Eco Fashion Spotlight – Cri de Coeur Vegan Shoes

Attention shoe lovers and animal lovers, today is a ‘praise the shoe gods’ kind of day!’ Call all of your friends and let them know you are now going by the name of Imelda Marcos because you will probably be buying every pair of Cri de Coeur’s Spring line of shoes!

I’m not going to distract you with too many more words when there are shoes involved. I’ll state the important eco criteria so you can move swiftly onto staring lovingly at these stunning shoes.

Cri de Coeur shoes are all vegan and handmade in Europe.
Cri de Coeur are not just content helping beautify the tootsies of eco girls everywhere but they are also committed to helping the planet. They have ‘partnered with Carbonfund.org’ to offset their carbon emissions and have also ‘pledged to sponsor a tree’ which will be ‘planted for every pair of shoes sold’. Very impressive!

 

cri-de-coeur-vegan-shoes-alexaALEXA
These open toe boots with cut out zipper and sand coloured canvas are the ultimate attention-grabbing shoes! I’m sure they will be gracing the pages of every top fashion magazine.

ABIGAIL
I love, love, love the coloured heel on these adorable sandals. So simple yet so striking! Available in Geranium (above) and also Gold.

CHLOE
These Chloe shoes are the perfect pair of elegant flats to have in your growing vegan shoe closet! They will look great with anything! Available in Black (as above), Mimosa & Midnight Black or Black & White.

cri-de-coeur-vegan-shoes-melissa

MELISSA
I’ve been seeing a lot of strappy-ness in the shoe stratosphere lately and I think these black suede effect Melissa shoes with zip front are sublime.

FRETA
A fantastic take on the strappy sandal! These edgy summer ready shoes will look perfect with any skirts, dresses or shorts.

cri-de-coeur-vegan-shoes-sierra SIERRA
Who would have thought an elastic band could look so chic and elegant? These Sierra shoes are ideal for work, casual or formal occasions. The Sierra shoes pictured above are ‘Moonless Night Suede’ (faux) with grey elastic band. Also available in a gorgeous Mimosa and Midnight Black colour.

Glass Straws and Food Containers

I was so excited to find these beautiful glass straws and food storage containers. I’m not a fan of storing lovely, homemade meals in plastic containers as you hear so many frightening stories about plastic leaching toxins into your food. Not good!

The straws will come in handy now for summer too. You can enjoy delicious iced teas and smoothies with a pretty glass straw. You can even take one to work or to picnics (in a hemp or bamboo case) so you can say no to plastic when out and about. Straws are also great for protecting teeth from stains that can come from copious iced tea and coffee drinking (or sugar from fruit juice smoothies). Not only are these glass products reusable but don’t you think glass is just a lot more civilised and prettier than plastic?
glass-strawsGlass Straws from GlassDharma – Made in the USA
David Leonhardt, the creator of GlassDharma straws mentions that ‘as of March 2008, McDonald’s serves an average of 52 million meals per day (per their website)’ and asks us to consider how many of those customers were handed a disposable plastic straw! Opt for the reusable and safer alternative with GlassDharma and choose from three different straw styles and accessories that are all handmade in the USA. They are strong and durable (dishwasher safe) as they are made from borosilicate glass. GlassDharma even offer a ‘Lifetime Guarantee Against Breakage’ and can repair or replace a broken straw.

There are three different straw styles to choose from:
Simple Elegance (opening image) – from $6 or a set of four with brush is $27
Decorative Dots – from $7
Beautiful Bends (pictured above) – from $8

bamboo-cases-for-glass-straws
Bamboo Hard Case

Accessories
Store your glass straw in either the Hemp Soft Sleeve or Bamboo Hard Case (from $9).

Visit Glass Dharma to learn more or visit their online shop to purchase their products.

glass-food-storage-containers

Glass Food Storage Containers – Made in the USA
I think these glass containers are wonderful and clearly many other people do too as they are all on back order at Free Market Organics until June 30, 2009. But that’s not long to wait and definitely worth it! Store your organic and seasonal delicacies in containers of various shapes and sizes from Anchor Hocking (‘made fairly in the USA’).

