WIAW… and I made the Christmas Cake!

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I hope it’s been a great one for you!

Lil’ L had a bonus day off school today as the teacher’s were striking.  We spent the day in Bath with my  mum, doing a little shopping in between the coffee drinking and delicious lunch at the Thai Basil restaurant 🙂

As I knew I was going to be tied up for the past couple of days, I recorded my eats from Monday for Jenn’s WIAW party.  Here goes…

Hot water & lemon; Nettle tea
Inspired by the Christmas Cake, which I ACTUALLY got round to making today 🙂  I decided to make a festive-tasting porridge.  Into the mix went Flahavan’s jumbo rolled oats, Alpro soya milk, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, mixed dried fruit, a couple of chopped glace cherries, handful of almond slices, 1tb ground flaxseed, and a sprinkling of goji berries and drizzle of agave syrup on top.  Oh and I also added a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder for even more yumminess.

Talking of cocoa, I’ve just come across Jessica Fenton’s Raw Chocolate Recipe Book (here’s the US Version).  It looks truly scrumptious!  Does anyone fancy fresh cherry and chocolate truffles?  Or how about a Raw Chocochino?  This beautiful hard cover book will definitely be on my Christmas List for Santa 😉

For lunch, I had the last piece of the roasted veg pastry bake that we had for dinner on Sunday.  I cheated and used ready-made puff pastry for this meal. On top, I spread some sun-dried tomato pesto, and a sprinkling of roasted veggies (red and yellow peppers, red onion, mushrooms), chopped cashews and almonds, black olives and sun-dried tomato pieces.  On Sunday, we had the pastry with a serving of crispy kale, but for lunch it was sufficient on its time.


Snacks & Drinks
Dried figs (loving these at the moment!)
Plenty of water
1 black coffee

I had to make a super-quick dinner tonight before Lil’ L went to Cubs, so I chose to make spaghetti bolognaise.  I haven’t made this in ages!  I used Morrison’s own brand soya mince (which they assure me is GM-free).  I rarely use soya mince, but the Morrisons brand is my favourite (great texture IMO).  To the soya mince, I added a jar of organic tomato and basil pasta sauce, some finely chopped courgette, grated carrot, chopped mushrooms & fresh basil.  Once the bolognaise had cooled down slightly, I mixed in 4tsp of Good Hemp Light oil (for an omega-3 boost).  The bolognaise was served on a bed of organic wholewheat spaghetti, with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes on top (with added B12).

I’d forgotten just how nice this dish is!  So quick and simple to make, and super tasty!

For dessert, we had some yoghurt, mixed with apple puree, goji berries and chopped nuts.

Well I finally got round to making the Christmas Cake today!  I used my Mum’s classic recipe (I’ll post it tomorrow) and whilst it gently baked away in the oven for four and a half hours, the most gorgeous fruity smells kept wafting up to my office! 

The cake doesn’t look very spectacular at the moment, but it will do when Lil’ L and I get our hands on it on Christmas Eve morning!  We’re planning to do a snowy scene this year, with lots of marzipan, desiccated coconut, and a reindeer & sleigh centrepiece 🙂

Until then, M has carefully wrapped it up in greaseproof paper for me (he gets all the wrapping and tin lining jobs as I’m rubbish at them!).  

So that’s another Christmas job done!  I’m hosting Christmas for the first time in years, and I’m really looking forward to trying out lots of delicious vegan festive dishes.  I went for a 40 min run the other day, and when I got back home I realised that I’d worked out all the dishes that I’m going to make for Christmas dinner and tea.  I should definitely go out for runs more often 😉 

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to test out a few recipes, so I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.  The Vegetarian and Vegan charity Viva! have produced a mini guide to a veggie Christmas, which has lots of great recipes in it.  You can view it online or buy it for £1 from their online shop.  It’s definitely worth a look at.

