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Tag Archives: Guilt

For the love of…Dinner Parties (Part 2)

So yes, I’m still in a funk. And this weather doesn’t really help. And when you tell someone you’re in a funk in the vague hope they cheer you up, it backfires. So I really have to bring myself out of this funk. But I don’t know how.

So I started thinking about mum’s potential dinner party again. And I started thinking about chocolate again. (My best friend has realised I have a chocolate craving every 15.5 seconds which combined with the funk lead to a considerable consumption of chocolate during my working day in less than 10 seconds…but we won’t mention that). Moving on…

Where was I? Oh yes, mum’s dinner party and chocolate, which then got me thinking about these amazing chocolate pots my sister had brought back from waitrose one evening and it was the tiniest little chocolate pot but the most heavenly and the most satisfying and one little pot was all I needed to completely satisfy that craving. So, if my sister could buy it from a supermarket, then why couldn’t I make the equivalent at home for a dinner party? It would be IDEAL…make in advance, set in the fridge until ready to serve, no hassle no fuss right? But I don’t have a recipe. It surely can’t be as simple as melting chocolate with a little cream and/or  butter and pouring it into a pot?

You’re right, it’s not. But here is a pretty simple recipe:

Ingredients

1  14 oz can of full fat coconut milk

200g soy chocolate (your fav kind, could even be some kind of raspberry chocolate..seriously..ANY chocolate you like..)

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

– Break the chocolate up into pieces, put it into a food processor with the vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon

– Bring the coconut milk up to a simmer on the stove, and then pour it over the ingredients in the food processor

– Blend everything together until smooth and creamy, pour into espresso or sake cups or even shot glasses and chill (takes about 5 hours for them to be firm and creamy) before serving.

See..then I started thinking some more (don’t you just love how I involve you in my thought processes these days?) and I thought how about some kind of ginger-chocolate pot dessert thing? So what would happen if I grated some fresh ginger into that? I’m not entirely sure, I’ll have to try it out and let you know…

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Posted by on June 24, 2010 in Chocolate, Dessert, Dinner Party, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan

 

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For the Love of Cupcakes..

I have been umming and ahhing about putting this recipe online. I made these AMAZING rainbow cupcakes awhile ago and everyone LOVED them, so part of me wanted to keep my recipe a secret. Something that was just mine, that everyone loved. It made me feel amazing. But then I thought I would get much more joy out of sharing my recipe, all of you trying it, and then seeing your amazing feedback.

I must confess I’m a little addicted to checking these blog stats, as much as I don’t always have a new recipe to post. Recently i’ve been getting super excited because you guys have been googling for me! I am so thankful that you love to read the rubbish I write. I hope you continue to come back for more. If nothing else, the following cupcake recipe will definately make you feel that way!

Ingredients

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups plain soymilk
2 1/8 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

How we do it…

Preheat the oven to 350º
 
Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soymilk to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle so don’t stress).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the soymilk mixture, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand-held blender.

Fill each cupcake cup with batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack.

Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

I actually used this recipe to make the following awesome rainbow cupcakes:

These are dead easy! Simply make up the batter as above, divvy up the mixture into 6 bowls. Add your colours to each individual bowl. Once you have all your colours ready simply put 1-2tsp of each colour in the cupcake cups, layer it up and then bake as directed. You’ll end up with these AMAZING looking cupcakes that taste like like, fluffy, vanilla cupcakes. Except they’re far more fun to eat.

Just ensure that when you buy your food colouring it is vegan – read the ingredients, and if you’re not sure just ask and I’ll try my best to help you!

Another trick to making these cupcakes if you don’t have time for the recipe above is to buy a pre-packaged vegan white cake mix and then add about a can of diet sprite…depending on the size of your box mix…it results in super sweet light fluffy very vegan cupcakes. Quick and easy. But don’t tell anyone else I told you to cheat!!!

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2010 in Dessert, Recipes, Vegan

 

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For the Love of Vegan Cookbooks

 

The Conscious Cook - Tal Ronnen

 

Unfortunately I live in a city where being vegan is virtually unheard of, and an absolute struggle. Walking into a bookshop to find a vegan cookbook was a challenge in itself, there were only two, Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet just did not seem to excite me when I picked it up and thumbed through it – I wanted to see pictures of food, not pictures of her. Then I laid my eyes on Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, and instantly I knew I was in love. Every picture inspired me, and every recipe filled me with confidence.

I know that you think i’m crazy. I mean, how can someone fall in love with a cookbook? But trust me, when you are running low on inspiration, sometimes a book to inspire you is all you need. 

I first heard about Tal Ronnen in September when reading about Oprah’s 21 day vegan detox, following that he catered Ellen De Generous and Portia de Rossi’s vegan wedding. I never thought to look out for his book though! It was also voted one of the best cookbooks of 2009 by Epicurious.com

Featuring  wholesome, rich, creamy, and hearty soups, to sensational salads and finger foods, to a striking array of vegan entrees – all of which I am SO excited to try! 

The Verdict: Please buy it. It’s amazing. In the days / weeks following this post I guarentee you will be seeing Tal Ronnen’s recipes appear..

