Tuesday, August 31, 2010

birthday dinners

after reading meveg's post on the abyssinian last week i decided that's where i wanted to have my birthday dinner last nite. i don't think i'd ever had ethiopian food before. i loved it. unfortunately i didn't get any photos cuz zac was "starving" and if i didn't dig in i would miss out. we got the same as meveg (chef's vegetarian combo for 2) and there's some good photos over there. when i mentioned to friends and workmates that we were doing ethiopian food for my birthday dinner, everyone's response was "the bread is amazing! i love the bread!" the bread was pretty good (and kinda fun to use instead of cutlery for eating). i also had an ethiopian beer with my meal too (Dashen Lager)-- it was really nice.
i wanted to get some EBC cheesecake after but we were both too full. we went home, i had a bath and we both relaxed for a bit and i decided i needed a birthday cheesecake. after some convincing, i got zac to get dressed again and take me for cheesecake at the east brunswick club. soooooo worth going back out in the cool evening for it. i got a slice of peanut butter cheesecake(soooo good!). zac got the chocolate mint one which i didn't really care for but i don't really like mint chocolate (he liked it and that's what's important).
today i got to celebrate day 2 of my birthday (the best part about living here, being born in canada-- i can convince people to celebrate 2 days with me. once when the date here matches my birthday and again when its actually my birth date in canada). we went to haskins/north fitzroy arms for dinner. i got the same as i always get (i think it's the only vegan-izable main but i love it): eggplant parma minus the cheese. it's done really nicely with chopped tomato and onions on top of the well cooked, tender eggplant. it comes with a big salad and some chips. yum.
too bad my birthday is done with now and we'll have to go back to doing some cooking at home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the box is always better than the toy

we ordered wombat a new bed and it came in the mail today. we decided to let her open the box herself:

(note in the video that she's really good at chewing off pieces and spitting them out. she doesn't eat them at all. she does this with everything she chews).
when the hole got big enough for her to get her mouth in the box we realized it probably wasn't a good idea to let her open this box since the contents weren't for tearing apart. we took it off her and took the bed out. she was still crazy excited so we kept her away for a minute.
when we put the bed and the box down she did this:
she couldn't care less about her new fuzzy bed with the removable cover for easy washing. the box is much more fun.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

food and flowers

we got our first veggie box through CERES food connect (organic, local produce) today:
i'm impressed. the photo doesn't show all the food, just a sample of each kind. we got a small veggie box ($25). it included things like celery, pumpkin, cabbage, potatoes, radishes, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, silverbeet, onions, shallots, potatoes, carrots, turnip, parsnip, carrots and mushrooms. they also do fruit boxes and mixed fruit and veggie boxes. You can also get a few extras like rice and corn cakes, soy milk (although we get the same stuff delivered to our door for less through aussie farmers), organic oats and some other non-vegan things like eggs and honey. my work has just signed up to be a "cousin city" (pickup point) so it's super easy for me to get my food (just bring 2 pannier bags on tuesdays). we're a private pick up point for families at kinder only since we can't really have strangers coming in to pick up boxes with children in the building but it's a good way for families to eat local organic produce.

this photo was from a spontaneous happy hour i decided we needed to have a couple weeks ago (i think we need to do this more often):
clockwise from the top left side is bread pieces and olive oil (for the dukkah), crackers, hummous, vegan shitake mushroom pate (i can't remember the brand but you can get it at the organic shop at the north end of lygon st and possibly at radical grocery(?)-- it was really good, homemade dukkah from this recipe. we had homebrew to drink (possibly a pale ale made from coopers homebrew).

oatmeal date nut muffins:
so good! i halved the recipe and made mini muffins. i wished i'd done the full recipe (and i should have done full sized muffins because i've eaten them 3-5 at a time). the recipe is here.

my citizenship plant (the one i got at my citizenship ceremony last year) opened it's first flower today! i haven't killed it yet!
i can't remember what kind of flower it is (something native that has a bit of a kangaroo paw plant shape).
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

melbourne drivers

i think i've posted about melbourne drivers a couple times. this article sums up my thoughts nicely. i do like his term "vehicular dickheaditis" and i'm pretty sure it actually exists. i've seen zac (who is usually quite aware of what of other people and fairly giving) get behind the wheel and become an egocentric warrior focused on cars owning the road and the car he's driving being the most important of all. it's pretty shocking. the article is entertaining though.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


