Tuesday, 25 April 2017

I Made A Thing: ANZAC Biscuit Smoothie

I am a big lover of cookbooks, as you all know. There are very clever people who have created recipes and put them in a book (my preferred form compared to online, I just love a cookbook) for me to access their wisdom and make delicious food. I do not have that wisdom. But, occasionally, I make something. Nothing fancy or complicated, but still something that I had to put a little bit of thought into. So here is a thing that I made!

It is ANZAC day here today. Traditionally I should be eating ANZAC biscuits, but I didn't get any vegan ones and I couldn't be bothered making them. So I made it into a smoothie. The photo is pretty average, I know. I should have made more effort to make it prettier, but I had just come home from 90 minutes of very sweaty and hot bikram yoga, so I just wanted to eat. Or drink, I guess. Anyway, no mason jar or perfectly messy overflow here.

ANZAC Biscuit Smoothie


3/4 cup oat milk (or your favourite non-dairy milk)
1 frozen banana in chunks
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 AU TBS shredded coconut (or 1TBS plus 1 tsp for my US friends)
1 heaping teaspoon golden syrup
Pinch of salt


Put in blender. Blend until smooth. Put in glass. Drink!

You could very easily pretty this up by adding some toasted oats and coconut on the top, or even crumble a bit of ANZAC biscuit on top!

I don't know how common golden syrup is outside of Australia, but I would definitely recommend it above other sweeteners for the authentic ANZAC biscuit taste.

So there you go. I made a thing! I may very occasionally make other things and share them with you.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


It's been two months and eight days since I said goodbye to this beautiful face. I miss her so much.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Cruelty Free Shop April 2017 Vegan Mystery Box

The months seem to come around so quickly with these boxes! The box is of course the Cruelty Free Shop Vegan Mystery Box.

April Vegan Mystery Box

  • Late July Jalapeno Lime Tortilla Chips: I have been told that these are not too spicy, but I will remain suspicious until I try them myself. With a big vat of guac for cooling purposes.
  • Lenny and Larry Complete Cookie Birthday Cake: I've had this cookie several times before. It is my favourite of their flavours.
  • Organic Matters Southwest Chipotle Coconut Bacon Bits: More spicy? Good news! I have tried these and the heat is very gentle. So far I have had these sprinkled on peanut butter toast, which was nice.
  • Well & Good Red Pancake Mix: This has raspberry and pomegranate in it, and I am very excited to try it.
  • Tom & Luke Snackballs Peanut Butter and Cacao: I haven't had these yet but I know they will be good.
  • Loving Earth Banoffee Bang Bang: I like other things I have had from Loving Earth, though I suspect this will fall into the too sweet category for me.
  • Organic Noodle Kitchen Beetroot Noodles: I've used these before and they are nice, and also pretty. The box also included a recipe for using the noodles (which I don't need).
  • Organ Super Snackers: I am always interested in savoury snacks.
  • Sunwarrior Protein Powder: I am not so fussed on protein poweders. I think I have a recipe somewhere that required one, so I will save this for using up when I find it again.

Overall I was fairly happy with the contents of my box this month!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim is miffed

As I mentioned, Dim Sim spends a lot of time on my lap these days. Sometimes I lie her on her back and scritch her tummy. She puts up with it, but as you can see she is a bit miffed at the indignity of it all.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Meals for Mum (Mother's Day and Mum's birthday 2016)

I'm a little behind in sharing specials meals that I made for special people. In this post, it will be about the meals I made for my mum last year for mothers day and also for her birthday.

First up, Mother's Day! This was a pretty fun meal. Mum loves baked beans, so I knew from the moment I saw the main recipe that I was going to make it for her sometime. She also requested a chocolate lava cake, which led to some fun times in the kitchen. Here's what we had!

Open Sesame Dressing from Blissful Bites: I made a half batch of this creamy dressing, and served it as a dip. It strangely calls for arrowroot, even though you don't heat anything to thicken it, so I just left that out. I served this with some Beanfields BBQ chips and some carrot and celery sticks.
Rating: :)

Open Sesame Dressing

Maple-Baked Beans & Cornbread Casserole from But I Could Never Go Vegan: Unfortunately, the ratios for this seemed to be a bit out. I ended up with a very thick cornbread layer on top of an almost minimal layer of beans. I would consider making it in a smaller dish with only half the amount of cornbread for a better ratio. That is nothing against the cornbread though, it was a lovely light and fluffy one (I used a blend of half whole spelt and half AP flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour). Also, this claims to serve 12 to 14, but really it serves about 6.
Rating: :)

Maple-Baked Beans & Cornbread Casserole

Maple-Baked Beans & Cornbread Casserole

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes with Raspberry Sauce from Chloe's Kitchen: Thankfully these tasted good, because they did not hold their shapes once they plopped out of their molds. Also, it was hard to unmold, because everything was very hot and it was hard to get a good grip with oven mitts on. And then they just kind of collapsed on themselves, though didn't actually split. The chocolate chips also kind of spread a bit with baking, so they had more of a centre ooze than a lava flow. But the good thing is, they tasted great! The recipe says to store the raspberry sauce in the fridge once made, but mine set up like a gel when I did that and I had to reheat it again.
Rating: :)

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes with Raspberry Sauce

Her birthday is later in the year, and this year we had my brother home from the UK as well! She requested a fairly light dinner, with cake of course.

