Apple and bramble crumble

Autumn is a yucky time of year – the nights start drawing in, the weather gets properly minging with lots of grey skies and windy days, leaves fall off the trees making the likeliness of standing in dog poo a whole lot more likely as it’s hidden under all those mulchy leaves! What to do? Bring out the comfort food, and take advantage of the season’s harvest! This recipe should serve about 6-9 people depending on how big you make your portion sizes.20131012-233555.jpg

Ingredients
For fruit filling:

1 large cooking apple (or 2 medium ones)

2 punnets of blackberries (AKA brambles!)

25g light muscovado sugar

25g golden caster sugar

For the crumble:

175g plain flour

75g golden caster sugar

100g unsalted butter

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan assisted oven) 200°C (normal oven)

Grease your pyrex dish with a teeny bit of butter (this will make it your crumble way easier to extract and your dish easier to clean later!)

To make the crumble mix, chop your butter into smaller pieces, then put your butter, flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Rub it all together with your hands until it all looks like breadcrumbs, then set to one side…

Rinse your fruit. Peel and chop your apple(s) into bite size pieces. Make sure you’ve got no leaves or anything attached to your blackberries!

Spread fruit evenly in the pyrex dish, sprinkle your sugar over the fruit.

Sprinkle your crumble mixture over the fruit til it is completely covered.

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until the crumble is golden and fruit is bubbling. It might need 5-10 minutes longer depending on your oven.

Bring out leave to cool a little bit, then serve with cream or ice cream (or whatever you like).

This can also be split into portions and frozen – that’s if none of your friends or relatives are helping you to eat it that day! ;)

Thankful…

….and….breathe.

I didn’t realise how much I’d disappeared from the planet until one of my friends came round to my house at the last minute yesterday evening. So much has been going on in my friends’ lives that I had no idea and I realise how much I’ve sacrificed for the college course. It was almost 1 a.m. when I finished typing an essay to get at least one more unit completed. I didn’t finish the whole course and don’t know what will happen, but to be honest I’m just relieved that it is over!

A new challenge begins next week: Operation Kitchen. My flat in Aberdeen is basically falling apart and I’ve been trying to save money to fix it. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea how to buy a kitchen, or how to supervise the building of one when you have no spare cash, no car, and are in full-time university and have a part time job.

The simultaneous challenge is to write my first postgraduate essay. I haven’t even had a chance to properly look at the questions or do any research yet which is causing me concern.

The good thing about this week is that it is the ‘Tattie Holidays’ otherwise known as ‘October Week’ or ‘Half-term’. So there are no Guide meetings – and I have my evenings totally free this week, which is good because I’m so so tired! Next week I’m off work so hope to use a couple of those days for university, a day to go up to Aberdeen to investigate Operation Kitchen and a day to go see a friend and her baby girl who I have not yet nicknamed. Hmmm.

I’m thankful for patient and forgiving friends who I’ve neglected over the last few weeks. I’m thankful for grace. I’m thankful for people who shared their snack ideas with me – going to investigate further into that, because my food making knowledge is so very limited!

I am however proud to announce that after 8 years of attempts, I finally made scrambled eggs successfully.

Ready to go for tomorrow: Tomato & Basil soup, a packet of sunbites, a packet of pistachios, a packet of dried apricots, a smoothie and perhaps some crackers and cheese. Maybe a portion of fruit crumble!

I’m also having to guard myself from the yummy New Zealand chocolate that Holly brought me when she came to Edinburgh in August. I’ve now finished the Kiwi fruit chocolate and working on the ‘Hokey’ one which I think has like popping candy or something through it. I won’t lie, I’ve had a few squares while I was heating up some veggie chilli for my tea, and maybe a couple of squares since. I want to make it last!

Well, it’s an early start tomorrow, so I’d better leave the blogosphere for now.

Catch you on the flip side LFS readers!

