Sweet potato and chorizo pitta pizza

I’ve been doing a bit of cooking recently and thought I’d share some of my recipes. As much as I love spending time cooking proper meals, sometimes there just isn’t the time (or energy). So this is a quick and easy meal with gorgeous flavours that are perfect for winter.

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First, dice a sweet potato. The smaller you dice, the quicker you eat… Drizzle with oil and roast at 200C for 10-15 mins.

Throw chopped cherry tomatoes, some sliced chorizo, half a chopped chilli (less if you want it less hot), garlic (I use pre-crushed stuff from a tube), and a squiggle of tomato purée into a pan with some oil. I added a dash of BBQ sauce and some Cajun spices at this point, but this is optional.

Once the tomatoes have softened, add in the roasted sweet potato. While the flavours mix, warm up a pitta bread.

Top your pitta with a handful of rocket, then the sweet potato & chorizo mix. Scatter with crumbled feta. Enjoy!

The sweet potato and chorizo go beautifully together with a bit of spice, the rocket adds a crisp peppery note, and the creamy feta takes the edge off. Such a great combo!

The longest part is waiting for the sweet potato to roast. You could microwave the diced potato to move things along quicker, but I like to think taking the longer route gives a warmer flavour.

What are your favourite quick recipes?

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My new Filofax – Part 2!

So the Metropol went back to the Filofax factory for a bit of a re-fit. Having had a feel of it, I decided I wasn’t much of a fan of the PU cover. Clearly I went the wrong way in having gone from a gorgeous leather Chameleon down to the most basic of binders, but it just felt a bit cheap. I ummed and aaahed over splashing out on a Finsbury, and then had some crazy credit-card bending thoughts of an Osterley, but in the end the bank account won and I ordered another non-leather binder. 

Slimline also seemed a no-go for me – it was just a downsize too far! This time, it was all about the compact. The tab closure makes me feel far more comfortable about throwing it in my handbag as well! 

So, what did I get? 

 

An aqua Saffiano! I’d been a bit dismissive of these when they first came out, but after much trawling through websites I found it was growing on me. The textured cover – it’s kind of rough cross-hatching – gives it a bit of character and a nice feel, and the aqua colour isn’t quite as bright as it could be. 

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Next to my Chameleon, there’s not much in the depth overall, even though the ring size difference is pretty big – 15mm vs 23mm! There’s some space saved on the width as with the slimline, and the pen sits nicely outside the pages within the closure tab. There’s a smidgen less height too. I think the main difference is in how much you can stuff it – the tab on the personal is much longer than the compact one. 

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I was too excited to move in to take pictures of it empty, but there’s a flap pocket on the left, with two card holder slots, and a vertical pocket on the right. It comes with 1-6 coloured dividers, a 2014 Wo2P diary, and a whole variety of to-do/contacts/lined/squared/plain paper. 

 

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The one negative is that it’s still not perfect. The rings are neatly aligned with no gaps, but the buttons to open them are rattly. But I don’t have time (or immediate funds) for a third filofax delivery in the space of a week, so rattly ring tabs it is. 

Update: This has been in my drafts box for yonks. The ring tabs still rattle, but it’s not an issue – the rings are perfect *touch wood* and it’s being well used! I’ll post soon to show how I’m using it in 2014…

A new Filofax… maybe.

As much as I love my personal Chameleon, I decided it was time for a change. It’s a bit chunky and I don’t really need everything I’m carting around in it, so I figured downsizing was the way to go. I ordered a slimline Metropol in the Filofax autumn sale, and was so excited for it to arrive! 

 

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Eee! 

 

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Oh. I’m fairly sure PU/ pleather isn’t supposed to look like that. There’s no actual indentation in it, just a weird scratch-like mark. Oh well… Function first, right? 

 

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Maybe not. That was after opening and closing the rings once. And with only 11mm rings, that’s a huge percentage of ring space that’s actually a gap. 

