Month: August 2014

ABC, easy as 123, simple as do re mi, pls set the animals free.

Warning: graphical description ahead. 

My first thought when I read this article was “they’ll just shape the law to make “animal abuse” an arbitrary, meaningless term. This will never work.” I feel so jadded.

When animals in cages smaller than their wing span isn’t considered abuse what is? When forced vaginal entry and permanent fornification until insemination/lactation isn’t considered abuse what is? How are they intending to measure this to determine abuse – will efficiency, profit, quality or quantity of meat/dairy/eggs/produce be factored in? Just what exactly will and will not be classified as abuse?

The entire process seems so horrifically abusive that to have any compassion at all for the animals the entire industry would be shut down. Since that isn’t likely to happen via this potential new law it can be argued that their concept of what is and isn’t abuse will be skewered.

Summer Tay.

Chocolate coated balls – a recipe

Tl/Dr: Make churroes in ball shape, make spanish hot chocolate as your drink and dipping sauce in one. Buy from op shops. 

I do not own a piping bag. To look at all the food makers of all genres this feels a bit like not having a TV, but in kitchen utencil form.  But this is ok, I have learnt to make do. For example today I decided it had been too long since the sweet yet savoury and oh so delicious taste of churros had delighted my taste buds, so I decided to give it a go.

The Ingredients 

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tbs white sugar
  • ½ tsp pink salt
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • Oil
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon

The method

  1. Combine water, sugar, salt and vegetable oil in a medium pot. Stir mixture until the mixture becomes a paste.
  2. Preheat oven at 180 degrees. Place sufficient vegetable oil into a baking pan.
  3. Roll paste into small-medium sized balls. Or pipe them into a long churro shape. Place on baking pan and put into oven. Cook for approx. 10 minutes or until the mixture looks slightly brown. Drain on a paper towel.
  4. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl/lidded cup. Roll churros in mixture.
  5. Create a chocolate dipping sauce, dip the churros into the dipping sauce, then eat.

I poured the cinnasugar mixture into the chip n dip then rolled it in that. It worked. This recipe made about 13 churro balls, so probably 4 normal sized churros. Making really small balls then minimising cooking time to probably 5 minutes would make for a great party treat.

The sauce was discover whilst on a search for a good, thick, Spanish hot chocolate recipe. Coincidentally this drink can double as a churro dipping sauce. How could I pass uop the opportunity to make my sauce and drink at the same time?

The ingredients  

  • 5 tbs Cocoa
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • ½ tbs corn starch (or in my case corn flour) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic oat milk.

The Method
1. Combine all ingredients in a deep pot and continually stir on a lowish-medium heat.  Continue this until the mixture is at your desired consistency.

2. Pour delicious hotness all over your churros / dip your churro balls into the mixture in a classy fashion and do not double dip. 

The churro recipe was sourced from all recipes whilst the Spanish hot chocolate X churro dipping sauce came from may I have that recipe. The dipping sauce is supposed to have corn starch, however I used corn flour. The grocery stores didn’t have the starch, I had to improvise. It did not come out drinkable.

The chip n dip is also my latest kitchen addition. Less than half the original price at the local second hand store, still unopened in its box. It’s on its first week and already been used twice. This thing looks impressive on the table. I thoroughly recommend op shopping.

Hope you like the recipe and churroes in their new shape. No offence to regular churroes.

With love,

Summer Tay.

People power and chocolate loans

Everywhere I look all I see are good places to start an organic vegan restaurant/cafe/drinks/ice cream bar. One is even right next to an organic grocery store in a high end food market (aka building filled with only restaurants, cafes, ice cream and a grocery store – all slightly expensive). I’d do it if I had the know-how. Instead I found a similar minded person and helped fund them instead.

Choquiero is an impressive vegan chocolate store that has popped up recently in Cali, USA. By store I mean a zealous vegan chocolatier named Ariel who has successfully sold chocolates for the past few months and has the intent to make it brick n mortar (shopfront) style. He needs a kiva-loan. Currently at 30% funded he has 5 days to go before his loan expires. Looking at the pics of his chocolates, and knowing first hand kiva lenders pay you back, I’m down with giving him some moolah. Check him out: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/4751, and if you get some of his chocolates eat one for me. I’ll try to get over there sometime myself but in the meantime let me live vicariously through you, oh taster of chocolates. 

For those who don’t know kiva is a web based loans system allowing everyday persons to lend money to each other interest free, removing the need for a banking institutions involvement. This process has been highly successful as people from all over the world can be lender and/or lendee to anyone else anywhere in the world. To me, knowing the name and face and business my money is being lent to, knowing that they know my name and face, and personally loaning a person money (with the assistance of the internet) feels good. A bank impersonally lending my money along with countless others (or creating money out of thin air) to any cause it determines profitable for itself with heavy interest charges and unpleasant tactics for money retrieval is on the way out thanks to websites like Kiva. I like that.   

I wonder if Ariel could and would mail his chocolates to Australia.  

To empowering the people and to chocolate,

Summer Tay.

