This year, probably due to The Boy being that much older, I'm really feeling Hallowe'en. Not the ghosts and ghoulies (steady on) you understand, but the whole party, dressing up malarky. It's helped by the planning that I'm doing for my toddler group's party this weekend, and so I've been going to town on costumes, decorations and food. As it's obviously a party for under-five year olds, the food we're preparing has to be quick and easy to cook, transfer and eat. However, there are some other meals that will be featuring on the menu at home this weekend.
- Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, add one chopped leek and a handful of sliced mushrooms. Sweat for a few minutes to soften.
- Add the chopped flesh of one butternut squash (or pumpkin), two diced carrots and two peeled and diced sweet potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add 1½ pints of stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper, cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 mins until the squash, carrot and sweet potato are really tender.
- Stir 200ml of Alpro soya milk* into the soup, whiz everything together in blender or processor in batches until smooth. Return to the pan, gently warm through to serve. Pour into bowls and finish with a swirl of Alpro soya alternative to cream*.
- Serve with crusty, warmed baguette or tiger bread.
Alpro Soya is a tasty alternative to dairy for those who are lactose intolerant.
Who doesn't love a little bit of Gothic coloured sponge cake? Black oozing red, sticky substance anyone? The full recipe for these, can be found here.
I've always wanted to have a go at making my own jelly-type pudding but obviously being vegetarian, it's a bit tricky! I recently discovered a vegetarian gelatine and had a go at using the powder. I mixed one sachet with 1 pint of Alpro Soya 'milk'* and stirred it until it had dissolved. Bringing it to just under the boil, I stirred in one pot of Alpro Soya chocolate dessert* and mixed it through with a balloon whisk. To flavour even further, I added 40g of chocolate orange drinking chocolate (if this is intended as a dairy-free pudding, check the drinking chocolate is lactose-free) and whisked this in thoroughly. Pour the mixture into serving dishes and allow to cool. After half an hour, the pudding should be thick enough to allow a segment of satsuma (hoorah, Christmas is coming) to rest on the top, sprinkle with chocolate flakes.
Vampire Broth: 3 parts diet cola* made using our new Sodastream* and 1 part vanilla ice-cream. Dust the rim of the glass with caster sugar, place the ice-cream inside and pour on the cola. Watch it froth up!
Magic Potion: 2 parts sparkling apple juice* and 2 parts cranberry and raspberry juice* (both sugar-free). Decorate the rim with red edible glitter for that extra touch of blood-curdling authenticity. If you've got any raspberries (we don't) crush them up and add them to the mix.
Chilling Chocolate: Dust the edge of a glass with cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate as it often contains dairy) and pour in some cool Alpro Soya chocolate milk*.
Can you come up with any more funky mocktails?
I was sent the items marked with a * to review. However, all the cooking, images and text are my own, and honest.