Monday, 19 December 2011

Crap party food and awesome cheesiness

Morning all!  Can you believe it's less than a week until Christmas already??  Scary!!  Well I thought I'd show you some of the christmassy themed stuff I've eaten lately.  Starting with the food from my work Christmas do last Tuesday.

Unfortunately for yours truly, the vegan food pretty much sucked.  I was very grateful still to actually have a vegan menu offered to me, but wish it was better executed!!

The appetiser was the best bit... bread & hummus.

The starter was a (small) piece of melon.  At least it wasn't gross and hard!
 

The main was a potato thing (that really is the best I can describe it, as I'd had a few glasses of wine by this point) that was pretty good, but cold.  The sauce was cold, the veg were cold.  The peppers and aubergine were not properly cooked or seasoned at all.  I struggled to get my knife through the pepper!

Dessert was really REALLY imaginative - fruit salad!!  It was ok, but boring.

Aside from the food, it was an awesome night though!!


Onto some good GREAT eats.  My friend Jojo had a vegan wine & cheese party at her house, this past saturday and these were my offering - cheese & potato pasties.  I have given a vague recipe for this at the bottom of the post if anyone's interested.  They were good!

There was leftover pastry so I decided to make some mini pastries - these were filled with smooth speculoos paste and a few chocolate chips. YUM!

Onto the rest of the food.  Obligatory cheese & pineapple on a stick!

My friend Kip's awesome cheeseball, which is amazing and rolled in cranberries and nuts.  We always ask her to make this for parties because it is SO. FREAKING. GOOD!!  One day I will remember to ask her for the recipe for it!

In this pic is Kip's blue cheese dip, cheezly blue and cheddar with cranberries that I bought (it's their Christmas selection) and crock cheese from the uncheese cookbook - not sure who made the crock cheese, I think it was Jojo? I have that book and have never made anything from it, but the crock cheese was really good so I'm definitely going to have to make some soon!

Kip's awesome artichoke dip. This stuff was GOOD!  Also in this pic is my balsamic onion chutney. It was a recipe I found on the interwebz and was pretty good, but a bit too sweet for me.  My dad seems to like it though!

The spread!

The wine!!

After the party me and our friend Hana both stayed at Jojo's, so the next morning we all went for breakfast.  Although actually it was lunch really by the time we motored ourselves out the door.  We decided to go to Wai Kika Moo Kau, as Iydea stop serving breakfast at 11.20 - stupid time or what!!  Anyway, I got the brighton deli wrap, which was good, but just a bit too much salad for my liking.  The sausages were good (they tasted like Linda McCartney's to me!). 

Chips in the wrap - yes I am a genius!

Recipe for the vegan cheese pasties

Filling:
2 large potatoes (I used 2 bakers)
1 large onion
1 pack of cheezly (I used half a pack of white cheddar and half a pack of red cheddar) or whatever vegan cheese you like.  About 200g!
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper to taste

Chop the potatoes into small dice and par-boil for 10 minutes (until JUST cooked but not too soft).  In the meatime, saute the onion in the oil and a pinch of salt for 5-10 mins, until cooked and starting to brown.  Add thyme and paprika and season lightly.

Mix together the potatoes, onion mixture and grated cheese then test for seasoning (I didn't need to add much salt as the cheese is pretty salty).  Chill the mixture (I left it overnight).

To assemble, I rolled out ready bought frozen puff pastry (I used the big pack of Jus-Rol) and cut around a cereal bowl for each one.  Then wet the edges of the circle and put a generous tablespoon of filling in the centre.  Folder over, press to seal and then use a fork to crimp the edges shut.  Place on a baking tray lined with parchment and spray lightly with olive oil. Bake 20-25 minutes at 180C/350F or until lightly browned. 

Cool on a cooling rack and try not to burn your tongue when you eat one too quickly because you are too hungry to wait (like I did)!

This filling makes a lot!  I used about 3/4 of the pack of Jus-Rol and got about 16 pasties, but it depends on your bowl size!  There was quite a bit of filling left so I have frozen it for future pasty making over christmas!! 

