Friday, July 31, 2015

Jumping and Queso

The kids and I went to lunch at the newest Kerbey Lane, in Round Rock. We started with some chips and salsa and vegan queso.

I had the veggie burger with sweet potato fries.

The kids bounced the afternoon away at Jumpoline. Their new favorite hangout. They are worn out afterwards! Jumping gives those little leg muscles a workout.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Garden

I planted a garden in mid-May. I called it the Garden of Procrastination because I waited so long to decide whether or not I would plant a garden.

Olivia loves the garden center.

I bought cucumber, okra, basil, cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, lavender, and citronella. 

And here is the garden currently.

The basil is thriving, the cherry tomatoes are starting to amp up production. I have a few okra pods. The heirlooms haven't done anything yet but they're not supposed to until late summer. So, hopefully soon! I have tiny, inch-long cucumbers. This is my best attempt at gardening, so far anyway. I think all the rain and cool temperatures helped me out.

For dinner I made the Polenta Bake with Spinach and Mushrooms from One-Dish Vegan. It didn't look that great. The polenta did not want to spread evenly over the spinach-mushroom layer.

Tasted awesome though, with some marinara spooned on top. I guess we don't always eat with our eyes. Sometimes just with our mouths and stomachs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Do Not Feed the Birds

Today we attended Lego Lab at the library. Lego Lab when the librarian puts out a kiddie pool full of Legos and the kids can build whatever they like for an hour. Lego Lab is the best.

We also had lunch at Phil's. The Burnet Rd. location is crazy overrun with grackles. They have warning signs posted. 

Not exaggerating! They will swoop right onto your table and snag whatever food they can. I have seen them carry off French fries and burger buns.

I hovered over the table keeping our food safe until we were finished eating. No veggie burger for you today, bird!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Back on the Boat

When I asked Jackson what he wanted to do this summer, the first thing he said was take a glass bottom boat tour. We did this a couple years ago and I guess the memory really stayed with him.

I love how he loves nature. Olivia does too, in spite of the serious side-eye she's giving in this pic.


See the turtle?

Bubbling springs.


Scuba diving class.

The water was so blue.

It was a nice boat ride. For dinner I made some veggie sandwiches. I saw a daily special on Easy Tiger's Facebook page that looked good, but I knew we would not make it down there to sample it. So I decided to create my own version. Ciabatta bread with avocado, radishes, mixed greens, and chimichurri sauce. Anything is good with chimichurri. Hit the spot.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Swim Lessons

It is summer which means swim lessons. Maybe this will be our last year. Olivia did well in her lessons, now we have the rest of the summer to work on retaining what she has learned.

After a few years of practice, I am finally confident about my pool gear packing abilities. I used to always forget something at home, but now I'm pretty good at just tossing everything in a bag each morning.

Little mermaid.

The pool does not open to the public until 15 minutes after Olivia's lesson begins. For Jackson it can be a long 15 minutes.

When the whistle blows, he is ready to jump in.

Homemade pizza for dinner with cashew-red bell pepper cheeze, basil pesto, and olives.

Plant-Powered Families Chocolate Chia Pudding for dessert. My first time successfully making chia pudding, yay! I like that it's sweetened with dates.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pacific Rim

Morning yoga partner.

I followed up my healthy morning workout and yoga, with some terrible snacks I couldn't pass up at the store. HEB cherry limeade cookies, and key lime pie Oreos, both "accidentally vegan."

Friday evening, Tony and I were going to take both kids to drop-in babysitting at the gymnastics studio. Olivia had been asking to attend forever. The kids get free reign of the gymnastics equipment, plus there is pizza and a movie. Jackson, however, became nervous and sad whenever it was brought up. We reminded him of all the fun activities he would get to do, but he insisted he would miss us and really wanted to stay with us. In the end, we felt that this was a situation where, it would not kill us if he stayed home, and we should respect his feelings. So we cancelled our reservation for two at a more "adult" restaurant downtown, dropped Olivia off, and took Jackson to dinner with us at Pacific Rim, a new casual sushi and yakitori bar in north Austin.

We started with edamame, and mojitos for the grown-ups. My mojito was strong! Thumbs up.

