... to those who buy them on the internet and then wait for them to come! I always get so thrilled when I receive a package, it's like getting a present! OK, so I know I paid for it, but that was then. And when it arrives is now. Somewhere in the lag time, my brain forgets the part where I paid for it and it is like my birthday!
Anyway, the lovely Vegetation got me on to this fabuous site - The Book Depository. They don't charge postage, they get posted to Australia very quickly and with the current exchange rate they are a pretty fabulous place to get books from!
So, you can imagine my joy when 6 days after I ordered it, my very own copy of Vegan Brunch arrived! I have had a fabulous time looking through it and I can't wait to get the chance to make some recipes! Isa very rarely steers me wrong.
I also put in an order to The Cruelty Free Shop, which also arrived in good time. I swear they must think I am the biggest sweet tooth there, because I always seem to order sweets! But really it is just because it is hard to get the sweet stuff in the shops, a lot of the other food they sell I can get reasonably easily here. Here is a photo of my goodies:
OK, so you will notice 4 bags of Tropical Source Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, a total of over 1kg! No matter how hard I tried and bugged people, I could not find any since moving to Brisbane. There were some accidentally vegan brands, but they all either ended up adding milk or stopped being stocked. The only other stuff available here is Sweet William chocolate, which I hate hate hate - too sweet and fatty! So I always get excited when I get some real chocolate chips, a bake-a-thon is coming! I also got some Soyatoo Whipped Cream in a can, which I curious about. I tried a little bit in the UK and it was OK, much nicer than dairy cream which always made me sick. Some strawberry jelly crystals, for some sort of trifle dessert I feel the craving for. Some vegan merignue mix (anyone know if you can pipe this to bake into nests rather than just little blobs?). Chocolate frogs and chocolate drops for decorating things, and a little jaffa truffle just because! I have already nearly used up one bag of the chocolate chips.
Good things also come to those who consistently stalk the vegan sections of Borders and come bearing 30% off vouchers! I picked up Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. I have been searching for this book for a while, and the recipes look great! Now I just need to get a slow cooker. Or four of differing sizes and shapes, if I want to make everything in the book. Hee.
The other book I found is Great Chefs Cook Vegan. I love the idea of this book - it is collection of three or four course meals prepared by some of the top chefs in America. I love it that these chefs embrace the prospect of having a vegan come and dine with them, and want to excel in providing amazing food for everyone! The recipes in there are incredible and each has a stunning full colour photo. The level of detail involved in the recipes mean that I am probably unlikely to make much from here, and definitely not more than one recipe at once! But I am in love with the idea of this book!
Good things also come to those who have lovely friends! Allularpunk made more than a few of us jealous with the amazing pot luck her friends put on for her! Well, in the space of two days I had two different friends offering to cook me vegan dinner. Hurrah!
First was Jen and her fiance Ryan. I went over to spend the day scrapbooking, and they spent the evening cooking me dinner!
Here are my faithful minions, slaving away in the kitchen to bring me food!
First up was Jen's famous pumkin soup! I love it because she makes it so thick and so spicy. Yummy!
Followed up by some mushroom, barley and wild rice risotto cooked in their slow cooker, with some fresh bread made in the bread maker. It was fabulous! I bought along my own nooch to sprinkle on top.
A few days later, I went over to a friend from work's house before we went to a seminar on feline pancreatic lipase (oh yay, we are SUPER exciting people). For starters she made some hommus and some delightful marinated mushrooms. I didn't get photos of those, woe.
But here is dinner! It was based on a smoky baked bean recipe, which she modified to be vegan for me. She got rid of the meat and replaced it with eggplant and tofu. It was great! Really nice flavour, and served with some toast. She had never cooked for a vegan before, she did a really fabulous job of it!
So, finally in this epic post of random, sadly Wednesday night was a farewell dinner for the lovely Megan from work, who I will be missing a lot! We went to Grande Piatto in Camp Hill. I rang them in advance to discuss my vegan dining experience. They were a bit horrified by the list of things they couldn't use (how many times do you need to be told that cheese is an animal product?), but overall the did an alright job.
My starter was bruschetta. Which was really nice, the tomato was so fresh and the bread was crusty and good. There was so much onion in it though that I was suffering from onion breath ever the following morning despite brushing, flossing and gargling. Hee.
My main was just a fairly standard pasta dish of penne and mixed vegetables in a tomato sauce. It was fine.
And a side salad of spinach and rocket with fennel and beetroot. The beetroot was from a tin though, which was a bit of a let down.
Overall it was an OK meal. And it was pretty on par with what the others were being served (bruschetta and garlic bread for starters and several pasta dishes for mains). Not outstanding though, certainly something I could do at home for a lot less than the $25 it cost me and with very little effort.
Here ends the randomness. I am being a bridesmaid next weekend again and I am working a zillion hours until then, so if I may be a bit away from the blogging side of things for a bit!