Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vegan Apple and Cinnamon Muffins for Dogs - But you don't have to be a Vegan Dog to enjoy them!

The wonderful Molly of It's a Vegan Dogs Life very kindly donated recipe cards to the Vegan Sample Bags and I have wanted to try one for quite some time. Finally earlier today, I got baking!
I had some ingredients ready, but the ingredients I didn't have, I decided to 'make do' with very similar. The main ingedient that was different was 'Corn Flour' instead of 'Corn Meal', I sort of thought they may be different, but decided to use it anyway, as I haven't seen Corn meal recently. I discovered that they are quite different in their results. Corn flour is easily available in UK and used to make sauces, or as a thickening agent, whereas Corn Meal is more popular in USA and used to add to muffins etc. So the end result was maybe not quite as it was supposed to be, but edible nonetheless. Also I couldn't find a non sweetened apple sauce, so I used a tin of apples, and doubled the amount, it seemed to need it, but that may be due to the corn flour! I also used plain white flour, as I didn't have any wholemeal flour in the cupboard, and couldn't wait to try out the recipe. So not entirely different, but adjusted to my cupboard! I should say also, that US recipes use cups as a weight measurement, whereas UK uses grams or ounces, I looked up 1 cup= 230g. I decided to quarter the recipe, as my dogs are small, and are a bit overweight already, also I only have a small 12 cake baking tray. That's why you can see pencil notes on the recipe!
I must say, they were really easy to make, very quick, and simple. Took no time at all. I put them in the oven and left them to bake. Now this is where the corn flour mistake made a difference! they came out very pale, and a bit sticky in the middle, even though they were cooked. I had to try them, of course, mmmm not bad, just another bit, mmmm quite nice, better leave some for the dogs!
Left them to cool down. Took the dogs for a walk, to work up their appetite and make them work for their treat!
When we got back the muffins were cool, the house smelled of apple and cinnamon, lovely! I got my camera, and tried to take some photos of the dogs eating their muffins, but they were too eager to wait, and would have had my hand off! Therefore the photos are not brilliant, but as you can see they thoroughly enjoyed their muffins. look at Maggie's eyes, she wild for the muffin! And I couldn't even get a photo of Kady with hers, I just wasn't quick enough, here's the best photo I managed:
The muffins are a hit!
Thank you very much to VeganDogsLife for the recipe. I've put the rest of the muffins securely away, and will ration them, so that Kady and Maggie can look forward to them over the next few days (assuming I don't eat them first! - only joking -as tasty as they are- I'll leave them for Maggie and Kady!). You too can treat you doggie companion by baking them a fab, tasty vegan treat, courtesy of It'sAVeganDogsLife, and either download a free copy (PIF), or buy a hardcopy. Your dog doesn't have to be vegan to enjoy them, they're a healthy alternative to mass produced junk food. Also Molly's website It's A Vegan Dogs Life is a fabulous read with lots of information, adorable photos, and wonderful insights. I thoroughly reccommend it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beautiful Handmade Polymer Clay Beads

I recently purchased these adorable beads from ContinuumDesigns. 
They are beautiful. I love the colours and the detail. They remind me of something very sumptious and slightly vintage, kind of like a treasure. I haven't decided where I will use these gorgeous beads yet, but I know wherever i do use them, they will add a touch of opulence.
ContinuumDesigns has an amazing collection of Handmade Polymer Beads, suitable for a multitude of purposes such as jewellery, textile work, card decoration, their uses are only limited by your imagination. Everything in the shop is vegan friendly, and they store owner is a very friendly vegan who lived in the UK. She has a fab blog All Those Things , which is full of information and photos of beads and supplies. Well worth checking out!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Part three of the fabulous Vegan Sample Bag

Wow, the samples go on forever, so many lovely goodies, it's such a treat receiving a Vegan Sample Bag.

This is an amazing Flowering Tea called Shooting Star. The instructions are: place one Flowering Tea in a durable glass teapot. pour water over the tea. Admire the unfolding leaves. Allow to steep 2-3 minutes or to the desired stength. Flowering teas may be re-steeped 2-3 more times. How wonderful. Donated by sbsteas. Their website has delightful gourmet, custom blended teas, coffees, and more. An enchanting website, and a very intriguing selction of goods.

Then there is this adorable handmade card by Scrappy Rat Designs - Your Animal friendly stationer.
Scrappy Rat Designs Esty shop, is filled with the most gorgeous cards for every occassion. Scrappy Rat Designs will even design collage cards with your own pet and it's personality reflected on them.

 Next is a fabulous Peace (CND) pin, in bright pink and black from Teeny Tiny Tantrums. Their Etsy shop has a whole range of pins with funky, fashionable sayings and images. A fabulous accessory with a message.

This wonderful card from Vegan Dogs Life has a sooper-dooper recipe for dogs biscuits on the back. Although I've not got around to trying them yet, they're on my list of things to do, and I'll let you know how well they go down when I make them. I will, of course, try them myself too! Vegan Dogs Life has a fabulous, interesting Blog, with all sorts on interesting and unusual articles. Check it out for a good read.

Here is an adorable Scrabble Tile Pendant from YumYum Pendants. If the idea was to give it to someone you love on Valentine's Day, it didn't work, it was so cute I just had to keep it myself (oops!). Well made, sturdy yet delicate. their shop has so many Scrabble Tile Pendants, at a reasonable cost, it would be hard to chose just one, and you'll be tempted to buy several. Theres one for everyone and every occassion. With cute pictures, quotes, and patterns, who could resist. I want them all!

And finally, my personal favourite, a sample mini zine from Uber Duper Creations. and Ginger Card Co. The zine is packed with articles, information, artwork and more. It's trendy, it's interesting, and not just because I have contributed to it! I love reading it, and the artwork is always fabulous. The Zine focuses on a different topic each issue, so all the articles etc are based on a theme.The next one being 'Civil Rights', and I've already submitted my written piece. Can't wait for it to come out, it's gonna be a good one.

So, the end of my Vegan Craft Samples Bag, a wonderful bags of fabulous surprises. And all helping animals. A chance to treat youself and do some good at the same time, guilt free shopping is the best! Next bag out soon, check out the website for further info.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

These Caramel Chocolates melt in your mouth.

Being vegan, it is not always easy to get chocolates, let alone chocolates that taste divine. So whenever I see chocolates that look good enough to try, try then I must!
I have seen other chocolates by Celtic Chocolates, but I think mainly sugar free, and after dinner chocolate mints. Today, in my local Sainbury's store, although probably in other supermarkets too, I found the gorgeous Caramel Flavoured Choices Chocolates. I just had to have some. And I am so glad I did. They taste wonderful. A firm chocolate shell with a smooth creamy caramel centre. Hard to believe there's no dairy, they are so creamy tasting. They melt on your tongue. They are just too good. Hard to stop at just one, or two. They cost about £2.99 for a box of 12, so not cheap, but nor are they so expensive that they are prohibitive. They are super, smooth, creamy, melting, gorgeous! And so easily available. Chocolate heaven. Well done Celtic Chocolates for making a caramel chocolate that tastes delicious and is dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, egg free. Now if only they could make them calorie free....................