The Best English Carrot Cake Recipe!

I've been doing a lot of procrastibaking recently and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon! Obviously I'm putting off sorting out my post university life because having to be a functioning adult does not appeal. So carrot cake, the answer to my millennial girl problems. This is the best recipe I have ever used. It is packed with lots of carrot, sultanas/raisins, walnuts and topped with rich cream cheese icing! I haven't included a recipe for the cream cheese icing because there are millions out there on the internet and they are all pretty similar.

450ml vegetable oil
400g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
550g sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp mixed spice
600g grated carrot
200g chopped walnuts 
200g raisins/sultanas

Preheat the oven to 170c and grease/line two cake tins. Whisk the eggs and mix with all the other ingredients then spoon the mixture into the cake tins. Bake for approximately 1h 15mins. While the cake is baking make the cream cheese icing. Let the cake cool completely before adding the icing between the layers and on top (or make two cakes half the height like I decided to do!). You can grate orange zest over the cake and add some more walnuts to decorate if you fancy! 

My Top 5 Favourite European Cities

Obviously at 21 years of age, being well traveled, sophisticated, insightful etc. I am highly qualified to write a list on the best cities in Europe. JOKING... although I do wish I was all those things! So yes, not entirely qualified to comment on the best cities in Europe. Instead I'm going to share my favourite cities out of the ones I've been to! I am feeling incredibly wanderlust-y at the moment, I think due to being cooped up in Cornwall too long. So I'm releasing some tension in reminiscing and nostalgic post writing. Hope you enjoy and let me know what your favourite cities in Europe are so I can go and visit them!!

I first went to Paris age 13 on a school trip to see a rugby match and visit disneyland. I can't tell you what the point of this trip was but for some reason it happened... thankfully I have been back and re-experienced all there is to do in Paris (which is a lot more than rugby and disney)! I love the architecture, the art galleries and the relaxed atmosphere. It definitley is a romantic city like the stereotype suggests soo I think I'll have to find myself a boyfriend and go back! 

Obviously Salzburg had to make this list... I am in love with this beautiful Austrian city. The old town is magical, the river in the summer is perfect to sit by and the castle overlooking everything completes the fairy tale setting. The mountain scenery in and around Salzburg is also incredibly beautiful at all times of year. I'd definitely recommend visiting Salzburg for a chilled out/sightseeing/outdoorsy holiday.

Hands down best city in Spain... a bit of a sweeping statement, I know but Valencia is amazing. There is so much to see/do. Castles, architecture, art galleries, nightlife and the food! It's also reasonably cheap. Valencia was potentially my favourite girls holiday ever. Very chilled, very hot, want to go back! 

I grew up roughly an hour outside of London so know the city pretty well. But I still want to live there one day because I'm convinced only by living in such a huge city (twice the total population of the whole of New Zealand.. wtf) will you ever be even close to knowing all its secrets!! Unfortunately it is definitely the most expensive city on this list but there are so many free things to do there, like all the museums. Don't let the prices put you off because there isn't any other city quite like London!! Biased view maybe... I don't know! 

Last but not least is Prague. Another girls holiday where I got the bare minimum amount of sleep to survive! Prague is beautiful, especially the view from the castle and despite being incredibly tired and the weather not being amazing, I loved this city. It is very gothic and grand and the beer is so so cheap, as in maximum £1 for a pint cheap which potentially adds to my fond memories of the place! 

Courgette and Lime Loaf Cake

Since my last food post typical Cornish weather has hit again... rain, of course. But I'm trooping on with my summery recipes, today a courgette and lime loaf cake! You might think this sounds a bit strange but courgette cake is definitley a thing! It's basically carrot cake, you have sultanas and walnuts but courgette and lime too. It makes a very fresh, moist, not too sweet cake which thanks to the lack of butter and minimal sugar in this recipe is pretty healthy! You could also add cream cheese icing... I still might!

2 eggs
90g soft dark brown sugar
400g courgette
1 lime
90g walnuts
140g sultanas
125ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Butter for the tin

Preheat the oven at 180c and line a 2lb loaf tin (the average size of most loaf tins) with butter and greaseproof paper. Start by whisking together the sugar, vegetable oil and eggs. Add the zest and juice from the lime. Coarsely grate the courgette and add to the mixture along with the vanilla extract. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients with the walnuts, roughly chopped. Combine the two mixtures. Cook for about an hour and 10 minutes. I squeezed a bit more lime onto each slice afterwards but I like mine super limey, so you can add more to your own taste! Hope you enjoy!

Postgraduate Life Planning

My final ever university deadline is Friday, 28th June... aka tomorrow. Mix feelings about that, not going to lie. On the one hand, the potential of future life, moving forward, new adventures (blah blah) greatly appeals to me. So does not ever having to write a project concept or evaluation to fit the criteria of my university. But... on the other hand, a;zkdjcbsadl. Panic stations. The uncertainty and certain lack of structure to my live for the foreseeable future stresses me out immensely. I wont have a student loan every three months backing me up, just the looming presence of debt. I also wont be living in Falmouth with my beautiful/lovely/perfect house mates! Thankfully I have managed to get myself an internship for a little bit of the summer and my boss at home has agreed to take me back over the busiest period which means money. So it's a mixed bag, I'm not completely doomed... just a bit scared. 

