Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fresh on Bloor with Hannah

I am getting slightly ahead of myself with this post (strictly speaking, we should have a generic post on Toronto first), but sometimes the heart wants things slightly out of order. On the second of our two nights in Toronto, I was delighted to fit in an early dinner with Hannah of Wayfaring Chocolate at one of Toronto's three Fresh stores. 

If you read Canadian food blogs, you are likely to have seen Fresh reviewed previously. The restaurants (there are three) were on my list of must eat places for this trip, and feature many vegan salads, grain/noodle bowls, smoothies and juices, wraps and burgers, and a whole lot more besides. As I said to Hannah, I could eat the whole menu. 
Fresh on Bloor

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pennsylvania to Niagara Falls

I can see my travel posts becoming increasingly 'behind', so to speak, as we visit more places and eat more food and take more photos. Fortunately, my travel blogging is driven by a desire to document our experiences (and share them!) rather than any timeline around when that happens. Thus, today I am posting about our travels from a week ago, when we left Washington D.C. to drive north through Pennsylvania. Lest you think a week isn't very behind at will only extend out from here!

Pennsylvania driving. 'Twas a sloping road, not a mis-angled photo.

Our Pennsylvania visit was, in our plan, just a means of getting from Washington D.C. to Canada. We stayed the night in Altoona, a small town that was roughly the right distance between D.C. and the Niagara Falls border crossing. What I hadn't expected was how beautiful the state would be, especially with leaves starting to turn red and yellow. It was a gorgeous drive and Altoona itself was a surprisingly scenic spot.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

D.C.'s Sticky Fingers vegan bakery

I mentioned that I wanted to give separate space to one of our Washington D.C. dinners, and I hope that with this post you will see why. In addition to Sweetgreen, Sticky Fingers Bakery (all vegan) and Pete's Apizza (vegan pizzas with Daiya cheese on offer) were on my list of 'to visit' places for D.C. food. We didn't end up making it to Pete's Apizza, a consequence of some delayed jet lag on my part and the fact that I really prefer my pizza cheeseless. We did, however, make it to Sticky Fingers. It was so good I wish we'd made it twice!

Sticky Finger's awards

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Washington D.C. (part 2)

I think it is probably well known that D.C. is home to a lot of museums. However, I didn't realise quite how many until I started researching the city prior to this trip. The answer to how many, in short, is many. Delightfully, lots of them are also free, thanks to the Smithsonian Institute and some additional affiliated museums.

Much as I enjoy museums, I do enjoy them balanced with other activities. One per day is usually my limit, unless they are particularly small - and those in D.C. are not small. Thus, we picked two that I would do with Mr Bite and left him to consider if we wanted to see more when I was conferencing. The two I joined in on were the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art.

National Air and Space Museum: Entry foyer with various space craft, various airplanes, 
and the actual space suit worn by Neil Armstrong on his trip to the moon.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

American food #1

It didn't take me long to swing into a food-focused post - and really, how could it? If there is one thing America is renowned for, it is the range of edible options available for those with money to purchase the items on offer. Vegan food is no exception, at least if you know where to look.

This is a pretty good place to look.

To try and put this in perspective, for every one 'exciting' vegan product in Australian supermarkets (by which I mean packaged / prepared vegan foods, rather than natural products like fruit/vegetables/grains) there are perhaps 25 in U.K. supermarkets. In the U.S., I'm going to estimate the count at 100. It is dazzling, dizzying, and a little overwhelming.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Washington D.C. (part 1)

Hello from America's capital! It is hard to believe it's only 4 days since we left Australia - partially, I suspect, because if you take into account the time change it is actually 5 days. Regardless, we have walked and explored and seen and photographed a lot in the time since we've arrived. I can picture Mr Bite now sleeping for some of the time I'm off conferencing.

The White House, from afar

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reflections and departures - the U.S.A.

It dawned on me this week that I've never written about my previous (and only) trip to America. This makes sense, given I visited in 2008 and only started blogging in 2011. At the same time, I feel like it deserves note because it was such a memorable and momentous trip.

I went as a third year PhD student, my first time visiting North America and one of my first times travelling internationally alone. I also went after working (in a PhD-focused sense) on at least one weekend day of each weekend over the previous three years. I think I took a few days off each Christmas, but holidays weren't really in my nature. (Oh, how Mr Bite has changed me!) I had a student's budget, but my flights and some accommodation were paid for out of research funds.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

When vegetable desserts fail: chocolate mint fudge with cauliflower

With my coconut banana chocolate truffles, I'd like to think we have proof that vegetables can work well in desserts. The same, I'd hope, could be said of my past recipes for chickpea containing cookie balls, chocolate beetroot brownies, a chocolate peanut butter smoothie with broccoli, and my many (many!) zucchini containing sweet snacks.

Let's hold all those lovely examples in mind, but also acknowledge that sometimes things aren't so successful. I have been sitting on this sad tale for a year now, all the while hoping to rescue the failure with a re-run that actually turned out to be edible.

I've decided it isn't going to happen. I'm sharing the sad tale now.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Vegan coconut banana chocolate truffles

Yesterday, I had a ripe banana on the kitchen counter and some cooked chickpeas in the fridge. In other words, nothing too unusual.

Instead of freezing the banana and eating the chickpeas plain, I turned them into...these. 

I know. I think I made the right choice too.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Out and about in Perth (#4) - Whiteman Park and Araluen revisited

We have had a few outings in the Perth area recently. Last Sunday was our one year wedding anniversary (thanks for all the congratulations!) but it was also Father's Day. During the day, we visited Whiteman Park with family.

Whiteman Park: It's big enough to have tram and train lines within it.

I hadn't been to Whiteman Park since I was a child, and I had forgotten how big it is. There are picnic areas, walk trails, bush land, playgrounds, and railway/transport features spanning 7000 hectares in total. The railway and transport features stem from the Park being home to much Western Australian transport heritage. There is a motor museum, a tractor museum, a tram around the grounds, and a railway around the grounds. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pumpkin scones, the savoury edition: Hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and herbs

Earlier this year, I made pumpkin and date cardamom scones and I loved them. A lot.

What I didn't mention at the time was that I also made pumpkin savoury scones, with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and herbs. I loved them too, a lot.

I had put this recipe aside for Vegan MoFo*, thinking it would be in October and I might partake. Given Vegan MoFo is this month, and I have no other posts to deliver today!, I'm bringing it out now instead.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In my kitchen - September 2013 (featuring much carob, failed cauliflower crackers, and balloons)

I am linking this post in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Do you remember when I discovered carob by Carmel Valley Chocolates, when traversing the Bickley Harvest Festival earlier this year? Well, it doesn't really matter if you don't remember. I did discover it, and now I have discovered the blocks at a supermarket in the city, as opposed to a weekend stall 40 minutes drive away.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

(Beetroot) spaghetti with cumin-spiced tomato split pea sauce

It is with some regret that I skip over Vegan MoFo this year. Unfortunately, September is a busy enough month for me without adding in extra blogging. I will focus on trying to keep up with others' posts instead, and hope to join in again next year.

Whilst I am skipping Vegan Mofo, I am pleased to have an opportunity to participate in 'pasta please'. Johanna has just announced that she is hosting pasta please for September, with a focus on long pasta. This times rather brilliantly with today's post.

This noodle dish makes use of another pack of beetroot pasta, as previously featured with a spinach and white bean sauce. Instead of green, this dish packs an assortment of colours. It also packs an assortment of flavours!