Christmas Baking!

I love being at uni, but one of the things I miss most is being able to bake on a regular basis. Of course, I could bake if I really wanted to, but A) buying ingredients is expensive, and B) I don’t have any of the equipment I need (scales, a whisk etc.). So, when I do go home, I  like to take advantage of the kitchen and bake as much as I can. Last Saturday, I did exactly that. After suffering from major baking withdrawal symptoms, I decided to have a whole day of Christmas baking. These were my results…

1-Cranberry and Orange Chelsea Bun Tree

This recipe was from the November issue of the BBC Good Food magazine. I have never made Chelsea buns before, but, although they were time consuming, they were also relatively easy to make. I didn’t have a baking tray big enough to make one big tree, hence the two different photos above, but this didn’t really make much of a difference. They still tasted amazing, and the cranberry and orange flavours are really festive.

2-Mini Mince Pie Crumbles

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These are a Waitrose recipe. I made them last year for the first time, and they went down a real treat with my family (especially with my sister’s boyfriend, who ate 4 in one sitting). They are essentially a normal mince pie, except that the pastry top is replaced with an orange crumble mix. They are much lighter than normal mince pies, and are perfect to have with a cup of tea.

3-Mincemeat Tart

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This is my own recipe. After making 24 mince pie crumbles, I still had a lot of pastry left over, so I decided to improvise and make a mince meat tart. It is basically a big mince pie crumble- a shortcrust pastry base, filled with mince meat, and topped with the same crumble mix. This tastes best warm (but is still good cold!), and I served it with vanilla custard.

 

I finished off my day of Christmas baking by watching The Holiday and wrapping Christmas presents, so it is safe to say that I am now officially in the Christmas spirit! I literally cannot wait for the weekend now- just 3 5am starts to get through and then I can relax!!!

I probably won’t get round to writing another post before Christmas now, so I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who reads my blog- I am not sure why as they are all completely random things which come in to my head, but while people read them Ill keep writing.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas- full of lots of food, games, laughs, and lots and lots of love.

Megan x

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I realised that, having made a massive deal about how much I love food in my first blog post, the subject has been strangely absent from my posts since then. Seeing as I spend the majority of my time eating/looking at/thinking about food, I feel like this needs to be changed- especially as I have eaten SO MUCH good food in the last couple of weeks.

  1. Bill’s (twice in a week!)

I LOVE Bill’s- I love the atmosphere in the restaurants, I love the menu, and the food itself is sooooo good. It might not be as cheap as some places, but I am a big believer in the motto “you get what you pay for”, and I have always thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve ordered from there.

On my first visit with my sister, I ordered the Paprika and Lemon Chicken with roasted caramelised root vegetables. This is essentially a (massive) butterflied chicken breast, pan fried, with super crispy skin and the most amazing humus style dressing. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about it. SO. GOOD. Lydia had the burger, and she said it was one of the best she’s ever had (she’s sampled a lot of burgers).

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My second visit to Bill’s was with Annie, and we went to the Holborn restaurant. We both ordered cocktails (which we had vouchers for- WIN), and we also both had one of their Watermelon juices, which are so yummy. Seriously, if they sold bottles of it I would be drinking it all day.

This time, I ordered the Seasonal Allotment Salad, which is part of Bills’ ‘heritage’ range. Genuinely, this was one of the best salads I have ever eaten. It had an orange cumin dressing, and was filled with seeds, beetroot, and dried cranberries. Absolutely delicious. Annie ordered a selection of starters/side dishes as a kind of tapas meal, which is perfect if you can’t decide what to have.

Rating- 10/10!!! No complaints whatsoever.

2. Mae Deli

If you are a fan of superfood/healthy eating, then it’s more than likely that you will have heard of Deliciously Ella- a food blogger turned millionaire who advocates a completely natural, vegan diet. She’s recently opened two delis in London, and, as ‘celebration for getting to reading week’, Charlotte and I decided to visit the one near Bond Street station. After trekking half way across London to get there, we finally made it, and it was 100% worth it. The decor is so cute, and the food itself was delicious. I had vegetable soup (don’t be put off by the colour!), and Charlotte had one of the delis ‘Mae’ bowls, which is basically a big bowl which you fill with four of the freshly made salads. Lets just say I had serious food envy.

Rating-7/10- Whilst the food was delicious, there isn’t much choice on the menu, and the prices are high. HOWEVER, I did leave feeling perfectly satisfied, and a teeny bit smug about how healthy my lunch was.

3. My own cooking..

As a health-conscious student living on a budget, I have recently started making ‘wrap’ pizzas. These are essentially a tortilla, covered with tomato puree, and any other toppings which you fancy. They’re super cheap, easy, and take 15 minutes from start to finish. PLUS, they’re also really healthy.

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One of my wrap pizzas…a wholemeal tortilla topped with low fat cheese, ham, peppers, spring onions and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and mixed herbs.

PS. Charlotte and I also went to the Good Food show last week. It was LITERALLY my idea of heaven…tastings left right and centre, Paul Hollywood, and a WHOLE DAY based around food. What more could anyone want? It was genuinely a really, really good day, and if you love food then I would definitely recommend it. You don’t even need to buy anything (all we bought were fancy peelers!), it’s just fun to go and sample all the food!

Megan x

Food. food. and more food.

So this is my first ever blog post! AH! Excited/nervous doesn’t even cover it!

If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know that I am a massive foodie, so I thought it would make sense to write my first blog post all about nothing other than FOOD! I mean, there really couldn’t be a more ideal place for me to be living than London. I haven’t even been here a month yet and already I have come across enough new food places to try to feed me for the rest of the term!  As well as the obvious chains (which don’t get me wrong- I love), I have also found countless cafes, markets, and restaurants that I want to try, so you are likely to be seeing a lot of posts like this one!

MY ‘FAVOURITE FIND‘ SO FAR…

For my very blog post, my ‘Favourite Find’ involves a place which is known amongst UCL students for serving the ‘best lunch in London’ on a Thursday.
BLOOMSBURY FARMER’S MARKET

WHERE:Torrington Square / Byng Place, behind UCLU, WC1E 7HY

WHEN: Thursdays, 9am-2pm

WHAT I ATE: There is so much good food on offer here. Stalls serving everything from Italian pasta, to Indian, to big juicy burgers. In the interest of being healthy, I chose a vegan falafel wrap, with humus, lettuce, and pickled red cabbage. SO GOOD.

PRICE: £5…more expensive than a meal deal from Boots, but fantastic quality and kept me full all afternoon.

RATING: 8/10…delicious, but could have done with some more humus (personal taste).

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My first ‘Favourite Find’

Obviously, for someone on a student budget, it’s hardly feasible to be eating out every day, so I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking (See pic below for an example of my culinary skills), and I’ve already become a pro at savvy food shopping!

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Chicken, spinach, and new potato hash…£1.90 per portion.

PS. I’m not a vegan…I just love vegan food as well as every other type of food.

P.P.S. My next blog post is about life as a first-year when you HATE clubbing. Yep, that’s me. The only student ever to not like clubbing (not really, but sometimes it feels that way)