A What-I-Ate-And-Forgot-To-Blog-About-Again post

I’ve been crazy busy baking lately.  I decided to give out tasty vegan treats for Christmas this year.  The grand plan was to bake things I could freeze before hot weather kicked in, so I wouldn’t have to bake closer to Christmas if the weather was foul (as in hot).  Now the big problem with this grand plan, in case you can’t see it (though I think it’s big enough to fit the orbit of a small planet) is this.  TREATS.  FREEZER.  Now what do you get when you walk to the freezer to remove said treats?  You get TREATS FOR OTHER PEOPLE EATEN. So I have to keep baking.

This year I’d planned to decorate the house more Christmassy, do crafts with Arthur and DeeW and make a fabric wreath for the front door.  None of that happened because our short getaway got in the way of all that.  The kids decorated the tree.  Yes, that is a small patch of paint that has come off thanks to blu tack.  Toad is this year’s Christmas star ornament and there’s also an angel (that purple thingy) DeeW made:

Our Christmas tree

Decorations from when I was little:

vintage Christmas decorations

DeeW likes to decorate with her toys:

our Christmas tree

Our mantel in the lounge room:

Christmas mantel

…and what you see when you zoom out a little:

Christmas mantel

With our family holiday this month, I’ve been forgetting to blog about what I’ve eaten.  I did manage some photos here and there.

First up: VEGAN POUTINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some may remember my rather pissweak attempt at poutine on Canada Day.  Welllll as it turns out, Lord of the Fries serve vegan poutine.  It’s not my fault they only call it ‘French Canadian” on the sauces menu.  I would have noticed poutine and pounced otherwise.  Anyway, LOTF’s poutine was deeeelish.  I know where I’m going next Canada Day.  Gosh I hope they didn’t give me dairy cheese, I did specifically ask for vegan but you never know.  Disgusting looking photo:

Lord of the Fries French Canadian Poutine

 Speaking of fries, the Philips Air Fryer has been faithfully churning out chips.  I use a teaspoon of oil, even though the instructions say use a tablespoon.  Still tastes fine to me and the less oil the better I say.  We call these air fries:

air fries

I went to Divine Realm Veggie Delight and got a serving of their tofu and veg curry, a mock meat with green beans and I asked for a few pieces of the mock duck with sauce.  I went well after the lunch rush was over, nobody was around, so I think they pretty much gave me what was left.  Which meant a massive serve.  I’m confused though, did they change their name from Chan House?  Or was it always like this with two names?  Anyway, food is yum:

divinerealmmeal

I made some chickpea patties that weren’t popular with anyone but me. At least DeeW ate all the veggies on her plate:

chickpea patties with veg

I can’t even remember what this is… I think it was based on the Cambodian Noodle Salad from The Kind Cook:

 Noodle Salad

The Classic Baked Tofu from Isa Does It plus some garlicky cashew topped noodles:

basked tofu cashew noodles

I think this may have been the Sizzling Mongolian Kantong packet mix, with veggies and mock duck on brown rice:

Kantong Mongolian with veg and mock duck

Vegan pizza time with Notzarella, which I really like using:

vegan pizza with Notzarella

I think I just roasted some veg and tofu here and mixed it all up.  Nothing flash:

mixed veg tofu

Husband and I went to Zaatar and I got my usual.  This costs about $4:

zaatar pizza

I’ve been making lots of juice in my new juicer.  I’m so happy that Arthur and Husband will drink a juice made with greens.  I add some sweet fruit to theirs, like orange and apple:

Fruit and greens juice

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juice1

green juice

A berry smoothie with hemp oil:

berrysmoothie

Green smoothies of some sort, with a bit of chlorella.  Which makes it sound like a diseased drink:
chlorellasmoothie

chlorellasmoothie2

DeeW loves a Planet Box with fruit:

Fruit Planet Box

Some time ago I bought this sweet coconut spread.  It’s okay but I don’t know why I bought it.  It was on sale and I must have been in a “buy something on a whim” mood:

coconutspread
I picked up this Wot No Dairy? dessert, to use in a cake that called for vegan yoghurt.  Must admit I tried really hard to like it, but failed:

wot no dairy
This was the cake, but ah, I don’t even remember what recipe I used:

some kind of cake

My mum had made an apple rhubarb compote and I plopped some on the plate with my cake:

some kind of cake

Last night we thought we’d be clever and drive in to the city to see the Myer Christmas windows.  We thought surely it won’t be busy on a Sunday evening.  The queue was looong and when we lined up an attendant told us this was the middle of the queue.  The end of the queue was waaaaaay down there.  Over an hour long to wait.  So we decided to go and get dinner instead.

