All Good Things Healthy Peanut Butter Banoffee Pie Recipe

Pie 6

To ‘healthy’ or not to ‘healthy’ seems to be a recurring question in my baking life these days. I started experimenting with healthy (ish) ingredients and raw ‘baking’ a few months ago and I have to admit it’s a lot of fun. Dates, almonds and coconut oil seem to take on a whole new meaning when you have a high speed blender at hand and I always feel like a God when revealing that yes, that thing you just tasted that was very yummy, it’s also good for your hair.

I compiled this banoffee pie recipe from a few different places. My awesome friend (and semi-relative, I think) Clem has an amazing blog called Clem Fresh which is basically an online guide to being a goddess and she is famous for her raw, no sugar, no butter, no anything but yummyness banoffee pie recipe. Then I found a recipe for peanut butter mousse on Minamalist Baker and the whole thing just kind of clicked into place.

So here it is, it’s very yummy, it contains no bad things, and it looks very pretty. If you decide to make it please tweet me a picture and I hope you have a great weekend binge watching Orange is the New Black.

Warning: This recipe requires chilling a can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 5 hours (preferably over night). So make sure you do that…

Pie 1

Base: 1 cup almonds, 1 cup pecans, 2 cups dates, 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Grease a pie dish with coconut oil.

2. In a strong blender or mixer, grind the nuts into a sandy texture. Add the dates and oil and keep blending until the mixture comes together and is nice and sticky.

3. Put in the fridge to harden for about an hour.

Pie 2

Caramel: ¼ cup peanut butter, ¼ cup agave, 1 tbsp almond milk to thin it out, 3 bananas

1. Mix together the peanut butter and agave in a small cup and add the almond milk if you’d like a thinner more caramel-y texture.

2. Spread mixture on top of base.

3. Slice bananas into coins and lay out over caramel.

Pie 3

Cream: 1 can coconut milk (chilled for at least 5 hours in the fridge) , 3 tbsp peanut butter, 3 tbsp agave

1. Take chilled coconut milk out of the fridge and without shaking remove the lid.

2. Scoop the cream out of the can, leaving the liquid at the bottom, and put it into a mixing bowl with the peanut butter and agave.

3. Using an electric whisk, whisk the mixture until it comes together and is nice and creamy.

4. Spoon on top of bananas and add some nuts or some more bananas for a little bit of decoration.

Keep the pie in the fridge until serving time and then tuck in enjoy and try to convince everyone it actually is kind of healthy.

Pie 4

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What’s in my Makeup Bag?

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1. Maybelline The Falsies Mascara. 2. Smashbox Eyeshadow Trio in Litho. 3. Smashbox Waterproof Liner in Bare. 4. Anastasia Brow Wiz. 5. Real Techniques Accent Brush, Base Shadow and Deluxe Crease Brush. 6. By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow Stick in Misty Rock and Black Pearl. 7. Tanya Burr Lipgloss in Afternoon Tea. 8. Sephora Eyelash Curlers. 9. L’Oreal Super Liquid Eyeliner.

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1. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. 2. Real Techniques Blush Brush & Buffing Brush. 3. Nars Blush Stick in Orgasm. 4. Mac Studio Fix Powder. 5. The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter. 6. Kevin Aucoin The Sculpting Powder.

Make up was probably my first true love. Make up or Gareth Gates, I’m not really sure which came first. There’s something so magical about it. The sleek packaging, how tiny every separate piece is and the endless possibilities it can lead to. The way that dogs feel when you take a tennis ball out of your pocket, that’s how I feel about make up.

However when my depression started my relationship with my slightly out of control lip-gloss collection became slightly muddled. At my worst even the idea of make up sent me into a tizzy. I could barely look at my face in the mirror let alone spend any time trying to make it look any nicer. My body image issues were already so bad that the thought of spending any amount of time actually focusing on my face felt like it was just going to make it worse.

After about 6 months of barefaced living I was starting to feel a tiny bit better and I began to fill my still sleepless nights with YouTube videos. I want to do whole post on the world that is YouTube and Youtubers because I think it is a truly extraordinary thing but if you’re not already familiar with it then I highly recommend Zoella, Tanya Burr and Louise (sprinkleofglitter).  That was where I started anyway and after months of avoiding my mirror in the same way that most people avoid Piers Morgan, these girls began to change the way I was thinking.

