Category Archives: Lifestyle

Dyson DC41 MK2 – Review

Natari is not just about books and games. I am actually a fully functioning adult having to keep house and everything. But still, if you had come to me a decade ago and said to teenager Natari she would be in love with a vacuum, she would have laughed.

But here we are, aged 25 and very impressed with a vacuum (I don’t think anyone could ever really ‘love’ a vacuum). Continue reading Dyson DC41 MK2 – Review

Freewriting vs Gardening

Today, I shall be freewriting about gardening. As I am currently having to do such a thing even though I hate it furiously. Nothing annoys me more than gardening, yet my parents own two allotments and my nan a plant nursery. Gardening is definitely not a biological thing then. If you are wondering why there has such a long break since my last freewriting, then excuses can already be found on my latest Nexplanon blog.  (Fantastic stock image from Pixabay) Continue reading Freewriting vs Gardening

No dodging the talent of Ella Eyre at the fairground – Review

I was invited along to this year’s Lumia Live session with Ella Eyre last night (details below). It was good fun, the intimate concerts take place in random venues; there is little cooler than antique fairground rides. Dingles, Lifton, did not disappoint, and nor did Ella herself. She was a charming young thing with loads of talent. Continue reading No dodging the talent of Ella Eyre at the fairground – Review

Don’t give her an old bag — give a #TeaPod! – Preview

Anyone who knows me, knows I love tea. It’s true. And any true tea lover would want to find out about the latest invention on how to enjoy tea. Such as the remarkable new TeaPod. Continue reading Don’t give her an old bag — give a #TeaPod! – Preview

Paws on my Pocky… – Preview

 

The third instalment for my video reviews on behalf of Keep-It-Secret.co.uk went live today. I started Saturday afternoon, had a six hour break, went to sleep, and got back to it Sunday afternoon. It was uploaded by 6pm. Continue reading Paws on my Pocky… – Preview

Ramen Rescue – Review

 

A student visiting home for the weekend is left to fend for herself at lunchtime. Surely the point of going home is to feast on home cooked meals? But no fear, to the rescue comes the friendly neighbourhood chinese greengrocer, with their Unif Bowl Instant Noodles, Roast Beef flavour attack. Continue reading Ramen Rescue – Review

A sweet little whispa…

Whisper to me soft nougat bubble nothings, surround me in the hushed silence of chocolate. I taste again the purity of chocolate divinity, but like any deity, to behold it for too long would blind we mortals.

Maybe that’s why itsy Bitsa Wispa bites come in share bags…

bite more than you can chew... and let the choc out of the bag

The alluring purple cloak splits open with barely any pressure from the first advance. A sly rustle and a little extra glue keeping that top in place, such is the prerogative of packaging today.

A coldness emanates from the chilly heart of the little bites, sinking over your teeth as the flavour washes into being. A slathering monster inhabits the body as another and another is consumed without trepidation.

Then the pain of sugar kicks, and spirals the mind in a blissful rush of confusion and over indulgence.

Just a bit more.

A little powdery upon the body, for all the congregation have been dancing in that small space for so long. But it is irrelevant when you just slip one in and suck. The bubbles pop and melted chocolate runs down the throat in a promise of enjoyment.

Whether you like wispa or not  is invalid here; these bites do not care for your personal tastes. They exist as a temptation. And we, as humanity, will fall for their whispers.

SUPER TOAST: are toast stamps cool? – review

Are toast stamps that cool? Is having a picture heated into the indentations of your crispy bread the definition of awesomesauce? Well, no, awesomesauce is some weird slang term of our 21st century youth generation, darn those whipper snappers. But having picturesque breakfast items was rather amusing. Continue reading SUPER TOAST: are toast stamps cool? – review

Ramen: The long awaited introduction.

Pot Noodle.

I found INSTANT RAMEN, in my little town of all places. A new greengrocers has open by a chinese couple in Lanson and they have brought to us a myriad of wonderful asian treats. Fresh Green had finally brouht me ramen in my life, albeit the instant in a pot one. It looked like Pot Noodle, and worked like Pot Noodle.

one for me and one for my sister... I'm not greedy.

