March 27, 2015

This Girl Made Crackers


You know how there are some things that you just think are beyond you. In the culinary world these are the things that you give up on making yourself before you've even tried. 

People, I have broken down (some of) these barriers- I HAVE MADE CRACKERS. 

Yeah- you read that right. This girl makes crackers now. 

Blueberry coconut socca crackers to be exact. 

For those who don't know (and because I just had to google it myself) socca, or farinata, is a thin crepe made of chickpea flour- originating in Genoa- that is mixed with water and olive oil, and baked in an open oven before being sliced into triangles or fingers and eaten. 

I didn't make socca (although I am now wondering what the difference between socca and my chickpea omelettes is)- I made socca crackers

Are you impressed? I am. 

I made crackers. 

Before going in the oven

To back up that these crackers are brilliant - my Mom has just come in and said that the Aldi crackers have gone soft. 

After the first bake

No Mom, I just was too scared of burning my HOMEMADE CRACKERS and so didn't leave them in the oven quite long enough. 


But not only are these crackers awesome- they were made by me. AND I've even done all the washing up. 

Toasted coconut!

I didn't set off to make crackers. I actually started the day thinking "what can I do with the blueberries". You know when you get carried away and you buy something without checking it out fully first- yeah. I did that with dried blueberries. I saw dried blueberries and thought- oh- great!!! I so want some. Who wouldn't want dried blueberries? Think of all the things you could do with dried blueberries!!! 

But then I got them home... and tried them... and was sadly disappointed. There was just something - something- not right. 

It was the fact that they were heavily sweetened. Like- 40% sugar. That is almost half sugar. And I'm sure a lot of people would find them great- because I'm sure totally unsweetened blueberries might be a bit tart for some people. But for me? It meant that the blueberries were just meh. They didn't taste crystallised or super sugary- but the sugar seemed to neutralise the blueberry flavor totally. I could barely tell they were blueberries. 

I was not impressed.


But what do you do with disappointing blueberries? 

I didn't want to snack on them as is, because, meh. 
I didn't want to make something like fruit and nut bars where the recipe relies heavily on the dried fruit- because it's hard to make a feature of meh. 
I didn't want to plan a whole meal around them - like a salad featuring dried blueberries- because I have other things I want to eat far more than dried blueberries. 
And no, I couldn't just throw them away. 

So I decided to make a snack or baked good. Something that uses up a load of dried fruit at once- but isn't to 'saturated' with them. Also- something that I could snack on as opposed to a main meal. 

And then I saw the packet of Aldi crackers (those were cranberry flavored wholewheat mini 'crisp bread' crackers). And remembered a recipe I had found ages ago but discounted because it looked to hard and what on earth was buckwheat and garbanzo? 

But I have come on from there. 

I have both chickpea (garbanzo) flour and buckwheat (I used it for the first time today) now. 
And I decided that I was ready to make crackers. 


I used this recipe from Edible Perspective. It is an amazing recipe. It was so quick and easy!!!! And simple. The hardest bit was getting them in and out of the oven. These are easier than cookies!!! They are so simple and just amazing. 

I did change up a few things. Apparently, Ashley from Edible Perspective has never accidentally bought over sweetened dried blueberries, because she doesn't have a recipe for dried blueberry crackers. So I used her Cinnamon Sugar Socca Crackers, and swapped the cinnamon and vanilla in the batter for 1 T of desiccated coconut (mine was practically coconut power though- very fine!), 1/4 cup of dried blueberries and 1t of coconut extract (although you could keep the vanilla if you don't have any coconut extract). I then replaced the cinnamon topping with 2 T of desiccated coconut. And so cinnamon sugar crackers have become blueberry and coconut. 

And they are so good, they get mistaken for ones from the super market. 

I did manage to forget to add the sugar and salt though. And I was so scared of burning them I took them out a minute to early. And they were still good. 

This recipe is adapted from one from Edible Perspective, which is one of the first blogs I read and still one of my favorite- so you should definitely go check it out!!



March 22, 2015

In "My" Kitchen # 2

Anyone remember this post?

Well- this time- I don't have much of a sous chef. I AM DOING MOST OF MY OWN COOKING!!!!! I still need help with a few things- but I AM DOING A LOT OF IT ON MY OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How cool is that? 

Although slightly annoying when my Dad comes into the room and says things like "Don't you want a roast potato for tea?". Well- no- because if I want to cook for myself then I need to plan and so you can't just turn up and say "Don't you want a roast potato for tea?" because if I have roast potato for tea then when will I have the stir fry? :( 

So what is not in "my kitchen" is a roast potato. :P 

Sigh. 

I like stir fry better anyway. 

:)

So, I wanted to give you a overview of what I had been eating lately. Basically- noodles and oatmeal. And date bars but I don't have any pictures of them. So...