The rest of the pastry I used for the sweet pastries, which I cut out with a 1 cup metal measuring cup and filled with a tsp of speculoos paste and about 3 or 4 chocolate chips. These took about 15 minutes to bake.

That's it for now - hope you all have a fantasmical Christmas, if you celebrate it and I will see you after chrimbo for pics of Christmas dinner! YAY.


Sing it now.... "When the snowman brings the snow.... well he just might like to knooooowwww he put a great big smile on SOMEBODY'S FACE."  Yeah that'd be my face!! 

Laterz
xXx

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

FAIL cake!

Well I had planned to blog last week but I don't have many pics to share.  I've decided to do a short post anyway.

Remember I mentioned last weekend was my dad's birthday and I was making cake. Yeah that was a FAIL!

My cakes cracked .... :-(

I tried to salvage it with buttercream and cherries but even cocktail sticks couldn't hold this volcano together!

So we had a laugh and stuck some candles on it anyway.  I was pretty gutted, not gonna lie. I wanted to cry and the state of the cake!  My mum suggested putting a ribbon around it, not sure she was impressed with my response of "what's the point, you can't polish a turd mum!"

Having said all that, once we sliced it, it was pretty damn delicious.

Dinner at the weekend, pizza! Haven't had pizza in a while.  This was a pre-bought based (Tesco Value I think!! haha).  I added some shop bought sauce, broken up facon (RealEat), sweetcorn, peppers and about half a block of cheezly white cheddar. It was good! My dad even snuck some of the leftovers and said it was good.

EXTREME CLOSE UP! WAAAAAOOOOHHHH!  WAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOHHH!

And soup.  I made this Sunday and am eating the leftovers this week for lunch.  It's the Bodacious Bean & Barley Soup from Garden of Vegan, that I have blogged about before and made many times. It is THAT awesome.

Enjoy the rest of your week peeps.

Laterz
xXx

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remember remember the 5th of November... Gunpowder, hotdogs and wine!

Hello lovelies. It is Friday again, big fat mega YAY!  I'm excited to finish work for the weekend tonight and then go to the pub! 

This weekend is Daddy Alien's birthday so next time, expect some pics of the cake I'm making tomorrow.  But back to this week and I'll start with last friday's dinner. 

Veganz - we is healthy!!  Fry's burger and smash with nooch. YES!!! Friday trash is awesome.



Onto weeknight dinners when I try to be a bit healthier.  I made Isa's baked falafel from Appetite for Reduction, only I had to make a few substitutions: I had no chickpeas so I used kidney beans. I had no chickpea flour so I used cornmeal. I had no parsley so I used coriander/cilantro.  HAHA so yeah not really falafel then Sal??  Ah well, they were still tasty enough to eat 2 nights in a row.  Here they are with bulgar cooked in veggie stock, salad, a pitta and hummus.


And again with pitta, salad, hummus and brown rice! 


Saturday night was bonfire night.  Mum, Dad and myself stayed home and had a barbecue and fireworks.  Starting as we meant to go on with some sparkly pink wine....


I had Redwoods hot dogs (my fave vegan hotdogs) on buns with ketchup, mayo, homemade garlic bread and potatoes roasted with garlic and rosemary. YUM.


Ugh! Horrid profile shot my mum took! hahaha.


And one of the parents enjoying their hotdogs too. Not vegan, but I thought the pic was cute! hehe

I bought some of those Alpro vanilla puddings and they taste just like the custard to me, so I've been microwaving them for a minute and pouring them over a banana for pudding this week. Really good and easy peasy. Sorry for the blurry pic, it gets dark at like 4 o'clock at the moment so it's not easy to get a great picture! Not that you expect that from me anyway, right? ;-)


Last night I made Susan V's Ridiculously Easy Curried Chickpeas and Quinoa.  They really are ridiculously easy and tasty as well - and I'm not really a lover of quinoa!!  I was going to serve them in taco shells, but when I tasted it, it didn't seem to be something that would go right in a taco, so I just had a pita with them instead.  Also, I split the recipe into 3 not 4 servings, because I was freakin Hank Marvin after my Zumba class.


