Thursday, 28 February 2013

Raspberry, Pear & Pomegranate Yoghurt Loaf



Don't worry, I didn't forget that I was going to share this recipe with you! It has just been one hectic week, I started uni again and despite going only part time I still have to go in to uni four days a week. It doesn't help that this week Byron and I have already attended two concerts and will be going to a full day festival tomorrow! On Tuesday we saw Blink 182 (my fave band) at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. What a lousy venue to see a rock band! It's a heritage building so they can't change the layout but how stupid is it to have seats at the front and general admission at the back on the grass?! I couldn't see anything, the further up the hill I went- the tinier they all got. 

But the next night was so much better. I skipped uni (whoops) so we could get to Rod Laver Arena early. We were poured on and absolutely freezing but Byron and I got right up the front at the barrier for Stone Sour & Linkin Park. I don't know any Stone Sour songs but Byron did and I still enjoyed their set. When Linkin Park came on it was so amazing, we were even lucky enough to come home with a pick and drumstick (and it had been used during the night, not just one from out back). It was definitely our favourite concert yet. I am determined tomorrow at Soundwave to get right up the front for Blink as I had such a crap time at their concert, even though their songs were amazing and they played my all time favourites (All of This & Carousel!)
With our spoils from Linkin Park
And you know what? I took dinner into a mosh pit. And I ate it while we were all sitting down. I got some odd looks but hey, I wasn't hungry at 11 when we all got out. We had lunch before we left and I brought fruit to snack on in the line. Tomorrow we're taking a backpack and you'd better believe we're bringing food. Whenever someone tells me I can't bring food in I either tell them I'm on a special diet or I have hypoglycemia and have been put on a special diet. I don't have to use this lie often but when I do they leave me alone. I shouldn't have to be forced to choose unhealthy options because that is all a venue provides! I digress, onto my recipe for today:

Raspberry, Pear & Pomegranate Loaf/Muffin




You may have already seen this on my Valentine's Post or on my Torquay Post and I promised I would share this recipe with you. On Valentine's Day I made this into muffins topped with Greek Yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and a watermelon heart. For my friend's birthday I made her a hamper with this loaf, a recipe book, apples, nuts, muesli and fresh flowers. 




Ingredients:
  • 2 tsp margerine/butter
  • 1/2cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar substitute/sugar ( I used natvia and Stevia)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups self-raising whole wheat flour (or plain with more baking powder added)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1-2 pears diced
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. 
Beat butter and applesauce together at low speed until it becomes creamy. 
Add sugar substitute until combined.
Add eggs one at a time until just blended.

In another bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking powder. 
Gradually add in to applesauce mixture, alternating the flour mixture with the yoghurt mixture so you add a bit of both each time (it's easier to see if the consistency is coming together). 
Beat at a low speed until everything is combined. It will be all gluggy and oozy.
Add in diced pear, raspeberries and most of your pomegranate seeds, folding them in gently. 

Pour into a greased loaf tin or muffin trays. Top with the rest of the pomegranate seeds to make them pretty (I added some almonds on top too for a crunchy crust)

If in muffin trays, put in oven for about 20 minutes (check every ten minutes). If in a loaf tin it will take about an hour, use a skewer to check after this time. If it comes out still wet then it needs more time. 

It makes a really dense loaf because of the yoghurt, but it is so yummy to have a slice of this for breakfast.

I recommend storing these in the fridge because of the yoghurt in them and they freeze really well too!

Enjoy!

-Grace



Friday, 15 February 2013

Travelling To Torquay and the Great Ocean Road

The Anzac Memorial and Jemma in Torquay!

Last weekend Byron and I were lucky enough to visit a couple of our friends in Torquay, Victoria. It was about a 2 hour drive from where we live so I packed us some nibbles and remembered my bottled water! I'd never been to Torquay before so I was a bit excited, it's just beautiful there and it was such a nice day.

I hadn't seen my friend, Jemma, since her birthday so I made her a hamper which contained:
  • A book on desserts
  • A raspberry, pear & pomegranate loaf I had baked the day before
  • French Vanilla flavoured almonds in a nice jar
  • 2 servings of Byron's special muesli
  • 1 red apple and 1 green apple
  • A bunch of flowers bought from the local florist
I bought the basket from an op shop for $4 and had some fuchsia gingham laying around that I used to line it. 
Jemma's hamper and Byron's cardistry


I'm going to dedicate a post to my raspberry, pear & pomegranate loaf which you may have seen in my Valentine's Day post so look out for it next blog!

Surf shop in Torquay


While in Torquay we had a nice lunch followed by a walk on the beach. Byron was investigating the rockpools for marine life and found some interesting things like mini anemones.







My favourite textures of the day

As you know, I study fashion design and love finding different textures while out and about. Some of my favourites were the rocks, the cracked clay and the fossilised coral. 








I also loved the colour of the water and the beautifully coloured tents along the main beach. The surfers were everywhere today, I know Torquay is a surf town (it reminded me of Rocket Power!) but I think it really put on a show for us that day, we were very lucky.



Byron searching for marine life


Some of the 'fossilised coral' according to Byron


Harley climbing the rocks







We then went down the Great Ocean Road a bit and came to Bells Beach, which seemed to be THE hotspot for surfers. I really appreciated the stones that said 'Respect the Ocean' and 'Respect the Land', it really epitomised what surfers are about and that is just so cool. The few times I have surfed I haven't been too bad, it's definitely something I would like to do again. 






