Saturday, 30 June 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey : My thoughts.

People who adore this book may not wish to read this post as I'm about to tear it to shreds.

So, I received this book for my birthday. It wins the accolade of the worst book I've ever read, and I've read a lot of books. I know it's fiction but it's far too far fetched for my liking. I do not know why it's described as 'liberating' and 'romantic' I find it anything but those things. I do not see what all the fuss is about and I want to cry with rage and sadness that it's the biggest selling paperback of all time. 

I'm not going to mention any positive points on this book because I fail to see any. If you have any, please enlighten me.

Now I'm going to share with you why I think this book deserves the accolade of the worst ever book. 

1. Ana Steele is a 21 year old lady just finishing her degree and EL James paints her as this naive innocent young lady who has never felt any sexual desire, and before she met Christian Grey had never been kissed. She's never even been drunk before. Please. This is ridiculous. How can you reach 21 years old and not know the pangs of sexual desire? It makes no sense and the reader is supposed to believe she can from never been virgin to BDSM in a matter of weeks. Sorry, no.

2. The issues of the sub-conscious and her inner goddess. I think this is the thing I despise most about this book. It's so tedious and repetitive. Also the sub-conscious thing really grinds my gears as technically you're not consciously aware of your subconscious so EL James has got it all wrong! and as for her inner goddess it just grates on me. There are better ways to develop the main characters this approach is boring, inaccurate and plain lazy.

3. I hate Christian Grey. He's a fucking weirdo and Ana should run away. He's a stalker. He turns up unannounced at her workplace. He tracks her down using her mobile at a nightclub to rescue her from Jose after she gets drunk (yawn). He gets mad when Ana decides to go visit her Mum and Ana forgets to tell Christian, and then follows her out to Georgia. He buys her a new laptop, a phone (he needs to get hold of her at all times!) and a car. He's trying to coerce her into a type of relationship she clearly does not want. This kind of behaviour is controlling and could be potentially abusive. It would make me run for the hills. Presumably cause Ana is naive she does not see it this way, or she just wants him for his money, I dunno. This makes me wonder how this book is described as a romantic novel as I don't see it that way. He clearly does not respect Ana and this is my idea of relationship hell

4. The sex is so far fetched. Ana can orgasm at the click of a finger apparently. This does not happen in real life ever. Seemingly Ana gets turned on by everything Christian does and anything he does to her gives her an orgasm. I'm sorry, but without wanting to get too personal this does not happen in real life, especially if you're as inexperienced as Ana. I'd have a lot more respect for EL James if she'd have portrayed a more three-dimensional and realistic journey to sexual fulfilment. Unless of course Ana is actually super-human and can orgasm at the drop of a hat, if so, lucky her! 

5. E L James is incapable of writing vagina. I hate the way she calls Ana's VAGINA the sex, or refers to it as there. Please. If Ana is incapable of calling her vagina a vagina then she's not mature enough to have sex. Simple.

6. I hate Christian's fucking grey trousers, that hang off the hips in that way. What way, E L James?! This crops up too many times in the book and is boring and yet more proof the author is a lazy writer. 

7. I have no respect for Ana Steele. Throughout this book she questions whether or not she wants to embark on a BDSM relationship with Christian. The fact she's questioning it so many times suggests not. The stupid fool probably naively thinks she can change him. Have more self respect for yourself!! Also Christian shouldn't be pressurising her into it by buying her stuff and making her feel obliged to do this BDSM. This is why I'm confused as to why this makes this novel liberating and romantic. It's the compete fucking opposite. Jeez.

8. Literally nothing happens in this book. It doesn't. Her & Christian have sex a few times. That's it. 

I could rant all day about how much I hate this book. It's an insult to books and should never have been published. Needless to say, I can't be arsed reading the rest of the trilogy, because frankly, I don't hate myself. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Coffee and Walnut cake!

Today I made a coffee and walnut cake, at the request of my brother. I love coffee cake. I'm one of those weird people who hate to drink coffee but I love it in puddings and truffles! 

Here's the recipe. I've just had a slice with a cup of tea and it's delicious.

(For the cake)
225g self raising flour (sieved)
4 large free range eggs, beaten. Allow these to come to room temperature before you use 'em. 
225g golden caster sugar
60 ml espresso coffee ( made as strong as you dare)
225g unsalted butter. Let this soften before you use it. 
140g walnut halves. Bash these up by putting them in a food bag ans whacking them with a rolling pin. Very therapeutic!

For the coffee butter cream

125g unsalted butter, really soft!
150g icing sugar
60ml espresso coffee

To decorate: walnut halves


1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 140 fan. Line two round baking tins. 
2.Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy
3. Slowly add the beaten eggs and combine well. Please be slow, you don't want to split the mixture.
4. Add the espresso and the walnuts and mix well.
5. Add the flour, folding in gently.
6. Put half of the mixture in each of your two baking tins.
7. Bake on the middle shelf for around 25-30 minutes, or until you can stick a knife in the centre and it comes out clean.
8. Place on a wire rack & allow to cool.

For the  butter cream.....

1. Beat vigorously together the icing sugar, butter and the espresso liquid. You want it to be thick and smooth so add some more icing sugar if you think you need it.
2. Spread a good generous dollop of butter cream on one of the sponges and spread it well. 
3. Sandwich the other sponge on top of the other.
4. Spread the rest of the butter cream on the top of the cake. I like to leave it looking a bit rough. , but that's just my personal preference.
5. Finally decorate with the walnut halves, arrange them in a circle! 

...and relax. Obviously I think this cake is best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea!


Monday, 25 June 2012

Chilli Con Quorn - My Mumma's recipe! 