Needing your healthy snack ideas…

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I think this might be one of my favourite meals. Veggie burger with grilled halloumi, gem lettuce and (you can’t see it) a good squirt of tomato ketchup on a wholemeal roll. I miss summer people – I had this more than once over the summer…

This is the sort of thing you just can’t get on campus.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting a lot of migraines and headaches while at university – especially on a Tuesday – and I think part of it may be that I need to eat more. But trying to find food snacks that I can have in my bag that are ready to eat and not too unhealthy feels like an impossible task. Throw in my food intolerances and allergies and we’ve got a greater challenge.

I honestly thought that finding food on campus wouldn’t be too tough. But oh my word…Aberdeen University all is forgiven. You, Aberdeen, had a baguette bar. All I needed was to choose my fillings and put them on. No worries about butter or mayonnaise.

And most importantly…your cheese was not dyed orange.

I got them from the main cafeteria opposite the Geography building, and then I worked out that with my Medical School ID card I could get into the Institute of Medical Sciences building to get some from there.

Even the soup canteens on campus have soup sold by someone coughing their guts up and the only rolls are white. How I miss the ‘Social Space’ with the friendly ladies serving the soup of the day with their yummy wholemeal crusty bread I paid a little extra for.

It’s so cliche…I honestly thought the university would be above the stereotypes of Glasgow diet.

So yes. I need some ideas people. I’m currently living on my homemade soup in a thermos flask (which I may have broken as it fell from my bag at Buchanan St station as we rushed to get a train on Tuesday evening), crackers and cheese, cartons of fruit smoothie and the occasional portion of fruit crumble served cold as apples and blackberries are in season.

I made cous cous one day, and it was tasteless as I’d gone to Tesco for the veggies for it. The veggies were totally tasteless. Ew ew ew. I haven’t done that since!

If you have ideas for some ready to eat snacks and lunches please do share. My tummy may just thank you. :) Would especially be intrigued to see some seasonal stuff, as it’s better and cheaper to eat seasonal (and money is getting tighter…and my clothes seem to have picked up on this and are currently developing lots of irreparable conditions).

Meanwhile, I’m now really wanting halloumi…

 

The cream in a can debate…

Thanks everyone for letting me know what you call the cream in a can! I’m intrigued to know what people outside the UK call the stuff. So far the evidence is that in Scotland we say ‘Skooshy cream’ and the rest of the UK calls it “squirty cream”.

Confirmation then that I DID NOT invent the word ‘Skooshy’. :)

:)

Summer is here!!!!!

Sunshine has FINALLY arrived. Though I’m jealous that it’s actually hot in Glasgow (28 C there today!) and only warm in Edinburgh (18 C). My flip flops came out and I didn’t even need a jacket until I went to the supermarket at teatime.

My favourite part about summer though is all the yummy fruit and veg. Last week I had my favourite frittata and tonight I had roasted aubergine with pesto and mozzarella.

It was the first time I had ever roasted fresh vegetables. I made a chicken dinner with roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding (as well as other veg) once when I was a student but the roast potatoes were those kind you get in the freezer section at the supermarket (ew).

The frittata I usually have with wholemeal pitta bread and/or salad. But when I’m saving pennies, it’s good ol’ sliced bread and butter! I usually have one half for tea, and save the other half for the next day.

I bought my first summer punnet of blueberries today too. Berries are cheap as they are now coming into season in Britain. Yay! I know lots of friends are down with colds at the moment, so I recommend you all get plenty of berries into you. Berries are the best source of vitamin C and have antioxidants that help build your immune system.

Sadly, I my day off tomorrow has been cancelled since the internet is STILL down in our office, so I need to be there for the second engineer coming to try work out what the problem is (and hopefully fix it?!). I’m pouting a little bit because I want to sunbathe.

But don’t we all?

Ahh, grown up responsibility. Boo hiss.

I’m over the other side of the pond today…

…because I’m guest posting at Caroline’s blog as part of her ‘Whole Foods Holiday‘ series! Let the inner health scientist be unleashed as I give my top ten tips for healthier eating.

