click to see a larger version of the image.
we've had a pretty mild (and wet) summer so far this year. today it's suddenly jumped to the high 30s (supposed to hit 40C this arvo) with possible thunder storms later on. for the past 5 or 6 years new years eve has been quite warm even when the rest of the week has been cooler. really weird how it's always so warm for the night where a lot of people have plans to be outdoors (although last year i think the rain started before midnite and the lightning was more impressive than the fireworks that we watched from our friends second floor bedroom window). i like the hot new year's eve weather (but hoping the storms hold off til early morning). tomorrow is supposed to go back to being just mildly warm again.
Friday, December 31, 2010
click to see a larger version of the image.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
i got the vegan yum yum cookbook for christmas. i didn't realize until afterwards that i have made a couple things from her blog and i have a lot of her recipes bookmarked (for some reason i don't actually have her blog on my feed reader-- i think i may have to add it). tonite i made my first dish from the cookbook: super quick tomato basil cream pasta. so yummy (anything with tomato and basil in it is gonna be good) and so easy. i liked that this cream sauce was made with cashews. next time zac makes his creamy sun dried tomato sauce with gnocchi i'm gonna try to convince him to try cashews (he usually uses a huge amount of tofu and soy milk or occasionally cauliflower and soy milk).
125 Smith St
Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
we finally ordered a couple weeks ago. i let zac go through and choose his ingredients. then i went and made my own mix with the left over voucher money and a bit extra.
i loved being able to customize my own muesli. i made my mix with the seeedalicious base, mulberries, blueberries and flaked almonds (soooo good with yogurt). Zac's mix was the 3 grain base, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, gojiberries, toasted almonds and coconut. each of our mixes come in a resealable plastic bag and includes the nutrition facts and the individual mix identification number for easy reordering. it's a bit expensive to do all the time. our 2 450g mixes plus shipping (which i didn't realize at the time but i happened to order during a 4 day $1.99 shipping anywhere in australia promotion, usually shipping is between $5.49-9.99 depending on how many bags you order-- orders can also be picked up from a place in Carlton for only $1) cost about $25. it was a really nice treat though and we'll probably order from them again.
i also had issues with the lites. i have 2 sets that i use on our tree. a couple days after i put up this live tree (and took down the fake one i already had up) one of the 2 lite sets blew up so only half the tree was lit. i managed to find a new set of just plain yellow toned fairy lites after looking in kmart and a few $2 shops. i took apart the tree (the second time i've taken apart a tree at this point) to get the new lite set on. i carefully put all my delicate ornaments along the wall near the tree. as i was taking the other ornaments off a little wooden duck ornament fell and landed directly on my favourite ornament (a large ball painted with maple leafs and "canada" written on it-- my mom gave it to me the year she was here for christmas)and smashed the back out of it. i've managed to tape the 5 pieces back on but they don't fit nicely in the hole and i'm scared that if i push to hard i'll completely smash it. my mom spent yesterday trying to find me a new one in the tourist-y shops (she can't remember which one she got it at).
next year i'm going to stick to my fake tree which is less likely to have baby insects living on it, and won't require me to re-decorate multiple times and i'll have less chance of breaking special ornaments (but i won't have that nice pine smell in the house).
Saturday, December 18, 2010
after i recover from the end of year work stuff and this cold i'll have lots of time and energy to make some of the good food i've been waning to make for a while (vegan cheesecake, some ethiopian foods, more homemade cheeze, salsa, refried beans and other foods i used to make all the time until i got too tired from work).
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Eggnog isn't really big in Australia. Most people have no idea what I'm talking about when I mention it. You can get it in some supermarkets over Christmas but it's not vegan so I have to make my own without the eggs and cream. Fortunately there's a good recipe in how it all vegan. Tonight I made my first batch of the season. It does have a bit of a soy taste from the tofu but I think I remember from last year the soy taste was less the next day. It is really good though even with a bit of soy taste.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
wombat had the best weekend ever! she has never been able to run so free on a beach before usually when we let her off near barwon heads we play sort of "pig in the middle" fetch with her and we're constantly watching for other dogs. here there were beaches enclosed by high cliffs with only one set of stairs coming down and rocks going out into the water to keep her from running off forever. she got to run and chase crabs and swim.
