Monday, 25 April 2016

Recipe: Anzac Biscuits

As today, Monday 25th April, marks ANZAC Day I thought I'd show you how to make some delicious (and very easy to bake) biscuits. And a New Zealander friend of mine sent me the cutest gift of these fridge magnets, and now seemed like the perfect time to try out the biscuit recipe!
 Anzac Day commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders killed in war and honours returned servicemen and women. The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.

The history of these lovely oaty bisciuts is a little hazy; some people say they were sent to the soldiers overseas, some say they were sold back in New Zealand and Australia to raise money for the war effort. However they ended up coming into existence, Anzac biscuits are a delicious morsel to enjoy with a cup of tea and a way to commemorate Anzac Day.


100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
85g porridge oats
85g desiccated coconut
100g butter
1tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp boiling water
1tsp bicarbonate of soda


1. Preheat your oven to 180C or 170C for fan ovens and line two baking trays with greaseproof/baking paper.

2. Mix the oats, flour, sugar and coconut together in a big bowl; creating a well at the centre.

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and add the golden syrup.

4. In a separate bowl, mix the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water and stir.

5. Add this watery mix to the saucepan of melted butter and syrup. Combine and watch an amazing reaction happen (spoiler alert: be prepared for froth)!

6. Pour the frothy mixture into the well of your oaty mix and stir thoroughly to coat the dry ingredients.

7. Now time to get a little messy! Roll a spoonful of the mix in your hands and place on the baking trays. Keep going until all the mix is used. Be careful to leave a little room between each, to allow them to flatten once heated.

8. Pop the trays in the oven for 10 minutes until golden. Once they are done remove and place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool.

Do not be alarmed if they are very fluffy and squidgy when they come out of the oven - they crisp up nicely once they've cooled. There's no need, like I did, to panic and text your Kiwi baker pal and sound like the child from Despicable Me - "IT'S SO FLUFFY". What can I say, I take cooking seriously...

Share, enjoy and savour their oaty, coconuty deliciousness (in moderation, if you can resist).

Saturday, 23 April 2016

A few of my favourite things: MARCH 2016

"These are a few of my favourite things" - Maria (from The Sound of Music)

A slightly jumbled video; but one which, I hope, showcases what March 2016 taught me and some of the life-enhancing and positive parts of Life In Recovery.

Blog post on 1 Second Everyday.

If you had to think of your favourites from March, what would they include?

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Friday, 8 April 2016

Loafing around London - An A-Z using the 5 senses: E1 area

This post has been sitting in my drafts for almost two years and I think it's about time it saw the light of day! I wanted to write a series called "Loafing around London - An A-Z using the 5 senses" to be able to neatly showcase some of London's sights, sounds, feels, tastes and smells (although maybe less of the smells). I think it's a great way to become more connected to the city I call home and allow you, my readers, to see London from a different point-of-view. 

I always think the best way to get to know somewhere is to explore on foot. London is a fantastic city for walking; but sometimes, especially if you're not feeling 100%, it can seem overwhelming and too much to tackle. By focussing on one small area of London in each part of this series, I will hopefully be able to show you that you can find a treat for all your senses without trekking miles and miles.

A is for Architecture

B is for Bagels, Beigel Bake and Brick Lane

C is for Curry Capital and Christ Church

D is for District

E is for East London

F is for Fashion

G is for Gastronomy and Graffiti

H is for History

I  is for Industrial

J is for Jack the Ripper

K is for Karim (a character in the film Brick Lane)

L is for Liverpool Street Station

M is for Markets and Mile End

N is for Nightlife

O is for Old Truman Brewery

P is for Petticoat Lane

Q is for Quays. St Katharine Docks and Marble Quay.

R is for Religion and Regeneration

S is for Spitalfields and Shoreditch

T is for Transport

U is for University

V is for Videos (music) and Vintage paraphernalia

W is for Whitechapel

X is for Xenophilia

Y is for Yiddish

Z  is for Zone 1

Let me know what you think of this series. Do you have any areas of London you want to explore? If you did an A-Z of where you live what would be your letter X?

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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Filming one second of life every day

I can't take credit for the originality of the idea to film one second a day from my life for a year...I stole it from a friend. But I loved the idea so much, and I'm enjoying the experience enough, to want to write a quick piece about the whys and wherefores of it all!


The idea is to film a second each and every day of ANYTHING that takes your fancy/makes you smile/will remind you of the day/is a bit odd/etc. My clips to date include: llamas, the countryside, fairy lights, food, friends, family and travelling. I've decided to film general, un-themed clips of my life, but other people have filmed their children growing up, their holidays, their pregnancies, their pets, their wedding preparations...there's no limit!


I thought it was such a lovely idea; to have a little film filled with snippets of my life to look back on. Two of my favourite ever posts so far (to write) have been my 'Things I learned from 2015' and 'Favourites of 2015' and so the concept of creating a video version of these seemed perfect. 
There have been some days this year I'd have rather forgotten existed and the last thing I felt like doing was getting my phone out to record a slice of the day. But, having committed (I feel I have anyway!) to find a second a day I want to remember and record has meant I have managed to find a teensy 'something' in each and every day. A 'something' that, although not always much, will help me to remember and mark that day for what it was. Whether it was a plate of cheese and biscuits late at night or a bunch of sunny, yellow, happy daffodils on a particularly sad day. It's made me more observant, more aware of my surroundings and more keen to find something life-enhancing or positive in each day. 


This is where the idea gets technical...but not too technical! I use the app 1 Second Everyday to film, trim, store (and remind me to record) my second every day. I believe there are other apps which do the same thing, this is just the one I use. I find the app pretty easy to use and it's free; so that's a win-win! The app comes with a calendar (see my screenshot below) that allows you to film and then trim videos on each day. Then, at any time, you can choose to condense these seconds into one film at the press of a button. You can see from the screenshot that your calendar will fill up with videos as and when you film them - I'm writing this on Saturday 2nd April, so you can see that there's an orange corner on today's date and the boxes from 3rd April onwards contain no videos. This way you can easily keep track of where you are. 

My top two tips are: 
1. You can actually have 1.5 seconds (makes a loooot of difference, believe me!) you just need to click the 1S button on the trimming screen to change it to 1.5S. Thanks to my friend for pointing this out to me. D'oh!
2. (and something I've only just discovered a way around) You need an internet connection to open the app and record directly, but fear not - I would recommend you film using your normal phone camera instead of the app. All videos you've filmed outside of the app sync to the app on their corresponding days anyway, so you'll never miss a stand-out second because your internet has gone up the spout!

I decided to film from my birthday this year to my birthday next year. However, you can start any time you like! And if you miss the odd day - so what? I think the key is that you enjoy the process of creating the film and creating a visual time-capsule, not that it becomes a chore or something you must or ought to do.

If you were to film a second of today, what would you choose to record or remember?