Beef flavor Ramen Samyang is my first taste of anything that is close to being called ramen. If you are after the bowls of colour from such shows as Naruto, or that wonderful bowl of delight from Neko Ramen Taisho, then don’t send your hopes after this. It isn’t that.

I had asked the very kind shop owner if she had any ‘fish biscuits,’ but all I achieved was a squint and confusing the poor girl. After paying for my ramen (and some frozen manju dumplings) I ran home and gobbled it all up I had a busy day shopping, not getting back until late, both weary and hungry. Looking at that pot was like looking at a pot of gold before finding a rainbow.

I think I mentioned once that it looks like a pot noodle? I, personally, hate pot noodle. Can’t stand the horrid things, haven’t eaten one since before my teenage years, thus, this review is done without the knowledge of comparison, maybe it is just like an average pot noodle… or maybe…

Maybe it’s my lack of experience, or I’m just a douche, but I managed to explode my pack of seasoning and get it all over the worktop; once I swept it up I cried inside over how much was wasted. I worried that half the flavour would be lost as well.

Still quite a lot of powder *phew*

I was too impatient to look for a water fill mark so I just covered the noodles seems they were solid half way up the pack.

such an amazing looking food, all that colour, all that detail just steaming away...

***three minutes***

VIOLA... nom away

I wonder how big those spongey beef bites look to you… they were only the size of a garden pea, yet you could feel the spongey texture of each individual spongey one. Not that spongey was at all spongey bad being spongey, but spongey was spongey.

The noodles were incredibly soft. Knowing that three minutes prior to me chowing down they were rock hard, I could slurp away with ease. The flavour, oh my, I had spilt most of my pack but these ramen still had a good punch; the curry style spice was present enough to make me appreciate the liquid, and the beef flavour was definately beef rather than some plastic actor of an E number.

the golden shimmer of no regrets...

When I reached the end of my noodles I noticed the great amount of leftover liquid… had I poured in too much? Was I meant to drink it? Do I throw it away? It may have (most likely) been the wrong choice… but I drank it. I had to, I couldn’t blog without the whole experience! It owned an ominous golden shimmer that skirted the top… a golden promise of coating my arteries and taking a golden chunk off my life later on in my years. It tasted quite good.

Oreo, Oreo, where art thou Oreo?

We can’t all eat an oreo like this…

So there MUST be another way, right? There just has to be, what about all those poor people who can’t twist, lick, dunk, and NOM. What can they do?

NEVER FEAR CITIZENS. I have the answers. (Technically philedelphia has the answers, but here I am, giving you proof it works.)

 

Makes 2 cheesecakes (was in the sharing mood)

  • Crush 3 packs of Oreos into crumbs. (The smaller the better.)
  • Melt 40 grams of butter. (might need more, it varies depending on your stirring skills, mine are low and always need more)
mmmmmmmmm... something so yummy couldn't have any calories...
  • Line 2 circular pans with grease proof paper (helps the washing up)
  • Pour melted butter into crumbs, stir well, stir quick. When it is all covered seperate micture into circle pans. Press down (easiest with a metal spoon) until flat. Put in fridge.
I already want to eat it...
Make enough to share or regret it later...
  • Mix (although whisking makes it look better, but harder to do) sugar, 3 x soft cheese, double cream and 1/2 pack of broken Oreos. (I used whipping cream because it was on offer at Tesco, it still tasted great, but goes better when double cream is used)
om nom.. nom?
  • Seperate mixture on top of biscuit bases.
  • Return to fridge.
  • Hardest Step: let set for 2-4 hours.
  • NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM

 

[NO IMAGE AVAILABLE] [sorry, it was just too yummy, I forgot about cameras]

To Nabe, or not too Nabe?

I wanted to make Nabe; but I forgot to buy noodles and I am too cheap student budget restricted to buy actual ingredients, thus, I made one up based on inspiration from Google recommendations.

