Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Explore: Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been preaching the picnic gospel a lot lately, and we’re carrying on today. I’m a total girl when it comes to flowers. I find them absolutely beautiful, so if a city’s got a garden, I’m there.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

One of the first places we explored when we moved to Glasgow nearly three years ago now was the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and I assure you, it’s a gem.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In addition to vast grounds with a variety of flowers, trees, and other plants that ramble through the West End, there are two main glass houses full of interesting plants and sculptures. It feels quintessentially Victorian to my American brain.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I love that in one building, you can go from dessert to jungle just by opening a door.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

They also have a tearoom, which I haven’t visited, as well as a cute little coffee stall if you want an ice cream or a hot drink, depending on the weather.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It wasn’t this time, but the Glasgow Botanic Gardens also regularly hosts a book fair, about every other weekend. I’ve gotten some great bargains on used books here.

There are lots of shops and restaurants nearby, so it’s easy enough to get something to go, spread out a blanket under the shade of a large old tree, and enjoy the blooms and sunshine. You can lie back and look through the leaves and imagine ladies strolling through in big hats, long skirts, and high-heeled boots. It’s absolutely lovely.

Glasgow Botanic Garden | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And did I mention it’s free? There’s really no excuse not to visit. If you find yourself in my city, make sure you check it out.

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lemon Polenta Cake

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When we moved into this flat, it was with the promise that we could completely redesign the kitchen. In fact, I believe I was promised the kitchen of my dreams. And while our kitchen is spacious, it is far from dreamlike. We may have the stupidest oven ever sold.

My oven has four stops on the “settings” dial. There’s off, obviously, followed by the first click that turns the oven light off. The oven light does not work (insert face palm emoji). Then there’s the click to turn on the bottom AND the top heating element. And finally top only. Does anyone else see something missing? I can’t turn off my top heating element in my oven. Basically everything I put in there is getting broiled. I have to cook everything on the bottom rack to keep it from over-browning. Often, as is the case with this particular cake. I am not successful.

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And yet I’m sharing it with you today anyway because this blog has always been about finding the awesome in the everyday and making the most of what you got. And I still couldn’t get Geoff to stop eating two pieces a day, so I can confirm that it tasted absolutely amazing.

Lemon Polenta Cake is naturally gluten-free as it’s made with ground almonds and cornmeal. And of course there’s plenty of lemony-ness both in the cake and in the lemon syrup you drown this cake in to make it not just moist but damp for days. You won’t want to stop eating.

Lemon Polenta Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Some people have perfect kitchens. Some people… don’t. We all deserve great cake. This Lemon Polenta Cake is where it’s at. 

Lemon Polenta Cake
Serves 8
Lemon Polenta Cake is soaked in a tangy lemon syrup that makes this gluten-free cake awesome for days.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
for the cake
  1. 200 grams unsalted butter, room temp
  2. 200 grams sugar
  3. 200 grams ground almonds
  4. 100 grams cornmeal
  5. 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 3 eggs
  7. zest of 2 lemons
for the syrup
  1. juice of 2 lemons
  2. 125 grams powdered sugar
for the cake
  1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and grease the sides with butter
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C.
  3. With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine the almonds, cornmeal, and baking powder in a separate bowl, then mix a third of the mixture into the butter and sugar. Add an egg and combine. Continue alternating dry ingredients and eggs until everything is combined.
  5. Finally mix in the lemon zest.
  6. Transfer the batter to your pan and bake for 40 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
for the syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, boil the lemon juice and powdered sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. With a toothpick, prick tiny holes in your cake, then pour the syrup over the cake and let it sink in.
  3. Once cool, remove the collar from your pan. Serve a big wedge and experience pure joy.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Awesome in June

Awesome in June

Awesome in June

Did June even happen? We’ve made it to the end already? Are you sure?

I think this month could be defined by one word: STREEEEESSSSSSSS!!! Is going on vacation even worth it? When you come back you have a million things to do and no money to take your mind off anything. I think the answer is to just stay on vacation forever.

Let’s focus on the awesome. Scotland is having the most beautiful summer for once. We’ve had I think three out of four weeks of warm, dry weather. I think the country doesn’t even know itself anymore. I’m getting to wear all my old favorite clothes, and I’m loving it. I’ll even put up with being a little sweaty for a real life summer.

We’ve been under a self-imposed house arrest to avoid spending money, but the World Cup is keeping my husband well occupied. His team is actually doing well for once, and at the moment, he’s riding high. Have you been watching? 

I’ve had plenty of time to read about other people’s interesting and exciting lives on the internet, and it’s making me pretty hungry. 

Sarah from Broma Bakery made all of the muffins and posted the most hilarious InstaStory about it. I hate fruit and I still want to eat like half of these. She’s beautiful and her work is perfect and it spikes my envy so hard but I can’t look away. (or use commas)

These Toasted S’more Chocolate Ice Cream Cups from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest are hard core, and I want five of them. 

And then there were Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac & Cheese Balls on Bakers Royale, and I died. 

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorites this month were Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms, Passion Fruit Green Tea, and Chicken Parmesan. I could eat all of those right now. Maybe we should make it happen.

I’m determined to turn July around. We’re digging in and doing the work and looking forward to awesome moments. Keep it coming.

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