Archive for the category “General”

Veg Box

I’m always a bit perplexed by people who fill their Facebook feeds with food photos, but posting edible delights on a blog is a different story, right?

Well today it is because I got my first fruit & veg box from Abel & Cole and I want to document the results!

Small Fruit and Veg Box

Small Fruit and Veg Box

Today I got:

Bananas

Satsumas

Apples

Red pepper

White onions

Broccoli

Potatoes

and last but not least, Cavolo Nero, cookery hero (as coined by Abel & Cole)

As soon as I opened the box I was immediately hungry for it’s contents.  As a quick snack to tide me over, I tore up two leaves of the cavolo nero and tossed them in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil, garlic and a few chiilli flakes.  Ok maybe a bit more than a ‘few’ chilli flakes…

Cavolo Nero

This made a delicious starter to munch on whilst waiting for my main veg box creation: a big dish of roasted veg.  I threw in an onion, two potatoes and a red pepper from the box, plus a green and yellow pepper I found in the fridge.  Delicious!

IMG_4018

The best thing about all of this food is that it’s organic and comes from a process that considers the environment along every step of the journey.  The packaging is even recycled and bio-degradable! And who doesn’t love the idea of having their weekly food shop delivered right to their doorstep by a friendly guy called Mike?

I encourage you to check out the Abel & Cole website and to give it a go.  I know I’ll definitely be ordering from them again next week!

Pimp my Pup

Well, nearly a year on and the demand for canine clothing continues!

After the success of my last dog sweater, I made this adorable garment so that Wilba the Yorkshire Terrier could feel festive throughout the Christmas season.  Don’t you just love dogs in knitwear?

The basic pattern is available here but the snowflake design and pompoms I figured out myself so I’ll have to upload those details soon!

Snow flake jacket

Wilba Jacket

Vegan Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Muffins

As part of starting 2013 on the right socially conscious foot, I’ve just joined The People’s Supermarket (TPS) in Oxford.  TPS is a sustainable food cooperative run by the local community for the local community.  To be a member all you have to do is pay an annual membership fee of £12 and volunteer 4 hours of your time per month.  In return, you get 20% off all your groceries and have a say in what they stock.  Not to mention the added benefit of meeting like minded people, listening to some of Oxford’s local music talent played in store and feeling good that you’re doing your bit for a sustainable lifestyle.

The concept was started in London and a team of dedicated people have helped to make it happen in Oxford.

Another aspect I love about the supermarket is their seasonal purchasing which means you never quite know what fresh produce they’ll have.  This month they’ve had cranberries on sale.  TPS offer a price comparison and their cranberries are £2 cheaper than Tesco’s cranberries.  Bargain!

If you’re inspired to pop into the supermarket, why not try this tasty cranberry muffin recipe I came up with.  It’s suitable for vegans and is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of earl grey.

Although I’ve called them cranberry muffins, banana is a key component. As it’s a vegan recipe, the banana acts as a binder and provides moisture instead of eggs.  Practical and tasty 🙂

RecipeVegan Cranberry Muffins

60g dairy-free margarine

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small ripe banana

100g fresh cranberries, chopped

100g brown sugar

150g self raising flour

Pinch salt

1 tbsp lemon juice (or just a quick squeeze of a fresh one!)

Method

Pre-heat oven to gas mark 6 (360 degrees)

Take one mixing bowl

Mash banana with a fork

Mix banana with butter, lemon juice and oil

Add sugar and mix

Add flour and mix

Add salt and cranberries

Pop into cooking container of choice (filling about 2/3 full)

Bake for 20 minutes or until springy to touch

Then all that’s needed is to pop the kettle on and enjoy with a strong cuppa!

Festive Fridge Cake

IMG_20588

This delicious sweet is perfect for those work Christmas potlucks because it’s quick and easy to whip up the night before and doesn’t break the bank. This particular recipe isn’t suitable for vegetarians or vegans but could easily be adapted by taking away the marshmallows and using non-dairy chocolate and margarine.

