Showing posts from 2016

Festive Recipes

I had hoped to come up with some new festive recipes this year but it turns out that morphine therapy is a bit of a bugger and whilst it is definitely helping to lessen my cough it's also totally zapping me of energy. On top of that there's random bouts of stomach cramps and nausea and my appetite has not been great. I am delighted though not to be coughing so much. So instead here's a little round up of some previous recipes from past years.

Home made truffles

This is such a quick and easy recipe. I have managed to make a batch for gifts. They are inexpensive to make and taste great. You only need a tablespoon of liqueur/spirit so it's a great recipe for using up the ends of bottles. The recipe calls for a tablespoon of soya cream but I always find I never end up using the rest of the carton so I just sub with a tablespoon of whatever plant milk I have on the go these days and that works just as well. Recipe is here.

Winter Spiced Tea Loaf

I've not made this tea loa…

Derbyshire Christmas - Raw Halo Chocolate

This week I've been sharing some beautiful, vegan friendly products that are made in Derbyshire like these gourmet marshmallows or have links to Derbyshire like this Peak District themed range of teas. They would all be great for gifting or for treating yourself. I couldn't let my series of posts end without featuring some chocolate! So here we have Raw Halo who hail from Matlock.

I discovered Raw Halo a few weeks ago when we visited The Garden in Hale for lunch for my birthday. As well as being a cafe they also have a range of chocolate and snacks to buy to take away and I picked up a bar of Mylk and Crispies to try.

This organic bar is sweetened with coconut sugar and lucuma with some cashew butter added to the mix. The crispies are courtesy of buckwheat and although the word milk is in the name I'd say it's closer to a standard dark with cocoa solids of 48%. I really enjoyed the bar and how it was a bit different from other raw bars I buy. The bars are free from ref…

Derbyshire Christmas - Anandas Foods

This week I am focusing on Derbyshire businesses who are producing beautifully crafted artisan products. Yesterday was the turn of Birdhouse Tea Company and their delightful Peak District tea range. Today I am very excited to bring to you Anandas Foods. I love the story of how their company came about. Ananda and Russell who were both working as professional photographers at the time set about making vegan marshmallows for their children to enjoy with hot chocolate on bonfire night. Vegan marshmallows are a relatively new thing in the UK and these guys have been real pioneers. They then progressed to doing some stalls at local fairs and have slowly grown the company without any bank loans or credit, winning awards along the way. The whole family is involved with their daughter coming up with the Round Ups name and their son hoping to run the company when he is older.

Up to now I'd only really come across Round Ups from their range of products. We are big fans and always buy some f…

Derbyshire Christmas - Birdhouse Teas

I'm featuring some companies this week that are either based in Derbyshire or have links to the area. They are all wonderful artisan producers carefully crafting quality goods that would make perfect vegan friendly gifts. I'm starting today with Birdhouse Tea Company. They are based in Sheffield in Yorkshire but among their many handcrafted tea blends they have a Peak District collection. I came across Birdhouse when we popped into the fantastic, cosy Grasshopper Cafe in Hope, Derbyshire one rainy afternoon. I had a cup of tea that was so mind blowingly good that I had to ask the owners who their tea supplier was. I messaged Birdhouse to find out if they were interested in a blog review and they very kindly sent me the whole* of the Peak District range of teas to try.

*Please note that one tea - Moorlands, does contain honey so is not featured here.

Blue John is named after the famous Blue John mines and is a blend of assam and darjeeling with gorgeous vibrant cornflower petals…

Nina's Popcorn Review

Whilst I am a big lover of crisps and nuts my favourite snack has got to be popcorn. So, when new company Nina's Popcorn asked if they could send me some bags to review I didn't hesitate to reply, yes please! Matt works from home so I don't get much time in the house on my own but when he has an evening gig there's nothing I like more than to stretch out on the sofa to watch a film with snacks to hand. Needless to say he didn't get a look in with this popcorn!

I decided to work my way through the savoury popcorn first. The lemony kale and pepper had a fun tinge of green to it. You can definitely taste the kale and there's a slight citrus tang and actually quite a bit of a kick from the black pepper. The pepper was a little too much for my palate to be honest. It's certainly a grown up popcorn maybe one to pair with a Bloody Mary as a bar snack.

