Katherine Harriet

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Peanut Butter Banana Bread


Good Morning! Today I am sharing with you a little recipe that has become a bit of a staple in our house. I moved in with my boyfriend in January and before then, peanut butter was conspicuously absent from my family home - no one was really a fan. Since moving in with Steve however it seems you're always a few feet away from peanut something - and I have discovered so long as it's heavily sugared or heavily salted then I'm a peanut fan too.

The reason I first made this is because we are fantastic at shopping for healthy foods - not so good at eating them (see pictures) so one day on our weekly shop we bought the biggest bunch of bananas ever thinking 'hey we can eat these for breakfast, on our way to work or as a snack this is great!' 

So we ate a few and they progressively gained more brown spots, so one day I thought of a way to make us eat them - Banana Bread! So I went through my cupboards and found I had the following things to make it taste nice - peanut butter, chocolate chips and vanilla extract so I got to work.



Ingredients

1/2 Cup of Melted Butter (plus a little to grease the pan)
1 Cup of Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
3/4 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup of Milk
1 Squeeze of lemon juice (just a little bit!!!)
2 - 3 Ripe Bananas (mashed)
1/4 Cup of Peanut Butter x2 (not 1/2 trust me - you need two 1/4 cups - V. Important)
1 Glug of Vanilla Extract
1 Large Egg
1 Yolk from an Egg
1 1/2 Cups of Chocolate Chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 5. Grease up a loaf shaped baking dish.

In a bowl pour in the flour, salt, and baking powder, mix it all up.

In a second bowl (of jug if you're like me and only have the one mixing bowl...) mix up the sugar, bananas, 1/4 cup of peanut butter, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, egg and egg yolk until it's all a smooth golden-y colour. 

Pour your wet sugar/peanut/banana mix into the dry and fold it all in until it's combined. 

Chuck in 1 cup of chocolate chips - saving the other 1/2 cup. Mix in the choc-chips until well dispersed.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle the last 1/2 of chocolate chips on to. (You don't have to use a full 1/2 cup - it depends how much of a chocolaty top you want - I like mine V.V. chocolaty)

Pop in the oven and bake for 45-60 minuets. Mine was the bottom end of this so check regularly. Set an alarm for 30 minuets and check it then and see how long it needs, and set your alarm for every 5-10 minuets from then. It should be golden brown and a toothpick of knife inserted should come out ~mostly~ clean. I say mostly because I like mine a little gooey like a brownie texture - you may want yours more cakey.

Take in out the oven as soon as it's ready and leave to cool in the pan.

Once cool run a knife around the edges to release the banana-ry goodness and tip out onto a plate/chopping board. Then flip it over again because it will have come out the pan upside-down.

Put the other 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then using a teaspoon drizzle it over the top of your cake.

+++ done. Make a coffee and grab a slice.



This is truly a fantastic cake, I made it at the weekend, me and Steve managed to devour the whole thing in two days, and then when I went back to work and showed a picture of it to the girls they demanded I bring in another the following week. So now this is a winner at home as well as the office.

I hope you enjoy it!!!

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

What I'm Wearing: Wooden Spine

Hey, sport's fans. It's been a while since my last WIW post - 6 months to be exact - but the other day I was just slobbering around the house (my brand new house by the way) in jeans and jumper and just felt so un-me. So I had a quick rifle through my wardrobe and found this little black slip dress. At first, I dismissed it as a 'not for another few months' dress, you know, seeing as it's threatening snow on the South Coast every day... But then I remembered my mild obsession with ribbed turtle neck jumpers, so I thought... to layer or not to layer?

So I layered.

 




Black Slip Dress - Topshop (similar)
Grey Ribbed Turtle Neck - Topshop (similar)
Agate Slice Necklace -  Crystal Cactus
Celtic Knot Necklace - Gift
Aztec Style Oversized Earrings - Not The Same But Super Cool
Cat Tapestry Lita Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell
Velvetines Lipstick in 'Squash' - Lime Crime
Venus Palette II Eyeshadow in 'Filter' - Lime Crime

I felt much cuter this day than I would have done had I stayed in my thick cosy jumper and super relaxed jeans. Don't get me wrong - I love my jumper and jean combos, but I am loathed to spend so much money on summer dresses every year, for them then to spend nine months in the 'seasonal' part of my wardrobe. Grab a turtleneck, a pair of tights and layer your way through the SAD months, and keep looking East for the day the sun shines bright and hot again!







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Thursday, 5 January 2017

2017

First things first; Happy New Year! I know 2016 wasn't all that great in the world news, (which when Nico Rosberg wins the world championship over Lewis Hamilton... well), but anyway! Onwards and upwards, we're into a new year and I hope the best comes for all of you.