This isn't actually a proportional representation- this is more just a collection of the more interesting/noteworthy things. Or just the things I photographed for one reason or another. These aren't 'posed' photo's- and so they are completely unedited. Just to warn you. One even includes a laundry basket in the background. 


And this plate is what I affectionately like to call "how to eat your veggie burger when you have run out of anything but white bread". Cut out circles of bread, and cut the crusts into "chips". Yes, we really did need to go shopping. Yes, I should of chosen something other than veggie burger that night. Yes, it did make me obsessed with the white sliced bread and chilli sauce combo because it is AWESOME. 


This was one of my favourite meals until it got to the point where I couldn't buy Linda McCartney Fish Free Scampi anymore. The 'nuggets' added a really nice contrast to the thai red curry coconut stir fry. Don't suppose anybody knows where you can buy the scampi from now that Sainsbury's have stopped selling it?


This is some Paella that Mom and me made from a packet (a really long time ago now). You can't really see it that well in the picture- but it was really colourful. And also the first time that I'd had paella. It was good. I should make it again sometime. Though not from a packet. (Recipe possibly coming soon for serves 1 paella!)



I got a squash!!!!! To be honest, I have no idea what a harlequin squash is- I have never heard of it before, but they had one and it was so pretty and I just had to try some (obviously- who could turn down a squash as pretty as that?) It tasted yummy too :D

 Yes I am overusing emoticons in this post. Sorry. 


I had nooch on my risotto and roasted veg instead of parmesan! I'm not quite sure which I preferred, but I'd always been a bit afraid to try this and now I have. I was a very brave big girl :P And plus, as mentioned above- what doesn't taste good with squash?


And here is a mushroom sausage and sweet potato hash. I've decided that I need to eat stuff like this more often, because it's brilliant- no knives and forks!!!! (Okay, so there's a fork there but that's because the chopsticks were in the dishwasher). And plus, I had it with applesauce, and yum... applesauce!!!


And here are some noodles. Because I eat a lot of noodles. And noodles. :) 


And here is onion ring salad. Which is officially a thing now. Because I'm trying to clear out the stuff I don't want that is 'mine' from the freezer (because it is in a perpetual state of being full) and there was a big bag of onion rings in there from... a long time ago. And so I had onion rings with everything for a while. And so onion ring salad was a thing. 

So- that is a snap shot of what I've been eating lately. But really, I've been eating noodles and oatmeal. This was just the interesting stuff. 

Oh, and chocolate raisins. I've eaten a lot of chocolate raisins. 

Okay... au revoir. Next time I will include less emoticons... I promise. 

March 15, 2015

Andromeda Binary: Chocolate Raisin

 

When I tell people that I am a vegetarian- it's guaranteed that in the next 60 seconds will come the question "do you miss meat?". 

The answer: no. 

(duh)

I very similar and yet very different variation of the question is something I have found myself asking fellow vegetarians often. "What do you miss most". There is no point asking "do you miss meat"- cause no one ever just says "yes". Similarly, when I ask "what do you miss most," no one ever says "meat." Despite it apparently being an apparently common one- I've never know anyone to say that the thing they miss most is McDonald's. But apparently that's what everyone says. I have known a few (but by no means the majority) of people say that they miss "bacon butties," (yes spell check, butties is a real word north of the Midlands), and one person who said "chicken". Both times specific items. But both these are rare occasions. The most common answer? "Jelly" and "sweets" (often a specific type). "Nutella" used to be up there- but it's veggie now. Chicken gravy has been one (although they actually meant from a packet- not even 'real' stuff.)  

Occasionally I've asked "do you actually miss meat?". No one has ever said yes. 


Do I miss meat? No. Seriously- no. I never think "oh I really want a...". The closest I've ever got? "I really want a Quorn BLT." Really I just wanted soft fluffily pre sliced bread- big slices of pretty tasteless tomatoes, and lettuce with mayo. But who eats a LT sandwich? But I never thought that I wanted a BLT, I just wanted the stuff that went with the B. Or a sandwich which wasn't cheese spread or hummus. The type of sandwich that you get ready made in a shop. 

Which is what I miss the most. I miss the convenience. I miss the ability to go into a shop and pick up a sandwich. On Friday I went into a shop to get lunch- and came out with a bread roll and a packet of chocolate raisons. I miss not having to check the ingredients of everything. I miss the things which aren't veggie but everyone assumes they actually are- M&M's, some chocolate, the chocolate raisons that they sell at Crewe railway station (don't ask), until they recently became veggie I missed Party Rings and Nutella. (Because I actually felt that I was missing out something there). 

