Sunday, 16 October 2011

No.101 'Happy Olives' bento

Hello all! Here is the bento I have just made for little t for tomorrow. It's wholewheat spaghetti with some delicious, saucy vegan bolognese. In the second layer is some home made (also vegan) garlic ciabatta and a little collection of happy olives! I have drawn the olive faces on with a toothpick and I'm quite pleased with the cute little smiles.

We are all excited about Halloween dress up and activities at the moment. We have quite a nice collection of Halloween decorations that we've made over the past few years so it'll be great to get those out and to make some new ones too. Not to mention the decisions about how to carve our pumpkins this year!

Friday, 14 October 2011

No.100 Vegan Hot Dog Bento and Green Tea Cake

Hello all! I hope that your week has been a good one. Here is one of my son's bento meals from this week. This one reminded me of bonfire night, since we always have tofu wieners and baked potatoes before we go to enjoy fireworks and a bonfire. In the main section little t has a tofu wiener in a hot dog roll with fried onions, ketchup and American mustard. In the other section he has some baked potato wedges, satsuma and juicy jumbo raisins.

As an added extra, here is a picture of the decorated green tea cake I made last Sunday afternoon for our dessert. It is green tea sponge decorated with lemon frosting and marzipan. Delicious.

And these are the vegan crepes I made for one of our breakfasts this past week. They are drizzled with maple syrup.

A Bentovintage post follows after the bunting...

This week I have been admiring, amongst other things, the beautiful acrylic jewellery made by Callooh and Callay. My absolute favourite item in their current collection is Snappy's Sausage Necklace. I'd love to wear it to the seaside with a garish red and white striped Victorian bathing suit. Perhaps even take in the local Punch and Judy show whilst showing it off to jealous fans in the audience!

This may not seem like a 'vintage' post to you, but recently I've been turning my interest in vintage fashion and makeup into something more personal to me. I have quite a few acrylic jewellery pieces that I had put aside when wearing an outfit strongly centered on a vintage look, but my style ideas are changing. I have always admired Amanda Palmer's style and remember quite frequently how she describes herself as a 'theatrical tour de force'. Wouldn't it be great to be a theatrical tour de force? I think so.

As a small homage to quirky-ness and theatre, I have begun to wear my bold acrylic pieces with a very 1930s or 1940s outfit. I'm also hankering after an endless supply of Le Queues de Sardines tights... they are possibly the best hosiery available to mankind.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

No.99 Samosa and Bhaji Bento with Cherry Pie

Hello all! Here is a tasty little Indian food bento that little t had for lunch the day after his birthday. He asked for an Indian banquet as his birthday dinner and we had plenty of leftovers. He has a vegetable samosa, a cauliflower bhaji and an onion bhaji along with some mango dipping sauce. In the fruit layer he has peach slices and fresh mango. As a family we rank Indian food pretty highly on our favourites list so little t's choice of dinner was met with enthusiastic agreement. He was quite pleased to find that the leftovers made their way into his tummy, too. A lot of Indian cuisine uses ghee in the cooking process so as a vegan I choose my meals carefully and enquire about the ingredients. I have discovered that a vegetable bhuna is a safe option from our favourite restaurant and I can have their chapati but not the naan. 

This next picture is of a vegan cherry pie I made for dessert during the last week. I make my pastry with soya spread. The filling is stewed cherries with added sugar. Here you can see it hasn't yet been baked. 

And here it is baked and partly devoured! Yummy. We had soya custard with it.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

No.98 'Dolphins in the veggies' bento

Hello all! Today I'm showing you what little t had for lunch on Friday. Dolphin shaped Vegemite sandwiches, carrot angel fish, peas in their pod and thin strips of yellow pepper. In the fruit layer there are seedless green grapes and wedges of peach. Peach happens to be little t's favourite fruit since he read Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach.

For the photo I have placed the dolphins as if they were leaping out of the box, but to assemble the bento I stacked them one on top of the other at the top of the box and arranged the veggies at the bottom. It still looked like a pretty arrangement.

Friday turned out to be a particularly busy day for me and with unexpected (but lovely) visitors in the evening we ate dinner very late and I entered a comatose sleeping state as soon as everyone had gone (before everyone had gone if I'm completely honest!). One lovely memory from Friday was when we were caught in a refreshing shower of rain walking home from school and we managed to find a quick shelter under a tree. Little t took a large leaf he had been carrying around with him and attached it to a stick as an umbrella. He was a little Totoro! I have a picture of him with the leaf umbrella and it's such a sweet image.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Vegan MoFo 2 - Power Star Cake, Recipe, Vegan Makeup Review

Hello all! Here, as promised, is a picture of my daughter's 12th birthday cake. It's a vegan lemon sponge cake with lemon marmalade filling and lemon flavoured icing. It was really moist and tasty. The shape is a Super Mario Power Star, which was nice and easy to make (unlike Triceratops cakes). I made one rectangular sponge and after cutting out roughly, a smallish circular section from one half of the cake, the other leftover parts easily made the points.

