Wednesday, 6 January 2021

What We Ate Wednesday--BOSH Katsu Curry Sauce with Roasted Vegetables

Hello lovelies! I checked out the cookbook BOSH! Healthy Vegan from the library before lockdown and I am so glad I did. It was full of delicious recipes, but this one was my favourite. We used to really enjoy a Katsu Curry dish at Wagamama and when I saw this, I knew I wanted to try it right away. It was an easy sauce to make and I made multiples and froze a few for easy nights in the kitchen. They defrost beautifully. Just move them from the freezer to the fridge and let them defrost overnight. 

 Their recipe used roasted aubergine and courgette (eggplant and zucchini to my American peeps) but we don’t really dig those vegetables, so I just subbed in whatever veg we had on hand. The first time it was red onion, sweet potatoes and red pepper, this time it was red onion, carrots and parsnips (because they were leftover from Christmas and needed to be used up ASAP.) It was all good. The sauce is a bit on the runny side, but it tastes gorgeous.
BOSH Katsu Curry with Roasted Vegetables 

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F 
  
1 onion, chopped 
1 large carrot, chopped 
1 large parsnip, chopped 
Half a red pepper, chopped
 1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
 1 TB oil Fresh ground pepper

Put all these in your big roasting tin and drizzle on the oil and stir to coat. Topped with some black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and stir and roast a further 15 minutes. Meanwhile make your sauce:

  BOSH Katsu Curry Sauce
1 onion, sliced
 3 cloves grated garlic 
½ TB oil or a splash of water 
 2 TB curry powder 
1 TB tamari or soy sauce 
2 tsp liquid sweetener like maple syrup/agave/golden syrup 
½ tsp turmeric 
½ tsp garam masala
 160 ml coconut milk (I use these little tins that are 3 for £1 at B&M Bargains) 
1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock

Cook your onion and garlic in ½ TB oil or a splash of water until softened. Add the curry powder, tamari/soy sauce, liquid sweetener, turmeric and garam masala and stir to coat. Then add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and bubble away for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pan to keep warm. 

 When the veg are through roasting, add them to the hot curry sauce and serve over brown rice.

 I actually made my curry sauce earlier in the day and made three servings worth then divided it up and put two in the freezer in sandwich boxes (they stack portions so well!) and put one in the fridge for later that night. Then I just reheated the sauce while the veg was roasting and the rice was cooking. It made it easier than trying to make it while the food was cooking and gave me time to read a chapter of a book while the food cooked.

Friday, 1 January 2021

2021 Vision

 Hello lovelies! Happy new year! 2020 was rollercoaster year, wasn't it? But it did allow me to see some things clearly:

1. I need routine. And it is hard to impose it on myself, but I must try harder especially as we are yet again in lockdown. 

2. I love my job. I mean I REALLY love my job. I miss it when I can't go to work. I am more productive and happier when I have been at work. I have a really good work-life balance and like to be having both halves of work and life. 

3. I am recharged by interacting with people. I knew this before, but I REALLY learned it over the big lockdown. The Amazing Spiderman is perfectly happy working from home as people drain him, but I was like a flat battery for months. I don't ever want to go out in big noisy groups in crowded spaces (not even before COVID) but I really thrive on some one on one conversations. I like meeting a friend for a hot chocolate in an independent café or going for a picnic in the park to save money. I also really enjoy interacting with customers. We have lots of regulars who pop in regularly (that is the definition of a regular, Spidergrrl!) that I look forward to seeing. Interacting with customers and being helpful is a huge part of my happiness. 

4. I have some control issues. Quite a lot of control issues, and this year has been out of control which has been really hard to cope with. This also ties in with routine because  with Spiderman working from home I could not keep to the routine I liked and found it very hard to take his suggestion to "please just do that some other time." 

5. I have trouble accepting help. I am often out helping people while my battery is on low (another issue I am continually working on) but find it harder to allow someone to help me. My dear old dad once said to me, "Why are you making things harder for yourself?" to which I replied "But it is so much easier to make things difficult!" by which I meant it is so much easier to do it myself that to ask for help. More on this in a bit. 

