Dinosaur Kale Mac and Cheese

Because dinosaurs are cool.

Chili and Lime Black Bean Burger

The perfect vegan burger!

Beer Battered Halloumi

Nom, nom, nom.

Ginger and Chili Tofu

Crispy delicious tofu that's easy to make... say what?

Chocolate Cake Balls

Cakes, but not as you know them.

Monday, 23 September 2013


Did I ever write about my holiday last year? If I did, I can't find it. Well it started terribly. I moaned and moaned at Mr Hef until he finally said yes to going to France and pretty much booked a little gite to stay in at random, just because I had a good feeling about it. It was the first time Mr Hef had ever driven on the other side of the road and after about an hour, he accidently slipped on to the wrong side of the road and nearly crashed in to a car. Now that is bad enough as it is, but then the lady we nearly crashed in to proceeded to turn her car around and chase us. We were absolutely terrified and decided that the best course of action was to try and loose her by driving down tiny streets. Of course, this crazy French lady was not even a tiny bit put off by that and after about 10 minutes she overtook us, slammed on her breaks and started screaming at us. So after that little drama, we got back on the road and were nearly there, but I couldn't get through to the guy who was supposed to give us the keys. We thought we might not even have a place to stay and started to panic. After sort of finding the place, but still not getting through we went to the shops and started to think of a back up plan. Then, luckily we finally got through (we had the wrong number) and proceeded back to the gite. Only we managed to get totally lost. Luckily the man who was giving us the keys came and found us and we finally got there. And when we did, we seriously could not believe our eyes. It was absolutely beautiful, comfortable and we had a whole pool all to ourselves, the holiday was quite simply perfect. So perfect we booked to go back again this year.  This year was just as amazing as the last and with all of my adventures, it contained some lovely food as well. 

I really enjoy self catering, because I love cooking and when you're on holiday you can take as much time as possible. We ate in most days, but on the days we did go out we went all out. On the third day of our holiday we went to Aubeterre, which is dubbed the prettiest village in France. As as soon as you walk the paths there you can see why. We went to a restaurant called Creperie de la Source and had galettes, which are sort of a crepe meets a pizza. I had one filled with 4 types of cheeses and tomato, it was so delcious and the view from our table on the balcony (pictuted below) was incredible.

We also ate in a beautiful town called Brantome, it's surrounded a large river which you can canoe around (Mr Hef made me last year, we got stuck on a weir, we decided to give it a miss this year).

Once again the views from the resturant are incredible, I can't remember what it's called, but it's right on the river so you can relax and soak up the sights. Both times we've been away, Mr Hef has eaten a lot of vegetarian food (or so he thinks, he sometimes forgets that ham in sandwiches, or peperoni on pizza counts as meat) and then he seems to get an overbearing craving for steak. So he had a steak and chips and I had a warm goats cheese on toast salad.

We were both super-satisfied with our meals and went to a patisserie in the town to buy some tarts. But after a whole week of blue skies and 30 degree heat, the skies opened and I was left running to the car, protecting my box of tarts like it was my only child. Luckily they remained (mostly) intact and tasted amazing.

Since the gite has been refurbished and now has a beautiful new BBQ, we decided to take advantage and cook up a storm one night. I made some yummy garlic butter corn on the cobs, baked sweet potatoes and potato salad for mine and Mr Hef had burgers. This is what self catering is made for!

As we ate in most nights we let ourselves have one really fancy meal out at a restaurant called Le Citronnier. We ate there last year as well and even though we arrived really late, they were really accommodating and had a separate vegetarian menu. To start with I had a whole baked camembert, because when you're in France that is totally acceptable.

There was only one option for the main, which the manager apologised for profusely, but I didn't mind at all because to be honest, that's more option than in some restaurants in France! The main option was a kind of mushroom omlette made with local mushrooms that had some fancy names. If you have read this blog before you will know that I HATE mushrooms, but this was actually really nice. Beautifully presented and it wasn't really affected by my hatred of those brown slimey things.

Next there was cheese, there's not much to say about cheese, but it looked pretty so I added the picture in anyway.

Then there was pudding, delicious, decadent profiterole pudding. It was stunning. We also had some fancy local wine, I don't normally drink, so the one glass I had lead to me falling in the pool when we got home.

The holiday was incredible, I didn't want to go home and I definitely want to go back. If you fancy going you can find the gite here

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Vegan Tales from Gwendoline, Part 4

The last full day of our adventure was a great one. One of the things that attracted us to the cabin was that it had a tin bath, which you could fill with water heated by your very own campfire and enjoy a bath by the stream. Pretty idyllic right? Well I woke up at 7am that day and went to collect some sticks, harvested 60 litres of water from the tap which was connected to a spring up in the mountains, (lovely) filled up the kelly kettle (crazy massive green kettle, used to heat loads of water) and started a fire. That doesn't sound that difficult, but believe me, if there's anything to make you appreciate hot water, it was that. I had to carry the water 10 litres at a time from the tap to the kettle, keep the fire going for around 2 hours (which required a lot of sitting in awkward positions and blowing on the flames until I felt dizzy). But it was totally worth it, the bath by the stream was just amazing! I took all of my Lush goodies and just relaxed. It was also a great day because vegan Emma cooked for me all day long. She made me some kind of delightful vegan yoghurt, granola, yummy fruit thing for breakfast. After the bath, I was pretty tired, so I went back to bed and Emma made me Facon and avocado on toast (we always use Redwoods cheatin rashers, they're the best)

After lunch it was time for a stick collecting ramble for some more firewood. The surroundings literally looked like an enchanted forest. 

Then it was back to the cabin and it was vegan Emma's turn to make dinner. She went for one pot cooking too and made an incredible lentil dhal, which she made by chopping up tomatoes, chili, garlic, onion and carrot and cooking them slowly with red lentils, yellow split peas and water, adding more water when needed.

We sat around the campfire and enjoyed our last meal in the cabin. There really is nothing better than toasting yourself by a fire with the sounds of the stream behind you (until it gets dark and then it's really scary).

It really is the perfect getaway. We had no phones, no internet, no nothing. Just ourselves, the outdoors and around 100 magazines. I can't recommend it enough, it's our second time booking with Canopy and Stars and I love it so much, I've already booked my third for in a months time! If you want to book Gwendoline you can find her here. I'll leave you with a picture of the bath... seriously, does it get better that that!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Vegan Tales from Gwendoline, Part 3

This part is my favourite part, because 1. I love to cook, 2. I love to be outdoors and 3. I love starting fires (in a non weird way). This meal combined all 3 and the best part is, I got to cook it in my pajamas because I was on holiday. As it was a clear evening and I wanted to use the hungarian cooking pot thingy, I decided to cook this night. It was a super simple dish, to make it just chuck 1 chopped sweet potato, one can of black beans, one chopped onion, some garlic and some chili power in to your pot and cook very slowly for around 2 hours.

Of course, if you're not cooking outside, it would be a lot easier. As you can probably see from the absolute dismay on my face in the next photo, starting a fire is hard.

Once we finally did have it going, we hung the pot over the flames and hoped for the best. Luckily it started to bubble and was finally on its way to cooking. It smelled absolutely amazing mixed with with the smell of the fire and sitting around a campfire watching your dinner cook for 2 hours is a sure fire way of making you really, really hungry.

we served it up with some fresh guacamole (we needed to use up some of the 16 avocados) wild rice, tortilla chips and salad. It's a pretty simple dish, but putting this much love and effort in to a meal really does make it taste 1000 times better.

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