Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A month of vegan MOFO!

I can't believe that it is the 31st of October already and the end of vegan MOFO for another year! But what a great month of blogging it has been! I have made some great new blogger friends and have once again been blown away by all the delicious vegan food that is being cooked all round the world! A big thank you to all my new and old readers, this blog wouldn't be the same without you all and it is always a joy to read your comments, so do say hello, us bloggers really appreciate it! Thanks once again to the MOFO team for all their hard work and I can't wait for next year!
I thought I would recap on all the interviews and recipes I have blogged this month incase you missed any!
Happy Halloween and happy reading! X


Lagusta Yearwood of Lagusta's Luscious

Ashlae W of Oh, Ladycakes!

Kittee Bee Berns of Cake Makers To The Stars

Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko's Kitchen!

Jaime K of Save The Kales!


Elderberry and Rosehip Syrup

Red Lentil and Butter Bean Dahl with Cucumber Raita

Matzo Balls

Tri Colour Pasta with Chive, Tomato and Walnut Pesto

Gluten Free Pizza Dough

Gluten Free Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins

Monday, 29 October 2012

Chefs That Inspire Me: Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko's Kitchen Home!

It's true, I am in love with Miyoko Schinners recipe books! Who couldn't be in love with a recipe book dedicated to vegan cheese! From her robust cheese flavours to her delicate Japanese recipes featured in her first book Now And Zen Epicure, Miyoko has a true touch with vegan cooking and is a true culinary inspiration!  

DBB: Hi Miyoko! You have a vegan TV show called Miyoko's Kitchen and you have also written a number of books including the 'Now And Zen Epicure' which is just beautiful, and your newest book the amazing 'Artisan Vegan Cheese' which was out in august this year. What made you write a book dedicated to all things 'cheese' (not that I'm complaining!) and where do you get all your cooking inspiration and ideas from?! 

MS: I wrote a cheese book because someone needed to do so. Over the years, despite the increasing number of vegan cheeses on the market, I still felt that that something was lacking - complex flavors, a variety of textures, a rich mouthfeel. I wanted to explore the possibility of unlimited styles of cheese, just like their dairy counterpart. I drew inspiration from raw food nut cheeses, but felt that they needed could be tweaked and taken a step further in order to develop all the flavor and texture profiles I wanted. And really, I had been thinking of developing credible vegan cheeses for decades - I just finally got around to actually doing it. 

DBB: It must be so much fun to make a cookery show! Is it a fun process?

MS: Making a cooking show is indeed a lot of fun. I wanted to make a show that would not only be instructional, but fun and engaging for the viewer to watch. I should also add that while it is fun, it is an incredible amount of work from the writing of the segments, figuring out the shot list, shooting it in a way that it looks spontaneous (but isn't!), to editing. I am now going to be on a public television show called Vegan Mash-up produced by Delicious TV. All I had to do for this was cook and be on the show, not produce it, so it was a lot easier!

DBB: Tell us about a meal or dessert that evokes a special memory for you and why?

MS: Okay, here's a funny one. Every time I make chocolate mousse, I recall a time in my early twenties when I entertained a lot. I had served a fabulous meal to my friends and we were all enjoying our dessert -- chocolate mousse -- when I bit into something that shouldn't have been there - garlic. I was petrified, and spent the remainder of the evening on edge, looking at people's expressions, wondering whether or not they, too, had had garlic in their chocolate mousse. I think I was a bit sloppier back then. I've learned now to clean up before moving onto making dessert! 

Cheese Platter Plate from Artisan Vegan Cheese.

DBB: What are three ingredients you couldn't live without?

MS:  Three ingredients I couldn't live without: soy sauce (I'm Japanese!), chocolate (can anyone?), and really good pasta. If I really had to, I could, but I wouldn't want to. 

DBB: We give you a bag containing these ingredients: almonds, oranges, miso, spring greens, tofu, ginger, strawberries, what would you make?

MS: I'd marinate the tofu in the miso and ginger, then encrust it in sliced almonds and saute. That would go on top of a bed of spring mix and sliced strawberries. I'd then make a sauce of miso, a couple of strawberries, orange zest, and orange juice (and maybe some mirin) that would go on top of the tofu. 

DBB: What is your favourite recipe book?

