Sunday, 13 December 2015

Swedish Cinnamon Buns: Kanelbullar

I don't do an awful lot of baking because I lack the plethora of correctly sized tins that seem to be required, and I guess surprisingly for a scientist, I'm not a fan of follow really detailed, precise instructions outside of the lab. However I do enjoy working with yeast as there is something quite magical about dough rising (plus I work with yeast in the lab so I think of myself as somewhat of an expert on their preferred growing conditions). So at least once a year I set aside an afternoon to make my favourite, easy, baked treat: cinnamon buns - or kanelbullar as they're know in Sweden.

Easy swedish cinnamon buns kanelbullar

Saturday, 7 November 2015

New Covent Garden Flower Market

I was recently Maid of Honour at my best friend's wedding and with this prestigious role comes great responsibility. I was determined from the outset to fulfill all of my bridesmaid duties, whatever they may include, so of course I said yes to getting up at 4am to go to New Covent Garden Flower Market.

New Covent Garden Flower Market, Bloomfield Wholesale Florsit

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Succulent Successes (and Failures)


Our new flat has a small strip of communal garden outside, and after an initial burst of enthusiasm, we dug all of the weeds out of the border that we could see from our window and scattered some wildflower seeds.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Why I'll miss my crap flat

Back when we were 22 years old, our dream was simple: we wanted to live together and be financially independent. Thanks to the fact that our landlord lives in Bermuda and is therefore pretty out of touch with rental prices, we were able to live our modest dream in what I suspect is The Cheapest Flat in London.

There is no doubt about it: our current flat is crap.


Saturday, 7 March 2015

My Top 5 Hikes in Slovenia

I've mentioned before my love for Slovenia which all began about 5 years ago when, freshly graduated and poor, my boyfriend and I wanted to go to Lausanne in Switzerland. Having very little money saved from our minimum wage jobs we googled something along the lines of "cheap Switzerland" and like internet-based pioneers we "discovered" Slovenia and booked ourselves a week in Bled for something like £100 each including flights. We had such a great time that we came back to Slovenia each summer for the next 3 years and as such we've done a hell of a lot of hiking over those holidays.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Slogan T-shirts Can Naff Off

I've decided this blog is getting a bit too twee. Time for some vitriol - this is the internet after all....

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Travel Journal Geek

When it came to writing my recent post about our trip to Moscow I had a hard time thinking what to write. Partly because I think a moment by moment account of everything we did and ate would probably be incredibly boring for anyone other than myself (or my Mum) to read but also because I'd already scrawled it all out in my travel journal.

A stack of travel journals

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A week in Moscow in winter.

I remember when I was very young, at primary school, looking at a picture of a multi-coloured cathedral with candy-striped, ice cream swirl domes and thinking it was something from a fairytale. 

St Basil's, The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, Moscow, Red Square

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Just because it looks Vietnamese doesn't mean it tastes Vietnamese!

In any supermarket I go to I love checking out the "world foods" section for any interesting snacks or spices I haven't tried before. I've noticed that many supermarkets have really expanded this section in recent years and when I was in Sainsbury's a couple of weeks ago I spotted this Vietnamese Spring Rolls kit:

Nem Viet, Vietnamese Spring Rolls Kit

With my recent sushi success fresh in my mind I thought I'd see if my apparent aptitude for rolled, Asian foods could be repeated.....

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Cranfield's Curiosity Package

When I discovered that there was a man on instagram called James Cranfield to whom you could send money in return for a box of random taxidermy I thought it was hilarious. The idea is that you pay what you can afford and receive curiosities to at least that value. So on Christmas morning my lucky boyfriend received Cranfield's Curiosity Package.

I wasn't that keen on having dead animals on my mantelpiece so I asked James if he could stick to bugs and fossils, but other than that the contents of the package were a surprise to me too. 

The complete curiosity package

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Slovenian Goulash Blog-Fail

If you know me at all, you will know that Slovenia is my spiritual home. It is the most beautiful country with the most sincerely friendly people of any nation I've visited (more than once we've been invited to join people's picnics). Being a tiny country Slovenia is not well known for its food and being surrounded by four larger countries, it is no surprise that Slovenian cuisine is influenced by it's neighbours. Bordered to the East by Hungary, Slovenia has it's goulash game pretty much perfected. I found a good recipe online and decided to cook it for my parents.

All good recipes start with frying off bacon.

Fried bacon bits
mmmm bacon....

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Avery Hill Winter Garden

Recently I heard that Greenwich University is planning on selling its Mansion House site, including its Victorian Winter Garden - which I didn't realise until now is actually the second largest hot house in the UK after Kew.

I have very fond memories of visiting the Winter Garden many times as a child, probably so my mum could get us out of the house for a bit on a Saturday, and being enthralled by the exotic plants - there was a banana tree! Although it's not quite as grand as I remember, I still enjoy visiting it a few times a year.

So last Sunday, on a foggy morning, we decided to pay a visit and take some photos of the Winter Garden in all its dilapidated glory.

Victorian Avery hill winter garden in the fog, Eltham, London

Friday, 2 January 2015

DIY Sushi

For Christmas I received a huge box of Japanese ingredients, condiments, tools and recipe book. I love sushi but have never made it. Knowing how notoriously tricky it is, I was well up for giving it a go.

First to make the rice. After washing, leaving to drain for an hour, boiling for 10mins then allowing to cool, you add a Japanese rice wine vinegar and sugar mixture. I had some "Sushisu" in my kit so I added 3tbsp. Thankfully I also had some plastic moulds for making the nigiri (rectangles) and hoso-maki (thin rolls)

moulds for making blocks of sushi rice