Sunday, 30 November 2014

Healthy Snacks // Parmesan Asparagus Sticks

Healthy Snacks Parmesan Asparagus The Betty Stamp

I'm a self confessed grazer. Biscuits, crackers, sweeties...I just cannot keep snack items in my cupboards or I will turn into the size of a house. So I've decided to bake some alternative snacks to keep in my fridge so I won't feel guilty having a mid afternoon nibble!
These parmesan asparagus sticks are ideal for dunking into your favourite dip! I chose a squidge of lemon and dipped them in sour cream & chive. Snack craving sorted without taking onboard too many cals!

What you'll need // 
10 Asparagus Sticks
A Sprinkling of Flour
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup Grated Parmesan


What to do // 

Pre heat oven 180 degrees

Chop off the thick ends of the asparagus and sprinkle flour on both sides of the asparagus sticks. 


Healthy Snacks Parmesan Asparagus The Betty Stamp


Whisk your egg, salt & pepper in one dish. Grate your parmesan into a separate dish with your breadcrumbs. So now you have your two coating stations at the ready.


Healthy Snacks Parmesan Asparagus The Betty Stamp


Now for the fun part. Roll your asparagus sticks into the egg covering completely then onto station bowl 2 for covering in parmesan and breadcrumbs.


Healthy Snacks Parmesan Asparagus The Betty Stamp


Your green twigs are ready for the oven! Simple as that. Bake on greaseproof paper for 15-20 mins depending on how thick your sticks are.

Squeeze over some lemon and serve as a party snack with an array of your favourite dips. Scrummy. 

What are your favourite healthy snack alternatives?

Betty x


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Saturday, 29 November 2014

5 Favourites // November Edition

The socks I am choosing each morning are getting thicker and thicker and the heating has been ramped up. Winter is officially here people! Christmas is only 26 more sleeps away!! Holy guacamole. I'M SO EXCITED ! So to end November on a bang, here are my 5 favourite things of this nippy month of November.


Indoor Lanterns The Betty Stamp1. WINTERY LANTERNS

Lanterns aren't just for the outdoors - scatter your front room with these twinkly beautys, turn off all the lights and sit back & unwind. Having candles as the only light source in a room gives such a cosy wintery feel to the house that only a Christmas tree can out-do! I found these gorgeous one's at Graham & Green.






                                                                                                              







Wishbone Necklace The Betty Stamp2.  WISHBONE NECKLACES

I'm a bit of a 'wisher', in that I'll pretty mush wish on anything. Wishbones, 11:11, shooting stars, my eyelashes…other people's eyelashes… So when I saw these delicate wishbone necklaces on Etsy I couldn't resist popping one at the top of my letter to Santa.
Aren't they sweet?

























Alex Grecian The Yard The Betty Stamp3. THE YARD BY ALEX GRECIAN

Get your slipper socks on, make yourself a hot chocolate and get stuck into this Victorian crime novel. I've never really gotten into crime books before, however this Alex Grecian guy has changed my view! I was hooked. I don't think I've ever read a book so quickly, I just needed to know what happened next ! If you like murder mystery solving, jack the ripper -esc, set in Victorian London type books then this one will tick every box. 























4. OVER SIZED SCARVES

When I'm out walking Scout in the baltic weather I prefer to wrap my face in a humungous wooly neck warmer. Be it snoodwrap or scarf, I enjoy being engulfed. At the moment Tartan ones are tickling my fancy, I especially love Zara's collection or the tartan scarves from Gretna Green. You'll be snug as a bug in a rug. 
























5. WHOLESOME COOKING

Nothing beats sitting at the kitchen table with your friends, massive glass of red wine in tow and a steaming hot dish of home cooked yumminess in front of you. I love food…like more than Joey loves food. The first thing I do when I go to my parents house in Somerset is look in the fridge to see what treats my mum's whipped up. With my mum it's usually '50 things you can make with mince meat' - Chilli con carne, Lasagne, Spaghetti Bolognese, Cottage Pie, Shepherds Pie etc- proper comfort food. As the temperature drops outside, the temperature in my kitchen increases, I love making homemade soups at the moment, they warm the cockles perfectly. Also pretty much anything from Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food dishes! But my all time favourite this November was my Goats Cheese & Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagne. Yum yum in my tum, give it a whirl! 


