Coffee Cups (Cherry Chocolate Granola)

Another working week over and done with and now it is Sunday….my day of rest…NOT!!!

Even on my Sunday I am up bright and early because I have a lot to do today…but first I am determined to enjoy my breakfast….I have had fruit all week for breakfast (and salad for lunch and dinner every day I was at work)…but today…ooh la la…I am having cherry yogurt, I bought it for Goldfinch and forgot it was still unopened in the back of the fridge with a use-by-date of 14-05-18. And because I have never been in the habit of eating yogurt naked….I nipped into Waitrose straight after work last night to buy some granola, and fell for chocolate cherry granola which I can only imagine is going to taste incredibly yummy. I have just made my coffee and am waiting for it to percolate and then I am going to enjoy.

Aaaaah… nice to have time to feel I can just dawdle along in first gear for the next hour or so…so nice!!!

Speaking of granola…I had an odd experience in a health store on Wednesday. My landlady asked me to buy her some spelt muesli. They did not have any in Sainsburys supermarket, so I nipped into an expensive health store across the road where they do stock lots of spelt foodie items. I meant to nip in and have a look round to see if I could find what she wanted. But as soon as I walked in a shop assistant bounded up to me and asked if he could help me. So I told him I was looking for spelt muesli…his face reflected panic. I followed him around the store twice before I realized he did not know where to look. I was sure we had passed a section with cereals. He came along with me. He picked up some spelt flakes off the shelf and handed them to me. I thanked him but said I was looking for muesli. So then he picked up granola off the shelf and gave it to me. I started to find myself becoming a bit giggly. I said that it looked nice, but I knew my landlady already had granola, she had asked me to buy muesli. He replied “but granola is muesli, they are the same thing”. I told him I think they are slightly different. He asked me how. I looked at him really finding it hard not to express my amusement. I described granola as being a bit crunchier than muesli. He started reading the back of the packet of granola. Then he said to me “I’ll tell you the difference between muesli and granola. Muesli you have with milk at breakfast time, whereas granola you have with fruit and yoghurt and you eat it in the afternoon.” I was really taken aback at the confidence he delivered his conclusion to me…and I was dying to laugh but politeness helped me to restrain it. Anyway, he then said that they didn’t sell muesli. I thanked him for helping anyway. Within moments another shop assistant appeared with a bag of gluten free spelt muesli in his hand.

I bought myself a coffee cup this week….I have been looking for one for weeks, but didn’t like the colours I saw, but fell in love with the one I saw in Robert Dyas homewares store. But then two days later a friend nipped round with some clothes I had lent her and she gave me a coffee cup…I remember telling her how guilty I feel every time I buy a coffee because of the difficulties recycling coffee cups so I intended to buy a coffee cup to have in my work bag. So now I have two as you can see from my photo!

20180310_214048The taller one I bought and the shorter is the one she bought for me. Oh…I can help save the planet in style!  Every morning when I turn on the news before I head out for work there is a news item about single use plastics – bad bad bad….  Ever since we watched the beautiful BBC Blue Planet and especially the recent Blue Planet ΙΙ, we have all become very upset that our magnificent oceans and the myriad of sea creatures that leave us full of wonder and awe are being damaged by our daily coffee purchases amongst other things.  My next purchase will be a re-usable water bottle, a solid one that I can wash out again and again.  I must do this because I do buy a lot of bottled water. I can’t bear to think of harming the creatures in the ocean I am fascinated by.  (I heard that by the end of the year plastic drinking straws and cotton buds will be banned.  I am not sure who uses cotton buds anymore anyway.  Every health professional sternly tells you not to stick them in your ears.  Maybe some people have other uses for them.  But my life will not be cramped by the absence of straws or cotton buds.)

My lovely lovely wonderful Goldfinch is somewhat of an expert on waterways and the environment.  He says much more needs to be done.  I am sure he is right.  I am sure the vast majority of people would be pleased to make sacrifices where needed to preserve this incredible planet.  I asked him last week, what does he think is the next practical solution to take.  We are getting rid of plastics we don’t really need and re-using coffee cups and drinking bottles more.  I asked him what is next.  It sometimes seems a bit overwhelming, but I think most of us understand that we all need to do something or give something up.  The collective effort can achieve huge results.  Do you know the story about the starfish on the beach?  I don’t have time right now, but I will relate it in another post.

My other exciting buy this week….Higgledy Piggledy Pies…four new vegetarian varieties and on offer in the Waitrose supermarket. I can’t wait to try them.  I have not baked a pie in ages.  Pastry…not very waistline friendly.  But I feel in the mood for baking savoury things at the moment.  I am an occasional baker.  I bake for friends.  They love my bakes and tell me I am an amazing baker and should apply for one of these TV baking shows.  I know better.  I am not a great baker at all.  BUT I DO KNOW HOW TO READ.  I obey the recipe precisely, every letter!  It is a very clinical mechanical way of baking, but yes the bakes come out well.  All credit to the recipe writers.  I never remember the recipes.  If you asked me to jump up and bake a sponge cake or shortbread right now, I would not be able to do it.  My head does not retain recipes.  But I have made hundreds of cakes and biscuits by faithfully following other people’s recipes.

I found a recipe for a dish that looks absurdly simple but delicious. It is so simple that I can actually remember it. Take one 600g tub of fresh veggie soup, the type you find in the chilled section in the supermarket, and heat gently in a saucepan and then add 400g tin of cannellini beans (after draining and rinsing of course) add any seasoning you desire. pour this concoction into an oven proof dish. Then take a fresh garlic baguette and blitz it in a food-processor (or you can grate it if you don’t own a food processor) It should be nice chunky crumbs, not fine crumbs. Mix this with grated cheddar cheese (the recipe specified 75g but I would probably leave that to the eater to decide how cheesy they want their supper to be). Sprinkle your cheesy, garlicky bread crumb mix over your bean and veg soup base. 15 minutes baking in an oven that has been pre-heated to 200°/fan 180°/gas 6.  This recipe could turn out to be an easy tasty simple supper for when friends come crashing through the door.  Or it might be awful.  I am going to experiment on a friend and his two teenagers who are coming over for dinner next week. So long as I serve chips with it they will be happy! And a naughty pudding. I think pudding will be something simple like brownies…..I refuse to put in excessive effort for teenagers because most would be just as happy with a gooey cake that came straight out of the box from a supermarket.

By the way, if you don’t own a food processor.  I have never had one up until a year ago.  There was life before my food processor… and life after.  The main difference is making my own hummous which I do most weeks, my own pesto…yum yum yum, and things like home-made coleslaw are so easy to make.  Whizzing up cookie crumbs for a quick cheesecake base etc.  I like it.  It is hard to imagine life without a food processor now.  I don’t buy gadgets generally.  My sister and her husband have all sorts of juicers, spiralizers, pop corn makers, doughnut makers, an ice-cream maker.  I am sure these are all fine things in themselves, but my cute kitchen can’t store too many gadgets.  But the food processor definitely deserves it’s place.

I finished my cherry yogurt dressed with cherry chocolate granola and my coffee some time ago and now I am going to have a shower and get going…busy day ahead.


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