Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas-time apologies

Oh, best laid plans and all that. I had meant to make some things prior to Christmas to share with you as ideas for Christmas, including a really yummy Christmas Cheesecake which I have made before, but things have run away with me. I haven't even planned what I will be making for our dinner, apart from something with Brussel Sprouts which I have bought. Just a little behind this year??? oh yeah.

Hopefully I will catch up and be back up to speed for Hogmanay, but don't be counting on it!!!

I will leave you with this photo from Christmas Dinner past.....

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Broccoli Cake!

Broccoli looking, not containing! It worked as well as I have envisaged!
The florets are differing heights as I built some up with cake off cuts, and are piped in slightly different shades of green with slightly different sized piping nozzles, which you may not be able to see from the picture.
Loved by all! (Taste and presentation!) M's birthday is in February and she thinks she wants a Life Saver shaped cake. (the candy - why I have no idea!) This, however, may change.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Happy Birthday my big 6 year old!!

A few pictures from the last few years starting from youngest!-
The party is on Sunday and she has requested a "Broccoli Cake". Not a cake with broccoli in it, a plain vanilla cake shaped and iced to look like broccoli. I'm going to make a big sheet cake and cut it into shape, using the discarded pieces from the sides to build height into the florets, and I will ice the stalk smooth, and the florets in stars, in a number of different shades of green. Or that is the plan. I will post photos once I have them!!

Where DO these ideas they have come from????

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Winner of the Cocomels is.......

From the Random Number Generator....

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:3
Timestamp: 2010-12-15 20:02:12 UTC

So to comment Number 3 -
Nicole/Muffin-Tuffin said...
Did it! Are these kinda like those cow tails candies??? They sound delicious!

Nicole, Please email me with your contact email details (my email address in the side bar) so I can forward them to the lovely people at JJ's. They will then contact you by email to arrange shipping to your preferred address!

Hooray, and thanks to everyone who entered, I would have loved for you all to have been able to have these!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

JJ's Cocomels Giveaway!

Remember this giveaway closes at lunchtime on Wednesday!!! Get entering.

Seriously yummy stuff.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy Giveaway.

JJ's Sweets in Boulder, Colorado are sponsoring a giveaway in time for Christmas, and you really want to be in on this one! They are offering to send to the winning reader of this blog a 12-pack of chocolate-covered Cocomels – the perfect decadent vegan treat for the holidays.

They sent me a sample pack of the regular Cocomels, boo for no chocolate, but yay for 4 different flavors, to try, so I could say, hand on heart, that these are delicious, and they are!! I wouldn't give away something I wouldn't recommend.

My tasting notes -

Original - I had these first so they form the basis of the impressions that came after. These are rich and creamy, and not at all coconutty, which I was sort of expecting. Chewy and sticky and really more-ish in an "I shouldn't but I will" sort of way.

Vanilla - I found these very similar to the original, and couldn't discern a great difference. Maybe my palate isn't super refined. Still good.

Fleur de Sel - Loved!!!! these ones. The creamy sweetness combined with, highlighted by, and contrasted with little hits of salt. It elevates the creaminess and richness so much more!!

Java - You could taste the undertone of coffee in these, and to me, they tasted the most coconutty of them all, strange I know, but Yummy.

My favourite??? The Fleur de Sel! oh, pick me for more samples, please. All in all, the perfect gift for your Mother-in-law or anyone else you can't think of what to buy for, or for yourself. These are GOOD!

Now, to enter this giveaway you have to "Like” JJ’s Sweets on Facebook, handy link provided and all, and then comment here! Simple.

You could go to check out the JJ's website if you really wanted to, but its not a condition of entry or anything, just the "Like" and the comment.

You will then be entered to win a 12-pack of chocolate-covered Cocomels! Competition closes December 15th, is open to residents of North America only due to the perishable nature of the prize. The winner will be drawn at noon PT by Random Number Generator on the 15th, so hopefully you can get your treats by Christmas.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The new and improved....

Karmavore Store!!

I went out to their new location (6th and Columbia in New West) yesterday for a poke around and to pick up a few things. Unfortunately the grocery section isn't entirely up and running yet so I picked up fewer things than I hoped, but never mind, I now have an excuse to go back soon! Like I need one.

This store is big and beautiful! Much larger then the old premises (and that is even without the downstairs grocery and deli operational) and very tastefully decorated and loaded with all sorts of great products. The address details are here, but the photo in the link is of the old store.

I can't wait to see their (expanded) line of grocery items (I'm told it will be before Christmas) and see what sort of things they will be selling in the deli (in the New Year apparently). Maybe a trip at lunchtime would be in order....

If you are getting there by car, I would bite the bullet straight off and pay for the covered off street public parking to the rear of Columbia Street, as trying to find an on street space in new West (pay or otherwise) is always hard! I think for me, coming again that the sky train would be the best bet as the station is really close and there isn't the parking stress.

Now, how to get them to 1. stock my book when it is released, 2. hold a fancy launch party for it in their fancy store, 3. give me a free Smore for all this promo, and 4. employ me when I stop doing home based daycare??? Am I wishing for too much?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!

It was my Mother-in-laws birthday the other day and I made a little cake for us to all share. I used the Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Quick and Easy Vegan Bakesale and a bodged together Cream cheese buttercream type icing.

In pictures...

Want some??

