Thursday, October 2, 2014

365 project: August and September photos

This is a jam packed photo post! With Vegan MoFo last month, I am only sharing my photo-a-day images from August now, along with my September's photos. In the mix are sunny skies and early autumnal colours, a marker of the weather shifts seen over the last 8 weeks. It is still mild and mostly sunny in London, but the days are shortening, leaves are changing colour, and there is a crisp note in the air most mornings. I'm delighted: I love autumn, and autumn in England is entirely new to me. All of my past UK visits have been in summer or winter, so this time of year is novel and exciting.

My August photos seem a long time ago now, and include an unexpected number of flowers! I particularly love those in #6, as they were given to me my sister and her boyfriend on their visit. The cycling hedge man in  #8 is another favourite.

1st: Reflecting / 2nd: Confident bird / 3rd: Flower markets / 4th: Canal side / 5th: Before I die...

Monday, September 29, 2014

A closing Vegan MoFo post - recipes from elsewhere and a final recap here


Today is the last of my 2014 Vegan MoFo posts. I know there is another day of September tomorrow, but I am treating this as the tail end of the month and concluding it with this round up / wrap up summary.

Other than one forgotten Friday post that was published on a Saturday, I have shared posts on 5 weekdays each week for the last 4 weeks. Advance preparation (particularly for the first 2 weeks) meant that it wasn't too hard. However, I will be pleased to return to less frequent posting now. Three or four posts a week is a better fit for me, and also seems more useful. I am not sure that anyone needs or wants a recipe from me every day of the week!

All in all, I am glad to have participated in Vegan MoFo again, and I've enjoyed the other MoFo posts that I've read. I am including a selection of appealing examples below (Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe did a similar round up over the weekend, so check out her list for additional ideas). After that, I have a final summary of my own posts from this month.

Vegan MoFo recipes from elsewhere



Ghetto hummus (chickpeas left whole!) from Mad Hatter's Pantry

Hearty Colcannon (a potato dish on a chickpea pancake) from Real Food + Travel

Vegan MoFo posts from Bite-Sized Thoughts


A good many of my favourites are in the dessert section, but I did also enjoy making Moroccan and Ethiopian dishes for the first time, and discovering vegan French toast!

I'm looking forward to returning with some more general posts later this week...

Do you have any favourites from my last month of recipes, or other Vegan MoFo posts you've read?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Vegan lemon meringue pie


I think I may have reached the pinnacle of my baking adventures. Right now, I can't think of anything more magical than this lemon meringue pie. It has the requisite crisp base, zesty set centre, and fluffy - so fluffy! - meringue topping. And it is vegan. I wasn't confident going in, but can now say that meringue without eggs really is possible!

I knew I wanted to make a lemon meringue pie for Vegan MoFo, but this wasn't one of the dishes I prepared ahead of time. In fact, I only made it this week. I was worried it wouldn't work, or that I'd be up all night repeating my efforts if the first pie failed.

In the end, it was oddly easy. I made the meringue topping with egg replacer - a hefty 1/3 cup of it - which was whipped for 5 minutes with water while gradually adding sugar. In other words, it was just like making regular meringue. The same was true for the rest of the pie. There is a lot of sugar and the recipe is a little bit time consuming, but the end result is very much worth it. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Montezuma's chocolate and cafe, Kingston Upon Thames


Last week, we went on an extended looping outing that incorporated Kingston Upon Thames to the south-west of London, and Morden to the south. Kingston had a few bike shops that we wanted to visit, and turned out to be a delightful area in all sorts of ways (river, parks, cycle paths galore, nice shops, Hampton Court Palace...). Morden is home to Morden Hall Park, run by the National Trust.

River Thames at Kingston Upon Thames

While wandering Kingston, we stumbled across a store and cafe for Montezuma's Chocolates. I have mentioned Montezuma's before, and you may remember me raving about their dark chocolate with orange and geranium back in August. As a family run British business that focuses on innovative chocolate made with fair trade ingredients, there is a lot to love about the brand. They also produce a lot of vegan bars - their dark chocolate blocks are dairy free and they go to the effort of labeling products as vegan when they are. So, I was pretty delighted to find an actual Montezuma's store.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fruity chocolate marshmallow dessert pizza


I have long been fascinated by dessert pizza. As a child, it seemed like a brilliant idea - why not take pizza and improve it with chocolate and marshmallows and other sweet things? And yet, somehow, I never actually tried it. In childhood, external factors no doubt played a role in this. In adulthood, I think I always went for other desserts. More recently, foods with gelatin-containing marshmallows have been off the menu (and most dessert pizzas seem to include marshmallows).

Now that I can buy vegan marshmallows, it seemed the perfect time to indulge my childhood fantasy and make a dessert pizza at home. The pictures in this post do not do it justice - please accept my apologies for the lighting - but the pizza was every bit as gooey and sweet and satisfying as I had imagined. For my Australian readers who don't have access to vegan mallows, some dairy free white chocolate would be a possible alternative for the topping.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lemon-tahini potato fudge


I had originally planned to make traditional, but vegan, fudge for this post. We have been watching the BBC show Sweets Made Simple, and every episode features a delightful mix of hot sugar, a candy thermometer, and magical bubbling that somehow results in a decadent treat. I wanted to have a go.

Lemon-tahini potato fudge

Sadly, my candy thermometer is with our shipment, and as we have established, that is not yet with us. I switched my thoughts to something that would not require a candy thermometer. For a while, I was focused on sweet potato and tahini fudge. From there, it was an easy jump to this lemon-tahini potato fudge. It's not very traditional. It is, however, strangely moreish.