Monday, December 28, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We probably won't be blogging much for the next couple of weeks while we are away, although we might be able to on our first stop to Hong Kong since we will be staying with Toby's family and have internet access, but I can't promise anything because I expect to be stuffing myself silly with vegan yum cha and shopping til I drop. Then we are off to London and Berlin where I don't expect much internet time at all.
But I have some news:
Toby and I are going to start a new combined blog when we get back and I finally have a decent camera, which makes a pretty good change from my camera phone.
Anyway on to the food, when I worked in the city I used to frequent Satay Bar and Toby is now a regular eater there. It's a small cafe, which tends to be quite busy at lunch time on weekdays but makes a awesome take away lunch option for city workers. We recently confirmed in writing that all of the veg options are vegan. You can choose from tofu skewers, spicy tofu skewers or vegetables skewers. For $8.40 you can get two skewers, satay sauce and two sides (rice/salad/krupak). The satay sauce is certainly the best tasting satay I've ever had. And the krupuk have the texture of vegi chips or prawn crackers but with a more natural flavour.
Toby being a big eater always get the larger pack with 3 skewers:
Corner of Flinders Lane & Custom House Lane
Phone 9629 1466
MON - FRI 10am - 7pm
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I really really really hate working on a thesis. I am very close to finishing it and have to present soon which probably makes me hate it even more, so will be interesting to compare notes about how I feel once I have finished.
I find doing a thesis to be pretty alienating, probably because no-one else I know is doing a thesis, well apart from those lucky ones who have scholarships and get to do them during regular work hours and get paid to do it. I love socialising and really hate missing out, lately it feels like everyone else is having fun except me, which I'm sure isn't entirely true but it certainly feels like it.
Also, I could slap the next person who makes a comment about how long it has taken me. Yes it has taken me a while, but I am studying part time and for the most part have been working full time-ish hours and I work in a pretty draining job so the last thing I want to do when I come home is any sort of work. Also, I had one topic that fell apart (not my fault). Anyway give me a break, ok! And no more questions about when I am going to finish, I'll finish when I finish, I don't know. I have been working all year on aiming to get it done before I got away, but that's not going to happen.
One of my biggest hates about the thesis thought is guilt, when I do socialise, or go to a potluck or just have a day when I am not productive I get pretty pissed off at myself, I think it is made even worse by people who feel that they are helping by checking up on me with questions like 'did you work on your thesis?', 'how much did you get done today'. I have enough guilt myself, I don't need you giving me more!
I think some people are born academics and love writing, but I really don't as you can probably tell for my disregard for grammar on this blog. It's not really my thing. I don't think I have disliked myself more than when doing a stupid thesis, there are certain conversations that I have with myself where I occasionally feel like I can't do it, like i'm not smart enough, that i'm lazy, that anyone could do it but me. It's not all the time but occasionally often when I hit a wall and am feeling stuck on one part. There does appear to be a bit of a cycle too where I feel so guilty and then hate myself a little more and then actually be less productive.
There is such a major part of me that has wanted to just give up for quite a while, but I am now so close to finishing it, I'm sure if I did give up I would regret it forever. I also I would feel like I am letting the participants of the study down, which I don't think I could manage.
I hate the stress and avoidance around supervision, almost every time I have a appointment with my supervisor I think to myself, she is going to tell me off, she is going to say that what I have done is stupid, and I need to justify why I haven't done more etc. Which is kind of crazy because my supervisor has been pretty awesome and I know I wouldn't have been able to get this far without her.
I really really want to be planning our holidays destinations right now but don't have the time which I hate. I feel like I might have a crappy holiday because I am not planned anything and will have a thesis hanging over my head the whole time. So if you do have any sort of tips for must eats/visits in Hong Kong, London, or Berlin please let me know.
I could go on further but won't.
Thanks for the big whinge, it feel a tiny bit better to get that off my chest! And yes I know there are bigger much worse problems in the world.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
1) Light n i n g BO LT: Secret Show (at) Irene. \m/
2) Check out Photos of Vegan Fitness Week Melbourne. (Photos by Noah)
3) Dean Wareham, from my favourite band Galaxie 500, blogged about his recent Melbourne tour and the "memorable in-store at Pure Pop Records in St. Kilda".
4)Matt Preston wrote about Trippy Taco.