Hearing them talk about mascara and moisturizers and eye shadow, as silly as it sounds, reminded me how much joy these things used to bring me. In my head make up had become something bad, all about vanity and trying to impress other people, and seeing as how I had very few people in my life at that time it seemed pointless to engage with a world that was all about looking good on the outside.

But as I watched more videos and began to dip my toe back into my makeup stash I started to realize something quite different. For me, make up has nothing to do with other people. And now, when I put my make up on, it feels like one of the most loving things I can do to myself. I’m not rejecting the way I naturally look, or trying to cover anything up, I’m just using the tools I have to enhance the things I already (sometimes) like about myself. It’s like when superman puts on his cape, he’s still superman without the cape, but the cape shows the world just how awesome he really is. Make up’s a way to express yourself, it’s a way to show yourself that actually you have really beautiful eyes, or an amazing smile, and if it takes a slash of eyeliner or a bright orange lip to make you believe that then it’s definitely worth it. There’s a quote in Castle (which is an amazing TV show by the way) that says ‘Make up makes us look beautiful to ourselves. That’s what makes us look beautiful to others.’ And I couldn’t agree more

So my love affair with make up is back on (think of us as Ross and Rachel post break). And I might start talking about it more on this blog, because when it comes to make up I have a lot to say. But for now here’s what’s in my make up bag at the moment, and yes, it’s all very dirty, because I’m a person, and I actually use it.

Have a lovely day,

Scarlett.

A Week in Cornwall

Last week me and my mum decided to take a mildly spontaneous trip to Cornwall (anything that includes bringing along 2 massive suitcases and one small dog can never be that spontaneous). We decided to go because Cornwall is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world but also because I was starting to go a little stir crazy. I love London and my house and my home a lot but it’s also always going to be the place where I’ve been sick. The place where I’ve spent weeks in my bedroom literally not being able to move and weeks in my bedroom able to move but definitely not wanting to. I needed to get out, and get away, and Cornwall felt like the perfect place for that.

I think it’s important to remember that you’re never actually truly stuck anywhere. I know for me when I start to feel down the effort of even moving from my bedroom to the sitting room downstairs feels like running a marathon wearing a wet onesie. But it is possible. It’s always possible. Even if it’s just going for a walk round the block, or taking some time out to hide in the loo at a horrible party… or running away to Cornwall for a week. If you’re starting to feel like the walls are closing in on you, try to take a break from those walls, and when you get back I bet they’ll seem a lot friendlier. Or maybe just a bit more like normal walls.

Anyway here are some pictures from our time in Cornwall. It was sunny and seasidey and like the most magical place on earth (unless Hogwarts really exists, in that case Cornwall is the second most magical place on earth). My favourite place we went was St Just in Roseland church. Which was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been or probably ever will go in my life. We also went to an amazing cafe in Fowey called Pinky Murphy’s. It has an Elvis in Hawaii theme and baskets of unfinished knitting for you to do while you’re waiting for your food. Just round the corner from Pinky Murphy’s is a shop called White Doll Arts that me and mum had been to before and we ran down the road like to crazy lady’s to try and find again. It has smiling pile of poo broaches and bowls of tiny knitted babies. It’s heaven. I want to move there.

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Hope your having a lovely week.

Scarlett.

Brooklyn Beckham and The Daily Telegraph

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In case you missed the groundbreaking news Brooklyn Beckham got a job in a coffee shop. Okay fine, maybe it’s not groundbreaking news but even so English newspaper The Daily Telegraph seemed to think it was worth writing about and I was very VERY honoured as a child-of-a-mildly-famous-person to be asked to write the article.

Writing for a real life actual made of paper newspaper is something I never thought I’d actually get to do and when I opened up the paper yesterday morning and saw my name and face and words what I had written I was extremely excited. I’m staying in the country at the moment and all the papers had sold out at our local shop so I had to steal one from behind the counter. If you’re in the Suffolk area please don’t tell the police.

Writing about my mum and dad is something I’ve wanted to do for a while as I know it’s a reason that a lot of people read this blog. But what I tried to say in the article is that I hope by now it’s not the only reason. And I’d suggest that if it is still the only reason you should maybe stop reading it and watch Greys Anatomy instead. Because that would probably be a better use of your time.

You can read the article online here (or you can you can squint very hard and read it from the picture) or you can just not read it at all.

Hope you’re having a lovely day.

