Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brisbane tips

I know I asked this a while ago, but in case there are any changes or other recommendations.

Where are the must eats and must sees for Brisbane?

We leave in less than 2 weeks. We will also be traveling via gold coast so if there are any must eats there please pass them on.
Chinese food x 3

I just realised that this draft hadn't been posted.

It was just coincidence that we had Chinese food 3 days in a row over the weekend and Monday (not this weekend just past but the previous one) but I'm not complaining.

First up, Mr T and I had planned to go to yum cha at Natural and Healthy Vegetarian Restaurant on Sunday but couldn't get through on the phone on sat so we drove to Doncaster to discover that it was closed down and we were starving so we stopped at Vegie Mum for lunch and shared two noodle dishes (the cheapest meals on the menu). They were both quite tasty and reasonably well priced at under $10 but one of the waitresses was kind of rude. If you happen to be in the neighborhood I also suggest the Iranian supermarket (i think it was Iranian) on the same shopping strip which sells three different types of Iranian candy: lemon, rose water and saffron and lots of other interesting products. Anyway, here are our noodle dishes:

Roasted 'Duck' noodles with rice noodles instead of egg noodles

'Beef' with Vegetable rice noodles

The following day we went to what appears to be the only remaining veg restaurant with yum cha in Melbourne: Vegie Hut. They do yum cha on sundays and have 22 yum cha items to choose from. We probably had something like 16 different types of dishes shared between the 10 of us. We still don't have a camera but Mr Took a couple of pics of his camera phone. Favourites included BBQ 'pork' buns and the 'ribs'. You also get free congee (which is like savoury rice porridge) every 2 yum cha items which really excited Mr T who hasn't had congee since he moved from Hong Kong. We will definitely be back for it another time, we ate for about 90 minutes and just kept ordering more dishes and the bill only come to $17 each and we had so much variety. I recommend: the 'BBQ' pork buns which appeared to be everyone's favourite, the turnip cake and the 'ribs' which are not very rib like but are super tasty. Here's a look at some of the dishes:

Congee which was tasty not bland like other congees I have had

Vegetable dumplings and pieces of turnip cake (which is a savoury slice made from parsnip not turnip)

'Ribs' and 'shrimp' rolls. With the shrimp rolls you have to ask for it to be made with soy milk.

Lastly, we went to Shanghai noodle house for dinner with my family on the Monday. Mr T and I shared fried vegetable dumplings, rice cakes and spinach buns. Sadly, I was disappointed with the dumplings I much prefer the dumplings next door at camy's and it actually felt more tacky than camy's and camy's is super tacky. My family weren't very impressed with their dishes either and they said that their fish dish was too chewy. It did have much better service compared to Camy's and I did enjoy the rice cakes which are not what you think. To see a pic of the rice cakes check out the first pic of Cindy's review. We didn't take pics since Mr T didn't have his camera phone and we still don't have a camera.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Chocolate Mill

Ok so I lied about posting, but this will be quick.

Somehow I have been to daylesford a couple of times without realising that the chocolate mill is quite vegan friendly and visiting. On Sunday we went on a daytrip, I'm hoping Caroline will blog and post her pics of our lunch since I forgot to take any but here are a couple from the chocolate Mill.

First up here the soup bowl sized hot chocolate:

And then they sell all sorts of individual chocolates and have V's to show which ones are vegan. Here are my choices:

Cardamom disc, ginger, cherry lips, cinnamon stick and peppermint leaf.

Here is a closer look:

Cinnamon stick

Inside cherry lips.

The cherry lips were a bit too artificial cherry tasting for me but I strongly recommend all of the others and the hot chocolate.

As for the vegetarian Himalaya Bakery and Cafe, I recommend the cherry pastry, sugar less apple pie and smoked tofu and vegie pie.

Daylesford I heart you!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Will blog a proper post soon

For some reason every single type of social event imaginable has been squeezed into the last couple of weeks and the next week or so. Lots have been food related like veg yum cha, another potluck and lots of dinners/lunches. There will even a day trip to daylesford tomorrow. So blogging will just have to wait. But I have lots to share when I get more than 5 minutes to blog about it. I will start commenting on everyone's blog then too. I don't even have enough time to keep up to date with all of my fav blogs, bloglines tells me that I currently have over 200 posts from blogs that I regularly in read.

But right now Button is screaming for attention.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Choc melting moments

These are my first trial from the new Aussie dessert cookbook called vegan indulgence.

These are super easy-the type of thing you can bake on a weeknight and they melt in your mouth. I'm pretty sure that I used more margarine that the recipe asked for though and didn't do the fork imprint to make it look prettier because they were just for us and we don't mind ugly cookies.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tomato sauce with Soy sauce?

One night several weeks ago Mr T whipped up this dish to save going to the supermarket. He said that he would blog about it but he's a lazy ass blogger so I'm using it. It consisted of greens, soy sausages, pasta and a tomato sauce-soy sauce combination and it was amazing. I love moments like that where his own combinations are better than recipes that we make, they are pretty rare but excellent!

