Back to School Gooey Chocolate Cake

Back to School Gooey Chocolate Cake

We have a tradition in our house. I started it when Cooper started school and we continue on with it each year. On Cooper's first day back at school we make chocolate cake together. Not not in the morning! You're having a laugh. Do you know how mad the first day of school is?

Of course English schools break up later and the children are starting back next week, so I'm hoping when I share Cooper's Gooey Chocolate Cake it might start a tradition in another home.

Last year we walked into town after school and spent way too long in Waterstones book shop, in the cafe and then looking at books so we didn't have time to make chocolate cake. We made Malteser Fudge Brownies instead and boy were they yummy, but more importantly they were quick. This year we came home so we have plenty of time for a full sized chocolate creation.

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Falafel and Apple Salad Sandwich Recipe

A delicious vegan sandwich. Sweet crunchy apple with lightly spiced falafel, creamy hummus and fresh salad on soft brown bread with a sweet bit of heat from some mango chutney. Plus 15 family sandwich ideas.

I don't share many sandwich recipes, but I seem to make plenty of them and I'm always looking for new ideas, so I figured you might enjoy some new sandwich recipes too.

I often add falafel to sandwiches and wraps and this falafel and apple salad recipe went down really well. Graham and I both really enjoyed it. Needless to say Cooper would never eat this. He's funny with it comes to sandwiches. He likes them plain. 

He will eat a sandwich with peanut butter and jam, peanut butter and Nutella, butter and jam, Oh and he will eat falafel on a wrap with some cream cheese, but that's as exciting as it gets. 

Salad on a sandwich? You have to be joking! It's so odd that he likes cheese and crunchy salad vegetables but won't accept them on a sandwich. I really hope his tastes change and develop as he gets older. Thank goodness he loves homemade soup!

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Cornish Cup Punch Recipe - Wot No Pimms?



We all love a glass of Pimms in the summer, but there's a new kid on the block. Curio Cornish Cup. It's inspired by a traditional punch drunk by the British Navy in the 17th Century and can be made up exactly like Pimms or served over ice with ginger beer.

The base is a Mullion Dry Gin blended with botanicals and Chai tea. The flavours include rich malty Assam tea, cardamom pods and cinnamon. 

It's absolutely delicious served both ways, as a punch or with ginger beer. The punch is definitely a great one to sip while sitting in the garden and mixing it with ginger beer is a great one to serve at BBQs. Try it both ways and see which you like best.


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Chip Shop Battered Tofu Recipe

Chip Shop Battered Tofu

There's nothing better in the summer than walking along a beach or sitting in a harbour watching the boats and eating a bag of hot fluffy chips with lashings of salt and vinegar.

Going to a chip shop as a vegetarian can be a bit like playing Russian roulette. First you have to do a bit of detective work and find out what oil they use (many use beef dripping) and then there's that moment when you optimistically or if you've done this before pessimistically look at the menu hoping there might be something exciting to order. That bag of chips is great when you are walking along the beach, but it's not a very filling or satisfying evening meal.

Chip shop battered tofu. Serve with chips, peas and a wedge of lemon. Suitable vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free diets.

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Honey Badger Cocktail Recipe



Looks good doesn't it? It's really refreshing. Honey Badger is a long cool cocktail made with Golden Champion Beer, honey, basil and bitters. 

Golden Champion Beer is a crisp and fruity floral summer beer, which is the perfect beer to serve ice cold at a BBQ or made into this cocktail.

If you are a strict vegan you could replace the honey with agave nectar in this recipe. Golden Champion Beer is vegan as are all the bottled beers from Hall & Woodhouse.

I just realised my cocktails this week are all very woodland creature. The last one was purple stag and this one is honey badger, maybe I need to start a series.

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Meat Free Monday Vegetarian Recipes

mushrooms


Well it's Monday again. Wasn't it just yesterday I was saying that to you?

Where does the time go?



This week Cooper is back at school. He was very eager to go back. All his friends are still in his class, but he has a new teacher.

On his first day back we (well I say we, but I just advised him and and dealt with the oven) made chocolate cake. It's become our family tradition to make a back-to-school chocolate cake on the first day of a new school year. The next day he took it into school to share with his friends. I'm sure his teacher was delighted to divide up and share such a gooey chocolate cake to lots of children in white shirts. Whoops!

Enough about cake and our week, let's have a look at another seven delicious recipes for this week's Meat Free Mondays. Hopefully it will inspire you to cook vegetarian more than one day this week, although one day is an excellent start.


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Purple Stag Cocktail Recipe

Purple Stag Cocktail Recipe

This is the second in my series of drinks posts. I realised I share very few drink recipes or recommendations apart from smoothies, so this week I am sharing some tasty summer drinks. 