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Leek
  • 1.5 pints boiling water
  • Sugar (mirin replacement)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 X chicken OXO cubes
  • Soy Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce (optional)
  • 1 x pack seafood assortment from Tesco (prawn, mussels and squid rings)
  1.  Chop all vegetables the same size as the prawns. Put everything into pan over FIRE (or a hob, whatever).
  2. Put some sugar, seasoning and OXO into a jug and drown in Soy Sauce. Mix with boiling water and pour over veg.
  3. Stir in some Oyster sauce for flavour; and more Soy if you want. The oyster does give a more fishy taste. Without any of the fish stuff the smell was really nice, so next time I am going to replace it with chicken and beef or something (maybe sausages.)
  4. Watch an episode of anime/do something constructive for 30 minutes and everything should be cooked and soft.
  5. NOM.

Quite fishy, but it did taste nice, and with all those vegetables it has to be healthy! Good with or without the fish.

However, in its current state it deserves no real remark. This may seem quite the boring blog post, but it gives facts, and that reflects this one pot/fake-Nabe perfectly. It is missing something vital, but it is quite delicious and enjoyable. You can’t argue with it but you want more than what it can offer. (Try noodles)

So this is why Celebrations come in big tins.

I sigh looking at the a foil wrappers on my blanket. With dread hanging heavy on my chest I look to my side at the box, its top ripped where the cheap opening pull just came apart, but still gave away all its shiny treasure.

The chocolate log is in my fingers again before I know what I have done, the foil wrapper already falling from my grasp. I have gone too far to turn back and so I have this one as well.

The dread kicked me first, the darkness was plain and seeped through the fresh coconut, but suddenly hope shone. The coconut overpowered and the chocolate faded away, leaving a burst of sweetness. Had it finally worked? Was three bitesizes enough to find happiness?

it was so promising...

No.

The dread now collapsed to the pit of my stomach. I tried swinging my head back to the box for another but my lank unkempt fringe was curling in front of my eye. Causing a pathetic tumble into despair. My neck hurt from looking down at the short box, maybe I should lie down. Although that would be giving into the darkness.

I stare longingly at the box now. I came to it for salvation and dammit I was going to find it. I look through the peephole in anticipation adn see a promising bronze warrior. But I get a nutty bad suprise before he reaches me.

I pull the ripped fluffy bathrobe round my skin tighter and take the plunge. The nuts actually make me smile, they had a good texture in my jaw and it was the first that made me feel like I had consumed something with serotonin. But it was shortlived, ending quicker than the last. Leaving but a bitter taste on the back of my tongue that I just couldn’t shake.

Not my biggest regret at least. (click on picture to go to artist's website)

But finally, here it was, I could still see three more lined up. All promising. Maybe they just sent out the weak ones first, had I finally travelled into happer locations? I gaze into the light reflected on the silver swirl of the wrapper. I pull the fastening apart and uncover the solid chunk of beauty, full hard raw chocolate. Milk Chocolate.

Built like a brick that has been pinched it takes a moment to get through., Although the first bite brings a shudder and then it crumbles, the purity of the chocolate is unleashed and fills you. The bad tstes are all gone left with a bittersweet coating on my tongue that almost brings a tear to my eye. It takes a quest through my soul and frees me of my guilt of the search.

It’s not happiness. But it is pleasure.

BE WARNED have friends

Moral: Celebrations should only be a group activity, and not eaten alone when lonely. You have been warned.

Three on Tuesday? Is Dominos that good?

In the brain next to the parts that motivate work is a patch called Procrastination. The most compelling area of procrastination is the FIND FOOD spot. It is nay impossible to concentrate this particular spot, and you have no choice but to find food.

Luckily for me today is Tuesday. If you don’t understand yet, observe:

Two pizzas Two Om Nom Noms

 

After 15 minutes of Ameera, Hector and I trying to establish which pizzas were best for value, a.k.a, which two had most meat we ordered ‘Meateor’ and ‘Mighty Meaty.’