Lastly, brekkie this morning. Crumpets. YUM!  After I took this pic I poured over a generous blob of golden syrup on each one. Best way to eat crumpers, ever!


Bonus kitty pics!!  This is what most of my photos of Jazzy look like... her running away!  She is super camera shy (either that or the flash scares her!)


Today I got one of her about to eat.  HAHA I turned the camera on and called her name and BAM! photo taken before she had a chance to realise.


Have a spankingly awesome weekend everyone.

Laterz
xXx

Friday, 4 November 2011

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today is Friday, Friday!!

It's fri-ee-day fri-ee-day - that damn Rebecca Black and her stupid catchy annoying song!!  Dang.  Ah well, it is Friday - HURRAH.  So here's some stuff I've eaten this week.

As I said I was gonna in my last post, I made the lentil burgers from Hot Damn & Hell Yeah.  I really love these burgers!  I change them up a bit by adding a few extra spices in but the basic recipe is still the same.  I had it on toasted ciabatta (I had no rolls) with some steamed sugar snaps and broccoli and some sweetcorn and kidney beans straight outta the tin with a bit of vinegar and tabasco on - yum.


Later on in the week I wanted something fast, so I chopped up a couple of pieces of leftover AFR chilli / lime tofu from my last post and cooked it with a chopped tomato, some sweetcorn, kidney beans (what was left in the cans after the meal above), some cooked brown rice (out of a packet - tskk naughty Sal!) and some soy sauce and tabasco.  Then I shoved it on top of a tortilla with some lettuce on and a dollop of Tesco's soya yoghurt, which may I just say - kick's Alpro plain yoghurt's dirty sugary ass!!  It made way more than you see below, after I took the pick I just piled it all on the plate! hehe.


Then as it's Friday and I don't feel the need to be so strict with my diet on a Friday I made some muffins.  They are chocolate chunk, coconut and cherry and they rock.  Recipe is below the pic.


Cherry, Coconut & Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Dry Ingredients:
- 1.5 cups plain flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chunks or chips
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar

Wet Ingredients:
- 1 cup Kara coconut milk (or you can use lite coconut milk or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 1/4 cup rapeseed (canola) oil
- 1 tsp light vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Mix together dry ingredients, breaking up any cherries that have stuck together.  Whisk together wet ingredients and then pour into dry.  Mix well and then divide between muffin tins.

Bake for 25-30 mins, until a skewer comes out clean.

I got 10 out of this, but my muffin cases were quite big, you might be able to eek out 12!

Have a fab weekend everyone.

Laterz
xXx

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's been a long time... we should'nt a left you....

...without a dope beat to step to....*

Well helloooo there!  I decided to wait til MoFo was over before posting these pics.  And also, today is World Vegan Day - Happy WVD to all the vegans out there!! :-)

I'm starting off with the food from Saturday night.  My awesome friend Jojo had a party and made a crap tonne of ace food.  When looking for inspiration, I of course headed straight to the queen of Halloweegan's blog - Wing it Vegan and found these awesome peppers.  As you can see, my carving skills are not as great as River's! ....


This one ended up with a snaggle toof!!  hehe


I also made cornbread, as my other friend Kip made chili, which I forgot to take a pic of! DOH.


Onto the stuff Jojo made (head over to Jojo's blog for more info and also for pictures of the gingerbread house shw made that was pretty awesome!). She made sugar cookies: 

Cupcakes:

Jelly - with eyeballs in! oooooh scary.

Mummy dogs - sausages wrapped in pastry = genius!

oh and me, dressed as a zombie, shovelling a cake into ma gob!

The next morning, we got up and went to Iydea Cafe.  We all had the same thing, the vegan breakfast bap and a side of hash browns.  The baps was like a lentil burger with tomatoes and avocado on top, it was pretty rad.  And the hash browns were perfectly greasy but not too greasy!

On to yesterday. I finally dug some cookbooks out of storage and headed straight for this recipe from Appetite for Reduction: Arabian Lentil & Rice Soup.  It's AWESOME. I've made it before, but last time I didn't have a lemon, so left that out.  I'm really glad I had it this time though, it really makes a difference.

