I have been awarded

Four times! thanks to Edain of the fantabulous English, Pagan and in Canada And the awesome Paula from Art and Home Check out their blogs if you haven't done so. I have to admit that I'm not very good at passing on these awards, which explains why the first one has been sat on my desktop for a good while! All the blogs I frequent deserve all of these awards and I'm just rubbish at sticking to the rules and selecting ONLY 10 or 15 people to pass them on to. So I'm gonna totally break the rules and say that if your blog appears in my blogroll on the right (there are HUNDREDS of 'em) then these awards are for YOU!
Edited to add: I've just counted how many blogs are in my list and there are 131 of you! Jeez - do I spend too much time in blog land or what!! If you have a blog that you think I would like, please leave me a link in the comments and I will add you too.

Bean there, done that.

Having been to the supermarket and scored myself some Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts and Bananas that were all reduced I was a bit confuzzled as to what to do with them. Obviously Bananas are not a problem because I happily ate one whilst walking round the shop and I had another when I got back home too, but I did think that making some Banana Bread was definitely in order. I looked through all the recipes that I had at home but I was always missing one ingredient (Apple Sauce - anyone know of a suitable replacement??) so I did a quick Google and Lo and Behold - didn't the recipe from the PPK pop up. I had all the ingredients, only I was a bit lost as to whether to use Baking Powder OR Bicarbonate of Soda seeing as Isa's recipe called for Baking Soda!! Is there a difference between Baking Powder and Bicarb? Is Baking Soda something else entirely?? Anyhooo, I settled on Bicarb and whilst the Bread didn't rise as much as I'd have liked, it tasted blinking yum and comes highly recommended by yours truly.
The Brussels Sprouts are sitting in the fridge and will get used up tomorrow but with the Green Beans I made Green Bean Casserole for the first time ever and
OH.MY. GOD!! I can't believe I've never tried this before - it was freaking AWESOME. OK so it's really a US (and Canadian??) thing and really, before blogging, there was no reason how I could ever have known about this dish. But I'm so happy I have discovered it's joy and deliciousness ness ness. I did read a few recipes but at the end of the day I just winged it. Cooking without recipes is definitely by far my favourite way to cook. A pinch of this here, a drop of that there, a taste of that....what else does it need? You all know the score I'm sure. So this is how I did it.
Heathen Green Bean Casserole serves 2 Ingredients Green Beans, cut into bite sized pieces and steamed for 10 mins Olive Oil 1 Onion, cut in half then sliced 3 Mushrooms, sliced 1 Clove of Garlic, diced More Olive Oil Flour Soya Milk Salt Pepper Oregano Marigold Vegetable Bouillon Method Heat about a tablespoon of Olive Oil in a pan and add the Onion. Saute on medium heat for 10-12 mins. When most of the Onions are caramelised and some edges are turning black, add the Mushrooms and Garlic. Stir constantly for 2 or 3 mins then empty onto a plate for later. In the same pan, add some more Olive Oil (2 Tablespoons - ish) and heat up. Add about 2 tablespoon of Flour and whisk briskly. Take off the heat then whilst whisking, slowly pour in some Soya Milk (about a cup). Return to heat and carry on whisking so as there are no lumps. Even if there are lumps it doesn't matter as a quick blitz with the blender will soon sort them out! Add the Onions, Mushrooms and Garlic to the Sauce add quite a lot of Salt (1 teaspoon) some Black Pepper, Oregano and 2 teaspoons of the Vegetable Bouillon and give everything a really good stir. Place in a dish and cover with Breadcrumbs, drizzle with Olive Oil and grill for 10 mins. Make sure the Breadcrumbs don't burn!! Totally Yummy!
shamelessly stolen photo of Green Beans because my blog looks so sad without photos
Ooooh oohh oooooooh. I got my P.I.F today from the luvverly Shelly and everything she sent me was simply GORGEOUS!!!
I am now the proud and happy owner of one of these adorable Felty Heart Pins and a Pin Cushion not to mention two Bath Bombs AND (she really has spoilt us) some absolutely STUNNING Doughnuts all stashed away in a gorgeous little bag. Keep an eye out for Shelly posting her tutorial on making the Doughnuts because these are just adorable.
I'm gutted I can't take a picture to show you all the wonderful things.
A BIG BIG BIG thank you to Shellyfish for making this so fun.

