Well Hey There MoFo!


So, it’s that time of year again, already!  I’m excited to be back blogging about food again, I kind of lost my mojo there for a bit and I realised that I’ve lost a little bit of my joy that I used to get from cooking.  I’m hoping that this years MoFo will be a kick in my (rather large) pants and will get me back to enjoying my cooking.

To start me off I’ve stolen the questions that several people have answered on their blogs already, because I’m that original!  I promise to have better content in the weeks to come.

So, here we go

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?
We used to always use Sainsburys own brand soya milk.  After realising just how much soy the boys were consuming though I changed over to Rice Dream rice milk and I actually really like it and much prefer it to soya milk.  We use the vanilla flavour and the plain with calcium added.  Dull fact about my shopping habits, ‘milk’ is one of the very few things that I don’t buy organic versions of, with 2 growing boys I always get the non-organic with added calcium and vitamins.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
Plan, I’m supposed to have a plan?  I haven’t actually been doing much planning since the start of the summer, which if you’ve read this blog for a while you’ll know is totally not me!  I haven’t even made a menu in months.  There will be food, and organic vegetables and some other stuff about veganism, but there isn’t any kind of plan!

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
margarine, salt and nutritional yeast.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
Oh, I make things that aren’t very nice all the time, but I can’t think of a major disaster I’ve had.  I’m sure I’ve had them, it’s just been a while luckily…

5. Favorite pickled item?
I really like Bread and Butter pickles, but you can’t buy them over here for some reason.  I have a jar in my fridge at the moment that my sister made but I’ve yet to try them.  I also like pickled onions, but they have to be made by my Mother, hers really clear the sinuses!

6. How do you organize your recipes?
I have four shelves of vegan recipe books, plus more on top of a shelving unit and I am now starting to stack on top of those.  I am a vegan cookbook collector and have over a hundred, there should be a link to Library Thing around on the blog somewhere where you can see every cookbook I own.  I have a folder of stuff that I’ve ripped out of magazines or printed off the Internet, a notebook where I write or stick in recipes from that folder that I’ve tried and we’ve liked and a Bookmark folder on my computer full of links to stuff I want to try.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
I give biodegradable bags of compost to my Mother to put in her composter.  Any other food waste that we have goes into bags in the freezer and my sister feeds it to her pigs.  We don’t have garbage disposals in England and I find the whole idea of them bizarre, why would you want to grind up stuff and stuff it down the sink?  I only empty my large kitchen rubbish bin every 2 weeks or so as it doesn’t fill very quickly and we only throw away packaging (I’m trying to cut back on that).

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
oh dear, I really don’t know….  Um…. Pasta, that’s always good to eat.  Mexican spices and tortillas (that’s 2 things I know, I’m aware I’m cheating!) and a boat load of Seitan.  I’m presuming that I will be stranded with gardening implements and seeds so I can grow vegetables to be used with these items!

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
My Mother had this habit of serving monochrome meals.  We’d get macaroni cheese with sweetcorn and chicken, or something white over rice.  She never did it on purpose which is what made it funny.  I have found myself serving up my own monochrome meals to my kids so it must run in the family!  My Mother was pretty amazing, she could feed 6 people well with 1lb of hamburger meat and we always had puddings.  I learnt to make menus from watching my Mother, she would do a month at a time and 1 main shop filling 2 carts, just topping up vegetables and milk as needed, my Mother rocked the menu making.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
I’m not that big on ice cream.  Over here there isn’t really much of a choice, I’ve only ever seen 2 brands and the one whose name I can’t remember I hated.  We have Swedish Glace chocolate and vanilla in the freezer in the summer as the boys prefer it to the fruit flavours.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
My food processor.  Before I bought it I was trying to do stuff in a blender when a food processor was called for.  I also have a mini food processor that I use for grinding flax seeds, nuts or little chopping jobs.  I’m also a big fan of my stick blender, especially in the winter when a lot of soup comes out of my kitchen.  I am lusting for a Vitamix but just don’t have the funds for one…

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
Cumin, I love me some cumin.

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
I have one called The Vegan Cookbook which I got when I was vegan at University, the food in it isn’t all that nice though!  When I went vegan again (this time for good!) my first book was How It All Vegan and it’s binding is falling apart, as is my copy of GOV.  I have a bugbear with GOV though, the index in it totally sucks.  Unless you know specifically what you’re looking and where it’s located in the book it’s really hard to find stuff.  The index in HIAV and LDV are so much better.  As I cook from my organic box I rely on indexes an awful lot, if I have leeks I look up leeks in the index of whatever books I fancy cooking from and see what they’ve got on offer, that just doesn’t work for GOV so I don’t use it very much anymore which is a shame as there was some good stuff in it.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
Strawberry, I made some great Apple Butter last year too which I’m going to make again soon.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
I tend to make chilli or a stew or something like that.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
I love seitan, I really need to order more vital wheat gluten and get making it again.  We eat quite a bit of tofu though, I’m getting much better with it now that I’ve discovered that you need to marinade it for a lot longer than recipes say to get the flavour into it.  We like a bit of baked tofu as well.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
Does this mean favourite dish or do I like cooking breakfast more than dinner?  Favourite dishes tend to be Mexican stuff, although I don’t use a lot of heat, my boys can take spice but not heat.  As for the meal I prefer that would be dinner.  Breakfast is all cereal or toast in this house with the occasional pancakes at the weekend.  I suck at lunches, I don’t know why, I just don’t do a good lunch and I’m not a fan of sandwiches unless they are on really nice bread and interesting…

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
Glass jars with flour in them, my tin foil etc, a torch in case of emergencies and crisps.

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
Home made pizza dough which we’ll eat tomorrow night, home made pasta sauce and home made chilli.

20. What’s on your grocery list?
Yaya (Jim’s way of saying plain yogurt) and orange squash.  I go shopping on a Tuesday and we’ve apparently not run out of much this week…

21. Favorite grocery store?
Sainsburys.  They do the best organic range in this area and the one I go to is the best supermarket for vegans in my area.  If I go to one of the other supermarkets I always end up having to go somewhere else for stuff they don’t have.  I also shop in a health food shop each week for things that supermarkets dont’ stock.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
oh gosh, I really can’t think of anything.  I’d like to try more chicken dishes as we like ‘fake chicken’ as Jim calls it.  I have quite a few non-vegan recipes from magazines that I want to try sometime.

23. Food blog you read the most.
I’ve got over 100 vegan blogs in Google Reader so I read whoever writes something!  I’m wondering how the hell I’m going to keep up with the 300 odd posts each day of the month from the MoFo blogs!

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
I’m not into sweets very much.  I do like Dairy Free buttons though, if I can steal some from Piggle and I also like the crunchy eggs but I can’t remember who makes them.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
Um, I got some organic coconut in a block that was about £2.60.  I treat myself all the time to organic expensive stuff if I have the money.  Food is worth spending money on I think.  Still haven’t located any black salt in the area, will have to order some online.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with?

I don’t think I’m scared of anything really…  I don’t have beetroot in the house as with 2 small boys and my clumsiness it would be a disaster.  I don’t use many chillies, as I said we’re about spice rather than heat here and I worry about ruining the meal by making it too hot.  I’ll give anything a go once!
So there we go, more than you ever wanted to know about me!  See you tomorrow!


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