The other day I managed to make some freezer treat pretzel bites with turkish delight that were very much Man-thing approved. The most perplexing part of all was that I had soaked my dates in coffee (decaf, admittedly), and he actually loved that! Man-thing doesn’t drink coffee, for the record, so this was an uber win for team awesome, because I’m going to take this as permission to add coffee to pretty much anything from now on.I’m pretty much wired by now to expect coffee straight after a meal, so adding coffee to the meal itself is really game-changing stuff for me. I’ll still have my coffee on the side, but any way that I can get more java is just grand.
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!
So I’ve decided to go large and start sharing my recipes across the web. My first attempt was a hit! I got my banana + carrot tahini buckwheat scones accepted onto Foodgawker, which I consider to be a massive privilege considering the amazing quality of photos on their website (which has certainly kept me very, very busy for many an hour!). Of course, bolstered by success, I submitted some more, only to have a trail of rejections, but I’m actually not fussed because hurrah for constructive feedback! It’s things like this that help one to learn about the intricacies of presenting and plating food, and then how you take the photo as well. Distance, depth…it’s like looking through a kaleidoscope by the end of it; there’s never just a vegan burger or sweet treat on a plate; the cutlery is either antique or placed invitingly, the space is wide, so as not to overcrowd the big juicy salad on the side…lah!
My second bit of big news is that I won a wonderful bunch of goodies from NuNaturals, thanks to gracious and lovely Ann’s giveaway over at Unrefined Vegan! 😀 I am so beyond psyched because the lucky packet includes a whole lot of stevia powder *and* liquid stevia *and* oat fibre…yum! I’m already plotting and making furious sketches and notes as to what I can possible make with all my bounty! 😀 Seriously, the blogging community is such an amazing living creature – one gets to meet fascinating people, share experiences and recipes, gawk and drool at amazing food and presentation…it really hits all my visual and communicative spots.
In order to celebrate my amazing good fortune I decided to revisit one of my favourite indulgences – pastry! I made one of these on Wednesday after presenting my second paper at the Master’s class and felt I needed a treat in the house for Man-thing and I both. Tonight is date night (can you believe it!). With all our work obligations, studies and general life circumstances, it’s easy to lose touch with one’s companion, so we have to set aside time to just be in each other’s presence consciously. So yes, I thought to spoil us with a pastry each (well, half for me with a big, dashing salad) and some steamed veggies. I love the comforting elements of the pastry with warm, flavourful insides. Pure bliss and actually quite easy to make, all things considered). Considering the on-off drizzly weather that just demands cuddling and warm things to eat, we’ve decided to set up downstairs today and bring the laptops with us to watch a movie or two on the couch like real adults. What could be better?
Ja, so sometimes my mind goes strange places, and the title is probably sufficient to convince anyone of that. I usually try and steer clear of artificial vegan meat products and reserve such things for when there really is no alternative or when Man-thing whines hard enough. He’s truly a sucker for soya chunks (probably because, as an omni, it’s as close as he gets to “the real thing” in a vegan household. Luckily I’ve taught myself to make my own burgers, and will soon try out some tofu nuggets, and such things are satisfying enough that one needn’t buy soya products in such shapes. One thing that one can’t really “replace” is seafood, just because it’s so varied in its form and textures. I can’t say I miss seafood itself, but rather the types of dishes it represents. I guess I can’t go large on this topic, however, since I’ve honestly gone and paired prawns and pancakes. This was for yesterday’s lunch, because weekends are a time to indulge in experimentation.
And why not? Sweet and sour deliciousness aside delicious, creamy filled pancakes? Mm mm! Continue reading
After my delightful lunch-time pizza yesterday I simply didn’t have enough space in my pouch for a smoothie on the side as I had planned, so I decided to combine my lunch and afternoon snack smoothies into one. You can bet this is the most awesome, filling, smoothest thing I’ve yet made and I didn’t stop enjoying myself until I finished up the nearly four cups of nomness!
Today my FIL jazzed over to our place to help saw down a ficus tree. The tree was planted too close to the low wall separating our garden from that of the neighbour, and it has slowly grown into it, pushing the bricks apart and basically ruining its structural integrity. I’m not a fan of chopping down trees but alas this was one of those situations where there aren’t any alternatives. To feed the troops I decided to go wild and make some cinnamon rolls with a twist.
For the holidays I got a jar of awesome homemade chutney from my SIL which just blew my socks off, so ever since I’ve been keen to try my own chutney, because it really is very, very straight-forward. I’ve modified the recipe to include less fruit, since the pepper and beetroot can be replaced with a can of tinned apples if you choose. Green peppers and beetroot are rather sweet to my taste so it didn’t bother me much. You can also add mangoes or anything, really! I also decided that it simply must find its hope snuggled betwixt the warm folds of a cinnamon roll. How can such a combination be wrong?
It can’t! 😀 Continue reading
Today I decided to splash out and make something indulgent and tasty. I’ve been getting a lot of grief lately (see below recipe) so treating myself and Man-thing was the only clear solution. For Man-thing, indulgence usually revolves around weird things like marmite sandwiches or pies. I decided to try my hand at pies again, because they came out rather well last time, but I wanted to test out different ingredients. Let’s just say the professions of love I got after Man-thing took a tester bite are enough to convince me this is a champ of a recipe, and easy to boot. It’s based, as was my previous version, on My Inspiration’s mushroom parcels – they know what’s what over there! Now come see what’s going on over here! 😀