Sunday, May 9, 2010

Just like Mum used to make!

Happy Mother's Day to all Mums and as Lauren would say "Mums of fur-babies included" (like me!).

I spent yesterday making iced ginger bread biscuits for both our Mums. Here are the butterfly-shaped biccies I made:

It took a while but I was really happy with the result. Usually I just pipe an outline and leave it at that but I really liked the look of Afsoon's gorgeous ice cream cone cookies and I took inspiration from her and iced the entire biscuit. I then wrapped them up in some cellophane and finished them off with a bow.

I wandered past a T2 store recently and did a double-take at an amazing display of giant tea cups and saucers. I had to have one so I purchased myself a pink set. I went back and bought one for my Mum and a yellow set for Chris' Mum as well as a large tea infuser and a packet of tea each (Afternoon Tea for Chris' Mum and Gorgeous Geisha for Mum).

We went for lunch at Il Locale in Haberfield with Chris' family yesterday. The waiter said he would get the chef to prepare something for me and I was really happy with what he made. First up, a beautiful plate of grilled zucchini, eggplant and Roma tomatoes with lots of baby herbs. This was pure deliciousness!

My main was a mushroom risotto, the flavour of the mushrooms was a bit too intense for me and the portion was huge but it was nice to be able to eat a decent meal when dining out.

We finished the meal with some roasted chestnuts which always remind me of Christmas.

This morning I took Mum out for brekky in Manly. I ordered my usual: roasted field mushrooms with pine nuts, Roma tomatoes & rocket (minus the pesto, cheese and toast). It was really good and I loved the plating.

During the week I started thinking about food Mum used to make for us as children and one dish I knew I had to veganise was Cauliflower Cheese. Mum's from England, as is Cauliflower Cheese so this is also an E.A.T World post!

Cauliflower Cheeze (adapted from my Mum's recipe) - gluten & soy free

450g cauliflower
1 T corn flour
1 T Nuttelex (or other vegan margarine)
3/4 C rice milk
A pinch of mustard powder
A large pinch of salt
1/2 C cashews
1/4 C macadamias
1/2 C water

Pre-heat oven to 160C.

Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes. Arrange in a baking dish in a single layer so the florets are packed together.

Melt the Nuttelex is a small pan, add the corn flour and whisk to make a roux, 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the rice milk, continually stirring. Add the mustard powder and salt. Remove from heat.

Blend the cashews and macadamias with 1/2 C of water. Add more water if needed, you want the consistency of a thick sauce. Add nut mixture to the milk mixture, combine.

Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until top is golden.

And here it is, almost like Mum used to make!

I find the cashews and macadamias add enough of a cheezy flavour for me but if you want to add some vegan cheese, skip the nuts/water/blender step and just add some grated vegan cheese to your milk mixture.


Sarah (compostkitty) said...

wow the cookies look so pretty! great job with the icing.
i love tea2 ive been eyeing off the massive tea cups!

also food looks yummy as usual

Leinana Two Moons said...

Those cookies are beautiful! What a gorgeous present!

Kristy said...

The cookies look great.

And your cauliflower and cheeze looks much healthier than my vegan version of my mum's.

Hannah said...

Stunning, stunning cookies! And I agree that your breakfast has some beautiful plating going on there :) You know, I don't think I've ever had cauliflower cheese in any form, but this looks mighty good!

halfeaten said...

The cookies are darling! Great to know that I inspired you with frosting! <3

Little Waltz said...

The cookies look divine! Your icing looks absolutely perfect and I'm rather envious to be quite honest. I don't think I'd be able to do that in a million years!

I love the giant tea cups at T2. In fact, I loved it so much I bought one for myself 2 years ago and another friend (not realising I already had one) bought me another one. So now I have two massive tea cups and I couldn't be happier. =D


Mihl said...

Those cookies are totally adorable!
I've been plannung to buy some cauliflower. Maybe I can read minds!

Stacy said...

Big teacups = more tea. YUM!
Butterfly cookies look amazing. Very professional and stylish.

Rose said...

The cookies look really and nicely decorated. Oh and the cauliflour looks delish :)
My mum has a teacup with that same pattern, its beyond pretty!


shellyfish said...

Those butterflies! I need to track down a butterfly cookie cutter - so beautiful. And cauliflower cheese is so yummy! Your recipe looks good!

Ricki said...

Those are stunning cookies! Sounds like such a lovely time. And thanks for the EAT World reminder--I need to submit something else! :)

jessy said...

you always make the most delicious and adorable treats, Mandee - your cookies look amazing! so awesome on the roasted veggie plate & i do love the plating on your breakfast with your mom. the tea cups are too awesome, too! totally gonna have to try out your cauliflower cheeze. i feel bad as i always forget about cauliflower, i need to remember not to neglect it and eat more of it! :D

Michelle said...

Those cookies!! Perfection!! and I lovvvvvvvvve cauliflower and cheeze. I can't wait until cauliflower starts popping up at the farmer's market.

Miss T said...

You. Are. So. Goddamned. Talented.

Beautiful, beautiful biscuits Mandee! What a lucky mum you have :)


PS my mum and in-law also got T2 gifts - such nice wrapping!

a-k said...

I'm envious of your icing skills! That looks like a yummy and wonderful day you got to share :)

Michelle said...

Your cookies look so professional! You must have the patience of a saint. :-)

The Voracious Vegan said...

Those cookies are SO pretty! I love the delicate color, what a lovely treat.

Vaala ◪ said...

Those cookies are so beautiful...amazing!

River - The Crafty Kook said...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... :)

That chef totally hooked you up! Those roasted veggies look amazing!

Your butterfly shaped cookies are so beautiful, what a lovely gift!

I need some of your cauliflower cheeze! Wow, it looks beyond delicious and I love all the ingredients that you used. I will have to make it next time we go home for a few days. Sorry it took me a while to check out this post, the past few weeks have been a bit of a downer. Hopefully I will get back to a normal blogging and blog-reading rhythm soon. :)

T said...

What beautiful cookies! And that cauliflower dish looks super yummy.

dreaminitvegan said...

Those butterfly cookies are absolutely beautiful!!! Lucky moms you have.
Cute tea cup and saucer.
This post just reminded me of going to Miss Marple's Tea Room the first time I visited Australia.

bittersweetblog said...

Stunning cookies, really beautifully decorated!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Absolutely gorgeous cookies! And such a beautiful mother's day gift!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Those cookies are ADORABLE! I have a giant teacup too and I LOVE it. I'm loving your Cauliflower Cheese recipe as well! Hurrah for cheesy recipes that don't use vegan cheese!

shannonmarie said...

I'm lovin' the butterflies. So adorable :-)

celyn said...

I made your cauliflower cheese recipe last night! ABSOLUTELY delicious! I added in about a tablespoon of nooch, but other than that exactly the same. I gobbled it down.

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

I've made this a million times and it never gets old! I love it! :)

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I went vegan in 2006 and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love baking cupcakes and reading books and often wish I could combine both activities without disastrous results. If I’m not in the kitchen you’ll find me photographing food, cuddling my three kittehs or re-watching my favourite tv shows over and over again with my boyfriend. Due to food sensitivities I don't eat gluten or soy and yes, vegan, gluten free and soy free food is still delicious! Twitter: CupcakeKitteh
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