Sunday, 27 February 2011

Choose a Chocolate Chip Cookie.

You get to choose - so do you want the recipe for -

A - Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies?

B- Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies?

C- Basil Infused Blueberry Chocolate Chip Cookies?

or D?? Gluten Free Nut and Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Vote in the Poll set up in the side bar. Votes close next Sunday.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Saturday Teaser #3

This week's teaser is bought to you by the Savory Goodies Chapter of Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale (I know - a SAVORY chapter - how cool is that)

Chile and Cilantro Cornbread!

It is a lovely green-ish color, spicy - but not overly so, and very more-ish. Having chili for dinner? have some cornbread!

What a tease!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Kindle and the like.

I have just been told by my publishers that Vegan Bake Sale will be available as a Kindle book type thing, and hopefully at the same time as the paper copy hits the stores. If not then, then shortly after - this timing has something to do with the distributors so you may have to wait just a little while longer for an e-book copy, but it will be coming!


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Almond Waffles

GF Almond Waffles, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Gluten Free and Vegan! xgfx or however you write it properly in shorthand.

These are a little delicate, be warned! You’ll need to treat them with care, especially with removing them from the waffle iron, see below. If you are careful they will hold up well to your maple syrup, freeze and reheat well, and basically act like other waffles.

When cooking these, I have been a little more generous with the batter than with other waffles and spread the batter in the iron as this doesn’t seem to do it by itself as well as other batters. I found for my waffle iron heat number 5 (out of 6) worked best for perfect waffles, and that using a decent amount of non stick spray helped with removal.

When removing from the iron, allow the beeping to stop, and count to 20 before opening the lid, then count to 20 again before attempting to remove the waffle. This will help the waffle set in shape and make removal easier. If you do not, and end up with a crumpled mess, don’t blame me!!

Use the same measuring cup you used for the oil for the almond butter, after the oil has been measured the butter will slip straight out.

If your Almond Butter is unsalted, add in an additional ¼ teaspoon Salt.

Here's the recipe for you to enjoy - xgfx or not.

Gluten Free Almond Waffles
Makes 4 or 5 eight inch waffles

2 tablespoons ground Chia Seeds
1 ½ cup Almond Milk

¾ cup Sugar
¼ cup Canola Oil
¼ cup Almond Butter, see Note
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon Almond Extract

½ cup Ground Almonds
½ cup white Rice Flour
½ cup Millet Flour
¼ cup Yellow Corn Flour
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl whisk together the chia seeds and almond milk. Stand 15 minutes then whisk again. It will be very gloopy at this point.
Whisk in the sugar, oil, almond butter, and extracts.
Sift in the ground almonds through salt, whisk to combine. Mix will be thick and gloopy. Stand while waffle iron heats.
Once waffle iron has heated spray well with non stick spray, and again before cooking each waffle. These have a tendency to stick so don’t be stingy with the non stick spray.
Cook to waffle makers directions. Allow waffle to sit for 30 seconds or so after cooking is complete (see above) for easier removal from the iron.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

We interrupt this regularly scheduled food blogging (or not so regular but I try) to send much love and many good wishes and thoughts to everyone in Christchurch.
As someone who was in Edgecumbe for the 1987 earthquake I can truly imagine what everyone is feeling. This (and every earthquake really) had made me quite emotional to be honest and (again) is dredging up memories from that time. I think it is harder because it is New Zealand.
That is all. Your regular programme will resume shortly.

Monday, 21 February 2011

I had this one for breakfast!

Red Seitan Curry, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

I often find myself eating leftovers for breakfast - it means I don't have to think about anything, I know I'm getting a decent amount of the "5 a day" recommendations in, and usually all I have to do is heat and eat.
It does however mean that I often end up eating things like this - a spicy Thai red curry style, Seitan Curry - for breakfast.
Yummy in my tummy, but I can see how it may not be for everyone!!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale

Follow the link and sign up to take part! You can win a copy of my book Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale (insert gratuitous cover picture here) if you are the first person / group to sign up after midnight tonight!! (oh, I mean HERE!)
However, the rules of the giveaway state that you only get the book once you have completed your sale during the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, which this year is Saturday April 23 through Sunday May 1. Raise money for a worthy cause and expand your cookbook library at the same time! How cool is that??

Saturday Teaser #2

Coconut Long John Rolls, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Continuing my teaser photos from recipes in Quick and Easy Vegan Bake featuring Sweet Long Coconut Rolls with Creamy Coconut Icing.

I'm thinking of a savory teaser for next week....

