Friday, 29 May 2009

My charity shop finds...

I LOVE charity shops. And car boot sales. And Ebay. I love a bargain. Here are some of my latest purchases.

These earrings were new but in a charity shop - £1.99

Lovely flower and bead bracelet - £1.50

Flower Brooch - £1

Glass Sundae dish - £1.49

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Shopping and relaxing

The past few days I have been busy shopping and relaxing. We have had some lovely warm weather here which has meant I have been able to have my roof down on my car. I do love my car! Will post some pics in the future...
I have been doing lots of shopping lately in preparation for my sister's 30th birthday. I bought her this lovely Lush gift set but when it came to handing it over I couldn't! Even I don't get presents this good!

The facewash I am currently using has almost ran out (it wasn't so I treated myself to the Lush Herbalism facewash. I can't wait to start using it.

G and I went food shopping in Waitrose recently (it's too expensive for us to do our food shop there every week). Since watching the channel 4 programme about Willie and his chocolate factory we have been wanting to sample his bars. There are 2 varieties available, 72% and 70%. They are very expensive for what you get, £3.99 each. I really didn't like either of them. They are far too bitter and we both decided not to buy them again. Sorry Willie, I like what you are doing but we're definietly not converts....

A dinner I made this past week was Cholent from Veganomicon. I halved the recipe but it still took me 4 days to eat it. I had never tried the TVP chunks before and it did take me a couple of days to get used to them. Very chewy, very meat like. The Cholent was good though especially with mashed potato. This was my first day with rice.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Things I made with the silken tofu

I thought I would share with you two things I have made with the silken tofu I bought on Saturday. This was a "made up" chocolate pudding similar to an angel delight. I blended some silken tofu with soya milk, sugar, dark chocolate and vegan chocolate spread. Wow.... it was good. : )

The 2nd thing I made was this gorgeous chocolate chip pound cake from Veganomicon. I think it ranks in my top 5 best cakes I have ever made!

So many photos...

Well I haven't blogged for a few days but have been taking lots of photos for when I do.

The past week I have been trying out a new cereal for breakfast. It's made of oats and it was so good. When I have cereal I have to eat it quickly before it goes soggy. I didn't have to worry with these, they did not go soggy even after 10 mins of sitting in soya milk. Yum!

Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday is more of a leisurely affair so I made pancakes! I haven't had any since I came back from the USA (the end of April). Mine are really simple to make, just self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, sugar, oil and soya milk. Sometimes I like to add lemon juice and sultanas but this time I just made a plain batter. I always have them with maple syrup. I don't understand the American way of serving them with savoury items like eggs or sausages. I find it the strangest thing. Pancakes should definitely only be accompanied by sweet items.

I went shopping in Kettering midday on Saturday and popped into Holland and Barratt. I love to stock my freezer up with vegan products I just can't buy anywhere else in the town. I try not to eat convenience foods all the time but when I am busy it helps to have something I can just shove in the oven. I popped into Home Bargains to try and get some cat litter bags (they didn't have any) but I spotted silken tofu. I've never seen it in there before and it was at the bargain price of just 19p per carton (that's like 50cents to anyone reading from the US). I bought five because at that price you just have to. I may even go back again and get some more. I love making puddings with them.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


I decided this week to make a dinner out of Veganomicon. I'm not quite sure the exact recipe names as I don't have the book with me but can let you know if you are interested. I think they were called Hot Glazed Tempeh, Messy Rice and Creole Stuffed Peppers.

I have never had tempeh before but had bought a block a little while back as I thought it would make a change. I wasn't particularly impressed by the look of it but it was ok. I marinated it in a sauce for around 30 mins before pan frying it. I would buy it again. I thought it tasted kinda cheesy!

Lovely G made my pepper dish and this was really tasty. Considering I don't like chilli and this contained chilli I was pretty happy my head wasn't blown off. : )

The messy rice was again alittle liquidy but that was my fault for adding too much water (I was trying to stop it sticking!).

It took 50 mins to make which on a week night is a long time to be cooking. Will definitely have it on a weekend in future. I halved the recipe so it served two. Unfortunately G is an omni and wouldn't have the 2nd portion. At least dinner on Wednesday is sorted for me.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Another long week at work

Monday = work : (

I work as a college administrator/auditor full time around 15 miles from home. There isn't a great deal to say about it, it's just a job. It isn't something I want to be doing but for the time being it suits me. I would love to come to a point in my life where I don't have to work for money but to work because I want to. I would absolutely love to work with animals. I'm thinking maybe an animal shelter. Somewhere worthwhile where I can feel I am doing some good. The problem is I don't have any animal related qualifications and to be able to get them I would need to study fulltime which is not an option as my wage is needed.

