July 28th, 2014

My beautiful best friend Elly made me Chocolate, Strawberry and Rose Macarons for my birthday! Such a talented lady!

Being back home in Devon has allowed me to get back into Beekeeping! Went up to the apiary (we keep our bees on a friends farm) with my Dad yesterday to check on the brood boxes and see if we could do anything about one of the particularly vicious hives (they keep swarming. It’s very frustrating). My hive is confusing me greatly at the moment. The brood pattern is pretty weak and I am convinced that the queen has died. However the drones keep presenting at the opening to the hive, so clearly somethings going on as they’re reacting to pheromones. Bees are so damn confusing sometimes. Annoyingly I need to have a proper look for the Queen before I try and unite that hive with another (would rather not just leave them all to die, but if there is a queen in there I shouldn’t disrupt them). 

However in all it was a pretty wonderful trip. We’ve brought some frames back to spin honey from, and stayed just long enough to see the sun setting over the lovely Devon countryside. God I love where I live.

Nigella’s Vanilla Fudge (Vegetarian)

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Makes roughly 20 squares.

Firstly I would like to apologise for being slightly “missing in action” for the last few weeks! Turns out when you’re not a student, you get one of those fancy full time job things which subsequently take up all of your time. Still my job involves learning a lot about beautiful food and wine so I can’t be remotely annoyed. Employment suits me! It just doesn’t suit my blogging! I have a lot to catch you all up on, but first I’m taking advantage of my afternoon off (Working the dinner shift does have it’s perks) to make vanilla fudge at the request of my younger brother. I’ve made fudge numerous times in the past with varying success. However this recipe by the culinary goddess Nigella Lawson (who is my inspiration for all things) never fails. Never. Not once. Every single time I’ve used it, the fudge has turned out perfectly. Rather than being soft all the way through, I beat it with an electric whisk to make proper “scottish tablet” style fudge; grainy, crumbly, buttery and melt in the mouth. As fudge should be! Enjoy with strawberries and white wine on a hot day, or any day really!

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July 15th, 2014
Graduated yesterday. I really messed up in College. Never even made the offer grades for Warwick (got in anyway by some absolute miracle. Spent most of my time here worrying that they’d realise and kick me out). Today was three years of VERY hard work in the making, and proof that nothing is ever lost if you’re willing to put the effort in to correct past mistakes :) (Apologies for this soppy post but this is a rare instance where I am genuienly proud of myself). LATER WARWICK! YOU’VE BEEN EXCELLENT.

Graduated yesterday. I really messed up in College. Never even made the offer grades for Warwick (got in anyway by some absolute miracle. Spent most of my time here worrying that they’d realise and kick me out). Today was three years of VERY hard work in the making, and proof that nothing is ever lost if you’re willing to put the effort in to correct past mistakes :) (Apologies for this soppy post but this is a rare instance where I am genuienly proud of myself). LATER WARWICK! YOU’VE BEEN EXCELLENT.

July 9th, 2014

Excuse me whilst I just like everything that you've been posting because I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AAAHHH you've had some serious shit thrown your way since we begun talking and you have bounced back fabulously, being the clever and beautiful and witty lady that I'm sure a good few of your followers aspire to be (work it, girl) and to top it off you've joined me in the 2:1 club. FANTASTIC NEWS, GREAT SUCCESS. Well done you astounding woman! Much love and hugs to you! PS your grad hair looked AMAZING.
Asketh - bigscarytiger

My favourite Scottish human ladies and gents! Absolute beaut inside and out <3

July 8th, 2014

Celebrated my 21st by cooking a three course dinner for my nearest and dearest. Kitted out my little garden with candles and fairy lights, and dotted a few vintage nick knacks around for good measure. Wonderful to have all my friends in one place, even if just for a little while. I’ve had such a lovely Birthday.

July 3rd, 2014

Yesterday I turned 21! My family had been telling me for a few weeks to keep my Birthday free, as they’d planned a surprise. I cancelled all my plans, took the day off work and impatiently badgered my brothers to give me clues. 

They woke me up at 6am, told me to put on something smart, and get ready to get a train (first class!) to Wimbledon to watch Novak Djokovic play Marin Cilic on Court 1. I honestly couldn’t believe it!! I never ever get surprises. My birthday is usually pretty quiet and uneventful. An excuse to eat lots of cake and go for a nice meal. I’d accepted that turning 21 would be much the same. That’ll teach me for underestimating my wonderful family! 

Mum and I spent the day watching some excellent tennis, eating a packed lunch of Sweet Potato and Spinach Falafel, Salad, Olives, Macarons and Strawberry’s , and swigging smuggled champers (a birthday present from my younger brother), cans of G&T and ruddy expensive Pimms! It was one of the best Birthday’s I’ve ever had, and I got to spend it with my lovely mum. 

This 21 lark is pretty great! 

June 29th, 2014
A few months ago I briefly mentioned that my family and I were taking up bee keeping. Unfortunately I wasn’t around for the first harvest earlier in June, but there are several pots waiting for me to sample now I am home. Our current apiary is on a local farm surrounded by beautiful wild flowers, so the honey is a wonderful golden colour. It tastes like the sun (as pretentious as that sounds). We had a huge harvest, so the many left over pots are being sold in the local area; 50p of each sale going to a Breast Cancer Charity.
Today was my first shift back at work, so breakfast was oatcakes, honey and strawberries washed down with green tea. Heaven! Once our oven is fixed (coming home to find a broken oven was a nightmare. God I am sad) I’m going to make banana, honey and almond bread to stuff my face with after work.

