Monday, 3 April 2017

Breakfast Banana Bread

Found this in the Co-Op Magazine and it is now my ultimate go-to for a healthy grab and go breakfast! Make a loaf at the start of the week and it's great to take with me for an early start on campus or an easy breaky at home.

Makes 1 Loaf

  • 1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 banana, sliced (for decoration)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • Handful of walnuts
  • Handful of raisins
  • 75g oats
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75g natural yogurt

Simple Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180∘C
  2. Beat together sugar, eggs, oil, yogurt, honey, vanilla extract and mashed banana
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and oats
  4. Stir in the raisins and nuts
  5. Pour into a lined loaf tin and decorate the top with the sliced banana
  6. Cook for 1 hour or until a knife comes out clean
  7. Leave to cool

Friday, 11 November 2016


Another made-up recipe on a chilled evening in with the girls. Perfect for that super-sweet tooth.

Makes 16 blondies

  • 4oz butter
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 2oz soft brown sugar
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 4oz plain flour
Simple Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees 
  2. Beat together sugar, eggs and butter
  3. Sift in the flour
  4. Chop the white chocolate into chunks and stir into mix
  5. Bake for 30 minutes

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Chocolate Cheesecake

I made this recipe up with one of my housemates for our first house meal in 4th year. We were cooking a roast and decided a chocolatey dessert was 100% necessary but we couldn't be bothered to head out to the shops on a hungover Sunday evening so made do with what we could find in the cupboards. The outcome was surprisingly successful!

Serves 8

  • 100g butter
  • 160g digestive biscuits
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 square white chocolate (to decorate)

Simple Steps:
  1. Crush the biscuits into a large bowl then melt the butter and add. Mix them together then lay out in a small dish and flatten the biscuit base using your fingers. Put in the fridge.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a separate bowl then add the cream cheese and stir together.
  3. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix.
  4. Cover the biscuit base with the chocolate cream cheese topping.
  5. Grate white chocolate on top for decoration.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Chocolate Brownies

Not only do these brownies taste AMAZING, they are also super easy to make and work out much cheaper than a lot of recipes out there since they barely use much chocolate despite tasting uber chocolatey. I love them served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delish.

  • 55g cocoa powder
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 85g unsalted butter/margarine, melted
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 100g chocolate chips

Simple Steps:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a 20cm (8") square cake tin.
  2. Mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water then add half the melted butter.
  3. Add the rest of the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix.
  4. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and mix.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the top is firm to touch.
  7. Cut into squares and leave to cool in the tin.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Mix it up by using a combination of white, milk and dark chocolate chips.
  • If you haven't got chocolate chips, cut up bits of a chocolate bar works just as well and is also a cheaper alternative.
  • If you really don't have time, pick some up from Bread Ahead in Borough Market (2 for £4)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Banana Super Smoothie

This is my absolute favourite thing to have for breakfast. I started making it a few weeks ago and now I can't start my morning without it - tastes like you're drinking a chocolate milkshake yet it's actually full of healthy stuff.

  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 200ml Soya/Almond/Cow's milk (almond is my fave as it's sweetest)
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder

Simple Steps:
  1. Put all the ingredients into a jug or blender
  2. Blend using a hand blender or blender
  3. Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:
  • Leave the ingredients together for about 5/10mins just to soften the banana a bit - it will be much easier to blend this way
  • Ditch the water and reduce the milk to 100ml for ice cream!
  • Optional extras would be 1tbsp smooth peanut butter or a squirt of honey/maple syrup

Friday, 12 August 2016

Travelling Solo

A few of my friends made the exciting decision to travel by themselves this summer and asked me for some tips for the solo traveller. For some of them, it's their first big travel experience so they were obviously a little nervous about boarding the plane into the unknown for over a month.

I've been very fortunate to have already had so many amazing travel adventures, from family holidays to school trips, French exchanges, a World Challenge expedition and a Gap Year. Most recently, I travelled round Australia, my first travel experience entirely on my own outside of Europe, so I'm fresh off the traveller circuit and have put together some tips for the solo traveller:

1. Research your first stop

For me, the scariest thing about travelling is the moment you first arrive in the country. You'll most likely be tired and groggy after the long-haul flight and will want nothing more to be showered and in a comfy bed but instead you've got to navigate your way to the hostel, usually without using trusty google maps (shock horror).

This is, however, easy peasy if you book your hostel in advance and check the directions before your go - usually there will be public transport available instead of a pricey taxi. Some hostels even offer shuttle bus services so look out for those.