6. I am not good at sharing. I need my own computer. This was a serious issue during the big lockdown. I am a writer. Blogging takes up a lot of time and research and I am an author who needs to work on her own stories. This was a HUGE issue between myself and the Amazing Spiderman over the big lockdown. I was like Vesuvius waiting to erupt, always boiling and seething under the surface as we both needed to be on the computer at the same time but in the rock/paper/scissors of life--work trumps personal reasons. We have solved this by investing in a second laptop and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I have written more in the last two months than in the whole rest of the year. 

7. I need more creative outlets. This too was a struggle during the big lockdown when I couldn't go to work.  I started to think about what made me happy and what I missed from my life in England when I worked in a school. There was lots of time for laying about ruminating on what I enjoy that I was not allowed to do while I waited (im)patiently for my turn on the computer. Once I determined what it was, I made damn sure to start doing it the moment I got back to work. More on this later. 

Having gained some extraordinary insight into myself in 2020, I wanted to reflect that in my Vision Board.

What is a Vision Board, I hear you cry? Well, it is part woowoo, part arts and crafts. I like to really think on new year's day what I want to do in the upcoming year and who I want to be (striving always to be a better person). It is not about new year's resolutions--which are easily broken--but just some personal growth goals and a reminder of what makes me happy. By making a tangible reminder of what brings me joy, I can make sure to do it. I then hang it in a prominent place in my craft room and look at it every morning to remind me of what it is important. 

Want to see it? Of course you do.


So what am I doing this year? In no particular order:

1. Being vegan--this is the core of my values. Does it cause death and suffering? Then it is to be avoided. Does it bring life and kindness? Then it is to be celebrated. Compassion is so much better than cruelty. 

2. What am I doing in the world to make it better? Making sure to look for opportunities to make a difference in the world. This has been more important in lockdown....how can help others (making sure that what I choose to do energises me rather than depletes me--setting boundaries.) 

3. I am the chief cook in our house, but this was not always so. When we were first married and I was a full time student and then a full time teacher with a terrible work-life balance, Spiderman did all our cooking. When I wanted to become vegan I learned how to cook (and cook well!) Spiderman is a great cook. he is just much slower than me. I swear the man gets a ruler out when he chops potatoes as they are all identically sized! Since I am often tired from work, he has offered many times to share the burden of cooking. I do not take him up on it nearly as often as I should and then feel resentful as I am tired or my back hurts and it is me doing it. We had a long talk about this and I am going to work harder to relinquish some control in the kitchen. So in 2021, we will be taking turns more. We also will be cooking together more. I can do food prep MUCH faster while we chat about our days and then I can bugger off and do some yoga or have a nap while he does the cooking. Also, I want to make sure to do more advance food prep to make cooking for whoever's turn it is, easier. 

4. Keeping to a loose routine especially in times of lockdown. I don't have to do EVERYTHING in a day, but it would be nice to tick a few things off my enjoyment list (see below) every day. Also writing down a few things in my 2021 diary that I would like to accomplish (or need to be done--I cannot tell you the amount of times I have realised at midnight that something needed to be done for the morning.)  Better organisation and loose routine (especially in lockdown) but also for when I am working to use my time more wisely. 

5. Doing things that bring me joy--making crafts and creating art, reading (and discussing--this year Spiderman will be a judge for the Carnegie and Greenaway awards and so we will get upwards of a hundred books to read and talk about...I made us our own little book club symbol!), making films with my new stop motion animation app. These are all things I am doing for me...but there are several things I do at home that bring me joy that involve work. Sewing fancy dress costumes to wear at the Bookshop (after the big lockdown I have gone to work dressed as Hercule Poirot, the witch from Narnia and a Christmas elf) as well as storytelling. I realised how much I missed storytelling--the research of finding a story that feels right in my mouth, adapting it, memorising it, making costumes or props for it, performing it. Right now it is not possible to have children in the shop for an actual audience but we have gotten round this by having my faithful camera crew Spiderman film me telling tales. Which leads me neatly on to my next intention.

