Chloe Likes To Eat: Spinach, Feta & Tomato Stuffed Aubergine

Monday, June 15, 2015

I didn't have the best relationship with food in late May and early June- I struggled to be motivated to cook for myself or enjoy food, not least because I was unable to do a great deal of exercise. After loading the fridge up with fresh food, I made an effort to cook something different last weekend, this is the result!

Completely under estimated how long this beauty would take to cook- whole aubergine stuffed with spinach, tomato, garlic, cream cheese and feta.
Look who forgot to wipe the bowl clean before taking pictures- rookie error, my chef dad would be disappointed!

Whilst simple to make, this took WAY longer than expected so this would be best either prepared in 2 sessions or a day off when you are at home.

Ingredients:
1 large aubergine
Large handful spinach, shredded
Chopped tomatoes of choice- I had plum tomatoes in the fridge
Large spoonful of cream cheese
Feta cheese
Seasoning to taste

1. Prick aubergine to avoid explosion and bake in the oven for 40 mins until soft all the way through- if you're short on time, this could be done on a prior day.

2. Slice into the aubergine length ways, leaving a couple of cm each end so the aubergine becomes a bit like a boat

3. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, spinach, tomatoes, half the feta cheese & seasoning (I like dijon mustard or a hint of Habanero chilli sauce or harissa paste), spoon the mix into your aubergine

4. Sprinkle the remaining feta cheese onto the top of your creation and put back into the over for 15-20 mins (or until the cheese looks done)

5. Eat.

This isn't pretty food, but it is tasty and full of lovely vegetables. If you wanted to lighten this up, try scooping out the aubergine flesh once cooked and using in place of the cream cheese.

Lately

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Life. Lately. Got it? Good.


Lately 3
Went on holiday and learned that lizards like fruit
Came home from holiday and realised it takes more than eye cream & perfume to perpetuate the 'glow' of relaxation from aforementioned trip

Lately 2
Got really into this
Until this (sprained ankle) happened

Lately 1
Turned 26 and was reluctantly sociable
A birthday treat having my nails done- blue as a change from my green habit!

June Food
Tried to get enthused about food again after a challenging couple of weeks. Almost succeeded.

Fenland sunsets
Everyone always seems so desperate to extol the natural beauty of hilly places like the LAke District, but the flat Fenlands offer some beautiful skies with nothing in the way!

Lately Beauty
Got my beauty on- free beauty box with my M&S order turned out to be choc full of awesomeness
A little birthday treat to myself from FeelUnique and realised that Topshop lipstick is a bugger to apply

It's All For You: 100km Challenge

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Last week I turned 26. No biggie. A couple of weeks previously my paternal grandfather became the 3rd of my grandparents to be diagnosed with cancer. The time has come to do something.

My maternal grandfather died in October 1992. He was 47 years of age and although we suspect that he may have been diagnosed much earlier, he passed away 6 months after breaking the news. My maternal grandmother is still with us, less a kidney with cancer which was removed 5 years ago. My paternal grandfather, Roger has an unusual type of cancer that was recently discovered by his dentist. He's due surgery  and radiotherapy shortly.

I think a lot of people expect me to be upset by this news, but the truth is, it has really just fueled the fire beneath me to DO something. We're incredibly fortunate that diagnosis and treatment have come along way since 1992, and as a result as many people now survive cancer than die because of it. In the case of Roger, we're hopeful that it's been caught quickly enough that the planned surgery and radiotherapy will stop cancer in it's tracks. But how do we keep that momentum going forward? How do we turn that statistic into a diagnosis that means you're MORE likely to survive than not?

For me, the answer is supporting Cancer Research UK. As a business, we support the charity by making donations, we have chosen to support a charity rather than send out Christmas cards as well as other support we provide throughout the year, On a personal level, I choose to support cancer charities but no others- I wish I could afford to help everyone, but I can't so I have made the choice to help where I feel I can and I want to. This year I want to do something bigger and something more.

So here's the plan: 100 kilometres before my 27th birthday. 100km isn't that far to ride on a bike, something I've done before, so I'm going to run that far instead. Me, the self-confessed non-runner.

June 14th: 1.6km Amba Hotels City Mile
June 21st: 10km Nike Women's 10km #werunlondon
July 19th: 10km Race For Life Hyde Park
September 13: 10km Run To The Beat
October 4th: 42km  Race For Life Marathon Lee Valley
March 2016: 21km Cambridge Half Marathon
May 2016: 21 Run Hackney Half Marathon

And a little bonus- I've applied for a Cancer Research UK place for the Virgin London Marathon 2016. If I am successful in September, it will take my one year total to just over 145km run before my 27th birthday.

