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My 10th Vegan Christmas Dinner!

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I was surprised the other day when I realised that this was actually my tenth Christmas dinner as a vegan! We started the day with a brunch around 10.30am opting to eat our main meal mid afternoon after a quick trip to our local pub for a drink. I helped with the planning but can take no credit for any of the cooking. The food you see is all Matt's work. For brunch we had these bagels. I recently discovered thin bagels which are the same width a normal bagel just half as thin and they are great for a breakfast sandwich. There was a layer of V Bites ham topped with chive studded scrambled tofu from The Starch Solution which was then drizzled with some Vegg. It was great and a good start to the day.

There was much debate about what to have as the main in our Christmas dinner. In past years I've enjoyed things this Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington, Forest Foods Nut Roasts and V Bites Turkey. I've tried Tofurky before too but not at Christmas, it was when I was in Canada at T…

Mid Week Munchies - Home Bargains and Co-Op

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Mid Week Munchies takes place every week and is organised by Jennifer at My Blissful Journey. Check out the link to find what bloggers round the world have been buying and eating.

First up are these goodies that I found for fantastic prices last week at Home Bargains. The organic coconut oil was only £3.99 a jar! I've been using it to make my Pirate Bread with spiced rum soaked raisins to take along to various gatherings we've been to. The coconut water was 39p a tin and that's been going in smoothies. At 99p a box I picked up a few boxes of these chestnuts and we've enjoyed them on a pizza so far and I'm sure they'll be featuring in a pie soon. The chia seeds were £1.69 a bag, the cheapest I've ever seen them and a great find as I use them a lot in overnight oats.


These snacks were on offer for £1 a bag in our local Co-Op. We ate the cracker crisps in one go as they were very moreish. The popcorn I'm saving for a film over the festive period.


These next…

Christmas Preparations!

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Blimey! I can't believe that I haven't blogged since the start of December. Where has the time gone! Part of the reason is that my old laptop has finally died a death and Matt is working from home now so I have very little access to a computer. I'm hoping to replace the laptop in the January sales though. I've also been busy making stuff. I'm on a much more limited budget these days as I am working part time but I also have more time at home to make presents which I've always loved to do, so that's been taking up my time too. I bookmarked this blog post for a pom pom wreath ages ago and really enjoyed making it. The colours are actually red, white and green although the photo makes the green look a bit blue and colourblind Matt looked puzzled when I showed it him and asked me why I'd made a patriotic wreath!

A few months ago Matt's mum gave me his Nana's old jam making pan and I spent a relaxing Saturday making Orange and Chilli Marmalade. I…

Mid Week Munchies - Winter Spiced Tea Loaf Recipe

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Mid Week Munchies takes place every week and is organised by Jennifer at My Blissful Journey. Check out the link to find what bloggers round the world have been buying and eating.
Now we are into December who's had their first mince pie? Not only are mince pies all over the shops but jars of mincemeat are on offer now so I thought it would be a good time to share this seasonal recipe. I've even used it to illustrate my Christmas cards for this year. I'm hoping that some of the people I send them too might save the recipe and make it, that way if they have any vegan friends, family or work colleagues then they've got something seasonal they can make and share with them.

Today I have a recipe for you for a Winterspice tea loaf. This is bursting with seasonal flavours and is super easy to make. It's a big favourite in our house with a pot of tea. It would go well with my Winter Spiced tea in fact!


Ingredients

2 cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon…

Mid Week Munchies - Churros and Chocolate

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Mid Week Munchies takes place every week and is organised by Jennifer at My Blissful Journey. Check out the link to find what bloggers round the world have been buying and eating.
Churros and hot chocolate are a delicacy of Spain. Increasingly they seem to be available at pop up food markets over here though and I've recently heard talk of frozen vegan friendly churros in Lidl but alas we have no store near where we live.We do have a huge 24 hour Tesco though and when we heard that they had introduced a packet of vegan friendly churros to their Christmas party range we just had to give them a try. We had Matt's nephew staying with us and it was great to introduce him to the delights of chocolate and churros!

These aren't any ordinary churros either as they are filled with a chocolate and hazelnut paste and come with little packets of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle over them. As there was quite a lot of sugar already going on I made a small amount of dipping sauce rather than f…

Autumn Root Veggie and Cider Hotpot

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I've got a really cheap but tasty winter warmer for you today. I used to make a casserole like this quite a lot years ago but I'd forgotten all about it until I saw these bags of casserole mix in Heron Foods. The bags were 2 for £1 and contain frozen onion, celery, carrot, turnip and swede.

