Saturday, 10 November 2018

Eating Out: Two Tables Cafe (Pizza for Dinner edition)

I've posted before about my love of Two Tables Cafe. They recently changed their opening hours during the week from breakfast/lunch to dinner time. The highlight of their dinner menu is definitely the pizzas! There are three flavours, plus their garlic bread. The menu also has burgers, acai bowls, desserts, and there are normally a couple of pasta specials. But let's talk about pizza.

First up, their garlic bread. Which is basically a garlic pizza. This is lovely, salty, and garlicky. It is basically an entire pizza on it's own though, which can be challenging if you are one person eating this and another pizza, but I can report that leftovers are excellent. All pizzas from here pass the important leftover test (they are excellent cold the next day).

Garlic Bread at Two Tables Cafe

My favourite pizza of all is the Melanzane. This has BBQ sauce, eggplant, pumpkin, and onion on it and it is divine! One of the best pizzas I have ever had. This is the one I definitely recommend that everyone must eat.

Melanzane at Two Tables Cafe

The Pomodori is a classic combination of tomato, olives, and sesame cheese. It is savoury and salty, with the sesame cheese giving a lovely creamy contrast.

Pomodori Pizza at Two Tables Cafe

And finally, the Carciofi. I got this to take away when they had a two for one special on World Vegan Day, so I got a couple of pizzas to take home to my family. This one is artichokes and mushrooms with pinenuts and aioli, and is really great.

Carciofi Pizza at Two Tables Cafe

This is my favourite cafe. They know me by name, we have good chats, the atmosphere is lovely, the food is great! I'll have a lot more posts about their food in the future, because they is the place I go to the most!

Two Tables Cafe - 475 Sandgate Road, Clayfield

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


There's been a lot of Dim Sim talk with all her recent surgeries, but the first of November would have been Gizmo's birthday. I still miss her so much.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Recipe Round-Up: The Garden of Vegan

One of my earlier cookbooks, The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. You can see what else I have blogged from this cookbook here.

Carrot Ginger Muffins: These muffins are reminiscent of carrot cake, though they are not that sweet. This makes them a good snack. The recipe says it made 6 muffins, but I got 10. I assume they must be using a giant muffin tin. These are also nice split and spread with a little butter when they are warm.
Rating: :)

Carrot Ginger Muffins

Apple Streusel Muffins: If you promise me streusel topping, I want streusel topping. So I scaled up the streusel ingredients from 2TBS sugar as a base to 3TBS. Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp on top of each muffin, and you have a nice, crunchy, sweet topping. Again, I assume they made theirs in a big muffin tin, as I got 12 muffins instead of 6.
Rating: :)

Apple Streusel Muffins

Nana Marg's Bran Muffin Mix in a Jar: This quick mix gives you enough for three batches of muffins, though a note it does need to be stored in the fridge. I scaled down for one batch of muffins. It is an equal mix of bran and flour, with cinnamon and other spices and raisins.
Rating: :)

Nana Marg's Bran Muffin Mix in a Jar

Nana Marg's Quick Mix Bran Muffins: Take the above mix, make into muffins. The recipe does involve a mashed banana, apple sauce, oil, and water to be added. I did make 6 muffins with this one, but it filled my regular muffin cups right to the very top and they ended up very big! They are also quite substantial. Now that I write this, maybe the others were made in normal sized muffin tins, they just make them so they overflow when baking for big muffin tops.
Rating: :)

Nana Marg's Quick Mix Bran Muffins

Blueberry Muffins: This is turning into quite the muffin edition! Though this is the last muffin for this round-up. These muffins also have rolled oats in them to make them a little more substantial. I used frozen blueberries, I almost always use frozen berries for these sorts of things. I made this 6 muffin recipe into 10 'normal' (or maybe snack would be the better word) sized muffins.
Rating: :)

