Monday, October 20, 2014

Sand and Sandwiches

Today Olivia requested a visit to the dino pits at the nature and science center. It was a beautiful day, so I thought that was a great idea.

As we trekked along the wooded trail, we stopped to notice all the colorful flowers in bloom. I loved these tiny purple berries, although I'm not sure what they are called. So vibrant.

Olivia played archaeologist, digging for buried "dinosaur bones" buried beneath the sand.

I am really trying to soak in this last year of having my baby girl at home with me every day, before she goes off to kindergarten next year.

For dinner I made my very favorite meal, the Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip from Veganomicon. I served them on kaiser rolls instead of baguette. So much love for this spicy sandwich.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Saltado and Sillies

A hippie coworker of Tony's passed this Ayurvedic Roast herbal coffee along to me because she found the taste too savory. I like it, and I think it does promote a chill, zen feeling.

Olivia and I made another batch of classic Glo Bars from the Oh She Glows cookbook, for weekday breakfasts. This time we subbed pecans for the hemp seeds.

For dinner I made the Seitan Saltado from Viva Vegan. Using frozen Alexia sweet potato fries saved me a little time.

Just chillin' in brother's shirt, what what?

She is super silly. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Orange Everywhere

It is that time of year when I am buying a lot of things that are orange.

Sure, there's the occasional rainbow-colored, yet still seasonally appropriate item, such as the autumn collection of Method hand soaps: kelly moss, white cranberry, and rice milk mallow.

But mostly, orange, and pumpkin-related.

We've also tried the candy corn M&Ms, which I preferred, being a white chocolate fan.

And, we also tried the caramel apple Oreo's, but these pumpkin spice ones are amazing.

Pumpkin tres leches cake from HEB, so good.

Pumpkin pie spice peanut butter! This was sold out the first time I searched for it at Target. Of course I went back.

My breakfast this week: oats with almond milk, maca, pumpkin pie PB, cacao nibs, and a touch of maple syrup.

HEB is having an Italian promotion this week and they have all kinds of oddly-shaped pastas on sale. I picked up some armoniche (harmonica-shaped) and a jar of alla norma sauce. Stir in some green olives and we have dinner!

Olivia totally gets the orange theme.

She keeps asking how many days till Halloween. I think we need a countdown calendar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fly a Kite

We had a cool thunderstorm last night. I love storms and they are all too rare in this part of the country. The sky looked gnarly so I thought I would document it.

The storm itself didn't last that long, but there was lightning for hours.

Today it was windy, so we took our kite to the park and tried to fly it. We couldn't really get it going, though. Either $1 Target kites are sort of crappy, or Olivia and I are inexperienced kite flyers. Or both.

Jackson was not interested in trying to get the kite off the ground. He would rather hang out, sloth-style, in the upper section of the gazebo.

For dinner I made some Philly cheese steaks. I used the white seitan recipe from Viva Vegan and made a cashew cheesy sauce. I sauteed some red onions and red bell peppers, and wound up with a tasty sandwich. 

Goldenseal Wellness kindly sent me their organic argan oil skincare products to try out. I received the argan cleanser and also a bottle of pure argan oil. Goldenseal's argan oil is directly sourced from a Moroccan artisan. Argan oil is said to be a wonderful skin and hair moisturizer, and also helpful for sunburns and stretch marks.

I really love the cleanser! It has a refreshing eucalyptus scent that is especially nice when you have the sniffles, as I do right now. I only need to use a small squirt each evening and I find it leaves my skin with that "squeaky clean" feeling. I follow up by dabbing a tiny amount of the argan oil on areas of my face that tend to get try. The argan oil also makes a great skin moisturizer for my legs after I shave them.

Goldenseal Wellness is offering my readers 10% off your first order by using the promo code BVM14, if you would like to try out these great natural products!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Soccer and Salsas

Saturdays = 8:30 a.m. soccer games. Jackson springs out of bed at 6:30 ready to go. Coach Tony needs a few extra zzz's and some Starbucks to wake up.

Go Pirates!

Olivia and the other younger siblings cheer on the sidelines.

I love watching these guys come together as a real team, assisting each other and showing their good sportsmanship.

We followed up the match with brunch at Salsas in Georgetown. Two kinds of salsa and chips to start with. I liked the green salsa. Tomatillo maybe? It had a tart, almost fruity flavor, but it was also plenty spicy.

I had spinach enchiladas with tomatillo sauce, white rice (the Spanish rice was made with chicken stock) and veggies on the side. After being delighted by the salsa, I was surprised how bland the enchilada sauce was.

The best part was dessert. We shared a plate of churros. This was our first time seeing churros on the menu at any of the dozens of Tex-Mex restaurants around here! Barely sweet, with a drizzle of honey, plenty of cinnamon, and whipped cream to dip them in. Yum.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Breakfast Fail

Sometimes a meal just does not work out. On Sunday, the Tofu Benny from Vegan Brunch was such a meal. Exhibit A, the "English muffins." Do those look like muffins to you? Yeah, they didn't rise at all. I'm not sure why because my yeast was brand new. I don't think my house is warm enough? I seem to have better luck with baking when I let my yeast dough rise in a warm oven.

Exhibit B, the Hollandaise sauce. Or, the goopy yellow mess. Like that toy slime that comes in plastic eggs. We just couldn't.

The tofu turned out fine and we rescued it to use on sandwiches. Everything else went into the trash. Sometimes I shouldn't try to do a big production in the morning. Jackson understands, Sunday mornings are for staying in pajamas until noon and playing.

Olivia thinks Sunday mornings are for being a goofball, but then, for Olivia, life is for being a goofball.

I think I redeemed myself with dinner, Hoisin Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy from One-Dish Vegan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Renaissance Fair

Last weekend, our neighborhood was visited a brave knights and a fair princess.

Several of them, actually. It was a Renaissance Fair!

Jackson and Olivia followed their ears to find the source of the clanging metal sounds, and stood rooted to the spot until all the duels were over. 

There were a lot of duels.

There was also a blacksmith. Which meant more clanging metal! And fire!

There was also a little dog attached to a cart. Not sure what that was about. Were dogs kind of like ponies, in Renaissance times?

There was also dancing, which Olivia happily joined in.

I love our new neighborhood so much. There's always some family-friendly event going on. I also love our close proximity to Dimassi's Mediterranean buffet. This was Tony's first time trying it, and now he is also a huge fan. Let's see, what's all this goodness on my plate? Hummus, falafel, baba ganoush, spinach, green beans, okra, stuffed grape leaves, tabouli, spicy green sauce, pita. I think that covers it. So much to choose from. Baklava for dessert, not pictured because I was too busy stuffing my face!