Eating meat is WRONG!

You don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to be appalled by animal cruelty.
I used to go fox hunt sabotaging with plenty of people who would return to their homes after the hunt to tuck into their Sunday dinners of roast beef. So no, you don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to be appalled by animal cruelty. You just need a sense of compassion. You don't need to be vegan or vegetarian to have a sense of compassion. You just need to be human. The suffering that we, as humans, inflict on the animal kingdom is barbaric and wrong. If you are abhorred by animal suffering and cruelty and you eat meat, where does your disgust of a baby seal being clubbed to death end and your justification of eating a bacon butty start? If you are able to separate and see the difference between a dog kept locked in a cage and used for animal experiments and a calf being separated from it's mother and stored in a darkened crate until it is killed then I envy and pity you all at the same time. I envy your ignorance and I pity your ignorance.
Are we not taught that killing is wrong?
Should this be exclusive to killing humans alone or should it be extended to the taking of all life, any life? Who are we to be able to separate one life from another? Isn't all life sacred? Doesn't the divine spark of life reside in ALL living creatures? If you eat meat and call yourself an animal lover then you are a hypocrite. Say you love animals EXCEPT cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, ducks etc etc but don't call yourself an ANIMAL LOVER. Justify to yourselves the difference between looking into the eyes of your beloved pet dog/cat/snake/hamster and looking into the eyes of a pig/chicken/cow being sent to slaughter.
If you can see a difference then please lend me those rose coloured glasses.
THERE IS NO FREAKING DIFFERENCE. For a free PDF guide to going vegetarian click here.

Cooking the Vegan blogs

Hi guys and gals Since entering the blogosphere my list of foods to make has just been growing longer and longer by the day! And it's ALL YOUR FAULT for making such awesome looking foods and sharing them with the rest of blog land. I took this week as an opportunity to start making my way through them all - no easy task believe me. First up was River's Meatless Loaf I've had my eye on this ever since River posted it and rabbit totally convinced me with her version. My haul of UK goodies that I smuggled home with me included some Realeat Mince which I just knew would be perfect for this. And it was. This recipe is awesome! I didn't have any adobo OR Mrs. Dash seasoning and in all honesty I don't even know what either of those things are! So after a consultation with aforementioned bunny I ended up using a quarter of a teaspoon each of Mustard Powder, Paprika, Chili Flakes, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt and Mixed Herbs. And I subbed the half cup of Tomato Sauce with a half cup of made up Bisto Gravy. Ahhhhh....Bisto! Obviously I don't have any photos (SOB) but don't take my word for it anyway - nip on over to River's and rabbit's and have a look at theirs. Second up has to be the most AMAZING Soup I have ever had in my life. EVER. And as most of you know - I have had a LOT of Soup. This little beauty I have The Vegan Slaughterhouse to thank for. It is called Peanut Tofu Thai Soup and I command you all to go forth and make it. I totally stuck to the recipe on this one EXCEPT (haha) I used Cous Cous instead of Rice because I thought it would be more "authentic" (don't ask) and I didn't have Maple Syrup. The Cous Cous worked FAB and I don't know what difference the Maple Syrup would have made because to improve on this recipe just doesn't seem possible. It really is an amazing Soup! Thanks for all your comments last week - all your support has just been wonderful. If there are any more fingers and toes left to be crossed then you could wish me and Mr treehugger luck on Monday - we have just put an offer in on our dream house!! *SQUEALS!*