Friday, 27 December 2013

Roasted Squash, Red Pepper and Parsley Pasta Loaf or Terrine

I'll be travelling with D later this afternoon to visit his mother in Essex, but before I start packing up and getting ready to go, I thought I would share a recipe with you that you could perhaps make for your New Years Eve party - Roasted Squash, Red Pepper and Parsley Loaf, or Terrine if you so wish.  

After another visit to Usk Farmers Market a week or so back, not only did I come back home with some proper home-made bread that I have been thoroughly enjoying, I also bagged at a super bargain price a mixed variety of squashes: uchiki kuri, acorn squash and patty pan and a handful of fresh parsley.  I decided to remake the Pasta Loaf I made earlier this month with Swiss chard, this time with the squashes.  

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Seasonal Greetings from Shaheen

I would like wish all my readers: new and old a very Happy Christmas.
I share with you a beautiful festive mixed media collage card made for me by my very talented friend Patty aka Sally over at Poppycock & Other Creations.  Enjoy your Christmas day, night and evening.  Happy Christmas.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Spiced Vegan Christmas Pies

I don't want to be bah humbug, but for those of you who know me now through blogging will know why I am feeling this way, And it to those of you who have taken the time to leave a  warm comment; and for those of you who have e mailed me too that I would like to Thank with all my  heart.  Your words have given me much comfort.  Thank you so much.  I remain heart-broken and it will be fair to say that any good spirit that I had for Christmas has now been overshadowed by this unhappiness and my heart and mind is just not into joyful blogging.  

However, I do have a backlog of Christmas recipes and now is the time to show them, so the posts in the next few days may remain simple and to the point.  

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Moggy Love RIP

Those of you who read my blog regular will remember me introducing you to my new garden friend who I fondly named  Moggy.
Long story, but upon taking Moggy to the vet a few months back for having a poorly paw, we found out who the owners were.  The cat's original owners were on the move and staying in temporary abode whilst they found a new home, so the cat was left with the sister who lived not that far from us.  Except this inquisitive cat wasn't happy there as there was another cat there, so it found its way to our home and our hearts.  We made an agreement with the original owners that we would foster the cat that we named Moggy until they found a permanent home.  
Yesterday afternoon, Moggy did not turn up for lunch.  It's not that unusual, sometimes it goes exploring, but then it got to 5 o'clock and still not appeared.  I started to get worried.  Then I got a phone call.  It was from the owner.  It was not good.  She had got a phone call from the RSPCA that Moggy had been run over.  Worse was yet to come, he had lost the use of both of its back legs.  It was so bad that he had to be put to sleep forever.  I know it may sound silly to some, that a small animal can have such a big emotional  impact on a human being, but I am absolutely  heart-broken and have been crying since I was told of the sad news.  It is in his honour that I write this short blog post, a way for me to grieve as well as record our time, albeit a short one together.
I knew he would be leaving us oneday, but to be taken away from us in this very cruel way, really, hurts.  I really cannot believe he's gone this way.  I keep looking for my fur ball of a friend: sometimes out of the kitchen door window, hoping to see him sat on its cushion waiting for his opportunity to come in. I keep looking up at the bedroom window where it sat looking out at the passing traffic; and even the bed next to me where it often napped on its tiger blanket whilst I sat on the computer. This is my way of saying that I just cannot stop thinking about him. 
In the little time we had Moggy, just over six months he was an absolute joy and filled a huge gap in my life.  Moggy wasn't the prettiest of cats, but he certainly was a cat with lots of charm and character, he totally made me smile big time.  Moggy was good company for me, especially as I was home alone for hours on end. I really was blessed to have him in my life.  It teased me with its teeth, humoured us with his curiosity and mischief.  He truly stole and made his way into our hearts.  I know life will go on, but We will truly miss Moggy - Rest in Peace my furry friend. Thank you so much for being part of our life, even if it was for such a short time.  You presence, affection and antics will truly be missed.  x

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Gingerbread Cake with Edible Snowflakes, Snowman and Christmas Tree

After having a go at making the Oreo Wreaths and Gingerbread Men Shaped Cakes for the Christmas table, I thought I'd attempt mini Ginger and Chocolate Cakes.  The real excuse for making these was to try out my snowflake fondant cake decorating plunger cutters as these cakes would have been quite plain to look at otherwise.  I have to say, the transformation was quite dramatic, even so with a sprinkling of edible gold glitter and a light dusting of icing sugar. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Vegan Gingerbread Men Cake

If you like ginger, then you will like these Gingerbread Men Cakes.