These pictures have literally nothing to do with the above rant... but I thought I might as well do a little Instagram update to lighten the mood!! I seem to have a bit of a blue theme going at the moment, entirely due to the amazing weather we've been having in Cornwall over the last few weeks. The mountainscape picture is a throwback from Germany, hiking around Konigssee. To the right is a picture of The Real Greek in Covent Garden which I ate in with my aunt over easter. They do Greek tapas and it's delicious! The row below are all from my trip to Poland which you can read about here. That salmon and poached egg breakfast was divine, if you're ever in Falmouth check out Espressini for amazing food and coffee. All the sea pictures are from climbing trips in Cornwall... and that's about it, hope everyone is having a wonderful and productive week and I'll try to post again soon! x

Summer Roast Chicken - Sides

It definitely feels like summer here in Cornwall, I'm sitting in the sun blogging and enjoying the sea breeze right now! Although will probably head in soon as I burn in about two seconds... joys of being extremely pale. But first I'm going to share with you three simple side dishes I made a few days ago to go alongside a roast chicken. If you're anything like me/my mum a sunday roast is a must but traditional roasts can be a bit heavy in the hot weather. So these sides are light, healthy and kind of Turkish/Greek inspired! Perfect for summer, no gravy needed. These recipes all serve approximately 8 people! 

Recipe 1 - Salsa

12 cherry/plum or 6 medium sized tomatoes 
Bunch of fresh coriander
1 red pepper
1 red onion 
3 cloves of garlic
2 limes
Olive oil 
1 fresh chilli (optional)

This is a very basic one... just chop everything up reasonably small and mix together with a little splash of olive oil and the juice of the limes. The quantities I've listed here can be changed depending on your own taste, I like quite a lot of tomato and red pepper in my salsa so sometimes add more! Season with salt and black pepper to finish. 

Recipe 2 - Raita

250g natural yogurt/greek yogurt
1/2 a pomegranate
Bunch of fresh mint
Half a cucumber

This is my favourite recipe of all three because the pomegranate is delicious and I'm obsessed with it! Plus it is really easy to make and tastes amazing with the chicken. Again, you can add more or less of the ingredients depending on your own taste! Remove the pomegranate seeds, roughly slice the cucumber and mint then mix together with the yogurt... done.

Recipe 3 - Couscous and Chickpea Salad

2 tins of chickpeas
2 cups of couscous
Ground cumin
Ground paprika
1 red onion
Half a cucumber
6 cherry/plum tomatoes 
Bunch of fresh coriander
Bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley 
Bunch of fresh mint
Olive oil 
Tomato puree 
1 chilli 

Despite having a longer ingredients list, this is also a very simple recipe! Cook the couscous and drain the chickpeas to make the salad base. Chop up the cucumber, tomatoes, coriander, flat leaf parsley, mint, onion and chilli and add to the base. Add roughly a 1 teaspoon each of cumin, paprika and tomato puree and drizzle with olive oil if the salad is looking a little dry (should be fine because of the juicy tomatoes!). Season with salt and black pepper to finish. Sometimes I also add pomegranate to this recipe too but I am just a bit obsessed with the stuff so your decision! 

For the chicken, I stuffed and covered with lemon to give a fresh taste which works really nicely alongside these recipes. I also diced some potatoes and roasted with rosemary, salt and pepper as another little side. And thats about it!! Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you try any of this out!

A Week in Krakow | Poland

Firstly, I hope you've had a wonderful Easter full of relaxation and chocolate consumption! Secondly, hello yet again from another long blogging break... university has been very very busy (and I've been on holiday) so my time has been stretched, to say the least. But I wanted to make time to post about Krakow because I had such an amazing time there. I've never read a post about Poland before so feel the need to spread the word on what a great holiday destination it is and all the stuff there is to do there!! 

I stayed with my beautiful friend Ania for the week I spent in Krakow. Having a local show you round is definitley one of the best ways to really get to know a new place so I was very lucky to have her! My favourite part of the trip and one of the biggest attractions is definitely the main square and old town, we spent hours wandering around the area, chatting and catching up which was lovely. I don't have many photos (useless blogger) because we were chatting so much so google Krakow for more if you fancy! We ate twice near the main square in a very chic little restaurant/cafe/breakfast bar called Charlotte which I'd 100% recommend... it isn't traditional Polish by any stretch but was really yummy and had a nice atmosphere. For traditional Polish, again near the main square is a place called Pierogarnia Krakowiacy which specialised in dumplings! It was so cute and folky and insanely cheap, like everything in Krakow!

Another place I visited was the Nowa Huta district, which was built by the Soviets as a separate town for industrial workers. Block after block of identical flats laid out symmetrically around grass squares which did have statues of Lenin standing in them but have now been pulled down! It was really interesting for me to walk around these areas though they had quite a hard and intimidating atmosphere. 

While Ania was at university I ventured out on my own to a nearby salt mine which was pretty impressive. Miners have carved huge cathedral chapels underground into the salt which are lit by salt chandeliers... it was very lord of the rings! We also visited the Jewish quarter together which was very beautiful, especially the graveyard. We didn't get around to doing/seeing everything Krakow had to offer so I'm hoping to go back soon! I think Poland is really underrated as a holiday destination. There is so much culture, history and beautiful scenery to experience plus at 5 Zloty to the pound, it is incredibly cheap...

Definitely recommend visiting!