Sunday, 12 April 2020

Go-To Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

peanut butter brownies


These nutty peanut butter brownies are definitely one of my most favourite treats to bake. They're a great surprise for special occasions and fantastic for sharing. Anyone with nut allergies or diabetes must avoid as they do contain peanuts and a whole lot of sugar, but the rest of the party will not be disappointed. 


Ingredients

225g crunchy peanut butter
200g dark chocolate
250g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs
100g self raising flour
Optional extras for decoration

Equipment you'll need

1x baking tray
1x medium saucepan
A wooden spoon
Baking paper
Weighing scales

Prep time: 20 mins
Baking time: 35 mins
Oven setting: 180 degrees


Instructions


Firstly, line your tin with baking paper. I cut diagonal slits in each corner of the baking paper (about the same depth as the tin) so that it can be easily folded to fit the shape of the tin. Before you start preparing, be sure to set your oven to 180 degrees. 

Put aside 50g of the broken up dark chocolate, adding the remaining 150g to the saucepan, along with the 225g peanut butter and 250g sugar. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until melted. Once melted, take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the 3 eggs. Once fully bound together, stir in the 100g of flour (I always use gluten free flour, it works well for this recipe if you're gluten intolerant too). 

Finally, pour out the mixture evenly into your tin and add any extras, including the 50g of chocolate that you set aside earlier. In the batch I made above, I substituted the 50g of dark chocolate for 50g of mini eggs - this is a great adaptation for something different.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. When ready, take out and allow the brownies to cool before cutting into squares.

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Sunday, 5 April 2020

Tips For Working from Home Effectively


working from home

Working from home experiences vary, mostly due to your home circumstances. Since settling into working from home and from my previous experience as a freelancer and student, I've gathered my tips to help you work from home most effectively.

Stay as organised as possible


I always begin my working day by writing a list of tasks that I need to work on for that day, prioritising those most important. Doing this allows me to stay on track and ensures that I don't forget any crucial tasks. If I have work that doesn't require me to work in silence, then I'll ask Alexa to pop on my favourite playlist, but only do this if you can still concentrate. Try and start work at the same time each day, having a routine will help you feel productive. 

Keep a clean, creative workspace


Don't be shy to invest in cute new stationary as a little motivator to get writing or filing! Writing with a new pen or purchasing new storage folders can make a difference to your day-to-day and help with organisation. Have you ever felt frustrated for losing an important piece of paper? Not anymore! I also would hate for piles of papers to become part of my home interior, so keeping a clean, tidy and organised workspace is highly important. 

I live in a one bedroom flat with my partner at the moment, so I've not had the luxury of running off into a private office room to get focused. If you're in the same boat, I would recommend setting up a designated area as best you can. Mine is temporarily at the dining table during working hours, it's not perfect but it works. I also keep a back up area in the living room because every now and again, I have found that having a back up spot or a change of scenery massively helps.

On days I feel particularly unfocused, I'll light a candle on my desk. The comforting scent is pleasant and enables me to settle down far easier than the smell of what we've cooked for breakfast!

Stay comfortable but professional


It's so important to have the right posture support when you're working in a desk job. Most of us will have specifically designed office chairs or back supports at work so why settle for back problems when working from home? I'd encourage you to look for the most comfortable seating option or even look to invest in a back support for your chair to avoid back problems. I'd also advise stretching your back and neck often when seated for long periods. There are some great yoga stretches out there that will massively help, try googling "desk yoga" for ideas.

Lastly, I'd avoid staying in your pyjamas. I know so many of us will wake up feeling totally sluggish and unmotivated to get dressed when we are home all day long. I'm not suggesting you need to get your heels on and a face full of make up, but I do believe that our brains switch into 'work mode' when we feel like we are in work mode. For me, that's partly wearing clothes that I would normally wear to work, even when I am at home. It also means that you'll never be caught out in your pjs on video conference calls! If I do feel particularly sluggish, then I'll compromise for a casual outfit like a sweater and comfortable jeans. We all have down days, the important thing is to not pressure yourself or feel guilty for it, but to try your best to boost your day instead.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

How to Bake the Blogger Favourite Banana Bread

   banana bread


Baking a banana bread from scratch is actually super easy, and it's much less daunting than it originally sounds. Since sharing my banana bread bake over on social media, many of you requested the recipe that I've relied on time and time again. I couldn't wait to type it out for you!

I'm a firm believer in baking therapy, it shouldn't be stressful and it doesn't need to be. There's nothing more satisfying than creating something from scratch and watching it be enjoyed by those you choose to share it with. This recipe isn't too unhealthy either, compared to your average victoria sponge or chocolate cake, this plain banana loaf is a much less sugary and less fatty alternative! 

Ingredients


2 over-ripe bananas
120g plain flour
30g brown sugar
60g butter (room temp if possible)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
Sprinkle of salt
100g dark chocolate (optional)

Equipment you'll need


1 x small loaf tin
Baking paper
2x mixing bowls/containers
Weighing scales

Prep time: 15 mins
Baking time: 25-30 mins
Oven setting: 175 degrees



Firstly, allow your oven to heat up by switching it on and setting it to 175 degrees. Line your loaf tin with baking paper to prevent your banana bread from getting stuck. Using one of your mixing bowls, combine together the plain flour (120g), baking powder (1/2 tsp), baking soda (1/2 tsp), and a sprinkle of salt until nicely mixed. In the spare mixing bowl, cream the butter (60g) with the brown sugar (30g). Next, mash up your two bananas with a fork and add them to your butter and sugar mix, along with the milk (2 tbsp) and the egg. Stir together until nicely combined, then add it to your flour mix. If you choose to add dark chocolate to your bread, then make sure to break it into squares and add it at this stage. Once you're happy that everything is nicely combined and there's no lumps of flour, pour evenly into your loaf tin. 

I'd recommend baking for 25-30 minutes for a moist banana bread. 

Do let me know if you give this recipe a go, and be sure too share a photo too!



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