Thursday, July 31, 2014

Things We Ate in the Summer

Gardenburgers with homemade sauerkraut from Tony's coworker, and Alexia sweet potato fries. Fixins for this meal are always on hand in my freezer.

Cheezy Mac from Vegan Diner. Or cheezy farfalline, to be precise. I liked it, wouldn't change anything.

Yet another batch of salt and vinegar roasted chickpeas from Oh She Glows. Olivia's favorite. She would probably enjoy a salt lick if we purchased one for her.

Chocolate-blueberry pancakes (Jackson requested these, specifically) with blueberry maple syrup, and scrambled tofu.

Romesco Vegetable Bowls from More Quick-Fix Vegan. I am always a fan of romesco sauce.

Tofu and Green Beans with Hoisin Almond Sauce, also from More Quick-Fix Vegan. This was a hit with Jackson and Olivia, lovers of green beans.

Chimichurri Quinoa Bowls from, you guessed it, More Quick-Fix Vegan. Not the most flavorful chimichurri.

Matcha milkshake: almond milk, vanilla extract, matcha powder, stevia, ice. Blend. Repeat daily.

Water babies.

I've been listening to my old Low CD's lately. Slow and lazy. Summer soundtrack.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blast Off

Today we daytripped to New Braunfels to visit their children's museum. They've redone the astronaut section and made it even cooler.

You can strap yourself into an astronaut sleeping station.

You can have a seat on the, um, space toilet.

You can also walk through a funhouse-style tunnel that simulates going into space. Blast off!

Jackson and Olivia also did a little doctoring.

And a little painting.

And of course some posing.

We hit a traffic snarl on the way home, so we stopped for almond milk frozen yogurt from TCBY.

Dinner was Lentil-Walnut Loaf from Oh She Glows. Apples and raisins give it a festive, Thanksgiving-stuffing vibe. I dug it. My family did not. More for me!

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Oh She Glows

As promised, many more attempts from the Oh She Glows cookbook. First, Perfect Kale Chips. They really were perfect! Jackson and Olivia gobbled them up. To be honest, I only ever tried making kale chips in the oven once before, and I burned them. But setting up the dehydrator (and washing it afterwards!) is a process. I find oven-baking much simpler, as long as I make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew. Not a lot of peanut flavor, compared to similar recipes I've made, but a good hearty weeknight soup.

Broccoli, Cashew Cheese & Quinoa Burritos. Warm, cheesy comfort food that comes with a nostalgia factor (that is, if you grew up eating broccoli rice casseroles). The filling reheats well, so this was my lunch several days in a row.

Quick & Easy Chana Masala. Now this won't have the depth of flavor of a long-simmered tomato sauce, but when you crave Indian spices on a weeknight, it comes together so easily. I picked up some naan bread at the store and called it dinner.

Bonus, non-Oh She Glows meal! Since we moved, we now live within five minutes of Austin's only raw food cafe, called Premier Raw. I had to try it out, so I called in a lunch order: two Quantum Sliders with a side of caraway slaw, a Veggie Supreme juice with carrot, celery, beet, kale and ginger, and two coconut-pecan truffles for dessert. It was all delicious! I'd never eaten a raw "burger" before. The burger had a different consistency from the buns which, although raw, were soft and bread-like. The truffles were moist and cakey. Apparently you can get a lot of variation in your raw food textures if you know what you're doing! Jackson ate one of the sliders and Olivia had a truffle, so they are fans of raw cuisine, as well. I was surprised how full I felt after my meal. Raw food definitely satisfies. I think we'll become regular customers. 

It's been a lovely, rainy summer! You will never hear me complain about rain and cooler temps. I love being able to drink hot tea in July!

And the kids are happy to bring out the blankets and cuddle up with their babies.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Detroit 2014: Day 5

The last day of our Detroit vacation arrived all too quickly! We were in no hurry to head back to sweltering Austin when Michigan was getting some lovely temperatures in the 70s. We took full advantage of the nice weather on our last day, heading down to the riverfront.

Jackson and Olivia's reaction whenever they encounter a splash pad is to run at top speed toward it.

I am really impressed by Detroit's riverwalk. The fountain makes it so inviting for kids, and the walking/biking path and lawn chairs make it a great place to spend the morning just hanging out and looking out across the water.

There's also a carousel!

Fittingly, all the animals are water creatures.

As we strolled along the path, I came across this tiny lending library. Love this idea!

After soaking in the perfect weather, we had lunch at Pegasus Taverna in Greektown. Real Greek food is hard to come by in Austin, so Tony wanted to experience it before we left. We started with saganaki, the flaming halloumi cheese dish. Jackson and Olivia are big fans of food that comes to your table on fire.

We also had skordalia, a potato and garlic dip that I will have to try to reproduce at home.

We also shared some roasted peppers before our entrees came.

I had the vegetable platter with green beans in tomato sauce, lemon potatoes, roast cauliflower, spanakopita, spinach rice pilaf, and peas. It was all so good. 

Finally, one last evening spent with Isabella. Jackson and Olivia were such good helpers. They constantly asked to hold and feed her.

We had a great visit, and I hope we will get to come back soon! I miss my sweet niece (and Sean and Melissa too, of course) already!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Detroit 2014: Day 4

Today we day-tripped up to Frankenmuth, "Michigan's Little Bavaria." Pretty much everything in town is German-themed, down to the lederhosen worn by servers in all the restaurants. My parents loved bringing Sean and me up here as kids, to spend the day shopping and eating. So we had to recreate the tradition with our own kids.

Frankenmuth is known for its fudge. There are at least three different shops where fudge is made. You can watch them rolling and cutting it on cool marble slabs, and it smells amazing.

We couldn't decide between salted caramel and pistachio, so we brought home both.

Speaking of sweets, here's my little cupcake.

Here she is later in the day. Her little legs were getting tired, and she was not a happy camper.

We took a break for food at Bavarian Inn.

A nice cold mug of Hoffbrau beer hit the spot.

For a German restaurant, Bavarian Inn surprised me with their tasty vegan and vegetarian menu. I had the breaded portabello burger on a pretzel bun, with fries. Whatever kind of breading they used was really well-seasoned, and the burger had a ton of flavor!

Izzy loves Frankenmuth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Detroit 2014: Day 3

Today we woke up fairly early to visit the Heidelberg Project while Melissa worked a half-day.

This art project has been around for a long time, but this was my first time visiting. Sadly, I almost waited too long. In the past year, there has been a string of arson incidents. You can still see the charred outlines of the homes that burned, and the shrines erected in their memory.

The whole block is decorated, including the pavement.

Jackson and Olivia put on a little television show. 

Some more photos, just so you get an idea of what Heidelberg is.

I love that artists have made something unique and optimistic here, and I hope it can remain.

On our way back to our hotel, we stopped at the Sprout House for fresh veggie juices. You need veggies when traveling! Tony and I asked for the same thing -- kale, spinach, beets, carrots, and extra ginger to make it spicy!

I also bought a giant, vegan oatmeal raisin cookie.

Once we got back to our hotel, we had some time to chill in the swimming pool.

Then we spent the rest of the day with Sean, Melissa, and Miss Izzy. Look at that face! My sweet niece is full of attitude. We had Buddy's pizza for dinner and I think she was annoyed that she couldn't partake, due to not having teeth yet!

Tomorrow: all the German kitsch you can handle.