Various sizes available

2 cup – from $9.95 or four – $34
5 cup – $12.95
12 cup – $15.95
Small set of three – $32.50
Large set of three – $36

Homemade Organic Granola Recipe

There is something very satisfying and comforting about having a homemade breakfast cereal in the house. Once you whip up a batch of this delicious and healthy granola, you’ll probably never opt for the store bought stuff again. Enjoy this granola with either dairy free milk or yogurt and sprinkle lavishly with ruby red and luscious blue seasonal berries. Oats are great too for releasing energy slowly and they will keep you going until lunch without needing to snack. But if you do get the munchies later on in the day, this makes a great nutritious snack that will stave off any hunger pangs. It’s so tasty and has just the right amount of sweetness, nuttiness and fruitiness. I think I need to go and grab another bowl now!

Ingredients

  • 500g bag of organic jumbo oats
  • 1/2 cup of organic shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of your favourite organic dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, figs)
  • 1/2 cup of organic nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts
  • Organic sunflower oil
  • Organic honey

homemade-organic-granola-recipe-2

How to make

  • Spread the rolled oats into a roasting dish, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and the coconut and mix together.
  • Combine the sunflower oil and honey in a cup to measure just less than 1/2 cup. Pour this over the oats and use a fork to ensure all the oats are well covered.
  • Place in a 200 degree (celsius) oven until golden brown (approximately 20 minutes). Be sure to watch the oats carefully and stir them often as they can cook fairly quickly.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the dried fruit and nuts in a separate bowl.
  • Use some kitchen scissors to easily cut the dried fruit into smaller pieces. Add the fruit and nuts to the oats and mix well.
  • I store my granola in an airtight glass jar and the mixture keeps well for 3 weeks or longer.
Enjoy!

Is There a Dr Bronner in the House?

Every household needs soap but what soap do you choose when you have concerns about skincare ingredients and their effects on your body and the waterways they wash off into?

You’ve probably heard scary and alarming stats about the skin absorbing 60% of what is put on it and also how palm oil (a staple ingredient in soaps and oh so much more) is contributing rapidly to deforestation. Wow, that’s a lot of guilt from one simple shower or hand wash! Soap should wash our sins away not add to them!

dr-bonners-soap

Since learning all this, I’ve been favouring Dr Bronner for my shower and hand soaps. Initially I was bamboozled by the plethora of print on Dr Bronner’s labels and thought it was a bit expensive here in the UK but once I purchased a bottle and diluted it, I found it lasted a very long time. I also found it came in really handy for many things around the house such as making my own dishwashing liquid and for removing stubborn stains (a drop of baby mild liquid soap removed a stain on wood surface that a regular cleaner could not).

Dr Bronner soaps are clearly the eco leaders in soap land and I think it’s great how these latherlicious soaps are so considerate of people and the environment!

WHY DR BRONNER?
Fair Trade Ingredients (IMO certified)
Organic Ingredients (Oregon Tilth)
Fair Trade Palm Oil from Ghana. Production of their oils ‘does not contribute to deforestation’.
‘100% Post-Consumer Recycled Cylinder Bottles and Paper Labels’
Completely biodegradable
Not tested on animals

INGREDIENTS
Classic Liquid Soaps
Water, Saponified Organic Coconut, Organic Palm and Organic Olive Oils, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Vitamin E

dr-bonners-orange-soap

Citrus Orange Organic Bar Soap – Ingredients
Saponified Organic Coconut Oil*, Saponified Organic Palm Oil*,
Saponified Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Glycerin, Water, Organic
Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)
Seed Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Organic Citrus
Medica Limonum (Lemon) Oil, Organic Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil,
Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Tocopherol (Vit. E), (* Certified Fair
Trade by IMO)

OTHER USES FOR DR BRONNER
Brushing teeth (although I haven’t tried that yet)
Cleaning – diluted or neat
Shampoo
Laundry

STILL NOT CONVINCED TO SWITCH TO ORGANIC?
HERE ARE SOME ICKY INGREDIENTS IN REGULAR SOAPS
  • Triclosan – anti-bacterial agent that is a ‘probable endocrine disruptor and carcinogen’
  • Triethanolamine TEA – ‘immune system toxicant and possible carcinogen’
  • Propylene Glycol – ‘alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin’
  • SLS Sodium Laureth Sulfate – foaming agent that can alter skin structure
  • Phenoxyethanol – preservative
  • Parabens – may alter hormone levels
  • Artificial Fragrances & Colours

– Source: Teens Turning Green

dr-bonners-soap-and-scents

SCENTS & SCENTS-IBILITY
Pretty: Rose or Lavender
With antiseptic oils: Eucalyptus or Tea Tree
Strong but pleasant scent: Peppermint or Almond
Unscented: Baby Mild
My favourite: Citrus Orange (zesty, summery and uplifting!)

