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

I am a mad woman:

Looking for full time work. Get offered a 40hr contract with Pandora, and here I am turning it down because I have a final trial shift at an expensive independent wine bar (front of house, 30+ hrs). Wine and amazing amazing food takes precedent and I might not even get the job … potentially a stupid decision. The things I do for food and wine.

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)

image

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!

Read More

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

Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce with Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Vegan)

image

Serves 4

This was a very simple dish I rustled up last night with whatever I could find in my friends fridge and cupboard (though I admit I did pop to Tesco to buy fresh basil. Fresh basil is the greatest of all the Italian herbs. I bow to it’s glory). Normally I’d put a hand blender to it, but since I cooked it so slowly it was nicely reduced by the time I stirred it through the pasta; plus Craig hasn’t even got a sieve so I reckon trying to a find a hand blender in his cupboards would have been a fools errand! Besides, a decent chunky pasta sauce is a thing of great beauty! Excellent after a long hard Sunday of watching the F1 and sunbathing on the roof.

Read More

Charlotte took me for dinner at a great Veggie/Vegan restaurant in Liverpool called Mello Mello. Sweet Potato Gnocchi was a revelation.