Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Joyeaux Noel

Wishing you all a Peaceful and Blessed day. Had planned to do a lot of blog posts during December but my mum has been poorly of late so havent had time, hopefully will get time over the Holidays. Have a great day everyone.

Mum bought me this lovely Christmas village and Nativity scene many years ago, comes out every year.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hollingworth Lake nature reserve

Not sure where time at the weekend goes but I have great plans to get into the kitchen and do some baking but once again on Saturday the sun was shining and it seems a waste of a beautiful day to be stuck indoors.

So once again I grabbed my camera and headed off to visit a nature reserve at Hollingworth lake, this is a wonderful place to visit no matter what season it is. The combination of the birds and beautiful autumn colour is a winner every time.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Butterbean and chorizo casserole

Well I had big plans for the weekend, I was going to bake biscuits and do some cooking well the weather was so good I decided to take my niece out for a walk, we often go walking as we love taking photographs. So  we wrapped up, packed a flask of soup, grabbed our cameras and set off.

We were't disapointed the sun was out and we went into the woods I love this area its a haven for walkers and their dogs, the trees were just starting to turn red.

Also met a few delightful squirrels on our walk.

Well by the time I got home didnt leave much time for cooking, so I needed a quick tea I could rustle up in 20 mins, so it was the old favourite, perfect for an autumn day.

Butter Bean and Vegan Chorizo Casserole

1 pack of Redwoods Vegan Chorizo Pieces
1 Onion diced
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tins of Butter beans 
2 tbs Olive oil

Heat oil and gently fry garlic and onions for 5 mins.
Add Chorizio pieces and continue to fry for a few mins,

Add tinned tomatoes and cook for few mins.
Lastly add Butter beans and cook until heated. Nice and quick just what you need when you are in a hurry.

I have on occasions substituted Butter beans for Baked beans and put a topping of sliced potatoes on the top for a more hearty meal. Have even added spinach or Kale to the mixture when I have been using up greens.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Vegan Holiday Nog

OK I know it's a bit early for Christmas but its never too early for Holiday Nog right?

I had mentioned this before in a post about Tofu but I never gave you the recipe duh.
The recipe is one of Collen Patrick-Goudreus found in The Joy of Vegan Baking if you ever want to buy one Vegan book on baking this has to be the one, it has literally everything in you would desire to bake.

I have to be honest when I turned Vegan from Vegetarian the one thing I knew I was going to miss was Baileys Irish Cream, although I only drink it at Christmas it is a tradition I was going to really miss.

So I started looking round for a Vegan alternative and I soon found this one, I can honestly say it is every bit as good as Baileys, or maybe better as you can be as heavy handed as you like with the alcohol, also it costs a few quid to make, always a bonus.

1 pack of Silken Tofu (340g)
2 Cups of Non dairy milk I used Hazelnut, but almond also works or even vanilla.
1/2 Cup of Maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cardomon
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.Refrigiate for 1 hour before serving. That's the non alcoholic version :-)
To add a bit of a kick add 1/2 - 1 Cup of Whiskey,Brandy, Cognac or Rum, you can also replace the maple syrup with granulated sugar.

The original recipe called for a mashed bananna as well, I did add it the first time I made it but I found it made the nog too heavy and gave it a bananna taste and gave it a very thick texture it wasn't for me but it may be for you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Earth Cafe Manchester

When out shopping I always prefer to eat and drink in a Vegetarian/Vegan Cafe most cafes cant be bothered to cater for me so why should I compromise and end up eating something just because its the only Vegan option available. I've lost count of the number of times I've ended up with a black coffee (which I don't really enjoy) just because a cafe or can't be bothered to stock Soya or some other non dairy milk.

OK I know some of the  bigger chains like Starbucks or Costa do offer an option but I end up getting charged an extra 35p for it, that one really winds me up, also there is no vegan cake or biscuits available :-( and to be truthful there not going to miss the cost of my Soy Latte are they?

Like everyone else there is nothing more I like doing when out shopping is stopping for a nice Latte and a slice of cake, not being the worlds biggest cake eater its nice to occasionally have a slice when out and about, its part of the day for me.

So you can imagine how delighted I was to find The Earth Cafe in Manchester.

I found this place whilst looking for a Yoga class I wanted to try its above the Buddist centre on Turner Street Manchester. Its a lovely little cafe and everything on the menu is vegan as well, a double bonus for me being Vegan.

I only dropped in for a Coffee whilst waiting for a friend and was very impressed by the menu and the interior.

There was a delicious smell of cooking and wish I could have stopped to try the food but as I was in a rush I only had time to sample to carrott cake which was delicious :-) all the cakes are Vegan so that convinced me.
As for the menu there seemed to be a large assortment of curries,chilis and salads as well as some gorgeous looking juices and smoothies etc, I am definetly heading here next time I'm out shopping so will report back on the food.

Even if you're not Vegetarian or Vegan its a nice litte cafe when you want something quick and the service was wonderful.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Autumn Musings and food

Well I guess I qualify for being the worlds worst blogger of late, trying to juggle two blogs may not be the best idea but I do so want to try and keep this blog more vegan food orientated along with my love of all things French slightly apart from my other blog Ramblings of an electric witch.

As a food lover and vegan who likes to cook, this is a great time of year for me, my apples are looking promising along with my plum tree so for the next few months I will probably bore you all with my apple and plum recipes. 

The shops are filling up with beautiful colourful squashes and pumpkins, this is definetly one of my favourite seasons. I also start getting into soup mode at this time of year, I really do turn into the soup monster. I find its a quick and easy dinner for me to take to work nice bowl of steaming soup and some crusty bread always a winner, being vegan I find its easier and of course cheaper to bring my own lunch to work, I at least know everything that has gone into it.

My friend gave me a great recipe the other day for Sweet potato soup its quick,easy and delicious.

2 tbs Olive oil
1 large sweet potato (cubed) 
1 Red onion
1 Red pepper 
2-3 cloves of smoked garlic (or any other garlic, just that I love smoked garlic)
2 pints of veg stock

Heat up oil and add onions and garlic for 5 mins add sweet potatp and pepper and cook for 10mins keeping an eye that nothing sticks.
Add stock and simmer for 20 mins.
Then simply whizz in a blender or with a hand blender and voila a delicious and health dinner for next to nothing.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Peaches for Monsieur le cure

What is it about some authors that spin you into their fantasy as soon as you open the book and turn the page?

Joanne Harris does it every time, the author of chocolat has done it to me again, i can remember when i first read chocolat I immediatly turned my hands to making my own chocolate although not to the standard of Vianne Rocher I may add.

Vianne is the heroine of the books who is swept into a little french village and opens a Chocolate shop and turns the life upside down of all its inhabitants.

Joanne has the knack of tantalising your taste buds with her food I m not the worlds greatest Chocolate lover but after reading these books i always crave chocolate, strange? How does she do this? 

 The latest instalment in the Chocolat series does it again too, no sooner as I start the book I smell the pungent aroma of Peaches and the urge to make Peach Jam like vianne Rocher is unresistable, it turned out very nice actually. 

Once again Viannes chocolate making skills are soon tempting me.

Peaches for Monsieur le Cure is the third instalment in these books, the previous was lollipop shoes. Vianne is called back to the village after receiving a letter from her dead friend, once again  Vianne is called back realising she has unfinished buisness in this little french village.

I finished this book today and like all Joanne Harris books you feel immediatly sad that the story has ended, however I am now left with several pots of Peach jam and i am just heading into the kitchen to make a cup of Hot Chocolate so its not all bad news is it.