Well, it has been quite a while since I have blogged! I have been quite busy of late with holidays and working and research and having a social life and procrastinating. I think I have been inspired back to the blog by VeganMoFo. I am not participating this year (obviously - it's half done and this is the first post I have made) but I have been enjoying reading all the amazing contributions. I have not imported the entire blog list to my Google Reader like I did last year, because I know I can never keep up with it all! Instead I am following my regulars and also trying to visit a few new-to-me blog each day, maybe I shall find some new regulars to follow!
Not that long ago, on the 7th of this month, I celebrated my birthday and turned 29. I had quite the lovely day, with many lovely eats, which I shall share with you now.
My morning was very dull - I had vegemite and avocado and toast and then I went to the gym! But it was all in preparation for lunch - vegan yum cha at Easy House Vegetarian Restaurant down at the Gold Coast! It was my first time going here, and I was so excited. I went with Shelley and Heather, two friends from work. I wish I had some photos to show you how darn amazing it all was, but I was too busy pointing and eating to remember to take any pictures! So I shall try and describe. There were steamed dumpings - bok choy and chinese parsley, rice paper rolls (with a SUPER chilli sweet chilli sauce!), steamed BBQ 'pork' buns, bean curd skin rolls, sesame spring rolls and my favourite - tofu in black bean sauce. This is amazing, hollowed out fried silken tofu stuffed with glass noodles and vegetables in a black bean sauce. Out of my mind good! Then on to the sweet stuff - lotus paste steamed buns (my favourite!), crispy sesame balls filled with red bean paste and, to finish, a coconut jelly (which also had some sort of lentil in it, which was OK but a bit strange). And I know I am forgetting something that I ate here. And that wasn't even all of the range we sampled! As we were leaving I saw the fried yam cakes come out, and I was sad I missed them! I will definitely be going back here. It is an hours drive away, but that seems worth it for amazing vegan yum cha. The only thing not vegan are the custard tarts - they have egg in them (gross... also, why?), so steer clear of these if you are heading down. I can't wait to go back! I shall take photos next time.
After lunch we headed back to Brisbane and had an impromptu and hilarious game of Catopoly. Considering it was a cat vet and two cat vet nurses playing, we had an extra fun time giggling with our own cat-related jokes. It was a fun game, and I am happy to report that I won! Hee!
During the year, for birthdays or other special events, I will cook a three course meal in a family member's honour. The last two years my mother and brother have taken to doing the same for me, which is lovely. Sadly, my brother is in London now (but did surprise me with a phone call in the morning!), but my mother took control of the situation, and masterminded a surprise three course dinner for me!
First course was this amazing pumpkin dip. I don't know all the ingredients, but it did involve pureed pumpking, curry powder and soy mayo. It was so delicious, I could have just kept eating the whole thing. As it was the following day I demolished the leftovers, which I were closely guarding for my own person eating. Great with pita chips! It was an online recipe, so I will share the link once I find out what it was from my mum.
Main course was spaghetti with a sauce made from tomatoes, basil, capers and olives alongside some marinated garlic eggplant antipasto and a green salad. The marinated eggplant was a little on the oily side, but goes great with some acidic tomato flavours. I used the leftovers on bread and in burgers. The pasta was really nice too, and kept me in lunches for a few days so I didn't have to make food for work on my birthday.
Finally, dessert was a berry compote with a brown sugar crust. After this photo was taken, I applied some vanilla soy ice cream and ate with delight! Thanks mum for a fantastic birthday dinner. :)
Cute Kitty Photo of the Post
My Sahara loves being involved with things. Here she is during my birthday dinner, she loves to jump up onto an empty chair at the table and join in. And who wouldn't want such a cute little face joining them at dinner? Just be careful if you have any broccoli on the table - she'll join you ON the table to get her paws into it!
I'd also like to mention that Sahara just had a check up at work, and that her physical exam, blood and urine results were all A-OK. Even with a mini-kidney. Go my bear!