Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Notice Board: Liebster Award Post

Guess what? I'm so pleased to tell you that I've been nominated for a Liebster award by Julie from My Apologies for the Novel and Jesse from Mad Hatter's Pantry! Thanks Guys!

It's not an actual award itself, more like an online chain letter which aims to get to know fellow bloggers better and meet knew bloggers. The rules are simple and here's what you do if you get nominated.
  • Answer the 10 questions provided and then come up with 10 new ones to ask your nominees
  • Nominate 8 other bloggers, let them know you have nominated them and put a link to their blog in your post
  • No tag backs
  • Nominees must have under 200 followers on any platform
  • You must tell all the blogs that you nominate that you have nominated them
Jesse had a great idea and combined her nominations with vegan mofo by using randomofo, such a great idea! So in honour of vegan mofo 2014 and Jesse's idea I decided to do the same. The blogs I have nominated I have found through randomofo.

So here are the questions - I have answered both sets of questions!

Julie's Questions:
  1. When is your "veganniversary"/the date you went vegan? (Or if, like me, you don't remember the exact date, have you chosen a day on which to celebrate your veganniversary?)

    I'd dabbled with veganism in the past, but I made the full transition on 1st January 2013 so I've only celebrated once! But I'm so pleased that I am now fully committed to it, I feel much better in myself too. I used to suffer with lots of headaches but since becoming vegan I can count the number of headaches on one hand - 4 to be precise!
  2. What's one of your best qualities?

    I'm compassionate
  3. What is your most-used kitchen tool/utensil?

    My Vitamix! I treated myself to one for my veganniversary and I've not looked back since I use it most days if not every day!
  4. Do you share your life with any animals? (If so, tell us a bit about them.)

    My life would not be the same without my gorgeous Marco. He's a border collie and he make our lives complete. He does everything with me, bar coming to work with me, but if I work from home he just curls up around my feet under the desk.
  5. If you could open a sanctuary, what would be the first type of animal you would rescue?

    Which ever animal needed my help on that day.
  6. Do you prefer your pizza hot and fresh, or cold as leftovers the next day? 

    Straight out of the oven!
  7. What is your favorite type of tea?

    Its a close call between Lady and Early Grey
  8. What's one food/meal that you thought you'd never have again once you went vegan, only to find out later that there is a vegan version of it?

    I used to love Yorkie Bar's and now there is the Veggo Bar which is very similar, if you haven't tried it, go and buy one right now! Its delicious
  9. What would be your “catch phrase?” (What is your favorite phrase and/or what is the phrase you say most often?)

    The world is your vegan oyster!
  10. What's your go-to dish to bring to a vegan potluck?

    I've never been to a vegan potluck before, but if I was to go to one it would have to be a mushroom dish, like mushroom ragu, mushroom stroganoff or mushroom pie!
And here are Jesse's questions:
  1. What made you decide to take part in Vegan MoFo?

    I took part last year and I had so much fun I thought why not do it again. It was a lot harder though this year as I hadn't prepared for it so most of the recipes I have shared this year were made/created on the day of the post. It was exhausting but still fun.
  2. What is the weirdest vegan meal you've been served?

    I don't think I've had a weird vegan meal, I've been disappointed, marvelled and just not sure. The strangest thing served was tomato spaghetti for a Christmas dinner - does that count?
  3. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?

    I'm lucky enough to have done a little travelling already and I spent almost three years away from home, travelling Australasia. I couldn't chose an outright favourite from all the countries I visited as I loved them all! I've never made it over to America or Canada though so I'd love to give those countries a try.
  4. What did you want to be when you were a child?

    I can't actually remember what I wanted to be as a child, I loved so many things and I just wanted to be happy doing something I loved.
  5. What are you now?

    I work for the Local Education Authority, which is very stressful and very busy but I would love to work in the food industry, own my own vegan bistro and write my own cook books
  6. Do you have any animal friends at your house? Tell me about them!

    Yes, my lovely Marco - see above
  7. What has been your favourite album of the year so far?

    Gosh! That's a toughie! I like so much different music from Elbow to Pharrell Williams!
  8. Which festive season (if any) do you look forward to the most?

    If there's food involved I look forward to it! Christmas is the obvious choice as there is sooooo much food but I'm not a fan of the cold dark nights (and days for that matter). I look forward to the spring when I can get out in my garden
  9. Can you recommend a good book?

