Sunday, 17 May 2015


Healing Blueberry Muffins

Time taken: An hour max.
Ingredients: 200g all-purpose wholewheat flour, 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, a pinch of salt, 25g rolled oats, 3 eggs, 75g brown sugar, 2 tablespoons honey, 175g plain yoghurt, 75g coconut oil, & 200g frozen blueberries.

Hi readers,
So, that’s another week gone by. Another week of 2015. Of Spring. Of May. Of our existence. How are you?? How has your week been? Think back to Monday morning, think to now, is life any better? Any worse? Much different? Reflect! Think back on your week and I wonder what you’ve got up to.
For me, this week has been one hell of a week. Definitely! The end of Third Year isn’t an easy nut to crack! This is the week that I’ve launched revision about the Earth’s polar environments. The week that I made it through a Spanish speaking exam without crying. The week that me and some of the geography girls presented to a roomful of people about ice streams in the Antarctic Peninsula. The week that I wrote 3 essays about representations of Africa. In about as many days. It’s been… productive to say the least.
Also, this has been the week that I met up with my friend from Montreal!! Who I haven’t seen in SO LONG. This is one of my fun-loving first year uni flatmates, who moved back to Canada in 2013… and isn’t 2013 so long ago?? It’s forever ago! So this lovely girly made the trip back to Europe this week to catch up with all the friends that she made in her year abroad. Such a big trip for her and we were all so glad to see her! Catching up on 2 years missed is so weird… and also it was like she never left!
My new life goal? Is to get to Canada to pay her a visit. Never forget to appreciate each and every friend you have, wherever they may be in the world. Been meaning to send someone a message or write them a letter? I sayyyy DO IT. Seize the day! Feel the love.
Readers, also (brace yourself for EVEN MORE wisdom)… plan all the trips in the world but try not to trip over yourself. This has been the week that I tripped over. Jogging for the bus to work in Friday morning, I hit the ground. Quite hard. Ripped my tights, bloodied both knees, grazed one hand and one elbow, damaged my baby my iPod, and also spectacularly my new iPhone on my tenth day of owning it. Shit hit the fan, readers. Shit hit the fan.
I think when you’re at your pinnacle of tiredness and stress, and suddenly you find yourself lying on a pavement feeling your pulse in your ruined knees, a small part of you gives in. It does. Well, it did for me. I made it to work for medical treatment (I’m fine). Made it through the day. Through a big meeting. And then, with little left to give in life, retired to a sunny patch of grass with Woody. Met Floss and MissMuddle for cocktails, food, beers, comedy club.
I’m recovered (more or less) and am taking life a little easier. Yesterday, I finally got to have a drink at The Botanist. It did not disappoint. Pressed an owl print at an art open night. Lost this. Learned some stuff about octopuses. Today, I got to go over to my family friends’ house for a lovely lunch. Sat in their conservatory and listened to birdsong. Helped to build a Rice Krispie volcano for a school project. I couldn’t go empty handed so I baked some blueberry muffins to take along. Really healthy ones. Shared these with the flatmates and spread some happiness. Had one myself.
As is QUITE EVIDENT I’ve lost the will with revision. Tuesday’s exam could be a sorry affair. But there’s still tomorrow to turn it around with revision!! And you never know. :) Miracles do happen! How do you feel about the week ahead, readers? Good? Bad? Ugly? Cheer up! One thing I DEFINITELY prescribe to improve even the trickiest of Mondays? A batch of Healing Blueberry Muffins. I promise, these babies will make you feel good outside and in. They’re feelgood-factor-assured. Goodness is guaranteed. Happiness lies just one bake away. Need these in your life?
Here’s how you bake up some smashingly Healing Blueberry Muffins, in just ten easy steps:
1. Heat your oven to 180˚C.
2. Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases.
3. In a mixing bowl, measure out your flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Then, add your oats, eggs and sugar.
5. Scoop your coconut oil into a small bowl and melt in the microwave for a minute.
6. Add your honey, yoghurt and melted coconut oil to the mixing bowl.
7. Take a wooden spoon and mix all the ingredients in your bowl together into a lumpy batter.
8. Pop your frozen blueberries in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of flour. Stir your frozen blueberries around until they’re all coated in flour.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: This is optional, I suppose, the flour just stops them turning everything blue.
9. Fold your floury frozen blueberries gently into the muffin batter. Be careful not to overmix!
10. Spoon your mix evenly between each muffin case (they should all be full to about the top) and pop your muffins in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes! Take them out when they’re risen and golden brown, and when a knife jabbed into the centre of one comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before tucking in!
And hey presto…
One batch of Healing Blueberry Muffins!
This recipe is based upon an American one that I found HERE on a wonderfully titled blog, Not Enough Cinnamon. Go check it out.
So, with brown sugar and honey instead of white sugar, yoghurt and coconut oil instead butter, wholewheat flour instead of white, 1 of your 5-a-day inside… there is NOTHING BAD about these muffins! Literally, there isn’t. And they taste so good! Really moist and wholesome and cakey. I’m more than happy with these muffins. Readers, these muffins are making me happy! They’re healing, I swear, and definitely a recipe I’ll be rolling out in the future.
Plus, this recipe has been an intro for me to the world of frozen blueberries. They’re well cheap! Frozen blueberries, readers, cost really lots less than refrigerated ones and you can store them for any amount of time. They taste just as good as fresh fruit would in your baking. Looks like a blueberry, taste like a blueberry, costs about the same as a raisin! Cue, a running blueberry theme to up and coming ChefBeHere blog posts. Sorry, not sorry!
Readers, whether you may be students, workers, astronauts, superheroes, movie stars, Antarctic explorers… if there’s any part of you that feels right now that you might benefit from a Healing Blueberry Muffin. Or your friends/family/flatmates are in need, maybe? Then GO BAKE. Do not hesitate or delay. Muffins today.

