Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday treats

It was my birthday this week, and the night before my birthday I got a knock on our door and opened it to two of our friends: Bec and Craig who gave me these amazing cat cookies. They were all decorated differently, there is one that read happy birthday, and if you look close enough you might even see the poop cat. They made 28 because thats how old I turned.

They also made a giant Button cookie, don't you think it looks like her?

It was one of the most creative and thoughtful gifts I have ever received. The only problem is that they are too cute too eat.

We went out for breakfast on my birthday to Bomb Cafe and shared the two vegan breakfast options that I had read about on Lidia's blog over a year ago.

Vegan Fry Up (caramelised red onion, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and avocado on toast)

Scrambled tofu with pototaes

It was all super tasty and cheap too. I think the prices were between $7.50-$9.50 (roughly).

The scrambled tofu was possibly the best scrambled tofu I have ever had. It was savoury but slightly sweet and was served with caramalised onions and mushrooms on yummy crusty sourdough bread. It reminded me a little of soulfood scrambled tofu but it was even better. The potatoes was an extra that we added on and went perfectly with it and the fry up options added some variety so it is worthwhile sharing the two. Mr T was also pleased with the coffee and it is a cute little cafe with good selection of magazines like Frankie so will be back again!

Bomb Cafe
229 Johnston St

P.S: there is more edible birthday treats to come!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bread Machine

I got a bread machine for xmas and only just got around to using it. I was so excited and purchased the wholemeal bread mixture from coles. I followed the instructions on my george foreman bread maker and the ones on the mixture box but it sucked. It was moist in the inside and tasted like soap and didn't look properly cooked. Any one have any tips on making bread?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pretty cupcakes or why I have the best mother

It's my birthday next week and my mother decided she couldn't wait to give me a small gift. She gave me these little moulds pictured below and a variety of smaller ones for mini cupcakes. She also gave me two different colour petal dusts which are basically food dye in powder form and both the pink and yellow were surprisingly vegan. You can check them out online here if you scroll down.

I made a batch of green tea cupcakes for a dinner party that we are we attending and then starting experimenting with the moulds and dusting sugar. I used the orchard white icing that the mould instructions asked for.

I still need a little practice with the frangipani flowers as they are quite fiddly but love how the yellow petal dust works on them.

The simpler flowers are so easy though and if you mix the petal dust with atiny bit of water it makes a paint that you can paint on.

Here is the pink petal dust dry:

There is a variety of different combinations I expirmented with:

But for the dinner party decided on the simpler look:

Btw, I loved the flavour of the green tea cupcakes from VCTOTW!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Radical Grocery Store

I'm quickly becoming a regular at Radical Grocery since it opened a little while ago on Sydney rd. Radical grocery is a small vegan supermarket that prides itself for featuring fair trade and organic products.

The shop owner is super friendly and with all the vegan products one could ask for (except for ice-cream which is coming) it is hard not to be a regular. They also sell a small range of cheap organic fruit and vegetables like $1 avocados.

Here are a few pictures I took inside before my phone went flat:

I've been slowly trialing new mock meat products from there. The frys hotdogs are amazing. Here I teamed one up with cheezly (also from radical grocery), mustard and fried onions. It was perfect Friday night junk food:

They also sell a variety of non-food items like cosmetics, cleaning products, and bags.

It's on probably the most coolest part of Sydney rd. It's near all of the ops shops, Brunswick bound- which is an awesome book store, rising angel- a hair salon that only uses natural products that aren't tested on animals, and a new place that will be opening soon that sells ethical clothing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Italian fruit tart

On Sunday we had Cindy, Michael and Lidia over for dinner. We were planning to cook up a storm but dessert kind of took over. So we just made sundried tomato garlic bread and some slightly boring overcooked risotto.

We had lots of plums from the food co-op so was determined to use them somehow and we had an Italian theme so went searching through Nonna's Italian kitchen and come across the fruit tart which asks for basically whatever fruit you want.

It took me 3 times to get the crust right. Silly me though that I could ignore the request for dried beans on foil on top of the crust and learnt the hard way that you can't. On the second try I burnt the crust after forgetting that I put it back in the oven for one more minute. Third time round I decided to make a no-bake crust with biscuits (nice and strawberry shortcake) and margarine. This was fine except it was hard work trying to get a piece out to serve.

The tart also consisted of a thin cashew cream layer, and an apricot glaze. It was tasty but am not sure if it was worth all of the effort.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Red foods

My two favourite new recipes are vibrant red dishes.

First up, I made this blueberry orange sauce to go with the fronch toast from vegan with a vengeance. It was healthy, easy and tasted great. It was the perfect way to welcome in a lazy Sunday. Time wise it was great considering with the fronch toast it only took 15 minutes to prepare.