A few months ago I briefly mentioned that my family and I were taking up bee keeping. Unfortunately I wasn’t around for the first harvest earlier in June, but there are several pots waiting for me to sample now I am home. Our current apiary is on a local farm surrounded by beautiful wild flowers, so the honey is a wonderful golden colour. It tastes like the sun (as pretentious as that sounds). We had a huge harvest, so the many left over pots are being sold in the local area; 50p of each sale going to a Breast Cancer Charity.

Today was my first shift back at work, so breakfast was oatcakes, honey and strawberries washed down with green tea. Heaven! Once our oven is fixed (coming home to find a broken oven was a nightmare. God I am sad) I’m going to make banana, honey and almond bread to stuff my face with after work.

Hey! A colossal congratulations sending your way. Cheers!! I love acquiring vegan recipes via your blog and reading about all the what's ups going on in your live. Keep up the excellent wrk. Wishing you the best ( especially health wise ) -hb
Asketh - adatetoyou

Thank you! This was a lovely message to wake up to before work :) <3

June 27th, 2014

Scrambled Eggs with Onion, Sweet Pepper and Garlic (Vegetarian)

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Serves 1

It’s very rare that I will eat a “proper” breakfast. Usually I’ll just grab an espresso and some form of fruit before leaving for the day. Old habits die hard it seems, but I have been trying to rectify that recently. After all your mother wasn’t lying when she told you that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Eggs are one of the best vegetarian breakfast options, because they can be cooked in so many great ways and are packed with protein! This is my favourite way to cook them, and usually sweat the garlic for a little longer than the norm for maximum flavour. Whoever said scrambled eggs had to be boring was a damn liar!

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Had to say goodbye to one of my best friends yesterday. Granted she is coming down from Coventry to visit for my Birthday next weekend, but it’s very upsetting to know that I can no longer see her every week for a dose of alcohol and drunk wisdom.

It was a very sweet day though, with a bit of thrift store shopping, mug painting and lovely food and drinks at “Turtle Bay” and “Wildes Wine Bar”.

This whole week has been very bittersweet, with a slight uplift one results day. I hate saying goodbye to people for indefinite amounts of time. Still I think in future I will quite enjoy having friends dotted around the country, presenting me with an excellent reason to escape my life from time to time.

Onward I go to the next chapter of my life, with a stomach full of chocolate brownie and head full of happy memories.

June 24th, 2014

End.

Well guys it’s officially over. The fat lady has sung and the jury’s back from deliberation. I’m officially graduating from one of the top 10 Universities in England with a 2:1 in History of Art (with Honors).

Honestly I’m over the moon. I lost my way a fair bit between the ages of 16 and 18. I stopped caring about my future and my grades suffered significantly. My life (both personal and academic) started to spiral into a pit that I never thought I’d escape from. I had to work very hard to pull it back again.

I cut people out of my life, and dedicated every waking moment to fixing every mistake I’d made. I got into a lot of Universities but almost fell at the final hurdle. In fact I never even made the offer for Warwick, and had to beg them to give me another shot. Yet here I am, after three years of working hard and trying to prove myself, graduating with all my friends (everyone on my tiny degree course did wonderfully. I am so proud of them!)

I’ve achieved more than anyone could have imagined. If I wanted to go to Harvard to do a Masters degree I could (the second I win the lottery of course). This has been an important lesson, that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it’s how hard you work to pull it back. Nothing is ever lost. 

Warwick Uni you have been my saving grace. Thank you for taking a chance with me.

Woke up on Sunday morning to a slight whiskey hangover, sunshine filtering through the windows and the smell of pancakes for breakfast. It&#8217;s actually quite a nice change to be cooked for every once in a while. Especially when it&#8217;s pancakes. I&#8217;m so bad at making pancakes.

Woke up on Sunday morning to a slight whiskey hangover, sunshine filtering through the windows and the smell of pancakes for breakfast. It’s actually quite a nice change to be cooked for every once in a while. Especially when it’s pancakes. I’m so bad at making pancakes.

June 23rd, 2014

Graduation Ball: An excuse to put on a dress, do fancy things to my hair (who knew I was so capable with hair spray and pins?) and eat fancy food at the Birmingham Hilton. Must say, they did a pretty cracking vegetarian menu.

"JAZZYSTUDENTVEG" BECOMES "CASHSTRAPPEDCOOKING"

Well guys, the time has finally come to re-brand. In 3 weeks time I will be dressed in a cap and gown, holding a diploma and looking to the unknown future with pure terror.

I will no longer be a student.

So my blog is changing a little! “jazzystudentveg” has become “cashstrappedcooking” … it’s essentially exactly the same, except now I’m just a normal person with no money, working 9-5 and cooking in my free time.  I felt that my blog needed to reflect that.

Here’s hoping you lovely lot stick with me!

All my Love!

Ellen xxx