Thursday, 21 August 2014

Seitan Recipe - Vegetarian "Meat"

As a vegetarian I am well aware that you can make a multitude of delicious dishes without having to use any sort of meat substitute product. So why do people use it? People will have their own personal reasons but here is mine; as a mixed household, that is vege and meat eaters, not to mention when people come over for dinner I sometimes want to make a direct vegetarian version of a dish. What do I mean by this? Well I could make a fantastic stir fry filled with yummy vegetables but what if I want to make chilli beef stir fry, I need something to slice. Finding something that is the right consistency for certain dishes can be the challenge, tofu and beancurd can be too soft, quorn has a place but is a little hard to add flavour to and I often find it salty.

Seitan is a great base that you can make at home, it has gluten as a main ingredient so has a consistency that is chewy, above all you can add many different flavours to it before you add the liquid making it completely versatile.  It is great to have a batch made up in case Joe wants to cook something as he has less practise with vegetarian cuisine.

you will need;

2 1/2 litres of vegetable stock 
150g gluten powder
50g ground almonds 
30g arrowroot 
1tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp of marmite 
2dsrt spoons dark soy sauce 
3tbsp plain flour 
(your choice of spices)
  1. Prepare your stock, keep this warm but not bubbling.
  2. Mix your powders together (arrowroot, gluten, malt & ground almonds). This is the best stage to add the spices of your choice. Here are some suggestions; (turmeric, mixed spice, cumin, curry powder, dried herbs, coriander, celery powder). 
  3. Once everything is fully combined you can begin to add the liquid. Mi into your bowl the olive oil and soy sauce, slowly one spoon at a time add the warm stock, keep adding until the mixture is combined.
  4. Knead the mixture for 20 minutes, you can do this using a dough hook if you have one.
  5. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Break into your desired shapes. Add the marmite to the stock and stir until mixed through and melted.
  7. Lightly dust your shapes in the flour. Poach in the stock for 40 minutes.
  8. You can choose to dry fry the pieces after if you require a crispy finish.
  9. You as you would any meat.
At the weekend I will share a recipe for kebabs with you using seitan to get you on your way to using this product.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

My Dressing Room - Before & Inspiration

Does anyone else remember the film Being John Malkovich? Well I do the office block that had a half floor. My new home also has a half floor but behind the magic door on the landing between the first floor and the top floor is this grim but potentially fantastic space.
The space is actually quite large and at one point must have house a second bathroom as there are old pipes that will need to be removed. You could make it into a little bedroom but lets get serious here it could only be a dressing room, in my mind at least.

I have spent a lot of time looking on pinterest, online and in home magazines and nothing cries out this is the room for me. I know I don't want the room to look like a big cupboard I want it to be a space I can enjoy, perhaps a little chair in there where I can sit and plan outfit posts. I have found some images that I have found inspiring. I am loving what a blank canvas this house is.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Sebastian's Sixth Country

This boy, this beautiful perfect boy of mine is quite the jet set. At six moths old he has visited 6 countries, 6 capitals and been upgraded to business class twice! Here are a few photographs of Sebastian getting country number five and six under his belt. Some may say this is just a proud mummy putting up gratuitous post with wonderful photos of an off the charts cute baby, but to those people I say how could it be as there are clearly two pictures of me with mini doughnuts.
He looks a little Ocean Colour Scene with the hat

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Geek Craft

As a crafter and a self confessed geek I can confirm that the two can go hand in hand quite comfortably, From space invaders quilting to a Hama beads Mario mushrooms. This little craft was made possible by the guys at Fantastic Ribbons. When I was asked to come up with a diy for some of their, well lets say fantastic ribbons, I knew I wanted to move away from the norm. I didn't want to use it as a pretty trim or a hair fascinator. I have been listening to the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy radio plays almost on loop recently so it has more than filtered through into my creative flow. 

This craft is a real cheat as it shows you how simple it is to make something truly unique from a mass produced item. The cushion, complete with plain cream cover were purchased in a sale and had no personality.
Very dull. I decided to take one of the many quotable lines from the plays, 'Oh Belgium'. It is also one of the shortest to stitch. Using coloured tailors chalk I wrote the phrase onto the cushion. Now all you need to do is lay the ribbon over the writing, making small stitches as you go to keep it in place. This method is call couching. I chose to use red thread but you could use a contrasting colour to the ribbon for a different effect.

Monday, 11 August 2014


So after two trips to Croatia I finally managed to visit Zagreb, they say third time is a charm. like with everywhere else I have been in Croatia Zagreb is beautiful, full of history and really kind of cool.
The street above, Ivica i Marica may look tranquil here but this was taken on a Sunday morning. Saturday night it was filled with locals and tourists alike. There is a real promenading culture in Croatia and the nightlife is family friendly, not filled with drunken shouting, or fighting, or broken heels. We went on a whim to a restaurant called Hansel & Gretel and it turned out to be such a happy accident. Everything was wonderful from the food to the wine recommendations, food choices for veges and non veges alike.
With a baby to get ready in the morning the decision to stay close to the airport in Pleso. It was a beautiful quiet little suburb and a really nice escape from hustle and bustle for baby time. The added bonus was getting the opportunity to photograph this stunning wooden chapel, The Chapel Of The Wounded Jesus erected in 1758. It is hard to believe from this picture it was a five minute walk from the runway of an international airport.
 I love a good roof scape and these two featuring St Mark's Church were ideal with the deep blue sky.
The cathedral, dating back to 1093, as well as being quite breathtaking, the white stone against a blue sky, it also had a fascinating history which is why it is undergoing an intensive face lift, as you can see from the scaffolding below.
The area was invaded in 1242 and again at the end of the 15th century. Croatia was part of the former Yugoslavia, during the communist regime the Catholic church were not allowed to spend money to maintain buildings. Needless to say they fell into disrepair. The extent of this is highlighted in the picture below. The renovation project is huge, they are slowly replacing each individual stone.
In 1880 Zagreb was hit by an earthquake and the clock stopped and the time it stopped at remains today on an outer wall.
The outer buildings of the complex are still used by the clergy and nuns live in some of them.
All in all Zagreb was a huge hit. As walking huge distances in the heat of the day with a small baby is not really a sensible option much of the city was left unexplored, a good enough reason to go back I feel.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

What I Wore - Orange Is The New Black

Let me begin this post with a confession: I have never seen Orange Is The New Black. I have seen people talk about it on  Twitter and Facebook and thought considering the outfit colours it was a fitting and on trend title. 

It feels good to scrub up sometimes and feel like a yummy mummy, I kinda hate that phrase but I am so sleep deprived right now that I can't think of a better one. The plus side is I can still breastfeed in this top as you will remember from my Nursing Style post.
Outfit Details

Necklace - Etsy
Skirt - Next
Top - Monoprix
Cardigan - Charity Shop