Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Queen's Birthday weekend

I’m not big on holidays, but this one has to be the silliest. The Queen’s birthday is actually in April, but Australia celebrates it in the form of a three day weekend in June. Don’t ask why, I have no idea. But ridiculous holidays aside, three day weekends are a good opportunity to relax, catch up on stuff, and have fun. In our house, it meant lots of cooking, a few hours at the Palm Creek Folk Festival, some shopping and errands, and lots of cleaning.

I started my weekend on Friday afternoon with a seminar on climate change and heritage in Micronesia, followed by some wine with the presenters (in actuality, much more fun than it sounds). I came home to find Andy making ‘Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew’ from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. With brown rice, bread, and more wine, this was a yummy way to wind down after the last day of the semester.

Saturday we did some shopping and errands, and I got a new cast iron frying pan from a very fancy appliance store. The shop woman told me she uses it for absolutely everything, it’s restaurant quality, it has a 25 year warranty, etc. I’ve only used it a few times, but so far I’m pretty happy with it.

And Nacho loves when we buy things because she gets a new box to play with.

One morning we started the day with tofu scramble with carrot, tomato and spinach.

And another breakfast was the ever-fabulous ‘Fronch Toast’ from Vegan with a Vengeance, served with raspberry sauce.

For dinner one night we made the ‘Punk-kin Pasta’ from La Dolce Vegan. Instead of tinned pumpkin, we used some we had roasted before. Instead of soy sausage, we used TVP crumbles rehydrated in stock, aniseed, and paprika (which tasted a whole lot like Italian sausage). And we added spinach. This pasta was really very good.

We made a batch of Real Food Daily’s ‘Basic Seitan’. After it cooked, we cut it into meal-sized pieces and stuck it into the freezer. We’ve been so busy for the past few months that our frozen stocks have slowly dwindled, but now we’re back to a good level.

We had coriander-cannellini cutlets with mashed potatoes, and sautéed beet greens with corn.

For dessert one night, I used up two old apples and one lonely sheet of puff pastry to make impromptu turnovers, inspired by Pleasantly Plump Vegan.

And finally, the last day of the weekend was spent cleaning for an upcoming real estate inspection. We worked up our hunger, so Andy put together this massive sandwich.

It has leftover cannellini cutlets, ceylon spinach, tomato, cucumber, dill pickles, coriander, mustard, sour cream, and perhaps some other things. It was messy, but oh so good.

Happy belated birthday, Queen, and thanks for the three-day weekend!!


romina said...

WOW!! You celebrated the Queen's Birthday in style. =)

We celebrated it back in April, odd that it's in June in Australia, but if it's an occasion to eat, why not?

VeggieGirl said...

That IS quite bizarre that you guys celebrate the Queen's birthday 2 months after the actual date, haha - looks like you celebrated with lots of incredible eats!! I'm all over that pasta dish - yum!

Groover said...

Can we move in with you???

Especially this last Queen's B'day weekend I was seriously considering employing someone to do our cooking (wish I could afford it). It's just such an effort to get something healthy on the table after a long hard race ... and that is always the moment when the body needs all the healthy nutrients to recover. Sigh! The tofu scramble for breakfast looks right down my alley way and I looooove French Toast. What are TVP crumbles?

Vaala said...

Hehe, yeah Queens Birthday is classic. I mean we celebrated it the week before you and I read somewhere that one of the states in Australia celebrates it at a completely different time to the rest of the country. But I'm not going to complain if it gives me a three day weekend!

Monika K said...

My brother has a skillet just like your new one and it's fabulous - good choice! I've missed reading your blog lately (it's definitely one of my favorites). I'm all caught up now, so keep the posts coming! (-:

Cookiemouse said...

It was King Edward VII who moved the birthday celebration to June because of the better weather conditions in London at this time of year. Downunder I guess it has the opposite effect!

Anonymous said...

25 year warranty on a skillet!? wow. that must be a good skillet!

Miss Dottie does the same thing with boxes (and bags, and other foreign containers).

Fronch toast looks good! I see in the back you made your own raspberry sauce! MMmmmm

Alec said...

That food looks so delicious. I'm getting wicked hungry. I need to stop reading your blog mid afternoon when my stomach is starting to rumble anyways ;)

I like how it's called 'Fronch' toast instead of French. It reminds me of the argument on the Simpsons episode where the two characters are arguing over how to pronounce chowder- "Shouwdare" (french accent) vs. "Chowdah" (Boston accent). I'm definitely in the second pronunciation despite my french background!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Oh my, all your food looks SO GOOD! It looks like you made good use of the long weekend ;-)

Bianca said...

The punk-kin pasta is my fave dish from La Dolce Vegan! I'd never have thought to put pumpkin, pasta, and soy sausage together but thankfully Sarah Kramer did. Yum!

Ashasarala said...

I just love holidays that make no sense.

Yummy, yummy, yummy. Now, I thought Andy hated interesting breakfast foods? Has he changed his mind?

Isn't the Punkin' Pasta delicious?That's one of my favourite dishes. So much better than I thought it would be when I first read the recipe.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Wow! Everything looks amazing! Where to begin...First of all, you are going to love your cast iron pan. Your scramble looks yummy, your turnover looks scrumptious, and I'm super impressed with your seitan. Every time I've attempted to make seitan (only twice), I've been a little let down.

Vegan On Stage said...

HI! I dont know how I havent found your blog before.. but im so glad I did! Your food looks amazing (and your kitten is adorable!!!!!!!!!!)

Theresa said...

Asha--He's still a breakfast grinch, but I just make things without asking him if he wants them, and rather than making something for himself he just shares with me. It's a good system, I think.

Vegan Snorkeler, you should try the RFD recipes! They are seriously amazing.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Any reason for a three day weekend is a good one for me!

Love your new cast iron skillet!

Good reminder that I need to make a batch of seitan sometime soon.

Oh, and that punkin pasta looks amazing!