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2010 in Cookbook, Food, Indulge, Recipes, Vegan, Weight Loss

 

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MIA

I must sincerely apologise for being MIA for the last week or so, there most definately is good reason for this, and in the few sentences / paragraphs to follow, I will explain why, and hopefully you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I want to thank you for your continued support, for coming to check back during the week to see if I have posted, undoubtably leaving dissapointed to find out I haven’t.

I haven’t posted quite simply because I was a little ashamed to. I mentioned to you before, that a lot of my work revolved around events, and food, and as a result, the moment I feared most came upon me, I had to go to a tasting dinner, and I couldn’t be picky about what I ate. At these things, the menu is set for you, and you simply eat what comes to you. And so we began, with an amuse buche of Abalone and Tomato Salsa, followed by an appetiser of Lobster served with Cauliflower Cream, introducing scrambled quail eggs with quail breast and shaved white truffles followed by hand crafted angel hair pasta with red prawns. Main course was pan seared foie gras with duck breast, followed by dessert of chestnut cake served with white truffle ice cream, with shaved white truffle on top. Talk about rich and intense.

Needless to say I spent the night and the following few days feeling rather sick and very much like I had a hangover except in my tummy. Worse than eating too many chillies I tell you.

There is no doubt in my mind now, that vegan seems to be the way to go, granted I may have the odd banoffee pie, but you can be sure I will do my best to avoid as many tasting dinners as possible.

Rest assured. I am back!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2009 in Food, Indulge, Vegan

 

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For The Love Of Coffee

This is something I have been debating for some time now. I know coffee is vegan, but after having read Skinny Bitch (which is what inspired my lifestyle change in the first place), they swear off coffee. I understand that this is because it is unneccessary caffiene combined with other additives you are putting into your body, but I do love my coffee. And tea for that matter!

Google being my friend, enabled me to conduct a search on coffee and vegans, and I discovered that coffee is vegan (well thanks Google, I already knew that). 

So I have come to a decision, a couple of cups of coffee a week will not kill me, and it’s vegan…so why not indulge?

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2009 in Food, Indulge, Vegan, Weight Loss

 

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For The Love Of Strawberry Liquorice

Darrel lLea Strawberry Liquorice

This stuff is amazing. Made with raw cane sugar, and no added rubbish! My sister actually, bought these for herself on her long 13 hour flight to visit, ended up not eating them on the plane, and it took me about a week to polish the bag off (I shared a little)!!! They taste nothing like liquorice, but more like strawberry laces. Yummy. Chewy. Sweet. Delicious.

Verdict: Definately buying these again – if I can find them here, if not, then my sister will be having to post some too be on her return home.

Simply, delicious, and satisfies ANY sugar craving you may have.

WARNING: these are INCREDIBLY addictive!

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2009 in Dessert, Food, Indulge, Vegan, Weight Loss

 

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The Binge…

Every once in awhile we have cravings, every once in awhile we allow ourselves a time to binge. To eat what you want, in moderate amounts of course, and shock some sense back into your system. Don’t let anyone talk you into believing that this is not ok. It is perfectly normal. If you don’t do this, then you’re continuing to starve your body of what it needs, and what you want, and the cravings just get worse. Trust me.

My sister has been home for a visit for a week and a half now, she leaves this Saturday, completeing an entire two week vacation at home. It has been lovely having her around, but not so lovely for my waistline. So this time with her, has been my binge. But let me tell you, I have NOT binged the entire two weeks. Just a little here and there.

My sister has a few traditions every time she comes home, much like I did when I lived abroad too. She must have her favourite carrot cake from Dan Ryan’s – it is to die for. So after suggesting we go for coffee and pick up the carrot cake to go so she could enjoy it over a few days from the comfort of the sofa, we decided to have it there, complete with a tall glass of sweet iced tea. Now I couldn’t really sit there and watch her eat the whole thing now could I? This sweet, moist cake complete with cream cheese frosting is the perfect accompaniment to a tall glass of sweet iced tea with fresh lemon. Heavenly!

My second indulgent treat came on sunday afternoon, at lunch with my mum and my sister. Some quality bonding time, combined with retail therapy and dim sum. Oh I do love dim sum. Most of it is made with rice flour and steamed with vegetables, so it’s not *that* bad…

My third, and hopefully final (I’m not sure, still got 4 days left with my sister in town), was an excessively indulgent 3 hour, 3-course dinner complimented with 2 beers. The ultimate indulgence in comparison to how I have been prior to this. Beginning with lobster nachos (less cheese, more lobster), and salt and pepper crispy calamari, followed by pan fried snapper with creamy mash and roasted vegetables, followed by the most amazing Banoffee Pie EVER. Overlooking the waterfront, and watching fireworks being set off in the distance, it was a perfect end to my long weekend, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty for it.

What I do know is that as of Saturday it will be hard-core training back at the gym and seriously healthy eating, because now, I do feel incredibly exhausted after eating so much, and lots of fatty foods, but you know what? Sometimes, it’s worth it.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2009 in Chocolate, Dessert, Exercise, Food, Indulge

 

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