Sunday, May 31, 2009

Scrabble Cake

My friend Bec celebrated her birthday with a scrabble party and her boyfriend thought of making a scrabble cake. So I jumped at the challenge, I've never really decorated a themed cake before. It took us ages and I struggled a little with lots of small things like getting a proper red colour but am really pleased with the finished look. Her surname is hale in case you were wondering.

So how did I do it? I got white icing ruled off squares, and then used paint brushes to paint on food dye on to the squares and made tiles and a little holder out of the icing and stuck them on with a little bit of water. It sounds easier that it actually was though, well for the novice me. The dye kept leaking on to other squares, and even though I made a little diagram on which colours to paint where I stuffed up and I kept smudging the writing.

We made the scrabble board first and then made the cake on the day. We made the easy vegan choc cake and the chocolate frosting from vegweb. I wasn't overally impressed with either but that could just be our errors like overcooking the cake. The cake was moist but didn't seem sweet or chocolately enough and the icing was unlike any that I made before because it was cooked and the texture was a little like pudding. In the middle, we put mashmallow icing which I will discuss in more detail next.

The funny thing was Bec's sister turned up with a scrabble cake too.

Now vegan cookbook

I have loaned Now Vegan from the library but have no idea what recipes to try. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crashed Hot potatoes

I was talking to someone the other day about how influential blogs are for my food inspiration, I don't tend to read cookbooks that often instead I read lots and lots of blogs. It's strange too because often a recipe I read about from one blog originated from another blog.

One of the latest inspirations was crashed hot potatoes which I read about on Musings from the Fishbowl and which she read about here.

Basically you boil ptoatoes and then smash them a tiny bit and then bake them. So it's like mashed potatoes and baked potatoes rolled into one. What more can a gal ask for?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The best pizza topping- apple on pizza

When I first read about apple slices on pizza, I thought I have to give it a try. I really didn't expect to love it as much as I did. I first read about it over at yeah, that vegan shit and then Cindy verified it's tastiness. This pizza was perfect: caramelised onion, sundried tomatoes, capers, cheddar cheezly (my fav flavour but doesn't melt properly) and pesto.

I didn't want to make pesto, and so looked for a vegan one at the supermarket but the only one that I found was the Thai pesto dip with coriander. It added a slight Asian taste to it, but the flavours really went well together in an Asian meets Italian type of way. Well pizza is supposed to have originated in china, so...

The apple slices when cooked on top of pizza didn't really taste like apples just added a touch of sweetness that really complimented the other flavours.

I can't way to try this again with regular bail pesto.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mock tuna is my friend

After the tuna patties, I decided I had to try the mock tuna with something else. First, I made a tuna bake using the recipe here or below.
  • 1 can Tuno (or in my case 3/4 packet of mock tuna but I doubled the recipe)
  • 8 oz (or 225 grams) macaroni or other pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Green pepper, chopped finely (I used celery)
  • 2 Tbs. Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup Vegan mayo (optional)
  • 1 can (or small box) creamy mushroom soup (I used a packet of cream of onion soup powder mixed with 3 cups water)
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs tossed with 2 tsp. Melted margarine
  • optional topping:
  • French’s French Fried Onions (gives a nice crunch)


First of all, you want to start the pasta cooking while you start chopping the other ingredients. Melt margarine in a large frying pan or saucepot and saute the onions and green pepper 2-3 min., until onions are soft. Add flour, salt and pepper, and stir until smooth. Add soy milk and soup, stir over low heat until smooth and thick (this will take a while, so be patient). In separate bowl while this is cooking, mix cooked pasta, peas, mayo, drained can of tuno, and 1 cup nutritional yeast. Mix together and pour into casserole dish. Toss breadcrumbs with melted margarine and remaining nutritional yeast, and use to top casserole, along with french onions, if you are including them. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350, until top is golden brown.

It was delicious but I was forgot to take a pic.

I did however take a pic of my toasted sandwich with cheezly, mock tuna and a little bit of tartare sauce. Also delicious!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bushwalk and Potluck

So after attending lots and lots of great potlucks I've finally decided to host my own potluck. I'm combining it with a bushwalk at ferntree gully next sat, weather pending of course. If you haven't attended one before and are vegan or vegan friendly please feel free to join us. For more details send me an email at bluerthanpink (at) gmail (dot ) com.