(click on the photo to see it more clearly-- the top left picture of wombat is pretty funny)
we found a great, warm river to swim in at one beach so we took wombat in there and discovered she can swim better than we thought she could but she is pretty top heavy and struggles a bit with it. she would go swimming for a stick though.
i love pelicans:
so amazing something that big can actually fly (and do it gracefully).
we stayed at the adobe mudbrick flats. zac's mum had stayed there several times before. it's a pretty amazing place. we tried to get the penthouse but it was already booked so we stayed in one of the other units. floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ocean with a large bird feeder and tons of seed. the mudbrick walls had bottles embedded in them to make great designs. antechinuses (a marsupial mouse). she also enjoyed bird watching.
just some of the many birds we saw from our window:
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
i finally remembered to take a photo of my fajita filling (but not the finished wrap or table layout):
this recipe. we use either homemade sour cream (from La Dolce Vegan) or tofutti and then have salsa and sometimes guacamole to top our fajitas with. they're great served with margaritas.
i also found a picture of our lazy-ass, couch hogging dog:
Sunday, November 07, 2010
first we had crispy delight (a mock seafood dish that was really tasty):
i was full when we finished (zac wasn't but its gotta be an extra large meal to fill him). the meal (with green tea) came to $49 for the two of us. we will go back again once they're more settled in (shop 10, 242 victoria st, richmond).
it had a nut and seed based crust and the "cheese" part was coconut based. it was soooo smooth and creamy. they also have strawberry, chocolate and coconut cheesecakes.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
i just found this photo on my phone from a couple weeks ago (not a great photo either). we hadn't been to vege2go for ages cuz i find the food kind of bland (except the garlic tossed broccoli, i really like that) and it seems a bit pricey for what it is. we were walking past one day and zac decided we needed to have lunch there (he really likes it). he got the vegan lasagne and i just got a serve of the celery and bean salad (i'd had a big breakfast). they messed up and brought both items on one plate with a spare plate for us to share with. this worked out well cuz i ended up having a small part of zac's lasagne (and he got a bit of salad). i don't know if they've changed something about the lasagne but i really liked it. the bean salad was really nice too with lots of flavour. we didn't get any dessert (i didn't really care for the vegan tiramisu we had once) but i just looked at their online menu and noticed they have a vegan cheesecake. i think i have to try it. i'm glad zac convinced me to try the place again. now i might be more up for it when he suggests it for a quick dinner (i thought he might offer to get something from there tonite since he'll be nearby and we need to have something quick and easy). he didn't say anything so i decided use the coriander pesto that i made last week and we'll have pasta with a bit of salad (if i get around to throwing the salad together before he gets home).
Sunday, October 24, 2010
i make refried beans using a simple recipe from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah:
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt (slightly more if using cooked dried beans)
simmer all ingredients uncovered on stove until most of the water is gone then mash with potato masher
small amount of onion (yellow or purple)-- about 1/4-1/2 an onion
about 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
salt and pepper to taste
lemon or lime juice
1-2 cloves garlic minced
mix all ingredients and let flavours blend for at least an hour or so before using.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
we went to empire cafe for lunch yesterday to try out some more of their new vegan menu. i did take a couple photos but we were in the back room and it was dark and i didn't put the flash on so i have a couple dark blurry photos of sandwiches which i won't bother putting up. i got the vegan pumpkin sandwich (roasted pumpkin strips, vegan cheese and spinach-- there were supposed to be pine nuts as well but the supplier hadn't arrived yet with them. it was still really good even without the pine nuts). it was exactly what i wanted for lunch on a cold, wet day. zac went with the vegan blt and a side of wedges. he really enjoyed that. it ended up costing us $33 for lunch and 2 coffees (and one was free with the last free coffee on my punch card they no longer do). seems a bit pricey for a couple toasted sandwiches, a side of wedges and coffee but it was really filling. and really good.