    I love reading books that make you laugh out loud, and I've recently just finished reading "The Tent, Bucket and Me" if ever you've been camping as a child this will have you in stitches!
  10. Tell me a secret? (Or a random fact if you don't want to share your secrets!)

    I'm a little piglet! I LOVE my food, hahahahahaha
My 10 questions:

1. What food item could you not do without?
2. What would be your last supper (you can have 3 courses)?
3. What is your favourite TV show?
4. Who is your favourite comedian?
5. What is your favourite junk food?
6. How long have you been Vegan?
7. Has your health improved since turning vegan?
8. What ingredient had you never heard of until you went vegan?
9. What is your favourite smell? 
10. What is a typical Sunday like for you?

My 8 nominations are:

A Little Vegan Blog in Big Ol' Texas - http://andisay0214.blogspot.co.uk/
Stephanie at http://questingadventures.blogspot.co.uk/
Shannon at http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
Bianca at http://www.elephantasticvegan.com/
Cristina at http://www.veggiebytes.com/
Johanna at http://gggiraffe.blogspot.co.uk/
Michelle at http://michellestinykitchen.blogspot.co.uk/
'S' at http://justabtvegan.com/

I'm going to add one more to the list above, which I've chosen myself and that's

Tracy over at My Living Cook Book go check out her blog.

To all you nominees, please don't feel obliged to take part, if you don't want to. Its just a bit of harmless fun so people can get to know you a little better. If you're reading this post before I've let you know I hope it hasn't come as too mush of a shock :o)

Thanks again to Julie from My Apologies for the Novel and Jesse from Mad Hatter's Pantry for nominating me.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Specials Board: Easy Stuffed Mushrooms Not

Vegan Mofo Day 29
Once again I'm late home and the light has gone before I can even start dinner. I wanted something comforting and easy, which was also quick. My go to comfort food is always going to be mushrooms, I love them and any dish with them in really cheers me up! I couldn't live without my 'shrooms :o)

I didn't want to slave over a pan making risotto or stroganoff and I didn't fancy pasta so I decided on making a simple and quick stuffing mix, filling the 'shrooms and popping in the oven. 

OK, So that was my plan! But disaster struck! Because I was rushing I forgot to put any seasoning in the stuffing mix, normally I add herbs and spices and at least salt and pepper, but today nothing! Then as I pulled the stuffed mushrooms out of the oven I dropped the tray as my oven glove wasn't enough protection. It seems I have a thin patch in the oven glove! So most of the stuffed mushrooms went on the floor but I did manage to save two.

I quickly took a photograph of the mushrooms on the floor before Marco found them and started munching his way through, then I took a quick photo of the two I saved. Again everything was done in a rush as I was starving and I couldn't wait to took into my dinner.

As I said before I didn't enjoy them as much as I hoped as I forgot to put in any seasoning! 

What else could go wrong? Everything! As I came to write up the recipe I found out that I had no memory card in my camera! So I have no pictures of the tasteless 'shrooms! So I thought I'd post some pictures of Marco instead.

If you want a recipe for stuffed mushrooms I posted one last year during vegan mofo.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Specials Board: Courgette & Lentil Loaf

Courgette & Lentil Loaf and VeganMofo Day 28
Apologies for the photographs, I didn't finish cooking until it was dark and I was too hungry to set up a photo shoot! 

Before I get onto the recipe I just want to wish my sister a very Happy Birthday!

I told you there would be more courgette recipes! My freezer is bursting at the seams with frozen courgette, so I didn't want to freeze a load more as they are. I'm not alone with the amazing courgette harvest this year, my gardening angel is exactly in the same position. She said that as soon as she turns her back on a plant it springs out courgettes! We're not complaining though, this vegetable is so versatile. Maybe next year my vegan mofo topic will be courgettes! That will really test me 30 days of courgette recipes, jeez that would be a tough one.

I'm going to freeze individual slices of this loaf, so I can have dinner on the table in minutes especially on those days when I get in from work late.


1 Tbsp Flax seeds
3 Tbsp Water
300g Red lentils
900ml Vegetable stock
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
230g Courgette, grated
2 Tsp Mixed herbs
85g Wholemeal breadcrumbs (2 slices)
1 Tsp Arrowroot powder


First make your flax egg, slowly pour the water over the flax seed, whisking as you do so, continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture starts to go a bit gloopy. Put the flax egg in the fridge so it firms up whilst you continue with cooking.

