Best Brownies

I'm always in search of the best brownie recipe and I think I am getting close to finding it. The past two weeks i've made some pretty fantastic batches of brownies and I think I should share the recipe so that you guys can enjoy them too! 




You will need: 

200g of good dark chocolate 
95g coconut oil 
70g rice flour 
30g cocoa powder 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
pinch of salt 
200g of honey 
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 
3 eggs 
handful of flaked almond (optional) 

How to: 

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a tin with parchment paper. 
2. In a bowl, break up your chocolate into small pieces, add the coconut oil and heat in the microwave for around 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds. 
3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder to a bowl and stir to get rid of the lumps. 
4. Then add the honey, vanilla and the melted chocolate mix and stir. 
5. Add each egg one at a time, mixing throughly until it has the consistency of a paste, then add the almonds. 
6. Pour the brownies into the tin and bake for around 25 mins. 
7. Serve warm brownies with ice cream. 

Cya 
Eryn 

Everyday yoga

For the past 3 years now i've been in and out of a routine of going to weekly yoga classes, I know that you shouldn't have the excuse of not having the time but it has felt like I haven't. I have kept it going slowly but surely though because I love the feeling of a good stretch and taking the time out to focus on yourself and nothing else. For a while now, i've been doing short spurts of yoga at home as well as going to classes to make sure that I keep making some progress. So i've complied a few of my favourite simple yoga moves that I think are really good for getting you up in the morning....p.s i'm not an official yoga teacher. p.s.s make sure you keep breathing during all of the exercises. 








Sun salutation 

Start with your arms stretched over your head and slowly let your body relax and drop down, your shoulders and arms dangling. Then slowly lift your head up and make your back flat, tightening your core and drawing your shoulders back. After you have held this position for a few seconds relax your body again and then place your hands on the floor and step your feet back so you're in a plank position. Now lower your body to the floor and go into an upward dog. Finally, lie back down and lift your hips up and go into downward dog. 



Warrior pose 

I have shown two different variations of this pose, I can't go into much detail because I don't know the specific yoga terms but you want your legs to be placed about two shoulder widths apart with one leg bent into a wide lunge. Place both arms straight and look to the side that your bent leg is facing. 

In an alternate way, keep your legs and arms straight and let one arm lean over to the same leg and your fingertips touch the floor next to your foot. With both positions do them on both sides. 




Tree pose 

Bring on leg up and place your foot in the inside of your opposite leg and focus on a point to keep your balance. Keep your core tight and keep breathing to remain balanced. 

Lotus pose 

Similar to the tree pose, bring the leg up but this time place the foot in front of the opposite leg and focus on balance. Then, bend your body forward if possible and place your hands on the floor. 


Seated twist 

Place your legs straight and lift the left knee up, then bring your right arm across to the outside of the left knee and your left arm behind the body. Make sure your head is facing behind you and your back remains straight, then do the same on the opposite side. 



Cow to Cat 

Go onto your hands and knees, keeping them parallel and slowly arch your back, then lift your back up towards the air. You should get a good stretch in your lower back. 


Child's pose 

This is probably everyone's favourite because you just get to relax. Bend your knees and sit on your feet and then stretch your body and arms forward, place your forehead on the floor and chill out. 


So, I hope that you guys can try some of these moves and maybe learn properly from the professionals and feel the benefits of yoga yourselves. 

Cya 
Eryn 

A weekend in London...


To celebrate my birthday last month, Simon and I took a trip to London a few weeks back, lots of walking, lots of sightseeing and lots of food. So, lets go day by day and see what London had to offer...






Friday



We arrived at Euston in the late morning, dropped our bags off at my aunty's and made lunch ready for a big day ahead. Then we took a trip down to Portobello road to see the market in all its might. It was fantastic, we strolled through the independent stores, finding so many beautiful antiques and bits and bobs, but our best buy of the day was the Fleetwood Mac record and my chocolate cherry tart of course. There were so many good shops and we even found a little health store, but my favourite was the 'Books for Cooks', every single type of cook book you could ever dream of all in one room...






Saturday



The day was off to an early start with our first activity, a Sherlock Holmes walking tour. If you think it's a bit geeky that's fine, because it is, but it was actually really good. We began the tour at Piccadilly Circus and ended at Somerset House, on the way we stopped off at various different points learning about all of the different Sherlocks through from Arthur Conan Doyle's original to the BBC series. 



Then it was off to lunch in Covent Gardens at Joe's Southern Table & Bar, good old American style food. We re-fuelled on a mighty chicken burger with fries, the classic and headed back out to our next destination, the Tower of London. It's a tourist destination, but you've got to do it once and i'm glad that we did. Before we even made it to the tower we needed another snack break at Paul's where I had the a caramel tart (I'm a tart person as you can see). The Tower is a great place to visit no matter what age you are and who you're with because you get to learn so much about British history as well as see the sparkly jewels. 






Sunday



As it was our final day we set off to cram in as much as we could, and it started with a visit to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I don't think I have ever seen so many people in one place, the crowd was spectacular and you definitely need to experience it once in your life. Then we set off for a long walk to Camden, with obviously lots of stops in-between. We had a second breakfast at Cafe Concerto in Mayfair which was eggs benedict for Simon and a continental platter for me, very nice and very reasonably priced. Then, we strolled through Regent Street, I got a fab book on making your own Pukka herbal teas from Liberty's and we tried every tea we could in T2 Tea. Then we finally got to experience the green side of London with a walk through Regent's Park. It was great to see how many people stay fit for free and utulise the outdoor spaces in the city centre. And last but not least we finally made it to Camden, lots of quirky little shops and also lots of tat, but I had the best mac n' cheese ever. 



