Amy Louise. 20. British.
The life of a University student as she tumbles down the rabbit hole, while living in the Wonderland of Oxford.
“It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced—or seemed to face—the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Banana’s seem to be my number one craving at the moment. Currently, if it was healthy to live off of purely banana’s - I would. Due to my present obsession, I have been looking into different ways in which I can consume banana’s so that I do in fact avoid living off of them in an unhealthy manner. I’ve come across pancake, and oatmeal recipes, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned banana bread. I haven’t made it for a while, therefore lately I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients, and have subsequently stumbled upon what I believe to be the perfect concoction!
Ingredients: 1 banana, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 tbsp of baking powder, 1 tbsp of egg replacer, and 1 tsp of nutmeg.
Method: Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Mash up the banana until it is as smooth as possible. Gradually add in the flour, sugar, egg replacer, and baking powder until you are left with an almost cookie-dough type mixture - it will be hard to stir at this point. Therefore, gradually add the almond milk to loosen the mixture, and then add the vegetable oil. Finally, sprinkle in the nutmeg for some extra flavour, and then bake for 20 minutes.
“But people want to help. So they try harder to make you feel hopeful and positive about the situation. You explain it again, hoping they’ll try a less hope-centric approach, but re-explaining your total inability to experience joy inevitably sounds kind of negative; like maybe you WANT to be depressed. The positivity starts coming out in a spray — a giant, desperate happiness sprinkler pointed directly at your face. And it keeps going like that until you’re having this weird argument where you’re trying to convince the person that you are far too hopeless for hope just so that they’ll give up on their optimism crusade and let you go back to feeling bored and lonely by yourself. And that’s the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn’t always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn’t even something — it’s nothing. And you can’t combat nothing. You can’t fill it up. You can’t cover it. It’s just there, pulling the meaning out of everything.”
- Hyperbole and A Half
Being vegan can be a lot of fun, as it can get you excited about food again, by introducing you to new and exciting ways of cooking seemingly monotonous dishes. This week, my flatmates have been agonizingly tempting me with their endless orders of Domino’s pizza (I miss Texas BBQ). Therefore, I decided to try out a cauliflower crust pizza, as I have been researching quite a few cauliflower related recipes, as of late. I’m always looking for ways to replace traditional ingredients, while also cutting down on carbs, so this was a great start!
Ingredients: For the crust: Half a head of cauliflower, 2 flax eggs, 1 cup of flour, 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp garlic salt, and 1 tbsp herbs of your choice. For the topping, I personally used: tomato puree, nutritional yeast, mixed peppers, veggie mince, and Italian herbs.
Method: Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Cut the cauliflower head half into smaller piece’s, and cook in the microwave for 8 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a blender, and blend until it looks like small grains. Once blended, pour into a mixing bowl, add the flour, nutritional yeast, flax egg, garlic salt, and herbs, and mix together. Then, line a baking tray, or cake tin, with baking paper, and transfer the mixture, then shape the mixture with your hands into a pizza base shape. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then add the topping of your choice, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
“The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity.”
- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Friday night was Kasia’s 20th Birthday, so in order to celebrate, we had pre-drinks, and food, at our flat before we went out to Lava Ignite in Oxford town center for a night of fun (and free entry)! Therefore, here are some obligatory group pictures from the night…
“To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ‘tis Nobler in the mind to suffer, the Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, and by opposing end them: to die, to sleep. No more; and by a sleep, to say we end, the Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks, that Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a consummation, devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub.”
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet
In the past, I have always avoided liquid foundations like the plague, as during my adolescent years I had relied upon brands such as Natural Collection at Boots, therefore the results had previously been cakey, patchy, and horrible. Not to mention the fact that I am a pale, anemic individual, with skin hyperpigmentation, and acne, so foundations are a sore spot for me. Previously, I have religiously used Maybelline New York’s Dream Matte Mouse, in Ivory. However, due to my acne, I thought it was time to try out something that supplied better coverage.
Thankfully, due to one of Superdrugs many deals, I was able to purchase three items from Bourjois Paris’ Healthy Mix range. The foundation in Light Vanilla, containing apricot, melon, apple, and ginger. The unifying powder in Vanilla, containing sharon, and yuzu fruit. As well as, the correcting concealer in Light Radiance, containing apricot, and raspberry. I must say the branding of the product had a lot to do with my decision, as I liked the fact that there were natural elements in the products, and that it provided ‘fruit therapy’ and ‘radiance’.
Upon reflection, it is a very good range! I would definitely recommend the foundation, over the gel version, as it supplies better coverage. My only complaint is that if you have oily skin, it does start to settle on top of your skin after a while, meaning that you need to blend it in after about an hour. I only found this problem when using a foundation brush though, if I use my fingers, then it’s fine. The one thing I have to rave about is the concealer! Applying it over the foundation on any unwanted blemishes is a life saver, it really does do a very good job at hiding spots.
“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.”
- Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
I recently had the pleasure of tasting a wonderful blackberry torte, which my lovely cousins had made. It was so good that I promised them I would do a post about it, in order to let the whole World in on this delight. My cousins have been very interested in baking, as of late, and I don’t blame them, as their creations are very kind to the taste pallet!
Ingredients: 150g self raising flour, 150g unsalted butter, 150g caster sugar, 150g ground almonds, 2 large eggs, 150g fresh blackberries (or raspberries) with extra to serve, and icing sugar to dust.
Method: Butter a 9 inch baking tin and line the bottom of the tin with a disc of buttered baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Beat together the flour, butter, sugar, ground almonds and eggs in a large bowl until pale, light and fluffy. Spoon into the tin and spread until level. Push the blackberries into the mixture. Bake on the middle shelf for 1 hour. After 45 minutes cover loosely with foil to stop the surface browning too much. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then on a cooling rack until cold. Scatter with extra blackberries, and dust with icing sugar to serve.