Thursday, 11 August 2016

Friends, family and a food haul

It's felt like a really busy few weeks with the time flying by! We had a lovely visit from Jojo of Vegan in Brighton blog and her partner, Nick a few weekends ago. We loved having them to stay and it was amazing hearing about their travels and plans for the future. We managed to fit in taking them to the Globe, our town's vegan pub and whilst they were here I also knocked up a 'carb buffet' or as Nick renamed it a 'beige banquet'. As well as burgers there was mac and cheese made using my favourite Oh She Glows recipe that uses roasted butternut squash which is topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.

I also made one of my favourite pizzas. I can take no credit for this as it used to be on the menu at Odder in Manchester a few years back but I would urge you to give it as try. The base is covered with hoisin sauce then topped with sliced par boiled potatoes and slices of red onion. Simple and delicious.

I made some more ice cream this week with my recently purchased Aldi ice cream maker and the 20p cans of coconut milk from last week's Netto closing down sale. I was really pleased with how this came out. I used this recipe for Coconut, Almond, Choc Chip which is based on Ben and Jerry's Coconut, Almond Fudge. I never had the Ben and Jerry's when it was available to make a comparison but this was really good, especially served in Aldi's chocolate dipped waffle cones.

We had my nephew and niece to stay on their first sleepover at our house. It was a lot of fun and I got them to make dessert. They had fun choosing from my cookie cutter collection to make these lemon shortbread biscuits and I introduced them to a tradition I remember from being a kid of using the last bit of dough to make your initial that also acts as a 'tester' biscuit.

We also had a bit of a science lesson and observed what happens to chocolate when it is heated and cooled. It was the first time they had tried honeycomb and they loved it. The honeycomb is a traditional English sweet which doesn't contain honey at all. I picked up a bag for 65p from Home Bargains the other week which was even labelled as suitable for vegans.

Last Saturday Matt and I had a shopping trip to Ashton, home of many great bargain stores. We popped into B and M's, Fultons and our favourite vegetarian Asian Supermarket - ASM. We came away with a great haul and have a well stocked pantry again.

These noodles were labelled as vegetarian and there was nothing I noticed in the ingredients to suggest that they weren't vegan. For 50p they've been a nice snack/ easy lunch.

We can't go to ASM without picking up some Cofresh Cheese and Onion curls. We also found these pressels (39p) and almonds (69p) in B and M's. I love Smokehouse Almonds and am excited to try the Wasabi and Soy flavour which I've never seen before.

The noodles were from Fultons and we stocked up on some bargain teas there too. I am really enjoying the Vital Rooibos and Honeybush which are also organic. All five boxes came to a total of £1. The beige box on the left is some darjeeling from Bellevue Tea Company and is lovely too and a bargain at 39p!

Another thing I was pleased to pick up from B and M's was this Vita Coco coconut oil at £2 less than the usual price. Since reading about how monkeys are used in coconut farming I'm trying to be more aware of which brands are ok and this is a make that I'd spotted on an ok list.

Our big exciting news in our little town is that a new artisan bakery has just opened called Grains Bakehouse. We finished up the last of our Vegan Egg on some of their sourdough and it was wonderful bread.

In even more exciting news this is also about to open! Can't wait to see what the Pie Parlour will be selling. I'll be sure to report back. Have a great weekend everyone.