Saturday, 27 July 2013

Easy, Cheap, Vegan Meals...Split Pea Burgers, Mushroom Fried Rice, Vegan Pizza...

Here are some more of my quick, easy vegan meal ideas...

I posted the recipe for my spicy split pea burgers here, ages ago.  This time I put some cooked quinoa in, and used a tin of whole tomatoes instead of tomato puree.  I change the recipe every time but they always come out yummy and healthy.  I made the flat bread, which is half white, half wholemeal flour, oats, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and turmeric.  I like making my own bread because it gives me the chance to get as many nice nutritional things in as possible.  That green salad on the side is made up of home grown lettuce - oh yeah!

I call this mushroom-y onion-y rice (creative huh!?).  Cook some rice, and while that's boiling chop up a red onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and some mushrooms.  Fry these in a pan together and at the last minute throw in some greens and/or herbs (I used some baby spinach, my first harvest from my balcony, and some left over tops of spring onions this time, but anything you fancy and you have on hand is good).  Once the rice is cooked, drain it and plop it into the frying pan too, fry for another couple of minutes and you're good to go.

Vegan cheeseless pizza is soo good!  I use a basic pizza dough recipe (350g flour, 15g yeast, 250ml warm water, 1tsp sugar, 1tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil - put yeast and sugar in water and wait for it to bubble, pour with oil into flour and salt, mix, turn out and knead for 10 mins, leave to rise for 1 hour, punch back and knead for 1 min, then leave to rest for at least 15 mins.  Makes enough for 3 pizzas, you can freeze the dough too), add a mix of tomato ketchup and tomato puree for the base, then a mix of veggies on top.  It is soo good!

What vegan meals do you like cooking?

Friday, 26 July 2013

Balcony Garden Update...Sweet Peas, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Garlic...

I finally got organised enough to sort out the pots on my balcony.  Somehow a family of ants has got up onto my balcony and won't give up.  I'm scared of ants (I fell over onto an ant hill as a small child and was covered with a swarm of biting ants), there are loads of them, ruining my plants and becoming interested in climbing up my door and window frames, so they can't stay.  I have tried all sorts of eco methods to get rid of them, and finally resorted to ant powder.  This has mostly worked but the ants that remain have taken up residence in my 3 storey high strawberry tower, and won't leave! 

Anyway, I braved the ants and tackled my pots.  I spent about a fiver on the plant stall on the market on some lobelia, geraniums, begonias and purple snap-dragonish plants!  I've also got some plants I grew from seed, sweet peas, verbena, nasturtiums, sun flowers and mesembryanthemums.  

Here are the mesembryanthemums...they're my favourites, I'm soo glad I grew them!

Sweet peas, grown from seed....

My little rose is on it's 3rd flower this year, one of my pots with begonias and lobelia and ivy.  The yellow flowers and the pink verbena are from last year, I cut them back and left them in the pots and they've come again.

In terms of veg, I have some tomatoes waiting to ripen, lots of strawberries, lettuce (which I have failed to photograph), some spinach and chive seeds sown and waiting to grow.  The garlic is some I planted a couple of months ago from a sprouty bulb in the fridge, the tops went all brown, so I had a root around and found two little bulbs of garlic had grown - they're yummy!

How do your gardens grow?

Linking up with Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Peacocks, Peahens, Chickpeas and Powis Castle....

I had a lovely day out today with Mum going round the charity shops in Welshpool and visiting Powis Castle, which is pretty much my favourite National Trust property.  The most exciting thing today was that there was a baby peacock scampering about.  I think baby peacocks should be called chickpeas, they are cute...

We were also treated to the sight of a deer and her baby while we had our picnic, although I didn't have my big camera with me so I could only take a very fuzzy photo!

The gardens were also very pretty, although it was too hot to walk very far...

Hope you've all been enjoying this lovely weather!

Sunday, 21 July 2013


Dreamer, from the blog Living a Slow and Simple Life (not so) recently tagged me to answer these questions...

How many siblings do you have and what was your position in the family?
I have a brother who is 18 months younger than me...I was most perturbed by his arrival and used to say 'oh mummy put him back' and 'oh mummy, put him down and play with me!'.  We mostly get on OK now though.

Do you still keep in touch with your best friend from school days?
Yes, my best friends in school are still my best friends now, although one now lives in Brazil and the other in London...I miss them both loads.

Girly shoes or walking boots?
Walking boots.  Sore feet = sad Susie.

What would you choose for a last meal?
I would have a buffet of many varieties of fried carb-y items...mmmm!

If you could go back in time which era would you like to have been born in?
I always wanted to be around in the sixties and seventies, I love the style, ideas and music that were around then.

What is the one possession you would think about running back into a burning building for?

I have a little toy dog called Steven that I've had since I was three, he sleeps with me every night, no doubt about it I'd go back for him.

