Valentine’s Day tasty delights

Ah, Valentine’s Day.   Not something I’m personally in to, but DeeW was quite excited.  She made a card for me, then asked me to write “Dear Mummy, Happy Valentine’s Day, love from DeeW”.  I finished writing, she folded it up and proudly exclaimed “look!  I made you a card!”

I had planned on baking something in a heart shaped tin, or making something in my heart shaped moulds but in the end Husband and I thought we would have a special food day.  In other words, Mum Hasn’t Been Organised Enough To Prepare Stuff.  First stop in the morning was Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop. I tried the mini raw strawberry shortcake and it was fantastically good.  This is the first time I’ve tried one of the raw offerings from the bake shop and it did not disappoint:

raw strawberry shortcake

More goodies on display:

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Mister Nice Guy's cupcakes

For dinner, we headed off to Eat Fresh Pizza at 44 Raleigh Road in Maribyrnong.  I got myself a vegan gourmet veggie pizza, with capsicum, roast pumpkin and eggplant.  Major yum here too:

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My Valentine’s present to myself, Husband and the kids magically appeared earlier in the week.  I had some things to drop off at an op shop and to my delight there was a big “50% off everything” sign on the window.  I scored this 1970s Mastermind set, just like the one I had growing up.  Not only that, but this I am sure is unused as the scoring pegs were still in a sealed bag and the coloured pegs were in a bag (non-sealed).  For $2.50!!!

Vintage Mastermind game

Note the hands. BWAHAHA!

I love my readers! MWAAAA!

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Another whoops-I-forgot-the-What-I-Ate-posts Post

Whoops indeed.  I’ve been pretty busy lately and neglecting the blog a bit.  This is the time of year where I start mapping out next year’s schooling plans so most of my computer time has been spent doing that.

First up, many happy returns to Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop!  I tried their maple facon bun, yummm.  We also got a free mini cupcake to celebrate the happy birthday.  Here’s to many more birthdays!

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Mini pumpkin pies and pecan pies!

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I have a new toy!  Yay for credit card reward points. And blu tack on the walls to hold up recipe printouts:

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One of Arthur’s favourite meals is Dreena Burton’s BBQ Sunflower Tofu.  Yes, there’s a lack of vegetables.  He drinks them instead (but don’t tell him.  I just call it ‘juice’):

bbqsunflowertofu

I picked up this packet of mac and cheese from Bed and Broccoli’s stall at World Vegan Day.  My mac and cheeze attempts have always been a little mehhh but this was nice.  I wish the rest of the family would eat mac and cheeze:

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My mum made yemista (stuffed Greek vegetables) with roast potatoes:

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I made some chocolate sweet potato brownies:

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Late night munchies: refried beans in tortillas cooked in the frying pan.  I really don’t like canned refried beans:

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Arthur usually asks for porridge (oatmeal) with a little golden syrup:

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I went to Lord of the Fries and took this bad picture:

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I opted for some vegan mayo sauce on the fries.  Whenever I get a sauce I think nope never again (I don’t like too much sauce) but when I get plain fries, I always wish I got a sauce.  WHAT TO DO:

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Mama’s making Kantong with frozen vegetables.  I have to say it, I really dislike the taste of frozen vegetables.  Do you think they have that frozen-veggies taste?  Anyway, I used some mock duck and soy nuggets with a packet of Kantong.  It was okay but those packet sauces have a fair bit of sugar:

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Some satay buns I bought from Global Green Vegetarian Food Mart:

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A can of gigantes (large beans, Greek style).  This photo is awfully red but I don’t think there’s any red food colouring involved:

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I tried these Redwood burgers and decided that if I go to a bbq and want a burger, these will be it.  Much nicer than the Fry’s burger in my greedy opinion:
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I made a Thai style curry using some soy slices.  The slices come dried and you have to rehydrate them.  These were awful and had a really strong soy milk taste.  I mean, obviously, they’d taste like soy, being soy.  But I don’t like the taste of soy milk in anything other than my cornflakes.  I don’t want my Thai curries tasting like soy milk.  The soy nuggets I use (in the picture above somewhere) don’t have the soy milk taste:

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Honest, we eat fruit and vegetables and healthy stuff.  I just forget to take photos of those!

Thank you to Mister Nice Guy and a few ‘what I ates’

We haven’t visited Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in quite a while.  Well, to be fair Husband did take the kids recently but he forgot that the Bake Shop is closed on a Monday, doh.  After the kids beat him up for it, they took it well.

Arthur’s birthday is this week and it appears he has refused my order to stop growing up.  I don’t think that will stop him writing stories for me on my birthday with titles such as “how to cook a butt” (actually that one was a graphic novel complete with recipe instructions).

For a pre-birthday treat, Husband took Arthur and DeeW to Mister Nice Guy’s today and he came home bouncing around in excitement, because of this lovely thoughtful gesture:

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Arthur was given a cinnamon bun for his birthday-in-advance and declares it one of the best presents he’s ever received.  I haven’t had a cinnamon bun myself in ages so asked Husband to get one for me and it was every bit as delicious as always:

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A very mega thank you to Mister Nice Guy and the Bake Shop crew!  Best customer service ever!

Okay, here are a few “What I ate this week” tidbits.  There aren’t many because I’ve been sick with no appetite and when I felt okay to eat all I wanted were the oranges and strawberries and bananas.

