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28/11/2008

Vegan With A Vengeance - Chocolate Chip Cookies

Has anyone else made these?
Has anyone else who has the UK version of this recipe book made these? Page 189. Has anyone else noticed any problems with the recipe? The ingredients calls for, amongst other things, 500 grams of Flour. I thought at the time that sounded like a LOT of Flour, especially compared to the 225 grams of Marg, 1 Tablespoon of Molasses and 2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract. Those three things are all the liquidy ingredients the recipe uses. I mixed everything up, added the Flour and was left with a load of mix that looked like Breadcrumbs. The recipe then goes on to say "drop by teaspoonfuls". There was no way this was going to drop as anything apart from fake dirty snow!! And as festive as that might be it's not gonna feed our hungry bellies with delicious Cookies. So I added about 100 grams more Marg and was able to mold biscuit shapes out of the mixture.
Look at the size of these!!
Oh and I used the Butterscotch Chips my package swap buddy, Laura, sent me. They tasted OK but nothing special and in all honesty I probably won't make these again. I wonder how much Flour the American version tells you to add? Anyone help me out?
25/11/2008

Pumpkin Ziti with Caramelised Onions and Sage Crumb Crust.....

....or something like that. Firstly I didn't have any Pumpkin and secondly I didn't have any Ziti (which is a type of Pasta doncha know!!) but as if those two minor things would stop me from making something I want. This recipe is of course out of Veganomicon and it's the first time I've made it, though I've had my eye on it a while, especially after having seen a fair few bloggers post about it. Two Vegan Boys Vegan Deliciousness
To name just two ('cos I can't remember where I saw the others!!)
First let me introduce you to my Butternut Squash
It was blinking HUGE. I wish I had weighed it now, but ohh well...lah dee dah. This was the only one I managed to grow this year - and it was a total fluke at that. Let me explain. When my compost bin is full I have the habit of chucking my Veggie scraps over our wall. "WHAAAAT!" I hear you cry. "Your poor neighbours!!" Well fret not - I don't have neighbours on the left of me - what I have instead is a patch of waste land that is used as a walk through. The bit right next to our wall is off the path and is left to go wild. At some point last Autumn some Butternut Squash Seeds were in the Veggie scraps and a Plant was born. Cool Huh! I accidentally pulled this beaut off the stem when I was turning it over to get the sun on the underside - but there was no need to panic as they will carry on ripening off the Plant. It has been sat in my kitchen for MONTHS and today was the day to eat it up. I cut it in half and baked one half of it still in it's skin (this is by far the easiest way to do it - have you ever tried peeling a Butternut??Not easy) and used this to replace the Pumpkin that the recipe called for. I had loads of Puree left over so that has gone in the freezer (I reckon it'll freeze OK) and I still have half a Butternut in my fridge which I'll probably end up just roasting. YUM! Anyhoo - here's the result
Let me tell you this was totally scrumpalicious!!! Lots of work involved (especially if you're doing your own Pumpkin/Butternut puree) BUT it was so worth it.
I did change the Cashew Ricotta recipe a bit as well because I don't know if it's the brand of Tofu I use or what - but it always has a slight Banana taste to it - honestly - I'm not going mad (going??!!) Mr treehugger said the same thing (about the Banana taste not me going mad - pay attention!!). So this time I omitted the Lemon Juice, Dried Basil (only cos I didn't have any - I used Oregano instead) and I added some Nooch and Marmite. Let me tell you - I'm gonna make it like this all the time now - SOOOOOO much better.
And I have managed to find a really nice Vegan Bread that was pretty similar to the one I used to buy but without all the nasties natch! YAY! Catch ya laterz y'all - hope you're all keeping warm and well. xxx Todays song is the theme tune from Bod - I can't help it - it's what's in my head.
22/11/2008