Be prepared though - on my first night in Budapest the hostel had double booked me and my friend and we were left walking through the streets with our backpacks at midnight in an unknown city (eventually we ended up crashing in another hostel common room for the night after they took pity on us)!

2. Make friends!

This sounds obvious but just go for it. Other travellers are probably the easiest people to form friendships with - everyone's out there for the same reason so you've at least got one thing in common already, plus a lot of other people will be on their own and looking for friends! Before I'd even checked in at my first hostel in Sydney I'd already made friends with a lovely German girl I met on the street!

Don't know where to start? Usually asking the famous backpacker questions, Where are you from? Where are you travelling to? How long have you been travelling? Where next? ... You'll have this conversation A MILLION times!

3. Approach people

I actually found this easier travelling by myself than with a friend, just because you're in a very open position (I normally found people would approach me) and you have to force yourself to talk to people otherwise you'd be by yourself and lonely. Keep your phone in your pocket, put your book away and go and talk to people.

4. Stay in dorms

Probably the easiest way to make friends is with your roommates in a hostel. If you've been travelling a while sometimes if you've got the money it can be a dream to treat yourself to a couple of nights in a private room but if you're up for socialising the dorms are where it's at.

5. Get involved

Lots of hostels run events such as bar crawls and city tours so going along to those is a surefire way to meet people and explore the place you're visiting.

6. Take a kindle/book

There will inevitably be times when you'll be by yourself and embrace these moments by bringing a good book or kindle with you to read, whether you'll be relaxing by the beach or sitting on a (very) long bus journey. Kindles are great because you've got an everlasting collection of things to read but don't panic if you haven't got one - swap books with other travellers or lots of hostels run a book exchange. There are also places like The Little Library in Melbourne where you can borrow, swap or donate a book.

7. Cook with others

Cooking for one doesn't always turn out cheaper and I actually often found it cheaper to eat out. Depending where you are in the world, the price of food is obviously going to vary - I don't think I cooked once in South East Asia since the street food was so cheap!

Pesto pasta is always a winning formula, especially as you'll be able to carry the ingredients with you from hostel to hostel. Team up with other travellers and you can all chip in to ingredients for a slightly more exciting meal or a BBQ on the beach - ALWAYS a good idea.

8. Be selfish

The beauty of travelling on your own is you can decide exactly what YOU want to do. Wander around the city and soak up the place, look online and ask around where's good to go and visit the places that interest you. This is your chance to be incredibly selfish so enjoy it, you're not tied down to anyone.

9. Buy a selfie stick

Ok, so before I bought my selfie stick I've got to admit I used to laugh at people who had them. When I got to Barcelona and was out exploring the city on my own enjoying the view at the MNAC I saw a man selling them and, having just booked my solo trip to Oz, decided to make the purchase. €4 later, I'd switched over to the selfie stick side and I'm a true convert - honestly even the biggest cynics were begging to get into my group selfies. My secret weapon for making friends!

10. Social Media

An inexhaustible tool for travellers, whether you're looking for travel buddies (I met two Germans who were driving around together after meeting on Facebook) or trying to find cool places to go (Instagram, Instagram, Instagram). Also an amazing way to keep in touch with everyone and share photos, either while you're travelling or in future - I met up with a friend I'd met in Vietnam again in Budapest after seeing her Snapchat story.

Also the best way to keep in contact with friends/family back home. Or start a blog... like this one!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Escape the Room

I’ve got to admit, one of my favourite games I used to play on Miniclip back in the day was Escape the Room, where you have to use clues within a virtual ‘room’ to crack the codes and unlock the ‘door’. Just imagine my excitement when I found out there are now real life escape the room experiences cropping up all over the world!

A friend of mine invited me to Time Run in London, tucked away in the capital’s East End – the first mission is finding the place! With live actors welcoming you in and a 3D avatar guiding you through your challenges, this place really blurs the line between virtual and actual reality as you travel through time. Our team was delighted to make it out of the third and final room in the very last minute, joining the other 30% of successful participants. It was loads of fun and the perfect opportunity to escape reality for an hour and a bit. What’s more, it definitely builds teamwork skills – something employers should keep in mind for ‘team building days’.

We escaped Time Run

I had yet another escape the room experience at Escape Hunt when I was all the way Down Under visiting friends in Adelaide. This time was with a bigger group of friends and we were split into two teams in two identical next-door rooms – this definitely added to the fun as our competitive sides came out when we could hear how the other team were doing through the wall.

The winning team (just!!)

For something a little bit different to do with your friends for the afternoon (and to test your friendships), these experiences are definitely worth giving a go! Tickets are also available as gift vouchers so are a really good idea for a unique present for the person who has everything.