First up, the Mushroom Pecan Burgers from Dreena Burton’s ‘The Everyday Vegan’. I’ve never been lucky with things made from mushroom.  I like whole or sliced mushrooms but if it doesn’t look like a button shape to begin with, I won’t eat it.  I can’t bring myself to eat enoki, it falls too much in to the category of alien space food.  I’ve never been interested in turning mushrooms in to something else (like a burger), instead just preferring them sliced and tossed through pasta or on a pizza.  And that’s really about it. Arthur and DeeW won’t go near mushrooms so I thought I’d be sneaky and whiz them up and put them in burger form.  The recipe was very easy and contains tahini and hoisin sauce.  I used oats instead of the breadcrumbs:

mushroompecanburgers

I liked them but the kids weren’t keen which was pretty frustrating as this is a really good recipe.  I suppose they may have eaten them in a bread bun but I want to avoid giving them bread (or gluten, specifically) wherever possible.  It’s worth noting Dreena includes a ‘version 2’ recipe in her book Let Them Eat Vegan and you can see those burgers here.

Still, it means I got to have the leftovers to myself, this time in corn tortillas with salsa and vegan sour cream with coriander:

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For the first time ever, I made myself tofu scramble.  Up until now I was never truly convinced that ‘tofu’ and ‘scramble’ belong in the same sentence.  Kind of like apricot chicken.  Or any of those ‘fruit’ flavours in the Cadburys family block.  I had some tofu that had been defrosted and pressed (I think it was firm tofu) so I just crumbled it and fried it up with a pinch of curry powder and black salt.  I haven’t used my black salt much and boy when I added it to the tofu scramble, could you smell egg!  It smelt and looked so much like scrambled eggs that I had to sit there for a few minutes trying to will myself to eat it.  I added some of the coconut bacon I’d make and some rocket (I love rocket, yeah-eh) along with a little bit of vegan mayo. Delicious!

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More burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan!, this time the Lentil Walnut Burgers.  The recipe calls for green lentils but I only had brown and they still tasted great.  There’s also diced apple (though I grated it) which adds a little sweetness without being too sweet.  I really liked these:

lentilwalnutburgers

I saw these green curry soups at Aldi.  I love green curry but not as a soup so I put most of it (but not all the liquid) on brown rice.  It wasn’t very good, a bit too sweet and the vegies too blergh looking and I gave up after a few spoonfuls.  Then felt a bit crappy because I’d put a couple of these soups (the red curry variety as well) in a bag of goodies for my sister’s birthday:

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Woolworths sell these pakoras in their freezer section and they were over a dollar off so I grabbed some as a snack to have back at my mum’s house.  They tasted fine enough but were too dry when reheated:

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I made the Pecan Date Nibblers from Let Them Eat Vegan! as an experiment for a short family holiday we have coming up.  The sweetness comes from the dates and maple syrup though next time I will cut the maple syrup way down as they were pretty sweet.  Arthur loved them, DeeW not really.  I added pumpkin seeds to the mix:

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I made my sister a lemon slice using Mel’s recipe but because I was plain old lazy I didn’t include the dairy free margarine and instead just dumped the condensed soy milk in without heating it.  I’ve never used the vegan version of condsensed milk and like the dairy version it’s basically massive sugar overload in canned form.  Does it stop one from having a big spoonful?  Not usually:

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I’m hoping that my food blog posts (well, my cooking I should say) for September will be far more interesting because of Vegan MoFo.  I’m looking forward to trying lots of recipes from my cookbooks, especially raw recipes.  See you then!

Rocket, YEAH-EHH!

Rocket, YEAH-EHH!

Mothers Day treats from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop

It feels like we haven’t been to Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop in aaages.  That’s probably because we haven’t been in aaages.  Arthur had requested I make pancakes for Mothers Day (as in, Mother does all the work) and I said think again buddy cos I’m not going near a frying pan.  We decided on treats from Mister Nice Guy to take to my Mum’s house for afternoon tea.

As usual, there were lots of lovely treats at the bake shop:

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My sister and I were pitching in for afternoon tea so got some cake (yum!) and a piece of the grasshopper cheezecake which is mint flavoured.  As it was brunch time when I visited the bake shop and I hadn’t had breakfast, I decided to try the ‘BLT’ bagel.  Oh my, it was delicious:

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Part of our day today involved passing through the suburb of North Melbourne, a lovely part of town:

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I love this old lettering on a store right near Mister Nice Guy’s:

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… it matches this stove someone put out on the nature strip (grassed areas outside homes):

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Best Mothers Day present: my legs look long and skinny!
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Best wishes for a fantastic Mothers Day, to all you mums out there!

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Hot Cross Buns from Mister Nice Guy

With Easter approaching, that means hot cross buns are everywhere.  Our big supermarkets came under fire from church organisations for stocking hot cross buns right after Christmas.  I must confess I’m not really a hot cross bun fan.  I mean, they’re okay but I just get over them really quickly.  Every year I say I’ll bake my own and I might still do that for the Orthodox Easter which is still weeks away.

Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop have hot cross buns this week.  So you know where we headed off to, right?

These hot cross buns are more along the line of what I prefer in a HCB.  A sticky glaze (apricot jam) and not just a boring eggy/milky wash.  Light and fluffy and no overdone fruit inside.  Big too  🙂

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Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop is located at 151 Union Road, Ascot Vale and very close to public transport.  Here is their stockists web page:

http://www.misterniceguy.com.au/stockists/