Thursday, 30 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Huo Fo Vegetarian Court

Only two days of VeganMoFo left!

I was super tired this morning and hadn't planned anything for dinner. I also was going to spend two hours at the gym in the morning and then go horse riding in the afternoon, so I knew my sleepiness would be on the increase. Sounds like the perfect excuse to eat out! Most of the time I go to my old trusty, The Magic Wok. Tonight I thought I would try something a bit different.

Several months ago a friend and I went to try Huo Fo Vegetarian Court, which is across the road from The Magic Wok. I was a bit unimpressed. The staff member I spoke to didn't really understand what I was saying about being a vegan and not wanting to have any eggs, and the food seemed to take quite a while to come. While the burdock salad was delicious (who doesn't love a good pickled burdock!), I left thinking I wouldn't go back.

Well, tonight I did. I had heard from some other Brisbane vegans that it is one of their favourite places, and everyone can have a bad night. So off I went with my mother. And it was great! The chef was out chatting to people and taking orders, and she absolutely knew what being a vegan was and how it related to their menu. Foodwise, almost everything is vegan. There are a few egg dishes, but they all clearly state this. There is also a honey dish or two. They have an extensive bubble tea and drinks menu, and while it seems the milk teas may be all dairy (but I need to confirm, last time they were), they have lots of fun other options to try.

For starters we had soup. I had the Hot And Sour Soup, which was divine. Just what a girl wants! I must remember this for next time I am feeling sickly, as sadly The Magic Wok's spicy and sour soup just doesn't work for me (all spice, no sour). My mum had the Seafood Soup, which was pronounced excellent. We also had a starter of salty fried chicken with plum sauce. It was a big serving! Not bad, but not as salty as expected. The Fried Taiwanese Chicken at Kuan Yin is better. For mains we had Sizzling Black Pepper Mushroom (divine) and Veggie Meat Balls (served with bok choy), which were really nice though a bit sweeter than expected. I think I like the Meat Balls at The Magic Wok better. We also got a takeaway of Chicken Fried Rice for my Dad. For drinks, we tried out some iced brown sugar green tea, which was really nice though a bit sweet to have too often!

So the food was great this time! And I felt secure that my vegan needs were being met and that I wasn't accidentally consuming something naughty. Hurrah! The only downside was that everything was served pretty much at once, so things cooled down quickly. The Sizzle dish had stopped sizzling by the time I got there.

But overall, it was great. The restaurant is located in Sunny Park shopping center, on the corner of Mains and Padstow Roads. It has a small indoor area, and a larger outdoor covered area - which was lovely to sit in on this balmy spring night. Though I might stick with take away during the colder months. There is an extensive menu, with lots and lots to choose from. It is going to take me a good long while to come close to making a dent in it. Price wise, it is fairly reasonable, though some dishes are relatively expensive considering the prices at places like The Magic Wok and Kuan Yin. But there are also a lot of cheap dishes as well. They only accept cash, so if you go make sure you have plenty of mulah!

I'm really glad I gave this place a second chance. Though I shall always love The Magic Wok (indeed, I felt strangely guilty eating just across the road from it tonight), it is always good to get out and about and I am definitely going to go back for more this time!

I'm going to try and get together a big vegan Brisbane guide (I know it's been done a thousand times before, but if it means I get to vegan eat my way arount the city, I am all for it - tee hee!), so be on the look out for more posts about exciting vegan finds!

And now, bearing in mind that I started this post talking about how tired I was, I must sleep!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Cooking for Cancer

No posts for a week! What a poor showing for VeganMoFo. Hopefully I can make up for it today with a bounty of exciting photos! Today I hosted a Girls Night In (though it was more of an Afternoon In) as a fundraised for the Cancer Council, and invited a bunch of the girls from work around to partake. So naturally I have spent the preceeding 36 hours more or less cooking non-stop, except for some much needed sleep last night! I wish I had a picture of the entire spread on the table, but I did get separate pictures of each dish.

