Gluten Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi from Cupcake Kitteh

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Ahhh gnocchi.  I have always had a love-hate relationship with these little balls of goodness-badness.  Goodnes, because they are lovely with a taste sauce.  Badness, because traditional gnocchi often results in feeling like I have lead balls in my stomach and I feel blergh.

I’m subscribed to Cupcake Kitteh‘s blog and I squealed with excitement when I saw Mandee post this recipe for gluten free sweet potato gnocchi.  I love sweet potato, I had lots of sweet potato so that was what I chose to make for dinner a couple of days ago.

I first made a few small proper gnocchi sized balls with the fork marks as a test because I was worried the mixture was too soft.  I needn’t have worried as they turned out fine, especially pan fried in a little oil.

Then the laziness crept in and took over… look, jumbo gnocchi:

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These were great!  I held my breath when the kids tried some.  Arthur’s rating was “38% goodness” so at least I can use this recipe as a base.  Husband was out for dinner and didn’t have any.  DeeW was not a fan but I didn’t expect her to be as she doesn’t like this kind of texture.

This is such a simple recipe and one I will make again with a really nice pesto  🙂

Tahu Goreng from Sid In The Kitchen blog

This year for Vegan MoFo, I subscribed to many great vegan food blogs.  I’ve enjoyed every blog post I’ve read and bookmarked many recipes and eating-out venues!

I’ve also drooled over photos and on some occassions, like today, I’ve made the fantastic looking recipes.  Today’s fantastic looking recipe was Tahu Goreng- Fried Beancurd in Peanut, Soy and Tamarind Sauce from Sid In The Kitchen.  Look at the photos!  Now you see why I had to make it.

I mostly followed the instructions but was too hungry and lazy to grind the peanuts so I toasted them whole.  I didn’t have cucumber so I thinly sliced some zucchini and I also used the last bit of noodles I had floating around in the back of the pantry.  And I then decided that I would mix everything together in the wok instead of serving it like the recipe suggests, and finally I sprinkled dried shallots on top:

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This recipe is great and I think it would be even greater if I’d served it exactly as the recipe states!  I was in a rush as well tonight but I will definitely assemble the finished product properly next time. If I have to cook food for guests, this will be on the menu  🙂

The Royal Melbourne Show

Once a year during the September school term holidays,  Melbourne puts on The Show.  The Royal Melbourne Show, known as… the Show, is an agricultural show that has been running since 1848.

Going to the Show as a kid was pretty exciting and for me it was mostly for the showbags.  I always got the Sunny Boy showbag and the Bertie Beetle showbag for all the chocolate.  Then you had the novelty showbags like the magic trick stuff, or goonie goggles or the joke gag showbag.  We didn’t go every year, though there were often school excursion groups run specially during the school holidays.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to the show.  At a guess, I’d say maybe twenty eight years now.  Nothing really appealed to me as I got older because I’m not in to all the carnival rides or crowds.  We were lucky today because Husband and I chose the worst weather forecast day as we figured it wouldn’t be as busy.  Good choice because when we arrived we were the only people at the ticket booths.  It was incredibly windy and a few rides closed because of the winds, but everything calmed down nicely soon after.

I packed some snacks as I anticipated a lack of vegan food so I was happy to see this stall for Vegetarian Pops, which were actually vegan.  These were made with zucchini, carrot and… something else and as a quick savoury snack they hit the spot:

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Showbags pavillion!

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Rides!

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We all enjoyed looking at the decorated cakes.  I applaud the people who do this, I have no patience or talent for it whatsoever.  But remember, I dip cake in my tea:

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The minion cakes were popular:

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I loooooved the crochet:

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Arthur wanted to go on the Ghost Train.  I went on this when I was his age and I remember it being pretty crap… today I paid $15 for the two of us to experience the same crap, slightly updated with strobe lights, but still the same shouty dudes jumping out at you with axes.  I wish this had been The Rimmer Experience:

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We sat in these giant mouth things:

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…and enjoyed the supernatural view:

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Arthur loves watching Adventure Time and from what I saw today, it’s popular with teens too.  So many teens walking around with the AT backbacks and inflatable hammers and bats.  I understand the appeal, I’ve watched a few episodes and it is pretty funny:

