Thursday, 4 October 2018

Dawn of Second Year

Dearest children,

Second year blooms in front of me like a carrion flower: a beautiful, red blossom that opens to behold the smell of rotting corpse.

Dampen your enthusiasm, Samantha, I hear you squeal!

I jest.

It has been a long, hot summer (thanks, caroline.) filled with placement which I am SO SORRY I HAVEN'T TOLD YOU ABOUT but was definitely a very mixed bag, meeting M's parents which was so so exciting and so so nerve wracking, seeing my momma and my sisters and chilling out on the beach, obsessing over eating too much ice cream and grabbing my stomach surreptitiously, and eating more ice cream. how was your guys's summer? <3

But now, second year is starting, my babies, and the truth is slugging me on the face and leaving low-fat margarine tears to drip down my skin: this year counts. I can no longer while away endless wednesday evenings drinking straight vodka to minimise my sugar intake before Citrus; early thursday mornings eating piles of toast and drunkenly swearing I'll make it to my lecture; and late thursday mornings swearing that it's okay, I'll make it next time. Less Fridays of shamedly limping back to Manor Park from M's in my favourite (and only) pair of heels and buying orange juice from tesco on the way back. I have to actually knuckle down, which sucks a bit.

I've put on a little holiday weight, as Ross would say, and when i poke my stomach she bubbles in a way she never has before. my favourite banana dress did not zip up yesterday. and that is okay. I will get back to my normal weight as my routine fluctuates back to normal. I really have been eating whatever i wanted recently, and i want to tell you guys too: it is okay to gain weight. weight fluctuates with our lives. whenever i see the lovely girls from my course again i keep thinking, ugh, they must be thinking how fat i've gotten. and it makes me so bitter, wrapping it all inside myself and then eating 10,000 raw vegan snickers bars when i get home and sniggering "it doesn't matter anyway."

here are some yummy things i have been eating recently and i want to publish recipes for ALL OF THEM:

1. shredded beetroot, greek yoghurt, savoury seasoning. a persian specialty from my housemate. x

2. no-knead peasant bread. a crispy, buttery crust and the most beautiful soft innards that taste amazing dunked in mushroom or tomato soup.

3. greek yoghurt with fruit and M's mum's jam. she is so lovely and takes care of me v cutely. when my hair was dry, she rubbed oil into my hair!!! what an angel. I love going to visit A LOT.

will do an update into uni food and uni life in a bit darlings. things with M going excellently despite him being an oblivious little pumpkin. i try not to mother him but its so hard, he's such a sweet, clueless bunny.

have a lovely weekend my darlings. peace out.

xo sam

Monday, 26 March 2018

Best banana-maple-peanut butter soft cookies {vegan, gf}

My friends, I will be brief on this fine day. I have honed you this highly delicious recipe and I hope dearly that you will love me forever for making the rest of your life - previously a dark, banana cookie-less, dry landscape - so deliciously moist, nutty, and chocolaty. Yes. I am going to give you this recipe and then go and attempt to do my haematology lab. I am, for a short time, solo in my accommodation as everyone has gone home and my flight leaves later this week. I am reallyyy loving it BUT  I found yesterday I was really just eating all day and that's BAD. I finished a tub of halotop mint chip (I LOVE MINT CHIP, IT IS MY FAVOURITE FLAVOUR EVERRR), half a batch of these cookies... oh well. I did enjoy them. :) Today, at least, I did some LOVELY power yoga, a bums & tums class, and made a bowl of many delicious green things which I will post in a What-I-eat-in-a-day ASAP as it included something v greek and v delicious. Also rolled around in grassy bit near house and got a wet bum. x Enjoy your days, sweethearts! Its a gorgeous one :) 

Best Banana-Maple-Peanut Butter Soft Cookies
1/2 cup maple syrup (you can reduce this. I didn't really want to lol as I felt like v sweet ones :)
1/2 cup nut butter
A generous splash (up to 3 tablespoons) olive oil {add more if you desire an even softer cookie}
1 banana
1 & 1/2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 phat dark squares of choc, chopped up small (chunks or bunks, boyz. Its your choice)

1. Mash that banana, baby. In the same bowl, mix in the maple, nut butter, and olive oil until a smooth mixture is formed.
2. Dump in the dry ingredients, and mix away until everything is assimilated.
3. Mix in dem choc chips. Mmm.
4. Sample batter surreptitiously, then remember no one is there to tell you off and eat a big spoon of it.
5. Spoon into about 7 or 8 big cookie blobs, and pop in the 180 C oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden. YUM.
{taste significantly better when cooled. I'm sorry. yet synonymously, i am not suggesting they taste anything other than fantastic when they are so hot they burn ur tongue.)

