Wednesday, 28 January 2009


To celebrate the opening of my 2nd Etsy shop, I am having a giveaway. Any purchases will receive a FREE handmade business card holder, for a limited time. I have made a variety of business card holders, so it is pot luck which one you will receive with your purchase. Here is a picture of some:

This shop will have all vegan goods with messages and images of compassion and veganess. Help spread the word, create a conversation, it's a way to get noticed and your views known.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Animal Rescue needing Donations

I came accross this notice on, and wanted to help pass it around:

Small Quality Items Needed For Greek Animal Rescue FundraisingSmall quality unwanted gifts, jewellery, bric-a-brac, needed for Greek Animal Rescue ( stall at Brighton Vegan Fayre (21st March). Thanks. Please contact

also please sign this petition:
to try to help the poor sufferiing animals.

Monday, 19 January 2009

SASHA Farm Silent Auction

SASHA is a farmed animal sanctuary in Manchester, Michigan. We have more than 200 rescued animals living on 65 beautiful acres, each one of them receiving all of the love and care our volunteers have to give. Our residents have come from a variety of rotten circumstances,but now each one has a safe place to call home for the rest of their lives. In order to raise the money needed to house, feed, and provide medical care for our animals, SASHA holds fundraisers like the SilentAuction. Donated items are put up for bid and our guests come armed with their wallets to support the farm! If you'd like to donate an item for the auction, we'd be grateful for the help! The value of your donation is tax deductible, and if you'd like to send along some business cards I'll display them with your item. Your etsy store address or website will also be listed on the bid sheet, so our attendees know where to find you. The deadline for donations (vegan items only, please!) is April 4. For more info about the farm, check out the website at and the blog at My email is JasperKat2@yahoo, please contact me with any questions! And check out the album named "SASHA Farm Sanctuary if you'd like to see pics of some of our animals, they're pretty darn cute.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Etsyveg giveaway - win fabulous prizes!

The wonderful Etsyveg team are having a contest to win these fabulous prizes. It's easy to enter, and the prizes are wonderful.
Just click on this link:
to find out more.

Sweet and Spicy Root Soup - a real winter warmer!

This evening I made a very hearty winter soup and for once, I wrote down the ingredients, so I have the recipe! The idea came from a soup that I bought, but when I went shopping for the ingredients, to make my own, realised I hadn't brought the list, so I did it from memory. The recipe turned out quite different, as I had forgotten quite a few things and added my own. The end result was far tastier than the bought one, and I suspect much more nutritious. The soup was made very thick, but of course could be watered down to suit your taste. I used root vegetables, as they are in season in winter. I try to eat seasonal foods whenever I can, cuts out transport costs, and it kind of makes the seasons a bit different. I definitely prefer soups in the winter. This soup is sweet and spicy, and of course you can adjust the seasoning to taste.

I made it using 2 pots, one to cook the 'base' of the soup, one to cook the 'body'. The idea being I put the 'base' on first, while I prepared the veg for the 'body', then the 'body' cooking overlapped with the 'base' it could be done using one pot, but would need to be done in 2 stages. I used a ready mixed extra spicy Cajun mix, as I'm not too clever at mixing spices, but if you know how, all the better.

The recipe:

For the base -
I vegetable stock cube
4 good size carrots
2 large potatoes
1 medium onion
a knob of vegan 'butter'
ground black pepper to taste

For the 'body'
2 medium potatoes
1 small sweet potato
1 orange pepper
2 medium carrots
1 small turnip
small (or half) swede
1 large parsnip
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
8 leaves coriander
half lime
half teaspoon extra spicy Cajun mix

Cooking instructions:
For the base-

Peel , chop, the onion, carrots, and potatoes. heat a small amount of water in a large pot, add the stock cube. Add the chopped onion, carrots and potatoes. Bring to the boil, and let it cook, keeping a check that the water does not boil dry, add water as needed, but do not have too much water in the pan at any time. Stir occasionally. After 15 minutes, add the 'butter' and the black pepper. continue to cook until the veg is soft. This should take about another 10/15 mins.

While all this is going on, start preparing the 2nd part, the 'body' of the soup. Peel and chop all the veg, put in large pot and boil, continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add the extra spicy Cajun mix spices, let it simmer, until the veg is cooked, stirring occasionally.

