This week I have been very grateful for my food processor and my dishwasher! As there’s only two of us we have a slim one so it has been on at least 3 times a day over the last few evenings!
We had a busy day on Monday organising for the funeral so we ate in a local independent coffee shop. I had this lovely breakfast.
I started my Christmas prep by soaking vodka with dried fruit and spices to make Christmas pudding flavoured vodka! It went down very well on Christmas day! I also soaked my nuts overnight for my vegan cheeses as this helps them blend more easily.
Another couple of store cupboard favourites during a busy week. Spinach dhal with cauliflower rice and cheese on beans on toast. I am aware these are regular dishes that have featured on the blog before so I might need to widen my range!
I developed a sore throat and cough in the week so out came the lemon, ginger and maple syrup. I got a tip on instagram to added cayenne pepper which I did on my next cup, I was worried it would burn my throat but it really helped out!
I had fun making my four cheeses, only one of which I have made before. Starting from top left, this is macadamia brie with cranberry sauce en croute. I was a bit worried as this was an American recipe containing pectin that I hadn’t used before and it said it would only work with a certain brand not available in the UK. It came out a bit bigger than I was expecting so next time I would halve the recipe, the pastry leaked a bit but it was still damn tasty. Next on top right is smoky pesto cashew cheese. This tasted very mild which I wasn’t expecting so I might up the spices and salt used in this next time. This also produced loads of cheese and I ended up with 5 ramekins full, so I sent my guests home with some and another couple ended up in the freezer. I used agar in this recipe which looked very gelatinous when I was preparing but I was very impressed with the texture and well done on my little mixer for grinding those cashews! In the recipe they recommend using this in fajitas so I would be interested to see if it melts at all. Bottom left is almond feta which I have made before, this is so easy as it uses ground almonds. Everything goes in the mixer and then drains overnight in cheese cloth and then baked in the oven. This has a lovely crumbly texture and a real tang. Lastly on bottom left is my nut and herb encrusted cheese log. This cheese used silken tofu and agar again as the setting agent. This had chives and sundried tomatoes running through it and was a tasty soft cheese to have on crackers.
To go with my cheese I made lentil and mushroom pate and an easy chutney. I was impressed with the pate as it was really tasty. Again all these recipes seem to yield loads so I was shipping people home with it! The chutney was a recipe from the Hair Bikers with onions, garlic, dried fruit cooked in sugar and white wine vinegar. It went down a treat!
I had another go at bread making and I’m definitely getting better!
On Christmas Eve I wanted something light so I made garlic mushroom pasta which is simple and so tasty!
Our dessert on Christmas day was maple pecan pie. I have loads of individual tart dishes as I made a tower of hazelnut chocolate tarts as my wedding cake, and I think they look lovely on a plate. This recipe comes from vegan favourites Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero and has secret ingredient silken tofu in it to help it set. (The non-vegan version would have eggs.)
On Boxing day my Mum and her partner came round for lunch and bought some bubble and squeak they had made which I chomped down in the evening and the next day for breakfast!
Yesterday was my Brother’s birthday. It was nice to get dressed up as I haven’t really done so this festive period. We had a lovely time in the pub and I found out that our friend Ross is an avid follower! He said it would make his day to be featured so here he is enjoying some homemade ginger biscuits another friend had given my Brother as a present.
Hope you all had some fantastic food and a great time this week.