I think one of the first things I need to do in this opening post is to address where I've been whilst on an unannounced hiatus. In July I got promoted to Manager in the company I work for. I was now managing my own coffee shop (YAY). Only this coffee shop was now a two-hour drive in rush hour traffic away from my home, and I was working between 46-58 hours a week, plus driving to and fro each day. So for that reason, I never really had the time to write a blog post, no matter how much I wanted to. 

Then because the commute was so horrendous I started living with my boyfriend a few days a week, he only lives about 20 minutes away from my shop, and as the weeks went on, it stopped being a few days a week where I would see him, and evolved into me saying 'I'm going home on this day this week'. So essentially we're at a point now where just one day - I never went back home.

You might think that should have given me more time to write my blog posts, but when you're working 46-58 hours every week, plus getting called in on your days off, getting calls from members of staff the second you get home and living with your SO and his housemates (who are a couple as well btw) and trying to maintain a social life, and see friends who live a few towns over, and who work opposite hour to you, or who are doing a year teaching in china, or who are working in the capital living out their dreams - well... it's tricky.

Therefore I am beginning this year on my blog the same way I started it everywhere else - with a photo and an announcement. 


We are welcoming in 2017 with some fantastic news. I start a new job in Finance next week, and we are moving into our first house together later this month. We couldn't be more excited to begin this step in our lives together and can't wait to make some more amazing memories in our home. 

Because I start a new job (with fewer hours and guaranteed weekends off) I will be back to posting blogs regularly, and I think Steve may make a few more appearances on here too, as we move into our house, and try to make it a home, and attempt some degree of self-sufficiency while we're at it. 

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year and I'm looking forward to going through 2017 with all of you.

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Friday, 15 July 2016

What I'm Wearing: Jac Vanek

So a few weeks ago one of my all time favourite people had a flash sale on her clothing website. I say favourite person here rather than a designer or anything like that because she's been a role model of mine for quite a while. By quite a while I mean when I was in school there were two really amazing women who I was constantly inspired by. As the years have gone on and they've grown from being Scene Queens modeling for Trash Mag into really incredible women with a real care and passion for the earth, the people in it and with a really positive message to give out. These two women are called Audrey Kitching and Jac Vanek. Now I have already own tons of things by AK, mainly because it's always been a little bit cheaper, and considering you have to get it all shipped from the US, the cheaper the better really.

But as I was saying, Jac Vanek had a flash sale over pay day weekend, so, of course, I just couldn't help myself. I ordered the mantra military jacket which I don't think I have taken off for more than a few minutes since it arrived. The other thing i ordered was on her her vintage flannels. All of her flannels have things written on the back of them for the sassy bitch in all of us. The one I bought has the words 'Please do not talk to me. I am only here for the food' printed in large letters across the back.

Take a look at how I styled this truth-speaking shirt below. I went for quite a grungey outfit, teaming it up with black skinny jeans, my classic 1460 Doc's, and a slick of muted purple matte lipstick.





Please Do Not Talk To Me Flannel - Jac Vanek
Joni High Waisted Skinny Jeans - Topshop
Triple Layer Necklace - Topshop (similar here)
Large Blue Earrings - Found
1460 Doc's - Dr Martens 
Velvetines Matte Liquid Lipstick in Teddy Bear - Lime Crime
Blue Eyeshadow in Filter - Lime Crime

The flannel I got from JV is really super soft and a very high-quality fabric and the military jacket is made with a proper sturdy fabric, so although they're expensive they are very worth it. One thing i will say though about the shipping process to the UK is that it does take a while. It took two weeks for these goodys to come, and then I had to pay duty on them when they arrived. So just be warned on that front if you do order from here that once it gets to your local post office, you'll have to pop in and pay the duty before you can collect.

I really honestly love my jackets and shirt though so will 100% be ordering again even if it takes a while to come and there's a bill to pay at the end.



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Thursday, 26 May 2016

How to be a Khaleesi

I write this today as a self-love checklist for anyone who might need to hear that they are, in fact, the most important person in the world. If you're a fan of the Game of Thrones series, or of the events happening in Westeros and Essos, then you will know that one of the pivotal people in the story is Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, (Other Titles) Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, (More Titles) Mother of Dragons.

I need this post for myself today as much as I'm sure there are people out there who need this post too. I won't go into details - because why on earth would I want to dwell on something that was bad for me? + why would you want to read it? Let's just say that something I hoped would never happen, but cleverly planned for, came to pass. Wyrd bið ful aræd. Fate is inexorable.

So here are my top tips on how to live your life like the violet-eyed, silver-haired queen of Meereen, and slay it. Completely, because you are a queen of your own little kingdom.



