ROOFTOP RICE





There's something about eating freshly cooked food in open air that makes me feel really really good. 

Since moving back to London, I've fallen into the habit of using Sunday afternoons as a time to claim my apartment building's roof as my own. Over summer, I've spent hours crowded onto the roof's picnic bench with friends, friends of friends and my new flatmate. 

Whilst I'm notorious for inviting everyone over for a BBQ and leaving BBQ duties to an unexpecting visitor (sorry, Joe), today I whipped up a super easy rice dish. Something that tasted so good (if I do say so myself) that it is carrying us through to Monday's dinner time, too. 

Rooftop Rice has the texture of paella and is a little bit of a one-pot wonder. It's the sort of thing that you can curl up on the sofa with a bowl of or share with fellow hungover friends, in need of something to help them eat their way out of the reminders of Saturday's antics. 

Recipe

What you need:

- Enough rice for each person (I never measure rice and totally freestyle. Half a mug pp perhaps?)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
-  2 peppers (red and yellow)
- 1 tin of sweet corn
- 1 1/2 tins of kidney beans
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes 
- 2 tea spoons of crushed garlic
- 1 red onion
- Portion of coriander 
- 1 handful of cashew nuts (optional)
- Pinches of salt, chilli powder, mixed herbs (to taste)

What you do:

1) Using a wok, cook the rice in boiling water and the vegetable stock. 

2) When cooked through, add the chopped onion, garlic and some of the tinned tomatoes. This will keep the dish 'liquidy' (technical term) and stop the rice from burning the bottom of the pan. You can add the seasoning now too, and top it up to your taste as the dish cooks. 

3) Keep the dish simmering on a low heat and continue adding the tomatoes/more water to ensure the dish doesn't burn. Be careful not to add too much though, as we won't be draining the water off.

4) Add the tin of kidney beans, chopped peppers and sweet corn.

5) Cover the dish and let simmer for 20 mins. Ensure that you check the dish at 5 minute intervals throughout and give it a stir. 

6) Whilst this simmers, you could make a yogurt to accompany it. I just mixed some chopped coriander with garlic salt, mixed herbs and natural yogurt (preferably soy or coconut)

7) As a final touch, you can add a handful of cashews to the pot. The texture goes with it really well and is extra protein apparently (my flat mate told me this?!). Tear the coriander over the top and you're good! 

8) Plate it up, bowl it up or if you're feeling especially fancy, take the wok outside and let everything pile up the dish into their own bowls. 


Super easy and vegan (yipeee). Enjoy  ♡


Holly x




Sweet talk of Scandinavia: Pig Parties in the Norwegian Valleys

Koselig (Pronounced - Korshley) is a concept I came across soon after arriving in Norway.
 Although unable to be directly translated to English, it can perhaps best be described as the warm feeling or atmosphere generated by a pleasant setting, conversation or person. For me, Koselig can perfectly relate to my wonderful, traditionally candle-lit wooden home over the past weekend - and the company I shared it with. 




                                                                             ♡

Having arrived and spent the afternoon in Oslo last Thursday, I traveled 3 hours by train with Chloe to stay with a univeristy friend of her's in a small town called Ringebu. 

Centered in the middle of  Norwegian valleys with storybook shade of blue river running through the center, Ringebu was the idyllic setting for a few days of exploring and for holding the weekend's main event - The Pig Party. 

As we arrived late from Oslo to Chloe's old university friend's house (Birgitte, pronounced Brigette), we set out to explore the small town first thing in the morning. It being my first trip to the Pig Party, Chloe took it upon herself to give me the full tour whilst Birgette helped her family begin to set up. 

We very easily walked through Ringebu town in its entirety in about 15 minutes. A ring-road pathway allowed us to browse all of the wonderful shops filled with Scandinavian style home-wear and trinkets (Tat, I can hear my Dad saying in my ear).  Although given the exchange rate, I couldn't really afford much other than a small heart decoration for my Mum and a bottle of wine for the night ahead!




A sneaky photo I took of Chloe when we were exploring the town #SoArty 

Ok, so. The Pig Party? 

The Pig Party is probably best described a yearly event hosted by Chloe's univerisity friend, Birgitte and her family. It's a Saturday in the summer where 60 people turn up to the family's farm from all over Norway (and Europe) for a night of drinking, singing, hot tubbing and well - given the name,  you can guess what food is up for grabs! 

Although, being the veggie lover that I am, these were the only piggies that I was going to eat! 



 

We spent the first hours of the Pig Party evening sat cross legged on a wooden benches, clutching plastic cups of wine and talking to strangers. Between battling moquitos and being introduced to more arrivals, we filled up on home-made cakes and bread. 

The chatter quickly morphed into the early hours of the morning and we found ourselves dancing (very badly) on the make-shift dance floor and belting out 90's classics with a hot tub full of screaming girls until 6.30am. If you must know, Venga Boys - We like To Party was our choice of finale. 


When we woke on Sunday morning afternoon we lounged in our bikini's, and nursed our  hangovers with paper plates piled with leftovers and glasses of coke; which were later replaced by a strong Irish coffee (apparently Norwegian measures are a thing) and a freshly heated hot tub. 



The time passed so easily and our penultimate day quickly turned into our final. 🙁
Monday morning was spent saying our goodbyes and re-cramming our outfit options into our luggage. We caught the 12noon train and settled into taking in the wonderful views all over again. 

If only this was the scenery I saw on my morning commute! 





                                                                               

We admittedly landed back in London with a scowl and in need of some immediate form of gratification. Food. We raided the airport Costa for carbs and coffee to try and subside how miserable we felt to leave! 


                                                                            ♡

Norway was such an incredible trip and I feel so lucky to have spent some time in a small town as well as Oslo. I always think that's one of the best things about making friends with people from other countries - whenever you visit them you get to experience life like a local, rather than a tourist! 

Birgitte hosts on AirBnB, so if you ever find yourself considering a trip to a lesser known part of Norway, I would really recommend staying with her! Air BnB Link here. Just make sure you prepare for how expensive everything is in Norway - even a packet of crisps in a supermarket is about £4!





Holly x








DAIRY FREE PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA FLAPJACKS


Sundays are for endless cups of tea, pyjamas 'til 3pm and pointless TV. And there's nothing that makes a lazy Sunday better than a plate full of sweet treats that aren't going to leave you feeling guilty. 



Today I whipped up a batch of vegan peanut butter and banana flapjacks. I sat outside in the sunshine, reading my new favourite book - The Alchemist and sipped from my huge 'H' mug. 




Ingredients: 

2 1/2 cups of porridge oats (I bought mine from Aldi for around 30p!) 
3 good squeezes of honey
2 cap fulls of vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (I like mine crunchy)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of coconut oil 

- preheat oven to 175 degrees

Method:

Begin by mashing the two bananas into a paste. 

Add 3 good squeezes of honey and the vanilla extract.

Add 1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil. 

Add the peanut butter and cinnamon. 

Mix. 

Add the two and half cups of porridge oats. 

Mix again.

You have your flapjack mix!

Add your mix into an oven appropriate casserole style dish and flatten with a fork so that the mix surface is even.

Place in the oven for around 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. 

- enjoy!



I'm going to be taking my flapjacks into work over the next week. It's going to make my ritual 3pm tea a little bit sweeter!



H x