Let’s look on the bright side though. I got a slimline to test out…. 

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It’s definitely so much slimmer than the personal. And narrower too – I never realised how much space the rings actually take up in a personal, and the curve of them means there tends to be a big space between the edge of the page and the edge of the binder. No such wasting of space in the slimline! 

Those rings are teeny! That’s the 2014 WO1P and 2013 WO2P inserts you can see there – they came with the organiser. I was pretty keen to try out WO1P, but in the five language variety that seems standard with all Filo organisers there was literally a single line available for me to write on per day. 

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Inside, there’s four vertical card slots, and a neat filofax monogrammed print. 

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The back cover is a single vertical pocket – I was looking forward to slotting a thin notebook (probably a Muji passport book!!) in there. 

I’m sure you can guess that with those ring issues and the cover damage I was never going to keep it. Thank goodness for free returns! And the lovely ladies at Filofax customer services kept an eye out for my replacement order and refunded me the cost of express delivery so that I could have a replacement in my hands just one working day later – not sure this is standard practice, but I’m moving to a place where I can’t get post in a week’s time, so it was pretty urgent! 

I’ll show you what I got in the Metropol’s place in another post…. 

Body Shop Pore Minimiser

(I realise posting from an airport and then vanishing for weeks can give an odd impression… Would have quite liked a long holiday, but was in fact busy with job applications and long shifts!)

So, I interrupt my leave of absence because I found a product that I literally want to shout from the rooftops about.

My make up lasts me til about lunchtime on a good day, at which point it just goes oily, shiny and generally falls off my face. My evening make up removers don’t get much to work with. I’ve tried powder, mattifying creams, and a glut of different foundations. All shiny.

Until now… Body Shop’s Tea Tree Pore Minimiser has mattifying pretty low down its list of objectives, but I can’t say anything about its pore altering qualities on a first go, so let’s talk matte. It’s a star. No drying, no flaking, and definitely no oiliness. My skin feels soft without being shiny, and it lasted a good twelve hours. Utter miracle!
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I’ve even tried it with a dewy foundation from Clinique and it keeps the shine to a gentle glow rather than a slick.

It comes in a 30ml tube which is almost flat, so it slips into an already overstuffed make up bag easily. And it’s only £7.50 at full price, or if you use this week’s 40% off code from VoucherCodes, a mere £4.50!

Now, downsides. It does smell of tea tree. If you’ve ever had to use anti dandruff shampoo, it’ll bring back all of those lovely memories. And it’s green, but that doesn’t affect your skin tone at all.

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I’m really happy to have found the perfect primer! Have you tried it? Any thoughts?

Happy! Trying out airport blogging

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Only one thing making me super happy this week… I’m off to see the boyfriend! Blogging from the airport lounge at the moment, having mostly resisted the allure of the (non) duty free shop. I’ve got my Aldo Ullum bag as carry on luggage, and nothing in the hold – this is quite the minimalist weekend. Only a short flight (about an hour once we’re in the air), so just my iPod for company and some water and a tinted lip balm to keep me hydrated. I know it’s a skin care crime to wear a full face of makeup on a plane, but the Gatwick express toilets are no place for hasty mascara application, so plane face it is!

What are you up to this weekend?

Weekly Wishlist #4 – Unicorns!

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I named my blog Inner Unicorn because I’m still a little bit gutted to discover that unicorns apparently don’t exist*. So my inner unicorn is that bit of me that still believes in the stuff of daydreams. And I’m a big fan of mystical ponies. The problem with being 24 (I had to think for a second before writing an actual number there, most of the time I think I’m still about 19) is that wearing glittery, pink, unicorn stuff in public is a bit embarrassing.

So, these are my top unicorn themed things to be seen in/with, whilst still being totally cool.

*Don’t get me started on narwhals. I don’t understand how they get to be real but unicorns don’t. Someone needs to have a word with Noah about what kind of bizarre criteria he had for letting things on his boat.