What's been your highlight of this November?





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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

November November A Month To Remember


November has been a month of firsts for me that I'm really proud of, so I hope you don't mind me sharing these with you!

My first full month as a blogger! I am loving every minute of writing this blog. Everything that goes with it- getting my creative juices flowing, thinking up new recipes or ideas for homemade gifts and what not. The reason I wanted to start a blog was to force myself to read more, explore new places, see more theatre, create different meals etc, just put myself in a position whereby I can actually use my brain and take on new information and share it in my own way. It's just so bloomin fun! And I know this may sound sad, but I get so excited when I see I have a comment! It's so rewarding to hear people's feedback and know you're not just typing to open internet air! So thank you to all the lovely people who have taken the time to write to me. 

My first friend getting married! SCARY! How are we at that age yet! I swear I'm still 15 years old. And what's more, she's asked me to sing during the ceremony which will be magical as it's in the same church I was christened in and where I've spent many hours running up and down the aisle in nappies in. It's going to be beautiful. 

My first month in London without my buddy Lauren. Despite the fact we spent last year on opposite sides of the world in two different ships, it's the first time since I moved to London that we haven't been in London together supporting each other through tears and life dilemmas which our crazy career choice likes to throw at us weekly! This may sound dramatic but to me, she's like my right arm, so I would very much like my right arm back again soon. Bring on March!




My first job as an assistant choreographer. Never thought I'd say that. I've been completely out of my comfort zone as I generally only teach singing, so to be left in charge of an entire cast has been eye opening and amazing for my confidence. I love when you think to yourself 'I'll never be able to do that' but when the opportunity arises, you grab it anyway and realise that you'd actually quite like to do it again!

Celebrating my first year with William. We survived living on a ship with each other for 10 months (and let me tell you that is no mean feat!) and coming back home to London with him has just been the best thing that's ever happened to me. I won't go all mushy and tell you all the reasons why he means the world to me, but he really does. So cheers Wilma for putting up with me for a whole year and a bit :)




Well that all got a little mushy and smushy, apologies, maybe it's the Christmassy air getting to me. 


Oh I almost forgot…the first time I saw a man wearing trousers this tight…that's just unacceptable.




Have you had any firsts this month?



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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Bruges, Bikes & Boats!


The best way to spend a winter weekend - in Bruges with your boy and a whole lotta free food on a mini cruise!


Bruges Mini Cruise


I feel like the luckiest duck in the pond. Having spent a day in Bruges last December due to living on a boat and visiting all kinds of incredible places - I fell head over heels in love. 

This Belgium hub of hot dogs, waffles, beer, log fires, zig zag roofs, medieval yet modern architecture and….CHOCOLATE, is the most romantic and cosy place I have ever been. I'm not claiming to be the most well travelled sheep in the herd as we only visited these amazing places for one or a couple of days at a time, but from the moment we stepped off the train into Bruges, I knew it would be one of my faves to come back to in future life. So to have been fortunate enough to have been invited back again this weekend by one of the most special people we met on the boat last year was just so magical.


Bruges Mini Cruise


Saturday//

We boarded the Oriana where Doc- our lovely friend was awaiting our arrival and off we sailed from sunny *cough* Southampton across the English Channel & North Sea to the port of Zeebrugge! A dinner of yummy beer and burgers in the Officer's mess followed by the onboard show and cocktails got our mini adventure off to the perfect start. I was asleep in a little beer and burger coma as soon as my head hit the pillow…party animal…




Sunday//

To say I 'excitedly jumped out of bed' is an understatement here…an adjective more along the lines of - 'leapt', 'bound' 'sprang' out of bed would be more apt. Once all the springing out of bed, showering and breakfasting was done, we disembarked the ship wrapped head to toe in winter woolies and headed to the train station to begin our mini Bruges adventure. Half an hour later we were breathing in the fresh smell of chocolate coated waffles and moules-frites , engulfed in the Bruges Christmas markets and festive spirit of jolly tourists and locals.