Holy Moly Hummus from How It All Vegan

I *love* this hummus, it is one of the best recipes I've made. With sauteed garlic and bucketloads of tahini, it has an amazing flavour. Best the day after making, the flavours grow together overnight.

Black Forest Cake from Now Vegan

A bit of a potential disaster, but it all turned out OK, if not very pretty looking. Firstly, ignore the instruction that says to add soy milk, which is not in the list of ingredients. Secondly, I needed to cook this about half an hour longer than it said. Alas, when I took it out after the initial 40 minutes the centre was all wobbly and so promptly sank down. This made the cutting in half after cooling interesting, as I ended up with a donut for the top half. Also, the cake did not want to stay together when moving from the cooling rack to the serving plate. I salvaged it by pressing it back together with my hands, as it was very moist. I then used the marinated cherries to fill the hole in the centre. The chocolate cream icing I ended up accidentally freezing trying to speed chill it, then had to zap it, then accidentally froze it again, but I finally got it fairly sorted. Had to finger paint it on around the sides of the cake though. Despite the drama and the fact it looks no where near as neat as the one in the picture, it was a big success taste wise. This particular one has a very strong coffee taste. Also doesn't have a creamy layer in the middle, just chocolate and the cherries.

Gorgeous Guacamole from How It All Vegan

Truly gorgeous, tasty and super quick and easy to make. Very strong on the lime juice. Perfect for corn chips.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes from The Joy Of Vegan Baking

With Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting, of course. These are great! The frosting stays quite runny though. But winning combination.

Sesame Asparagus Sushi from Vegan Planet

Hurrah for home made sushi! It is so much fun to make. I was a bit pressed for time so I cheated and used my mum's rice maker, which made the rice a bit gluggy. But otherwise it was great. The recipe says to use one thin asparagus spear per roll, but definitely increase it to two or even three for extra flavour.

Wild Mushroom Pate from Vegan Planet

Made in honour of my mushroom-freak friend who attended. Who doesn't love mushrooms anyway? Shiitake, porcini, cremini and button mushrooms. Very yummy and quite easy to make. And it has a very nice texture as well.

Strawberry Shortcakes from Vegan With A Vengeance

These are magnificent! The scones are spot on, light and delicious tasting. The macadamia cream is outstanding. And the strawberry sauce is ridiculously easy to make. These were the first things to go, people loved them! I served them disassembled for people to make up themselves so they didn't go soggy. Cut a scone in half, then put some cream and sauce on each one. Delightful! I wish I had a photo of a made up one, because they were super cute.

Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade from Veganomicon

I had some walnut oil I needed to use, so this blend of basil, walnuts and maple syrup seemed the thing to make. It is quite sweet, as the name would suggest, but it is really nice. Quite different.

OK, this isn't something I made. But it is a chocolate raspberry slice from The Forest that one of my friends brought me. I haven't actually had it yet because my belly is too full from the other stuff!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Dinners For The Week.

Ahh, Sunday glorious Sunday. The end of a week of yummy dinners. Tomorrow starts a new and exciting week! What am I doing on this wonderful Sunday night? Why, I am at the clinic! Hurrah! So, only a couple of new dishes for dinner this week. I've been on call for three nights and I had awesome vegan Asian food for two of them!

So... on to the the run down....

Awesome vegan Asian take-out from The Magic Wok, a totally nummy Asian vegan restaurant in Sunnybank. Monday night is now family night at home, seeing as both myself and my brother are living at home and Monday is the only night I am not all call on any week. For our family feast, we enjoyed...
- Steamed Dim Sims
- Rendang 'Lamb' Curry
- Monks Hotpot
- Braised Eggplant
- Kailan in Oyster-Flavoured Sauce
- Steamed Rice



A night of cooking joy! I cracked open The Voluptuous Vegan for the first time and made one of the fabulous menus laid out. This was the menu on page 205. A sort of fabulous south east asian feast comprised of:
- Indonesia Sambal (fabulous!)
- Rice Noodles With Thai Peanut Sauce (yay for peanutty goodness!)
- Stir-Fried Vegetables (Asparagus, Carrot, Bok Choy, basil in a soy/lime/orange dressing)
- Mango slices (served around the edges - a great addition)
Totally awesome!