5) My heart is broken: Bulmbers is not veg*n. And guess what? Also most apple juice brands are not veg*n neither.
What did we eat? Henry's Beans. It is made of Cannellini Beans (Kristy's favourite), garlic, rosemary (Kristy's pet hate) topped with dukkah, and served with lemon. They were not bad in my book. *pointing mic to Kristy* "What do you think about the beans, Kristy?". Kristy: "I was reluctant to go just for one bean dish, but I was pleasantly surprised."
This is pretty much the only vegan option. They also stock Crumb's vegan muffins.
Pip, the cooking god, tried to make it at home. Her version looks like the lost twin of Henry's Beans, but I haven't tried it though.
I bought an all black Keepcup. It has saved quite a few paper cups since I bought it two weeks ago. I call it Darth Vader.
Monday, November 09, 2009
When I eat dumplings, I think of my old days working/living in Mainland China. I still insist to have dumplings with minced garlic and soy sauce. I recently found probably the best packaged vegan dumplings in Mix Oriental (293－295 Barkly Street, Off Barkly Square, Brunswick). The Korean made dumplings are a little different than the Beijing or Shanghai ones I normally eat.
Meanwhile, mince a glove of garlic finely (DO-NOT-USE-A-GARLIC-PRESS!!!), add to a dash of Yeo's 100% seasame oil in a small bowl of soy sauce. They should be crispy on bottom and soft on the top. Crack a Hightail Ale open and enjoy.
The other night, inspired by Carla, Kristy and I made Pumpkin, sage and pecan raviloi with white bean and garlic sauce and frizzled leeks from The Voluptuous Vegan to feed our friends the other night. It is a lot of work but worth it. Not on a 30 degree day though.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
We dined at Plush Pizza and I suggested Coco Loco for desert. Double happiness!
It was good. $15 good.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
We finally started riding around 18:30. A lady asked me if my name is Toby. I said yes. The "The Tobinator" sticker on my bike must have given it away.
I was enjoying the ride but 2 minutes in I've got a call. Button The Bird Slayer was outside the house and I had to go home to take her back inside. Okay, goodbye Critical Mass, I will see you in December.
So I ended up having dinner with Craig at East Brunswick Club. The menu has changed. Vegan Parma is $12 everyday (but smaller) and they now serve Funky Pies with a side of Salad. They also have Mountain Goat Steam Ale on tap.
Craig and I both ordered the amazing Vegan Philly Cheese Steak and a pint of Steam Ale. The Cheese Steak was awesome as usual. The new beer Steam Ale is kinda like the Indian Pale Ale they used to make but yummier.
Talking about about EBC. CURSE ov DIALECT is having their album launch there at 20th Nov and Why?, the only non-hiphop act under Anticon label, will be there for their Meredith side show. I am giving Why? a miss because we will be overseas. Be quick, my friends. Tickets will be sold out in no time.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Having a Soy Long Mac(chiato) at Brother Baba Budan(BBB) before work is like my ritual. I have never had a bad coffee there.
When you are in the city, you can also get good coffee at Jungle Juice, Switchboard (they also sell vegan Anzac cookies) and Pushka. I have also heard raving reviews of Collins Quarter and Dancing Goats.
This is a food blog so let's talk about food. Away from the city, you can enjoy a vegan moussaka (replace Feta with Hummus) or baked beans with a nice cup of coffee at Ray (332 Victoria St Brunswick). One of their waitresses is vegan and she went through all the vegan options with Kristy and I.
In other news: I'm doing my first Critical Mass tomorrow night! See you at 5:30pm outside the State Library at the corner of Swanston St and LaTrobe St.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Last Saturday we had two birthday drinks to attend: Liz's and Lisa's.
We made Cat cupcakes for Liz, who has a cat called Bella, using fluffy butter cream icing for the face, chopped Oreo as ears, quartered jellybeans as eyes, chocolate chips as noses and cut up licorice as whiskers. We also made some of them for our friends Craig and Bec, who have just moved in together, with two cats.
Using the same Vegan Oreo Cupcakes as the base, we also made Dog cupcakes for Dog lover Lisa.
The dog version are made with a Chocolate icing face, Oreo ears, Skittles eyes, jellybean noses and Licorice mouth. :-)
Lisa had her birthday drink at Bar Etiquette. The small but cozy bar has a carefully selected beer list including the open fermented White Rabbit Dark Ale.
