Saturday, November 30, 2013

Smoky barbecue roast vegetables

Here in Australia, it isn't really the season for roast vegetables. However, that doesn't stop us having them and it is the season for large, make in advance side dishes. Roast vegetables fit that requirement perfectly.

This dish is a spin off from the tofu in barbecue sauce I first posted two years ago. I still love that dish, and it taught me that barbecue sauce isn't constrained to what you can buy in plastic bottles. Done well, barbecue sauce is a wonderful thing!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

New York City #2 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art (including The Cloisters) and High Line

With today being American Thanksgiving (happy Thanksgiving!), it seemed appropriate to return to our recent US travels and the second of our days in New York City.

Our second day included an ambitious list of destinations: The Cloisters, part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art but located in far north Manhattan; the High Line park in the centre of Manhattan; and the main Met museum on the Upper East Side. We managed all three, but it was definitely a full day.

The Cloisters

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vegan pumpkin pie berry pancakes {Christmas ideas 2013}

Yesterday marked one month until Christmas. Today, I am showing previously unheard of blog organisation and kicking off my seasonal posts. Hopefully by starting now, you'll have a chance to enjoy any recipes you like the look of before Christmas is over for another year.

Unlike my last post, today's recipe has also been trialed, revised, re-trialed, and then posted. You can't take risks with Christmas! These pancakes could also do double duty for Thanksgiving, which I know is almost upon you in America.

Pumpkin and berry pancakes

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Smoky tofu fritters (a work in progress)

Technically, I should make these fritters again before posting them. Whilst they tasted great, the texture needs refining - in my version, they struggled to hold together and were a challenge to keep as discrete fritters (as opposed to a messy scramble)! However, I have no idea when I might get to making them again, and they seem too good to skip over altogether. Thus, I post them with ideas for modifications, and a warning as to their messiness in this version. I'm not giving a printable version of the recipe either, to encourage you to make changes if you choose to try them out.

Messy fritters!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fitness Fridays - Exercise and mental health (a research post)

Every now and then, I think I'd like to do more posts that draw on my research background. There are lots of research areas I'm interested in that don't quite fit in my work role, and I imagine that lots of you don't have time to trawl through research databases or determine what the latest recommendation on Topic X is.

Usually I have these kinds of thoughts and then don't find the time to follow them through, or I worry that no one else will want to know about Topic X anyway. Recently, though, the idea of research posts has been coming to me more and more often. I get frustrated by popular media stories that make claims without supporting evidence. I'd like to try and make science more accessible - and, I'd like an excuse to delve into all those  topics I'm curious about.

So, today, we have the first such post. In this case, it is an integration of research with my recently neglected Fitness Fridays initiative. The images (because all posts must have images!) come from our recent camping trip, which I've been wanting an excuse to share and which fit vaguely into the exercise focus.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New York city (#1) - The Frick Collection, Matilda on Broadway, and city-based wandering

New York has the honour of being the only place in the US that I have been to twice. It is, of course, the sort of place you can visit 10 times and still not see it all. At the same time, it invites familiarity after a delightfully short period of time. The combination of famous landmarks and nicely numbered / lettered streets makes navigation easy, and walking delightful.

The drive from New Haven to New York was our last driving stretch. I generously offered allocated it to Mr Bite. In order to avoid driving into Manhattan itself, we dropped the car at LaGuardia airport and made the rest of the journey by bus. As a consequence, the drive wasn't that bad (said by the person who was a passenger) but it was still long enough. New York drivers really like to beep!

Our apartment building (the lowest window visible at the front,
 half underground, was our lounge room)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ginger-chilli-soy coleslaw

It seems that remembering my New Haven Asian-style coleslaw prompted me to want, well, more Asian-style coleslaw. I'm suggestible like that.

If I'm honest, I'm also eager desperate for ways to use up cabbage. I love my fortnightly vegetable box delivery, but sometimes there are a lot of vegetables to get through myself. Last time, I got a whole cabbage, a whole cauliflower, and a whole broccoli. Mr Bite eats none of these vegetables unless they are well disguised. Finding clever uses for them has been necessary!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

No bake peanut butter energy bites (4 ingredients, vegan, and no food processor required!)

