Thursday, 28 December 2017

Christmas On A Budget

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a session through work called 'Christmas Cooking On A Budget'.  

It did not go accordingly, as the Tutor who usually runs the Cooking On A Budget session had not purchased the ingredients and there seemed to have been an overspend by the organiser. I did not want to embarrass the organiser, so did not get round to asking the Tutor in private what the cost of Christmas Cooking On A Budget should have been for up to 12 people. Regardless, it made for an interesting day.  It got me to reflect on how lucky I presently am to have a home, able to buy things I want and food I want to indulge in.   However, I share with you a  Link to a website called Family Lives and their article on Christmas On A Budget with some tips that may be helpful in the future if you have to Cook On A Budget.
This was my vegan Christmas On A Budget plate, yet to be smothered in gravy.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Truffle Scented Mushroom and Lentil Pate (vegan)

Today was my last full working day at work and so the holidays begins.

Like many I am looking forward to the festive break.  We are travelling tomorrow, to spend Christmas with my mother in law.  I am looking forward to seeing her, but no so much the travelling there, but it must be done. 
I cannot remember the last time I made or had mushroom pate, so with Christmas beckoning, I thought I would make some enhanced further with some Black Truffle oil - its Christmas after all.
I would also and to wish my readers a Happy Christmas with your family, true friends and loved ones.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Chocolate Snowflake Peanut Butter Cups

These are peanut butter cups disguised as chocolate snowflakes.  

Very festive don't you think?!
These are my first ever attempt at making peanut butter cups, not that difficult I hear you say - but how about making the Peanut Butter Cups in the shape of intricate Snowflakes - a little fiddly to make, but well worth the effort.  

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Roasted Red Onion 'Lotus Flower'

The snow from last week has all melted away - although when I look outside the window the snow head and melted body of a snowman remains still intact in one of the neighbours front garden, an indication of how cold it is still here.  

We managed to get the car started, turned around and carefully down the skiddy icy road and get into work.  I have been feeling a little seasonally under the weather, however each morning I somehow manage to drag my sorry backside out of the bed and get into work.  When I am there I wonder why I have bothered when a half the office staff have rung in sick.  I have only ever been off sick one day in the four years I have been working there.  
Work has been terribly busy, but it is slowing down finally for more reasons than one. I am not so secretly looking forward to the break come Christmas and the New Year. 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Creamy Sweet Potato Rice Pudding with Mango Pearls (Vegan)

Its been snowing since the moment  I woke up and as I type this and look out the window, the snowflakes are still falling albeit slowly.  I went out into the garden briefly, the snow was soft and slushy.  I saw some people with children walking up the lane with sleighs to go up in the hills.  Its not for me.  I have never really liked the snow, even when I was a child - I really disliked playing snowballs, all that cold ice trickling down ...even the snow angels don't sing to me. I am hoping the snow will remain slushy and melt away and not freeze and turn to ice over night, as driving to work tomorrow in the early hours will be dangerous as many parts of the UK have been issues with an Amber Weather Warning.  I hope your all safe and warm, wherever you are. 

I have decided to share with you a Amber Warming Creamy Sweet Potato Rice Pudding with Mango Pearls. 
This Amber Warming Creamy Sweet Potato Rice Pudding with Mango Pearls was most welcome.  The mango pearls of course are optional.  When it bursts in your mouth, the sweet mango flavoured liquid offsets the creamy texture of the rice pudding, in the way a syrup would.  In case your wondering about the mango pearls, they were actually were given to me by my family.  The flaavoured mango pearls are also known as popping Boba balls bursting juice when they explode in your mouth. 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Pomegranate Molasses Bulgar, Chickpeas, Red Chard and Seitan 'Meat'

I have not spent much time in the kitchen recently, as I want to rest at the weekends and be proper lazy.  So I share this Pomegranate Molasses Bulgar, Chickpeas, Red Chard and Vegan 'Lamb' aka Seitan that I made from scratch a few weeks ago, when I had energy and inclination to both potter and experiment in the kitchen. 
The pomegranate molasses gave that sweet twang. chickpea always give nuttiness, but so did the Bulgar.  Its nice warm, but its also good at room temperature as a salad, but do keep the mock lamb sitting on top, so not to go too soggy from the red chard, which by the way from the garden plot.
The seitan mock lamb was surprisingly succulent and so much superior than those from the supermarket.  In fact I wish I had made this seitan mock meat for my vegan Plum and Lamb Curry.

I am sharing this Pomegranate Molasses Bulgar, Chickpeas, Red Chard and Vegan Seitan 'Lamb' Salad with Soups, Salads and Sammies hosted by Kahakai Kitchen; and My Legume Love Affair #114  hosted by The Veg Hog.  The challenge was initiated by  Susan and hosted by Lisa's Kitchen 

Other Bulgar Wheat Recipes
Bulgar Borlotti Burgers
Middle Eastern Sweet Potato Kibbeh
My Tabbouleh
Beetroot Bulgar
Spiced Vegetable Stew

Monday, 4 December 2017

Gloucester Vegan Market

Gloucester's first ever Vegan Market took place over the weekend and I was there.  Gloucester Vegan Market was held at Blackfriars in the city centre.
There were over 50 stalls selling diverse cuisine from the Caribbean and India, as well as burgers,, hotdogs, pies, falafels to sweet treats such as raw chocolate, cupcakes, cookies and fudge to drinks from mulled wine, Prosecco to kombucha.

Here are a selection of decent pictures that I managed to take during the heightened excitement.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December In My Kitchen

For us, the 1st of December signals the beginning of Christmas in our home and thoughts towards giving, as well as receiving and remembering those no longer with us.
The 1st of December  is also the day that we drag the Christmas tree from the attic and decorate it.  I have still to pick out something new for the tree this year, but here are a selection of foodie related things from past years. 
We have various nuts to crack from the shells, but the reason I share these walnuts are for comparison.  My mother harvested the large ones with my sister in law last month at a park not far from where she lives, the smaller ones are supermarket brand.  Do you not think the difference in size is amazing?   I do.