Meme - Youyou

I've been given an award! YAY! Becks from i am not a rabbit kindly tagged me in this meme and if you haven't checked out her blog yet then DO SO - it's ACE. I have to say I think this is one of the loveliest meme's ever, but also the most hardest because the roolz say I'm only allowed to choose 10 people to pass this award on to. 10 people!! Out of the whole blogosphere!! I want to give you ALL the award because I think anyone who spends the time and energy on writing about things that you're all so obviously passionate about deserves this PLUS choosing just ten of you is sooooo hard....... hee hee hee But roolz is roolz..... And here they are 1) post about the award 2) link back to the person that nominated you 3) place the award on your sidebar and then choose 10 blogs that you think are really cool, link to them, contact each person and talk about why you think their blogs are cool. Rabbit OK OK I know you gave me this award but I read the small print and there's nothing there that says I can't do this so there! I found your blog on the very first day of Vegan MoFo (I actually think yours was the first MoFo blog I read!!) and your exploding seitan sausage just had me in stitches. You've had me in stitches ever since. I LOVE your sense of humour and you have a wonderful natural way of expressing yourself which makes you come across as really friendly and familiar. You are so open and honest and I genuinely class you as a friend. Nothing is ever too much trouble for you - if you can help someone out then you're there! BIG MASSIVE HUGS TO MY RABBIT! Guava Yes I know you've already been given the award by the lovely Bethany but I'm giving it to you again GOD DAMMIT! because not to have you on this list would be just to darn weird! And as you know - I don't do weird. LOL! In fact LOL! is all I ever do when I read your blog and when I read the comments you leave people. You come across as a truly genuine lovable person who's partial to a belly rub too. hee hee hee. Your passion in what you believe in comes zinging it's way across cyber space and literally jumps out the monitor at me - your sparkle and energy is just amazing Guava and I'm so glad to have found you. HUGS AND SQUISHES Pixie We've been in the same cyber circles for a while now but it's only recently and thanks to Sara that I discovered your fantastic blog. I LOVED reading your Cook Book reviews all through MoFo and you are solely responsible for my book wish list to have tripled in size missus! You are also participating in NaBloPoMo as well and your dedication and passion in your blogging just blows me away. You probably get fed up of me tagging you all the time but you never moan about it. I figured you could do with a hand when writerz blox kicks in but you never seem to get it! As well as this and all the crafty things you get up to and all the things you get up to in general you are a wonderful mum to Little Pixie, in fact - you have to be the coolest mum I know!! Marni Your blog is truly genius! I have learnt so much from you - freezing food, drying Tomatoes, drying Apples, flavouring Oils (which was something I was always a bit wary of) and Moonshine Monday was so brilliant your Cranberry Liquor had me literally drooling on the keyboard. You have a wonderful unique way of expressing yourself and I await eagerly for your first published book (no pressure!). I also notice that today is your blog anniversary so this is my gift to you - and to say thank you for blogging and just generally being you - YOU ROCK! Princess Mouse Definitely one of my best online buddies! I don't know who's stalking who and I don't care. I think you're ACE! A fellow isher, a fellow vegan and a fellow Glastonbury festival lover! I class you as a friend who I just haven't met yet and I have a sneaky suspicion our first meeting will take place in a field somewhere - probably in Somerset! You have superb taste in music too. *high fives* Miss Ginger Yours was another one of the very first MoFo blogs I read - that cake you did was AWESOME girl but you grabbed my attention with your opening title - made I chuckle it did. You make me chuckle a lot! I've been avidly following you on your Raw Food journey and you have been a real inspiration to me. You give off a wonderful energy in the way you write and you come across as a real kindred spirit. The fact that we have identical shopping habits as well is an added bonus! I'm so happy to have found you Ginger. (((HUGS))) Felicity I'm so delighted to have found your blog - you write about such interesting things and it comes across that you really love blogging. Which is GREAT news for us because I really LOVE reading your blog. You share my love for Snails and there isn't many Snail lovers in the world so we gotsta stick together. AND you make the best darnedest butties EVER! Your Hash brown butty was pure genius and your Onion Bhaji butty just blew me away! Agnesssssssssssssssss :) You have to be the happiest person in blog land and you never fail to make me smile. You have the most wonderful energy about you and looking at all the wonderful food you eat it's not surprising. You shine Agnessssssss - don't ever stop! Sal It was your Coronation Seitan that got me hooked on your blog. Pure GENIUS that is. In fact you've made my tummy rumble on a fair few occasions girl! Crunchie ice-cream Need I say more!! I LOVE the fact you're not afraid to give anything a go and your creativity in the kitchen is a sheer delight Sal. You are totally responsible for my list of coveted kitchen gadgets being as long as my arm and I love living through your Tofu making experiences. Dave and Andy The ish twins (OK this is two blogs but you just can't mention one without the other - they come as a pair, like a comfy pair of slippers!) I have been a regular over at the forum for 3 or 4 years now and what I've learnt from you guys is just amazing. But the thing that gets me the most is your passion and your energy. Andy - your bike ride to Aberdeen was awesome and I admire you for the dedication and belief you have in yourself and causes that are important to you and close to your heart. You care for the environment and the world we live in and your passion for what you believe in is truly awe inspiring. I salute you both! So, there ya go. Lots of mushy stuff I know but this has been such a wonderful meme. Recognising and embracing the good in people is so empowering and fills me with so much happiness I could burst. So go forth my minions and spread some love and happiness across cyber space. xxxx
15/11/2008

