Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right

– Oprah Winfrey

And so it happened that I’m one year older again! One year and two weeks to be exact. I’ve never cared so much of my own birthdays and have only really organized a few birthday parties during my adulthood; when I turned 18, 20 and 25. After this there’s not been so much to celebrate (just kidding)! Maybe it’s partly because of the fact that January is often the time when people, or at least me, just like to have a break and calm down after all the Christmas and New Year’s hassle. This year I made an exception and invited some of my friends over for tea and (vegan!) Oreo cake.

The cake has only a few ingredients and is super easy to prepare. On top of this it tastes ridiculously good! Even my husband was impressed, so I can easily recommend it to anyone. Maybe you have a party coming up this weekend?

Oreo cake

Base
1 1/2 package of Oreo Biscuits
60 g vegan margarine

Filling              
2 packages of foaming soy cream
300 g of vegan chocolate

Garnish
1 package of Oreo Biscuits
2 tablespoons of crushed vegan sucker candy

Cut some baking paper onto the bottom of a cake mold (24 cm in diameter) and grease the edges. Crush the biscuits for the base. Melt the margarine and mix it with the biscuits in a baking jar. Press the biscuit chips into the bottom of the cake mold. Chop the chocolate and melt it carefully in a water bath or microwave. Foam the soy cream and add the melted chocolate. Spread the chocolate soy cream filling on the biscuit cake base. Put the cake in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Remove the cake from the mold and move carefully to the serving plate. Decorate with Oreo biscuits and e.g. crushed vegan sucker candies. I used Fazer Marianne Crush. 

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There’s actually only a few days left of the vegan challenge and I have to say that I’m quite happy with my performance, although it has not been flawless. I have to admit that there’s been a few slips, but to my defense, it’s never easy to jump into a new lifestyle without having to face e few obstacles on the way.

Okay, so the first slip was perfectly planned. I made sea salt toffee candies including a bit of honey. I convinced myself that this is not that bad and if I continue this lifestyle after this months challenge, I will probably continue eating honey from time to time. The second slip happened at a customer dinner. I made a decision before the evening not to make a number of my new diet and just eat the served foods. It was a good decision and made the night a bit easier, but it also made me more convinced of wanting to continue the challenge. The next obstacle came a bit unexpectedly, as a colleague was having a farewell party and offered us cake and candies at the office. Again surrounded by colleagues, I felt I didn’t want to start explaining myself, so I ate one slice of the cake (and a few candies). Maybe it’s needless to say that I haven’t told my colleagues about my vegan challenge.

I’m not that disappointed about the above mentioned slippages, as I’m of this next one… milk chocolate! My dear mom gave me milk chocolate candy biscuits as a souvenir, and I’m sorry to say I didn’t have enough backbone to resist the temptation, and have been eating one or two of those biscuits every evening this week. Why oh why am I still so hooked on sugar?! One of my targets was to cut down on sugar, so I truly feel I’ve failed on that level.

Now when the confessions have been made, I’m still happy to announce I’m not going to quit. Despite of these slippages, I feel good and have gained lots more energy. Speaking of which, just look at the colors of the green juice I made last weekend!

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Last weekend we also had some really cold, yet beautiful, winter days and we had to keep the house warm with help of the fireplace. This weekend will be rainy and we’ve already lost almost all the snow, which is a pity. I loved the surroundings those crispy mornings.

How has your first month of the year been so far?

xx mybohem

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients

– Julia Child

Hi guys! I hope your week’s been great so far! I promised to keep you updated on my vegan challenge and share some of my favorite recipes along the way. The first week went really well and I’m still super motivated. It’s been nice to try out new recipes and also make some of my old favorites. You know when there’s a tendency to often go for the same groceries, but then sometimes when you happen to buy something that differs from the usual, you actually end up wondering why you don’t buy it more often? For me one of these is definitely the sweet potato! I love the taste but for some reason I rarely buy it. When I was shopping groceries for my first vegan week, I remembered the sweet potatoes and I’m really glad I did.

Oven baked sweet potato fries are super easy to prepare and just as delicious! I’ve been making them every now and then (when I remember to buy those sweet potatoes, haha) and you could easily say this recipe is one of my favorites. Just preheat the oven to 200ºC. Peel and cut two large sweet potatoes, put them into a bowl and mix with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt, pepper and dried rosemary according to your taste. Spread the potatoes on a baking tray and bake for approx. 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Enjoy with e.g. hummus and fresh salads. The fries taste great even the next day!

One of the new recipes I tested was this sweet potato soup. The creamy soup is perfect for a bit chilly winter days, like the one we had on Sunday. Finally we got to see some sunlight and that even inspired me to go for a little walk in the forest.

Sweet potato soup

1 sweet potato
1 onion
2 ripe tomatoes
2 potatoes
oil
a piece of ginger
half a chili pepper
vegetable stock bouillon + water
2 dl coconut milk
salt and pepper

Wash, peel and slice the sweet potato and potatoes. Peel and chop the onion. Add some oil into a pot and lightly stir-fry the chopped vegetables for a while, then add the tomatoes, chili pepper and the peeled and chopped ginger.

Add water so that the vegetables are covered, pour in one tablespoon of vegetable stock bouillon.

Boil, and cook until the vegetables are ripe. Add the coconut cream, salt and pepper. Mix everything with a mixer until the texture is silky smooth. Serve with some sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top. Enjoy!

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I even got some company of my dear cat Helmi (Finnish for Pearl).

On Sunday afternoon we had our friends coming over and I wanted to treat them with a vegan dessert. I ended up experimenting a little and made a blueberry-cashew pudding topped with cocoa mousse and frozen blueberries. In this case I have to say it was maybe a bit too much and it may happen that it looked better than it tasted, haha. Well, you can’t nail it every time, right?

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I have my birthday coming up in a few days, so I was thinking, I would try to make a vegan cake or some other dessert to celebrate. I’ll be turning 33 already! I can’t believe it…

xx mybohem