The other savoury flavour in the range is Spicy Sriracha and Spirulina. I was a bit apprehensive about trying this…

Exploring Green Tea with Teavivre - Teas To See You Through The Festive Season

I'm back! It's been quite a long break from blogging as I prepped all my Mofo posts in advance in October. There were some gaps and I had hoped to do some more throughout the month but life kind of got in the way. I've started a new drug treatment for my hyper sensitive cough reflex syndrome. It's sort of the last resort in the drugs they give patients as I've tried everything else and nothing has worked. It's morphine therapy where I take a controlled low dose twice a day. So far it is having really good results with my cough being about 30% of what it usually is which is great news. I'm still in the stage of dealing with side effects (and hoping they wear off) so that's fatigue, brain fog, nausea, anxiety, headaches, stomach cramps and other fun things! I am trying to feel positive though and trying to incorporate self care practice into my day to day life more than ever.

One of the things I'm doing is making sure I stay hydrated. Alcohol is off l…

Vegan Mofo Day 29 Gingerbread Granola

Day 29 is holiday test run day. I like to make my own granola now and again and I've been thinking about trying to come up with a seasonal flavour for a while. I kept coming back to something that I like to make at this time of the year - gingerbread!

I was pretty happy with the result but think I would like to tweak it still further. It's not overly sweet so I think next time I'd try adding a little more maple syrup, maybe 1/4 cup. I'd originally wanted to use dried apples but they seem to be out of favour at the moment and I could find dried fruit of all descriptions except apples! The dried pears tasted good but were a little too chewy for my liking and stuck in the teeth a bit! I think I would possibly try this again with some dried pineapple as pineapple and ginger is such a great combination. Anyway the texture came out great and I loved the pecans in it. I'll put the recipe below for people to play around with and I'll continue to refine it until I get …

Vegan Mofo Day 27 Cherry Chia Bricher Museli

So today's Mofo prompt asks 'Was there a food you used to hate and now don't?' As I'm sticking to my breakfast theme I struggled a bit with this as I couldn't really think of any breakfast foods that I don't like, if anything I feel I am discovering new ones all the time. 2016 has definitely been 'The Year of The Breakfast' for me. But then I remembered the first time I ever heard of Bircher Museli. It was about 15 years ago and I'd gone round to my friends Robert and Corinne's house. Now this pair are fantastic cooks and know their food so when Robert was talking up this Bircher Museli that he had started making I should have known it would be great. However, the picture that popped into my head of oats soaked overnight and then eaten cold in the morning just made me think, urggh, cold porridge! Now years later and a regular overnight oats eater I am pleased to say I am a huge fan of Bircher Museli too. Basically anything that takes a few …

Vegan Mofo Day 23 - Roasted Apples and Applesauce

The prompt for today is Autumn traditions. For me that would be roasting apples to use in recipes throughout the winter. I am lucky in that for the past few years I've had people give me organic homegrown apples. I use the recipe from Babycakes to prepare them.

Roasted apples - From Babycakes by Erin McKenna

2lb apples peeled, cored and diced into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of agave nectar or Sweet Freedom
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

Mix everything together and spread on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper and bake for 35 minutes.

Once baked I like to keep some of the apples as chunks. There's a tealoaf and a muffin recipe in the book that uses them like this.

The rest I blend up with a little more sweetener and some hot water to make applesauce. Most of the Babycakes recipes use applesauce so I tend to bag them up into various cup sizes ready to grab from the freezer when I need them. I've come to love doing this as a Sunday afternoon Autumn…

Vegan Mofo 2016 Day 19 Blackcurrant and Blueberry Chia Pudding

Day 19 - Goth Day – Blues, purples, blacks? Let your dark side shine. As a former teenage Goth I got a little bit excited when I saw this prompt and immediately set about thinking about how to create a purple breakfast. I'd picked up a couple of bags of these Urban Fruit blueberry and blackcurrant mix a few weeks ago in Home Bargains and they seemed perfect for today's suggestion.

Here's what they looked like straight out of the packet. I popped 2 tablespoons of them in a cup and added a little hot water, just enough to cover and let them re-hydrate further for about 20 minutes.

I then blended the berries and water mix with 3/4 cup of soya milk in a blender. In a bowl I mixed this with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Then I poured the mixture into one of my favourite cups and popped it in the fridge overnight. In the morning I served it with a few dried berries as a topper and this was really tasty and blackcurranty. I'll definitely b…