Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Playing Hostess - Healthy Treats and Birthday Fun

One of the best things about having your own place is the ability to play hostess. While I'm a long way from dinner party material I've come far from the days when all I could serve up was gin and crisps (ok, I do occasionally still do this but sometimes that's all you really need).

I've recently got into baking of sorts but living alone means I can really do without having freshly baked cake to tempt me and it's more fun and challenging to get creative and make healthy things. That way if I eat some of the mix or have leftovers I don't feel guilty about eating them. And, even better, some of my carnivorous friends have willingly tried and actually enjoyed my efforts. All of these recipes are super easy to make and the flapjack and shortbread are so healthy you can eat them for breakfast! They're also all vegan and free from refined sugar so are good for your conscience and your energy levels.

Tropical cereal bars made with this recipe from Poppy's blog. I swapped the dried mango for dried apricot as I had some leftover from my Florette delivery. These are so easy to make and are really filling - I used these silver trays from Waitrose to bake them in as it makes them portable for picnics and (lazy I know) means less washing up.

I love goji berries and did a search for recipes containing them on the BBC website - this one by Hemsley + Hemsley sounded perfect! This fudge is super rich and chocolatey and the goji berries give it a great chewy texture. It needs to be kept in the fridge to stop it melting - it's great as an after dinner mini dessert with a cup of tea.

Millionaire's shortbread used to be one of my favourite treats when I was at school - I still enjoy it occasionally now but the sugary shortbread and caramel always makes me feel tired and sluggish. Laura's raw recipe has been on my list to make for a while and this didn't disappoint. I swapped almonds for walnuts (thanks, again, Florette!) and rather than a chocolate layer just did a drizzle as I find that raw chocolate is quite intense! The caramel layer is amazing - lucuma powder is such an awesome ingredient. I used to be sceptical when hearing that it tasted "like caramel" but it really does!

Some of my best blogger girls and I had a little picnic as my early birthday celebration. The British weather made it an indoor picnic but these awesome Tiger plates and cups kept the summer vibe. Aisling made some amazingly gooey courgette brownies and we might have had a few store-bought treats, too! Mrs Crimbles coconut macarons are so good!

My lovely early birthday gifts from Aisling, Hannah, Tanya, Sarah, Sarah and Sophie. I now have a Cumberbatch badge to go with my top!

What are your favourite guest-pleasing treats?



  1. I'm excited for Tiger opening near me!

    I need to start making healthier sweet treats- I'm far too reliant on sugar.

  2. God you're so good. I'm terrible at baking or making anything! I enjoy cooking but when it comes to baking or making healthy snacks...errrr nope.

  3. I love the Hemsley sisters and their book is full of fab recipes. I like the look of that goji one you tried, I think I'm going to have to check that fudge recipe out!

  4. moving away from gin and crisps seems like a necessary move for me - courgette brownies sound amazing!

  5. The goji berry fudge looks so good. Hope you had a great birthday x


  6. YOM, that goji berry fudge looks amazing Lily!! So sad I missed out this year, looks like you ladies had an amazing time as always. I got so confused and thought it was already September for a minute hahaha~


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