Friday, December 16, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
(I forgot to take a photo until after I started taking apart the rice pile). It was really tasty. The curry was just slightly spicy with a very coconut-y flavour, filled with vegies and fried tofu cubes. The greens on the side were really nice.
We'll be heading back again once they get settled and have their full menu available (there's a list of the menu on their facebook page).
Westgarth Books & Cooks is at 77 High Street in Northcote.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Dinner was really good (but the couple of photos we took on our phones where very dark and blurry so I just deleted them). The menu is available online (I'd pretty much decided what I wanted when I'd looked at the menu the day before). We started with the Avacado Magic and the mushroom shinjuku. I was still congested from a cold so I wasn't tasting a lot of flavour but the fact I could taste things ment they must have been flavourful. I got the green, green laksa for my main which I really enjoyed (nice and spicy- perfect for getting over a cold). It's description on the menu is: Green tea soba noodles (buckwheat/wheat ), spinach and bean sprouts cooked in a Thai krachai ( lesser galangal ) green curry coconut stock. This is topped
with a variety of fried tofu, tempeh and fragrant herbs.
Zac got the Shaolin Treasure, described as: The secret of Shaolin monks! Five grain mixed rice cooked with vegetable stock to a risotto like texture. This comes with a bowl of braised turnips,spiced tofu,gingko nuts, beancurd seitan, and bok choy.
At first glance Zac was pretty sure his meal wouldn't fill him but within a couple minutes of finishing he decided he was too full to have dessert. We ended up not getting dessert and just having some mini raw cheesecakes when we got home.
That was only the second time we've eaten at Shakahari but I think we do need to go there more often for special meals.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
View of bag with front flap open:
(There are also 2 pockets inside the main compartment of the bag that line up with the 2 pockets shown in the photo above)
I also discovered it seems to be imposible to buy the pieces to make an adustable strap. Spotlight only had D shaped loops and I wanted square (rectangle) ones and Lincraft didn't seem to carry anything either (I just looked on their website but didn't think it would be worth the effort to go into the city to see if the store might have something). I found a website that carried the pieces I wanted but when I put together an order it only came to just over $8 and the site wouldn't let me complete an order for less than $15 and there was nothing else I needed or wanted from the company. I ended up just chopping the adjustable strap off the bag that I got this year from our yearly conference we go too (I just gave 4 other bags from that conferenence to the opp shop last summer) and sewing it onto my bag. I'm very happy with the results.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I love how vegan friendly Hepburn Springs and Daylesford are.
Saturday night I was hoping we could have the banquet at the Hepburn Retreat Centre (formerly the Continental) but they didn't have enough bookings so it was cancelled. Instead we went to the Electric Sitar in Daylesford (4/27 Albert Lane). It's an Indian cafe/take away place. They only have a couple vegan items on the menu but the 2 we had were both really good (eggplant masala and a chickpea dahl).
Sunday morning we went to the Harvest Cafe and Organic Grocery (29 Albert St. Daylesford) for breakfast. We both had the scrambled tofu which was good although I thought it had too many olives in it (and I like olives).
Sunday afternoon we discovered a new pub that we had never been to in Hepburn (in a part of Hepburn we didn't know existed--where a lot of the locals live and go to school): The Old Hepburn Hotel. A Melbourne band (The Brothers Grim) was playing there in the afternoon so we thought we'd try to find it and check it out. The pub had both Coopers Dark Ale and Pale Ale on tap (but no vegan food other than the veggie toastie without the cheese). It felt a bit like we were in Portland, Oregan when we walked in the pub. It was a great place.
Sunday dinner was at Jasmine Thai (right across from the Palais). They have all their vegetarian items that can be made vegan clearly marked on their menu (the ones with the asterisk next to them in the photo below). The food there is good and soooo filling (and no doggie bags).
Henry's gig was really good (and the 20 of us that had pre-purchased tickets had couches and chairs reserved at the front). It comes second with only the time most of Wagons played at our wedding being a better gig.
Monday morning after a bit of a battery issue with our flexicar (which we're pretty sure wasn't our fault but possibly an issue with their swipe card thing which could drain the battery) we headed to The Chocolate Mill before heading back to Melbourne. We arrived just as their morning demo was finishing and a woman was explaining that the chocolate they use (Callebaut)-- also the brand my parents used in their chocolate factory-- has always been fair trade but at the start of this year the became properly fair trade certified. The dark chocolate is vegan (Zac discovered this a few years ago at my mom's place so whenever we're there we go looking for dark chocolate things left in the disused factory) and they clearly mark all their vegan friendly chocolates in their display. I got a chocolate orange piece and a chocolate covered candied ginger. Zac got 2 mint chocolates. We then stopped in their cafe and got a vegan hot chocolate (the photo was taken before I stirred the chocolate through the hot, frothy soy milk).