A night at the clinic. Chili Macaroni Bake from Vegan Planet got a reheat job. Microwaves very well!


After a morning at the gym, and afternoon riding ponies and then a work-your-knots out massage, I was very glad I had picked a recipe that required very little prep or cooking time! This is Glazed Apricot Stir Fry from Tofu 1-2-3. It all came together so quickly. I added some extra vegetables, such as carrot and bok choy, and left out the icky capsicum. I also fried the cubed tofu in a little peanut oil first up to give it that nice flavour and chewy texture I like, then removed it from the pan and added it again in the last 5 minutes of cooking like the recipe said. If you just added the raw tofu in the last 5 minutes, it would lack that texture I love so much.

More Magic Wok! Twice in one week, I know! Tonight was exciting because I took a friend who had never eaten there before. I am always pleased to introduce new people to glorious vegan foodage! And the verdict, she very much enjoyed it! Hurrah! Here's what we had
- 'Chicken' Nugget
- Savoury Turnip Cake
- Salt And Pepper Tofu (the best ever S'n'P tofu ever in the history of all history)
- Sizzling Mushroom Plate
- Kailan with Oyster Flavoured Sauce (got to have your greens!)
- Steamed rice
- Jasmine tea

Another night at the clinic. I gave last week's Greek Pasta Casserole another run through. And let me say - it is absolutely fan-frakking-tastic reheated! A great one to make if you need to stock up the freezer with some ready-to-zap meals.

Tonight. At the clinic. As always. Tonight I have just finished the Butternut Vindaloo Stew, minus the baby kabocha for stuffing. I didn't feel this one reheats quite so well after the freeze-thaw-zap routine. Eat it straight away or fridge it and reheat it on the stove in the next day or so.

Here end's my week. I hope you have all had a great week of dinners too! Lots of exciting cooking plans for next week (including a scrummy looking lasagne for tomorrow's family night), so stay tuned.

Friday, 17 October 2008

The lady Gizmo.

Today I am forgoing the VeganMoFo tag in order to talk about the a very special girl. She completes my trinity of kitty loves. Gizmo is my beautiful tabby girl. I rescued her from a vet in Wagga where her previous people had left her to be either euthanased (NOOOOOOO!) or rehomed, but no one would take her because she was 4 years old and everyone wanted kittens. Stupid people! Giving a home to an adult cat is an incredibly rewarding experience, and to be honest I don't think I will have a kitten again. Adult cats are awesome! So go and give one a home right now!

Gizmo was the second of my three to come and join me in life. Much to Dim Sim the first's dismay. Unfortunately the two refuse to get along. This very night they had a spat with much hissing and growling. Gizmo gets on much better with Sahara, except for the odd occasion that Sara tries to get a bit to frisky. Gizmo doesn't like to play. Or rather, not with others. She does on a fairly regular basis get all frisky with a toy, chasing it around. It is so cute to watch.

Gizmo is my eldest. She will be 12 on the 1st of November. She is also my largest. In part, this is because she is a bigger boned cat to begin with, compared with Dim Sim the pixie and Sahara the slinky. But she also has some extra stored love. While I don't mind a bit of stored love, too much is bad for kitties in terms of arthritis, diabetes and the like. Alas, I have just found out that the special urinary pH balanced food she eats is very hard to lose weight on! Of course, Gizmo loves her food. ;)

Let me describe Gizmo's typical day. Wake up (on the bed) and eat breakfast, move onto the sofa and sleep, get up and eat lunch, return to the sofa and sleep, get up for dinner, return to the sofa to sleep, get up for supper, up to bed and sleep. Sometimes there is some frisking or a bit of a trip into the Catmax for some fresh air.

