Putting Alternative Milks To The Test. And The Winner Is…

I’m a simple girl with simple pleasures. As you all know, I love a good cup of coffee. I’m happy with an Instant (no snobbery here), I’m happy in a coffee shop, but I’m happiest when I’m in the comfort of my own home, cradling a nice hot cup of my own creation.

Milk has always been a foe of mine. I hated it as a child and I still hate it now, except I can make some allowances (like when it’s being made into a mac n’ cheese sauce. So in a vow to be more animal friendly and to find a solution to my life-long hatred of dairy milk, I pulled out all the stops. I tried a different, easy to buy find dairy alternative once a week for five years.

Here are the results:

Almond Milk

First up was almond milk. I’ve bought this on and off for the last few years, but ehh I just can’t get on board with it. It’s a great gateway non-dairy milk if you’re a milk diehard and apparently it is #GoodForYou but it’s just not the milk for me. The taste is okay if you want a sub-par coffee but if you want a tasty drink then move on. I’m not the best with steaming any kind of milk for coffee but almond milk loves to curdle, making it a pretty impossible task.

Coconut Milk

If you want every drink you make to taste like coconut then coconut milk is your pal. I love coconut milk but sometimes you want your coffee to taste like err, coffee and the overpowering coconut flavour is just a little bit too much. Coconut milk is your boy if you’re looking for foam that literally plonks itself on top of your coffee, which I’m going to guess, that’s not what you’re looking for.

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk has a lovely nutty taste but the sad fact is, it’s a curdler. If you don’t mind your coffee looking a little bit weird then by all means, try out Hazelnut milk. It’s not my favourite but coupled with a shot of a vanilla syrup it makes a gorgeous Sunday morning treat drink.

Oat Milk

I love oat milk more than anything else in life. That might sound over the top but right now we have one opened oat milk in the fridge and three in the cupboard just in case there’s some kind of oat milk apocalypse. I am obsessed. It’s been said that oat milk is the closest to dairy milk in taste and in that it’s actually possible to get some kind of latte art out of it.

Soy Milk

It’s the cool kid of alternative milks. If you’re in an independent coffee shop and they only have one kind of alternative milk, you can bet that it’s soy. Soy milk is frothy as hell but I’ve found it super hard to make a nice looking coffee out of it. It has a nice sweet taste but it’s just not the most exciting to make coffee with.

Overall, it’s pretty clear that oat milk is the king of non-dairy milks but there are so many alternatives out there that you’re sure to find one that you like.

Have you switched to non-dairy milk? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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Blogvember Day 19 // The Alchemist Leeds

As it was mine and my Dad’s birthday last week, my parents came to visit me in Leeds. I’d been to The Alchemist once before for cocktails but I’d never eaten there and I’d heard good things so I thought that we should give it a try.

First things first we had a gander at the extensive cocktail menu. My mum had a panic and couldn’t choose one for herself so I chose a French Martini for her, I had The Flavour Changing One and my boyfriend had Key Lime Pie. My dad went for a beer because MANLY MAN.

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The cocktails were amazing. I tried each one of them of course. Half of mine tasted fruity and the bottom half tasted of mint chocolate. Mindblown.

For food I have to say that for a vegetarian there wasn’t loads of choice but there were a few options which is better than lots of restaurants! I had a falafel wrap which is so nice! And my boyfriend had jerk chicken which he said he really enjoyed. This was a big deal because normally he has some gripe when we go out for food!

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After food we all had a coffee and my Mum ordered this really cute mocha.

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The meal, cocktails and coffees were all lovely and I would really recommend The Alchemist any time you want a nice, casual meal out. Also the lighting was really great for selfies, so that’s always a plus!

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Rachel x-x-x

 

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A Cheesy Evening at Craft & Dough Pizza School

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited down to Ecclesall Road to Craft & Dough to try out their new Introduction to Pizza Class.

Upon arrival we were greeted with a drink and led upstairs to where the event was being held.

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I chose this delicious cranberry and lemon mojito.

Making Pizza!

After introducing ourselves to the other attendees (8 in total) we sat down with Jack, our teacher for the evening, and begin to prepare our pizzas. Jack talked us through the process of pizza making as we mixed our yeast, flour, salt and oil into something that resembled a dough.

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Thankfully we then swapped our dough with some that Jack had already made, and boxed our own up to take home for later. Something which my boyfriend and I were very excited about, and then proceeded to have pizza for dinner for the following three days. That’s a win in my book!

