Category Archives: reviews

gourmet raw brownies and crisps

rg1

But first to the crisps: completely guilt free, dried raw squares of tastiness. The three flavours are Beetroot, Spicy Thai and Red Pepper and they’re all very good…

rg3

…but the absolute winner for us was the red pepper. Reminiscent of pizza, these would be very nice little crackers too. Topped with a small slice of tomato, a basil leaf and maybe half an olive… but before these musings could be made real and captured on camera they were all scoffed by other people.

The brownies are satisfyingly sticky, soft and rich, remarkably like a cooked cake but you still feel great after eating them. No sugar rush/up/down thing going on at all.

And just look at this cacao mint brownie coming towards you:

rg6

Excuse the food porn 🙂 Other varieties are cacoa cashew which is pleasantly cinnamony, carob hazelnut and carob orange. The carob ones are nice, they got gobbled down fast, but chocolate is always preferred here.

All these delicious, healthy products are raw, organic, vegan and free from wheat and gluten 😀 You can read more about them and purchase on  Gourmet Raw’s website Use code GR003 for a 10% discount.

a casserole and a cookbook

casserole

We will have been married 20 years this year… which causes me to reflect how far we’ve come, how much the world has changed in that time and to note the two items above. They were given to us as a wedding present by friends who I used to babysit for and here they are still with us, I don’t think any other dish we own has survived that long! The Cranks Recipe Book sparked my interest at once, as I had eaten in their restaurant in London while a student, and it called to mind lovely brick walls and earthenware plates of hearty soup (they now have one restaurant in Devon).

It really taught me to cook, being the only cookery title I had at the time (bit of a change there then) in our first flat that we loved so much. I was fairly clueless when it came to the culinary arts. I remember phoning my mum at times with questions such as ‘how do you cook a neep? I can’t even seem to cut it up’. With the book I learned to bake bread, make cakes and the wonderfully frugal crecy plate pie, prepare soups and casseroles got put in the dish 🙂 It influenced me in more subtle ways too. Being the one and only it got thoroughly read and I absorbed the health oriented nature of the pages, reading for example, how much adding fresh herbs enhanced the nutritional value of the food. I remember the excitement of planting up a small herb garden and reading more deeply into these subjects. Looking at it now I notice all the cheesy recipes but you could just use any one of the many vegan cheeses available now or leave it out altogether.

Bit different when we first went vegan – a vegan cookbook obtained from the library that shall remain nameless (mainly as I can’t remember it’s name, I think it was somewhat generic, but also I do not want to slander it as it may have had other redeeming recipes) was responsible for me making a vegan cheese out of marg and yeast extract 13 years ago – absolutely disgusting, totally foul!!

So, my cranks book, heavily marked with food, water and childrens crayons. It is now available in a swanky new asparagus covered edition but you can still pick up the original for a penny 😀

book

As for the dish, it still gets used though not as much anymore. The odd apple/rhubarb crumble is popped in it. I now favour my big Le Creuset that you can cook on the hob and in the oven with – very handy for making a sheperdess/red dragon pie base in and just putting mashed tatties on top and then into the oven it goes. I am very lucky to also have two similar cast iron AGA pans/casseroles given to us by another friend who had them sitting unwanted and unused in his garage, and these are my 3 usual dinner cooking pans now.

aga

We’ve always been blessed with friendship 🙂 I am currently reading Walking to Greenham sent to me by a wonderful woman and friend… a fascinating book and I find myself contemplating the larger worldwide changing of the times. What will the next 20 years bring?

MULU Raw Chocolate

Wow. This is the best raw chocolate weve ever tasted. It’s totally smooth in texture which weve never experienced with raw choc before. Some of us girls sampled it together and it even went down well with one lady who usually prefers milk chocolate 🙂 The rich taste and heady smell enable this product to easily compete with expensive roasted brands. Go see MULU’s website for more details and ordering 😀

mulu

off to add it to the chocolate page

vegan millionaires shortbread

These and many other gorgeous vegan and wheat free goodies from Lazy Day Foods here in Scotland. Some National Trust places, such as Culloden, had them in their cafes last year – hope they still do 🙂 Also available at Amazon.co.uk

vmsb

Standing with Stones

Standing with Stones

This is a wonderful documentary about Britain and Ireland’s ancient sites. A very mellow and informative watch… inspires you to get out there and explore the ancient past in your own area. It includes the better known sites but also many lesser heard of ones with stories from local folklore, the presenter’s theories and observations… a great sense of enthusiasum and awe abounds throughout the film. From Cornwall to Orkney, this is a beautiful journey through the ancient stones of our land :)

See much more about the DVD and many clips on the makers site here. Their blog is also very interesting.

MuLondon

mulondon-287x300

A quick mention for these absolutely gorgeous new vegan organic moisturisers, no preservatives and no water so they’re concentrated making them nice and frugal too. Very pure ingredients. I am favouring the lavender one after a bath – I need all the help I can get to look less haggard this time of year ;) Charlotte is very taken with the white chocolate truffle one and it’s nice and gentle for her skin too. Still time to order for Christmas as they send them out the same day  🙂