Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So I went back to the East Brunswick Club on a monday night- last night, and they now have permanent table numbers and the wait for food was under 30 minutes, yay!
The 'chicken' burger with lime mayo is still yummy and I enjoyed the coconut choc cake. I'm really curious about the 'duck' borscht, anyone tried it?
Also, great to see so many of the vegan potluck crew!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I've had some mystery symptoms recently and while the doctor is pretty sure I just have a virus he has tested me for diabetes and a few other things. As soon as I heard the word Diabetes I freaked out just thinking about how addicted to sugar I am and how much I would miss out if I did have it, like all the sweet things at the potlucks. Considering the vast majority of things I make are packed full of sugar: cookies, cupcakes etc it would be a struggle. I also went on an elimination diet several years ago and went crazy giving up sugar, I was like a drug addict. I couldn't sleep, got shaky and was so irritable that my then boyfriend would get out of bed late at night and make me a banana sandwich so that I could at least get some fructose.
So while I'm pretty sure I don't have it, I thought that I should make more of an effort to make some sweet sugar less or very low in sugar things from time to time. I've done it before, I enjoyed Dr Furhman's Almond Carob Fudge recipe which is sweetened from dates and the Full Meal Muffins which are sweetened with juice and blackstrap molasses. I also made the super fruit tart recipe which is also from Dr Furhman and is sweetened with dates, fruit and juice- the recipe can be found here.
So my question to you, what are your favourite sugar free recipes?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Want plenty of vegan milkshakes to choose from? Then shakeaway is for you. You can also combine flavours like I did. I chose a combination of peanut butter and chocolate and it rocked, it kind of reminds me of Ferrero Rochers. Here are the vegan flavours available:
- apple & cinnamon
- caramel popcorn
- choca mocha
- coco pops
- lemon & lime
- maple syrup
- orange marmalade
- passion fruit
- peanut butter
- rock melon
- sesame snaps
- tic tacs orange
- tic tacs peppermint
- tic tacs spearmint
Level 1 (where the cinema is), Highpoint Shopping Centre
Sun-Wed 10-5:30, Thur-Sat 10-9:30
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Claire's Potato Salad with 'Bacon' bits
Tim's secret family recipe veganized: caramelized onion tart
Lidia's maple cupcakes
Caroline's vanilla cupcakes, vanilla is under-rated!
Chantelle's first encounter with tofu- sweet pumpkin pie
Sarah's lemon coconut slice, recipe here
Rebecca's potato candy
Lidia's scones with jam and...
vegan clotted cream
And my contribution:
White and Dark chocolate Oreo truffles (with peanut butter version)
There are lots of recipes for these online so I don't think it matters if I write up the recipe here but before I do I just have to warn you that as simple as the ingredients are and the recipe sounds they are fiddly to make and take a while.
1 container of tofutti cream cheese
3 packs of oreos, broken into halves
About half a pack or 250 grams of sweet williams dairy free white chocolate chips and equivalent amount of dark chocolate
Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder. Add cream cheese and mix together.
Freeze for about 15 minutes and then roll into small balls. Refrigerate for about an hour.
Melt one type of chocolate (either dark or white) in a makeshift double boiler and coat each one and then drizzle the other type of melted chocolate over them and then refrigerate.
Peanut Butter version: replace cream cheese with peanut butter.
So I made white and dark chocolate varieties of both the peanut butter and the regular version. My fav combination was the original version with white choc.
Friday, July 18, 2008
On Sunday Mr T announced that he is going to make a cheap lunch. First he put these in front of me:
Vegetarian dumplings and vegetarian BBQ 'pork' buns (or char siu bao in cantonese) both purchased from the asian supermarket across the road from the vic market
And then he put these on the table:
I couldn't help but laugh but really enjoyed this mini east meets west yum cha.
Mr T you are the greatest!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I want to travel again so bad it hurts. Ok maybe not hurts, but friggin sucks!
I think part of the problem is it has been over four years since I returned from living in Hong Kong and that is way too long between proper travel and since then apart from a couple of long weekends interstate I haven't had a proper holiday yet alone stepped out of the country at all.
I know that I have it so good compared to so many others, but is it too much to ask for a holiday?
