Emily Rollings

April Snapshots

BlogEmily Rollings

Strictly speaking this is April and half of May snapshots. I cannot believe how quickly this year is flying by. I've been a bit absent around here recently but I have been fastidiously working on my list, as well as having my hands full with some exciting new happenings (I'll reveal more soon).

So today marks 9 months until my list is due for completion and you might be pleased to hear that last month I found a local farmers market (super super happy about this one), grew a herb trug, visited The Rex cinema (a few times) and have been working on my list of favourite pubs and new coffee table books.

In the non-list variety we also discovered some beautiful countryside on our doorstep (complete with bluebells), a lovely new cafe / brunch place / restaurant and celebrated our wedding anniversary at the beautiful Stoke Place, with heavenly food and giant outdoor chess.

Hope you're all having a super fabulous May and get to spend some time in the sun today.

*images via Instagram

Pinned in October

BlogEmily Rollings

October has gone fast. I almost feel like I blinked and missed it, but apparently I was doing some pinning so it must have happened. In fact, a lot of things have happened this month, the events of which will be revealed over the next few weeks, but I cannot think of a time when a collection of more monumental moments came at once, so I think that must be where October disappeared too. Anyway, outside mega life happenings this is some of the pretty stuff I've been eyeballing. Enjoy!

Images

Glasses from Anthropologie // Nook via Design*Sponge // Hot Chocolate (source not found) // Living Room via Peony and Sage // Madeleines via Gourmet Traveller // Paris (source not found) // Ranunculus via Indulgy // Toy soldier Vogue Korea // Socks and Tea (source not found)

One Year

BlogEmily Rollings

This time a year ago I sat down and posted my first ever blog. I didn't know what to expect, I didn't even really know why I was starting a blog. A year later many things have changed, but the blog still remains.

Re-reading that first blog last night, I was reminded of the quote that inspired my action over a year ago 'If you are lucky enough to find a way of life that you love, you have to find the courage to live it' - John Irving. A year since, I have taken so many more steps towards that life that I love and yet there are still many to take. In the beginning I declared this blog a documentation of my journey, in work and life, and although I have experimented along the way, more than ever, I now realise that intention to be true.

When I posted my list of 100 Things I was overwhelmed by the responses I got from people supporting my goals. I realised the power of this blog to connect me to old friends and new, and that was a revelation I had not expected.

What with the 100 Things, businesses and achieving the 'way of life I love' there is always a lot to look forward to but if this year has taught me anything it's that there will always and never be more to achieve. I hope this next year brings me closer to my tangible goals, whilst reminding me more and more how much every moment is there to be celebrated.

Thank you for coming along for the ride. I cannot say how much it means to me. Let's see what the next year holds.

P.S. I will be putting my list of 100 Things on my new site soon. 7 months to go...

Remember remember

BlogEmily Rollings

Bonfire night is probably my favourite excuse to throw a party. It's the best feeling to bundle up in lots of clothes to go out in the freezing cold and hopefully stand near a blazing fire. Team that with a firework show and you've got a winner. Even as a grown up there's something really magical about fireworks. I'm a massive fan of the humble sparkler and tend to leave the more hard-core pyrotechnics to Dan.

There is also something to be said for the great food traditions of the 5th November; toffee apples, and warming winter cocktails. I always love to throw in a hot dog with lots of onions and ketchup, as I struggle to be near a campfire, of any sorts, without one. Hopefully this mood-board will give you some inspiration for throwing a little get together of your own. Now that it is dark before the work day is even over, its nice to have a little celebration that relies upon the night sky.

Images :: Sparklers // Toffee Apples // Fireworks (source not found) // Winter Cocktails // Bonfire // Sparkler // Cupcakes (source not found) // Hotdog // Toasted marshmallows

30 days of running

BlogEmily Rollings

I have a complicated relationship with running. I've dabbled over the years but never fully committed because in truth, I don't like it. Even as a child, although an excellent sprinter and insanely fit, I hated long-distance running. So I avoided it and played sports instead.

Somehow a life-long aversion to going for a run didn't stop me adding a running-related challenge to my 100 things. I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to make a habit stick so I challenged myself to run every day for 30 days, just to see.