Blueberry Muffins

The Most Amazing Chocolate Pudding: This pudding is based on silken tofu, though uses cocoa powder, sugar and olive oil rather than chocolate chips to bring the chocolate. The olive oil was just noticeable, but gave a nice flavour. It is great with some fresh berries.
Rating: :)

The Most Amazing Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Mint Mousse: Chocolate and mint are not so much my thing, but this one was pretty good. It falls into the silken tofu and melted chocolate category of mousses, and as such was very thick. I used the lesser amount of the mint extract, and also added some maple syrup to mellow it out.
Rating: :)

Chocolate Mint Mousse

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim fast asleep

Dim Sim had her surgery on Tuesday and came home on Wednesday morning. She slept so hard!!! And wanted to spend a lot of that sleeping time on my lap. She is the sweetest. She seems to be dealing well with recovery, still a bit wobbly, but otherwise her normal happy self and not bothering at her stitches. Hopefully we will get the results back this afternoon, and hopefully they will say all clear!

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Eating Out: Grown

I have now been to Grown a number of times, and it is always a lovely experience. Often when I have gone, it has just happened to be cold and rainy, and sitting inside sipping a hot drink is delightful. Also, my mum loves this place, specifically their scrambled tofu. So we've been a few times on a Sunday morning (Saturday mornings are very hard to find a park because there are some markets on down the road) to enjoy the menu. You can see some of my other visits to Grown here.

I mentioned hot drinks, and Grown has a nice selection. I don't drink coffee, but they have lots of options. Here is a Dark Hot Chocolate and a Spiced Chai, both on soy milk. The hot chocolate is particularly amazing, and another one of my mum's favourites.

Dark Hot Chocolate and Spiced Chai at Grown

Here is the famed scrambled tofu, which is served with toast and smoked sesame cheese. Also a hash brown added on, because you should always potato.

Scrambled Tofu and Hashbrown at Grown

I was curious as what their homemade Vegemite would be, so I ordered toast and Vegemite. It was nice, but not Vegemite. It was some sort of sesame based product again, but didn't have that strong salty flavour that I want from when I am having Vegemite.

Homemade Vegemite on Toast at Grown

I enjoyed this lovely dish of polenta and braised french lentils. It was warming, and the flavour was lovely. They've recently redone their menu for summer, and sadly this has been taken off. Hopefully they will bring it back at some stage.

French Lentils and Polenta at Grown

My dad tried the Housemade Hash Brown the one time he has come with us. While they do have the option to add a hash brown as a side to anything, they also make a feature meal of it. It had roasted tomato, avocado, greens, cannellini beans, and capsicum sauce. They have changed the accompaniments slightly in the new menu.

Hash Brown at Grown

While there is a regular toastie on their menu, sometimes they have specials. I got this amazing Tempeh Toastie, which had sesame cheese, spinach, caramelised onions, and aioli in it... and I got a hash brown on the side of course!

Tempeh Toastie Special and Hashbrown at Grown

Grown is a lovely place, and I definitely recommend it. I've been a couple of times since these visits as well, and I am hoping to make it back sometime soon for their dinner menu.

Grown - 21 Buchanan Street, West End - 07 3036 7213

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Dim Sim has been such a good perfect girl with her stitches, she hasn't been bothering them at all. Unfortunately the results came back to say that they couldn't be sure that the tumours were completely removed. So next week she will go back to the clinic, but will have to have a full general anaesthetic to remove more tissue. She will also have another lump on the back of her neck removed, and her teeth cleaned up, given that if we are going under we are going to do everything that needs doing. She has the best team of vets looking after her, but I am still a very worried mum.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Recipe Round-Up: The Easy Vegan Cookbook

Generally these days I stay away from more 'basic' vegan cookbooks. Not a slight on them, I just have so many cookbooks now that I don't really need the same recipes over and over again, I look for something with a bit of a different take. But I saw some reviews on other blogs about The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester and it looked like it had some interesting recipes. Though once I got it, I found it hard to get inspired and I didn't anything for ages. I have made a few things, and there are definitely some more I want to make. I haven't done a round-up from this book before, but I did make some blondies from it for a bake sale once.

