot See; Anthony Doerr

“Radio: it ties a million ears to a single mouth.”
“Her fingers walk the tightrope of sentences…”

All The Light We Cannot See was this month’s book club choice, and as this has been on my TBR pile for a while it makes this read feel like a double accomplishment.
First off, the writing in this book is beautiful. As beautiful as the cover imaging.
The story is set primarily between France and Germany, with the lion share of the story unfolding between 1934 and 1944. The narrative tracks primarily Werner and Marie-Laure; Werner is a very gifted orphan whos father passed away in a mining accident who finds a way to escape working in the mines himself, Marie-Laure is a gifted, charming blind girl who’s life changes completely when her and her father have to escape occupied Paris for Saint-Malo.
I finished this book in about six days, a combination of how addictive this book is and the fact I had a couple days off spent primarily at Whitsand Bay. Anthony Doerr created a world I wanted to dive into at every spare moment, I was desperate to find how Werner and Marie-Laure’s stories would entwine.
I found the first two thirds of the novel more enjoyable than the final third. As much as I enjoyed this novel, I will be donating it to charity. I’m glad this came into my life, but I will not be recommending it at the same level of overexcitement which I did Pet Sematary of The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

That said, as much as I don’t expect to re-read this book, I can appreciate how beautiful it is. Part of me wants to pass this onto my dad, who though he isn’t a big reader loves radio.

There is a short video on YouTube from the author explaining how the story composed itself.

3/5

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.

In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Similar books to try;
The Book Thief; Markus Zusak