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Thursday 21 May 2009

Go shorty, it's ya birthday! We gonna party like it's ya birthday.....

Firstly and most importantly - today is my Mum's birthday. Happy birthday Mummy Alien!!! These are the cupcakes I made her to celebrate (last week as she's currently on holiday). They are VCTOtW gingerbread cupcakes (SOOO GOOD!!) with a lemon buttercream. The buttercream wasn't as pretty as I'd hoped because I used unrefined icing sugar in a bid to be a bit healthier, which gives the icing a sort of grey tone that even a buttload of yellow food colouring can't cover. Ah well, they tasted good!

It also turns out that last week was a workmate's birthday but none of us knew as he was working abroad at the time. So I offered to make him a belated chocolate cake and here it is. It is a double batch of VCTOtW (best book ever???) basic chocolate, with chocolate buttercream and a lot of blueberry jam to sandwich it together and chocolate sprinkles! I ran out of cocoa so I had to wing the icing and I melted a cup of chocoalte chips to go in instead and it is insanely good!!

My other workmates are all giving him the eye right now trying to get him to cut it but he is making everyone wait!!

Back to non-birthday cake pics! This is a recipe I'm working on - it's a take on a malt loaf with pumpkin seeds in. It was yummy but I don't have the texture right yet.

It's not very sweet so it was a perfect vehicle for lots of raspberry jam!

This was dinner one night last week. My workmate gave me some amazing asparagus from her garden - it was so good, just roasted with a little olive oil, salt & pepper. The pasta sauce was a few sunblushed tomatoes packed in olive oil and garlic, blended with a whole red pepper (de-seeded but skin left on) and some other stuff that I forget. It was good though.

Friday night is always the night where I can be a bit naughty I think as it's the start of the weekend. So I made some seitan cutlets and breaded them and fried them in a little oil. They were soooo good. I don't have my book on me to post the recipe but basically I just added some beans to my basic seitan recipe. I've seen this tip on other blogs and it really does make such a difference to the texture. Definitely gonna be doing that again in the future! Also starring alongside the seitan - curly fries and posh mushy peas (with soya yoghurt instead of tofu).

I made fajitas with some of my seitan last weekend. I was just craving guacamole and this is what I came up with. They were good!

My brother came to stay with me last weekend. It was lovely to spend some time with him, as he lives in London and I don't get to see him as much as I'd like. We watched daft films and behaved silly! Plus no matter how old I get, I know that when I'm feeling run down and crap like I was last week, I can always count on my big bro to ignore all that, point right at my coldsore and scream "ERRRRR ERRRRRR ERRRRRRRRRGGGHHH!!!" like a 5 year old! Good times.

Despite that, I made us chilli & cornbread for dinner!

I decided this week to have another go at making some tofu. So I dragged the soyquick out and decided this time to throw in some rosemary from my 'garden' and some sun-dried tomatoes. It's pretty good! I did chuck some crumbled up into some pasta last night and it was tasty but ugly so I didn't photograph it! It would be perfect crumbled onto a salad I think because it has a sort of feta like texture!

I pan-fried some and served it with taters and a quick veg stir-fry, with just a little garlic and salt & pepper.

That's all for today. Wanna hear something scary though - it is less than 2 weeks now until I turn 30. But don't worry, I have no intention of becoming a grown-up!!


  1. So much goodness in one post! First, happy b-day to Mamma Alien and happy almost birthday to you! 30 is easy-peasy. I felt way older when I turned 25, that was a bit of a drag. Now I'm craving fajiatas, but I have not seitan left in my freezer...darn you, Sal! And that cake you made is just beautiful!

  2. Such lovely food! And I'm so hungry!
    I'm going to try adding beans to my seitan, now. Thanks for the tip!
    Also, thank you for becoming a follower of my blog. :o) I'm planning on changing to WordPress soon, so I hope everything'll go smoothly...
    Off to throw together some food now... And don't worry about turning 30. It's the big 6-0 that hits you!

  3. Everything looks so yummy! The cuppies (I still haven't tried that gingerbread recipe), the pasta, the homemade tofu! Can I come over for dinner?

    And happy early birthday! I'm not far behind ya, but I say 30 is the new 20. To hell with growing up!

  4. Yummy food pics!

    And 30's ok. It's 32 that blows chunks :-/

  5. I could really go for a piece of cake right now..mmm...

  6. I always get so hungry when I ready your posts! so much good food and it's right before lunchtime right now.

    vctotw is the best cake cookbook. I never thought of putting jam between a cake.

    happy bday to your mummy. I call my mother mummy too, even though her parents (memere and pepere to me) were mostly french. go figure. I'll have to ask her what's up w/ that.

