Laura Sylv

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Thursday, 26 January 2017

Homemade maple syrup and pecan nut granola

So it was my mumma's birthday mid January and due to it having just been Christmas, funds were low. My mum absolutely LOVES granola (and anything cereal based really) so i thought what better way to gift her, than with something home made, with love. She's pretty much addicted when it comes to granola, like seriously, i think she has a problem. Especially pecan nuts, i'll often find her in the kitchen sneaking the nuts from the box (sorry mum)


This recipe and granola in general is super versatile, which is great as people like different things, so you can tailor it to your taste. In mine version, it's really just a simple mix of pecans and walnuts (her two favourites) but you could swap these for the nuts you prefer, like almonds, peanuts or even seeds such as sunflower, flaxseed. If you're going to add dried fruit or sultanas i suggest adding those after baking, purely so you don't overcook/dry them out. The same would go for chocolate chips or curls, you don't want them melting and ruining your granola mix. 


Mixed granola on the baking sheet ready for the oven

January isn't the best month to have a birthday is it, i mean everyones back on their diets after Christmas, people low on cash and the weather is just miserable. Well, this is how my mum feels about it; but to be positive, you could see it as a good thing too. One, we aren't all on diets, so that can go out the window, two; if you are low on cash, do what i've done and use up ingredients from the home to homemake/bake something, or get crafty with bits around the home and hand make a card. Nothing is better than homemade gifts and or cards, it feels much more personal and treasurable. 


*note i'm so terrible with sticking to recipe measurements and often wing it/make my own up and use play it by eye, so the below if a rough guideline, feel free to vary the measurements

Recipe:

225g old fashion rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut oil (i think coconut oil gives it a mellow flavour & it's super healthy) but you can play around with oil according to taste
100/125ml of maple syrup (roughly)
2 Squeezes of runny honey (optional) i added this for further natural sweetness (you could also use golden syrup)
100g pecan nuts (or whatever nuts you like)
50g walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (optional) you could play around here with various spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg etc. Into the wet mixture you could always add a little peanut butter if you're a PB addict or another sort of flavouring....    Options really are endless

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees/Gas mark 2 (if you still have a gas oven like me) i actually played around with temperature, i started out with it quite low, as i wanted it to cook and bind together but i didn't want it to brown straight away

Line a baking tray with parchment paper ready for the granola mix

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and honey in a saucepan over a low heat until melted

Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, mix well until combined and fully distributed 

Tip the mixture onto the baking sheet (you might need two trays, depending on quantity and size) spread out and flatten down, make sure granola is clumped together so it sticks together well

Put into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for around 30 to 40 minutes, check after 20 to see how it's getting on. I did this and decided that i was going to turn the oven up a touch from gas mark 2, to 3 and 10 minutes later i turned it up to 4 just to really finish it off, get it golden brown and to make it heavenly crunchy and crisp to eat

Remove from the oven when you're satisfied with the results and leave to cool on a wire rack until cooled completely before 'smashing' it up, it is important that you do leave it to fully cool or the results wont be as good

Once cooled break up your granola into sized chunks of your choice

Store in an airtight container and use within a month


So there we have it, my super simple, easy, no fuss nutty granola recipe, i hope you enjoy making it just as much as i did. This was my first ever attempt too! Comment below if you want any more info, but also if you decide to make a version of your own, i'd love to see!!

Come back soon for more delicious recipes! 

Laura 

x






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Friday, 13 January 2017

Somewhere at the beginning?

