Vegan double gingerbread cookies

So yesterday, I made a ton of delicious gingerbread cookies! And guess what? There isn’t a single one left this evening! Surprised smile That’s 39 cookies eaten in less than 24 hours, for your information! My family and I decimate all baked goods. Fact. I’ll get to the recipe in a moment. The rest of my day first! Smile

Today I didn’t have oatmeal for breakfast! I can hear your incredulous gasps of disbelief, but it is true! I opted for a apple-cinnamon yoghurt parfait  instead!DSC04726

Simply a chopped apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, covered with soya yoghurt which was topped with my yummy Bodymatter granola.DSC04727

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While this was delicious, it wasn’t as filling as my oatmeal, so a mid-morning snack of this followed:DSC04734

A Bounce almond protein ball! The 12g of protein kept me satisfied for ages while I hit the shops for yet more Christmas shopping! I had lunch whilst rushing round the shops, which was a houmous and falafel wrap:DSC04116

All I’ve got left to get now is my brother’s Christmas card, and that’s it! Just have to keep my fingers crossed for that Amazon delivery now! Smile

Before I left for my shopping trip, I remembered that I’d seen a gym attached to the shopping centre last time, so I packed some clothes and took some time out from my shopping to hit the gym for a quick 45 min workout! And I was super excited when I got there to find that this gym was so posh! Well actually it was probably quite average, but my local gym has very ‘vintage’ (circa 19th Century probably!) machines, so these seemed amazing to me! A treadmill with a TV?!DSC04730

Wow. I loved it! Must do this whole shopping+working out thing again! Open-mouthed smile In my post-workout shopping I picked up this Trek bar and munched happily away…DSC04736

So how is your Christmas shopping going? Got everything yet? Oh, and have you regulars noticed the blog theme change? Like it? I do! I think it’s much more ‘me’ than the last one! On that note, there are going to be a more few minor blog changes coming up soon, just so ya know! Smile

Anyway, back to the cookies!

Vegan double gingerbread cookies (adapted from here)

  • 140g vegan spread (or unsalted butter)
  • 100g molasses sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (or molasses, golden syrup etc.)
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 balls stem ginger from a jar, chopped finely <—-hence the double gingerness of the cookies, for Maria who asked! Smile
  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Melt spread, sugar and syrup in a pan until a smooth liquid forms. Mix the flour, soda and spices together in a bowl. Stir in the liquid and chopped ginger to make a stiff-ish dough.
  2. If necessary, wait until cool enough to handle, then roll out dough to about 5mm thick. Stamp out shapes using cookie cutters, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together and rolling again. Lift onto baking sheets. Bake for approx 8-12 mins (depending on the size of your cookies and on your oven) until golden. Cool 10 mins on the sheets, then lift onto cooling racks. Once fully cooled, ice/decorate if desired. Enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

First, assemble your ingredients for melting (spread, sugar and syrup):DSC04689

Melt away!DSC04700

Panic because you realise you didn’t check first to see if you had any ground ginger. Toss everything out of your cupboards until you finally find some, and try not to faint with relief.DSC04690

Or you can just be organised and check beforehand. Up to you really!

Mix together your dry ingredients:DSC04691

I actually just threw in the spices (couldn’t find a teaspoon measurer- can you tell I’m slightly disorganised? Smile with tongue out), so I’m not sure exactly of the amounts I used, but it turned out fine anyway!

Finely chop your ginger (I used two stem ginger balls that were in syrup, drained well).DSC04694

Mix everything together until a dough is formed. Warning: this dough, like most cookie doughs, is highly addictive. Now, if you gorge yourself like I did, you can’t say I didn’t warn you! Winking smileDSC04701

And then comes the fun bit…rolling and cutting! As its Christmas, I used small angel and star cookie cutters…DSC04703

…and a few other random cutters for the scraps:DSC04705

I then added a bit of green icing (green=Xmas!) to some of them. I would have iced them completely, but I had less than 50g of icing sugar in the house, so I made do with what little I had! Smile with tongue out

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That’s for all you wonderful readers, who are all stars to me! Smile

I. Hate. Snow.

Well, my plans for today were shaken up a lot by the arrival of more snow! I had planned to go to an early morning BodyPump, but having woken up to this sight, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get there:DSC04646

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Those are abandoned cars and buses you can just about see! I live on a main road, right on the top of a steep hill, so I think these people (wisely!) chose not to try and go down it!