Edamame-Mint Hummus from The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: I made a half recipe of this refreshing dip, which gave me about 1.5 cups (the recipe says a whole batch makes 4 cups, so mine came out a bit under expected). This dip is lovely, creamy and fresh, plus very pretty. I left out the chile flakes, and added a bit of extra mint. It says to serve with pita points, but I served it with cucumber slices and it was just delightful.
Rating: :)

Edamame Mint Hummus

Miso-Glazed Eggplant from Chloe's Kitchen: This interpretation of nasu dengaku is a little on the sweet side, but still very pleasant. I used 5 eggplants to get the one and a half pounds (the recipe saus 3 will give you this), and I doubled the sauce because Mum likes a lot of sauce. We had these with sushi rice, baby spinach, and broccoli.
Rating: :)

Miso-Glazed Eggplant

Miso-Glazed Eggplant

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake with Fudge Frosting from Chloe's Vegan Desserts: This is meant to be a double layer cake, but I just made it as one layer for a more manageable amount (this is a lesson we learned during with my Dad's birthday cake... that story to come in a later post). The cake has coffee in it, but as I am not a caffeine person (or a coffee taste person) I used some weak decaf, and I also added 1/2 tsp of chocolate extract. The cake was good, I liked it. The problem was that the frosting was just way too sweet for me. It has melted chocolated in it, and I used 70%, so a darker chocolate may help with that, but there is so much icing sugar in it. Not for me. However, my mum loved it. So if you like icing, you'll be right. You do need to let the frosting set a little bit before putting it on the cake, or it is too oozy (the recipe says to apply immediately before it sets at all).
Rating: :)

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara's bear hugging.

Mum used to love giving Sahara her bear hugging cuddle walks, and Sahara was a big fan of it as well. Miss those walks with her.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Eating Out: Kwan Yin Home Delivery

So this is technically eating in, not out. When Kuan Yin closed their restaurant in the Valley, Brisbane vegans sobbed. However all was not lost, as they opened a home delivery service with a reduced menu, but many of the old favourites. I've ordered a few times (particularly on weekends they need lots of advance notice), and here is what we have ordered.

I have always ordered the same thing (as I did when I would go to the actual restaurant). I love their Sweet and Sour Bento Box (which says a lot, because I generally don't like sweet and sour), and their Pan-Fried Dumplings. Unfortunately they do not offer taro soy milk bubble tea in their home delivery (farewell cookie drink), but I did once get this sweet pink drink.

Home delivery from Kuan Yin

Mmmm.... dumplings! And a vegan takoyaki. I don't recommend the takoyaki, which was like a rubbery faux seafood ball. Unless you like that sort of thing. I don't like faux seafood, so I am obviously coming from a certain angle.

Pan-Fried Dumplings (and a Takoyaki ball) from Kuan Yin

My Dad ordered the Spicy Udon Noodles one time. I didn't try any, as true to their name they were very spicy.

Spicy Udon Noodles from Kuan Yin

Another order, another sweet and sour bento box. But you often get different side components each time, which is fun.

Sweet and Sour Pork Bento from Kuan Yin

More delicious dumplings, and some crunchy, salty Taiwanese Fried Chicken.

Pan-Fried Dumplings and Taiwanese Fried Chicken from Kuan Yin

Dad kept up with the noodle theme, with the Stir-Fried Noodles with Soy Sauce.

Stir-Fried Noodles with Soy Sauce from Kuan Yin

And Mum tried the Three Mushrooms Bento Box.

Three Mushrooms Bento from Kuan Yin

And this one, time, I ordered a Sweet and Sour Bento Box!

Sweet and Sour Pork Bento

The only downside of the home delivery is that by the time the food gets to me, it is generally more lukewarm rather than hot. But it is a handy option to have. They are not 100% vegan, but many things are marked vegan on the menu (some of the things that don't say vegan are still vegan, double check when you order). And, if you still really want an original Kuan Yin experience (complete with cookie drink), you can go and visit their restaurant down on the Gold Coast as well.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim lap cat

Dim Sim spends quite a lot of time on my lap now that it is always free for her to use.