As I woke the morning of Tuesday, November 8th, I was feeling pretty antsy, unsettled. And as the day progressed my unease grew into unmeasureable stress; my tummy felt like it was tied in a knot and by the end of the day I felt physically sick. Why? Cuz I knew there was a real chance that Trump could win. I dare not have said it out loud that faithful day, but I was well aware that it wasn't unimagineable. Till now I'm not sure how the man and the boy in my life managed to put up with me on the 8th or the days that followed for that matter as I was not myself, stressed beyond belief. But, in fairness I had good right to be, cuz when I woke in the odd hours of the morning Wednesday, November 9th (UK time), my worst fears were turning into reality - Trump was leading, taking all the key state along with him.
Like any big metropolitan city, London is littered with shops where you can buy 'stuff' and spend money like noone's business. And during the run up to Christmas, it's so easy to do just that. So that begs the questions: How do you make Christmas meaningful whilst still honouring the tradition of giving those you love thoughtful presents? For me, I try and focus on gifts that can stand the test of time, that are beautifully made and showcase heart, craftsmanship, attention to detail and care. In short, gifts that actually are worth spending money on. And I know no better place in London to find presents that match this description than Heal's. In fact lots of my food photography props are from there and most of the plates you see in today's blog post stem from there too. This includes the large handmade Mervyn Gers dinner plates in sapphire and teal, the timeless Falcon enamel plates in blue and the Serax plate in aqua.
There are probably 1000s of cookbooks on the market and being a plant-based foodie and food blogger, I've come accross loads in my time. To be honest after a while, they all start to look the same and there are few books that truly stand out. But in the cluttered cookbook section of any good bookstore, Cassandra Bodzak's vegan cookbook 'Eat with Intention' WILL stand out; in fact for me it already does which is why I'm delighted to be hosting a giveaway of her book this week.
If you are a regular, loyal reader of the blog, you've probably gathered that I'm a rather social human being who loves the company of talented, friendly food bloggers. That's cuz...
a) it means I don't have to talk to myself when I'm cooking
b) there's someone to laugh at my silly jokes and
c) collaborations are magical and so, so SO much fun.
Hence you can imagine how I shrieked with delight when Lauren from Lauren Caris Cooks got in touch to say that she'd be in London and would I like to meet up with her. ''YES! OF COURSE! WHY ARE YOU EVEN ASKING?! COME HANG OUT. LIKE, NOW! Thank you :)!'' was my answer. Following some e-mail exchanges we finally got to spend a lovely morning cooking, styling and eating together in late September and despite only knowing each other on-line, having Lauren in the kitchen felt so familiar and totally lovely. The images you see her are just an outtake of the day we spent together before Lauren returned to Switzerland where she lives with her husband :(. Lauren, thank you ever so much for popping by, please come visit me again soon ;).
When I tell people that I eat a predominantly plant-based lifestyle, the first question I'm always asked is: 'Where do you get your protein from?' Though all plant-based foods contain protein - even fruit - legumes are vegan protein powerhouses! Soya beans are legumes and hence full of protein. They are also the key ingredient in TOFOO's naked tofu, which I used in today's recipe.
SIDENOTE: If you are looking for the gluten-free version of this cute little vegan cake, then please head over to Heal's blog for the full recipe + a handful of other pictures. Heal's kindly provided the totally lush grey linen you see in the pictures here and I'm super grateful for their generosity in making this blog post what it is :).
ON TO THE MAIN SHOW ;): It's hard for me to believe that it's been less than a year since I met Aimee from Twigg Studios for the very first time. But despite our relatively new-ish friendship, it feels like we've known each other FOREVER. I mean we've baked together, we've been to France together, we hitch-hiked together and Aimee's been to stay so often that the guest bedroom in our house is now referred to as 'Aimee's room'. So when Aimee told me her second book Aimee's Perfect Bakes was on the verge of hitting the bookshelves and subsequently asked me to feature it on my little blog, you can bet your bottom dollar I shouted a loud, resounding YES!
I'll be the first to admit that my blog has been a neglected space of late. But rest assured it's been left to its own devices for good, good reason. Sadly I still can't reveal a thing (SO sorry, trust me, I'm DYING to tell you), all I can say is that 'the reason' has involved an epically long commute (2 hours each way!!!) which I've only survived thanks to some of the best podcasts in the world (modest claim, I know). Therefore I thought I'd share my top 5 favourite podcasts on the blog today, perfect for your commute, long-haul flight and/or cosy, cuddly evening in front of an open fire with a cup of herbal tea. Wherever you are, I am sure you'll enjoy these :). So without further ado (and because I love organising things in lists) here goes...
Two weeks ago I had the joy of working on not one, but TWO collaborations with some of the best food bloggers I know. First, at the start of the week I invited Aimee R. from Wallflower Kitchen into my home and together we made these fluffy vegan pancakes. (Sooooo yummy!) Then, later that same week Silvia from Salvia+Limone and Aimee T. from Twigg Studios popped by to bake today's insanely yummy vegan apple cinnamon buns.
Those of you who read the blog regularly or follow me on instagram will know that Silvia, Aimee T. and I baked together once before earlier this year when we created this vegan matcha pistachio tres leches cake. So gorgeous, right?! We promised one another that very day we'd meet and bake together again and true to our word, we did!