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Pop Up Cardiff!

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My career as a freelancer allows me the freedom to get involved in exciting projects and 2014 was named as my year of exploration and of taking some risks. I’m now involved with shaping the feel of an event called … Continue reading

Hey Pesto!


Pesto is a strange and magical thing of wonder. A green recipe which even small children seem to enjoy. Raw Vegan Pesto

I have loved the pesto for as long as I can remember, but since it has become increasingly difficult to buy a vegetarian equivalent to parmesan, I have been making more and more raw vegan pestos, as inspired by my beautiful friend Giles aka Lakshmi Love/Labyrinth/The Rev, who sadly died last year. He was one of the most peaceful yet strangely wild and wonderful souls i’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and he taught me how to make a really simple raw basil pesto about five years ago. I’ve been playing with the recipe ever since.

He introduced me to so many wondrous foodie things that I still eat regularly, including drinking raw coconuts and green juices and an array of raw food.  Although I never did get around to making raw chocolate with him, his was still the best (by far) i’ve ever tasted, and I have since tasted a fair old few. He used to use fresh red chilli and goji berries in it and I swear it was made by magic. We spent hours un-cooking and cooking in his kitchen in the Wye Valley and it was a really special time in my food journey (which will continue until I drop). I fondly knew this raw-foodie as Rev Rev. An incredibly generous man; the time I was hanging out with him were times of enormous self-discovery for me. He even convinced me to get naked on Christmas Eve and have a naked spring wash in the snow. But that’s another story and perhaps not one for a food blog. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone like him again and I remember him with joy every time I conjure certain recipes, including this pesto…

So, when I was asked to host a family-friendly cooking workshop recently in Cardiff (Shelly Gardens Food Fest by Green City Events) – I knew I had to come up with something quick and simple and ultimately pretty tasty that the kids would like. I invited my friend’s little girl Connie to help me as she’s an 8 year old mega-foodie and asked her what we should cook, she said ‘PESTO’ and I was thrilled. We have been creating pesto together since she was little, so all-in-all I have some mighty fine pesto memories.

The thing I most love about pesto is how versatile it is – that you can use it on pasta, pizzas, potatoes, salads, as a drizzle on soups and a million other combos AND it can be made with vegetarians and vegans in mind.

Ingredients: One large Basil plant/two bunches (the large size you would buy in a supermarket or farmers market), Juice of one lemon, 1/2 small packet of pine nuts and 1/2 packet of hazelnuts/rock salt and pepper, lots of olive oil (or a bit less if you’re trying to cut down slightly on fats) and some hidden spinach for extra goodness.

Method: literally whack all of these ingredients into a blender or a pestle and mortar until it gets to a consistency you like.

Alternatives…

Sweet – To sweeten this slightly for little-uns, use some agave syrup/nectar or Rock’s type apple cordial.

Nuts and Herbs – You can try this recipe with any number of herb and nut alternatives. Wild garlic is my current favourite, but you can use fresh oregano, parsley, coriander, mint, spinach or rocket. Walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and cashews all work for nuttiness. You can toast the nuts or use them raw.

Garlic – I didn’t use garlic in this recipe as I was cooking with kids and I know many who find the taste too strong, but you can knock yourself out and add as much as you like. I would add one clove to this quantity.

A drizzle or a dollop? If you want a drizzle, you’ll need to add much more olive oil or use less for a paste/spread which is sticky and clings to pasta. If you’re trying to use less oil, loosen it with a little water if you want it less-thick – but do use some olive oil as it is a wonder oil!

Cheeses – If you want to add cheese, make sure you find a vegetarian hard cheese (Old Winchester from the Fine Cheese Co. in Bath is a lovely substitute) a good Welsh cheddar works wonders or you can crumble some feta on at the end.

Pesto with cheese In both of the recipes I made at this event, I tried to think with fussy kids in mind (most of the children I know are fairly fussy) so I tried to keep things simple, with some hidden veg tucked in there. I’ll blog the recipe for the sticky tomato and sweet potato sauce we did very soon. I just need to re-create it as it was scoffed so quickly I didn’t manage to get a snap!

