Sunday, 29 December 2013

             Veggieschmooze Ho Ho Ho, A Baked Snowman and all that!!!

Firstly sorry folks for being so remiss about our blogs

We have been cooking rather than blogging and the time has just whooshed by. But we have thought of you and hope you all had a wonderful festival.

As we are both vegetarian and Jewish, Christmas day is always a challenge. Yes we all get together sharing fun and laughter – it’s a good day to see family and enjoy each other’s company.

And for years we have discussed what to serve but this year after much serious discussion with Sarah’s lovely girls now nearly 10 and 12 we came to a wonderful decision. Merv my husband always makes chips, proper chips, cooked very poshly in olive oil. But chips do not make a meal. In the past I have created a veggie chilli, a veggie tagine even a veggie sausage roll dinosaur but this year the girls decided we would make a snowman!

The day before I combined Granose sausage mix and burger mix and formed a large ball for the base and another for the mid-torso. The head was a stuffing mix enriched with ground almonds. The hat – a vast field mushroom baked on the day with a few of its fellows with a little olive oil spray and a goodly offering of salt and pepper was tender and unctuous.

But oh dear when it was given its black olive eyes and carrot nose, it turned into a cute creature and I couldn’t just couldn’t cut into it. Amidst howls of laughter from both the children it was left to Joe my son, to stab the snowman and it was eaten with great gusto.

To accompany we ate a homemade dhal, and large dish of Alo Gobi – a lovely Indian combo of cauliflower, potatoes, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and lemon rice which always goes well.

Desert never seems to happen. I always used to make a ‘proper pudding but it was always left so this year we enjoyed some homemade Florentines and some little lemon pastries left over from winning the Zesty Challenge. Plus tinned lychees and mandarins. With a huge cheese board to follow.

And now we discovered we have won the Guardian Hang-over challenge which is pretty amazing since I have never suffered from a hangover in my life. Just know what I would want if it should happen.

Try the Shakshuka recipe also in Warm Bagels and Apple Strudelpublished by Kyle Books
Its great

Thank you for keeping in touch and we promise to write more next year

Fondest wishes to you all for the New Year
Ruth and Sarah


Veggischmooze Strikes Again with a Zesty Winning Recipe and our Ultra Decadent Choc Mocha Brownies 

Hi lovely followers.
So sorry we’ve been a bit lax lately with our blogs. Ruth has been short-listed for a children’s book prize and is madly writing her novel which she prays will tempt the judges. And Sarah is working hard on her University Photography homework so you will have better pics on this page.
But we are still enjoying sharing our tastes and trials with you and this week we are celebrating as we won the Zesty Challenge in the Guardian.
We are soo thrilled as this was one of the recipes we enjoyed making the most. Ruth says
‘Recently I went to Marrakech with my lovely husband, and we were lured by the glorious buttery smells of tiny pastry shops nestling in tiny dusty alleyways. These pastry shops sold the most wonderful array of delicacies – tiny finger sized pastries that begged to be tasted. Of course I had to taste and investigate the recipes.  And certainly this zesty baby was one of the best. Please try it but make double one amount is never enough!’

 And Hey ho we were also mentioned the following week in the Guardian Cook Melted Challenge
Mind you we knew that was a good one – a family special that always works and double moorish.  So here’s the recipe and please try it
Its fab xxx

 Ultra Decadent Choc Mocha Brownies are made by melting the best chocolate we can get fair trade of course and combining it with loads of luscious ingredients
And because it’s that time of year and the first mandarins are out we thought we’d add a little grated mandarin zest to the bitter chocolate. Mmm. The sauce, Rich Chocolate Sauce  – do we need one? is made by melting more bitter chocolate with butter, soft brown sugar and a little  cream. OHH YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS
 Ultra Decadent Choc Mocha Brownies – makes one large cakes which cut into 18 glorious chunks – but we always double and freeze one  - the perfect heat-up pud.
 Preheat oven to 180C, Gas mark 4
Prepare one square tins by lining with paper  
275g 70% fair-trade plain chocolate
275g butter or margarine
250g fair-trade soft brown sugar
50g vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 teaspoons espresso coffee or 2 teaspoons hot water to 1 tablespoon good instant coffee
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g spelt flour
75g plain flour
170g top quality choc chips
Zest 1 mandarin or Satsuma
4 large free range organic eggs

 Place the plain chocolate, the butter, soft brown sugar, the vanilla sugar and the golden syrup in a glass bowl above a saucepan of boiling water and melt the lovely ingredients together.  When completely melted remove and leave to cool. Now sieve the baking powder with the two flours into a large mixing bowl. Crack and whisk the eggs into another bowl. Then add the instant coffee plus the mandarin zest and beat them into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the sifted flour mixture with the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes when you should have a delicious crust on the top but the inside should still seem slightly soft to the touch but not runny.
Prepare the optional Rich Chocolate Sauce
 By melting 75g dark chocolate over the same double boiler with 25g butter or margarine, plus 25g Golden Syrup and 25g whipping cream together and stirring until the most luscious sauce comes together. Perfect!
Enjoy the results of a wonderful double melting dessert. xxx

 Squills of love Ruth and Sarah xxxxx