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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

Summer pudding has long been a favourite of mine and it was a staple in the dessert rotation when I was growing up. My parents were keen gardeners and Mum still grows lots of her own fruit and vegetables despite not having much time to devote to the garden. On a Sunday afternoon I would often be dispatched up the garden to pick raspberries, strawberries, tayberries and blackcurrants for one of Mum’s spectacular puddings. I always find it a sad farewell to summer when the berries come to an end. This year, inspired by a Valentine Warner recipe, I decided to extend the Summer pudding into Autumn and make the most of the wild blackberries and the remaining little bit of last year’s sloe gin. I toyed around with calling these Autumn puddings but I like it when the name of the recipes tells you a little about what’s inside, especially when there’s gin involved. (more…)

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Can you tell I’ve been on a bread-making kick since my course with Emma? Every weekend I’ve been baking something new and sitting on my bedside table is Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery with tags sticking out left, right and centre. And despite flagging up so many recipes to try; last weekend I went ahead and made a loaf without following a recipe, just using my “bakers instinct”. It actually turned out really well, I’m so pleased I made a note of the ingredients as I went because I know I’m going to be making this again. It is superb with cheese and wine, alongside a salad or simply smeared with a little butter and devoured.

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I had been planning to make a pot of vegetarian three bean chilli for some time but as the weather has become more spring-like I’ve been eating less soup and stew for lunch and more salads and sandwiches. Since my kitchen is now in a state of disrepair (more on that soon) it seems a lot more sensible to make a salad than try and cook something up on my paltry single hob. Despite fancying a cold lunch, I still wanted the flavours of a good bowl of chilli so I set out to make something spicy and smoky but salady at the same time. (more…)

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A few weeks ago I went to the cinema (a rare occurrence for me) to see The Artist before it was too late. Making the most of Orange Wednesday my mum and I headed out to the cinema early to make sure we got our two-for-one tickets then headed up to the cafe/bar to have a drink while we waited (thus totally undoing the saving we’d made on the ticket price!). While ordering a (ahem) pot of tea for two, mum spied an interesting selection of snacks for sale at the bar and decided buy something to try. She plumped for roasted almonds flavoured with lemon and sea salt which were utterly delicious. Crunchy, sharp and savoury – a perfect nibble to go with wine or beer. Or tea. On the walk home talk centred around Jean Dujardin, Uggie the dog and those almonds, at which point two things became clear to me: 1) I had to find a way of making some at home to save coughing up another £2.50 for a handful of nuts; 2) I want a slightly shaggy Jack Russel who follows me everywhere.

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While I’m still trying to eat a tad more healthily, I’m a firm believer that a little of what you fancy is good for you. If you deny yourself all forms of treats sooner or later you’re going to give up or break down and over indulge. If you fancy cake, why not make some little buns, just a few bites can give you the sweet treat you fancy and, if you’re clever about it, you can fiddle the ingredients to make them that bit more wholesome. These buns, for example, are not just mini bites of sweet, moist cake with a delightful citrus tang; they are also vegan, high in fibre and a good source of those pesky essential fatty acids that my fish-defficient diet is rather lacking. These clementine cakes are positively perfect!

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