Monday, June 29, 2009

$3 Awesomessness

We once tried to order the pork rolls that are discussed in the Melb veg food guide but they didn't really understand when we asked for vegetarian pork roll and offered us either pork or vegetarian noodles, thankfully Mr T was with me and asked in Cantonese but they didn't have any. I have since asked Emily and she explained that you need to ask for "vegetarian rolls" .

These $3 rolls are frigging amazing, not just amazing but life changing. I'm not normally a fan of cold gluten products but the gluten is super tasty and when paired with a long bread roll(it's bigger than the pic looks), coriander and pickled carrots it is AMAZINGGGGGGG. And for $3? you can't even get a salad sandwich for $3.

Here is the place where you can get them from.

That's why I heart the western suburbs.

But if you need another reason to venture to Footscray there is also yummy jam donuts that are accidentally vegan here. I don't have the address yet but basically if you come out at the exit at Footscray market and turn left you will come across a bakery called Sunny Nguyen. Next time I will get the address and actual pics of the donuts I promise! It is a $1 for 2 donuts. They are greasy, and nice and cheap tasting in a good way. Much better than la panella jam donuts which have a slightly weird flavour.

Tan Truc Giang Restaurant
36a Leed St
9689 9509

I've edited it so the pics are no longer miniature

Friday, June 26, 2009

Soups make winter bearable

We have been making lots of yummy soups lately. I can't remember exactly which one this was and I have lots more pics that even I won't post.

My two favourite soups so far include Cheri's Hearty Garlic and Lentil Vegetable soup which is so warming and comforting when you have a cold.

2 cups green lentils
1 head garlic, peeled and finely minced or pressed (we used less than this)
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 bunch celery chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4-5 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 medium potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
8 to 10 cups water or vegetable stock
2 bay leafs (remove before serving)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about five minutes or until soft.

2. Add onions and garlic to stock pot with water or stock.

3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occassionally for at least 1 hour. Like most soups of this type, this one will taste even better the second day when the flavors have had a chance to develop.


A surprisingly awesome combination is apple and pumpkin soup from the great big vegetable challenge. The apple just adds a nice sweetness to this otherwise savoury soup. It has inspired me to try other soup recipes that I have seen about that contain fruit.

Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup

500g roasted pumpkin flesh

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 medium onions finely chopped

2 tablespoons of rape seed oil (or olive oil)

2 medium cooking apples, peeled cored and diced

1 roasted garlic bulb ( roast at same time as pumpkin flesh)

1 and a quarter pints (750 ml) of vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to season

Roast the pumpkin flesh by scraping out the flesh in large chunks and laying it in a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and mix round with a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Roast in the oven at 180 for about 35 to 40 minutes. Wrap whole garlic bulb in foil with a little oil drizzled on top and roast at the same time.

In a small frying pan, gently saute the chopped onions and apple together until both are soft.

Puree roast pumpkin, add squeezed out roast garlic. Add onion and apple and stock and puree with a hand held blender or in a food processor. Cook in a large pan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It must be time for a rant...

Feel free to skip this post. But sometimes I need to get stuff of my chest!

Ok so here goes:
  • I had nausea, vomiting, ingestion for a week and then like the worst flu ever with a constant fever, where I have been going through over a box of tissues per day for a week. Now I have both the flu and an upset stomach together. How unfair is that?
  • We have just been told that our rent will go up. We are already paying $30 more a week than the other units next to us and now will be paying $55 more per week. We originally offered them 9 months ago an extra $20 per week to secure this place, thinking at least our rent won't go up for a while. I had a quick look and for the same price we could easily get a 2 bedroom property but is is worth the cost of moving? It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fact that our place is crap, no proper heating, the place if falling apart and there are major gaps in all of the doors and windows so it sucks in both winter and summer. I'm actually contemplating a sharehouse right now even though I hate them.
  • I am so behind at work due to all of the sick leave so when I'm at home I keep thinking about my poor clients and when I'm at work my colleagues are angry at me for being there in case I infect them. I'm run out of sick leave and am starting to think I will never get better.
  • We have this amazing holiday coming up and I'm starting to worry that we won't be able to afford it and that I won't be able to get my thesis done in time. It's hard to be productive when your constantly sick!
To try to counter balance all of the complaining a tiny bit:
  • We just celebrated button living with us for a year. It is a relieve considering that we had our last cat Molly for only 6 months before she disappeared.
  • I have an awesome husband, that word still feels really weird and really old. Still better than wife though in my opinion.
  • I made something non- food related, a button bouquet: using lots of different types of buttons, floral wire, and a vintage salt shaker for a friends birthday:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A month of fruit crumbles

First I made the apple and berry crumble from now vegan for friends. I really liked this recipe. It was quick, warming and our dinner guests seemed to enjoy it. I just used blueberries because I often find the mixed frozen berries are a little sour.

I still had crumble mixture leftover so I decided to make Pip's pear and berry crumble with half her crumble and half Pips's. I loved the texture of her crumble and the pears however I think I used too much cardamon as I found it quite overpowering.

