pancakes & ponies

14647306_1315489901795653_62566020_o

last weekend i spent a night on a farm with an old friend of mine: persephone from Thesmophoria and co.. persephone and i have known each other for a long time and this weekend it meant the same thing to both of us: baking and sunshine. the weather in canberra had been quite questionable over the past few weeks and we were particularly excited about the weather forecast, as apparently very simple things make us happy. persephone was housesitting for some friends of hers at a farm about a 20 minute drive from canberra. there were ponies, dogs, chickens and a enormous garden filled with all kinds of lovely spring time flowers. we had a cute night of eating chocolate and watching movies, and in the morning woke up with a very sure plan of making pancakes. so that’s what we did.

14725417_1315490075128969_2135272060_o

14689810_1315490358462274_117514903_o

i’ve already put a pancake recipe up here, but this one is a little more intense and indulgent for those days when you feel like it’s totally fine to have chocolate for breakfast because you’re a grown up and nobody’s here to tell  you otherwise. persephone is an absolutely amazing photographer and has been particularly focusing on her food photography as part of her blog thesmophoria and co. which i have linked above. her recipes are amazing and she definitely has the whole mouthwatering, perfectly lit photo thing down… pretty different from my rushed snaps taken on my slowly disintegrating iphone 5. so check it out if you like really delicious mostly traditional-german inspired vegan baked goods. or if you just like looking at pictures of food that you want to eat.

most of the images here are hers (except of course the ones that i have clearly taken of her while she is using a real camera haha). and the recipe is one we threw together in an effort to have pancakes as quickly as we could get them into us. it makes about 8 pancakes (but we made some pretty giant ones so you could probably scrape a few more if you wanted to.

14689848_1315490411795602_1228547631_o 14689165_10154014552972896_1724289269_o

For the Pancakes:

– 2 Cups Plain Flour
– 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
– 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
– 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
– 4 Teaspoons Ground Flaxseed
– 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder
– 1 – 1/2 Cup Soy Milk*
– 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted + 2 Tablespoons for frying
– 1/2 Cup Chocolate, Roughly Chopped

in a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients with a whisk, till you think it’s pretty airy. add in melted coconut oil, and slowly add the soy milk (about half a cup at a time). for some reason pancakes always end up differently, so judge your milk amount by the consistency of the batter i reckon. it should be runnier than a cake batter, but not too liquidy. pancake batter is always better if you leave it to rest for a bit, so we just let it sit while we made the berry compote (which by the way was a really good plan and  i highly recommend making this too).

heat some coconut oil in a large skillet/frypan/whatever you’ve got. bring the heat up to melt the oil until it starts to sizzle and then turn it down again. the heating of pancakes is really hard to figure out, by i find that if you heat up the pan at the beginning and then cook them on a low heat it is the most sure way to get pancakes that are cooked all the way through and not burnt to shit. spoon the batter into the pan in whatever size you want, (this is the bit where you can add the chocolate pieces, or berries or whatever you want, best to do it here, not in the batter because then it sticks all weird and is a pain to clean/flip the pancake) wait until it begins to bubble and then flip. do not touch it before the top looks like it has a weird skin on it and is bubbly, it will fuck it up. once you flip it leave it for another minute or so until it puffs up and browns on the other side, this bit you kind of have to wing it to figure out timing, but it’ll be fine.

For the Berry Compote:
– 1 1/2 Cups Mixed Berries (fresh or frozen)
– 2 Tablespoons Rice Malt Syrup
– Zest of 1 Lemon
– Juice of 1/2 Lemon
– 1/2 Cup Water

put all the compote ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. as soon as it starts boiling, reduce it to a simmer and stir well making sure to combine all the ingredients. we left it on a simmer while we cooked our pancakes, but made sure to keep an eye on it and keep stirring so it didn’t turn to a gross, syrupy mess in the saucepan that would be a giant pain to clean up.

serve the pancakes with the compote and whatever else you want, we had more chocolate and bananas. it was reallllly good.

so there’s another pancake recipe… and another breakfast recipe, because it is definitely the best meal of the day, no question. have a fun time.

all my love,

charlie

cosy morning breakfasts

13950739_10153819608882896_1427912596_o

we’re in the deep of winter right now in canberra. it kind of feels like we’ll never make it out. every day i wake up, aching to see some warmth of sunlight through my curtains, instead i see an uninspiring white-grey sky stretching as far as i can see. it was okay in the beginning, and it’s okay when it’s raining. at least then the weather has some personality. this achingly cold, still winter is getting the  better of me and making me wish for warmer days in a way winter has never done before. so i make porridge.

porridge is one of my favourite meals. it warms me from within, making me feel cosy, full and energised in a soothing way. it almost makes this winter worth it. almost. as a child, my dad used to make porridge for breakfast in the winters. we’d top it with loads of brown sugar and almost drown it with milk. since we’re both so busy, my dad and i haven’t been able to spend much time together recently. so today, we made a morning of our porridge eating.