FYI - There has been a hiccup with Amazon and pre-orders. Never fear things are on track and VBS will be in the stores by the end of March.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Dinner Party!

A success all round, everyone went home tired, and full and happy.

My younger daughter hosted a dinner party earlier in the week for some of her Grade 1 friends. The food was simple, the hide-and-seek in the dark with glo-sticks, and the laughs a-plenty!

Here's a few food shots from the night....
The Crackers
The "Salad" Plate
The Dessert (part of it, as someone here has already taken the ice-cream!)

A recommended activity??? yes, but keep it simple!

Thursday, 17 February 2011


The wonderful C over at On Cardamom and Cast Iron sent me a lovely breakfast themed care package filled with homemade and natural goodies after I won a giveaway on her blog. Part of the package was Pumpkin Spice Granola -
(Picture from the Michele's Website.)

This stuff is really yummy! A little sweet, but loaded with nuts and seeds, very spiced and filling. The only thing I can see wrong with it is that the recommended serving is 1/4 cup and I can eat way more than that, so not a calorie light breakfast!! I'm not really complaining..... as I stuff another spoonful in my mouth.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Crackers, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

I made three different types of crackers this morning as R is having a "Dinner Party" tonight. I also made Banana Mini Cupcakes, and have still to make a pasta sauce. Busy morning, but I hope it all goes well.
Here we have Chees-y Crackers (the yellow ones), Nut and Seed Crackers (with the black specks of poppy seeds) and Spelt Crackers. This way I'm hoping at least one will be liked!!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Savory Waffles

Savory Corn Masa Waffles, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

I've been on a bit of a savory waffle kick lately. These ones are Corn Masa Waffles, made with creamed corn, cornmeal, corn flour, and masa harina - light, airy and crisp they work perfectly as a side dish to any soup, casserole, stew, or (especially) chili!
I've also made Herbed Poached Garlic Waffes and am thinking I should plan some more.
Any savory waffle flavor ideas you think I should write a recipe for??

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Saturday Teaser....

Everything Cookies, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

For the next few (many?) Saturdays I am going to post teaser photos of items from Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale, to completely whet your appetite for this book, and have you drooling all over your keyboards. No recipes, just photos, until the book is released, and then I'll do a poll to see which recipe you'd like the most!
This Saturday's tease is Everything Cookies. and here, a description, from the blurb in VBS -

"My testers requested a “Cowboy Cookie” which, I am led to believe, has everything and anything in it. So here’s a cookie with everything! Switch up the additions if you have a preference, they really are a “use what you have and what you like” cookie as far as the add-ins are concerned!
These are big cookies; big enough so you get a little of everything in each cookie, and big enough for a cowboy-sized appetite."

Friday, 11 February 2011

Something to nibble on???

Salty Smoky Roast Nuts, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

If you have a problem with stopping after a few nuts then you had better keep away from these bad beauties. Rich, smoky, salty, but not overly so, these are nuts that if you aren’t careful “a little taste” can turn into “where did those nuts go?” in a matter of minutes!
These will last for up to 5 days if kept in a sealed container so make ahead.

Salty Smoky Roast Nuts
Makes 3 cups

2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoon toasted Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon White Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt

3 cups whole Raw Nuts, shelled, a selection, your choice

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large Ziploc bag mix together the soy sauce, oil, liquid smoke, paprika, syrup, pepper, and salt.
Add the nuts and mix well. Scrunch up the bag to ensure all nuts are covered with a little of the mix.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning twice, until nuts are browned, with all liquid evaporated. A little of the liquid burnt onto the parchment is OK.
Transfer the hot nuts to a spread out kitchen towel to absorb excess oil as they cool, about 1 hour.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sometimes all you need is....

Hot and Sour Rice Noodle Soup, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

This Hot and Sour Rice Noodle Soup (its a tester recipe so I am not sharing) transports me back to my time in Thailand. It is loaded with South East Asian flavors such as ginger, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro and comes complete with rice noodles for slurping. and getting all over your chin. and dropping on your lap.
Sometimes that is all you need.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Referring sites.

This post is to thank those readers who have blogs and link to my blog so new readers can find me. Discounting google, my facebook page, the Experiment (my publishers), the PPK, and the like, but focusing on private blogs that direct readers to my blog to say a BIG thanks! for your support. The highest ranked traffic providers to my blog, according to Google are, so you can give some love right back -

On Cardamom and Cast Iron

The Global Vegan

This is why you're Thin

Heathen and Vegan

Vegan Spoonful

Busy Vegan Mama

Vegan a Montreal

To be honest most visitors come via the pathways I have discounted, and many many more come from many many more blogs, and I would like to thank you all, even if I haven't linked you here.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Getting ready for Valentines Day.....

