What to Cook?

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had an amazing Christmas break doing what ever you’ve been doing with family and friends! Battling the sales discounts! Consuming all the discounted chocolate with your hearts content. With the holiday season coming to a close I hope you have all received much fun and love over the break. Never the less; If, like myself all you have gained over the break is weight, I have come up with some simple and easy meals you can make.


Spaghetti Bolognese

Speaking from experience, this meal is something quick and easy to prepare. Try something new for a change! What I really enjoy doing is putting my headphones in, listening to music and cooking in my own little world. Just remember to keep an eye out for the food burning. Also, speaking from experience the smoke alarm is very sensitive. There is nothing worse than trying to find shoes and a coat whilst it’s pouring rain or gale force winds and you have to walk to your safety point. Avoid setting the smoke alarm off at all cost. It is officially the walk of shame!


chicken stir fry

This meal works hand in hand with the massive wok you brought with you to uni. If you don’t have one id personally drop everything you have planned and make it your number one priority. They are worth every penny. £21.00


Tomato and Basil Soup

It’s also a good idea to know how to make a nice soup when you’re at university. With freshers being a big part of the first week experience, freshers flu creeps up on you rather quick. To counter act those awful couple of days, theres nothing better than a home made soup to make you feel that little less like death.


instantnoodlesThe last meal I could suggest from my food arsenal would have to be the one and only, flavoursome, reasonably priced instant noodles. There will come a time where the end of the month is too far aw
ay and the next student loan seems like only a forgotten dream! You will be either in the library or working on that assignment and have very little time to make the exciting meals above and so the only logical meal to make is… Instant noodles. I strongly believe instant noodles or insta for short are the meaning of university! For 15 pence a packet and noodles that cook in 2 minutes f
lat, who could turn down such an offer?

Food, glorious food…

So coming to uni is great… until you realise you aren’t Gordon Ramsey or your mum. If you’re like me and can cook a little (but are limited by choice), then you’re doing better than half your roommates, who can’t even make scrambled eggs.

When coming to uni, cooking can be a challenge. Some days you don’t mind eating dry pasta and cheese, or beans on toast… but other days all you want is home cooking or a takeaway. So here’s a few suggestions:

1. If you’re not a great cook and hate the majority of meals you make, then it might be worth your while buying ready meals, or trying simple recipes. I’d opt for beans on toast if it all goes wrong.

2. As much as it is annoying having to buy loads of ingredients to make a dish, rather than buy a simple ready meal… in the long run it will work out cheaper (and if you’re constantly trying to lose weight like me, a lot healthier too).

3. Why not treat yourself every month? Promise yourself that you will put a few pounds a side every week and then either go out for a meal or order a takeaway in. This way all those boiled eggs and saving money will be worth it.

I’m sure after a few weeks you’ll have your eating habits sorted and if not don’t worry… Christmas break is just around the corner!

Until next time…:)

Food and Drink in Ormskirk

Well this is it. This weekend I will be moving out of Ormskirk…forever. I’m absolutely gutted about it. I thought for this blog I’d make myself cry some more and tell you about some of my favourite food and drink places in Ormskirk and why I’m going to miss it so much.

I’ve said already that Ormskirk is quiet, and compared to a lot of places it most definitely is, but it is also full of hidden gems that make it truly unique and exciting. There’s lots of independent cafes, bars and restaurants, and pretty much every single one that I’ve tried has been amazing. But there’s a few places I’d totally recommend visiting. First is Bramley’s, a cafe that I discovered in my first year. It serves the best iced coffee in the entire world and nothing else will ever compare. Next is Blue Juice and Java, which I only tried for the first time this year, but I’ve been there so many times since, always for their absolutely delicious, freshly-made juices that come in little jars with handles. It’s a healthy alternative  for when you fancy going out for a drink with friends, and the staff there are so lovely.

Juice at Blue Juice and Java
Juice at Blue Juice and Java

Restaurant wise my number one pick is Salt and Liquor, because the food there is absolutely incredible. It’s also my favourite bar in Ormskirk because their cocktails are so yummy but also reasonably priced. I really wish I could pack it up and take it home with me. I’m also going to really miss the SU bar on campus, because the food there is really good despite the cheap price (I find myself constantly craving the nachos!) and the drinks are cheap too! The Fat Olive has also been a favourite of mine since first year, and I’ve been way more times than I care to admit because of the great deals they offer on such high quality food.

Next week when you hear for me I will be back down South (much to my despair!) but I will continue to write some (probably very sad) blogs about reasons why I miss Ormskirk and why Edge Hill is the most amazing university in the world whilst I try and come to terms with the fact that I have to be a proper adult now.

