I've had a bit of a blogging break, a combination of illness, a bereavement and just not having the energy or enthusiasm in the last few weeks. To be honest with what's been going on both personally and in the country in general food blogging has seemed a bit trivial but it's what I do and what I love so I'm back. First of all here's a couple of mini bakes. As there is only two of us in the household I've taken to baking half recipes of baked goods. I'll quite often chuck a couple of things from a bake in the freezer too then there's always something if we fancy a treat. Pictured are the mango and coconut muffins from Vegan Brunch. A friend gave me a bag of dried mango and apart from snacking on it and using it in these muffins I've also been loving it in overnight oats. The brownies are the recipe from Vegan Diner. I didn't realise until we tucked in that I'd accidentally used peppermint instead of almond extract but it turned out to be a good mistake!
I have Jessica Nadel's Greens 24/7 and was pleased to see her new book Superfoods 24/7 when I visited the library last week.
So far I've just made the Golden Turmeric Milk and this Superfood Hot Chocolate which I will definitely be making again. It feels like there's a bit of a backlash against superfoods at the moment. I don't think they are an essential part of a healthy diet but at the same time I love to eat a big variety of foods and am a bit of a fan. I watched a tv programme the other day and the main argument seemed to be cost. Whilst I agree that products can be costly I've also found that it is possible to pick stuff up at a reasonable price if you shop around. For example I get chia seeds for £1.79 a bag from Home Bargains and I've picked up organic raw cacao and gojis for a really good price in Grapetree (used to be Julian Graves) so it is possible to have 'superfood' supplements on a budget. I had everything in for this and it was delicious and felt like a real treat. It's flavoured with maca, cinnamon, chilli, ginger, sea salt and coconut oil.
I won a fun competition on Twitter with Oatly. The prize was some plectrums which Matt has taken, some temporary tattoos which I've given to my niece and nephew and a voucher. You had to come up with puns for songs which reference the product in the title. Our winning effort was 'Night Oat to Cairo' by Madness.
We've not had much bargain shopping recently but Heron did come up with marzipan Ritter Sport for 59p.
They also had this Alpro Fusion last week for 39p or 3 for £1. I wasn't even aware of this product!
We tried the coconut, pineapple and lemongrass flavour. I really liked it on it's own and also in a smoothie. It felt lighter and more grown up than drinking a chocolate milk for example.
We've been meaning to check out Angkorsoul for a while which is in the town of Marple and about 20 minutes drive from us. It's a combined vinyl record shop and a cafe/restaurant selling Cambodian and South East Asian food. We went at lunch time and went with our waitresses recommendation of these deep fried spring rolls filled with avocado and sun dried tomato and served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
I've only had deep fried, battered avocado once in a restaurant and I hated it so I was a bit wary and we got these to share. I needn't have worried as they were excellent and have erased all memories of the previous experience!
I was a bit nervous about ordering as I am sensitive to fresh chillis. They are one of the triggers for my cough reflex issue. I was really pleasantly surprised though to discover that most of the food on the menu wasn't hot and spicy and our waitress was able to advise. There are a good amount of clearly labelled vegan options on both the lunch and early evening menus. I needed comfort food that day so I went for a 'bowl' dish. The Sanskrit bowl is made up of brown rice, marinated kale, sweetcorn, carrots and Asian style Black beans with a ginger, peanut sauce.
Matt picked cabbage salad with tofu, noodles, onions, cucumber, mint, carrots, roasted peanuts, crispy shallots and a sweet, tart house dressing. We were really impressed by all the food which was so fresh and full of flavours. The cafe was busy and had a nice atmosphere and we hope to get back there for an evening meal. The cost for a shared starter, two mains and drinks was just under £20.
In other news I've invested in an ice cream maker. They were £15 in Aldi and I figured that seeing as all the icecream/ frozen yoghurt brands I like costs £5-8 it should soon pay for itself. This is my first attempt which was made from Provamel almond milk (I picked this brand as it seems much thicker and creamier than other almond milks and has a higher almond content) and has most of a bar of Maya Gold chocolate in it. My next request is for a cherry and chocolate chunk ice cream so I'm searching around the internet for a good recipe for that.
Do you remember my little garden prize from a few weeks ago? I can report that it is doing pretty well. The chip forks in the soil idea has worked at keeping the neighbourhood cats off it and they are also useful for removing slugs and snails when I go out on 'slug patrol' twice a day. It's three weeks in and we have started to harvest the lettuce leaves and the difference in taste between these fresh leaves and those you get out of a plastic supermarket bag is remarkable!
The beetroots and dwarf beans are a way off yet but seem to be doing ok too. It seems that the constant rain in June has at least been good for the plants!