Friday, July 3, 2015


Last Sunday was Father's Day and also our 13-year wedding anniversary. Lucky #13!

We enjoyed a patio beer at ABGB, then I made some chili. I will forever and always use the Appetite for Reduction chili recipe, it is the ultimate chili. I sub lentils for the beans.

I also baked some sweet potato tater tots and made some cheezy sauce (also from Appetite for Reduction) so that we could assemble...drumroll...chili cheese tots! OK, I thought this was an appropriately manly Father's Day meal, but I was also super excited about it myself. I had never had chili cheese tots before. They were pretty darn good.

After stuffing ourselves, we spent the evening at an inflatable play center, letting the kids run out their energy while we chilled at a table.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I like seeing other people's grocery hauls occasionally, so I figured I would post mine. Not all the groceries I bought this week, just the fun stuff I guess.

Four pounds of strawberries! Oh, Costco. You know my children's hearts.

Freaky Siamese twin strawberry!

Jackson was ready to tear into the strawberries, but we had some blueberries and watermelon in the fridge that needed to be finished off first. 

Other Costco goodies include green olives, maple syrup, smoked almonds, and chia fruit/veggie pouches.

Next stop, Natural Grocers: cashew butter, almond butter, Earth Balance, sunflower seed crackers, red lentils, medjool dates, spelt flour, and oat flour.

We also popped into the Indian market to get some spices: whole fenugreek, whole coriander, cardamom powder, cardamom seeds, kalonji (nigella), and ajwain. I was making Ethiopian food, not Indian, but the two cuisines share many spices in common and I was able to find everything I needed even though there is no African market here in Austin.

After putting groceries away, a little baking happened. I made a big batch of granola (from 1000 Vegan Recipes) for Tony to take to work in the mornings. Homemade is so much cheaper than buying it at the work cafeteria!

I also made Apple Spice Hemp Muffins from Dreena Burton's newest, Plant-Powered Families. I can already tell that I will treasure this cookbook as much as I do all her others. She feeds her family the way I want to feed my family, you know? These muffins will be Jackson and Olivia's breakfasts this week.

Hope you have an awesome day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Graduation and Popsicles

Kinder graduation was decidedly upbeat and fun. Onwards and upwards, right? While I can't believe Jackson's school year went by so quickly, I am super proud of him for all that he has learned and accomplished. He had a wonderful teacher who pushed him to do his best!

During the graduation ceremony, each class performed a couple of carefully-choreographed songs, and some children received awards. Then we returned to the classroom for the class party, where Jackson's teacher handed out some additional, more personalized awards. Here is Jackson with his Progress in a Dual Language award from the principal, and his Math Wiz award from his teacher. 

Then it was party time! It was a spy party and the kids had to practice their CIA stealth moves.

Celebrating at home, we made a couple of popsicle recipes from Plant-Powered Families. Jackson requested vanilla, so I made the Fudgesicles but left out the cocoa powder. Perfect! The cashew butter made them so rich and creamy. They tasted like the vanilla Jell-o Pudding Pops of my childhood, only without the creepy Bill Cosby connection. 

Of course Olivia requested the "Pink-sicles," made with fresh watermelon and strawberries. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Goodbye to Freddie's Place

Freddie's Place is closing at the end of June. It was good for the occasional lunch playdate thanks to a big outdoor seating area that included a playscape. Since I had an expired Groupon (you still receive the cash value) I took the kids for one last lunch. On our way there we got distracted by a giant butterfly.

And also distracted by utility poles with all kinds of random decorations. Is it a coded message? I have no idea.

I liked the unicorn on their sign but I will pass on the authentic waitress-worn commemorative tees.

My children introduced themselves to some other kids and immediately sat down to share their table. I have no idea where their extroversion comes from.

Hummus and pita, that was my lunch. Freddie's was pretty vegetarian-friendly but not so much for vegans.

Here's hoping the new owners will keep the play area and offer more vegan options!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sparkly Loch Ness Monster

This evening I took the kids to the Thinkery, as it had been awhile since our last visit. 

Jackson went straight to work on the gears.

Olivia made patterns with the hot wax machine. 

They managed to hang out in the water room for awhile without completely soaking themselves and everyone around them. Aw, they are growing up!

Making sounds with water.

After the museum closed, we headed across the street to Mueller Lake Park to play for a bit. This sparkly Loch Ness Monster statue is new.

You can't see it in the pics but there's a sign across the sidewalk from the statue that says, in small letters, that children should not climb on the statue. I wonder if it's meant as a joke? Good luck installing a sparkly Loch Ness Monster directly next to a playground and expecting kids not to crawl all over that thing.

The kids wore themselves out on the playground and we headed home for baths and bed.

I had a quick dinner of salad mix, a Costco veggie burger, and Annie's Goddess dressing. Good night!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Drawing Lessons

I attempted to make overnight chia pudding with chia seeds, almond milk, and blackberries. It didn't really gel and I realized 'llI need to add cashew cream or something to thicken it into an actual pudding. So my breakfast was blackberry milk.

Morning snack, lemonade with chia seeds. This I love.

Lunch, avocado toast with basil and hemp seeds. So...I'm weird about foods not filling me up. Like I'm always complaining about quinoa...I eat it and I'm hungry again and hour later. Well friends, this was so good and so damn filling.

Dinner, baked falafel from Appetite for Reduction, tabouli, and lemon tahini dipping sauce. Satisfying in spite of the fact that the tabouli was made with quinoa.

Tonight I took Jackson and Olivia to a drawing class at the library. The teacher is fantastic with kids; she also runs the farmer's market at Jackson's school.

They drew several different dinosaurs and learned to use a grid to keep things proportional. An educational and fun evening.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Speed Skaters

Some friends in the neighborhood are avid speed skaters, and invited Jackson and Olivia to attend a speed skating class.

Getting low, apparently, is the key to speed skating success!

Can you even see them or are they just blurs? Lightning fast! Ha ha!

They loved it, obviously. Now they want inline skates because then they can go faster. I said maybe for their next birthday. In the meantime they will have lots of time to practice. Skating is free for kids during the summer. I love our rink for offering that. It is such a nice heavily-air conditioned place to hang out all summer.

I finally got to try a vegan food trailer I've had on my list for ages. Unity Vegan Kitchen is in South Austin and I don't get down there too much these days since we moved further north. But it is well worth the trip and I can't wait to try more of their specials as well as the regular menu items! The special I had was the fried pickle po'boy. It came with thinly sliced seasoned tofu, arugula, cashew cheese, mustard, and of course fried pickles, with additional pickles piled on the side as you can see. It was amazing! I have never had such tasty tofu, just packed with flavor. And, I admit, it hadn't occurred to me that fried pickles weren't typically vegan. But of course, they are usually dipped in egg before being battered and fried.

The trailer park had a mellow vibe and a game I had never seen before that involved throwing dog toys (I think?) and getting them to stick to a fence. The kids loved it, so it should be easy to convince them to make a return trip soon.