Birthday Celebrations!!!

Last weekend I celebrated my 21st birthday (and am now feeling extremely old!). I had the most amazing day, which I spent in the local area, trying out some new places and some old favourites. It was really busy but I enjoyed every minute.

In the morning (after I was spoilt rotten with presents!) I went into Liverpool with my housemates. We went to Central Perk (yes – like in Friends!) on Bold Street. I normally visit the Hatton Garden Central Perk, which looks so much like the set of Friends it’s insane! The Bold Street cafe wasn’t as accurate, but it was more spacious which was good because there was quite a few of us. I love that they have episodes of Friends playing all day, and I was even given my coffee for free as a special birthday treat which was really nice!

Us at Central Perk!
Us at Central Perk!

After Central Perk we went to YO! Sushi in Liverpool One. I’ve only had sushi once before, and it’s definitely an acquired taste, but I really enjoyed it and I just love the feel of the restaurant with all the dishes going round on a conveyer belt!

YO! Sushi
YO! Sushi

We then came back to Ormskirk where I relaxed for a bit before my parents arrived. It was great to see them, especially after they travelled for eight hours to get here! That evening, I went out to dinner with my family to Salt and Liquor in Ormskirk. I have to say, the food is absolutely amazing and I wholeheartedly recommend it if you want some seriously tasty food.  Also, the service was really great!

Salt and Liquor
Salt and Liquor

After we’d eaten,  my friends joined us in Salt and Liquor for some cocktails, which we indulged in for the rest of the evening, getting rather merry and having the best time!

Our Lovely Campus

The last few weeks or so the weather really has been picking up and I’m so excited because the sunshine makes our lovely campus look so beautiful and gives students more opportunities to enjoy it. When I first visited Edge Hill, the campus is really one of the main things that won me over. It’s a lot greener than most of the other universities I visited, despite being only a short distance from the town and the city of Liverpool.

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One of my favourite things about the camps is the mixture of modern and old buildings. Whilst the Main Building is there from when the university first opened, there are also constantly new buildings popping up that are always really creatively designed. The campus is totally worth a visit if you want to admire some good architecture.

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Another great thing is how close everything is on campus. Everyone that I’ve had come to visit Edge Hill has commented on how big the campus is and, although it can feel that way at first, it actually only takes about five minutes to walk from one side of campus to the other. There are buildings everywhere which really adds to the campus feel. When I visited my brother at his university I sometimes had to walk through fields to get between university buildings – great if you want a nice country walk but, as a lazy student who likes to sleep in as late as possible, I definitely prefer having everything close together!

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A handy thing about campus is the shops, bars and food outlets. There’s a fair few to choose from and they’re dotted all about campus so you’re never too far from one if you’ve only got a quick break. All the food is a really nice quality and not too expensive either. There’s also lots of good social spots around campus where you can sit and eat with friends, or just to stop and have a coffee and a chat.

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Move over Gordon Ramsay! Joke, we need help?!

Cooking in uni, well, where do I begin?

During freshers week you’ll be loving the freedom, meeting new people and eating what you want when you want. For most, cooking will be a new experience. For me, I was worried that I wouldn’t be ready, but after a few hours with my flatmates it became apparent that I had the most cooking knowledge (I was just as shocked as my mum when I told her).

Simple things like how to work the oven and to actually read the packet for temperatures and times seemed like common-sense to me, but I live with people who go for the stick it in and guess approach. How no one has suffered from food poisoning I’ll never know! At the beginning of the year I was adventurous, making lasagnes, trying my mums recipes and buying loads of ingredients. I wish I could be like that again, less money and healthier. Towards the end of the year it was more about having quick meals or anything to line the stomach for a night out. Ready meals, tinned soup and pot-noodles became popular favourites because they were easy to clean up and quick.

We tried flat meals, but apart from my lasagne, I couldn’t take more than a spoonful of someone’s food (sorry guys, but it’s the truth).

So yeah, learn how to do simple things like boil an egg and cook pasta. Get used to eating tinned food (beans, soup, anything Heinz), but most importantly learn to appreciate your family’s cooking before you come. After Christmas break, you’ll get what I mean!

Until next time…:)

What I really like about the Hub

One idea we’ve been given to write about in either March or April is student life at Edge Hill. This can include stuff about societies, facilities on campus we really like, the edge hill campus in general etc. So, I thought I’d talk about the hub. Finished the year before I started Edge Hill, it is one of the places I visit most often on campus aside from my departmental building (Social and Psychological Sciences building) and the Library. I’ve talked about the hub before in another blog post (http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2014/03/16/and-the-award-for-my-favourite-place-to-on-campus-goes-to/) where I named it as my favourite place on campus and this is still the case today.