Stand Tall
You will notice that throughout the whole show, Daenerys never once slouches or slumps. She is always sat or stood up straight. Now, this may have something to do with the very first episode when her brother told her to stand up properly, but since then she has never once let her shoulders fall. Why? Because she knows her worth she knows that she is important, and she's never needed to be told that. You are soo important to the world, and you should know it, and you should never slouch in a way that says 'I am less than' when you a more than you could possibly know.

Dress Impeccably
This is a thought I have very single day when I wake up anyway, always have done and always will do. No matter how god awful you feel, get up, dress up, put on your make- up, make yourself feel completely beautiful, suddenly, you won't feel so awful, you'll feel beautiful. + surely that's a feeling you always want to have right?

Surround Yourself With People Who Love You
The Mother of Dragons has always surrounded herself, to the best of her knowledge at least, with people who think the entire sun shines out of her eyes. You need people like that too. People who want to hear what you have to say, who respect your opinion and inspire your ambitions and your dreams. Anyone who is even slightly negative in your life, you seriously do not need. You want people who think your art is beautiful, who laugh at your jokes, who think it's cute that you write short stories, who listen to your thoughts, and don't make you feel like these things are trivial - people who instead feel like these are the reasons why the sun resides in your heart.

People Will Betray You
Now chill a sec -  I don't mean like you're going to be '''''Ceasered''''', and stabbed 23 times in the back by your mates. I mean that the person you gave your heart too will crush it. I mean the friend who you thought always had your back has been spreading rumors about you to all your mutuals. I mean your work-wife who you thought was helping you get promoted sabotaged everything and took it for themselves. People come into your life for lots of different reasons. Some of those reasons are unfortunately utterly heart-breaking. That doesn't mean you are broken. It means you were full of too much. Too much love, too much knowledge, too much kindness. People take advantage of these, see them as weaknesses, but you are the opposite of weak.

Sometimes People Deserve Second Chances (Sometimes)
Now how sorry have we all felt for Jorah Mormont for the last season and a half since he got banished from his Queens side. Yes he sold her secrets to her enemies, almost got her and her unborn child killed - like yeah okay so he's not the best guy - but that was right at the beginning, then he saved her life, advised her continually, loved her from a distance, and was then banished from her kingdom. He deserved a second chance, because he fought tirelessly to gain her trust back, and even though he thought she hated him, he spent months (I assume moths - Essos time is weird) to save her life again! Not everyone does, remember that if they hurt you once before, then there's a very good chance that they'll do it again. Never forget that there is such a huge galaxy of love inside you that people will fight for a chance to be incased in it again, or it's so vast that you can get by just fine without them.

Never Give Up
Daeny has been fighting and dreaming of getting back to Westeros since she was a very little girl (I say very little because in the books shes only like sixteen and apparently that's grown sooooo). That has been her goal, to get home, to rule. She's dreamt and worked tirelessly for it. You have to as well if you want to achieve your dream. It's not enough to hope, or too want it. It has to be worked for, pushed for. It will tear you apart, and you will probably spend many a dark night feeling like you'll never get it. But her dream is to re-take Seven Kingdoms at Civil War with each other, from a Country that killed her family and banished her to live her life as a beggar princess. Your dream is not going to be that hard. Work hard, never give up, and ask for help.

Never Forget Who You Are
Don't change, don't pretend to be something you're not. Who you are is enough. Who you are is worthwhile. You don't need to change or conform or be anything anyone doesn't want you to be. If you like watching Formula 1 on a Sunday with your Dad. Then keep doing that. That's you. If you like getting up at 6am and going for a run. Then don't stop. That's you. If you like baking to make up cupcake recipes at midnight. Then keep it up. That's you. No one should ever make you feel like you can't do those things - least of all you. Don't change because you're afraid people might think you're 'a bit weird' That's how I've been introduced to 90% of the people I work with. 'This is Kat, she's a bit weird'. Yes, I am. I am also fantastic.

Love Yourself Forever
This Targaryen chick has been through it all. She still knows she's the best thing to walk the earth. We all are. You need to realise that. You need to look into your mirror and realise that the person looking back at you is so much more deserving of your love than anybody else in the universe. The only person you are truly going to spend your life with lives in that mirror. You can fall in love with your soulmate, you can have friends who know you inside out, but there's still those dark recesses that only you know about, so love those parts completely because you have got to live with them forever. And once you love them that the sun in your chest can leak into the dark dungeons in your mind and turn them into gardens of wild flowers. 

You are so beautiful, and so loved, and I never want you to feel any different. You are the ruler of your kingdom, you are the gold giver, the lord of the land. You are the most important thing and Meereen needs Daenerys just like this blue and green marble needs you.
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