Monday, July 14, 2008
No interesting baking lately and I don't have the energy for other posts. I was thinking about how little I post about real issues anymore and I realised that when I first started this blog I was working in crappola jobs like working in a call centre that didn't require much brain power or much emotional energy so I could use my spare time to write about stuff I cared about whether it was personal stuff or political stuff. I used to write about women's rights, and the whole female Caucasian dating an Asian male thing and lots more. Now that I work in a welfare related field I come home most days and I'm exhausted. Add into that mix placements and essays and now another thesis and the last thing I want to do it write anymore. It's not that I don't care, I do, I have plenty of opinions on a whole range of issues: china-olympics, sexualisation of young girls, racism and so much more. I just tend to talk about them verbally because it is easier rather than write about them. Food is the one thing that I'm passionate about that doesn't require much energy, so i'm not a sell out OK :-)
So instead of all the above today I give you pics of button on her monkey bars as Mr T calls them:
It's been just over a month since we adopted her. Bit by bit she has settled in more and more. She now allows me to pick her up sometimes, will choose to jump on my lap and will allow me to pat even when she can see my hand coming towards her, she has also taken to licking me in an attempt to wash me I guess. The only problem is she keeps getting her claws stuck on my clothes and well everything, even her scratching pole sometimes and it takes her a little while to get unstuck. I've also discovered why the vet clinic called her button, she loves to attack buttons.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Ok take two with carrot cake cupcakes. This time mini cupcakes for my colleagues baby shower. I have coloured the icing pink because she is having a girl using the beetroot trick. This time I experimented with adding half cup extra flour to the recipe and then adding 3/4 cup of flour and I couldn't tell the difference. I think adding a full extra cup extra would be too much. I then sprinkled cinnamon on top because the spices really didn't come through in mini size. I cooked them for about 13-15 minutes.
I then made mini lemon macadamia cupcakes cupcakes with white choc chips, also from VCTOTW. The white choc chips really blended well with the other two flavours, maybe too well in that the flavour didn't stand out enough for me.
Here they are, side by side. I put walnut pieces on the carrot cake ones and macadamia pieces on the lemon ones so you can tell them apart.
The stupid automatic flash whitens out the pink a little, but I'll get a new camera soon and toss away my broken one, I promise!
It's exhausting making mini cupcakes, they take forever to put into the tiny liners and then even more time to put tiny bits of icing on them and I really think flavour wise they are not as good, but they do look cute.
Speaking of tiny cupcakes, I went into a House shop the other day and noticed they had pastal cupcake liners in two small sizes, I asked the woman who worked there which ones fit into the mini muffins trays and she said they both do. So I got the slightly bigger ones and they don't fit. Bitch!
I'm not baking for a while, I need a rest and besides I have to focus all of my attention on Mr T's permanent residency application, got it takes a lot of prove that we are in a real relationship, you would think that considering this is our 3rd immigration application we would be experts at it and it would be easy, but there are lots of little things like forgetting to keep the very few bits of mail that has been send to both of our names and forgetting to keep receipts from joint travel and why are there hardly any pics with Mr T and I and our friends or family? I have plenty of pics of just the two of us or him with others or me with others. If you are a friend who has pics of me and him and you, please email them to me or facebook me. At least this round doesn't cost thousands of dollars.
Oh yeah and I've also got to start my thesis again.
Hmmm, baking does sound like a better idea though :-)
Whether I bake is another story, with my latest baking issues i'm leaning towards No.
I'm trying to convince Mr T to enter because he looks cute in an apron and I think more guys need to enter.
I have said so many great things about east brunswick club on here that I feel that I can say this without any hard feelings:
What the hell is up with the one hour and 45 minute wait for food? I know it is crazy on Monday night with every vegan and veg person in Melb appearing to be there but it's been busy on Monday nights for a while now. Surely with the building being packed full of people eating and drinking you can afford to increase the staff in the kitchen or do something to make the food come even a little quicker. I'm happy to wait an hour for a meal but over 90 minutes is ridiculous! Also, please don't send the desserts out an hour before the meal.
On a more positive note the 'chicken' burger with avocado and lime mayo and the desserts still rock.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I've agreed to make cupcakes for a baby shower/farewell party for someone at work on wed and decided to trial the carrot cake cupcakes from VCTOTW this weekend, boy I am glad that I did. I followed the recipe thinking that it looked like a tiny bit of batter but then I normally double cupcake recipes so I thought it might be that, but then I realised the texture was off too as I put the batter into 3 of the liners. I then did a bit of a google search and realised that others have had problems with this recipe and have suggested adding another cup of flour. I decided to do a bit of an experiment and leave the 3 original ones as they were and add half a cup of flour to the remaining batter and then compare. Here are the two types, the bottom one is made from the original recipe and was really oily almost like a deep fried cupcake and the above one has more flour. It still only made 8 small cupcakes.
Here are the nice ones with the cream cheese icing, which was yummy even though I only added about half of the sugar it asked for:
My only problem is getting the right amount of flour for the next batch for wed, has anyone tried with the 1 cup of flour and had success?