Hey Commune! A new pop-up feast for Cardiff…


I have joined forces with a very good friend of mine, Catrin, and together we are working towards putting on regular communal feasts, pop-up events, picnics and creative happenings for kindred spirits. Our working title for this project is Commune.

Commune

 

Our first event will be a summer solstice feast and will take place on 14 June 2014 in Cardiff and is on sale now! Our events will always have an intriguing  theme/vibe and guests will come away with with full bellies from our delicious feasts and a soul full of new discoveries.

Buy tickets for our Summer Solstice Feast 

We’re going to share recipes from our events and eventually we’d like to tour the country. If you would like to collaborate with us, if you’d like us to host a private feast for you or if you’d like us to feature at your event or festival, please get in touch – hey commune@gmail.com

We hope you will join Commune soon!

 

My first cookery workshop with REAL-LIFE REAL people…


Anyone who knows me well, knows I can be a worrier. I have always suffered from nerves, but I keep pushing myself to do the things that make me go all red and blotchy and make me feel like i’m in school again, too scared to put my hand up to answer a question I very much knew the answer to. WHAT THE SHITTING HELL HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH FOOD, WOMAN? I hear you cry… Well, this Sunday, I will be hosting my first cookery workshops EVER. I have given friends classes before. That’s fine. I have even made videos. I don’t have a problem with that either. In fact, I enjoy the intimacy of photography and videography. But… the idea of me having to host worskhops with families – whilst being engaging and interesting AND cooking on a camping stove scares me a little! But, more importantly – I am excited too.

A Community Food Festival in Cardiff

People who know me on the periphery of real-life (I’m very good at tweeting confidence and i’m good at faking it until I make it! I’m also extremely good at promoting stuff – just not when it comes to my own passion projects!) It’s not even like I’m scared of failing. I’m a massive risk taker. I just literally have a fear of speaking in front of groups of people and generally of not being good enough to make my own shit happen.

So, I was asked to host some family-friendly cooking workshops and it’s going to happen this Sunday at Shelley Gardens Community Food Festival in Cardiff. I’ll be making some really easy stuff that can be used in lots of different ways and can be put together in less than half an hour. We’ll also be eating everything we make, obis! I’ll also have a very special little foodie with me, my friend’s 8 year old, Connie. She is crazy excited…and i’m hoping she’ll keep me in check!

If you can come along to the festival it would be lovely to see you. There are some amaze-balls stalls there and there will be plenty of vegetarian options, if that’s what floats your boat. Penylan Pantry, Frankie’s Italian, Inner City Pickle and Nata and Co AND MORE lovely local folk will all have stalls there. The event is run by the stupendous Green City Events. A special big up goes to Rebecca, who asked me to take part in the event.

I hope to see you there, lovely people.

 

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Everyday Pancakes

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Here’s a tiny recipe for you. I made these gorgeous little pancakes by accident whilst trying to be healthy but also trying to kerb a sweet tooth. Time needed: 10 minutes. Ingredients: They consist of four ingredients… gram flour, coconut … Continue reading

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Goma Ae any day

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Having eaten this dish off of many a Japanese conveyor-belt, I’d never actually tried to re-create it. This was one of the simplest dishes I made on the Vegetarian Diploma at the incredible Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School late last year … Continue reading

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Demuth’s Vegetarian Diploma = Heaven

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This blog post has taken me about two months to write. I really must get some confidence, stop procrastinating and just GET SHIT DONE. When it comes down to it though, I just felt like my blog about Demuth’s Vegetarian … Continue reading

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A Vegetarian Christmas on Pinterest…

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I thought I would share my Christmas Pinterest board…I’m finding some great ideas on there this year and having them all in one place is not only making me feel super festive, it’s helping to organise my festive thoughts! I … Continue reading

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My oh my Moudardara…

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I finally got off my bum and committed to a cookery course! You may have seen a few of my snaps from the course last week. I’ll share more as soon as I have time to sit at a proper … Continue reading

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Adventures in Demuth’s/Full as an egg

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I finally did it! I have just started a cooking course at Demuth’s Vegetarian Cookery School in Bath. My legs ache from standing up all day for the first time in a very long while and my jeans are getting … Continue reading