I'm sure that you're all bombarded very regularly with requests for sponsorship- I certainly am, and nothing pains me more than being asked to sponsor someone for a race or event they had already planned or wanted to do regardless. The only event above that I had decided to run, merely as a personal challenge is the Nike Women's 10km on June 21st, and I never envisaged I'd be pushing myself in my 26th year on the planet to train for any kind of running event let alone half marathons or even marathons. All support- encouragement, cheering at any of the races or sponsorship is greatly appreciated- you can find my JustGiving page HERE  (or text CTBP69 £5 to 70070) and if you're a brand reading this who would like to be involved in my challenge by providing products or kit for review and promotion, please email: chloelikestotalk@gmail.com

I'm tired. My knee hurts. My hip hurts. But my @hellyhansen trainers match my nails and it's still all about these epic tights. #thisgirlcan
Better get to the training I guess!

Made To Measure: Surania Swimwear Review

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Product provided by Surania.com for review purposes. All opinions on my own. I have not been further compensated for providing my opinions. 



I'm not creative. I'm ok with that- I admire people who are, but I don't have an issue with being about as creative as a brick wall, I am lots of other things, that's cool. So being asked to review swimwear that I have to design myself might seem a little odd, but I also like to get what I want and this is the ultimate chance to do just that.

So how does it work....?

SR
www.surania.com

It's actually dead easy, even for someone like me! Go forth and select your style- they have a vast swathe of bikini shapes, swimsuits and tankini styles to choose from- the have 12 different bandeau bikini tops, let alone any other options!

Next comes the fun bit, deciding on the colours, prints patterns and combinations...

SR1
Simple click on the area of the bikini you would like to add a colour or design to and select!

The really clever bit though, is that these are not just custom design.

How many times have you seen custom items that are based on ill fitting t-shirts or rubbish quality shoes? They might have some hand crafted custom additions but it feels a bit wasted if the product underneath is rubbish. Surania swimwear is not only custom design, it's made to measure. Sure, you could select an off the shelf size, but these babies can be made to your exact measurements. SOLD!

The very generous people at Surania, as you may have guessed this far through the post (or if you saw my May New Favourites post HERE), set me loose on their website with a gift voucher to have a go at creating my own custom, made to measure swimwear. And here's what landed on my doorstep. Isn't it pretty?

Surania BK
Bikini c/o Surania, Sundress- Missguided, Sandals- Havaiannas, Nail polish- Topshop

I'm a bit obsessed with green, that's not news to many people, and it won't surprise many more that I picked a design based on shades of green. Lucky me, that when I have a sun tan, green looks even better on me! I also love the simplicity of this block colour style with the black accent to add some interest. I told you I wasn't especially creative, and that's true, this is exactly the minimal amount of design twist I'm after in my swimwear.

Surania BK cu

And the fit- which given it's made to my measurements, should be fabulous. AND IT IS! I loathe swimwear that comes as single size, just because my behind fits a size 12, doesn't mean my boobs will, the made to measure thing, totally eradicates the problem. Sweet.

So, made to my own measurements, exactly my choice of style, shape, colour and design. For under £50. Whilst I'm not generally in the habit of spending more than £20 or so on a bikini, I fully expected something this custom to come with a hefty price tag. I was pleasantly surprised when I got the check out to discover that this bikini came to £45.90.

The whole process was easy, well designed and enjoyable. The end product is awesome. Delivery wise, the site recommends that it takes up to 15 working days for your design to become reality and reach you, which for a custom item I found to be more than acceptable. Overall- pretty damned good.

Things I Still Haven't Learned

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It seems borderline traditional to note what one has learned by a certain age when birthdays come around, but I'd be here all day if I listed things I've learned either in my 20's or just the last 12 months, so today, the day I turn 26, here's a few things I still haven't learned.
How to blow dry my hair properly. No, really. I still can't get it to dry how I want it and therefore rarely bother at all and just leave it to dry of it's own accord. Now it's a bit shorter though, it's more difficult to get away with that. Sigh.
Loved my Linda braid so much that I did my own French braid version today (because Dutch braiding screws with my head)
If in doubt, braid it out
The difference between hypO and hypER. The scientific difference between the two prefixes is quite literally polar opposite and I don't know why it bugs me so much that I can't remember which one is which since I'm yet to find a situation where I *need* to know that difference, but I also know it can be lifesaving for people with some not uncommon health conditions such as diabetes.
The will to eat just a few blueberries. Seriously though, how is it just me that starts eating them only to realise a short while later whilst absently groping the punnet that there are none left?
How to cook for one. I wish I could take my own advice on this.
Why I never have enough pairs of knickers of the right colour- wearing no dark wash jeans and I can find are pale pairs, pulling on a pale coloured dress and there's only black in the drawer.
Untitled
Pale dress = underwear enemy number one
Where all the bruises come from- seriously, at any given time there's always at least one I can't remember acquiring. I swear my furniture jumps out into my past.
Contouring. Enough said.
The location of HUNDREDS of hair ties I've purchased in the last decade alone and that I can never find when I need one.
Love this idea from @lovewilko detachable brush heads.
Why is it that I can always find a hair brush and never a hair tie?
How to read our antique electric metre. Seriously, it looks like it's at least twice my age and it has all manner of strange dials on it.
Why my cakes don't cook in the middle when trying to use a silicon mould. Team OldFashionedCakeTin.
The art of curling one's eyelashes.
What even is leftover wine?
My Portuguese sparkling wine has a CAT on it!