Wednesday 27 January 2010

Cupcakes & Brunch.

I don't often blog about food I've made but I had a bit of a baking frenzy last weekend for my ''hen'' night & made 3 types of cupcakes!

Instead of the traditional girls night out which as far as I can tell is meant to involve L Plates & cock balloons I had a girls night in instead. It was super fun & I don't think any of us had been to a sleepover in about 10 years!

I've been practicing my frosting skills recently and with the addition of the best ever cupcake icing kit from Bake it Pretty I think I'm getting a lot better, even if I do say so myself! The chocolate ones were the last to get decorated and I think I'd kinda gotten the hang of it by then!

I made chocolate with thick chocolate buttercream frosting, mint choc chip & lemon blueberry. Everyone should buy Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, the recipes are super easy to follow and they always turn out beautifully. Not everyone at my girlie night was vegan or even vegetarian and every single person said they were the best cupcakes they'd ever eaten! Awesome!

The next morning after a very late night staying up watching Clueless & stuffing our faces with pizzas, popcorn & Dandies marshmallows some of us managed to drag ourselves out of our sleeping bags to hunt down some brunch.

We'd planned to head to Iydea but once we arrived at around 11.30 it didn't look like there was enough food left for us so instead we headed across the street to another all vegetarian business, WaiKikiMooKau. Happy Cow seems to have this place down as not very vegan friendly but it's changed a lot in the last few years, the prices have dropped and their vegan options have increased, yay!

We all ordered the Full English Breakfast, priced at £5.95 this is a real bargain!

I've had this breakfast before but then it was at dinner time so I went with the chips as my potato option, this time around I choose the hash browns which are homemade and delicious. This breakfast still comes with my favourite Realeat sausages, yummy baked beans and their signature pesto tomatoes...oh and that basket of bread was for the 4 of us, no cafe is that generous!

I'll definitely be back at WaiKikiMooKau again soon, it's one of mine & Nicks favourite places to eat especially as it's stumbling distance from our front door. Next time I'm up at a reasonable hour and not rushing to work I'm going to keep Iydea's breakfast menu in mind. Their lunch food's always good and from what I could see from the few things left there were a fair few yummy looking vegan options.

After our weekend apart Nick & I reconvened for an evening of hanging out being silly and eating ice cream!

My work friend J gave me this hat as a gift, I love it! I think Nick loves it too!

I knocked up these chocolate ice cream cupcake sundaes.

These had chocolate cupcake at the bottom and were topped with chocolate Booja-Booja ice cream, chocolate sprinkles and Oreo Straws which were a gift from Kristy & Toby. These could've been made more awesome with the addition of some marshmallows and chocolate syrup but I didn't think of time my friends, next time!

I'm going to continue trying to keep up with blogging in the midst of the last few of weeks of wedding planning, we've found awesome caterers for our all vegan wedding and I'll definitely be posting food pics from the big day!

Thursday 21 January 2010


*Sadly Beatroot is now closed*

Last Wednesday my friend Tabitha & I headed up to London to buy the fabric to make my wedding dress. I was super excited to find out that vegetarian cafe Beatroot is on the exact same street as all the fabric shops we were visiting.

Situated about halfway down Berwick Street, which is just off Oxford Street, Beatroot is a cafeteria style cafe with a menu that changes day to day & always has loads of vegan option.

As always I went for a little bit of everything.

The staff at Beatroot are super generous with their portions, this is a large container but they just kept piling on the food, as you can see I doubt I could've got that lid shut! The large box was about £5 and there are also small and medium boxes to choose from.

Hidden right down at the bottom was a really delicious Shepherds Pie, full of veggies. Also hidden was an amazing brown rice dish that I really picked so I could justify an extra sausage roll but it turned out to be one of my favourite bits of the meal! It was crunchy and full of barley and seeds, yum! I also picked the Quinoa Taboullah which was full of chickpeas and sunflower seeds and was seasoned with parsley and a yummy lemony olive oil dressing. There's a kidney bean, beansprout and peanut salad hidden right at the back, it was a little too spicy for me but I can't handle pepper so I think most people would have loved it!

The roasted veggies were perfect, the sausage rolls were seriously good and the broccoli was really well done too, and I'm pretty fussy about my broccoli!

It's a bit of a shame we managed to get the dress fabric sorted or we'd have a reason to head back up there soon, I'm looking forward to ending up in this part of London again because Beatroot was awesome and I forgot to order one of their freshly squeezed juices!

Sunday 10 January 2010

Vegan Cheese & Wine Party

Myself and a few friends from The PPK, including The Messy Vegetarian Cook and Off to Guildford! decided in October that we wanted to try loads of different vegan cheese so we came up with the idea of a cheese & wine night. We had our gathering last night and everyone brought different bought or homemade cheeses, crackers, dips, spreads, wine and juice.