Gizmo is one of the sweetest, friendliest, most loving kitties you could ever hope to meet. She just loves people, and is a massive attention tart. She has stopped people walking past the house to pat her belly. She's had a few health issues, my poor baby. And poor me - because being a vet I instantly, hysterically go to bad places. But she's doing pretty good now.

Here are some photos of my lady:

Gizmo on her last birthday, playing with her special cat nip bear hanging toy. Gizmo loves catnip! It doesn't make her go crazy like with other cats. She just sits there licking and sniffing and chewing. She had another toy like this, but she totally destroyed it. So I was very happy to find another! You should see what I got her this year!

Gizmo and one of her two great loves - sleeping! She made herself a nest out of a crumpled up doona and was very happy here.

Gizmo on my parent's bed. She is technically not supposed to get on the bed, it belongs to Possum the family cat. But she loves snuggling up into this boomerang cushion. And she's so beautiful and sweet that I am certainly not going to be the one to make her move!

So now I have introduced my three. The loves of my life. The reasons I am so content being a cat lady. Expect me to talk about them a lot, and I hope you like kitty photos! Because I have a zillion!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Tofu, the greatest sponge of all.

The Angst! VeganMoFo, and what to post today. What to post! No exciting culinary adventures of late. Just lots of work. And pony riding (hurrah). And also the super awesome announcement that the Supernatural boys will be gracing our shores next year, which... giddy! But not something to blog for VeganMoFo (although.... no, I shan't). So I had a poke around my photo stash and stumbled across today's topic. Tofu!

One of the most common things people say to me is 'how can you eat tofu, it is so gross'. It seems tofu is not beloved by a large section of society. And I know, I used to be one of them! Oh yes, gentle reader, there was once a time (even when I was a vegetarian) that I looked down my nose at that tasteless white blob of ooky. Yick!

Of course, the problem lies not with tofu itself. Tofu is a gift from the powers that be. The problem lies with how it is prepared. One dinner I went to involved steamed tofu and vegetables. It was like eating a soggy sponge! Another common problem people mention is using the wrong type of tofu - trying to stir fry with silken tofu will never be happy. With a little bit of love and care and not much effort at all, tofu can be one of the tastiest things we have in our arsenal. I am sure I am preaching to the choir here, but in case a tofu noob stumbles across this - all is not lost.

I love tofu is so many ways, but one of my favourites would have to be the marinated slices of tofu that are baked or grilled until you have dark, chewy slices or awesome. They are great to round out a meal, slice and add to a salad or pop into your sandwich! So I thought I'd dedicate tonight's vegan food porn to this sort of tofu. I hope you enjoy!

Tangering Baked Tofu with Quinoa Salad With Black Beans. This tasty little get up is from Veganomicon. The tangering marinade for the tofu is sensational, and the texture was really great too. Isa mentions this a few times as a potential compliment to dishes in the book. Here I served it with the quinoa salad... which hello yummers! I don't really like coriander, so I subbed mint into the salad. And it was fan-frakking-tastic. So very moreish!

This here is Asian Marinated Tofu (from Vcon/VWAV) served with Baby Bok Choy And Crispy Shallots, and a side of wasabi mashed potatoes to make a change from rice. I really like the asian marinade for this tofu. I've used it quite a bit. The Bok Choy dish was from Vcon, and was quite nice, though I accidentally let the bok choy get a bit soggy. Damn it!

A Veganomicon Indian feast! The tofu here is Curried Tofu, which was really nummy. Also left overs are great in a sandwich with some curry soy mayo (just blend in a little curry powder to your mayo) and spinach leaves. It is served with Tamarind Lentils, which is quite nice. I love the sour flavour of tamarind! Except if you are a bit distracted like I was and accidentally threw in some tamarind pulp instead of paste. The seedy bits were still in there and every now and then I would chomp on one and hurt my tooth! So silly of me. You can get non tooth breaking tamarind paste in the asian section of the supermarket - Jeeny's is the brand. And the final thing on the plate was Cornmeal Marsala Brussel Sprouts. I was not such a fan of these. I may have done something wrong, but the cornmeal marsala was quite soggy, even when roasted.

