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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Back of the Cupboard Food Challenge--Not Quite Vegan Bangers on: November 24, 2014 01:40:33 PM
I am a finalist in a radio contest where the goal is to raise money for the food bank, the prize is to win my food fantasy which is to share some cream pies with some federal politicians.  You can read more about the contest here As part of our fundraising we get to participate in challenges to raise more money for our goals.  The challenge last week was to find the 3 oldest items in our pantry and then make a recipe with them. 

Here's the finished product:
 

And here's the recipe/challenge items.
Here's what started me off:


A baked bean mix (it was a gift and actually was simply dried navy beans)
Tofu Miso Soup Mix (which clearly I didnt read the ingredients on it when I bought it because it contains fish and I follow a vegetarian diet)
And Vegetarian Haggis (a gift from my sister 3 years ago; just so we are all on the same page the main ingredients were water, hydrogenated oils, rutabaga, lentils, oatmeal, mushrooms, and seasonings)

And now for my recipe
A big thank you to Chef Mark MacInnis and The Urban Element for originally teaching me how to make Vegan Bangers which gave me the inspiration for this recipe (and the cooking method).  I should add though that Mark MacInnis used much higher quality ingredients in his bangers. 

Ingredients:
2 cups dried navy beans (I only used 2 cups of the cooked beans, so you can use whatever amount of dried beans will yield that; or honestly use canned beans, there is a reason these were at the back of my cupboard, they take FOREVER to cook)
1 package of Miso Soup Mix (if I were to make these again I would omit this and just add some salt or bullion, not only did it contain fish (did I even read the ingredients when I bought it?) but it smelled really gross while cooking)
1 can Vegetarian Haggis
2Tbs ground Flax
6Tbs water
1 cup bread crumbs (could have likely used more, but that was all I had on hand... and they were Italian flavoured so lots of cultural cuisines represented in these bangers)
1/3 cup olive oil (I always use Fair Trade Olive oil which can be purchased at Ten Thousand Villages)
cup tamari
Salt and pepper to taste
Dehydrated garlic to taste (I put in a few shakes)
Dehydrated onion to taste (I put in a few shakes)
Your preferred substance for frying (I used butter making these definitely not vegan, but there are lots of other substances you can fry in)
Potatoes to serve them with

Directions:
1.Soak and Cook the Beans (I used the quick soap method and this still took hours, so in the mean time, play with your kids, do some crafts, call your mom, put your child to bed including stories, and songs, and the worlds best delay tactics, do some dishes, clean the kitchen so your horrible mess isnt in the pictures you are sharing with the CBC... you get the idea, feel free to fill the 3 HOURS this took in whatever way you prefer, or seriously just buy canned beans and skip the trouble)

2. When the beans are about half cooked add the miso soup mix.  (Actually dont, I did this only because of the challenge, and it smelled really really gross).  It does add flavour to the beans though so next time I would use Vegetarian Beef Flavoured Bouillon for this step.  And yes I did use a Scottish Spurtle to stir throughout this process, I wish I could say it was in honour of the Haggis, but really I couldnt find a clean wooden spoon. 



3. Once the beans are cooked, drain most of the remaining water (if any), and use a hand blender to mostly puree the beans.  I dubbed this stage Miso-Bean Mush.
4. Combine the ground flax and water in a small bowl.  Let stand until it thickens. (this is an egg replacer, you can instead use an egg).
5. In a bowl combine 2 cups of miso-bean mush, bread crumbs, haggis, olive oil, tamari, the flax mixture, and seasonings.  Mix with a spoon, spurtle, or your hands. 



6. Form your bangers.  Make small sausage shapes with the mixture.  Wrap in Plastic Wrap.  (I did my best to wrap them like we recently saw on an episode of Making Stuff on TVOKids, so I linked them, but they will wrap better if you wrap each one individually).



7. Gently poach the bangers for 20-30 minutes (they might have needed longer but since they started poaching at 10:30 pm I called them cooked enough).  While they are cooking make some mashed potatoes to serve them with.



8.  Take them out of the water and unwrap them.  Pan fry the bangers to give them a nice crispy exterior. 



And Enjoy!





2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Barbie Fire Truck on: November 12, 2014 09:35:53 AM
So this may come as a surprise, but Mattel does not make a Barbie Fire Truck... so what do you do when your daughter loves Barbie, and fire trucks, and dreams of being a fire fighter one day, you make her a Barbie fire truck...  This project was over a year in the making.  The first step was procuring a Barbie van for hte base, and oh boy are they expensive on ebay (especially the international shipping), but I got really, really lucky and found one locally on kijiji.  The next step was to spray paint it (or more specifically wait until the temperature was warm enough in spring to spray paint it), and then start with the necessary additions.  I searched everywhere for a toy firetruck I could take pieces from for ladders etc but they were all really expensive, so I had to improvise.  The ladders are made out of paint stir sticks, and thin dowels.  The lights are pencil grips, and the hose is rope and a plumbing fitting held on by 3m hooks. 