The lemon sponge is easily my second favourite cake flavour, with a strong strawberry flavoured cake ranking first place (also my son's favourite). I was a little lax with my last post about the Triceratops cake by not posting a nice, simple vegan cake recipe for you. So here goes. The following ingredients make up a single large square sponge that can be cut into 'brownies' or made into a decorated cake. Alternatively, the same amount of mixture will make two smaller round layers for a rich, moist tea time cake with a bit of frosting on the top.

Miloko's Vegan Cake Recipe

1kg of self raising flour of your choice (gluten free flour may require extra fluid to mix)
500g of sugar (I actually use any type I fancy, sometimes brown sugar is good for chocolate or coffee cake).
500g of vegan spread (such as Pure spread)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Rice/soya/oat milk in enough quantity to make the mix as sloppy as soft peanut butter.

Mix it all very well, until your peanut butter consistency is achieved, then flavour it with anything you like. I suggest:

Strawberry oil/essence and pink vegetable based colouring
Lemon oil/essence
orange blossom oil
cocoa powder
almond oil

Bake it at 170 degrees for between 15-25 minutes, until a knife inserted into it comes out clean. Try to catch it just as the centre is baked, to retain as much moisture as possible.

And that's all there is to it. This cake recipe is one I've come up with myself after realising that all of those hard to come by or often untasty vegan substitutes for eggs just aren't necessary for a delicious cake. The texture will be very much like a moist brownie or muffin, which is how I like my cake, but isn't to everyone's liking. I hope that this ultra simple recipe reaches a few people that love it as much as I do.

Below the Bentovintage banner is a Vegan makeup review for you as an added extra to the appreciation of food. So you can have your cake and look fabulous eating it. Enjoy!

I don't own a lot of makeup because I prefer quite simple makeup routines for daily wear and I find that a few classic colours and makeup items can be mixed and matched to good effect for any occasion. I do however absolutely LOVE a particular makeup blog called Funny Face's Place. I love Lillian's vibrant sense of style and find her to be one of the prettiest makeup bloggers I've encountered, with an absolutely adorable personality that shines through in her posts and video tutorials. Take a look at her blog and find out for yourself.

As part of my love of all things vintage 1920-1940 I've been wearing a bright red lipstick every day for the past few months. It's a great, classic lip colour, and it fits in nicely with the bright hair flowers and generally 1940s air I've been cultivating through the Summer months. Now that Autumn has hit though, I've been falling in love with the more muted shades of autumnal leaves and the high street fashion colours that go hand in hand with them. With that in mind I needed to find myself a new lip shade that would fit well with my few new Autumn wardrobe items in plum, pumpkin, navy, cream, rusts and browns. 

Here it is. My new vegan friendly lip duo of Barry M's lip liner in No.6 and New York Color's lipstick in Plum Rum. 

Here's a look at how it works. My routine is to line the lip in my preferred shape for the day (this is a natural lip but I love a heart shape or a full cupid's bow, too), then fill in the whole lip with the liner. Next I apply a first coat of lipstick and dab it gently. Then a second coat of lipstick and another gentle dab. I put the lipstick on in this way at 6am this morning and it lasted with only a slight wear to the colour, through breakfast, lunch and a cup of coffee, only needing to be touched up by about 2pm. A very good quality product!

I am particularly pleased to discover as a vegan makeup shopper, that the vegan brands I can find on my high street (NYC and Barry M in particular) are super-affordable in comparison to non-vegan makeup brands, and as proven by this week's thorough field test, fantastic quality for that low price, too. Good stuff. 

This particular colour is making me feel like an early 1930's starlet.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Vegan MoFo 1 - 'Terry' the Triceratops Cake

Hello all! My first post for the Vegan Month of Food is to show you Terry the Triceratops cake. He was made recently for my son's 9th birthday and based on a cuddly toy he loves.

The cake is a rich vegan chocolate sponge with strawberry jam filling and he has been decorated with icing coloured with vegetable based food colourings. There's a whole lot of cake going on here, he's almost as heavy as a real Triceratops!

Coming up later in the week will be the vegan cake I baked for my daughter's 12th birthday and some posts about the yummy vegan lunches my friend makes for me every time I visit her.


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