French prune filled chocolates

I came across this lovely looking picture of prune chocolates on this french website and thought I should give it a go. I wasn't confident in the google translation though so I asked on PPK and Mandee and a few other forum users come to the rescue. Below is their translated recipe and it was really yummy, it actually makes prunes taste good. I didn't use agara agar and I actually used 250grams of prunes but it was still ok. My only problem was using sweet williams chocolate next time I would use dark chocolate as I don't really like their 'milk' chocolate. I also found that I didn't have quite enough chocolate though but that might just be my crap chocolate making skills. I discovered that I love orange flower water, any suggestions for where else I can use it?

300 g prunes
250 g of extra-dark chocolate (min. 70%)
1 / 2 l water
1 tablespoon of orange flower water
1 tspn. vanilla extract
Optional: 1 / 2 tspn agar agar powder, goji berries

  • In a saucepan, combine the prunes, water, orange flower water and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 to 25 minutes. Remove the stones, reduce to a purée. If the cream is too liquid, add the agar agar powder, and simmer 30 seconds. Cool.
  • In a bain-marie, melt 90 grams of chocolate. Spread on a cutting board covered with baking paper. Let harden.
  • Using a small spoon, place forty small piles of the prune mixture on the chocolate, as evenly as possible.
  • In the bain-marie, melt the remaining 160g of chocolate. Using a spoon, completely coat the prune mixture. Top each with a goji berry. Let harden.
  • With a knife, separate each bite. Enjoy.

For a gorgeous picture of them please see the original website, mine looked ugly :-(

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beetrrot Curry and Baked Paprika Fries

I don't know if you noticed but since we cut down on eating out my blogging has increased it's because since eating out is not a regular option I think we try a little harder when we prepare meals. Also when eating out it's really not worthwhile to blog about east brunswick club, plush pizza or some other veg restaurant for the 1000th time. Anyway, now that I've patted myself on the back I will continue. I now find that I have too much food to blog about and just not enough time. So will shut up and continue blogging.

First up the healthy dish, I made Limes & Lycopene's beetroot curry. I subsuited white beans with mushrooms because mushrooms suck. It is so full of flavour that I could eat it with plain brown rice which I normally don't care for. Although part of the credit has to go to massels chicken style stock, the best stock ever, it's so addictive that I sometimes sprinkle it on top of food.

I'm copying the recipe here in case she suddenly stopps cooking, like a few of my old recipes that I can no longer retrieve.

Beetroot & tomato curry

Oh yes, while it’s even better the next day, this time I discovered the leftovers are exceptionally good over a baked potato! Serves 4.

  • 900g raw beetroot
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 whole dried chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 800g tin of tomatoes
  • 200g button mushrooms, cut in half (or white beans )

Cut the leaves and stalks off the beetroot, peel and cut into roughly 2cm cubes.

Heat the oil in a medium sized pan, with a lid. Once it’s hot, add the cumin seeds and chilli, stir once and add the garlic. Stir for about 10 seconds and then add the turmeric. Stir once and add the tomatoes (with juice) straight away. At this point the mixture will hiss and spit. Just put the lid on and wait for it to calm down.

Add the beetroot and mushrooms and then season with salt. Bring to a simmer. Then turn the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for about 45 mins – 1 hour, or until the beetroot is tender.

And on to the slightly less healthy. Tofu for Two's baked paprika fries. I made them wide, but will next time make them like regular fries. These were delish although I do admit to adding even more paprika, because I can't get of enough of it. You should go look at their blog for a much better pic.

And again the recipe just in case.

Baked Paprika Fries

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

I set the oven to 225 degrees Celsius. Then I scrubbed the potatoes and used our mandolin (aka v-slicer) to chop them into 1 cm thick strips. This could be done without a mandolin but the tool really makes the whole process much quicker and easier.

Now I spread the fries on a kitchen towel on a single layer and then folded the other half of the towel over the fries, patted them lightly, and let them dry until the oven was ready. Meanwhile, I mixed the paprika, cayenne, thyme and oil in a bowl, and when the oven had reached the right temperature I just tossed the fries in the oil until they were all evenly coated.