Also, because of the snow, I received an email from Amazon this morning, saying that because of the weather, they cannot guarantee my order will be here before Christmas, but they ‘hope’ it will be! Well ME TOO AMAZON, ME TOO! Confused smile

So I had a completely unproductive morning, spent pottering around, watching Gilmore Girl reruns on TV, and avoiding all forms of work. Whilst eating constantly of course! Smile with tongue out Mainly this delicious stuff…DSC04497

…that I’ve almost finished! Definitely an excuse to hit Whole Foods again soon I think! Smile with tongue out

I don’t know why the Snack Monster was out this morning, especially since I had a filling, yummy breakfast, but hey, I’m all about the intuitive eating! If my body wants food, I gotta please it! Winking smile

Breakfast was a repeat of yesterdays: apple and cinnamon oatmeal.DSC04629

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How-to:1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup coconut or other milk, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 chopped apple heated on medium heat in a small pan on the stove top until thick and bubbling! And try not to make such a mess like I always do!DSC04626

Oats everywhere! Smile with tongue out

Later in the afternoon, it finally stopped snowing!DSC04648

Our road was still clogged up with the abandoned vehicles, so I decided to walk to the gym to get in a quick workout! Turned out getting to and from the gym took more time than I actually spent in there! I was all jazzed up for my workout, when I realised I had made the rookie mistake of leaving behind the water bottle that I take with me everywhere! So I ended up paying for the gym’s ridiculously overpriced water, and was not a happy bunny!

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However, a combination of my sweaty workout (I did quite a bit of weights as well as some cardio to make up for the missed BodyPump!) and finding a surprise on my camera case cheered me up!DSC04655

A ladybird! I love them! Smile

Post workout snackage included a PB rice cake sandwichDSC04653

…and an Apple Pie Nakd barDSC04658

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think this is my new favourite flavour. Yes, even better than the chocolate one! Surprised smile

I was supposed to be going out to a restaurant for a Christmas meal this evening, but it was postponed because of the snow. Sad smile But I made up for it (a bit!) by having a yummy dinner of ‘saag aloo’ (an Indian dish with potatoes and spinach), which was delicious…indian1_sag_aloo

…and watching Slumdog Millionaire for the second time! Great film!slumdog-millionaire-poster

Tomorrow morning, I am going to test the waters and see if it is possible to run outside! Seeing as I almost slipped right over today, and I was just walking, I’m not getting my hopes up about a successful run, but wish me luck! Smile

I’m also going to be doing some baking, so stay tuned! Open-mouthed smile 

Do you have/have you had snow where you live? And what do you believe about ‘intuitive eating’? Its been all over the blogworld recently, so I’d love to hear your opinions on it!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

One week till Christmas!!

ONE WEEK TILL CHRISTMAS!!!! <—–In less than 2 hours anyway- I’m jumping the gun a little bit! Winking smile 

I had a last minute panic order yesterday night on Amazon, as it was the last day for (free) delivery before Christmas! I literally got my order in about half an hour before it was too late! What can I say, I’m so organised! Smile with tongue out The order included:

Salt’ DVD for my dad, as he really wanted to see it at the cinema, but never got round to it…salt_movie_poster

‘Eat Pray Love’ for my momma, because I know she’ll love it…EatPrayLove1

…and the Operation Beautiful book for my best friend, because everyone needs to read this book!Operation-Beautiful

I’ve never seen Salt, but don’t particularly want to either, as I’m am not an Angelina Jolie fan in any way! Don’t get me started on her! Smile with tongue out But I’ve read Eat, Pray, Love and Operation Beautiful and loved them both. What about you? Have you read/seen these?

After the mad late-night panic, I needed a good, relaxing breakfast! Enter: apple and cinnamon stovetop oatmeal!DSC04619

Deeelicious, and so perfect for this weather! Talking of the weather, it snowed again heavily today! So no run! Boo Sad smile It’s also sposed to snow even heavier tomorrow, so I’m going to my gym in the morning! Going to a 9am BodyPump class, then hitting the treadmill hopefully! Smile The snow had only just melted from before! This was our town just 10 days ago:Snow%20Orpington%20Memorial

I’m also looking forward to tomorrow night, as I’m going out for a Christmas meal with friends. As we had to order our food beforehand, and there was nothing vegan on the menu, I called up the restaurant about it, and they said they would sort it out. So I wonder what I’ll get…! I also haven’t gotten all dressed up in so long (my life is spent mainly in hoodies, sweats and running clothes! Smile with tongue out), so I can’t wait!!! Open-mouthed smile

So what are your plans for the weekend? And what presents have you got for your loved ones?

