Soup is on

February is cold, rainy, yucky and sometimes depressing. On that positive note…I tried to perk up with two delicious soup recipes from the Jan-Feb issue of Milk Street. I used the Instant Pot to make the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil. (It doesn’t call for the Pot, I just decided to give it a try.) While that was cooking I made the Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Spinach. Both were good but I personally liked the Coconut one better. Anything with coconut, typical Indian spices and spinach has my vote!

 

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Some sautéing in the Instant Pot for the Turkish Red Lentil Soup first.

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Cumin I love you. Please don’t notice my lazy garlic in the jar, shhhhhh!

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Heat Aleppo Pepper flakes in Olive Oil, yum. I saved this to use on pizza soon.

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Top with the oil, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

The Coconut Soup…

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Such wholesome goodness and quick options for a mid-week meal. Why not serve them with homemade pita .

Soup is on

February is cold, rainy, yucky and sometimes depressing. On that positive note…I tried to perk up with two delicious soup recipes from the Jan-Feb issue of Milk Street. I used the Instant Pot to make the Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil. (It doesn’t call for the Pot, I just decided to give it a try.) While that was cooking I made the Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Spinach. Both were good but I personally liked the Coconut one better. Anything with coconut, typical Indian spices and spinach has my vote!

 

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Some sautéing in the Instant Pot for the Turkish Red Lentil Soup first.

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Cumin I love you. Please don’t notice my lazy garlic in the jar, shhhhhh!

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Heat Aleppo Pepper flakes in Olive Oil, yum. I saved this to use on pizza soon.

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Top with the oil, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

The Coconut Soup…

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Such wholesome goodness and quick options for a mid-week meal. Why not serve them with homemade pita .

A Year of Cookbooks – 3 Recommendations

As everyone who has been following my blog will know I chose 1 cookbook a month in 2017 to see how many recipes I could make…

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All 12 challenge books

I learned some new techniques and ate some gorgeous new food. Here are the 12 books I chose. All vegetarian and all picked for different reasons:

January – Skinny Bitch, Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin (Picked because it was January and said Skinny in the title lol!) See the post here.

February – Rebar, Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz (Picked because I’ve been to the restaurant and have always wanted to make more of their recipes.) See the post here.

March  The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen (Picked because this is truly a Vegetarian Classic and published in 1977, my DOB.) See the post here.

April – The World of the Happy Pear by Stephen and David Flynn (Picked because I loved some of the salad recipes from the first book and hadn’t made anything out of their second yet!) See the post here.

May – A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones (Picked because I LOVE the aesthetics of her books, they are a pleasure to read. The recipes also looked very much the way we like to eat normally.) See the post here.

June – The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews (Picked because it is a GORGEOUS looking book with fresh, simple recipes.) See the post here.

July – The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Picked again for the beautiful photography and because the recipes look so healthy and flavourful!) See the post here.

August – Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming (Picked because the recipes looked like basic ingredients that could be accomplished on an island cottage! I.e. basic ingredients, no fancy mixers needed and crowd pleasing. It was a plus that they are Canadian authors.) See the post here.

September – Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Lindon (Picked because the first Oh She Glows is one of my go-to vegan cookbooks and I wanted to try more recipes from her new book.) See the post here.

October – River Cottage Much More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Picked because I’ve LOVED Hugh and River Cottage ever since we lived in the UK. His first Veg book is a staple, one I always recommend people to take a look at.) See the post here.

November – Mildreds The cookbook by the chefs at Mildreds UK (Picked because I’m a sucker for UK restaurant cookbooks and the recipes looked yummy.) See the post here.

December – Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (Picked because the food at his restaurants is my absolute fav way to eat and because I have all his books and do more drooling over them then cooking from them!) See the post here.

I thought that I should try and pick my top 3 that I think you should buy. If you love cookbooks as much as I do you’ll probably want to buy them all but I think some are more worthy to own. It was soooooooo tough to decide but…

1- Rebar, Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz. The recipes are really lovely and always turned out well. Unfortunately, it’s a bit “self-published” looking so you aren’t going to buy this for the pictures! It’s Canadian too which is cool!

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2- Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. I picked this one, not because it was my favourite, but because it had a lot of recipes that I think all eaters (meat included) would like. They are simple without “fancy” spices and ingredients. I think it would be a good all arounder…

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3- Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. I really just think everyone has to try some Ottolenghi. Really you could get any of his books though I’d think. Take a peep next time you are out and buy one!

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Ok I’m going to have to pick 4… The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews. The pictures are lovely and the recipes are fresh and vibrant. If you don’t fancy the book she has a great blog and instagram where you can probably find most of the recipes or ones very similar.