And then we had crumble at Press club when several of us enjoyed their vegan dishes. But you will you need to wait for Cindy and Rachel to blog about it for more details.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

chocolate and cherry crackles

I treated my little sisters 18th birthday like a 8th birthday and made fairy bread which is fun to make but I used a little too much margarine:

I then made chocolate crackles using the standard recipe and put them into mini cupcake wrappers.

I then stole an idea and a rough recipe from a friend claire for cherry crackles. She had them at her 21st. Many of my teeneage cousins who hated glaced cherries loved these.

Cherry Crackles

4 cups rice bubbles
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
250g copha
1/3 chopped glace cherries
pink food colour

Mix coconut with food colour until it is a nice pink colour. Melt copha and then mix all of the ingredients together. Add more pink colour to mix if needed.

Makes 24 large crackles.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Self frosting peanut butter cupcakes

Over the long weekend, it was pouring down with rain and I decided that I need to bake something without leaving to go to the shops, I decided on the self frosting peanut butter cupcakes from my sweet vegan.

So I started making them and then realised that what I thought was apple sauce in the fridge was actually apple, banana, strawberry puree and decided to use it anyway. It actually worked, the banana worked well with the chocolate, and peanut butter and you couldn't really taste the strawberry. I know that I am on to a good recipe when I substitute it with something silly and they still taste great.

I loved the idea of self frosting, although I am not sure it is that much easier than just making icing. Still these felt a little healthier and they were delicious.

Speaking of delicious, Cindy introduced me to the bookmarking website delicious, which I have been way too excited about. Now I can bookmark all the recipes online with appropriate tags, and access them from any computer. Yes I am kind of a nerd!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Murder party treats

For a murder mystery party that we had recently I made bloody finger cookies from yeah, that vegan shit except I replaced the almond extract with more vanilla extract because almond extract sucks. Taste wise they were a bit plain but don't they look great?
I also made lychee eyeballs and stupidly forgot to take a pic.

And it turned out that I was the murderer although I didn't know until almost the end.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Automatic cafe and pink cupcakes

My little sister turned 18 last weekend and to celebrate I made pink oreo cupcakes because she loves pink. I didn't mix the crushed oreos into the icing though like the recipe asked for because it becomes too chunky and is difficult to ice in my icing gun, also it turns it a weird grey colour, instead I just sprinkled the crushed oreos on top.

And we went to automatic cafe at the casino. I was suprised to learn that this cafe had 3 items on the menu that were marked as vegan. Consdiering we are not talking about a cafe in the northern suburbs and we are talking about the casino I was surprised.

Mr T and I shared the baked beans which were the BEST BAKED BEANS I HAVE EVER HAD. They had carrots in them that just kind of melted in your mouth and had a lovely smoky, slightly salty flavour.

We also had the dhal, which come with flat bread which was cooked in the wood oven and had some tomato based relish on this side. This was yummy but compared to the best baked beans ever you really can't even compare the two.

I look forward to trying the other vegan dish: chickpea cassoleut.

Automatic cafe
No 8 Whiteman St
South Melbourne
9690 8500

Monday, June 08, 2009

Thousand steps potluck

We went to ferntree gully for my potluck, it was small in numbers but I am kind of glad about that, as it was quite embarassing how many times I had to stop doing the thousand steps walk. At the top though we enjoyed the nice weather (it was a few weeks ago) and lots of good food.

Craig made green caspcium, red capscium and eggplant dips.

and mushroom dip which actually had me the mushroom hater liking mushrooms
Rebecca made rice apricot balls
Jo made an assortment of yummy sandwiches in cute shapes and with the crusts cut off.

I made these bacon and potato puff pastry things. I simply added mashed potatoes and bacon bits to puff pastry. So simple but quite good.

And anzac cookies with orange blossom water which were sadly a little bitter but I guess I used too much baking soda.

Mr T made cheesy mite scrolls using cheezly. They were so amazing the night before, all hot and gooey but the following day were kind of average.(excuse the pic)
It was really pretty and we saw lots of different birds
Afterwards we went to belgrave manor earthly pleasures cafe which is in this really cute old building. Earthly pleasures is an omni place but has lots of vegan options.
We shared a piece of chocolate pear tart, it was rich and soooooooo good!
Belgrave Manor Earthly Pleasures
1627 Burwood Hwy
9754 7899

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Marshmallow mud cake

The night before the scrabble party there was another party, Lexi's birthday/Tara's farewell potluck party. A couple of weeks before I heard Lexi say that you wants to make the marshmallow mud cake from my sweet vegan but she can't because we can't get ricemellow cream here. So I decided to try to replicate it with the marshmallow making kit.

The kit had instructions for making marshmallow 'cream' or fluff. So I did that and was left with a quite firm jelly like texture, I followed the recipe in the book but added more 'cream' that it asked for and it come out great, both texture wise and taste wise. Although I later decided that maybe it wasn't marshmallowy enough so decided to use the 'cream' to make letters which we put on the cake. We put x's on it because Lexi is straight edge. And then used black writing icing to make a shadow around the letters.

While I was impressed with the icing, the cake itself was tiny. It barely rised in the oven and was so flat. I wonder if maybe the mixture should have been put into a 8 inch pan instead of 9 inch pan like it asked for, or if I did something wrong.