Now please excuse me while I go and munch on some of this…DSC04549

and all of one (or two!) of these:DSC04614

Have a great weekend! Open-mouthed smile

Cinnamon cake with spiced buttercream

Hello lovelies! Smile

After mentioning yesterday my ankle pain, I was all ready to try and do a light run today. I fuelled up this morning with cereal+coconut milk+a banana:DSC04323

I hadn’t had cereal+milk in ages! Missed it! Anyway, during walking around the house this morning, the ankle wasn’t feeling 100%, or even 70% sadly, so I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry, and try again tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s fully recovered by then! Smile

So instead, I helped with prepping the Christmas presents!DSC04329

Today we are having a big family get-together with my mum’s side of the family, who we only really see a couple of times a year. So today is the big present swapping time! Open-mouthed smile I put myself in charge of Christmas music at our intense wrapping session:DSC04327

DSC04328Singing loudly (and out-of-tunely!) to ‘12 Days of Christmas’ whilst present wrapping really gets you in the Christmas spirit! Don’t forget people, the words of my hero:Elf-Quotes

Oh yes. Not sure if my family would agree though! Smile with tongue out If I didn’t convey it clearly enough yesterday, I love Elf! Open-mouthed smile 

All wrapped up:DSC04330

And put into a giant Christmas bag:DSC04332

Yay! I can’t wait to see the look of excitement on my little cousins’ faces! They get so excited about presents! Well so do I, but I don’t run around screaming “prezzie time” as they did last year! Smile with tongue out

Back to Thursday quickly! I was really in a baking mood, and in a cinnamony mood. What a surprise! So I decided to bake a cinnamon cake! Smile (Cake based on this recipe and the buttercream based on Angela’s recipe.)

Cinnamon Cake with Spiced Buttercream

  • 250g flour (I used half wholemeal spelt and half plain/all-purpose)
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon (I would recommend using more, but then I am a cinnamon addict! Smile with tongue out)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225ml buttermilk*
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I used melted vegan spread)
  • 2 normal or flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax+6 tbsp warm water,  whisked and left for 5 mins)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Spiced buttercream:

  • 105g icing sugar
  • 110g butter/vegan spread, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 0.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tbsp mixed spice

*I made my own (vegan) buttermilk. I took 1 tablespoon vinegar (or lemon juice) and poured into a cup. I added in (soy) milk to equal 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes, then measured out 225ml and used that.

Method:

  1. Make the buttermilk and flax eggs if you need. . Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Grease/line a 9x5in loaf tin.
  2. Place all ingredients (except the buttercream ingredients) into large mixing bowl. Beat 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.
  3. Bake for approx 50 mins, then once ready remove cake from tin and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  4. To make the buttercream, whip the butter with a mixer until smooth. Add about half of the icing sugar mix again until smooth. Then add in the vanilla, spices, and milk (if needed). Mix well. Add in the remaining icing sugar and blend for several minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once the cake has fully cooled (and make sure it is, or the buttercream will melt!), spread on the icing using a wet spatula.
  5. Enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

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In my opinion, a perfectly frosted cake is highly overrated! Smile with tongue out The cake was delicious, and the frosting was soo good! Licking the frosting bowl was possibly the best bit of my Thursday! Winking smile If anything, I would add more cinnamon next time to the cake, but my official tasters (my family) thought it was fine as it was. Guess it’s down to personal taste, but in my opinion, you can never have enough cinnamon! Smile with tongue out

Anyway, off now to the family Christmas get-together in London, and when I get back, I’ll hopefully have my first Christmas presents to put under my currently non-existent Christmas tree! It’s okay, we’re putting ours up tomorrow! Have you already got your tree up? If, like me, you haven’t, when is yours going up? Do you have a specific date when you put your tree up? We always put ours up on the first weekend in December, and I can’t wait! Smile

Have a great weekend! And don’t forget the best way to spread Christmas cheer…! Open-mouthed smile

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

And snow it certainly did!DSC04136

I opened my curtains to this sight this morning.DSC04137

Believe it or not, this was the best weather of the day! Soon after I snapped these photos, the heavens opened and the never-ending blizzard began!

