mint squares, white chocolate mousse and a flower

mint cakes

Chocolate mint layer cake made by a clever friend who is generally good at making things 🙂 (recipe now in the comments below)

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White chocolate mousse with red berries. Melt about 100g of cocoa butter and blend into a block of silken tofu with some icing sugar and vanilla…

…and a flower:

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Summer Solstice

Celebrated by lying in the sun, on the grass all afternoon… blissful.

Chocolate mint nut mylk:

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Handful cacao nibs, few brazil nuts, a few springs of mint, a little agave, water… very nice, though very rich. Next time will try hemp seeds instead of nuts and vanilla instead of agave 🙂

hummus or houmous

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This is a traditional Middle-Eastern dish – can be used as a dip or a spread for sandwiches (fantastic combined with avocado in a sandwich). For a raw dish you can use sprouted chick peas in place of cooked ones.

Ingredients:
1 can (approx. 400g)of cooked chick peas (or you can soak overnight and cook 1 cup of dried chick peas)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 – 2 cloves of fresh garlic
2 Tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste)
the juice of 1 lemon
a little water to blend
salt and pepper (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until fairly smooth – you may need to keep adding water bit by bit until you get the consistency you want. The 3 pictured are plain, one with soaked sun dried tomatoes added and one with lots of herbs from the garden (sage, dill, coriander, lemon thyme, mint and parsley). Made triple quantity of plain then divided into 3 and blended in the extra ingredients.

Olive hummus is great too, just add chopped black olives.

And for a scary looking sandwich: add a small, peeled raw beetroot before blending (carrot works too and is less scary). It gives the hummus a lovely, light, somewhat fruity flavour.

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

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vegan macaroni cheese

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Ingredients:
1 bag (500g) macaroni – we favour the Scottish brand of Marshalls, it has a nice curl to it and good texture for this recipe 🙂
a tablespoon margarine (we used Pure sunflower)
1 onion or leek, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of plain white flour
1 litre of unsweetened soya milk
1 stock cube (we used Kallo organic)
1 teaspoon of smooth yellow mustard
1 heaped tablespoon of sweet white miso
seasalt to taste
2 or 3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 block of Redwoods cheddar style cheezly, grated (or other vegan cheese)

Cook the macaroni as per packet instructions. While the water is coming to the boil/pasta cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the marg and cook the onion in it for a few minutes. Add the flour and stir thoroughly. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time to avoid lumps (but don’t worry too much, they seem to be un-noticed in the final mix anyway 😉 ) Add in the stock, mustard and salt, still stirring away. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the miso. Put your grill on to heat on high. Drain your pasta (once cooked) and mix in the sauce. Place in a large oven proof dish and top with the tomatoes and then cheese on top. Place under the grill for a few minutes until it goes a little squidgy (a very specific and precise term)… yum.

Catkins:

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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

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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  🙂

vegan recipes, books and festivities… Among the trees in Scotland.