Friday, October 24, 2014

Orange and Green

 More pumpkin products, y'all! Will it ever end? No, because I am a pumpkin buying fool this year.  First at HEB I found pumpkin harvest soup, pumpkin spice sandwich cookies, and pumpkin spice muffin bars. I thought the cookies would be soft, but they are crunchy. Hard to stop at eating just one! The muffin bars are dry, I wouldn't recommend them.

Next, at Sprouts, pumpkin pasta sauce and pumpkin gelato. The gelato is so good, with a really strong pumpkin flavor. I also bought a pomegranate for Olivia. There's a pomegranate tree at the library that she always notices, but the pomegranates are still very small. I wanted to show her how they look when they are ripe.

She ate almost this whole bowl of seeds (not in one sitting, thankfully for her digestive system.) They are a fun snack to eat with little fingers.

"Let's get more pomegranates!"

To counterbalance all the sugary pumpkin goodies, I made us some green juice this morning. I used a recipe I've seen in several places online: 2 apples, 4 celery stalks, 6 pieces of kale, 1 cucumber, 1 inch knob of ginger, and 1 lemon.  

I also made some apple butter balls for an after-school snack.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Out and About

Jackson was extra sproingy this morning. He bursts out of bed full of energy, in spite of the fact that our 6:30 a.m. wake-ups are getting darker and darker as we make our way through autumn. 

Watch out, kindergarten!

Olivia and I got out to Camp Mabry for a walk around the track and some pilot practice.

She had to try all the pieces of exercise equipment in the outdoor workout area, too.

For lunch, we picked up a take-out order from Bouldin Creek Cafe. After my recent failure at making homemade "eggs" benedict, I decided to let the professionals handle it. The "Renedict," pictured below, features ciabatta bread topped with tofu scramble, spinach, tofu bacon, and Hollandaise sauce. I really couldn't get home fast enough to tear into it.

Olivia was eager to share it with me, but she fortified herself with some Earth Balance cheezy crackers on the drive home. These are super good!

Dinner was Pantry Paella from More Quick-Fix Vegan. The idea is a Spanish paella made with ingredients you keep in your pantry, so the base is quinoa. It was tomato-y, olive-y, and not too heavy, perfect after a big lunch.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wonderful Wasota

Saturday afternoon, we headed down south to enjoy an outdoor lunch at the Wasota African Cuisine trailer.

I cooled off with a hibiscus iced tea.

The four of us shared two giant plates of food. The servings are so generous, we actually took home leftovers. We ordered the V1 platter which came with akara (bean patties which taste kind of like hush puppies), jollof rice, plantains, and spinach, all liberally covered in spicy tomato sauce.

We also had the V14, which included more spinach, jollof rice, black-eyed peas, and kelewele (caramelized plantains), again covered in the same tomato sauce. So the two plates were very similar, but with slightly different offerings.

We remembered enjoying these particular dishes before, so we ordered them again. But next time we'll branch out. There's a veggie burger that I want to try, as well as some intriguing-sounding soups. 

The trailer next door was selling fresh fruit and veggie juices. I had to ask the proprietor if the cricket powder was made with real crickets. He assured me that crickets are the food wave of the future and taste like chocolate. I will take his word for it!

After lunch, we tried to attend the Dia de los Muertos parade downtown, as we do every year. But we got stuck in traffic and missed it. We could see the parade going down 6th street as we were still driving around looking for parking! Fortunately, we had another fun activity to attend Saturday evening.

The Goblin Glow festival is held at a park out in Lakeway, about 45 minutes away. We were worried that the kids might fall asleep in the car and then be up all night, but that did not happen. 

We hit the kettle corn tent first thing.

Then we found a seat on the grass and watched as several hot air balloons lit up, each in turn, and sometimes all at once. There was a DJ playing 80's music, and it was a pretty big crowd. We wondered if the balloons would launch, before coming to the conclusion that it would probably be super dangerous to try to fly a hot air balloon at night. So we enjoyed the glow and the popcorn, and headed back home. 

It's pretty rare that we take the kids out at night, and we let them wear their Halloween costumes, a full two weeks before Halloween, which was a big deal. So it was a fairly exciting evening for our Hulk and Rapunzel.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I wanted to make something really comfort-foody this evening, and American Vegan Kitchen's Tater Tot Casserole certainly fit the bill. Bonus: I got to use my cute blue casserole dish, which I rarely dig out of the cupboard.

The base is a blend of TVP, portabello mushrooms and other veggies, and of course it's topped with tons of tater tots. When Tony came home and saw what was for dinner, he asked if we were having the Duggars over. But I'm sure this was tastier and healthier than anything Jim Bob and Michelle could cook up.

Pretty in pink and serious about her coloring.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sand and Sandwiches

Today Olivia requested a visit to the dino pits at the nature and science center. It was a beautiful day, so I thought that was a great idea.

As we trekked along the wooded trail, we stopped to notice all the colorful flowers in bloom. I loved these tiny purple berries, although I'm not sure what they are called. So vibrant.

Olivia played archaeologist, digging for buried "dinosaur bones" buried beneath the sand.

I am really trying to soak in this last year of having my baby girl at home with me every day, before she goes off to kindergarten next year.

For dinner I made my very favorite meal, the Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip from Veganomicon. I served them on kaiser rolls instead of baguette. So much love for this spicy sandwich.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Saltado and Sillies

A hippie coworker of Tony's passed this Ayurvedic Roast herbal coffee along to me because she found the taste too savory. I like it, and I think it does promote a chill, zen feeling.

Olivia and I made another batch of classic Glo Bars from the Oh She Glows cookbook, for weekday breakfasts. This time we subbed pecans for the hemp seeds.

For dinner I made the Seitan Saltado from Viva Vegan. Using frozen Alexia sweet potato fries saved me a little time.

Just chillin' in brother's shirt, what what?

She is super silly. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Orange Everywhere

It is that time of year when I am buying a lot of things that are orange.

Sure, there's the occasional rainbow-colored, yet still seasonally appropriate item, such as the autumn collection of Method hand soaps: kelly moss, white cranberry, and rice milk mallow.

But mostly, orange, and pumpkin-related.

We've also tried the candy corn M&Ms, which I preferred, being a white chocolate fan.

And, we also tried the caramel apple Oreo's, but these pumpkin spice ones are amazing.

Pumpkin tres leches cake from HEB, so good.

Pumpkin pie spice peanut butter! This was sold out the first time I searched for it at Target. Of course I went back.

My breakfast this week: oats with almond milk, maca, pumpkin pie PB, cacao nibs, and a touch of maple syrup.

HEB is having an Italian promotion this week and they have all kinds of oddly-shaped pastas on sale. I picked up some armoniche (harmonica-shaped) and a jar of alla norma sauce. Stir in some green olives and we have dinner!

Olivia totally gets the orange theme.

She keeps asking how many days till Halloween. I think we need a countdown calendar.