Mango Ginger Tofu! Equals all sorts of awesome. From the trusty VWAV. This is great. So sweet and good for summer. Plus the baked mango slices add extra mango goodness to the finished product. I served this with sauteed broccolini and jasmine rice, which are not pictured here.

The tofu in this picture is from Vegan Vittles, and is marinade number 3. It involves tomato paste and maple syrup and is really quite nice. I think they have 5 marinates in total, which can be used for tofu, tempeh or seitan. I served it here with a couple of VWAV sides - Ginger Roasted Vegetables (yummy, but quite sweet) and Orange Glazed Beets (awesome - and this was my first time ever with fresh beetroot!). It was a tasty dinner, but I need to move away from it now because the lack of green on the plate is freaking me out.

My final offering here is once again the Asian Marinated Tofu. This time served with Vcon's Quinoa Pineapple Cashew Stir-fry. The stir-fry is fabulous, though a bit sweet all on its own. But it was balanced out with the salty sauteed broccolini. Incidentally, left of Asian Marinated Tofy is kick butt with wasabi mayo (again, wasabi powder mixed into your may), baby spinach leaves and a Toffuti cheese slice on your sandwich. And if you still have some left over, slice it up and throw it in a salad! I also enjoyed this tofu sliced up and added to the Corn And Edamame Sesame Salad from Vcon, with some baby spinach leaves and avocado.

Of course there are so many other ways to love and enjoy tofu. And I do love and ejoy them all. I can't believe that I spent so many years shunning this most wonderful of foods. I think the moral of this story can be applied on a wider scale. So if there's a food you think you don't like but haven't had much to do with, why not have another crack? You might be surprised. Except for capsicum. Because that is just gross. ;)

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Baking Rulz.

A while ago on the PPK forums, there was a poll something along the lines of are you a cook or a baker. It's kind of tough, because they are both awesome. Some people chose cook because that is what they did more often. I immediately knew I had to tick the baker box. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore and worship cooking. I have to cook every day to make my dinner and my lunch, and it is always something I enjoy a lot. But deep down, I just love the baking.

I am musing on this today because lately I have gone through periods of not baking. I always will cook, because, you know, a girl's got to eat dinner. But lately I have had some sort of anti-baking mojo placed on me. If anyone knows anything about anyone who has cursed me with this terrible ailment, please bonk them over the head with a large pumpkin! My work colleagues would also make this request, because I am the bake and bring girl. And when I am out of the kitchen, they are out of tasty vegan baked goods to snack on. But today, I baked! Hurrah! This is what I made:

They are the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondie Bars from Vegan With A Vengeance. And they are very tasty!

So why baking over cooking? I find something magical about baking. Firstly, it is taken these raw, unappetising ingredients (I personally have never craved a cup of flour or 1/2 cup of canola oil... but if that's what floats your boat...) and then you mix them all together and out comes something completely different. It's like kitchen magic! Or, you know, the laws of chemistry... but whatever.

Also, there is something lovely about baking a big batch of cookies or a cake or some cupcakes... it is something special, not part of your usual daily meals. Unless of course it is, but that is a whole different issue then! Bringing a cake or cookies to work or to a party is a lovely way to brighten up someone elses day. Plus your own, as you can snack on them too!

I'm tired, and I'm not sure I've quite put into words why I love the baking so much. But I hope I've managed to give you the essence of what I am trying to say. Here are some pictures of some other baking I have done:

Chocolate Cake from the Joy Of Vegan Baking. This recipe is really quick and easy. But the Chocolate Frosting recipe makes enough to ice about three cakes! I actually made this cake because I had made a massive batch of 24 cupcakes and I still had icing left over!

