All Saints Day

     Last week, as most people know, was Halloween; but more importantly All Saints Day and All Souls Day too.  This year leading up to Halloween I kept asking myself, “why do people celebrate Halloween?”  I never found an answer that actually made sense! When I think of Halloween I think of a fun night for kids (traditionally in America) to go and trick-or-treat and dress up in fun costumes (not scary and gothic like it has become in the UK).  It seems now though that all meaning has been lost of the two days after Halloween.

     I think Halloween (All Hallows Eve) was originally celebrated to scare away all evil on the “eve” before All Saints Day (but maybe I should do some more research on this).  It now seems that any kids that are not brought up in the Church (or even some that are) don’t actually know how it came about to go trick-or-treating or dressing up.

     Luckily, there is still many people celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  There are so many different websites and blogs on different ideas and ways to celebrate with your family and friends (for example Catholic Icing  has great ideas) so there is no need to feel sad that your family doesn’t go trick-or-treating!

     On previous years my family have celebrated All Saints Day in different ways, sometimes just going to Mass is all we have time for but once we even rented a hall and had a party with some families from our church! This year we spent the day by going to Mass and having a party at our house with some of are great friends and had a great time! Its so nice having a lovely family celebration even if you only have a simple meal together and stuff your faces with candy afterwards!!

Another thing we like to do is have all the kids do a report on a saint.  This year I chose St. Bernadette as my family and I visited Lourdes  this summer.

Okay, so we have All Saints Day covered but what about All Souls Day??  In the past we haven’t celebrated All Souls Day as we have with All Saints.  The reason for this, I’m not sure!  I think its because as children we don’t really think about the dead.   In the future we as a family would like to visit cemeteries in November and pray for the dead.  For me, this is a good opportunity to learn about All Souls Day so that next year it won’t be left behind!

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Book Club

My friends and I recently started a book club. Every month one of us picks a book to read and discuss, and hosts a little “party” at our house.  This month, I chose the book, The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.  After we had all read the book I held a little get together/discussion at my house.  As well as planning ways to discuss the book I made some yummy snacks to enjoy, here is everything that I made.

 

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The first thing I did was decorate a jar and put inside it quotes and questions about the book.  This jar idea is a really good conversation starter and is a cute, fun way to start your book club!

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The next thing I did was decorate the room accordingly.  In the book I chose, there where a selection of maps which I replicated.  It took quite a while to make each map but it was definetly worth it!!

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Another thing you definetly need at a book club is snacks, lots of them! I made oatmeal raisin cookies, humus, carrot sticks, bread sticks, grapes and popcorn.  Usually people bring stuff to contribute anyways, so we ended up with pretzels and liquorice too!

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Hosting a book club is a great way to have fun with your friends, its like having a party every month!! I would definetly recommend starting your own and sharing your favourite books with others!

 

Eating out as a vegan

One of the things most people think about when they go vegan is, what will I eat when I am out of the house?   Well to be honest 5 years ago you might of not found anything,  but now there are loads of veggie/vegan options around.  Whether you fancy a vegan latte or you are craving a hummus and cucumber wrap, you will find something!

Zizzi’s is one of my go to places with some fantastic vegan dishes; pizza or pasta, they have it!

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The Vegan Pepperonata, in my opinion, the best vegan pizza ever!                                                                                             WP_20171214_003

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         The Vegan Lentil Ragu, tomatoes, lentils and pasta…. perfect.

WP_20180117_001                                The Vegan Zucca, vegan mozzarella, squash, caramelised onions and spinach, yum!

They also have an awesome kids menu with loads of vegan friendly options:

WP_20180125_001                                                                        What about dessert you say, they’ve got you covered:

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The Vegan Sticky Chocolate and Praline Torte, I’ve got one word for it… delicious!!!

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The Vegan Dessert Calzone, warm pastry, filled with fruit.  You can’t get any better then that!

As you can probably tell, Zizzi’s is my favourite place on earth!  But there are so many more vegan friendly restaurants and cafes, you will never be hungry! For more places to eat go to: ( https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/lifestyle/food-and-drink/vegan-friendly-options-uk-and-us-chains ) for the UK and for the US go to: (https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/navigating-us-fast-food-restaurants-vegan)

Gardening?!

Hi everyone!

You know that post I did on how I was starting a gardening diary?  Well…… I’ve found out that I don’t have green fingers!  I’ve decided that gardening is not my thing.  However the rest of my family have been very busy at our allotment and here are some of the veg we have grown:

Even though I’m not down at the allotment everyday, my job is finding lots of yummy vegan recipes to try!!!
 

Crab Apple Jelly

Hi everyone!

I wanted to tell you about my recent experience with crab apples.

My family just got a crab apple tree and at first we were puzzled on what to do with the apples because you cant eat them straight off of the tree. WP_20170927_16_58_54_Pro I then discovered that you can make jelly with the apples and I wanted to have a go.

 

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First I put the apples in the pan, covered them with water and boiled them for 30 minutes.

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Next, I put the boiled apples in a cheese cloth and let them drain overnight.WP_20170928_11_19_55_Pro     Then I took the juice, added sugar and boiled it in a pan.

 

WP_20170928_12_23_16_Pro  After 40 minutes I took a spoonful of jelly and popped it into the fridge.  I let it chill for a while and I knew it was done when it rippled at touch. I poured the jelly into sterilised jars and left them to cool.

wp_20170928_12_23_24_pro.jpg     And then I had my jelly!

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I find the best thing to eat crab apple jelly with is peanut butter…. yes a good old PBJ sandwich! Oh I can hear you English people saying….”WHAT???!!!!!!!! You crazy American girl!” The proper way to eat crab apple jelly is with meat…. but I’m going to stick to sandwiches!

Food Faves Friday

Here are some amazing things I’ve made this week.WP_20170623_20_33_56_Pro

I made this really yummy vegan chocolate  brownie from The Vegan Scoop  by Wheeler De Torro.  I also added some chocolate frosting and two cherry’s.

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I also made Bircher muesli with cherry’s and red currents.  Bircher muesli is eaten in Switzerland as a popular breakfast.

Ingredients:

1 cup oats

1 cup apple juice

1 cup non-dairy milk

2 grated apples

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs flaxseed

1/4 cup of dried fruit

I added fresh cherry’s and red currents but you can add what ever fruit you like.

Food Faves Friday!

Here are some of the fab vegan things I’ve made recently and I’d like to share them with you!

Last week I made this really yummy vegan ice-cream sandwich, it was so goWP_20170604_20_22_51_Pro (3)od!

Ingredients:

  • 2 vegan chocolate chip cookies (you can use any recipe!)
  • 1 scoop of vegan ice-cream (you can use any flavor but I think chocolate goes best, I used Chocolate Swedish Glace)

I also made this supper delicious dinner of gnocchis.

Ingredients:  jess photo

  • 1 bag of gnocchis (life’s to short to make your own!)
  • pesto: cashews, basil, nutritional yeast, garlic and rapeseed/olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup of Quorn mince

 

WP_20170608_08_31_20_ProThis morning I made the best breakfast ever!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of soy yogurt
  • 1 shredded apple
  • 8 redcurrants
  • Frozen berries (I chose 1 frozen strawberry, you will probably want to defrost your berries but I like them strait out of the freezer.)
  • And as much granola as you would like! (Try to make your own because shop bought ones will have lots of sugar in them and you don’t want to ruin your healthy breakfast.)