Add the red lentils and stock to a large saucepan and bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring at regular intervals so the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Towards the end of cooking you will need to stir more often so it doesn't stick. You will end up with what I can only describe as a thick porridge like consistency. I should have taken a photo for you, but it doesn't look appetising!

While the lentils are cooking sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Add the courgette and mixed herbs and sauté for another 5 minutes, the courgettes will lose some of their moisture.

Once the lentils are cooked take off the heat and add the onion and courgette mixture. Give everything a good mix and then add the breadcrumbs. Mix again before adding the arrowroot and then mix again.

Remove the flax egg from the fridge and add to the lentil mixture and give everything one final mix ensuring all ingredients are mixed together.

Spoon the mixture into an oiled loaf tin and bake for 60 minutes. Let cool slightly before turning out onto a board or plate so it firms up a bit more. If I'm honest, it wasn't as firm as I would have liked when I cut my first slice.

EDIT POST: I was far too impatient, when left to cool for 10 minutes the mixture firms up nicely. Yay!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Specials Board: Courgette Curry

Courgette Curry and Vegan Mofo Day 27
I am still over run with courgettes and there is still a few on my plants so expect more courgette recipes soon! As the nights are starting to draw in (has anyone else noticed that) and its getting darker a lot sooner than I'd like and its definitely got a little nippy, I thought a curry would warm me up and comfort me. So, courgette curry it was. 

I raided my spice cupboard and rather than use a curry powder, which I do use, I fancied making one from scratch. So out came all the curry type spices and I realised I had no ground coriander. I wasn't going to make a special trip to the supermarket just for that, so I used coriander seeds instead and ground them myself. Feel free to swap the seeds for ground if you make this.

1 Tbsp Groundnut oil
½ Tsp Mustard seeds
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves
Knob of ginger (6g)
1½ Tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ Tsp Coriander seeds
½ Tsp Hot chilli powder
¼ Tsp Salt
2 Tomatoes, chopped (225g)
680g Courgette
1Tin of coconut milk
1 Tsp Arrowroot

Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, they will start to pop almost straight away. When the majority of them have popped add the onion and sauté for 5 mins or until the onion starts to go golden brown.

Using a fine microplane, grate the garlic and ginger and add to the onions.

Grind the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar and add to the onion mixture along with the cumin, garam masala, chilli powder and salt. Cook for another minute.

Add the tomatoes and stir to combine everything. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down.

Add the courgettes, give everything another good stir and sauté for another couple of minutes.

Add the coconut milk, stir again and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your courgette pieces.

If you're happy with the curry sauce thickness leave out the arrowroot, but if like me, you like your curry sauce a little thicker mix the arrowroot with a little cold water and add to the curry, the mixture will thicken slightly. 

Serve with rice.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Specials Board: Chilli Non-Carne

Chilli Non-Carne & Vegan Mofo Day 26
Two days ago I posted my recipe for Spaghetti No-Bolognaise which used some of my homemade tomato sauce. The No-Bolognaise will easily serve 6 people but I halved it and we ate two portions of one half, leaving a portion as leftovers. Tonight this left over portion was made into a chilli!

This recipe is super easy as all the hard work has already been done, so its great for a midweek meal. 


1 Portion of No-Bolognaise
1 Tin Kidney beans in chilli sauce (395g)
1 Tin Baked beans (415g)
1 Tin Sweetcorn (198g drained)
400ml Homemade tomato sauce
2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Smoked Garlic powder
1 Tsp Hot chilli powder
1 Tsp Cocoa powder
Black pepper, ground
Rice to serve


Add all the ingredients to a saucepan, and mix thoroughly so everything is distributed evenly. Bring the chilli to a simmer.Cook your rice as per the packet instructions. Your rice and chilli will be ready at the same time! Easy!

I served mine with a smiley face of vegan mayonnaise! Coz its Friday!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Specials Board: Vegan Lasagne with Soya

Lasagne & Vegan Mofo Day 25
Yesterday, I shared my Recipe for No-Bolognaise, which made 6 portions in total, but by halving the mixture I'm going to show you how one packet of soya mince can be split into 3 tasty meals.
  • Spaghetti No-Bolognaise
  • Lasagne with a twist
  • Chilli Non-Carne
After halving the No-Bolognaise mixture, two portions were devoured for last nights tea, which left one "leftover" portion. Tomorrow I'll show you what I did to this leftover portion, which magically can feed four.

But first I'm going to show you what I did with the other half of the No-Bolognaise and how you can turn this into a tasty lasagne dish with a twist.