Bruges Mini Cruise


After a short wander, we passed a bike shop and couldn't resist. There is truly no better way to see Bruges than on a bike, cycling along the canals and taking in the mismatched buildings. The city has so much character about it. There is not one building the same as the next, or roof the same colour or pattern. It just seems like the happiest, safest, most festive place. I lost count of how many bikes we saw along the paths just left unlocked….where else does that happen!? Certainly not London, it'd be gone before you could say 'moules-frites!'





Bruges Mini Cruise The Betty Stamp

Bruges Mini Cruise The Betty Stamp


We worked up quite an appetite from all the exercise and fresh air, so slowly sauntered back to the centre square where we were spoilt for choice of restaurants with log fires to warm our toes.

We stumbled across a quaint Belgium tea rooms claiming to serve 'The Best Hot Chocolate in Brugge' and it was most certainly the best hot chocolate I'd ever tasted ! Hmm they should consider doing a Brugge hot chocolate tearoom-crawl! Sign me up! Served in what can only be described as a soup-bowl-cum-giant's-mugful of hot milk, into which you popped the choccie nibbles yourself and stirred with a mini whisk provided and watched as your sweet creamy 'soup' turns into chocolatey milk heaven! Pure bliss.




Doc went for the Belgium waffles with cream and sprinkled over the remains of my choccie nibbles - the perfect ingredients to ensure a sugary coated waffle high! Safe to say, we were buzzing.
We strolled back to the station, William -beer in hand, Doc - beers for later in hand and me just pottering along getting snap happy with all the pretty orange leaved trees. It was just perfect.


Bruges Mini Cruise The Betty Stamp

Bruges Mini Cruise The Betty Stamp


I must have been coming down off my sugar high, as I fell straight to sleep when we got back to our cabin at 5pm. My plan was to do the Legs, Bums & Tums class…I made the last 15 minutes of it…so I'm afraid I'll have to do the legs & bums bit another time. It was starting to tip down with rain outside and the ship was starting to gently rock, so gym abandoned, swimming cozzies/trunks donned, we dived straight into the outdoor pool. As you do.

You know that feeling when you're freezing and step into a boiling hot bath?…it was like that but better! With the rain trickling down on us, how could we resist the steaming hot pool. Too tempting. I only wish I'd had some bubble bath!

After a final night of delicious fine-dining and cocktails surrounded by glamourous ball gowns and tuxedoes, we headed for a final night cap before retiring into our jammys (me).

What a perfect weekend. Bruges, I will hopefully see you again very soon !



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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Lasagne


Roasted Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Lasagne The Betty Stamp

Holy guacamole. Not to blow my own trumpet.... (But I'm going to blow it anyway) This lasagne recipe is everything a veggie lasagne recipe should be. Belly warming, creamy yet herby wholesome grub which gives you that feeling of cosy happiness that makes you go mmm.
Like all of my Betty Stamp recipes this one is super easy to make, with cooking & prep time at approximately an hour. Just enough time to stick it in the oven, pop to the pub for a glass of wine and return to the aromas of sage and goats cheese filling your kitchen. What more could you ask for on a Sunday night.


Roasted Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Lasagne The Betty Stamp


What you'll need //

1 Big Red Onion 
2 Butternut Squash
2 Courgettes
4 Cloves Garlic 
Jar of White Sauce (or for homemade recipe see here)
8 Lasagne Sheets
Goats Cheese
Parmesan 
Sage
Salt & Pepper

Serves 3-4 (apart from if you're me & William in which case it serves 2…we ate the entire lasagne)


Roasted Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Lasagne The Betty Stamp

What to do //

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees fan oven.
Lightly drizzle oil on a baking tray and throw on your chopped butternut squash, red onion & garlic. Sprinkle over sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes in the oven. 

Take your roasted butternut squash tray out of the oven and spread half of the contents of the tray on the bottom of your lasagne dish. Add one of the chopped courgettes to this layer and crumble over half the log of goats cheese. Sprinkle over sage to taste.

