Friday, February 27, 2015

Holla Pain Yo

Today Olivia and I were out running errands as usual and we stopped in at Juiceland for some liquid refreshments. The mural out front reminds me of Tony and his love of hot peppers!

Olivia loves to play with the family of vegetable animals while we wait for our order to be made.

Olivia had her usual watermelon-peach combo. I got the daily special, the Wundershowzen, which is surely Elvis' favorite smoothie, with almond milk, banana, spinach, hemp, and peanut butter.

While we were out we picked up some locally made kimchi.

I put it to use at dinnertime. We had the Kimchi Black Rice with Asian Pear Salad from Salad Samurai. It was great, so many complex flavors and very hearty thanks to the edamame and baked tofu.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Day with My Girl

A typical day for Olivia and me while Jackson is at school. First she helps me in the kitchen. We made granola bars and blueberry waffles. I always have to have these two options in the fridge for quick breakfasts during the week. For the bars, I use the recipe in the Oh She Glows cookbook. For the waffles, I use the one in Isa Does It.

Next, a couple of errands with my shopping buddy.

A stop at the park.

After we pick up Jackson and do some homework, I make dinner. Tonight I made three recipes from The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. I made the red lentil dal, the rice pilau, and cilantro chutney. The dal was delicious. The rice was a little bland on its own, but I stirred it into the dal and it made it more substantial. The chutney is flavorful and it also makes a nice salsa for dipping tortilla chips!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dallas, Part 2

Day 1 of our Dallas weekend was spent playing at Legoland and chowing at Spiral Diner. Recap here. On Day 2, we headed to the Dallas World Aquarium.

It's called an aquarium, but it's really half tropical rainforest, half aquarium. We made our way through the rainforest first.

I couldn't believe this stork was real, until it moved. It was the biggest bird I've ever seen!

The official name of this tree is the Monkey Don't Climb Tree. For obvious reasons. Ouch.

Loud, squawking, constantly fighting flamingos! Not the most peaceful birds. But pretty.

Look at this frog's expression. We have all been there.

I literally squealed when we came to this sign.

I had never been this close to a sloth before. There were actually two, but one was asleep. This one was wide awake, however, posing for pictures and, later, placidly eating his shoots and leaves.

Next we observed the aquatic tanks. Jackson and Olivia were delighted by the otters, who would repeatedly swim right up to the glass like they were playing hide and seek.

I'd never seen a polka dot stingray before. Such a cool pattern! I love stingrays.

Undersea creatures are pretty amazing.

Such variety.

Jackson was really interested in the anemones and starfish. Because SpongeBob.

These sea spiders will haunt my dreams.

To get that image out of your brain, check out what we saw next.

A little back story. Tony is obsessed with manatees. His love of manatees is perhaps equal to my love of sloths. He calls them his brothers of the sea. So when we first passed by this tank, he was a little crushed to find that the manatee was sleeping with its entire body turned away from us. But when we passed through again towards the end of our visit, the manatee had perked up and was swimming adorably around in its tank, which it shared with various fish and turtle friends.

Eating its salad. Total herbivores, they eat 150 lbs. of greens a day!

The manatee had a toy stick that it carried around. At one point it dropped the stick, and the stick floated up to the surface. The manatee swam vigorously until it reached the stick and grasped it again. It was almost like a dog playing fetch! I wonder why it is so attached to the stick. 

At this point we'd seen pretty much everything and the kids were reaching their limits of appropriate museum behavior, so we broke for lunch.

Out of all the dining options in Dallas, we chose...Spiral Diner again! 

Party sampler to start, with chips, guac, queso and salsa.

Orange spice iced tea, so good.

I was going to get the blue plate special Zucchini Po'Boy, but they were out of French bread. I didn't want to eat a po'boy on plain sliced bread, so I went with the Nachos Supremo. These nachos were dressed to the nines with cashew queso, quinoa, corn, olives, scallions, guac, sour cream, jalapenos and cilantro. Every bite made me so happy.

Tony had the Spiral Burger on a traditional meaty patty, with all the fixins, and a side of potato salad. The kids had the same things as the day before (spaghetti and grilled cheese).

Goodbye for now, Dallas. It was fun!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dallas Weekend

We spent last weekend in Dallas. A three-hour drive for us. Just a quick family getaway.

Travel snacks: coconut water, smoked almonds, fig bars.

Our first destination was Legoland in Grapevine. Start singing now, because you know you want to.


The mini-Dallas made entirely of Legos was super cool.

Cowboy Stadium, Tony's favorite part of course.

There were various statues for the kids to pose with, like this Chima dude.

And also some sweet murals that glowed under black light. 

It's not just a Lego museum, though. There was plenty of hands-on play for Jackson and Olivia. I appreciated that there were different areas that appealed to both kids. Jackson just wanted to build.

Olivia was more interested in the rides, and karaoke.

They both spent the majority of their time in the playhouse, building with the oversized bricks.

We spent about four hours at Legoland. Could've stayed longer, but we were starving and didn't want to eat in their cafe. Not when Spiral Diner was an option!

Chili-dusted chips and salsa.

I'm so glad Sessions is vegan. It's probably my favorite beer.

I had the Cowboy BBQ burger. This was my first time trying a Spiral Diner veggie burger! I went with the quinoa-cashew patty, which was falling-apart tender. The burger was topped with BBQ sauce, mustard, and bacon. I chose potato salad as my side. It was all amazing. I cleaned my plate.

Tony started with a blue plate special, the gumbo. It was nice and spicy, with big chunks of okra and meaty sausage.

He also had the Sweet Luv'Us Hummus Wrap, filled with sweet potato, hummus, broccoli, pecans, and tahini dressing. Pesto pasta salad on the side. The wrap didn't look super filling, but Tony assured me that it was a good hearty meal when paired with the gumbo.

Olivia went with the spaghetti and meatballs.

Jackson, pumped for the arrival of his grilled cheese sandwich, expresses the excitement we all felt to be eating at our fave vegan restaurant.

Tomorrow, sloths and manatees! Whaaaat?