Spray of Olive oil
½ No-Bolognaise recipe
1 Courgette (mine weighed 220g and I used a yellow variety)
1 Tbsp Vitalite
1 Tbsp Plain flour
250ml Almond milk, unsweetened
2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
½ Tsp Garlic granules
Scattering of vegan cheese*

* I used a few slices of my courgette cheese


Spray an oven proof dish with olive oil to stop the lasagne sticking to the dish.

Slice the courgette length ways, about 3mm thick, and if you can make the lengths the same size as your oven dish.

Pour half of the No-Bolognaise mixture into the dish and top with half of the courgette slices. Pour the rest of the No-Bolognaise on top and finish off with the remaining courgette slices.

In a saucepan add the Vitalite, plain flour and almond milk and bring to a boil, whisking all the time. The sauce will thicken as it heats up. As soon as the sauce reaches boiling point remove from the heat and whisk in the nutritional yeast and garlic granules.

Pour over the courgette slices and top with a scattering of vegan cheese. I made another batch of my courgette cheese and I used a few slices of this.

Bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick you have sliced your courgette. Mine was cooked after 20 minutes and the 'cheese' on top was golden brown.

Serve with chips and peas.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Specials Board: Spaghetti No-Bolognaise

Spaghetti No-Bolognaise and Vegan Mofo Day 24
For the remainder of Vegan Mofo I'm going to show you what to do with leftovers, starting with the homemade tomato sauce I made for the Two Squash Cannelloni.

Nothing goes to waste in this house! I always use up leftovers, if I'm not eating them for lunch the next day they will be turned into another dish. I think this stems from not having a freezer for 12 years! I had to be inventive with my leftovers but I don't think that's a bad thing.

I've made soup which has turned into a curry sauce or pasta sauce. I've stuffed mushrooms and other vegetables with leftover nut or lentil roasts. I've turned leftover stir fries into pies and stroganoffs into soup! Literally nothing is wasted. If I have condiments that need using up they normally go into something and sometimes it's a great discovery!

My homemade tomato sauce recipe makes 1.4 Litres, and I used 400ml of it in my Two Squash Cannelloni. So what do you do with the rest? You can either freeze it or do what I did and turn the leftovers into something different for dinner. This recipe doesn't use all of the tomato sauce but stay tuned over the next 2 days I'll show you how I used it all up, every last little bit!

Ingredients (Serves 6) 

1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 Red pepper, diced
150g Courgette, diced
454g frozen soy mince
2 Tsp Bouillon powder
200ml Water
600ml Homemade tomato sauce
1 Tsp Marmite
2 Tsp Mixed herbs
2 Tbsp Tomato puree
2 Tsp Balsamic vinegar
½ Tsp Sugar
Black pepper, ground

Fry the onion in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes, until the onion starts to brown, add the red pepper and saute for another 3 minutes.

Add the chopped courgette and saute for another 2 minutes, before adding the frozen soy mince. Stir to combine everything.

Sprinkle over the vegetable bouillon powder and pour in the water. Give everything a good mix again, bring to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the tomato sauce, marmite, mixed herbs and give everything another stir to combine all the ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes

Add the tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, sugar and black pepper and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Serve with spaghetti. I halved the no-bolognaise, saving half for another leftovers meal and we ate two large portions and still had a large portion leftover. Stay tuned to see what happened to the leftovers.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Specials Board: Apple Turnovers

Apple Turnover and Vegan Mofo Day 23
Today, is an easy recipe after yesterday's fiddly one! A while back, if you remember I managed to pick some apples form the community orchard where my parents live. I had two varieties; Ribston Pippin and Lord Derby. The Ribston Pippin I ate as they were or in my Creamy Apple Smoothie or Apple and Ginger Revitiliser, but I was left with 5 Lord Derby's, which are a cooking apple.

I needed to do something with them fast as they had just been sitting in my fruit bowl for a couple of weeks (or longer) and I had not got round to cooking with them. As I was short on time I thought I'd make up a recipe as I went along. Nothing new there then!

Before I knew it I had peeled all 5 apples and I was mixing them with sugar, flour and cinnamon, in the hope that an apple pie filing would be made if I cooked it! I didn't yet know how, as I really couldn't be bothered to make pastry. Then I remembered I already had some puff pastry in my fridge that was fast approaching its use by date, so Apple Turnovers it was. One problem, I had far too much apple mixture left over. Watch this space to see what I did with it!

