Saturday, 28 February 2015

INSTAGRAM: FEBRUARY 2015


New Homewear • Simple Kitchen • Spelt Pancakes with Plum Compote • Grey Fabric Sofas • Knitwear and Pearls • ELLE • Empty Apartment, Blank Canvas • All the Cashmere Please • Lang Leav for Valentines • Tegan turns 5 • Desk Decor • Coffee and Cake at John Lewis Cafe • Bed and Netflix • Rainbow Tulips • Sweet Lush Bubble Baths • Happy Birthday Papa Tupps

Well, I'm counting February as a bit of a 'write-off' - quite literally, actually. I've had a proper dry spell when it came to blogging this month. I don't know what's up with me, but the inspiration just hasn't been there for the past few weeks for me to create content that I was happy with. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, and I'm almost certain that people would rather I took that break from blogging instead of reading posts that were not 100%. I even bought Dana Fox's 365 Blog Topic Ideas: For The Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About, and I'm hoping it'll set me on the right track so I can get back on that blogging train. Instead, I've been using my time to do other things and found myself pretty much blogging through Instagram in the meantime.

One really lovely event that happened this month was that we celebrated my Dad's birthday, my dog's birthday and Pancake Day all on the 17th. I hadn't seen my big brother in ages either, so I insisted on a photo after we'd had lunch because we hardly ever document things together.

I've also become obsessed with homewear this month. I'm at the point of no return. I think that my new stash might end up being a post all in itself because I have quite a few new goodies that I've fallen in love with; and I managed to grab a few bargains too. You could probably sense my (totally sad) excitement when my Mum suggested we go and have coffee and cake - free coffee and cake, mind - at our newest John Lewis at Home store. The cafe was so busy but, oh my god, I just wanted to buy everything in the store but I resisted to buy a single thing! Needless to say, I'm going back there when I've saved up some pennies. I have my eye on a few Orla Kiely patterned cake tins amongst other things...

Just like to point out that this is my first Saturday off work in f o r e v e r, and so I'm desperately trying to make the most of my weekend despite the horrible weather. I swear to god the weather just can't decide what it's doing - one day it's gorgeously sunny, the next it's freezing torrential rain. Roll on the summer, eh? At least the mornings and evenings are getting lighter now. That's one thing I always look forward to, and it means there will be more time to take blog photographs in natural light - bloggers rejoice!
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

WHOLEWHEAT SPELT PANCAKES WITH PLUM COMPOTE


I love pancakes as much as the next guy, especially those overly-sweet American-style thick ones, and when it comes to eating out for breakfast they would always be my first choice. There are so many alternatives to the pancake rule and, believe me, this connoisseur has trialled them all. 2- ingredient mashed banana and eggs; vanilla protein; buckwheat; runny batters; thick batters; sugar; no sugar... I feel like there was no balance in any of these options. It was either totally healthy but boring, or unhealthy but momentarily satisfying. 

Believe it or not, I think I may have found my perfect balance of pancake. It contains no sugar at all but boasts wholewheat spelt flour, whole milk (yes, really) and coconut oil amongst other ingredients. You might be reading this a little dumbfounded as to how this is going to work. I mean, a pancake without sugar - am I mad? But you guys just need to go with me on this one, seriously! 

These pancakes are really simple to make. Instead of buttermilk - the ultimate indulgence that makes American-style pancakes thick and fluffy - we use whole milk and sour it with the juice of half a lemon. You get the same results and it's a cheaper (and more available) alternative to buttermilk. Like I said, there's no sugar in the batter itself. The natural sweetness comes from the vanilla and the coconut oil. By all means add sweetness later - I added a drizzle of pure maple syrup on top of my stack, for example.

The plum compote is also super easy to make. Similar to my apple sauce recipe (click here to read about my healthy apple crumble), all you need are 6 ripe plums, a cinnamon stick and about 1/2 cup of water (or enough to cover the plums). Prepare the plums by taking out the stones and quartering them. Pop them in a small saucepan with the water and cinnamon stick, and simmer until thick - approximately 10 minutes. The compote thickens as it cools, so take it off the heat and let it sit while you make your pancakes. 


SUGAR FREE SPELT PANCAKES
(makes 16)
225ml whole milk
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g wholewheat spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp coconut oil

Start by preheating your oven to gas mark 1 (140ºC/275ºF) - this is for keeping the pancakes warm as you make them. Add the lemon juice to the milk and stir well. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or until it has thickened, then beat the egg with the vanilla and add it to the mixture. In a large bowl, mix together the wholewheat spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the middle and gradually stir in the wet ingredients, making sure the batter is smooth.

Melt your coconut oil in a frying pan, then tip the melted fat into the batter and stir well. Wipe the inside of the frying pan with a piece of kitchen towel. The added coconut oil means that there is no need to grease the pan with butter when cooking - win! 

Place the frying pan on a medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Cook on one side until you can see little air bubbles and the batter starting to set around the edges. At this point, flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven while you make the rest, then serve in a stack with your favourite toppings.


Overall I am so impressed with how these have turned out. The vanilla adds natural sweetness, and there's a lovely coconut hint from the oil too. The plum compote is sharp and warming, but works so well twinned with the maple syrup - it's just the right balance. 

I love pancakes so much I was worried that I wouldn't find my refined sugar-free fix, but now I can have pancakes for breakfast every day and not feel the slightest bit guilty about it!

*Pancake recipe adapted from Davina's 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free
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