Showing posts from September, 2010

Come Dine With Me

I don't watch a lot of tv but I do love Come Dine With Me and have watched it from the first series. I think it would be great if they did an episode where all the contestants were vegan. People are vegan for many different reasons and their diets can vary tremendously. I've met raw fooders, junk food vegans who don't eat many vegetables, total gourmets etc, it would be interesting viewing!

A few of us from work are doing our own version where we take it in turns to host an evening. It was the first one last night and Richard has set the bar high! We started with fizz and strawberries up on his roof terrace. Then our starter was an individual mushroom tart with rocket salad. This was followed by a main course of butternut squash stuffed with roasted vegetables and pinenuts with optional goats cheese for the non vegans. All very delicious.

I provided a vegan dessert in the form of Sarah Kramer's Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. It's really easy to make and is a super deca…

What a Week!

I went down to London on Wednesday after work for a few days to visit Origin craft event and various things in the London Design Festival. Last Sundays baby shower was well timed because as I got off the train in Euston I got a text from my sister's partner to say that the twins had just been born. Robyn and James have arrived 7.5 weeks early! They are in a special care unit and I got to see them for the first time today.

Thursday was Origin which was fantastic. It is a craft show where exhibitors are invited and the standard and range of work is great. The little doggie above was actually part of a whole knitted dog show by Muir and Osborne.

I had some great vegan food whilst I was there. I was delighted to discover that Routemaster was just off Brick Lane right next to Tent London, the design show I went to on Friday. I can recommend the teriakyi tofu stirfry. I even managed to fit in my first visit to VX on the Saturday lunchtime before catching the train back. Mmm marshmallow …

What a Weekend!

The Liverpool Biennale started on Friday and runs until November 28. There's some great stuff to see and it's all free. I spent Friday afternoon racing round and managed to see a lot but am still planning to go back for another day. As well as all the galleries, there's lots of work on unused buildings and in non gallery spaces.

The Futurist Cinema near Lime Street Station.

Harvey and Casper are in a garage at the top of Wood Street just before FACT along with an animation and spoken word piece.

What used to be the enormous Rapid DIY store that runs the length of Renshaw Street is home to this work which critiques Del Monte's exploitation in Guatemala and Latin America amongst other pieces.
The Temple of A Thousand Bells sound work in the oratory at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

A neon piece inside the cathedral by Tracey Emin commissioned for the Year of Culture.

This is wedged between 84 and 86 Duke Street! Probably my favourite piece along with the Morrissey foretelling t…

Another score for soy

The organisation I work for has now been in the new offices for 6 months and we were invited to put forward ideas for further improvements. I've noticed a few other cartons of soy milk in the fridge as well as mine and as work provides cows milk for drinks I suggested adding a couple of cartons of soy too. Following an email consultation to which about a 10th of the workforce responded that they would like soy milk it'll be on the milk order from Monday!


I've posted before about Odd and Odder. Last night after helping a friend with a spot of DIY we checked out the third bar in this Manchester chain, Oddest. The first 2 bars are in the city centre but Oddest is in South Manchester in Chorlton. Each of the bars has a slightly different menu with some things being constants. They all have a vegan breakfast for example. There were a couple of other options labelled as vegan and I went for the Sweet Potato Pattie burger which is basically a larger version than the one that comes with the breakfast and is served on a bun with vegan cheese and mayonaise. They'd run out of cheese and mayo but subbed with hummus and it was excellent. It also came with a side of fries.

Wonderful Wales

I've just had a fantastic weekend in Wales visiting my old friend Tracey who I met at Chester College many years ago and her lovely family. I took this chocolate and banana cake from The Cake Scoffer. it travels extremely well and survived the train journey from Manchester to Machynlleth unscathed.

We spent Saturday in lovely Aberystwyth. It was my first visit to the town. We had a delicious lunch at the Blue Creek Cafe. The cafe had soya milk, a decent selction of veggie options and the staff said they were happy to veganise any of the vegetarian options. Two old fashioned sweet shops have just opened in the town so Tracey, her daughter Zoe and I had fun choosing sweets from the many, many jars on offer. We were spolit for choice but in the end decided on roobarb and custards and sweet peanuts. Mmm.

We had a good mooch round the museum and of course the shops. The museum was packed full of interesting objects and is housed in an old theatre and there are some great independent gif…

Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Cupcakes

Check the ingredients on the turkish delight as sometimes it is made with gelatine. These cupcakes were inspired by a gelatine free box I picked up for 99p recently in Quality Save.
1/2 cup of soy yoghurt 2/3 cup of soy milk !/3 cup of sunflower oil 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of caster sugar 2 tablespoons of rosewater 1 teaspoon of lemon extract zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups of plain flour 2 tablespoons of cornflour 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda 1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of turkish delight (about 6 pieces) chopped into choc chip sized pieces and dusted in icing sugar so they don't stick together
Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/Gas 4
Mix the yoghurt, soy milk, oil, sugar, rosewater, lemon extract and lemon zest together.
Sieve in the flour, cornflour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Stir in the turkish delight and pour into cupcake cases.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Allow to cool before glazing.
Ingredients for glaze
1/4 cup of vegan margarine 1 and 1/2 cups of icing …

Pets and Supermarkets

I've just had to email Sainsbury's for the 3rd time this year as my local branch has adverts for pets for sale on it's customer noticeboard again. It's usually kittens or puppies but this time there was baby pythons as well! On the other 2 occasions they assured me it wouldn't happen again and even gave me a load of free nectar points. I've suggested that they put a sign up next to the boards in their stores explaining why they don't accept pet adverts. They are currently asking customers to vote for them in the RSPCA awards as the supermarket with the best animal welfare values so it would support that aim.

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and the Co-op have all committed to a ban on this type of advert.Animal Aid believes that advertising animals for sale in such locations exacerbates the problems of overbreeding and also encourages inappropriate impulse buys. After the novelty of a new animal wears off, people often realise that they do not have th…

In The Suburbs ...Again

Busy day yesterday visiting various parts of Greater Manchester. In the daytime my friend Debbie took me on a tour of the charity shops of Hyde home of Harold Shipman's surgery and the fictional home of Sam Tyler from Life on Mars!
We had a good mooch round and the charity shops which were much more fruitful than the Didsbury ones the week before. My loot included a brand new small Le Creueset ceramic dish, an Anne of Green Gables box set and 2 lovely 50's style knit tops both cotton and vegan friendly. I was also pleased to discover a B and M Bargains so stocked up on pretzels, rice crackers, Ruffle Bars and Frys Creme chocolate for the tuck drawer. In the evening I met my friend Richard from work for a quick bite at Pizza Express and then we were off on the tram to Bury to the Met theatre for the opening night of the new MAD theatre company production, Thai Brides and Teacakes.

Cherry Beer

I know this has been around for a few years but I'm not much of a beer drinker and only got round to trying it yesterday. Well, wow, it's lovely. It's absolutely bursting with cherry flavour. And apparently there's a strawberry and raspberry one too!