Avocado Tree you WILL be mine

I don't know about anyone else but I have attempted to grow an Avocado from the Pip a garzillion times. There was one stage when every Avocado Pip was attempted to be grown - and we eat a LOT of Avocados. Attempted being the operative word here. I have no problem getting a Root to grow - though it takes weeks and weeeeeeks, and even once or twice I have managed to get a decent bit of Stalk as well - but alack and alas that is ever as far as they get. Until now. Ladies and Ladies (I really don't think any guys read this - if you do shout out) allow me to introduce you to Audrey III
Feed me Seymour!
Though Audrey five million three hundred and eighty five thousand two hundred and sixteen is more appropriate I didn't think it would do her ego much good - so Audrey III it is!! Isn't she a BEAUT! Like her namesake she is going to take over the world (well my garden at least) but unlike her namesake she is Vegan and doesn't require blood to sustain her. Just lots of sunlight and chats over cups of tea. I started her from Pip in the beginning of May this year - so she is doing splendidly. I'm a bit scared that the cold will kill her and for this reason she is in the one spot that gets sunlight through the winter months (we are north facing - bummer!). I would be distraught if she didn't make it, I have become rather obsessed with the whole thing but I have poured so much love and care into Audrey III that it would be very upsetting for anything to happen to her. I'm contemplating bringing her inside the house at night times. Am I bit too obsessed do you think? Gahhh I don't care anyway - I'll be the one laughing when I'm picking my fresh Avocados off her in a few years time! BOO YEAH!
12/11/2008

Look what Mr Postman bought me!!