Enjoy! xox

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Uni: What I eat + do in a day

Hey babies!

How are you all? I am promising myself that I will try and be more regular on here because I love writing bloggies so much. Maybe it will tether me to some semblance of regularity and routine in this crazy life, where I feel as if I am doing so much, and yet doing so little (i.e sitting in front of netflix drinking almond milk and maple syrup while scrolling through asos).

Ever since I've come back from Christmas break at home, I have done some morally questionable things, my babies. Remember how I mentioned tesco boy? Well, everything was going swell - he was being cute and he came to my gospel choir concert, he got me a christmassy little elf hat, he bought me nutella hot chocolate and he WANTS TO JOIN THE RAF (Ik guys. Possibly, completely shallow but this pleased me endlessly due to my mental associations with tres mignon, sefless military boys and the opening scene to Peter Pan). And trust me, I was pursuing him. But there was this niggling little thought in the back of my mind, every time I was with him - he'd say things I thought were really off, which I would then push to the back of my mind, and our conversations would get lukewarm really quickly, with me having to feign interest in things he brought up. The more I got to know this boy, the less I actually liked him.

But, babies - I am a girl to whom the shocking adrenaline of being liked BACK in the same space-time continuum is darkly rare thus far in my life {I know. Don't ask me how.}. And so I persisted with this short burst of romance because I think in many ways, I am in love with the idea of being in love.

Until we kissed.

IT WAS AWFUL. It was slobbery and he kept his mouth open the ENTIRE TIME and the whole time tesco boy was enjoying the suctioning process of his lips to mine, I was thinking: Am I lesbian? Is kissing actually supposed to be this awful? Does everyone PRETEND TO LIKE IT???

Then he broke away and said he needed to pee, after taking a quick selfie with me in which I uncomfortably grimaced and tried to display some variant of happiness. I was actually feeling really confused and clear at the same time: at that moment, I really realised I didn't like tesco boy. But that kind of thing doesn't happen in a moment - which also made me realise that maybe I hadn't truly liked him all along. I self-consciously wiped my chin as it was covered in his saliva. yum. He then walked me home and asked to stay at mine, to which I snorted "lol nope." I then went upstairs and ate the remains of the salmon en croute we'd made for our flat christmas dinner and pondered the crushing of my crush. Also got angry at self for eating so much salmon en croute and went to bed with a slight belly ache.

The plot thickens, children - I am now with one of his friends! The rest of THAT story comes soon, nugget babies. For now: food.

March 24th, 2017

10:00 am: Woke up v late after Rubix last night. Missed my 9 am, whoopsie.

10:01 am: Ponder what food I can ingest to make my sleepy body feel better. Know in soul that am not really that hungry AND exercise would be far better for me at this point, but convince self that bread will be an excellent option and nurse me back to health. Also, M made me this rye bread and it tastes amazing. FIRST TIME BOY HAS MADE ME BREAD.

10:30 am: Finished with breakfast. much delicious - creamy scrambled eggs with a little pat of butter, mushrooms and spinach wilted in water, and 2 slices of bomb-ass bread, using flatmate S's lurpak. i steal it on a regular basis and love her v much.

11:00 am: Crawl onto bike to go to lecture. Forget key in room; run back up to get it. What a hassle. realise have left tail lights on on bike all night long and try not to think about my overt lack of eco-friendliness.

11:10 am: As per usual, am completely late for lecture. Walk in full of shame with head down and as quietly as possible. This happens every day, yet my burning guilt at each occurrence seems not enough to change my habits. One lives in hope.