I miss other stuff too. I miss breaking up a block of jelly to make jelly (if that makes sense). Hence I will always volunteer to break up chocolate for melting. I feel cheated at the fact that my Percy Pig sweets have a green ear and not a pink one (not that it really matters- but...) I miss being able to get food colouring on my way home from the little supermarket. (It's okay- I now have a full set that I got last year for Christmas). 

There is one thing that nobody ever asks me though. 

When I tell people that I don't eat a lot of milky or eggy stuff because it makes me feel icky and sick- no one ever asks me "do you miss xyz". 


Not once have I ever been asked do I miss omelettes. Do I miss chocolate mousse. Do I miss yogurts. Do I miss drinking milk. Do I miss boiled eggs. 

I am NOT a vegan. I still consume milk and eggs. But I don't eat as much as most other people. I try and stop before I feel really rubbish. I know my limits and I try to stick to them. 

And there are some things that I miss. But no one has ever bothered to ask me. 

I miss (amongst other things):
  • Plain strawberry yogurt (Alpro do strawberry and rhubarb or strawberry and banana- but not plain strawberry)
  • Eating a whole Boost bar. 
  • Laughing Cow breadstick dippers (although I have just noticed that these aren't even suitable for vegetarians)
  • Philadelphia used to do these snack pack things.... 
  • Grated cheese sandwiches with absolutely loads of cheese. 
  • Egg mayo sandwiches
  • Ambrosia (as in rice pudding and custard... and pink custard.... and banana custard.... and... I gotta get some custard powder) 
  • Ice cream (Magnum style things) (Neapolitan) (Mint Choc Chip) (Ice Cream in a cone from a van) 
  • Muller Light vanilla flavor (okay.... someone please explain why I haven't just tried Alpro vanilla- cause now I think about it I REALLY miss vanilla yogurt (and yes- it was always Muller Light) )
  • Muller Corners. Cherry. Banana Cornflake. 
I could eat any one of those things (except for breadstick dippers - who knew they weren't veggie- and some ice creams) if I wanted. (Don't say I could eat meat if I wanted. I couldn't. And don't bother saying that I could because.... If you don't get it I'm sorry but you just don't get it.) But I don't want to. 


What I'm trying to say here is that NO ONE EVER ASKS ME IF I MISS ALL THE THINGS THAT I CHOOSE NOT TO EAT BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO MILKY/EGGY FOR ME. 

Not once. 

But that's strange- because I don't miss meat- I do miss the above listed items. And I guess I miss them more because there is nothing actually stopping me eating them. It's hard for me to miss something that is made with dead animal- because it's totally against everything that I stand for. It's easier for me to miss these I guess because they're not. I just don't want to eat them. 

I guess most of this isn't actually making any sense. Sorry. 

Basically- the message that you need to take from all this is that I miss Muller Corners

So I decided to make my own. Some point last year. Because I actually seemed to have an amazing array of creative ideas last year. (Okay- so deciding to put a topping on soy yogurt isn't exactly creative- but I hadn't done it in the however many years before. And I definitely hadn't thought of making a banana cornflake yogurt). (Banana cornflake a current favorite and recipe coming soon- but we've ran out of cornflakes). 

I mean- I didn't exactly decided to make corner yogurts. I just made a banana yogurt and topped it with chocolate cornflakes. But then I got one of these. My reasoning to get one of these was to make my own breadstick dippers. But then yesterday when I got it I thought- corner yogurts!!!! (I also thought- hey- I could make my own cheese spread using.... (top secret recipe coming soon- I tried it today and I haven't quite mastered it yet) so that I don't have to try and water down a really light cheese triangle). 

There is just one problem. The separate compartment isn't in the corner. It's at the end.

So I can't call them corners. 

:( Sad face. 

Last year- in one of my creative thinking moments- I though it would be fun to make something and 'rebrand' it in my own special brand for the blog- cause wouldn't that be fun? (No- really. It has been lots of fun). You know- package it as if it's come from a supermarket or something and make it look more interesting. 

And hey- if I need to think of another name for my corner yogurts that aren't corner yogurts- what better opportunity will there be? 

So.... 

Enter.....



Yeah- I know that what else was I supposed to call a yogurt on a blog called Ana's Rocket Ship other than Milky Way? But it was already used up. (Stupid Galaxy- cause you took that name up too). And yes- I know that it doesn't matter for my made up yogurt brand- but I felt stupid calling it Milky Way Yogurt when Milky Way is a chocolate/candy bar (incidently- did you know that they are different in the UK to the US?) and so I went with then nearest thing after that. And in space terms that is the Andromeda galaxy. So- I decided to call my silly made up brand Andromeda. 

Cause this is my blog and I can do what I want. I would say that no one reads it but 76 people read it on Tuesday. Who are you people and how do you know when I post a new post? 