  7. oops, forgot to add that you should totally do a Vancouver/Seattle/Portland trip. Though you will have to pace yourself w/ the food because it's like being a kid in a candy store.

  8. wow, there is a whole lot of yumminess in that post! I am impressed with the homemade tofu! I'll have to give that a shot someday. The chocolate cake sounds delish, I bet your co-workers loved it.

    Don't worry about turning 30! You are only as old as you feel.

  9. I love VCTOW! I've made three batches of cupcakes from it in the last week. And all of your food looks so tasty - the pasta looks especially good, and I'm so impressed that you made your own tofu. That's awesome!

  10. love that pasta and those burritos are screaming my name!

    i turn 30 in less than 2 weeks too (may 30). right on...

  11. I love all the birthday baking! The gingybread cuppies are some of my faves and I think your buttercream looks very lemony ;)

    I wanna try that cake, chocolate, blueberries AND melted chocolate in the icing?! Yesm!

  12. happy birthday to your mum, Sal! the gingerbread cuppies look awesome – i love the spinkles! i think they look super pretty! you’re too sweet to make your coworker a deeeelicious belated bday cake as well! it sounds amazing with those melted chocolate chips! mmmmm! your malt loaf looks awesome – i love that you’re always creating such tasty baked goodies. i’m not yet brave enough to try my hand at experimenting with the baked goodz yet! maybe one day! ahahahahaaa! hooray for some fresh asparagus – and your pasta sauce sounds great! the seitan cutlets do look super scrumptious, and i like the idea of adding beans to the seitan! curly fries – huzzah! dan & i might be making ourselves some chili this evening for dinner – i hope it turns out as rock’n as yours – and now i want fajitas! your brother sounds like mine! ahahahhaaa! your herby tofu looks great, and how awesome on ya turning 30 soon, Sal! i just turned 30 and it was the best birthday ever! i hope yours is, too! wahooooooooo!

  13. Happy birthday! Those cupcakes are really fantastic- I can't remember the last time I made them, but I know they were a big hit.

  14. Seitan fajitas are the best! And your cake is beautiful and sounds so tasty!!!

  15. There's so much good food here, I don't know where to start! First, major respect for making your own tofu, especially with the added rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes...I've never made my own tofu, but I love the idea of working good flavors right into the 'fu - nice work! The seitan cutlets and fajitas look fantastic too, and that malt loaf looks like something else I should try - num!

  16. Happy Birthday Mummy Alien - those cuppies DO look good (damn I NEED that book!).
    The Chocolate Cake looks ridiculously scrummy (damn, damn I NEED that book!)
    I'll look forward to your Malt Loaf recipe Sal - I LOVE Malt Loaf and the addition of Pumpkin Seeds sounds soo soo good.
    HURRAH for making your own Tofu - I'd been hoping you'd get your Soy Quick out again - it looks good and so white!
    The Seitan meal looks to die for! I'll have to try those posh Mushy Peas! many good eats as always.
    And 30's are WAY better than your 20's - trust me.

  17. Ok so can I be your workmate or your mommy?! I want that yummylicious caaakeee!

  18. Aw, happy belated birthday to your mom! I bet she loved those cupcakes, who wouldn't? And your fajitas look super good!

  19. Oh my goodness!!!! There is a lot of crazy yumminess going on in this post!!! Happy Birthdays all around; the cake must have been a super treat for your co-worker. Who's making your cake?! I made a vow never to grow up and despite being in my early 30's, it's working! I am still a child at heart!

  20. Can you please come and cook/bake for me?! Everything looks picture perfect :)

    Today is my dad's birthday but I live too far away to make him a cake...

  21. There's 3 C's that I like here- Cupcakes, Cakes, & Cornbread!

  22. The cupcakes were gorgeous Sal. Thank you for making them for me. I took the last few on holiday and they were snapped up! Love your chocolate cake, looks great.

  23. Such a tasty post!! Happy Bday all around - and best expression ever = BUTTLOAD. Love it.

  24. Happy Late Birthday Mommy Alien, and Alien's Workmate... and Happy Early Birthday Alien... I wasn't worried at all about you growing up. :) Hehee... OMG (I mean everything looks delish... per the usual) but I thought you were working on a meatloaf recipe and had to scroll back up when I saw the jam... haha... that would have awkward had I tried to serve up some pumpkin seed meatloaf with jam!


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