So Friday 13th, what a day to write my first blog post... This is something I have been meaning to do (properly) for some time now, but since graduating from uni, I gave looking and applying for jobs my full focus.
Unsure on how to kick start this blog, I thought best to introduce myself, perhaps what to expect here and my most recent events. So here it goes…

Laura here, although if you follow me on other social media platforms, you’ll probably be more familiar with my username: @laurasylv.
I’m a 20 something, Fashion Design graduate from the north of England, basically and currently trying to find my way in life, realising there isn’t easy route…
This blog will be a mixture of different content, from fashion and lifestyle, to wellbeing and recipe/foodie type posts as well as other bits thrown in too. I didn’t want to keep it purely fashion based like I’d originally planned, but instead share all my passions and interests. I’m also totally open to suggestions on topics, or other things you guys may be interested in knowing more about. (so feel free to leave suggestions)

Since graduating, a lot has happened and a lot hasn’t happened. I knew I was never going to land my dream job straight away, but I thought I’d have gotten there by now…
Since graduating in 2015, I began looking for work straight away, I gave it my full time focus and energy, to the point it was almost a full time job in itself. The fashion industry isn’t an easy one to simply just ‘break in to’. In the space of these past two years, I must have applied for hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, tediously writing out and tailoring those cover letters, in hope for an interview (at least) you’ll find you’ll get ghosted a lot, but I was lucky enough to have a decent number of interviews too. Still, that’s not the ultimate prize, is it?..
It’s such a competitive field as there are so many talented people looking too. You have to be strong enough and have faith that you will get there. Some jobs I actually got, but had to turn down for different reasons and some I regret not taking (massively), but there’s no going back and it’s pointless dwelling on. (although at the time, I massively beat myself up) I also did a couple internships to boost my CV but mainly for my own personal growth and experience within the fashion industry, giving me more insight to other roles.

My most recent experience didn’t end too well, which I’m still picking up the pieces for, but I gave it a shot, it just didn’t work out. I’m glad I took the opportunity, rather than always wonder ‘what if’…
I’d moved down to London after landing a job for what I thought was going to be my big break through into the fashion industry, excited, eager and ready to go. It was a big move and decision to make, but something I knew (or thought) I wanted. It all happened overnight really, I started the job the day after I’d moved in, no time for settling.
After my first day, I was already left feeling unsure and uncertain, which wasn’t exactly a good sign or start to the job. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I thought I’d give it time and at least a chance; after all, it was only my first day…
Cutting to the chase, the job seemed to get worse and the pressure started to build up, I can handle and take on a hell of a lot without complaints, but I knew this was too much for me (or for anyone) to take on. Not only that, I found the entire workplace and environment toxic. I’d worked a year before at a head office in London and they were definitely nothing alike. It got to the point I dreaded going in and cried almost every evening upon finishing. It was getting worse and worse, which had started to impact on my health too, both physically and mentally. I eventually reached a point where I was strong enough to look at myself and say STOP, enough is enough, it couldn’t continue, I put myself first (for once) and removed myself from the job. I’d given it a shot, I gave it my best, I gave it my all. It just wasn’t meant to be. After leaving, I did start to look again, but actually, I questioned whether I wanted to get into the fashion field at all. I’d tried so many times and nothing had seemed to work out, which made me question whether it was actually something I wanted to do, or whether it be I felt obliged because I had gotten a degree in it. Left feeling unmotivated, the Christmas holidays were fast approaching, so what better time to stop the reigns and just take a break.
And that I did so.

So where am I now? ..
The beginning of January I’m still taking that break, I’ve decided to postpone looking for any type of work at the moment until I find my feet again and actually know where I want to head in life, maybe the fashion industry isn’t actually for me, or maybe I’ve just been put off? Maybe blogging and writing is the direction for me, who knows? For now though, I’m going to use this time to heal, find myself, give myself some TLC and just live for the moment. I’ve spent too long creating expectations of myself I just need to sit back and relax a little. As worried as I am regarding my age and not having my ‘dream job’ whatever that may be, I can’t look at the situation like this, there is no time limit and the only rules set are the ones created by me. So for now I’m taking things easy, trying to figure out what I want to do and where I want to head in life.

I don’t even know what this blog post is, it’s more of a ventation of my head, but it’s a start. There will be more creative content and other/better means soon, but for now I’ll leave it here. Please do comment below on what you’d like to see, or what you would like me to cover/review/talk about or discuss.

(please bare in mind, this site is still under construction, whilst i get to grips with it...)

Thank you for reading,


Laura. x
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