Friday, 31 March 2017

Broccoli, Apple and Cashew Soup (Vegan/Gluten free)

I often make myself a nice soup for Friday lunch as I don't work on Fridays and it is nice to not be in a rush and have something home made and healthy.  I have made this soup a couple of times now but I'm only now getting around to posting it.  It is my own recipe and I like it quite thick so the quantity here for me is only 2 servings but very thick and filling.  It would definitely serve 4 as a starter just add more water.

Broccoli, Apple and Cashew Soup

350g Broccoli
60g cashew nuts
1 apple
1 veg stock cube (GF)
300ml water (boiled)
1 red onion
1 level desert spoon vegan cheese sauce powder (optional)
black pepper
Soya single cream (I use Alpro)

Steam the broccoli until tender, for the last few minutes add the chopped apple to the steamer to soften.

  Fry the onion in  a little olive oil until soft, sprinkle the stock cube into the frying pan and add the boiled water, you can also stir in the cheese sauce powder at this point if you are using it.

Pop your cashew nuts in the blender and blitz, if your blender is hand held you can put the nuts in a bag and beat them with a rolling pin, just take care the bag doesn't split. 

Add all ingredients to the blender except the cream and blend, then return to the pan. Continue  heating gently and at this point add a swirl of soya cream and a little black pepper to taste.

There is now a portion in the fridge for me to have tomorrow for supper, I always fancy something on a Saturday evening because we usually eat our dinner earlier so that is one problem solved.  Oldest son tried this last week and it got his approval and that is hard to come by when it comes to food he is fussy.
You can see how thick it is, add as much liquid as you need to your desired consistency.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Consume Less

There seems to be a lot of talk recently about how we are all going to notice rising prices etc. while at the same time airing shows that seem to promote over consumption.  I try and stick to buying things that mainly are a  need with a few wants here and there.  I certainly don't shop weekly for recreation as many people do as I don't see the point and it just creates a lot of waste which our planet certainly doesn't need any more of.

There was one show on a week ago which I couldn't watch because it was about spending less but then began the show by having two people show off about their over spending. No doubt about it that was exactly what was happening, the wife explaining she couldn't wear an outfit more than once because she would die, look at the hundreds of pounds worth of clothes in the wardrobe still with tags on, fake shock on her face. Oh it was just dreadful, I had to turn off and the sad thing is rather than being spurred on to save I think there would be some watching who might just want all that stuff.

Those kinds of show often offer alternatives to expensive treatments that are just a bit cheaper, or slightly less expensive clothing stores and so on when really they should be saying just stop!  Are you mad?  You don't need all that crap, you won't die if you are seen in the same outfit more than once but they won't do that because really they want us to keep the wheels turning.

Another thing I saw advertised was about the hotel business and the most demanding clients, those being the super rich.  In the add it stated the hotel rooms need to be repainted every three weeks, what? Why can't they just be cleaned thoroughly? It is possible to clean marks off walls without repainting all the time, can you imagine the excess pollution that is creating.  Hotels are already really bad for waste due to the constant need for clean towels and bedding, that much decorating is criminal.  Would the super rich implode if they had to stay in a room that wasn't newly refurbished? 
I have to say I wasn't inspired to watch the whole of that programme either there just seems to be a lot of celebration around being wasteful and proud of it, very sad.

I know a lot of people will disagree with my little poster above but I hope more are starting to seek alternative ways to spend their free time.

It is often the case that as we find new hobbies we are bombarded with ideas about items we should acquire to perfect these hobbies.  In fact any new activity you take up has probably been done by someone you know,  there could be equipment lurking in a friends garage or loft, ebay and Gumtree also have lots of used items so don't be dazzled by the shiny and new.  You can find lots of free instructions and videos shared by fellow bloggers and of course the library always has lots of information on everything.

So of you decide to get out there and do something new rather than wandering around a shopping mall don't use it as an excuse to go and buy all the kit.  I think there is a funny idea in all of us that we will do better at something if we are fully equipped with all the tools.  Sad  truth is owning the stuff doesn't make you great at something and wonderful things have been created with limited resources so it's the time, desire and the effort that makes the difference.

I have noticed the hilarious contrast in that there is currently an add saying shop now down the side bar. Ha! so much for related content.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Vegan Gluten Free Carrot and Walnut Bread

I haven't done much baking for a while, I tend to go in phases with it I think mainly because due to working with the gluten free flours there are more fails than there used to be when I could just use the regular flour.  It can be a bit disheartening at times,  I enjoy cooking new vegan recipes but the baking minus egg and regular flour proves challenging.

Yesterday I had a go at these cookies here  Naturally Sassy cookies  they were supposed to be made using pecans but as I didn't have any I used walnuts they came out ok, quite chewy, not a soft cookie  once cooled but I am eating them so they work.
You don't roll them out you just shape them with your hands which was quite therapeutic.

This morning while I was up early with the dogs I made a carrot and walnut loaf.  This recipe was adapted from the book Keep it Vegan, I had to adapt it because the recipe is not gluten free and also I didn't have a courgette! 

Here is my recipe...

Carrot and Walnut loaf
200g gf plain flour
100g brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp oregano
1 carrot grated
4 pieces of chopped sun dried tomato (optional)
175ml soya milk
50g walnuts crushed (rolling pin)
1tbsp chia seeds soaked in a little water
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 200c, mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add carrot and tomato pieces, make a well in the centre and pour in soya milk, stir through nuts and seeds.  This should all come together in a piece as you stir, flour your hands and turn it onto a baking sheet then shape into an oval loaf, score top.  Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes until it sounds hollow when tapped.

You only need a slice as it is filling, unlike regular bread which is just generally full of air.  It also has a lot of goodies in it again unlike regular bread which is often full of preservatives.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Caravan Seats and Odd Jobs

I was asked to make over the caravan interior upholstery for my husbands colleague last week. The curtains were complete last week but she didn't buy enough fabric for the seating so we have been waiting on that.

It was not an easy sew!  The fabric was woven so one side of the piece when you cut it kept unravelling in massive strips, it also got tangled around the needle a few times, oh awful stuff.  Anyway they are finished now, well I just have two scatter cushions to do tomorrow and they won't take long.

I also had some panels to sew inside some motorbike jeans this week, they are to hold the protective pads, that job was a first and also quite tricky to stitch through the padded denim. 

My job for tomorrow is to make some Mr Tumnus trousers to look like his furry legs.  I need to dress up at school next week, I will try and share  a picture but not sure if I'll do so while I'm wearing them.

So there hasn't been much in the way of garment making recently but lots of repairs for others and household style sewing.  Perhaps the brighter days will inspire me, I tend to stick to my same sets of layered clothes when it is cold.

It has been quite tricky to find something to get interested in on the TV recently, all the Scandinavian dramas I like appear to have finished and have not been replaced with anything to grab my attention.  Broad church is quite enjoyable and also The Replacement but really there is an awful lot of rubbish across the channels.  I came into the living room the other evening after doing some alterations and turned on the TV, across three channels these were the options; Britain on Benefits, Britain on the Fiddle and Britain After Brexit, I turned it straight off again!

Another Shift Dress

The dress I made today is from the free New Look pattern I got with Sew magazine last month. It is very similar to the scuba dress I made bu...