Monday, November 28, 2016

Gilmore Girls- A Year in the Life: Winter Review

Well it has arrived!!! The weekend we have all been waiting for.....Gilmore Girls weekend!!! I was a bit disappointed with myself, as I had hoped to be finished with my thesis draft in time to kick back and enjoy the weekend. Unfortunately that has not happened, what thesis related planning ever works out?! So I have spent the weekend working all day and then stopping at 9pm for some food and an episode of gilmore girls and when I say food.......

I think Lorelai would be proud of this set up

So on Friday night I set up and watched the first episode of four; Winter. I had a lot of excitement but also a few concerns as in the last few days there were some scenes put out online to promote the release and they were.......quite cheesy! However I remained hopeful and entered into the episode with an open mind. Please forgive my writing if this becomes more stream of consciousness than literary critique because all I dop it write at the moment so I don't have the energy for....grammar ;)

Spoilers from here -

Monday, November 21, 2016

Doctoral study and Snacks

I have been completely snowed under lately. I mentioned during the year last year that if it doesn't have to do with my doctorate then I struggled to think about it but I didn't realise how bad that was going to get. Now, one month out from my hand-in I am completely under-water. I'm working on this thing 7 days a week and the fact that I could work this weekend while watching television because the work I was doing was mindless admin type of stuff. It was a huge treat! So that gives you a flavour of where things are.

                                                                 Video property of Sigur Ros

I'm not complaining however as I am feeling increasingly excited to see an end to all this and as I've been reminded several times - if getting a doctorate was easy, it wouldn't mean as much. So if and when I get this it will mean a helluva lot to me.

So I thought that I would bring you some of the interesting or delicious snacks that I have been enjoying. There are two options - the first is a bit more involved but can be put together in an hour and the second is super simple and can be completed within a 15 minute study break.

On Sunday night I burned out at 6pm and called it a night on the study. All day I had been craving tortilla chips but by 6pm the local shop was closed, because Britain, but my craving had to be satiated and I decided to make my own. This was no small undertaking as we didn't even have any tortillas. So these are completely made from scratch. The dough comes together in a few minutes and then needs to be rested. You may want to rush this but I would highly recommend it because once I rested the dough I choose to fold it over a few times and although this does not make for very soft tortillas it made for fantastic chips.

Handmade tortilla Chips

150g plain flour
180g strong wholemeal flour
3 tbsp golden flax seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp olive oil and more for frying/baking + coconut oil
230ml water

1. Mix together the flours, salt, baking powder and flax seeds

2. Add the olive oil and half the water and mix to cobine

3. Slowly add more water bit by bit until the dough is fully combined but not excessively wet.

4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes

5. Divide into 8 balls and allow to sit for 15 minutes

6. Fold in on itself a few times and then roll as flat as possible between two sheets of parchment.

7. Heat a frying pan or griddle with a very small amount of coconut or another high smoke point oil and then fry the tortillas for a few minutes on each side until browned in spots.

8. Allow to cool on a wire rack

9. Once cool, spray the tortillas with a drop of coconut or olive oil and spread it around so that each side has a very very small amount of oil on it. Then sprinkle with salt before slicing into triangles.

10. Bake on 180' for about 10 minutes until crisp.

11. Serve with vegetables and hummus

These tortilla chips were so so delicious. They are quite filling and so much better than any commercial brands I have had.

So the second snack is much easier and all you need is

200g nuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp agave nectar

1 - Preheat your oven to 180'

2 - Line a baking tray with tin foil

3 - Pour out the nuts and roast for 10 minutes

4 - As the nuts are baking mix together the agave nectar and spices in a large glass or metal bowl

5 - Pour the warm nuts into the bowl and mix until all the nuts are covered in a tiny amount of the mixture

6 - Pour back out onto the tin foil and allow to cool

These are so simple and so so delicious! Even if you don't make the tortilla chips, if you like nuts and you like spice then these are a must.

Now....back to the writing. Talk to you soon

Honeymoon first Stops: Boston and Las Vegas

We left London on A Saturday afternoon and flew to Boston, arriving in at 7.30pm Boston time. We somewhat regretted flying from London when ...