Monday, 16 September 2013

Japan 2012 - Part 6 (Kyoto)

Back to some Japanese adventures. Day six dawned with another hotel breakfast - some more rice bread and jam, some green tea and some fruit from my mother's hotel breakfast (nashi, persimmon and a peeled grape).

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Breakfast is always a time for planning the day. With Lonely Planet on my kindle and my much consulted map of Kyoto.

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Our day started at the stunning Kinkaku-Ji, known as the Golden Pavillion for obvious reasons. This was quite stunning to behold, though it is very busy and packed with tour groups.

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Birds are awesome. There are awesome birds to see in Japan.

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After the glitz of Kinkaku-Ji, Ryōan-ji was a peaceful change. This is the famous stone garden, which is considered one of the best zen gardens in Japan.

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There is also a beautiful moss garden there.

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However the real draw for me was Yodofu, a traditional tofu restaurant. By default, Yodofu is completely vegan. The tea house and garden dates from the 17th century. As you sit on the floor (traditional style), you look out over this tranquil garden.

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We ordered the full Vegetarian Dish with Yu-Dofu, which centered around this giant steaming pot of silken tofu and vegetables in 7-herbs. This was amazing, the tofu is just mind blowing.

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It also came with this wonderful tray of assorted goodies. This included an amazing sesame coleslaw, pickles, beans and garlic, rice, an amazing block of silken tofu (I can't even describe how good this was) with wasabi and a plate of assorted little bits and pieces that were delicious, though I am not sure what they were.

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After our tofu feast, we caught the Randen (like a tram) out to Arashiyama. We visited Tenryū-ji, the famous temple and garden there.

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I just really love this photo.

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Arishiyama is famous for the beautiful bamboo grove. It is such a peaceful place to stroll through, though it tends to be quite crowded. There is also a beautiful little priestess shrine there you can visit (the Nonomiya Shrine).

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Heading back to Kyoto on the JR train, I picked up some vegan snacks from the 7-11 for afternoon tea.

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I spent the rest of the afternoon back in Kyoto, wandering around the Imperial Palace Gardens. You can't actually go in to the Imperial Palace most of the time, but there are some lovely gardens surrounding it and you can go up to the walls.

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I made friends with a kitty! This lovely lady was smooching around a park bench, getting love from people who passed by. She was a very plump, healthy looking girl, I suspect she lived somewhere nearby.

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For dinner I went to the all-vegan Morpho Cafe. A nice little place with a yummy menu. There is also an English menu and the staff speak excellent English, we had a great chat about Happy Cow.

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I had the cutlet set, which was delicious. Though that grey stuff in the little oval jar... I have no idea! It was tasty.

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I ordered a banana juice, which was like a smoothie.

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Dessert was a seasonal tart, which was apple tart served with ice cream, whipped cream, pistachio and a Happy Halloween Cookie. They also had a great selection of baked goodies to take away, so I picked up a few for future snacks.

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All finished off with a chai.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Adventures in testing - Veganissimo by Leigh Drew

It is VeganMoFo this month, so I know most of you will be in a flurry of writing and reading blog posts. I am not taking part in VeganMoFo this year, I am just trying to get back in to blogging on a semi regular basis.

Earlier this year I was able to test for a brand new cookbook, written by Australian vegan cook extraordinaire (and my friend) Leigh Drew. The book comes out in November, but I am able to share some photos of what you can look forward to! I know everyone has a lot to read this month, so I present to you just some glorious photos!

Burgers - Lentil Burger with Peanut Sauce, Pickled Carrot and Daikon
Lentil Burger with Peanut Sauce, Pickled Carrot and Daikon
Burgers - Roasted Tempeh and Vegetable Burger
Roasted Tempeh and Vegetable Burger
Cakes - Soft Gingerbread Molasses Cake
Soft Gingerbread Molasses Cake
Cheeses - Cashew Chive Creme Cheese
Cashew Chive Creme Cheese
Cheeses - Mozarella
Mozarella - this is seriously amazing! You will love this! Plus gluten free.
Tart - Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries
Chocolate Mousse Tart with Raspberries
Cheesy Onion Scones
Cheese Onion Scones
Chocolate Raspberry Muffin
Chocolate Raspberry Muffin (with a gooey chocolate surprise)
Corn Fritters with Tartar Sauce
Corn Fritters with Tartar Sauce
Potato Waffle
Potato Waffle
Scallion Pancakes
Scallion Pancakes
Potato Gratin; Green Beans Cookies with Garlic, Tomato adnd Olive Oil
Potato Gratin; Green Beans with Garlic, Tomato and Olive Oil
Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash
Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash
Lemon Garlic Dal; Steamed Basmati with Sweet Spices
Lemon Garlic Dal; Steamed Basmati with Sweet Spices
Baigan Bharta; Tandoori Cauliflower Cheese
Baigan Bharta; Tandoori Cauliflower Cheese

The book is called 'Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food' by the amazing Leigh Drew and it will be available on the 15th of November. It is already available for pre-order on Booktopia.

I had a lot of fun testing for Leigh's book. Over the last couple of months I have also been testing for Julie Hasson's new casserole cookbook. Hopefully I will have an upcoming post to share with some photos from that soon!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

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The lovely Lucie is one of Leigh's beloved kitties. Leigh has looked after Lucie since she was teeny and tiny, and now Lucy is a grand old lady. She is gorgeous.