Friday afternoon we hung out at "our park" with Loretta and her cuties. It was so nice to take a break from the obsessive compulsive search for that which was never found (more about that in another post, but suffice it to say that I need serious help). I asked Loretta to come back that evening for dinner since we were having our new neighbors, Seth and Gita (and their adorable twin girls) over. As of two hours prior to everyone arriving, I still had zero idea of what I was going to make. On top of this, I am trying to only shop for food once a week (Saturdays) so by Friday I am down to very few ingredients. It was kind of a funny dinner, but everyone was sweet about it. I made Golden Potato and Tempeh Casserole from FatFree Vegan again. This time I actually used tempeh (instead of tofu) and I added the broccoli to the casserole (will definitely do this again). Parker is the one who asked for the casserole, but he was a little disappointed I didn't use tofu instead of tempeh. The next time I make it, I'm sure he'll be fine...he doesn't deal with disappointment well sometimes. Last time Rob said he didn't think he'd like it with tempeh, but he did. I topped with chopped pumpkin seeds (no garlic bread topping since we two people coming with sensitivity/allergy to walnuts). It was firmer this time, probably because I let it sit in the warm oven for a while as the kids played at the park. I also made Quinoa Puttanesca which I feel awful about since Loretta can't eat tomatoes right now, but I had to make something quick which I had ingredients for so this one out. We had just soaked and cooked some chickpeas so I made Tamari Roasted Chickpeas from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan. I used maple syrup instead of agave nectar because it was right in front of me and I also sprinkled some nutritional yeast on them because that is what I do. I put out some Veggie Booty in case the kids wanted to snack. Gita made a vegan pie which was the real treat. I am pie-aphobic so I'm always amazed with pies. I know they are supposed to be easy (right? easy as pie?), but just thinking of making one gives me hives. It was very good and my boys ate most of it.
It was so nice to get to know Gita and Seth better and it is always fun to see Loretta and her family. We don't have a TV so I felt bad for David since he didn't get a chance to watch the debate. Rob tried to get the laptop set up for watching, but with all the kids and chaos (and since I wouldn't let the guys sit in my messy kitchen and watch) it didn't work out. Loretta and David need to come over and help us drink the rest of the beer.
Saturday Rob took the boys to the Market at the Square while I played with Josie in the park. Our neighbor, Greg, asked to go with the guys so they biked together. Greg tried ou the Xtracycle with the boys on the back on the way there. They spent less than $100 at the Market, Common Ground, and Strawberry Fields. We are trying to stick to the list and make less impulse buys. We ended up going to Strawberry Fields again on Monday because I forgot to add brown rice to the list, I dropped my nutritional yeast container (only had a cup left, but still) on the floor while I was cleaning the kitchen, and we needed raisins for some cookies I promised the kids we'd made later on this week.
Saturday evening we made a big bowl of hummus (Rob made it and I added the olive oil, kalamata olives, and paprika topping) and walked to Cynthia and Ernie's house for their anniversary party. Parker asked all day if he could go help them get ready, but I kept him home. I know he was so eager to help clean or whatever they needed, but letting him go would have meant Dema tagging along and that is not what anyone needs when they are prepping for a party. The weather was beautiful. The party was lovely! We so enjoyed listening to the live band, especially Josie. Dema fell asleep in my lap soon after the music started and we eventually put him upstairs in Cynthia and Ernie's bedroom (we figured the guests' jackets were there so a four year old wouldn't get in the way). Josie stayed up until after the break and then fell asleep nursing. Before that she was super happy to be jamming to the band. She was in heaven. It was so nice to share in the celebration and feel all the love for a great couple. I am definitely a Kane Welch Kaplin fan now.
Sunday Rob got up and decided he wanted to make Pot Stickers from Vegan Yum Yum again. Last time he made them into spring rolls because we didn't have the right wrappers. He made the seitan Saturday afternoon, but we didn't have any mushrooms so he subbed kale and they were even better. I highly suggest the kale (maybe with the mushrooms too, but I didn't miss the mushrooms) so you can feel a little less guilty about eating them. I made In a Hurry Thai Red Curry again and this time Parker loved it so much he asked for me save some for lunch the next day. I used rice milk instead of almond milk (I liked the almond better) and leftover seitan from the pot stickers instead of tofu...either one works fine. We ate red pears with the red curry which was a great combo.
I also made Terry's Favorite Almond Cookies from Veganomicon. These cookies are in the "make them right now even if it is midnight while you are reading this" category. They are not too sweet and just the right amount of almond. A couple of the neighbor kids (and adults) helped us eat them. I made them smaller since I think small cookies go better with kids than large cookies. With the first batch, I completely forgot to put the almonds on the dough. Doh! Then I mixed the almonds in the dough until I read that I was supposed to just roll the dough ball in the almonds. They all tasted good, but the ones with actual almonds tasted the best. The first batch tasted like my grandma's sugar cookies with a hint of almond...not bad at all if you are out of almonds. I also ran out of unbleached all-purpose flour so I used a cut of whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour (I'm having an issue with not labeling my flour lately). Anyway, it all worked out and I will make a double batch next time.
Monday we ate leftovers for lunch and Parker was bummed that I sent some of the curry to work with Rob. Dinner was black bean burritos with brown rice, but no pictures. Today we met up with a friend from our past at the Red Herring. ( The kids and I waited for half an hour for the bus, but it never came so we begrudgingly took the car just to end up behind the bus. Grrr, for small town mass transit. Rob met us there to on his bike.) Sherie used to work with us years ago and we haven't seen her since I moved to Maryland. I introduced her and her now husband Richard. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I guess there must of have been some fate or destiny in the air. Now they have an adorable little boy which I had the pleasure to meet. Sherie and Richard flew out to Maryland with me to see Rob for Thanksgiving before I moved. They were so sweet about the vegan thing and now they are vegan themselves. It was very memorable for me because Rob and I were cooking together in his little condo kitchen and he dropped a knife on my toe! It bled quite a bit since is cut through my toe nail and I had a low threshold for blood (I am a bit better these days). I think Richard and Sherie walked in the door as I was yelping, screaming some choice words, or trying not to faint...probably all at the same time. The next morning Sherie sliced her hand cutting a bagel and she almost didn't say anything because she was worried about me. Sweet, dear people, Sherie and Richard. After lunch we checked out the Children Just Like Me exhibit at Spurlock Museum. Unfortunately, the kids were going at their own pace so it was hard to catch up and chat, but we did enjoy the exhibit. Locals should check it out while it is here. We pretty much had the museum to ourselves and the kids and I stayed for over an hour. I walked around campus with the kids for a while enjoying the beautiful day and avoiding my mess of a house and picking up a soy latte at another local coffee house. This evening I made Lachesis's Alfredo Sauce over whole wheat linguine and steamed broccoli. I added minced garlic instead of garlic powder, less (half) Earth Balance, and about a half a cup of almonds. I added some Tamari Roasted Chickpeas like the ones I made Friday night, but I used blackstrap molasses instead of agave nectar (I swear, I love agave nectar, but tonight I thought..hmm...how about a dash of iron). We topped the pasta with garlic bread topping, but I didn't add it before the picture. The drink is a Pina Colada Smoothie. Rob came home from work late so I already put some leftovers in the To-Go Ware for his lunch tomorrow, but Parker asked before he went to bed if I could save some for his lunch. Dema also liked it, but Josie just wanted the smoothie and threw everything else on the floor. Then she proceeded to eat the pasta off the floor when she got out of her highchair...some kids.