The Binary bit (i.e. the product name as opposed to the brand name- if that makes sense) is named after a binary star. Which is actually a load of rubbish in a sentence because by very definition for it to be a binary star there needs to be two of them. So it is named after a binary star system which is two stars orbiting around each other. So... two parts to make up a whole.... get it? 

So.... Andromeda Binary- the new best type of yogurt!!!! 

(As an aside- this has nothing to do with binary code- despite the fact that I know how to work it out now.) (But as I can 'do it' I thought that I'd add in a bit just for fun). (Yes- my parents did think I was a bit weird for subjecting my yogurt to being packaged). 


And because we had ran out of cornflakes, the first 'flavor' I've gone with is:

If you want an alternative to Muller Corners due to the ingredients in them than the one I've pictured here is vegan and gluten free. If you wanted a nut free one than you could use nut free chocolate raisins and yogurt. If you wanted a very homemade one so you know EXACTLY what went into it then you could use homemade yogurt and chocolate raisins. You could use organic yogurt and fair-trade chocolate raisins. You could customize it how you like, for example by using dark chocolate raisins instead of milk by buying really juice raisins and covering them in chocolate yourself. 


I used Alpro's new Plain with Almond yogurt. It's a soya yogurt with almond. I am still waiting desperately for someone to release a non soya based yogurt- but until then- this is a nice variation on the 'plain' yogurt. When my Mom asked me what it was like- a said 'cyanid like'. By this I meant that it tasted like almond flavouring or marzipan as opposed to the very subtle flavor of real almonds or almond milk. I've never actually tried cyanide. 

Normally I would just use normal chocolate raisins - they are cheep and you can get them in most supermarkets- but for the purpose of today I used some that I bought in Holland and Barrett. 



If you want to save money? Well- my vegan version cost about 20p more than the original (which isn't brilliant- but it's not that bad as an occasional treat either- and most of the cost (as in 75% of it) came from the chocolate raisins- so if you made them yourself you could probably save a bit of money that way) but if you're doing it purely to save money? Than you can save about 50p per yogurt by making them yourself (I just worked each portion to be 18p from Sainsburys). 

Yeah- okay. And after all that- this is hardly a recipe. 

Enjoy!!!!


Andromeda Binary: Chocolate Raisin
Serves 1

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons chocolate raisins
If you have a separated container put the yogurt in one part and the chocolate raisins in another. If not try putting the yogurt in one container (there's nothing wrong with just dishing it out into bowls) and serving the chocolate raisins on the side to be added at the last minute. 





March 09, 2015

Strawberry Weetabix

In this post- do not expect pretty pictures. 

I mean it. 

Not only is there a lack of photos in this post- but they are not good. 

The well known problem with Weetabix - i.e. that they go soggy really quickly as soon as you put anything wet (usually milk) onto them, means that they are not agreeable to being photographed. And also- I was hungry- I couldn't be bothered to wait for decent light (cause let's face it- that might mean waiting till about 11am right now). And with everything else against me- I wasn't really bothered about even trying to get good photos. I just wanted breakfast.

Now, this Friday is Red Nose Day. I can't do a danceathon. I only have one lesson on Friday so I'll miss the college bake sale. I won't be wearing a red nose (because it'll just get in the way and I'll lose it). I'll be leaving the house before 7.30 so I do not have time to make my face "funny for money". So I will just eat strawberry Weetabix. That okay with everyone?

Seriously- I will donate more than the 5p that goes from me buying a pack of breakfast cereal- but you know- I like to know that together- we can do well buy buying a packet of cereal. Even if it is sweetened. And goes soggy quickly.

However- to just have plain strawberry Weetabix would be pretty boring- right (well- wrong. They are very yummy with just some milk). So how about I fancy them up a bit- make them "yummy" for  instead of funny. Although you can try and make Weetabix funny if you want- but yummy is easier.

So... we start of with these:


And you follow these (awesome) instructions:

  1. Chop up a few dried strawberry's (if you can get the unsweetened kind I would) and a few veggie strawberry marshmallows (if you can't find them then just use any strawberry sweets). You don't want them in a ridiculously tiny dice- but chop them small enough so that you'll get a bit of everything in every bite. If you want- you can top it with fresh strawberries instead of the dried- but it's March and so they will probably taste a bit blah. 
  2. I couldn't get hold of any plain strawberry yogurt (it was always strawberry and something) so I mixed some strawberry milkshake powder and plain yogurt together. If you have strawberry yogurt- skip this step. 
  3. This is the bit where you have to be quick. Lay your Weetabix into a wide bowl. Pour a little bit of milk onto them. Top with the yogurt, strawberries and marshmallows. 
Enjoy!!!


It's very yummy. 

If you want- you can top it with fresh strawberries instead of the dried- but it's March and so they will probably taste a bit blah.