11:15 am: It is molecular biology. Shoot me pls. (Even though I hate utilising terms such as shoot and kill in jest. I am a product of my society.) I drop off periodically; embarrassed by gross shiver I always do just before falling asleep. Yes, I make sounds. And as a direct consequence, yes, it is obvious I am falling asleep.

11:59 am: Thank god, lecture is over. Hotfoot it out of lecture hall and practically sprint to yoga.

12:30 am: Fart during cat cow. mortally embarrassed.

1:00 pm: Feel so much better. Yoga always clears my mind, even if its the really gentle, soft yoga that I did today. I love it. Time to go homeeee via the seemingly endless schlep to Manor Park and have lunch (the real reason you're here). xoxox

1:30 pm: Arrive back at home. C, other fab roommate, throws death glares at me for preparing broccoli in his presence. I have a can of sardines in brine, broccoli, oven-roasted kale, a few olives my mum sent me from home, a bit of my honey mustard dressing (ok, a lot), a fried egg, and a pretty pat of minty rice that my egyptian babe A has made for me. She makes large amounts of carbohydrates and hates leftovers, and thus feeds them to me forcefully in the full knowledge that my ass does not require more foods. I eat them joyfully regardless.

2:40 pm: Decide to shun uni work and make a gloriously moist, date-sweetened banana bread. Recipe coming: its amazing. I ate approximately 3 slices and then saved the rest 4 flat babies, my bestie, and boy who I rlly like but idk if he is my boyfriend (yes, still M).

3:01 pm: Reconsider cake. Is it too weird to bring him some? Is it past that no-man's land? Will he think it is dowry?!?!

3:02 pm: It's just cake, Sam. JUST CAKE. I promise and swear and I will even give it to him in an ugly tupperware, like I don't think I'll even see him again, so he doesn't think I'm being presumptuous and that we are on washing-tuppers-to-give-back-and-second-dates kinda land.

3:04 pm: But its so ugly and unaesthetic. I'm switching tuppers.

3:50 pm: Cycle into uni again for the last lecture of today (you'll notice it was a very light day - only 2 lectures! Usually I have wayyyy more).

4:00 pm: As I sit in lecture, remember that TODAY IS A THURSDAY AND THE BROWNIE STAND IS HERE AGHHHH!!! Also fruits but I have lots of those already and... brownies.

4:07 pm: Love physiology, but cannae believe that only 7 minutes have gone past. I want my brownie and I want it now.

5:02 pm: After chats with friends have sprinted to brownie stand. THIS ONE IS COOKIE DOUGH. Please look at it. I personally looked at it, and then had the privilege to eat it. Oh, it was so delicious. Check out those layers, people. I ain't seen nothin' more delicious EVER.

6:00 pm: After a little work in the library, I decide to go home and basically spend the rest of the evening chilling out with the flatties. I don't eat dinner because I'm full of sugar. Mmm. I was proud of self restraint because usually, even if NOT hungry, I will make toast and slather in butter. Goodnight now, babies. See you soon. xoxox

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Uni: what I eat in a day + Life Update: University!

Hello, lovelies!

I can't quite believe that I'm saying this, but I am at university!! Summer is definitely over, though the weather here has actually been so beautiful - and I'm experiencing my first ever autumn, where the leaves are gorgeous and red and crispy and they're EVERYWHERE. I'm studying nutrition and dietetics at the University of Surrey and I'm writing this as I get ready to go to one of my *ahem* least favourite lectures: biochemistry. I know that it may be obvious to some people that chemistry is the BACKBONE of a course that EXPLORES HOW FOOD REACTS WITH OUR BODY but I think I missed the memo :'( Anyway, I'm muddling along, and obviously not always healthily - sometimes, back from nights out with my mates, I'll binge out on dates and peanut butter (uhm... thank you god for kilo tubs) and I can definitely feel that I've filled out a bit. But that's alright. I'm also the happiest I've ever been in my life, so I'm not really too bothered. :)

Ok, here's a cheeky quick update on the food I've been having so far. I'll upload some of my less healthy days at some point, but I want to woo you all with my pretty pictures and the smoothies I slurp looking out of my window when I know I am late for my 9 am.

