Sunday, April 29

Cookies

Ingredients:
100g butter
75g soft brown sugar
175g self raising flour
100g chocolate chips
2tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp milk


  • Use a wooden spoon to beat butter until soft. Add the sugar and cream together.
  • Add the syrup, milk, chocolate and flour and mix in thorouhly.
  • Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray. I managed to get 12 cookies from the mixture.
  • Cook in at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Take out of the oven and after a few minutes you can move them onto a wire rack to cool.


Notes:
I didn't use chocolate chips, I chopped up a bar of milk chocolate and it worked just as well. 
Keep an eye on them in the oven. The length of time they need will vary depending on their size.

Thursday, April 26

The Problem with Facebook...

When you're at university Facebook is a great tool. It's nice to have such a simple way to communicate with friends from home. But when it becomes the only way you ever hear from them, or more precisely read about them, then it becomes tiresome.
There are several of my friends from home, and I won't name names, who I don't talk to any more. And this would be fine, it would just be distance getting in the way of friendship and when we did eventually meet up it would be comfortable and straight back to normal for us.
But Facebook ruins this. It's not unreasonable to say that most Facebook activity is boasting or moaning. It's either pictures of you posing a million different ways on a fantastic night out or it's you moaning that your boyfriend didn't buy the right cheese. Or things to that effect. And when this is all you ever see of someone, it can make you dislike them. Your face twists at them complaining about the price of their 5 star holiday, or you build an irrational resentment for the new and exciting things they're doing with no desire to tell you about it.
If it wasn't for Facebook, you wouldn't know about these things until you decided to meet up, have a catch up and fill each other in on all the details. But with Facebook, you can't help but hate the way people only tell you things by telling every online friend the same thing.
I know I'm partly to blame for this happening, I could always talk to them first. But I'm ashamed to say I rarely start a conversation on chat and it's not very often I have anything interesting to post on someone's wall. And yet the resentment for them being the same grows.

Thursday, April 19

Flapjack

This flapjack recipe is quick, simple and has delicious results. This is one of the first things I used to bake at home.

Ingredients:
150g oats
100g butter
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup

  • Heat the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a pan. Be careful not to let it boil!
  • Take off the heat and thoroughly mix in the oats.
  • Put into a greased baking pan, press down firmly.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees.



Notes:
This makes a fairly small batch of flapjacks. If they're just for you, that should be fine. But if you're planning to share you might want to double the quantities. 

Wednesday, April 4

a la London

I've lived in London for nearly two years, interrupted with the occasional visit home. But it is only now I am really coming to appreciate that fact.
Over the last few weeks I've had some gorgeous days out. For our anniversary me and my boyfriend went into central London. We arrived at Piccadilly and I stood, a mesmerised tourist, staring at the iconic, glowing advertising boards I had never seen before. We then walked to Trafalgar Square and to Buckingham Palace. We strolled through St James' Park and past the Ritz, sat and had coffee before going to see the 39 Steps at The Criterion Theatre.

The past two Sundays I've had equally lovely days out. One with a friend who took me to a gorgeous cake shop in South Kensington and then led me, the tourist, around the London he knew so well. We went to Harrod's, Covent Garden, Carnaby Street walked along the Thames and finished our day at Big Ben. The following Sunday, I took my boyfriend to the same little cake shop (any excuse for cake) and we too walked through London. We went to Kensington Gardens, saw The Royal Albert Hall and walked along discussing pedaloes in Hyde Park. We walked down Park Lane, past the Hard Rock Cafe, possibly even past Johnny Depp, and in all honesty, it barely cost us anything.
And now I feel dreadful for not using London more. I had been in occasionally, of course. I'd been to the museums, the South Bank Centre the O2, places like that. My trips into London were always for something in particular, to do a certain thing. Never to wander aimlessly and just see what's there and find little things that make you smile. Or find massive, gorgeous buildings that make you smile even more. I had let myself get used to the edges. I stuck to the little towns like Putney and Kingston that don't feel like London at all, but I always felt perfectly happy there. They felt safe because they felt like home.
I don't want safe any more. I want to explore and feel happy that I've gone out and experienced the city that is so close to me.