What do I like about it so much? Well it’s diverse range of facilities. It boasts a shop on the ground floor (McColls) that sells a range of things, there are two eateries (Sages and Grab ‘N’ Go), there’s places you can sit and eat or just socialize with your friends, there’s computers up and downstairs, cash machines outside McColls and throughout the week there are stalls selling different things. My favourite of these is the Cakeman of Cottage Cakes who sells the most amazing cakes I have ever tasted (seriously if you end up coming to Edge Hill in University visit him when he’s in, you will definitely not regret it) and I even won one once (I had a choice of either three pieces of tray bake cakes or one big one – I opted for one big one because my family were coming up to visit me and take me out for my dad’s birthday).

The hub is also where I eat my lunch (I mainly bring my own in to help me save money) and spend some time chilling out when I’m not in the library or in lectures.

So that’s the hub in a nutshell, and if anyone wants to know anything more about student life at Edge Hill then feel free to drop me a comment.

The Hub

2663255_8ba965e3Located in the centre of campus is the very modern-looking Hub. It’s always busy as it is the main place students use for socialising during the day because.  There’s lots of seats, sofas and tables and there are also a few eating places, including a sandwich bar and a place that serves hot food. If you live in catered halls you can buy your meals from here.

There is also a Starbucks for all your coffee needs, and McColls which is useful for picking up any last minute groceries, although it’s not as cheap as the things you find in supermarkets. As well as this, most days during the week there are also little stalls selling things, ranging from clothes to sweets (‘Cake Man’ from Cottage Cakes has become a campus legend!).  Next to McColls you can find a couple of ATMs, should you need to withdraw any money.

UniversityOfEgdeHillMain

Upstairs in the Hub is home to the SU, where you can find the President and Vice Presidents should you ever need to get in touch with them about anything. There’s also lots of computers upstairs which are always available to use, and printing from them is free.  Additionally there are a few booths which can be used for group work or even for watching a movie. There’s one giant screen which is used to broadcast big television events, such as the Superbowl, or you can just play Xbox on it!

I went to the Hub a lot during my first year as it was somewhere to relax at weekends with friends. Recently I’ve been using it as somewhere to meet friends before lectures and often grab a bite to eat there when I’m on campus. The thing I love about going in there is that, because it’s such a popular spot, I always bump in to someone I know and it’s such a nice place to stop and chat.

Cooking as a Student

Students have this bad reputation of being terrible cooks and living off tins of beans. Whilst I love beans and ready meals as much as the next person, I’d also consider myself as a student who loves to cook. The stereotype of students living off beans comes from two places: Firstly, beans are quick/easy and students are busy/lazy and secondly because beans are cheap and students have to learn to live economically. I always try to find time to cook and also consider myself a bit of a bargain hunter. I also often cook with other people to keep costs down. Below are my meals over the past few days:

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese 

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Pretty quick to cook once you’ve got the hang of it. I also always cook a few portions, so that I don’t have to cook for the next few days!

Veggie Korma and Homemade Naan Bread

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My first attempt at making naan! This took quite a while, but was really nice and there was leftovers for the next night.

Pizza

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I really enjoy making pizza and it’s a quick (although not particularly healthy) option.

Kale Chips

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Kale chips are my new favourite healthy snack! I simply cut up kale, put it on a tray, brush it with oil and then season with salt, paprika and chili. Then I stick it in the oven for seven minutes and it’s perfect and crispy!

Oreo Cheesecake 

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After deciding that the amount that I spend on cheesecake was just too high I thought that I better take matters into my own hands. Cue lots of oreo-eating. I did eventually make this though, and it couldn’t have turned out better.

So, who said that students don’t cook?

Being a self-catered student.

One thing that’s been new for me this year is making my own meals for myself.Last year I had my mid-day and evening meals made for me by the Edge Hill University catering staff (I did my own thing at breakfast time), but this year all of my daily meals have been down to me and it’s something I’ve enjoyed getting used to. Some of the things I like to cook for myself (and have gotten good at) include

  • Chili Con Carnie
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise (although I tend to serve it with penne pasta rather than spaghetti)
  • Jacket potato
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Poached Eggs
  • Spicy tomato chicken (this is a recipe I’ve modified from a cook book I own)
  • Stir Fry (something I started learning to cook before the Easter break)

Whilst it can be tempting and easier to opt for takeaways and/or ready meals, it is far healthier for me to do my own thing and this is a skill which will be useful throughout the rest of my life. If anyone would like any cooking tips or recipes then feel free to comment below 🙂