Well this was easy enough to declare over 700 days ago when it seemed like an age until I would actually have to do it. Today marks six months until the final day of my 100 things challenge; the final stretch of these 900 days.  Now with less than 200 days to go, I have to accept it's only going to get harder as winter sets in, so today was the day.

Well Day #1 anyway. Of 30! And my mind is trying to freak me out because it is this ego-mind that created the complication in the first place. The following are a snapshot of the things my ego says to me when running or contemplating running: 'This is really hard', 'Running is really bad for your knees - why do you want to ruin you knees?', 'You hate running', 'You're not good at running', 'Running is boring.' This last one is particularly sneaky because my cunning ego is trying to convince me that running is a waste of my time. This is obviously a lie.

Somehow in a difficult yoga class I can find the strength to challenge my ego and push through the struggle but it has always been that much harder with running. As if the years of a dis-functional relationship with running has instilled a strength in my ego's lies.

So I have committed to at least 30 days, no matter what. My husband who is an excellent (marathon) runner has asked that I consider only running a very limited distance a couple of times a week, to effectively create 'rest' days, which is sensible, but still every day I will fight my ego's chat and prove it wrong. As my beautifully wise yoga teach said 'If you're body needs to stop, it will.' Your ego does not need to be involved and that is what frightens it.

Maybe I'll never be a passionate runner, not everyone is. As long as you are exercising, each to his own right? But I'm hoping if I can persevere for a month that I'll at least give my body a chance to find out if I can actually enjoy making running a part of my routine.

If you're a runner please let me know what you love about your run. I'd love to be inspired. If you're a little bit more like me but you've overcome your doubts and challenges let me know what helped you - I definitely need all the help I can get.

Life-styled :: London Fashion Week

BlogEmily Rollings

This week has seen the fashion world flock to London for Fashion Week. I love this week for some much needed sartorial inspiration amid what is otherwise just a sea of freezing weather and grey skies. I am personally a much bigger fan of the style off the catwalk than on, so I've made sure to include a couple of style icons on arrival amidst the catwalk shots and stunning London locations. Enjoy!

*images //Marcus Tondo// Unknown // Molly SJ Lowe // Vogue Magazine // Unknown // Unknown // Unknown // Vogue Magazine // Molly SJ Lowe

August Snapshots

BlogEmily Rollings

I never know how to feel on this day; the last day of summer, as we teeter on the edge of 'back to school'. I do love summer and definitely miss the long days and not having to wear shoes but honestly a part of me comes alive with the beginning of autumn. I think in part this is because we do autumn fairly well in England. Let's be honest summer can be so hit and miss, but autumn will always deliver crisp mornings, a rainbow of changing leaves and ironically, less rain. There's also the fact that historically I loved back to school time; mostly the stationery and new clothes but also a new year of challenges ahead. This autumn brings with it no small challenges. Alongside growing my blog I have some exciting business developments that I'll be sharing soon.

But for now let me catch you up on one of the most action-packed August's of my life, through some snapshots. We dove into this month with lots of socialising, followed swiftly by a festival and then my sister's unforgettable wedding. This two in one Mauritian-English extravaganza, across four days, with some of the most creative ideas and honestly some of the most spectacular countryside I've ever seen, was special beyond words. We spent the whole week in Sussex, and Dan and I felt so lucky to be so involved in the coming together of these two wonderful families.

The last two weeks has mostly involved resting after all the festivities and catching up on work, when actually what we needed was a holiday. Ha!

After the party that was summer I will be diving into some much needed tidying today, ready for the adventures that the new season will no doubt bring.

Wedding photos by Keeran Beeharee

In Season :: Apples + Apple Crumble Recipe

BlogEmily Rollings

Probably the most down to earth of English fruit and a front-runner for the sweetest, apples are in many ways also the most versatile fruit. In endless varieties, they are one of the only fruits naturally available to us in this country for much of the year, and September is their time.

Alongside the usual round up of my favourite recipes from around the web, I've included a recipe of my own, baked just last night. This particularl one is a vegan and gluten-free take on a total classic and if (like Dan was yesterday) you're thinking, why? Well it is delicious and the healthy nature of this pudding does not compromise the amazing flavours.

