Bits and Bobs

A little round up of things I have been making, buying and enjoying. The other week I blogged about the Yoga Kitchen book I'd got from the library and the green tea energy balls I'd made. I'm going to try another energy ball recipe this week and I have my eye on an unusual recipe involving mushrooms and chocolate but I don't think there is much else I'll make from it. Apart from that is ......panna cotta! I've only ever made panna cotta once before when I first met Matt and was trying to impress him with a fancy meal. This recipe used Vege Gel rather than agar and is flavoured with chocolate and coffee and topped with cacao nibs. The recipe recommends almond milk but I used Marks and Spencer soy which is really creamy and vanillary (not sure if that's actually a word other than a name of a Lush product). It would be interesting to experiment with other plant milks and I've got 3/4 of the packet of Vege Gel left so I intend to do so!

The kitchen is starting to resemble a lab more and more. As well as my ongoing experiments with kombucha and sprouting I have entered the world of fermented foods. The green jar in the middle is cabbage which should be sauerkraut by the weekend to go on the burgers that we'll be having for tea on Sunday. I used this super easy tutorial from The Kitchn called How To Make Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar and it was lots of fun to do.

I've been getting some good finds in a local charity shop that does 3 books for £1. A few weeks ago I got the Sophie Dahl book from her tv cookery show a few years ago and I've already made some great things from that. Last week I picked up a novel, a nutri bullet smoothie recipe book and this book by Tony Weston and Yvonne Bishop. This book was produced in association with the UK Vegan Society and I almost didn't buy it as I thought it might be a bit basic for my tastes.

In fact the only thing I've made so far is a super simple granola. Despite being super simple it is fantastic. It's just 3oz of oats mixed with a tablespoon each of rapeseed/canola oil, blackstrap molasses and soya milk. After spreading on a baking tray it baked for 15 mins at 180c.

It has a lovely treacly taste that reminded me of Lizzie's Granola but without the price tag. The recipe says to serve one but as I prefer to use granola more as a topping rather than the main event this did for four servings of breakfast. It filled a coffee jar or rather it should have filled a coffee jar but I couldn't stop eating it as it was cooling!

We had it with some plain soy yoghurt, Sweet Freedom and a Prune, Apricot and Sultana compote from the Sophie Dahl book where the dried fruit is soaked in Lapsang Souchong tea and cinnamon. This is soooo good and I've already made a second batch with Earl Grey this time. I will definitely be making the granola on a regular basis and on looking through the book more closely there are some really inventive recipes using unusual ingredients and techniques and it's not at all the simple basic book I thought it was on first glance. Maybe the clue should have been that one of the writers is Tony Bishop the  author of the infamous Rainbows and Wellies vegan cookbook. If you haven't read it you must check out Hasta La Vegan's post on this book from a few Mofo's ago. I actually bought a copy of R+W after reading it but have never actually cooked from it. I think I really need to explore this two books of Tony's further as he is a really great, inventive British vegan chef.

And finally as I mentioned in the last post we went to a friends 40th birthday party over in Sheffield last Friday. What I didn't mention was the fab vegan food we had. Our friend Maggie who organised the party for her partner Craig always makes sure we are well catered for and the buffet was great. There was lots of different bits and pieces for us to try and some lovely different things from the usual fare like a mashed avocado and olive pate on mini bagels.

Craig is a massive Star Wars fan so he had a Star Wars cake and there were also lots of themed cupcakes featuring lightsabers, Chewbacca, Yoda etc. Most excitingly the Death Star cakes were vegan and not only looked beautiful but tasted great too. If you are in the Sheffield area and looking for vegan cakes and/or catering you should definitely check out Cutie Cupcakes by Helen and Top Notch Nosh who did a fantastic job of both the cakes and buffet.
Tomorrow I am off to the Om Yoga Show for the day. I must admit I am more attracted by the vegan food at the show than the hard core yoga stuff but I am trying to establish an exercise routine which yoga is part of so I'm hoping to attend some of the mini yoga and meditation sessions too. I shall report Back!


  1. Those Death Star cakes are just amazing! Props to the maker - so clever! I've never had much success with making sauerkraut, but I'd love to give it another go when I've got more time on my hands. Prunes in lapsang souchong sounds incredible - my favourite tea!

  2. Omg, amazing cupcakes! My OH is always wistfully remembering making deathstar cookies when he was a lad. Maybe these will be good for the next birthday :)

  3. I do the same thing when I make granola! I agree with you too about it's uses, I prefer it as a topping.
    That cupcake is so adorable! It's so nice that you got to have delicious food too! Have fun at the yoga show! I just did yoga about an hour ago myself!

  4. Amazing Death Star Cakes!
    I am intrigued to hear more about this chocolate and mushroom recipe when you make it.
    I am thinking about going to a yoga festival in a couple of weeks. I have been practicing bikram for the last two years, and I enjoy other yoga as well, but I am mostly interested in going for the vegetarian food stalls. ;)


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