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:

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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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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

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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  😀

Il Gobbo comes to Essendon!

I’m always excited to learn of a new vegan business opening up (especially food) so I was most pleased to learn that Il Gobbo has opened on Keilor Road in Essendon.  Offering a selection of burgers, hot dogs, a burrito, nachos, lasagna, spaghetti with sauce and fries for your meal, I decided today was the day I had to go  😉

Even though I’d looked at the menu online at home, I still had some trouble deciding on a burger because they all sounded great.  In the end I decided that because I am a Veganopoulous I had to get the Fully Sick Wog Burger.  I really liked the patty and the onion, sundried tomato, vegan bacon and cheese with the fresh basil and tomato worked well together.  Definitely something I’d get again once I work my way through the menu!


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The fam inhaled two bowls of fries that were nicely seasoned:

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I very much enjoyed my meal and service was lovely  🙂  Go check it out!  Essendon peeps, well done on scoring such a tasty cafe!

I forgot to take a photo of the outside (a common theme with me) but here’s the inside:

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Il Gobbo is located at 305 Keilor Road, Essendon.  Tram 59 stops right outside (stop 51).  Look for a green shop with signage for Down to Earth tattoos (who use vegan ink)– the cafe is in the front!   https://www.facebook.com/ilgobbovegan

Il Gobbo has been visited by The Good Hearted and Vegawesome.

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.

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant, West Melbourne

I had things to do in North Melbourne/West Melbourne this week and finished up at 6pm.  Which was perfect timing because I was standing outside White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant when I was done    🙂

Everything on the menu is vegan and White Lotus do not use onions or garlic.  I had a tough time deciding what to get and in the end I settled for the curry clay pot (with a side of plain rice) as I’d heard people recommend it.  When my clay pot arrived there were a few big pieces of tofu and some mock meat pieces as well as potato, eggplant, sweet potato and carrot.  The serving was just right, though the meal didn’t exactly blow me away like I was hoping and dare I say it was a little on the bland side (though I’m a big garlic fan!).  I would still go back as the service was friendly, the place is completely unpretentious and it’s super easy for me to get to (yeah, I only just worked that one out the day I went there):

claypot

The waitress told me the mock fish is one of their more popular dishes, especially with groups.  The couple next to me ordered the lemon chicken and it looked great.  I might try the fish on a return visit as it is made with soy and not wheat.

whitelotus

The White Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 185 Victoria Street, West Melbourne.  They accept cash only.

Om Vegetarian and Open House Melbourne 2013

A last minute change of plans saw me freeee to catch a tram in to the city today and check out some of the buildings open for this year’s Open House Melbourne.  First up on the list was the Royal Historical Society:

rhs

Unfortunately I got the date wrong, it’s open tomorrow only.  So I slumped around the corner to the Hellenic Museum:

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I got to look around upstairs (which always means photos of staircases and balustrades):

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… and old fireplaces:

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I was too busy taking photos to find out about these giant mutated Sylvannian Families:

hellenicmouse

The Hellenic Museum features stories about and by people who made the journey from Greece to Australia.  These are also the stories of my parents, who both arrived here with my grandparents when they were little.  I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been for my grandparents, knowing they would never see their families again and having to start from scratch in a strange land.  Fortunately they did have family here, who had arrived before them, but it was still very difficult.

After the Hellenic Museum, my next open house building was the former public records office, which now houses the Victoria Law School:

oldpublicrecordsoffice

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From there it was off to the Phillips Shirt factory, where I could have seen old machinery had it not been for the queue that was forty five minutes long.  A quick photo of the outside, then I went off to get lunch:

phillipsshirts

On the way home, I was near the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne (also part of Open House Melbourne) and a tour was just beginning.  The hotel celebrates its 100th birthday this year.  There were beautiful stained glass windows and wood panelling:

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We got to look inside the hotel room with this wall art in the shower:

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This is the ceiling gum leaf detail in the room:

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Further down the corridor somewhere:

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The heritage room:

rendezvous10

Lunch was at Om Vegetarian on Elizabeth Street.  Up the old stairs:

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and in to here:

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A meal at Om costs $6.50 which includes rice and two curries plus naan and some hot pickle.  Yes, I only got two pieces of potato, but you can go back for more.  I didn’t, because the meal was quite filling plus I bought a samosa for $2.  Everything was pretty good:

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Open House Melbourne is on tomorrow (July 28).  Did you visit any of the buildings?