Passion Mango Smoothie


since my last blog post here on ALA, i have experienced moments of resounding joy and crushing grief. between getting into the university course of my dreams and having to say goodbye to my loved pa, these past few weeks have  managed to stretch and stress my emotional capacity and range beyond belief. as the hot 'straya summer sets in, i have spent many an hour in front of the tv in the air conditioning watching final half of gilmore girls and contemplating how the rest of my 2018 might look and feel. it was between the bleeding-together-epidosdes of fast talking and coffee drinking that i settled into the idea of taking each day as it comes. but onto happier things. 

in the time between the end of school and the start of uni i have bought an inordinate amount of plants. house plants specifically. in the plant family there have been three additions this week alone! i think i may be becoming one of those ladies who fills the void with house plants and cats. cats!!!! i'm toying with the idea of adopting one and i think it might be the best idea since sliced bread. i just keep having visions of cat cuddles and playing with toys and patting and grooming and small little meows. there's even a name shortlist sitting in my phone. 

there has also been a surge in my d.i.y. adventures. it started with the park bench re-vamp that is now sitting in our backyard and yesterday expanded to the bedside table up-do using the cheapest ikea side tables i could find and some shiny white enamel paint. they look pretty spiffy alongside the house plants if i say so myself. 

so that's pretty much a re-cap of january. it was a tricky month so i don't really want to say much, but at least with uni starting, among other things, i'm sure february and it's 28 days will be a little more glorious. 


passion mango smoothie 

{serves two}


2 mango cheeks

5 tb lemon lime gelato

2 tb passion fruit pulp

1/2 c cubed ice 

2 tb cold water

1 tsp lime juice 

lime wheels (for garnish)



smoothie time!

use the glass trick to cut two cheeks off one mango! chuck all the ingredients into a small blender. the passion fruit pulp can be canned or from real fruit (if canned, make sure it's real fruit based).

blend until smooth and split into two glasses. add lime wheels for fancy garnish.

- jess! 

Chocolate Bark

christmas gift idea #1

blogmas day three! how exciting! i have to say i'm really enjoying this whole blogging everyday thing, it's fun (and delicious, cos there's more food around!). this morning i shamefully slept in unitl noon (!!) which grandma over here never does! i'm normally up by nine at the latest! to be fair, we were out late last night (happy 21st emma!) but all day i was walking around with a body clock that was a solid 4 hours behind. and i was hungry at the wrong times too! urgh. never again. 

i've taken to trolling the internet given the lack of urgent schoolwork that needs doing and it has been occurring to me how much time i spend working on school and academic stuff. sometimes i just sit in my bedroom and look around  thinking ok so what now?!?!??!!  to combat this issue, i wrote a list of things i should do to fill my apparent large amount of spare time. 

1. go to ikea, i need boring things like shelves and picture frames. possibly a mirror too. 

2. go to the gym more.

3. make music playlists for when i go to the gym more. find some funky tunes to pump iron to. 

4. re-watch dr strange and fantastic beasts and where to find them in cinemas again because they were so good the first time nothing will ever compare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. if i'm really missing schoolwork i should probs get onto writing my extended essay, 4000 words won't write themselves sadly.....

6. go see the christmas windows in the city! 

7. make a gingerbread model of my newly renovated house and garden 

8. buy a christmas tree for upstairs and decorate it to christmas music!! 

9. buy some plants for the pretty pots i bought that are sitting empty in the corner of my room. 

