Monthly Archives: April 2013

Vegan Zucchini Cake

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Right about now you are probably all thinking, ‘ Ok, this woman is officially crazy’, but truly, this cake is fabulous! And this is coming from a girl who does not DO zucchini in any shape or form!! This recipe is, you guessed it, from my favourite vegan cookbook, “Have Your Cake and Vegan Too”.

Zucchini Cake

1 1/2 Cups plus 2 T flour
3/4 Cup plus 2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 Cup milk
1/4 t mild vinegar
1/4 Cup oil
1 t vanilla
1 Cup packed finely shredded zucchini drained of excess juice

Make 1 single layer cake.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the milk and vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Add the oil and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients. Add the zucchini and mix in evenly.

Bake for 22-28 minutes for 1 cake. Let cool in the pans on the cooling rack for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! 

ps.

Some vanilla buttercream icing on this baby is fantastic!

 

Pocket Warmers/Heating Pads/Ice Packs

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For a while now I have been wanting to try and make my own heating pads. So yesterday I sat down and made a bundle of them!Image

These little ones are simply fantastic! I absolutely love them! You pop them in the microwave for just under a minute and they are toasty warm for ages. Or you can put them in the freezer and use them as ice packs! Image

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I am selling these in my shop now on Felt.  I will hopefully soon have a link from my blog to my shop but for now here is a makeshift one: http://felt.co.nz/search/all/leilabella

I am still very new to this whole blogging thing and only yesterday I managed to fix a few things here to look a little more like I wanted it to! Needless to say I am rather rapt with my technologically challenged self! 🙂 So never fear, the link to my shop will come!

Oh! I made another remote holding cushion cover too! Here it is:

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Keep your eyes peeled for some more vegan recipes that I will be posting soon!

Vetkoek & Mince

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Vetkoek & Mince is a staple in South Africa. It’s a total comfort food too! It’s one of the yummiest things you will ever taste in your life!

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of eating vetkoek on the backsteps with cousins or friends and my faithful labrador, Tia sitting at my feet waiting patiently for the piece she knew I would save for her 😉

So, even though these wonderful morsels are not what you would call very healthy, whenever I’m having a really blue day and just missing home, this is what I feel like eating. (I try to limit myself to those longings to once in 6 months as we are talking some seriously good, and fattening food here!)

Yesterday was, well, the weather was cold and miserable and we hadn’t had vetkoek in so long that I decided it was time. I only ever make them on a Sunday as it takes a little while and that way I can rope my Liefie into doing the deep frying as he is so much better at it than me.  (I never deep fry for the exception of vetkoek).

In light of just how fantastically yummy it was I thought I just have to share the recipe and the whole process with you right down to the vege mince that is vegan/vegetarian friendly! 🙂

Let’s start right a the beginning!

Vetkoek Recipe

5 Cups plain flour

2 t instant yeast (or active dried yeast)

2 t sugar

1 t salt

2.5 Cups warm water

Method:

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the yeast, sugar, and salt.

Mix it all together.

Pour in the warm water a little at a time, mixing as you go.

Once a soft dough has formed place it on a clean surface sprinkled with some flour.

Knead the dough for about 15 minutes until it has a smooth, elastic texture.

Grease a bowl with oil or butter, place the dough in the bowl, cover and rest for about 20 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

(This is normally where I start my mince)

Flour the surface again.

Cut into equal portions.

Heat up some oil and deep fry the dough portions.

Don’t overcrowd the pan as this will reduce the oils temperature.

Here is the process in pictures:

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Vege Mince

I sort of make this up as I got along using a basic recipe from a cookbook but each time I make it a little different.

I will give you the general idea and you can experiment with it as you please.

1 Cup TVP mince

1 1/2 Cups boiling water

2 t paprika

1 T flour

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 capsicum, chopped

3 Cups sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 Cups vege stock with a little vege gravy powder thrown in of extra flavour.

2 T soy sauce

2 t mixed herbs of your choice

1 t salt

Place TVP in a small saucepan with boiling water. Cook till all the water is absorbed. Then stir in the flour and paprika. In the meantime, saute the onions in your wok or pan, then add the mince. Add all your chopped veges and stock and flavourings and simmer till your veges are tender.

Cut open a hot vetkoek, lather with butter, and fill with mince for to-die-for-peole!!! treat!!

Enjoy! And remember you have not lived completely until you taste this wonderful thing!

Baking Day

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Today was a baking day (between the washing and preparing for a house inspection and cleaning). Tomorrow we have a South African (afrikaans) gathering and we always have a afternoon tea afterwards so I decided to take savoury muffins and a mixed cookie platter this time. Normally I just take a cake or something like that but I have been missing baking now that we are both trying hard to lose weight and have drastically cut down our sugar intake.  So! I decided to make three different types of cookies and do a mixed plate and give some to Dad as well (he has a real sweet tooth) to take home.

Then we needed some bread for the weekend. As many of you know I bake all our own bread as of January this year (and I detest breadmakers!) and while it does take a lot of time I really enjoy it.  And it is just so much healthier! I have noticed that I have lost weight since I started home baking everything.

So here are some pictures as requested:

Sesame Seed Bread

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Refrigerator Biscuits (just cuz they are so cute!)

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Plain Chocolate Biscuits

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Chocolate-Apricot Cookies

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And my secret weapon: Hummus Muffins

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I also made some muesli bars which I don’t have a picture of. I have recently discovered my hubby loves home made muesli bars so I am taking the opportunity to feed him something he loves while sneaking in all those seeds that are so good for you! Devious huh? 

So what have you been baking this week?

Orange Puddin’ Cake

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This is from that fantastic book I mentioned earlier: “Have your Cake and Vegan too”. It’s a really yummy vegan version to the instant pudding! 

Orange You Glad it’s Puddin Cake?

1 Cup flour
1/2 Cup plus 1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
a sprinle of salt
1/4 Cup margarine, melted
1/2 Cup milk, warmed
1 medium orange, zested plus 1/2 Cup juice
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 T cornstarch
1 Cup boiling water
1 Cup boiling water

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 180 Lightly grease and flour an 8inch square pan or small baking dish.

To make the cake, in a small bowl combine the flour, the 1/2 Cup sugar, the baking powder, the baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the margarine, milk, orange zest, and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. It will seem like ther isn’t much batter, this is normal. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 Cup sugar and the cornstarch until there are no lumps. Sprinkle this over the top of the batter. IN a small bowl combine the orange juice and water and pour over the top of the batter. Do not stir. At this point you will think I’m crazy.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake will have risen to the top of the pan and will be lightly brown. the pudding layer will be bubbling up around the sides, and when moved the cake will appear to float. Let the warm cake sit in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving, to let the pudding thicken. Serve with a sprinkle of powedered sugar.

Remote Holding Cushion Cover

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Everyone has this problem right?  Remotes always missing…fallen into the crevices of the couch….every home I’ve ever been into has this same problem. I decided it was time for a solution to this problem. As I’ve been running with the recycled denim theme I thought I would keep going with it.  Here is the result, a cushion cover that can hold your remotes at the same time as looking cute? What do you all think?Image