We used to order a tofu dish in HK that was made of the same combination but with actual tomatoes in it and it rocked. It basically tastes like a tomato sauce with a bit of tang to it and pasta and soy sausages are definitely friends :-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bake Off

Here was my ugly contribution: cookie dough brownies basically the recipe that is floating around the net with a few alterations like white choc on top and a different brownie base. So it's layer of brownie, layer of cookie dough and layer of white choc. I thought they looked ugly so I tried to make them look better with dark choc on top and it just made it worse, but I think they tasted pretty good.

Anyway, the bake off was amazing. There was something like 38 or 39 dishes. I couldn't taste them all but tried probably over a dozen and then felt sick and very full. Highlights include oreo cheesecake, vanilla slice (which come 3rd), peanut butter choc cupcakes with mini cupcakes on top (second place), cupcakes baked into waffle cones, lemon slice and so much more.

Mr T took pics with his phone and swears he will blog about it tomorrow- here .

For dinner we went to Veg Nirvana with about a dozen people and because there was so many of us and it was sat night it was all you can eat for $25.

The day would have been perfect except we went to the tofu shop for lunch and the boss was being his normal anti-vegan rude self and started harassing poor Mr T and a few others with his crazy arguments like 'veganism is consumerism driven' and 'animals have to die anyway' and shit like that. Mr T was just trying to enjoy his meal and is the gentlest person ever so I don't think we will go back again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Crazy ass wedding plans or the non-wedding party

The following post does not mean to offend everyone and if you want to spend $30,000 on a wedding like the average Australian and love all of the traditions of weddings please don't let me stop you, it's just not for me.

Mr T and I were originally going to have a wedding party a couple of years ago but were put off by the ridiculous costs, being the centre of attention, and traditions that don't match well with either of us. We also thought that the event would be kind of meaningless to us, we love each other and we are committed to making the relationship work and we don't need to stand up in front of everyone and spend lots of money to know that. Mr T moving here is more of a commitment than a wedding or a marriage. I also still think a marriage is just a piece of paper and that my non married friends are in just as committed friends as those who are married. Plus it sucks that marriage is not available for same sex attracted couples. It is ultimately a patriarchal tradition too. I could keep going on with issues to do with weddings but I think you get the point. Anyway we both still feel the same way but got thinking that we did promise our families a wedding party and that perhaps we could throw a party for everyone that didn't cost the earth and wasn't like thousands of other weddings. In fact for the first time we actually got excited by the idea.

So Mr T and I have started planning a non-wedding wedding for Jan next year. We are throwing out almost all of the traditions that go with weddings:
  • No white dress or $1000 plus dress
  • No church
  • No expecting or accepting expensive gifts from guests
  • No spending lots of money on the event
  • No bridesmaids or groomsmen
  • No bucks and hens nights
  • No bride and groom dance
  • No father and daughter dance
  • No being 'given away' by my father or anyone else
  • No throwing flowers to all the single women
  • No garters or any other silly traditions
  • No name changes for me or him
Instead we are having a potluck style party where guess contribute food, or whatever they want to. They can help decorate, bring flowers from their garden, help with music, help with invites, help take pics or contribute in anyway they want to in lieu of gifts. That way no one is spending lots of money on the event and hopefully it will be more personal and fun. It will be an all vegan affair and if previous potlucks are any indication than the food will be better than most catered events and show my family that vegan food is amazing.

The only problem I have is trying to find a location. I thought of a picnic, but we can't really have dancing at a picnic or have a backup plan if it rains. If anyone knows of any cheap places for hire with access to an oven and an outside area let me know. It doesn't need to be big as their will probably only be about 60 guests.

Btw, if you also not in to traditional weddings and want to get married you might like indiebride or offbeatbride. It was great to find that I wasn't the only one who had these thoughts.

Some good news and bad news

First the good: Birds Eye Corn fritters are vegan and are very tasty. Thanks Dan for introducing them to me.

Also, the exact same 'chicken' nuggets you buy at Lord of the fries can be found at Vincent's vegetarian food. They taste amazing baked in the oven. We served them up at a party recently and everyone thought they were eating chicken.

Now the bad: Kolios-Nistisimo or the feta and mozzorella greek fasting cheeses you can buy at the vic market which are advertised as vegan are not vegan, they unfortunately contains small amounts of casein. Thanks Emily for letting me know.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I have a new toy

This avanti icing and biscuit syringe, I prefer to call it a gun though because well syringe doesn't sound very cool. The disks can be used to make all different shaped biscuits by inserting the cookie dough in the gun and then using the disc as a filter. Mmm what type of biscuits should I make with it? Plus I think the discs will also make great stencils for decorating cupcakes with icing sugar, cocoa or whatever.

Pic taken from Cake Deco.

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to icing cupcakes, I just spread it on because I hate pastry bags, but not this. I lurrrrrrrrrve this gun.

So I made the vanilla and choc marble cupcakes from VCTOTW. Unfortunately, instead of 3 dozen I only got 2 and a half dozen and they were hard and not very full of flavour. So I also made a couple of dozen vanilla cupcakes and put some choc chips in, but thy just sunk to the bottom. I also followed Mandee's idea and decided to make two toned icing but without a divider, I just put choc icing on one side of the gun and vanilla on the other and it still worked.

Sorry for the quality of the pics they were taken on a camera phone. I was going for a soft serve style icing. I really need to get another digital camera.

I also loaned my friends cupcake courier which I swear is the best invention ever.