After allowing the eyes to feast it was time to take a bite. The softness made me forget pizza was even meant to have a crust, tearing apart easily. The anorexic slices were snubbed for the more voluptuous slices in the 13.5” round. The circles of sausage hypnotising you into taking slice after slice.

Mighty Meaty was nice.

Meateor had a chewy barrier of cheese between soft crust and all that meat. The bbq tinge gave a bit to that cheese so you wanted to suckle all the flavour before shredding it with your teeth. Leave behind your social politeness, it is rendered unnecessary here.

The ball of meat will captivate you as spheres always do to humankind. It may be imperfect but when you bite into ground beef that explodes into a simple spiced bomb on your tongue there is no need to care.

There is too much meat to understand, what man can rule this concept of meat, meat and some meatier meat? There is bacon, sausage, ground beef, meatballs and pepperoni- all equals upon this triangular slice of iron proprietor.

I hardly have a notion of memory on this pizza; it was all over before conscious thought was regained. It was so delicious to my hunger that I did not rationalise as a person, only as a digestive system, and the pizza was my lord and shepherd.

I have but one memory from when I couldn’t face another pizza…

Spying a wayward mushroom next to the dark grease patch on the box I snatch it stealthily and sink it into the garlic and herb dip. Biting into it the juices swim out, infiltrating the cream of the dip. The tiny slither of mushroom is not enough for the potential of flavour and impact and it vanishes, leaving but a sour taste of longing and biting your own teeth.

I would have liked to have taken a photo of the pizza we had. But… you know, what with eating it. It looked just as good as the Dominos Photos. Trust me. ♥

Good enough to be a tart? Or just dressed like one?

I haven’t been on here for a while. Thats pretty bad… but not as bad as the warm chocolate orange tart I just made…

Okay Okay, so the poor parents and boyfriend I just forced to eat a slice of it said it was good. That is what they said to my face.

I used a recipe from BBC good food magazine but adjusted it to my mum’s gluten free diet.

Anyone who used gluten free flour will know my fate already.

....nom?

The first marked difference with good food is I made a large single pie/tart/THING when it describes 8 individuals.

When adding the yolks the mixture looked a little powdery. Knowing that mum usually throws in an egg to gluten free recipes to bind the flour I thought that would be fine… only to panic when my pastry suddenly looked like cake mixture. At this point my boyfriend, who encouraged to put in said egg, ran away to another room.

After blind baking, baking, chilling and a little bit of squishing with a metal spoon the bouncy sponge was definately more pie shaped. Enough for me to pour in the chocolate mixture so that it didn’t run over the sides and ruin mum’s laminate. :3

When looking at the process I could think of a wonderful blog to write with this.

But…

Presentation is important to me...

…after eating this… there is now problems with my mental functions. My head seems to be spinning whilst sitting down, my teeth feel fake, my stomach feel like it was forged from iron and my whole body has engulfed its own body weight and multiplied it somehow.

It not like there could be that many calories in this desert….

Oh btw that ice cream looks proffesional because… well… it is. Good ol’ Ben and Jerry’s caramel thingy I forgot the name of because my brain is fuzzy… if I even attempt two thoughts at once a pain starts throbbing in my right side above my eye. And currently thought #1 is occupied by a pressing need to yawn.

*pause for third yawn*

makes you wonder why I'm not out there finishing it off right now... maybe with a shotgun...

I temporarily forgot what and why or when for how by where I was blogging about. Both eyes keep winking in unison and my head seems to be fuzzing along to a silent lullaby with a cymbal crash of yawning… thus I found this picture and remembered… I didn’t forget what I was blogging about… ¬_¬ I forcefully repressed it.

I am sure (quite) that the Good Food recipe is a good’un. I fear my skill must be the one lacking.

Oh well. I have 6 more slices to eat tomorrow.

