Showing posts from March, 2011

Cakes for Japan

Just signed up to help at the Manchester 'Cakes for Japan' pop up shop in a couple of weekends time. It's being organised by Kitty from Kitty Says. Been having a look at this article about the London event from Amelia's Magazine and getting some ideas.

On the Move Again

I first met Martin the Mod when he was running Mod Pop Cafe below Pop Boutique in the Northern Quarter where Manchester Vegan Society used to meet. Mod relocated more recently to run the kitchen at the Thirsty Scholar pub over on the student side of town. The pub is temporarily closed as the railway bridge it's situated underneath needs structural work.
So, that means he's on the move again and can now be found right in the city centre at The Seven Oaks which is on the edge of Chinatown and right next to Manchester Art Gallery. The kitchen is open Mondays and Wednesday through to Saturday from 12-6pm. So, that means Manchester Vegans are on the move again too. We meet on the last Saturday of the month from 1.30pm for food and chats. If you're in the area come down, we're a friendly bunch!

Two - Nil

There were lots of happy people wandering around the ground before the match looking at the different stalls, admiring the scooters in the scooter rally, listening to the live music and munching on vegan baked goods. And there were lots of happy people after the match when the home team won 2-0.
Deb, Vicki and I were busy baking in the week and we had a good range of cakes and cookies. We'd arranged to give away free samples rather than selling cakes but people wanted to give donations towards the club for the new ground and we ended up with just over 50 pounds at the final count! It was a really fun day and the staff and supporters were great, very friendly. There are plans afoot for us to do something else with them soon.

Mmmm cookies.....

I'm having a rest after a mammoth baking session for tomorrow's football event with a cup of coffee and some samples. Along with various muffins and banana bread I've made 3 types of cookies. Deb, Vicki and I have been busy baking and we've gone for things that are easy to break up as we are giving away samples at the stall rather than selling baked goods.

I went for 2 cookies I've made before - the ginger sparkle cookies from Vegan With A Vengeance and Cherry and Almond Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. Also, from VCIYCJ and at the back of the plate is a Cowboy Cookie. First time I've made these and they are great. They've got oats, chocolate chips, pecans and coconut flakes in them too.

Breakfast Cocktails!

Well, not really, not alcoholic ones anyway! For around 4 years I had a smoothie every day for my breakfast in the week. Sometimes at the weekends I had porridge or toast or cereal but in the week without fail I had a smoothie and then I stopped. I'm not sure exactly why or when. I got a bit lazy and didn't want to spend the couple of minutes washing out the blender and to be honest with the price of food going up so much changing to cereal made a bit of a saving in my weekly food bills.
I've been really lacking in energy though recently so I've decided to try them again. This is one of my favourites based on a recipe from Get It Ripe. It's a banana blended with carob powder, maca, cinnamon, ground flax seeds, ground hemp seeds, maple syrup and soya milk. It's delicious and it may have been psychological but my energy levels definitely felt improved as a result. What smoothie combinations do you like?


I've added a few aprons to the Folksy shop. Must get round to sewing up some more tea cosies too. Don't know where the time goes at the moment!

Football Fever

In further Cake Liberation Front news we are doing another bit of outreach this Saturday other than our regular meet ups. A mini version of the CLF will be having a stall at FC United.
The club was formed in 2005 by Manchester United supporters following Malcolm Glazer's controversial takeover which led to hundreds of supporters defecting from the club. This Saturday sees one of their regular youth events with stalls and workshops taking place for a couple of hours before the match. We'll be giving away free samples of cake and cookies, recipe leaflets and chatting to people about animal free baking. We won't be the first bakers to be involved with the club though, the cake in the picture above is one you can actually order from a local baker via the club's online shop!

Cut Out Cookies

I've been busy with the rolling pin this morning making biscuits for tomorrow's Cake Liberation Front meet up. First up were cheezy daleks from this recipe from Have Cake Will Travel which I added a bit of dried oregano too.

Then using the mini gingerbread men cutter there were Gingerbread Babies with chocolate belly buttons.

And finally, not cut outs but they may well be my favourites as they've just come out of the oven and smell amazing. These are the 21st Century Carob Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie jar with carob chips, currants and pecans.

Glossop's Little Gem

It was a weekend of train trips to small market towns! Saturday was a journey into West Yorkshire to Todmorden and Sunday was another short train ride this time into Derbyshire to Glossop to visit the fabulous Globe pub.