6. DIY. I used to be such a luddite--I only got my first smartphone in 2017 and I always feel like I am behind on technology but this year I taught myself to build a website because some friends with an animal sanctuary needed help. I also taught myself to use video editing software so that we could put up films of my storytelling on the the Goldstone Books YouTube Channel. I used to think that I was not smart enough to do "computer things" but it turns out I was wrong. So this year, with my new laptop that I don't have to share, I am finally working on a project that has been on hold since 2016--turning my epistolary novel into a graphic novel. Yes, I will be teaching myself how to illustrate online by using my my new tech skills to tell my story. Then we will publish my second book! Hoorah! 

7. Coming out of the big lockdown (but still in cautious mode) I was reminded who was in my tribe and who I enjoyed spending time with and who I hadn't missed at all. There are several people I let fade away because they drained me and several people I made an active effort to spent (socially distanced) time with because they energised me. Even now, in our third lockdown, I am making time to have phone calls and texts with people I care about (or send make and send a card if they are struggling) and that connection is keeping my going. 

8. The lockdowns put such a strain on small businesses and several independent vegan businesses have had to close. I work for an independent bookshop and I am all too aware of the national chain right down the road who can sell at a bigger discount than we can. I tried last year to support more small businesses (especially ones that help us cut our waste) and this year I will try even harder. We just booked in an order with Cegin Mam Gu for a three course Greek meal that is vegan and GF and delivered to our door which I am very much  looking forward to since we can't go out for a meal. Which leads me to my next point.

9. Drink more tea. This ticks the box of supporting Tea Traders ( a great independent business in town run by two lovely blokes which sells loose tea) as well as keeping me hydrated. Fruit tea is good hot or cold and I am guaranteed to have less pain and be less cranky if I am drinking some delicious tea.  

10. The self care checklist. Even just 15 minutes a day makes all the difference in my physical and emotional wellbeing. Yoga and strength training for my body (I have let my ab work go this year and I feel it in my lower back), deep breathing and mindfulness (I tend towards hyperventilating and overthinking), more orgasms (they are truly the best pain relief and mood booster I know) and a 15 minute tidy every day instead of letting things pile up until it takes hours to put everything back where it belongs will save my sanity. 

11. Patience. About everything.  Enough said.  

What did you learn about yourself in 2020? What do you hope to do with your life in 2021? 

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

What We Ate Wednesday--Umami Spaghetti

 Hello lovelies! We first had this recipe last week when I was so tired after work. Working in retail in the holiday season is no joke, but especially during a pandemic--all that extra work of wiping stuff down and keeping track of numbers of customers makes for a very tired Spidergrrl. Now as the virus has mutated, I am suddenly off work as nonessential shops are closed. I am still quite tired so it is great to have something quick and easy and delicious in my pocket. 

 I saw THIS RECIPE on the BBC website recently--it was a Nigella Lawson recipe so I wasn't holding out much hope. But I was pleasantly shocked that at the bottom she listed a way to make it vegan. 

Her recipe called for 

Spaghetti--yep

Garlic--yep

Water from a just boiled kettle--yep

Chili flakes--yep

Parmesan cheese--no problem, use a vegan substitute

3 TB olive oil--no problem, use some vegetable stock

Chard--no problem, substitute my old favourite kale

8 anchovy fillets--nope! But these were there to give a punch of umami flavour so I knew I could substitute something. Can't remember what umami is? Click {HERE} to refresh yourself. 

It sounded fast and it sounded delicious--and it was on both counts. This will definitely be added to the rotation. To substitute for the umami of the anchovies I used mushrooms cooked in tamari/soy sauce and a bit of yeast extract (Like Marmite...but the Tesco brand one which is gluten free.)