Monday, October 26, 2009
If things go well, I might make him a permanent co-blogger. So we could become a blogging couple like Cindy and Michael at Wheres the beef?
Although I would need to look at changing the title of my blog, something I've been thinking about for a while anyway. I just can't think of any good foodie titles yet.
I decided to get a spinach pie, excuse the blurriness :
and a plain oregano pizza with za'atar topping:
And Erin got a oregano pizza with salad. It was massive and filled with a lot more than the usual ones at A1 and Tabets (also on Sydney rd). It had lots of spinach, mushrooms, olives, onion and tomato:
Not only was the salad fillings healthier, but the oregano pizza and spinach pie pastry seems to be much healthier, it wasn't oily at all and was more bread like.
I really enjoyed the lemony spinach pie, and the plain oregano pizza would have been enjoyable to most people, but it had rosemary on it which I hate, next time I will opt for the large, healthy salad oregano pizza which might dull the rosemary flavour a bit.
Open 7 days- 8am-7pm.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I followed her simple but brilliant suggestion to add lemon pepper to my potatoes, I used chat potatoes because they are superior really. However, beware most of the lemon pepper options in the supermarket seem to have chicken in them, the salt free option doesn't though.
I have found mixed results with Veganomicon though, we loved the leek and bean cassoluet but had issues with the biscuits and had to throw them out.
We also made the seitan cutlets from,Veganomicon and they sucked, they were rubbery and even the taste was wrong it just tasted like gluten flour.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The second time, we both came home to work and saw her actually grab this tiny little bird, we managed to get the bird off her straight away and it looked fine, no blood, no major missing feathers. I took the bird across the street to a large park and thought it was scared but fine. Mr T gave it a bit of water and it drank and then blood started to come out of it's mouth and it rolled over and died right in front of us. It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen.
So my question to you fellow cat people is what should I do? I already lock Button up at night and she has two bells on her collar. Do I lock her up permanently? Is there some sort of cheap enclosure I can attach to our private rental cat door so she can go outside without killing more birds?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I chose the funky chunky pie on Anikee's suggestion, and did not regret it. It is a lot pricer than a la panella pie but absolutely delicious, with shitake mushrooms, potato and gravy. Now I hate the texture of mushrooms, but this reminded me a lot like mockmeat both in texture and taste, almost like a tuna flavour. It was just a shame that I had to share half of it with Mr T.
and of course I got a brownie:
Now these brownies are orgasmic, yes I know that's a big call, but it deserves it. I love desserts that are super rich, so rich that you almost can't finish it, not wimpy desserts that you end up wanting more with. And this was super rich and surprisingly gluten free. I could just feel my arteries filling up with oil and sugar in the best possible way.
It was seriously the BEST brownie that I had ever eaten, vegan or otherwise. So bad for you but so so so good.
I might have to stay away from Radical Grocery for a little while so I don't walk away buying the rest of them.
Do you like the on the move pictures? We were a little rushed and running late as per usual.
Btw, it appears that one of the new smiths chips flavour is vegan. All of the ingredients in the late night kebab chips appear to be vegan but it does say contain milk at the bottom, not sure if that was just standard on all of the 4 new flavours or if it was meant to refer to possibly containing traces of milk. I'm tempted to vote for it just based on the fact that it is only vegan one, because we need another vegan chip flavour, but I better try them and confirm their vegan status first.
Monday, October 12, 2009
- Wednesday 14th October: Ride to work day with organised free breakfasts for riders around the country. It is expected to rain in Melbourne though so be sure to invest in some sort of water proof jacket/poncho thing. Any recommendations for cheap ones?
- Wednesday 14th October: fellow vegan and friend Lisa Dempster's Neon Pilgrim book launch at Readings Carlton at 6.30pm.
- Sunday 1st November: World Vegan Day celebration at The Abbotsford Convent.
- Sunday 1st November- November 7th- Vegan fitness week- range of activities and eating planned.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I think this would especially great for someone who doesn't drive or was a keen op shopper and new to Melbourne, but was still lots of fun and well worth the price for a regular Melbourne op shopper. I went with a friend who is so crazy about op shopping that she keeps maps in her car of all of the op shop locations and has gone to more than anyone I have ever met and she still managed to come home learning about 2 new op shops and $50 lighter.
