Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A-Z Bookish Survey

I was delighted when Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe tagged me in her post on this A-Z Bookish Survey. I hadn't see the survey before, but it is just the sort of thing that appeals to me. As far as I can tell, it started with The Perpetual Page-Turner a few months back and, as you might imagine, traverses from A to Z with 26 book-related questions. I am very grateful to Johanna for providing me with an excuse to do it!

The tall fiction bookcase.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tofu and cabbage rice paper rolls with peanut molasses sauce

I think it's best to get something out of the way without delay: these rice paper rolls are messy. Really messy.


Yes, I know. But now that we've all shared a laugh, I can move on to the benefits of these rolls. They might look a bit lumpy and misshapen, but they taste really good! Peanut butter and molasses are a well matched duo, and the crunchy cabbage is beautifully offset by the tender tofu and outer rice paper wrapping.

If you cut your cabbage more finely than I did, you may even manage to make your rolls taste really good and look smooth and sophisticated.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Boston waterfront

I expected to love Boston. This is, of course, a dangerous way to approach a city. It is far better to expect little and be pleasantly surprised.

As those opening lines may hint, I didn't love Boston. Neither of us did. I almost hesitate to write this - some of you, I am sure, will be in the Boston loving crowd! - but we can't all love the same things. There was nothing actually wrong with the city, and I am glad that we visited, but I don't have much of a desire to return.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vegan pumpkin cheesecake with optional raspberry topping


I'm glad that my last post conveyed my enthusiasm for the pumpkin cheesecake that, well, inspired this pumpkin cheesecake. It may be accurate to say that Candle Cafe provided me with the best dessert of my life. It is certainly accurate to say that it provided me with the best dessert of our recent trip.

When I set out to recreate this dish, I remembered Gabby's vegan pumpkin mousse cake posted this time last year on The Veggie Nook. I bookmarked it at the time, but it took the Candle Cafe prompt for me to pull it out again. I am glad I did, because not only did it result in a dessert to rival that of my New York experience, it was also unexpectedly easy. You need to allow some time to soak your nuts (there is no way to make that sound good), and to let the cake chill and set, but the active preparation time is well under an half an hour.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Candle Cafe's vegan pumpkin cheesecake


Pale tangerine offset by ruby red
And studded with pepita jewels
Cleaved by fork; ethereal lightness
Beauty and perfection.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Peri-peri tofu and kale on toast

If you read Bite-Sized Thoughts regularly, you may know that I don't often have sandwiches, toast or even bread. It's not that I dislike those things, but rather that I find leftovers easier than sandwiches for work lunches, am a fruit/cereal/smoothie girl for breakfast, and prefer crumpets, English muffins and fruit bread to plain toast or bread for snacking.

With the above said, today I am sharing a bread-based recipe that is as delicious as it is simple, and which I would happily have for lunch every day if I could manage it.

This tofu meal brought to mind memories of baked beans on toast and eggs on toast, and reminded me that toast is rather lovely when topped with savoury foods that soak into the bread beneath. When those flavours include a subtle kick of peri-peri spice, all the better.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chocolate and books - Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate; Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Goji Berry, Pecans & Maca, and with Cherries; and more historical fiction

A shorter title for this post would have been "all the good things". After all, is there a better combination than good chocolate with a good book? I suppose any good food with a good book is wonderful - but chocolate is a strong contender in the 'good' category. Or at least, these American blocks are.

I nearly didn't buy this Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt chocolate block. After all, almonds and sea salt aren't that uncommon in chocolate. I confess to wondering if the block really deserved precious luggage space.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hanover, New Hampshire, with an all American diner experience

After our night in Burlington, we set off on a much shorter driving day to Boston, with a planned lunchtime stop in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was fortunate the drive was short, because I was so traumatised by the day before I declared I didn't want to drive at all, and made Mr Bite cover both sections (!). 