 


Umami Spaghetti 

1 white onion, diced very small

6 cloves crushed garlic

100g button mushrooms, diced small

2.5 TB tamari or soy sauce, divided

3/4 tsp yeast extract, divided

1/4 cup vegetable stock

1/2 tsp red chilli flakes

100g kale, destemmed and torn into bits

200g dried (GF) spaghetti

2 TB parmesan cheese (and more for serving) like Good Karma or make your own (see recipe below) 

1. Fill your kettle. Fill your pasta pot with 1/2 cup water.

2.  In a larger pot, cook your onion and mushrooms in the vegetable stock until it is softened and most of the liquid is gone. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and 1 TB of tamari/soy sauce and 1/2 tsp yeast extract. Stir to coat.

3. Start your pasta pot water on high and boil your kettle. Add your boiling water to the pasta pot and put the lid on and in a minute you will have a pot of boiling water. Add your pasta and set the timer for whatever the recommended cooking time is (mine is 8 minutes). Stir for a few minutes until the pasta releases some starch and turns cloudy. Scoop 1/2 cup of that starchy water and put it in with the umami mushrooms and add the kale and turn up the heat  to medium. Keep stirring the kale in the starchy water until it wilts and reduces.

4. Before you drain your spaghetti, scoop out another half a cup pasta water. Drain your pasta and put it in with the greens and umami mushrooms. Add the additional 1.5 TB tamari/soy sauce and an additional 1/4 tsp yeast extract. 

5. Add a TB or two of the saved pasta water if it seems claggy and doesn't stir well. 

6. Stir in 2 TB parmesan cheese. Use additional parmesan to taste. 

That's it. This was crazy delicious, full of flavour, filling and done in under 30 minutes. 

Parmesan Cheese

3 TB ground almonds

3 TB nutritional yeast flakes 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Blend together. Store leftovers in the fridge. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

What We Ate Wednesday--Leek and Potato Soup

 Hello lovelies! I cannot believe I  have never blogged this recipe. It is my special holiday recipe. We eat it every year on my birthday and Christmas eve. I am not sure why we don't eat it more to be honest. Every time I eat it, it just feels like a warm soupy hug. 

It is easy to make and just feels special. It became our go-to holiday soup from the first year we were married because it reminded us of England because we ate it at the Café in the Crypt at Saint Martin in the Fields church on the day we got engaged in 1990. Maybe it was also the leeks. Which now also remind us of Wales as leeks are part of the national emblem of Cymru. We used the soup as a sort of talisman to help us get back to the UK and here we are, so it must have worked. 

In the US it was much harder to find leeks (this was nearly 30 years ago, times may have changed) but we had to go out to Albertsons to buy them as I recall.  

This recipe makes 4 big bowls of soup. Also, I don't normally cook with vegan butter, but I like the leeks cooked in a TB of melted vegan butter, but it is not a necessity. 



Leek and Potato Soup

1 TB vegan butter (or a splash of water)

2 large or 3 smaller leeks (the white parts only...not the thick green leafy bits at the top)

garlic 

500g potatoes, diced

3.5 cups vegetable stock

splash of tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp yeast extract like marmite

1 tsp mixed herbs 

1/2 cup unsweetened plant based milk

black pepper to taste 

1. Melt your butter or heat your splash of water in a big pot. Cut the root end off your leek and slice lengthwise. Check for dirt. leeks love to hide dirt in the crevices. Then slice your leek into lots of pieces (they will be a sort of C shape) and throw them in with melted butter. It will look like a lot of leeks but they will cook down. When they have softened and reduced a bit throw in some garlic. 

2. Add in your diced  potatoes, tamari or soy sauce and yeast extract and stir to coat. Add your vegetable stock and mixed herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 25 minutes. 

3. Remove from heat and add your milk then using an immersion blender puree until as smooth as you like--we like it smooth with some whole chunks in there, but you could make it completely smooth. 

4. Check to see if it is warm enough (does it need a little more heating since it has been off the hob for a few minutes?) and top with black pepper. 

This is delicious and simple to make. It tastes like your dreams coming true (if your dream was to someday emigrate to the UK.)  


