Friday, 14 November 2014

A Student's Guide to keeping warm

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

It's mid November.... November! I remember it being August not too long ago, and today I have woken up to grey and rainy skies, lovely. 
Don't get me wrong, I adore autumn and winter (just check out my Pinterest boards.. do you see ones for summer?). But, let me tell you, student houses are so cold. Gone is the warmness of your own home or halls and what you are left with is an extremely cold place where you can see your own breath. 

So here are my top tips for staying warm, without increasing your gas bill... 

1. Layer up
I cannot stress this enough. If that includes multiple socks, jumpers, blankets whilst you are working, do it. Even fingerless gloves help for those late night essay writing sessions. I am even considering buying thermals... yes, I know.

2. Candles
Ah the humble candle. I am not talking about tea lights here, I am talking about big fat candles that may actually let off a little bit of heat. Also, they are pretty good too at having a cheeky hand warm up. 

3. Tea, tea and lots of tea
... Just because

4. Stay in the kitchen after you have cooked
Make sure you have a lovely warm meal at the end of the day. Shut the kitchen door whilst you are cooking and absorb that heat. Once you have finished cooking, turn off the oven and leave it open ever so slightly. The kitchen will stay toasty for a while, so bring your work into the kitchen for a little extra warm time. 

5. Blanket under duvet
I am sure that if you are living in a cold house, you will definitely have a blanket (if not... get one!). I have a fluffy throw from BHS from a few years ago, but Primark do some lovely ones. Okay, so here is the real game changer, sleep with your blanket under the duvet instead of over. Who knew? 

6. Electric Heater
So this is maybe defeating the point a little bit with saving money on bills, but, it is so useful when there are only a few of you in and want a quick warm up. Because my room is so small, it only takes 5 minutes to heat it up for a little moment of bliss. 

7. If all else fails, head onto campus
Especially if you have a day off and you are home freezing, head onto campus, or alternatively a coffee shop or library and heat up for a while whilst doing some work. 

Enjoy the cold! 


Monday, 3 November 2014

University Food Diary + Bacofoil Student Cook 2014 Competition!

Cooking at university is hard... I mean super hard. Trying to think of meals every night usually ends up with a trip to Iceland and chucking in some chicken and chips into the oven, with a few vegetables if you are lucky.

This week, I am trying to be a lot more healthy, cooking more nutritious meals and making sure that I have vegetables with every meal.

So I thought I would do a food diary for the week, to maybe give you some inspiration of food to cook. Yes, some nights are worse than others, but I'm a university student, what can you expect?

Day 1 - Peri Peri chicken, Mediterranean rice and Corn on the Cob
Okay, so tonight was one of those nights where I put stuff in the oven, but the corn on the cob was so good!

Day 2 - Chilli con carne and rice
To save time, I used a jar sauce, but I did put in extra tomatoes and peppers to make me feel like I am eating a little healthier!

Day 3 - Chilli con carne and rice (leftovers) 
Leftovers are your best friend, especially if you can't be bothered to cook. Just chuck it in the microwave and eat. Yum!

Day 4 -  Vegetable and chicken curry and rice
Instead of just using chicken in my curry, I now add carrots and peppers and a few tomatoes just to bulk it out a little bit and add some vegetables.

Day 5 - Pizza 
So I couldn't really keep up the somewhat nutritious meals and had to have pizza that night. Admittedly, I had to take dinner on campus with me, and cold pizza is just perfect!

Day 6 - Chicken Fajitas
An essential student dish. I must have fajitas about once a week. Add it extra peppers, an onion and tomatoes with the chicken and spice, add some salsa (or make or own if you are extra fancy) and serve with tortilla wraps. Perfect!

Day 7 - Vegetable and chicken curry and rice
Again, another leftover dish!

So there is my typical evening meals for a week at university. I pretty much live off curry most of the time, but I am feeling so much better with putting (or hiding!) vegetables in my dishes. 

Think you can do better than I can? 

I was recently contacted by Bacofoil who have launched their 'Student Cook of the Year' competition where students can win £1000 worth of groceries! 

If you are a budding chef, check out their website for all the details and send your dishes on twitter using the hashtag #BacofoilStudentCook before the 31st December 2014!

Time permitting, I will be hopefully putting up some recipes or even entering my own dish into the student cook of the year! 

Happy Cooking! 


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