I can't praise the Globe highly enough. It's friendly, a live music venue, has an all vegan menu, brews it's own beer and is very inexpensive. Above is my veggie steak cooked in red wine gravy with handcut chips. In fact the Globe specialises in chips - you can also get curly fries and parsnip chips too. Since my last visit which was far too long ago I was pleased to see that they've expanded to selling chocolate cake and a variety of homemade icecreams too!

Once back in Manchester we had to pop into the Thirsty Scholar for a bit of Ska Sunday as it was the last night the pub was going to be open for a while. It is situated below a railway bridge and there needs to be some major structural repairs.
We've all been gutted about this news especially sinc…

Treats from Todmorden

Yesterday was a train trip out to Todmorden, a little market town 17 miles from Manchester, with my friends Susan and Deb. First stop was lunch at The Bear. The food in the cafe is all veggie with good vegan options and a great health food shop downstairs.

From front to back - vegan panini with olives and tomato and various salads, deli platter and a homemade mushroom burger. We were quite full but after a little breather managed to squeeze in coffees with banana cake and chocolate truffle cake. Full marks for both!

There's some great independent businesses, a market, second hand bookshops, antique shops, charity shops etc in the town, great for ambling round on a Saturday afternoon.

Even the train station houses artist studios and the waiting room has a magnetic memo board to play with and a case of books you're encouraged to borrow and return when you've finished with them.

I was really excited when I found a stall of baked goods on the market and everything turned out to b…

Weekend baking

This weekend was really busy with the launch evening for Viva, the Spanish and Latin American Film Festival, a tour of the BBC, a mooch round the Vintage and Antiques Textile Fair and a walk focusing on Manchester's Modernist Heroines for International Women's Day. I still managed to squeeze a bit of baking in. The picture below is of Orange and Pecan Teabread made with redbush tea and marmalade. This freezes well and makes a nice breakfast too. Recipe here on the Cake Liberation Front recipe blog.
One of my friend's at work has been off for 2 weeks and has had a birthday during that time. I've made them a bag of these Ginger Men with quiffs (representing their taste in men!) and left them on their desk to great them tomorrow to ease the pain of coming back to work! The recipe is this one from the Parsley Soup website.

This weekend's Guardian Recipe

This fabulous looking apple pie is the image that accompanied yesterday's Guardian recipe for Sherried Apple Tart. Mmm, sherry, apples and almonds what a great combination.
I left a comment on the website for Dan Lepard thanking him for doing this series and asking if he'd take a look at the CLF site if he got a minute. He did and replied with 'CakeLibFront, checked it, and the recipes for dairy+egg free bakinglook really good'. I get so excited seeing vegan stuff creeping into the mainstream media. I also came across this clip yesterday on You Tube. It's a 10 minute condensed film of the final of the USA's Cupcake Wars tv show. 4 finalists, 1 of whom is vegan compete to win $10,000. Check it out and see who wins!

Guardian recipe series

Tomorrow is week 3 of a 4 week series in the Saturday Guardian magazine featuring recipes that are soya, dairy and egg free. My manager brought in a box of these Walnut Black Cherry cookies the other day. I was the first one into the tiny kitchen at work when I saw they were vegan friendly and when I turned to go out there was a queue of 10 people behind me and they went in seconds!!!
The cookies were in the first week and last week it was pasties with the pastry made with olive oil.
If you've missed the recipes or don't get the paper you can find them online by clicking on the links. Might be worth sending the Guardian a Thank You letter too so they can see the demand for this sort of thing!

Thank you letters

I've been in Liverpool today for a meeting at Tate. This included lunch and I was interested to see what I'd be given as the standard of corporate catering varies so much for vegans. Incidentally, the best place I've experienced by far is the Cathedral Visitor Centre in Manchester who even had a selection of delicious vegan friendly biscuits and I'm not talking ginger nuts or bourbons but much fancier ones!
I was really pleased to see they now have soya milk and lunch was an attractively presented dish of dahl with green beans and a side salad. It was tasty and whilst if I was serving it I would have heated the dahl and added a pitta bread or some rice (everyone else got veggie pizza) I decided to focus on the positives and email them a thank you. Another for reason for doing this was the dessert. There was some fruit whilst everyone else got huge delicious looking pieces of carrot cake. As usual I had my emergency bar of chocolate in my bag so I didn't feel too lef…