10.  investigate where (if?) i can get (and then proceed to acquire) a christmas-themed-captain-america onesie  

so there's ten things i'll be doing over the next few days. now onto the edible gifts: chocolate bark! i love edible gifts, so i've decided to give you a few ideas over the course of blogmas! here's number one :)

 this bark is pretty simple. you melt a chocolate of choice and top it with whatever festive and delicious things you like! go nuts! add your own touch! i'm giving these away as christmas gifts to people (because everybody likes edible gifts, it's an easy win) but you could totally make these for a nice desert option or a sneaky snack while watching gilmore girls. also, it should be noted that whilst ALA is normally completely dairy free, this recipe isn't technically (because, like i said, these are going to other homes), but a df version is super easy: just replace all chocolate with greater than 80% dark and you're good to go!

chocolate bark



 dark chocolate

white chocolate 



 uncrystalised ginger

 mixed nuts

candy canes

silver balls

goji berries & other dried fruits


melt the dark chocolate and spread it evenly onto a tray lined with baking paper. top the chocolate with toppings of choice (i used a mix of almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, goji berries, candy canes, uncrystalised ginger and white and silver sprinkles).  drizzle some melted white chocolate over the top if desired, or marble it into the dark chocolate base (another idea, is to use a white chocolate base with dark chocolate drizzle). 

wait for the chocolate bark to set, before using a sharp knife to cut the bark into wedges. store the chopped bark in plastic containers until ready for gifting.

to make the present packages, wrap 4-5 pieces in cellophane and tie together with some twine. store in the fridge until it's giving time! 

- jess :D

Vegan Chocolate Popsicles #PopsicleWeek

what an exciting week!! bloggers all over the world come together to make popsicles of all different colours and flavours!! (want the list? check this link here!). i'm so into it.

it feels very counter intuitive to be eating popsicles at this time of year, especially since it's been grey and gloomy all week. but - exciting times ahead because school holidays started this weekend!!  yay! i can't tell you how long i have waited for this mid-year break, i think most students would tell you that they are so exhausted right now *slurps tea* tea has caffeine in it right?!?!?

i thought that this week i'd give you all a bit of an insight into how i plan make a recipe here on ALA, so i'm gonna walk you through the popsicle planning process! 

it began with planning a breakfast berry option - before remembering how annoying getting frozen berries to not taste icy after re-freezing them is *gah*, so in the trash that idea went. i then moved onto contemplating a raspberry lemonade situation, before remembering the great raspberry lemonade overdose of 2009 and thinking that i've still got at least 2 years before i don't break into a sweat at the thought of the stuff. 

to be honest i had to have a sit down and a cup of tea after that. 

i then proceeded to imagine a tea flavoured one - perhaps matcha? - but then remembered that i've used matcha here, here and here already on ALA. the thought of green matcha led me to green smoothies and hey how about a green smoothie popsicle! i asked a friend at this point (i thought i'd made serious ground here) and she said jess people h8 green smoothies in liquid form and now you want to feed them frozen kale and spinach on a stick????????.

so i made another cup of tea. 

a few slurps, some marshmallows and an episode of OINTB later, i decided to ditch the greens and stick with the smoothie idea. how about oats, peanut butter and banana? apple and raspberry? orange and strawberries? mixed berries? no...wait....i got it: a vegan breakfasty popsicle. oats, banana, cacao and some awesome chocolate almond milk with some cheeky goji berries. 

so i tested it. and tested it. and tested it some more. and finally we have a beautiful recipe for you all!!! yay!! 

these popsicles are vegan, but i used honey to sweeten as a personal preference. agave syrup is a great substitute if it suits you better. if goji berries aren't your thing, some awesome alternatives are nuts (peanuts! hazelnuts! almonds!), seeds (chia seeds! sesame seeds! pumpkin seeds!), coconut and dried raspberries.  

vegan chocolate popsicles

{makes 4 popsicles}


1/4 c rolled oats

2 ripe bananas

1 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder

1 tb  honey (or agave syrup for vegan option)

100 ml chocolate almond milk

50g dark chocoalte, melted

1 tb goji berries (optional)


blend all the ingredients together until smooth. divide the mix evenly between the popsicle mold containers. add the sticks to each popsicle and freeze for between  1 1/2 - 2 hours.

remove the popsicles from the molds and drizzle them with chocolate. sprinkle some goji berries if desired and serve immediately. 

want more popsicle goodness? use the hashtag #popsicleweek on your socials to find other cool bloggers and recipes! 

thanks to almond breeze for sending me the milk used in this post. find the link here!