Friday, 11 December 2020

Fairy Tale Friday--Honest Fairy Tales--Snow White (song by Kristin Key)

 Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I'll begin.

Today marks the last of the Fairy Tale Friday explorations of Snow White. I have been writing about versions of this tale since the 3rd of April 2020 and now the time has come to wind it down. Thank you for coming with me on this journey (as well as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Murder Ballads before this.) 

I will leave you with a funny video in the Key of Kristin. Here is Kristin Key who summarises everything that is wrong with Snow White set to a jaunty tune. 


Thank you again for coming with me as we explore fairy tales. My life has gotten really busy with some other writing I am doing (I am working on some short story bundles to sell as well as my next novel) and so I am going to let Fairy Tale Friday rest for a bit to catch up on other creative endeavours. But I am sure in 2021 I will come back to explore another fairy tale--possibly Sleeping Beauty. 

Thanks! 

Heather

Friday, 4 December 2020

Fairy Tale Friday--Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney, 1937)

Hello and welcome to Fairy Tale Friday. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then I’ll begin.


We are to the end of our Fairy Tale Friday look at Snow White. Today we will look at the 1937 Disney film. Chronologically, it should have come earlier, but I wanted to save it for last due to its significance. For many of you, this film was the gateway to a Disney obsession. While I can agree it was visually spectacular (and it truly is—when you think of all those choppy/jerky Betty Boop cartoons, they were only a few years before this) I have never liked the passivity of the heroine waiting (and doing nothing but housework and sighing) until her Prince comes.

The following information all comes courtesy of Wikipedia:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was to be the first full-length cel animated feature in motion picture history. His brother and wife tried to talk Walt out of it. He had to mortgage his house to help finance the film's production, which eventually ran up a total cost of $1,488,422.74, a massive sum for a feature film in 1937. But it clearly was worth it as it was a massive success.

The film itself was released in Los Angeles in 1937, followed by a nationwide release on February 4, 1938. This was one year before The Wizard of Oz. Some interesting Oz trivia: The voice of Snow White Adriana Caselotti had an uncredited role in The Wizard of Oz. She provided the voice of Juliet during the Tin Man's song, "If I Only Had a Heart", speaking the line, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" More Oz trivia: (because I will shoehorn Oz into any conversion) the slinky wicked queen in her cowl and crown was an early costume design for the witch in Oz based on the success of Snow White. Gale Sondergaard did a screentest as a slinky sexy witch but opted out when they decided to make her ugly.  

It was nominated for Best Musical Score at the Academy Awards in 1938, and the following year,  Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Oscar for the film. This award was unique, consisting of one normal-sized, plus seven miniature Oscar statuettes.  

In 1989, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it as one of the first 25 films for preservation in the National Film Registry. Whether I like it or not, it is a game changer. 

Another bit of interesting trivia: The dwarfs’ names were chosen from a pool of about fifty potentials, including Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty, and Burpy.

Below is a summery courtesy of Wiki. I will insert comments and video clips into it.

Snow White is a lonely princess living with her stepmother, a vain Queen. The Queen worries that Snow White will be more beautiful than her, so she forces Snow White to work as a scullery maid and asks her Magic Mirror daily "who is the fairest one of all." For years the mirror always answers that the Queen is, pleasing her. Note: I admit I did not re-watch this one in its entirety, but I have no memory as to where her father is meant to be. I presume dead. The film opens with an illuminated manuscript which basically says exactly what Wiki does above but mentions her father not at all.  

One day, the Magic Mirror informs the Queen that Snow White is now "the fairest" in the land; on that same day, Snow White meets and falls in love with a prince who overhears her singing. Note: I do remember being in awe of the mirror but think Snow White herself was a bit of a drip.

Watch the Magic Mirror scene here: 


Here we also see Snow White in her very ragged dress (well done) and a pair of rough wooden clogs that don't make a clip clop noise which annoyed me. She is so good and sickly sweet it made me feel like I might go into a diabetic coma. Also all those pigeons would be crapping all over her wishing well if this was real. She does seem to have quite a lot of lippy on but then so does the Prince. 



