triple chocolate + raspberry brownies

IMG_7941At Uni there used to be this little red tent that popped up each day at about 10am outside the University Gardens and sold THE BEST sandwiches. A Red Tent sandwich was a treat – but it was also super affordable. Brie and bacon, tuna and cucumber, falafel, sweet chilli chicken, New York deli, cheese and onion, roasted veggies and goats’ cheese, pulled pork… all on the freshest white or brown seeded rolls. They also did squares of focaccia, studded with herbs or tomatoes, and rocky road and flapjacks and crisps and other bits and pieces.

The highlight without a doubt though, were the brownies. Glorious, fudgy, stuffed with chocolate. I tended to buy the plain ones as they were awesome enough but there were also salted caramel versions and ones studded with raspberries and occasionally a limited edition peanut butter. We’d finish a lecture on trypanosomes or plant viruses, walk back to base {aka. the Life Sciences Building}, attempt a hostile takeover of a ‘pod’ {a glass box of a room with a few chairs and maybe a beanbag if my friend Ellen needed a nap} from the first years, then decide that actually all we really needed before pretending to starting work on our dissertations was a brownie. IMG_7933You had to be tactical about it though. Go to the tent between 10-to and 10-past and you’d be mown down by the crowds of people swapping lectures, and the queue would wind down the road.  Continue reading

blueberry + buttermilk baked doughnuts

blueberry doughnut 2blueberry doughnut 7Change is on the horizon. The boyf got his degree results which means that he has a place to do a PhD at the University of Cambridge. As I kind of like him,  we will be moving eastwards by the end of the summer. blueberry doughnut 4That will also coincide with me moving into the next phase of my grad scheme {luckily we have a centre in Cambridge!}. For the past year I’ve been working as an Executive Assistant, but my time is nearly up, and now I have to choose a department to work for and a project to tackle. I have to pick my top 5 and rank them, and there’s 18 to choose from 😮 Continue reading

mango sorbet

mango sorbet (6)Not gonna lie, I’m writing this now not feeling very summery at all. I’m in bed with a sore throat and headache, feeling very sorry for myself, it’s rained for most of the day and I may have been chased across a field by a herd of cows during my lunchbreak. However all this gives me full licence to catch up on several episodes of Love Island this evening, so… it’s not all bad. mango sorbet (3)Mangoes were on offer a few weeks back and I was on a roll from my Ben & Jerry’s style cookie dough ice cream, so it was time to give sorbet a whirl. Compared to the faff of making a custard, this is much easier. Just sugar + water + fruit. You do need a blender and a strainer to get the bits of pulp and seeds out, but that’s it – oh, and freezer space!  Continue reading

the AIM cake

AIM cake 1So as I’m on a management grad scheme, I have to do lots of personal development and I’ve just finished an Achieve, Inspire, Motivate (AIM) course at work. It was a one day a month deal, looking at how to motivate people, build a team, manage performance and much more management lingo besides.

Perhaps the most useful aspect was what we covered in our first day: the concept of personality colours. To give you a quick run down, there are four basic personality colours: red, blue, green and yellow. Everybody has elements of all 4, but you will have a preferred colour, and that determines what you’re typically like on a good day, and also what you’re like on a bad day.AIM cake 2For example, my preferred colour is green. On a good day, I am caring, helpful, relaxed and encouraging; I think about others and try to make them happy. On a bad day, I am stubborn, reliant, take a looooong time to decide anything and worry about what people think of me.

My opposite colour is red. People with a preference for red are assertive, direct, don’t mess around and just want to get things done right now. On the flipside, they can be aggressive, intolerant and controlling. As you can imagine, red and green people have a tendency to rub each up the wrong way if they’re both having bad days. 😛 Continue reading

Ben & Jerry’s style cookie dough ice cream

IMG_7696What glorious weather we’ve been having in what has ultimately been a really sad week for the people of Manchester, the UK, and well, the world 😦IMG_7636I can’t not mention it really, and I know there are lots of injustices the world over, every day, but that particular one last week literally hit very close to home. The thing to focus on I guess is how the community of Manchester came together; so many stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help each other, which shone a little light in a dark few days. IMG_7667IMG_7707Also, give blood! {- but in the right way} There were understandably lots of people wanting to help out after the attack, queuing outside donor centres in Manchester. Whilst their intentions were {incredibly} well placed, most people don’t realise that blood takes a while to process, so any that was used to treat the victims of the attack was from donors who gave a few weeks ago. What we need are more new and regular donors: did you know only 3% of the UK population who can donate, do? IMG_7653 Continue reading

orange + poppy seed cupcakes

IMG_7571IMG_7499IMG_7572Mes amis, did you enjoy Eurovision on Saturday night? We had a party as uni tradition now dictates, with every guest assigned a country to support until the bitter end. I had Belgium, and decorated myself with cardboard cutouts of beer and chocolate; the boyf had Denmark, so ended up with bacon and Lego 😛

It was a great night as per usual. Exam season is drawing nearer for all those still at university so it’s good to get everyone together to blow off some steam and celebrate sparkles, yodeling and questionable dance moves.  Continue reading