Are you baking a traditional fruit and nut Christmas cake this year, or are you going for something a little less traditional? 
Are you hosting Christmas?  If so, it would be great to swap ideas over the next couple of weeks. 

Happy WIAW everybody! xx


15 thoughts on “WIAW… and I made the Christmas Cake!

  1. I will be eating a Yule log at Xmas.

    It’s a bit chewy, but we Pagans must uphold the tradition.

    I will not be eating holly, ivy or mistletoe – far better uses for that!

    Small logs, except oak, are available from the National Trust at Stourhead for less tha £10. Seriously – what a bargain!

    You should have a stall at the Xmas market in Bath! 🙂

    1. Ha ha you’re so funny!!
      I really want to learn more about the Yule festival as I imagine that it’s more in tune with my spirituality (and M’s) compared to the Christian tradition. I might pop to the library and see if they’ve got some books.
      I heard that the sheds at the Christmas Market cost over £3000 to rent. A friend of mine is selling scarves, so I must find out how well she did.

  2. I’m hoping to make a vegan Christmas cake based on the recipe in Vegetarian Living, it will be that or some vegan stollen I haven’t decided yet! I’m not hosting dinner but I will be making some dishes to take to my Mam’s with me. Last year I made a leek, roast potato and rosemary soup, maple roasted carrots and parsnips and some amazing vegan veggie loaf – I’m tempted to make that again but I would maybe like to try making a stuffed seitan roulade! Perhaps I’ll make both 😉 I do need to make a vegan dessert and your chocolate cake is still high on the list!

    1. Ooh the stuffed seitan roulade sounds interesting! I experimented with my nut and lentil loaf this weekend by adding a cranberry sauce glaze. It made it look far cheerier and festive. I’ll probably do this as our centre piece, and perhaps the chestnut puree pastry bake from Viva too.
      The vegan chocolate cake is delish 🙂

  3. That porridge looks delicious! I really like Christmasy flavours, so it sounds perfect.
    I’ll be at my parents’ house for Christmas and there’s usually only four of us, so it’s very low key – just a very nice Sunday lunch really.
    I love Christmas cake! My Dad makes one every year and it takes my parents the whole year to eat it.

  4. Such lovely photos per usual! That pastry bake sounds incredible! I hosted my family for Christmas Eve last year, which turned out beautifully, but this year it is my sister’s turn. I have it pretty easy this year. I am organizing the whole family in adopting a needy family and getting them gifts and Christmas dinner, so that will be a bit of a challenge, but SO worth it.

    1. That’s such a great thing to do! For the past two years, we’ve taken part in the Samaritan’s Operation Christmas Child appeal, where we fill a shoe box with gifts for a boy or girl who wouldn’t normally get a gift. The Samaritans then arrange for the shoeboxes to be sent far and wide across the globe to countries in need. It’s easily the most important Christmas present we buy each year!

  5. Teacher strikes were always a welcome bonus day off when I was at school! I’m glad the current generation of kids isn’t missing out on this most excellent tradition. Didunt doo me eny harm.

  6. I can’t believe I forgot to comment the other day when I stopped by, however let me say your eats look delicious.
    The Christmas cake looks very tasty, do you freeze it until Christmas day? I have never had one before. Over here we have fruitcake which is kind of gross with lots of dried fruits, etc (your cake looks so nice and fresh).
    I am indeed hosting Christmas, I do every year as it is easier with 3 kids for everyone to come to me. We are fairly traditional but this year will be more veggie centered since I don’t eat meat anymore.
    My favorite item to serve is pecan pie, for dessert.
    I wouldn’t mind changing the menu up a little this year, but I have been inspired at all to do so.
    Have a great weekend Sharon!

    1. Our Christmas Cake is a fruit cake (so probably the same as the US version). I find that the home-made fruit cakes are way nicer than the shop-bought ones. We bake it a month in advance to allow the flavours to develop. I adore fruit cake but only eat it at Christmas time to keep it special 😉 (plus it’s probably got a million calories in it!)

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