The second dish was this beetroot and onion tart. I didn't have a saucepan that I could transfer to the oven though, so I just cooked it in my frypan then transferred it to a dish and put the puff pastry on top. This was my first time to try to cook something upside down and then transfer it, and my transfer skills were not that greatest. But it was easily fixed and delicious! It tasted like something you would have in a fancy resturant not something I would normally make because I am so lazy, but it was so worth it. I might remake it for a dinner party in the future. Considering how simple the ingredients are though I was really impressed!

Sorry for the crappy pic! I had to use the flash as it was night time and I knew there wasn't going to be leftovers.
Half Moon Cafe
It's a little shameful that I've lived in Brunswick for a couple of years and never been to Half Moon Cafe, especially since I read about it in the veg food guide when it first come out last year. Lidia took me there on sat when we ventured out to dimmeys in Coburg. I feel like a fool because I have been past it plenty of times and never realised, it's near the Coburg library, safeway, and medicare in Coburg.

Anyway on to the food, the falafel here is unique as it made with fava beans instead of chickpeas. I chose the simpler 'traditional falafel' which comes with lettuce, tomato, tahini and pickles and it was delicious, even tastier than your average falafel and still cheap!

Half Moon Cafe
13 Victoria St, The Mall Coburg
9350 2949
Mon-Fri 9-5.30
Sat 9-4
Sun 9-3

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Not only do I dislike the neighbour but I also dislike the neighbours cat for scratching button's face and making her so scared again. Poor baby!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Dan, Mr T and I recently decided to have the vegetarian banquet at Iku recently. Everything was vegan except for the dessert so we subsisted juice for it. It consisted of:

Miso Soup
Seaweed Salad

Silken Tofu, This was probably the most boring, it consisted of cold silken tofu with spring onions, garlic and chilli on top. It sat on a small amount of soy sauce. It was quite bland.

My fav: vegetable gyoza
mushroom and eggplant skewers with a miso sauce (served with rice)
and inari and sushi

Apart from the tofu, it was all tasty but I'm not sure if it was worth the $25 it costs. Mr T complained that he didn't feel full whereas Dan and I were full. Although looking at the menu it looks like we didn't get one dish: Sushi rice ball wrapped in sweet bean curd. Still it makes a good alternative for eating out on Sydney rd and was fun to eat one one of the low tables that have extra room for your legs below. Next time I might order from the regular menu.

Iku Yakitori
139 Sydney Rd
8310 4848
Mon- Thu 6pm onwards
Fri-Sun 5pm onwards

Monday, March 02, 2009

Are we still in the in the 1950s?

Bettina Arndt could have me fooled with her argument that married women should have sex with their husbands even if they don't feel like it. It's even more shocking because it's coming from a women.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Raw Potluck

On Sat we went to a raw potluck. I really enjoyed having a themed potluck for a change and the raw theme definitely was challenge to think about as I have never made anything raw besides salads. In the end though I couldn't decide on a dessert and liked the look of several dessert recipes I found online.I couldn't resist the ferrero rawchers. I found that the mixture that goes inside the ferrero rawchers was really bitter when I followed the recipe so I ended up adding a fair bit more agave and then some rice syrup but it was still slightly bitter, I wonder if it was the raw hazelnuts. I was however really impressed with the coating, it really did act and look like melted chocolate without any heating. Also the handful of nuts that the recipe asked to put in the coating didn't seem to be enough but they were quite yummy.

Mr T was set on making zucchini noodles after trying and loving ones we had at continental house in hepburn springs, so we made Ani's zucchini ribbons with a tomato based sauce. We don't have a mandolin or a spiralizer though so it was quite tedious peeling 4 large zucchinis.The sauce was a little watery though and not as full as flavour as we would have liked. I wouldn't mind trying the zucchini noodles with pesto though.

Pip make these Delicious tuna salad wraps

There was a juice/smoothie bar set up where you could make your own juice/smoothie combinations.

This was Cindy's delicious lime pie (which I had a better pic).

The hosts made this yummy nut cheeze with broccoli.

Bec made these. They might not look pretty but were amazing pecan fudgy deliciousness.

This was Jo's gado gado.

I'm not sure what this was called but it was Craig's date/nut trail mix type dessert

Craig also made these salad boats with a yummy nutty sauce. I'm not a big fan of salads but these were fun to eat.

I was pleasantly surprised by how great everything tasted and how full I become. Although probably my biggest criticism of the raw experiment was how dependent most of the dishes seem to be on nuts and how many recipes I found online that asked for a dehydrater, mandolin, spiraliser or juicer. I might give some of the simpler raw recipes a try in the future though.