A while back Ann from An Unrefined Vegan was awesome enough to host a competition in conjunction with NuNaturals, and guess who was one of the winners? That’s right, your local delinquent! I’ve been on the edge of my seat for a while now, because overseas shipping makes me nervous (hello, lost Amazon books?), but Man-thing sent a message yesterday that everything had arrived in one shiny box. Huzzah! He had to go look after my MIL’s African Grey whilst they gallivant on a cruise ship, so I had a whole evening to scour the internet looking for recipes to try out with my new bounty. In the end I decided to wing it, because I wanted to use as little ingredients as possible, and as little chocolate as possible (because yikes, overindulgence has been the keyword for the past month or so). Unfortunately “winging it” doesn’t always lead to success. So back to the drawing boards I go! That doesn’t mean I am not beyond excited about my free goodies – come take a peek!
The best part of all this is that I actually got a free prize even though I live far, far away from the magical land of the US, where all these glorious giveaways usually take place – oh so privileged and stoked to have gotten something in the mail!
Seriously, my favourite flavours! I’ve been all about my sadness regarding lack of proper peppermint essence and I cannot believe I got some! AND orange!! Keep in mind these two bottles are extra, above and beyond the extra gift. This is where serious baking/nom-making begins! There was also a “nocarbs blend”‘ shaker, which I’ll have to read up on, because I’m a stevia n00b and haven’t the faintest as to what it is supposed to do.
Bolstered by my bounty I went out yesterday to get myself cake pop moulds, a non-stick milk pot, an awesome smoothie mug, some shiny serviettes (flecked with gold), and teacup baking cups. When I go girly it’s obviously for the long haul. Since Man-thing doesn’t read my blog, I’m also not shy to say I bought his birthday present a bit early – a snackwich/waffle/panini press maker: all-in-one! I must admit the panini press is for me to test out quesadillas, but Man-thing has been eyeing snackwich makers for a long while now, since he’s a toast/bread monster. All the delicious vegan waffle recipes on the net have also made me very hungry and jealous in equal measure, and it seems a fine way to spoil oneself once in a blue moon. How awesome is this gift? I would totally give it to myself, but since I’ll be wrapping it up and handing it over to the custodianship of Man-thing, my guilt is assuaged. I plan to make a secondary birthday package with three options: one waffle mix, one packet of panini bread, and one loaf of delicious rye or GF bread. He can then make his choice as to what breakfast is to be on the big day, made by moi 😀 He’s turning 30, which means many professions of sadness on his part, so I wanted to do something completely hedonistic and cheery; something void of age.
Today we went to the Saturday Farmer’s Market near to where we live to meet up with my most beloved aunt, uncle,and grandmother. Apart from random veggies, sweet potatoes and other trinkets we got a huge zucchini and a box of mangoes. Yum!
For scale. A very, very sulky cat at having to share his sacred spot.
Luckily he didn’t sulk for long once he saw what I was bringing over to take a quick snap of.
Seriously, pumpkin makes everything better! It’s much healthier/less sugar-y than using more fruit in your smoothies but adds to that creaminess without tasting like pumpkin, especially when combined with the freshness of mango and raspberries.
- 1/2 head of butter lettuce
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup mango, chopped and preferably frozen
- 1 cup pumpkin, diced and frozen.
- cinnamon & ginger spices
- 2 droppers NuNaturals Liquid Cherry Vanilla NuStevia
- Optional: hemp protein powder
Yum! No need for extra sweetness! The lettuce is because the shops have lately been very lame about providing spinach, but it actually provides a light and refreshing change – it isn’t overpowering, and allows the natural colour of the various fruits to shine through. Awesomepants! Pumpkin now makes up the bulk of my morning smoothie instead of fruit, though I have a big bunch of bananas that need to get gone! I find it much more filling, especially when made in conjunction with papaya, berries, and “lighter” fruits.
We finally opened the “grow your own tomatoes” kit I got from Eleanor very, very long ago when she made like Bilbo Baggins on her birthday and dished them out. Man-thing was obviously delegated to the labour end of things, with the excuse that I couldn’t get my camera dirty *innocent face*
I honestly don’t know why it took us so long – sometimes things just become part of the furniture until you rediscover them. I’m hoping to make a tomato tart or something delicious out of whatever grows from our little pot! 😀
So, even though I still haven’t done something with my awesome stevia-stuffed gift, I think investing one’s time into other small but long-term projects around the kitchen is just as satisfying in the meantime. There’s nothing like hauling a zucchini bigger than a fat cat around a market – it can only mean serious business!