It’s been one of those weeks again – here, there and bleedin’ everywhere! I’m currently in Solihull of all places because my Husband is working here for a few weeks. Today though I’m off to London to have an Improv rehearsal and to spend time with the little Sis. I’ll probably have to make a trip back to Derry in the next few weeks too, so my head (and my body!) are all over the place at the minute and it’s difficult to keep up with my blog the way I like to.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any cooking mind you – there’s always time for that:) Recently I’ve made a few wondrous discoveries, the first being vegan chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and before you ask, yes, they did taste every bit as good as they sound. I don’t want to give too much away – I’ll leave that for my dedicated post. The second  discovery is silicon muffin cases. I hate waste and with cupcakes and muffins there is a lot of it – I mean, you only use those paper cases once and then you chuck ’em. I know you can get recycled ones but they are hard to come by and they don’t really solve the problem. So, i’ve decided that I’m only going to use the paper ones for special occasions – birthdays, weddings and bar mitzvahs, that sorta thing. Wait! Nevermind.

Speaking of waste and my loathing of it I found these pictures lying dormant on my memory card from when we moved. I say moved when what I mean to say is packed up all our belongings and for the second time in two years had to ship it across the Atlantic and at present I have no idea where our possessions are or when they will be arriving in the UK. The day we were getting our flight I decided to use up all the ingredients left in our fridge, freezer and cupboards – no mean feat! What I ended up with was a hotch potch that culminated in being the ultimate hangover food, complete with complimentary side dishes which staved off the hunger until we landed in London – well almost, I just remembered I had some falafel at the airport but whatev’s.

It might not make a huge amount of culinary sense so just bear in mind the background to the food and be a little forgiving. I’m not going to go into the pizza topping details other than to say I used steamed broccoli (if you have never tried broccoli on pizza you must), sweetcorn, fakin’ bacon (yes, it does exist), roasted pepper and daiya cheese (vegan stuff). I had no tomato to speak of so I layered the cheese – some on the base and some on the top. It worked:) This crust is much thicker than my other pizza dough recipe – think Goodfellas style. Although I will admit to liking a thin crust pizza this is nice for a change and it’s great for when you’re in a hurry.

The ice-cream is a little bit of a blur to me so I am even slightly hesitant about offering the ‘recipe’. I’ve put that word in brackets because it was a made up, on the spot, this technically should work, fingers crossed, operation. The results surprised even me. My husband just nodded the entire time whilst eating it so it did taste pretty darn good. Feel free to mess around with it yourself – before freezing add some nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, whatever takes your fancy. Do not, however, stir it periodically like you would do with a ‘normal’ ice-cream recipe – in my experience and opinion vegan ice-cream does not like this and ice crystals are not welcome here!

Right, that definitely is enough back story. Enjoy x

10min pizza dough (actually a glorified Anjum Anand naan recipe – thankyou lovely lady!)

ingredients:

250g/1 cup plain flour (pref. organic unbleached)

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp yeast

130ml/ 1/2 cup water or soy milk

2 tbsp oil (I used canola but vegetable or olive would be good too)

Pre-heat oven with upturned baking sheet (or pizza stone if you’re lucky enough to own one, grrrr!) to the highest possible setting.

In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and yeast. In a separate small bowl mix the water (or milk) and oil.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in half of the liquid – I don’t pour it all in just in case it becomes too sticky. Using your hands work the flour into the liquid in a clockwise motion adding more liquid if needed. Once you have an approximate dough ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth.

Place in a oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to stand for 10mins whilst you get your toppings ready!

Roll out the dough to form one large pizza base and transfer to a chopping board before adding the toppings – it will make it easier to then subsequently transfer it to the baking sheet. Bake in oven for 10-15mins or until the bottom is crispy.

vegan vanilla ice-cream

ingredients:

2/3 frozen bananas (chop some ripe bananas into large pieces  and pop in the freezer for several hours)

1 cup vanilla soy milk

glug of maple syrup or something similar to sweeten the ice-cream further.

In a blender, blitz all the ingredients together until completely smooth. Transfer to a container and freeze for several hours – do not stir! Allow it soften slightly before serving.

Yup, dats how easy it was – at least as far as I can remember;) I served mine with some melted vegan chocolate that hardened fantastically when poured over the ice-cream. My God did it taste good.

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