So just before we dive into the recipe here are a few apple-filled recipes I'm hoping to try this September. As ever please share any great recipes you find and if you try this recipe let me know how it goes. Happy eating.

• This soup from Joy the Baker sounds like the perfect lunch for blustery autumn days

• An unfussy apple cake from 101 Cookbooks that I'm dying to make

• Canelle et Vanille's ode to the apple is a beautiful read

• Camille's 10 best apple cocktails

RECIPE

Ingredients

1kg apples (about 8) 200g ground almonds 100g coconut oil 1tbsp cinnamon 1tsp nutmeg 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey A pinch of salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c

2. Peel, core and slide apples into small segments

3. Place the apples with a tablespoon of cold water in a lidded pan and cook over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the apples soften slightly

4. Combine the dry crumble ingredients in a bowl

5. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. This will only take a minute as coconut oil has a very low melting point

6. Mix the melted oil in with the dry crumble ingredients to combine and chill for 30 mins.

7. Lay the apples in the base of a pie dish and cover with the crumble topping and bake in the oven for 20 - 30 mins until, golden brown.

In Season :: Kale

BlogEmily Rollings

Kale: superfood, health fad, green leaf? Whatever your opinion on this leaf of choice, one thing is for sure; it's been in the food spotlight of late. I personally only really became aware of its existence about a year ago, although I'm pretty sure it's just the sort of thing my mother would have suggested I eat twenty years ago.

So whilst I am completely convinced of its merits I have one problem: I don't know what to do with it. Let me be honest; I'm not sure I like it. It's chewy and spiky and I don't know how to cook it. For the year I have been consuming it, the only place I have included it is in my daily morning juice. And that's no challenge. Put it in the blender and press the button. So, this January, season of Kale, I will try and find ways to cook (and like kale) in a solid form.

I've searched some of my favourite online culinary haunts and found a real mix of recipes to learn how to cook with kale. I hope these help some other confused cooks out there to make peace with this health gem.

+ a delicious way to cook rice

+ a hearty stew

+ a breakfast, lunch or dinner kale pesto

+ not strictly cooking but yet another way to try kale

+ and finally, why kale is such a super food

*images // Love and Lemons // The Chalkboard Mag // The Chalkboard Mag // My New Roots

In Season :: Leeks

BlogEmily Rollings

Leeks can be an overlooked vegetable, often only eaten as part of a soup made with potato but February sees them come into their own. I definitely don't add them to my shopping basket as much as I could so this month I'm getting them in on the action. Below I've shared a variety of yummy sounding recipes that put leek centre stage. I don't know about you but I love the idea of leek as a pasta alternative and I can recommend from first-hand experience this mushroom, leek, walnut and Roquefort pie by Joanna Weinberg. I've been making it for years and it more than beats any meat pie I've ever had. Enjoy and share any leek recipes that you've tried and loved.

+ Lemony Leeks with Feta and Chickpeas from My New Roots

+ Cauliflower and Leek Soup from Love and Lemons

+ Coconut-Lime 'Pasta' from Mind Body Green

+ Mushroom, leek, walnut and Roquefort pie by Joanna Weinberg

P.S. I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day whatever you do

*image from Love and Lemons

In Season: Red Cabbage

BlogEmily Rollings

We had the first red cabbage of the year in our vegetable box this week. For some reason it really starts to feel like winter is coming when the veggies turn darker. You know the rich reds, deep oranges and moody greens of proper Autumn vegetables. The only thing I know how to do with red cabbage is braise it. It takes some forward planning but is really simple. I'll include the basic recipe below, but you can add a whole host of things. Apple to sweeten it or bacon to give it a salty edge, or both (both would be great). We had ours with lamb and mash; simple but great.

Given that my red cabbage repertoire is so limited I thought I'd see what else you can do with it, in case of more deliveries. Below are some of the most interesting recipes I found. I'm sort of hoping for some red cabbage next week to try these out. Let me know if you try them yourself and, as ever, please send any recipes my way too.

