Tuesday 30 December 2014

Cauliflower crust pizza

Not to be seen as an imitation of ya standard Domino's, this wholesome take on the humble pizza should be appreciated in its own right. Gluten free and packing a veggie punch, the cauliflower base is a satisfying synthesis of doughy and crisp; just how I like it. Hope you do too!

For 2 full-size or 4 more petite pizza bases, you will need:

> 1 cauliflower
> 5 tbsp gluten free flour (I use Doves Farm wholemeal spelt)
> 2 eggs*
> sea salt
> 1 tsp dried basil
> 1 tsp dried oregano
> coconut oil

*to go vegan: substitute the eggs for 3 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water, then allow thicken up for 10 minutes or so. Health food stores tend to stock ready packaged egg replacer, if chia seeds aren't your thing!   


1) Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
2) Chop cauliflower into florets, then place into food processor and pulse until it resembles couscous consistency.
3) Put the cauliflower "couscous" into a large bowl and add the eggs (or egg substitute), gluten free flour, and season according to taste. 
4) Stir together until dough-like, adding additional flour if the mix is still too gooey. 
5) Affix baking paper onto baking tray, then spread thin layer of melted coconut oil over the paper to prevent the bases from sticking. 
6) Spoon the mixture onto the baking paper, flattening and forming into desired shape - I tend to opt for a rustic circle - with a suitable utensil (a spatula or spoon works just fine). Brush lightly with coconut oil. Repeat for each base.
7) Put into the oven for 15-20 mins.
8) Add the topping! For the pizzas pictured, I used: tomato purée, feta cheese, caramelised onion chutney, steamed kale. 
9) Finish off by placing in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or so, then add a couple of fresh basil leaves if ya fancy. Enjoy!

Sunday 21 December 2014

An ICAfternoon

It wouldn't be a home trip without a visit to one of my top London culture haunts, the Institute of Contemporary Arts. With its totally affordable £1 Day Membership, this lovely spot provides an ideal weekend (or holiday) motive for even the most thrifty of folk. Centrally situated on The Mall, a mere stone's throw away from Trafalgar Square, ICA is an absolute go-to for the culturally curious; its artistic offerings - whether cinema showings, contemporary expos, or gift shop goodness - seldom disappoint.

My personal highlight of this Saturday's excursion was undoubtedly The Poundshop, a seasonal showcase selling a wholesome array of present-worthy products, all dashingly designed. Housed within the ICA Theatre between 19-21 December, the creative venture sets forth a nifty concept: selling design wares for set - and above all economical - colour-coded price bands of £1, £3, £5, £10 and £15 in a bunch of cultural institutions around the city, pop-up style. Suffice it to say that my sucker-for-pretty-things self was in perfect contentment, picking up inessential ephemera left, right and centre. (Almost) all to gift to others, naturally! 

It wasn't just the showcase's content that set my easily pleased heart aflutter, though. The design aesthetic of the display itself was simplistic but sweet, with the products shelved on DIY-esque industrial ladders within the walls of the vast, minimally dressed interior. Teamed with the fun little addition of their resident 'Photobot', The Poundshop made for a refreshing retail experience with a cool creative slant. 

Also running throughout the winter months is Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014, a mixed media diversity of contemporary works from an assortment of talents, and Julie Verhoeven's Whiskers Between My Legs, her self-termed "grotto of visual excess" - a most fitting definition - which interrogates prevalent perceptions of femininity, gender and taste. In short, if you're on the lookout for a culture-rich, low-cost activity to help fill the festive break, get ICA on the agenda. 

Wednesday 17 December 2014

This week I'm lovin'

DHM -> LDN: Though the uni workload doesn't exactly lighten up during the festive hols, my much loved London ends most certainly do. Far from a frosty reception, the Brit capital has greeted me back with seasonal sights and foodie delights - not to mention the odd log fire-fuelled night (or two). Ohh, home comforts never get old.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Cribmas joy

If you're anything like me, yule have thoroughly caught tinselitus and be stocking up on festive frills to adorn your crib and spread some good vibrations by now. Oh (rein)deery me. Terrible Christmas puns aside - so sorry - I really do lapland up any excuse to rejig my room's interior a little, and this high-spirited season is the ultimate occasion to do just that. True to my all-consuming personal design aesthetic, you'll see that I like to keep it minimalist even during the most sparkling time of year. This doesn't, however, detract from the next level cosiness granted by the merry little additions rockin' around my uni room of late. And it's not totally sparkle free. Have a nosy!

// "Happy Holidays" decoration: Paperchase (£2.50) | Reindeer + Christmas tree: Wilko (£1.50 each) | Festive mug: Paperchase (£6) | Sparkly stag: Primark (last year) //

Wednesday 3 December 2014

A hot cup of *clean* Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Though they're a regular occurrence, I'm always a tad hesitant to post my - thoroughly experimental - food and drink concoctions, largely for fear of being the only one they'll appeal to (in turn exposing my partiality for offbeat, even controversial culinary combinations). However, this latest little brew has attracted quite the curiosity amongst my friends, leading me to think it might just take the fancy of people other than my peculiar self. 

So, my loves, I present to you a dairy-free, gluten-free, and indeed refined sugar-free liquid variant on the Hershey's classic: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Naturally, you can mix up the ingredients according to your own dietary requirements (or lack thereof), but these are the go-to components of what has become one of my staple warming winter beverages.

You will need:

> 1 tbsp peanut butter - ideally the 100% peanuts kind (Meridian is great)
> 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (I use Bioglan)
> a few generous drops of Sweet Freedom Choc Shot (dreamy liquid hot chocolate made of fruit extracts and cocoa)
> milk of your choice (soya works well, thanks to its slight sweetness)


1) Heat milk in pan.
2) Once the milk begins to warm up, add the peanut butter, cacao powder, and Sweet Freedom Choc Shot.
3) Stir constantly, until piping hot. 
4) Pour into a nice big mug. Think happy thoughts. Enjoy.