In my last post I shared 7 refreshing soft and non-alcoholic drinks for summer. They are great if you are pregnant, it's your turn to drive or you are just trying to cut down on how many units you are drinking each week.

I this post I say to hell with that and share some alcohol. Well do have to cover both sides don't I?
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7 Refreshing Soft and Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Summer

7 Refreshing Soft and Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Summer

I share lots of recipes with you, but they're mostly recipes for meals. While summer lasts I thought it would be good to share a series of posts on summer drinks.

Now I've probably mentioned I like a glass of wine with dinner, but I also love refreshing summer drinks. I mean who doesn't love a glass or two of Pimms?

But what if you are the designated driver at a summer BBQ or party, pregnant or just trying to cut back on alcoholic drinks? Often all you can expect is to be offered some fizzy juice or a glass of water.

We can do better than that! I have seven refreshing and delicious summer drinks that you can enjoy and not feel like you are missing out.



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Meat Free Mondays - Summer 2017



Happy Monday!

How are you? How has your week been?

Our week has been full of fun for my wee boy and the last week of the summer holidays too.

He's been out on his scooter, playing in the park, eye bombing, playing board games, walking on the beach and today he went to a animal handling session. He's had a haircut in a hipster barbers and now he's tucked up snug in bed ready for an early start tomorrow for his first day of school.





Now we've caught up it's time for the recipes.

You may eat vegetarian every day or just once a week, whichever way you eat, enjoy this week's recipes and tune in next Monday for a new batch of recipes.


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Smashed Potato Salad with Pesto Dressing

Smashed Potato Salad with Dairy-Free Pesto Dressing

I eat a lot more salads in the summer, even when the weather is bleugh. 

Sometimes we have a salad like this smashed potato salad or a pasta salad for dinner (like we did last night), for lunch it might be a couscous salad and at other meals you will often find salad on the side. 

In fact I think we eat more salad vegetables than any other type at this time of year. Salads are so quick and easy and a lot less cooking too.


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Meat Free Mondays August 2017


Happy Monday!


How are you? How has your week been?

I've had a super busy week, yes I know, what's new?  Not much to share though.

I usually start the post with a photo of food, but I thought I'd share a photo of my kitchen instead to show you just how small it is. See the sink there. The draining board takes you right to the kitchen door, that leads into my conservatory which we use as a dining room, overlooking the garden.

Yes, it's that small. Now imagine it a bit more packed with gadgets.  I don't that microwave any more. My bread maker is now in place of the microwave and beside that is my toaster, kettle and blender, with a waffle maker squashed behind them. On the middle unit I now have a few big jars of spices and lentils. It's pretty packed. 

Oh yes and my cooker top is covered with my cast iron pots, that I leave on top instead of lugging them in and out of the cupboard. Yes this is a false representation of how my kitchen actually looks, but it gives you an idea of how small it is.

Is your kitchen teeny like mine or huge? Go on, make me jealous!

Anyway less of my kitchen and onto the recipes. There weren't as many recipes this week. I guess people are on holiday and enjoying the good weather instead of cooking and blogging, so I'm going to share a few recipes from my archives too. I hope you enjoy them.


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Roast Vegetable and Hummus Pizza (vegan and dairy-free)


I had you at pizza didn't I?

If you're anything like us you love pizza. Our standard choice is a Margherita pizza with added veggies, but today we decided to try something different and went for a blond pizza with roast vegetables and hummus.

The truth is we've had pizza twice this week. Cooper wanted to make pizza from scratch so he and I both worked on a dough and we ended up with too much pizza for one night.

The first night we had it our favourite way. Our homemade thin pizza base, topped with my whizz bang pizza (blender) sauce, then mozzarella (vegan for Graham) and lots of veg. Cooper had sweetcorn on his, he likes to keep it simple.

The second night I spread the pizza base with a thick layer of hummus, topped it with lots of freshly roasted vegetables, a sprinkle of oregano, paprika and black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. It was actually really good!

A homemade white pizza with hummus in instead of tomato sauce, roast vegetables, herbs and spices. Suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free diet.

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Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. A simple but fresh sauce. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.

Best ever?
The best tomato and basil pasta sauce is simple but fresh sauce made with tinned chopped tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet. tinnedtomatoes.com


Yep! I would say so. I started making fresh tomato and basil sauce for pasta when I was a student. It was an easy sauce I could make to feed myself and my friends, even when my boyfriend (husband now) would invite bands to stay in our student flat and I would end up feeding a dozen hungry lads.

Over the years the sauce has been tweaked to what I like to think is the best version of it. Back in my student days I would never have added red wine to a sauce as it was too much of an extravagance and I had to watch my pennies, but it does make a big difference to the favour. Originally I would have used dried basil, but of course adding fresh basil gives such of pop of flavour to the sauce and I seem to remember adding tomato ketchup to the sauce if I didn't have any tomato puree but I'd never do that now.


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