Friday 25 March 2016

Coconut & Seed Dark Chocolate Bark topped with Mini Eggs

This should probably be starting with something like “Easter’s coming up soon” but no, in true fashion Easter is in two days and I am late to the having an organised life party! If you could call eating copious bags of mini eggs preparation though I am definitely overly prepared. Lateness aside this is definitely something you can make last minute, it's really easy to whip together and I might be tempted to say I’d take a bowl of this over an Easter egg, well, unless it’s a G&B 70% Easter egg then it’s a pretty tough tossup, better yet just make this with green and blacks 70% chocolate.

There seems to be a little bit of a theme running in my bakes right now in the form of chocolate, seeds and coconut, and when I thought about making bark all signs pointed to it needing seeds and coconut. The best part about adding seeds to bark is the crunch; I love crunchy food it’s incredibly satisfying to eat not that I had much chance to eat this because it all but vanished in 24 hours. While staring at hundreds of photo of this (yes, I got a little snap happy, note to self: don’t do that) I managed to forget about the fact it was sitting in the kitchen ready to be eaten, I’m not really sure how that works but by the time I got to the box there was only 4 pieces left. If this hadn't have been inhaled a few days ago this would have been the perfect thing to have out on Sunday bear that in mind if you're planning on keeping it a few days, if you have a chocolate hungry family you might need a few chains and a padlock.

I guess I have to mention what I have in the last couple of posts but just a quick public service announcement: if you didn’t know seeds are healthy! If you make this with a really good quality, high percentage dark chocolate with only a few ingredients (I’ll always sing the praises of green and blacks) and take off the mini eggs this has the workings of an indulgent and healthy vegan snack. Although side note you could also add reese’s pieces, if big bags of those were widely sold over here I would be all over that.

Friday 18 March 2016

Seedy Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This might be a little bit of a bold claim but I think these might be my favourite cookies.

I went away last week and my obsession with these cookies went as far as me acquiring the ingredients, which was a little bit of a mission because supermarket are lacking around those parts, cute fishing villages and soggy beaches (okay, they weren't that soggy) but the most you’re going to get is a quaint little village shop and a metro/express/local version of a supermarket that probably stock the weirdest combinations of food that make entirely no sense. Case and point, no dark chocolate and only dark brown sugar.....of all the brown sugars I don't quite believe that dark brown sugar is the most versatile, what's the deal Tesco metro! I'm going off point; the point is I went out of my way all because of my love for the cookies....and maybe a little because I have a slight issue with chocolate at the moment.

One of the reasons I'm so incredibly happy with this recipe aside from the fact that they’re the yummiest cookies I've ever had is that I've finally worked out how to make double chocolate chip cookies so they're moist (I apologise for the word choice) and cookie like and don't need a kilo of chocolate in them. Nigella Lawson’s double chocolate chip cookies are the bomb but 400g of chocolate is not something I have casually laying around the house to make cookies with and melting chocolate to stir into cookies just means more washing up and I mean l believe in things being worth the wait but I don't particularly want to have to wait for my cookies please and thanks.

I am all about making recipes with things you always have in the house because who knows what you're gonna do at midnight on a Sunday evening when all of the shops are closed and there is no chocolate, well you make chocolate cookies obviously. Also can I mention, there's something that goes on in my brain when I add seeds to things it’s like that "practically a salad" quote although more like...there's seeds in this....they're good for me....and really how bad is dark chocolate....that's good for you....and I mean all that balances out the bad stuff right? Anyway, I'll stop waffling and get on with the recipe.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Pistachio & Coconut Dark Chocolate Covered Bites

Easy, quick, simple and healthy; a lot of boxes that make me very happy to tick when it comes to a recipe and knowing something that is ridiculously tasty is healthy just makes it that much more enjoyable.