Jo runs the tours quite regularly in Melbourne and Adelaide and the shops change regularly. She also has a op shop blog with a list of op shop by suburb.
I wish that the cities that I am traveling to at the end of the year had op shop tours. If you know of any in Berlin, London or Hong Kong please let me know.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
This time I cheated and used store brought ice cream(choc so good) and made my favourite cookies but used white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts in place of regular choc chips. I also didn't make the peanut butter caramel but did miss it a little.
There were pretty popular again although next time I don't think I will bother putting in macadamia nuts in, the flavour seems to gets lost in the sandwiches.
I can see myself making lots of these this summer.
Here is the recipe for the chewy chocolate chip cookies from post punk kitchen:
3/4 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon whole flax seeds
1/2 cup soymilk
2 cups all purp flour
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grind the flax seeds on high in a blender until they become a powder. Add soymilk and blend for another 30 seconds or so. Set aside.
In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
In a seperate large bowl cream together oil and sugar. Add the flax seed/soy milk mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla.
Fold in the dry ingredients in batches. When it starts to get too stiff to mix with a spatula, use your hands until a nice stiff dough forms. Add the chocolate chips and mix with your hands again.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into a disc that's about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then set them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Monday, October 05, 2009
and we brought along some food since I know neither of them have been getting much sleep. We took them some sausages from Vegan Brunch, lentil quinoa stew from la dolce vegan and I made these fudge balls. The fudge recipe is from disease proof your child which I thought was kind of appropriate, but I got the recipe from Katie at frugal veggie mama:
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup soymilk
1 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup raw carob powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chop dates and soak in soymilk over night to soften. Mash all ingredients together in glass dish. Chill before serving. Serves four.
I followed Katie's suggestion and used vanilla soymilk instead of vanilla extract. I also used raw cocoa powder but I think it adds a little bitterness so next time I will stick to carob powder.
Congrats again Adam and Sarah on the birth of your healthy, adorable and energetic Astrid!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Here is the ingredients list:
They used to be vegan and I used to love them, but then they added milk or egg to them but it used to be obvious, it looks like the ingredients have changed but I know that one of the additives might be animal derived.
Water, vegetable protein (17%) (wheat gluten, soy protein), wheat flour, vegetable oil (sunola), tapioca flour, flavours (contains soy), rice flour, wheat breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, starch (potato, maize, wheat), yeast, sugar, salt, vegetable gum (guar), minerals (zinc gluconate, ferrous gluconate), yeast extract, preservatives (280, 260), emulsifiers (472e, 480), herbs, spices, flavour enhancer (disodium ribonucleotide), vitamin B12, colour (100).
Contains wheat, soy and sesame.
May contain traces of peanut, egg and milk.
I will email them but if I find out sooner I can munch on them straight away. So please tell me they are vegan :-)
Edited to add: BrisVegan answered my question, they are!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
It is actually a recipe from the sanitarium website but this time I used frys sausages, here it is served with basmati rice.
It tastes different to regular dhal thanks to the rogan josh curry paste, and it's super quick, cheap, full of flavour and make a great weaknight meal.
Soy Sausage Dhal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons rogan josh curry paste
300g vegie traditional soy sausage original, cut into 1cm rounds
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red lentils
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, cook the onion and garlic until softened.
- Add the curry paste and cook, stiring for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the soy sausages, stock and red lentils. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Unfortunately I am slowly becoming addicted to there chocolate. I have been slowly trying their different flavoured chocolate bars, caramelised almond, hazelnut etc. The caramel specks is probably my favourite, with crisp caramel bits, maybe it is because I haven't seen another dark chocolate caramel bar that is vegan:
I tried to get an inside shot but struggled because apparently button likes the chocolate too
My only problem is I still eat it like it is regular chocolate, consuming a bar in 1-2 days. Yes I need an intervention!
They also sell dark chocolate almond clusters, a whole range of exotic dark chocolate bars and rich dark chocolate flakes to make an incredible rich hot chocolate. Most of their dark chocolate options appear to be vegan!
