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Friday, 30 December 2011

Re-organising Veganlovlie Blog

If you haven't already noticed, I have made some changes on the Veganlovlie blog. Initially, when I started my handmade jewellery project, I started to write a separate blog which would be a collections of things I like, crafts and my adventures in jewellery making. However, after a while, I found that I wanted to sometimes share similar things on Veganlovlie. So I've decided to merge the two blogs and have everything in just one place.

You can navigate through the different sections by using the tabs above where I've classified related posts. Additional tabs are Handmade Jewellery, Crafts and Newsletter (which, if you join the mailing list, is a low frequency email that I send out for updates, promotions, giveaways etc).

Those of you subscribing by email or in a reader would probably have had a surge of new posts being delivered. This happened when I did the merge. Sorry about the slight stir; I hope you will enjoy the new content though.

That said, I have loads of plans and ideas coming up for the new year and I'm very much looking forward to them. I hope you keep enjoying your read at Veganlovlie. And don't forget to like Veganlovlie's or Bijouxlovlie's Facebook page for updates and news. If you've ever made one of my recipes and want to share a photo, I would very much like to hear from you; please share on Veganlovlie's Facebook.


Now then, is it time for tea yet? Of course, it's always tea time for me!
Here's a nice Rooibos blend (no. 25 Rouge) that I bought at Le Palais des Thés in Wicklow Street in Dublin.

Rooibos

It's a tasty Christmassy blend of South African Rooibos, scented with citrus fruit, rose, almond and spices: vanilla, cinnamon. Really nice for celebrating the festive season!

rooibos

If you are new to Rooibos tea, you should definitely try it if you can get it where you are. It's naturally caffeine free and packed with antioxidants. It grows in South Africa and is also known as redbush tea. Rooibos is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.

rooibos

You can purchase this particular blend online here.

This is my own review of this tea. I have not been contacted by Le Palais des Thés to blog about their teas. I am just sharing my love for their teas!!!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Julia Butterfly Hill - Adventures In Treesitting

This is the amazing story of Julia Butterfly Hill who spent more than two years on a giant tree without touching the ground.

Julia's determination to withhold storms, cold and pressure by the logging company inspired countless activists around the world to this very day. Julia spent an incredible 738 days on top of the tree she named 'Luna'. Witness a truly fascinating adventure of activism.



Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Granose Meat-Free Products

I mentioned the Granose Chicken Style Roast that we had for Christmas Eve dinner in my previous post. Here's the Burger mix that I had yesterday. I find these quite convenient sometimes; they only require water, shaped them into patties, then bake for 20 minutes or so.
Products available in the Granose range are :

Meat Free Lincolnshire Sausage Mix
Meat Free Burger Fix
Meat Free Nut Roast Mix
Meat Free Chicken Style Roast Mix
Sunflower, Lentil and Vegetable Roast Mix
Meat Free Falafel Mix
Soya Mince

In Dublin, I buy them at Holland and Barrett stores.

So far I have tried the Burger Mix, Sausage Mix and Chicken Style Roast.

Granose products

I had some homemade baps that I had made the night before.

Granose burger, homemade buns

Added some salad.

Granose burger, salad

And voilà! Yummy!

Granose burger

Monday, 26 December 2011

Giveaway at Millie's Blog

Here's a great giveaway at Millie's blog.


PHILLPS SONICARE BATTERY OPERATED TOOTHBRUSH

So, make your way there for the rules to enter and your chance to win. Entries end Dec 30. Good luck!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Eve Dinner

Happy Christmas (if you celebrate) or Happy Holidays otherwise. Here, at the Veganlovlie cocoon, we had a nice cosy time with some really heartwarming comfort food on Christmas eve.

We had broccoli and brussel sprouts bake, risotto stuffed peppers and meat-free 'chicken' style roast loaf. I'm not especially keen on fake meats but sometimes for a change I quite like the Granose range of products. You reconstitute them with water then bake. It was really delicious and a very nice dinner indeed.

christmas dinner, vegan

The risotto stuffed peppers is a re-visited recipe from here. This time I stuffed it with risotto. I used the mushroom and spinach risotto recipe from here with a few modifications; I substituted the parmesan with nutritional yeast to make it vegan and I didn't use any white wine...
It was very tasty.
Once the risotto was ready, I stuffed the peppers with it. A little tip if the peppers are not standing upright, slice a thin layer from the base to make it flat (but take care not to take too much out as it might leave holes and juices from the stuffing may leak...).

risotto stuffed peppers

The broccoli and brussel sprouts bake, I don't really have a proper recipe as I just made this without measuring. Basically, I boiled the brussel sprouts (after washing and removing a bit of the stalk and top leaves) for about 10 minutes, drained then added a tablespoon of vegan margarine. Placed in an oven-proof dish (I used a lasagna dish).

Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts bake

Then I blanched the broccoli for about 5 minutes and added them to the brussel sprouts with some red onions.

Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts bake

For the white sauce, I made a 'roux' with one and a half tablespoon of vegan margarine with 3 tablespoons of plain flour.

Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts bake

I then added about 500ml of soymilk. It became a bit lumpy this time (sometimes it doesn't... anyway...), so I poured it into a jug and ran the hand blender through. This is great to remove lumps from sauces that need to be smooth.
I poured this back into the pan as it was a bit too thick, so I thinned it with some water and at this point added 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Now it was ready to be poured onto the veggies.

Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts bake
Already looking yummy!

I sprinkled some breadcrumbs, dried oregano and some grated vegan cheese.

Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts bake

Bake for only 15 minutes (because the veggies are already half boiled) just before serving.
Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts bake

And the yummy Christmas eve dinner!
christmas dinner, vegan

Friday, 23 December 2011

Because kindness keeps the world afloat


Life Vest Inside

Their mission:
"By creating an exciting and accessible kindness experience, we will become more aware of the opportunities that surround us and recognize our potential to change the world, simply by changing ourselves."

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Some Crochet Projects

Here's a couple of crochet projects I've been making. I'm still a beginner but I'm really enjoying this. It is so relaxing to just sit quietly somewhere and turn a yarn into something amazing that I will cherish or offer as a gift. Crochet very much feel like a mindfulness meditation... Some people even chant while crocheting. I will try this next! Chanting the words of happiness so that the message is encrypted in whatever I'm crocheting!

Here's a hat that I've made using this pattern that I bought. It's an easy pattern for a beginner and I very much like the results.

Crochet Hat

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How does it look on me?
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I can see a pixie! Oh, where is it hiding?!
Crochet Hat

And I've also made a bag. I made this one without a pattern, just measured according to the frame and increased/reduced as required.
My sewing skills helped in making an imaginary pattern for this...
I've still got to attach a chain to it and it will be done!

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The back view. I think I got excited with the frills but I kind of like it! It's nice a girly!

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So, here's some inspiration for some handmade gifts for the holidays! I'd be making the hat again!

Vegan Pain Perdu or French Toast

French Toast

Pain perdu in French means "lost bread" or otherwise stale bread that might have been thrown away could be used in this recipe. But do you know, I've been waiting for my store bought bread to go stale for a while and it still seems like it's fresh. Goodness knows what horrid things they put in those breads.

I don't actually like the store bought breads, I just find homemade ones taste much better and I like the rich dense texture of homemade bread.
I know some people strive to make their bread very store-bought like but for me homemade bread cannot be compared.

But anyway, although I wish I had the time to make my own bread all the time, I do buy store bread for convenience sake and this morning (to improve on their taste) I decided to make some French Toast, my vegan version sans the eggs.
It's really so simple to make that it hardly needs any recipe...

Ingredients
6 slices bread (I used pre-sliced bread but thickness can be about 1/2" / 1.5cm)
300ml oatmilk (more or less but make sure it's cold, other non-dairy like soy or almond milk will work fine too)
2 teaspoons custard powder or cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar (optional, omit if making a savoury version)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Vegan margarine for frying

  • Mix the milk, custard powder, sugar and cinnamon in a big bowl (large enough to accomodate your bread)
  • Heat about 1 tablespoon of vegan margarine in a non-stick pan or skillet.
  • Dip the first slice of bread in the milk, coat on both sides (but do not soak the bread too much).
  • Place in pan and fry the slice until golden on one side then turn and fry on the other side until golden.
    If you can fit more than one slice in your pan, you can do so and keep frying the rest of the batch. Add more margarine as required for frying.
    If not serving immediately, you can keep them warm in a 130 degrees Celsius oven, until all the slices are done.
Now, just make a nice cuppa and enjoy! Cuppa Tea, Pain Perdu
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