+ Warm Salad from My New Roots.

+ Chutney from Honest Cooking. Could be a great Christmas addition.

+ Talking of festivities. Mulled Cabbage from Able & Cole.

+ Red cabbage and creme fraiche crostini from Sunday Suppers. Enough said.

Simple Braised Cabbage

Ingredients

Red Cabbage 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150°c.

2. Cut a 1kg red cabbage into small shreds and place in a lidded casserole.

3. Add 3 tbsp of red wine vinegar to the casserole and stir through.

4. Put the casserole with lid on in the oven and cook for 2 hours.

Note - Stir the cabbage periodically, to check that it is not catching. If you have a hot oven you might need to reduce the temperature. This is a slow, low heat kind of set up.

Image from Sunday Suppers

In Season :: Plums

BlogEmily Rollings

One of the lovely things about the house I grew up in was that its garden had a number of fruit trees. The apples tried their hardest and the blackberries always put in a good show but nothing could outshine the abundance of the plum tree. Come the middle of August we had plums coming out of our ears. My mother couldn't give them away fast enough and one thing's for sure if you visited us in late August you were leaving with a punnet of plums.

When I think about it I can trace my interest in seasonal food back to this over zealous tree. Although I'm not sure I realised it at the time, there was something deeply comforting about the constancy of that tree. In fact if I had been deposited in that garden with no calendar, or modern time-telling contraption I would have known it was August because of the plums. That is all before the years when I started reading about seasonal eating and nature's clever and subtle signals.

Best of all were the wonderful things our mother made with these gifts from nature - clafoutis, crumbles and my ultimate favourite plum jam. There is something deeply satisfying about making something that can be put into jars and stored for the winter - it feels like a real food investment. Plus if you're into sugar nothing beats it. I still try and make plum jam most years - even though I no longer have the tree. And thus my love of seasonal eating began.

To spread some of my passion for seasonal food, I will try and share some recipes from my favourite food blogs from time to time and hope to inspire you to embrace the season through food and hopefully find some new recipes (and fabulous blogs) along the way.

+ Red velvet plums with pain perdu

+ Plum gallette

+ Honey roasted plums with fresh thyme and greek yoghurt

+ Wild plum jam

*image from Manger

In Season :: Apricots

BlogEmily Rollings

This week our Abel & Cole box included a punnet of delicious apricots. I've never learnt what to do with apricots - except jamming! As our social calendar for the weekend was crammed, I certainly didn't have time to master a new recipes, so I created something somewhat simpler. These baked ginger apricots went down a storm with our guests and took me away from the table for a grand total of two minutes. Perfect entertaining food (recipe below).

As Apricots will be in season for a couple of months I've also picked a few apricot recipes that I'm planning to try out, to give you some extra inspiration. If you do nothing else, turn these gems into jam. In my opinion it is the best; subtle and sweet, the perfect companion to buttery granary toast. If I close my eyes I can still recall my grandmother's perfect apricot jam; the taste of a summer breakfast.

+ Quinoa, apricot and rocket salad from Love and Lemons

+ Chia rhubarb apricot muffins from My New Roots

+ Apricot, blue cheese and honey toast from Naturally Ella

+ Waitrose apricot jam

Baked Ginger Apricots

Ingredients

6 Apricots 2 - 3 tbsp demerara sugar 2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. 2. Half and stone the apricots. 3. Lay in an oven proof dish and coat in the ginger and sugar. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. They should be starting to caramelise but still holding their shape.

Autumn Leaves

BlogEmily Rollings

'Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall' - F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is a sentiment I have always lived by and as the typically balmy September is fading I've started to enjoy the chill in the air this past week. As October approaches it's been great to dig out the wooly socks and I'm not ashamed to admit I've been wearing my fur lined trapper hat in the office (we live in a cold victorian house). Downtown Abbey is back and we've been spending more evenings at home, keeping cosy. Among other activities has been lots of walking. We basically spent the whole of Sunday walking somewhere or other and I've secretly loved my daily runs in the cold air, in particularly the rainy day run. Anyone else love a run in the rain?