Scarlett.

 

 

Are Cake Pops Really Worth It?

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Everyone has those few unanswerable questions, the one’s that keep you up at night going over and over the same information but still the answer eludes you. What is the meaning of life? Why can I never bring myself to finish Mansfield Park? What exactly did happen at the end of Lost? But for me the question I’ve asked myself most often is ‘Are cake pops really worth it?’

First lets look at the pros. They look amazing, with all the cuteness of a lollipop, the portability of a Kit Kat and the elegance of a cupcake they truly are the Megan Fox of the confectionary world. And they taste even better. Like heaven and cake and icing and angels all rolled into one.

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But oh the cons… For a girl for whom baking is my happy, calm place cake pops can be hella stressful.  There are a lot of steps involved, and a lot of waiting time between the steps. And there are a lot of places where everything can go wrong. So wrong that you end up on the kitchen floor, cake pop mixture going crusty in your hair looking up the sky and asking why. Why did I choose to make cake pops? Isn’t banana bread good enough any more?

After many failed attempts cake pops and I have reached a pretty good place. They’re not something I’d make every day. And they’re definitely not the easiest. But they’re definitely not as stressful as they used to be. And they do look pretty cute.

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My Cake Pop Method:

  1. Bake a cake. If you’re prone to getting stressed out/in a rush I’d highly recommend using cake mix for this. But if you scorn cake mix with a hatred that would burn a hole through a Betty Crocker box – Bakerella has lots of nice and easy cake recipes.
  2. Break your cake up into crumbs either by hand or in a blender and then mix a big dollop (technical terms) of icing (either store bought or homemade) into the cake crumbs. Keep adding icing and mixing until the mixture is almost dough like and you can form balls with it.
  3. Roll your cakey icing mixture into balls and freeze them for at least an hour.
  4.  Melt some chocolate or candy melts (colored chocolate, you can buy it here) and while it’s melting try to find your cake pop sticks and stand. If you don’t have a stand here’s a list of things I’ve used in the past – some wood with holes drilled in, a watermelon, some modeling clay, another cake, all my brothers (holding four cake pops each).
  5. Take your cake balls out of the freezer. Dip the end of a cake pop stick into the chocolate then insert it into the ball. Once you’ve done this put them back in the freezer for a few minutes.
  6. Now here’s my number one tip. Mix a little bit of sunflower oil into your chocolate before dipping the cake pops in. It will thin the chocolate and make it about 200 times easier to coat your cake pops.
  7. One by one dip your cake pops into the chocolate. I like to completely submerge my cake pop and then tap the stick against the edge of the bowl to let any excess run off. Then quickly put the cake pop into the stand.
  8. If you have any energy left add some decorations but if not just enjoy your awesome creations, and make sure to take a lot of pictures. Because cake pops are seriously impressive.

Expectation Vs Reality

There’s a brilliant scene in 500 Days of Summer (one of my favorite films starring a person with a fringe) where the screen splits and shows the main character’s expectation of how he thought his night would go at the same time as showing the reality of what actually happened. Welcome to my life.

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Having suffered for a while with horrible things like depression and anxiety; I think when you’re going through things like this it’s hard not to hope that one day you’re just going to wake up and everything will be fixed. I’ve spent the last year thinking that my recovery would happen with a bang. That I’d just feel amazing one day. And then I’d go on feeling amazing forever and ever the end goodbye. But unfortunately I think that might only be true of people in American TV adverts for anti depressants.

I made a lot of progress earlier this year but the last month has sucked. And what’s so hard about the ‘two steps backwards’ part of recovery is that it’s all the more painful because you’ve seen a glimmer of how beautiful life will be once you’re better.

For me night times are the hardest, night time is the time when my illness takes over and tells me that resistance is futile, that I might as well give up because I’m never getting better. For me most nights look something like this.

11.00pm – Get into bed. Feel tired, lonely, confused, other sad emotions. Sleep seems like the obvious solution. Sleep or a snuggle with Catsby.

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11.30pm – Catsby not interested in snuggling. He is a teenager now and far too cool for physical affection. Sleep it is.

12.00am – Sleep not a thing that is happening so decide to watch The Good Wife as that is a lovely show with a slow soothing pace suitable for putting me to sleep.

The Next Day

12.30am – The good wife is my hero of life. She is also sad but her hair is always shiny and she seldom cries. She is like the Beyoncé of sad people. Tomorrow I will be more like the good wife and then all my problems will be fixed.