What is your favourite colour to wear?
I like to be colourful and am usually wearing multiple colours at once, I like wearing blue and a psychic friend of my mum told be blue is a good, protective colour so I like that about it too. 

What is your favourite colour to decorate with?
Pink!  I love pink but I never really feel comfortable wearing it (although I did have pink hair for several years, which I loved) so I make up for it by surrounding myself with pink stuff.

Do you like to grow flowers or vegetables in your garden?

Vegetables, cos then I get to eat them! Om nom nom.  Flowers are nice too, but if I could only choose one it would be veg.

Are you a cat or a dog person?

I'm allergic to both, but I like both, cats scare me a little with their ability to turn on you in a millisecond.

Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
David Tennant.  I indirectly touched him once and my knees went all wibbly!  Swoon!

The rules for this tagging-question-y game are these...

1. Post these rules.
2.  Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
4. Tag 11 people and link them to your post.
5.  Let them know that you tagged them.

So my 11 questions are usual I'm terrible at tagging people in these things, so just join in if you'd like to, and let me know if you do so I can be nosey and look at your answers!

What is your favourite book?  Why do you like it?
What's the best experience you've ever had?
Describe your favourite pair of socks?
What amusing, idiosyncratic phrases do you regularly use?
Where is your favourite place in the world?
If you could only listen to 1 CD for the rest of your life which would it be?
What makes you happy?
What sort of a bargain in the charity shop makes you do a happy dance?
Which is your favourite room in your home?  What is it like?
What's your favourite animal?
Who do you think is the most beautiful person in the whole wide world? (inner or outer beauty, or both, count!)

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Vegan Junk Food...BBQ Llama Crackers...

I love these Llama shaped BBQ flavoured biscuits, they are soo yummy and are in the shape of llamas which makes them extra awesome!  They did not last long.  You can buy them in Tescos.

I love the little angelic llama putting his packet in the bin!

You can see what other vegan treats I've discovered here.

(This product is vegan as far as I can tell - items have suitable for vegetarians labelling, no dairy/eggs in the allergy section and the ingredients list contains no animal ingredients that I can see)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Charity Shop Treasure...Plates, Seventies Long Neck Cat and a Bunny...

This is what I've been buying recently!

These plates were about 50p each from the charity shop.  The brown one reminds me of plates we had when I was little.

This seventies long necked cat was 20p from a box of junk outside a tiny second hand shop. 20p!  He's friends with my pair of retro dogs now!

This bunny was £2.50, which is more than I usually like to pay for stuff, but I really love him!  He's made by Blue Mountain Pottery and looks quite 1950's I think.

Have you had any lucky finds recently?

Friday, 12 July 2013

Easy Green Things To Do This Month...July 2013...

Here's this months list of easy, eco actions...

Friends of the Earth has an online action to ask supermarkets to reinstate a ban on selling meat fed with GM crops.  They have another campaign to protect communities from the effects of Fracking.

Sign Greenpeace's petition to ask European politicians to vote for cleaner cars.

Write a letter to Eric Pickles as part of the Campaign to Protect Rural England's campaign to protect the green belt.

If you have any ideas to be added to this months list, then let me know in the comments section and if I like it, I'll add it!  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like! 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Garden Update...Summer Flowers and Veggie Growing...

The flowers in mums garden are beautiful this year...

And my veggie garden is growing really well...

I have a pumpkin and courgette (this is my 4th courgette, the slugs keep eating them!), chickpeas, broad beans, mini sweet corn and a few verbena and lobelia plants dotted around too.

Today I planted spinach, chives, kale and lettuce.  You can see on the left of the photo that I snipped some twigs of an obliging privet plant to mark out my patches so I know where to hoe and where to water!  My broad beans were grown from saved seed from my best plant from last year, I'm proud of how big and healthy they've grown this year.

Here's what else is happening, clockwise from top left - chickpea flower (I'm excited to see what happens with these!), courgette buds, alpine strawberry flower, first broad bean pod, variegated nasturtium leaves (I'm going to try eating these!), pumpkin buds, blackberries, broad bean flowers, the first ripe strawberry!

I'll show you my balcony another time, it's currently overrun with ants, which are destroying the plants and scaring me!  Once I've defeated them I'll make it pretty again!

You can see the progress of my garden this year (and last) by clicking this link!

How are your gardens growing?

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Things I loved this month...June...

This month I've loved...

* adventures * skyping * carboot sale-ing * watching Girls * BBQ * exercise * strawberries and tomatoes on my balcony * Livingstone Daisies * lie ins * tidy flat * new dresses * glittery beard * chips in the sunshine * pink roses * snails * bumblebees * a customer at work saying she missed me when I had a day off last week - tis nice to be appreciated! * flapjack at work, and jammy dodgers * making pirate hats * pink sparkly crown * fixing my freezer all by myself * making pictures for a new display at work * reading a silly book about a selkie! * tapas * making butterflies with cute kids in the sunshine *

Hope you've all had a lovely month!