Monday, 6th Nov 2017

Breakfast: Banana-stuffed chard leaf with almond butter, strawberries, and the most delicious caramel-ly dates I have ever had in my entire life. They are from the THURSDAY MARKET here (I know. I know.)

Lunch: Sped off to lecture after leisurely banana leaf. Almost died when I found out the virology lecturer is French and completely hot. Enjoyed lecture immensely. Went back home to happily eat my fave, go-to lunch - half an avocado, lots of broccoli, a fried egg, my mustard dressing, and lots of seeds on top. Sometimes I even add sardines, which is complete heaven! Today I had it with the remainder of my sexy hummus.

Snack: Deliciously ella ball!! I love her with the zest of my entire being. She really disappointed me with her granola bars, though - I feel she is straying from her core ethos. Both the granola and granola bars have two types of sugar in them! They are pretty-sounding syrups, but if there's one thing I am learning so far, its that the pretty syrups - especially that coconut-blossom nectar - do almost the same damn thing to your body as that refined crap.

Dinner: my tomato soup (inspired from pret; will post soon!) with a bunch of sautéed mushrooms on top with half an avocado! And another egg. Because love.

Came home, did zero work. Had a (few) date(s) stuffed with PB and frozen raspberries that was HEAVEN. And some vanilla chai tea - need to post my fave teas on here!! Ok, I am super tired. Love you lots. Post soon. I will tell you about gospel choir, kayakking, cute boy from tesco, and also hopefully impart some cheeky nuggets of sage wisdom on dealing with newfound independence. Because tbh, still feels like I'm on bloody holiday.

xoxoxox Sam <3

Friday, 4 August 2017

Honest food diary #1

Hello, my lovelies. Long time no see - but I have finished my exams (!), done well (!!), and I am heading to my dream uni this September to study nutrition and dietetics!! So this summer, I am chilling out (read: being completely and utterly lazy) and I write this as I sit at my great-aunt's house after a day of baking! As I stuffed my face with completely non-healthy yummy things and simultaneously felt guilty and laughed and made gifs with my cousins, I realized: while I truly love eating healthy most of the time, its okay to sometimes just go with the flow, and if you are faced with sweet, sugary things one day (or in may case, quite a few days this summer) you can eat them. And its okay if you eat too many some days, or feel crazy full, or feel angry at yourself for eating too much. You'll find balance, but it takes a long time. I'll be honest - I find it really hard to find balance and sometimes I eat way too much! I'm working on that, and I'm also working on trying not to make so many of my emotions hinge on the food I've ate that day. When I splurge like this, I often feel ashamed of what I ate, just like many girls, and I think that needs to stop for all of us. Anyway, in honour of that, I am going to start writing a completely honest weekly food diary. Here goes, my lovelies.

August 2nd, 2017

7 am: Wake up! Today I had to wake up at an ungodly hour because baking had to begin early. I promptly fell back asleep.

7:10 am: Mother came in and found me comatose. Forced to wake me (her 18 year old, her legal adult. Hah!) up again in a gentle fury.

7:12 am: Ashamed to say I fell back asleep. As previously discussed: exams have sapped my self discipline.

7:20 am: Woke up by myself in a gasping shock when I dreamed of a cockroach crawling over my body. Dragged body out of bed. Beautiful and sunny outside and can hear ocean; this never gets old.

7:21 am: Drank a big glass of freezing cold water and rubbed my eyes. How the f*** did I wake up for school earlier than this?

7:22 am: Realize will likely be ingesting large amounts of sugary goodness today. Figure might as well try and do some kind of workout before we have to leave at 8, though I keep trying to convince myself that I don't have enough time.

7:30 am: Cheekily sidestep a 15 minute HIIT and settle on a 8-minute "ab blaster." Anything helps amirite?

7:38 am: Finish workout. Realize could have done more but honestly cannot give a flying fig.

7:45 am: Done with shower; feelin' fresh. Wolf down 2 pieces of watermelon and a fig!

