Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I love sandwiches and specialise in bad food photos

Those of you who read food blogs know that that most food bloggers take time and do the right things like take pics using natural light, don't use a flash and then there are bloggers like me who don't. I guess I'm an eater first and a blogger second. When food is put in front of me I take a quick pic (yes one, two at the most) and then eat it, no fussing around at all because I'm a bloody impatient eater. Almost all of the food is prepared at night so the flash is always on. I know I'm committing some blogger crime and sometimes the pictures are ok, other times they are really bad so but I don't let that stop me from blogging about it because good food needs to be shared even if there arern't good food pics to go with the story. Anyway enough talk here is a dedication to my recent sandwhich addiction.

So it all started with Mr T's Hashbrown burger sandwich which was the best brunch food:

And then straight after we tried hashbrown plus stir fried broccoli and tartar sauce which was ok but not worth repeating:

And then I made parmas using frys schnitzels, cheezly and a jar of pasta sauce. They were better that EBC Parmas and cheaper too and so easy:

it also rocked in a sandwhich:

I'm also addicted to the tofu fish sticks (or fish fingers as I call them) both plain and in sandwhiches. Mr T always alters the recipe depending on what we have. These were made with almond meal and dulse flakes. We always eat them with masterfoods traditional tartar sauce which is accidently vegan. Mr T has them with tomato sauce because he's a freak :P

And finally not a sandwhich but bread related, french toast. I followed Lidia's and Cristy's suggestions and made the fronch toast from vegan with a vengence and topped it with Hershey's choc syrup, mmmm it was so good!

We are in the midst of moving so it might be a while before I blog again.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegans in movies

I've spoken before about the lack of good female characters in films and even made a list of female friendly films and even touched on issues with asian male characters in films but not about the lack of good vegan characters. Probably because they are so rare and the few characters do exist are either quite militant, very wacky and well just not positive. It's hard enough to find good vegetarian characters in films let alone vegan ones.

Mr T and I watched the year of the dog, not knowing that one of the characters is vegan and the main character played by Molly Shannon actually decides to become vegan quite early in the film. We were both sitting there getting excited that veganism was being shown in a positive light and while the characters were slightly weird they were great compared to other movies. I mentioned to Mr T there must be a negative turn, and unfortunately I was right. The main character become very unhinged: she almost takes her young neice to a factory farm, she adopts and keeps 15 dogs inside her house, she forges cheques out to animal rights types organisations and then she breaks into her neighbours house and comes after him with a knife. The movie did kind of redeem itself a little in the last 1 minute in which the main character decides that animal rights/animals is what she loves and that she is going to follow it and seems to be slightly healthier. It was however really disappointing especially considering the director Michael White is vegan. What were you thinking Michael White?

Has anyone ever seen a film (non animal rights one) with positive vegan character/s?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chickpea flour is my friend

When I saw the seitan patties over at the eat air blog. I knew I had to make them straight away. I had all of the ingredients except for the chickpea flour so I popped around to the Indian supermarket on Sydney Rd which is thankfully open past 5pm and got a packet of chickpea flour (besam flour) for $1.50.

Everything was going well until I dropped most of the gluten flour on the floor. So I used less than the recipe asked for and slightly more besam flour. I loved the idea of cooking them in a muffin tin. It meant nice almost perfect circles. Aren't they cute?
As for taste, they were yummy and tasted like a cross between a pakora and aian style gluten dishes. Here's a look of the texture inside:
My hand is wet not oily, I promise!

I can't wait to make these again with the right mixture of chickpea flour and gluten flour and to try Bratwurst-style variation.

But my question to you, what are the best chickpea flour recipes that don't involve deep frying?


Speaking of legumes (in addition to the chickpea flour there are white beans in these little things), Lucy at Nourish Me is hosting My Legume Love Affair which is created by Susan at Well Seasoned cook. So go and enter, if there is one things vegan know well it's legumes :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vegan Pizza in the west

Stefans Pizza is located in Altona and is a regular omni pizza place that uses organic ingredients, has gluten free pizzas and VEGAN pizzas available. Many of the pizzas can be made vegan and they even have a vegan supreme( it think that is what it is called but don't quote me on it).

Mr T chose the vegan supreme(or whatever it is called) which has vegan pepperoni on it.

While I had the beetroot pizza.

They were both delicious and Stefan is a bit more generous with the soy cheese than plush. I can't decide which pizza I prefer though. The beetroot is simple whereas the vegan deluxe has lots of stuff on it but they both taste great in their own ways.

He can also do vegan garlic bread if you ask him to.

Apparently he's struggling with business in Altona, so go and support him and keep one of the few vegan options in the west alive.