Cya 
Eryn 


Curry Friday = Zouk Friday

It's finally creeping up to the weekend and we're ready to go and enjoy ourselves, which of course means indulge in some delicious food. Curry is one of Britain's favourite foods and it's easy to see why, succulent flavours and aromatic spices with loads of naan bread. However, instead of heading to your local Indian takeaway and filling your guts with grease and God knows what else, why not try out Zouk instead? 

Zouk Tea bar & Grill is an Indian and Pakistani restaurant based in Manchester (just off Oxford road) offering the best quality, traditional Punjabi dishes. All of the chefs have been specially selected from top restaurants in India and have come to create these awe inspiring dishes. Everything is cooked from fresh, which you can see from the open kitchen, no junk food and excessive amounts of sugar and salt are added, just proper Indian meals. 



So, what did we eat.... 

Starters

Murgh Tikka Hariyali 
Kashmiri Lamb Kebabs 

Mains 

Qasuri Methi Murgh 
Lamb with Sweet Potato and Almonds 

Veggie/Vegan 
Starters

Channa Masala 
Vegetable Pakoras 

Mains 

Cauliflower curry 



The food was absolutely beautiful and we were treated like kings. The staff made sure that everyone's dietary requirements were met and were there to answer any questions we had. My favourite dish was the Qasuri Methi Murgh, succulent chicken with the distinct flavour of fenugreek, it wasn't too spicy and the chicken was cooked to perfection unlike most places that overcook it. I'm not a fan of lamb, but I was told it was amazing and tender, falling apart as you stuck your fork in it. We also had the chance to try out the variety of cocktails, they also do non-alcoholic versions so everyone gets to join in the fun. I tried the strawberry and black pepper alcohol free cocktail, lovely, but definitely had an acquired taste. Unfortunately, we had to rush off before we got dessert, but rumour has it that it was pretty damn good. 

Zouk also offer cookery classes on Saturdays for anyone to take part in, all you have to do is book. There are different classes you can join from vegetarian dishes to healthy options and a Punjabi masterclass. During the class, you get a taste of being a chef, stepping into the Zouk kitchen and cooking starters and mains. Afterwards, you bring a friend and enjoy a meal together...pretty special Saturday right? Visit their website here for more info.

Cya 
Eryn 





How to stay healthy at Uni


People class students of some of the unhealthiest people….copious drinking, takeaways, lots of pasta and a total lack of exercise unless its on the dance-floors, but it definitely doesn’t have to be that way. It can be challenging but I think I’ve found ways to stay healthy at uni and managed to stay away from the plagues that come around every freshers, so here are my tips on how to stay healthy at uni.


1.     Prepare you lunches In advance

Lets face it, food at university is expensive and not very nice. Sure it’s convinent and there is a lot on offer, but it is one of the ways your money slyly sneaks away without you noticing. By making your lunches In advance you can save yourself loads of money and you will be eating food that has hopefully not been chemically processed. If you think you can’t be bothered, just make extra of whatever you had for tea the night before, no more effort is being spared there. If you’re not a fan of cold food, find your local microwave, it’s a bit of an issue there only being 2 microwaves in the whole of the University of Manchester, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to take.

2.     Utiise the University’s sports facilities

I’m not sure if this happens at every uni, but Manchester offer a variety of activites for you to get involved in thoughout the day such as pilates, circuits, barrecore and much more. They are weekly classes that are hugely discounted for students and staff and much cheaper than going a ywhere outside of uni. Sometimes the uni also offer free classes, as well as discounted membership for the gyms around. If you’re interested in a sport, have a look on the Sport England website and see what’s going on in your area.



3.     You don’t have to drink to have a good time

I’ve never been a big drinker and uni never changed that, I drink once a month really if that, but it can be difficult if you’re living with other students and they pressure you to go out often. Apart from just saying no because you pay £9000 a year for uni and it’s a bit ridiculous to miss classes and not do your work because you’re hungover, I can only suggest instead trying to convince your friends to do something else that doesn’t involve alcohol. Go to the cinema, eat food, have a movie night at home or explore the city, all usually less expensive and you do not regret it as much.

4.     Don’t let stress overcome you

Mental health is a big thing at the moment, and you can see why it’s so easy for students to get stress and anxiety with the huge workload, but there are things you can do to control it. Get yourself organised, one of the biggest reasons that you are stressed is because you’re not organised and you feel behind. Get a diary, make some lists and stay on track. But the main thing to remember is that things aren't that bad. Even if you are getting a bit behind in work or you feel overwhelmed, it’s not the end of the world, everyone feels like this sometimes. You need to step out of the situation and come away from everything every once in a while, try meditation or yoga.

5.     Get your sleep


So many people stay up until unearthly hours to finish their assignments they should have done a month ago which is really not good for you. Sometimes I think that it isn’t very helpful for univeristies to have buildings that are open for 24 hours, it doesn’t promote a good nights sleep. Sleeping for 6-9 hours helps your body recover from the horrors it faces each day, so let it rest…. Don’t leave things till last minute.  

Cya 
Eryn x