MS: Favorite recipe book: Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have read it cover to cover, and tried to replicate vegan versions of many of the dishes. In my twenties, I practically learned to cook from it, although I was a vegetarian. I simply made vegetarian or vegan substitutions for the meat or dairy, but learned so many culinary techniques from it.

DBB: What was the first vegan meal you ever cooked?

MS: I have been vegan for almost 3 decades, so I really can't remember the first vegan meal I ever made. I do remember that at the time I decided to become vegan, I started to entertain every Friday night, trying to come up with a ten-course tasting menu. A lot of those successes went into the Now and Zen Epicure, 1st edition (1991).
DBB: What would be your perfect afternoon?

MS: A perfect afternoon can take so many forms -- jumping from boulder to boulder along the Yuba River by our cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains, then jumping in and swimming in the crystalline waters, to relaxing at home with my family and pets, eating fresh figs off the tree and cooking an Italian meal, to an occasional get-away with my husband to go wine tasting in Napa Valley. Last year, we had many perfect afternoons in England, driving through the Cotswold's, exploring London, finding great vegan eats. I could go on and on. Life is good.

To find out more about the amazing Miyoko check out her websites and blog here:

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

So I know Halloween isn't until wednesday, but as it was the weekend we decided to have our annual Halloween Family Shindig! This year Kyle and I decided to dress up as our favourite serial killer characters Debs and Dexter! We even made a blood splatter analysis corner made from some red string I was hoping to knit with, but needs must! I cooked Witches Hats stuffed with Pumpkin, Leeks and Rosemary, Pumpkin Coconut and Ginger Soup, Pumpkin, Sweet Chestnut and Pecan Cheeze Cake with Coconut Ice-Scream, Toffee and Lavender Apples and Water-Mellon Blood Juice! Everyone had a great time eating, chatting and running about the house with the kids! I hope you have a great Halloween wherever you are! X

No Vegan Bakers Were Harmed In The Making Of These Photos!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Chefs That Inspire Me: Jamie K Of Save The Kales!

One of my favourite afternoon treats is to sit down and watch Jaime K's wonderful vegan cookery programme Save The Kales! not only for her amazing delicious recipes, but for her wonderful outlook on life! Her positivity and enthusiasm for veganism and her community is contagious, and her programme leaves you wanting to cook a ricotta tofu pizza while googling where your nearest farm share is! We love you Jaime K!  

DBB:  Hello Jaime K! I love talking to people about how they evolved into their vegan lifestyle as everyone has a different story and reasons to why they became vegan. Would you share your story?

JK: I began my blog in what was a very low point in my life. Everything I knew had changed, I became severely depressed and anxious (which had weird side effects, like for a few weeks I couldn't eat any foods you had to chew because chewing felt uncomfortable). It was that place where you literally can't get any worse, or else you do something tragic. The only other option was to try to find some purpose and get better, slowly but surely. 

As I started listening to vegan podcasts, and reading books, and learning more about the ideas of nonviolence and compassion toward animals, it was giving me a hope in life and other people. And then, of course, I recognized the link in being kind to animals and being kind to ourselves. 

It's kind of crazy. The blog started when I didn't want to live anymore, and now I'm making a career at out helping people find the beauty in everything (even the bad times, because that's when we learn). 

Veganism also helps with how I deal with other people. I've had some people act like real jerks toward me, but I have to remember, if I'm vegan because I want to be a kind and compassionate person, I need to extend that to other people, too. It's helped me shrug off a lot of criticism I used to take personally. Now when it happens, I wish happiness for those people, because I think then you're really happy and working on your own stuff you aren't so worried about trying to tear someone else down.

DBB: You started Save The Kales 2010 and have won quite a few awards for your recipe and lifestyle blog (which is amazing and beautiful!) What advice would you give someone wanting to start a successful vegan recipe blog? 

JK: Be OK with the fact that the blog will evolve as you do. I had a different idea of what my blog could be when I first started, and over time it's become more "lifestyle blog" and less recipe/news blog. The way I look at it now, I want my blog to sort of normalize veganism. So, through it I can showcase some awesome faux-leather shoes I bought, or a delicious breakfast the cook made specially for me when I went out to a non-vegan restaurant. And sometimes it's not anything directly vegan at all! I think when people can see that being vegan doesn't mean you have to suddenly live some weird, fringe lifestyle, it can be less intimidating. 

