New favorite cookbook - Oh She Glows

Photo Credit: Angela Liddon
My new favorite cookbook - The Oh She Glows Cookbook - is definitely helping me have 100 happy days.  I'll count it today as my Day 14 of #100happydays - but truly, I could count it for just about everyday.

The cookbook only came out this month and I had pre-ordered.  Its just a lovely book.  It is vegan but I think it has an appeal to everyone. The dishes are delish and will suit all palates.

First off though, it looks like a "proper" cookbook.  So often vegan or  plant based cookbooks aren't so appealing in their layout and design but this one is beautiful with gorgeous photos of every dish.

I started flipping through the pages and adding stickers to the recipes I wanted to try - but quickly ran out of stickers! It would have been easier to mark the couple that didn't appeal to me!

There are more than 100 recipes, 90 of which are gluten free. They are higher in sweeteners and oil than I typically use, but easily adaptable to reducing those levels if you so wish.  There are considerations for other food allergies too, with soy free, grain free, and nut free recipes as well.

I've really enjoyed cooking from the book. We had friends stay the weekend so I made the ultimate nutty granola clusters and they were a huge hit.

Other dishes I have tried include:

  • raw buckwheat breakfast porridge
  • taco fiesta potato crisps - with walnut taco meat
  • chakra caesar salad with nutty herb croutons
  • perfect kale chips
  • lightened-up crispy baked fries

and today I'm giving the "present glo bars" a try.  I'll let you know how they turn out.
Photo credit: Angela Liddon
Walnut, avocado and pear salad with marinated portobello caps and red onion
I highly recommend this book - for vegans, vegetarians, omnivores or whatever.  It'll make you happy.
Here's the link to it on Amazon


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

For my recent book club meeting at my house, we had read (my selection) a book by Rachel Joyce called "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". It is a sweet read.

And we had a great discussion about the book.  We learned a lot about each other in the process too.

The story is about Harold who gets a letter from an old friend who tells him that she has cancer and is dying. Harold hasn't been in touch with this friend for years, so he sits down to write her a letter.  He goes to mail it in the postbox, but then keeps on walking, and then keeps on walking....He decides that he will walk the length of England (ill prepared) - from his house in the south, to where she is being cared for in the north and hand deliver the letter.  Over 600 miles. By doing this, he believes she will stay alive.

The story tells of his pilgrimage and how his wife deals with it, how she is supported by Rex, the neighbor, and all the people Harold meets on the way.

It is lovely.  Rachel first wrote it as a play for British Radio, at a time when her father was dying of cancer.

For our bookclub, I charted out Harold's journey on a map and decided that I would make goodies to eat that were all goodies "to go" - ie Harold could have taken them on his journey!

I made buckwheat and lemon mini-pots - perfect for travelling - you could even carry it in your pocket, and then also wrapped up some all-day-long oat bites and some oat flapjacks.

A hedgerow gathering, as Harold would have done, of edible pansies on the buckwheat lemon mini-pots

They went down well :-D

I recommend the book. Harold's pilgrimage and how he changes is delightful.

The language of flowers - Part I

It was book club at my house this morning.  I had selected the book "The language of flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  I loved the book - and so did the rest of the group.

The book is about Victoria who spent her childhood in the foster-care system, moving from one place to another, never spending more than a year in any one home.  At the age of 18 she has to leave the system, even though she has no where to go.  But she gradually finds that she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them.  She learned the Victorian language of flowers from Elizabeth, one of her foster parents - and finds it to be a way she can communicate to others.  It follows her difficult life of learning to love when she has never been loved, going back and forth between her childhood and present day, as so many books seem to do nowadays!  It's a lovely and at times difficult read.

For my group, I decided to use the flower theme for our gathering today.  I served hibiscus tea and hibiscus sparkling water. The meaning of hibiscus is "delicate beauty" - and it's also really high in antioxidants.

I then made two desserts.  The first one was little flower pots for each person, as you see in the photos.

In tiny terra-cotta pots I made "soil" cake from quinoa, walnuts etc from a recipe I found on Golubka's blog, for ant-hill cake. I'd never heard of ant hill cake but this version is gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free.  To be honest, it was a little too solid for my liking, a bit stodgy, but the taste was OK. Then I put a sprig of mint in the pot (thanks to my neighbor Janet who supplied the mint!) and topped it with a little pink, yellow or white edible daisy.

They looked very cute!  Oh, and the Victorian meaning for daisy is "innocence".

I'll show you the other delight tomorrow!  But in the meantime, I recommend the book.