Sunday, November 23, 2014


One day last week, families were invited to eat a special Thanksgiving lunch with their kids at Jackson's school.

Lunchtime and recess are the students' only time to blow off steam, so the cafeteria is basically "Where the Wild Things Are." A very high-energy scene.


Today it is raining, so we are entertaining ourselves by taking selfies.

There also may have been a dance-off.

Rainy days call for hot drinks, so I decided to fancy up my Dandy Blend (herbal coffee) by making a latte.

I love my $3 IKEA milk frother! Works great with almond milk.

I am taking the rest of this week off blogging to be with my little family and extended family 24/7, so I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Autumn Drinks

Now that we have turned the heater on, the air in my home gets very dry, and I find myself drinking more liquids to keep myself hydrated.

I had to pick up another Suja Elements Wassail, also known as cinnamon roll in a bottle!  I love it so much. I also tried their Chun Mee Tropical tea. 

Speaking of tea, I could not pass up these flavors. Celestial Seasonings Caramel Apple Dream, for a sweet treat, and Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief for sleepytime.

I also bought a pouch of Dandy Blend, an herbal coffee substitute. Now, I don't have any problem with coffee. I drink decaf iced coffees all summer long. But I have enjoyed other herbal coffees so I wanted to try this one out, too. 

Chocolate Pharmacy is an Austin business specializing in raw cacao with added healing spices. I love their raw truffles and when I saw their brand-new line of chocolate potions, I had to place an order. That's when I learned that Jyl, the owner, will personally deliver to your door if you live in Austin. That's service!

The bottle contains raw, unsweetened spiced cacao powder. So you measure out about a tablespoon and mix with warmed milk. I also add a little stevia to mine. The taste is pure, rich chocolate, plus a hint of spiciness that I can't quite put a finger on. It is such a lovely treat in the evenings when I am relaxing in front of the fireplace!

I've also used it to make a "tonic" by blending up with almond milk, spirulina, acai, turmeric, vanilla and stevia. 

It's hard for me to get excited about smoothies when it's cold out, but I try. Here is one with spinach, coconut water, cherries, acai, spirulina, and RAW vanilla protein powder.

I have also been juicing. I think I am in the minority here, but I prefer my juices to have a very "green" flavor, so I will leave out the apple juice or pineapple juice. This one I made today had celery, cucumber, carrots (which add a bit of sweetness on their own), kale, cilantro, and lemon.

Finally, Olivia and I made pecan milk. I don't have a nut milk bag or anything fancy. We just blended up 1/2 cup pecans, 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt. Then I pushed it through a fine mesh strainer to get out the solids. You have to give it a good shake each time before using as it does separate, but it's great.

On to some solid foods. Dinner was the Chimichurri Pumpkin Bowl from Isa Does It. You know how I love my chimichurri sauce. This was lovely. The only thing is, baking pumpkins have disappeared from my supermarket, so I used butternut squash. I roasted it skin-on, which has become my new preference since it adds more flavor. Oh, and I also subbed chickpeas for the black beans, as usual.

Olivia enjoyed a deconstructed version. Little kids and their opposition to mixing foods! It's so funny. At least she ate the same food as the rest of us in some form.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Over the weekend we headed down to New Braunfels to check out Wurstfest, a yearly salute to all things German. Olivia asked why we were going if it was "the worst," while Jackson repeatedly referred to it is the "sausage festival." Oh my. 

The festival is held on the banks of the Comal river.

 We got ourselves some beer and snacks, and found a spot to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Beer. (Paulaner.)


We love giant pretzels. Love them!

After filling our bellies, we wandered over to the midway and the kids tried out a few rides.

They loved the swings so much they rode them twice.

Then they each took a turn on the super slide.

Next year we will get bracelets so they can ride unlimited rides.

Before we left, we grabbed a couple of pastries to share in the car, a cream horn and chocolate eclair.

Thanks Wurstfest! We will see you next fall.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mueller Fall Fest

Fall festivals are a big thing in Austin. Strange, considering how we live a part of the country that doesn't really experience fall weather. Most of the festivals occur in October, when it's still in the 90s. Something feels intrinsically wrong about painting a pumpkin while getting sunburn at the same time. However, this past weekend we attended a fall fest in the Mueller neighborhood and the weather was nice and cool, like an actual fall day! Amazingness.

Bouncing and bowling!

Olivia won a whistle. OH, GOOD.

Petting zoo.

Little ponies. They looked tired.

Taking a break by the lake.

Looking for fish.

Photo booth fun.

Dinner was Spicy Drunken Noodles from Vegan Eats World.  My red chiles were not spicy at all. I don't buy red chiles often, so I guess I don't know how to pick the hot ones. Sriracha prevented the recipe title from becoming a misnomer. Whew.

Monday, November 17, 2014

International Fair

Last night we had a quick dinner of Arabian Lentil and Rice Soup from Appetite for Reduction.

Then it was off to Jackson's school for the International Fair.  Families hosted tables for various countries, and the kids were given little passports to fill with stickers as they visited each booth.

They also got to make little crafts to take home. Olivia was quite proud of her castle tracing.

I'd helped organize food donations for the event, and Tony could not pass up homemade Turkish baklava.

The Scottish table went all-out. Olivia got to try on a kilt and hat, complete with ginger wig.

Did you know? 

Jackson's Pick

When we let Jackson choose the restaurant, we will always end up at Chuy's.

Blood orange margarita, very sweet.

My usual, the salad/enchilada combo.

Veggie enchilada with ranchero sauce.

Playing with her new fairy doll, a present from my mom.