Thursday, August 4, 2011

What's New

With our two little night owls, Tony and I don't get a lot of time in the evenings for movie or TV viewing, except for the G-rated variety. But occasionally we do try to catch up with some shows via Netflix. Lately we've been watching Treme, an HBO series set in New Orleans. It's really good. To coincide with our viewing of the season one finale last night, I figured I would try my hand at making jambalaya. Now, I've never been to New Orleans, nor have I eaten authentic jambalaya, so I have no idea how this compares. The recipe is from Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations, and we both thought it was pretty darn good.

The recipe is on the complex side. I made the vegan chicken and andouille sausage a couple days before, to save time.

The finished result.  I know, it doesn't look too pretty. But when something tastes this good, sometimes the appearance can be overlooked.

Tonight, I did a Middle Eastern spread, very simple, no real cooking involved. I made bulgur tabouli, smoky hummus (with plenty of smoked paprika), and a lemon date chutney. Served with pita bread and marinated olives from Central Market.

 The lemon date chutney is something Jackson and Olivia enjoyed when we ate at Candle Cafe in NYC, and I wanted to try to replicate it. Here's my version:

Lemon Date Chutney
1 1/2 cups dates
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 lemons
Bring 2 cups of water to boil and pour over the dates. Soak for 10 minutes, then drain. In a food processor, blend the dates with the lemon zest and lemon juice until it reaches a smooth consistency.

This would be really good with spicy Indian food. The tart sweetness would complement the heat perfectly.

So...what else is new? I feel like I've been a stranger around here lately. But my computer is working for the time being.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We've been experiencing record heat. Last night around 6 p.m., Tony's car thermometer read 111 degrees in the shade.  I take the kids to meet up with our play group in the mornings, before it gets dangerously hot. Then we hole up indoors the rest of the day. It's hard to tell when a little dude is getting overheated. Jackson will play and play, and I have to remind him to stop and drink some water. So I'd rather be safe. We have been doing a lot of drawing, having little dance parties, and of course we've been cooking.

On the way home from one of our meetups this week, I had to stop and take a picture of this art project.

It was in the parking lot of a bike shop. I love Austin, with its random public art. The Boston Terrier with its glowing red eyes reminds me of Monster when he gets hungry, ha.  All that's missing is a freakishly long tongue and a string of slobber hanging from its jaw.

I had to snap this picture of my little window ghosts waiting for their daddy to get home. Did you do this when you were a kid? I remember hiding behind curtains and thinking no one would ever realize I was there. Like they made me invisible! Now my kids do the same.

They were so eager to see their daddy and give him some cuddles...I mean, steal his snack!

I don't blame them. He makes the best salsa.  I'm going to convince him to enter it in the Hot Sauce Festival this year.

Well, that's everything that's new around here. How are you?


  1. I've never heard of that show. After we visited the "middle east" in college, we became addicted to meals just like that and had them all the time in early marriage. I don't know why we don't do it more often now. We should.

  2. THe dinners both sound awesome! Did you try the tester one for Urban Vegan? You totally took it another step and made your own "meats" - kudos.
    And I love Mediterranean food: everything sounds great. Tabouli is awesome in the summer heat!