Chai Banana Bread

Chai Banana Bread // roughmeasures.com - a fragrant twist on a classic bake.

Spring (well, we like to call it Summer here in the UK) has been dancing around in full force for the last few weeks. I have relished the time outdoors, exploring new places, watching the trees become green again and breathing in the crisp air. Time outdoors keeps me sane, and I often forget how important it is to me. Winter can make me cranky and irritable, Spring gives me hope again. We are lucky enough to live right next to some woods, where we often go for a quick explore. If you need me, I’ll be wandering.  Read more

Sweet Potato and Apple Loaf (sugar free)

I had it in my head that come my blogs second birthday I would try to create something special. I was thinking I still had a couple of weeks left but it turns out my blog turned two last month *Happy Birthday to Me!*  How did I miss this? 2 years have flown by. I feel I have come a long way since my first blog post (and I cringe at that photo)! But I am currently struggling to find time to create and share with my dear readers. I read this post recently and it completely sums up my feelings about blogging. I love blogging and the opportunities it brings me, but I feel so much pressure to put all my time and energy into it if I want to make it ‘big’. Trying to juggle a full-time job and a blog is HARD, unless you want to sacrifice any leisure time you do have. I wanna hang with my friends, I wanna laze on the sofa at the weekend, I want to explore the land on these short winter days. I don’t always want to plan my day around daylight hours and how much time I have to get a photo in the perfect light. Posts will still be coming, so bear with me, some may have one image, some may have seven. I think keeping things different is the key to a long, happy life. So here’s to slow blogging, slow living and a long life.

Sweet Potato and Apple Loaf - sugar and dairy free // roughmeasures.com

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Butternut Squash and Carrot Pancakes

Some things need testing, a bit of tweaking here and there, a little bit of adding and subtracting. Mixing, making, eating. Jotting down tweaks, re-doing the recipe, scribbling all over your notes. Some things take some work. Some things work the first time around, but some things don’t. This weekend was a lot of trial and error. A lot of washing up the same bowls, heating up the same gadgets. Only for it to continuously not work. I take my hats off to anyone who creates a recipe book. Here’s me, on a Saturday, practically throwing my mixing bowl through the window in frustration, all for one recipe.

I was trying to make waffles. I love waffles. If I could, I would eat everything in waffle form. Something about them just gets to me. Their perfect shape. Full of corners and squares. Their crisp shell with a fluffy inside. I’m drooling just typing about them… sorry too much information. So, here I was this weekend, trying to make these waffles work. Every single attempt resulted in me scraping them out of the waffle iron, in a thousand little pieces. The shame of it was, they tasted SO GOOD, but they looked so bad. I eventually admitted defeat, this mix and my £20 waffle iron just weren’t meant to be, not for now anyway. Instead, this mix and PANCAKES. Because whats nearly as good as waffles? You got it, PANCAKES.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Pancakes // roughmeasures.com

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Blackberry and Oat Muffins

I have been pretty horizontal for the past couple of days. My feet, undeniably ‘put up’ – on the sofa, on the bed, or the grass. Rest is such an undervalued pleasure. We constantly push ourselves to make the most of the hours left in the day. Making sure we get as much as possible done. Why is it more of an achievement to hurtle through life, wearing ourselves down? I feel I’m winning when I rest. Rest is good for the soul. Rest does not make you weak, it empowers you to live a longer, stronger life. So yeah, I’ve done ziddly squat these last couple of days, and it feels fantastic!

I did however, let my much-needed-rest-time be interrupted by a little walk. Charlie had given me the heads up that there was a blackberry bush near the boat, overflowing with juicy fruits. I took my tub and off I trotted to find this berry oasis. And oh boy, he wasn’t wrong. Hundreds and hundreds of fat, plump blackberries, dangling from their thorns, waiting to be plucked. I was there for a good 45 minutes, scrambling around and under their bushes. Trying not to get spiked to death or end up with 100 thorn splinters. One such thorn took a good 10 minutes to dig out of my thumb, much to the amusement of the nearby railway workers. Who’s laughing now guys?!

I now have more blackberries than I honestly know what to do with, and am currently compiling a list of possible blackberry recipes. But I am happy, a big purple smile of happy. Plus, free food is the best food.

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Lemon and Rosemary Donuts

Roald Dahl once said “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of you like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” 

I woke up the other morning feeling rather negative (something that I struggle with rather a lot) but I had a little word with myself, got up and got myself to work. I was going to try to have a positive day. Be happier, not dwell on things. I got to work and had all these good intentions, then I dropped my phone on the floor. The screen smashed into lots of tiny pieces, held together only by my ‘screen protector’. I was fuming at myself, this was going to cost a lot of money to fix, money which I don’t have. Why was I so silly to drop it. Why were my hands so slippery? Why was my phone case not more grippy? All the negativity came back like a tidal wave.

I spent the rest of the day in a huff, beating myself up about something which I could not undo. It had happened and there was nothing I could do about it. But I couldn’t get out of my negative wave.

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Spelt Blueberry Chia Muffins

When I am stressed, I bake. When I am worried, I bake. When it’s all getting a bit too much, I bake. I don’t know if I necessarily find it therapeutic, but it seems to be my go to thing when I’m having a dark-grey-cloud-over-my-head kinda day.

I try to live in the present, the now, the very moment. However it isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you have spent 26 years of your life worrying. Baking somehow manages to change my thought process. The focussing on the ingredients and method is almost like some kind of meditation for me. It just manages to push those worries and fears aside for a while, to re-adjust my blurry head, pushing the dark cloud away.

We are blessed that we live on the water, just seeing the ripples and reflections through the windows, even on a grey day, can help push the negativity away. There is nothing better than cooking with a view, to whip up something magical whilst looking out over the canal and to the fields beyond.

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