And a couple more recipes from AFR, the soft broccoli polenta and chilli lime rubbed tofu.  I wasn't crazy about the tofu, but that was more a texture thing that the flavour, I like the flavour, I should have pressed the tofu though.  The polenta was good, but once I added nooch it was amazing. I wish I'd made a more exciting veggie to go with this though, those were just plain, steamed green beans and they were underwhelming!


Tonight I think I'm gonna dig out Hot Damn & Hell Yeah and make my favourite lentil burgers.  What are you guys making for World Vegan Day??

Laterz
xXx

*post title is from this song that I will now be singing all day!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Hold on.... I'm comin...

I'm trying to keep up with you guys' MoFo posts, but there's so many!! :0)  Everyone is doing awesome jobs.

Just wanted to post quickly to say I'll be back with a new post next week, after the madness of MoFo is over and I finally have some pics for you.  I've been good with posting on my make up blog, but just not cooking all that much over the last 6 months or so.  But that is about to change, baby and I am finally digging all my cookbooks out of storage this weekend!

Peace out... until next week.

Oh and did I mention I have Britney tickets for Sunday night?? Massive SQUEE.


Laterz
xXx

Monday, 22 August 2011

An update

Hello, is anyone out there still?

I just wanted to post and say hi and that I haven't abandoned this blog, I'm just taking a temporary hiatus on it.

In my last post I told you that I had acid reflux: my docs have been telling me this for years and I've been questioning it as the (very strong) drugs they had me on were doing nothing. And it turns out I had gallstones and they were wrong. So I've now had my gallbladder out and am feeling MUCH MUCH better!

I stopped blogging because I stopped cooking. At the worst point I was getting gallbladder pain attacks almost every night and was basically living on mashed potato and rice. Then one night I had an attack so bad that I ended up in A&E (at this point they were still saying it wasn't gallstones).

Anyway enough of the negative - it's finally over with and I'm getting back into cooking again. Once I get inspired to start cooking more interesting food than Smash and sweetcorn, this blog will come back to life.

I'm still following your blogs everyone and if you fancy reading about something else, I have just started a new blog about make up (I took my old one down as I wanted to re-do it). I just did my first post about the make up course I'm doing this week. If you're curious, it's HERE.

Back soon......

Sal
xXx

Monday, 16 May 2011

An apology and a bake sale!

Hey all,

So sorry for not posting for ages again. Firstly I moved house and my camera has been stuck in a box ever since!

Secondly my lovely acid reflux or whatever it is* has meant that pretty much everything I eat is making me have pain. So the stuff I've been eating really isn't blog worthy, as I can't eat anything except super plain, bland and boring crap right now.

Anyhoo, I just wanted to post to say if you are anywhere near the Brighton area, the first vegan bake sale is taking place on Saturday 28th May, outside the Wai Kika Moo Kau cafe in the lanes. I'll be there along with some other blogger friends, so please come by and say hello and of course, buy a cake!

Brighton Bake Sale Ad 336 x 280

Hope to see you there!!

Love & stuff
Sal
xXx


* I'm seeing a consultant next month so hopefully I'll be able to stop living off mashed potato and rice soon and get back to business with this blog.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Better late than never....

Hellllooooo on this fine, sunny, March afternoon!!

EDIT: so I've just seen my 3 year blogaversary was on the 5th of March!! I thought it was later in the month. I'd better do some belated baking.

So I haven't posted pics in sooooo long and I had WAY more on my camera than I thought I'd taken. Most of them weren't that great so I didn't bother posting them.

Having said that, this first pic kind of sucks, but the food was good so here it is. I made the basic latin (red) tofu from Viva Vegan. I also made the peanut sauce that she suggests as a variation, but I didn't bake the tofu with it on, I just served it on the side. I think the tofu was a little bland so it needed the peanut sauce, but that is probably down to my not very flavourful veggie stock - rather than Terry's recipe. Next time, I'll try it with wine or beer! The peanut sauce was awesome! And the rice was just some simple old savoury rice with onions, a tomato and peas / sweetcorn thrown in. There were meant to be mushrooms too but I forgot them.


