Sunday, 20 October 2013

National Baking Week

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but I was made redundant a few weeks ago. Which means I've had A LOT more spare time on my hands. Which is weird. Yes it's good in a way but I'd be able to enjoy it a lot more if I had a job lined up. That said, I've decided to at least try to be productive and bake something every (week)day while I'm off. This week was the first week of baking every day, which happened to coincide with National Baking Week!

So here's a quick run down of my baking week:

Monday - Banana Bread
Just my standard 'Nana Bread as we needed to use up some old bananas.

Tuesday - Pumpkin, Hemp & Sundried Tomato Muffins
It's autumn and there are pumpkins everywhere! I wanted to make some savoury muffins using some of the hemp flour I received in last month's vegan package swap. They tasted nice (although I could've done with more tomatoes) but they were way too gritty - I must have added too much hemp flour. Will try harder next time!

Wednesday - Seitan 
Now I know this isn't technically baking but this was the first time I've made it. I've never even bought Seitan so I had no idea what to expect! (It's a meat substitute made from wheat.) I was very pleased with it. Hubby likes it too, so much so that he's asked me to make some more for this week!

Thursday - Chocolate Brownie Box Mix
I got my October vegan package swap on Monday. It was full of fabulous treats (see below), and a very detailed explanation so I knew what it all was. My partner this month is from Finland and of course, I don't speak Finnish!

I think this is the first boxed cake mix I've ever used; I don't even remember using one when I was little. The brownies turned out fine and tasted beautiful! Surprisingly, they were both vegan and gluten free which is apparently very rare over there - and I imagine it is over here too!

Friday - Lemon Drizzle Cake Samples
I was invited to bring some cake samples to the Calderdale Vegan Approach that took place in Todmorden on Saturday. I decided to take some mini lemon drizzle cupcakes, as that recipe generally gives me good results. I only stayed for the morning, as we had a vet's appointment in the afternoon, but the parts of the day I was there for were really good. This was the second meeting of the group. The idea of the vegan approach was to offer support for people who wanted to try being vegan for the month of October, and Saturday's event was their meeting to end the month and see how everyone got on. It seems they had a lot of interest!

I didn't bake anything on Saturday (I don't think I even cooked anything as food was provided at the vegan event and we went out for tea...) but I did bake bread AND scones today so I guess that sort of counts?

This was my monthly package swap for October from a lovely lady in Finland:

I got:
- Viljahyva - traditional Finnish dessert
- Luomu Brownie Kit
- Sisu Horna (the red packet) - candy with sweet and salty liquorice flavour
- Panda Smoothie - chocolate covered raisins
- Kaulintamassa - cotton candy flavour cake fondant (so excited to try this!!)
- Jenkki Spearmint - chewing gum
- Wilhelmiina - cookies
- Rainbow, Dipmix Garlic - flavour mix for garlic yogurt dip
- Vihreat Kuulat - sweeties that are a popular gift at Christmas