Ingredients (makes 6 Turnovers)

300g Apple, peeled & cored weight
(about 5 apples), chopped

75g  and 1 Tsp Sugar
15g Plain flour
½ Tsp Cinnamon
1 Ready rolled puff pastry sheet
(Jus Roll is vegan)

A little soy milk


Mix the peeled, cored and chopped apple with the 75g of sugar, flour and cinnamon, so that all the apple is coated with the mixture.

Cut the puff pastry sheet into 6 squares and brush a little soy milk round the edges of each square.

Place a teaspoon of the apple mixture into the middle of each square and fold one corner over to the diagonally opposite corner to encase the filling.

Seal the edges by using a fork along the two edges that meet. Pierce the top of the triangle with the fork to make steam holes.

Brush soy milk over the top of each triangle and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

Bake in in a moderate oven for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Place the remaining mixture in a saucepan with 100ml cold water and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples are cooked. You should have a syrupy mixture that the apples are sitting in. If this gets too thick add a little more water. Leave to cool and transfer to a container and put in the fridge. I'll post my leftover apple recipe soon, or alternatively bag and pop in the freezer ready to make more turnovers.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes with Pesto Dip

Fried Green Tomatoes & Pesto Dip and Vegan Mofo Day 22

This year, I've not been very successful with tomatoes. I wasn't going to grow any this year as I've not been that successful for a couple of years now. I've put it down to not having a green house but if I'm honest this year, its probably haphazard watering through the drier months. I've been working late a lot recently and throughout the summer, and I must admit I have been absolutely shattered when I got in. Normally I love watering it's a great stress reliever, but this year it has just annoyed me at times. There's just not enough hours in the day! If only I could spend my days swapping between gardening and cooking, I would be one happy Jasmine!

So, as explained above my haphazard watering has shot me in the foot and all I have is bedraggled tomato plants, some I'm ashamed to say are brown (they're almost dead) and a lot of green tomatoes. 

I didn't want to do the traditional fried green tomatoes, where you flour, milk and coat in breadcrumbs, I wanted to try something different. Although the picture doesn't look like it was a success, the taste was pretty good. The process was very messy and sometimes the couscous just refused to stick to the tomatoes, and sometimes it fell apart in the frying pan! I think a little tweaking is necessary but I wanted to post something every day and this is all I have!


100g Couscous
130ml Boiling water
3 Tsp Sundried tomato pesto
200g Green tomatoes
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Vegan mayonnaise


Pour the boiling water over the couscous and leave to stand for 5 minutes after stiring.

Slice the green tomatoes about ½mm thick.

Fork over the couscous to separate the grains and add 2 Tsp of the sundried tomato pesto and mix well, so everything is combined

Taking a slice of tomato at a time pat some couscous onto both sides and put to one side.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until hot. Add a few tomatoes at a time and fry on both sides for 2-3 minutes or until the couscous is golden brown. Be careful when you flip them over as some of the couscous flicks off.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining teaspoon of sundried tomato pesto with the vegan mayonnaise. Serve the tomato slices with a dollop of the mayonnaise.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Specials Board: Damson Jam

Damson Jam & Vegan Mofo Day 21
With my small harvest of damsons I picked yesterday, I couldn't wait to make some damson jam. Most recipes will call for a hell of a lot more damsons than I picked but some is better than nothing, right? I love damson jam and its a hard call to pick between damson and strawberry for me, but during the winter months a little jam can make everything seem a whole lot better, bringing back fond memories of the taste of summer.

Jam making is straightforward, all you need is time and patience, something that I hadn't got much of today! Has anyone else stood over a pot of jam talking to it? Asking it to hurry up and reach it's setting point! My hubby wondered what was going on, and asked who I was talking to. When I replied that I wasn't talking to anyone just the pot of jam I was making, he gave me one of those looks as if to say "don't you think you should sit down for a bit and chill out" ha ha ha ha No can do! With all that delicious food I foraged and was given I had a lot of cooking to do!

I didn't even get started on that humongous beetroot my friend gave me yesterday, far too busy making sloe gin, damson jam and lots of other goodies for the freezer!

580g Damsons
290ml Cold water
480g Granulated sugar

Count the number of damsons and place a small plate in your freezer too. What on earth is going on I hear you cry, count your damsons and put a plate in the freezer, I thought this was a recipe!

You don't have to count your damsons, especially if you have a bucket full! But it helps to know how many stones you need to remove. I had 104 damsons! The plate in the freezer is a neat trick, it will help you test for the setting of the jam. 