Cold weather=warm breakfast—–> oatmeal!DSC04139

I used Mimi’s tip on mimicking the texture of stovetop oatmeal by stirring in a spoonful of extra oats after microwaving, and it really worked! The texture was much better!  Thanks Mimi! Smile

Travelling in the snow today was fun! Well, for me anyway! Smile with tongue out I walked everywhere, but my brother, who had to get the train, has been trying to get home for four hours now (his commute usually takes 30 mins), but still is not very near! My Asics did me proud, and kept me upright and my feet dry+warm:DSC04148

Sadly the weather was too severe for my planned 5-miler. My back-up plan was an aerobics class, but that was cancelled due to the weather too! I’ll have better luck tomorrow hopefully! Open-mouthed smile

For lunch, I wanted something warm and season-appropriate. So I peeled+cubed a large sweet potato tossed it in a teaspoon of cinnamon and roasted it, which really hit the spot! Served with this purchase from Whole Foods:DSC04150

This smoked tofu was so good! The sunflower seeds in it gave the texture a slight crunch, which was great! I think it may even beat the basil flavour…! It also came marked for easy cutting, specially for people like me who have issues with that sort of thing! Smile with tongue out I fried it for a few minutes to give it a slightly crispy texture, but I had some as it was and that was delicious too!DSC04152

I also filled a large flat mushroom with Pure dairy-free cream cheese, and grilled it for a few minutes. And burnt it a bit too! Of course, this just added to the yumminess in my opinion! Winking smile

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The tofu was so good that I ended up eating a lot of it whilst waiting for my sweet potato to roast. I may have had almost the whole pack…! Open-mouthed smile Also enjoyed pear with cinnamon:DSC04158

To warm me up during the afternoon, I had two cups of this Whole Foods buy:DSC04167

Enjoyed in my Emma mug SmileDSC04162

The scene from the back of my house was very beautiful and peaceful. Check out the thick layer of snow on my wall!DSC04159

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However, at the front of my house, there was complete and utter chaos. We live on the hill of a major road, and the snow was causing huge problems for the traffic once the snow started tipping down:DSC04140

There were abandoned cars (the one on the far left), cars that were scarily skidding straight down (the red one) and ones that were sliding backwards down the hill (one on the right). Buses and cars were abandoned at the top of the hill because it would be far too risky for them to try and make it down:

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Seeing as this was the state of the road, I’m not surprised!DSC04147

Still beautiful though SmileDSC04146

The people struggling in their cars must have gotten really annoyed at the girl snapping photos of their battle against the snow! Smile with tongue out

This kind of heavy snow is pretty rare where I live, which explains the chaos! How often do you get heavy snow where you live? Did you have any weather problems today?

By the way, I loved reading your responses to yesterday’s post, and agree with all your points and comments. I emailed the reader to ask her to read the post and your comments to see what she makes of it, so thanks for weighing in! Smile

Finally…Harry Potter 7 Part 1!

The morning began with another bowl of stovetop oatmeal, but this time, the apple and cinnamon version I wanted to try following yesterday’s whipped banana. I diced an apple:DSC04104

I only added about half of this to the oatmeal, and ate the rest whilst waiting Smile with tongue outDSC04106

I added a TON of cinnamon (seriously, not kidding here- I love my cinnamon!) and some oatbran, and ended up with a delicious and warming bowlful:DSC04113

Enjoyed whilst reading the Women’s Running mag I got half price at yesterday’s Running Show:DSC04114

Today, I finally got to see Harry Potter 7!!! Open-mouthed smileHP7_Banner

It didn’t disappoint! Only complain was that it was a bit long for me, at 2.5 hours. But I seriously can’t wait for the next instalment! Smile 

Bought lunch quickly at the shops before the movie began:DSC04115

A houmous and falafel wrap and Bear apple crumble granola nibbles. Both were very yummy, and I’ll definitely be having that wrap again soon! Open-mouthed smile

