Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Flower Power

Tony brought me some hot pink daisies to brighten up the kitchen. I always love a pop of color!

Jackson made a drum at school, like from Karate Kid II. I don't know what you call it. To me it's just "the drum like from Karate Kid II." Because I am old and 80's movies are my frame of reference.

He was excited to show Tony the minute he got home from work.

For dinner I made the Classic Sesame Noodles from Vegan Eats World, soba noodles topped with a peanut-tahini dressing and pickled cucumbers. Tasty and fast.

Jackson's preschool teacher told me a long time ago to get some kid-friendly scissors and let them go to town, because it is good for their fine motor skills. Sometimes I will give them old magazine pages and they will snip them into pieces. I think they find it relaxing. Tonight they decided to cut out and tape together new outfits for Olivia's Elsa doll.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ciao, Chao

Started out the day making some blueberry waffles. Thanks to the Sinfully Wholesome Waffles from Isa Does It, I'll never need another waffle recipe.

Olivia and I swung by Whole Foods to feed our new Bubbies pickle addiction. I was also pleased to see that our WF has started carrying the new vegan cheese from Field Roast, which they call Chao. I picked up the Creamy Original flavor.

Jackson's school held a farmer's market at pickup time. Yes, from their very own school garden, maintained by the kids themselves. I'm so amazed with this school and the good fortune we had of finding a house in the district. We brought home some arugula and turnip greens.

Putting it all together, I made a panini on ciabatta bread with Chao, tomatoes, basil, and arugula. I have to say I'm not the world's greatest fan of vegan cheeses, but this is the best vegan sliced cheese I've had to date, in terms of texture and flavor. It also melts very nicely! Blended with the other flavors of the sandwich, I really enjoyed it. Olivia loved the Chao! She ate a couple of slices on their own, for a snack.

We also shared some pomegranate seeds.

Now that she has discovered them, Queen Olivia wishes pomegranate seeds were a year-round option. But I think having them in the fall will make them more special and we will eat our fill while they're available.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Natvia and Norbu

The kind folks at Natvia/Norbu recently sent me some of their natural sugar alternatives to try out. Natvia is stevia-based, while Norbu is made from monkfruit. No artificial ingredients! I've been using them in my coffee and smoothies, and I enjoy them both. They both have a pretty neutral flavor, and no aftertaste. Although stevia is my preferred sweetener and I wasn't familiar with monkfruit, I do like the Norbu, although it's not quite as sweet as the Natvia and I have to use more. So it's a matter of personal taste which one you'd prefer, but I can see myself buying either one in the future.

Here's a smoothie I made with blueberries, banana, spinach, spirulina, raw vanilla protein powder, and a packet of Norbu. Looks like the black lagoon, but tasted awesome.

It's another rainy day. We don't get enough of these, so I'm appreciating it.  Jackson also loves rain. He ran around in the driveway until he was nice and soaked.

Olivia and I shared a pound of roasted Brussels sprouts for lunch. That's my girl!

For dinner I made tacos using quinoa taco meat. The seasoned quinoa smelled so good as it was cooking! We topped them with lettuce, tomato, black olives, and hot sauce.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Last Soccer Game

Jackson's soccer season came to an end with a victory, and he scored two goals in a row. Go Pirates!

Afterwards, awards were presented. 

We came home to find our neighbor's cat chillin in the driveway.

We can't have a cat of our own because Tony is highly allergic, so Olivia took the opportunity to love on this one.

For brunch, I made a recipe from a cookbook I won called OATrageous Oatmeals. We had the Tempeh Oat Brussels Sprout Scramble. Not so pretty to look at, but tasty and filling! The oats added body to the scramble, in place of tofu, but there was so much other veggie goodness going on, it definitely didn't feel like we were simply eating oatmeal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Green Bean Casserole Pizza

Today I was accompanied on some errands by Iron Olivia, ready for action.

Laser blaster go!

After school she was joined by her trusted sidekick, Beard Man.

What could I feed these tiny superheroes and their giant imaginations, but green been casserole pizza

 At the holidays, I turn into a grandma from the 1950s, wanting my green bean casserole and my sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and my cheese ball. I can't wait to make this genius invention again. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This year we spent Thanksgiving in Oklahoma at my mother-in-law's. As usual, while Tony finished up at the office, I packed the car. Monster was ready to hit the road.

Road trip food. Chole and saag roti wraps from Natural Grocers.

Hail Merry chocolate chip cookie dough macaroons.

Thanksgiving morning, we woke up early to fix the meal. Dandy Blend in alma mater coffee mug.

Monster had a sense of the feasting which lay ahead.

My plate: broccoli rice casserole, sweet potatoes, corn, mashed potatoes, and roll. Not pictured, salad and crudites.

My mother-in-law does not mess around when it comes to pie. We had coconut, pumpkin and pecan to choose from. I sampled them all of course.

Silly girl.

Cousin time.

Thanksgiving evening, Tony and I drove around OKC to look at Christmas lights. A lot of the storefronts were completely covered, like this one.

Sparkly trees.

Giant ornament.

There was more than one.

The rest of our visit was spent laying around the house doing not much of anything. 

Jackson did a little tech support.

Olivia received a Monster High make-up kit and used the entire thing of eyeshadow in one sitting.

Lego assembly teamwork.

Happy, happy days.

I love having Tony off work, and Jackson off school, and all of us being together for the week, relaxing and spending time together. Hanging out with my mother-in-law is a bonus. I could not have asked for a better Thanksgiving. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Raw Power

I've switched out my usual rolled oats for steel cut oats, since they're supposed to be better for you, less processed. They do require a slightly higher alertness level in the mornings. Can't microwave them, as they will bubble over and make a mess. So I spend five minutes over the stove, whisking them. Then I stir in flax meal, maca, mesquite powder, peanut butter, and cacao nibs.

Olivia was a good sport about accompanying me on a boring errand (oil change that ended up taking an hour since I needed a belt replaced), so afterwards we treated ourselves to lunch at JuiceLand. She had a banana smoothie, while I tried the raw hot chocolate. It's made with cacao, almonds, coconut oil, vanilla and agave, and it's phenomenal. I'll be hooked on these all winter! We also shared a bag of Just Pure Foods raw onion rings.

Olivia and I both couldn't get enough of the onion rings! We quickly polished off the bag. The only bad part is -- holy onion breath! Good thing I had some gum in my purse!

Olivia always enjoys playing on the covered patio. It's a nice quiet place to chill and let her play.

After finishing her smoothie, she turned into a wild climbing monkey! She was full of raw power.

I had to take a pic of this drawing in the restroom. We have all been there.

For dinner I made a double batch of Appetite for Reduction's 40 Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli. We just had this a week or so ago, but it's so awesome, I want it all the time now.

You can never go wrong with some Iggy. (The original, not Azalea! Ha!)