Add the damsons to a large pot, and cover with the cold water and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Using a potato masher start mashing the damsons so they burst, this will also help in removing the stones. Simmer for 15 minutes, your kitchen will smell wonderful a bit like red wine. Whilst its simmering start to remove the stones.

Next add the sugar and stir constantly until all the sugar is dissolved. The mixture will start spitting so be careful it can burn. Simmer for another 15 minutes, removing the stones as you go.

After 15 minutes do a set test. Take the plate out of the freezer and drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the plate. The cold plate will help cool the jam down, push the jam with your finger nail and if it wrinkles and has a skin formed then you have reached setting point. Don't worry if it doesn't, eat the little bit of jam on the plate and put the plate back in the freezer. Simmer the jam for another 5 minutes and repeat the test. 

Once you have reached your desired setting point, I don't like mine that thick, pour the jam into sterilised jam jars and top with a lid. Store in a cool place and once opened I always keep mine in the fridge. Enjoy!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Specials Board: Carrot and Ginger Soup

Carrot & Ginger Soup and Vegan Mofo Day 20
I woke up to a dank morning, it was cold, misty and drizzling, and do you know what my first thought was? Perfect day for soup!

Earlier in the week I'd managed to pull up some carrots, there weren't very many and they weren't anything to shout home about, but I had carrots, something I'd not eaten for a few weeks. So whatever I did with them had to be good, I'd missed you humble carrot!

My very first year of growing carrots was a huge success I couldn't believe how easy it had been and the taste was out of this world, even my hubby said they were the best tasting carrots he'd ever had! Since the first year, I've not had a huge success with carrots, I've had some, but never a crop like I did in that first year. Maybe I was just spoilt!

These are what I pulled up the other day.

Nothing out of the ordinary, but they were orange, healthy and smelt good, so I'm calling it a win! I could have cut them up and served as a side vegetable but they wouldn't have gone far. So I decided to make them the star of the show and turn them into soup. Because of the weather I teamed them up with ginger for a little warmth.


1 Tbsp Olive oil

230g Carrots chopped (peeled weight)
1 onion, diced
Small knob of ginger 
(I weighed mine and it was 5g)
650ml Vegetable stock


Saute the carrot and onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add the ginger and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes until the carrot is cooked.

Transfer to a blender and blend until you have a silky smooth soup. Perfect for a dank day.

Earlier today I attended a local food festival where the community were celebrating their growing talents by entering into a grow and show competition. As I wasn't part of the local community I didn't enter anything into the competition, but after speaking to the judges I was told that it was open to anyone, darn it I could have entered one of my mammoth pattypan squashes! 

Once the competition has been judged they auction off all the food entered into the competition. I was outbid on numerous occasions but once again my friend came to the rescue, as she did last year! She was the highest bidder for a beetroot and gave it to me as a present! It beats chocolate any day she said as she handed it over. Now this was no ordinary beetroot, just look at the size of it!

The beetroot was the size of my head! This could feed us for a month, easy. As soon as it was in my hands ideas were flooding through my brain with what I could do with it, cake, risotto, pickled, juice, chutney, jelly, ice-cream (?) the list went on. Another friend put in an order for cake, so I can see me being very busy tomorrow with this beast!

My gratitude didn't finish there, after leaving the local food show Marco and I went off exploring into the woods and guess what we found? I couldn't believe my eyes it was a miracle! I just happened to come across a sloe bush and it was full of sloe berries, I couldn't believe my luck! Thank goodness for doggy poop bags, LOL! I picked about a third of a bag, there were lots left on the bush so I could always go back for more if I can remember where it was. When I got home I weighed my bounty and it was just over 400g, sloe gin here I come!

My day of good fortune didn't end there either! On the way back I found a wild damson tree which was laden with fruits, thankfully I always have lots of doggy poop bags in my pocket! I managed to fill half a bag, which weighed just over 550g, so damson jam here I come!

I was chuffed to bits with my little bounty so on the off chance I tried the community orchard which had been raided a few weeks ago. I was rewarded, as I approached a tree which looked like its branch had been broken off and it was just dangling there, my eyes lit up. The branch wasn't damaged it was just heavy with pears! I think someone was looking down on me today! So, not only do I have a HUGE beetroot, I have sloes, damsons and 6 pears! There were lots more pairs on the branch but I took just what I needed and no more. Hopefully someone else will be rewarded too, before the ninjas of the night come and strip it bare.

So all in all a great day, see you all tomorrow!