Sunday, 30 June 2013

burgers and mayo (vegan obvs)

Bert bought us a new cook book yesterday. Burgers! and they are every which way!
The author writes a blog so you can go and check his recipes out, although I can't find the one I just tried out on there.
I am pretty interested in cooking vegan burgers as it's sometimes hard to get the consistency right, so this book is great as it tells you to combine all the ingredients without egg (though there are a few recipes with egg in this book as it's a vegetarian/vegan one) using beans, potatoes, flax seed or rice. 
I've never made burgers with rice so it has been quite exciting times here at casa lile-pastore.
I made the beetroot and brown white rice burgers.
mainly because I bought beetroots yesterday and roasted them and then didn't really know what to do with them. plus, I am not 100% sure I like beetroot, and am never sure how to cook it.
anyways, if I was following this recipe properly I wouldn't have roasted the beetroots I would have grated them. There were many things I didn't do correctly with this recipe, like I used a tin of mixed beans instead of black or kidney beans and white instead of brown rice... but it turned out really good although I imagine it would have been even better with the proper ingredients.
here is the recipe from the book:

3 medium beetroot, scrubbed clean and ends trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion diced 
half a teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
225g/8oz cooked black or kidney beans
65g/2 and a half oz cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground pepper

then... you grate the beetroot and set aside
cook the onion in the oil until it softens and then add the beetroot and salt and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the beetroots are soft. Add the vinegar and set aside.
in a bowl mash the beans and fold in the beetroot mixture, rice, parsley and black pepper and then mix up and shape into patties.
fry on a high heat for a minute then turn down to medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then turn over and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.

Lukas says we should eat them in a bun with pickled red onions (the recipe is in the book) but I didn't have any red onions so we had them with homemade tofu mayo and rocket.
how do you make tofu mayo??
here's how!
This recipe is from the book Veganomicon but without following the amounts....
really, all it is is a block of silken tofu whizzed up with some cider vinegar, oil, agave nectar, salt and pepper. We just do it all to taste and it's super good and lasts for about 3 days in the fridge.

Am looking forward to trying out more burger recipes from our new book.
do you have any veggieburger recipes to share?

Saturday, 29 June 2013

some pictures, some thoughts

Just some recent-ish pictures.
Reading and finishing Moby Dick, Making tofu dressing (a bit like mayo), wearing my mexican dress a lot (I may have to get another one in another colour) and reading Marie Calloway's new book which is getting all sorts of attention.... I'll tell you what I thought about it when I'm done.

It's been quiet here... I had a quiet week in work too, I researched things, tried to think up new ideas, made some crochet bunting, drank tea, thought about reading group.....

at home it's been quiet too, poor bertie's been ill, hayfever, but also maybe a virus too, so even though it's hot we've been eating soup.... pea soup, sweetcorn chowder.... and watching old movies. I've been going to yoga classes including the new hot yoga class I've found. I am liking hot yoga a lot.

Found this lovely tumblr.... and many others. Are you on tumblr? This is me - it's mainly pictures... and reblogs, and interesting things I've found...

So it's saturday morning and I have the whole weekend off (a rare treat) and am in my pyjamas drinking my coffee and wondering what to do with my day. Sadie is in her bed cleaning off the coconut oil I've rubbed into her fur. I think I'm going to read a little and then pop out for coffee, what are you doing today?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

book binge

Lots of my favourite writers have new books out. I have to have them!
I'm also excited to read the new Andrew Sean Greer and Donna Tartt, but haven't got them yet.
bert got me the Joyce Carol Oates and the Jay Griffiths. The Joyce one I have already started and it's about vampires! I know. It's pretty amazing and reads like a kind of a post-modern hammer horror.
I loved Jay Griffiths's other books - 'pip pip a sideways look at time', and 'wild' and this new book 'Kith' is all about childhood and place. Can't wait.
And a new Curtis Sittenfeld? what a joy!
Our new Lion cushion is so sweet. Bert saw it and really wanted it, and as he's never wanted a cushion in his life I thought we should buy it.
Lovely work people gave me amazon vouchers! I bought these two books. They look really good too.
am not sure when I  will have the time to read all of these!

and the new Michelle Tea!
Do you like Michelle Tea? I love her books so much. This one is for young adults and it has a mermaid in it, it's also a really lovely edition.
Are you looking forward to reading books this summer? 
What are you going to read?
What are you reading now?
I need to know!

vegan dinners

herb tea
we try and be healthy over here! we try and cook lots and eat as much beans, pulses and salad that we can. 
but then sometimes we just eat pasta every day....
this is salad with pomegranate seeds, tofu marinated in maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic and chilli, 
and witches supper (chick peas, garlic and mint)
a birthday breakfast of blueberry pancakes.
this looks a bit gross... but it was good. Sweet potato and pea fritters with coleslaw and some tofu/lime mayo we wizzed up.

