Sunday, 28 March 2010

Photos from the wedding.

Just to prove that we did actually go!!

I've started with the baking again and should have some pictures and maybe a reciep or two soon.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Home again!

Just checking on for today to let you know we made it home safely! Ordered pizza for dinner fist night back, then made nachos (tinned beans, tinned tomatoes, veggies over corn chips) for dinner last night so you're not missing anything food wise!
I have a product review to post (the stuff came while I was away) soon, and will get back into baking for the book over the next little while.
Back to reality on Monday!!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Last Lunch

Well almost! We go home tomorrow but for today we are spending time with my some family at my sister's house in Auckland. We went out for lunch today and I was ever so pleasantly surprised when there were vegan options on the menu, and even soy milk milkshakes!! Imagine, a mainstream restaurant where you don't have to "hold" anything to get something you can eat, and where the menu item even says it is vegan! What restaurant you ask... BurgerFuel in Mission Bay! or at least the one we went to was in Mission Bay. It was really good! Just so you know!

Speaking of lunches and vegan menu items, yesterday's lunch almost was as impressive. We stopped in Matamata on the way to Auckland, and I was surprised to see a wrap in their cabinet advertised as a "Tasty Vegan Wrap" so I ordered it. However, it was not to be as the wrap had egg in it and was meant to be vegetarian, not vegan. Bummer. They made me a vegan one very quickly, which was nice, and tasty.

Nothing more now for a few days as I will be travelling.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Wedding Day

Not mine, silly! I've been happily married for 7 years now!
My sister Fiona gets married this afternoon at Craggy Range Winery in the Hawkes Bay, NZ. Beautiful isn't it!
The girls are VERY excited to be flower girls, mainly because they get to have their hair done, wear makeup and are allowed to wear nail polish!
Photos will follow at some point, but I just wanted to let everyone know, so you can join me in raising a glass and congratulating Fiona and Steve!

Monday, 15 March 2010


One thing I like about being in other countries is getting to poke around in their standard supermarkets to see how they compare to home. Finding things which you can't get, and taking them back is part of the fun. In NZ I always have a few things I buy to take home, or get people to bring me, non food items like Bendon Bras which I prefer over all others, and some food things from the supermarket.

I always buy Marmite - NZ Marmite, made by Sanitarium (photo from their site) as I prefer this head and shoulders above British Marmite which I can buy in Canada.
I also always get soem flavour extracts as this range by Hansells has some flavours which are really hard to find in Canada, like Banana, Caramel, Strawberry and Raspberry. Photo from their site too.
This time in the supermarket in Kawerau, which is a small town where my Mum and Dad live, I found vegan white chocolate from Sweet William (again photo from their site)and for me anyway finding vegan white chocolate is like finding the holy grail. Was I happy! Oh, boy. I've stocked up!!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

NZ Holiday Fun

Climbing trees, swimming, going for walks, feeding fish. We're having fun. Off to the beach later, and maybe even a horse ride tomorrow!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

We made it!

We're here, safe and sound, though poor R was feeling poorly the few days before we left (fever mainly) and threw up 3 times on the plane. Not a big throw up, but still, makes the journey a little less pleasant!
The weather has been lovely, sunny warm days and cool nights, as expected. We've been enjoying going for walks, and going swimming.
Eating mainly at Mum and Dad's, lots of fresh from the garden veggies and fruits, though we were out for lunch yesterday and I had a really good Veggie Burger, a Sweet Potato (kumara) and Spinach patty, which a huge amount of salad ontop, and a roast vege relish. Yum!
No photos as of yet, but I'll get some!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Off and Away

Off to catch a plane to fly to New Zealand. We'll be gone 2 weeks and while I will try to blog while we are away, (and try to keep up with the recipes for the book) I can't promise anything!!
Watch this space, and if not, see you in 2 weeks!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Mexican Risotto

I should have written down the recipe for this one as it ended up super good! Basically a risotto, sauteed onion and garlic (lots of garlic), Mexican spices and herbs, risotto rice, tomato sauce as well as broth for the liquid, a little chipotle sauce, corn kernels and a tin of Mexican style stewed tomatoes at the the end along with some lime juice. Really good. I will have to make again and write it down next time!!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Less than a week to go!

Until I'll be in New Zealand that is. The girls and I are going for my sister's wedding and are really looking forward to the trip.

Between now and then we have a HIghland Dancing competition, Driving lesson (for me), Hospital appointment (me again), and Haircuts (all of us). I have Tuesday scheduled off as packing day, and I still have baking to get done so I am ahead when we go so I don't stress too much about it while we are away! boy.

Speaking of baking, here's a few shots of stuff I've made in the last little while.
Strawberry and Basil Scones

Blueberry Macadamia Biscotti

Coffee and Caramel Cupcakes

Ready for the book yet?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Yellow Split Pea Soup

A dinner. Not a very exciting name, but a lovely soup all the same.
Yellow Split Pea Soup
Serves 4

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped, about 1 Cup
4 cloves Garlic, minced

1 ½ teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Oregano
½ teaspoon Paprika
½ teaspoon ground Coriander
½ teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder
¼ teaspoon crushed Chili Flakes

1 Cup mashed, cooked Sweet Potato, about 1 small
2 Cup Yellow Split Peas, soaked overnight if desired
6 Cups Vegetable Stock or Water

1 ½ Cups tinned Crushed Tomatoes

1 Cup Corn Kernels
1 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
Cilantro to Garnish

In a large soup pot over medium heat sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for about 8 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add the spices and sauté a minute more.
Add in the sweet potato, split peas, and stock, stir to combine. Cover pot, turn heat to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium low and cook, partially covered, at a brisk simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until peas are soft.
Add the crushed tomatoes and blend until smooth, using either an immersion blender or in batches in a bench top blender, taking care with not to have a blender accident!
Return blended mix to pot, add in the corn, salt and pepper and reheat for about 5 minutes until just at the boil. Turn heat off, add lime juice, taste for seasoning and serve, garnished with a little cilantro if desired.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Impromptu and Unsolicited #3

And, this is blog post number 300 for this blog!! YAY me!

In case you're wondering why I am doing this series of Impromptu and Unsolicited Product reviews, its because I have been asked to do one, and am just waiting for the stuff to arrive in the mail. I thought it would be cute to have unsolicited ones followed by a solicited one, but if the stuff doesn't get here soon you'll end up with a soup recipe next instead! Anyway, onwards...

My friend Andrea very kindly gave me a Starbucks voucher for helping her out with some things (she's super busy right now what with working, studying and a new baby so I do what I can) so off I went to get a soy latte the other day and saw they were stocking Dr Lucy's Cookies. I'd never seen them before but they are free from almost everything and are vegan so I gave them a go. Using a voucher is like getting them for free! I got the Cinnamon Thins, and they were thin! The cookies are very crisp, with a crunchy texture, no softness here at all! They tasted nice, not overly cinnamon-y but still good, and for what they are, that is mass produced free from everything cookies, they were pretty good. The children refused to try them, so I got the wee pack all to myself!
Would I buy them again? yes, if I was craving a sweet treat and happened to be wanting coffee too, or had another voucher to spend.

Would I try other Dr Lucy Cookies? yes, as above.

Would I go out of my way to buy them? no, because 1 - don't have allergies etc which make vegan cookies hard to find, and 2- usually if I want cookies I bake them myself.

Would I recommend them to someone with food allergies looking for a cookie? Absolutely!

Picture from the Dr Lucy's website.