To serve alongside it I also picked up some frozen garlic baguettes from Heron which are 59p a pack or 2 for £1.


Autumn Root Veggie and Cider Hotpot

2 x 600g packs of frozen casserole mix
3 large potatoes
1 teaspoon of dried sage
Stock to cook frozen veggies in
Olive oil to brush potatoes
Sauce
2 oz / half a cup of plain flour
1 pint of cider
2 dessert spoon of tomato puree
1 teaspoon of yeast extract
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Place the frozen casserole mix veggies in a pan and just cover with boiling water and cook for about 4 minutes until no longer frozen. Once cooked drain water off.
Make the sauce by whisking the flour in a pan with enough cide…

Mid Week Munchies

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Mid Week Munchies takes place every week and is organised by Jennifer at My Blissful Journey. Check out the link to find what bloggers round the world have been buying and eating.
This week's mid-week munchies focuses on cheese and meat substitutes. I'm really into smokey cheese flavours at the moment. I made a pizza the other week topped with the cashew based smokey cheese sauce from Vegan Pizza and we've been enjoying the Violife Smoked Slices in the front of the picture in toasted sandwiches. To the back right is some Smokey MozzaRisella which is made from germinated rice and so is actually a soy free cheese. I'm thinking pizza topping again with this or maybe burgers? I was very excited when Matt came back from our local health food store yesterday with the cheese on the left which is the new Violife Prosociano which boasts parmesan flavours. The cheese I probably miss most is fresh parmesan so this will need to be good to meet my standards! I'm intending to u…

Lazy Sunday Morning Breakfast

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A picture heavy post of a recent Sunday morning - World Vegan Day in Fact. Two sets of filter coffee - decaf for Matt and full caf for me!

Having fun with Jus-Rol croissants in a tin trying out some different filling ideas.


These tofutti slices worked really well but the bacon crumbles kind of dissolved and got lost. Next time I would try the same cheese slices with a smear of tomato puree and some mixed herbs to go for a pizza style croissant.


I had a tube of Creme de Marrons which is a French sweet chestnut puree. This was amazingly good as a croissant filling.


I broke up one of these small almond and orange dark chocolate bars from Aldi and this worked really well too.


Croissants about to go in....


Croissants coming out of the oven.


The finished breakfast. I've another tube of these in the fridge. Have you any ideas for fillings?


Belated Bonfire Night Post and Toffee Apple Cider Cake Recipe

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I'm linking this post up to Mid Week Munchies over a Blissful Yoga Journey blog. Check it out to see what other bloggers have been buying and eating.

Last week was Bonfire night. We don't usually go to a bonfire or bother with fireworks these days but we do like to have some friends round. We had a little gathering at our house with some traditional Bonfire night food. On the savoury side I made some smokey paprika hummus and some little baked sausages in a sticky sweet hoisin sauce using this idea from the BBC website and Fry's sausages. It wouldn't be Bonfire night without some peas in a cup. Matt made Nottingham style peas which are mushy marrowfat peas in mint sauce and our friend Steve made Lancashire black peas which you serve with vinegar. Both are great traditional Bonfire night dishes and both naturally vegan too!


For the sweet nibbles I made some traditional Parkin cake using this great recipe for vegan Parkin from the Chocolate and Beyond blog. The only dow…

New Kitchen Art

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I've blogged a few times, here and here about our growing food and drink related kitchen art collection. We've kind of run out of wall space now as a lot of the kitchen is tiled so this little fella has snuck into the hallway just before you enter the kitchen to welcome you in and put the thought of hot beverages into your mind! It a signed editioned print by Yorkshire artist Lisa Stubbs that I bought at the Holmfirth Art Week a few months back.You can see lots more of Lisa's lovely work here in her Etsy shop.

This hand illustrated vintage plate was a gift from Matt's sister and was actually made by their cousin Leanne who has an illustration business called Letterbox Lane. Leanne sells her work through Not On The High Street and also here through her own shop.


I love Leanne's work which is lovely quality and very reasonably priced. She does some great Christmas cards and I've just bought a set of the notebooks. We also recently bought a copy of this print.


Do…