Anzac Biscuits

Some of you may know that I lived in New Zealand for almost 8 years before I moved to London, and I have such fond memories of my time in this beautiful country. One of my favourite treats, that my cousin used to bake when I first moved there, were Anzac Biscuits. An Anzac biscuit is a sweet biscuit popular in Australia and New Zealand made using rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and boiling water. Both Australia and New Zealand claim to have invented the cookie-like Anzac biscuit that we now know, but its origins are not clear. They got their name because they were originally made to sent to the ANZAC’s (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) serving in Gallipoli in WW1, mainly due to their excellent keeping properties.

Anyway, enough about the history of this biscuit – it’s just damn delicious that’s all you really need to know! People often make them for Anzac Day (25 April) but I also make them for Australia Day each year – because I am a rebel like that haha. But really, find whatever excuse you want to make them because they are just so good. The store bought Anzac biscuits are quite sweet and crunchy but I prefer mine chewy, oatie and full of chopped dried fruit. This recipe comes from my cousin in New Zealand and is easy to make and a real winner.

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Anzac Biscuits

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups desiccated coconut
180g or 1 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups plain flour
1 cup raw sugar
285g butter
2/3 cup golden syrup
2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp boiling water

Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. It’s a messy mix so allow plenty of room. Melt the butter and golden syrup together until just boiling. Blend the soda with the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Remove the butter mixture from the heat, add the soda/water mix and mix through the dry ingredients. Use a big (strong!) wooden spoon to really mix it together to achieve an even texture. Consider this your workout for the day. Now, with the dough grab tbsp chunks and roll balls in your hand. Place the balls on un-greased baking rays. Remember to compress the dough balls so an even biscuit will be produced that will not crack or crumble when baking. This dough will make about 30 biscuits. Bake in the oven (180C) for 2o minutes. You will know when they are ready when they are nice and golden brown but still tender. You can keep this biscuits in an airtight tin for a couple of weeks – but they probably won’t ever last that long as they are super delicious and moorish!

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Have you ever tried an Anzac biscuit? I can’t wait to make some this weekend because it’s Australia day on Monday and a lot of my friends are Australian so I am sure they will just love them! Give these Anzac biscuits a go and let me know what you think :)

Leave a comment | Posted in Baking, Food, Recipe

The Good Life Eatery in West London

All you healthy food junkies out there; pay attention! If you haven’t heard of the Good Life Eatery yet, it’s about time you had. Located on Sloane Avenue in West London, it’s one of London’s hottest health-food cafés and its first free-standing cold-pressed juice bar. Owners Yasmine Larizadeh and Shirin Kouros, both raised in the States, spotted a gap in the London market for a deliciously healthy food café and decided to set up shop. And I am sure glad they did.

Because the Good Life Eatery is very small, seating 25 people max, it means that you are likely going to have to wait to secure yourself a table at this healthy hotspot. When I got there a few weeks ago for brunch with friends, I got lucky and managed to secure myself a table after about a 15 minute wait. The cafe menu is scribbled onto blackboards behind the counter. I always get a little envious when I see those, if only I had such cool and neat writing! Anyway let’s move on, so not only does everything on the menu sound delicious, it’s also healthy and won’t affect your diet or waistline! Well, as long as you can ignore the (healthified) cakes right by the entrance that is ;)

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For brunch we ordered the Zucchini Fettuchini; which is pretty much a superfood salad containing raw courgette noodles, almond pesto, edamame, broccoli, herbs, sundried tomatoes and goats cheese, the So-Fresh and So-Clean (Poached Eggs, Red and White Quinoa, Kale, Sweet Potato, Omega Seeds and Spinach Cashew Cream) and I went for the Skinny Benedict w/ wheat free Chia Bread

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The food was delicious, fresh, super healthy and filling! I loved my skinny Benedict. I usually never get Eggs Benedict because I don’t actually like Hollandaise sauce (I know, I am weird like that) but the skinny twist on this classic dish at the Good Life Eatery is that the benedict sauce is made from yoghurt and saffron and it was yum! I can’t wait to come back to try some other winners on their menu for lunch or dinner like the Goodness Bowl, Avocado on Toast or the Egg White Frittata.

The only negative comment I have to mention about this cafe is that I wish that they offered table service. Basically to order your food or drinks you have to line up at the counter (and that line can get pretty long) and I find that can distract from a nice catch up with friends because you’re all going up individually to order food. I think if they had table service people would get served quicker and this would also help with the wait of getting a table. Food for thought perhaps for their second location – which a little birdie told me may be on the cards this year! Fingers crossed it’s somewhere near me.

To finish brunch with something sweet we picked up some of their treat bowls. There’s the Sport Bites which contain apricots, raw almonds, hemp seeds and coconut oil & my new obsession; their Peanut Butter Cups made from organic peanut butter, spelt, cocoa and non-hydrogenated sunflower spread. These little healthy versions of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have been on my mind ever since I had them, they were sooooo good. I am exploring Pinterest at the moment to find the perfect recipe so I can try to recreate them at home. Watch this space!

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Have you been to the Good Life Eatery yet?