Available in many convenient sizes
2 oz, 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz and 1 gallon

Where to purchase
Visit Dr Bronner to learn more (and view the range of organic Pump Soaps) or UK peeps can purchase online at Love Lula (236ml liquid soaps at £4.99 / organic soap bars £3.50) or check your local health food store.

Healthy Winter Warming Drinks – Part One

Cinnamon, Orange, Honey and Rosebud Tea

cinnamon-orange-honey-and-rosebud-tea– Ching-He Huang
The dried rose buds make this drink sheer prettiness in a cup! Oranges, cinnamon and honey are the only other ingredients you will need to create this gorgeous winter drink.
View recipe at Delicious.

Spiced Hot Dark Chocolate – Body + Soul

spiced-hot-dark-chocolateThis delicious and decadent drink has to be good for you with dark chocolate, soy milk, cayenne pepper and spices.
View recipe at Whole Living.

Chai Tea with Soy Milk – Martha Stewart Living

chai-tea-with-soy-milkDuring winter, every time is Chai time! The combination of spices such as cinnamon, cloves and fresh ginger really do warm the soul.
View recipe at Martha Stewart.

Mulled Cranberry Cocktail – Whole Living

mulled-cranberry-cocktailWhat could be more Christmassy than this? Its fun, festive and delicious. I’d personally switch the sugar for your natural sweetener of choice and then sip away. Merry Days!
View recipe at Whole Living.

Hot Cocoa with Almond Milk

hot-cocoa-with-almond-milk– Martha Stewart Living
Few things are more comforting than a cup of hot cocoa. Try making your next one with this recipe using almond milk and cinnamon sticks (and maybe switch the sugar for agave or something similar).
View recipe at Martha Stewart.

Mulled Apple Juice – Emma Lewis

mulled-apple-juiceSo simple yet so sip-tastic! You only need five ingredients for this Christmas time drink.
View recipe at BBC Good Food.

Vegetarian Lunch Recipes for the Week Ahead

MONDAY – Rainbow Superfood Salad (Allegra McEvedy)
Get some health in a bowl with this colourful quinoa, broccoli, beetroot, cabbage and mushroom filled salad.
See recipe at Good Food Channel (was UK TV Food).

TUESDAY – Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers and Spiced Cumin Dressing

If you want some light, flavourful salads for summer and picnics, then this Smitten Kitchen recipe sure looks good. Add some organic pitta breads and you’ve got a luscious lunch sorted!
See recipe at Smitten Kitchen.

aromatic-noodles-with-lime-peanut-sauceWEDNESDAY – Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce (pictured above)
This easy to make recipe can be whipped together in 15 minutes and hello, there’s lime peanut sauce! Delicious. This will definitely leave co-workers or surrounding picnic companions with serious lunch envy!
See recipe at Food Network.

THURSDAY – Ottolenghi’s Wild Rice Salad
Ottolenghi’s four London locales always have amazing salads and dishes on display and long queues of hungry diners. If you don’t live in London or haven’t bought their cookbook, you can try this salad with pistachio, dried apricots, mint and rocket.
See recipe at Ottolenghi.

herb-marinated-peppers-on-bruschetta-with-home-made-pesto


FRIDAY – Herb Marinated Peppers on Bruschetta with Home Made Pesto

If you work from home or just want an easy weekend lunch, this tasty bruschetta will bring a little gourmet gaiety to your house. Enjoy the zangy burst of flavor from the lemons, peppers, basil and garlic and when you proudly make your own green pesto, you may be inspired to make extra in order to stash some in your freezer for pesto pasta emergencies.
See recipe at Good Food Channel (was UK TV Food).

Eight Great Graphic Organic T-Shirts

bellamy-tee-people-tree-t-shirtBellamy Tee – People Tree
made in india (IFAT) / organic cotton
Give a shout out to renowned ecologists, Bellamy, Attenborough, Nutkins and Oddie by wearing this truly eco tee.
People Tree – £15 (was £22)

crop-circle-t-shirt-mociunCrop Circle T-Shirt – Mociun
handmade in new york / organic cotton
A white tee or top is an essential item for summer and when you add a silver / orange crop circle into the mix, well, you’re the leader of the fashion pack. This fun tee mixes style with kookiness perfectly so that you can wear this dressed down with shorts and jeans or dressed up with sleek skirts and chic blazers.
Beklina – $80