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From my posts you may have noticed that I tried a few follow up books from some of my favourite chefs. Below are their first books. If you are interested in these authors then I’d suggest getting these, their first triumphs…

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Definitely not his first book but his first dedicated to the glorious veg! If you are a meat eater you’ll want to check out his others for sure!

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Honestly all her books look like this one so you probably can’t go wrong with any of them. There are 3 out now I believe.

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If you are venturing more into the Vegan realm then DEFINITELY pick up this gem. The cashew cream will change your life!

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Looking for some neat salad ideas in particular then get this one to try.

Also, could you go wrong with any classic Molly Katzen, probably not…

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Happy Cooking and let me know if you buy something new!

 

 

July’s The Green Kitchen: A book of contrasts

Apologies, this post is a few days late…it’s been a busy start to August with getting ready to cottage for a month. August’s recipes will all be made with these gorgeous views from the kitchen…Georgian Bay – Cognashene…

If you follow my instagram you will see that not all the recipes in Green Kitchen were loved by all! I truly feel that this book has some striking contrasts; when the recipes were good they were amazing but when they fell short they were catastrophic. I am quite good at following a recipe exactly and expect it to turn out. Once I’ve made a recipe once then I think about how to adapt it to my taste but I really feel that I want to honour an author’s/chef’s recipe by following it to a tee the first time. The few recipes that went horribly wrong I do wonder if it was my taste or just an odd combination of ingredients. (Note: North American’s will probably have a hard time finding some of the ingredients in this book. There will be a few recipes you won’t even attempt, e.g. nettles are hard to come by.)

I still love the idea of the Green Kitchen, don’t get me wrong! I think I’ll just be more conscious of reading the ingredients lists more carefully before I start. Overall, I personally think most of the recipes could be seasoned more/better. The photography in Green Kitchen is stellar. If you want to give them a go then you can buy their app for cheap and try some recipes that way first before you commit to their books. They have a new one out now that I will probably still buy because I’m crazy like that! Always love to complete a set lol!

You will have to forgive me with the names of these recipes because the cookbook is at home 3 hrs by car and a 1/2 hr boat ride away!

I didn’t get many recipes done this month because of our annual summer UK trip. It’s no hardship travelling and eating in the UK… we had a blast with mom this year…

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Birthday dinner at NOPI (An Ottolenghi restaurant that I love!)

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NOPI – The roasted peach burrata is one of my favs. Love the classy Eton Mess for dessert too.

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NOPI – best for sharing plates.

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A little Eggs Florentine to start your b-day out right! At the National Portrait Gallery restaurant. The view is amazing. Worth a trip and I always recommend it to visitors to London.

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Pimms anyone! It’s summer in the UK.

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Fav new pic! At a wedding that had fab food. Wadhurst castle, Kent.

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Fruit stand in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Gorgeous!

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Trying the Pear Cafe in Bristol. You will know her online as Elly Pear. Yum Frittata and sammies for lunch.

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Bristol, down by the pier. Funky, revitalised area. How cool is this coffee shop!

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For me, nothing beats a UK flat white!

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Costa soy, flat white for a little Espadrille making course, Bath, The Makery.

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Just 2 of us in the class meant lots of support! Teacher was lovely too.

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Yes, making our own shoes, who knew!

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Gorgeous pub food, outside Bath at Country pub! The Talbot Inn.

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Not your typical country pub food!

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Fancy fish and chips!

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Gorgeous starter of radish and yellow courgette strips. Talbot Inn pub.

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Hello, halloumi fries, Camden Market.

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Yum breakfast spot, Neil’s Yard, Covent Garden.

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Gorgeous 26 grains breaky. Avocado on sourdough.

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26 Grains porridge bowl. Love the gooseberries!

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Missing John for breaky.

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Ahhhhhhh, UK cream how I miss thee.

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First day emotions!

Now for Green Kitchen successes…

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Curried egg salad for sammies. Different combination. I was sceptical but it was delish!

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Can you see the apple in the curried egg salad. Odd maybe but yum!

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Also asparagus tips in the curried egg salad. I’m totally making this again.

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Buckwheat groat porridge on the go. Maybe more of a fall dish but it was lovely. 

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Dress those groats up!

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I used too many cardamom seeds in this groat porridge but it was still yummy!

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Just a simple guac to use up some old avocados. Delish.

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I think it was avocado based pudding. I’ve made a few of these and without the book with me I honestly forget. In any case, yum!

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Roasted root veg with quinoa stuffed tomatoes. Definitely a fall/winter dish but it was so tasty. Definitely get the wrinkly black olives; they give amazing salty flavour.

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Love a good roast up. The lemons were a fab addition.

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Looking yum like the pic I think?!