Aboriginal Art 

The Great Ocean Road
We then headed out to a lighthouse in Anglesea and I found out it was the lighthouse from 'Round the Twist' which was pretty cool! The day started to get a bit greyer while we were there and yet I still managed to get sunburnt, I usually put on sunscreen but I totally forgot that day. I learnt my lesson well!

We had an amazing day in Torquay with Jemma and Harley, while we were there they filmed stuff for their vlog which you can watch here, they even did an episode with us in it! You can watch that one here so check it out! 

-Grace




Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Valentine's Day Tips and Ideas

Valentine's Day (or Singles Awareness Day) is fun to some, heartbreaking for others and just lame to most yet I still partake in its festivities and always have.

At school I remember always wanting to get a rose from a secret admirer and yet it never happened. Once I thought it did, I came into class and there was a rose on my desk from a best friend and I was so excited until I realised he had intended it for the popular girl that sat next to me. But when I was 16 and it was Valentine's Day I had twenty roses sent to me from Byron, the most roses anyone in the school received! I'm very lucky to still have Byron and he still brings me roses on Valentine's Day! *naww*

So yes, I receive roses on Valentine's Day and sometimes chocolates, which I hide from myself and every now and then will come across the box and allow myself one. It takes a lot of self control but hey, it works for me! Even though I get all this, Byron and I never really buy into the rest of the holiday with all its gimmicks- cards, jewellery, candy hearts that don't even taste good....
Byron is usually at work all day so what I do is make him a yummy breakfast (I'm thinking my quick & easy pancakes but cut into hearts for this year! You can find them here http://healthyindesign.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/quick-easy-pancakes.html), pack him a yummy and cute lunch and then make a really fancy dinner for ourselves while we drink red wine, listen to music and dance a little. Usually I make lamb because it's a bit of a splurge, I think I only have it maybe two or three times a year!

Onto my post for today, while there's no specific recipe, there is a well of healthy decorating ideas and maybe a treat or two.

So pack a picnic, grab your date and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Drinks

There are so many recipes for special Valentines drinks out there on the Internet so you can either grab one of those or just do what I did- use water!

I think Valentine's Day should be all about hearts, pink and red which is why I used watermelon but you can use another fruit if you so choose! I used my cookie cutter set that I purchased from Daiso for $2.80 and just sliced off a bit of watermelon, pushed it through and voila! A watermelon heart! I then froze a few to use as ice and one as garnish, just slice it a little down the bottom and slip on a glass.



Garnishes

Next I cut a carrot in half (after scrubbing though feel free to peel) and cut a slit in the top, down the middle and then another slit, joining up with the first to form a v down the length of the carrot. 

I then cut the entire carrot into a v shape but with a rounded top so it looked more like a heart. Then I just sliced them width ways. They'd make a great garnish for a salad or soup! You can fiddle with them a bit more to make them more heart-like, as the natural shape of the carrot can make some look a bit skewed. 




Snacks/Desserts

Chocolate-covered Strawberries
Next I melted some dark chocolate and dipped in some strawberries. There's something very sexy about strawberries... and cherries too! They're quite aphrodisiacal so definitely save them for after dinner! Melting the chocolate is pretty simple, you could do fondue but I like coating them in chocolate because you can control the amount of chocolate you use. To melt the chocolate, put a little bit of boiling water in a saucepan and then place a metal bowl or smaller saucepan over the top- being careful to keep the bottom of the top saucepan away from the water's bubbles. Melt the chocolate over a low heat and the dip your strawberries, set on an aluminium foil covered tray and leave to set in the fridge. 


Healthy Cupcake
This is such a cute "cupcake", the recipe for it will be coming in my next post so stay tuned. I recently went to Torquay and took a hamper of goodies for my friend's birthday. I made her a loaf of healthy raspberry, pomegranate and pear yoghurt bread and I had some mixture left which I turned into mini muffins. I decided to dress those muffins up a bit and make them into healthy cupcakes! For the frosting I just used greek yoghurt- choose a matching flavour like strawberry, or you can use a light cream cheese too. 



Then I got one of my heart cookie cutters and pressed it gently into the yoghurt while topping it with pomegranate seeds and gently pushed them in so they would stick. 




But then I thought "no! There's still not enough love hearts!" because I'm like that on Valentine's Day. There can never be too many love hearts on Valentine's Day! So I added a little watermelon love heart to dress it up a bit and I am chuffed with the result. 


Isn't it just the sweetest?



Decadent Fruit Platter

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be difficult and time consuming. You can make the cutest things with the smallest amount of preparation. So I put together a bit of a fruit platter, ideal for a picnic. And seriously, feeding each other fruit is just so sexy. Pair it with a bottle of bubbles and how perfect is this!

I just cut out some more watermelon love hearts, cut up an apple and put it in one of my love heart Daiso containers, added some of my choc strawberries and scattered some pomegranate seeds over the top. How simple, but it looks so nice. See? Valentine's Day is all in the decoration, not in the unhealthy extravagant meals. 

















My adorable Daiso containers!

So there you have it! Simple, healthy options for Valentine's Day! You don't have to spoil your healthy lifestyle to show your partner that you love them, but a bit of wine and chocolate won't hurt either!
Happy Valentine's Day!

-Grace

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