Today’s munchie is a rather simple one, yet super delicious and it hits the spot. As you might have seen, I am very much into smoothie bowls at the moment, because it means I can eat my smoothie and feel fuller for longer, so this smoothie bowl is a celebration of winter tastes and spices enjoyed in the blaze of summer (as is the case at the moment in South Africa).Also, I’ve seen this survey around and thought I’d share some info, just to show that I’m not as depraved in taste as all my exclamation marks would have you believe (or am I?).
The closer it gets to the dreaded holidays the more I reminisce about my years in Finland, simply because that’s how the end months of the year should be – icy cold, dark by the early afternoon, and with snow and ice pretty much everywhere. When you’re a little rascal growing up somewhere, your memories are usually limited to play parks, activities, school, and food. I was once chatting with a Finnish friend and could exactly describe to her how to get through Kaivopuisto park to a specific stall that sold tall white ice-creams, and she obviously guessed my age at the time pretty quickly. These days I can barely remember what happened the day before, but I can still draw a map to that stall.
Glöggi, a spiced sometime-alcoholic warm Finnish beverage, is something that’s stuck to my subconscious palate quite fiercely, and it is, in my humble opinion, a thousand times better than the German Gluhwein as its closest comparison. It might be because of the nuts and dried fruit, but I’m just a glutton for little nibbles 😉
Glöggi smoothie (serves 1):
- 1 cup frozen berries of choice (preferably blackcurrant, blueberries or a darker berry)
- 1 cup frozen pumpkin, steamed beforehand and cubed
- 1 cup frozen zucchini slices
- 1/2 cup grape juice
- 1/2 cup water, or more juice
- 1 dropper NuNaturals Liquid Cherry Vanilla
- 1 cup packed spinach or other greens
- 1/2 tsp anise powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 TBSP flax seedpowder
- Optional: 1 – 2 packets NuNaturals Stevia, to taste
- This depends on the strength of your blender!
- Add the water, juice and greens to your blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the zucchini and pumpkin and blend until smooth, adding more juice or water if required. Add your spices, flax powder and berries and blend until smooth. Taste and add Stevia if required.
This granola, as always, is based on Amanda’s recipe, with just some tweaking here and there.
Easy granola (serves 2):
- 1/2 cup oats (check to see if GF)
- 1/8 cup raisins or chopped and pitted prunes, soaked for 15 minutes
- 1/8 cup cashews or almonds, whole
- 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 TBSP flax powder
- 2 TBSP cinnamon
- 1.5 TBSP coconut oil
- 3 TBSP applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat to 180C and spray a baking tray.
- Mix together your dry ingredients in a bowl, then add in your coconut oil and liquid sweetener, mixing thoroughly.
- Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Let it cool and keep in a glass jar with tight-fitting lid for a week.
Man-thing has asked me every day this week whether he can eat the granola, because that’s how long it’s taken me to actually get around to making and eating this dish! Every day there was some drama or I forgot to freeze ingredients or what not. Even this morning I had no zucchini ready, which was sadness galore. Luckily this hits the spot after a stint working at the library and before I head out to the cat shelter for my Saturday volunteering shift.
I ganked a survey from Miss Polkadot, whose posts never cease to keep me entertained, and I thought this would be a great way to share a bit about myself and get to know more about you crazy readers!
Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
- Puff (and variations, loverpuff, skatterpuff, etc)
Four jobs I’ve had [not including my current one]:
- Tutor in History
- Lecturer in History
- Waitress (a very bad one at that)
- Freelance illustrator
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
- Sound of Music (the best thing ever!)
- Singing in the Rain (so much fun to sing along to, and the beautiful scarf dance is just magic)
- Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh version – I bawl my eyes out every time. Branagh did such a stunning job!)
- Amadeus – the music, the tears, the feels. ❤
Four books I’d recommend:
- The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts (and subsequent books in the trilogy) – Louis de Bernières. This guy is AMAZING. I love the Latin America style that is just infused in the work – sensual, adventurous, witty, charming, practical…just pure joy to read and language at its best.
- The Farseer – Robin Hobb. I was a bit skeptical at first, because Man-thing recommended it and he’s got a very firm foundation in fantasy that sometimes borders on the comical, it turned out to be an excellent and engaging read, as are her subsequent books and trilogies that spin off from this one.
- Finnegan’s Wake – James Joyce. This is the ultimate of literary works for me, and I read it purely for pleasure to immerse myself in the playful aspect of communication, etymology, social meaning, and all those things that make up the fabric of existence among other beings.
- Any of the Nero Wolfe books – Rex Stout. I grew up reading this series of detective novels, but it’s so much more than that. Over the years and through countless re-reading sessions the main characters became so real and vivid to me that their distinct personalities were what drove the book more than the intricate mysteries themselves. Seriously, these books are awesome.
Four places I’ve been:
- Iceland (the closest I could get to Greenland)
- Helsinki, Finland (the most icy place and people ever)
- Milan, Italy (too much good food)
- Funchal, Madeira (a blissful paradise for a kid)
Four places I’d rather be right now:
- In the kitchen (in arm’s reach of coffee)
- Somewhere cold and snowy (to enjoy said coffee)
- Watching Walking Dead with Man-thing (because it’s great to watch a series and pull faces together)
- In bed asleep with Gatsby nearby (because he makes things toasty and comforting)
Four things I don’t eat:
- Pineapple (allergic)
- Coconut (allergic)
- um…anything animal-based
Four of my favorite foods:
- Almond butter – stuff of the gods, but oh so expensive. I ADORE this magical goodness though. YUM!
- Dark, bitter chocolate – nothing better than 90% dark chocolate
- Pumpkin – so incredibly versatile and must be consumed daily. Works great with coffee and chocolate alike, so what’s not to adore?
- CARROTS – always, everyday, yes!
Four TV shows that I watch:
- Walking Dead (more to complain about how much the characters suck at self-preservation)
- Gilmore Girls…my ultimate shame but with all the depressing things in life lately I need something to zone out to that begins and ends with a sound philosophy on coffee. So, I don’t “watch” it more than keep it on in the background whilst I take some time to breathe.
- Battlestar Galactica – the most beautiful show ever created (other than ST:TOS). I watch it once a year or so and it never gets boring or leaves me emotionless. I still find new things to gasp and cry about all the time, but most of all it is the most touching portrayal of humanity I’ve seen in a series; frailty, cruelty and all.
- The Wire – what can I say about the grittiest, most heartbreaking show ever created? Omar comin’! 😥
Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
This year as in 2014 or 2015?
- All the blog projects I have lined up – I’ve already planned all my eats and treats for January and Feb, not to mention some fab reviews and giveaways. EXCITEMENT! I also want to experiment with a vlog now and again.
- Starting our vegetable garden in the new home
- Having more friends over for baking parties or some such
- Going back to studying
Four things I’m always saying:
- Mwrowr (translation: I want coffee! Usually the first thing out of my mouth after we finish eating dinner)
- *enter expletive* – I’m really trying to cut down on this super bad habit, but luckily studies have shown that it can have a positive effect by releasing stress. Legit.
- Squishy – the most accurate descriptive term that covers stuff that isn’t even squishy.
- Cat abuse! Man-thing and I always make fun of Gatsby when he sniffs at his food or when we swoop down on him for cuddles, because he’s actually a spoilt rascal who acts as if life is super tuff and he’s just suffering endlessly.
Pick at least one of the categories above and share your four answers
OR fill in the survey and post the link!