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Tuesday, 28 August 2018
However let me tell you my cunning plan. Regular readers will know I love leftovers. I even plan for them. It's the only way to save my sanity on busy weeks. So tomorrow night I have leftover rice and leftover carrot and corn mixture to make a fried rice.
But I am worried it will keep happening. I have never paid for third parties to do any work on my blog so it is all the work of an amateur without a great deal of website know how - I am more a content person than a tehnical person. So I am feeling wary of the big world wide web and the nasty folk lurking.
I went to the Pandora back up of my blog that I have been proud of and found quite useful. This National Library of Australia service regularly backs up websites of significance. Now I don't think my blog is that important but it was annoying to see the 4 of the 7 back ups on the Pandora system have been hacked. And when I pointed it out they just took down these back ups so now the back ups of my blog on Pandora are not complete (as they don't do complete back ups when they do a new one). Argh1
Vegan MoFo to try new things and have fun with cooking. I have some fun recipes lined up for next month and will look foward to sharing them.
And now I need to think about packing to go away at the end of the week. And scheduling a post or two for when I am away.
Friday, 24 August 2018
I made it at lunchtime and wrapped some in a flatbread. It was so good I then ate the rest of it. I really liked the simple olive oil and balsamic dressing. I tried with less olive oil but it needed the full amount in the recipe and some seasoning to make it right.
Speaking of potatoes, what a week in Australian parliament with the Liberals in a bloodbath that involved two challenges to the Prime Mininstership, three ministers running for PM, relief that Mr Potato Head didn't succeed and wariness that ScoMo is our new PM. No wonder our week ended with roasting marshmallows over a friends outdoor fire rather than with a virtuous salad. But I am looking forward to the end of winter and more salads on the horizon.
I am sending this to Allotment to Kitchen (and co-host VegHog) for Eat Your Greens.
More cauliflower salads at Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cauliflower, cranberry, feta and walnut salad (gf)
Cauliflower and sesame salad (gf, v)
Celery, watercress and cauliflower salad (gf, v)
'Raw' mock fried rice (cauliflower salad) (gf, v)
Warm vegetable and lentil salad (gf, v)
Cauliflower, rocket, pinenut and currant salad
Inspired by taste.com.au
1 large handful rocket (arugula)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup of roasted cauliflower
1 tsp toasted pine nuts
1/2 tsp currants
squeeze of lemon juice
In a small mixing bowl, toss together rocket, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning (I added a pinch of salt and a shake of pepper). Arrange rocket on a plate. Top with cauliflower, pine nuts and currants and a squeeze of lemon juice.
NOTES: you could scale this up but might not need quite as much oil and vinegar dressing because I think my generous handful of rocket could have done with a bit less dressing. Don't skimp on the oil to vinegar ratios as it needs the 2:1 oil to vinegar. I forgot to scatter with parsley.
On the Stereo:
U218 Singles: U2
Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Unga who have already made toys for similar campaigns in other countries.)
I have been surprised how much trading has gone on each day in the school yard. It reminds me of my days of swap cards and stamp collecting. Sylvia would arrive home from school telling us who had what, the trades she had made and who had promised to swap with her tomorrow. She was talking to whom she would not usually give the time of day. I helped her with her collection by asking family and people at work to give us their collectables.
It is not just kids who have been collecting the Little Shoppers. Apparently lots of adults have been going ga-ga for them too. The media is full of stories of desperate adults at swap meets and collections selling for 4 figure sums on e-bay. A friend who works at Coles said it has been unpleasant to be harrassed for collectables by people who say they never got them when they paid. Now the staff have to initial the receipts to say collectables have been given out.
As an adult I find the cynical marketing behind them disturbingly fascinating. It concerns me that Coles supermarket promotes brands to my child in what could be considered an underhand way. For example, Colgate already corners the toothpaste market and reinforces this by being the brand of toothpaste in the collection. Equally concerning is that the promotion is for processed foods. Though, having seen the bananas, I can appreciate that it is far easier to reproduce packages than fresh foods. The question I am really interested in is: how did they choose the products and how much did the manufacturers pay to be part of this promotion?
It has been disturbing to see the in-store promotion of products featured in the Little Shop collectables. When shopping last weekend, I pointed out to my daughter just how the brands from little shop were stacked at the ends of the aisles. We also had fun writing our own wishlists of the products we would have liked to be featured. (Some favourites were tomato sauce, baked beans and Fry's vegetarian schnitzels.)
In addition to the concerns about the plastic packaging, many dislike the promotion of some products that have excessive plastic packaging. The best example of this is the bottled water. In this day and age, nobody needs to be encouraged to buy bottled water.
We have had lots of discussions about the merits and failings of the individual Little Shoppers. Some of the conversations about the mini-shoppers have been about the following:
- the bananas look the least realistic and are most crassly branded with Coles logo,
- the Tim Tam packet is not quite the right shape - it is too flat,
- the Vegemite was one of the favourites,
- the Nutella was cute but the jury was out about the two holes through the jar - I didn't like it because it made it look less real but Sylvia thought it meant you could make a necklace out of it,
- the tuna was least liked in our vegetarian household,
- the hand soap is so cute and great in a dolls house
- they aren't all in proportion - eg compare the size of the yoghurt squeezy to the bottle of orange juice,
- the chocolate milk top isn't quite right
Sylvia completed her collection late last week. (She says most kids at school have not got a complete set.) I confess to being relieved not to feel pressured to get the rare collectables when I am at the checkout. Though it has been a fun too to see what will turn up. And I have really appreciated how helpful family and colleagues have been.