And, this is huge: your blog doesn't have to be everything to everyone. You'll lose your integrity if you try to make it that way. Not everyone will like your point of view, they may disagree, they may be mad that your recipes aren't super healthy, they may be mad your recipes are too healthy and you make it looks like vegans only eat salad, they will be mad you aren't all organic, they will be mad you ARE all organic because they can't afford it, they may point out "better" blogs. Well, that's fine. They can go read those other blogs, or better yet, start their own. 

You doing your own creative pursuit is not preventing anyone else from doing their own, their way. Blogging helps you get in touch with yourself (this sounds hippy-dippy, bear with me) because choosing what to put out into the world makes you pause and reflect on your life, opinions, and decisions. It's literally the best thing I've ever done.

DBB:  In May this year Save The Kales became a half hour TV show that is aired online and in Pennsylvania! Which contains you making wonderful vegan dishes, and lovely community projects that are happening in your area! You must be so proud and happy with the series! 

JK: The best thing about this show is that it's very much a DIY effort. With the help of friends and the wonderful crew, we make the show happen and it comes from us 100%. Being so hands-on also means we have a great opportunity to learn along the way. We learn what shots work, how many seconds you should show chopping something before it gets boring, that kind of thing. For myself, I've become a lot better at not saying "Um" as much in between sentences, and feeling overall more comfortable in front of the camera. 

This also isn't like "The Jaime K Show". Being involved in my community and showcasing what awesome stuff other people are doing is very dear to my heart. That's why we have two segments in every show where we go on location to highlight a business, organization, or project and then bring on a guest to talk about their inspiring work while they get to eat whatever I cook that day! We can get caught up in hearing about negative things, but there are so many people doing a lot of good. I want to talk about that. 

I love doing the show because I feel it's one of the best ways I can do my work. I'm not a painter, I'm not a musician... There are vegan chefs who much more experience, training, creative recipes, or are great cookbook writers. I never claimed to be the best vegan cook in the world. I think I'm pretty good. But I feel what I can do very well is connect with people and make something like veganism accessible and welcoming. That's why I do a show.

DBB: What meal or dessert evokes a special memory for you and why? 

JK: I grew up in a Polish household, so pierogies are one of the most sentimental foods for me. (Pierogies are half-moon shaped pasta pockets filled with mashed potatoes and onions, sometimes cheese or other ingredients like sauerkraut or fruity pie filling. Then you fry them in some butter and onions!)

To this day, butter and onions (vegan butter!) is one of my FAVORITE smells, even if I'm cooking something else entirely. Also, my cat is named Pierogi and he's soft and there's a chance he's full of mashed potatoes. ;)

DBB: What are three ingredients you couldn't live without? 

JK:  Nutritional yeast, sriracha (or hot sauce/peppers), garlic. 

DBB:  I give you a bag containing these ingredients, aubergine (eggplant!) quinoa, spicy seitan sausage, chocolate, raspberries, what would you make?   

JK: Slice the eggplant thin, and roll it up with the sausage in the middle. Cover in a red sauce. For dinner I'd like to make a quinoa pudding with chocolate, raspberries, and maybe some coconut milk! 

By the way, "Aubergine" is an adorable word.

DBB:  What is your favourite recipe book? 

JK: It's absolutely impossible to pick a favorite. I get sometimes as many as 5-10 new cookbooks a month! But I'll tell you about my first vegan cookbook. I think it was 2003 and it was "The Garden of Vegan" by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. The cover sold me: they are sitting in vintage dresses having a picnic in the grass, and they have all these pretty colorful tattoos. I felt like I could be friends with them in real life. Then I remember going to the store with my mom to buy white miso paste, which was completely foreign to me... though now I use it a few times a week! This sounds sappy, but the pictures and little stories in the book made me feel like a had a connection to the authors. They were girls who looked like me and my friends, and they had a published book -- still the most rockstar job, in my eyes!

DBB: What would be your perfect afternoon?

JK:  I'm very influenced by the weather, so, for a rainy day: Sleeping in, taking some coffee back to bed to drink while my boyfriend and cat sleep curled next to me. Reading books and magazines for a few hours (I usually have one fiction book and multiple non-fiction going at a time). Making a giant brunch and, once everyone's awake, moving into the living room to watch old movies on the sofa. Never changing out of pyjamas.
If it's a sunny day: All of the above in condensed form, then finding a small town to explore. I grew up going on weekends trips to small towns, checking out antique shops and used book stores  eating in shiny silver diners. Every little place has a personality, and getting to explore that for an afternoon feels like someone has welcomed you into their home.