We bought the girls their valentine cards for school yesterday (too lazy this year to be making them I'm afraid) so I have been thinking about what to make for the inevitable parties they will be having with their classes.
Pictured are a version of one of the cookie recipes in Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale (the Plain Cookies for when you get your copy - you have pre-ordered, right??) made into cute, little, almost one bite, heart shapes. Something like this would be perfect I think, and if I am feeling super lazy then I don't even have to ice them!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Happy 9th!!

Happy 9th, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Not the best of photos but you get the picture.
The kids all loved it, both how it looked and how it tasted, and seeing as it was a bowling party thought it was, and I quote "just awesome".
Happy kids, happy party, Happy Birthday my big 9 year old!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Batch #2

Nut and Seed Cookies GF, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

These ones I made to take to dance class to be shared.
There is a girl in M's class who "doesn't eat flour" and M requested I make some so she could join in with the treats too. (M is a thoughtful and caring girl most of the time!) I checked with the girl's (E) Mum and "doesn't eat flour" does mean she is Gluten Free (had to check!) but has no other allergies.
In the spirit of sharing I made these delicate and delectable Nut and Seed GF Cookies. I did add in some chocolate chips but if I wasn't making for the kids I'd have used chopped up nuts instead.
Lucky for E - she will get to take any leftovers home.
I'll comment and let you know if they were a hit - I'm sure they will be.

Friday, 4 February 2011

The first batch!

I've been busy baking - cookies for school, cookies for dancing, and a birthday cake. Don't worry all to come in good time.
I made these for my eldest to take to school and share with her class on her birthday as a treat. I told the teacher they were Basil Infused but asked her not to tell the children in case it put them off (it could have!). So, the children were told that these were Blueberry Chocolate Chip cookies and they gobbled up the lot.
Hooray for these - Basil Infused Berry Chocolate Chip cookies!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Not a Resolution; the update, #1

Remember how in this post I explained the challenge I was undertaking for 2011?
Well, I thought it was time for an update seeing as we have been through a month. (and a bit).
So, in all of January how many times did I not "eat like Santa" and have a sweet, sugary treat?
That's right, Not A One!
I am very proud of myself. and rightly so!!
When I wanted sweet I ate a date. (or other dried fruit) Or juiced some fruit and vegetables.
I haven't been eating less, just differently, and I do actually feel better for it, even with being sick for a good 10 days. Now to keep it up....
In saying that I must point out that February will be harder. I have to make cookies for M's birthday treat for school, cookies for her birthday treat for dance class, a birthday cake for her, as well as cupcakes for R's Dinner Party. But, I have thought that if I make tried and true recipes I won't need to taste the results to see how they work, well that's the plan anyway.
Shall I report back again at the beginning of March?? If you're interesting in hearing how I am getting on I am happy to.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Cornbread Scones

Cornbread Scones, originally uploaded by Vegan Year.

Think cornbread, but in scone format! I know - genius or what!!
Super simple to throw together, and with just a bowl and a piece of parchment to clean up, these are way less messy than making cornbread in a skillet or cake pan. Also think super simple to eat, a little crumbly but not as much as cornbread can be. These are best eaten on the day they are made, but also freeze well.
If Creamed Corn is not available where you are, blend some tinned kernels until liquid yet still chunky.

Cornbread Scones
Makes 8

½ cup Creamed Corn
½ cup Water
¼ cup Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Agave

1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
½ cup Yellow Corn Flour
½ cup fine Cornmeal
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Chili Flakes
¼ teaspoon ground Cumin
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the corn, water, coconut milk, oil, and agave, whisk well to combine.
Sift in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then mix to just combine.
Shape into 8 equal portions about 1 ½” in height, and place on prepared tray.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden, cool on tray for 5 minutes prior to moving to rack to complete cooling.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Happy February

So. Here it is, another month.
After I was sick, the kids were both sick so I didn't have a lot of time on my hands at all this January!
Once I felt like eating again I was cooking, mainy soups and warming thick stews to be honest, but yesterday I went a bit lighter.
I marinated so tofu in my Thai BBQ Sauce/Dressing then pan-fried the cubes, served over rice with an arugula salad and the leftover dressing drizzled over it all. Really yummy.
Looking forward to blogging a little more often in February! M turns 9 this weekend so I will have photos of cookies and cake to share, and R wants a dinner party (like M had in December) so that will be interesting too.