2012 in review – pretty cool! Thank you :)


These end of year stats are pretty cool. Thank you so much to everyone that’s visited this blog over it’s first year 🙂 I can’t wait to post more yummy recipes in 2013. I hope you all have a very happy and healthy new year! 🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Exciting times ahead :)


I hope you all had a lovely christmas! I had a brilliant day – just chilled and with loved ones – couldn’t ask for more 🙂

Santa was super generous this year and as well as a funky new rolling pin, sone awesome mini cupcake trays and some other cool kitchen bits I also got one of these….

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…a vitamix! To say I’m excited would be a major understatement! I just cannot wait to try this out! So watch this space for lots of exciting creations 🙂 yipppeeee! 🙂

Raw chocolate covered marzipan snowballs!


I had some left over marzipan and wanted to create a little treat for after dinner on christmas day so I thought I’d make some raw choc covered marzipan snowballs 🙂

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I used this marzipan recipe from my christmas cake post and for the chocolate you need:

35g Cacao butter

25g Raw Cacao powder

Sweet freedom to sweeten (up to 1/2 tbsp)

Extra raw cacao powder and dessicated coconut for decoration. Maybe some edible glitter too 🙂

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Grate the cacao butter into a small bowl and then place over a saucepan of water (bain marie). Heat the water gently and allow the butter to melt. Once melted whisk the cacao powder in with a small balloon whisk or fork. When thoroughly combined remove from the heat and stir in the sweet freedom. I like my chocolate quite bitter for this recipe so I only added a small squirt but add as much as you need 🙂

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Put some raw cacao powder in a small bowl and the dessicated coconut in another bowl.

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Roll the marzipan in to small balls and line up your bowls of chocolate, cacao powder and dessicated coconut. Drop the marzipan into the choc and used a fork to gently move around until covered. Then, if you’re using it, drop the ball into the bowl of cacao powder or dessicated coconut and gently shake it around to cover it. Remove and place on greaseproof paper. When they’re all covered pop in the fridge to set. This choc has a very low melting point so keep in the fridge until you want to serve. Enjoy! 🙂

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I just love these – great alternative to ‘traditional’ mincepies 🙂

Healthy Plant Based Recipes

I thought I would try a few ideas for variations on traditional mince pies.

Here are the results…

 

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Samosa’s & Hearts

You will need the following:

  • approx 800g of traditional mince meat, I used Waitrose luxury mince meat (vegetarian)
  • a pack of filo pastry – for the samosa’s
  • pack of puff pastry – for the harts
  • a pastry brush and a little water in a cup
  • your choice of cookie cutter, I used a heart
  • icing sugar for dusting and
  • flour to prepare the surface

For the Hearts

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First thing is to pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

Then lightly dust the work surface and roll out the puff pastry.

Cut out the shapes and add about 1tsp of mincemeat to the middle of each heart.

Pop these into the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Turn down the oven to 150 degrees and allow each layer to…

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Cranberry and Apple Meringue pie! oh my!


Hands up if you love Lemon Meringue Pie! I do! And yes I know, meringue contains eggs, so I’m very sorry to my vegan friends (although you can use a commercial egg replacer for meringue so all is not lost!), but this festive meringue pie is gluten and dairy free 🙂 It’s a nice change to the usual festive fair!

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Pastry

100g Ground almonds
100g Flaked almonds
75g Spelt or Rice flour(or other gluten free flour)
25g Golden raw Caster sugar
50ml Almond oil
3 -4 tbsp cold almond or other non dairy milk
Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

Filling

4-5 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
250g frozen or fresh Cranberries
juice of 1 clementine
75g Dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Corn flour
Raw unrefined sugar (if required)

Meringue

3 Large egg whites (or egg replacer)
150g Golden raw Caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the ground and almonds into a bowl with the flour and salt and stir to combine. Keep stirring and add in the olive oil gradually. Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and keep stirring. The mixture should hold together when pressed, if it doesn’t then add some more almond milk, stirring all the time, until it does. At this point have a taste. If you want a sweeter pastry then add some more sugar until you get the desired flavour. Press it into a 20 cm pie or fluted flan dish. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until set and barely golden.
Remove from the oven and brush the almond pastry with a little almond oil and return to the oven for a few minutes to set then set aside to cool.

Now for the filling! First you need to cook the cranberries. Place the frozen or fresh cranberries in a pan with the juice of 1 clementine (or half an orange if that’s easier!). Cook for 5 mins until the cranberries start to soften and burst. Taste – if too tart for you then add a little raw sugar. Put the apples, cooked cranberries and dried cranberries in a saucepan with 75ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Mix the corn flour with a tbsp of cold water till smooth then stir into fruit mixture. Boil for 1 minute then pour into the pastry case.

If using them then whisk the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the sugar, a third at a time, to form a thick meringue. Spoon over the fruit and bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a plate to cool.

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Festive comfort pudding (or breakfast!) Apple and mincemeat compote


I love a hot, comforting pudding on a cold night and one of my favourites is apple compote with nuts and yoghurt. I’m also a massive mincemeat fan soI thought I’d combine the two!

The apple compote is so simple to make it’s embarrassing! Just peel and core some bramley apples (as many as you want to eat!), chop small and put in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Gently bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat until the apple is all mushy! I like it just like this, but if you want it sweeter then add some raw sugar while you cook them. Once cooled transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week (in fact mine never lasts that long!). You can also freeze it in batches too 🙂

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For the mincemeat I use my favourite home made mincemeat recipe which I use for my mincepies. It was originally featured on the Pure form fitness kitchen – here.

Once done simply combine the two! I heat mine in the microwave for a few mins then serve with some delicious Co Yo yoghurt and toasted almonds – yummo! 🙂

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