13932087_10153819548812896_228500235_o

13633384_10153819548167896_1927450201_o

i stirred the pot of slowly thickening, creamy oats and dad added fun bits and pieces to the mix and prepared the fresh toppings. porridge is like muesli, it is almost ALWAYS more about the toppings than the actual porridge. it’s really a vessel for a variety of flavours and textures. i like to add things into my porridge while it cooks as well, which is what i did today.

ingredients:
porridge
oats (on an average morning i use about 1/4 of a cup, but it really depends how hungry/how much you can eat)
water (double the amount of oats)
1 tsp cinnamon (or more is desired)
1 tsp vanilla extract
small handful of dried cranberries
1 banana, sliced

toppings
strawberries, sliced
peanut butter
coconut yoghurt
chopped nuts
plant milk
chopped up bliss ball

13918755_10153819548497896_1050469085_o

method:
in a small saucepan, add the oats, water, cinnamon, vanilla, dried cranberries and banana. cook over a low heat, stirring constantly. continuously stirring porridge is essential for it to become smooth and creamy, the more you stir while it cooks the creamier it will become! when desired consistency is reached, serve in bowls (it’s a good idea to warm them up with a little warm water first, as the porridge is likely to go cold really fast if you don’t!). top with fresh fruit, nut butter, dried fruit, chopped nuts, chopped bliss balls, maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut yoghurt, seeds ANYTHING YOU WANT! You’re an adult and can make your own decisions!

all my love,

charlie

salamanca markets and rainbow salads

salamanca markets in hobart is a super popular tourist destination. every saturday the salamanca markets open up and the area by the bay is flooded with locals, tourists, families and dogs all searching for something fun to buy and look at. maddy, aayushi and i are currently in hobart with our friend gus and yesterday we went to the salamanca markets to get our tourist on and see what they’re all about. the markets were a mix of people selling clothes, homewares and groceries. there were also a bunch of food stalls. we wandered around for a bit looking for something to eat and we found an amazing burrito place where we each got a vegan burrito which was amazing! they also had chilli hot chocolates made with coconut milk and cinnamon which i also had and was so rich and creamy and delicious.

i found an organic grocery stall and bought some beautifully fresh kale, purple carrot and sweet potato and immediately knew what i wanted to make with it. the inspiration for this meal came from an instagram post i saw by emily from this rawsome vegan life who has an incredible blog and is a very inspiring young woman. i have followed her since i was about 18 and have always found her an inspiration. anyway, this salad is hearty and filling and full of delicious winter veggies which is good because often this is a time of year when people find it difficult to eat healthy food because we crave comfort food. also it’s bright and colourful which is super fun when it’s grey and dreary outside.

because we’re staying together, aayushi and i cooked this dinner together which was lovely. aayushi doesn’t cook much and it was a nice bonding experience to share my knowledge of food with her as we cooked. she was so excited about what we were cooking and was so keen to learn which made me feel like the food knowledge that fills my brain isn’t as useless as i thought.

13555704_10153723463227896_2119369365_o

roast sweet potatoes with rainbow salad
ingredients
1 large sweet potato
1 large purple carrot
1 large beetroot
1 bunch of kale
handful of sunflower seeds
olive oil
1 cup of green lentils
2 cloves of garlic
1 green apple
4 tablespoons of hulled tahini
juice of 1 lemon
water
pepper and salt

13518180_10153720979377896_1724009071_o (1)
method
sweet potatoes:
preheat the oven to 200*c. cut the sweet potato into piece and place in a baking tray. drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with fresh pepper and salt and place in the oven. check regularly, when the underside is golden turn over and place back into the oven.

rainbow salad:
rinse the lentils and then place in a saucepan. add 2 cups of water and some salt and pepper. bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until all of the water is evaporated. then turn off and allow to cool slightly. peel and grate the carrot. grate the beetroot. wash the kale and remove the stalks. roughly chop, or not.. depends on what you like. cut the apple into little matchsticks. place the carrot, beetroot, lentils, apple and kale in a bowl. toss together and add a swig of olive oil. toast the sunflower seeds in a pan over a medium heat until golden. toss through too.

addictive and amazing tahini dressing:
mix the tahini, lemon juice, pepper, salt and some olive oil together, then add water to thin until it’s a consistency you like!

place salad over the roasted sweet potatoes and drizzle dressing over the top.

enjoy the salad! it’s super delicious and good for you and eating something tasty you’ve cooked with and for someone you love is so rewarding.

with love,
charlie xx

toasted muesli

13241503_10153627886407896_1281544476_o

toasted muesli is one of my favourite simple breakfasts. because it already has so much flavour packed into it, it’s perfect if you don’t have many toppings on hand, but when paired with fruits and yoghurt it is still super tasty. it’s even good to eat alone when you need a bit of a snack.

i think a lot of people call toasted muesli ‘granola’, either way is good, they’re the same thing. i just prefer ‘toasted muesli’ because i really like the word ‘toast’. i find making toasted muesli really relaxing. it’s easy and fills the whole house with the scent of toasting oats, fruit and spices.