Monsieur Truffle Chocolate
90 Smith St
Open: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm;
Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-5pm
It's almost the end of Aus/NZ Vegan Mofo (Month of food) and I'm pretty proud of my increase in number of posts but it will probably mean that I will need to decrease my posts in October and spend a little more time on my neglected thesis. I've really enjoyed the experience though, I think it helped me to get out of my food slump.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I was relieved to see that it was actually a small cafe with seats unlike the city store, and the interior was actually quite nice, with a mix of tall tables and low tables and a bright red wall. In addition to the usual range they also had a 'chicken ' burger and 'hotdogs' on the menu although the 'chicken' burgers were sold out on the day. I was tempted to get a 'hotdog' but was worried that it might be the sanitarium ones, in hidnsight I should I have just asked.
The place was sadly empty but it was around 3.30pm. Mr T and I decided to share the chips with gravy and 'cheese', 'chicken' nuggets, and a mega burger which I think is a version of the big mark burger. It was all tasty, hot and the serving of cheezly was very generous on the fries. It's a pity I no longer work around the corner.
I really hope the place does well, it would be great to have another veg option in Preston.
Lord of the Fries-Northland
2-50 Murray Rd
near the cinema entry
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I then cropped the pic just around his head and enlarged it so that it fit on A4 paper. Mr T then traced the outline onto baking paper and I then placed the baking paper over the top layer of the cake and used a toothpick to make lots of holes around the outline.
We made kittee's chocolate cake but figured that Stumpy's colouring is properly closer to the colour of caramel than it is to chocolate, and I remembered that Lidia loves caramel. So last night we make caramel icing based on this recipe on recipezaar, it was perfect and soft but then once we put in the fridge overnight and it hardened up so much that I couldn't use it. We did still use it in between the two layers of cake which was probably a mistake but it just seemed so wasteful to throw it all away.
Then this morning we decided to have another go and I learnt that caramel goes very quickly from nice caramel to burnt caramel. So we decided to go on the side of caution and made caramel where you could still actually feel some of the sugar. It was way too gooey though and I couldn't put it in my icing gun and it was the biggest pain to do a picture with. Luckily I had Mr T to help me.
I used vanilla frosting from vctotw for the white parts though and that worked well, I then also made a blue outline using the vanilla frosting and blue food dye. And I used black writing icing for the nose and inside of the ears.
Probably the biggest problem apart from the caramel was the eyes, when I put the second layer of cake on top of the first layer cracked right down the middle where the eyes needed to go. So I piped some vanilla icing into the hap and then put the black eyes on but it just looked creepy so we played around with them so much that they still look kind of weird.
Still I'm kind of proud since it is my first decorated cake that I made with regular soft icing as opposed to marzipan even if it does look a little like a horse or some sort of other animal instead of a dog.
I really think I need to get some sort of cake decorating book or the women's day cookbook though to help out with the next one.
Taste wise, the chocolate cake was ok but I think I prefer her vanilla cake (without vinegar) and the caramel icing was kind of sickly sweet but that's just caramel, right?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
It has 2 bunches of asparagus, pumpkin, carrots, celery, zucchini, snow peas, oranges, tangelos, bananas, and kiwi fruit.
I'm feeling uninspired food wise this week, apart from the need to make more sausages. If this was your box, what would you make?
As Lisa has already announced Radical Grocery now has ice cream!!!! As soon as I saw the facebook status I rushed out and got some choc mint tofutti cuties and they are perfection: soft chocolate biscuits with soft choc mint ice cream that has choc chips in it. I then proceeded to eat 3 and Mr T ate 2. Ohhhps!
Radical Grocery is selling both boxes and individual ones which are great if you want to try before you buy.
I might try to keep the last few until the weekend at least :-)
It's almost the end of Aus/NZ mofo and I'm pretty pleased that I lasted so long with pretty regular posts although at times it was tricky.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
So I set about soaking them and then started reading all of these things about red kidney bean poisoning from cooking dried beans in slow cooker and got freaked out, so to be on the safe side I boiled them for 10 minutes and then transferred them to my slow cooker to cook for the day while I focused on my thesis.
Mr T then made a massive batch of chili with the black beans using our standard chili recipe, but it tasted MUCH better with black beans and we had lots of black beans leftover to put in the freezer. I swear dried beans that are freshly cooked taste better than canned!
I think we will aim to make a batch of some sort of dried beans about every fortnight.