All credit goes to my darling Mumma for this recipe. Basically, she started making this years ago when I was a vegetarian. (Now I just eat poultry) It's a real winner in our family, we all love it. The fact that it's made with quorn makes it super healthy which is good! 

(Please ignore my rubbish photo taking skills!)

Ingredients.(Serves 4) 

1 bag of Quorn. 
1tbsp sunflower oil
 2 cloves garlic, crushed.
1 large onion, diced.
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped 
1 small tin of kidney beans, drained
1 tbsp chilli (obviously adjust this to how hot you like it!)
1  400g tin chopped tomatoes 
squeeze tomato purée
vegetable gravy granules to thicken.


1. Add tbsp sunflower oil to a medium saucepan and heat. Add the diced onions and fry gently for 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to brown.
2. Add the garlic cloves and fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the peppers and cook for a few minutes. Add the chilli powder and tomato purée. Stir.
3. Add the quorn mince and tinned tomatoes and half a tin of water  Bring to the boil and let simmer gently for fifteen minutes.
4. Add the kidney beans to the chilli and cook through for a few minutes.
5. If it needs it, thicken with a tablespoon of vegetable gravy granules, make it as thick as you like!
6. Serve when ready! I like to serve it with wholegrain rice, but you can serve it with garlic bread, jacket potatoes or chips. You can also add a dollop of sour cream/grating of cheese! 



Thursday, 21 June 2012

Anyone for afternoon tea?

So, I turned 23 on 15th June. My other half, Adam thought it would be lovely to treat me to afternoon tea at The London Carriage works in Liverpool, as I've been wanting to go there for years. To me, afternoon tea sounds heavenly as I love drinking tea and eating cake. (who doesn't?!)

We went for afternoon tea on a Sunday afternoon. The London Carriage works serves afternoon tea daily between 3pm-5pm. We were shown to some massive plush sofas and were offered tea or coffee.  I decided to break away from my usual English breakfast tea and opted for Early Grey. The Mr decided on Darjeeling. I'm so glad I chose Earl Grey as I love the zesty tastes and it's definitely a firm favourite of mine now! 

So, we ordered afternoon tea for two, we chose a selection because we like to try lots of different things, but you can opt for a particular sandwich if you prefer. I was amazed when this three tier cake stand arrived at our table! (sorry for the poor quality of the photo, my camera is rubbish, but you get the idea!)

The sandwiches were smoked salmon which pleased me greatly as smoked salmon is easily my favourite food! There was also cheese and coleslaw and egg and water cress. As you'd expect, the sandwiches were served with their crusts removed and cut into delightful finger sized sandwiches! Very elegant! I enjoyed all three of the sandwiches, the smoked salmon was my favourite though. Mr W enjoyed the cheese and coleslaw the best. You could definitely tell that the coleslaw was home made as it tasted really fresh! My only slight criticism with the sandwiches was that there was 9 sandwiches. As we'd ordered it for two people, I'd have liked it if we could have shared the sandwiches out equally.

Next up were the scones. These were absolutely gorgeous! I'm certain they were made with clotted cream as they were very rich. They were served with jam and butter (we thought it was clotted cream!) I could not fault these scones they were buttery and slightly crumbly as I think a good scone should be. If I was to be ULTRA picky, I'd say I'd have liked them to be served with clotted cream not butter, but that's just personal preference.

Finally it was onto the final plate, the adorable little selection of cakes! I thought these were too cute to eat but I still ate them! There were mini lemon tarts, fruit bread and chocolate brownie. There was two of each obviously. I thought it was particularly lovely that the lemon tarts were still warm from the oven! Honestly, the pastry was perfect. Slightly crispy yet rich. It was definitely my favourite of the trio, but then again, lemon desserts are always a winner with me! The fruit bread was probably the weakest of the three, there wasn't enough flavour for me. However, the chocolate brownie was probably one of the best I've eaten, it was really how a brownie should be. Chocolatey, gooey on the indside and crispy on the top. Fabulous. 

In sum, I really enjoyed my afternoon tea at the London Carriageworks, it was very relaxing and was lovely to do something different for a change. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who loves tea and cake, you won't be disappointed. In fact, I left there inspired, I'd love to have a go at creating my own little afternoon tea in my flat. So watch this space. 

Thanks to my lovely boyfriend for treating me to a wonderful afternoon. 


I suppose I should introduce myself.


As my first ever blog post, I guess it makes sense to do an introduction post. I'm Amy and I've just recently turned 23. I've debated with myself about starting a blog for a while now! I guess the thing stopping me was that I think my life is rather uninteresting , but I thought there's nothing to be lost by having a go is there? 

My main focus on my blog will probably be my culinary/sewing creations. I'd also like to blog about places that I've eaten out at. (Yes, my dream job would be to be a restaurant reviewer!)  I love food, everyone who knows me knows I love my food. I enjoy cooking and baking too. Asian food is probably my favourite as I find it so exciting and every time you cook an Asian dish the flavour is unique! 

I will also post occasionally about disability. I have a condition called left hemiplegia, which is a form of cerebral palsy and it affects the whole of the left side of my body. I have no use of my left hand and walking is difficult and tiresome. (people with cerebral palsy use 5x more energy than 'normal' people moving around) It also has unseen effects, like my visual perception abilities are compromised. I'm currently waiting on an operation to help correct deformity in my leg. I will blog about my condition and treatment if only cause it might help someone out there. 

I'm currently studying for an Masters degree in Health Psychology. I do enjoy the world of academia, however I have no idea what I want to do with my life. 

Anyway, I think I've rambled on enough for now!