we were at the supermarket later in the afternoon and i saw this:
i wonder how many people actually buy "halloween pumpkins" for $3.98/kg (there was a kid begging his dad to buy one as i was taking this photo. dad wouldn't give in though). i said to zac, if this was north america it wouldn't just be 8 pumpkins on a little table display but it would be anywhere from 3-8 gigantic (hot tub sized) boxes out front of the supermarket where you could get pumpkins of every size (and i'm sure they must cost a lot less-- i never really priced pumpkins in canada). halloween does seem to be getting slightly bigger here (even over the past 7 years i've been here).
Friday, October 15, 2010
somewhere under all that rain is melbourne and 128km of it's surrounds. so much for the great spring weather we've had most of the past 2 weeks. zac and i did have plans to spend our friday off doing something fun. i kinda just wanna curl up on the couch with movies and food now (and zac's still in bed).
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
zac insisted we go to yong green food for lunch the other day because he had gone there earlier in the week and had the tuna wrap and really wanted another one cuz it was so good. they've changed their menu a bit since the last time we were there (i think it was at least a few months ago). i wasn't that hungry when we got there so i just got a light lunch of rice paper rolls. they were really nice. for some reason i really didn't like the smell of the chili dipping sauce they come with but the flavour was nice. zac got the tuna wrap that he was craving (i think it replaces the fishball wrap they used to have on the menu-- i don't think that was still offered). i managed to get a bite of it and really liked it. lots of flavour with a slight "fishy" sort of taste. they've got a good selection of dishes of all sizes at yong green and most are vegan (or can be made vegan). it's a good place for a snack or meal on brunswick street (and much healthier/tastier than the chips we would end up getting if we stopped at a pub for a drink and snack).
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
last weekend i decided to make crêpes. they were so good i made them again this morning. i got the recipe from here. i've been filling them with things like berries, jam, chocolate spread and almond butter. we had a norwegian nanny for about a year when i was little and she used to make norwegian pancakes (which are basically crêpes). we would fill them with jam or a spoonful of sugar or some fruit canned in syrup and top them with whipped cream. it seems really funny to me now that we used these fillings when we had them served for breakfast or a breakfast-at-dinnertime meal but they were SOOOOO good (and we only had them every once in a while).
Thursday, September 30, 2010
that's our stack of phone books for last year and this year (not sure why last year's are still around-- this year's have been sitting by the front door since they were delivered several months ago). most of the ones that came wrapped in plastic are still wrapped (i think i unwrapped last year's white pages to look up one number probably before we got our new computer and the old computer took up to 30 min or more to get it started). i finally took 2 seconds to see how i could stop getting the phone books delivered and it's sooooooo easy. wish i had done it a long time ago. just go to this link. you just need to fill in your details and mark the phone books you want to stop delivery of (i stopped them all). hopefully i've done it in time to stop the delivery of the 2011 books. i feel bad about just chucking them all in the recycle bin but so far i haven't come up with any other use for them.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
i decided to make a cheeze spread yesterday. i opened up my uncheese cookbook to the front section where the spreads are and this was the first recipe i saw. on the side panel it's described as a "tangy" cheez with a "sharp, cheddary flavour." sounded good so i made it. it is amazing. most homemade cheezes i've tried are fairly mild. this one has a really nice sharp flavour (like aged cheddar) from the miso in it. vegan guinea pig posts the recipe here. the recipe also suggests making it into a sauce by thinning it with some nondairy milk-- it'd probably be really nice over broccoli or other veggies. i think this cheeze may end up being something i make often.