It's all very well me raving about my new (second hand) large freezer, and baking muffins in bulk, but I know that many of you are in the position I was in a few months back: freezer space is at a premium. Plus, sometimes you (I) want a snack or treat without having to do much. If you're in Australia, you (I) may also want a snack or treat without having to turn on your oven.

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are the perfect solution.

I clearly wasn't in the mood for even cutting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Boston to New York city, via New Haven

Between work and camping and the inevitable nature of time (it passes!), our American holiday is receding into the past more rapidly than seems right. I shall try to get my final few American posts written before my memories recede too!

Yale University, New Haven

After our two nights in Boston, we drove the 4 (ish) hours to New York city, our final destination before returning home. On the way, though, we stopped at New Haven, Connecticut, for petrol and lunch. This wasn't a planned destination - New Haven just happened to be about the right distance along the drive.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chocolate zucchini muffins

As my last post may have conveyed, we had a lot of fun camping on the weekend. As my first time sleeping in a 'normal' tent (versus a shared open-ended hootchie on the traumatic experience that was year 8 camp, and a smaller hootchie on the enjoyable but short-lived Duke of Edinburgh year 10 camp), it was also a novel experience for me. I still have some reservations; I loved sleeping amongst trees, but was less enamored with the bugs, and I loved walking for 5 hours on the Cape to Cape track, but would have liked a shower at the end of it! However, I can definitely imagine more camping in my future.

After leaving work early on Friday and returning home on Sunday to the usual weekend requirements (shopping/washing/ironing...), I am also thanking myself again for bulk baking muffins last weekend. A few posts ago, I shared the pumpkin, apple and cranberry variety. Today, we have chocolate zucchini.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Camping - reflections in photos

Camp site, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park - pre-tent

Camp site, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park - post-tent
(thanks to my sister-in-law's tent lending!)

Friday, November 8, 2013

American food #2

My first American food post was all the way back in Washington D.C. (how is that 6 weeks ago?). Thus, I think we are overdue for the second! These items are from various stops on our travels, and all seemed worthy of blog attention, albeit not so much attention that they get their own posts.

First: Enormous pizza.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin apple and cranberry muffins

It's taken a while, but I am finally grasping the implications of having a whole, full size freezer in our garage. All those months and years I bemoaned my inability to make things in bulk and freeze snacks and meals for later? I can finally make up for lost time.

(Or at least, I can make up for lost time within the bounds of planning to move countries in 6 months.)

On the weekend, I embraced this realisation with two batches of muffins. These vegan pumpkin, apple and cranberry muffins were one batch. They are adapted from the vegan pumpkin apple muffins on Minimalist Baker. They are full of goodness, easy to make, and completely delicious.

Monday, November 4, 2013

In my kitchen - November 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 new season mango. Mango prices are still a little steep, but I couldn't resist.

I am, however, resisting the $20 / kg apricots. We might see them in my kitchen in December, but probably not before.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Out and About in Perth (#5) - Open House Perth, 2013

Some of you may be familiar with the Open House scheme. It started in London in 1992, and has since extended to cities all around the world. 2012 was the first year for Open House Perth and we didn't know anything about it until after the event (!). This year, we were more organised and managed to visit a few of the open buildings on Saturday. I am glad we did, although as I forgot my camera, I am sharing images with you courtesy of my phone. I apologise for the dubious quality at times.

By Bishop's See Gardens, Perth.

Open House aims to give people a behind the scenes look at historical, architecturally significant and/or otherwise meaningful spaces. Mostly these spaces are buildings, but some are gardens or other types of architecture. This year, there were 65 sites open in Perth over 2 days. Clearly, you have to pick your priorities.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Magical everything chocolate pudding (vegan, raw, 100% whole foods, and refined sugar free)

I like to think that I'm honest about my vegetable dessert experiments that don't quite work. The green ice cream I made with spinach? Probably not for everyone. That (best forgotten) chocolate mint fudge with cauliflower? Clearly a disaster.

As for this chocolate pudding, though? Trust me when I say it's a vegetable containing dessert that you want to embrace.