Thursday, 26 August 2010

Little brother, big journey.

At the end of May this year, my little brother Greg moved to London to be with his beautiful girlfriend Jordy. Jordy has moved over the previous year to study acting, so they had been missing each other a lot during that time! Jordy flew home for a few weeks first to catch up with her family and friends, and then they flew back together.

While Jordy was here, our two families got together for lunch at our house. While there was some sort of fishy stew (eww), I made the following vegan options for the table.

Lemony Rice-Stuffed Grape Leaves from 1000 Vegan Recipes. This was the first time I had ever made dolmades, and I was quite happy with them. The tangy lemon flavour here is delicious! Plus, super cute.

Roasted Ratatouille Gratin and Chopped Salad, both from 1000 Vegan Recipes, also served with some olive and thyme sourdough bread from Sol Breads. The ratatouille was yummy, and the capsicum taste was not strong at all. However the capsicum content was enough to give me heartburn for the evening. Susan and capsicum are unmixy things. The salad, on the other hand, was awesome! It is a huge salad involving different lettuce varieties, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrot, olives, radishes and avocado. But you can more or less sub ingredients in and out at will.

The night before Greg set off, he selected the menu for our last ever family night dinner for some time. He did an excellent job of choosing some five star dishes!

The first course was French Onion Pastry Puffs from 1000 Vegan Recipes. These were delicious! The instructions say to cut either a 2- or 3-inch circle out of the puff pastry, and I used a 2-inch cookie cutter. Next time I think I would use a 3-inch cutter, as when they puffed up in the oven the yummy caramelised onion, olive and caper topping fell off a couple.

Rustic Cottage Pie from 1000 Vegan Recipes was the main course. This is a yummy combination of seitan, vegetables and mushroom sauce topped off with mashed potatoes.

To go on the side, he chose Roasted Baby Potatoes with Spinach, Olives, and Grape Tomatoes. Another excellent choice!

Here's what it looks like on the plate, with a leafy green salad mix as well. Yum!

For dessert he picked Bread Pudding from The Joy of Vegan Baking. Just the thing to finish up the meal on a chilly night. Especially good with some soy ice cream as well.

The next morning it was up at an ungodly hour to head off to the airport to say our farewells.

And here are our jet-setting couple about to leave us. Aren't they a gorgeous pair? I should probably mention that the third person going in this flight with them was my brother's double bass, which was packed into a double bass case that stood at over eight feet tall! That was fun to get around. My brother is a fantastic jazz musician. I went to his farewell gig at the Brisbane Jazz Club a couple of weeks earlier, and it was amazing. The first time I had ever really seen him play in all those years. I am a slack sister.

Greg is having a lovely time in England, by the sounds of it, doing lots of gigs and experiencing all that London and its proximity of Europe has to offer!

(1000 Vegan Recipes blogged: 3.5%)

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

In honour of my brother, I thought today I would spoil you with three photos! Here you can see how much my girls loved spending time with their uncle.

Sahara takes no prisoners! Actually, Greg and Sahara once jammed on the piano together. It was so super cute.

Dim Sim joins Greg for a nap on Christmas Day. All that lunch makes the kids sleepy!

Speaking of napping, Gizmo snuggles up double warm. Actually, I have a lot of photos of Greg and Gizmo napping together. This cat does not waste the chance for a warm place to snooze!

In exciting news, Greg and Jordy will be coming back home for Christmas - hurrah!


  1. Wow, I think I need to order 1000 vegan recipes! The dolmades look very tasty. Your brother and his girlfriend look like a really happy couple.

  2. What an incredible spread, everything looks so tasty... Now I'm thinking that maybe I should check out 1000 Vegan Recipes, too! You're really selling that book! ;)

  3. You cooked a fantastic meal for your brother! Shame about the capsicum, my Dad can't eat it either.

    Very cute photos of snoozing kittehs!

  4. You're rocking that cookbook, Susan! Everything looks awesome - Greg picked an excellent menu! :)

    Aww, I love your kittehs! Gizmo looks like he's in a little cocoon there all snuggly and warm! :D