1. This sweater is perfect for the colder weather that’s arriving (boo!!) and grey marl is just so cosy. And the print is awesome; it’s really sad when someone steals your unicorn, but at least you can advertise for its return right on your front. The sweater is Zoe Karssen at Matches and it’s a little bit pricy, but totally worth it.

2. Unicorns make great pets. This one is doing a fab job of holding someone’s rings. How useful would a unicorn be in your house? Get this one from Urban Outfitters (US site only – come on UK UO, give us more unicorns!).

3. We all know unicorns are magical, so let them fix your war wounds too. These plasters are funky and totally beat a bit of elastoplast for fantasy style. The place I found them from is out of stock, but it seems that you can get them from Amazon at the moment instead.

4. I can’t believe I’m endorsing something by Tulisa, but it seems she beat me to this ‘unicorns are cool’ thing and created a whole range of clothes for Bank with a unicorn print. And it’s not as trashy as you might expect… This is a nice demure pink skater skirt with a navy blue unicorn print to set you apart from the standard navy on pink polka dots I’ve been seeing everywhere. And it’s in the sale right now at only £10!

5. Topshop’s nail polish in ‘Unicorn’ is a cutesy pink with a proper glitter kick to it. I’d love to use this as an accent nail alongside something a little more grown up looking! Some reviews have suggested it’s more of a top coat than an actual pink base though, so I’d layer it over black to let the glitter show up better.

6. For more of a classy take on the unicorn theme, Pandora have created a gorgeous charm in sterling silver with a 14ct gold horn. This is definitely going on my Christmas list! Yes, I said the C word – it’s autumn, I can totally say it now.

What do you think to this week’s wishlist?

Packing for a weekend away

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I’m off to London for the weekend to meet up with the boyfriend and some friends for a bit of an adventure! This means a short hop with Easyjet and their joyful baggage restrictions… So I thought I’d show you my carry-on bag and it’s contents.

As you all know, cabin liquid limits are 10 items, 100ml or less, in a clear plastic bag. I have no idea how some bloggers spent the summer promoting plastic bags with designs on, I’m sure I’ve seen them be binned at airports… Either way, my bag is a John Frieda one that came with a mini shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray. They’re long gone now, but the bag lives on! It’s sturdy enough to survive the dozen or so flights a year that I do at the moment.

These are my ten items… (I took the pictures and then changed my mind slightly, sorry! The Clarins toner is staying home and my Collection concealer and LOreal foundation are going in its place.)

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From left to right: toothpaste, contact lens solution & case, Original Source mint shower gel (decanted), Rituals shampoo & conditioner (taken from the last hotel I stayed in!), Garnier Moisture Match, Clarins Daily Energising Cleanser, and LOreal micellar solution (decanted).

Seeing as I’m only away for two nights, I’ve tried to limit the size of each item, but I’ve done a week on cabin size stuff quite easily before. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to decant what you have, rather than buying travel size bottles of each product. Boots sell 50ml and 100ml bottles for just over £1 each, in a variety of screw cap/ squeezy/ spray types. I’m using a spray bottle for micellar solution and, if I didn’t have hotel miniatures, my shampoo and conditioner would be in 50ml screw cap bottles. I usually add coloured washi tape to each bottle so I don’t get them muddled up.

I have cheated slightly on the 10 items restriction; there’s perfume at my boyfriend’s house that I can pick up on the way from the airport to our little holiday place, but if I didn’t have that option I’d go for a dry perfume stick like this.

I always see loads of people try to put their entire make up collection in the toiletries bag, but it really is just liquids – my test is that if I can tip the open container upside down and nothing oozes out, it’s not a liquid, so mascara and lip balm are both going in my handbag. I’m not certain that airport security agrees with me, but they’ve not challenged it yet!

What do you take away with you for short trips? Any tips for packing super light?