Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bad Throat, Huh J-Man?

Jackson was not at full YEAH strength this weekend (if you know what 80s movie I'm talking about, congratulations, you are old like me!) He rallied to play his Saturday morning soccer game.

But by the end, he was looking pretty lethargic.

By evening, Olivia started showing the same signs, of the dreaded springtime cold. They hate being sick this time of year because it's so nice out and they want to go, go, go, but it slows them down.

Fortunately it was short-lived and they were all better by Sunday night. Meals were simple while we catered to them, like this pesto pasta using up odds and ends of various pastas in the pantry.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Festival

I ordered Vegan Pie in the Sky as a "Pi Day" (3/13) gift to myself and the timing was perfect, since Jackson's school had asked for baked good donations for the cake walk at their annual spring festival.

First up, the Pucker Up Raspberry Pie. The edges of my crust got a little overbaked, hopefully nobody minded. I was surprised at how easy the lattice crust was! And it was fun cutting out the little heart shapes. I felt very Betty Crocker-ish.

Next up, Maple Pecan Pie. Looked and smelled wonderful!

We did not donate all our baking efforts, to be honest. I also made a batch of Boston Cream Pie cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World. My chocolate ganache topping was wayyy too runny to dollop on top of the cupcakes. I had to thicken it up with some extra chocolate and coconut oil. There will definitely be a next time and I will cut down on the amount of milk used. Biting into the cream-filled cupcake center is pure heaven.

Anyway, the festival! Unfortunately Jackson had an upset stomach and could not attend, but I took Olivia for a couple of hours. She headed straight for the bounce castles first.

The human hamster ball was a new experience for her. 

. She was stumbling around like a tiny drunk person after the climbed out!

Random dude with a white bird just hanging out on his head. Sure, why not. This is Austin.

Try as she might, Olivia did not manage to dunk the teacher, but enjoyed trying.

Her favorite activity was the foam pit. "I'm swimming in clouds!" she exclaimed.

"This is the best day of my life!" she also exclaimed. Olivia may be prone to hyperbole but you have to appreciate her enthusiasm.

Later, I ran her home and then went back and volunteered for a couple of hours at various booths. That was fun too. I was starving when I got home, and I had a BLT craving. I cooked up some tempeh bacon and piled it on my favorite pumpernickel-rye swirl bread along with tomatoes, lettuce, hummus, and avocado. BLT deluxe!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jack Allen's Kitchen

We met my parents for dinner last night at Jack Allen's Kitchen in Round Rock. I had noticed a few things on the menu back when I was eating vegetarian that sounded good, but their vegan offerings are pretty slim. I had the portabello veggie fajitas, served with rice and black beans, corn tortillas and guacamole. The fajitas were a little dry, I should have asked for some salsa to pour on them. The guacamole was really good.

I had a vodka with grapefruit juice and sage. It was a refreshing little beverage, although I could not taste the sage, it was more of a garnish.

To sum up, fine for meat eaters and it's cool that they source locally, but nothing special to draw in a vegan. And here is Olivia up a tree.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gymnastics and Fennel

Really loving fresh raspberries right now. This morning I had a smoothie bowl (banana, soy milk, spirulina, cocoa powder, stevia) topped with coconut, hempseeds and raspberries.

It was parent observation day at gymnastics, so I was allowed to go into the gym and Olivia led me around and showed me everything she's been working on.

She can do a full flip on the rings, little monkey.

On the low bar, too.

Her little arms are definitely getting stronger!

The trampoline is her favorite.

For dinner I made the Chickpea and Fennel Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes. It was lovely! All the parts of the fennel are used so you get a nice contrast between the wispy fronds, crisp celery-like stems, and the fennel bulb which goes so buttery soft when sauteed, plus a kick from smoky ground fennel.

From the same book, I made chocolate chip cookies, and they were probably the best ones I've ever made! The recipe calls for only brown sugar, which makes them really soft and chewy.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pretzel Date

Recently my parents agreed to watch Jackson and Olivia for a few hours so Tony and I could have a meal together. We headed downtown to Easy Tiger, a bakery/beergarden.

Literally a wall of bread. Be still my heart.

We each had a giant pretzel. Oh carbs. How I love you.

It was nice to sit and chat with my handsome husband over a couple of beers, about exciting adult topics such as getting our air-conditioning repaired.

Afterwards, walked around and enjoyed the constantly-changing wall art around 6th St.

Aww, friendly wasabi.

We also saw this. Yard art, or hoarding? Sometimes you can't tell.

On our way home, we stopped by Capital City Bakery to pick up some blueberry cheesecake and a lemon bar.

The kids were good for Grandma and Grandad, yay! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Short and Sweet

We are having our new AC installed today so this is short and sweet. Like Monster!

Homemade pizza with Teese, green olives and fresh basil. My pizza dough rose nicely -- baking practice is paying off!

A few squares of Perugina dark chocolate limoncello for dessert. 

Eating it reminded me of our long ago trip to Rome! We drank lots of limoncello. Has it really been twelve years? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All Boy

Today we had lunch with my parents at Hat Creek in Georgetown. I found out that their vegan burger is made with Hot Dang grain patties, which are sold at Whole Foods. I will have to pick some up so we can eat them at home. They are made with wild rice and cashews which gives them a really different texture from other veggie burgers.

There is a play area behind the restaurant, but Jackson preferred to hop the fence and go up a tree.

I've found myself falling into the habit of referring to Jackson as "all boy." As in, "He is all boy!" Usually said while he is wrestling with a buddy, building crazy destroyer-robots and smashing them together, or tromping through the woods and getting caked in mud. It's kind of a shorthand language I can use with other parents while we observe our sons happily putting each other into headlocks.

But, he also likes to watch Monster High with his sister. He loves to help me in the kitchen. He holds my hand when we walk together, and he likes a good cuddle before bed. Not that any of those things can be characterized as boyish or girlish. They are what they are. My son is energetic, happy-go-lucky, enthusiastic, he is six and a half. He is all Jackson.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wild Onion

I have been seeing a lot of "acai bowls" lately so I decided to make one of my own. Acai powder, frozen bananas, blueberries, flax milk, cocoa powder, PB2, sprinkled with shredded coconut and hempseeds.

Sweet Ritual sweet treat - BBQ potato chip ice cream (chocolate covered potato chips and smoky sea salt!), topped with cookie dough. Amazeballs. 

Dinner was Trader Joe's mandarin orange "chicken" with roasted broccoli and white rice.

After dinner, at soccer practice, Jackson noticed some unusual weeds growing near the field. We consulted my phone and decided that they were wild onions, safe to eat.

He liked them, even though he refuses to eat regular onions! I guess he is just a forager at heart.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Austin's Park

In lieu of a party this year, we celebrated Olivia's birthday at Austin's Park.  She and Jackson were a little excited to say the least.

We arrived right when they opened, on a chilly Sunday. It was awesome because hardly anyone else was there, so there were no lines for any of the rides.

Olivia was not quite tall enough for some rides, like the bumper boats. We will just have to go back next year after she grows a bit more!

She made up for it by riding her favorite rides over and over. And over!

First rollercoaster ride!

Lunch break/shark attack!

Austin's Park has an all-you-can-eat pizza and salad buffet. The salad bar had a pretty good range of offerings; I didn't go hungry.

Jackson came soooo close to reaching the top of the rock wall. 

After lunch we headed back outside for some mini golf.

"OK Mama, that's enough pictures, let's go ride some more rides!"

A great day of family fun. For dinner I made the Veganomicon French dip sandwiches with au jus. Our favorite meal.