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This was the first recipe I tried actually. It was a vinaigrette, horseradish baby potato salad. It was simple and sooooo worth finding fresh horseradish. It’s one of my new go-to salads for sure. 

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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with whole wheat Israeli couscous. 

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Tagine by the pool! Loved the flavours of the tagine; it smelled heavenly. I could have done without the couscous addition.

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The makings of a beetroot chocolate cake.

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Moist and earthy beetroot chocolate cake. It used olive oil that I’m sure I enjoyed. I think it added to the earthy flavour though. If I make this again I will use a lighter oil like safflower.

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Almond crust for a gorgeous tart…see below…

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Coconut and Fennel Tart. It was amazing!!!

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Cannot recommend trying this tart enough. It was unique.

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Served with Caramelized Red Onion Chutney of course. (M&S brand is my fav and we forgot to bring some new bottles home, eek! What to do, lol!)

Now for the epic fails. I really hate giving bad reviews but the following recipes did not sit well with me…they even looked pretty ugh…

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This cold zucchini noodle salad with cashew and sun-dried tomato cream dressing and marinated portobello mushrooms started out so beautiful. Love me some courgette noodles!  

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Gorgeous right…see the ruin below…

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Doesn’t even look like the pic at all. Hello, photoshop?!

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I love vinegar but it was too much. That’s all I could taste. The cream dressing on it’s own was so thick that no amount of added water could fix. Would have been better as a veggie dip I think.

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First attempt at dark rye bread…hmmmm. not convinced. The dough remained very wet.

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It came out with a pretty ok flavour. I couldn’t find rye kernels so used a cracked rye that I was able to get. This definitely could have been the culprit. I also let it sit in the fridge for over a day because I forgot about it! I would try this again…

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Ok…veggie chorizos. I was soooooo pumped but I have to admit they were a failure. I personally think they needed much more seasoning of all different sorts. The texture was right and everything else worked out fine I think. It was just that bland flavour ugh…

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Veggie chorizos in the making.

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These bad boys were wrapped in cheese cloth, kinda fun eh!

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All wrapped up!

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The cooking went well in veg stock.

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Ended up slicing them and frying again to make them more sausage like.

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Served in the suggested salad with quinoa, butter beans and apple. Bizarre and I couldn’t finish it. John liked it though. I think it’s partly that in my mind I really wanted them to be more sausage like so I could use them with buns. Not the case! Poor me.

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Maybe looked ok though?!

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Tasty banana blueberry pancakes but epically challenging to hold together!

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Actually not a fail, just hard to flip and make. Ended up cooking the rest like scrambled eggs and eating like a porridge! Still tasty.

So now we are at a cottage for the month of August and I needed to pick a book with easy to find ingredients that didn’t use a food processor for every meal. At the last minute I decided on a new book that I grabbed at Costco a couple months ago called Vegetarian Any Day by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. They are the authors of Quinoa 365 that came out in the midst of the whole Quinoa craze. I have used many recipes from that book and thought this one looked pretty good. There seems to be heaps of recipes that will appeal to the meat-eater in your family.

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They seem to have a great blog too; at http://patriciaandcarolyn.com. Check it out…

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Ok Quinoa Sisters…Let’s have a healthy August together! Can’t just whip out to a grocery store when I’m on an island in Georgian Bay though! This is going to take some planning ahead to the next shop run!

Have a fabulous end of summer everyone!

March Cookbook Done

The Moosewood Cookbook was the perfect choice for this month’s dreary Southern Ontario weather. Think comfort food for vegetarians! Pies and casseroles with lots of cheesy goodness. At some point, every veggie probably needs to host a dinner for hardcore meat eaters and I for one refuse to cook meat for them. I’m not totally cruel though I have an arsenal of hearty, filling recipes that should satisfy anyone. Moosewood is chalked full of these recipes. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a cake recipe call for a pound of butter, yikes right!

This is what I got through this month…

Cauliflower-Cheese Soup P. 16
Ginger Marinated Chick Peas P.64
Marinated Mushrooms P.67
Balkan Cucumber Salad P.69
Beet Puree P.86
Feta-Walnut Dip P.101
Greek Pilaf P.148
Stuffed Grape Leaves P.149
Zuccanoes (Stuffed Zucchini) P.154
Spinach-Ricotta Pie P.156
Swiss Cheese & Mushroom Quiche P.157
Cauliflower-Cheese Pie (with Grated Potato Crust) P.159
Zucchini-Crusted Pizza P.166
Samosas P.170
Satyamma’s Famous Cauliflower Curry P.173
Vegetarian Chili P.176
Date-Nut Cake P.187
Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake P.190-91
Banana Bread P.193
Cardamom Coffee Cake P.195
Apple Strudel P.196
Apple Custard Pie P.202
Moosewood Fudge Brownies P.213

Wow, when you write a list like that it doesn’t look like I even made a dent in the recipes but I sure felt busy cooking!