Chocolate Mug Cake – a (semi-healthy) recipe

Hello taste perfectioners! Today I bring to you the easiest cake I have yet to make: the Chocolate Mug Cake.

The cake that takes only 8 ingredients to make and about 3 minutes to create this recipe is fantastic for the lazy time restricted chocolate lover. The kitchy bit is that you make it in a mug – the perfect hiding place for your yum-noms from your partner, children, flatmates, co-workers and other prying eyes and hungry mouths. Who looks for chocolate cake in a mug?

Ingredients:
2 tbs Cocoa powder
3 tbs white flour
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
1tbs + 2tsp sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 mashed banana
4 tbs oat or almond milk
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method:
1. Mix the first 5 ingredients thoroughly together in a large bowl. Sift as required.
2. Mash that banana!
3. Add the last 3 ingredients together mixing really well.
4. Pour the ingredients into your favourite mug.
5. Cook her up for 30seconds – 2 minutes (depending on consistency of cake) in the microwave.
6. Grab a teaspoon and eat your cake like a boss.

I tried this cake with coconut oil subbed for mashed banana. It was nice, but banana was nicer. The original recipe, sourced from avid baker-blogger Chocolate Covered Katie included an optional peanut butter icing. My version came out like peanut butter with an intense sugar content. If you have the extra few minutes give it a try though, or just smear peanut butter straight up all over your cake. It could work.

I would give you a pic of the cake but each one I made came out looking disgusting, which is the exact opposite of the taste, there-for for your viewing pleasure I have opted to not add the obligatory finished product pic.

Tip: Be careful when selecting your mug. Do not use a mug that increases in size as it goes up but rather a straight up and down one as this will affect your cakes cooking time requirements. That is, the bottom will cook faster than the top. Eating it was something like a trial in earth excavation, with each bite taking you further down into a whole new consistency and slight changes in taste. It was an interesting experience.

Bana-nana-nana-nana choc cake!

Summer Tay.

Ever wanted to tell a polly what you think? Go for it!

 Teo Zagar, Member of Vermonts House of Representatives has gone onto reddit to answer questions regarding a supposed GMO labelling bill. Questions and comments raised have been very intelligent. the house member advised that he would be back later to continue answering questions so if you have any now is a good time to get in there. 

The last I had read about GMO labelling was that at least 37 GMO foods were being granted “Organic” status under the (American) law. If I find that proof again that’s where my question will be headed.   

For agriculture,

Summer Tay

Because her cat is just that cute.

I worry about my neighbours cat. For anonymitys sake lets her honeybun, because her actual name is equally ridiculous and frankly I find honeybun a funny and befitting name for this adorable cat.

Honeybun is your standard domestic cat with her awesome level set to 1000. She wants pats like a dog seeing its owner after a long holiday. She likes to explore your house like Tomb Raider likes to explore tombs. She loves everyone to no exception and isn’t afraid to show it. Or at least she did.  A few months ago HB got into a bit of scuffle with some youths. They beat her up with their fists, feet and pushbikes (yes pushbikes, they were that young). The owner took a swift course of action: she kept Honeybuns inside for a week (no vet, no meds, just inside).

Now Honeybuns is a scared little cat, wasted away to skin and bones and much grayer, heavily matted hair. She keeps scratching herself too, which means fleas.Her beautiful teeth are almost all gone. My suspicions include not being fed, organ damage, fleas, worms and gum disease.  So Ive opted to take her to the vet. Eventually.

The issues here are, she ain’t my cat, and I ain’t rich. Since she isn’t my cat I have no right to feed her, let alone take her to the vet. Another nearby neighbour has been “caught ” feeding Honeybuns in the past and got a new one torn (which is why my feeding her has been strictly indoors, much to my mothers and my hairs chagrin).

It is possible Honeybuns owner does not realise her cat doesn’t have teeth anymore and has been trying to plump her up with cat biscuits. Which of course don’t get eaten due to an inability to chew them. Hence, her owner assumes the cat is choosing not to eat. Or so I assume…

Between a significant lack of money and a non-ownership of the dear pussycat I am stuck waiting until my funds repleat. What I’m wondering is how much money should I accumulate before taking her to the vet. I know she needs medical attention several months ago. A recap of above: check her vitals over the beating from months ago, check her teeth and gums for issues, get rid of the fleas and the tail hair clump and the possible worms, how much is all that going to cost me? The embarrassment of going in and then not having anywhere near enough money to pay for her is probably what stopped her actual owner in the first place. The fear of going to help the cat only to be rejected and the owner notified of my attempt… Once that clump of hair is gone her owner is bound to notice someone has been taking care of her cat again :S

Emotionally, HB seems to have good days and bad days. Today she cannot stand to be touched and moews louder than I have ever heard her meow before. It is a bad day. I hope to one day see her be her old self again. Until then I will keep trying to woo her over with food and an eventual scary vet trip.

If it were your neighbours cat, what would you do? Leave her be because she isn’t yours, let the owner know your thoughts/suggestions and be done with the matter, or break societal norms and anonymously help out in an obvious manner?

Yours,

Summer Tay.