Saturday, 31 December 2011

Catching up to finish the year

I took pictures of things that I made and then didn't bother to blog about them.  That's because I'm lazy.  But here they are.  First up, I finally made Mo's kolaches!
As you can probably tell from the picture, I did mine a bit differently from hers.  I actually remembered having kolaches when I was younger, and this is pretty much what I always got - sausage in bread.  These were good but, because I didn't have enough filling, they were way too bread-y.  I'll almost certainly make these again, but I'll probably use different sausage (and more of it) and make them smaller.

Next up is Xmas dinner!
I made porkless pie with Granose sausage mix and the buttery double crust (vodka variation, no sugar) from Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  It wasn't exactly traditional, but it was probably the best porkless pie I've ever eaten.  I served it with leftover rice (I think I was ill and couldn't be bothered) and roasted broccoli.  Nom!
Dessert was yule log!  It was better than the last one I made, but that's not saying much.  Well, both were tasty, but this one was better looking, if only because it didn't fall apart as completely as the last one.  I used the chocolate cupcake and chocolate buttercream recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for this.  I'll probably try my hand at the log again, but I'll make a few changes - a) different filling (shocking as this is, I thought it was too much chocolate) and 2) use a bit of black cocoa powder for the buttercream to give it a darker, more log-like appearance.

And finally, our last meal of 2011!

This is the new Redwood's haggis with noochy Smash and steamed broccoli.  REDWOOD'S HAGGIS?!  It's really, really good - meatier texture than any other veg haggis I've ever had (it uses vwg), spicy, moist.  I haven't had f'real haggis for ... 8 years, and I think this might be the best fake I've ever had.  It's not just a bunch of kidney beans!  It could maybe be a little oatier, but otherwise it's excellent (as far as I can remember to compare).

I just had a look on the Redwood's site, and they don't even have it on there.  I think this might be a super secret Scotland-only product!  First time ever!  It kinda makes me feel special.  I hope no one is able to burst my bubble and tell me they have it in London or Brighton or something.

Anyway, last post of 2011!  I don't have much to say about 2011 - it was a mixed bag of mediocrity for me (including buying the flat, considering the work we have ahead of us), and I've heard a lot of people didn't have a great year.  So, here's to hoping that 2012 far exceeds 2011 in awesomeness!

Monday, 5 December 2011

PPK package swap!

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... that's right - PPK package swap time!  The swap always seems to happen around November/December, which is both good (treats are always good) and bad (let's just say I'm glad I already bought a party dress that's a bit too big).

The pic at the top is a bit small, so I'll just say what I got.  From left to right - soy curls, candy cane Joe-Joe's, TJ's maple cream cookies, dark chocolate bar, sea salt chocolate bar, Taza drinking chocolate, Clif spiced pumpkin pie and peppermint stick bars, two each of Go Max Twilight and Buccaneer bars, Sugar Plum Spice tea, agave sticks, and honey-flavoured agave nectar.  And everything is sitting atop an adorable Oregon tea towel!  We've already eaten a few Joe-Joe's and maple cookies, Mike had the peppermint stick Clif bar, and I made hot chocolate with the Taza chocolate.

It's such an amazing package, and I'm once again overwhelmed by the awesomeness and generosity of PPKers.  I also kinda feel like a dick because the package I sent was nowhere near as awesome.  I left out some stuff because postage was starting to cost more than the items themselves.  But then I got this, and she clearly spent more on shipping than on the stuff inside.  So I think Imma buy some more stuff and send her a second package (though maybe after Xmas so it doesn't get stuck in a warehouse for 2 weeks).

Oh, and bonus picture of the Taza drinking chocolate in action:
Lookit the foam on that bastard!  This was the first time I'd done proper Mexican hot chocolate (with the foaming, though I used my electric mixer with a whisk attachment instead of a molinillo).  It was pretty good, though it was kinda bitty.  Oh well.  The point to make here is that is a giant-ass mug, and it's half full of foam.  Mmm...foam.

I can't wait to see everyone else's swap packages!