Who, or what, inspires you?

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am really lucky, in that in every facet of my life - be it veganism, writing, or anything I choose to do, I have a great group of friends and family that will always support me.

When it comes to writing, aside from this invaluable encouragement, there are people that really and truly inspire me to keep chasing my dream. I was watching this fantastic speech recently, by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. It's so freaking inspiring. I watch it repeatedly, and still get goosies. Make. Good. Art. It makes me want to contribute, and put my words out there.

Another incredibly inspiring author (and friend) is Jess. She's on book 2, and she wrote much of this one literally with a newborn in her arms. She has 3 littlies, and she still finds makes time to write. What excuse do I have?! Jess is full of encouragement, and motivates me. I appreciate it, Jess. You are a gem.

I really don't know how to find time to write when I have a three year old whirlwind demanding time and attention, literally every 5 minutes. I guess it means no sleep, or a fuckton of redbull, a la Jess ;) I need to require more of myself. I keep looking for the inspiration and the motivation from those around me because it helps.

What inspires and motivates you to chase your dreams?

More vego noms!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Just sharing my latest meal plan with you all, to see if you may be inspired by my vego ways! I am moving more away from fake meat replacements now, to whole food stuffs. Tastier!!! I still have some schnitzels and sausages in the freezer to eat, and the kids love the vegan meatballs so I will keep them around!

Party pies http://likeavegan.com.au/2011/05/party-pies/ Will be using mushrooms in place of beef style chunks in this one.
Fake schnitzels and veg
Fake hotdogs
Curry - creamy veg and cashew p 139 Easy Vegan cookbook
Vegie burgers made with mashed veg and legumes of some kind - still pondering this!
Spicy bean burritos p 58 Easy Vegan cookbook
Vegie potstickers w orange sauce p66 Easy Vegan cookbook 
Faux Meatballs, pasta and garlic bread.

Some lunch ideas include the butternut squash and pine nut soup from the easy vegan cookbook, and dill weed sambos and onion rings from the vegan stoner - my current two fave inspirations! I am drooling at the thought of all these tasty goodies. 

Recent vegan successes of mine include risoni pasta salad (a 12wbt recipe), vegan cupcakes (rum and raisin and peanut butter varieties), fried risotto balls, mock chicken burritos, tofu scramble and facon bacon, and chilli cheese fries using vegan cheezly. Pics below!

Risoni Salad

Rum and raisin cupcakes with rum glaze

Tofu scramble with facon bacon

Mock chicken burritos

Peanut butter cupcakes

Fried risotto balls

Chilli 'cheese' fries

Writerly write write

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two of five articles I have written for www.birth.com.au are currently up on their site. You can read about Trouble With Conception and Supporting Someone with Infertility. Three more will appear in time. I have had really lovely feedback from my editor there, but most importantly, I feel so good about this. When I was going through infertility, the thing that I always swore to do, was to increase awareness about infertility and it's attached emotional issues. I wanted to normalise and validate the experiences we all have. I feel like I am making good on my promise to myself now, and it makes me want to continue to do so, either with more articles, or perhaps at some point, even a book. I can do this, I am the best person to write this book, and it's so needed. This is only the beginning for me, and my work with infertility. I'm excited about it!

Vegan rice rolls

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You cannot imagine how good these are!!! My dear friend sent them to me from the US, and the first use I cooked them badly and was scared off. Tonight I decided I would master them and Oh. My. God. Who would ever eat meat with this choice??? They are so good!!!! I used this recipe for chinese 'beef' from vegan feast kitchen, halved it, and altered it to suit what I had on hand.

So, I hydrated the curls in water, with vegemite, soy sauce, tomato sauce and vegan gravy powder (gravox is vegan!) for 15min, drained and squeezed them. 

Then mixed them with 3 garlic cloves, sesame oil, cornflour, and sherry (sweet because I had no dry), and ginger (chopped a smidge of glace ginger in as it was all I had, fresh was called for!) and then cooked it in sesame oil. SO MUCH YUMMINESS. 

Then I cooked a sliced onion and put the curls and onion on a rice paper roll with cucumber strips, shredded iceberg lettuce and sweet chilli sauce. Jesus they are good. 