Chocolate Cheesecake from The Joy Of Vegan Baking. This was my first attempt at making a soy cream cheese based cheesecake, and only my second cheesecake attempt overall (the first one I made was a tofu based chocolate and rum cheesecake from The Vegan Cookbook. It was awesome, but I only had OP rum available. Ummm.... strong! You could get drunk just by smelling it LOL). I ended up having to bake it about twice as long as the recipe said. It may be because I used Kinglands Cream Cheese instead of Toffuti, and they may have different consistencies and properties. It was tasty though!

Vanilla Pound Cake from Veganomicon. This cake was great. A basic cake, but so delicious and sweet. Is great with fresh fruit and extra yoghurt. Or ice cream. Or lightly toasted with some Nuttelex. Or on its own.

Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake from Vegan With A Vengeance. I made this for my mum's birthday last year, and it is amazing. I love a good carrot cake, but this really took it to the next level!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Weekly Dinner Wrap.

Sunday, glorious Sunday. The end of the week, the day of rest. Or, if me, the day of going to the farmers markets in the morning and then buying a waffle iron (hurrah!) in the afternoon. Oh yes, finally a waffle maker is mine! So look forward to a post dedicated to waffles in the not too distant future. Tee hee.

Anyway, end of the week means time to reflect on the nomms that made up my dinners for the week!

Monday and Tuesday

This little ensemble consists of (1) Potato and Kale Enchiladas, (2) Sour Cilantro Cream and (3) Shredded Parsnip And Beet Salad, all three of which can be found within the pages of the mighty Veganomicon. This was an exciting dinner for me because (1) I used kale for the first time. I like it! Different texture to the usual silverbeet, which is my stand in green thing. (2) Usually I hate, hate, hate coriander/cilantro. I am trying to like it because it is used in a lot of recipes and you cannot always sub in mint or parsley. I actually liked it in this recipe! And (3) it was only my second time cooking with beetroot. Which is astounding, really. I don't know why. Plus it is always fun shredding things in the food processor. This was a great meal. The sour cilatro cream goes especially well with the enchiladas.

Tuesday night I was on call at the clinic, so I took leftovers as the sour cream obviously wouldn't be great for freezing and using at a later date so I just went for two nights in a row! Yummo!


No pics for tonight. I headed out to The Forest again. Alas, tonight was my first disenchanting Forest experience. Our drinks took 40 minutes to arrive - we had actually finished our dinners before they came. And my strawberry soy milkshake morphed into a berry smoothie, but by that point I had waited so long I certainly wasn't going to send it back. I had the Forest Plate again. Tonight I had citrus tofu (nice), tofu kumera (nice), cauliflower potato filo pie (awesome - they make good filo pies) and roasted spuds (which are the most awesome things ever, but sadly were luke warm on my plate). Dessert was strawberry vanilla cake and raspberry tea cake with vanilla and chocolate ice cream. And a choc berry cherry muffin to take home!


Dipping into one of my newer tomes, the Australian book Now Vegan. This is Greek Pasta Casserole served with Greek Salad. The pasta casserole was great. Macaroni sandwiches a 'meaty' layer (savoury lentils, vegan casserole mince, tinned tomatoes and seasonings) and is topped with a thick white sauce and vegan Cheddar cheeze. The greek salad used tofu marinated in a simple miso/olive oil combination for the feta. It was quite nice, though the best tofu feta recipe remains the one from How It All Vegan.


Another night on call, another lucky dip into the Freezer of Leftovers. Tonight I enjoyed Lemongrass and Asparagus Risotto from Vcon. The amazing creaminess of the risotto was lost to glugginess with the freezing and reheating, but it was still mighty tasty!


This what I made with my so cute you could die baby Japanese pumpkins I bought at the Rocklea markets last week. It is Kabocha Stuffed With Butternut Vindaloo Stew from Vegan With A Vengeance. It was so fun to make the pumpkin bowls, and even more fun to eat!


No pictures from tonight. But tonight my mum cooked vegan for us! Hurrah! She made a really nummy pasta and beans recipe she cut out of a magazine. It was gooooood. Especially with liberal sprinklings of nooch!

