Thursday, March 5, 2015

Around the World

Olivia saying good morning to Mr. Frog at the library.

Jackson explaining the spaceship he built out of packing styrofoam.

Beer from New Mexico.

Chinese food courtesy of 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. Chow mein noodles, and daikon carrot salad. This was my first time trying daikon. I like it. Crisp and refreshing.

That's all folks.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Playground Fun

Today we visited a newly renovated playground up in Georgetown where my folks live.

It has kind of an "old timey Western town" theme.

As well as the usual playground gear to climb on, swing from, and crawl through.

We also stopped in to visit my parents. Olivia enjoys coloring with my mom.

Dinner was the Monkey Minestrone from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. The best minestrone, I think.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Broccoli Flowers

One of the many things I love about Jackson's school is the fact that the kids maintain a garden and sell the vegetables at a weekly after-school farmer's market. Sometimes parents bring in items from their home gardens as well, so there is always something interesting to sample. This week it was broccoli flowers.

I did not know broccoli plants produced flowers, and I certainly didn't know said flowers were edible. They have a very clean, green flavor, not really like broccoli. More like asparagus maybe? The yellow flowers would be pretty atop a salad. My kids, however, ate them right off the stem.

For dinner I made our favorite pasta salad, the Garden Rotini and Chickpea Salad with Goddess Dressing from Vegan on the Cheap. I always make it when we attend a potluck, but Tony said I should make it at home too, so he can eat more of it. Ha! I also made a batch of kale chips in the oven. I sold my dehydrator while ago because I think they turn out just fine in the oven.

My Little Pony steel cage match. Two ponies enter, one pony leaves!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lost Tooth

The other night I went out to dinner with some girlfriends at Carrabba's. There aren't a lot of vegan options on the menu at this chain restaurant, but I was there for the laughs and conversation, more than the food. I had a garden salad and spaghetti pomodoro.

While I was out, Tony texted me to let me know that Jackson's first tooth had come out!

It had been wiggly for a week or so, and it slipped right out after he brushed his teeth. He was pretty excited about it. The next morning, he took it to school in a baggie to show his friends. Haha! Then he left it under the pillow for the tooth fairy. 

It was quite a "My kids are getting so big!" moment for me. I remember baby Jackson getting his first teeth, not that long ago it seems! And now he is starting to lose them. A pretty emotional mama moment. As for Jackson, he is just happy that he can whistle now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Holla Pain Yo

Today Olivia and I were out running errands as usual and we stopped in at Juiceland for some liquid refreshments. The mural out front reminds me of Tony and his love of hot peppers!

Olivia loves to play with the family of vegetable animals while we wait for our order to be made.

Olivia had her usual watermelon-peach combo. I got the daily special, the Wundershowzen, which is surely Elvis' favorite smoothie, with almond milk, banana, spinach, hemp, and peanut butter.

While we were out we picked up some locally made kimchi.

I put it to use at dinnertime. We had the Kimchi Black Rice with Asian Pear Salad from Salad Samurai. It was great, so many complex flavors and very hearty thanks to the edamame and baked tofu.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Day with My Girl

A typical day for Olivia and me while Jackson is at school. First she helps me in the kitchen. We made granola bars and blueberry waffles. I always have to have these two options in the fridge for quick breakfasts during the week. For the bars, I use the recipe in the Oh She Glows cookbook. For the waffles, I use the one in Isa Does It.

Next, a couple of errands with my shopping buddy.

A stop at the park.

After we pick up Jackson and do some homework, I make dinner. Tonight I made three recipes from The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. I made the red lentil dal, the rice pilau, and cilantro chutney. The dal was delicious. The rice was a little bland on its own, but I stirred it into the dal and it made it more substantial. The chutney is flavorful and it also makes a nice salsa for dipping tortilla chips!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dallas, Part 2

Day 1 of our Dallas weekend was spent playing at Legoland and chowing at Spiral Diner. Recap here. On Day 2, we headed to the Dallas World Aquarium.

It's called an aquarium, but it's really half tropical rainforest, half aquarium. We made our way through the rainforest first.

I couldn't believe this stork was real, until it moved. It was the biggest bird I've ever seen!

The official name of this tree is the Monkey Don't Climb Tree. For obvious reasons. Ouch.

Loud, squawking, constantly fighting flamingos! Not the most peaceful birds. But pretty.

Look at this frog's expression. We have all been there.

I literally squealed when we came to this sign.

I had never been this close to a sloth before. There were actually two, but one was asleep. This one was wide awake, however, posing for pictures and, later, placidly eating his shoots and leaves.

Next we observed the aquatic tanks. Jackson and Olivia were delighted by the otters, who would repeatedly swim right up to the glass like they were playing hide and seek.

I'd never seen a polka dot stingray before. Such a cool pattern! I love stingrays.

Undersea creatures are pretty amazing.

Such variety.

Jackson was really interested in the anemones and starfish. Because SpongeBob.

These sea spiders will haunt my dreams.

To get that image out of your brain, check out what we saw next.

A little back story. Tony is obsessed with manatees. His love of manatees is perhaps equal to my love of sloths. He calls them his brothers of the sea. So when we first passed by this tank, he was a little crushed to find that the manatee was sleeping with its entire body turned away from us. But when we passed through again towards the end of our visit, the manatee had perked up and was swimming adorably around in its tank, which it shared with various fish and turtle friends.

Eating its salad. Total herbivores, they eat 150 lbs. of greens a day!

The manatee had a toy stick that it carried around. At one point it dropped the stick, and the stick floated up to the surface. The manatee swam vigorously until it reached the stick and grasped it again. It was almost like a dog playing fetch! I wonder why it is so attached to the stick. 

At this point we'd seen pretty much everything and the kids were reaching their limits of appropriate museum behavior, so we broke for lunch.

Out of all the dining options in Dallas, we chose...Spiral Diner again! 

Party sampler to start, with chips, guac, queso and salsa.

Orange spice iced tea, so good.

I was going to get the blue plate special Zucchini Po'Boy, but they were out of French bread. I didn't want to eat a po'boy on plain sliced bread, so I went with the Nachos Supremo. These nachos were dressed to the nines with cashew queso, quinoa, corn, olives, scallions, guac, sour cream, jalapenos and cilantro. Every bite made me so happy.

Tony had the Spiral Burger on a traditional meaty patty, with all the fixins, and a side of potato salad. The kids had the same things as the day before (spaghetti and grilled cheese).

Goodbye for now, Dallas. It was fun!