28.6.15

Pistachio Cupcakes

 
I love pistachio flavoured anything. Ice cream, cookies, even in a nutty salad. Not the healthiest nut but definitely one of the tastiest (I'm now imagining what pistachio butter tastes like). Pinterest is amazing for food inspiration, from healthy superfood meals to sweet treats. A pistachio cake came up one day and I've had it in the back of my mind to make it ever since. I decided to try out a cupcake recipe, had a quick Google and found one that was quite simple and where I had all of the ingredients in the cupboard. I tweaked it a little to suit me and they turned out pretty well. Let me know if you've made anything delicious with pistachios.
 

Ingredients
120 grams shelled pistachios
140 grams caster sugar
140 grams softened butter
2 eggs
140 grams self-raising flour
5 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 grams icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C and prepare a tray with cupcake cases (makes 12)
Put 100 grams of the pistachios and half the sugar (700 grams) into a food processor until finely chopped
Pour the mix into a bowl and add the rest of the sugar, butter, eggs, flour and vanilla extract until smooth.
With a spoon put the mix into the cases evenly then place on a low shelf in the oven for around 20 to 25 minutes
Once they are golden on top and cooked inside, take out of the oven and leave to cool
Chop up the remaining pistachios with a sharp knife into chunks
Get your icing sugar and add a teaspoon of water gradually while mixing, making it slightly runny to glaze the top of all the cupcakes then add the pistachio chunks on top

24.6.15

Days of Spring


The last couple of months I have to admit I haven't had my blogger/writer/photo taker head on. As much as I love writing and taking photos it has just been pushed to the back of the line for me. I think that reflects on how the spring months have been for me. I'm not a fan of using the word 'busy' especially to describe why I haven't done something. I think the right way to describe it is that my days became more full with life happening.

Ever since late winter I have felt like I've been on a roundabout just going round and round as each week began and there was no getting off. If that makes sense. And because of that I lost interest in blogging, writing especially as I went a whole month without writing just for myself in my little book. I would go to work and when I wasn't at work I filled my time with job hunting, seeing my friends and family, getting some exercise and trying my best to soak up the occasional days the sun came out. Keeping myself occupied so I didn't let myself think about everything deep in my mind. I was so tense, trying to do more. Feeling like I'm not doing enough. 

Now I'm inspired to leave those feelings in spring with the relief that I now feel. In summer I tend to feel more content and brighter. But also after what feels like forever looking for a job and countless interviews, I was offered a job that is related to what I studied at university. I can't express how good it feels, it was what felt like a never ending battle with the world. I'm now excited (with a hint of nerves) to begin this new chapter and progress to the next step and get my teeth stuck into a new challenge.

Spring hasn't been all bad, it has had its ups and downs. It's always going to be like that and sometimes it takes time to realise it will all be okay. I'm looking forward to all the good that will come now it's summer. Getting back to feeling like myself, doing what I love and being who I am. Never forget who you are and what is important to you. Let the summer light bring you only the best.

21.6.15

What my Dad has taught me so far..

On Mother's Day earlier this year I wrote about the things my Mum has taught me, now that Father's Day is here I want to write about what my Dad has taught me so far in life. Mothers and Fathers are so very different, they have their own roles to play, both very important in their own ways. Outside of being parents they are their own person. They've grown to be the adults they are, with unique views on the world. I like to hope that I have the best parts of my Mum and Dad in me and I can pass that wisdom on to maybe my own children. At the time when my Dad is going on and on about something I may not realise it but he's trying to tell me something that could be important one day. And I know I have many more years to keep learning from you.

Dad, so far you have taught me..

1, How to ride a bike, I still remember the hours you would help me by holding the bike up as I pedalled
2, Take care of my little sister, she'll always look up to me
3, Many things about cars like how to check the tyre pressure, oil, water and driving tricks to be a better driver
4, To tell time
5, All those little math tips like singing my times tables until I became better with math than you
6, Make sure to rest and drink plenty of water
7, Do what you enjoy, life is too short to not be happy with what you're doing
8, How to use a hair dryer and hair crimper
9, It's okay to get upset and feel shy, you're only human
10, Don't rush, take your time, there's always time

10.6.15

Book Review: Wild A journey From Lost To Found

After how much I enjoyed my last audiobook I decided to give another one a try. Audible have daily deals where you can get an audiobook for under £3 usually. Wild came up and it was a book I had in my mind to read so I thought it would be a good idea to try the audiobook. One thing I like about using audiobooks is that I can finish them within a few days and it's perfect to have on in the background. I did feel that some of the story dragged a little and I sometimes got lost but the book as a whole was enjoyable and left me feeling inspired.

Based on Cheryl Strayed's true story, it follows her hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington state. She decided to do this after her marriage ended following the grief of losing her soul mate. She made this impressive decision with nothing to lose. It captures the reality of how difficult and brave it is to be a woman alone in the wild. It's a time of reflection for Cheryl as we find out what happened to bring her on this journey. The people she meets along the way all teach her new things and shows how much stronger she gets as she reaches the end of the trail, both physically and emotionally. It challenges her body and mind in new ways.

It's empowering seeing what she went through alone and where she has come from to where she ended up. Sometimes I think we need that alone time to reflect on everything, the good and the bad so we can be a better version of ourselves. It shows how truly amazing women are and how much we can endure as humans.