butterfly-top-mika-machidaButterfly Top – Mika Machida
made in nyc / organic cotton
This ‘save the natural habitat for butterflies’ top is a wonderful fusion of creativity and quirkiness. I love the idea of using the butterfly’s antennae as the straps for one shoulder. Too sweet!
Planet Threads – $198


what-would-ben-do-t-shirtWhat Would Ben Do T-shirt – Look for Fiddleheads
made in chicago / organic cotton
I love a tee with an intelligent message and a sense of humour. This tee ticks both boxes for me, plus it looks downright cool. This one will certainly be a conversation starter!
Etsy, Look for Fiddleheads $26

christian-lacroix-tee-environmental-justice-foundationChristian Lacroix Tee – Environmental Justice Foundation
made in Turkey (Fair Wear Foundation) / organic cotton
Christian Lacroix is one of several stellar designers that helped The Environmental Justice Foundation (EFJ) produce a line of fair trade, organic t-shirts that help raise awareness to end forced child labour and the use of toxic pesticides within the cotton industry. Pick your favourite design and look great while supporting a great cause.
Fashion Conscience – £32

10-speed-tee-sub_urban-riot10 Speed Tee – Sub_Urban Riot
made in usa / organic cotton
This ‘bicycles are best’ tee should get your eco transport message across effectively and stylishly as long as you don’t wear it while driving, in which case you’ll need a plausible story prepared such as, ‘my bike is in the shop’ or ‘of course my car is electric / hybrid / running on last night’s leftover olive oil from dinner’.
Greenloop – $32

rain-forest-t-shirt-andiraRain Forest Tee – Andira
made in peru / organic cotton
A tee with stunning symbolism. This tee, featuring an upturned rain forest is from Andira’s line of Rain Tees which feature the ‘thoughts, illustrations and names’ of school children ‘living in endangered rain forests across Central and South America’. For every tee sold, a tree will be planted in an area of rain forest that has been destroyed in Costa Rica.
Econscious Market – $34.20

white-leopard-sash-edunWhite Leopard Sash – Edun
made in peru / organic cotton
Get your leopard on the green way with this v-neck tee from the perpetually cool label, Edun. Keep the look edgy by wearing the tee with skinny jeans or inject a flash of bright colour with a fun skirt or pair of shorts.
Edun – 55 Euros

How To Give Up Milk Chocolate

Saying ciao to cacao is something many people aim to do for a plethora of reasons. I personally wanted to stop eating milk chocolate as it was the only thing holding me back from being a certified vegan (well, except for honey, so I guess I’m not fully there yet but it’s not like I’m calling myself a vegetarian who eats fish and chicken). Anyway, chocolate was my only stroke of wickedness in the food world and the thought of living in a world without decadent and not so decadent, melt in your mouth, ‘turn any bad day good’ chocolate delights seemed just wrong!

I’ve never been a dairy Mary except for the milk chocolate (Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate was my weakness and I’m sure they have noticed a significant decline in their sales since I gave them up back in April). So what convinced me to give it up for good? One read of the ‘Famous Milk Letter’ did the trick (see link at end). So, now I was ready to venture into a world without milk chocolate but how was I to do it? How would I cope with the inevitable cacao withdrawal symptoms of shaking, mood swings and mistaking strangers in the street for walking Kit Kats, Caramello Koalas and Toblerone bars? I wasn’t sure how to give up milk chocolate for good but as I clung tightly to my empty Green & Black’s chocolate wrapper, I vowed to find a way!

Here is how I gave up milk chocolate several months ago with no relapses. I truly haven’t found it hard at all and have enjoyed exploring the land of vegan chocolates as they are just as delicious (even more so), often quite good for you and leave you feeling much better after eating them!

Step 1: Replace the habit
I think this is the most profound step to breaking any bad habit. You need to do or eat something similar to your habit so the change feels easy and less of a shock. My routine involved some milk chocolate after dinner as my dessert so I made sure I had a vegan chocolate ready to eat in lieu of the milk chocolate for the evenings. Whatever time of day your cacao craving strikes, try and eat a vegan chocolate treat instead. You won’t feel deprived and there are so many delicious vegan options out there. Just remember, some people say it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit or even less to adapt to a new food or taste, so stick with it and it will soon feel very natural.