;__;

too much way much how much

Sushi For Sammie

I made tamago yaki for the first time today. Actually I cheated and made the american version rather than the scary difficult Japanese one… but it tasted fine! I also made some easy onigiri as I was doing a platter for my sister’s birthday. 😀

I made up the omelette recipe a little as I looked online at 1pm and then just felt like doing it at 3pm after I had walked into town. I knew you wanted to know that important information. (Actually it is more of a disclaimer as I don’t know what I am doing!)

To make:

  • 3 eggs, it said to strain them through a sieve/collander to get rid of the membrane. I don’t know how important this is but I did it anyway.
  • tbls Soy Sauce
  • Stock Cube I used vegetable as Mum is a vegetarian but the recipe I saw used chicken/meat stock.
  • 2 tsp Cyder Vinegar. For some unknown reason I add this to everything. Probably because I have a large bottle and just need to use it. But it tastes good and gives a nice KICK to things.
  • Pepper. To season. Good ol’ black pepper.

You will also need short grain rice. ^^

It is more nom than it looks I promise!

You whisk all the ingredients in a jug with CHOPSTICKS. Heat some oil in an oven pan, I used a 10 cm cake tin. Once heated pour the mixture into the pan and bake for approx 8 minutes at 180 on a fan oven.

I cut my omelette when it was still hot but apparently you should let it cool down. I didn’t have any problems so if you are like me and have no patience it should be fine. This way is cheating already so it doesn’t matter to cheat some more!

I used a bottle top to shape it all into small bitesize party piece. It was all about half the size of normal sushi. I have to use a mold as I do not have the knack to squeeze my rice into shape- no matter how much I practice.

Bottle Top mold. A handy invention.

**Just so you know the recipe actually has sugar and salt too but I forgot all about it, it was fine, but might make it better. Then again with my mishap recipe it might make it worse >:)

A bitesize review…

The rice is succulent and moist, dispersing in my mouth. Biting into the omelette I am suddenly warped back into my youth when I was given a slice of bread to mop up my gravy after dinner… it is the same texture, the same flavour, the same feeling of having a wierd but gratifying treat. The small bitesize piece is delicious, although I could eat more… and more.

 

 

Mother’s Diet-Club Cheesecake

Extremely Creamy and not too sweet this is the perfect diet friendly sneaky treat as there is no sugar added. Whipped up in less than 15 minutes, all it needs is a few hours setting time in the fridge. Perfect after a roast meal. Makes 10 cheesecakes of modest portions.

"Trust me girls, I whisked ALL the calories out of it"

250ml Mascarpone

250g Natural Yoghurt

250ml Elmlea Double Cream

200g Melted Milka Bars (with daim bar for an extra crunch is delicious!)

100g Ginger Nuts

100g Amoretti biscuits

100g Melted Butter

Best served in individual dishes.

1. Crush all biscuits and mix with melted butter. Firmly push into serving dishes.

2. Whisk mascarpone, yoghurt and double cream together until smooth.

3. Whisk in melted chocolate with a marble effect.

4. Pour cheese mixture onto biscuit base.

5. Leave in fridge for approx four hours to chill.

6. Nom Nom Nom. ;D

So we ate them all too quickly to take photo’s as they were really yummy… but here is a fan pic of Gaara of the Desert to make up for it. (No I was not trying to make a pun with desert instead of dessert, Gaara is just too awesome not to mention in every blog post) (Unless you like the pun then maybe I did do it on purpose.)

The Usual Sunday Suspects: carvery at the white horse – review

I stood patiently in line; not alone peering at the bed of meat that we were closing in on. The beef met my eye with a seductive glint upon its silver platter. A few creases in the aging skin only made it more tempting. Others chased down the fatty pork or the tender turkey, but the beef held all my attention. Continue reading The Usual Sunday Suspects: carvery at the white horse – review

Manju two- Sequel suicide or practice makes perfect?