So ends another week. What will the next week bring? Well, for one thing I plan to trying out a new cookbook for the first time. Also will be getting takeaway from my favourite Brisbane chinese vegan place! Stay tuned...

Saturday, 11 October 2008

VeganMoFo: Dim Sim

How fast is October flying by? So many days, so much to blog for VeganMoFo. Anyway, today I am making a teeny bit of a stretch because I want to introduce on of my other cats to all you bloggers who don't already know them. The lovely Sahara was introduced not too long ago, and now I am introducing Dim Sim! Get it, she shares her name with food. So that is so on topic! ;)

Isn't she beautiful? She is my tiny black princess. She came to me as a teeny tiny kitten when I was staying in Wagga Wagga for my first degree. She was found by my housemates in a horse paddock, and was so teeny she could fit in your hand. She hasn't gotten much bigger - she is my little pixie cat and generally weighs in at a teensy bit over 3kg.

Look at her here - so pretty in the sunset! Dim Sim was my very first own cat, as opposed to family cat. She was mine and I was hers. And all was glorious and right in the world. Until Gizmo (who will be the next kitty I introduce - she's the tabby in my blog header) came along and then poor Dim Sim's world was torn asunder. Let us not even speak of when Sahara came into our lives. Yes, gentle viewer (or reader), I'm afraid Dim Sim is not a fan of her sisters. Sahara is sometimes to be tolerated... Gizmo never. Alas! Dreams of three kitties all snuggled up in a ball, shattered forever!

What Dim Sim does love, though, is shoes. Here she is smooching up to my friend Jen's boots. She particularly loves thongs (or flip flops for all you non-Australians out there. She does not have an underwear fetish, thank you very much), especially rubber ones so she can sink her claws into them. Dim Sim loves to play with toys on a string, and she also loves going outside into the big, scary world. She also quite enjoys getting wet! She is my Princess, but I also call her Little Black, Small Black, Dimmy, Simmy, Dimkins, Simikins... you get the idea. She's going to be 9 years old in February - I can't believe my baby is now a 'senior' cat!

So, yeah... VeganMoFo... and here I am talking about cats. Which isn't all that strange for me. I am always thinking or talking about cats. Dim Sim was named Dim Sim because it was a cute little silly name for a cute little silly kitten. Food gives us a veritable cornucopia (name the episode!) of cute names just begging to be bestowed upon a cute little kitty. Or puppy. Or fish. Or bird. Or heck, even baby! But as I am a cat lady, mainly kitties. I've seem some adorable ones at the clinic - Jellybean, Yum Cha, Pumpkin... Does anyone else have some cute food-inspired named critters? Or maybe a favourite food-inspired name that you are just saving up for the perfect kitten to come along and claim? Share with me please!

Food Porn Time

Yeah, can't make a post without some sort of food porn for the day. Delving into The Vault of archived photos, here is Tempeh Shepherdess Pie from Veganomicon.

Come to think of it... Tempeh would be a kind of cute name... or Tofu... or please, please someone post they know a kitty called Seitan!

Continue to enjoy the VeganMoFo! Tomorrow is Sunday - so weekly dinner wrap up! Hurrah!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

VeganMoFo: A Few Of My Favourite Things...

Tonight I am going to see a local production of 'The Sound Of Music' with a very good friend. Hurrah - I can't wait! I love 'The Sound Of Music'. And while whiskers on kittens, well... kittens in general, are my favouritest thing in the world, I thought I might finally get around to sharing a few of my favourite things to use in the kitchen! Oh yeah, pink is my favourite colour! ;)

My beautiful retro marshmallow pink scales. These are so pretty and very accurate. I got these along with some (not pictured) marshmallow pink colanders. Also very pretty. But my scales are invaluable to me when it comes to weighing ingredients.

Oh look, more pink! This mixing bowl was given too my for Christmas by my brother's girlfriend. She also gave me a pink silicon spatula and some pink cookie cutters. This is my favourite bowl for mixing things in. Earlier this year I tragically droped it onto the tiles and chipped off a teeny bit of the base, but it battles on.

