Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Make one small change - freeze your sauce to stop food waste.

Making one small change at a time can make becoming eco friendly loads easier.  Lots of small changes add up to a big difference.

Make one small change - freeze your sauce to stop food waste. By eco friendly blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ecofriendly #smallchanges #foodwaste

There's this one jar of sauce we keep in our fridge, we open it up, use it once or twice and before we know it, it's gone mouldy.  Because it's super spicy (it's Thai red curry paste, btw) we only use a teaspoon each time and we can't seem to get through it before it goes green and fluffy.  But not any more, I've worked out the easiest method to freeze the sauce into invidual portions, so no more wasting perfectly good sauce!

You just pour the sauce into a container (I used a little roasting tray, but you could use a pyrex dish or something similar) and put it in the freezer overnight.  Take it out the next day and cut the frozen sauce into whatever size is the correct portion size for you.  Pop the sauce portions into jars and store in the freezer, ready to chip out a block or two when you need it.  

Don't forget to check out my other small changes to help you live a greener life!


 
 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!

One of my local shops started stocking loads of the Eat Real cheese and cream flavour crisps, and they're vegan!  It seemed the right thing to do to buy one of every variety, and then try them out.  For the blog, of course.  I'm so selfless.  I also had a bag of Ten Acre vegan cheese and onion crisps, so I've included them too.

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Here we go...

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Quinoa Puffs - White Cheddar
Firstly, these puffs are huge!  They're the same length as my fingers!  They're really crispy and have a yummy, salty, cheese flavour.

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Quinoa Puffs - Jalapeño and Cheddar
Same puffs, different flavour.  I actually don't think these taste particularly cheesy, they're more jalapeño flavour, but husband has tried them and he thinks they taste of cheese.  These are my least favourite.

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Quinoa Chips - Sour Cream and Chive
Vegan sour cream and chive is a dream come true for me!  These quinoa chips have a similar texture to wholegrain or sunbites style crisps and they taste tangy and chive-y.  I don't think you'd know these were vegan if you hadn't seen the bag!

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Eat Real Lentil Chips - Creamy Dill
The lentil chips are light and crunchy and the chips themselves really taste creamy and tangy, with a hint of  herby dill.  A packet of these doesn't last very long - these ones are my favourite. 

Vegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese

Ten Acre - The Story of when the Cheese met the Onion
 If you want vegan crisps that taste like good old Walkers cheese and onion then these are your best bet.  Crunchy little potato crisps with a strong onion and tangy cheese flavour that definitely don't taste like they're vegan friendly.  But they are.  Woohoo!

I also really, really, really like my own homemade vegan cheese and onion crisps, just take some nooch, onion powder and plain crisps and mix them all together, you can find the recipe for DIY vegan cheese and onion crisps here.


Vegan review - all of the vegaVegan review - all of the vegan cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheesen cheese and cream flavour crisps!  Eat Real and Ten Acre vegan cheese, cheese and onion and cream flavour crisps reviewed.  By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblog #vegancrisps #vegancheese


Are there any more vegan cheesy crisps I should know about?





Tuesday, 10 January 2017

What I've been reading.

Here's what I've been reading recently, lovely library books and some second hand finds too,

Book reivews by UK blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #bookreview #librarybooks

Doctor Who Time Lord Fairy Tales
This book has the most gorgeous illustrations and it looks beautiful on the shelf.  The stories are quite simply told, in the same style as fairy tales, so it's best to leave any literary expectations aside and imagine baby Time Lords being told these stories.  I especially liked the story of Cinderella and the Magic Box and the Three Little Sontarans.

Book reivews by UK blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #bookreview #librarybooks

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged - Ayisha Malik
This is a typical chick lit, rom-com, but with a twist as the main character is a strict British Muslim and the focus is on her love life.  I don't think this was a brilliantly written book, but I got into it and it was a really interesting insight into Muslim culture, which it turns out I know little about despite living in an area with a huge Muslim community.  It's nice to learn something. 

Book reivews by UK blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #bookreview #librarybooks

The Treasure Hunters - Enid Blyton
I picked up this 1960s edition of The Treasure Hunters for 20p in a charity shop.  It's not an Enid Blyton story I've read before and it was a nice comfort read, full of adventure, picnics, and a naughty dog.  I was mostly attracted to it because it looks like it's been printed in a proper printing press, and by the cute, retro illustrations.