Today I made Nikumanju again. I made a bigger batch (still took me hours) and used varied ingredients.

recipe:

dough-

4 cups doves gluten free s/r flour

1.5 cups warm milk

1/2 cup sugar

meatmeatyness-

1 chopped onion

2 grated carrots

1 bag quorn mince

3 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp cyder vinegar

1 tbs cinnamon

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper

The meat substitute causes a sense of under achievement and doesn’t quite hit the spot as much as my first attempt did. The carrot gave a nice colour but it would have been better with more so it was vibrant, maybe red and green peppers would be nice too. I know the idea of making a vegetarian meat bun is strange but these delicious things should be available to everyone. I am not the first nor the last to think and try this. However, quorn just isn’t right for this mission, maybe mixed vegetables and some curry powder would be nice. Next time….

 

Also, the use of gluten free powder makes the dough a little powdery. I was advised to use an egg to bind it but I didn’t listen and just stuck to flour and milk. It just didn’t seem right.

These are the only criticisms though, yes the manju were not as magical and moreish to me for I have to comparison of their meaty ancestors, but they did taste nice. It was a comforting stodgy snack / side dish again and am proud of my own made recipe.

 

I recommend to all to have a go and make them. Not everyone is as tortoise as me when it comes to kneading dough! It probably only take you half an hour including the 15 minutes steaming time!

For the original recipe and my first nikumanju review please go here.

Melting down a leaf from paradise.

As a friend you would know I am all about drinking coffee, it is superb.

As a close friend you would know I actually only like sweet hot drinks. Although coffee ranks high with its robust and charming flavour I was raised on tea, and the delicate pallate will always be welcomed upon my taste buds.

A spoonful or two of sugar certainly helps the bitter strength go down, and leaves a soothing feeling and satiates your thirst.

However honey combined with the liquid will give a new definition that hardened granules of white sucre could never achieve.

As you lift the china to your lips your breath mixes with the heat resonating from the smooth caramel body. It moves noticeably with the ebbs of motion as you bring the bottom more adjacent to your own face. Expecting the boiling liquid to scold you take a tender sip rather than inhaling too much of the promised drink.

Yet you are suprised at the warm glow your mouth feels when the drink is not lethal, you take another swig and another, gulping down the creamy river.

It is not so full and robust as coffee is, but more of a softer feel as it swirls down your throat, you feel its decline but it flies swiftly and softly throughout you.

Perhaps it was a squeeze too much of honey in this cup for the sweetness is staying behind; lingering for a few seconds before evaporating in the heat left.

However the ratio now causes the water to be more than just hollow, it has the illusion of melted platinum running through you. Not gold but platinum for gold would be too strong and too thick; no the honey and tea combine in harmony to create the most delicate of rivers to flood you as well as being great enough for you to feel the very substance it is formed of. A most pleasant feel, that continues as you drink.

Left with happiness it does not sit heavy. A warm hug, a sweet kick, and the ability to carry on.

 

**all images taken of google images. just search for tea or honey and bee. voila.

Creamy Crunchy Cakey Calorie

the Gylly Beach Cafe

It stared at me with its big hazel brown creamy fondue. I tried just walking past but the pull was too great and I hastily discovered its name and treasured it upon the tip of my tongue; “peanut butter dairy free muffin,” repeating it with caress to the cashier girl.

I had almost forgotten about it when it was brought over to my table on a large tray, looking as seductive as it did on the stand with its sisters.

A knife was set on the plate next to it, the cupcake was literally begging for me to plunge into it with the weapon.

It’s sticky head refused to release the knife, whereas the moist sponge underneath crumbled under my touch. I instantly found out that my purchase was like pulling a needy girl- I wish I hadn’t.

The surface frosting ran deeper than I realised, the cake was so crumbly in my hand I wondered if there was anything other than the sickly frosting at all. Rather than being shallow and having no substance it was more a problem of having TOO much substance.

The cake was nice but I have no idea what flavour the sponge was as their was so much peanut butter on top, I had to scrape away half of the top layer and the chopped nuts on top just so I didn’t have a mouth full of sandwich spread.

Far from being overly disappointed there was nothing but the smearing of cream on the paper case and some escapee crumbs strewn across the clean white table within about a minute.

It was not perfect, and I would not taste it for a second time; but for a minute that cake was all mine, and I regret nothing.