We also noticed some Polynesian drinks on the restaurant website that we were excited to try. I love tiki drinks and there is a distinct lack of tiki bars in Austin. We didn't see them listed on the menu, though. The waitress said they hadn't rolled out those drinks yet. I wasn't sure what that meant exactly, but she assured us they had all the ingredients on hand to make anything on the website. So I had a Mai Tai. It was nowhere near as strong as the mojito and mostly tasted like grapefruit juice. Oh well. I guess there is a reason it was not on the menu yet.

Tony and Jackson shared some chicken yakitori skewers. I ordered a vegetable yakitori. It came without the teriyaki sauce that accompanied the meat skewers. I guess maybe their teriyaki sauce isn't vegetarian? So it was just some veggie kabobs. 

My veggie sushi was delicious and different.  The Hybrid roll was filled with asparagus, inari, and avocado, and topped with roasted red pepper and almonds. Kind of nod to Spanish romesco flavors there. The Gandhi's Inferno roll was filled with asparagus, tofu, and tomato, and dressed with jalapeno salsa. I appreciate that Pacific Rim is trying to do something unique for their vegetarian diners, in addition to the basic avocado and cucumber rolls you can get everywhere. (They have those, too, and they are super cheap on the happy hour menu!)

Tony and I are looking forward to going back and trying some of their other veggie-friendly dishes and maybe sharing a Scorpion Bowl.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thai Fresh for the First Time

I had been wanting to go to Thai Fresh for so long and finally we made it down there for lunch! I absolutely loved it and Tony says it is his new favorite Thai place. So there you go. Why do we deny ourselves for so long the things we are destined to love? Is that a Gandhi quote? No, but I bet it's been attributed to him on Facebook once or twice.

Thai Fresh offers two flavors of local Wunder-Pilz kombucha on tap, Heart and Elixir. I went with Heart (white tea, hibiscus, hawthorn, reishi, cardamom.)

Thai Fresh has a somewhat confusing ordering system for first-timers. See, there are two separate spaces, a restaurant and a coffee shop. But there is no waitstaff in the restaurant, so you have to go in the coffee shop and place your order at the counter. A lot of the Yelp reviews talk about the staff being rude and distracted, but I think maybe they are just frazzled from trying to run a coffee shop while also taking restaurant orders. Our guy seemed distracted and forgot my kombucha. I wasn't sure if they were going to bring it to me or what, so I finally went back and asked, and he got it for me.

Here's where I admit I am a dummy who accidentally deleted pics of my own food. I had the most wonderful Tom Yum soup for a starter. It was spicy yet sour, with lemongrass, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, and other goodness, in a clear broth.

I wanted to try the Papaya Salad since I've never had one, but it could not be made vegan. The search continues.

I had the Pad Prik King, green beans and tofu in red curry with kaffir lime leaves. It was sublime! Sublime I tell you.

Tony had the rice soup with tofu, chock full of mushrooms, garlic and cilantro. It was a very mild soup that the kids also liked.

Thankfully I did not delete the dessert pics. Just as important as the meal! The coffee shop has its own bakery and ice cream counter and many if not most of the desserts are vegan. I did not know where to begin! I went with the matcha cream cake. So amaze. I love matcha!

I also grabbed a grasshopper brownie to take home. I love mint and chocolate. Tony is not a fan. Where do you stand on this important issue?

We also sampled several flavors of the vegan ice cream. I can't remember off the top of my head what all we tried, but the matcha and Thai iced tea were my favorites. 

I can't wait to go back and it should not be hard at all to convince Tony.

All that eating took a lot out of us. My sweet boy resting with his baby.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Superhero Nachos

Our library had a superhero cape-making session today. Olivia and Jackson were happy to decorate their own personal capes.


Jackson did not care to model with his cape. Instead he shimmied up a tree. The cape would've just encumbered him really.

What do superheroes love? Nachos! For the queso, I used the Mild Cheesy Dip from Plant-Powered Families. So good! It's nut-free, but still super creamy and rich like a cashew-based queso. I mixed it with a few spoonfuls of salsa to give it a Mexican flavor. To make mine extra-hot I added some chopped banana pepper and serrano pepper from my garden.

For dessert, frozen blueberries.