Sunday, 12 June 2016

The 100th Post and 21!

So this post was originally supposed to be published in April, but it's only being posted today, on Sunday 12th June, which also happens to be 5 days after my 21st birthday.  So Happy Birthday to me for yesterday!  At the time of starting writing this post (6th June), I don't know what it will contain, so let's start with some personal highlights of blogging over the past 2 years:
  • My Adventures in the USA series (July-September 2015): This set of posts followed my adventures with my family in both Washington DC and Florida, and listed my top 5 places to visit in Washington DC as well as in each of the Disney World parks and the Universal Orlando parks in Florida, and also featured some recipes inspired by the trip.
  • My Back to the 80s posts 1 and 2 (March 2016): In my excitement over BUSOM's main show, Back to the 80s, I posted little diary entries from my view as the show's producer in the days leading up to the show, as well as the daily countdown photos and other promotional things.
  • My interview with Australian blogger, Kara Ready (unfortunately not in person), in which she talked about her passion for media and journalism, veganism, travel, and her tips for health and happiness.
  • My post about my little trip with my friends from uni to our local Waterstones bookstore for a Harry Potter event.
  • The highlights of my short trip to Newcastle in February this year.
  • My post about what my friends and I did for Halloween last year.
  • My final week of uni before Christmas post.

Favourite photos

Homemade bread rolls in Summer 2014

Berries and overalls in Summer 2014
A banana and date smoothie!
Chocolate Rice Krispie nests at Easter 2015
Fruit haul for snacking around Washington DC

The World War 2 Memorial in Washington DC in July 2015

The wall of 4048 gold stars, each of which represent 100 Americans who died in World War 2

A waterfall at the Roosevelt Memorial Park

The White House!

The Hogwarts Express at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando

Festival of the Lion King at the Animal Kingdom
Making my own tie-dye T-shirt at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa at Disney World

My finished rainbow tie-dye Mickey Mouse T-shirt

Cinderella's Castle at Disney World Florida in July 2015

Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom in July 2015

Vegan Oreo cupcakes in October 2015

Carving pumpkins at uni in October 2015

Paddington on the Harry Potter display at Waterstones in February 2016

Falafel and Mango Chutney from Tea Sutra in Newcastle in February 2016

Activities Ball in April 2016

My birthday party mocktail in May 2016

What's in store in coming weeks

I've got a few ideas buzzing around my head for some upcoming posts, including the following:
  • a chocolate "cup" cake recipe - a homemade mix for a cake in a cup that doesn't contain eggs or dairy!
  • a chocolate brownie recipe - I think this recipe will be the closest thing to the chocolate brownie recipe that my family traditionally uses and which everyone loves, so I'm dying to try it!
  • a possible collaboration
  • a post on anxiety
  • a few posts on coffee - I want to see sometime which plant-based milks are the best for coffee, ice cream and coffee-based recipes, so I may have another collaboration for this.
  • my Sri Lanka adventure series - I plan to journal my family trip to Sri Lanka in August, and then write a few posts with my favourite places to visit and a few curry recipes!

Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Toast

For my birthday tea, we had asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and toast for starters, but unfortunately, the shop-bought Hollandaise sauce was non-vegan (contained egg yolk and possibly also butter), so I decided to find an easy recipe for vegan-friendly Hollandaise sauce in case I wanted to use it with asparagus again in the future.  I found this recipe and the recipe for the cashew butter used to make it on the Whole Foods Market website!

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup of sauce)

3/4 cup cashew butter (see recipe below)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 a teaspoon ground turmeric
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a few bunches of asparagus
2 cups raw cashew nuts (will make 1 cup of cashew butter)


  1. To make cashew butter, place cashew nuts in a food processor and process for 2 minutes at a time.  Doing this at intervals will prevent the food processor from overheating.  Scrape down the sides of the processor when required until the cashew nuts break down completely and become a completely smooth butter - before this, the mixture will go through a dry paste, crumbly mixture and large ball stage.
  2. Combine cashew butter, mustard, lemon zest and juice, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and 1/2 a cup of warm water in a blender for about one minute or until smooth.
  3. Add more warm water as needed to reach the desired consistency.  Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  4. Rinse stalks of asparagus in water.  For larger stalks, bend the spear until it snaps and throw the harder end away.
  5. Boil in water for 3-5 minutes or steam for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Serve asparagus and Hollandaise sauce with slices of toast.

My 21st birthday cake!

Non-Vegan Cheesecake with Grated Chocolate

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