Month: March 2016

England Meets Recife

Brazil is incredibly green. That may sound weird and it feels weird to say but the vibrant green terrain, and sheer amount of greenery and various interesting looking trees and shrubs is amazing. Even in the city, paralleling kilometres of road are fantastic billowing trees. Recife’s skyline was also rather a perplexing sight; a crowd of skyscrapers, all pretty much identical in design rise up in the centre of the city, surrounded by extremely poor communities – terracotta coloured flat roofed shacks, unmaintained, rickety and decrepit. The city however is named as the Venice of Brazil, filled with rivers and pools of water, sitting on the North East coast of Brazil. The beaches: beautiful! Warm as my tea back home, the water is like a Sunday night bath, the air warm and the breeze cool. After my flight we headed to a little place serving local food; Caldinho – broths of all sorts, made from various ingredients but mainly beans; an (extremely large) stuffed fish with vegetables, Farofa (dried crunchy cassava) cooked with butter, eggs …

LHR > REC

The ultimate white British tourist: a rucksack, a 26kg suitcase, a purse, two cameras around the neck, Dr Martens, and long sleeves. Don’t forget the airport trip to Starbucks in your extremely non-fluent/non-existent Portuguese: a long hot wait for a domestic flight change in a Brazilian airport (in São Paulo) takes its toll. Despite sitting in the wrong seat twice, subsequently having my rucksack frantically passed around the cabin by adamant Brazilians communicating in only Portuguese in attempt to find space in the overhead storage compartments, experiencing (what felt like) non-stop turbulence for the duration of the 12 hour flight and eventually locating my suitcase in the luggage carousel for a flight from Orlando in São Paulo’s airport, my journey wasn’t too shabby. Alas! I live. My joy at dodging death was manifested upon landing by the lone woman on the left hand side of the plane clapping the pilots far too enthusiastically: the small child behind her pressed her hands to her headphones harder, furiously watching her third repeat of Frozen whilst her mother took several …

Morning Speculoos Porridge

Speculoos spread may be the ultimate twinkling gem I found during my travels around Belgium last Summer (sorry Atomium/Bruges Belfry Tower/other amazing landmarks). And if you know what I mean, you came home with at least 3 jars of the stuff in your suitcase and rucksack too (if you had enough willpower to resist eating it all from the jar with your fingers on the Eurostar home). I had always glimpsed at the stuff when in the incredible Le Pain Quotidien, super amazing Belgian (now London famous) cafe/restaurant chain, but now it’s right in the palm of my hands when I enter. It may not be the epitome of good health, but it damn sure is a tasty treat. For those who have yet to discover, Speculoos biscuits are very famous all around Belgium, like the Biscotti or Amaretti of Italy. Order a cup of coffee? Have a Speculoos biscuit. Order a Speculoos hot chocolate? Have a Speculoos biscuit. And, as you may now have guessed. Speculoos spread is basically composed of pulverised Speculoos biscuits, magically …

Apple & Spelt Muffins

Glorious little bites of cinnamon dusted joy, their heavenly scent wafting through a chilly house dimly lit by the blue London dawn. I awoke both craving something sweet and comforting and in a sporadic urgency to use up the remaining ingredients in my fridge before leaving for three weeks to a far hotter country halfway across the globe. Hence, my spontaneous baking had some validity (although there’s nothing at all wrong with a dash of random cooking, mark my words).   These bad boys were inspired by the seriously inspirational Green Kitchen Stories, and their original Apple & Buckwheat Muffins. In fact most of my cooking inspiration comes from this wonderful family, and I’m not ashamed to admit. Filled with homemade applesauce (blended cooked apples) and composed of almond, oat and spelt flour, eggs, coconut nectar and fresh apples (and more), these marvelous muffins brightened up the gruelling day of design ahead for my (design) group mates* and I; pre-project-presentation deadlines are notoriously draining. *Comments included, “Why are they so moist?” (myself) and “They taste like …