It was the perfect relaxing weekend away.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This morning we were chatting to a parent about illnesses and we said that we do get parents bringing them in on Panadol and we don't find out until lunchtime when the meds wear off that the child is sick. His response was "That's not fair!!" Finally a parent that really understands the importance of keeping sick children home (and was quite upset that others may not do the same). He had actually had to cancel a meeting at work today so he could go home for a few hours in the middle of the day to take care of his possibly sick child that they decided they didn't want to infect others at child care and his wife who was sick as well. They also called into kinder about midday to make sure their kinder child was ok and not showing any signs that he may be coming down with what the rest of the family has had.
I spent half my planning time yesterday researching children and illnesses to try to type up a nice email for families stating the importance if keeping an unwell child at home (and how sick is too sick to bring them to kinder). I'm sure it is hard for working parents to keep sick children at home but it is sooooo important for the child to rest and that they don't share their germs with the children and staff at kinder.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Chocolate mint mochas were the drink that started me on coffee (although they don't really have a a coffee taste at all). In grade 11 a friend convinced me to skip a class to come with her to starbucks to have this amazing mint mocha she'd had a few times. I went and fell in love (and generally I don't even like mint and chocolate together). I haven't had a mint mocha in years (mochas aren't really that big at all in Australia but most coffee shops back home serve them-- and they're usually much better than the coffee). Mr. Nice Guy had mint mocha on their menu when we were there for brunch yesterday so I couldn't pass it up. They served it in a Batman mug! (I messed up the cocoa powder on top before i took the photo). We also had the french toast (I had strawberries, Zac had blueberries) which is also blogged about here. I haven't had french toast that good in a long time.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wombat had the best time (and didn't get sore feet the entire trip-- a first for her. I think it was because we brought all her different meds for allergies with us so of course we didn't need them). She ran free on the beaches every day:
Adobe Mudbrick Flats (same place we stayed last time) and Zac's mum hired the penthouse for the week. We spent most of our time at the penthouse and just slept, watched the sunrise and had short quiet breaks at our unit. The penthouse has a huge balcony with an amazing view and a bird feeder on the rail where dozens of birds feed all day long (at our unit we had a bird feeder just outside the floor to ceiling lounge room windows and a small outdoor space where we could sit next to the bird feeder).
We did a lot of bird watching at the units and around the area:
I got up for the sunrise 3 or 4 mornings while we were there (not something I usually do but I was accidentally awake the first morning and then after that I kept waking up and then didn't want to miss watching it. One of the rooms in the penthouse faces right out across the balcony straight towards the winter sunrise. The woman staying in that room watched the sunrise every morning with no chance of sleeping through it (there are no curtains on the floor to ceiling windows in that room). Even the morning it rained, the sun was pretty amazing when it broke through the clouds (the black and white looking images are from that morning-- I didn't actually alter the colour on the photos-- it was very grey and shots taken into the light look very greyscale). The colours of the sky during sunset were also amazing with lots of pink clouds. The rainbow in the bottom left of the collage was in Eden. Just as we finished taking Wombat for a short run on the beach there, the rain clouds broke. As we were getting into the car we noticed a double rainbow over the water so we had to stop and take some photos.
Mallacoota is totally worth the 7 hour drive from Melbourne (and the pub even has vegan risotto on the menu which was an exciting bonus when we went there for dinner one night). I'm glad Zac's mum lives at about the halfway point though so we can have a stopover night along the way. Wombat LOVED her holiday but was completely exhausted by the end of it (and I'm pretty sure she's gained a kilo or 2 from all the food people gave her even though she did a LOT of running at the beaches).
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Saturday, June 04, 2011
We'll definitely be heading back again for more tex-mex and cupcakes and maybe one day we'll actually get out of bed and be down there before the breakfast menu finishes so we can try that too.
