I know, I know, my last post was a pumpkin recipe. But remember how much I love Autumn, well I figured I would shower you with some more pumpkin love. Things have turned even chillier here in the UK, and the last few days have just been gorgeous. Nothing says Autumn like pumpkin, so when Sara from Cake Over Steak asked me if I’d like to participate in this years #virtualpumpkinparty – she had barely finished her sentence and I had agreed. Along with Sara and myself, a whole army of bloggers are joining in, with so many awesome creations. There are over 100 (!!!) talented lovelies taking party. See the full list below. Seriously, with all these gorgeous recipes, we can eat pumpkin forever! Hey, we might even turn into pumpkins, would that be such a bad thing?
I have spent a few weeks dropping little hints. Mentioning the ‘V’ word now and again, slowly planting those little seeds (or so I thought). A strategic walk around the Valentines isles in our local supermarket, pointing out bouquets, drying out roses on the boat and placing them around to ‘look pretty’. I do not expect a grand gesture, just maybe a little card. One that tends to only happen if I drop enough hints. All this however seems to have fallen on deaf ears or a forgetful mind, or (what Charlie seems to be very good at) having just simply not noticed what else is going on in shops / society around us. So, I did not get a gift, or even a card. When I produced his one to him, his words were, ‘What’s this?’, when I said ‘Happy Valentines Day!’ his face said it all. This time I was not surprised, and not disappointed. I made a little mental note to drop some bigger hints for future important dates, clearly this is something that needs more strategic planning.
My valentines weekend couldn’t have been made better with a card, or a bunch of roses. It had already been made awesome enough just hanging out with my man. We’ve spent the weekend cosying up
in front next to the fire (too narrow on our boat to sit in front of anything), watching the latest Tom Hanks movie, giggling over owl books in our local book store, eating one of the best brownies ever with some coffee, drinking rum and eating some spicy-as-hell Caribbean food, testing out some pies here, yeah there’s a general food theme here. Today we went climbing at our local wall, something Charlie does often, but I have been putting off as I thought I’d suck. Chas gave me the confidence to give it a go, giving me tips and acting as my cheerleader when I got to the top (yay), making me push myself because he knew I’d feel so good once I’d done it.
Yesterday, I had one of my (sadly) regular wobbles. I was trying to get some recipes shot, but was finding the low light levels, on our dark boat, oh so trixy. Chas gave me some pointers, and we had a little photography lesson and workshop. Me cooking, him helping me with shots, and then, of course, duly consuming the goods. He inspires me to try to be the best version of myself, he doesn’t let me flap, and when I do, he sorts me out.
That’s the best
V any day present right there. Having my man support me whatever I do. Biggest kisses of all to you Chas <3.
Onto this weeks recipe!
The days here are getting longer, I can now get home before it’s too dark. It’s getting easier to get out of bed in the mornings. But it’s still got that harsh winter chill, reminding us that we’re not quite out of the woods. Days like these call for warming mugs of hot chocolate. Happy Monday lovelies.
Hemp Milk Hot Chocolate (v) (gf)
1 mug hemp milk (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon date syrup
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Add all ingredients into a bender and blitz for 30 seconds
Pour into a saucepan and heat onto the hob until just under boiling
Pour into mugs and get cosy
Don’t forget, I’ve got a great competition to win some awesome goodies! Check it out!
It’s all getting a bit grown up around here. The last few weeks we’ve been talking about mortgages, investing, yields, solicitors and more house buying relation jargon that I’d never heard of until recently. Forward planning is never really something we’ve done, unless it involved planning our next snowboarding trip. We don’t really look more than a week ahead, taking each day as it comes and seeing where the week takes us. Suddenly all this grown up stuff is happening around us, friends getting engaged, hen do’s and marriages. I feel less grown up the older I get. Do we ever really grow up, or are we just pretending to be adults, in this play they call life? Take me back to the carefree days of sitting in my garden playing hospitals with baby Flopsy (she had a heavy head, OK guys?!)
I have been itching to share this recipe with you guys. I got so excited this week when I made it and it was as good as I’d hoped. Salads are always a winner for us, chuck in a selection of veggies and leaves, scatter with seeds and dressing of choice. Our fridge is pretty much 75% salad dressings, from chilli based ones to tahini. Team Salad over here.
The dressing for this recipe is ever so slightly adapted from this one. Because it was pretty darn good as it is.
The seeds give the salad a nice saltiness and extra crunch, and of course added protein from the hemp seeds.
Purple Sprouting Caesar Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds (v) (gf)
Handful curly kale (de-stemmed and roughly chopped)
1 head cos lettuce (chopped)
1 head purple sprouting broccoli
100g cashews (soaked for at least one hour)
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1 tablespoon Hendersons Relish – if you are unable to source this delicious northern English sauce, you can use a vegan Worcester sauce.
3 teaspoons capers
Dash Tamari (or other soy sauce)
Tamari toasted seeds
75g pumpkin seeds
100g hemp seeds
30g sesame seeds
3 teaspoons Tamari sauce (or other GF Soy sauce)
First, in a large heavy bottom frying pan, toast your seeds for a few minutes, until lightly golden. Add tamari and mix well. Turn off heat and leave seeds to cool.
Add soaked cashews and all dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend for 1-2 mins, until creamy.
Add your kale to a large mixing bowl, pour a generous amount of dressing onto it and mix well with your hands. Rub the dressing into the leaves, this will help the kale absorb the flavours.
In a small pan, steam or boil your PSB for 3 mins. Then tip into a colander and rinse with cold water (this will help it keep its colour)
Add your Cos leaves to bow with the kale, adding more dressing if necessary.
Put salad in bowl, with the broccoli. Scatter the toasted seeds on top.
I’ve got a new obsession – Hemp. I’ve been putting it in everything recently, from porridge to chocolate bars (more on that coming soon!)
It has many benefits including:
* Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA in the perfect balance.
* More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, cows milk or any other high protein food.
* Rich in Vitamin E.
* Increases energy levels & metabolic rate.
I’ve been looking for something to jazz up my salads for a while now, and this stuff hits the spot.
Hemp Seed Pesto
2 handfulls Hemp Seeds (I used Neals Yard Wholefoods)
1 bunch Basil
1 small garlic clove
Good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used around 100ml)
Pinch of Sea Salt
Add everything into your blender/food processor and blitz. (I prefer using a blender as it becomes smoother)
Add more oil if you wish
Enjoy over salads / for a dip with some bread / for a pasta sauce!