Layer over half of the lasagne sheets to cover the ingredients and pour over a very thin layer of white sauce. Repeat step 2 & step 3 this time with the rest of the white sauce. Cover with grated parmesan. 

Cook for 45 minutes. Pop next door to the pub for a glass of wine. YUMMY.


Roasted Butternut Squash and Goats Cheese Lasagne The Betty Stamp


This was pure and utter comfort food. So much so that William decided to crush cheese and onion crisps over the top of his….it was actually a revelation. He obviously wants to start a William Stamp ;)


What's your favourite comfort food?

Betty x 




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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies The Betty Stamp

Have you tried The Hummingbird Bakery's  Black Bottom Cupcakes ? If so you'll know where I'm coming from when I say I think it's possibly the best cupcake I've ever put in my mouth! Cupcake + Cheesecake = Cupcake Heaven, so why not do the same with a cookie?!

I should also start by writing a warning on these because they are seriously moreish! These colourful cookies were a perfect Sunday treat to bake, but my problem is I struggled not to eat the entire batch! I definitely got carried away with my cookie milk dunking whilst watching Master Chef, so I'll be heading to the gym in an hour to stop feeling such strong cookie guilt!

What you'll need //

75g Unsalted Butter
75g Brown Sugar
50g Cream Cheese
Couple Drops Vanilla Extract
Pinch Salt
1 Egg
175g Self Raising Flour
100g White Chocolate
Handful Raspberries

Makes approximately 15 cookies.

What to do //

Preheat oven to 180 fan oven. 
Throw into your mixing bowl the butter, sugar & cream cheese (I ran out of brown sugar so added some white!) and cream together. 


White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies The Betty Stamp


Beat in the egg , pinch of salt & vanilla. 


White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies The Betty Stamp


Roughly break up the white chocolate into chunks and crumble this along with the raspberries into the mixture. How good does that look…mmm I'll just try a little taste….



White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies The Betty Stamp


Lightly grease your baking tray and make small cookie shape dollops. Bear in mind these will spread and raise slightly. (My cookie shapes were a little too flat for my liking but I was too excited to eat them to be fussy!) 

Bake for 13-17 minutes depending on how big your cookies are and leave to cool for 30 mins on a cooling tray.



White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies The Betty Stamp


Pour yourself a glass of milk and get dunking :)

If you'd prefer a more festive cookie recipe then give my Pumpkin Choc Chip Cinnamon Cookies a go.  They taste like Christmas!

Betty x

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Liebster Award


Humungous thank you to Ariana for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Visit her blog here 


The Rules:
1. Thank the blog that nominated you, follow them if you'd like, and link them.
2. Post eleven facts about yourself.
3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven question set for the next group of nominees.
4. Choose five to eleven people to nominate and link them on the post.
5. Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag backs!
6. Nominate blogs with under 200 followers.


Ariana's Questions to me

1. What's your favorite thing to do when you're sad?
Call my mum or dad. They're a pair of wise owls.

2. Coffee or tea?
Tea!

3. If you could re-live any day of your life, which would it be?
My wedding day. Even though it hasn't happened yet. I know it will go too fast.

4. What's your favorite thing about the autumn/winter months?
CHRISTMAS & crunchy leaves.

5. When do you feel happiest?
When in Somerset/York with William.

6. What secret talent do you wish you had?
To be fluent in any language

7. All time favorite classic Disney movie?
Peter Pan

8. Early mornings or late nights?
Late nights

9. What's your favorite song to listen to on repeat?
Wouldn't It Be Nice- The Beach Boys

10. Who's your favorite book character?
Hagrid

11. What made you start blogging? 
Wanted to get my creative cogs turning more. 



11 Facts About Myself

1. I'm 23
2. I play the Bassoon
3. My guilty pleasure is Celebrity Juice
4. I love film music
5. I'm allergic to nuts & cats
6. I'm a professional singer/actress/dancer when not blogging
7. I love making spreadsheets
8. If I was an animal I'd chose a pooch
9. If William chose my animal he'd chose a chipmunk because he thinks that's what I look like when I eat.
10. My favourite food is marmite toast
11. I want to live by the sea





Questions to my Nominees

1. Favourite thing about Christmas?
2. If you had to only eat one food/dish forever what would it be?
3. Winter or Summer?
4. Your essential blogging tip for others?
5. If you were an animal which would it be & why?
6. Describe yourself in 3 words
7. Dogs or Cats?
8. Celebrity male crush?
9. Why did you start blogging?
10. What makes you smile most?
11. Best advise you've been given?