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We started with this Mezze dinner. The Feta Walnut dip was a fav for sure. The marinated chickpeas were good too. There were a lot of leftover chickpeas so I roasted them in the oven to make a delightful chickpea snack.

Take a look at some of my other book favs for dinner…

I even made Samosas from scratch. Don’t know why I haven’t done this before, it couldn’t have been easier. I’d like to find a different filling though or add more spices to this one.

I probably tried too many desserts from this book for my waistline but hey, it helped get through this drizzly month! The Pound Cake recipe was definitely a must do. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can create as many variations as you can imagine. Of course, start with lemon-blueberry!

As you may know, I’m quite the Banana Bread connoisseur and I heartily approve of this one…

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Butter, butter, butter! I love the addition of walnuts and the sesame crust layer underneath. I also appreciated the orange zest and the coffee soaked bananas, neat eh.

The Brownies and Apple Strudel were also a hit…

Strudel really does look impressive, doesn’t it, like you worked all day on it! Aside from the lovely Apple Custard Pie, it was the easiest recipe in the book.

As much as I loved Moosewood, I’m ready to move on. Most of the recipes I tried were heavy and dairy laden which is not the kind of vegetarian food I really like to eat. I’d say they are a bit old-fashioned/traditional compared to today’s vibrant use of veg, grains, nuts and seeds, whole foods right! I’m thrilled to have these recipes in my back pocket now but April’s book is just more me!

I’ve decided on the second Happy Pear Book, The World of the Happy Pear

I’ve made a few things from the first Happy Pear book and they were all extremely tasty and fresh. Check these guys out online here. In a nutshell, they are 2 brothers who started a bit of a veg food revolution in a small town in Ireland with their Heart Healthy recipes and education. They also have some fun, short videos on how to make quick, healthy veg meals. I’m looking forward to lightening up in April with some of their amazing looking salads and snacks. Stay tuned…

A Wee Baking Post

I’m knitting a new project but don’t want to share it quite yet. Also, I need to share the lace shawl mom is so excited to start for me but a quick baking blog instead.

First a huge shout out to mom who just finished the most gorgeous apron ever for me…
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She really is the best. She found this amazing macaron fabric. Not only little pretty macarons but other yummy patisserie treats as well. I love the ruffle at the bottom. I think it was a MaCall’s pattern. Mom, want to weigh in on that in comments? If you are lucky she will post the pattern number. It’s simply the cutest. She shortened the neck a bit because I don’t like it too droopy in the front.

I baked my first item in the apron tonight too….

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I whipped up banana date scones from my new Bunner’s cookbook. All gluten free and vegan. Whilst I don’t need to eat gluten free, I know a lot of people who do and I like to experiment and try new techniques. Bunner’s has a cafe in Toronto apparently but I haven’t been yet. This is their first cookbook I think. I saw it on a table at Indigo and just impulse bought…

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Really rather tasty recipes I’d have to say! The sugar donuts are a favourite already and the Pumpkin Chocolate chip muffins. I often find a bizarre aftertaste with gluten free items but these seem to be ok. I recommend to check it out!

Oh She Glows Eating

Since we moved into our temporary home I have been getting back into cooking. Partly because I love to cook and partly because the ready meals in Canada are pretty horrible! The UK has us beat there for sure, oh Waitrose and M&S I miss thee.

I have way too many cookbooks…

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Yikes, that’s only a selection. They aren’t all unpacked yet! John thinks I’m funny because I love to sit and watch tv whilst looking at cookbooks. I’m always reading them for fun. Some I haven’t even cooked out of yet, I just love looking at the pictures.

My newest addition (until today because, confession, I bought “the Blender Girl” today at Costco, yes I have a problem) that I have been cooking lots from is the Oh She Glows cookbook…

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The cover in Canada is on the left. Angela Liddon has a popular food blog that you can find here. I’ve been in overdrive making recipes from this book lately. First, they are delicious and second because she is doing a contest right now to win a Vitamix for posting pictures of her recipes that you have made. It’s been fun to see what everyone is making. You can check out pictures on Instagram at #osgcookbook. Below are a selection of things I’ve made so far…

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Yoga Rat Smoothy

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Cashew Sour Cream, yum!

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Raw Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

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Lentil loaf, cauli mash and mushroom gravy

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Zucchini pasta and tomato basil sauce

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Overnight Oats

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Chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

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Buckwheat groat porridge

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Cookie dough bites

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Portobello fajitas, double yum!

I’ll let you know if I win the Vitamix!