Book reivews by UK blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #bookreview #librarybooks

The Girls - Emma Cline
Evie's boring summer is dramatically turned around when she gets involved with a cult, implicated in an infamous murder.  It's set in 1969, all hippies and living in a commune, but The Girls gives a deeper look at the dysfunction rife in that kind of living arrangement.  It's told from the present day, with a grown up Evie looking back on her youth.  Although I've never lived in a commune, I did find a lot of Evie's thoughts relatable and familiar to my own as a teen and as a woman.

Book reivews by UK blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #bookblogger #bookreview #librarybooks

Vinegar Girl - Anne Tyler
The Hogarth Shakespeare series sees popular authors updating Shakespearian plays.  Vinegar Girl is Anne Tyler's version of The Taming of the Shrew.  This is the first book I've read by her and I thought it was just OK, easy to read and quite sweet, it shows a different imagining of the story and is less extreme than the play, or the Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor film.  But to be honest I prefer 10 Things I Hate About You.

What have you been reading?  




Friday, 6 January 2017

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017.

I made it into the garden for the first time this year!  It was so nice to be out there pottering about and doing some weeding.  

I meant to empty my compost bin and mulch the garden in autumn but I didn't get round to it.  I opened the compost bin today to see what was in there...

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting

...composting is so magical!  I'm so happy!  I know you should mulch in autumn or spring, but I've missed autumn and I can't wait till spring so I'm going to mulch in winter!  I did a little bit today but I think I'll need a full day to deal with the compost bin, it's going to be a dirty and heavy job! 

I came up with a mulchy method to add some nutrients and structure to the soil, and protect it - I've invented it myself so I hope it works!  It seems in keeping with the no dig methods I use in the garden at least.  First I weeded by hand, then I spread a layer of fallen leaves over the soil.  After that I spread a thin layer of hay over the leaves, then a layer of my beautiful home-made compost.  

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

I hope to be planting veggies in the garden by the end of April or May, which gives the mulch at least 4 months to rot down, and if it's still hanging around I'll just plant through it.

Here's another shot of my compost, just because it's pretty and I can't quite believe it worked!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

Do you remember by worm compost bin?  I kind of neglected it and didn't add anything to it for 2 months (sorry worms!).  I was a bit scared to check it, but I looked today and there are still live worms in there!  Yey!  I've fed them and added some shredded paper and water too.  I'll be a better worm looker afterer in future.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

Anyway, enough brown composty photos, there are green shoots poking up all over the garden.  Some are weedy but some are bulbs.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

Last year I planted some elephant garlic in this pot, but it didn't grow and I thought it had rotted away, but there's something growing there now, and I don't remember planting anything else in there and it looks quite garlicky.  Fingers crossed it's the elephant garlic!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

There are a few flowers in the garden, some colourful winter pansies, primroses and this hebe I bought for 50p when we first moved in here has flowered for the first time.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

In the front garden the raised bed still has some lettuce growing happily away, and the garlic I cleared out from my fridge and planted has sprouted up too.

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

For posterity's sake here's a full photo of the back and side gardens - lots to do before spring!  

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

I didn't rake any leaves up in Autumn, so I have a garden full of them now (there are big trees behind our garden!) - eeek!  At least they're good for wildlife!

Diary of a suburban edible garden, January 2017. By UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardening #garden #suburbangarden #ediblegarden #composting #nodig

How are your garden's doing?




Tuesday, 3 January 2017

What I ate in a day, vegan New Year's Eve eats.

I love this nosey sort of blog post when other people write them, so here's what I ate in a typical, vegan day.  

I took these photos on New Year's Eve, I ate some fruits and veggies but some yummy treats too - my days are usually a little less heavy on the crisps!

What I ate in a day, vegan New Year's Eve eats.  By UK vegan blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #whatIateinaday #whatveganseat

For breakfast I had some fruit, an apple and a clementine.  I got up, dressed and had a walk into town, to the market and supermarket to pick up some supplies, and to get some fresh air because I knew I was going to spend all evening watching TV on the sofa!


What I ate in a day, vegan New Year's Eve eats.  By UK vegan blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #whatIateinaday #whatveganseat

Lunch was one of those picky meals, they're my favourite kind and they always feel a bit festive and buffet like to me.  I cooked up 3 Fry's vegan chicken nuggets to have with some cubed Violife vegan cheese, pistachios, paprika pringles, some Bournville chocolate and some tiny chocolate cookies.

