Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Do you set goals?

I'm a list person. I have lists for everything. I have lists for lists. Some people may say I'm a control freak, and yeah I suppose am a little. But lists help me first of all think of the things I need/want to get done. The actual writing of the list jogs my memory. I have daily lists which has a few things I want/need to get done that day. I have a weekly list a weekend list and then a master to do list! I also have lists for the home, garden, my business, my day job and my personal health/happiness. Ok now I've written that out I sound a lot like a control freak!


Anyway this brings me onto my point. Over at The Fitnessista Gina was talking about her monthly goals which has now got me inspired to do mine. So each month I'm going to have 3 goals and at the end of that month review if I have done them. So here are my first ones:

September 2011 Goals



  • Plan and hold a dinner party. For a couple of reasons. I love socialising with friends and sometimes we get so bogged down with to do lists  life that so much time can go by without spending quality time with loved ones. I also want to share the fact that Vegan food can be delicious. Some people think I'm losing out by being Vegan. I don't see it that way at all so I want to try and get that message across.

  • Go Swimming. When I was younger I swam competitively. At one point I was going to make a career out of it but then I decided that wasn't what I wanted. But I love swimming so want to get back in the pool to experience that again- and of course it will mean more exercise.

  • Meditate. When i take the time to meditate I feel so much better. As a lot of people I'm always on the go, there is always something to do and come the weekend I'm totally exhausted mentally and physically. I'm not going to put that I'm going to meditate every day but I want to commit to at least twice every week.
So those are my goals for September. Are you making any? Please let me know via the comments if you are :-)


I'll leave you with this page I found Via Stumble Upon.

Jess xx

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Recipe Post- Healthier Cake Batter Smoothie (Vegan)

There are loads of cake batter smoothie recipes. This is just my version- the beauty of smoothies is you can have fun mixing and matching ingredients. I'm a bit smoothie obsessed at the moment so be prepared for lots of smoothie recipes!!! I've purchased a screw top beaker so I can mix up a smoothie to take to work :-)

Cake Batter Smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients

2 tbsp Porridge oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small frozen banana *
1 handful baby spinach
200 ml/1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp nut butter (use either peanut, cashew, sunflower or almond)
1 scoop protein power (optional)
1 tsp Xanthan gum (optional but gives it a thicker consistency like ice cream. Most supermarkets do it in the baking section)

Method

1. Put everything into a blender and blend until everything has combined
2. Serve either in a glass or in a bowl with a spoon and if you like put some sprinkles on top!

* I always have frozen bananas in the freezer. Just cut them into chunks and pace them into a freezer bag or box. Great to always have some on hand for smoothies or vegan ice cream!




Monday, 29 August 2011

A Vegan Eating out

Not living in a city and being Vegan can be hard. Eating out I have often ended up with a bowl of chips or a bowl of plain veg. Most restaurants will have 1 or 2 veggie options but 9 times out of 10 they aren't Vegan and will have eggs, cheese, milk, cream etc in them.

I decided that this bank holiday I would find somewhere not too far away where I could have more choice. I found Veggie World. Only a 45 minute drive from where we live we decided to spend the day in Milton Keynes shopping then head on to the restaurant.

The location was not great- kind of stuck in the 90's and the restaurant wasn't snazzy decor but I wasn't looking for that. When we were given the menu I was pretty taken aback that I could choose 98% of the menu! I've not had that since I went Vegan. The restaurant is Chinese cuisine which was fine by me as that was one of my favourite pre-vegan. You can see the menu here.

We ordered the mixed starter first of all which consisted of crispy seaweed, veggie spare ribs, veggie "chicken" satay, wontons and veggie spring rolls. All brilliant!!!!


Next we shared the Veggie crispy "duck". Now when I went vegan Crispy duck was one of the things I knew I would miss a lot. Not now!!! This stuff was amazing, it had all the flavour and all the crisp! 10 out of 10.


I had Satay "prawn" with rice for my main. Now I knew it wasn't prawn but it really hit the spot. It's hard to explain really. But I really enjoyed it.


Phil had Crispy Chilli "beef" with rice. No joke this tasted exactly like real crispy chilli beef. Seriously.




I'm so glad we decided to go there. I now know there is somewhere i can go without feelling awkward, having to explain to ignorant waiters what Vegan is, feeling people are judging me for the way I want to eat. I can't tell you how happy it made me. The best thing is that Phil (meat eater through and through) loved it. I think it blew his mind a little. I know deep down he expected it to be substandard. I'm so glad we both could go out and have a great meal together. it cost about £30 for both of us with a couple of drinks. I can't wait to go back :-)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Recipe Post- Vegan Pancakes

For vegans and non vegans these pancakes are delish! They are nice and fluffy and go with pretty much anything. Here I have done them with bananas and a peanut butter and maple sauce but try them with a blueberry sauce, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce- anything!

As with a few of the recipes these are measured in cups- I find it a lot easier than weighing everything out. Weekends are for relaxing! Most cookshops sell cup measurements now.

Vegan Pancakes
Makes about 8 pancakes


Ingredients
1 Cup plain flour (I use half white plain flour and half wholewheat pastry flour)
1 tsp Baking/bicarb soda
1tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 large banana sliced

Method
1. In a jug place the milk and apple cider vinegar and leave to curdle for 5 mins then add the oil. Place peanut butter and maple syrup into a heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until mixture is of a sauce consistency.
2. In a bowl sift and mix all dry ingredients.
3. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
4. Heat a non stick pan and spoon some mixture into the pan. Cook for 30 secs to 1 min then flip over. Once cooked place onto a plate and spoon over the peanut butter maple sauce and add slices of banana. Continue this step until you have 3 pancakes piled on top of each other.
5. Enjoy!



Monday, 15 August 2011

Rest in Peace Muffin


Whoa almost a month since my last post- sorry sorry.

It’s been a bit of a hectic time. Last week I started the extra commute for my job so I’m losing 3 hours a day at the moment. So finding it hard to adapt the routine at the moment. With Jessica’s Cupcakes, 2 blogs, admin work for my dad and a house to run I’ve got a bit snowed under. Also 2 weeks ago one of my little house rabbits died L It hit me hard as he’s been around the past 9 years. Now my other house rabbit was very lonely after he went so we had to get another rescue rabbit to bond her with (rabbits are better in pairs). So we got the gorgeous Trigger. First of all they were fine with each other but then fights started. And with me not being at home a lot I was getting a bit stressed out so decided to send them to Fat Fluffs in Solihull to be bonded properly. We took them last Thursday but Poppy has an open wound (from a fight) so we had to pick them back up Friday take her to the vet and now wait for her to heal before we try and bond them again. Hoping we will get there in the end!!!

As you can imagine craft wise not a lot has been going on. But I’m determined to get in some time to get a few things done.

Some of the top things I want to get done:

  1. Patchwork Tablecloth
  2. Other than cupcake orders I’ve not done much baking so I want to get a few things in the oven!
  3. Catch up on some of my fave blogs and find some new ones. Here is a new one I’ve just found and looking forward to having a peek
  4. Make plans to expand the Cake business and blog more!
I'll leave you with a picture of my gorgeous house bunny Muffin Feb 2003-Aug 2011. Rest in Peace baby xxx