Maple Walnut Sausage Patties: Breakfast sausage isn't really a thing here in Australian (sausages at breakfast, yes, but not in the US sense). So this recipe is actually really handy as a fast way to make some breakfast sausage patties. I wanted them for some breakfast sandwiches, and a 1/2 recipe made three biscuit-sized patties. The recipe says it makes 16 sausage patties, so I imagine they must be very small. These were fairly sweet, so you may want to cut down on the maple a smidge.
Rating: :)

Maple Walnut Sausage Patties

Mapo Tofu: I had some leftover silken tofu to use up, so I made a half batch of this recipe. Of course, I cut way back on anything spicy to just a teeny smidge of sriracha. Although I made a reduced amount of the solid ingredients, I still made the full recipe of the sauce because I like things saucy. This sauce was really lovely, tangy, and gingery. Served with some rice and baby spinach, I got two serves.
Rating: :)

Mapo Tofu

Broccoli with Spicy Garlic Sauce: This vegetable based stir-fry claims to serve four, but I got only two serves from it over rice. I added some cashews as well, and I think some tofu would be a great addition. I made the sauce not spicy by leaving out the chili flakes. The sauce was a little sweet because of this, so I might decrease the amount of agave if you are taking this route, but it was nice and made plenty.
Rating: :)

Broccoli with Spicy Garlic Sauce

Ann's Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu: The reason this looks so dramatically dark is because I used dark soy sauce, which made everything very very moody. But it was still a delightful dinner. I used brown basmati rice as my base, as that is what I had leftover from another dinner. I replaced the capsicum with grated carrot, and used 2 packs of the Soyco Japanese marinated tofu that I love. I also cooked the scallions with the onion rather than adding at the end, as raw scallions don't always suit my tummy.
Rating: :)

Ann's Vegetable Fried Rice with Tofu

Veggie Quinoa Drop Biscuits: When life gives you leftover quinoa, make biscuits. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of either vegan butter, shortening, or coconut oil. I used a jar of vegan onion lard (that didn't have any coconut oil) that I got from a Cruelty Free Shop mystery box for this, as I needed somewhere to use it. These biscuits are very tasty, but also quite soft (maybe because of the lard?). I also froze some of them and, after defrosting, reheated them at 180dC in the oven for 20 minutes and then they went very crunchy!
Rating: :)

Veggie Quinoa Drop Biscuits

Pecan Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars: I made these fun bars for a bake sale. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, or apple puree for an oil free option. I used slightly less than 1/2 cup of canola oil (mainly because I couldn't be bothered melting down margerine). The recipe calls for whole-wheat pastry flour, which can be hard to find here, so I used a mix of wholemeal spelt and regular plain white flour. The batter has pecans, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut mixed through it (I added some extra coconut). While I do have a mixer, which the recipe is written for, I did it by hand and it was easy and fine. I did need to bake it for an extra 5-10 minutes, though that is not unusual in my oven.
Rating: :)

Pecan Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars

Applesauce Spice Cake: I made this for some work snacks. The batter, which includes a hefty amount of applesauce as well as a lovely mix of spices, tasted amazing! Unfortunately this was lost a bit once it was baked. It was still good, but I expected more from the batter. I didn't have a 9 inch cake pan, so I used an 8 inch one. I was expecting it to rise a lot, as the recipe calls for a tall pan, but it didn't rise much at all and was quite dense.
Rating: :)

Applesauce Spice Cake

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Dim Sim had surgery yesterday. Last week she had her senior check and vaccination. Thankfully her blood results came back showing that her kidney disease is pretty stable, but she had two skin lumps and cytology on one came back as a mast cell tumour. Yesterday she was the bravest girl, and had them removed with just sedation and a local anaesthetic. Hopefully the results will come back from the lab showing clean margins, otherwise she will need to have a full GA to cut out more. So fingers crossed!