What I ate in a day, vegan New Year's Eve eats.  By UK vegan blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #whatIateinaday #whatveganseat

Tea was Chinese-ish, some Iceland own brand mini vegetable spring rolls (which are really yummy, garlicky and gingery, and only £1 for 16), rice with spring onion, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds, steamed broccoli and sautéed garlicky leeks.

What I ate in a day, vegan New Year's Eve eats.  By UK vegan blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #whatIateinaday #whatveganseat

What I ate in a day, vegan New Year's Eve eats.  By UK vegan blogger, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganblogger #whatIateinaday #whatveganseat

We saw the new year in watching Supergirl, cosy on the sofa.  I finished up my Christmas chocolate, some Bournville and the last of my Hotel Chocolat vegan chocolate reindeer.  I had a little bowlful of Walkers Max paprika crisps, and finished off the tube of paprika Pringles too!

Don't forget to check out my other vegan blog posts for more vegan meal inspiration! 


Friday, 23 December 2016

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations.

Merry Christmas everyone!  

Here are some gorgeous retro Christmas illustrations to look at and say 'oooh' and 'aaaah', they're from 'My Big Christmas Book' and I think most of the illustrations are by Gisela Gottschlich.  

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

For Christmas, pretty Gisela Gottschlich illustrations. From retro book 'My Big Christmas Book'.  Secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #giselagottschlich #christmas #retro #illustration

I hope you all have a lovely festive season.

Lots of love, Susie xx




Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Eco friendly articles and actions, December 2016.


Eco friendly articles and actions, December 2016. From secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #ukblogger #ukecoblogger #ecofriendly

Just in time for Christmas, here are a few easy online actions and interesting articles to make the world a better place, 

Quick grow some wildflowers and stop using pesticides - some species of bees have been put on the extinction list for the first time ever! 

Photo via BBC

I think I'd like to live in Tinkers Bubble in Somerset, please.


Ask supermarkets to switch to paper stemmed cotton buds (the plastic kind are cloggging up our sewers and oceans), by signing this open letter.

Support for fracking in the UK is at an all-time low. Despite the government backing fracking wherever it is proposed, people and communities object to it.  After the ratification of the Paris climate agreement the UK government needs to take action and keep fossil fuels in the ground by banning fracking in the UK.  More than 200 areas of the UK are earmarked for possible fracking - let’s stop it now before the floodgates open.
Via Friends of the Earth.

Sign Friends of the Earth's petition against Fracking.  

So, Theresa May's government wants companies to make lists available of all their foreign workers.  Bit scary, sign this petition to say that's not cool Theresa. 

Photo via mmn.com

If I can't live in Tinkers Bubble, I'll live in this 'agrihood' in Detroit.
 

I post these kinds of things on twitter all month, so find me there if this is your kind of thing too!

 
 
 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Vegan rice krispie treat recipe, with Freedom Mallows vegan marshmallows.

These vegan rice krispie treats are sweet, light and yummy!  I was sent some vegan marshmallows from Freedom Mallows to try, they're delicious to eat on their own, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to whip up some lovely vegan treats!

Vegan rice krispie treat recipe, with Freedom Mallows vegan marshmallows. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganrecipe #ricekrispietreats #freedommallows

You will need

1 75g packet vanilla Freedom Mallows
2 desert spoons vegan margarine
2 or 3 cups of rice krispies

Pan, spoon and a tin or tray.

How to make yummy vegan rice krispie treats

Melt the margarine in the pan over a gentle heat.

Add the vegan marshmallows and stir until they've melted.

Add rice krispies slowly into the pan, until they're covered with a light coating of the marshmallow mixture and are sticking together.

Push into a tin, tray or pyrex dish and firm and flatten out with the back of a spoon.

Chill in the fridge, then cut into squares and enjoy!

Vegan rice krispie treat recipe, with Freedom Mallows vegan marshmallows. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganrecipe #ricekrispietreats #freedommallows

Vegan rice krispie treat recipe, with Freedom Mallows vegan marshmallows. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganrecipe #ricekrispietreats #freedommallows

Freedom Mallows come in vanilla and strawberry flavours, and they're free from egg, dairy, gluten, gelatine, soy, GMOs and nuts, and they're suitable for vegetarians and vegans!  Phew!  They're also yummy, soft and melt in the mouth-y.  

My chief omnivore taste tester, Joe, say's the Freedom Mallows are just as good as non-vegan mallows and that my homemade vegan rice krispie treats are just as good as the Kellogs ones he buys from the shop. 

