Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Easy Nutella and Strawberry Macarons

Hello I hope you are all enjoying the autumn weather or spring weather if you're on the opposite side of the world, can't say I am! I want summer back... Anyway after the randomly rainy weather forced me inside yesterday I figured what better way to spend the day than making macarons? I'm a sucker for macarons and this recipe is super easy and creates a light and tasty treat. 
If you decide to try it out and post it on Instagram or Twitter make sure to tag me. My username for both is @rach_oneill 

Ingredients |

 3 egg whites

 2 cups of icing sugar 
 1 cup of almond flour/meal
 1/4 cup of caster sugar 
 1/4 tsp of cream of tarter
 Food colouring (optional)

Method |

~ Sift icing sugar and almond flour into a medium bowl then mix.

~ Whisk eggs in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

~ Add cream of tarter to egg mix and combine.

~ Add caster sugar to egg mix and combine.

~ If you wish to add food colouring add the desired colour to the egg mix and combine.

~ Fold the egg mix into the flour mix until completely incorporated.

~ Pipe the mixture onto a baking tray in circles about 3cm in diameter.

~ Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius

~ Bang the trays slightly to let any air bubbles come to the surface, then let macarons stand for 30 minutes. This allows the macrons to become firmer before baking them. You should be able to touch the macarons without the mix sticking to you.

~ Transfer macron shells to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shells harden.

~ Pour two teaspoons of cool water under the baking paper and allow the macaron shells to stand for about 5 mins before transferring them to a cooling rack. The cool water creates steam that helps unstick the macrons from the paper.

~ Fill the macrons with nutella and fresh strawberries just before serving. The strawberries can make the macron go soggy if left in the macaron too long.

Best of luck in your baking endeavours! 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Yummy Raspberry and Avocado Smoothie!

I'm about to tell you something that may cause you to dislike me. I don't like eggs. Or cereal. Or milk. Or toast really. I've never liked these foods and ever since I was little I've hated breakfast, mainly because there weren't any options that I liked, so I normally just stuck with a piece of fruit or something. Anyway over the last year or so I've gotten really into having yogurt based meals for breakky and naturally that means a lot of smoothies. 

This one is my absolute favourite as it's super yummy, sweet and fills me up! Oh and it's really quick to make. 
You might be put off by the avocado bit (I was), but you seriously can't taste it. It just takes off some of the sweetness of the raspberries, and adds a bit of extra goodness to the smoothie.

Here is the recipe!

1 cup of frozen raspberries (or fresh if you have a cup to spare!)
1/2 cup of cold water
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt (full fat or light, whatever you like x)
1/2 an avocado

Blend all these ingredients together for about 30 seconds and there you have it! 
If you want to you can of course add some ice or some chia seeds to it, but it's entirely up to you. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Monthly Books | Febuary

Ok, so a bit of a delayed reaction with this post. I totally didn't put two and two together when March came around. But anyway here is my update on the books I read this month and I thought that this month instead of just writing my rating of the book I would give you a bit of my opinion. Anyway, here are the books I read last month! x

1 | The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6) by Richelle Mead- 3.7/5 stars 

The Ruby Circle wasn't my favourite book in the Bloodlines, but don't let the cover dissuade you from reading it. I was a little but disappointed with it, not necessarily with the conclusion to the series, but how it got there. I think was a bit rushed. It needed more plot, more banter and just to slow down a little. I also found it difficult telling the difference between Sydney and Adrian and because of this I got a bit confused from time to time. I did however love the roles of all the secondary characters, particularly Rose, Dimitri and and Eddie. There were some pretty badass action scenes, and I really did love the epilogue. I think if it wasn't the last in the series I would've given it a 4.

2 | Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) by Melina Marchetta- 4.5/5 stars

This book. Oh my. I just can't. It's so good. There are just so many amazing characters and such interesting relationships. I still love Finnikin the most but I think I enjoyed this book more. Which really annoyed me because I didn't want to love it more than Finnikin of the Rock. Damn you Melina Marchetta! The plot was compelling and so heartbreaking at times. I loved the sub plots and Lucian and Phaedra are my favourite Lumaterian (you even a word bro?) couple, even though they aren't main characters I just loved their story so much. The Lunaterian world is very well developed and so brutally honest at times. I also really enjoyed watching how characters naturally developed and matured over the course of the book. It's just so amazing!

3 | Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3) by Melina Marchetta- 5/5 stars

Quintana is bat shit cray and I love it! Melina Marchetta's characters are so believable because they are riddled with flaws and yet even when they are insane and annoying she somehow makes me love, sympathise and relate to them. The last book in the series was filled with twists and turns, heart stopping moments and I was honestly stressed at certain points in the book, like for real. I loved the conclusion to the book and Finn's role in the last scene (seriously, it's so good). So much happened in these books, but it was so well orchestrated that it never felt rushed and yet there was never a dull moment. Sorry for fangirling over these books, they're just so flipping good! 

4 | Half-Blood, Pure and Deity (Covenant Series, #1, 2 & 3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout- 3/5

I know I'm cheating putting these three books together. But there isn't much I want to say about them. They're kind of like a not so good rip off of Vampire Academy with a bit of Percy Jackson mythology. They begin with a similar plot to the Vampire Academy series and eventually it becomes its own story, but honestly its only an average series. It's something thats good for when you don't want to think too much and still be mildly entertained. The characters are interesting enough, but they're pretty cliched, as is the love triangle (oops spoiler, not really though it was pretty obvious). But it's fun to read, kinda like the fantasy book version of reality TV. It's also great if you're experiencing Vampire Academey/Bloodlines withdrawals. 


Hope you check out some of these books/series if you haven't picked them up yet. Let me know what you recommend I read next in the comments.
Rachael xx