Cardiff

My time in Cardiff Wales was very short, only one full day, but it was a lovely city with less hustle and bustle after coming straight from Liverpool.

The first place I visited was Cardiff Market, which was great because I got there early enough to avoid a big crowd. There was a great variety of interesting stalls including things like Indian spices, vintage records, palm reading, fresh produce, and my personal favorite, the yarn shop. It was called the Wool Pack, but she had a massive collection of acrylic yarn (all of the shelves on the left side), which I got a beautiful teal skein from.

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After getting lost (thanks, Google Maps) and having to ask for directions at a craft beer shop, my first food stop was at Crumbs Kitchen. It was worth the hassle though, because I had a very good lunch there. The first floor of the restaurant is a bit chaotic, due to that being where the orders take place, but there is a second story with extra seating away from the main crowd. I got the chili over brown rice, with rose lemonade and chocolate cake. The whole grain goodness of the brown rice was a nice welcome, due to my Workaway host at that time only feeding us less filling white rice. The serving was huge though, and I ended up taking half away for my dinner later.

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I gotta admit, part of the appeal of Cardiff was being a Torchwood fan. I never managed to get into Doctor Who (though I still find Weeping Angels terrifying), but I was addicted to Torchwood when I found it in Netflix. Because of this, I decided to brave the rain and wind and march two miles from my hotel to the area where they shot the show. It was odd to look at all these buildings in real life when before I’ve only seen them in panoramic filmed shots. Definitely worth a trip if you’re a fan.

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A place you must visit in Cardiff is Cinnamon Sticks, an almost painfully adorable tea room shop. Everything ranging from the wallpaper to the servers’ outfits is either floral, pink, or dainty. Though I’m not a huge tea fan (unless it’s cold, sweet, and Southern), but I did partake in their cake, which is beyond amazing. I got a piece of their chocolate peanut butter masterpiece and can say that it was probably the best piece of cake I’ve ever had. The peanut butter frosting was the perfect amount of rich and fluffy, and the chocolate cake was the perfect spongey texture. I was sad I didn’t have time or the stomach space to try their savory vegan options, but I’ll just have to get them next time I go to Cardiff, since I will definitely be visiting Cinnamon Sticks again.

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Thanksgiving – Pigs, Cards, and Cake!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday (if you dared to venture out). Now is the time to begin prepping for Christmas, and since I’ve decided every one of my gifts will be homemade, I need to get to work asap. But there is no need to skip Thanksgiving, like many major store chains seem to be fine with doing. It should get just as much air-time as Christmas.

Before I blab about our holiday surrounding thankfulness, food, family, pilgrims, and football, I need to give you a daily-dose of cuteness. Look at the adorable little pot-scrubber Peter gave me for my birthday:

I love this little piggie, and it makes the annoying chore of washing dishes much more pleasant.

On to Thanksgiving though! My mother enjoys sending me cards at school and they’re sweet reminders to not stress too much about classes and enjoy life as much as possible. Here’s the most recent card she sent:

It says “Go stuff yourself!” inside. What a cute and vegan-friendly card.

For our Thanksgiving meal we had Tofurky roast, mashed potatoes topped with “poultry gravy”, green bean casserole, and buttery Bisquick biscuits.

For dessert we had cream-filled gingerbread bundt cake.

This was the first bundt cake I’ve ever made and I was quite pleased with how it came out. I looooved the cake’s cream “cheese” filling and how it coordinated with the spices in the cake. It was a tad dry, but I think I may have just baked it for too long.

Peter’s family also had Thanksgiving celebrations later in the week. I brought another Tofurky roast with some mushroom gravy (which I didn’t bother to photograph) and a lemon-berry cheez cake.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Cupcake Mania!

I’ve been on a  baking spree lately, and since cupcakes are my favorite baked treats, that’s what has been exiting my oven mostly.

From top left clockwise: Chickens, ducks, pigs, and cows.

For an Eberron gaming session on Tuesday, I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, but made them special by topping them off with some adorable farm animal sprinkles. I found these sprinkles at a new gourmet shop that has recently opened in town, and I just couldn’t resist buying them. They have super cute cows, pigs, chickens, and ducks to adorn your tasty treats.

Then later in the week, for yet another nerdy roleplaying get together, I whipped up some lovely strawberry cupcakes. I used the Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan recipe for all-purpose vanilla cake, but exchanged strawberry extract for the vanilla.

With some leftover strawberry batter, I made a mini cake with a tiny bear pan I picked up a thrift store.  My boyfriend and I used the excuse of it being our “10 month anniversary” to indulge in this sweet treat together. I’ve been on a cute food kick this week, but I promise to start posting more savory dishes and crafting projects.

Halo Birthday Cake

Hello, everyone! I promise I am still alive and apologize for the sporadic postings. The family computer ended up dying last week and we just now got a new one. Which means I’ve lost all of my food pictures except for the most recent ones.

But on to business! My boyfriend’s birthday was yesterday and, being the game nerd that he is, he requested a Halo birthday cake that was lemon flavored. So I ended up making the all-purpose vanilla cake from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan but substituted lemon extract in for vanilla and voila! Lemon cake.

The frosting is “butter cream” and I used green cookie icing and colored sugar to draw the helmet and write the words. Though it isn’t too pretty, I was pleasantly surprised when people recognized it was supposed to be a character from Halo and not just a green and yellow blob.