Monday, 6 December 2010

M doing the Sword

Mhairi Sword, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Winning form! (but please excuse the "lazy hand" which the photo caught but the judges may not have done!) from the competition this past weekend.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


Non stop blogging for a month and nothing for days???
Don't I deserve a few days off?
Anyway, I've been busy with family things and what have you, but hope to be back soon with blogging, food, and another giveaway!!
Until then, catch up with all the MoFo blogs in your reader.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. Kelly Peloza

As per my previous post I've had this book for a few weeks now and have actually made some cookies from it. (Me?? Make cookies? unheard of!) Firstly I got each family member to pick a cookie they wanted to try, and then over the following wee while I made them.

First up is the "Soy Milk's Favorite Cookie" page 112, chosen by M.
I think I made these too thick! I'm pretty sure some of my 1/8th of an inch cookies were more like 1/4 inch, but never mind. I would have preferred if the diameter of the dough roll be specified as well, as I think I made mine too small. They were very easy to make, not too sweet, so the chocolate flavour was the star. I didn't make the filling and cookies in order, but the intro says you don't have to! The cookies were nice and delicate, shortbread like, with a deletable crumble. I found the filling a little too shortening-y tasting for my preferences, but did that stop everyone from enjoying them?? No way!

Response from the kids?? "mmmmse mmmr mmmmmry mmmmmmy" or "these are really yummy" with a mouth full of cookie.
Next I made Orange Chocolate Chunk Cookies on page 90.

I must start by saying that R chose these, and only because I have an Orange Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe which she loves more than any other (on some given days) and I think she was expecting these to be the same. They're not, so she was a little disappointed.
I found the dough needed more soymilk to form together, I added an extra Tablespoon and probably should have added 2 as the resulting cookies needed help forming into shape, and were a touch dry. Not so much that they weren't good to eat. Otherwise no issues - though it does say that it makes 16 Tablespoon sized cookies, I got 22 much bigger than Tablespoon sized!

Response from the kids?? "Nice" "OK" "Yummy" "Can't taste much Orange" So not as huge a winner as Soy Milk's Fave.
Up next, H's choice, Chocolate Biscotti, page 168 (are you noticing the unintentional theme of our choices???)

The tops of these cracked a lot in the first baking, and fell apart a little in the second baking so they didn't look pretty enough to take pictures of, but, boy oh boy, did they ever TASTE good!!(which IMHO is MUCH more important!!) I will remake (or make the Vanilla Biscotti) some point soon and try for a photo then.

H took them to work and the feedback he got was lost in the scramble for everyone to get one. Winner!
Then we come to my choices. I allowed myself a few.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, page 205.
I like making GF stuff every now and then, as I like having a break from wheat. I find Soy Flour really hard to find where I am, so I subbed Millet flour for that in this recipe. I don't know whether it was the sub but I then had to add another Tablespoon of Soymilk to get everything holding together, but that is no biggie. The result was lovely. Crisp outsides, soft insides, not chewy, but nicely textured soft, not delicate like GF sometimes can be, not too sweet, a great looking and tasting cookie. Nice one Kelly!

Then I made the Cashew Cappuccino Nanaimo Bars, Page 153. These were super easy to make, they just took a little time. Easily fit into a busy afternoon though.

I must confess I thought I had more icing sugar than it turned out I did so I only made 2/3 of the filling layer, and in a way I am glad I did. These bars are SWEET, not quite tooth-hurting-ly sweet, but close, so any more than 2/3 of the filling would have been too much for me. Best served in dainty lady sized portions, not honking great handfuls, unless your sweet tooth is bigger than mine. Flavour? really good, nice level of coffee, subtle more than super in your face, and the base was just that little bit crumbly when you bit into it as a Nanaimo Bar should be. Yum.

H took these to work too, and came back with a request for more!

Lastly, well, in this round of cookie making, I made the Chocolate Peppermint Wafer Cookies, page 122, mainly because the girls are Sparks / Brownies and we sell the cookies but don't eat them. I wanted to try a Girl Guide-ish cookie.No issues with the making of these, though the coating is pretty messy! I gave some to the teachers at the girls' school, and they didn't last long!

Overall I like this book, my only wish / request / constructive feedback would be for more descriptions in the recipes. What the dough should look and feel like, both before baking and as they are ready to come out of the oven, how long, and wide, things should be, stuff like that. I can guess, but a less experienced person may not be able to.

Will I be making cookies from this book again? Most likely, yes, when my own creative juices are a little run down.

Would I recommend this book?? Absolutely.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Winners! BONUS!

Drumroll please.
Babycakes book giveaway =
Courtesy of - Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:4

So Comment Number 4 is the winner!
Courtney said "I would love to check this book out! As I understand it, there are a fair amount of gluten free recipes? I would swap with you...we could discuss a trade based on what you don't have and I do have. But it looks like you have a ton! What about Madhur Jaffery (sp?)--do you have any of her books? I love them! She does great Indian food :-)Courtney"

Then for the Kiss my Face Winners -

Again from - Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:28 11

I had to disallow a couple of double posts so the winners are -
1. Number 28 -Rasmus, who said "Those are definately not on the market in this country, so I'd love to get to try them!"

2. Number 11 -Elisabeth who said "I love Kiss My Face products!"
So, please could Courtney, Rasmus, and Elisabeth drop me an email to claim their prizes! If I haven't heard from you by Monday December 6th I will redraw the prizes. Thanks, and thanks to all who played (sorry you couldn't all win)