The Messy Vegetarian Cook really outdid herself by bringing not 1 but 2 cheese balls, hopefully she'll post some details of how to make these delicious balls of joy on her blog! Above there are also Ryvita pumpkin crackers, water biscuits, vegideli sausages and one of my contributions Sheese and pineapple on sticks made with Medium Cheddar Sheese.

In the background you can see more crackers, cream crackers and homemade crackers in the huge pot, wine, juice, vegan Haribo and pure cheese slices (a great gift from one of my guests).

Right there on the front plate are mature cheddar Cheezly and cranberry Cheezly. On the green plate there's bacon Cheezly and medium cheddar Sheese. In this picture there's also original creamy spreadable Sheese, spicy pinto bean dip, sunflower Pure, blue Sheese dip made by The Messy Vegetarian Cook and (something I made) the Crock Cheez from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.

I really loved the blue Sheese dip, yet another thing I hope the Messy Vegetarian Cook can give me the recipe for as I'd like to serve it at my wedding in 6 weeks time! I've had the book for over a year but the Crock Cheez is the first thing I've made from The Uncheese Cookbook, it's inspired me to make many more of the recipes from this awesome book. It was really great, as well as being made with healthy ingredients it was super easy to throw together.

I think I might be developing some love for bacon Cheezly, I don't know why I've never tried it before, especially as I've ferried many packets across the ocean to my American vegan friends, so if you haven't tried it yet please do. I've raved about the Medium Cheddar Sheese many times and it's still the most realistic fake cheese product I've ever eaten in the UK, it's no good for melting but perfect on crackers or with pineapple on a stick!

Of course we didn't just have a cheese party without dessert, alongside the Haribo was the Messy Vegetarian Cook 's Tiramisu.

Now, as a person who dislikes both coffee and cream, tiramisu was never going to be my favourite dessert but I couldn't not try a slice of a cake this beautifully made! It was really moist and creamy which is what I gather it's meant to be like, everyone loved it and we managed to get thought a whole lot of this cake!

I had a great night with awesome food, delicious wine and lovely company, I can't wait to do this again some time soon.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Terre a Terre - Part II

I'm so excited to be getting back into blogging again that I'm going to hop out of chronological order here to blog about the amazing meal Nick and I had at Terre a Terre recently. The photo's aren't the best as it's pretty dimly lit in there but you'll get the picture!

My amazing work colleagues got me £60 of Terre a Terre vouchers as an engagement gift (I know, awesome right?...and who knew you even got engagement gifts?!) and life had been hectic enough to prevent us from going until last week.

Nick's vegetarian but can be a bit of a fussy eater so we were a bit worried about what he'd enjoy from their fancy menu but there were no worries to start with as he happily ordered the Fabulous Garlic Focaccia (£4.60), and he made it vegan so I could try it.

The bread at Terre a Terre is seriously awesome and this garlic bread was great. So many places use far too much garlic but this was just right.

I ordered the exact same starter as I'd had as a main last time I visited, the Smoked Sakuri Soba (£8.65) Chilled soba noodles and raw vegetable spaghetti served with smoked tofu, wasabi cashews and pomegranate beads.

This was just as delicious as last time. I think I'm developing a serious obsession with their smoked tofu and I've been attempting to recreate this dish at home, minus some of the fancier touches! I think I'll probably order this every time I visit as it really is just that good.

For our main we both picked the Revisited Rosti (£13.95) a huge crispy fried potato rosti topped with creamed spinach and finished with a cream, parsley and nutmeg sauce. For the veggies this comes topped with melted cheese and a fried egg (Nick's choice) and for the vegans it's topped with marinated tofu (my choice).

We both really enjoyed this course and agreed that mine was the better option (that's a win for veganism right there!). Whilst the tofu isn't even listed on the menu as the vegan option it was, in both our opinions, the best bit about the meal. I'd urge every non-vegan I know to give this option a try at least once. The tofu was amazingly soft, perfectly marinated and totally delicious. If it told you how to make this in their new cookbook we'd have bought it right there and then! The flavours in this dish went perfectly together and it was great to have such a hearty filling meal at such a fancy restaurant.

Even though we were stuffed there was no way I was leaving without dessert even if it did mean sharing. I'd been eyeing up the Perky Pear and Choccy Tart (£7.85) on the website for a while and couldn't resist ordering it.

This is described as a chocolate tart with chocolate sorbet, Poire William pickled coriander seed pears, star anise sugar snappy pears, served with lush custard.

I was a little worried about the custard as I'm a hater of all things yellow and gloopy but I was assured by our lovely waitress that it was nothing like that kind of custard. I'm glad I trusted in the magic of the wonderful Terre a Terre chefs as this custard was delicious and went perfectly with the deliciously spiced pears, sorbet and the gorgeous tart. I've never had a chocolate tart this delicious, it was beautifully light and perfectly chocolaty.

I really cannot wait to be able to go back to Terre a Terre again, hopefully there's a PPK meet up headed there this summer as it is hard to justify spending more than our weekly shopping budget on one meal, although it is definitely worth the cost.