1.00am – The Good Wife is literally the best show ever. Watch another episode.

2.00am – Realise that one day I will have seen every episode of The Good Wife and will have none left.

2.05am – Start crying while imagining my life without The Good Wife.

2.10am – Realise this could possibly be the depression talking. Good Wife good but maybe not good enough to warrant tears just thinking about it being over.

2.30am – Finally fall asleep.

But then I wake up in the morning, and things look maybe a little less bad. And I realize that I must treat my illness much like the world treats Kanye West. Appreciate and acknowledge it’s existence but not give much credit to what it’s actually saying. And I try to get on with my day, and do things I know won’t make me feel worse, and try not to criticize myself too much for not getting better quicker.

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Recovery is slow. Super slow. And it’s always going to have it’s downs. But having a down means that you’ve had an up. Which is a beautiful thing. And it means you’re going to have more ups in the future. And one day one of those ups with last a bit longer, and then it will just be life. Because in the end the only choice I actually have is to keep trying to get better. And even if sometimes it feels slower than an episode of Mad Men, I know I can get there.

Have an awesome week.

Scarlett.

p.s. The cartoon of the dog is from my favourite tumblr of all time Please Stop Being Sad. 

p.p.s. Emma Mitchell a.k.a. Nicestpersonever wrote the kindest things anyone has ever written about me on her blog. I am smiling a lot. You can read it here. And you can also follow her amazingness on Twitter. 

Click on This List

This awesome website tells you… well you can see above what it tells you. But it has hundreds of book recommendations and seeing as how The Marriage Plot and The Art of Fielding are two of my all time faves I’m planning on giving The Lacuna a try.

Like This...

This gallery of incredibly sexist adverts from the 70s.

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Most importantly of all this speech by Amy Schumer. Which might be one of the best things I’ve ever read.

Celebrities Visit "Late Show With David Letterman" - April 1, 2014

This idea for a snack. The recipe’s not in English but I’d put money on ‘Smelt chokolade’ meaning melt the chocolate.

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Because funny. And true. *cry laugh*

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My two favourite dresses from the Met Ball. Apart from my floor length nightie. Which I wore proudly while staying up all night on Instagram stalking the beautiful people.

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And this example of Emma Stone being awesome.

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Oh and also this example of Emma Stone being awesome.

And this funny Spiderman comic.

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And this. Because ‘My So Called Life’ era Claire Danes in a field in dungarees really is the ultimate state of being.

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And if you’re a fan of art but always thought it was lacking some emoji’s then this website is for you.

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Because funny.

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And let’s all hope this is true…

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Happy clicking!

Scarlett.

Flower Pot Chocolate Cake

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As any even vaguely experienced baker will know there’s an art in finding the balance between making your cake look nice and not getting crazy stressed out while decorating it. More than once I’ve baked an entire vat of cupcakes only to discover that I don’t have the right icing/can’t quite be asked to ice them. So when I saw this recipe for mini chocolate cakes baked into flower pots I assumed it was doomed to be perpetually Pinterested and never actually baked.

But actually. It was super easy.

The hardest part about this recipe is finding the flower pots. For about a week I could only find eco flower pots made of soil which was not exactly what I  was looking for; but I ended up with two terracotta plant pots. And no. I didn’t check if they were heat proof. I just put them in the oven. But it worked.

The make up of the cake is as follows:

- Chocolate cake baked straight into the pot.

- A drizzle of m&s salted caramel on top.

- Chocolate ganache on top of that.

- Crumbled up Oreo’s to act as dirt.

- And all topped off with toffee chunks, store bought flowers and some homemade fondant tortoises.

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I’m not going to write out the whole recipe because I literally just followed the Sweetapolita one (except for making my own salted caramel, no body got time for that). But I did think I would leave you with a list of my top 5 recipe blogs.

I feel like some people find it hard to know in what context to read blogs, I use bloglovin where you can literally ‘follow’ all your favourite blogs, then when you go to your bloglovin page you get updates every time a blog you follow has updated. However there’s also a joy in forgetting about a blog you love and then going back to it and having dozens of lovely new posts to catch up on. You can follow me here on bloglovin, and here are my top 5 food-y blogs.