Betty x




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Monday, 10 November 2014

How To // Homemade Vanilla Lip Scrub

DIY Vanilla Lip Scrub The Betty Stamp


I love Winter. Every single thing about it. Wearing 5 layers of knitwear so my body's a sauna but my face and toes are freezing regardless of how many pairs of socks I put on, the turning on of the Regent Street lights, stuffing my face with Currywurst at the fireworks, making tummy-warming homemade soups and taking bubble baths to warm my chilly toes. 


But with all these changes of temperature, my skin and lips tend to suffer the consequences. I find myself traipsing the aisles of Boots an abnormal amount in the nippier seasons and overspending on all sorts of different moisturising creams, sugary scrubs and balms. So I thought I'd experiment with making some homemade products out of completely natural ingredients to quench and rehydrate my lips this winter.


Regardless of how much water you drink or Vaseline you smother over your chops, sometimes it's impossible to shift that chapped, dehydrated feeling on our lips. For those of you addicted to the Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub this will be right up your street as I've created my own twist on this handy lip buffer. 

I've chosen to make a vanilla lip scrub but you can substitute the vanilla for whatever flavour that tickles your fancy. Bubble gum, peppermint, strawberry, orange. Go nuts. 

What you'll need//

1 tbsp Brown sugar
1 tbsp Coconut oil or Olive oil
1 tsp Honey
3 drops Vanilla flavouring 
1 small empty tub

Hint: Add 2 drops of red/pink food colouring to give your scrub & lips a hint of colour. But don't go overboard! Or you'll have glowing rouge lips! 


DIY Vanilla Lip Scrub The Betty Stamp


Find a small bowl to mix your ingredients and add the coconut/olive oil, sugar, honey and vanilla. Mush well. Simples.


DIY Vanilla Lip Scrub The Betty Stamp

DIY Vanilla Lip Scrub The Betty Stamp


At first attempt I used soft brown sugar but found the grains weren't big enough so added Demerara sugar and doubled up the other ingredients. So now I have extra for stocking fillers :) 

Let me know which flavour you try :) Happy scrubbing!

Betty x



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Friday, 7 November 2014

Piñacolada Breakfast Smoothie

Pinacolada Breakfast Smoothie The Betty Stamp


I woke up this morning craving some fruity brain food. The perfectly ripe pineapple in my fruit bowl was staring at me, so my initial thought was mmm pineapple juice. But after finding a coconut lime yogurt in my fridge, I couldn't resist throwing some creamy yumminess into the equation too. 

What You'll Need //

Half a pineapple 
1 banana (avoid under ripe bananas as this makes it taste weird)
Big dollop of coconut yogurt
Squidge of lime (leave this out if you've used the Muller hint of lime yog)
Handful of oats
Splash semi skimmed milk
Splash water
Handful of frozen mango or ice cubes


If you'd prefer the non-virgin style of Betty's Piñacolada then add a shot of Malibu (!) and put this song on…


Pinacolada Breakfast Smoothie The Betty Stamp



Pinacolada Breakfast Smoothie The Betty Stamp


Toss all ingredients into a smoothie maker or blender and give it a good blitz until all the ice/mango is gone.


Pinacolada Breakfast Smoothie The Betty Stamp


Et Voilà!


Pinacolada Breakfast Smoothie The Betty Stamp

Pineapple goodness: These beauties are packed full of vitamin C, calcium and manganese to increase bone strength. Chomping on this delicious fruit will help to reduce inflammation and joint pain & is another great way of relieving sugar cravings!


Enjoy your fruit fusion

Betty x


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