8:30 am: Am at my great aunt's house. Am fed like a queen:

  • 2 pieces of  ftira (a flat, maltese seeded bread like a big, airy bagel) with kunserva + bigilla + olive oil 
  • 1 small baby sweet ftira with margarine; tasted like FLUFFY HEAVEN 
  • 1 raisin shortbread cookie
  • 2 rich tea biscuits
Disclaimer, kids: I don't even like regular, sugary cookies that much! But I did enjoy chatting with my cousins as we ate the cookies. Damn, those cookies are now on my ass. Whatever :)

9:15 am: Ready to BEGIN BAKING! We are making: coconut meringue slices and pasta frolla, Maltese almond slices, for our family Gozo trip next week. They are delicious and will be made in high volumes.

9:20 am: Have already sampled a glace cherry and a bit of raw pastry (!!!). Am unsure as to what is wrong with me; my sweet tooth is more like a sweet monster living inside my body.

11:30 am: Baking is OVER! Have ingested catastrophic amounts of sugar! Enjoyed thoroughly! Bonded with my great aunt and sister farted while rolling pastry. 

Have surreptitiously fuelled self with: 
  • Bits of raw pastry
  • Balls of almond filling
  • 1 raw pasta frolla (!!!!)

12:00 am: Continue baking the goods, as our old oven can only take one tray :'( 

2:00 pm: Lunchtime! Have told self that will not eat, as I am truly not hungry. 

2:02 pm: Have caved. Am now eating: 
  • Pasta integrale (gotta get that fibre in amirite?) with gbejna (maltese cheese) and tomato sauce. So good!
  • Half a piece of bread (I am a carbohydrate monster)

2:30 pm: Sweep the floor. 

3:00 pm: Taste the baked beauties for quality control. 
  • Two pasta frolla
  • 1 coconut slice
  • 1 piece jam tart
Quality is unassured as pasta frolla is quite hot still. Assume two minutes is satisfactory cool down time. 

  • Third pasta frolla is purloined and snaffled. 

3:30 pm: Lie on soft sofa in concussed, pregananant state. 

4:30 pm: Food baby begins to subside. Swear will not eat dinner; how could I possibly? 

9:30 pm: Goaded into eating dinner. 
  • 2 slices of pizza with a hardboiled egg sliced on top
  • Tomato salad with balsamic
  • 1 choc stick filled with ice cream
  • Slices of watermelon

10:30 pm: Dance party! Dance like a wild woman with my sisters to smash hits such as "Attention" by Charlie Puth. Find shaved eyebrow alluring. 

11:00 pm: Horrifyingly, find dance party has alighted an appetite in me. Squash it down and fall asleep. 

12:00 pm: Wake up to my cousin writing "Legal adult" on my forehead and scribbling a unibrow between my eyebrows. 

12:01 pm: Am too tired. Fall asleep again. 

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Fruit-sweetened, gluten-free, vegan coconut-berry cake

Hello, my lovely friends. Would you like to have a slice of this beautiful, tender cake studded with raspberries and happiness? Oh, you do? Hah - I have eaten it all.


I have just began school, and thus cake has never been so needed. 

Yesterday was Friday, thank the gods, and I faffed around for like 2 hours in the kitchen making this cake!! Don't worry, though: it actually takes about 10 minutes for a normal person. I'm just a very slow (words like annoyingly sloth-like have been thrown around) human in the kitchen. It was so worth it, though! I'm pretty sure this cake is my favourite thing, like, ever. I used rice flour because that is what David from Green Kitchen Stories used, and he is awesome, but I'm pretty sure you could sub with wholewheat. The texture is so tender and moist, and while remaining light and fluffy, the ground almonds give it a substantiality and a delicious nutty flavour. Along with the light coconut undertones, and just a smidge of lovely cardamom, I am in heaven. The NO SUGAR (what??) element and the bites of juicy red berry you get in the cake are just too much. 

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) my littlest sister refused to try it on account of it "looking like burned porridge." But I think all porridge should get love. So behold the beautiful burned porridge cake!