SO good. I asked Finn to try the strips and see what he thought, he loved it!!! He asked for more, more, more and almost ate all of it. Thrilled. This is how I will make fajitas and burritos from now on!

Don't judge my rice paper rolling abilities!!! I am too scared to look if these soy curls are available in Australia. I may be hitting Christie up for some more in the near future... :D


Monday, May 14, 2012

How bad is that title!? Teehee! But this IS pretty terrific pastry noms. For your deliciousness, I present three different kinds of pastry dishes I made today. Most puff pastry is actually vegan, I discovered. I had both Pampas and Coles brands and both are vegan. Awesome!

Firstly I made a vegetarian one - it was leftover lentil bolognese, then some baby spinach, then a sprinkle of parmesan (use Parmazano for a vegan version), roll it up, spray with a bit of canola oil spray and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chilli flakes (optional), then pop it in an oven (about 200c) til browned.

Secondly, I made one recommended to me by my vegan friend, Viktoria. She does these in filo and serves with a salad, but since I had so much puff pastry, I used that. I sauteed some onions, mushrooms, garlic, leek, and spinach then added a big dollop of vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese (thank you tofutti!) mixed it up, let it cool then put it onto the pastry and folded it up. These I also sprinkled with sesame seeds and some cajun spice.

Finally, my kids were wanting sausage rolls. I was lazy and made them BBQ style sausages wrapped in pastry. I used quorn sausages. Vegan win! Here are some pics of my creations...

My vego mix sauteeing in some olive oil


Good dollop of each

 I am not the neatest chef...

I cant make triangles. :/ 

Drool worthy! 

Ironic the sausage ones look like dog bones...  


I also made cuppies!

The kids loved these!

Finally time for lunch. Phew! 

Thought I would add this in as well because it was SO tasty. I made homemade chickpea patties. 2 mashed spuds, a tin of chickpeas coarsely mashed, bit of lemon rind or juice, s and p, some chopped parsley or chives (I used parsley), breadcrumbs, and some roughly chopped walnuts.. Mix. I set it in fridge then made them into patties but either way would work. Served with salad and sweet chilli sauce.

Mothers Day

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I was sulking today about the crap day I had had for mothers day. I was still finding blessings in my 2 beautiful children, the fight I had to get them, and the appreciation I have for them - but I still felt a bit off side.

Then an out of the blue message on facebook from a dear friend, who told me that she had run in todays Mothers Day Classic, in honor of my Mum. It's a fundraiser for breast cancer research, and, as you know, My mum battled, fought and won a supreme victory over breast cancer in 2009.

It hit me hard. I have my mum still. I could easily not have. I am so, so, very lucky. So I wrote this for her, immediately after. Happy Mothers Day, Mum xx

It's moments out of nowhere...
Sometimes, I havent thought about it for months.
Then, like a punch to the stomach - I am winded by reminders.
And I remember, how incredibly lucky I am.

This mothers day, I don't care what I miss out on.
This mothers day, I don't care how bad the weather is.
This mothers day, I am just so incredibly grateful,
That I can still celebrate you, my mother.

Thank you, for being my best friend.
I know that I can tell you anything. 
Even when we disagree, we care.
Thank you, for loving me so honestly.

Thank you, for emailing me every morning.
Even when, we have nothing much to say.
Thank you, for doing all you do for me.
Often, I don't even have to ask. 

You are the most important and valuable person,
in my life. Every single day.
I am so incredibly grateful you are my mother.
We're alike in so many ways.

Thank you for being my role model.
This sounds a funny thing to say - But thank you, for beating cancer.
I appreciate you. Entirely.
The mother you are, the friend you are, the person you are.

Happy Mothers Day.

Love Kell xxx


Monday, May 7, 2012

I have so much to write about but no time to write it! I had an amazing weekend in Sydney, one I will take my time and post blogs for as I find time. I am moving house this week so things are hectic and I am not sure when I will get time to do it. But it'll come. Promise!!!

I did want to make time to write about the thing that struck me most on my weekend in Sydney. I have a friend, she's already been through a lot in life. She lost her best friend to a horrible invasive cancer, and she has the most adorable boy, and he's so sick. I had breakfast with her Saturday morning, and we got chatting for quite a while. She's an amazing woman.