And let my inner health scientist feel much guilt that she’s about to post another fattening sugary Christmassy recipe in the next seven days. :)

Thanks Caroline for letting me be a guest at your blog once again!

Apple & Raspberry Porridge

Since I first posted the ‘Apple & Strawberry Porridge’ recipe, I discovered that raspberries work much much better. Over the Autumn/Winter, I’ve been using frozen berries/summer fruits in place of the fresh berries. So I thought I’d repost this recipe with a few edits!

because we know bears love porridge…

It’s only right that I have a wee bit of Scottishism in grained in these recipes. But this one is the first one inspired by the  Hungry recipe book by Innocent. (By the way, if you are taking part in Bringing Sexy Back I totally recommend Hungry for helping you have healthier eating habits. They even have great tips in how to get the whole family involved – especially kids).

Ingredients (serves 1)

½ cup of oatmeal (rolled oats)

1 cup of apple juice (try to use pressed rather than concentrate)

1 cup water

1 cup raspberries (you can also use frozen berries as an option when they aren’t in season!)

Method

Put your oatmeal, apple juice and water in a saucepan.

Bring to the boil, stirring the mixture continuously.

Once you’ve brought it to the boil, leave to simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally for approx. 8 minutes

While your porridge is simmering you can get out your fresh strawberries & give them a wee rinse and chop them up into bite-size pieces in between stirs. You might want to make a drink of your choice too (a wee bit herbal tea? coffee? orange juice?). **If you are using frozen berries – add them after about 3-4 minutes. It will probably turn your porridge pink!**

Once the porridge is done, pour into a bowl, add your raspberries, give it a wee stir and serve!

Obviously, please beware that when leaving your porridge to cool a little (because you don’t want it to burn your mouth), you should not leave it unsupervised. You just never know if Goldilocks might come in and eat it all up before you get a chance.

Or a bear for that matter…

Disclosure: I don’t ever recommend things for the sake of recommendation, but yes, I’m part of the Amazon Associates programme, so if you purchase the book through that link I may get a small percentage of the profit or something like that! But really, I don’t care how you buy it or where you buy it. I think it’s a great recipe book for anyone – the 2.4 kid family, the students, the semi-grown up marrieds or the singletons like me!

SexyBack update – week 7

Oops.

Not been doing so good on these updates.

My gym friend went on holiday for a week so I confess I had a week without the gym. When we returned last week I was fully expecting that I wouldn’t get much achieved.

I managed to run a whole ‘lap’ at over 10 km/hr (never managed that before) on the treadmill.

I was aiming for 5km on the bike. I’d achieved that 10 days before, but afterwards felt pretty dizzy and jelly-legged. We did 4 km on the upright bikes (which are majorly uncomfortable) and when the sit down bikes were free we changed over. I planned to just do a 1km to complete my 5km target….somehow I kept carrying on and was freaked out how fine I was. I ended up doing 8 km.

I am struggling on the rowing machines, because of the RSI in my left arm/wrist. As soon as I start rowing I feel the pain and there’s a limit to how long I can push through it for!

We finished on the cross-trainer and by this point sweat was dripping off of us.

My major faux-pas was using a sort of baby wipe thing after our session to clean the sweat off my face (we always shower once we get home, because the gym showers are kinda gross) which I had an allergic reaction to.

I also tried out Zumba on Tuesday with my friends. It was a lot of fun and certainly worked out our stomach muscles, but wasn’t as much of a workout as the gym sessions.

I’ll confess now that I’ve not been doing so well on food – with a trip to Aberdeen that meant I survived on a twix and packet of crisps as lunch on Thursday because I got stuck in traffic trying to get back to Edinburgh in time to see Rock the Ballet. 

We’ve got 2 gym visits scheduled for this week to make up for missing one last week, and I’ve been making my banana breakfast muffins which have helped fight against my chocolate bar cravings at work over the last couple of months.

And I’m sad that summer will soon be over, and there’ll soon be no strawberries & raspberries to buy so cheaply. :(