This is the first time that VCTOTW has disappointed me, it's normally like my baking bible.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
well at least it doesn't when it comes to baking. I decided to give peanut butter cookies another try on thu night. I used the recipe from La Dolce Vegan and used flaxseed/water as the egg replacer and they sucked. The texture was so wrong, it was like eating paper. Is the peanut butter in the US different to peanut butter here?
I think I will leave peanut butter alone for a little while.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Quite often I give out advice on must eats for vegans coming to Melbourne for a holiday. Sure there is a list over at www.vnv.org.au but there are over 40 veg restaurants in Melbourne and frankly some of them suck. So I decided to make a post that I can edit when I need to and people can make suggestions or disagree with me in the comments section! Ignore any typos, this took forever to type up and I cant be bothered to proof read it right now.
updated 4/11/2009- edited parts are in bold
Melbourne CBD(central part) itself is ok but I believe the inner city suburbs is where all the cool action is and the great food is but it's probably a good idea to stay in the city centre so you can travel to all the different inner city suburbs. While you are in the city centre I recommend:
- Lord of the Fries (at corner of Flinder st and Elizabeth st or at the Flinders St Train station) which sell vegan fries, burgers, and 'chicken nuggets'. The great thing about this place is it open from breakfast time til really late at night. For breaky they have a vegan burger called the New York burger which has a hash brown in it. The rest of the time I recommend the gravy and soy cheese on chips or the regular burger with soy chips or the nuggets or all of them together. Please note that you need to ask for the burger and the fries to be vegan otherwise they will put normal cheese on it. Lord of the Fries is also really great late at night after a night out, it's open til 4am on fri and sat nights and at least til 10 the rest of the week. It is however a take away place so I recommend getting them and walking just a short distance to federation square (opp flinders st station) and sitting on the steps and people watching, although forget the advice if it is late at night. No longer open for breakfast.
- Fo Guang Yuan Gallery (141 Queen st). This is a small buddhist gallery that serves lunches on weekdays, if you get one of the special lunches they come in super cute bento box with sides and fruit. In typical Chinese fashion you get mock meat dishes like ginger chicken, the specials menu varies depending on what day it is. I also recommend the sweet kumquat tea. Apparently this has changed completely and now sucks.
- Vegan food is also available at soul food, invita, organic food and wine deli, flinders organic, gopals and crossways and plenty of other non-veg restaurants but I don't really recommend those places.
- the various laneways particularly degraves st because it has cool graffiti
- Missing link (basement at 405 Bourke st)- for all those hard to find indie cds and records at reasonable prices (well for Australian prices) as long as you don't mind the emo kids who like to hand on the couches. You can also pick up a free beat or impress music magazine (see below).
- Soul Food (273 Smith st)- I recommend going here for breakfast and ONLY for breakfast. For breakfast they sell a 'monster vegan' breakfast on sat mornings which is huge and great. The choc cake is pretty good too. The rest of the time, don't bother. They just opened a store in the CBD, but I'm not sure if they do the same breakfast and if it is as good.
- Friends of the Earth (312 smith st) I hesitate a little about recommending this place only because some people complain they don't feel hippy enough for it, but I feel fine. So I'm letting you decide, they sell all sorts of organic supplies, political t-shirts, books and they do a lunch which varies everyday. Basically they made a few hot dishes, a few salads and you get a little bit of all of them, make sure to ask for vegan because sometimes they have yogurt. They generally sell las vegan muffins too.
- Las Vegan Bakery (22 smith st)- only open tue-fri for lunch but well worth a visit. I recommend the cajun eggplant calzone, the lemon ginger muffin and pretty much anything on the menu. You might also want to pick up one of their cheap soup cookbooks while you are there. Now open Thu and Fri nights.
- Trippy Taco (48 smith st)- if you happen to find yourself wanting to go to Las Vegan and it is closed then Trippy Taco which is only a few doors down. Maybe you can try to fit two lunches in. I recommend anything with black beans which is pretty much the whole many especially the soft tacos with the homemade corn tortillas, make sure you ask for soy cheese.
I recommend these two neighbouring suburbs because there is lots of cafes/restaurants, bars, and interesting shops to look at. For example just near Trippy Taco and Las Vegan Bakery there is:
- Vegan wares (78 smith st) sells super expensive shoes and other vegan items which I can't afford but it's probably worth a look.
- Books for Cooks (225 Getrude St). If you are a cookbook nerd then wander into this bookshop that only sells cookbooks there is a huge section of veg and vegan cookbooks.
- Dr Java (Corner of Getrude and Smith st). This place sells all sorts of coffee and tea and my fav type of hot chocolate - coco loco, they also sell las vegan muffins. No longer selling vegan hot chocolate.