On the menu so far this week has been a hearty winter vegetable soup, sausage and mash, and chicken soup. Tomorrow I'm meeting a friend for afternoon tea and a chat and yesterday night I tucked into my first hot chocolate of the season. Can I definitely recommend making your hot chocolates with almond milk. Not for the non-sweet toothed but it beats the hell out of cows milk in my opinion.

As the nights have been drawing in I've found myself getting back to my 100 Things reading list, trying to finish all the books on my shelves and am definitely starting to hanker after some new reads. Any suggestions please share??

Here's to a cool, crisp and picturesque October and in the words of Albert Camus, 'Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.'

On the Menu :: Quinoa and Avocado Salad

BlogEmily Rollings

I try to make my midday meal a relatively quick and healthy one, which very often means a salad, but sometimes it's just one of those days when you need something more substantial. This recipe is perfect for such occasions; packed with goodness and really not very time-consuming. The quinoa takes 15 mins to cook, whilst you chop the avocado, tomatoes, onion and prepare the dressing. For a vegan version you could leave out the feta cheese (the avocado packs enough of punch itself) but if you fancy the full version, I personally love the unique flavour the feta provides.

Ingredients

+ 60g quinoa

+ 360ml cold water

+ 1 avocado

+ 8 cherry tomatoes

+ Half a red onion

+ 100g feta cheese

+ Juice of half a lemon

+ 50ml olive oil

+ pinch of salt

Cover the quinoa in cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins. Chop the avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion and feta, before combining with the cooked quinoa. Mix the lemon juice, oil and salt and stir into the salad to serve.

Life-styled :: January

BlogEmily Rollings

Brrr! It's finally starting to get really cold here. I have an uber cold to match the temperature and am feeling very inspired by anything cosy. Following my recent meditation practice I love the idea of having a dedicated space like this one, complete with fireplace, to practice mindfullness. I am massively coveting a camel coloured snuggly jumper to wear with my daily jeans uniform and I definitely need to ramp up to a proper winter jumper now. I'm also finding myself incredibly drawn to sweet treats of late. Might be something to do with my pledge to cut out processed sugar. I'm now almost two weeks in and weirdly I think I miss the look of them more than the taste. Have I finally shaken the addiction? Anyone with personal experience please let me know your experience of kicking the sweets.

*images // via // via // via //

Colour Crush :: Red, White & Blue

BlogEmily Rollings

I couldn't let today pass without a colourful homage to the 4th of July. Plus, what a heavenly palette. Classic, patriotic and vibrant; red, white and blue just screams tradition and nostalgia for me. From a worn pair of converse to a plate overflowing with berries, I cannot think of these colours without thinking; summer, comfort and classic style. To those of you celebrating today - Happy Independence Day! And wishing you all a wonderfully summery weekend.

Guess what - you can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin

*images // Outfit via // Converse via // Berry Tart via // Lollypops via // Outfit via // Kate Spade bag // Outfit via // Berries via // Flag via //

Colour Crush :: Lemon Yellow

BlogEmily Rollings

This week has been the first in which I've felt a glimmer of hope for Spring's imminent arrival. I know it might be a tad early but it is my very favourite time of the year; so can't come too soon. The sun has been shining a fairly respectable amount amidst the rain, it is light both when I leave for and return from work and there is a vase overflowing with daffodils on my coffee table. Don't bright, glowing daffodils just look like the very sun itself?

*images // Door via // Dress (source unknown) // Lanterns (source unknown) // VW by Luc@ via // Windows via // Poster by yumuklusucurta via  // Lighthouse (source unknown) // Daffodils via // Pears via //

Colour Crush :: Coco & Cream

BlogEmily Rollings

Everything from coffee to toffee to a calming beige always make me feel like curling up in my Uggs with a hot chocolate and a cookie and hiding from the cold world. And as it's definitely turned cold here these past few day (not to mention dark) I've been craving doing just that. I'm even secretly a little bit excited about my first Gingerbread Latte of the year.

There's also something of the luxury about this suite of colours and in case you hadn't noticed I'm a bit of a fan of luxury.

I hope the images above inspire you to treat yourself to some luxurious comfort and in the meantime all that's left is to countdown to Red Cups time.