Mr. Nice Guy Bakery Cafe is at the side of the Noise Bar (291 Albert St.) on the side of the Upfield bike path.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
this recipe. The first batch I did with the Italian seasonings used in the recipe. The next batch I divided up and did some with garlic, some with a bit of sea salt and some with some Old Bay Seasoning. The second batch I also mixed in some chia seeds with the flax seeds. I really like them all and I'm not sure which are my favourite. Yesterday I decided I wanted to make some different dips to use for crackers and veggies (I usually just make some variety of hummus or a lentil dip). I decided I wanted to veganize tzatziki. There doesn't seem to be any plain vegan yogurt in Australia (they are all vanilla) so I needed to find something else to use. I thought about vegan sour cream (which has kind of a plain yogurt taste but then decided some sort of cashew cream base would probably work the best). I googled it and right away came up with this recipe (scroll down to the end of the post for the tzatziki recipe). I used a little more garlic than in the recipe cuz we love garlic. The dip is amazing! The flax/chia seed crackers and dip make a perfect snack.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The weather was almost perfect. It got a bit hot the first day and stayed warm overnight. The next morning started out fairly hot and just when we were thinking we would have to go back to the campsite for shade (there wasn't enough for everyone at the amphitheatre), the clouds came in and covered the sun. The cool change came and brought a little bit of refreshing rain. It got a bit cold overnight (glad we brought the "donkey blanket" which kept me extra warm at at night). I thought we would have to pack up a wet tent in drizzle on Monday but we woke up at 9:30 to the tent getting way too warm in the sun and everything was pretty much dry when we packed up.
We ate really well too. This was the first time in a few years that we've gone on our own, in our own (hired) car instead of packing a few of us into a friend's car with all our gear. We decided that we should take advantage of all the extra space and bring anything we want. We brought a LOT of food-- good food. For breakfast we had peanut butter and banana sandwiches (although Zac ended up having lentil dip sandwiches). For lunches we had Wolffie's black bean and lentil salad from La Dolce Vegan!
Snacks included lentil dip on vita-wheat crackers or bread, dried berry and nut mix, corn chips and homemade salsa, homemade tofu jerky, apples and chocolate. We also decided this year to take a thermos of coffee (don't know why this has never occurred to us before) so we didn't have to stand in massive lines to get our caffeine fix in the morning. It worked great (we were planning on having iced coffee but never put the thermos in the esky and it was still quite warm 30 hours after I made it). The only thing we could have done better on was the beer. It's always hard buying cans cuz that's not what we usually drink and Zac tends to get the cheapest cans possible. We've now realized that's a stupid idea and we should get proper beer in cans (I was a little jealous of all the people I saw with Asahi aluminium bottles and Heineken cans).
We had more than enough food to go without buying from the food carts (and I didn't even make the macaroni salad I was planning on making) but we like the food stalls so we bought dinner late each evening from the carts. The first nite we had burritos from the Mexican cart (Gringo Tacos, I think). It was ok but kind of bland compared to Trippy Taco. Their vegan version just involves omitting the sour cream and cheese which makes it a bit dry. You'd think they could add guacamole for free (normally $1 extra) considering they're dropping 2 other ingredients. The next night we got some dumplings after seeing someone walk past us with a plate of them. They tasted even better than they looked! The plate had white rice and a salad that had mint and aniseed-- it was amazing and so full of flavour. The dumplings were really nice too (way better than the frozen ones I've been buying) and the staff were very friendly and helpful showing us the vegan sauces.
Not sure how next year's Golden Plains could top this one.....
Friday, March 11, 2011
i decided to start with zucchini chips.
i also did some tofu jerky using sarah kramer's recipe from how it all vegan (the original pepper jerky)--- sooo yummy. again, i cut my pieces thinner than suggested and it only took a few hours to become tasty jerky (perfect for snacking on at golden plains!).
i'm liking my dehydrator a lot (and have a lot more things i want to try with it). i think it's going to be useful with our veggie boxes when we have things that are nearing the end of their life and we haven't used, we'll be able to dehydrate them to either eat them as dehydrated foods or save them for use in soups and baking.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
unfortunately we can't seem to take wombat anywhere with out her sensitive skin acting up (we think she's allergic to the beach-- especially the beaches around melbourne because she's not nearly as bad in paynesville or mallacoota).
poor dog licking/eating her toes:
it'd be nice if her skin didn't seem to react to everything new. we did bring her vet prescribed cream with us but i don't think it did much. we had some left over meds from last time that we started giving her as soon as we got home and she mostly cleared up in a few days. her back toes are still raw and gross but we're not sure if this is from the beach (almost 2 weeks ago) or if she's irritated them with something else.
there are also lots of tomatoes that i didn't plant growing amongst the pumpkins too (but i can't get to them to pick them when they ripen).
there's a couple varieties of pumpkins growing too: