Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hot in Here

Our air conditioning stopped working about three weeks ago and we have been going back and forth with our home warranty company trying to get it repaired. It's not too unbearable or anything, since it's only early May and temps are still in the 70's-80's. It is just getting a bit tiresome and hopefully will be resolved soon. In the meantime, feet emerging from the attic has become such a common sight that it no longer startles Monster.

He spends a lot of the day pressing himself on the cool tiles and drinking ice water.

We have been spending more time than usual out of the house, taking advantage of the free air conditioning in restaurants and other place. One afternoon we tried a Chinese restaurant near our house, Inchin's Bamboo Garden. I am usually super wary of Chinese restaurants. Having worked in one, I know that they like to toss meat into everything, even the tofu and vegetable dishes. But, Inchin's actually advertises itself as "Pan-Asian," and I heard from a friend that they have a secret vegan menu. The multitude of sauces that greeted us at our table seemed like a good sign as well.

The vegan menu was indeed brought to me on request, and it was extensive! I started with the veggie spring rolls.

The vegetable Singapore noodles were spicy and filling, just what I wanted. I had fun trying out all the different chile sauces until my mouth was on fire. I have been craving hot foods lately -- either I'm pregnant (haha, no) or my body is trying to deal with the absence of AC by making me sweat!

The service was friendly and it was a nice calm environment, not too loud. Now I want to go back to Inchin's like ten more times and try out everything else on the vegan menu! 

After lunch we ran a few errands, and before heading back to our stuffy house, we decided to hit TCBY. I went with my usual, Silk chocolate almond.

The kids love citrus sorbet, normally they want orange but this time they branched out and had the red grapefruit. Yum!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer Cut

For the longest time, Olivia had been trying to grow her hair long like Rapunzel. Unfortunately her hair doesn't grow super fast, and it was getting a little damaged and had some split ends that needed to be taken care of. Still, I feel that her hair is part of her body, so it should be her say. She surprised me this morning by asking if she could get a short haircut. A couple of her little friends had recently gotten short bobs, and I guess she wanted to join the club.

She was excited/nervous/proud about getting her first "big girl" haircut. She sat up tall in the chair and moved her head as instructed by the stylist.

Back view...

Front view...

OK, I can't even deal with how grown up she looks. And it's so easy to take care of. She was not a fan of having the tangles combed out each morning and now that is not an issue.

Nearly as pretty, but not quite of course, was this fruit tart that we made later in the day while the air conditioning guys were working upstairs. I used the recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky, with a shortbread crust, cashew cream filling, and lots of lovely fruits glazed with apricot jam.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Quinoa Bowl

The quinoa bowl is Tony's favorite vegan meal. There are lots of recipes available, but sometimes I will just come up with something on the fly. Today, I tossed in artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, basil, and a lemon-olive oil-oregano dressing.

Olivia and I made our monthly Costco run today. We were offered samples of their new vegan burger and it was delicious, so I bought a box. I also picked up my usual tofu. We eat a moderate amount of tofu and I always like to buy organic, non-GMO. 

Our usual staples. Real maple syrup, real vanilla extract, and organic frozen blueberries. Always a bargain, nowhere else has these items cheaper.

Costuming, roller-skating, and Swiffering. Girl can multi-task.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dental Assistants

I rarely eat fruit for breakfast except in smoothie form, but I've been loving raspberries lately.

Jackson and Olivia had a dental cleaning this afternoon. I immediately loved the new hygienist when she asked if they wanted to put on some gloves and give her a hand.

They each took their turns with "Mr. Thirsty" the air-sucker. It was a fun and successful visit. Still zero cavities for either one.

For dinner I made my favorite lasagna, the one from Appetite for Reduction. 

So full of goodness - cauliflower, spinach, tofu ricotta, and lots of tomato basil sauce!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pesto and Hair Combing

Dinner was Orzo, White Beans and Tomatoes with Lemony Spinach Pesto from 1000 Vegan Recipes. I subbed chickpeas for the white beans, and threw a bunch of chopped basil on top because apparently I feel anxious about calling something "pesto" if it doesn't contain basil. It was a little heavy on the oil (1/4 cup in the recipe) so I would cut that down, but the flavor was good.

After dinner we went up to Jackson's school for a little concert put on by the kindergarteners. They sang several songs and were completely adorable. I only shot videos of their recital, so here is a picture of Jackson and Olivia hamming it up in the library afterwards.

Post-bathtime. I think the way Tony combs Olivia's hair after her bath is one of the sweetest parts of watching him being a daddy.

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!