- there are also quite a few second hand/vintage stores in both areas
Ok now Brunswick st-Fitzroy which is parallel to smith st:
- Vegie Bar (378 Brunswick st) The food at Vegie Bar is just ok, they sell all sorts of things like burgers, stir frys, salads, and burritos. So why am I recommending it to you, if it just ok? Because while the food is ok, the place just has some sort of feel to it. It's always busy, it's an old warehouse converted into a restaurant and it's on brunswick st which you should visit anyway. The vegan chocolate cake is pretty good too. Maybe you can visit here for dinner after a day exploring smith and brunswick st.
- San Churro ( 277b Brunswick St). After you finished up at Vegie Bar, you should stop by this place for one thing- churros (spanish donuts) with the melted dark chocolate sauce which just happens to be vegan. It's opened til late at night.
- There is also Moroccan Soup Bar which has great food but unless you can have at lest 8 people and can book or can get there just before 6 when it opens you have pretty small chance of getting a table.
St Kilda is not really my type of place. But I guess it is touristy in a way, but it's also a mix of pretentious and dodgy (known for the illegal prostitutes). Anyway, if you want to see a beach with palm trees in Melb go check it out. If you are in town, I recommend:
- Lentil as anything (41 Blessington st)- pay what you think the meal is worth. I recommend the japanese pancake or the lentil burger.
- Veg out Time (63 Fitzroy St)- this places sells healthy-ish tasty dishes that are precooked. You can get rice and two dishes for about $8 which fills me up.
- There is also Soul Mama which has great views and is right on the beach but the food is bland and overpriced for precooked meals in my opinion. But i'm sure some people will disagree.
- The st kilda market is on sundays and is worth a look if you are in the area.
- East Brunswick Club (280 lygon st, East Brunswick)- is an omni pub with amazing vegan options. If you are in Melbourne on a Monday night you must go here and try one of the vegan main meals for $12 I recommend the 'chicken' burger with avocado and lime mayo and the amazing desserts. Don't bother going here for lunch, other nights are fine too but you don't get the full variation of options or the cheap price of a Mon night. You might have to wait a while for the food because it is crazy busy on Monday nights but it's worth it. They also have lots of good bands playing here from time to time. Also recomend the philly cheese steak, nachos.
- Shakahari (201 faraday st, Carlton)- this is the only fine dining veg restaurant and serves great meals. It's not cheap, but it's worth it. It's located just around the corner from lygon st which is lined with is lined with mostly italian restaurants and two massive bookshops (borders and readings). It is also not that far from Melbourne uni :-)
- Coco Loco (219 High st, Northcote)- this place is opened from 7pm everyday except for Monday night. I recommend this place which sells both iced and hot chocolates with the option of cashew milk and in a array of flavours. They also sell vegan crepes, home made chocolates and other sweet things. The hot chocolates are not cheap but are organic and fairtrade and amazing!!!! (It's situated in Northcote which is a pretty cool area to go for alcoholic drinks too).
- Enlightened cuisine (113 queensbridge st southbank)- is not far from the CBD and is right near the casino (which is my opinion is crapola). There are many of these chinese mock meat types places but as far as ones closed to the city, this is probably the best. I recommend the five spice tofu, and any of the 'duck ' or 'chicken' dishes. The desserts are pretty good too, oh and remember to ask for vegan dishes.
- ****Also, see the comments section for more recommendations, because I am too lazy to add them in.
- Warning do not go to the tofu shop in Richmond and mention the word vegan unless you want the owner to harass you.
* Look out for free music magazines beat or impress for info about what bands are playing.
* Also there is always some sort of festival and exhibitions going on everywhere to see what is happening check out here or here. If you lucky to be here in October there is the world vegan day festival. Or just pick up a local paper in a cafe and read it over breakfast.
* All of the places I have discussed above can be reached by catching a tram or with a little bit of walking. In terms of catching public transport, you can purchase daily or 2 hour metcards (public transport cards) from 7-11, some news agencies, train stations and travel on all types of public transport with them. You can also buy them on the tram if you have enough change, they don't accept notes. A daily ticket is $6.80 on weekdays (unless you are travelling from outer suburbs) or if you are in Melb on a Sunday you can get a Sunday saver ticket for $3.10 from 7-11 and a few other shops. Check out metlink for more details.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I was a lot lazier when it comes to the second potluck on sat and taking pictures. I forgot to take pictures of quinoa croquettes, yummy 'chicken' salad with avocado, and both orange and berry muffins. But here are the ones I did remember to take:
Mini shepherds pies with sumac on top, these were amazing!!!!
some sort of meat balls
lemon poppyseed muffins with lemon glaze
Tiramisu, I don't even like coffee or tiramisu but this was so amazing, I really can not say enough good things about it! It was made from soulveg and you purchase it from veg2go or directly from soulveg.