My main two distractions at work are the internet and food! I am always snacking during work hours but at the weekend or the evening I don't. It must be boredom I reckon! I try to snack healthly on fruit/crackers/cereal bars or yoghurts. I limit myself to one packet of crisps per week.

Food today has been good. I have snacked lots and had cereal for breakfast. I tried the Asda Vitality cereal which has dried fruit in it with soya milk. To tell you the truth I couldn't really taste the dried fruit in it! It was nice though...

On the way home from work I stopped at Toys R Us to buy my niece a birthday present (it's not until the 30th). I also popped into a homeware shop called Homesense (ran by TK Maxx). For once I didn't end up spending a fortune! I bought a red gingham door stop and a present for my sister's birthday which is on the 25th. I was very pleased with myself. : )

Dinner was Linda McCartney pie, mashed potato and mixed veg. Very yummy!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Sunday...a day of rest??

I will just start off by saying how good my dinner was last night. As promised here is a pic of it. The potato receipe was from Veganomicon. The end result was quite liquidy (will use less stock next time) but the taste was sooooo good.

I was up early on Sunday as I had planned to go to my local car boot sale with my mum. We go just to buy, not to sell. I only bought a book for £2. It was the latest Trinny and Susannah book. I was going to buy it at Christmas but never did. I'm glad I waited now!

My mum left around 12:30pm and I had an hour before G and I were going out. I had wanted to do my garden on Saturday, but due to getting up late (see previous post) didn't do it. Well an hour was plenty of time as I only have a small garden. I planted some lettuces and broccoli that my mum had grown from seed and just tidied the rest up. We are lucky enough to have a gardener every other week so the lawn had only recently been cut. (The gardener only cuts the lawn and shrubbery).

An allium in my garden

G's mum lives around an hour north of us so we drove up to go say hi. We showed her all our lovely holiday pics and went for a drink down the pub. On the way home we also dropped in on some other relatives for a quick brew.

By the time we got back it was already 7pm! I just had time to heat my dinner before I had to think about going to bed. Oh well most Sundays aren't this busy.
My dinner was the leftover potatoes and veg and a tomato tart I had made on Friday. I didn't really have any lunch which is a usual weekend thing. (Yes I know it's bad to skip meals).

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Hello and welcome...

As you can see this is my first post to my brand spanking new blog.

I'll give you the lowdown on me in case you are interested. My name is Rachael and I am 27 years old. I live in Northamptonshire in England. I have been a vegetarian/vegan for the past 15 years. At the moment my veganism isn't as committed as it once was but I am trying to get back on track! My blog will include a bit of everything from what I have been doing to what I have been eating and drinking.

I have not long been back from the US where I was holidaying in California. Unfortunately my bodyclock hasn't reverted to the British time yet so I am still going to bed late and getting up late! : (
I managed to drag myself out of bed at 1:3opm today which I know is really bad! I had so many plans as well of what I wanted to do today. I really wanted to go charity shop shopping and do some gardening but alas they didn't get done.

Breakfast was going to be American pancakes but I didn't have time as I wanted to get to Asda to do the food shopping. I settled for a crunchy oat and fruit cereal with soya milk. Two cups of tea later and a long shopping list I left. Every week I scour my vegan cookery books and food magazines to come up with dinner ideas. I find it so difficult to just pick food off the shelves without a list. I tend to spend way too much but still come away with no full dinners!

I like shopping in Asda as they do tend to stock alot of vegan food. You just have to look in the right places in the store. Some of my treats included some packets of burger and sausage mixes, redwood sausages, vegan ham, strawberries, dried mixed berries and the latest Good Food magazine. I also bought 2 tops and a pair of trousers. I always spend double what I should when I go to Asda. Oh well never mind, it's not like we are in a recession or anything! :P

I missed lunch due to my late awakening but plan on having a lovely dinner to compensate. So far I am thinking maybe Gardein "Beef" steak with dauphinoise potatoes, sweetcorn and peas. I need to get my skates on though as it is already 8pm. Yikes. I will post a pic tomorrow.

I hope you like my first post and continue to read more.

Rachael x