Recipe

The whole process should take under 45 minutes (including the washing up!)

Ingredients

140g margarine

2-3 tablespoons golden syrup

100g mini marshmallows

300g dark cooking chocolate

300g digestive biscuits (crushed)

35ml rum (brandy would also work)

Pinch of ground All Spice

Glacé cherries (red and green make for an extra festive feel!)

Raisins and any other dried fruit (cranberries would work well)

Method

Roughly chop up the glacé cherries.

Pop them in a dish and pour over the rum (I gave a generous slosh rather than a measured 35ml).

Add some of the ground spice and stir together.

Melt marg, chocolate and golden syrup in a pan over a low heat (stirring continuously).

Remove from heat once melted.

Stir in crushed biscuits, marshmallows and pour in the rum and cherry mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a container. I used cupcake moulds but a square 8” Pyrex dish would also work or whatever you have to hand!

Leave to cool and then pop in the fridge to set fully.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and throw a cherry on top for the perfect finish!

Fridge cake

 

November Knits

November, and more importantly Movember, have now drawn to a close and I’d like to give a nod to all the boys who raised awareness of men’s health by growing and maintaining exceptional moustaches.

However, who’s to say girls can’t join in with this awareness campaign? It’s important to get as many people as possible feeling comfortable talking about health issues, particularly men’s health as guys are historically quite a shy bunch when it comes to disclosing personal problems. Here four Mo Sistas showcase a fabulous knitted moustache in support of their Mo Bros and the bid to raise vital funds and awareness of prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

Mo Sista 3

Mo Sista no. 1

Mo Sista 1

Mo Sista no. 2

Mo Sista 2

Mo Sista no. 3

Inspector Mo Sista

Inspector Mo Sista

On a slightly similar vein, I hope this big knitted cock mug hug (now you don’t get to write that very often!) will also help to stir up conversation around men’s health. You can find out more about Movember and donate here and please check out the super easy pattern for the moustache, you know it makes sense!

'cock' mug hug

A bit more background on the mug hug…

Ever since I discovered “Mug Hug” patterns by Alison Howard I’ve been playing around with different designs to adorn and keep warm a mug of tea. So when it came close to my friend James’ birthday I knew I wanted to knit outside of the proverbial box…

James and I have a unique friendship. We met in Leeds as students and quickly discovered that we shared a mutual love of tea and, well, cock. Whilst living together during my second year many a trial and man-related tribulation was discussed, debated and disentangled over a strong brew. Sometimes I wonder how I ever found the time to actually complete a degree.

Knitting @ Bestival

I’m seen here knitting the mug hug at Bestival. I was lucky enough to go as a steward for Oxfam which basically meant getting in for free, doing a few shifts and then having free run of the festival! Pretty awesome and as you can see I made the most of knitting whilst basking in the sunshine and listening to live music.

This is really childish but I found great amusement placing the mug hug over other words to create humorous situations 😉

Cameron-Cock

Love of Cock

Hello 2012 – Hello Gotham City

A new year calls for new year resolutions. [Insert some self-righteous spiel about how I am going to religiously attend the gym, stop drinking, swearing and doing all things enjoyable].

Well, this year I have decided to make the ultimate move towards self-improvement. I will become a superhero. My friends Lucy, Rose and I made our first attempts at this transformation on New Year’s Eve, becoming Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Batgirl respectively. I must first apologise for the appalling video-editing you are about to witness. After becoming a superhero, improving my tech skills is next on the new year resolution list…

Every time I watch that video half of me is in hysterics and the other half is dying of painful embarrassment.  It’s healthy to laugh at yourself though, right..?

Audio for this was taken from Catwoman (2004), but the roar at the end is 100% Lucy.

All, yes all of that ivy is real and hand sewn onto Rose’s costume.

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