Vegan Sausage Rolls and Pumpkin Zucchini Triangles

September is my favourite month of the year. Not only is it spring in Australia, but it’s also the month of birthdays – including mine and my sister’s. 🙂

My friend Anton shares the same birthday date as my sister and I wanted to make something nice for him for work tomorrow. Over the past year or two he’s taken steps to becoming vegetarian and eventually dairy free, so I thought some nice vegan treats would be perfect.

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The sausage roll recipe was taken from here. I kind of had a free pumpkin on hand so decided to use that up too in curry puff like things – they ended up a bit sloppy and exploded, so next time I’ll probably thicken them somehow.

For the pumpkin puffs I boiled pumpkin and sweet potato in water with garlic, onion, and Massels vegan chicken-style stock. Once the veggies are boiled, you can strain and freeze the liquid stock for later use, or use them in soup straight away like I did (see below). Allow the pumpkin to cool then add some grated zucchini and curry powder or spices (I used garam masala, ground coriander and ground cumin).

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My other pro tip is to keep your pumpkin seeds, season with salt and pepper, and roast lightly in the oven for a delicious salty snack. 🙂

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This is my second time tasting the sausage rolls, and the first time making them myself. They’re delicious. You can hardly tell (besides maybe a wetter texture) that they’re not their meaty counterpart (which probably tells you about what kind of meat goes into sausage rolls). Plus blending silken tofu is fun! Hehe.

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No beef! 🙂

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WIP: Felt Accessories

Hello all!

So I’ve been getting back into jewellery making lately, a hobby I’ve had since I was about ten. I’ve even done a couple markets around Perth with my sister over the years, like Made on the Left and Upmarket, but kind of stopped a couple years ago when I started working full time and lived in a share house with no space to work (at which point I really got into baking instead I think).

Now that I’m living with just my partner and have a kind of routine going again, I’ve been working on a couple projects to keep my creative side happy. I really like felt and am kind of exploring my options with that material, without going too crazy. Here’s some of the felt bows I’ve been working on:

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And some felt animals:

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I’m kind of not sure where I’m going at this point but kind of hoping to either set up a Facebook/Etsy/Storenvy business page (which one I’m as yet to decide).

From my previous experience with markets I know one of my weaknesses is jumping around with too many ideas, and therefore losing customer’s interest. So I’m trying to be a little more linear with my creativity and sticking to one thing (which sounds counter-intuitive I guess, but whatever). Hopefully I’ll be able to get this off the ground and it’ll be relatively successful – not looking to live off of it, but just earn a few dollars on the side. c:

Rum Balls!

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Making a pinata cake was a lot more disastrous than I’d previously let on. My first cake worked out perfectly, but while transferring the second out of the cake tin it completely fell apart. Not good. I set it aside to make a third cake and try forget it ever happened. (If I grieved for every cake I’ve ever botched I’d just be crying, like, all the time).

So nearly five days later, I still have bits of cake stashed in some Tupperware and it’s starting to go stale. Something has to done. I could’ve just eaten the cake as is (I’d already picked at bits of it. I’m not ashamed.), but even I can only eat so much cake.

So rum balls! Yay! I feel like rum balls are the forgotten older cousin of the flashier cake pop world. They’re essentially the same thing, but with rum. And therefore good times. This was also a fun excuse to use up some of the leftover cake toppings I had from the cupcake station 🙂

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To make rum balls you really only need 3 ingredients: chocolate cake crumbs, dark rum, and frosting. People like to add stuff like dessicated coconut or chopped sultanas, but I like to keep mine simple.

Like cake pops, the texture is really important – too dry and they’ll fall apart. You don’t really need the frosting either, but it helps moisten the cake without accidentally adding too much rum. I kind of winged the ratios here, but it was roughly two cups of cake crumbs, 1/4 cup of rum, and 2 tbsp frosting. I mixed together using my hands (gloves are really handy here); it gives you a better feel for the texture – you can test by rolling a ball together and seeing if it’ll fall apart.

Roll all the balls up, coat in some melted chocolate, then place on a tray covered in cling wrap. Spoon some toppings on before the chocolate hardens (crushed hazelnuts and sprinkles in this case), then stick in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set.

There you have it! Now you have a million delicious treats you can palm off to your friends! Hooray!

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Piñata Cake

My friends had their baby shower on the weekend and I offered to help with food and a cupcake decorating station as an activity! Poppy was born a little prematurely so it wasn’t a baby shower so much as a welcoming for the baby, but it was heaps of fun nonetheless.

The colour scheme was rainbow which was perfect, as I wanted to make little piñatas as party favours (see earlier post in my blog). We set them up on a little table with a tree-shaped jewellery stand and some astro turf I just happen to have (don’t ask).

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I made some vegan chocate and vanilla cupcakes for the cupcake station, with different coloured icing and various toppings and sprinkles. It worked out really well!

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(It also got pretty messy).

And finally my chocolate piñata cake with rainbow frosting. Piñata cakes are all over the internet so I won’t go into how to make one, other than I will probably cut the top of the cake in one big section next time to avoid it sinking in the middle. The frosting kind of melted in the hour drive to the venue, and yeah the cake kind of sank where I’d cut into it to hollow it out, but otherwise it went well! There was a satisfying spilling sound of mini M&Ms as the cake was cut, which is all I wanted.

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Pre-melting. I need to work on icing cakes better.

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You can see where it kinda sank in the top. But look, candy!

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There were some other great activities and food too, like writing cards to the baby and an AMAZING centrepiece someone made out of fruit!

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And yeah, the actual baby was kind of cute too.

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Aww.