not the crawly kind of bugs but illness "bugs". there seem to be a lot of them going around here: the flu, some gastro thing, conjunctivitis,.... last week we had at least 3 or 4 kids a day that were away sick and a few that definitly weren't 100%. 2 of the 4 staff in my room also were out with things half the week and the 2 of us left were struggling. i think my body just gave up on friday (i had been going to bed at 8:30 and then 7:30 and still waking up really tired in the morning). i tried to go into work knowing it was likely we were down 2 staff and i was scared the 3rd either would be out too (so we would need one person who knew the families and children) or she would be there and not doing great so it would be better for her to work with me than a reliever so i went in. i realized part way through the morning that i wasn't gonna make it until 4pm. i couldn't say i was sick. i didn't feel sick in any way. i was just really tired. the director was already covering for 1 of the 2 people in our room cuz the agency was out of relievers so we ended up working it out so the poor reliever got an early lunch (i needed to be there to keep the ratio up) and then i left after that. i just came home and layed on the couch, watched dvds and took a nap. i spent the weekend doing very little and now i'm fine. everyone at work kept asking how i was doing yesterday and said that i hadn't looked good on friday. they all figured i got really sick like everyone else after i went home. unless one of the bugs is just extreme tiredness (we did have a little girl on friday who said "i don't want to play anything, i just want to go to sleep" and then 10 minutes later fell asleep at a table-- she didn't have a temperature or anything, she just didn't look great and went to sleep) i think my body was just over the hard week and gave up for a day to make me rest. if i wasn't actually sick (and if i was it was definitely milder than what everyone else seems to have gotten) it means i still haven't been sick with even a cold in about 1 1/2 years (since i recovered from pneumonia and the 5 or 4 other flu and cold illnesses i had that year). i went vegan round that time too.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


i decided to make enchiladas the other day so i did an internet search for a vegan recipe and ended up going with this one. i think the name got me: time crunch vegan enchiladas. makes them sound really easy-- and they were pretty easy. i doubled the recipe and ended up with 5 enchiladas which fit perfectly into the baking dish i had. i really liked the cheese sauce made with hummus, milk and nooch.
i'll be making these again. (my picture is pretty unappetizing looking so take a look at the good photos at the link to the recipe)
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

no longer exciting

i used to get excited every time we had a grey, rainy, "vancouver-like" day in melbourne. i'm over it now. i just want some sun. our poor dog is curled up in bed and probably hasn't moved from a couple minutes after zac left her this morning (she's lucky today--we've been banning her from the bedroom lately when we aren't with her because she tore up a few sheets with her claws while "fluffing" our bed into a little nest). i wish i could just curl up with her for the rest of the afternoon.
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Sunday, August 08, 2010

fabulous feast

i had to go to a conference for work all day yesterday on sustainability in early childhood education. this was put on by the EEEC (environmental education in early childhood). the menu was completely vegetarian (because it is a more sustainable diet) but i wasn't sure if the director had put me down as vegan when she booked me in. i emailed the woman organizing the conference a couple days before and i was assured that "a fabulous vegan and vegetarian feast will be had by all." i was very impressed with the food (especially since the last EEEC conference i went to with a vegetarian menus the vegans got salad for lunch, everyone else got wraps that only had cheese that made it non vegan). i think i may have been the only vegan there (out of about 70 people) but the vegan food was plentiful and put out for everyone to have. morning tea was wraps and sandwiches (half vegan, half vegetarian, clearly labeled which were which kind). lunch involved 2 soups (both vegan and really good!), a couple salads (an amazing carrot salad with a really nice spicy chili dressing) and some rolls.
i had a work fundraiser dinner last nite (so 6 of us from work pretty much spent the whole day and nite together except for an hour or so in the afternoon when we were home getting ready for the 50s theme dinner). i was told the meat eater meal was going to be chicken and veg and we never got a confirmation on what the vego meal would be. i assumed the vegan one would just be the veg (and the vegetarians might get some really cheesy dish that was not vegan friendly). me and my vegan co-worker (who is also wheat intolerant) were impressed with what we got. it was a small buffet where we got veggie burger patties, thick cut chips, pasta and salad. i was happy i got to eat well all day.

Friday, August 06, 2010

the night that nemo died

wombat has finally killed nemo. this was her longest lasting soft toy (most of them get beheaded and de-stuffed within minutes). she's had it 1 3/4 years! there's some pictures of her on her first day with nemo here. she finally found nemo's weak spot the other nite (his belly) and managed to tear him open and de-stuff him all over the lounge room. i love she doesn't eat any of his insides (or any pieces of toys she destroys). she's very good about tearing bits out and piling them next to her (or in this case, tearing them out and spreading them all over). i guess i'll be trying to find a new soft toy for her today (i would try to resew nemo but i don't think my mini sewing machine or my hand stitching would survive long). i guess i can take nemo's insides to work for the kids to make soft toys with--we've got a donated sewing machine now and the kids are encouraged to make things they'd like us (or a parent volunteer) to sew.
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Sunday, August 01, 2010

puppies and noise

we went to barwon heads last weekend for a day with family (they all spent the weekend down there, we just spent the day with them on saturday: 11 adults including us, 7 dogs and 3 children). unfortunately i must have deleted most of my photos from my camera before i put them on the computer (that's what happens when i'm in a hurry and don't double check that the photos have actually copied). now i've got just a few dog pictures from the day including this one of cute little dozer chewing on her bone:
the next day we went to a backyard gig at our friends place. it was an all afternoon noise gig with several bands (including 2 that zac's in). noise music isn't really my thing but it was really good.
our friend edryan's solo project "jezzat":

zac's solo project "ze wiseenheimer":

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