A Very Veganopoulous Year In The Kitchen

I like to think my food photography and cooking skills have improved this past year. Being a non-profit hobby blog, I don’t set the shots up to make everything magazine quality, with diffusers and reflectors and such. My reflectors are often tissue boxes. Instead, my process goes like this: 1) find the cleanest spot with natural light. 2) Get rid of the cat hair. 3) Get the cats out of the room. 4) Work out the best way to carry a heap of stuff to the natural light spot without tripping over the cats. 5) Try and barricade the door because the cats have worked out how to bust through it at a fast run. 6) Try and keep the cats away from the food. 7) Hurry up and take the damn photos cos the family is waiting to eat.

I don’t always succeed at keeping the cats away.

cat photo bomb

And then there are those times when no styling or faffing around is necessary. You just grab the camera and take a food photo with flash.



Ah, logs. I followed the directions for this tofu chevre log. It was a nice log shape until about ten seconds after it entered the oven. And then when I took it out my son came in and said EWWW WOT IS THAT and I’m like eh, a tofu LOG. And he was like DIDN’T I TELL YOU LOG IS ANOTHER WORD FOR POO.tofuchevrelog



When I make juices, I like to re-use the pulp wherever I can. This was my first experiment with juice pulp cake. I used pulp from apple, pears, carrots and beetroot here. I also completely screwed up and doubled the liquid ingredients by mistake.

I even made a little bridge from an icy pole stick. I wanted the bridge to span the Hollow Sea, the Abyss of Broken Dreams.sloppycake1

A cross section of this geological marvel.sloppycake2



Don’t you just love foods with a crumb? Or a crust? I love sesame crusted tofu. Everything is made better with a crumb of some kind. Right?!

I think that only applies when your crumbs are on the actual food.sesametofu



So one time I had this smart idea for using up a heap of plums. Why not use the semolina custard from my vegan galaktoboureko recipe in a pie! And make a healthy oil/fat free crust? The end result was plums on the bottom, goopy custard and a dry shitty crust. plumcustardtart



Because we all need a poorly risen pineapple upside down cake that sticks to the tin right when you’re about to serve it to visitors. That’s when you improvise and call it pineapple pudding, but you don’t really fool anyone. Completely salvageable with ice cream, so all is not lost.




Baked moosh was a recurring theme this year. I followed a recipe for these berry heart shaped cakes. They didn’t rise and after half an hour they were just hot dough destined for the bin. What a waste of berries. Fortunately they were frozen berries, not the fresh berries that cost a million bucks a punnet.mooshyhearts



You know those times when you secretly dream of being a geologist? And your secret dreaming comes out in your banana cake that you’ve tried to healthify? Look at the tell tale bottom layer of compacted moosh that somehow extends halfway up the cake. I can’t remember what the hell I did here. But that’s okay, because I don’t want to.




Look at me! I’m oil free! No vegan butters either for frying but I REALLY want to try that pumpkin French toast recipe. I know! Let’s be all healthy and smug and use the PANINI PRESS!




What do you make your sibling when it’s their birthday? How about the chocolate truffle balls you both enjoyed as a kid? A packet of plain biscuits, dessicated coconut, cocoa powder and coconut condensed milk. Sounds good! Eeeexcept in this case you start mixing the stuff before realising you’re way waaay low on the coconut. So you try to be clever and add some coconut flakes before realising that’s a most rubbish move because the chewiness is awful. And the truffles lose their shape fast and flop when you take them out of the fridge.truffles



You know those times where you’re like, I really want a crepe with the crunchiness of a papadum! I’ll go and watch Prancercise videos on YouTube and forget all about my crepe in the pan! Works every time.




Ah, coconut flour. I hate coconut flour. It’s one of those things that always makes my food turn out rubbish. Even though I love coconut. Here I am trying to create a gluten free coconut pancake recipe. These pancakes just fell everywhere and were burnt on the outside, mooshy wet on the inside. And I couldn’t swallow them so I had a coughing fit.




Could this be intelligent life that formed after the Big Bang (which was me dropping the tray of muffins when I took them out of the oven, scattering baked treats and lounging cats everywhere)? The intelligent life that spent its first two weeks wedged between the side of the oven wall and the bottom rack and treated us all to a game of What’s That Smell? every time we used the oven? It was only when I decided to actually bend my butt down Attenborough style and check what the hell was going on inside the oven that I made this discovery.


Let’s wrap this up with dessert. Because everyone loves baked apple guts.


May you all have a wonderful end to 2016 and an even better start to 2017!  I’m sure I’ll see you back here same time next year with round 2 of my kitchen failures…

28 thoughts on “A Very Veganopoulous Year In The Kitchen

  1. yep, we’ve all been there – one of my favourites was baking some puff pastry with the plastic baking still on it!!!! – thanks for the laugh – I think now for new year you need to have a competition to guess which of these tasted the best (I am going with the truffles)

  2. One of the best posts I’ve seen ina while, – love it! Like you my blog is not for profit and borne out of pleasure and hobbies, so I salute you. My photographs are not full of gimmicks either, though i wish the lighting where i live in the welsh valleys surrounded by two hills does not help sadly. I love how your kitty poses so naturally! PS my husband also highlights that log is a word for poo, for a grown up man he still surprises me with some stuff he comes out with, but not that often thank goodness. And the pumpkin pie french toast still has me drooling though! Happy New Year to you Faye and your family.

    • Thanks Shaheen, what a lovely comment 😀 I wish I had the time, space, lighting etc (especially in the kitchen year round) for magazine quality photos. I did want to play around with the moody darker kind of lighting this year but it’s just too hard setting up the space needed. I did waste a bit of money in op shops buying props though so I hope I get to use them soon.

  3. Thanks for the laugh! I can particularly identify with your examples of failed healthified baking. There are things I’d make for my own snacks that I’d never dream of sharing with others. I don’t think coconut flour has ever turned out well for me either!

  4. What a great post. I especially related to the cat challenges. Not to mention it’s always nice to know that I’m not the only one with dismal vegan baking fails. The only difference is I’m betting you have more actual successes than I end up with.

  5. Hahaha, when you posted the cheese log pic on Instagram I thought it was a busted up scone! I’m glad I’m home now and can catch up on all your blog posts! I’ve said this many times but for a ‘hobby’ photographer you’re the best if not better than peeps we consider ‘pro’s’. Also choked on ‘dry shitty crust’ hahaha

    • we ate the apple dessert anyway but the kids said it was gross, so I ate them (and thought it was a bit gross too!)