You can find out more about Jaime K and Save The Kales at:

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Pre-order Your Christmas Goodies!

You can now pre-order your Christmas Goodies! Ready for collection up to Christmas Eve! Just let us know what you would like and the date you would like to collect! We also deliver in the Norwich area for £3. Just email

The Deerly Beloved Bakery Certosino Christmas cake is an Italian cake filled with pine nuts, chopped dark chocolate, whole almonds, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, unsulphured glace cherries, candied peel, apples, raisins and a little tipple of apple calvados! All bejewelled with nuts, glace fruits and apricot glaze! Beautifully packaged with a bow. Available in two sizes 10" cake will be £30 the miniature 4.5" cake will be £8. Also available in Gluten Free, 10'' £35, 4.5'' £10! You can pre-order by email

They are back! Blackstrap Gingersnap Christmas Recipe Jar with deer cookie cutter and full colour recipe booklet! £10 Available for pre-order now!

Keep your eye's peeled for more Christmas goodies coming soon! X

Monday, 22 October 2012

A Happy Weekend!

So this weekend was the first weekend I have had had off in weeks (okay so I had to do my sunday morning baking order!)
I spent it eating lots of yummy food, seeing old friends, buying chilli plants and watching scary films!
My great friend Richard gave me a bottle of Kewra Water as a present and it is amazing! It's flavour is somewhere between  rose water and buttery vanilla essence! I can't wait to try it out in my cooking!
I also made a great Sunday lunch of cabbage leaves stuffed with herby sausage and leeks, carrot and kale in a creamy sauce with mashed potatoes and a thick tomato sauce! We finished it off with raspberry ice cream and a cinnamon whirl! It was soooo good!
I also found some great new vegan rice balls in M&S which are so yummy! They are a great lunch time snack with salad! I hope you all had a great weekend! X

Friday, 19 October 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins!

This recipe is so easy and makes light fluffy muffins every time! You can mix it up and do blueberry, blackberry, orange, lemon, any thing you like really! These are great for an afternoon treat or served with ice cream for a decadent dessert!

Ingredients: Makes 12 Small Muffins

2/3 Cup of Raspberries
1/3 Cup of Dark Chocolate Chips
1/3 Cup of  Sunflower Oil
2/3 Cup of Almond Milk
1/2 Cup of Golden Unrefined Caster Sugar
1 Cup of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (Or plain GF flour with 1/2tsp of GF baking powder added)

Line a muffin tin with muffin cases and turn your oven on to 190c to preheat. In a bowl add the oil, milk and sugar together and mix well before adding the flour and stirring until it makes a smooth batter. Then add the chocolate chips and mix so they are well distributed amongst the batter. Finally add the raspberries and gently fold. Do this very carefully as not to burst all the raspberries and turn your batter bright pink! However it isn't a disaster if a few make a crimson ripple in your batter! Spoon the batter into your cases and fill about 2/3 full. Place in the oven for 20mins until puffed and golden and when a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool and then serve! Enjoy! X

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Chefs That Inspire Me: Kittee Bee Berns Of Cake Makers To The Stars

No inspiration chef series would be complete without Miss Kittee Bee Berns! Her amazing gluten free and vegan recipes astound me every time I take a peek at her beautiful blog! She is a very busy lady! As well as writing her Cake Makers To The Stars blog, she is a contributer to (a gluten free vegan resource site), a recipe zine writer (Papa Tofu, Paku Paku) and a fellow vegan MOFOer and organiser amongst other things! So if you are taking part in Vegan MOFO there is a good chance Kittee has had a hand in helping your blog be part of it! 

DBB: Hey Kittee! You're gluten free, vegan recipes always look and sound out of this world! Where do you get all your cooking inspiration from?

KBB: Well I'm just obsessed with food, so the inspiration comes from all over the place. I have a lot of friends who cook, my mom is also a whiz in the kitchen, plus I read magazines and listen to podcasts and I plow through cookbooks. I keep a huge pile by my bed at all times. I get a lot of ideas and information from the regular culinary world and then filter the information to help me me make better xgfx morsels!