Some of you may remember early in the year I made some vegan gingerbread cake. They did look quite plain, so I promised you that I would use my gingerbread cake men moulds, well here they are. These are the same moulds I used for my Halloween Beetroot Pies.  Unlike it's biscuit brother, these are softer to eat, and the ginger comes through quite strong. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

Oreo Christmas Wreath Cakes

This idea came to me only last week when I was planning to attend an event at a nearby village; and in anticipation of the arrival of lots of kids I thought abut making something that they would be a bit more familiar with, that my usual vegetable based sweet creations which may have got the snug nose reaction.  

I often make what I call an 'Oreo Surprise cake', something that my lovely friend Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog tried when she travelled to Wales this summer for a family wedding.  I thought I would go one step further and douse the cocoa batter with edible decor in the form of holly and berries.  And as i f by magic, the edible mini Oreo Christmas Wreath cakes came into existence.  

I don't know so much about the big kids, but the small kids liked it.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Vegan Pomegranate and Parsnip Cake

D very rarely buys me flowers or surprises me with a box of chocolates.   I am not saying he's not romantic.  He just shows his affection for me in different ways, such as coming home with a bit of kitchenalia such as that manual flour sifter a few years back; or more recently coming home with a bottle of pomegranate syrup.  

The pomegranate syrup is designed for flavouring coffee or dousing over ice-cream, but I had other ideas for it.  I decided to add it to cake.  Pomegranate is a very Christmassy festive seasonal ingredient.   

As well as flavouring the vegetable cake with pomegranate syrup, I also decided to pick up some fresh pomegranates and painstakingly tweak out the little red seeds, so that I could top of the Pomegranate Parsnip cake with these edible shimmering precious stones and make it look visually stunning.  Not only do you get the flavour from the syrup, you get a fresh squirt of pomegranate juice when you bite into the cake too.  Yum.  

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Ruby Red Chard and Feta Pasta Loaf

I've had a tremendously busy day today, and a rewarding one too, it's lifted my spirit.  So I am off to put my feet up and enjoy what is left of my evening, but before I sign off from the blog, I thought I would share with you a recipe I made a week or so back when I visited  Usk Farmers Market, where I discovered the most wonderful home-made bread and was seduced by these tall long ruby chard stems.  I really miss growing rainbow chard at home, so was delighted by this find. I picked up a bag full that looked like a bunch of flowers and would look wonderful adorning any vase.  But the ruby chard was not for admiring.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

My husband reminded me of this pasta dish I used to make.  although its nothing like a macaroni cheese pie, its the closest thing I can think of to describe this pasta dish that is baked in a pastry.  I usually make this pasta loaf with spinach, but with the red chard to hand that is what I used.    

Thursday, 28 November 2013

We Love Wee Scottish Vegetarian Bites

For those of you still wondering what to make for your Vegetarian St Andrews Day, may I offer a little bit of inspiration from the traditional Scottish vegetarian fare.

For a starter:
Haggis Bon Bons or Haggis Pakora Bites
Portobello Mushrooms stuffed with haggis
For the main:
Portobello Mushroom and Haggis Lasagne
Vegan Haggis, Neep and Tattie Pie

For dessert:
Vegetarian Irn Bru Jelly
And I hope Elizabeth from Elizabeths Kitchen, doesn't mind me sharing her Shetland Flag Fairy Cakes, as I believe they can easily be tweaked to becoe the Scottish flag.

For snacks or light nibbles
Haggis Pasty from Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes.
Haggis Nachos from Johanna's blog Green Gourmet Giraffe.

Happy St Andrews Day - my Scottish friends and readers

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A2K Vegan Food Swap (November)

A short post in relation to my November 2013 Vegan Food Swap.

My vegan food swap partner was Sasha and she sent me:  Provamel Chocolate Drink; Alpro Single Cream' - Cofresh Chilli and Lemon Potato Grills, Natural Rhubarb and Custard sweets - Free from MIllionaires Shortbread, Raisins - Miso Soup and Christmas Pudding!  Thank you so much Sasha, its nice to have discovered some new things in my parcel.  The crisps and Millionaires Shortbread have already been consumed.
After much delay on my part, my receiving partner Victoria was sent these vegan goodies on Monday.   I do hope she received them.
The Food Doctor Multiseed Crackers - Twinnings Blueberry and Apple Tea - Rosehip Chews - Yo Yo Bear Fruit Rolls - Panda All Natural Raspberry Licorice - Go Do Chocolate - Welsh Red Mustard after all I had to include something from Wales -3 packets of Cofresh Snacks and finally Magic Tea of the Druids. 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Vegan Spiced Parsnip Samosa Pies

These Parsnip Samosa Pies have appeared on my blog before, but in a slightly different guise. This time round,  I decided to add a little elephant motif to look a little more attractive to the eye.  After all they do say, people eat with their eyes first!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Fresh Cranberry Inspiration

I have to admit it's too early for me to be thinking about Christmas, but its never too early to start thinking about cranberry recipes, especially as they begin to appear on greengrocers shelves.