Jog safely,


Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Very Cherry Bliss Balls
Ingredients: 1 mugful of dates, 1 mugful of mixed nuts, & 2 tablespoons each of chia seeds, wheat bran (or oat bran or ground flax seed), cacao powder & coconut oil. Plus, most of a 200g tubful of glacé cherries.
Time taken: A leisurely hour and a half (of revision procrastination).

Hi readers,
A really big hi! It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. 2 weeks I think. So here’s a really big HIII from me. How are you? How have you been for the past 2 weeks?? It’s such a long time! Think about it, readers, what’s the best moment of your past 2 weeks? Can you remember one stand-out event that’s been your fortnight highlight?? Think hard!
Mine is attending the Newcastle Geography Summer Ball
With my beautiful friends <3

I’ve missed blogging very much. Since starting my blog last year I’ve managed to share recipes quite regularly and made the blog part of my routine. And, in a way, it’s been nice to take a break this past fortnight. But I missed getting my apron on and writing this silly blog quite a lot.
SO my ChefBeHere break stemmed largely from the fact that I chucked my phone in the toilet 3 weeks ago and am only just sorting a proper replacement this week. Due to this unfortunate event, I haven’t really been able to take photos in the kitchen, to post here on ChefBeHere. Also, I haven’t been able to browse through apps on my phone for recipe inspiration, and so I haven’t been inspired much this last fortnight. It’s been dreadful.

Sort of as a result, the second reason for my ChefBeHere break is that I’ve cooked NOTHING BLOGGABLE. Literally nothing. I feel like this is due to…
a) Keeping quite busy and so being short on cooking time
b) Getting quite stressed and so being uninterested in food
c) Drinking quite a lot of alcohol and so being unable to digest anything other than carbs
And I just haven’t been my ChefBeHere-ing self. The only kitchen achievement you’ve missed out on seeing, readers, is the spectacular birthday cake that me and Dr Davies threw together for our flatmate Brummanie’s 21st birthday last week. I have to say… QUITE an epic cake.
What you’re looking at here, readers, is a heart-attack certified amount of blue buttercream icing to represent the sky, with a yellow royal icing sunshine design on top. This design was based on the fact that Brummanie travels to the US and Australia this summer to embark upon the best year of her life. So we took that thought and TURNED IT TO ART. Inside, there was then an ombre cake effect. We opted for one chocolate sponge, one syrup sponge, and one banana sponge. And god they tasted good.
But other than that… nothing! So, I think I have some serious blogging to do this May to redeem myself, readers. And I will. Redeem. Myself.
But how about you?! How have you fared in the kitchen this last fortnight? Have there been any culinary adventures?? Any successes? Creations? Disasters? What is it you’ve been cooking? Or baking? Any cracking cakes to share?? Please, fill me in on how you’ve been doing while I’ve been away! I’d love to hear and I'm all ears. :)
SO! Today, readers, I come bearing an update on the Bliss Balls recipe that I introduced back in January. For any of you that missed my original post you can check it out HERE. Basically, Bliss Balls are really popular on health-based eat-clean Instagram accounts. They’re a raw, vegan, gluten-free, superfood snack that you can blend together and eat on-the-go, and they are ENTIRELY natural. So you’re only feeding your body good things.

