Wednesday 10 July 2013

PP Cheeseless Cheese Sauce, Birthdays and Boyd

Last weekend was low on energy but full of colour and fun.  Two family birthdays.  An impressive cake.  Colourful pasta.  A cheeseless cheese sauce.  A community centre birthday celebration.  Ukeleles.  Free scones.  Paper cranes.  Good times.

Friday I bought this colourful pasta at Wholefoods in East Brunswick.  Then I slept all afternoon.  I was tired.

Saturday we went to a family lunch for my nephew Cooper and my niece Maddy's birthdays.  And my mum's return from holidays.  My sister in law Erica make this impressive cake.  (Even if you don't like the Collingwood Football Team, you can admire the cake!)  I took along focaccia.

I needed an easy dinner when we got home.  The red pasta was calling.  I made this simple cheeseless cheese sauce.  The pasta looks disturbingly like streaky bacon.  It was great comfort food.

I made pea and lentil salad.  Sort of.  I didn't have the usual flavours.  Instead I tried a verjuice dressing.  It was fairly mild.  I have added my versions of the recipe below.  It could do with a bit more oomph.

On Sunday we went to Boyd Community Centre.  They were celebrating being open a year.  It is on the fringe of the CBD in a former school in City Road.   KereKere cafe - in the centre - offered free sandwiches, scones, brownies and pastries.  If this is any indication of their usual food I would love to return there.

E was one of the ukelele mob.  They handed around ukeleles and tried to teach us some easy chords.  I was upstaged by Sylvia's dolly.  Dolly turned out to be quite a whizz at the uke.  Then we wandered into the kiddies room and upstairs to where the Australian Book Review was giving away free books.

Finally we found ourselves in Paperlab’s Etsy Craft Party 2013 - Craft for Community.  It had been booked out but they kindly found us a space.  We learned to make paper cranes.  They were hung over the staircase in cascades of colour.

Here is Sylvia doing a happy dance at Boyd.  An interesting weekend indeed.  In this spirit I thought I would share some recent things that made me smile:

- #hipstergeddon - what happens on Twitter when inner-city hipsters have a power blackout
- I get quite a lot of emails offering to help me with my SEO and/or my advertising.  I had one last week that topped the lot of them by also offering to source content and write my blog.  I just wasn't sure what else was left for me to do.  You've got to laugh at the chutzpah.
- Sylvia is quite keen on houses being knocked over right now (including our own).  She thinks when this happens we might just see the tiny fairies that live in the tiny castles under our houses!
- Josh Thomas (comedian) is on Adam Hills Tonight talk show where he auctioned off his chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream frosting.  He raised $350 for charity.  How I love that show.

I was glad to have leftover sauce to stir through pasta at home on Sunday night.  It heated up well, was good on toast and was delicious stirred into soup the next night.  I must try it tossed with macaroni and baked with breadcrumbs on top like Deb's mac and cheese.

I am sending this lasagne to Ruth of Makey Cakey for Pasta Please, the event that Jac coordinates.  This month the theme is cheeseless wonders.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Patatas Bravas and Spanish memories
Two years ago: Mulled wine and chocolate cake
Three years ago: Rhubarb and apple sponge pudding
Four years ago: AWED Butterscotch pudding
Five years ago: Miss Marple’s Tea Room – cosy charm

Cheeseless cheese sauce
Slightly adapted from Chef Chloe via Kahakai Kitchen
Serves 4-6

1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/3 cup wholemeal flour
3 cups soy milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Melt margarine in a medium saucepan and stir in flour for a few minutes until it smells cooked and browns slightly.  Gradually add milk.  (If I add it all at once I find that it gets lumpy and then I spend time stirring them out!)  Mix in nutritional yeast flakes, tomato paste, salt and garlic powder.  Stir over medium heat until it thickens.  Add lemon juice and maple syrup.  Check taste and adjust seasoning (adding lots of freshly ground black pepper and some salt if you wish).

Serving suggestion: stir through cooked pasta (I cooked 250g pasta which used less than half the sauce).

Verjuice dressing
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller
Serves about 2-3 people (ie for a small salad)

3 tsp olive oil
2 tsp verjuice
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt

Lightly whisk ingredients in a small bowl and pour over

On the Stereo:
Folk Songs of Britain: Songs of Courtship


  1. I must make me some colourful pasta soon!

  2. Looks like perfect comfort food! Thanks so much for joining in :-)

    1. Thanks Ruth - definitely my sort of comfort

  3. It's scaring me how quickly Sylvia is growing up! She'll be a teenager in the blink of an eye, I feel...

    1. Thanks Hannah - strange you say that as she is wearing a dress we found her when she wanted to dress as a lady - it is quite cute because so many other dresses are really short and this one is quite long (but getting shorter - she just keeps growing)

  4. Pasta with peas is always so good!

  5. This pasta looks delish! Syvia's happy dance makes me happy too. I have never seen Adam Hills, but I'd have loved to see Josh's cake.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - Highly recommend Adam Hills. Josh had been baking cake for each gig and auctioning them for charity - his cake looked quite impressive - made me want to taste it

  6. The pasta really does look like streaky bacon! :o And that cake is amazing! She did a great job :D

    1. Thanks Lorraine - glad to hear that from a meat eater - I wondered if it was just because I don't eat bacon that I thought this

  7. I enjoyed this pasta sauce too and should make it again sometime, thanks for reminding me about it! Love the guernsey cake too.

    How amazing that Dolly is a star on ukelele - that made me laugh!

    1. Thanks Mel - The cake looked great and dolly made me laugh when she took up the ukelele - I had tried but was too busy supervising Sylvia and Dolly to concentrate

  8. Cheeseless cheese sauce always intrigues me, and I smiled at your description of the pasta looking a bit like bacon - it does! I also smiled at Sylvia's dance and your weekend sounds excellent all around. I also get those blog emails and have been amused by a recent one telling me all the reasons my blog isn't doing well and attracting traffic! I'm not sure that's the best way to sell your services, personally ;)

    1. Thanks Kari - Think of it as cheesy in a nutritional yeast sort of way. Those blog emails are annoying - one could get very paranoid if we took them too seriously. Far nicer to go on public transport and talk to the guy in the beanie beside us who just wants a chat :-)

  9. I must make some of that verjuice soon :)

  10. just mouthwatering....looks delicious!


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)