DeeW liked this big door:

big red door in the city

These are the Melbourne Bike Share hire bikes:

Melbourne bikeshare

The Christmas tree in the city square.  It was raining and I didn’t want to jaywalk to get a better photo:

Christmas in Melbourne 2013

Bourke Street Mall all dressed up:

Bourke Street Mall

Bourke Street Mall

Melbourne Town Hall:

Melbourne Town Hall

And this was the sky when we got home:

sunset

Hope you’re all having a peaceful lead up to the holidays  😀

Lunch at Chin Chin and too many photos

Melbourne had a travel expo on this past weekend so Husband and I dropped the kids off for a sleepover with grandparents then had a quiet sneaky visit to Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop to check out the cupcake flavours they made for Chinese New Year.  I couldn’t resist the cute little pumpkin donut and a cinnamon bun ALL TO MYSELF:

mngchinesenycupcakes

mngdonutbun

After the Bake Shop we caught a tram in to the city and walked through the crowds enjoying Chinese New Year festivities:

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city8

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After loading up with brochures and more free cloth bags (those things seem to breed in my house) we went off in search of food.  I’d read some reviews on Chin Chin and suggested we go there and go there we did:

chinchin1

chinchin2

I asked for vegan options and a friendly waitress was able to highlight them for me.  I went for the ‘dry curry Pad Ped with stir fried vegetables, spice crusted organic tofu, kaffir lime leaf and Thai basil’ for $19.  A bowl of rice was served on the side.  This meal was delicious although I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to eating big chunks of tofu with chopsticks because I drop it everywhere and generally look uncouth.  The rice was barely warm which was a bit disappointing but the meal more than made up for it as the flavours were great:

chinchin3

Hot sauce on the tables:

chinchin4

Husband enjoyed his meal, which I won’t talk about because it wasn’t vegan and this is a vegan blog, after all! My one negative comment about Chin Chin is the noise level– the music was just way too loud.  If I can barely hear my dining companion sitting opposite me and if I have to ask a waiter to repeat themselves, then it’s too loud.  It was loud when we walked in and I asked Husband if he wanted to go somewhere else (he doesn’t like loud music in restaurants either) but we’d walked a fair bit and wanted to try Chin Chin.  The loud music combined with the noise of people talking loudly to be heard (the couple next to us also commented on the music volume) plus clattering cutlery from the staff station next to us was a bit much.  However I will admit I have extra sensitive hearing so this probably bothers me more than it does others.  Still, our meals were great and we left there feeling absolutely stuffed.

To work off our meal, we walked (fast pace!) around the city.  Also included are some pictures around Fitzroy and Melbourne University.

Melbourne CBD (aka “the city”):

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city3

city4

city5

city9

city10 city12

city13

city14

city15

Around Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  We stopped at Lord of the Fries for lunch:

lotflunch

fitzroy1

fitzroy2

Around Melbourne University: melbuni1

melbuni3

melbuni2

Chin Chin is located at 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. http://www.chinchinrestaurant.com.au/

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra vs Lord of the Fries. Tough call…

Today I took my almost-five-year old daughter, DeeW, to the Sing! Classic Kids session.  Such awesome stuff.  DeeW learned the names of some instruments.  I learned that when you go to an event for children, you will almost always smell fart the whole way through.

On the way to the auditorium, we passed the National Gallery of Victoria:

ngv1

My friends from out of town always say things like ooooh, you’re so lucky to live in Melbourne.  You have the WATER WALL gallery.  And I just shake my head all mysterious like, give a coy little smile and say my friends, it’s not just a water wall:

ngv2

it’s really…

ngv3

a TELEPORTER.

So after we rematerialised all our bits, we headed off to the MSO session which was really quite cool.  Alas, they did not play “YMCA” so don’t be fooled by the conductor:

msogill

After the session, I asked DeeW what we should eat for lunch.  Mango icecream was the answer.  I haven’t really had much of a chance to explore quick vegan options for when I have my children in tow so I went to my old faithful, the Lord of the Fries stand at Flinders Street Station.  Yay vegan options!

lotf1

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DeeW wasn’t keen on the golden satay sauce and I found it a bit too sweet:

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We ate our fries on the cool shady steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  Here’s the view from there:

cathedralview

We stopped in at Habib Wholefoods to buy DeeW an icecream.  I saw a big piece of vegan chocolate cake and decided to try it, even though I’m not a massive fan.  It was a eyes-are-bigger-than-the-stomach greedy moment.  I had a bit and took the rest home:

veganchoccake

When I’m out with the kids, I prefer buying food from places where we can get through the meal quickly.  Lord of the Fries is super conveniently placed.  Next time I’m on my own, I might go and try Enlightened Cuisine.  I really do love my hot chips (fries) as much as I love the rare occassions I get to hear an orchestra live.

See you again soon  🙂