Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Missing snow

As a Canadian, I am used to snow. A lot of snow. I always found the first snow quite magical... and so beautiful! It always was a special day for me. Of course, once Christmas was over, it was getting on my nerves by making everything so difficult! I never actually thought I would ever miss it... But I was wrong as I miss it terribly! Since moving to the UK almost four years ago, I have barely seen snow so on the rare occasions, I made the most of it! Last January, there were quite a few snow days here in  Manchester so my husband and I took the opportunity to take some photos. It was the perfect time to wear my lovely vintage hat! (Which my husband nicknamed "Microphone Head")

I really hope to have the chance to enjoy some snow this year as well! It's falling everywhere BUT in Manchester these days... 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

In Manchester

I have been a terrible blogger! Despite all my good intentions to post on a regular basis, I always seem to be too busy... Especially now that I am back to work.

Last week, my husband and I went to the town center of Manchester for the day and we had a lovely time! Since it is fairly near to where we live, it is something we do quite regularly and even though it is not the New York or Montreal I am used to, I always enjoy going.
Here are some pictures which were taken then:

The next picture is a bit random, but I really love that fan so I had to take a picture of it.

Me enjoying a delicious "Cosmopolitan"... And looking slightly darker than deathly pale. I have gone so pale since moving here to the UK that even my family is a bit shocked when they see me!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Vegan pancakes

Pancakes. I simply love pancakes. I think all Canadians like pancakes. 
This is probably the first recipe I learned how to "veganize". I have cooked them that way for many people and was told that it tastes even better than dairy version of it... So I think you should give it a try.

Here is the recipe (from "Vegan with a Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowirz):

  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (any mild tasting vegetable oil will do) + oil for the pan
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 300ml plain rice or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup

- Oil a large frying pan and preheat over medium-high heat about 2 minutes

- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon (if using).

- In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients.

- Adding wet ingredients to dry, mix until just combined. Do not overmix or the pancakes will be tough; a couple of    lumps are ok.

Enjoy! :)

So, yes it was another post about cooking... but I want to make sure to mention that next week, is the "World Go Vegan" week. From the 21st October until the 31st, you might see a few vegan items on sale here and there as well as some new menus in some restaurants. Why not try some? 

You can read more about it here on this fantastic website: http://www.idausa.org/

Wishing you all a lovely week!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Homemade Almond Milk

As I am stuck at home for a little while  (due to being unwell), I have a lot of free time. I am one of those who gets easily bored staying at home all day... Therefore, I decided to use that time to do plenty of cooking and baking! There are so many recipes I have been wanting to try for such a long time but I never really had the time.

Here is a delicious recipe to make your own almond milk. It is very easy to make and is a nice change to soy milk and rice milk!

                             Almond Milk

1 cup of raw almonds (soaked for about 4-8 hours)
4 cups of cold water
A pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoon of maple syrup OR agave nectar

  • In a blender (or a smoothie machine like I have), blend the soaked almonds, water, and sea salt at medium speed and then at high speed until it is smooth.
  • Pour through a strainer to separate pulp.
  • Pour liquid back in the the blender and add the vanilla extract and maple syrup or agave nectar. Blend until it is smooth.

As a vegan, I believe humans shouldn't drink milk from a cow or from any other animals. After all, we are the only specie drinking milk from other species and we do so despite the bad effects it has on our health.
If you are interested, read the following article: Cow's milk is the perfect food for baby calves but many doctors agree: It is not healthy for humans by Michael Dye

Though, even if you are not a vegan, you should give this recipe a try as it is as delicious as it is easy to make!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Guilt-free fashion

This post has been a long time coming... But between feeling unwell and some family visiting, I haven't had the time nor the energy to write anything!

This time, I decided to make a post about another of my passions: fashion. I have always liked to try different things and be different from others, which is something my parents encouraged despite being sceptical about some of my choices as a teenager. Now, looking back at it, I wish they'd have stopped a few of my attempts! I know, I know, we all have pictures we look at wishing we never would have worn this and that...
Now an adult, even if I'm still quite adventurous, I have to admit my style has changed. Primarily due to my veganism. There are some clothes, shoes and accessories I obviously don't wear anymore so all of my outfits are animal friendly. I have to admit, dressing up has never been as fun and guilt-free!

My husband took some photos yesterday in a field nearby. It was also an occasion to take nice shots of my newly cut bangs! I have been thinking about changing my hair for a while but since I didn't want to lose any length, I opted for bangs, a decision I haven't regretted especially now that I am getting better at styling it!