It is not often I am rendered speechless much to the chagrin of my nearest and dearest, but they would have reveled in my inability to utter any sensible words ( in any language) when I received my first swap package this morning. I am still rather speechless (yes, apparently this is me being speechless) so I will let a picture do what it's intended and that is to speak a thousand words.
Salt Water Taffy
Butterscotch Chips White Cocolate Chips Rice mellow Creme - HELLO! Smooch Lions Chick-O-Stick x 2 Golden Smacker Vanilla Marshmallow Treat Chocolate Marshmallow Treat Super Sour Worms Hot n' Spicey Jerky - OH YEAH! Blueberry Fruit Strip Peach Fruit Strip Crispy Cat Candy bar - it's not made from cats - don't worry Sprinklez!!!! Peanut Butter Bite x 2 Mamba Fruit Chews Peanutbutter Creme Cookies - *SWOON* Liquid Smoke x 2 - TWO!!!TWO!!! Worcestershire Sauce - I haven't had this for YEARS!!! Gummi Bears x 2 Sour patch Mike Ike - aren't these names just THE BEST! Ricemilk Chocolate!! Old Bay - come to pappa moon Not beef stock cubes Not Chick'n stock cubes Cherry Jelly - *FAINTS* Newman-O's - I left my body at this point Home made Vegan Soap WOWZERS HUH!!! Being a bit shy of the required 500 posts over at PPK I was not eligible to participate in the swap Package that is set up over there - but All kitties flock to me took pity on my plight and contacted me via private messaging to see if we would like to do one between ourselves. HELL YEAH! Buying Vegan goodies is just as much fun as receiving Vegan goodies - if not more so and I fervently went about buying goodies to send on it's merry way to the good ole U S of A. We agreed to spend 20 dollars plus the postage. WELL! Either things across the pond are WAY WAY cheaper than this side of the Atlantic or All kitties flock to me spent LOADS more than 20 dollars! I'm so excited about so many of these wonderful goodies she sent me - especially the coveted Liquid Smoke and Old Bay seasoning. BUT I think I have to say my most favourite item is the hand made soap made by her mum! It smells DIVINE!!! All kitties - you are the greatest and this was SOOO much fun, thank you so much for all these wonderful treats you sent me. And now I'm off to stuff myself silly and wait for the Sugar rush to kick in. YEAH!
11/11/2008

I've Been Tagged

But first I want to rant. I say every day is a learning curve on my Vegan journey and that is no understatement. I must be one of the last Vegans on earth not to realise that milk powder is used in Bread!! WTF!! Isn't Bread just Flour, Yeast, Water, Salt......maybe Sugar..........definitely Nuts and Seeds if you're like me and like a nice Loaf that includes Sunflower Seeds, Oats, Flax, Mustard Seeds etc etc and take for granted that the one you buy from the supermarket is SO apparently healthy that surely it's not going to contain lots of nasties!!?? Right? Right? I was chatting to someone on facebook and they said how difficult it was to buy Vegan Bread and I was like "Oh I don't have a problem....I get this gorgeous Bread from my local supermarket and it's super yummmm" You could hear the penny drop.... I hadn't actually read the ingredients of this Bread since like forever because I stupidly took it for granted that it wouldn't contain animal products. I raced to the kitchen to check the ingredients and sure enough there is milk powder in it along with all sorts of other nasties. How can bread that looks SO healthy be actually full of so much shit??? Mr treehugger eats your standard British white Loaf, that I'm FOREVER moaning at him not to eat 'cos we all know white Bread isn't the greatest thing for you, and guess what? It actually ONLY contains Flour, Yeast, Salt, Vegetable Oil and Water - which is how Bread should be isn't it!! /rant So on to this here tagging........ Vegan Dance if you want to was the tagger and like the jolly good sport that I am, of course I'll play with you.
Rules: Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links. Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. Lightning struck centimeters from where I was sat out in the garden one night - it actually melted the glass I was drinking out of. Ever since then I have had a weird reaction to electricty and the ions it emits - which plays all sorts of havoc in my every day life. I also live in fear of electric shocks. 2. Since the age of 14 I am convinced I was a passenger on the Titanic - I wasn't a survivor. 3. I have OCD and have been known to clean people's bathrooms before using them! I've even cleaned my local pubs bathroom!
4. I can take my socks off with my feet but haven't mastered the art of putting them on with my feet - I am woorking on that one. 5. When I'm drunk I dance.
6. Horses scare the beejaysus outta me but I have absolutely no idea why - it is a completely irrational fear. But I do LOVE horses before you all start sending me hate mail. I think they are majestic animals that command and deserve respect - so long as they're not too near me I don't have a problem with them.
7. I like swimming WAY out to sea and one time when I was swimming in the Med a few summers ago I got caught up in a Jelly Fish and the actions of me doing the front stroke made us both get tangled up in a situation we both would have liked to have avoided. Luckily he was not a bad stinger and no-one had to wee on me. And now I've told you all this I am going to have to kill you! LOL! But first I get to tag!! YAY! Guava and Rabbit have already been tagged otherwise they would have been on my hit list (I bet they've got some right wierd secrets!!) The same goes for Ginger and ladybug!! So.........I tag........ Grass | Dirt | Corn Half Pint Pixie La Vegan Loca Wing it Vegan Skint Vegan Thrifty Living and Down Home Vegan Spill your weird and wacky beans!!
09/11/2008

