Sunday, 8 February 2015

It's Been a While - and sushi....

I guess I ain't been cookin' much lately.... I've been pumping money I don't so much have into the local Chinese takeaway, there's been plenty of that..... And a whole lotta toast. It's been all about work and the slow descent into madness that is January Exams. At the same time, I'm over on the other side of the counter soldiering on with my part time/distance learning MA and trying to fit in essay writing/journal reading along with dog walking and hoovering and far too many episodes of the X-Files.... (Hallo, I already have a doctorate in Procrastination.)

Speaking of the X-Files, d'ya like my new tattoo, by the absolutely ruddy lovely Hannah at Rain City?

But anyhoo, every now and then it's time for some super duper effort-worthy grub. My lovely friend Vicki came over last night. Sushi and wine, you guyz, sushi and wine.....

Step one: roasting sweet potato and LOTS of garlic in sesame oil, in preparation for mashing.

Step two: gaze adoringly at oyster mushrooms. Soak in teriyaki marinade.
Weird chilli faux meat from the Chinese supermarket.
Roll roll roll.

Not pictured: teriyaki soaked/fried tofu and lots of avocado. Also not pictured: my face contorted into salty soy sauce induced sushi delight. Proper actual heaven.

Here's a snap yoinked from Vicki's Instagram showing the full, cosy glory of our feast:

And I guess that THIS is what Vulpe thinks of all this fishless sushi heathenry.....


I seriously need to get some sushi accessories on the go so I can feed both my new obsession and my big fat face. Any suggestions, dear readers, on books or favourite vegan recipes?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Defiling Nigella's Gratin

My wonderful new house further proved its MAGICAL POWERS yesterday. Let me explain..... My need to move house surfaced fairly quickly when relations soured badly with my letting agency (the worst, THE WORST, in all of Greater Manchester, if not beyond) and after the Moving House Three Times Saga of Summer 2013, my heart sank big time.

The thought of grappling with another letting agency, paying agency fees, convincing a new landlord of Vulpe and Miaowski's good behaviour, etc etc etc.....was very very bad. So I posted an ad to my workplace's 'marketplace' page, pleading for a nice home within my budget that would be dog/cat friendly.

I soon heard from my landlord to-be, and there began the serendipitous process that would lead to my new residence, as well as a thrilling series of weeeeird coincidences. Only yesterday I was complaining to whoever would listen about my lack of teapot, so I could ensure a more plentiful supply of tea when beavering away on my MA in my upstairs study. Dear readers, what did I then find, in the garden of all places, tucked away behind a splendid collection of terracotta planters?


Anyhoo, for whatever reason I had a hankering for gratin potatoes tonight. I have no idea where the craving came from, but I had a slab of Tofutti mozzarella style in the fridge, as well as a carton of soy cream, so I decided to do something that would probably upset Nigella A Lot and veganize this recipe.

I halved the recipe so I could use my 250ml carton of soy cream, and I used spring onions instead of reg'lar onions.

How do you like my novelty potato?

I grated some Tofutti mozzarella style cheeze on top before it went in the oven.

By the way, don't leave your pan unattended when you're parboiling the potatoes :(

I doubt Nigella would approve, but this really hit the spot on such a chilly night!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Garden Thrills

So, dear blogging pals, the last couple of weeks has been CRAZY. I moved house. Again. But boy am I living in suburban heaven now. I am literally like a pig in muck, only with a huge garden, a dishwasher and a corner bath. I have trees and plants and a shed and decking and a STUDY ROOM YOU GUYZ. I am so disgustingly happy tucked away at the end corner of a little cul-de-sac 10 minutes walk from at least one place that is actually a "VALE" that I might explode.

My kitchen is an utter delight, and I've already been a bakin' and a cookin' more than I have for a while. I've also been super duper busy starting my MA though, so who knows how long that'll last (especially with a chippy just at the end of the road....)

More exciting currently is my bloody amazing garden. I have miles of garden (sortofnotreally), composters, planters, conifers, a shed, yehhhhhhh!

Behold my planter o' strawbs, which I hope will keep me well stocked in the warmer weather,

One of two glorious mucky tubs o' compost!

Vulpe is in garden heaven.

Tiny adorbs pine cones.

Pretty flowers!

Handsome planter.

Cheeky little bird house in my prize conifer.

I have TOOLS for heaven's sake....

...and a SHED!
I have some daff bulbs to plant in tomorrow, and am super DUPER excited about my raised bed plans, as I have plenty of onion and garlic bulbs ready to go.

My house is tremendous, and Vulpe is thrilled at being able to run up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, down the stairs...... The garden is a huge hit; even Miaowski has mustered up some enthusiasm...

Vulpe's also been enjoying walking on nearby Sunnybank Vale, which is our new favourite walkies spot, and one that looks like it might be able to help me out with a crumble or two, when the time is right....

I'm enjoying my last few days off work before it's back to normality :(