The Good Life Eatery
59 Sloane Avenue,
London SW3 3DH
Or follow them on Instagram here for some epic healthy foodporn!

2 Comments | Posted in Brunch, Food, Healthy, Lifestyle, London

Just take the first step

Hello. I hope you’re all having a good week? On Sunday afternoon when I was catching up with some friends we ended up talking about happiness and the importance of living for the moment. I think it being January (meaning new year & fresh start and all that) sparked it off. My friend said that he was only going focus on the here and now this year, and trying not to plan too far ahead. Do what makes you happy now, do what feels good now and don’t worry too much about the long term plan or outcome. You will probably be a lot happier that way and things will just fall into place as they are meant to.  I think he had a good point!

Take the first step

 “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” - Martin Luther King.

This quote is a great reminder for me because I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and I tend to try to get everything fairly well planned, especially before starting something new. So maybe I need to keep telling myself that I don’t always have to know what’s coming after the next step. Maybe it’s about about having faith, believing in yourself and taking things step by step, learning from my experiences and trusting that the big picture will manifest eventually. I can still have goals, but the road to the goal has to be kept open for whatever shows up on the way there and not to be afraid of the future or failure. The journey should be half the fun right? Happy Hump Day everyone!

2 Comments | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Lifestyle, Quotes

MAC Antiqued Eyeshadow

When it comes to eyeshadows, I am always most drawn to golden, bronze and coppery shades because they really make my blue eyes pop! Some of my all time favourites for this already are MAC Twinks (as seen here), MAC Tempting, MAC Amber Lights (as seen here), Urban Decay Baked and Smog (as seen used here and here) and MAC Woodwinked and All That Glitters. But I recently discovered a new shade that I am totally hooked on now. Let me introduce you to MAC Antiqued!

MAC Antiqued is a rusty, coppery brown with a veluxe pearl finish eyeshadow. The texture is super smooth so it applies like a dream, it is highly pigmented, versatile and it is great for both day or night makeup looks. It’s been my go-to shade these recent winter months because it’s such a beautiful warm deep colour that even on it’s own easily creates a stunning coppery smokey eye.

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Here are some pictures of a makeup look I created recently using MAC Antiqued eyeshadow and some other products I am loving at the moment.

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FACE: Paula’s Choice Soft Neutral Cream Concealer, applied underneath the eyes // Burberry Fresh Glow Nude Radiance (No. 1) lightly applied onto cheekbones, forehead and bridge of the noise // Then I applied the Burberry Fresh Glow Foundation in Beige (No.26) all over the face with a Sigma Stippling brush (link) // Finished off with Bourjois Delice De Poudre Bronzing Powder (in 52) to contour the face // and MAC blush in Melba on the apples of the cheeks //

EYES: MAC Brule eyeshadow applied to the brow bone and to the tear duct // MAC Antiqued eyeshadow applied all over the lid and blended quite highly into the crease for a nice simply smokey eye // Estee Lauder Pure Color Intense Eyeliner in Blackened Black applied to the waterline // Curled my eyelashes with MAC Full Lash Curler (tutorial on how to do this here) // and applied two coats of Givency Noir Couture Volume Mascara in Black Taffeta onto my lashes – I’m loving this mascara at the moment! // and on my LIPS: AERIN’s Essential Rose Lip Balm.

I just can’t get enough of this coppery smokey eye look, and using MAC Antiqued makes it such a breeze to do! This shade is now definitely in my top 10 MAC eyeshadow list & you can check out my other top 15 favourite MAC eyeshadows here. Do you like this kind of bronze, coppery look and have you tried MAC Antiqued eyeshadow before?

2 Comments | Posted in Beauty, FOTD, MAC, MAKE UP LOOKS, Product Reviews

Hair New Years resolution in action with Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment

With 2015 here, we all have set our new years resolutions to make it the best year yet! So have I, and while most of them are focussed on healthy living and following my dreams – others are a bit more beauty based; like take better care of my skin and hair! Because I can be a bit useless when it comes to removing my makeup, or doing treatments on my hair to keep it in a healthy condition.

So I decided to start the year off right by giving my tresses a real treat this month by using the Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment. They say that using this treatment once a week can help to nourish hair helping to strengthen it and therefore reduce damage, breakage and frizz.

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How to use: Apply the Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment directly onto dry hair // Scoop 1 to 11⁄2 teaspoon into palm of hand and warm by rubbing between hands until it transforms into an oil // Distribute evenly throughout hair and scalp repeating until hair is fully saturated // Comb through and allow to penetrate for 20 minutes before rinsing and shampooing // For very damaged hair, apply gentle heat from a hairdryer for 5 minutes and/or leave treatment on overnight (be sure to place a towel over your pillowcase or wear a shower cap over your head to protect bed linens)

Having now used this for the last two weeks, I think my tired wintery hair is thanking me! My hair feels noticeably softer, shinier and healthier already. The wax turns into a lovely smelling oil when you rub it between your hands and it washed out easily, without leaving a greasy residue. Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment is available in 50ml or 100ml online (link) or at your local salon/Boots store.  Are you going to treat your hair to some extra loving this year too?

1 Comment | Posted in Beauty, Hair, Product Reviews