DBB: You started off vegan and then found out that gluten was making you feel icky! What advice would you give to someone in the same situation? I know my mum felt pretty hopeless when she first found out she couldn't eat gluten any more!

KBB: There are so many great books coming out these days—specifically for xgfx diets, so I would definitely point someone in that direction, plus I think there's a ton of good resources over at I think baking is the hardest, and there's definitely a learning curve there, so I'd just suggest finding some good recipes instead of trying to convert stuff right away. I think it's much easier to veganize a recipe than to de-glutenize a recipe, and I wouldn't recommend for a newbie to try to do both at the same time.

DBB: I have seen much evidence that you are keen crafter! What is your favourite things to make?  

KBB: I like to make so much stuff, but especially anything I can wear or use regularly around the house
(I am a big nester). I really enjoy sewing vintage or vintage inspired dresses, scalloped hemmed skirts and knitting sweaters is particularly appealing. Although I'm mostly a selfish crafter, I also enjoy making things for good friends.

DBB: What meal or dessert evokes a special memory for you and why?
KBB: Whenever I make a big Ethiopian feast for my partner Dazee, I can't help but remember doing the same thing the night before everyone in New Orleans was meant to evacuate due to impending Katrina. I'd made a ton of food without knowing the storm was coming, then begged my friends to please come pick up plates before they left town. It was really spooky and stressful, we were all stressed out and scared, but had tons of food. It was pretty weird.
DBB: What are three ingredients you couldn't live without?
KBB: Obviously, I could make do without these, but they would be wholly missed:  nutritional yeast, pasta and tomatoes! Oh! and I couldn't live without olive oil, either!!! So maybe nooch, evoo and tomatoes!

BB: I give you a bag containing these ingredients, rice noodles, kale, coriander (cilantro) butternut squash, chilli, pineapple, coconut cream, what would you make?

KBB: Can I add ingredients, or is that cheating?  If I can add, I'd make giant salad rolls.  I'd grill the squash and pineapple with a maple chilli glaze and stuff them with the noodles and a chiffonade of fresh kale into rice papers.  Then I'd make a peanut butter dipping sauce with the coconut cream and cilantro.

DBB: What is your favourite recipe book?

KBB: Oh, I have SO MANY!  I could never narrow it down to one.  My favourites this month are Miyoko Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese and Jennifer Katzinger's Gluten-Free Vegan Bread.  Both are amazing (the bread book is coming out the end of October).

DBB: What would be your perfect afternoon?

KBB: A beautiful sunny low stress day, a picnic with yummy xgfx goodies and cocktails, my friends and family and my dog being nice to everyone. And there would be a river with innertubes, too!

You can find out more about the fabulous Kittee Bee Berns and her yummy recipes here:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Gluten Free Pizza Dough Recipe

A few months ago I was experimenting with ingredients and came up with a great gluten free pizza base. My mum was coming over for lunch and as she is gluten free and hates cooking, so I thought I would make her something a bit more special. This recipe is just how to make the pizza dough base. I didn't think I really needed to tell you how to top it with tomato sauce, veggies and olives! So I have left that part out, so you can make your own favourite topping! This dough doesn't need any kneading just an hours rest to develop the flavours.


2 Tsp of Dried Yeast
1/2 Tsp of Salt
1/3 Cup of Olive Oil
1/2 Cup of  Warm Water
2 Cups of Cooked Sweet Potato Mashed
3 Cups of Gluten Free Flour

In a bowl add the yeast, salt, olive oil, and warm water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Then add the sweet potato, mix to combine. Then add the gluten free flour a cup at a time, you may not need to add all the flour as you are looking for a soft pliable dough that isn't sticky (you may find you need a little more flour if it is too sticky) but not dry and crumbly either. Leave in a warm place covered with a clean tea towel for an hour. It doesn't rise very much so don't worry! But in that hour the yeast will make the dough mature to help give it a true bready flavour! This isn't a roll-able dough because of the lack of wheat gluten, so half the dough and spread with your hands into a round pizza shape on a parchment covered baking tray. Then wet your hands and smooth the edges of your pizza. This will help you get a really smooth puffed edge on the finished pizza and helps it not to crack at the edges. Place your toppings on top and pop in the oven at 200c for 20mins or until it is golden at the edges and your toppings are cooked. Serve with a green salad!