Step 2: Try eating delicious vegan chocolate

Booja Booja Truffles
These are hands down the product that make being a vegan with a sweet tooth easy. I never used to like truffles but one or two bites of Booja Booja’s Hazelnut Truffles is enough to satisfy any chocolate cravings. They are divine!

Plamil Chocolate
This is another great one that many vegans probably already depend upon as the range is just like the chocolates you once loved in bar form and in delicious flavours. From what I remember, when I first tasted this chocolate I did notice the texture was different but now that my taste buds have adapted, I often reach for a strip of this chocolate for a treat (especially the Orange Chocolate).

milk-chocolatePulsin Discs
These raw chocolate discs are blended with exotic and potent ingredients such as goji berries, vitamin C, maca and ashwagandha root. Try the energy bomb with guarana, korean and siberian gingseng and great tea extract before your next ashtanga yoga class or when that 4pm sugar slump hits. Other varieties include: Berry Burst, Bliss Bomb and Coffee Brownie.

Cocoa Loco Nakd Bar
I’ve found these bars to be great for those times when you’re on the go or can’t find a decent vegan lunch or snack. They are tasty, filling, vegan, raw, high in protein and contain no artificial ingredients. The Cocoa Loco bar contains: dates, oats, mixed nuts, raisins, apple juice, cocoa and natural flavouring.

Non-dairy Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate and ice cream lovers will have all their sweet needs meet in a tub of good quality vegan chocolate ice cream. I favour Booja Booja’s Hunky Punky Chocolate ice cream as it only has four ingredients and tastes incredible. I also like how their ice cream is light and refreshing and doesn’t leave you with that icky feeling so many dairy ice creams often leave you with.

Step 3: Drink some chocolate tea
Ideal for those moments when a chocolate craving strikes or you begin to miss hot chocolates. Sipping some chocolate tea is a healthy and light option that still offers a wonderful chocolate taste and aroma! Try Pukka’s Organic Pleasure Tea with cocoa, licorice, cardamom and chicory.

Step 4: Be a chocolate beauty

Perfect Organics Body Butters
A little chocolate scented body butter is great for you and your skin and thankfully Perfect Organics offer two delicious shea butters with organic cocoa butter: Mint Chocolate and Mandarin Chocolate (very natural and luscious with only four ingredients).

milk-chocolate-2Raw Gaia Raw Chocolate Orange Bath Melt
Soak in a decadent bath and let your chocolate cravings drift away as the organic cacao butter and sweet orange oil soften and repair your skin.

Raw Gaia Raw Chocolate Face Pack
Raw Gaia also do a fabulous antioxidant rich, chocolate face mask which leaves skin with a healthy glow (see end of post for review).

Akamuti Shea Cocoa Mint Foot Butter
Keep your tootsies soft and pretty with this lovely foot moisturiser containing organic cocoa butter and tingly, cooling organic peppermint and spearmint essential oils.

Badger Balm Cocoa Butter Lip Balms
Moisturise your lips with organic cocoa butter from Badger Balm. There are two packs to select from (Mint, Mocha & Creamy or Orange, Lime and Creamy). These lip balms also contain soothing organic aloe vera, moisturising olive oil and beautiful organic essential oils. The Mocha Cocoa even has extracts of dark roasted organic Arabaca Coffee beans.

Step 5: Read the Famous Milk Letter at Not Milk.

Luxury Vintage Fashion – Atelier Mayer

If you thought Atelier Mayer only stocked ‘I’m sorry, could you repeat the price again’ vintage fashion, you may be surprised to see that most of the following pieces are under £100. Remember, as my fashion-frenzied Aunt Winnie always used to say, ‘even the shops that are snooty will always have some bargain booty! It’s true, I didn’t have to look for long on Atelier Mayer (I just clicked the under £100 sign) and lo and behold there were quite a few affordable vintage treasures that caught my eye! By the way, I don’t really have an Aunt Winnie but that bit of sage advice sounds better coming from an eccentric aunt, doesn’t it? One last thing, don’t be frightened by the price of the last dress. It’s just that I exercised such commendable retail restraint on a site filled with luscious £1,000 gowns that I had to squeeze in one truly decadent piece!

hand-embroidered-bodiceHand Embroidered Bodice £50
I know, you’re probably thinking, ‘where will I wear a black and gold beaded bustier?’ Well, even if you’re not brave enough to wear this to the boadroom and are not appearing in Beyonce’s next music video anytime soon, you could still make this beautiful bodice work for you. Sewing savvy ladies could transform this into a dress. The potential is there, it’s just waiting for your creativity and vision!