Stefans Pizza
47 Civic Pde, Altona.
Thu-Sun 4.30pm til late

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Claire

We went to Claire's 21st last night, and there was the best idea ever:

Lots of normal sized cupcakes (chocolate and banana coconut with amazing peanut butter icing) and one SUPER SIZED CUPCAKE (carrot cake cupcake).

Have an amazing day today Claire, you rock!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We heart Brisbane-part 2

Disclaimer: Sorry about some of these pics they were taken with a camera phone but it's better to have crappy pics than no pics, right? Mr T also wanted to let you know that he took most of the pics.

So after our wonderful morning at the market we decided to go to Kuan Yin teahouse for late lunch. It kind of reminds me of the FGY gallery except it's a cuter place, and cheaper and better tasting. We had the best fried dumplings EVER, the texture and the presentation and the taste was so bloody perfect. Mr T agreed and since he's from Hong Kong I think I can safely say he has good dumpling credibility. Ahh I will miss these awesome dumplings with their slightly crispy outside, delicate centre and look how how cute they are:

We also had the Taiwanese 'chicken' which was nice and salty and was spiced with paprika:

and the 3 meat set meal (I can't remember the exact name but it had 'pork', 'fish' and 'chicken' in it)

and their super sweet and tasty lemon kumquat tea (just the thing for our colds)

After that we went to the forest for dinner. The meals were so-so. They had burgers, wraps and already cooked mix and match meals available. For some reason I was expecting it to be a fancy place, but it looked a little like this:

I had the tempeh burger:

and Mr T had various dishes (curry, potato dish and some salad):

The best thing about the forest though is the cakes. They rotate the flavours, so we had to try as many flavours as possible, we shared 5 pieces over the 2 days we were there. The first choc one had cherries on top and a vanilla creamy centre and was by far my favourite but all of them were great. Here's the fav first:

Coffee cheesecake (i'm not a fan of coffee but Mr T loved it):

And then the strawberry cheesecake (probably my second fav):

And then chai cake (again don't like chai so won't comment):

And finally another choc cake which was more dense and had shaved choc on top:

Then it was on to Alibi room for the ultimate vegan breakfast. The kombie drivers breakfast for 2, which is $35 and includes two soy coffees and two juices and a crazy ridiculous amount of food. Bacon, scarmbled tofu (which is shredded), baked beans, toast, sweet potato chips, homemade hash browns, fried tomatoes, falafel, mushrooms, and spinach. I can't believe how much we ate, although it was mostly Mr T. Mr T and I were saying that even Noah and Ivan (the biggest vegan guys were know) probably couldn't finish it. We were so full that we skipped lunch on that day. I can't believe that a omni restaurant sells such an amazing vegan breakfast, they also have vegan pizzas which we didn't get to try. Here are the before and after shots.

Since I hate coffee I had two juices and Mr T had two coffees, this was my fav, it was a combination of beetroot- orange with a tiny bit of carrot:

Our final meal in the Brisbane was at Pu Kwong, thankfully we booked because it was fully booked and they were turning people away. Pu Kwong is situated away from Brisbane centre in an area that reminds me a little of Box Hill. We loved all of the dishes and I think it is a good rival to all of the chinese restuarants here and perhaps slightly more authentic and cheaper too. Here are the dishes we shared:

Chicken drumsticks

Turnip cake (it was good quality so it didn't even need soy sauce)

Coriander-ginger chicken dish (so full of flavour)

Pineapple duck dish.

The only meal we didn't get a pic of was in the Gold Coast and our final breakfast which was yummy scrambled tofu with sun dried tomatoes. We got it from this cute omni place called Elephant Rock Cafe which overlooks the beach.

Mr T and I have decided that we have to go back and spend a bit of time in the gold coast next time too. The dumplings, market food, amazing super sized breakfast and the forest cakes have to be the biggest highlights food wise. Oh and the weather rocked this time of the year, ahh just being able to wear t-shirts again was so friggin awesome! Can you tell I'm in lurrrrve with Brisbane?

A big thanks to Indriya for the awesome guide to vegan eats in Brisbane and Lena for suggesting it and to all of your other suggestions.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Brisbane =amazing vegan food. Part 1

I know, I know who would have thought it? Certainly not me. It seriously gives Melb a good run for it's money as the most vegan friendly city title. I'm not saying it should win but it should least come runner up.

