Monday, July 21, 2014

Detroit 2014: Day 2

We spent the second day of our vacation at the Detroit Zoo. Jackson and Olivia were ready to tour the zoo with their baby cousin Isabella and discuss the various animals with her.

We started out in the butterfly garden, both the flowers and butterflies were so gorgeous!

Next, the aviary...well, hello there, bright little guy!

Jackson and Olivia were able to communicate up close and personal with the prairie dogs.

On our way into the polar bear exhibit, this chipper dancing walrus sculpture made me smile.

We thought the underwater tunnel was a nice place to take a family photo.

Then a polar bear walked over our heads.

Afterwards we stopped for dinner at the Leo's Coney Island near our hotel. I had a Greek salad.

Tomorrow: art on the streets of Detroit.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Detroit 2014: Day 1

My younger brother Sean and his wife Melissa became first-time parents in January. My first niece! Well, Tony's nieces are my nieces, of course. But having a niece on your side of the family, who you've known since she was a baby, is a special thing. I've been soooo excited to meet her, and last week it was finally time to fly up to Detroit and visit.

This was Olivia's first time on an airplane. As you can see, she was super excited. She kept exclaiming, "I can't believe I am flying!" and trying to peek out the window. 

We arrived in Detroit in the afternoon and headed over to Sean and Melissa's. Isabella was wide awake and ready to meet everyone!

We also met Sammy, Sean and Melissa's year-old puppy. Thanks to her underbite, Sammy looks like she is pouting all the time. I think she needs to become internet-famous like Grumpy Cat.

For dinner, Sean and Melissa suggested Crispellis, a bakery/pizza/sandwich cafe. I had the veggie panini with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, arugula, cucumber and feta, with a side of fries. Because Crispellis bakes their own bread, the bread was the best part of the sandwich -- light yet chewy.

For dessert, Tony and I shared a slice of tiramisu with the kids. The espresso flavor turned off the littles. More for us, hehehe.

Afterwards, it was back to the house to chill with Izzy some more. Tomorrow, the zoo.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cooking from The Oh She Glows Cookbook

One more day of catch-up posting before I get to recapping our Detroit trip! Today was "take your kid to work day" at Tony's office. The minimum age was five, so Olivia will be able to go next year. Today, though, it was just the boys, heading out bright and early (note the sleepy expressions!)

While Jackson learned what Daddy does all day, Olivia and I headed to the Blanton museum for their "Cats and Dogs" exhibit.

Human-sized cat toys, ha!

Monster's tongue is always out, so apparently he is friendly. Or, his tongue is just too big for his mouth.

Olivia got to make her own art, as well.

Here are some recent eats, on the light side since we really indulged on our vacation. Breakfast smoothie with cherries, banana, kale, coconut milk, raw chocolate protein powder, maca, chlorella, almond extract and stevia. Topped with hemp granola.

I'd never tried snow pea shoots, so they were an impulse purchase.

I threw them on a salad for extra vitamins. The pasta is Luxurious Tomato-Basil Pasta from The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I looooove this cookbook, and I've been getting a lot of use out of it, as you'll see.

The first recipe I made from Angela's book was Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas. The chickpeas really do absorb the salt and vinegar flavor. Olivia loved them and begged me to make another batch.

The Perfected Chickpea Salad Sandwich was another winner. A nice quick lunch on whole wheat bread with snow pea shoots.

Cream of Tomato Soup with Roasted Italian Chickpea Croutons was amazing. The tomato soup tasted just like Campbell's only creamier, and without that metallic "soup from a can" taste. The savory, crunchy chickpeas melted into the soup and added extra flavor. Who needs crackers?

I'll probably have more photos of stuff I made from this cookbook next week, because I can't put it down. 

Finally, I want to say thanks to Gail of Hungry Vegan! I was the winner of her Vegan Chocolate giveaway. Me and my sweet tooth are so excited to use this gorgeous hardcover cookbook by Fran Costigan. It's pristine and beautiful now, but I predict it will soon be covered in flour and chocolate fingerprints!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Moving In

Hey y'all! Sorry for the summertime sabbatical. It's been a busy time, even for my standards. First, after many years of renting, we purchased a home, which we moved into at the end of June. Then after a couple of days of frantic unpacking, we left to spend a week in Detroit with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece. I'll recap our trip in coming days...for now I just want to say hi!

Some of the last things I cooked at the old place...

Candied pecans, because I am still working on that giant bag of pecans we received.

Yummy on breakfast oats!

Soup with lentils, spinach, and tons of smoked paprika.


Moving day...I took the kids to the park while Tony supervised the movers, so we wouldn't be underfoot. Blue Monkey coconut water and Vega coconut cashew bar made an excellent playground snack.

First morning in our new home! I love all the natural light. Our rental was cavelike in comparison. Monster enjoys having all the windows to look out of, since he fancies himself our fierce guard dog.

New kitch! I love the island and tiled backsplash. Pardon the clutter. Our rental had a ton of built-in shelving, so we still need to purchase some storage pieces to accommodate our mess.

First breakfast: classic pancakes from How It All Vegan, supplemented with blueberries.

Green olive hummus with carrot sticks for a quick lunch while I was still locating my pots and pans.

Jackson and Olivia were pleased that the new abode passed the crucial, "Is it big enough for sack races?" test.

Hope you are having a lovely summer!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Richard Simmons and Pizza

Home Slice, where they bend over backwards to occupy your children for you until your food is ready so you can sip a beer. Love you, Home Slice.

Here is what Jackson was intently coloring, by the way.

If Mr. Simmons is too freaky for your kids, there is always pizza dough to mold and shape.

Family salad with garlic knots.

Large pizza, half cheese, half margarita.

Later, gin and tonics for my World Cup viewing. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guinea Pig Adoration

 I started my day with two plums, hempseed granola, and coconut milk.

We had to buy some poo pickup bags for Monster so we were off to Petco. Always an entertaining errand for little animal lovers.

Guinea pig adoration.

For dinner I made the Quinoa, White Beans and Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries from More Quick-Fix Vegan. (Between that and One-Dish Vegan, it's going to be a Robin Robertson kinda summer around here.) I subbed chickpeas for the white beans.

On the side, roasted butternut squash.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

12th Anniversary

Tony and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary over the weekend with a date at Clay Pit, a fancy Indian restaurant downtown. 

I started off with a Pimm's Cup because it sounded super refreshing, and it was.

We shared mixed veggie pakoras with mint and tamarind chutneys.

We also shared our entrees. I ordered the paneer vindaloo. Warm and comforting.

Tony ordered the bhindi masala. Smoky and perfectly cooked. We love okra! Also, plenty of garlic naan on the side.

Finally, we split a chai spice creme brulee. I'd never tried creme brulee before. Love that crackly top crust!

Tony also gave me some lush pink peonies and a dark chocolate coconut bar. Thanks hon!

Not bad for twelve years of married life! Here's to many more.