Yelly Reads

Book du jour!

Someone has very kindly given me the book I so wanted (see post on 25 September!).

It has now been added to my Kindle and I cannot wait to get stuck in!

Apart from that new development, there is nothing new.  I’ve still got so much to write about but as usual, I am plagued with inertia and the lack of initiative to find the time to write about things.  Not good, I know.  I will get over this writing hump though.  I really will!

Yelly Reads

I want this book!!!

I’ve got a list of favourite authors and I collect cookbooks.  I have stopped counting my cookbooks since I started this blog because, considering the size of my flat, I’ve got an obscene amount.  At least in my opinion, it’s obscene, considering the storage limitations.  My next project is to source a book case that can hold my burgeoning cookbook collection!

I do, however, want this book.  It’s supposed to be released on Thursday, 27 September.  And it’s already creating quite the ruckus.

It’s J.K. Rowling’s next book, aimed at grown up readers.  The tagline they’re using to promote it is “A big novel about a small town.”  I should have pre-ordered my book, but things have been hectic and I didn’t get around to doing anything about securing my copy.  The Kindle edition is more expensive than the hardcopy.  But really, I am a J.K. Rowling fan.  I think I’m more than likely to get the actual book!

Yelly Snaps

What’s in my handbag?

Ever since I had the operation on my right hand (I suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome) I’ve been looking for ways to stop me from having to carry heavy things.  They’ve become very weak and I can hardly carry a kilo without my hands, arms and elbows telling me off for a good 72 hours.  I have the most beautiful bag from Modalu but because it is 100% leather, it is slightly heavy and with the amount of things that used to put in my bag, carrying my lovely Pippa would, right now, not be a good thing.

I’ve recently acquired a lovely Radley bag that is beautifully lightweight.  I also bought the matching purse, quite by accident.  But because the purse is smaller than my usual handbag, I am forced to carry less.  I think I’m becoming smarter about the things that I carry with me on a daily basis.

For the cosmetics in the bag, you can find out what they are here.  But I will always have my wallet, my keys, my phone (which obviously isn’t in the photo because I used it to take the photo), my mifi doohickey, my trusty ticket holder from Cath Kidston that carries all my train-related paraphernalia, Olbas Oil sniffy stick, a pocket mirror and a notebook and pen.

Now what’s in YOUR handbag?  Care to share?  Let me know if you’ve taken a photo of your handbag and I’ll repost your blog post on the blog!

Yelly Eats

Croque Madame Muffins

Rachel Khoo burst into the TV cooking scene early this year with her little Paris kitchen exploits.  When I first saw the TV adverts for her show on the Beeb, I wondered if it was all too good to be true.  Everything was neat, tidy and oh-so-trés-Français.  But I was very (very!) curious so I made sure her show was sky-plussed.

I loved everything about the show.  It somehow de-mystified french cooking for me and seemed to make it more accessible.  I’ve got Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking, but have never tried any of the recipes.  French cuisine is, really, quite daunting (to me it is, anyway).  I’ve cracked the book spine by reading it but haven’t really had the courage to actually try one of the recipes (yes, I know I really should!).

Because I enjoyed the show and the recipes that were featured (and thought I’d be a dab hand at trying out the recipes) I bought Rachel’s book and it really is quite adorable.  The illustrations in the book are completely hers (and considering her visual arts background, I wasn’t surprised that the little illustrations were good, and really quite refreshing to see in a cook book!). 

The first recipe I’ve tried and have always come back to in the cookbook is the recipe for croque madame muffins.  They are simple to make and they taste absolutely scrummy.  There are only 6 ingredients: bread, butter, eggs, ham, cheese and bechamel sauce!  If you are considering buying this book, do, if only for the croque madame muffin recipe!  They’re wonderfully tasty and oh-so-easy to make.  And, they do, come out quite beautifully.  When you pull them out of the oven and see their lovely golden bakedness, you can’t help but say, “Oh wow!  I made that!”

Yelly Eats

Baked Figs

Figs are my fruit du jour.

My favourite dessert at the moment is baked figs with Greek yogurt and honey.  It’s a quick, comforting dessert.  And very easy to prepare: cut the figs into quarters and roll them in sugar.  Then place them in a baking pan and bake them at 200°C for 20 minutes.  Serve with yogurt and honey.  Figs will give out a syrupy juice so make sure you spoon the syrup onto the yogurt too.  Makes for a very tasty dessert!

Yelly Snaps

Lovely Keele Hall

My job takes me to all sorts of places.  I don’t really see much of the places that I get to, it’s mostly train stations or airports, cabs, the venue and then back again.  But there are times when you get to be in absolutely lovely places.