I spread the fries on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper in such a way that none of them were overlapping - important for crispy results. Then I baked them for 15 minutes in the upper third of the oven, tossed them up a bit, and baked for another 10 minutes until they were nicely fried and crispy. After baking I sprinkled them with sea salt and they were ready to serve.


Ok and as promised here is a pic of the pandan chicken that I blogged and raved about a little while ago.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Radical Grocery Potluck

The Radical Grocery had a potluck a few weeks ago with a fair trade theme, you had to have at least one fair trade ingredient in your dish. While it was quite small it size it meant even more food for me and so I left with a very high sugar state. As you probably would have guessed chocolate or cocoa powder appeared to be the favourite fairtrade to include.

I decided to make smoky bean chilli and add fairtrade cocoa powder to it, I made polenta cups using this recipe here (minus the cheese and egg) and baked them with a tiny sprinkle of cheezly and crushed corn chips on top. As you can see they were more likely rounds rather than cups and next time I would make a little more mixture to prevent a few of them from cracking.

I did the same with puff pastry too.

Mr T who is now fully repaired made almond buscits which I forgot take a pic of, sorry!

Anikee made yummy choc chip biscuits

And her friend made these delicious chocolate and raspberry pikletes

Lisa made coffee cookies with chocolate icing on top and while I normally dislike coffee I loved the cookies.

Her housemate mate possibly the best brownies ever, they were so rich and tasty and oh so bad for you.
And to help balance it out a little we also had some healthy quinoa salad with rocket, coriander and lots more
There were other items too like my friend Kylie made muffins but I was already in sugar coma by then.

Here's a pic of some of the potluckers in the shop.

and this little one enjoying the chocolate baked goods

Thursday, May 07, 2009

PIzza and Park Date

While we have tried to stop eating out, we still continue with our dates once a month with the promise to try to be as frugal as possible.

So we picked up a few pieces of pizza and desserts from Fatto a Mano. It's a regular unassuming bakery with a few tables inside and out and it just happens to have lots of vegan items, although they don't tend to advertise them as such, so you need to ask. Almost all of the pizzas don't have cheese on them though which is awesome. Plus it's cheap, one piece of pizza costs a few dollars and filled me up. We took the food to the carlton gardens.

Tomato and basil pizza and vegetable pizza (pumpkin, roasted capscium, mushroom and potato). The tomato/basil while simple was pretty great but the veg pizza was my fav.

mushroom and caramelized onion pizza. Mr T who doesn't share my mushroom hatred loved this piece.

Cherry bliss ball which tasted like cherry ripe.

Peanut butter ball . They are same ones that I blogged about from world vegan day and which allergy block sell.

We then enjoyed the sun shining down on us, laying on the grass and looking up at the gorgeous trees.

It was probably my favourite date yet and reminded me that you don't need much money to have fun.

Fatto a Mano
228 Gertrude St
9417 5998

Monday, May 04, 2009

Vegan bloggers in London and Berlin?

So in our trip at the end of the year, I would love to read up on vegan food in London and Berlin from vegan bloggers that live there and possibly meet up with a couple of bloggers too.

But I don't know of any vegan food bloggers based there, if you know of any can you send me their websites please.

Blueberry Parfait

Ok so technically it's not really parfait but parfait sounds better than sloppy stuff in a bowl.

For a recent weeknight potluck-Joe Fox' farewell, which Lidia promises to blog about. I decided to make white chocolate mousse using the recipe from VCTOTW and leaving out vanilla. It wasn't as good as the dark chocolate mousse and you actually taste the tofu in it so I decided to add vanilla beans which helped a lot. I decided it needed something more and so I decided to combine it with blueberries, thanks to yeah that vegan shit raspberry drizzled chocolate mousse. I subsituted the raspberries for blueberries because that's what I had in the freezer. I didn't blend the blueberries though or defrost them but it still turned out fine.

It was a great answer to a midweek potluck and appeared to be quite popular and I was pretty impressed, although I couldn't really layer it because the mousse was so thick. Next time I might try blending the two together.

I didn't have lots of small glasses so followed Lidia's suggestion and made one giant one using my massive apple bowl.