In the 10 minute window I had for shopping before HP began, as well as picking up my lunch, I also used the £5 Sweatshop voucher I got in last month’s issue of Women’s Running to buy a headband for cold runs:DSC04119

So I only paid £2 for it because of my voucher! Open-mouthed smile I also bought a few more fruity snacks to add to my collection, including:DSC04118

I had to wait a long time before I could eat dinner, so I snacked on the fruit snack bar above and the Body Matter granola I bought on yesterday’s awesome Whole Foods trip:DSC04123

I love this granola- so yummy with big crunchy clusters, just how I like it! And no added refined sugars! Open-mouthed smile I see this making a great oatmeal topping…!

Dinner was a simple tofu stir-fry, and dessert included the dark chocolate with cocoa nibs bar I bought yesterday:

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And half of yesterday’s free Eat Natural bar (with cranberries, apricots and a yoghurt coating):DSC04127

DSC04128I then remembered that I’m a person who doesn’t do things by halves. So I had the other half Smile with tongue out 

Tomorrow, I am either going to go on a run, or go to a BodyPump class. I’m leaning towards the class at the moment, especially since it’s going to be around –7C and sleet where I live tomorrow! Confused smile

And today, we got a bit of snow! So I’m intrigued: what’s the weather like where you live at the moment?

Hope you’ve had a great weekend! Smile

The London Running Show and a trip to Whole Foods!

SUCH a good day today! And a good day always starts in a good way I always say…!DSC04068

My first ever bowl of stovetop oatmeal! I always tell people they should try it but had never actually tried it myself until today! Smile with tongue outDSC04070

Made Kath-style! 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup oat milk, 1/2 cup water and some banana:DSC04069

As always, it included lots of this:DSC04071

Also mixed in oatbran and topped with the remaining banana and yet more cinnamon:DSC04078

So SO creamy! Definitely better texture than microwaved, but it does take a lot longer. And then there’s the extra washing-up of course…DSC04080

But I guess on the weekends that’s fine! Would love to try an apple+cinnamon version of this! Maybe tomorrow…

Anyway, in the afternoon, I visited the London Running Show!DSC04103

There were so many exhibitors, from running magazines to charities, to companies like Brooks and Gu.DSC04082

There were also seminars, and I attended one on ‘Yoga for Runners’ which was really interesting and informative. The speaker talked about the best postures and types of yoga for runners, and how yoga benefits runners. There many other seminars too- the one on running injuries was especially popular. A photo of one of the ‘seminar theatres’:DSC04081

The best bit though was obviously the free stuff! I got to try so much food (the Clif bars were my favourite) and this is some of the swag I got:DSC04096

Water, Powerade Zero, Energy Gel, two ‘NRG’ energy bars and an Eat Natural bar. I also got a free gait analysis, which was great! Open-mouthed smile

I then took advantage of the direct Underground link to the Whole Foods Market Kensington stop. This is the biggest Whole Foods in the UK and it is amazing. What made it even better was that it was all Christmasy!DSC04094

This was a new addition to the bulk bin section here:DSC04090DSC04089DSC04088

Nut butters! I loved how it was almost make-it-yourself style! I really wanted to try the pecan, but it wasn’t cheap. Maybe next time though! Smile

There were so many samples to try today, which I took full advantage of. I tried pumpkin pie for the first time:DSC04083

We Brits are totally missing out! I may have gone back for seconds… Winking smile Look at all this canned pumpkin! DSC04084

I have seen pita chips a lot on American food blogs, and Whole Foods had tasters! They are so addictive!DSC04086

And the taster table was unmanned! So guess where I spent a good few minutes hovering? Smile with tongue out The chilli flavour was the best. I was tempted to buy some, but I knew it would be a bit of a waste of money, as I’d finish them in no time at all! Budget restraints in the run up to Christmas suck! For this reason, I also put these into my basket, then put back:DSC04085

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But I still ended up with a ton of great stuff that I had never tried before, including:DSC04100

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Smoked tofu, tempeh, Nakd banana bread bar, Bodymatter organic no-added sugar granola and dark chocolate with cocoa nibs! Smile

I’m going to see Harry Potter 7 tomorrow!! Open-mouthed smile I can’t wait!! Have you seen the new Harry Potter yet? If so, what did you think?

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