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The big downside for me was stuff like this, which is supposed to be a drawcard, given it’s an agricultural show.  I felt sorry for the cattle and sheep in their teeny pens today:
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Arthur and DeeW just HAD to have a turn at the Angry Birds game.  $10 for three shots… they didn’t score anything but the guy working there increased their score by one point and let Arthur choose a toy from the bottom row.  There was nothing he wanted, so he let DeeW choose something for herself (the purple horse you can just see in the middle of the bottom row of cheaper toys.  Horse is now known as Rosalina):
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Husband and I agreed that although the kids enjoyed it, we won’t go back next year.  We were pretty impressed with Arthur’s financial skills though.  My sister gave the kids $20 each to spend at the Show.  DeeW chose a My Little Pony showbag.  I took Arthur to the showbags pavillion and he was checking out all the chocolate/junk food show bags.  We worked out that it’s cheaper to buy the stuff elsewhere so he decided to keep his $20 and put it in the bank to earn interest.  Ha!

Now we’re all back home, the kids have done some quiet winding-down activities and Husband and I just want to sleeeep!

Random What I Ate and my containers problem

So many food flops, you guys.  So.many.flops.  Let’s start with my eggplant and potato curry, where I thought I’d just throw in a bit of this and a bit of that.  And what I ended up with was a horrible overspiced bitter-aftertasting mess.  I ate this portion but had to bin the rest.  Note the mustard seed overdosing:

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After reading about Kantong packet mixes over at Vegan Bullsh*t I was pretty pleased to see that Coles supermarket had a special where you buy two for a reduced price.  I bought the Chow Mein packet sauce and the Sizzling Mongolian (which, unfortunately, does not involve a hot dude).  As I eyeballed the Kantong, I couldn’t help but wonder: If mama’s making Kantong, will it take long for the kids to come around?

I had also bought these mock meats from Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart:

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I used the ‘Princess’ stuff on the left.  First I fried it in a little oil and stir fried my veggies and added the Sizzling Mongolian sauce.  This was actually quite nice, a bit on the sweet side but still okay.  For the chow mein, I used some tofu I’d dusted in cornflour and fried the day before, along with more veggies and some ramen noodles I had lying around.  I didn’t like the chow mein much and found it a bit too salty and I was too lazy to make rice for the Sizzling Mongolian so I just kinda plopped one on top of the other and this way, it was fine:

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I also decided to try this mock duck made from bean curd skin.  I was kinda surprised it looked like this when I opened the packet.  I half expected it to speak to me and tell me what to do next:

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I sliced it up and marinated it in hoi sin sauce for a few hours then fried it up:

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I’d say this was a flop.  The outer layers would go crispy but the inside bean curd sheets didn’t seem done so I had to pull the layers apart to be sure everything cooked inside.  Next time I’ll use the oven option.

Now for a flop on the healthy eating side.  I present you with my number one comfort food: cornflakes with hot milk, sugar and chocolate powder.  When I was little and would stay with my grandparents, my grandma would always make us cornflakes.  And as this was the Time Before Microwaves, grandma would heat the milk in her little saucepan and pour it over the cornflakes which had already been dusted with some sugar and Milo.  These days, I use a bit of raw sugar and the Milo is replaced with Loving Earth drinking chocolate powder.  Soy milk too of course.  Anyway, the other day I was cleaning out the wardrobe drawers in the spare bedroom and found a Christmas card from my grandma.  She died three years ago so it was a bit of a suprise to find the card and a $50 note inside.  I’d obviously put it in the drawer for safe keeping and forgot about it.  I started feeling a little sad, so I went and made hot cornflakes.  I have never been able to eat cornflakes with cold milk, ever:

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At mum’s house, I had this tasty lunch with her pilafi rice, simple greens salad, home made eggplant dip and canned Greek beans:

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I made Black Pepper Tofu to share with my mum and sister.  I mixed in rice I’d cooked the day before.  YUM:

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I’ve been under the weather this past fortnight and haven’t really had the energy to be creative in the kitchen.  We did enjoy some nice visits to the library.  The kids are free to choose their own books, though Husband and I will often skim over them to see if they’re appropriate.  Or not crap.  I’m stunned at how many picture books for little kids are completely rubbish.  I mean really, really rubbish.  Anyway, when we got home Arthur disappeared in to his room, then later I heard him burst out laughing, heard the creaking of his bunk bed ladder, heard him running down the hallway and he runs in to my room barely able to talk or breathe because he was all “the boy… in this book HA HA HAAAAAAA got in trouble HAHAHAHEEEEEEE from his teacher becauseHAHAHAHAHHA becauseHAHAHAHAHEEEEEEE becausebecause because he drew HAHAHAHAHAH he drewHAHHAHAHEHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa he drew a submarine instead of a peeHEHEEEEEEpeeHEHEHEEE penis”.  I looked at him and said say, what’s this book you’re reading and Arthur says “the one you chose for me”:

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Lately I’ve been decluttering.  A full garbage bag of stuff went to the op shop and today’s task was to sort out the old kitchen dresser.  It houses all my cookbooks, storage containers, oven trays and cake tins and just crap in general.  Once a year I make sure all the containers are stored with their lids but six months later, I end up with this:

dresser1Stuff is thrown everywhere and the lids are who knows where.  So today I sorted all that out.  I also realised I have a slight problem when it comes to cookie cutters…

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Yes, that’s a Princess Toadstool pink cookie cutter.  I got them from a seller on Etsy who uses a 3D printer for My Little Pony and Super Mario cutters.  I got them for DeeW but haven’t used them yet.  And those Easter themed cutters in the round tin look great, but they’re really small.  Anyway, I went through that box of 100 Cookie Cutters and took out a few basic shapes and holiday themed cutters and the rest are off to the op shop.  I also have a heap of plastic containers to take to the op shop, though I fished a few back out to now sensibly store my cutters:

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After the Clean (the empty space is for my wok):
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… then I found all the ice cube trays.  I know we have about three more but I can’t find them.  This is the problem with Ikea, you see the really cheap ice cube trays and suddenly you find you CAN NOT leave there without the fish cubes:

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So that’s really been it.  MoFo mojo practically non existant though I do have a flop to post about soon.  See you then!

Sort of a MoFo post, but really more about Gopal’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant, Melbourne

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You guys, I’ve really been kinda struggling finding the time and motivation to do MoFo-y blog posts.  Lately I’ve had lots of last minute “let’s go out to eat” invitations, or last minute visits somewhere where I’m piled up with food when I leave.  I’m not complaining but it means I haven’t done any cooking or raw food prep of my own, and that’s what my theme was supposed to be.  Sooooo I’m a-thinkin’ that MoFo here on my blog has been a bit of a bust.  Not only that but I see so many fantastic look meals on other MoFo blogs and I end up making those instead of the stuff I had planned.

So today was one of those fly by the seat of my greedy pants kinda food days.  I had to go in to the city and was right near Gopal’s.  I’ve never been there and it’s a bit of an institution.  So when 11am arrived (their opening time) I was THERE.  At the bottom of the stairs:

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The food on offer is all inside a bain marie style set up.  I went for the ‘vegan special’ which was two veg dishes + rice or roti+ choice of salad + juice + dessert.  All for $10.50 and let me tell you this was a big serving:

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The salad was a raw beetroot and carrot (I said no to the dressing offered) and was quite nice and I’m usually not a beetroot fan.  The two veg dishes were good (one had tofu, the other chickpeas) but nothing utterly amazing however to me the appeal of a place like Gopal’s is that the food is served like you’re in someone’s home, just plopped on the plate all homely like.  I’m glad the rice was brown rice though I found myself thinking that I might get the roti instead next time (and there will be a next time!):

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My juice was actually a lemon mint kind of lemonady drink which was lovely and refreshing.  Window shot:

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Dessert was sago pudding with some sliced banana and grapes inside it.  I do admit when this was given to me I felt all ohhh… you mean dessert isn’t one of these lovely looking sweet treats in the counter display?  You know, disappointed-face.  But I was very pleasantly surprised with the sago pudding as it’s something I’ve never been that interested in, but with the fruit mixed in, it was good:

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Dork that I am, I forgot AGAIN to take a photo of the outside from the street. Here’s an inside shot though:

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I sat along the window bench and enjoyed the view and breathed a happy sigh about how much I love Melbourne… that means PHOTOS.  With my phone camera.  Enjoy!

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city2 Gopal’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 139 Swanston Street up a lot of stairs.  Website here.