On Monday evening, I was overseeing the dinner at the conference that I was managing.  We were fortunate enough to be in a wonderfully old building.  I’m sucker for old buidlings and this was certainly a treat for me.  We had dinner in the Salvin Suite in Keele Hall.  Keele Hall was originally built in the 16th century and was rebuilt in the 19th century.  After dinner, everyone who wanted a bit more tipple moved to the bar which is actually an old library.

Sometimes, even though you’re at work, you can stop and still enjoy your surroundings!

 To see my other Keele Hall photos, click here.

Yelly Writes

Working Sunday

I am at a train station cafe waiting for my train to arrive.  Such is the joy of timed tickets.  You buy a ticket for a particular train to, quite possibly, find the lowest fare that is available.

I feel slightly sorry for myself because I am, in fact, working this weekend.  Whilst  the rest of the country is enjoying a wonderfully sunny Sunday, I am here, at a train station, waiting for a train to take me to the venue of the conference that I’m going to be managing tomorrow.  Lovely.

I’m also resigned to the fact that I won’t be sleeping much during the next few days.  I don’t sleep well in a bed that isn’t familiar.  It takes me about three days (MINIMUM!!!) to get used to an unfamiliar bed.  I don’t necessarily have that much time to get used to the bed I’ll be sleeping in.  After the conference, I’ll be flying off to the home of the deep-fried Mars bar to attend a meeting.  Yet another night in an unfamiliar bed (at least I’ll have TV!).

And yet, despite my whinging, I do enjoy my job.  I enjoy the challenge.  I know I am more fortunate than most people because I do have a job and I do love the job that I have.  I constantly tell myself off for complaining.  Because I shouldn’t.  Not really.  I am fortunate that I have a job that I enjoy.

But sometimes, it would be nice not to have to travel on a lovely, sunny weekend.

My train’s nearly here.  I should probably be gathering my things together.

Yelly Eats

Comfort food for dindins

It’s been quite the tough week, this week.  I’ve got a lot on my plate in terms of the day job.  So it was fitting that today, of all days, I cooked adobo for dinner.   Nothing fancy.  Just adobo, rice and braised sliced greens in a bowl.  I had prepped the adobo earlier and it had been marinating for a few days in the freezer.  I brought it down a couple of days ago so that it could thaw in the fridge until I decided to cook it.  There is nothing better than making a dish that reminds you of home when you’ve had a relatively rough day.



Yelly Writes

It’s a struggle, isn’t it?

I remember when I was part of  Post A Day 2011.  How did I manage that?!

The goal (then) was to blog about something (and in my case, post a picture) every single day.  I did struggle most days but I managed to put together a few sentences that may have made sense to some people.  I managed.  There were days when I even managed to post more than one entry a day.  I tend to chatter, so I probably allowed myself to chatter online.

But these days, I find that I struggle.  Not with ideas for blog entries (I have a few hundred of those, I love food and can wax lyrical about it, I think!).  I struggle to find the time to sit down, gather my thoughts and write them down.  The eternal excuse is that it’s all my day job’s fault (I manage scientific conferences and scientific organisations for a living) and there are days (like today) that I can be too tired to sit and tap on my laptop about my favourite subject in the world.

Now, I constantly tell myself off when I allow myself to use this as an excuse for my non-blogging.  If I love food, if I love writing about food, I shouldn’t be limited by this piddly little thing called my day job.  When one is absolutely passionate about something one should pull out all the stops, right?

I need to find out if there are any blogging apps that will let me blog on WordPress on the go.  My experience with the WordPress app wasn’t very good (I had another blog, you see) and posting via the app messed up my margins and things.  Does anyone know any good blogging apps that will allow you to connect to your WordPress blog?

All suggestions are absolutely welcome.  I’m determined to blog more.  I’m sure technology has a way of helping me out!  Help!  Anyone?  Everyone?

Yelly Eats

New drink in town!

I went out today to look for things to buy…in other words, I went on a shopping spree (mainly for the kitchen: I got 2 spatulas and a cleaver!  How exciting!).

I went into Starbucks for an afternoon coffee break treat.  I used to go to Starbucks all the time because there were Starbucks coffee shops everywhere in Manila.  Not the same here.  If you don’t live in London, Starbucks coffee shops are few and far in between.  I remember going through a really bad Starbucks withdrawal period when I first moved to England because there wasn’t a Starbucks coffee shop near enough to visit every other day.  Anyway, I digress.  I saw the little advert signs about this drink at the beginning of summer but have never had the opportunity to try it.

I had a eureka moment!  I love this drink already!  I love hibiscus-based drinks and this drink just hit the spot.  I am in love with the Starbucks Berry Hibiscus Refresha drink.  Now available at a Starbucks near you!