So for those of you like me, who become seduced in bringing home these shiny red ruby berries. Then look at them as they glisten and gleam at you from the kitchen counter top wondering what to do with some of them, I offer you some sweet 'cranberry inspiration' from my archives.  I am sharing these Cranberry recipes with Jen and Blue Kitchen Bakes for her Fresh Cranberry Recipe Link Up;.   and One Ingredients hosted b Nazima at Franglais Kitchen.  The theme this month is 'fruits of the vine'
Cranberry and White Chocolate Muffin
Cranberry Biscuits
Cranberry Waffles
Cranberry  and White Chocolate Scones
Cranberry Brownies
Cranberry Chocolate Tart
Cranberry, Carrot and Orange Bread
Vegan Cranberry Cake with Pink Icing - I will be making this one again, so watch out!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Garlic Mushroom Parsley Pasta

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, will know that I am not a huge fan of mushrooms.  I've often found them tasteless.

Anyway, last week noting that there was very little in the way of fresh produce to cook with other than a tub of mushrooms in the fridge.   I decided to make a quick supper of Garlic Mushroom Parsley Pasta.  The other ingredients: garlic like onions I always seem to have.  The pasta was in the store-cupboard and finally, the parsley was actually from my garden. It was a nice change from the spicy Arrabiata spaghetti pasta I often make, when the kitchen is bare.

If you like the sound of this, then my vegan Garlic, Mushroom and Parsley Pies may also appeal to you.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Vegan Haggis, Neep and Tattie Pie

I made a version of these vegan Haggis, Neep ad Tattie Pies early this year to celebrate Burns Night in Wales,  but unfortunately, I did not get to share a picture of the pies or the recipe, so in anticipation of St Andrews Day, I thought I'd give them a go again, this time they were topped with the saltire. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Welsh Vegetarian Tart

I got called a vegetarian slut a few months back.  I was quite taken aback.  Apparently, it was meant to be a compliment.  For me the word slut has negative connotations.  I know some women may use the word as a hook, or even as a strap-line to grab your attention, which of course it certainly does, but I personally don't think the word slut can be reclaimed by women in a positive way.

Whilst trying to figure out an interesting and  appropriate name for my new vegetarian venture, it was suggested to me that I should perhaps call myself The Welsh Vegetarian Tart; or even home in on my South Asian ethnic heritage to give it more sex appeal.  But nah...I'm not that tacky either! I will not use those tactics to promote myself and my vegetarian endeavour either.  No you won't find me dolled up with bright red lipstick, rosy red cheeks and long batty lashes posing suggestively with a asparagus in my mouth; or gazing seductively at the camera lens. I do not wish to pose with my food, though I do scrub up quite nicely in fact.  I am not naive and I know in some cases its tongue and cheek and of course it works, hence the reason some women employ those tactics as a publicity move or to get noticed, but I choose not to be one of those women.   For me its about the food I make.  It is about inspiring others to cook creatively and imaginatively with seasonal vegetables, and maybe whilst on this culinary journey the sun will shine on me.  I am not chasing it for the sake of getting some attention.  

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Vegan Parsnip and Date Cookies

Early this week, I had made some Parsnip and Date Cakes, I had grated way too much parsnip. Instead of scraping the excess parsnip into the vegetable compost bin, I decided to try my hand at experimenting and making some Parsnip Cookies.  I knew they would be fine, in the same vain as the Carrot Cookies, but I wasn't expecting the textual thing going on in my mouth.  They were truly lovely.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Vegan Parsnip and Date Cake

I think I jinxed myself early this month, when I mentioned on twitter that November was going to be a good month for me, its been anything far.  

A couple of things happened last week, one that brought me close to tears and the other sent chills down my spine, hence the lack of blogging the past week.  I may share with you what this was in the next few days, but truth is I don't really want to dwell on the continuous lows happening in my life and try and focus on the little good things that come my way. 

Today let me share with you this bronzed cake studded with chopped dried fruit.  I had originally intended to make my vegan Parsnip and Raisin Cake, but noted I had run out of raisins, so I substituted them with some chopped dates, which for some reason I seem to have plenty off.  

Monday, 4 November 2013

Savoury Vegetable Cake

After enjoying the vegetarian chorizo, sun-dried tomato and pistachio savoury cake a couple of weeks back. I followed it with another version, but this time with everyday steamed vegetables: cauliflower, carrots and green beans.  