Bliss Balls have a reputation for being the really indulgent treats that healthy bloggers all snack on when they’re falling off their superfood wagon. Because they taste like THE BOMB. But really, compared with a KitKat Chunky, readers, they aren’t bad for you at all. So I eat them when I’m trying to get back on the wagon and eat healthy foods!!
These are the perfect recipe for you to try out if you’re trying to eat healthily because they’re really good for you. Or if you’re revising / writing essays right now because they’re packed with energy. Or if you’re feeling a bit rubbish, or maybe you have a cold, because these feed your body lots of good things. All the good stuff. :)
(Except that)

Last time I made Bliss Balls I coated them in shredded coconut and goji berries. Both worked really well! This time I went for glacé cherries for a really sweet fruity flavour and, again, they taste supreme. Having no hazelnuts this time, I use peanuts instead – this worked fine. And having no flax seed in the cupboard, I subbed it with wheat bran – also fine.

Sooooo here’s how you rustle up a batch of Very Cherry Bliss Balls, readers, in just ten easy steps…
1. Pour out a mugful of dried dates from their pack (around 200g of dates). Then use a sharp knife to chop your dates into smaller pieces, tossing them back into the mug as you go.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Most dried dates come ready-pitted, but if yours still have their stones in the middle then make sure to remove these as you work through your dates.
2. Fill a mug with mixed nuts. Today, I used almonds and peanuts, but you can use any nuts you like!
3. Scoop 2 tablespoons of coconut oil out of its tub, and melt in the microwave for a minute so that your oil turns from solid to liquid.
4. Tip your nuts into a blender and then add 2 tablespoons of wheat bran (or oat bran or ground flax seed) and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Blend until a flour forms and the nuts have crumbled.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: I had to stop the blender to shake things up a few times, in order to make sure that all the nuts had been blended.
5. Add all your remaining ingredients (dates, coconut oil & cacao powder) and BLEND AGAIN. Within a minute, sticky dough should have formed.
6. Spoon your sticky mess into a big mixing bowl and prepare to get your hands dirty!
7. Use your hands to mould your sticky mix into little balls and place these onto a plate.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: I made 16 bliss balls, each a few bites big. You could make smaller, truffle-sized bliss balls, or maybe bigger egg-sized ones if you like. It’s just personal preference!
8. Wash your hands and then use a sharp knife to chop up your glacé cherries into tiny pieces. This is messy work as they’re as sticky as the bliss balls!
9. One by one, roll your bliss balls around on your cherry-covered chopping board so that they get a very cherry coating!
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Use your fingers to gently press the cherry pieces into your bliss balls, so that they stick well and form a flavoursome coating.
10. Pop your plate of bliss balls into the fridge to chill for at least an hour… then tuck in!
My batch of Very Cherry Bliss Balls :)
Readers, these worked really well! I’m loving the Very Cherry update on Bliss Balls. These, same as the last batch, taste SO CHOCOLATEY AND RICH. It’s like they really shouldn’t be good for you, I don’t know how they are! The cherry sticks really well as the coating, and if you pack yourself up 4 as a snack (you really don’t need more than that) then this batch will last you through 4 long afternoons.
Have I convinced you yet? Of the wonders of Bliss Balls?? Readers, I KNOW you’re curious so JUST GO TRY THEM. All you need is a trip somewhere like Holland & Barrett for the healthy ingredients and then you’re all set. You’ll save money on KitKat Chunkys and you’ll feel really good for it! Promise. :)
Go try Bliss Balls readers and send your thoughts my way. I’ll be back soon this time! And by then, in the UK, we’re going to have a new government. I’m a first-time voter and so I’m quite excited for the big day tomorrow!! Don’t forget to vote. And fingers crossed for the result!

Blend safely,