OK, this actually belongs to my mum. But in the kitchen, all is mine! Mwahahaha. This mortar and pestle is amazing. It is super heavy, and just makes such easy work of smooshing whatever you wish. Much better than the little lightweight one I had in Sydney. I must smuggle this out with me when I finally move out.

This is my 5L stock pot. My dad bought it for me from Ikea (in their 365+ range), and surprisingly it was fantastic. I use this so much I can't imagine how I existed without it. It has a lovely heavy base, cool touch handles and is just lovely to use. I recently purchased it's big 10L sister so I can make even bigger soups and stocks.

More marshmallow pink! I haven't actually used this yet, I just bought it last week. But I already love it for all that it is. I have been looking for a grill pan I can use on an induction stove but that won't break the bank for ages without luck. Then I happened to be strolling through Myer last weekend when I came across this gorgeous Breville cast iron (hurrah - also my first cast iron purchase) pink grill pan at 50% off the marked price! I call that fate! I can't wait to start using it.

Le Creuset. Need I say more? This is also one of those what belongs to my mother really belongs to me as the kitchen is my domain things. She has had this pot since my Dad and her got married, 30 years ago. At it keeps on going. It is awesome and heavy and goes from stove to oven and I am in love with it.

And my chef/saute pan. I think it is about 30cm diameter and has nice high sides. It is quite big, and great for so many things. Another bargain I got for 40% off the retail price. Hurrah!

There are so many other things in my kitchen that I love and adore. And I haven't even considered any of the appliances or the crockery yet! But I am a sucker for all things kitchen. I love wandering through kitchen shops and section. Anyone reading this, please let me know your own favourite kitchen items!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

VeganMoFo: A week of dinners!

The end of another week - which means another weekly dinner round up! Be aware gentle dial up viewers - lots of pics ahead!

A night at the clinic, which meant dipping to the freezer of awesome left overs! Tonight I enjoyed some Spicy Peanut Noodles from Tofu 1-2-3. OK, so this picture is from when I actually made them, but they were still damn tasty!

Tonight I went to the awesome The Forest in West End. Alas, no pictures, but here's a round up! While waiting for my friend I enjoyed a yummy Banana Smoothie. Dinner itself was a Forest Plate, for which I chose Tempeh Bolognaise, Potato and Pumpkin Filo Pie, Roasted Spuds (they are the best!) and Pasta Pesto Salad. Finished off with a slice of Mango Cheesecake and a Soy Hot Chocolate. And for takeaway fun - a Raspberry And White Chocolate Cupcake and a Chocolate And Pecan Cupcake. 5 star meal!

On call at the clinic, and for the life of me I can't remember what leftovers I enjoyed! So I thought I'd post a picture of Spaghetti And Beanballs with roasted brussel sprouts, fro Veganomicon.

Burger Night! Jerk Spiced Portobello Mushrooms (huge, courtesy of the market mushroom man) with Green Apple Salsa, both from Vegan Planet, popped between some wholemeal rolls. And served with Zesty Coleslaw, from The New Vegan. All I can say is - hurrah for the glory of the shredder on the food processor! I've been enjoying the coleslaw for lunch for the last couple of days as well.

First up was Chili Macaroni Bake from Vegan Planet. I made this using some leftover East Coast Chili. It is awesome - a macaroni cheese base, chili on top and then sprinkled with Cheezly.

And then, a salad dressed with the yummy Raspberry and Lime Vinaigrette from Veganomicon. The salad was a mix of baby spinach and mesculin leaves, lightly steamed asparagus and chunks of mango. Scrummy!

On call... into the left overs! Tonight I enjoyed Rustic White Beans and Mushrooms, with Tomato Cous Cous with Capers, both from Veganomicon. A wonderful combination!

Again on call... what is it with this week? At this very moment of blogging, I am enjoying Vegan Planet's Shredded Seitan with Green Beans and Shallots.

So ends my week of dindins!