Friends and Tea Parties

This past weekend, Arthur and DeeW had some friends visit. The boys had fun on their computers playing Minecraft and the girls hung out in DeeW’s bedroom. I asked Arthur and DeeW what snacks they wanted to serve their guests.  Arthur requested garlic bread.  Both DeeW and Arthur begged for fairy bread and some two-minute noodles for Arthur’s friend (that’s all his friend eats when he comes here).  I had been browsing vegan websites for packaged stuff I could buy to serve as I really didn’t want to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen.  I was very happy to learn that the Ho Mai yum cha entertainment packs were a) vegan and b) on sale from $13.80 down to $7. Just throw it all in the oven then serve out the moneybags, spring rolls and curry puffs. Phone photos:


I made the Maple Banana Bread from Dreena Burton’s Everyday Vegan (with spelt flour instead of kamut as kamut can be a little strong for some people).  I decided to use fancy little muffins/cake tins that have been in the pantry but never used.  I’m a sucker for cake and muffin tins in novelty or fancy shapes.

I also made chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.  I made these mini size.  Half were frosted with peppermint icing, the other half with crushed Oreos in the frosting for a cookies ‘n’ cream version.  I didn’t like them all that much but the guests did!

I finally pulled out the three-tier cake stand thingy that mum gave me a while ago.  She won it as a door prize somewhere and gave it to me. I’m glad I hung on to it!  Vegan fairy bread on the bottom.  One of our visitors made the choc chip biscuits on top:


I really like setting a table for children.  If I had more time, the table layout would have been a bit more over the top (ha!).  I love how they think a tiered cake stand is rooolly special. Next time I’ll get Arthur and DeeW to think up a theme for the table and we can make place cards and stuff like that.  Who says you need a birthday to have a partying table!  I’d love to fancy up my kitchen table every day, but that would mean de-cluttering the table every day.  Glancing over at the kitchen table now, it is covered with stuff: vase of flowers, DeeW’s rainbow Bandaloom thing and all the rubber bands, cups and mugs, a fruit bowl, fruit not in the bowl, DeeW’s Easter egg hunt basket, two board games, tea towels, containers without lids, a deck of cards, a money box, library books and DVDs.  I suppose that’s my cue to hit ‘publish’ now and go clean…

Tempeh Brown Rice pattie burger thingoes

Yesterday I had a packet of tempeh I wanted to use.  I also need to finish off the leftover brown rice I’d cooked.  Put those two together and you get the incredibly creative tempeh brown rice burger!

I finely diced (after steaming) my block of tempeh.  When I say finely I mean microscopic finely because I still can’t eat a chunk of tempeh without wincing.  In teeny tiny pieces mixed with other mooshy stuff, it’s okay.  So, to my 250g block of teeny tiny diced tempeh, I added roughly two cups of cooked brown rice, half a large finely diced red capsicum (bell pepper), one small onion finely diced, a finely diced ripe tomato, a good shake of cumin, two minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper.  I chilled the mixture and was happy to see they kept their shape in the pan, where I fried them in a bit of oil for the brown crispyness.

I served mine with a lemon myrtle sauce I bought ages ago (because it was 50% off):


Next time I’ll add some chopped fresh dill or fresh coriander to the mix.  I didn’t this time as Husband finds those flavours a bit too strong in burger patties, so I sprinkled some dill on top of mine.  I won’t bother saying I ARTFULLY sprinkled dill on top in an ARTISTIC manner, ‘cos my photos suck too much for that.

Iron Chef Review time:

Me: yeah,they’re okay. Something I’d make for the protein portion of my meal although I don’t fancy the pan fry in oil bit.  These would be best served on a bed of salad greens, with some roast sweet potato on the side.

Husband: “they’re okay, but you have them”.

Arthur: “Ewwww no thanks”.

DeeW: “Definitely no thanks”.

I’d make these again if I had brown rice and tempeh to use up, but more as a sort of “I can’t be bothered making anything fancier so easy peasy patties it is”.  They could be made wonderful with different flavours though  🙂  I guess they could also be made smaller and served up as party food.

Okay, I’m off to go make a lentil stew from my latest cookbook arrival, wheee!

Vegan Sausage Rolls

My son, named Arthur on this blog,  is a very fussy eater.  Getting him to try new foods involves bribery, corruption and lots of fibbing.

This week I decided to try some of the Linda McCartney vegan sausage rolls.  I don’t usually buy that kind of stuff but I thought I’d give it a go.   Better that than me slaving over a homemade batch to have him say “these taste 30% good but 70% poopy”.  Anyway he loved them and asked me to buy more.  “Buy?” I said.  “You mean you want me to MAKE more”.  I’m sneaky this way.  I’m happy to take the credit.  And then he said “hey Mumz, how do you make a sausage roll?  Just GIVE IT A LITTLE PUSH”.  And I was all very funny sweetheart but please don’t talk with your mouth full of flaky pastry because now we need to vacuum the floor again.

So my challenge was to then make my own vegan sausage rolls that would taste enough like the Linda McCartney variety.  My vegan buddy swears by the recipe over at Where’s The Beef, so I decided to give that a go.

The hardest part of this recipe was trying to find my pastry brush.  I looove recipes where things are thrown in to a food processor because I’m lazy.

Bring forth the roll of no-sausage and bathe it in Heinz:

Critic Review Time.  This is where I get nervous.  Like Iron Chef.

Me: “these are amazing and would absolutely fool anyone who indulges in high fat offal tubes.  If I had this before I was vegan, I would believe it if you told me they came from Fergusson Plarre”.

Husband: “these are good.  I just need a bit more sauce”.

Arthur: “these are 100% delicious out of 100.  See this Superman S on my t-shirt?  The S stands for Sausage Roll Man”.

DeeW: “can you make me something else to eat?” Let us strike her opinion from the record on the basis of Puff Pastry Refusal.

This is a fantastic recipe.  Trust me, you can NOT taste the tofu.  Husband was sitting there peering inside the rolls to see what he could make out.  Fooled good and proper, which always gets a thumbs up from me!