First up we arrived super early on sat morning and went to the westend market before we even went to our hotel as I was told that some of the vegan food can be sold out if you go late, boy am I glad I did! I found Ykillamoocow stall, where I had a vegan dagwood dog, yes you heard me right, a vegan DAGWOOD dog:

they also had no bull pies which in my opinion are 10 times better than la panella pies

and choc macadamia cupcakes, that's a choc covered macadamia nut on top

Here are the guys in action. I told them they should sell their food in Melb but I don't think they will move :-(. They also sell samosas and veg but not vegan spinach and fetta pies. All of their food was AMAZING!!!!

I kind of wish I didn't eat the whole cupcake myself though because I walked around the corner and found this stall selling vegan cupcakes:

Mr T said we don't need to buy cupcakes since we make them ourselves, but I told him he was crazy and got an apple and cinnamon cupcake:

The cupcake itself was slightly dense in a good way and the texture of the icing was amazing, not like the texture of the icing that we generally make from nuttlex. I wonder what they used... The taste was great, it kind of reminded me of the taste of warheads or some other type of lolly/candy. Some of their profit where going to a charity/NGO but I didn't pay attention where to because I was so excited by all of the different flavours, peanut butter, mango, strawberries and cream and more.

I also got these super cute earrings made out of buttons:
Davies Park Markets at West End
Saturdays from 6am - 2pm

More to come on Brisbane......

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I have a camera

I got a cheap olympus one for about $150 from Dick Smith. To celebrate, I made some white choc orange cookies. I followed the recipe from the have cake, will travel blog but substituted the whiskey with more soy milk and doubled the amount of white choc chips since the sweet william white choc chips are so small and I'm greedy. They looked overcooked on the bottom as you can see in the pic but they stilled tasted yummy and were fine in the inside with just a nice hint of orange. I'm still get used to the macro settings on the new camera because there is macro, and then super macro options. Maybe I should read the manual.

I also tested out the camera by taking some pics of button:
Here she is up close and asleep on my lap (and yes they are my pj bottoms in the background)

And here with one of her favourite toys, a lid from a plastic bottle. She has lots of cat toys but instead chooses to play with her own made up toys- like this lid or a hair clip or an elastic band. She will run around the house playing with them for hours.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ok so I really need a camera

So this blog been honoured with Aduki's read one thing in September tag yay! And I've just realised that I am perhaps the only blogger without a camera unless you count Mr T's camera phone which is what I have been using for the last month.

I really need to get one especially for Brisbane food pics. Anyone have any recommendations for cheapish (around $100) cameras that take good food pics?
Cupcakes with fillings

Our good friends Tim and Caroline are going on a big massive holiday and so to farewell them our friend Dan made us all a massive amazing feast and to say thank you to her and farewell to Tim and Caroline I made the fauxstess cupcakes from vegan with a vengeance. Here they ready for the filling:

And here is my ugly first attempt at doing the icing. I just used the leftover filling instead of making the royal icing. It tasted better but was difficult to pipe. I also accidentally smudged a couple. It says Timline because that is what we call Caroline and Tim.

We also celebrated Mr T's birthday with lots of friends of sat night and I decided to surprise him by making more cupcakes which proved to be a rather difficult task when you live with the person you want to surprise. This time I made vanilla cupcakes with raspberry filling, chocolate ganache and different icing for the writing. I originally tried to make the royal icing in vegan with a vengeance but discovered that it tasted horrible since soymilk powder tastes like crap. So I made it up with both icing sugar and water and at first the texture was too watery and then it hardened up so much that I couldn't get it out. I also ran out of maple syrup and vanilla extract part way through and dropped half the bag of choc chips on the floor. It was disaster after disaster. I wrote out happy b'day Mr T(with his actual name) and made a couple of smiley faces and because I was so stressed and rushed to get it done before he got home I forgot to take any pictures but I think the writing was only slightly better. Whereas the ganache was worse because they weren't as tall as the fauxstess cupcakes and so I couldn't dip the cupcakes in the ganache and had to pour it on top instead. Here is the one inside shot that I have:

I prefer the vanilla raspberry variations. I made the raspberry icing using pure raspberry fruit topping that I got from the supermarket. It took lots of playing around in terms of adding more raspberry topping and then more icing sugar but I think I got the texture just where I want it in the end. I think I will retire from writing letters in icing now but I do think that all of my cupcakes should have a filling from now on :-)


In other news I woke up feeling super sick today- sore muscles, very very sore throat, head and ears and we have our holiday in less than a week. Noooooooooooooooooooo! I always end up sick for holidays. Although this time I have been guilty of too many late nights, not enough sleep, eating out way too much, not eating enough fruit or veg, or drinking enough water and not getting enough rest. I'm off to see a traditional Chinese doctor now hoping that he can make better before the trip. Fingers crossed!