The jealous Queen orders her Huntsman to take Snow White into the forest and kill her. She further demands that the huntsman return with Snow White's heart in a jewelled box as proof of the deed. However, the Huntsman cannot bring himself to kill Snow White. He tearfully begs for her forgiveness, revealing the Queen wants her dead and urges her to flee into the woods and never look backNote:  I liked that the Queen presented the Huntsman with a box with a heart with a dagger through it for a lock that she must have either just had laying about as a sinister object or had it specially made for just such an occasion as this. 

It is nice to see the Huntsman’s reluctance. Several films, he is in cahoots with the Queen (or under her spell sexually) It does feel very sinister seeing the sunlight glint off his knife and his shadow fall over her as he creeps up to kill her. The lost in the woods scene also made an impression on me as a child. I found it very frightening and disconcerting.  

Watch it here: 

What I noticed from re-watching this scene is that she has changed clothes. She has been a scullery maid in literal rags with wooden clodhoppers on her feet but a moment ago, but to go out and pick flowers in the woods she gets spiffed up in the dress we think of as a Snow White dress (no holes) and heeled shoes (no clogs). That makes no sense. 

 Lost and frightened, the princess is befriended by woodland creatures who lead her to a cottage deep in the woods. Finding seven small chairs in the cottage's dining room, Snow White assumes the cottage is the untidy home of seven orphaned children. Actually, the cottage belongs to seven adult dwarfs—named Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey—who work in a nearby mine. Note: Here we have the famous Heigh-Ho song. Many years ago we had a cassette of weird and wonderful cover versions of Disney Songs and there was a great, gritty cover of the Heigh-Ho song by Tom Waits. (would you expect anything less?) Listen to it below:

 


 Returning home, they are alarmed to find their cottage clean and suspect that an intruder has invaded their home. The dwarfs find Snow White upstairs, asleep across three of their beds. Snow White awakens to find the dwarfs at her bedside and introduces herself, and all of the dwarfs eventually welcome her into their home after she offers to clean and cook for them. Snow White keeps house for the dwarfs while they mine for jewels during the day, and at night they all sing, play music, and dance. Note: I know cooking and cleaning are important, but why does it all fall to her? Their house was a mess when she arrived and then they happily go on being lazy now that they had a dolly bird to pick up after them. Even as a child I felt like she aught to make them do their share of the work since they lived there too. Also as a child you think "wouldn't it be great to have woodland animals help you do your chore," but as you get older all you think is, "that is so unsanitary." 

Watch Whistle While You Work here:



Meanwhile, the Queen discovers Snow White is alive when the mirror again answers that Snow White is the fairest in the land and reveals that the heart in the box is that of a pig. Using a potion to disguise herself as an old hag, the Queen creates a poisoned apple that will put whoever eats it into the "Sleeping Death," a curse she learns can only be broken by "love's first kiss," but is certain Snow White will be buried alive. Note: I find this scene genuinely scary, even now. I have seen many transformation scenes, but this is one of the best. I love the way the spell was cast--both with witchy stuff and science (she has a whole chemistry lab in her lair). I love the bit in the transformation where her hands grow old and a flash of lightning reveals the bones inside for a brief moment. Also, the way lightning makes the potion go from still to sparkling made me laugh.

Watch (and shudder) here:



While the Queen goes to the cottage while the dwarfs are away, the animals are wary of her and rush off to find the dwarfs. Faking a potential heart attack, the Queen tricks Snow White into bringing her into the cottage to rest. The Queen fools Snow White into biting into the poisoned apple under the pretence that it is a magic apple that grants wishes. As Snow White falls asleep, the Queen proclaims that she is now the fairest of the land. Note: Trust the animals. They can see through her disguise and try to peck her death in a scene reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock. The thing that made me laugh out loud though, was in between all the fuzzy forest creatures there were a pair of vultures sitting in a tree. Then the old hag pulls a Sanford and Son, and clutches her chest and fakes a heart attack.  Snow White is so gullible here and simple-minded, it makes my head hurt. The old hag is clearly using her evil voice in between bouts of her old helpless lady voice, but our heroine does not pick up on those subtle clues. 

