Friday, January 28, 2011


I just came across a great website for ordering some of the hard to find spices: Spice Bazaar. Not sure how I've never heard of it before but I'm glad I found it (and just placed an order for Japanese 7 Spice after going to a couple Asian groceries and checking the spices at several other shops and not finding it). It's a Melbourne based company and they do have some of their range of spices at Ishka and other shops around Australia but they offer free shipping on spices anywhere in Australia! I noticed they also had wattleseed which is hard to find (I ended up finding it at the Oxfam shop when I needed it to make wattleseed cashew truffles).

Monday, January 24, 2011


We spent most of the weekend going through Zac's nanna's things with the rest of his family. She didn't have a lot of clutter but it's amazing how much stuff is in one small house. There were several large boxes filled with family photos and other keepsakes of that kind, we inherited an organ, a record player and large speakers, a dining room table, wardrobe, night table and kitchen pantry shelving unit (as well as lots of little bits and pieces like some of her Melbourne demons things, kitchen bits and pieces and other little things that remind us of nanna. there's still a LOT of stuff that will be heading off to the op shop even with everyone else taking some of the bits an pieces (we're the only ones who could really take much of the furniture but it's only a few pieces of what’s in the house).
after the amount of sorting we did there it re-motivated me (I would have thought I'd be over it) to do what I've been procrastinating doing this whole 6 week-- organize our house (and now I only have a week left to do it). We have soooooo much clutter and junk that's piled up over the 7 years we've lived here (nanna had lived in her house more than 60 years and I’m sure our junk amounts to a lot more than hers). I had to do a lot of sorting, reorganizing and throwing away in our kitchen just to make the new pantry and table fit. Our spare room (aka "the junk room") is getting fixed up so it's a usable spare room for guests and music room. we've taken a few bags of our stuff to an op shop and I’ve got an old record player and some shelves sitting out front with a free sign hoping someone takes them (otherwise I’ll try freecycle or just make another trip to the op shop).
I’ve started to realize a lot of that stuff that we save because maybe one day it'll be useful just ends up taking up space and never being useful. I think I’ve gotta get better at getting rid of things we don't need (I have issues with throwing things away, even if they're pretty useless to anyone). Hopefully by the time I go back to work next week I’ll be coming home to a nice organized, de-cluttered house.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

more vegan yum yum

i've mentioned it before but i really love my vegan yum yum cookbook that i got for christmas (thanks denise). i decided to make lime peanut noodles with seitan, kale and carrots for lunch today. sooooo good! basically it's noodles in a peanut sauce with kale, carrots and saitan (i used some fake chicken stuff i got from the asian supermarket at barkley square) but the sauce is amazing- lots of fresh lime juice in it as well as soy sauce, peanut butter, chili and ginger. poor wombat was a little concerned how much my lunch smelled like her peanut butter (we put a bit of peanut butter in her kong most days before we leave the house so she gets confused any time we're eating things that have peanut butter in them).
next up to make from the cookbook is nearly raw tahini noodles which also sound amazing.
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Friday, January 07, 2011

too much caffeine??

this spider web is in the top corner of our kitchen window (this is the best photo i could get in the awkward place it was but the whole web looks like the bit you can see against the dark window sill background). i think the spider may have had some coffee before making this (if you google images of "spider web caffeine" it shows drawings and images of spiders affected by various drugs- the caffeine one looks a lot like this).
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rice paper rolls

this was a perfect lunch for a hot day today. i made these a lot the last month or so of last term (i was pretty rushed to ride home, make them, eat them and ride back to work but so worth it) and haven't made them at all over my break (when i actually have time to get everything organized and put them together). i put cucumber, red capsicum, rice noodles, mint leaves and sometimes avocado in my rice paper rolls. i use the dipping sauce from this web page (although i usually just put a little spoonful of the sauce in the rice paper roll as i'm putting the other ingredients in). my wrapping isn't great (i think it's more just getting the sheet of rice paper to be smoothed out flat before i start putting things on it) but they hold together well, even if they don't look pretty.
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Monday, January 03, 2011

fried "chicken"

i've been meaning to make "jay-lo's fried 'chicken'" from la dolce vegan! for a long time now and i finally got around to it today. making the gluten mock chicken takes time (about an hour or so) but it's all really easy. it looks scarily like some kind of real meat but tastes really good (all the different spices used in making the mock chicken and then in the flour coating used before frying). i wish i'd had some potatoes to go with the chicken (i did have a salad while i was waiting for the chicken to simmer).
i've still got half the chicken that i made since zac wasn't home for dinner so we may have it again later this week (or i could freeze it for another time). next time i do one of the mock meats (there's also faux fish, sausage and turkey that i want to try) i might double the recipe,and then freeze most of it because you need to simmer the gluten flour in the spice broth for about an hour and usually when i decide to cook dinner i want to be eating in no more than 30 minutes or so.
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hot and cold

loved that we just had that one day of 40C (and it was pleasant outside by 9:30 or so-- made the ride home from moonee ponds at 1:30am much nicer than the ride out). i'm actually a little bit cold right now so i'm wearing a thin fleece hoodie and jeans. i like when melbourne's weather goes up and down like this (although it'd be just perfect if it stayed around 25-30C everyday and only went down to about 18C overnite). i definitely prefer this cool weather over vancouver right now (-4 to 1C and the sunsets at 4:30pm!)
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