Showing posts from December, 2010

La-z Girls

Last night after work I met up with some of the girls from Manchester Vegan Society and Cake Liberation Front at Jo's house for a meal. Wow, Jo really spoiled us! We started with hot mulled apple with optional shots of rum. Next was a cauliflower and blue scheese soup with delicious bread from the Unicorn Grocery. The picture below is of the main course - a hearty root vegetable and cider stew with garlic and rosemary roast potatoes and dumplings. Perfect food for a cold, snowy night. We finished off with one of my favourite desserts - trifle. Mmmm.

We were so full after eating we could hardly move! Jo, Vicki and I bagged the la-z boy chairs for a post-dinner lie down!

Christmas Gifts - Orange and Chilli Marmalade

I finally managed to find some small bottles for the Limoncello and Strawberry Gin. These are from Ebay and worked out at £1 each when the purchase price and postage were added together. The seller sells them for wedding favours so you can fill them with spirits and print your own labels.

I've been busy today making more Christmas presents. I baked a batch of the Gingerbread Biscotti from VCIYCJ. I love how easy they are and how they are good for presents as they keep for a month, not that they'll last that long! I also made my yearly batch of Orange and Chilli Marmalade. I've been making this for 20 years and it's a real favourite.

Orange and Chilli Marmalade
1 kg / 2lbs unwaxed oranges, thinly sliced Juice and zest of 1 unwaxed lemon 1.5litres / 2 3/4 pints of water 6 whole red chillies 2 kg / 4 lb granulated sugar
To sterilise jars - Wash jars thoroughly and then place in a low oven at 110c/225f/Gas 1/4 for 20 minutes.
Place the oranges, lemon juice + zest and t…

Cedar Tree

I've got 2 works Christmas do's this week. The first one was a team one last night. We went for a meal at The Cedar Tree. The Cedar Tree is cheap and cheerful and is one of the older establishments in the Northern Quarter. The food is Lebanese and we all ordered lots of small dishes. The table was packed! It's also BYOB hence the abundance of wine bottles on the table!

There are loads of delicious vegan choices. One of my favourites is the bright red dish at the end of the table. I always forget the name but it's number 13 on the menu!

Trip to the Big Smoke

Phew, the end of last week and the weekend were pretty full on. On Sunday my friend Jude and I hosted another babyshower for our friend Jan with lots of daft games and yummy vegan food. Before that I had a few days in London dashing around seeing exhibitions. And then of course there's the food.
Thursday night tea was from Mrs Marengos, the cafe and takeaway arm of Mildred's. On the way through Soho to meet my friend Helen a man tried to entice me into his establishment with cries of free lamb, free chicken! Now if it had been free falafel..... Anyway, Mrs M's is highly recommended. Lovely, friendly staff and reasonable prices. I had the burger of the day with a massive bowl of sweet potato fries.
Also, highly recommended and somewhere I've been wanting to visit for a while since reading about it on Siobhan's blog is the Gallery Cafe. And, seeing as Helen took me to see some work her pupils had done in the Sense of Place exhibition at the Museum of Childhood next doo…

Manchester Christmas Market

I no longer work in the next street to the biggest of the Manchester Christmas markets, there being several sites dotted around the City Centre. However, I am still near enough to easily make after work visits.

After several postponements I made it there tonight for Gluwein with some of my lovely work colleagues. There's not usually anything for vegans to eat so I was excited to find a stall selling falafel and hummus salad wraps by the Brazenose Street Gluwein stand and it was good falafel!
I bought my tree as usual from the Dutch tree sellers. For years we had the huge inflatable Santa and his sleigh on top of the Town Hall. These days we have our South Park style light-up Santa who I like just as much.

Triple Chocolate Amaretto Cookies

I came up with these for my friend Jen's birthday as she is a lover of both amaretto, chocolate and cookies it seemed appropriate to bring the three together!
I save old herbal teabag boxes, cover them with recycled wrapping paper and reuse them lined with greaseproof paper for cookie boxes.
1/2 cup of sugar 1/3 cup of oil 1/2 tablespoon of arrowroot 2 tablespoons of soy milk 1 tablespoon of amaretto 1 teaspoon of almond extract 1 cup of plain flour 1/4 cup of cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda 1/4 teaspoon of salt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I used a mix of white and dark)
Makes 16 cookies
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4 Grease a baking tray
Whisk together the sugar, oil, arrowroot, soy milk and amaretto for a few minutes. Stir in the almond extract. Sieve in the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix. Stir in the chocolate chips. Roll into small balls, place on baking sheet and flatten each cookie with a fork.
Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on tray,…

Mofo Giveaway winner

Congratulations to Falovi. you're the winner of my Mofo giveaway. Please contact me via the email link in my profile to let me know what prize you would like. I can't get the Random Generator thing to copy and paste to the blog but it was you with comment number 10. When I set up the competition there was a selection of skull and crossbones and heart teacosies in the Folksy shop.

These have now been joined by some lovely seasonal festive cosies knitted by my mum.
There's also some sets of little Christmas toys too.