It will be interesting to see what will become of the collectables. Kids have so much stuff these days that they don't place much value in toys and quickly move on to the next thing. There was one positive story, though, about a disability service in Sunbury requesting donations of collectables for their educational programs.
If you are interested in reading more about the Little Shop collectables, here are some interesting articles:
- "Mad Marketing: Coles Little Shop for children undercuts plastic bag ban, critics say", The Guardian, 17 July 2018
- Three reasons you should rethink supermarket collectables, Laura Trotta, 24 July 2018
- Why I'm saying no to Coles Little Shop collectables, by Alys Gagnon, Essential Kids, 2 August 2018
- A new twist in the Coles collectables saga: desperate mums up the ante, Practical Parenting, 14 August 2018
- Dear Coles, We need to chat by Greg Hughes (aka Dad Minus One), The Gladstone Observer, 17 August 2018
- Heartwarming way to use your extra Coles Little Shop collectables, Yahoo7 News, 21 August 2018
- Miniature groceries new craze (New Zealand campaign), Stuff, 6 October 2013
Sunday, 19 August 2018
I wondered if it would work with a vegan chocolate hazelnut spread and some aquafaba. Sadly I don't have time to experiment but check out The Big Man's World for his experiments with homemade chocolate hazelnut butter, almond meal and flax eggs.
Choclette of Tin and Thyme for the very - sniff - last - sob - We Should Cocoa. This is a food event that has been running for 8 years from when Choclette's blog was called Chocolate Log Blog and posted the most amazing array of chocolate recipes. She snow blogs a wider array of (vegetarian) food at her Tin and Thyme blog. Choclette started We Should Cocoa with Chelle of Chocolate Teapot who does not blog any more (another sigh). The WSC event has inspired lots of chocolate cooking here at Green Gourmet Giraffe as well as bringing chocolate lovers together. I am so sad it is finishing but blogging is always changing and I am sure there will still be lots of chocolate goodies here and at Tin and Thyme.
Ten previous We Should Cocoa inspired recipes at Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cherry Ripe cake pops (gf)
Chocolate chip and honey scones
Chocolate carrot cake
Earl Grey cupcakes and chocolate cashew ganache
Fruitcake with chocolate chunks
Haggis and cheese mole nut roast with chocolate
Malted loaf with chocolate, figs and brazil nuts (v)
Medieval castle cake for chocolate lovers (v)
Savoury beetroot, carrot, chocolate and goats cheese muffins
Adapted slightly from Phoodie
1 cup Nutella
1/2 cup plain flour
extra 1/2 cup Nutella for frosting
Preheat oven to 175 C. Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper. Mix all ingredients together (except frosting) and spread into prepared cake tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they smell cooked and skewer comes out cleanly when inserted. (Mine were ready by 20 minutes.) Cool 5-10 minutes and turn out onto wire rack to cool slightly. When lukewarm, spread with remaining 1/2 cup of nutella. Cut into squares and enjoy. Or cool and store in an airtight container.
On the Stereo:
If you're feeling sinister: Belle and Sebastian
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
The cheeses were brie and cheddar with cracked pepper and the dip was a tzatziki, so none of these appealed to Sylvia. Nor did she like the all pickled veg. Whereas I really loved the pickled carrots, found the pickled zucchini a rather large pile and I didn't fancy the pickled onion which is not my thing. I just loved the pumpkin arancini and was smitten with the stuffed mushrooms with a tomato rice filling covered in crispy cheese and was more than happy to eat chargrilled sourdough with cheese and pickles. I was sorry Sylvia didn't find much to eat beyond crackers but I really loved the tasting plate. I'd return just to eat this platter again and perhaps share it with some more enthusiastic diners.
250 High Street, Northcote, 3070
Tel 03 9482 1333
Open Mon - Sun: 12 til late
Thursday, 9 August 2018
If you look at my Scone section of my recipe index, you will see I have quite a lot of different scone recipes. One reason is that I love to participate in International Scone Week. It started with three bloggers sharing scone recipes and deciding to invite others to share them in an International Scone Week each year. Now Tandy at Lavendar and Lime is continuing the tradition. So I have baked her a batch of Spiced Walnut and Chocolate Scones.
- Idea 1: baklava scones in honour of my mum's walnuts that I didn't get to use quickly enough. I am not sure how I could do it but perhaps lots of walnuts, some honey and some spice.
- Idea 2 - walnut and marmalade scones because I have just finished reading P D James A Taste of Death. She writes beautifully and with great attention to detail. I really loved the description of a disappointing walnut and marmalade cake that is offered to Inspector Dagleish. I even had some marmalade I could have used.