Last week was pancake day! I made some pancakes, they weren't great but they did the job. One with the classic lemon & sugar and one with a bit of Biona vegan chocolate spread.


This was a meal I conjurred up last week. I was having lack of inspiration day and was craving dirty cheese tortellini! Seriously, on the rare occasion I crave non-vegan food, it's always mingin shit like that!! hahah. Anyway, I found some aubergine pesto (Sacla brand) in the supermarket, that didn't have any cheese in and looks vegan from the ingredient list. I cooked up some pasta shells then chopped up a tomato and cooked it in a little olive oil, then added a bit of wine, then the pesto and a couple of big handfuls of spinach. It was SO good! I really like that aubergine pesto, it's just a shame it has so much oil and cashews in as it really yanks the calories up!


Here is some soup I made last week - carrot & coriander. I take soup to work for lunch pretty much every day, so like to make a bit pot.


It was nothing special but, the real reason I posted about it, is because here is one of the carrots that went into it..... HEE HEE!!!


PIZZA!!! My freezer broke down a while back and all the daiya I bought back from Texas defrosted. However I just put it back in the freezer when it was working again and hoped for the best! The bad news is though that I'm moving house next month and I don't think it'll survive another re-freeze, so buh-bye daiya!! :-( This pizza had the aforementined aubergine pesto, fresh tomatoes, sweetcorn and daiya mozz.


I've made a few things from Isa's latest book, Appetite for Reduction and really like them! This is the Mushroom & Cannelinni bean paprikash. YUM! I had it with plain white rice and a salad.


This is the red thai tofu. I made this when a friend was down. The beans are also a recipe from the book, but I forget the name of them. The rice was just basmati rice cooked in half water / half light coconut milk. YUM. I could seriously eat the whole batch of this tofu, it's rad.


Here is the mushroom / cannellini paprikas again. This is the first time I made it and to go alongside I followed Isa's suggestion and made the scarlet barley. I made this for me and my parents and we all liked it.


CAKE. I made this one night when my girlies were round. It's the chocolate pudding cake recipe from La Dolce Vegan (I think.... It's one of Sarah K's books anyway). I added in some dried cherries just to up the awesomness. I had mine with soya cream. Such a good cake. AND it's so easy and only uses stuff I always have in the pantry.


Another recipe from AFR - this is the butternut/kidney bean jamba stew. I LOVE this recipe, I've made it a few times and I always get more servings than it says. It's really easy and it's yummy. My friends really liked it too.

I don't even remember making these - meatballs & sketti!! I think I used a pack of granose burger mix for the meatballs. Yes.. yes I did, it's all coming back to me now. They SUCKED. That burger mix is rotten. Next time I'll stick with a tvp based version or the VCON bean balls.


I made some waffles. These were pretty unspectacular and had a banana in the mixture. They were just a bit rubbery but once I poured an eff-tonne of golden syrup on them, they improved somewhat.

Now I know that you expect baking from me. So here is my christmas baking - yeah I know - it was 3 months ago!! But anyway.... christmas cake.


Trifle. I used the VCTOtW vanilla recipe for the sponge and baked it in a swiss roll tin, then i layered it with raspberry jelly made from the vegan jelly crystals you can buy in holland & barrett. Then a carton of alpro custard, topped with a carton of whipped soyatoo and a bunch of sprinkles and almonds. YUMMY.

Here is our traditional chocolate log (or as my bro and I childishly call it - poo log!).

And some candy cane cupcakes. These were really for my friend's hubby's birthday but we ate some as well at dinner, the last time we saw each other before xmas. They had minty frosting with crushed candy canes and edible glitter!

And cherry almond cookies (from Vegan Cookies invade your cookie jar). I made these as xmas gifts for a couple of workmates - they went down very well. My workmates other half (who loves cooking/baking) asked how I got them 'like that' as he says his biccies always dry out. Vegan cookies FTW!!



That's all for now. I'll try not to leave it so long next day.

Man, have I got some catching up to do on all your blogs tonight!!

Laterz
xXx