Berries are excellent for your body, as they have an incredibly low sugar content (plus, they're so pink and purty). They're also full of antioxidants that can help you relieve stress (I'm not sure if this is somewhat lessened by the fact that they have been dunked in cake batter). Also, since only dates, banana, and berries sweeten the recipe, there is no added sugar. When we have such beautiful, sweet fruits surrounding us, why do we need to eat sugar that we have processed ourselves? I'm not talking cut out ketchup (mmm), and go on a sugar detoxification rampage, because being too crazy about not eating extra sugar is just exhausting, and when you're exhausted you won't want to continue! It's our lifestyles that we need to change. Sugary drinks (the #1 obesity contributor), chocolate bars, anything processed; that's where the problem lies. To be honest, as long as you're making your own cakes, meals, and more cakes, you are so on the right track! Anything made at home is way better than what you'll find at the supermarket. You don't have to freak out and start making vegan, no-sugar stuff (though I do support this! :). Just focus on whole foods, that make you feel GOOD after you eat them. 

Like this cake. 

Look at that face! That is the face of joy. AND I got to eat her berries (she is averse to anything moist). A win-win situation, my lovelies. 

Can I please mention the labour of love that went into this? My kitchenaid blender (DO NOT buy one) released a firework show of sparks into my peach smoothie the other day, and thus I had to grind almonds with only a marble rolling pin and a little hand blender. But it totally worked. 

 Delish texture shots. 

What more can a girl ask for? 

Only someone to share it with. 

But before you get any ideas, those two slices were for me. 

Peace out, my lovelies! Have a fab weekend xo 

VEGAN COCONUT BERRY CAKE (adapted from the lovely Green Kitchen Stories, Elsa's cupcakes) 

3/4 cup almond 'butter'milk (3/4 almond milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice) 
14 dates (if dried, quick-soak in hot water for 15 mins and then de-pip) 
1 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 
1 ripe banana
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
3 chia eggs (3 tablespoons chia + 11 tablespoons water) 
Handful raspberries

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
3. Whizz the dates to a paste. Using some of their soaking water can help, and doesn't dilute flavour too much!
4. Add in your peeled banana and coconut oil to the dates. 
5. Add the date mixture and the chia eggs to the dry mixture. I know my chia egg recipe is a bit off from the norm, but I find it to be a much looser egg that works better in baking. 
6. Stir it all together!
7. Put in a 12-inch circle pan and stud with raspberries. 
8. Bake for 27 minutes, or until golden, and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
9. Try to wait for it to cool, and then devour!! 

Note: this would taste lovely if topped with banana + peach ice cream. Oh man. 


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Chocolate-orange frozen bananas

I don't really have any chocolate recipes on this blog yet. It's high time, friends. Let's stuff our faces.

Whenever these babies are in the fridge, I just can't stop myself. Well I can, really, but I don't want to. They're so simple they make me wanna CRY because I can legit make them in 5 minutes and then eat them immediately, or freeze them to make 'em like ice cream. I kid you not. The chocolate is orangey and silky against the creaminess of the banana, and taste excellent in quick succession.

Very quick succession.

But I'm sure they don't mind.

Mmm, summer continues to be delicious. Today the sea was so wild and beautifully moody, and I watched it stormily from my room as I sat on my ass and studied. I had this romantic vision of me going down to the beach across from my house with a cute sweater all pulled over my knuckles, a good book in my chipped-nail-varnish tumblr hands, and a thermos of hot black tea.

But lol I tried to go and they wouldn't let me go. I forgot we're not allowed to bring food in, because there's a restaurant on top :( :( And it was so hot, so I started sweating. A lot. And I had to study biology. A lot of that, too.

So I settled for staying at home. And eating these pops.

xo sam

Frozen Chocolate-Orange Banana Pops


Raw Chocolate:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Zest of one orange
Juice of half an orange

Banana pops:
2 bananas, sliced in half horizontally and quartered

1. Mix all together in a bowl.
2. Dip bananas in beautiful mixture. Warning: the orange juice makes the chocolate go a little lumpy, but the flavour is worth it.
3. ROLL IN TOPPINGS! I enjoy using broken up walnuts, pecans, almonds, and raisins so it tastes like a fruit & nut ice cream. But desiccated coconut, coconut shavings, goji berries, cranberries, and really anything you want would probably taste awesome too!

*I often double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to make a biiig batch of banana pops :)