Showing posts from December, 2013

Leftover Mincemeat?

Do you have any left over mincemeat that needs using up? I made mince pies with some fab Duerrs Mince meat with dark chocolate that I found in B and M Bargains. There was about a third of the jar left over though and I was pleased to find that it was exactly the amount needed for this Vegetarian Society recipe for mincemeat muffins. The resulting muffins were lovely and light.

Aren't these paper cases great? They were a birthday present and are from Lakeland.

Christmas Dinner Number 1

Apart from Christmas day I've not got any work's Christmas meals this year and I managed to be ill with a horrible lurgy and miss all the vegan Christmas meals happening in Manchester. I was starting to feel better though last Sunday so I made one at home. It was our first time trying a Vegusto roast. We chose the Porcini one and really liked it. It reminded me a bit of roast beef if I had to compare it to a meat. It was great with mustard and cranberry, stuffing, roast veggies and loads of gravy. On the side is some lovely Prosecco that I was trying for a vegan Christmas wine review.

I went for a light dessert rather than a pudding. These mango sorbets are from Lidl and were gorgeous. There's quite a lot of packaging in that they come in these plastic flutes but I've saved them to reuse as picnic glasses so that didn't seem so bad.

I still haven't decided what our main will be on Christmas day. What's everyone else having?

Happy Kale

Happy Kale sent me some samples recently of their products for one of my Can I Eat It? reviews. At the moment they do two different flavours, BBQ and Carob and Coconut. They interested me as they are doing something different from the usual cheezy, cashew flavoured kale chips. Don't get me wrong I am a fan of these flavours but it was interesting to try something different. What I wasn't prepared for the sweet savoury thing which is even going on in the BBQ flavour. I even went out and bought some more of the Coconut and Carob ones to try them again. The second bag got me hooked.

What was different on the second bag was that I got past my expectations of what kale chips taste like. I forgot that I was eating a vegetable. The kale really isn't a focal point. Sure it provides a crunchy vehicle for the toasty coconut and caramelly carob flavours but just sit back and enjoy the ride. I was eating these at my desk on my lunch break when they suddenly gave me a massive taste mem…

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone reading is ok. I know Christmas isn't the easiest time of the year for lots of people for lots of different reasons. It was ten years ago last week that my dad died and to be honest Christmas has never really felt the same since then. I do try to get into the spirit of things though. 
The nativity scene is in it's traditional spot on my bar.

My old childhood toys have come out of their basket for a visit.

This family of Father Christmas's hang out in the window.

The Christmas tea cosy is on the tea pot.

As usual I've bought a little real tree from the Christmas market in Albert Square.

My ornaments have been collected over the years. Some are from travels and lots are made by friends. There's a bit of a food theme going on too.

Santa banana is joined by Santa Carrot and Santa Hotdog.

And to crown the tree, what better than an asparagus tip!

Christmas Foods

This weekend we've got stuck into trying some Christmas foods. Matt's friends from Uni came over on Friday night so we put together a buffet and they helped out with trying some vegan wines from Co-Op and Waitrose that I'll be reviewing for Can I Eat It? over the next couple of weeks. The stuff in the first picture is the frozen V Bites 48 piece buffet pack from the V Bites Seasonal range. This was quick to cook and contained samosas, pork and cranberry sausage rolls, duck spring rolls, mini quiches and two types of pizza bites. I wasn't expecting much from the pizza bites but I think they were my favourites out of the pack. Instead of a bread base they are pizza topped puff pastry and are very tasty. The spring rolls were interesting too and would go well with some hoisin sauce or sweet chilli sauce to dip them in.

We also had lots of salads including this colourful mango salsa, homemade red cabbage coleslaw, sundried tomato and kalamata olive tapenade and sunflower …

V bites Vegi Deli Seasonal Range

I have another blogging hat. A few months ago I started doing a weekly blog for the Can I Eat It App reviewing products suitable for vegans. It's an App that lets you scan barcodes with your smartphone to see if they are compatible with your dietary requirements. They are also on Twitter and there's often food give-aways so it's well worth a follow. I've got to try some fabulous products including some things brand new to the market.

V Bites (nee Redwoods) sent me their Festive Range to sample.  It's meant Matt and I have been having some lovely buffet style meals. Pictured above is the Brussels Pate with Cranberry, Sage, Onion and Cranberry Style Bites and a Cheezly cheese board with red, blue and cranberry Cheezly. The range also contains lots of other 'bites', different flavoured sausage rolls and buffet packs. Check out their website to see the full range and for special offers. I'm still working my way through the range but standouts so far are the…

Mochi Ice Cream

I spotted these on Goodness Direct and a few other places recently and thought they sounded interesting. Although I like Japanese food I've never really tried mochi but I love coconut based icecream and the flavours sounded really nice - strawberry, mango, vanilla, green tea, black sesame, chocolate and coconut. I had completely forgotten all about them though until the other week when I had a fruitless search scouring every Chinese supermarket in Manchester's Chinatown for agar powder. What every supermarket did have though was these. They all sold them in boxes of their individual flavours and in this mixed box. 

They were cheapest in the last supermarket I went in at £3.15 and seeing as that was more or less what change I had in my purse I saw it as an omen to buy them! The verdict - well worth a try but I'm still not totally convinced by the mochi bit. This is the outer skin which is made from a sticky rice dough. I think it was a textural thing and I might grow to li…