1. Sally’s Baking Addiction – 80% of things I bake come from here.

2. A Beautiful Mess - The holy grail of craft, food and general beautifulness.

3. Deliciously Ella – My all time favourite healthy eating blog.

4. Sweetapolita - The most beautiful cakes you will ever see in your whole life ever.

5. Minimalist Baker - Another healthy eating blog with beautiful pictures and very funny words.

Okay, there you have it, my favourite cake I’ve baked to date and some more beautiful blogs to keep you occupied this bank holiday.

Have a lovely day.

Scarlett.

Pots 4

4 Films, 1 Week

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I talked in this post about how I like to bake when I feel sad, unfortunately I feel sad quite a lot and there’s only so many batches of cupcakes I can make before my house starts to look like a slightly dodgy, not very professional bakery and my family starts to feel very very sick.

So for those times when I’m feeling sad or anxious and like I just need to get out of the house and out of my head – I like to go to the cinema. I love movies; along with books and James Franco’s Instagram they are one of my favourite things about life. But almost more than I love movies, I love the cinema.

I think to some people the idea of going to see a movie alone is pretty alien. But going to the cinema on my own, in the afternoon or even in the morning is one of my favourite things to do in life. Because when I’m feeling bad or sad, walking through those doors onto that slightly grubby carpet, ordering a drink that’s so watered down it doesn’t even really count as Sprite any more, worrying I’m late and then realising the actual film doesn’t start for at least 20 minutes, and then finally getting whisked away into a world where none of my problems even exist, for me, that’s practically heaven.

I saw four films last week, which I guess tells you that I wasn’t having a particularly good week.

The first was We Are The Best which I saw with my dad as Lucas Moodysson, the director, is practically his Lena Dunham. If you’re a 14 year old girl who’s never seen a subtitled film before I would definitely recommend this as your first one and if you’re anyone else who isn’t a 14 year old girl I would also recommend this as it’s beautiful and gentle and probably the most honest film I’ve seen in my not very long life.

Then I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with my little brother and while he went in rather sceptical after not liking the first one (I am incapable of being sceptical at anything featuring Emma Stone) we both came out vibrating with how much we’d loved it. I know it’s a big statement but I think it’s my favourite of any movie in this new wave of superhero movies. For me struck the perfect balance between ‘bit’s where they actually talk and don’t fight’ (my brother called these ‘the bit’s where you actually get quite bored’) and amazing fight scenes. And also – Emma Stone…

The next day I was feeling pretty low and I knew if I sat in my house any longer I was going to get lower than low so I went to see The DoubleI was the only person in the cinema not on a date so I propped my big parker coat up next to me and pretended it was my boyfriend. Tragic? Ithinkso. After absolutely loving Submarine (the directors last film) I didn’t like The Double. Which is definitely not saying it was a bad film. Because I’m sure it was amazing and I could see lots of things in it that were awesome. But in the end I felt all the arch-ness and stylish directing took away completely from any emotion the film was trying to convey. I think it was meant to be a film about loneliness and if even me and my winter coat boyfriend couldn’t feel that there was definitely something going wrong.

And then me and my friend went to see The Other Woman. Which is amazing. And so much fun. And so funny. And Leslie Mann is so hilarious and beautiful and awesome that she should almost definitely win an Oscar for it. And if you are feeling sad – this is the movie to see. Because I defy anyone to feel sad while watching Leslie Mann try to cry on the inside.

So that was my week of feeling a bit sad and movies helping a lot. I’m feeling much better this week which is brilliant. And the way it always goes.

I hope you’re having a great week.

Scarlett.

 

Life is Good Because of…

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For todays post I thought I would leave you with less words and more pictures. Because it’s Friday and frankly reading is the last thing I feel like doing. I made this drawing for my mum about a year and a half ago when things were just starting to get bad. I think it was my way of reminding myself that there were still good things going on in the world even if my head felt like it was imploding in on itself. I also made one of things that make life bad… which was a lot funner to write and I might share next week.

The truth is life is good because of a lot of things, and I know that for me the things that make life good aren’t the huge achievements or exciting adventures, more often than not those things just scare or overwhelm me. For me what makes me happy is the tiny everyday things, like having a bath or snuggling my cat.  I know that sometimes you will feel so sad that none of these things will help, but sometimes just looking at a list of things that are beautiful and happy can remind you that actually everyday, boring, Doctor-Who-watching, oven-glove-wearing life really is pretty good…

Have a lovely weekend!