Happy New Year!!!!
So, I've not blogged in a while. There's been a lot going on and it's not been a top priority, though I have been keeping up with reading other people's blogs during my lunch hours. January has not been the best of months. My mum had a stroke and has been in hospital, we didn't get our vegan foodie trip to London and our heating systems at work have failed miserably and I've been working in scarf, coat and fingerless gloves most days! The good news is that my mum is out of hospital and doing well so let's hope the rest of the year is on an up. I've not always been eating the greatest or most exciting of foods but there have been some highlights.
Matt honoured my Scottish heritage by cooking us a Burn's Night supper. It consisted of vegan haggis, steamed kale + cabbage and tatties and neeps. The later were from a BBC website recipe and consisted of roasting the veg rather than the usual mashing and whilst it's not traditional I think I'm a convert, they were delicious. The picture is before I drowned it in gravy!
We nicknamed this improvised dessert 'Scrifle', aka Scottish Trifle. It consisted of layers of a raspberry, whisky soaked biscuit base, a banana tofu cream and toasted oats and nuts. I also took part in the Alpro deskfest challenge and won one of their daily prizes. They spent a week giving out goodie bags in Piccadilly train station and I used the contents to make some of the best muffins ever. I used the recipe for Coffee Chip Muffins from Vegan Brunch using hazelnut milk instead of soya milk. I then added a hazelnut strudel topping from this recipe which took them to another dimension.
My friend Kirsty McGee asked me to make cakes for the album launch of her new fab record Contrabrand. Kirsty is a fellow vegan and we've donated the money from the cakes to a local animal sanctuary. I picked up these fab little cardboard cupcake covers for pennies from The Works discount bookstore.
Yesterday I had my first Sunday at home for a while. I had an afternoon of pottering around trying some more recipes from Vegan Diner. I made the BBQ Ribs which is actually this recipe from Fat Free Vegan and yes, everything I'd read about them was true! I did them under my grill rather than on a barbeque or in a grill pan. They were great, very rib like and really easy to make. I halved the recipe and it was just right for two of us for tea with roased veggies, garlic bread and a dill and mustard potato salad. For dessert I made another recipe from the book, the Ooey Gooey Brownies. They have a tablespoon of finely ground coffee in them and it gave them a real depth of flavour. I'm quite fussy about brownie recipes but I would definitely use this recipe again.
And finally it's almost time for the February UK Vegan Food Swap. Head over to the Too Happy Vegans before the 5th February to sign up to take part. I was really pleased with my January parcel from Rachel. As well as a really lovely letter, it contained a bar of orange and ginger chocolate I'd not tried before, some fab little individual servings of pate, liquid smoke and one of my favourite teapigs - the green tea popcorn ones. I'm also very excited about the last item which was 6 individual graham cracker crusts! Now I just need to decide which pie filling to make and who to invite round to sample them!