Watch the poison apple bit here:



 The dwarfs return with the animals as the Queen leaves the cottage and give chase, trapping her on a cliff. She tries to roll a boulder over them, but lightning strikes the cliff before she can do so, causing her to fall to her death. Note: Though I am all for restorative justice in my real life, I find I really like a sense of punishment and justice in my fairy tales. This is a great “gets what is coming to her” ending. The vultures are here again and she runs away, gets trapped on a conveniently place cliff top situated in running distance of the forest, and tries to use leverage to release a boulder down on the dwarfs below. Instead, lightning cracks her cliff and she falls into the abyss with the boulder falling on her instead like Wile E Coyote. 

The dwarfs return to their cottage and find Snow White seemingly dead, being kept in a deathlike slumber by the poison. Unwilling to bury her out of sight in the ground, they instead place her in a glass coffin trimmed with gold in a clearing in the forest. Together with the woodland creatures, they keep watch over her. A year later, the prince learns of her eternal sleep and visits her coffin. Saddened by her apparent death, he kisses her, which breaks the spell and awakens her. The dwarfs and animals all rejoice as the Prince takes Snow White to his castle.

Watch the ending here: 


That is the last of the Snow Whites. However, I will treat you next week to one last Snow White. A hilarious comedy song I stumbled across whilst writing this last post. Stay tuned next week for death by fruit.

 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

What We Ate Wednesday--Roasted Sweet Potato with Macaroni Cheese and Savoury Kale

 Hello lovelies! Times are busy and I am tired (Working retail is no joke in the run up to Christmas!) so I wanted a meal that I could do without a recipe to follow--one I knew how to do all the parts off by heart. Plus one that didn't require extra shopping. 

We had 2 sweet potatoes and a red onion--I knew how to roast those in the oven.

We had kale--I knew how to sauté it with a splash of tamari/soy sauce. 

I had just made cheese power using THIS RECIPE and so we could have Macaroni Cheese. This sauce is great--you make ahead so always have cheese powder ready for action. The ratio is 1/3 cup powder to 1 cup milk per person (also 1 cup pasta per person, but sometimes we just make it as a cheese sauce for nachos) 

Dinner is sorted.



Roasted Sweet Potato with Macaroni Cheese and Savoury Kale

1 large or 2 smaller sweet potatoes (about 400 grams), cubed

1 red onion, cut into large chunks

1 TB olive oil

100g kale (3 big handfuls)

splash tamari or soy sauce

2 cups macaroni (or other) pasta--use GF pasta if you need to

2/3 cups cheese powder--just make THIS RECIPE and you have instant cheesy sauce at your fingertips

2 cups unsweetened plant based milk--we used soya

1 TB lemon juice--bottled is fine

1 tsp wholegrain mustard (optional, but nice)

1 TB vegan buttery spread (optional to make it richer)

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F

1. Put your chopped sweet potatoes and red onion in a big roasting tin and drizzle on the TB of oil. Stir to coat. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then take it out and stir and roast again for another 15 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, in a medium sized pan boil your macaroni according to package directions then drain and set aside. While your macaroni is boiling, in a large pot sauté your kale on medium high with a splash or two of water until it wilts and softens. Then add a splash of tamari or soy sauce and stir to coat your greens. Then take off the heat. Put on a lid and set aside. 

 3. In the same pot you cooked the macaroni, add the TB of vegan butter if you wish and let it melt then add the 2 cups milk, 2/3 cups cheese powder and the TB lemon juice and mustard (if using.) Whisk together and continue to whisk until the cheese sauce thickens. Add back in the pasta and stir to coat.

4. By this time the roasted sweet potatoes should be done. Remove from the oven. Mix the hot macaroni cheese with the kale you set aside and then spoon into two bowls and top with roasted sweet potatoes. 

5. Nom nom nom while putting your feet up.