i like making a big batch of this on the weekend with whatever i feel like at the time, usually this changes with the seasons, like in summer i’ll want something really fruity and light and when it starts to get cooler i prefer roasty flavours with warming spices. this is a batch that i made this weekend when i was feeling a little bit fancy. i used orange blossom water which is really fragrant and warming and dried cranberries for some colour and tanginess and dried figs, just because i love them. orange blossom water is a moroccan scented water that is traditionally found in middle eastern desserts and has a beautiful floral scent and flavour that i wanted to try and get through in this toasted muesli and it paired really well with the woody spiciness of the cinnamon.

muesli 2
this particular batch is more of a dry toasted muesli, however if you want more clusters you can try adding more maple syrup and coconut oil to coat the dry ingredients a bit more. this got about 4 serves from it, but you can double/triple the recipe and get more if you wish. also add anything else you want, there are no rules here, any dried fruit, nuts and spices will work!

13214577_10153627932492896_2088502869_o

ingredients
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almonds, chopped roughly
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/3 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbs orange blossom water
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbs melted coconut oil
2/3 cup chopped dried figs
2/3 cup dried cranberries

method
preheat oven to 180*C
in a baking tray combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels and cinnamon.
in a small bowl combine the orange blossom water, maple syrup and coconut oil. pour over the dry ingredients and mix well, so that everything is combined and coated well. smooth down, making sure it’s all even in the tray. bake for 10-12 mins.
pull out of the oven and stir. add the dried fruits and put back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. make sure to check on it every few minutes as the fruit can easily burn faster than everything else.
pull out and either eat straight away or leave to cool. eat straight or with some fun toppings!
muesli photo

love,

charlie xx

 

betty’s anzac biscuits

my grandma betty has a recipe book. it’s the kind of recipe-book you think your grandma would have. it’s an old notebook, the pages are yellow from age, old cut outs from the very first editions of womens weekly fall out from the pages when you open it, and every page has, written in her beautiful handwriting, recipes for all kinds of amazing cakes and treats. the kind you read about in enid blyton stories.

13054462_10153584604552896_1719987577_o

when i first stopped eating animal products, grandma made a comment about how she wouldn’t be able to bake for me anymore. i didn’t want to lose all those treats – jelly cakes, butterfly cakes and my most favourite: anzac biscuits. so i made it my mission to make vegan versions of all of these.

anzac biscuits have a spotty history. it’s one of those things that both australia and new zealand claim to have done first. they’re known for being made to send over to soldiers during world war one, so had to last a long period of time, and also had to be made out of the ingredients available during ration times. i don’t really like anzac day, i’m not heaps keen on the glorification of war, but i do love anzac biscuits. this is my vegan version of my grandmas very traditional anzac biscuit recipe. they’re easy and very, very tasty.

anzac biscuits

ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tbsp boiling water
125g vegan butter or margarine
1 tbsp golden syrup

method
preheat oven to 175*C
mix the oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a medium mixing bowl.
in a saucepan, melt the butter with the golden syrup.
mix together the bicarbonate soda and boiling water (be prepared for it to foam up a bit, because science) then add to the butter and syrup mixture (it will foam up again here).
pour into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
spoon tablespoon sized balls of mixture onto a lined baking tray and the flatten slightly with the back of the spoon (if it’s too sticky slightly wetting the spoon can help)
bake until golden.
sit aside to cool (they’ll firm up quite a lot as they cool down)
eat them!

makes about 12-15 biscuits.

sometimes they puff up quite a bit in the oven, but they should go down a bit while they cool. i’ve thought about trying to make them a bit healthier and perhaps using coconut oil instead of butter and maybe maple syrup instead of golden syrup. this will definitely change the taste, but maybe in a good way. it’s also tasty if you add dried fruit like apricots or seeds like pepitas.

hope you enjoy,

love,
charlie

 

 

good morning pancakes

pancakes are super good. they’re tasty and exciting and you can put anything you want on them. i’m dog-sitting this weekend – the house i’m staying at has two beautiful rhodesian ridgebacks and really nice blue and white crockery. we’ve only been here one night and we’ve already filled the the dishwasher testing out all the super fucking nice plates and mugs. this morning I made pancakes to celebrate the crockery.

pancake post

ingredients
about 1 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
about 1 cup of soy milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
~ optional cinnamon|vanilla|cardamon ~
coconut oil or vegetable shortening to cook

method
measure flour and baking powder into a medium sized bowl. slowly add oil and half the soy milk while stirring. gradually add the rest of the soy milk (you may not need all of it) until the batter is thick enough to hold its’ shape but thin enough to spread easily. heat a fry pan on the stove at a low-medium heat. when oil has melted add a large spoonful of the mixture to the pan and spread evenly. when the mixture begins to bubble and appears to have a film over the top flip the pancake. it should be nice and golden, you may have to adjust the heat accordingly.

12991921_10153570356932896_1447691126_o

~serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup or anything you want. you’re a grown up, you can make your own decisions~

love,

charlie