Hi all, I’m finally back to myself. I had been sick all last week, so didn’t get a chance to cook anything too interesting. I was spending time with the mini Marcos last Sunday after the organic market and caught a nasty flu. Lucky after lots of soups and juices I was better by the weekend to go to a wedding of one of my friends outside of Nimbin and had a nice get away with Marco at Byron. I also had my Birthday yesterday. I started this post the night before my birthday, but then I remembered I had to make my own birthday sweets for the office. First time ever I have had to do anything else but be wined, dined and showered with gifts. I’m finally all grown up and in the real world.
The wedding we went to over the weekend was between two of my friends from university. I first made friends with Emily in our first class of Italian a few years back. Lochlan was also doing Italian but he was ahead of us and the president of the Italian club. I was so happy to share their special day with them, which was held just outside of Nimbin, on Emily’s parents farm. The ceremony was a beautiful combination of their Scottish and Indian heritage, which was held next to the watering hole on the farm. The reception was held in a humble horse paddock, which had been transformed into a beautiful setting. There were marques, small bonfires, a dance floor, live music and a buffet with many dishes brought by the guests. I made a quinoa salad with roasted sweet potato, cranberries with an orange tahini dressing. Sorry I don’t have any photos. After making it the night before and transporting it, it didn’t look too good. Here are a couple of photos from the reception though. It was forcast to rain, but luckily it only rained a little while we were under the marque for the speeches. It was very muddy though, luckily I was prepared with my flats.
After the reception, Marco and I took off to Byron to stay the night, as kind of a early birthday present. I already had our dinner and lunch planned out for us from research I had previously done. For dinner I chose Asia Joe’s, since it offers great vegan options. I also found it had great reviews. Byron Bay has many great vegan and vegetarian restaurants, but unfortunately they aren’t open at night.
Asia Joe’s was quite busy compared to many of the other restaurants in the near by streets. Although I was quite surprise how many people were out and about considering the rain. They offer a great range of Asian dishes which include vegan, vegetarian, gluten free options. We first ordered the Vegetarian Platter, which included samosas, spring rolls and tofu sang choi bau. They were all very nice and you could taste that they were made in house. I especially loved the spring rolls.
For mains I ordered the Vegan Tofu Thai Style Stir Fry Bowl with Rice Noodles and Marco ordered his favourite Beef Massaman Curry. Unfortunately I couldn’t sway him, especially after the server admitted that this dish was really good. My stir fry was quite nice. It didn’t give the punch of flavour promise on the menu, but it did have plenty of fresh vegetables and tofu. The serve was really generous as well. Marco’s curry was actually really good, I had a taste or two, so perhaps that’s why mine didn’t taste as flavorsome compared to his. Nevertheless we both were happy with our meals and would go back again.
After dinner we stopped in Bella Rosa: Gelateria Espresso Bar for gelato. I got this delicious Chocolate and Coconut Sorbets, both dairy free and vegan friendly. Marco said he wasn’t hungry but he sure dug into my gelato!
The next day Marco enjoy the complementary Nespresso coffee and Byron Bay Muffins at the hotel. I enjoyed a vegan friendly orange juice. So I was pretty hungry for lunch.
Before we had lunch we had a look around the shops. Marco bought yet another pair of shoes. I found most womens stuff were a bit too expensive. I prefered to buy some food products. I really wanted to get some Byron Bay Chili Company Products, which I have see around at health food shops. In Byron they actually also have a cafe that sells their food and products, called Ozy Mex Cafe.They also offer many vegan options on their menu. Since they weren’t open I bought some of their sauces and corn chips. I also bought Byron Bay Macadamia Muesli at the corner store. Still can’t wait to try that!
We also stopped into Santos Byron Bay Shop, which sells organic groceries. I bought some Wizard’s Brew and Bake Whole Organic Bread and some Organic Dark Chocolate. They have a great range of groceries. Although I didn’t find the service that friendly. Well I guess compared the to the Byron Bay Corner store, it was a lot better. There I only got told the price and got asked if I wanted one of there 10c plastic bags. Other then that other vendors were very polite and inviting.
For lunch we stopped by the Manna Haven. I have seen Ally from Made of Stars review on this cafe and was excited to try them. This place is adorable. Its within the Seven Day Adventist Church and all the decor is wooden, has lots of light from the windows and has extremely friendly polite staff.
For brunch, I ordered the Hot and Wholesome Moussaka, made of layered potatoes, brown lentils, roasted eggplant and white sauce. I chose the salads Purple Sunflower Slaw and Zestabouli with quinoa and barley,which were included. Marco ordered the Baked Potatoes Stack, which had oven-backed potatoes, garlic, beans, creamed corn and salad on top. Although I was hungry, I am glad they took their time. We could taste that the meals were not microwaved but acutally baked. Although that seems like a given, I find so often that cafes do microwave. I resent paying for something I could do at home and don’t because I don’t eat microwaved food at all anymore.
For dessert we ordered coffees and cake. Since I didn’t have the complementary Nesespress this morning I got a Chai Latte made of Rooibos Tea and Almond Milk. I didn’t realise this was caffeine at the time lol. I ordered for Marco the Dandi-latte, made of roasted dandelion root tea with Almond Milk. We both agreed that the Dandi-latte was much nicer. In the photo they don’t look as nice because the Almond Milk separated.
The cake we ordered was the Raw Mango Cheesecake. This was so delicious and I really liked the Cashew Nut cream they put on it.
After that we drove home since it had been raining all day. I can’t believe people were swimming and surfing in that weather.
As I mentioned I had to work on my birthday so I made these delicious Toffee Shortbread. It doesn’t look pretty, which is partly because I didn’t realise I had to let the toffee layer harden before I added the chocolate. This recipe is from Chloe’s Kitchen. It is meant to have Fleur de sel, which is sea salt, but I was a bit worried it would be a bit weird for everyone at work, plus I didn’t have that type, which is mean to melt in your mouth. As it turns out everyone loved it and thanked me. It was all eaten before afternoon tea break. Unlucky Marco missed out this time. Sorry the photos isn’t very good.
For my birthday we went to The Spaghetti House. Yes they have a few vegan options, but I admit I did have fish. My mum tried to find me a appropriate cake and ordered in this Gluten Free Dairy Free Muffins with apple and walnuts. No they are not vegan but it was cute that she tried. This restaurant has nearly an entire staff that are fresh of the boat from Italy. I had four of them serenade me with Happy Birthday, which was very nice.
Since we have been back I have sampled the goods from Byron. I love the Muesli! The Wizard bread is not that tasty. I like to look at the label with the ingredients, while I eat it so I can finish it. We really liked the Byron Bay Chili Company Black bean Salsa and Corn Chips as well. Here some that I made the other night, with Avocados and Ales recipe for Vegan Nacho Cheese.
Last big news is that we finally got an electrician to put in a power point in so I can keep all my appliances permanently on our kitchen bench. No longer will I be scrunched up in the corner of the kitchen and moving my juicer and vitamix around. I won’t be posting as regularly anymore, but will still be hoping to blog once of week till I get the hang of things with work.