Monday, 12 February 2018

THE KITCHEN DIARIES EP 2 | PANCAKE DAY

 Pancake day has somehow creeped round the corner, seriously guys when did that happen? I have been craving pancakes for as long as I can remember and I finally stopped being lazy yesterday and whipped up some of those fluffy pancake pieces of heaven using this BBC recipe. Today's post includes the most simple pancake recipe along with some topping ideas, great for using up all those random ingredients lying about in your kitchen.

Makes 6 medium pancakes

THE RECIPE

- 200g plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk

TOPPING IDEAS
- Bacon, egg and maple syrup
- Banana, blueberries and dessicated coconut
- Chocolate, caramel crunchy pieces, crushed peanuts and vanilla yoghurt

1. Add the dry ingredients into a bowl. Sift the flour to ensure there aren't any lumps in the batter!
2. Add the milk and egg and mix until the batter is smooth
3. Heat up some oil in a frying pan, scoop the batter into the pan and fry until golden brown (1 ladle full of batter is usually a good size for a medium sized pancake!)
4. Add desired toppings

Happy Pancake Day!
x


Photos and graphics: Elizabeth

Friday, 9 February 2018

THE JOURNALIST


Happy Friday everyone! This week has somehow flown by and I seriously have no idea where the days have gone. It's been a hectic and overwhelming week dealing with a million personal things as well as sorting out blog posts which I can't wait to post. I'm really trying to look after myself to make sure I don't over stress during times like this. It's important to take care of your body and health and my number one thing I do to destress is to work off a sweat at the gym. There's nothing better than getting your heart pumpin' or even getting a change of scenery and going for a walk, would 11/10 recommend. 

Last week I ventured off to Kew Gardens with my sister. Luckily we took advantage of the beautiful sun that suddenly appeared during the day. I didn't realise Kew Gardens was that big despite having been there for various school trips back when I was a wee kid but I was determined to see as much of it as possible! Note: we ended up doing two shoots and due to our late arrival/ taking so long to take pictures, we only managed to accomplish probably 1/4 of it all... maybe not even that... I took along my film camera to capture it all which I have yet to develop, along with 8 other rolls of film from the past year that have been collecting dust on my shelf.  

My dress and skirt days are pretty much non existent because now I'm all about the trainers and comfy oversized trousers. I was gifted this beautiful dress for Christmas from my sister that I honestly would have never picked out for myself in a million years. Thought I would crack out this number instead of letting it sit on my clothes rack for days because I had a vision of creating this elegant floral look surrounded by palm trees and all that good stuff. 

Hope you all have a great Friday, put yo feet up, get a cup of coffee and relax!
x

Photos and graphics : Elizabeth


--- SHOP THE LOOK ---


Monday, 5 February 2018

THE KITCHEN DIARIES EP 1 | GARLIC PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS


Introducing The Kitchen Diaries series to the blog! Thought it was about time to expand the contents of Visual Aesthetics and bring something new to the table. If you don't know, I started off the year by participating in Veganuary as I wanted to challenge myself to see how well I could adapt to veganism/find new substitutes but also see how I felt physically over the period. Despite some of the struggles I faced, knowing that I was doing my part for the animals and environment made me feel better and helped me to not give up. Signing up to Veganuary.com definitely helped my journey, they regularly send e-mails from vegan products to how being vegan benefits the world and environment. It was all very eye opening and would definitely recommend if you want to learn more about veganism. 

Surprisingly, I think I coped relatively well with veganism, apart from the first week when I was basically stuck on the loo for most of the day (sorry tmi). It was at times hard to not give into temptations but knowing there were so many substitutes for things made everything so much easier. I honestly recommend Linda McCartney products because they taste exactly like meat- the sausages and sausage rolls are amazing, I honestly couldn't taste the difference! Supermarkets are slowly bringing out vegan ranges which I find super exciting and after 4 weeks of being vegan, it becomes much easier to spot what is vegan and make a routine out of it. There are so many items that are vegan which you may not realise (this really helped me when I was dying for a snack) like some of the Walkers Crisps, Biscoff biscuits, some Dorito flavours etc etc. Even though food shopping became twice as long as I was constantly checking ingredients, it made me much more aware of what ingredients were being put into my food. I actually noticed that I enjoyed spending time having a browse in the supermarkets and buying a whole ton of new ingredients to make cool recipes as opposed to last year where I would only go food shopping once a week to just get it over and done with. 

One thing I may have struggled with was that I was constantly hungry which I know other people have struggled with for the first few weeks of veganism. Especially at uni when I was making my own meals, I found that I was eating double the amount and as I was really struggling with sleep, I would get up in the middle of the night to make some toast or onion rings. 

Eating out was super easy; whenever I ate out with my friends, I strategically chose places that served vegan food. The best tip is to look at menus online beforehand to see if they serve vegan food or can make vegetarian meals vegan by removing things like mayo/cheese which, I'm not going to lie, was my favourite thing to research. There are so many big chain restaurants and cafes that are serving vegan products now like Pret, Nandos, Zizzis which I think is amazing as it means that it'll only become easier for vegans to eat out! If you're in Bath, I seriously recommend Beyond the Kale, it's a cute little cafe in town that serves the most incredible vegan food ever and I spent far too much of my time there during uni. 

This new series hopes to inspire people to create quick and easy recipes in the kitchen with minimal ingredients. This guacamole and garlic mushroom recipe took 20 minutes to prepare and cook so if you're feeling a bit lazy and want to bang something out in the kitchen, this is the recipe for you! This dish goes well with a lovely side salad (a great way to get your daily does of veg in too). I bought some vegan cheese from Tesco which doesn't taste like much but adds a bit of texture to the dish.

THE RECIPE

Serves 3

GUACAMOLE
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 tomato
- 1/2 lime
-1/2 chilli

1. Mash the avocados into a bowl ensuring there are no lumps
2. Finely chop the red onion, chilli and tomato and add to the bowl
3. Squeeze the lime, add a sprinkle of salt and mix well

Obviously you can increase the quantity of some of the ingredients but this is the ratio I preferred for my guacamole! Keep tasting to make sure you're happy with the flavours.

GARLIC PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS
- 3 portobello mushrooms
- 5 garlic cloves
- olive oil
- 1/4 red onion
- 1/2 chilli

 1. Chop the garlic, chilli and red onions and sprinkle on top of the mushrooms
2. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and pepper on top
3. Bang the tray into the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees

Bon appetit!
x


Graphics and Photos: Elizabeth