After stretching out our dough and making it a little more pizza shaped, it was time for the most exciting part – choosing our toppings!

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I went for a more conservative pizza with a tomato base, carrots, parsnip, LOADS of mozzarella cheese and a small sprinkling of mushrooms and jalepenos. Brandon also chose a tomato base (the other option was beetroot!) and topped his pizza with cheese, pulled pork, parsnips, carrots and nduja sausage.

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After choosing our toppings, our pizzas were cooked by Jack in the outside oven while we sat and sipped cocktails and got to know each other.

Eating Pizza!

img_0415By the time the pizzas came out of the oven they looked almost too good to eat. I said almost.

All in all the evening was loads of fun and I would definitely recommend trying out Craft & Dough’s Introduction To Pizza Class. The class costs £20 per person and includes getting to mix and stretch our your pizza dough to create a fabulous looking and tasting pizza as well as a drink. This would be a great evening to take a few friends or just for yourself and your partner for a date night.

A big thank you to Craft & Dough for this incredible evening!*

Rachel x-x-x

 

 

 

*I was invited to take part in the Craft & Dough event in exchange for a review. All views are my own.

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Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend 24 hours in London thanks to being invited to an engagement party. As well as attending the party I wanted to experience as much as I possibly could in the little time I was there so  a lot of eating, shopping and museum hunting took place.

The morning after the night before called for a really good breakfast. I’d had a lot too many glasses of Aperol Spritz and my feet were in post-heel pain so I didn’t want to walk very far and I just wanted to eat a lot.

After a quick Google search I spotted Natural Kitchen. There are a couple of venues but we hit the Baker Street one.  It looked popular, wasn’t too far away and had an incredible vegetarian selection. You can check out their menu here: Natural Kitchen Menu.

I went for the NK Vegetarian Breakfast. It cost £10 which I did think was a little expensive but when in London, right? However this was an amazing breakfast. See that thing on the plate between the tomato and toast? That’s a big old hunk of halloumi. Hell yes. And that mushroom was cooked in something so heavenly I don’t even know what it was.

I also had a flat white (big surprise lol) which was equally lovely, if a little pricey.

All in all Natural Kitchen is a fabulous brunch spot if you’re looking for somewhere to meet friends or just to treat yourself to some me time coffee while you’re getting some work done. A must-visit restaurant if you’re passing by!

Rachel x-x-x

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When I left home I thought it would be all plain sailing. I imagined myself cooking three course meals for dinner parties, spending Sunday mornings listening to smooth jazz and drinking coffee, and going to bed any time I wanted.

So here are some of my top tips for being a functional adult (although we all know that I don’t always follow these myself.

  1. Plan your food in advance.
    It’s super easy to stop at the shop at the end of the day, pick up a ready meal or a packet of doritos and dip, and call it dinner. (Don’t lie, I know you’ve done that.) But A. It really isn’t healthy. and B. It’s not actually that hard to cook for yourself. I like to plan my recipes on a Sunday and then do my food shop for the week so that I’m not overbuying or impulse buying pizzas. It works out cheaper and it means I don’t have to spend an hour contemplating what I want for dinner.
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  2. Keep your finances in check.
    When you don’t have loads of money flowing in it can be really hard to keep on top of your finances but it’s also really important. I admit that when I want to have a cheeky spend I do sometimes whip out the credit card so I don’t have to deal with the money going out there and then but with two ex-bankers for parents I also like to inform myself about the ins and outs of having a credit card. Credit Card Insider is a really good way to learn about all the different kinds of credit cards and find out which one is a good fit for you if you do want one.
  3. Learn to sleep properly!
    This is a big one for me and one that has taken me many years to perfect since moving out of my parent’s house. Living on your own means you can sleep as much or as little as your job allows. There’s no one to wake you up in the morning (BLISS!) but there’s also no one to suggest that you shouldn’t be having that cup of coffee at 11pm because you won’t sleep lisinopril 10 mg. I try my absolute best to be in bed by 12 if I can and to always be up by 9am at the latest. Anything other than this throws me out for the whole day so be strict on yourself and go to bed!
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  4. Make lists!
    I am a big fan of list writing. If I didn’t have my lists I wouldn’t have a clue what’s happening and when. I like to plan my week so that I know when I’m doing all of those boring household chores. That way, I don’t end up doing them all on a Sunday before the week starts. For me, this means dedicating a specific day to doing laundry, another for hoovering and another for cleaning the bathroom etc. It really works and it means you don’t have to spend the weekend dreading spending Sunday evening doing your chores.
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