I think they turned out pretty good.  Unlike the previous version that had a bit of crunch and twang, this variation is plainer and perhaps would be more agreeable to those who do not have such an adventurous palette.  I'm not naming any names here, or pointing fingers - but you know the kind of people I mean.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Beetroot Mousse

I made some Beetroot Mousse a few weeks back.  To amuse myself I poured some of the beetroot mousse into heart shaped ramekins.  

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bloody Massacre Beetroot Man Pies

Promise this will be my last beetroot recipe for the month.  Ha ha, of course it will - it is the end of the month.  

Anyway, please please just humour me with the name of this recipe.  After all, 'tis the Halloween season of spooks, chills and thrills.  Our evening TV is heavily being overtaken by horror and slasher movies and gore.  So I thought, I would incorporate a little of it into my vegetarian home cooking.  

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Vegan Zombie Pies

A couple of years back, when I lived in Glasgow,  I thought about applying to an ad in the local paper recruiting people of African, Mexican or Asian origin to feature in Brad Pitts movie World War Z.  I was certain I would get a place as an extra, but I had my serious head on and hesitated as I was applying for a stable income and nervous that a job interview would coincide with the filming, and yes it did.  Unfortunately, I didn't get that job or  participate on this one which would have been fun and totally awesome, not that you would have seen me of course, as many of the extra's got lost in the frenzy of the panic running scene.
No sightings of Brad Pitt, but we had the opportunity to walk around the George Square that had become Philadelphia and the film set of the movie.  Here are some pictures from my archive.  

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Coleslaw Curry

I like traditional coleslaw, but I also like coleslaw with twists and have made my fair share of variations over the years.  Some of which have been shared on my blog such as the Black Sesame Seed Coleslaw,  Cool Coleslaw with Raisins and a smoky one, appropriately called Gun smoke Coleslaw, its one of my favourites.   Anyway, now and again, I will also make a Curried Coleslaw with South Asian spices and toasted cumin seeds.  Today though I wanted to go one step further and apply some heat to it, yeph cook it.

This is ultimately just a dry cabbage and carrot curry, but I think Coleslaw Curry sounds a bit more interesting.   The Coleslaw Curry can be served with chappati, roti or with naan bread, but I wanted to use up the tortilla wraps in my bread bin.  

Monday, 28 October 2013

Vegetarian Beetroot Scotch Eggs

My husband gets excited when I speculate that I may make some vegetarian Scotch eggs.  Well I thought I better not tease him this time round and actually made some, but there was a little twist.  For those of you who have been reading my food blogging ventures for a while, will know what is coming next and know in advance that my Scotch Eggs were not going to be the traditional vegetarian Scotch eggs, such as those I've made in the past.  In fact they were going to be more in line with my Welsh Glamorgan Eggs, or even my Red Dragon Welsh Vegetarian Scotch Eggs which has a bit more fire made around St David's Day. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A2K Vegan Food Swap (October 2013)

A short post in relation to my October 2013 Vegan Food Swap.
My vegan food swap partner sent me Crusti Croc Salted Pretzels, Vitasia Stir fry Noodles - Bami Groeng Flavour, Cofresh Poppodum Curls - Mango Chutney flavour, these were the first to go into my belly, Crunch Craving Bombay Mix - Alesto Hot Chilli Cashew and Peanuts, the next to go - Amy's Lentil and Vegetable Soup - Sesame Snaps - Naturally Righteous Oil Free Caper and Peppercorn Salad Dressing and home-made Put the Lime in the Coconut Coconut Ice
My receiving partner was sent these vegan goodies: The Food Doctor Tomato and Quinoa Instant Soup - Cypressa Broad Beans - Ahmed Strawberry Jelly -  Salty Dog Salted Peanuts - Green Tea Noodles - Giant Love Hearts - and finally, a small selection of teas.  I hope she got them, as I have not heard.   

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Elvis Presley Bagel

I have posted this Elvis Presley Bagel on my before, sometimes its a afternoon snack, sometimes an evening bite, sometimes brunch.  

The reason I am posting it yet again, is that I made it this morning for breakfast and thought it would be a good opportunity to share it again, as its a firm favourite in our home, plus I love this photograph that my husband took a while back, sometimes I think it should be on the front cover of a food magazine.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Savoury Beetroot and Cumin Scones

As I type these words, I am not kidding you Along comes a spider dropping effortlessly from the ceiling down onto the keyboard.  Eek, I don't mind spiders at all, small or those with spindly long legs, its the ones with the big bodies and hairy legs that give me the chills, fortunately the one creeping down is of a delicate nature, and I am just going to blow it towards the wall.

Okay, now to these savoury bites.  I've had this recipe for Beetroot and Cumin Scones bookmarked from Jen over at Blue Kitchen Bakes, having stumbled upon it when I was submitting my recipe for Rhubarb, Rose Petal and White Chocolate Flapjacks for a seasonal food  blogger event.