Vegan Roast Dinner Lentil and Mushroom Loaf with Savoury Potato Filling

Ooooh I've got a little beauty of a recipe here for your viewing pleasure today guys and gals. I honestly can not remember where I originally got this recipe from - it seems I have always had it on my repertoire. I realise it must have originated from somewhere and me saying "The Magic Mushroom King told me to make this one night when he visited me from his fairy realm" isn't gonna wash with most people (they's crazy). So to whoever/where ever I got this little trooper from - I thank thee. Nom nom nom. Vegan Roast Dinner Lentil and Mushroom Loaf with Savoury Potato Filling Serves 6 Ingredients 1 cup Raw Lentils 1 tablespoon Olive Oil 2 cloves Garlic, minced 6 ounces white Mushrooms 5 ounces (l/2 package) thawed frozen Spinach 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce 2 tablespoons Wheat Germ freshly ground Pepper to taste dash Nutmeg Filling 1 tablespoon Olive Oil 1 medium chopped Onion 1/4 cup dry Bread crumbs (I make my own and use 5 seed wholemeal bread - about 2 slices) 1 cup coarsely mashed Potato (from about 1 medium cooked and peeled potato) ½ teaspoon each: seasoned Salt, dried Thyme, and dried Sage freshly ground Pepper to taste curly Parsley for garnish Method Rinse and sort the Lentils. Combine in a heavy saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the Lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat the Oil in a large skillet. Add the Garlic and Mushrooms and saute over medium heat, stirring, until the Mushrooms are wilted. Stir in the Spinach, Llentils, Soy Sauce, and Wheat Germ. Grind in some Pepper and add the Nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is heated through. Lightly oil a 9- by 5- by 3inch loaf pan, preferably glass. Pour in about 2/3 Of the Lentil mixture. Press some of the mixture up the sides of the pan to create a shell about ½ inch thick. Transfer the remaining Lentil mixture to a small bowl and reserve until needed. Rinse the skillet and heat the Oil. Add the Onion and sautee until golden brown. Add the remaining filling ingredients and saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer into the shell created by the Lentil mixture, then cover the top with the reserved Lentil mixture. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is crispy. Serve and enjoy.
I had half an Aubergine that need using up so I sliced it up thinly, fried the slices then layered them in the base of the Loaf pan. Aren't I resourceful!
Pre Gravy smothering
04/11/2008

Well rested and Raring to go!

Oooh it was weird not typing vegan MoFo as the title.....it felt so natural to do so.
Well it's November chaps and chapesses and the days are getting as short as they are cold. Nature tends to kick in and take over our bodies through the Winter Months - making us crave stodgy foods that will help keep us warm with some extra insulation. I don't know about anyone else but I am amply insulated enough as it is and after MoFo all my body was craving was SALAD!! Yep - you heard me - nice crisp green Lettuce Leaves with a juicy red Tomato and LOADS of Cauliflower Salad to boot. Boy was it ever good and I'm going to have the same for lunch today as well. It's interesting to note that it is all raw too!
RAWR!
And as promised prior to Halloween, a photo of the Spider Cake I made.
He looks good but I wasn't impressed with the Cake mixture and would NOT make this again. I only own Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance cook books so I rely heavily on the interwebs for recipes - if anyone has a tried and tested and LOVED Sponge Cake recipe you could share with me I would be truly grateful. Thankfully everyone was well inebriated when he got sliced up and failed to notice what I noticed - maybe my taste buds are more sensitive than omni's anyway? Who knows! I didn't like it and that is enough for me, or maybe EVERYONE didn't like it but were all too polite to say!! Maybe I have scarred them against Vegan Cake for life!! Oh the paranoia has set in!!