Being Canadian therefore used to cold (dry) weather, people here in the UK are often surprised to hear me say how cold I am in this damp and wet environment. I hate such weather and much prefer having a dry -20 Celsius degrees than a damp +5 Celsius degrees!
Yesterday, however, was nice, dry and crispy just like a sunny Canadian autumn day. It was so nice to be able to wear my new adorable fingerless gloves along with one of my favorite dresses which I bought from Asos last year... And to do so without having to carry an umbrella!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Emily Deschanel

I have been a big fan of "Bones" for a long time and until recently, I barely knew anything about Emily Deschanel. It's by pure coincidence that, while watching videos of Farm Sanctuary (which I'm a HUGE fan of), I even found out she's a vegan (for about 16 years!)! I then decided to read a little bit more about her and she seems to be so down to earth and determined to make the world a better place! I can now say that if I really like the actress, I also deeply admire the woman.
Fighting for animal right and for the environment, she uses her celebrity status to try to get more people aware of the benefits of vegan/vegetarian regimes. She is an inspiration to so many but gets way too little recognition (in my opinion). The press and public seem to be much more interested in the troubled lives of certain celebrities I don't even want to mention the names of in my blog. 

It makes me hope that, in my own little and anonymous way, I can do my part to make some people realize how precious and fragile our planet really is. My goal isn't to convert everyone to veganism as this is just not possible, but to make them see all those little things they can do on a daily basis. For instance, having a meat-free day once a week. Substituting milk and eggs while baking cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc. Switching the tap off while brushing their teeth. 

It might sound silly to some, but all little things count. 

Here's a link to Women's Health magazine, where you can read an interview with Emily Deschanel:

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Vegan Brownies

I didn't really intend my first real post on here to be about a recipe but due to the fact I'm on a rush this morning and that I really wanted to post something (not to get into the bad habit of not writing often enough), I decided that it would be better than nothing.

It's something I baked quite a few months back and it probably was one of my first vegan dessert baking experience. I never was a very big fan of brownies but I decided to give those a try and really didn't regret it!

  • 2 cups unbleached flour 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1/2 cup cocoa 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips

First, you need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Then, mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and the salt.
In a different bowl, mix the water, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and vegan chocolate chips and add it all to the "dry" mixture. 
Stir well and pour into a pan and bake for 25 minutes. 

Though, the time  depends on your oven... I remember cooking them for just over 25 minutes due to my oven being a bit difficult to control the temperature of but my brownies ended up slightly too cooked. It still was delicious, don't get me wrong, but next time, I'll make sure to keep a closer eye on it!


Sunday, 22 August 2010

A Little Vegan Introduction

     As a vegetarian for many years, I quite recently (about a year ago) decided to make the transition to veganism. Gradually cutting out food, I finally achieved my goal. Although I must admit it wasn't without difficulties... As a Canadian currently living in the UK, the main difficulty was (and still is) getting the information and support. At first, I felt I was the only vegan aspiring in the entire area of Manchester... and I'm sure it's a feeling shared by many when considering becoming a vegan on their own. Becoming a vegetarian was a much easier thing to do for me as I never really liked meat anyway... I was eating it because people around me were doing so and because that's what was put in front of me by my parents. It only took about 4-5 months living on my own for me to decide to stop eating meat altogether. Naturally, becoming a vegan is a much bigger step, which is why I did it so gradually... motivated by my desire of ethical treatment of animals as well as the book which started it all for me: "Skinny Bitch", by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin.

The fact that my husband is an omnivore didn't make the process any easier either! Despite all his very appreciated support, I still could see all the food I wouldn't allow myself to eat laying there in my kitchen. It still can be tempting sometimes, especially with food I used to absolutely love such as cheese and chocolate, but I only have to think about the non-existing ethic behind it all to push the temptation away.

Another obstacle was finding vegan food in my area. I'm living in a little town just outside of Manchester, where both vegetarian and vegan options are basically non-existent or at least very limited. I sometimes go to Manchester in order to fill my cupboards but in between, it can be quite a struggle. When I think about how vegan friendly my hometown of Montreal is, I long to move back there even more!

So I have to admit that during that transition process, internet probably was my "best friend". I found so many good websites and blogs which are there to support, inform and motivate! I sincerely don't know if I would have managed without all this and I think that's what pushed me to create my own little blog in which I plan to write about issues/challenges that I have gone through and still am (probably just like most vegans), reading and viewing materials that inspire or anger me, cooking, fashion (which is also one of my passion)and hopefully many other things related to my lifestyle choice and animal activism.