I absolutely LOVE tea parties and I think the thing I enjoy the most is the preparation, not that this small gathering required much. I have however had to be very organised as I had a funeral to go to on Wednesday and be there to support dear friends.
Fortunately you can make these Flourless Chocolate Brownies a few days in advance and they keep really well for up to a week, and if you like you can also freeze them. They are really delicious and are always a big hit with everyone, you can read more about it here. On Wednesday I quickly made my all time favourite lemon drizzle cake that I wrote about here, and I must say as always this was devoured. The thing that sets this lemon drizzle above any other is the use of ground almonds, which makes it really moist. It is also very lemony, which I love, not that I had a single morsel I will add.
Seeing that I am now officially on day 19 of my NO sugar diet, I had to find something that I could eat, so I thought I would have a go at making this vegan raw cheesecake. I have seen various recipes for raw cheesecakes over the years and despite wanting to try it, I have never actually gotten around to it. I must confess it ended up being quite a kerfuffle, but fortunately it is seriously DELICIOUS!! Basically the biscuit base is made up of almonds, dates and melted coconut oil, which was pretty straight forward, but the actual cheesecake, well lets just say a little less so and a little more prone to release a good repertoire of choice language.
It seems that my food processor just doesn't live up to the job. You see the cashew nuts, which I will add is an entire bag of 400g (so not the best low fat option!), has to be processed down into a nut butter paste, which was clearly just a little to tough going for my Kenwood Food processor. So in the end I had to blend down the cashew nuts, freshly squeezed orange juice, a few dates, cocoa powder and coconut oil in my teeny weeny electric spice grinder, a couple of spoons at a time, which turned this happy camper into a rather grumpy one.
Every cloud has a silver lining though!! Hubby saw and heard my mutter flowery language under my breath and kindly suggested that we needed to sort this out. You see, I am on a mission and when this girl gets going there is no stopping here. I am seriously looking at my diet and possibly moving into more of a raw food diet. It is slow steps, but I am reading heaps about this and trying to inform myself as best as possible. Despite starting The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt after finishing Bridget Jones's 'Mad about the Boy', I have now been side tracked and am reading Sweet Poison and researching the benefits of raw diets, but more on that at a later date.
I have a great deal to learn though as it seems that raw eating involves large quantity of fat every day and even though this is healthy fat, it is still unnecessary pressure on our livers. It is all a steep learning curve and I promise to share some information here soon for anyone interested. Anyway I digress, back to the silver lining. About three years ago my nutritionist, whom I have been working with since I fell ill, seriously suggested that I INVEST in a Vitamix, with INVEST most certainly being the operative word. After close consideration at the time and few pennies to spare we decided against it and bought a Kenwood blender to replace our then burnt out blender instead. In hindsight we should have saved the £140 we spent then and put it towards the Vitamix, but hey that's life.
So on Thursday after the girls had left I started doing a little research and within a few minutes of watching this video the decision was pretty much made. Even though we can't really afford it hubby was happy for us to make it work, and that is what we will do. So needless to say I am one very lucky and excited girl waiting with bated breath for the right knock on the door, even though I know it most probably won't be here for another week. A girl can be hopeful!
On Friday we had our 'stitch and bitch' and it was such a lovely morning. I actually picked up my quilting squares again as I didn't know what I wanted to work on and it felt so lovely to carry on where I left off at the end of last summer.
Even though it is only in the early stages, it is lovely to see a little progress. Needless to say I am working completely out of my comfort zone, if I have such a thing when it comes to sewing, but this is all new to me and without any training or help, I am just relying on my trusty Quilters Bible by Linda Clements. I must say I do wish I knew another quilter or someone interested in it as a little practical help here and there won't go amiss.
I love that both my friend and I always carry our cameras around with us and feel so at ease to snap away at random things without a blink of an eye lid from the other. The fun bit is that we have the same cameras too, and even though we are both pretty clueless we will hopefully learn a little together. I think more and more people take photos of everything, but as a blogger and instagram junkie, it often feels like I have my camera on me 24/7. I love how we get to see the different angles of life through a single lens.
This is a joyous sight that is making me smile every day. I am really enjoying seeing a little more life in the garden and in the home.
For anyone interested in joining in on my Weekly Bake, please feel free to do so. For my new readers, I generally do a post once a week about some or the other bake. This year I suspect you will largely be seeing healthy options, not a bad thing, but for anyone wanting to join in you can find the button on the sidebar of my blog to add to your blog and you can just click on the link below the post to link up your bake. There is no pressure and that includes myself. My aim this year is not to feel pressurised by anything, so if I miss a week, please feel free to go ahead and blog about it anyway. You can find quite a few recipes in my Weekly Bake and Gluten and Dairy Free Baking section, but now there will be a new section for Raw baking or food. At the moment I am seriously contemplating a 21 day raw food detox, anyone fancy joining in??
So before I sign off, I need to know have you all been watching The Great Interior Design Challenge??? Oh faint!!! I am just LOVING it. It was great watching some familiar faces on there such as Sarah Moore and Ooh Betty. It is so lovely to see the people we follow on our blogs and Instagram and to see them do so well at it. For anyone who has missed it you can watch it on iPlayer. DONT miss it!!
I have so many things to tell, but it will have to wait till next time as the family beckons and I think it might be time to play a game of monopoly or something. The wind is howling and it is throwing it down, the fire is lit and I think it calls for a cosy afternoon and a date with the telly later tonight to watch The Voice and hopefully a little time to do a little more crochet on my Spring throw. Tomorrow is Treacle market, but with weather like this, errm, time will tell.
That's it for now.