- Idea 3 - spiced walnut and chocolate scones - this is a having my baklava idea and adding chocolate because chocolate makes everything wonderful and also because I want to post a chocolate dish this month for one of my favourite blog events. I have been participating in We Should Cocoa over at Tin and Thyme for years and am really sad to hear this that it will finish after this month. But I am thinking that I need something really chocolatey for the last hurrah.
Cocoa Rhapsody that we love at our farmers market. Luckily I only needed half of the chocolate. It gave the scones a real lift but is also delicious to eat as is.
I looked for some recipes that were my sort of scones and found one for walnut and date scones. I substituted the chocolate for dates and found a useful post on substituting honey for sugar. Then I decided to simply the recipe. I took out the egg and a few other ingredients. The scones I grew up with never had egg (though my mum tells me my nan put egg in her scones but they never tasted cakey like some egg scones do).
International Scone Week for inspiration. (And let's pray to the internet gods that there is no more hacker activity.)
But it looks like the hackers are back so I am going to publish this and hope for the best! Update: have discovered I had to update from http:// to https:// redirect in the settings/basic of blogger.
More scone recipes from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Beetroot, apple and walnut scones (v)
Kale scones (v)
Pumpkin, pecan and poppyseed scones (v)
Strawberry marscapone scones
Walnut, brie and apple scones
Spiced walnut and chocolate scones
An original Green Gourmet Giraffe recipe
Makes about 10-12 mini scones
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
15g butter, chopped
1/3 cup chopped chocolate
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 220 C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
Place flour and spice in a medium mixing bowl. Rub in butter. Stir in chocolate and walnuts. Gently mix in the milk and honey to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead a few times until smooth, if you call a lumpy nutty chocolate dough smooth.
Pat out to about 1 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into rounds (I used mini scone cutters) and knead and pat out the scraps so you can cut more until there is no dough left. Place scones on lined tray.
Bake for 12 -15 minutes (I did 12 minutes) until golden brown. Wrap in a teatowel until ready to eat (this softens the edges). Best eaten on day of baking.
Notes - would add some lemon juice to the milk to curdle it. 1 tbsp honey rather than 2. Also could make it vegan with vegan milk and butter and chocolate and maple syrup rather than honey - though would do 2 tbsp as maple syrup is not so sweet.
On the Stereo:
Coleur Cafe: Serge Gainsbourg
Monday, 6 August 2018
Puffs (a Harry Potter spin off play) was great fun. The sets and costumes were simple but the jokes were hilarious. You needed to know your Harry Potter to understand them but we all did. I really loved all the little fun exhibitions around the theatre and foyer (like the above). But my favourite moment was probably when Voldemort (an actor in a swimming cap and some tape across his nose) came out into the audience to ask what he might do when he conquered Potter. One little kid yelled out, buy a toupee.
Luna Park, where we went during the recent school holidays. We walked past Luna Park's slightly creepy happy mouth and past some street art to find a seat in Sister of Soul where we looked out upon both.
Wheras I would be keen to return to Sister of Soul. We had a great spread of starters and really enjoyed our curries. I would love to go back to try more because a vegetarian restaurant is always a tyranny of choice. It was great to eat meals full of lots of flavour and vegies. If only we lived closer, I would be back for the breakfast menu.
The latter sounded particularly appealing with a warming combo of apple cider, orange juice and spiced sugar syrup and dusted with cinnamon. Next time!
Marinated and lightly spiced tofu skewers served with nori, a japanese side salad, a goma dressing and fresh ginger". She told me it was not at all spicy. As soon as I tasted it I begged to differ. It was a bit spicy for me but way too spicy for Sylvia. When I pointed this out, our waitress was happy to swap it for a bowl of potato fries ($8).
Perusing the starters was too tempting and I also ordered some polenta jenga ($10). This came on a slice of cauliflower puree with some sage and cashew parmesan. I think this was my favourite dish. The polenta chips were great with the really tasty cauliflower puree. You know it is good when you walk away dreaming of the taste and wondering how to reproduce it.
This curry absolutely defeated me. It was huge. I found it odd that both E's and my curry came without rice or roti so that we had to pay extra for them. I didn't get through my rice and ended up sharing it with E. My curry was lovely but it was too much to have this curry as well as some starters.
Sister of Soul
73 Acland Street, St Kilda
03 9593 8550
Open daily 7.30am - late
Saturday, 4 August 2018
Above are some fondant cakes I made with Sylvia. I am not very familiar with fondant icing. It was interesting to experiment though I think it needs more planning as it was very easy to let it go dry if not concentrating enough to cover it up. The lollipops came out of a packet of icing toppers and inspired the lollies theme.
Christmas in July cheeseboard), more hot dogs, dolmades that I keep forgetting about, a chocolate filled Barni cake, Tutki biscuits with nutella-style choclate filling, and some date and apricot crackers that went well with the apricot and almond cheese.
Mixed citrus lemonade was made from a fruit and veg box that was given to E. I still have a few grapefruits and other citrus left so I am almost due to use up the rest in another batch. I don't have lots of other ways to use up grapefruit.
I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 13th of the month. Or just head over to her blog to peek into more kitchens.