We've had a busy time of it lately. No complaints because it is all fun stuff, but we should probably slow down a bit and get some things done around the house. Nah!
Thursday night we went out on a date (gasp!!!), yes, Rob and I ventured out together sans children. We don't do this often and we don't mind, but it is good for the ole marriage to get out from time to time for some adult conversation. My sister, Karen, was sweet enough to watch the kids and Josie was so happy to see her she didn't mind that we were leaving. I made the Cheezy Rice and Broccoli Casserole from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook for the first time. It seemed like the gods of the kitchen picked it for me because I just happened to have exactly the rice amount of white basmati rice (usually we only have brown rice on hand). I also made pasta with my new take on Esme sauce (I'll share it with you when I've played around with it a bit more), peas, and my new crunchies (just raw pumpkin seeds and walnuts chopped up with some nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes mixed in - I decided it doesn't need to be heated or have oil and bread crumbs so this is my "healthier" take on them, but I'll still do the old crunchies for a special treat). I was impressed with the Cheezy Rice and Broccoli Casserole (sorry no pictures) because as I was throwing it together I had the sinking feeling it was too simple to be good. I had some when we got home and it was yummy. I'll make it again.
Going out was even more of a treat because we went out with Loretta and David so I have to say we were having so much fun we didn't even miss the kids like we usually do. For the locals, we tried out the newish (okay over a year old, but still) and new to us Yellowfin. Sorry, no pictures, but we were all happy with our meals. Both couples ordered the same thing to share with each other; vegetarian sushi meal (four different kinds of rolls - avocado, gourd, cucumber, and pickled something) and Yakisoba (basically stir fried vegetables with noodles). Yum and yum! They gave us edamame and fried banana on the house as well. The restaurant was surprisingly nice (it looks like a "hole in the wall" from the outside) on the inside and the waiter was good. It was less expensive than my beloved Ko-fusion and quite good so I think we have a new place to dine out. We went to Boltini for drinks after dinner which was great and we found our friend Mark has a drink named after him there. We didn't get a chance to try it, but I will (Rob's not a big martini fan) next time. Gotta love our small college town.
Friday night we had a surprise 30th birthday party to attend, but Dema fell off the playground equipment right before we were about to hop on our bikes so this delayed us enough to miss the "surprise" part. Dema is fine. He bled quite a bit because he hit his mouth and he thought he'd chipped a tooth so he was pretty worried, but he still wanted to go to the party. The party was a potluck and while I was deciding what to make (embarrassingly close to our departure time) I still had the Cheezy Rice and Broccoli Casserole on my mind, but I didn't have an white basmati rice left and I would rather not use white rice. So I created a new dish that I will call Cheezy Quinoa Casserole. I know, I know, I have a talent for creative names...ha! It was a little bit of a risk because I didn't taste it before arriving at the party, but at least one person asked for the recipe so it was okay. I'll share the recipe if I can recreate it sometime soon. I have to say there was also another yummy quinoa dish at the party...that is my kind of birthday party!Saturday night we finally had Ricky and Catharine (and they boys) over for dinner. I made French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme and Creamy Tomato Soup (both from Veganomicon). This time the Creamy Tomato Soup was my favorite. I just wasn't in the mood for lentil soup for some reason. The picture is the Creamy Tomato Soup with raw crunchies on top. I also made baked tofu and Colcannon Puffs (I seriously could make these every day). I was so nice to get together, but I felt bad because Rob and I were pretty tired from our week/weekend.We were supposed to go to another Vegan Meetup on Sunday, but we just had to take a little time to get some things done and just spend time as a family. I'm sad we missed it, but we will definitely made April's potluck!