One of my birthday presents this year from Sam was a weekend away in Auckland, NZ! We got back late last night, and we had such a fabulous weekend! We spent a lot of time walking around and getting a feel for the place. Saturday was such a beautiful day, it was sunny and fresh. Everyone told me how cold it was going to be, but it wasn’t that bad at all! I had no need to pack my long-johns! Sunday was raining when we first set off, but after that it was just overcast for most of the rest of the day.
On the Saturday, we walked almost 10km all up! We continued on with our Saturday tradition of going to some markets. We went to this gorgeous little set of French markets. Compared to West End, they were tiny! But it had some amazing food. We sat and had some coffee and watched these adorable little kids splash through some puddles. Then we were off again, this time to the Auckland Museum! The Auckland Museum is really great! It’s not too large, so we got through most of it in a couple of hours, though you could easily spend a whole day there!
I’d looked up a few Organic cafes before we left, and so for lunch we walked to the closest (a mere 2 km or so from where we were). After that we were pretty damn tired! We headed back to the hotel to freshen up and then took on the SkyTower. We bought a double pass so that we could go up the tower in daylight and again at night. It has a gorgeous 360 degree view of Auckland. After the SkyTower we decided to check out Freddies Ice House. A bar made out of ice! Everything was made out of ice, including the glasses we drank out of. After getting sufficiently tipsy on two cocktails we thought it would be best to find some dinner (well…after we hit happy hour at another little restaurant that is!).
After dinner we headed back up the SkyTower for a coffee and a look at the night view. It was spectacular!
On Sunday, we woke up and it was raining. But that didn’t dampen our spirits! It was only drizzling by the time we left the hotel, and only overcast by the time we got downtown Auckland. We spent the morning wandering around the shops (I bought a new camera!) and heading to the Odyssey Sensory Maze (which was so much fun!). After some lunch we decided to take the ferry across to Devonport. There was a fantastic little chocolate shop there and a sweet little town that overlooked the Auckland skyline. On the way over in the ferry it started to drizzle again and we were treated to a beautiful double rainbow! After Devonport it was time to be on our way home. Which was not without it’s difficulties! Somehow the airplane computer system lost track of how many people on board, so we spent about an hour and a half in the plane on the tarmac with the stewardesses counting and recounting us and ticking us off lists. How tedious!
All in all, it was a fabulous weekend! We were both extremely tired when we got home, mostly because it was after midnight when we got home, but also because we walked closed to 20km around the city, which for two people who work office jobs is a long way!
A few days before we left, I decided to make Vegan Alfredo. I asked the question on my facebook page, ‘what should I make next’ and one of the responses was ‘Vegan Alfredo’. I finally got around to it this past week, and I have to say I definitely think it’s one of my favourites so far, and was quite quick and easy so it will definitely be added to my ‘regular’ recipe pile!
Without further ado:
1 cup cashews
Approx. 1 cup of oat milk
3 medium zucchinis
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp. vegan butter
1 large scallion, diced finely
4 button mushrooms, diced
100ml organic dry white wine
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 cup frozen peas
1. Place the cashews in a large measuring cup. Add the oat milk until the whole lot comes to 1 1/2 cups. Let them soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Spiralise the zucchinis (I keep the skins on, but give them a good wash first)
3. In a medium frypan, heat the garlic, scallions and butter and sauté on medium heat and then add in the mushrooms
4. Add in the white wine, and let simmer for about 5 minutes
5. Once the cashews are done soaking, pour the cashews and the milk into a small blender and blend until very smooth and runny.
6. Add the cashew cream to the mushroom and wine mixture.
7. Let the mixture heat up briefly (not too long, as you don’t want it to thicken too much). And then add in the noodles
8. Mix through the peas and parsley. Leave on the heat for a few minutes so the peas warm up. And then serve!