Saturday, 6 September 2014

Superfood Bread from Deliciously Ella

I'm a bit late to the party, I realise, but I have come across the fantastic  website of Deliciously Ella. She also has a cookbook which I must admit I might put on my Christmas gift list. Following a bout of serious food poisoning lately which has left me with a miserable irritable bowel, I have decided that it is about time I really looked at my diet and ways of getting more health food aware. Okay I do eat fresh as often as possible - and try to cook for my family often, but I realise in comparison with my work collegues, I am definitely wanting. To combat the IBS I have been taking Psyllium husk (2 teaspoons with juice in the morning). This is a natural 'sweeper' keeping your gut clear and healthy. I've also been taking a probiotic supplement to help replace the healthy bacteria in my stomach and oregano drops in water to get rid of the bad bacteria. The latter is, frankly, disgusting and leaves me tasting oregano for a while ever since. This combination does seem to be doing the trick, no bloating and things getting back to normal, so spurred on I looked at healthy recipes especially to replace things like bread in my diet. And this is when I came across Deliciously Ella and her Superfood Bread recipe.

You will need to make a trip to your local health food store as some of these ingredients are not readily available in your supermarket, but they will last you a long time and can be used in lots of the recipes you will find on her website.

Ingredients for Superfood Bread

2 cups cold water
1.5 cups pumpkin seeds
1 cup buckwheat or brown rice flour (I used buckwheat)
0.5 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds
3 heaped tablespoons psyllium husk powder
2 tbs chia seeds
2 tbs dried herbs (I used mixed Italian herbs)
salt and pepper

Grind 1 cup of the almonds and 1 cup of pumpkin seeds in a food processor until they go down to a coarse flour. Put in a large mixing bowl with all the other ingredients then add the water and mix. Leave to stand for an hour and in the meantime heat oven to 180 degrees. Make sure the mixture is really firm - if it is still runny or wet add more psyllium husk powder as this is the binder.

Bake for 40 mins - 1 hour until a knife comes out cleanly. Serve toasted with favourite toppings.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Joan Rivers - a force to be reckoned with

Joan Rivers has died aged 81 and as she was one of the first female comics I came across who actually made me spit my coffee across the table with the inappropriateness of her comments and the sheer audacity of her opinions I had to remember her here - so I don't ever forget her.

I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.

My love life is like a piece of Swiss cheese. Most of it’s missing, and what’s there stinks.

All babies look like Renée Zellweger pushed against a glass window.

The people voting for the Oscars are so old. I haven’t seen one Academy award voter with a tampon in her purse.

I like colonic irrigation because sometimes you find old jewelry.

My husband wanted to be cremated. I told him I’d scatter his ashes at Neiman Marcus – that way, I’d visit him every day.

You may have read these quotes before as they appeared in The Guardian newspaper but I must admit I couldn't have found better to illustrate her wit.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Peter Ting collection arrives at Oasis stores

I have wanted a bomber jacket for a long time but keep missing the boat in terms of the my size staying long enough in store when they come in. Walking back from a breakfast meeting I passed the window of Oasis round the corner from Oxford Circus and my eye was drawn to the window featuring a selection of prints by ceramic designer Peter Ting. Featuring Humming Birds and in easy to wear fabrics I wanted everything but stuck to the bomber jacket which is now hanging in my wardrobe.

Peter Ting sweater from Oasis, £35
Peter Ting soft trousers from Oasis, £38

Friday, 29 August 2014

Top 10 books that have left a lasting impression

Photograph: WoodyStock /Alamy

I was just asked in a challenge doing the rounds on Facebook to post the 10 books that have made a lasting impression on me in the past. I wasn't to take very long doing it to keep things really spontaneous, and I did stick to this rule although I had to go back and look up the author on more than one occasion.

Since posting my list I have thought of a few more, The Magus by John Fowles, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks to name just three. So here in no particular order are my top 10 books that have left a lasting impression:

Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd. Dark and brooding and very scary I can't pass by a Nicolas Hawksmoor church without thinking of it.
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth - passionate and takes you to another time and place entirely.
The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake - why this hasn't been made into a film I will never know.
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain - a truly gripping account of love and war.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - full of surprises and shocks. There are some bad people out there...
The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde - a laugh out loud caper that is just so very clever.
Perfume by Patrick Suskind - the descriptions of fragrances and smells are still evocative.
The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber - a collection of his New York Times stories, very imaginative and a little bizarre.
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window by Jonas Jonasson - a brilliant take on the momentous characters and events of the 20th century.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - Vronski was my first love too.

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