Vegan rice krispie treat recipe, with Freedom Mallows vegan marshmallows. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #vegan #veganrecipe #ricekrispietreats #freedommallows




Have you tried Freedom Mallows yet?

Disclosure - I was sent the Freedom Mallows to try.  I only work with brands I like and all opinions are my own.  



 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Ways to be kind, to give and to do good this Christmas.

Ways to be kind, to give and to do good this Christmas. From secondhandsusie.blogspot.com UK Blogger

It's nearly Christmas and I've bought my fair share of presents, but there are other, more important ways to give during the festive season, for a happier, kinder world.  Here are some of them.  

Give money to charity.
This is the effort free option to give at Christmas, (if you have some spare cash that is!).  So many charities have websites that make it super easy to donate.  In general my personal favourite eco friendly charities are Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace and I like the Dr Hadwen Trust who fund non-animal medical research.   

If you're concerned about what's happening in the world right now then here are some more causes to spare some pennies for,

Planned parenthood (in light of the not so pro-choice business going on in America thanks to Trump and Pence).

For charities helping Aleppo check out these lists, from The Independent and Huffpost, and if you want to know why you should donate to help people in Aleppo watch this (warning it's very distressing).

So many elderly people are alone at Christmas, donate to Age UK, who provide lots of services for elderly people.

Your local wildlife refuge will be busy this winter looking after lots of hedgehogs and other beasties, I'm sure they'd appreciate a donation.  My local wildlife rescue is Cuan House and they do great work.

Give kindness.
Simple things like offering to help someone with a buggy up the stairs, holding the door or making way for the person using a wheelchair can brighten someone's day and make a little difference.

Donate your belongings.
There's an idea of a reverse advent calendar going round at the moment, put an item to donate to a charity shop or food bank into a box every day during advent then donate it at the end.  Or you can go the old fashioned route and go through your wardrobe and discard anything that doesn't bring you joy!   I've taken several bags to my favourite local charity shop (it raises money for the day centre my Grandparent's used), I even gave them the bag of 'good stuff' I was saving to E-bay, because lets face it they've been hanging round for 6 months and I'm never going to get round to it!

Buy second hand.
Pick up decorations or Christmas party frocks from charity shops or Ebay, it saves you money and reuses resources.

Give to food or toy banks.
In my area there are collections for both food and toy banks, by the local council and charities.  There are food bank collection bins in loads of supermarkets, so it's super easy to pick up a tin of soup to pop in while you're doing your shopping.  I don't tend to buy toys for the toy bank (too plasticy, my neices are getting nice cotton kitty-cat socks for Christmas this year!) and gifts need to be new, but I have a couple of new craft books I've never, ever read that I plan to donate.  The toy bank caters for young adults as well as little ones, and they're often short of gifts to give them, so it's a perfect opportunity to regift those brand new drawing books, plus some new ones, to a better home.

Shop local this Christmas.
Try to buy some presents or Christmas food supplies from your local market or shops.  Spending within your local economy means more money stays in your area and gets reinvested in more local jobs and services, and it makes your local business owners happy.

Give Compliments.
So far I've told the lady in the wool shop I love her window display (knitted 12 days of Christmas), several library customers I like their Christmas jumpers and one of my Rainbow guides that she has good dance moves.  I plan on giving at least 10 random compliments before Christmas comes.  You can do this really easily on social media too.  Just scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed and spread the love to your online friends.     


What will you be giving this Christmas?







Friday, 9 December 2016

My favourite way to eat left over chips.

What's that I hear you say, left over chips?  Surely such a thing doesn't happen, you eat up all your yummy chips as soon as they pop out of the fryer/oven/takeaway.  But surprisingly sometimes there are left over chips, and this is how I like to eat them up.

My favourite way to eat left over chips. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #loveyourleftovers #chips #vegancooking

Chop the chips up roughly into bite size pieces.

Heat a frying pan and spray in a couple of squirts of oil.

Put the chopped chips into the pan, with a good sprinkle of paprika and
a finely chopped clove of garlic.

Fry for about 5 minutes, add a chopped spring onion for the last minute.

That's it.  Easy peasy, I like to eat it for brunch! 


My favourite way to eat left over chips. By UK vegan blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #veganblogger #ukveganblogger #loveyourleftovers #chips #vegancooking


How do you use up your left over chips?  (if you ever have any, haha!)