- I finished my thesis and studying finally and started working in my field
- I got an article published in a journal
- Toby become injured, had an operation and spent some time in hospital. He is thankfully ok but will never be able to do martial arts or contact sport again.
- Between the two of us we lost 3 grand parents this year.
- I paid off my car loan
- I spent most of the year with some sort of minor illness or just feeling really blah.
- I started jogging and yoga and ended up stopping due to the above.
- It was recently Toby's 5 year anniversary of moving to Australia, it's gone so quickly!
- I spent most of the year trying to figure out whether I had coeliac disease and alternating between being g/f and eating gluten and then finally found out that I had it.
- Tart N Round- g/f vegan restaurant closed and while i've managed to find lots of g/f options I still miss having a place where I can eat everything.
- There was several new vegan or vegan friendly restaurants open including my fav disco beans cafe. As well as Mamasita, Chan house, Yong's green foods, Gasometer, and New Day Rising.
- Toby managed to veganise chinese radish cake and a few other Chinese favourites.
- My two favourite potlucks were the ice cream potluck and the g/f picnic potluck.
- We had a fun Sydney holiday that centered solely around eating and rocked my world.
- I paired up with Cindy and cooked/baked some incredible tasty and pretty dishes like the penguin love cake.
- We blogged everyday for a whole month for vegan mofo in November.
- My fav meal out this year has to be the incredible french toast at monk bodhi dharma and fav dish at home was probably the vegan vanilla slice.
- Toby's fav meal out was the artichoke dish at Movida Aqui and fav dish at home was the frozen margarita pie.
Here's what we made for xmas this year:
After sampling the little fruit fudge puddings that Cindy made, I decided straight away that I had to make them for my family on xmas day because they were both cute and delicious.
I made a few adjustments by accident that ended up working quite well. I added a more orange juice and I used a combination of the gingernut biscuits and the orgran itsy bitsy bear biscuits. This resulted in some of them being more fudge like and they had slightly less ginger flavour. Also I skipped the cherries and oil and only used currants.They were gobbled down quite quickly by family on xmas day and I don't think any of my dark chocolate hating family detected the dark chocolate.
Xmas pudding bites (which were originally sourced from here)
1 cup raisins, chopped (I used more currants)
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup of orange juice or rum (I used orange juice)
1/2 cup dry roasted almonds
300g vegan and gluten free cookies
200g dark chocolate
100g white chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil(I skipped this)
pistachios and cherries to garnish
In a small saucepan, stir together the raisins, currants, brown sugar and orange juice. Simmer the fruit for 3 minutes, then set it aside to cool.
Blend the almonds to a coarse meal in a food processor. Mix them together with the biscuit crumbs in a large bowl, then stir through the cooled fruit mixture. Gently melt the dark chocolate and add it to the bowl, stirring to combine. The mixture should have formed a firm and slightly crumbly dough.
Roll inch-diameter balls from the pudding mixture, place them on a lined tray and refrigerate until firm. (I skipped this and just added more orange juice til they held together a little better)
Finely chop the red and green garnishes. Gently melt the white chocolate and oil together so that they're silky and quite liquid. Drizzle the white chocolate over the pudding balls and sprinkle over the garnish. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, and continue to store them there until serving.
And I made a g/f free version of our family Vegemite Gravy recipe, I found a similar looking recipe here which I copied.
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp plain flour (I used orgran gluten free flour)
500 ml stock, heated (I think I may have used a little less)
1 Tbsp Aussie mite (g/f version of vegemite) (start with 1 teaspoon and taste)
1. Start your gravy in a saucepan by melting the margarine. Sprinkle margarine with flour, and stir over a gentle heat to colour it, but be careful of burning. When it is really grungy-looking, after about five minutes, add the hot stock slowly, stirring quickly to incorporate the cooked flour.
3. Add the Aussie Mite and stir well. If it's too thin, continue to simmer and reduce in volume. If it's too thick, add more stock or water. At this point, taste for salt and pepper. If it's just right, strain and serve in a warmed sauce boat.
I had issues with lumps as you can see but the flavour was pretty similar. Don't be deceived by the aussie mite (or vegemite) it adds a depth of flavour without being obvious.