Sunday, 31 January 2010

Dancing and Dinner

My girls competed in their first ever Highland Dance competition yesterday. Here's M before hand, posing and practicing.
She did ever so well, won a second place (and got a medal) in the fling. She only danced two dances (the fling and the sword) as we wanted to ease her into things. She's determined to dance all the dances next time so she has a chance to win the overall trophy!

R didn't want to dance. Stage fright. You could hear her in the audience apparently "I'm NOT DANCING" and "NO". But, she wanted her participation ribbon (all the little ones get one) so she agreed to go on, eventually, and the piper had to pipe just for her as she'd missed her place in the competition with her freak out. She did it, enjoyed it, and wants to go back again and be brave next time! Here she is showing off her ribbon!
This took all morning, so I didn't end up baking that afternoon, just made this Sundried Tomato, Sausage and Olive Pie for dinner. Yummy!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

What have I been up to then?

Here's a few photos of some stuff I've been busy baking.

Coconut Cookies

Berry Infused Cupcakes

Sausage Rolls

Chai Chocolate Mini Loaves

Chili and Cilantro Cornbread

Hazelnut Latte Cupcakes

Savoury Herbed Crackers

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Quick and Super Easy for Dinner

Everything I'm making for dinner these days is super fast, and really simple. Often using up leftovers, or making enough for leftovers for another day. You see, I'm in the kitchen baking on average 3 times a day getting recipes finalised to test for the book, on top of looking after my kids and the day care kids and everything else you do, so by the time it is time to cook dinner, I want something that is pretty much a no brainer. This one fitted the bill perfectly.
Pasta, and in the time it took to cook, sauteed onion and garlic, added leftover corn kernels, red kidney beans and red onion, sauteed a bit more, added chopped cilantro and the last of a container of Sour Supreme, and there was dinner. Delicious too!

Maybe I should write a book about Quick and Easy Busy Night Dinners too, as that's all I have and am making at the moment!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Not the most picturesque

and a work in progress too!
Its a strata. Layers of tomato-y beans with spinach and potato. I thought grating the potato would work, but I should have tossed it in a little oil and salt first. Little bland, good, but bland, and without oil the top didn't crisp up like I'd hoped. Oh, well, you live and learn.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Green Lentil Soup

I'm trying to make sure I eat a lot of leafy green vegetables at the moment, to balance all the recipe testing and tasting I am doing.
This was a lovely way to get a bunch of green in - broccoli and spinach in the soup cooked up with red lentils (spices etc), blended til smooth then green peas added in for texture and cute little bursts of sweetness. Really nice!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

It's a cheat post, but

I want a Vitamix!!
That would be one of these super blenders!!
Here's the competition if you want to enter too. and if you win I'll try not to get too upset!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Homemade Soy Creamer.

If you don’t have any, or it isn’t available where you life, you can make a Soy Creamer substitute by using your blender.
In the photo, the Silk Creamer is to the right (by the bottle) and the homemade is to the left. They look and taste very similar. Homemade is less white, but I suppose that is to be expected.

Homemade Soy Creamer
Makes 1 ¼ C
Place ¼ C Plain Soymilk and ¼ C Canola Oil in your blender and on high power blend until really smooth and creamy. Add in ¾ C more soymilk, 1 – 2 t Agave and if desired ½ t Vanilla (optional) and blend until super smooth and frothy. How much sweetener you’ll need will depend on how sweet you like creamer, and how sweet your soymilk was to start with!

Use as you would commercial soy creamer and store in a tightly covered container in the fridge. I use leftover agave bottles!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Quick Chickpea Pasta Dinner

I have a recipe! for this -
I'm far to busy at the moment to make long winded and fancy dinners. Quick and Easy rules the day in our house all the way! As a bonus this one uses 1 dish in the oven and 1 on the stovetop. I'm not counting the salad bowl!

Tastes great hot or cold. While the dish is baking, cook the pasta and make a salad, and, …. Dinner!

Smoky Chickpea Tofu Pasta
Serves 2

1 T Oil
½ Packet Smoked Tofu – cut into ½” dice
½ C Chickpeas (if tinned – drained and rinsed)
½ T Maple Syrup
1 T Soy Sauce
½ t Liquid Smoke
¼ t Ancho Chili Powder
¼ t Paprika
¼ t Cumin
Pinch Chili Flakes (or more if you like)

Pasta for 2 cooked to package directions
2 T Water

Preheat oven to 400F.
Combine all ingredients in an 11 X 7 baking dish. Toss well to coat.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring after 15.
Add the cooked pasta and water. Toss to combine and cook a further 5 minutes.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Mushroom Dinner

How's this for yummy looking! Marinated and baked Portobellos with kale and broccoli, and smashed potatoes. The marinade / baking sauce I then thickened for a gravy!
and then with the leftover mashed potato -
I call this Kale-cannon with Avocado!

Thanks to everyone who answered the recipe tester call. I've got enough people now. Thanks!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Anyone help me out???

I am finding myself in need of recipe testers! What a wonderful, crazy position to be in!

You want more info and / or to be one? I think 15 would be a good number so email!!

By email not in the comments please. I'll email you back with details as soon as I can.

Email address is over there ----->
veganyear (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks, and YAY me!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

I'm Back!

I hate the whole New Year Resolution thing, but I did make one - to start blogging again! So here I am. The kids are back in school, and I don't have any more time than before, (less perhaps) but here I am.

I'm not going to be as ambitious as I was last year when I tried to post every second day, that became unworkable when the kids got really busy in September and as you know, I neglected to restart blogging again as the commitment seemed too much. Well, you know what, its my blog and I control the commitment I make to it, so I have scaled back what I will be doing for 2010, but I will be doing it!

I think aiming for 2 posts a week - food related generally, with additional posts if my kids do something really newsworthy, or just super cute - is doable! I'm putting in a photo of R's Birthday Cake from December so it counts as a food post!!
Made in a shaped tin from Wilton this is just a plain vanilla cake and buttercream. Needless to say, all her little friends loved it! What little girl doesn't love Tinkerbell!!

Be back later in the week!

Hey, did you miss me??