I actually made these for Mother’s Day and over a week later here I am with the recipe. Yes, I am terrible I get it, it bothers me more than it bothers anyone else but the real reason this is late is because I can’t make decisions. I realise you’re probably sitting there thinking what’s that got to do with food but when I’m editing photos and can’t decide which combination of shots look best together I literally have to walk away from the computer. If I talked about how much decision making, usually about insignificant things, is an issue for me you would probably think I was a little crazy.

I think it was probably two years ago that I made coconut bites, fake bounty, mock mound bars, whatever you choose to call them and my mum couldn’t leave them alone. They disappeared in a matter of hours so I thought something similar would be a good thing to make for Mothers Day, I added pistachios because well they’re pistachios what more do I need to say but it was national pistachio day recently and I actually love photographing green food.
These are so simple to make, I apologise you have to wash up a food processor after you’re done, I swear having to wash kitchen appliances is the worst, the most time consuming part is waiting for them to freeze and then impatiently waiting for the chocolate to set before you can devour them. Also if you want a deeper pistachio flavour there’s a note at the bottom of the recipe about toasting the nuts before blending them.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Lime, Avocado & Grape Vegan Quinoa Salad

Do you have those meals you always make when you don’t know what to eat? My mum’s is egg and chips; it’s sort of become a running joke. When I don’t know what to eat and I feel like I should be eating something healthy my go to salad is my Vegan Quinoa Salad with Apple, Sultanas and Sunflower Seeds, it’s probably one of my favourite salads and is ridiculously easy to whip up, although now this blog post sounds a little bit like an advert for that salad (p.s. You should check out that salad if you like quinoa salads; it’s delicious).
I’ve been eating a lot less meat recently, not as a rule just more of a ‘it happened and now I’m slightly avoiding it where I can’ because I sometimes find that meat free life agrees with me more so I figured another “go to” vegan quinoa salad under my belt would be useful so I’m not absentmindedly eating the same thing all the time.

I’m definitely torn between which salad is better which surprised me because avocados aren’t my favourite; I usually need to eat them with something to cut the creaminess because I’m not much of a fan of creamy foods. I always think it’s good to try things you’re not too sure about again or with other foods to find a way to make them enjoyable and even though I wanted a salad to go along side the other one as a regular I wasn’t expecting to love it this much. Grapes and avocados together? I’m sold! This is probably the most I’ve enjoyed an avocado and I think I might be putting them in the shopping basket from now on.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Spiced Chocolate Chip Welsh Cakes

I got a cough, I know what you’re thinking, is that special news? Maybe not special but it’s definitely news. I never get coughs, and when I say never I mean never, blocked sinuses yes coughs not so much. I say cough, I’m pretty sure it was a chest infection because there was dizziness, a fever, everything ached and all kinds of funky coloured stuff being coughed up, there was also a little bit of throwing up but we won’t get into that. I spent the majority of my week moving from my room to the living room in a constant state of napping with random TV shows in the background I didn’t care to pay attention to, which if you know me is also really rare because I really despise naps. I also spent two days only whispering and another sounding like I’d been strangled so all around it wasn’t a pleasant time!

One of the other problems I had was I completely lost my appetite, I always find it takes a while to go back to eating normally after that but the first thing that made me want to eat more than a bowl of rice or soup was some Welsh cakes my mum bought, so after that I just had to make some.
It’s probably been about 4 years since I’ve made Welsh cakes, aside from the 3 batches I’ve cooked up in the past week but the day I made these just coincidentally happened to be St. David’s day. I did test out another flavour which is all of the yummy and will be posted at some point in the future but I couldn’t resist adding chocolate to a batch (well I had to make up for all the chocolate I missed out on while I was ill), I’m surprised it’s never crossed my mind before and I also couldn’t resist adding all of the spices.

Something that Welsh cakes are ideal for is snacks on the go, they travel extremely well and don’t take up a lot of room, not that we had any time to take them out for a snack as they didn’t last long enough but if you can resist them till the next day they keep well and you can’t really squish them as easy as a muffin.
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