Today would have been her best friends birthday, I don't know if that makes this post good or bad timing. It's not really either. I just wanted to write about what she is going through now. Her 15 month old son has HLHS, a heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. You can read a little about it here - it isn't easy reading and I find it hard to get my head around the science and the technical things.

He has half a heart, and it's amazing that he has managed 15 amazing months. I think things are misunderstood a little because he looks so healthy and happy - people tend to forget just how seriously ill he is as a result. When I spoke to my friend about it, trying to understand it and how it effects their every single day, and how she manages... some of the stupidity she faces from people who don't get it... It made my head spin.

What perspective it gives to see someone who copes with this every moment of her waking life. She just goes on. I know she has to, but.. how?? I don't understand a lot about the condition yet but I am reading and I am learning. What I have read is terrifying. Makes me want to do something. I believe that HeartKids is a great organisation to support for families going through this hell. Heart Kids works towards reducing both the incidence and the mortality rates of childhood heart disease. There's one in each state. You can volunteer or donate, support fundraising, buy merchandise, sponsor... There are a myriad of ways. Check them out, and contribute. The families you are supporting need places like these. The children who are going through this and all the operations... they need it.

Another aside

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Firstly, the vegan living is going brilliantly. So enjoying it, and I discovered this Vegan Cupcakes book is available in the form of an iphone app for $5. WINNING. I'm enjoying discovering new ingredients and new ways of cooking still - all stuff my mate Christie had told me long ago that finally clicks into place now. I feel healthy and alive. Yay!!

But, as an aside, I want to send another shout out to my mate, Leanne. She's half way through her chemo now, truckin along like a true champ. But it's starting to hit hard, she's feeling the effects of that poison on her system now, and whilst we know its gotta happen to kill of those pesky cancer cells, sadly it also decimates anything else in it's path. It's pretty unforgiving that way.

She's feeling tired, sick, and pretty craptacular as a result. All part of the cancer road, makes me stabby that she has to run it. As always, she handles it with spectacular grace and wit. She's all kinds of awesome!

Here's my question and please, please, please - if you comment on no other blog today, make it this one - what can I do to help her out? I'm on the other side of the country, so that makes it tricky to say the least. But there must be a present I can send her, or a plan I can form for when she's well again, or something I can do aside from send platitudes and well wishes that while nice, do sweet fuck all in reality. HALP!

No doubt Lea will read this anyway, so it won't necessarily be a surprise, but that might work too. Oi Lea, whaddya need honey child!? Sigh. I love this girl so much. It breaks my heart that she is going through this. Sometimes, I have a wee weep to myself about it, but that's even more useless than platitudes and well wishes so I suck it up and get on with it. Geebus if she can I sure as hell can.

Next weekend, the 12th May, I am volunteering to walk around the Rebels match collecting for Ovarian Cancer Australia, even though I am spending that day lifting and moving house. I know, I know, I'm superwoman, clearly. Point is, it's SOMETHING I can do for Lea, in a round about way. But I'd love to have a greater direct impact on my dear friend. Hit me with your ideas. Go!!

Palooza 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A break from the vegan posts today to talk about palooza! WHOOP! Do you remember last years trip? You can read about it here, here and here. And see pics here. That's how epic it was, it took 4 posts to communicate. FOR REAL.

Anyway, annual trip is here again! We waited until May this year because Feb was kinda hot last year and we didn't enjoy the sweatbox Sydney became. The time has come!! This Thursday night we fly out, Anna, Fleur and I on the prowl again. We come home Sunday and we have a billion plans to fulfill in the middle there. I want to check out some vegan stuff, we'll hit Zumbo's again, and we are soo going to Madame Tussauds in Sydney, maybe a skywalk, definitely a massage (already booked, thank you Scoopon!) and I cannot wait to catch up with my Sydney mates again on Friday night!!! We're also considering karaoke Sat night (which means I am considering a bottle or two of vino to myself Sat night...)

I cannot wait to spend some time with my besties again, I love these trips. Fun packed into awesome. BRING IT ON!