Friday, 21 June 2013


so, first off, apologies for the rubbish photos. I am not doing these prints justice. I mentioned the other day that my camera has broken (some severe wet weather did for it) so these are my from my phone.
second, It's been print crazy over here... here's what I've been buying:

Two adorable prints from goldlion to go next to our books.
and I also got this lovely print from goldlion too. This is their photo so you can see it properly.
...and I popped it in a black frame and put it on a windowsill in the hallway.
I bought this one for my littlest niece Gwenno. Again, it's goldlion and they kindly added Gwenno's name on the top. I love it in the red frame which makes the red of the apple, ladybird and yo yo pop out.
For my birthday, Bert got me this wonderful Devendra Banhart print. Isn't it great? It needs a frame too, but I couldn't find one the right size.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

some time off, some coffee....

we had some time off recently. it was nice to spend time together, to watch movies,to hang out with sadie-cat,  to cook food and to go out and drink coffee.
look at that face! sadie is having a cuddle with bert!

we went and read in the park (and drank coffee)
I made this little crochet bow brooch from Molly Makes...
and then I proudly wore it... even though it's not something I'd wear as a rule....
there we are having coffee.....
we bought books (more of that to come). The month of June saw a mid-year break in our book buying ban. we may  have gone a little crazy. The ban re-starts in July.
my handsome husband....
another day another coffee. I was on my own here, just hanging out and reading 'More Book Lust' by Nancy Pearl. I've been reading 'Book Lust' too, they are great and you can find out even more books that you'd like to read.
coffee should always be served on a silver tray.
sadie sunbathing. that girl loves a sunbeam. 

what else?
I went to hot yoga. It was AMAZING! who knew? I was worried about the heat but then I loved it and wanted to get closer to the heaters... you can bend so much more when it's hot. fun huh?
We finally watched Perks of Being a Wallflower. gosh. I cried. a lot.
We were both nervous about seeing it as we are huge fans of the book, but it was really wonderful. Have you seen it?
We are dreaming of going to stay in a cottage in the woods. And we think we'll go next year! We could stay in these
we've also been watching Twin Peaks, and Ghost Hunters.....

Saturday, 15 June 2013

it chooses you by miranda july

This book is so good! you should read it!
It's all about writing the screenplay for the movie 'The Future'. It is very sweet and a little sad. And look at that cushion too!
I'm too sleepy to tell you anything else....

Thursday, 6 June 2013

homemade gnocchi (vegan style)

we made gnocchi!
I was slightly nervous about making gnocchi... I thought it would be really hard to get right and it would all smoosh together in the bottom of the pan. But, I think the stars aligned for our gnocchi making session as it was just perfect.

First we consulted a cookbook - 'Nonna's Italian Kitchen. Delicious Home-Style Vegan Cuisine' and then we consulted a real nonna (bert's mum) and then we were ready to go.

We decided to bake the potatoes. So we put four large potatoes in the oven and baked until soft, then we mashed them in a bowl with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and then added flour a little at a time until we got a dough. The dough shouldn't be too sticky - same sort of texture as if you were making a pizza dough.

we even bought this fancy flour....
using plenty of flour so the dough doesn't stick, roll it out into sausages....
....and slice into little squares.
then press a fork onto each square (I could use some practice here) so that the sauce will stick to it and the gnocchi will cook through properly.
Bert's mum suggested that we leave them for a little while before cooking, so we left them out for ten minutes....
then we added them to a big pot of boiling water until they floated to the top.
we got them out with a spoon and put them in a colander rather than just draining them the usual way.
(to avoid the smooshing)

we had it with a fresh tomato sauce, basil and vegan mozzarella
it really was the best thing ever.
I can't stop thinking about it.

have you made gnocchi? 
any tips?
I want to make a pumpkin one now....

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

birthday week

(my birthday and bert's birthday = week off from work to celebrate!)
as it's my birthday TOMORROW here are some lovely things....

a baby sloth.

I may have to buy this new 'Stirde' print from goldlion...*

I've only recently discovered Neil Krug's photographs. They are so beautiful.

Bas Jan Ader is one of favourite artists.
His work is so very beautiful and looks so contemporary.
He disappeared in 1975.
For more info about his life and work see here

*oop. just bought it.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

books i read in may

here's what I read in may! 
I love chi's sweet home. am going to have to buy volumes 7, 8 and 9 too.
Thought I should try Pretty Little Liars as the tv show is so good... and enjoyed the book too. I read 'From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil B Frankweller' as the author - E.L. Konigsburg recently died and this book is meant to be a classic. It was written in the 60s and pretty big in the USA it seems, but I'm not sure it was here so much, anyway, it was good too, a little old fashioned, but lovely.
Laurel's Kitchen is a vegetarian cookbook written in the 70s that all the guys on the communes read. It's got a really lovely introduction and the recipes are interesting too, though perhaps a little trad-veggie.
Love, love, love the Rebecca Solnit book. Solnit has become one of my most favourite writers, she is just wonderful.This book (non-fiction) was about storytelling and memory, peaches, frankenstein, Iceland... and other good, fascinating things.
Really enjoyed 'The God of Animals' by Aryn Kyle even though it was a novel about horses (although I love the tv show Heartland so maybe I am a horse novel reader). 
and guess I should mention 'The Red Queen' by Philippa Gregory which I read as I was joining in on my mum's reading group. It's set in Tudor times when Henry VIII was growing up. Although am interested in this time period, this book was not really my thing.
I have also been trying to read Hemingway's 'For whom the Bell Tolls' this May, but it's proving to be a little bit of a struggle... I shall continue though. This June I am also fully intending to read Moby Dick in a month. It's just 20 pages a day. what could go wrong?

what are you reading?
anything good?


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