I had some adhesive problems while putting it together, who knew that super glue won't actually affix everything... but got luckily that my husband had heard of a new adhesive sugru that worked fantastically for attaching and putting together the ladder.  I really recommend it for just about anything. 

The front/side


The back


A close up of the ladder


Putting out a fire


Headed back to the station


And the happy girl with her new truck


I also made their jackets (I should likely add some velcro to close them at some point, but to be honest for my 3yo closures just get in the way of easy dressing) and pants. 
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Todd and Stacey Doll Clothes on: November 04, 2014 12:10:21 PM
One of my friends has the sweetest 4 yr old twins who love many things including Tae Kwon Do, dresses, and dolls.  For their birthday I really wanted to acknowledge the things they love.  I got really lucky and found a vintage Todd doll on kijiji, since Barbie doesn't make any boy dolls anymore. 
I used slightly modified vintage skipper patterns for the clothes (I need to do some more work on fitting them to modern dolls), and made some kids pretty happy on their birthday.





The little guy I was giving this to loves to wear dresses so I wanted his doll to be able to dress like he does. 











And because my husband was having fun doing action shots



4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Attaching Metal to Plastic????? on: September 25, 2014 11:26:07 AM
So I am trying to attach a metal hinge to a plastic toy and am not having any luck. 

I have tried regular glue and super glue with no luck.  Any other ideas?
5  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Wizard of Oz Costumes on: September 04, 2014 05:20:07 PM
The apple orchard that we go to as a family, themed their corn maze The Wizard of Oz this year, so for fun we dressed up to visit on opening day.  I made myself a Dorothy dress and my daughter a lion costume.  We also had a scarecrow (my husband) and tin man (my mom) with us but their costumes were put together with clothing so I wasn't going to post them.  The costumes were a bit of a rush job so the zippers kind of suck, but other than that I am really happy with how they turned out.  And at the farm they were all thrilled that we dressed up. 







6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / A Remembrance Piece on: August 27, 2014 07:38:44 PM
I made this to honour/remember my Dad to mark the 5th anniversary of his death in March.  Life got crazy and I didn't get it posted, but it kind of works out because another dear family member died today and this piece is suitable to honour him too. 

The cross featured in this work is one that my Dad picked up at an estate auction sale, and it was personally meaningful to him and his faith so I wanted to do something with it.  I then incorporated bits of bible verse and lyrics to some hymns.  It was a very good time of remembrance for me working on it.  I tried to add some texture using gesso, but I don't think I had the right medium to do it with. 

 
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My first "Real" Quilt on: August 27, 2014 07:26:53 PM
So I have done a few quilt-like projects but never a true pieced and quilted project. 
This had the added complication of a 3 year old who wanted her quilt right away.  So it was completed in less than a day. 

I kept it really simple and just divided up fat quarters.  My daughter picked the fabric (most specifically the backing and the scissors fabric).  It turned out pretty well for being such a rushed project.  I must say I am in love with the quilting foot on my machine and have learned a few lessons about quilt batting too.

 

8  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Kid's Digger Art on: August 27, 2014 07:20:45 PM
My Mom shared this idea  with me for my daughter to try, which I thought she would love doing as she normally loves painting with her feet.  She did not like getting her feet painted though so we opted for tracing instead. 

One of her friends is moving away this week so we made this for him.  I hope he will like it. 

   

She painted the canvas, and did the colouring on the paper.  I helped with the rest. 
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Finishing off a hoopla on: June 10, 2014 08:04:29 AM
So I finished my first hooplas but I have no idea how to finish the backs.  How do I tuck the extra fabric in (or do I cut it off)?  I really have no idea what I am doing...
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Fire Truck Smocked Dress on: June 01, 2014 04:09:31 PM
So I'm often not great about getting things done in a timely fashion, which is horrible when sewing for a child, but for once I succeeded.  Today was Touch A Truck (a local fundraiser when kids get to touch trucks...) and I finished this dress for my daughter at midnight last night.  She loves firetrucks and firefighters, and loved getting to wear this today. 




I made the size 3 which ended up being a bit big, but turned out well with the wrap back.  It was a pattern from an old Sew Beautiful magazine. 



This was my first time picture smocking and my gauge was off (my stitching were short), but all in all it turned out okay.



Here you can see the back.

I should add that for the first time ever, the bobbin was on my side, I finished sewing on the bias edging with the tiniest bit of red thread left....
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