Happily, not only were the drives short, but they were also scenic and largely very easy (up until the Boston bit, which was as busy as you might expect Boston to be if you arrive at 6pm on a weeknight). All through our driving we had sections of fall colour starting to turn, giving rise to bright orange, yellow or red trees set amongst the green.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Returning to things much loved: Family, The Raw Kitchen, and a blackberry avocado chocolate pudding

It's been over 3 months since my last avocado-containing dessert, so I'm hoping it's acceptable to let another one grace these pages. It's hard to believe that only 2 years have passed since I discovered the wonder that is avocado in dessert form. I still don't like it in savoury dishes, but if you pair it with cocoa or fruit (or both!) and process it into mousse (or cheesecake, or ice cream!) then I am completely smitten.

My last avocado mousse recipe involved raspberries, and I have to confess that this version is not very different - except that instead of raspberries, we have blackberries, and instead of carob, we have cocoa. I wouldn't like to have to choose between the two options, and can see myself happily alternating between them for the foreseeable future.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Almond-semolina-apple-oat slice

You know those times when you imagine a product, and you want it desperately, but you don't have a recipe? You're not even sure if there is a recipe, or if it is something you've had before, or if you have simply dreamed it up in your imagination?

And you know those times when you try to make said product, following a whim, and it doesn't work? Awful. Devastating even.

But then, there are those other times. The times you turn your imagined product into reality. The times your edible dream actually becomes edible, and dream-worthy, and it is as if the stars have aligned in your kitchen just for you.

Those times are magic.

To me, these apple slices were that magic.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Toronto to Burlington, Vermont (featuring Walmart, scary driving, and vegan crepes)

When we left Toronto, we did so with the goal of skirting along the bottom of Canada to re-enter the US at the New York State / Vermont border, just south of Montreal. With our overnight stop planned for Burlington in northern Vermont, it was our longest day of driving with an estimated 7 hours in smooth traffic.

When planning our drive the night before, we looked for obvious lunch stops without finding any. And so, we did what any two Australians in North America would do: we searched for Walmart stores along our route. There was one in Kingston, just under 3 hours from Toronto, and so that became our first stopping point.

Walmart. I know, it's not that exciting.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jumbo spicy kale salad with tofu

I was expecting to love America's range of vegan snacks, desserts and chocolates. I was expecting to enjoy almond milk coffees, and readily available veggie dishes, and tofu in various forms. I did enjoy all of those things. Unexpectedly, however, my greatest American food love (pending one incredible dessert that shall be discussed in time) was the salads. Huge salads. Meal-worthy salads. Salads with All The Things.

These are serious salads.

I could bring back chocolate and snack foods, but I couldn't bring back the salads. And so, I am making it a mission to make my own. Here is the first attempt!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

In my kitchen - the America to Australia edition (October 2013)

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

In my kitchen, there is me! We survived our incredibly long journey home (1.5 hours to get from Manhattan to JFK airport; 3 hours at the airport; 11 hours on a plane; 2 hours at Dubai airport; 10 hours on a plane; 1 hour to clear passport control, customs, and get ourselves to actually home) and are back in Australia in body, if not fully in mind.

The last holiday photo, just before we disappeared through that A6 gate.

In my kitchen, there is a Whole Foods bag I brought back with us. I filled it this morning when re-stocking on fruit and vegetables.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Toronto, Canada

Toronto from the CN Tower.

After leaving my Canadian family, we drove an hour up around Lake Ontario to reach Toronto itself. Despite cool (to us!) temperatures - roughly 11-18'C while we were there - the city glistened in sunshine making it warm when walking around and picturesque for photographing.

Having little time in the city, we picked just two focused activities for our 1.5 - 2 days: the CN Tower, and Casa Loma. The CN Tower, as I'm sure you all know, is a 553m high building that was the world's highest from when it was built in 1976 right up until 2010. Casa Loma may be less well known, and is a rather bemusing castle-house built by the Canadian Sir Henry Pellatt in the early 1900's.