For the 'body'

While this is cooking, the first pot should be ready (the veg is cooked, little water and very soft potatoes starting to break up). Put all of this (including any water left) in a food processor, or blender, whatever kitchen appliance you have. If you don't have any, you could mash it all up to a smooth paste. the idea is to blend it to a smooth paste to add the chunky veg to.

When the 2nd pot of veg is ready, take off the cooker, add the veg you have blended, also add the chopped coriander and squeeze the lime juice into it. Mix it all up, put it back on the stove and heat up until it is just 'bubbling' stir and let it simmer for about 2 or 3 minutes.
then it is done.

You should end up with a tasty sweet and spicy soup, which from preparation start to finish takes about an hour, if you're like me and a slow, cook, who gets a bit distracted now and again. It makes about 4 bowls of soup, which is nice with a piece of bread, and very satisfying.

I really must get a larger cook pot, and freeze some dishes for ready meals another day.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Well here it is, or rather there it was.......

To my delight, the Co-Op in Pontllanfraith stock these wonderful raspberry iced buns, which are vegan. So of course whenever I'm there, I stock up on them. To my delight, they also had apple lattice slices. How fab is that. probably non vegans see these as everyday accessible products, but being VEGAN, they are not. They are such a treat.
So here is my review of them:
Raspberry iced buns- a delicious sweet , oh yes sweet, fix. White 'bread' or 'dough' or whatever it is called, with a raspberry jam filling, topped with a PINK icing. Junk heaven! delicious! one is never enough - need I say more.........

Apple lattice slice. I like this. Puff pastry, sweet apple filling. Not as sweet as r.i.b. (raspberry iced bun), but very nice with a cup of tea, and again being Vegan, a real treat. probably would have been better re-heated, but hey, i wasn't gonna waste time! Another fabulous vegan delight from the C0-Operative.

both come in multi packs, so as they say 'one is never enough' - don't worry- there's a whole pack!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Vegan Ready Made Meals - no problem at the Co-Operative stores

Today I'm talking about convenience food, not always so convenient if you're vegan. Luckily the Co-op are good at labelling foods as suitable for Vegans, they're also good at labelling other products 'no animal ingredients', so it's fab and easy to shop there.
Today I tried the ready made Orzo Salad. i didn't know what orzo salad was, but it looked nice, and it's not often i find convenience foods that are vegan suitable. a little on the pricey side for my budget (it was £2+), but maybe not everyone would think so? it was colourful, and had small pasta bits that looked like large rice. It contained sundried tomatoes, onions, chives, tomatoes and pepper, and it said spinach, although there was really not much evidence of that. I liked the taste and texture, it was slightly on the vinegar side in places, but i made the mistake of adding a pinch of salt, when all it really needed was to be mix up a bit. an excellent light lunch, and very convenient.
General website and store locator: check out if there's one near you!

Orzo salad packed.
Beautiful array of colours.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Vegan Haggis - one answer to the worn out question "what do vegans eat"

I have decided to write reviews of products, this is the first, so a bit of background comes with this post. there will be several categories :- food, products, places, etsy purchases. The food will all be vegan, since I am vegan. the places will have a vegan slant on them, as it'll include places to eat, accommodation, days out and such. And of course products and etsy purchases will all be vegan suitable.
Tonight we tried Vegan Haggis. It took quite a long time to cook, as I do not have a microwave, and the instructions said 45 minutes in the oven. I have never eaten haggis, nor will I (being vegan), but when I saw this in our local health food shop, I thought I'd give it a try.
I would like to point out that i duid not buy it to see what Haggis tasted like, since I have no desire to know. I have been asked why vegans eat thing that imitate meat or animal products such as milk cheese, all I can say to that is, to me, it's just a savoury taste, and in no way do i miss or crave 'the real thing', I enjoy a nut roast as much as a veggie sausage if it is tasty and well made.
I cooked vegetables to go with the haggis, as several internet searches led me to some interesting sites about haggis and Scottish tradition, here are some of the sites i read:
Very interesting stuff- address the haggis ??????? tatties????????
I think haggis is traditionally eaten with mashed turnips and mashed potatoes. Since i didn't have turmips, and the potatoes were 'new potatoes', I decided just to boil/steam some potatoes and veg, including - runner beans, green beans, carrots, broccoli, courgette, and to saute some mushroms and onions, adding some herb salt and black pepper. I used a quick, sure thing for gray - Bisto, which incidentally the original one is vegan suitable, yay! I also topped the dinner with crushed garlic mixed with a little freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil.
The dinner was delicious. the veg and gravy fabulous as usual, as I always say 'nutricious and delicious'. The Haggis was unusual, slightly sweet, grainy (tasting that is, not texture), on it's own, not my kind of thing, but with the veg and gravy it was nice. a bit different at first, but by the end of it, i would say delicious, and I'd certainly have it again.
Check out your local veggie/health food shop and see if they stock it:

The Veggie haggis in it's wrapper, it states 'vegan' on the back!
the veggie haggis out of it's wrapper, ready to cover in tin foil and bake.

The end result was a very tasty satisfying dinner. The veggie haggis broke up a bit in the cutting, but that didn't matter.

Getting obsessed with my cats!

Or maybe that should be 'Getting obsessed with taking photos of my cats'.
The more I use my camera, the more I want to use it. not that it's a particularly good one, or even that I'm particularly good at taking photographs, it's just that lately, I see something and I run for my camera. My camera is a Kodak easyshare CX7330, which is a couple of years old, and certainly only suitable for a novice. It'll do for me for now.
Today I looked into the bedroom and saw Billy, Ruby and Pinkie sleeping on the futon bed. they looked so adorable. Ruby on the end, curled up in a ball, Billy in the middle stretched 0ut, and Pinkie up the other end on a fabulous fluffy cushion. Since I put the futon down as a bed, Pinkie never wants to come off it. She will go for some food and straight back to 'bed'. Lucky cat!
Here are the pictures I captured, of their cozy moments:
The only photo I got with the three of them in, as Ruby then ran off to play. So here's Ruby cleaning herself, Billy very comfortable, and you can just about see Pinkie in the background.
This is Billy very relaxed and lounging!

Just look how his paws are 'begging'.

Pinkie is just so relaxed on her favourite cushion!

True Love

Billy is about 4 years old, Pinkie is about 2 years old. Ever since Pinkie first set eyes on Billy, she has had a major crush. She adores him. She follows him around everywhere, just hoping for a bit of attention from him. he mostly isn't interested, or doesn't even notice her. then just the other day, I found him cleaning/licking her. She was in heaven. I was so happy that she was having some attention from him, that she so longed for. It was pure bliss for Pinkie, and a magic moment caught on camera for me.

Friday, 2 January 2009

CATCH Cardiff Cat Rescue Christmas Fair

A little late in posting, but I've only just got around to sorting out photos.
On 29th November, I help a local cat rescue group (CATCH- feral cat rescue), with their Christmas fair. It was a long, cold day, with an early start. We collected donated otems at a central point (the leader of the rescue group's house), and took them to the school hall for the fair. A lot of carrying later, we were in the hall setting up. Luckily, the organiser, Heather, had made a plan of the hall, so we knew where to put everything. My contribution to the stalls, were handmade catnip toys, and vegan cupcakes. I was very impressed with my cupcakes, as this is the first time I've made them. I used a recipe from the marvelous book 'Vegan Cupcakes Take over the world', which is delightful to read, and had the most scrumptious recipes ever. I made the basic cupcakes, with lemon oil in the frosting, and the chocolate cupcakes. Both were delicious. Of course I made enough to have some myself :)
The day was very busy. Lots of bric-a-brac was sold, along with many , many homemade cakes and raffle tickets. I helped out on the haberdashery stall, which was not too busy, but it was fun, chatting with other helpers and visitors. The fair was from 12pm-4pm. We were all glad when it ended, it seemed like a long and cold day, and it was tiring being on our feet all day. Everyone was cheerful, and the rescue group made enough money to fay for quite a few neutering and medical bills for the coming year.
Here are some picture of the day, oh and, all the helpers wore christmas hats and outfits!!!!

a welcome break for some happy helpers!