Gold and Ruby Heart Ring £34.50
Statement rings will always be popular and this heart shaped ring is no exception. With ‘frosted black, ruby and white diamante detailing’ and a fairly decent price tag, this is a great young, fun and fancy purchase.

hot-tangerine-frou-frou-shift-dress-atelier-mayerHot Tangerine Frou Frou Shift Dress £138
I know, it’s expensive, orange and there’s a bow and fringed skirt but I totally love it! The dress is from the ’60s but I’m sensing a little ’20s, flapper influence in the style, which is always a popular look.

gold-embroidered-evening-purse
Gold Embroidered Evening Purse £40.25

This eye-catching purse has a fantastic, futuristic look. You can’t go wrong with a chic, petite ‘wow’ purse.

Gold Aztec Necklace £92
Oh my! I wish I could be more articulate about this divine necklace but its beauty speaks for itself. Because the price is under £100, I could definitely consider buying a stunning jewellery piece such as this. You would have this heirloom piece forever.

Burnt Orange A-Line Swing Jacket £84
Here is the perfect little jacket for Spring and Autumn. The cheery colour is super flattering and a nice change from the numerous black jackets already out there. By they way, this is Hermes!

geometric-embroidered-bagGeometric Embroidered Bag £55
Hello, 1960s and all of your geometric patterned loveliness! This bag has Brady Bunch written all over it (in a good way). This is too cute and will look great today, tomorrow and for years to come.

bob-mackie-striped-siren-gownBob Mackie Striped Siren Gown – £1,800 (I know, but it was so pretty I had to show it here).
Just in case you happen to be attending a red carpet premiere soon or spent most of today pondering what to do with that spare £1800 you had lying around, here is the ultimate vintage dress for you. It’s from the 1970s and is a slice of striped sublimity in my books! Yes, the price is difficult to look at but sometimes it’s just nice to stare at a pretty dress every now and again.

Vegan Appetizer Recipes

Galloping Horses – Olive Magazine, BBC Good Food
I should have included these in last week’s vegetarian Thai meals, but at least these Thai-inspired morsels can be enjoyed now. The sweet and sour mixture of peanut butter, sugar and soy sauce sits atop pineapple cubes and look beyond impressive and delicious. I’m not sure why they are called galloping horses? Perhaps your dinner guests start galloping towards the platter with horse-like appetites when they see them?

spicy-black-beans-and-avocado-canapesSpicy Black Beans and Avocado Canapes
– Kate Merker, image: Burcu Avsar
These not only look and taste great but they are really easy to toss together. Just make enough as they will be gobbled up in seconds!

kiwi-summer-rollKiwi Summer Roll – Body + Soul
These luscious little rolls will be great for summer. Love the unique idea of wrapping kiwi fruit, rice noodles, peanuts and a tasty sauce in rice-paper wrappers.


croste-di-polenta-con-cicoriaCroste Di Polenta Con Cicoria
(Polenta with braised chicory)

– Antonio Carluccio, image: Lisa Linder
Impress friends with this Italian recipe from Antonio Carluccio (via Jamie Oliver’s site). You could make these polenta patties even smaller into bite size pieces and leave out the chicory perhaps. Just substitute the chicken stock for vegetarian stock and enjoy the remaining ingredients which are vegan.

rosemary-focacciaRosemary Focaccia – Australian Women’s Weekly
Bountiful bread selections are always welcome alongside an array of appetizers. Making your own rosemary focaccia, garnished with rosemary sprigs or cherry tomatoes will make you feel like a genuinely proud, baking Betty!

grated-potato-pancakesGrated Potato Pancakes – Martha Stewart
So many people love potatoes and these little pancakes will be no exception! You’ll just need some oil, salt and pepper. It’s as simple as that.

fatayer-spinach-lemon-and-pine-nut-pastriesFattoyer (Spinach, Lemon and Pine Nut Pastries) – Waitrose
As this recipe explains, you can prepare these as ‘full-size pastries’ or as ‘bite-sized canapes’. I think they will also make a delicious and unusual lunch for work.

green-onion-pancakesGreen Onion Pancakes – Australian Women’s Weekly
This unusual recipe had me intrigued and one look at the minimal ingredient list, had me convinced to include them in today’s appetizer round-up. The green onion filling is infused with sesame loveliness and the dipping sauce of black vinegar, soy sauce and red chili is the perfect finishing touch.