We decided to totally relax this three day weekend. We (okay, I) always try to get a lot of work done around the house, special projects, do all the holiday stuff, entertain, etc. on long weekends. This sometimes turns into a lot of stress and really unproductive which leads to more stress. This weekend I wasn't going to plan anything and we were going to just relax. Well, in reality that means we only had one dinner at a friend/neighbor's house, my radio show, the neighborhood parade, cycling as a family on one of the hottest days of the year, and 20 people over for a cookout. That is as relaxing as it gets around here, but it was quite an easy-going weekend.
amazingly clueless drivers) when we arrived home, but the free Zico coconut water, that was handed out outside the co-op/farmer's market, quickly put things right. Our favorite was the pineapple flavor. It reminds me, what is your favorite coconut water? We love the stuff, but it is expensive and some brands have added sugar so I only buy it as a special treat when we eat a the co-op. The Zico people said their product is premium because it only contains coconut water and natural flavors (the flavors are the kicker, I really don't like that catch all "natural flavors"). We will definitely buy Zico in the future. It is a pretty subtle taste and not too sweet like some of the other coconut water I've tried. The mango was also nice, but pineapple really hit the spot. The rest of Saturday was pretty much spent trying to stay cool in kids room (they have a small window A/C unit which takes the edge off) and finishing Cutting for Stone.*
Cynthia and Ernie's Sunday night was just what we needed. The kids played, we got to catch up with our neighbor/friends (including Rebecca and her brand new babe), and meet their friends down from Chicagoland (they happen to have two adorable young boys, who Josie took to right away). Oh yes, and the food was great too. Rob and I made the Skillet-Baked Panko Cutlets because it was something I could start before the radio show and he could finish up while I was gone. I just arrived home and sat down when Owen knocked on the door to remind us we were supposed to be at his house for dinner. It was really cute and I was glad the cooking was done. Little did I know that the friends from out of town we were there to meet are gluten free! There was plenty to eat though. Cynthia made a wonderful veggie curry and our favorite kale (she added currants, I will have to try that next time). I didn't get a picture, but trust me it was all yummy and pretty. We chatted about homeschooling, parenting, homebirthing, living abroad, nuclear power, and all the fun things that make a meal interesting. As we walked home, long after dark, we met up with other neighbors and we all watched the last of the Country Club fireworks and chatted before calling it a night.
Kit is the man and kept a level head even as he was holding a flaming piece of cardboard (I didn't ask how it got that way) in his hand next to 100 year old trees. Too bad I didn't get a picture. Nothing burned down and all was well. Katie introduced us to grilled tofu. (Why have we never done this? Katie's not even veg! We should be ashamed.)
1 cup quinoa (I used a mix of white and black)
soy beans (I steamed a frozen bag out of convenience)
2-3 carrots - shredded
2 green onions - sliced thin
cilantro - chopped
dressing (fresh ginger, toasted sesame oil, garlic, braggs amino acid, rice vinegar, agave, orange juice) I wanted to put in some rooster sauce, but knew someone was avoiding peppers and Adelaide was watching me. I only made about 1/4 cup of dressing because I didn't want to overpower the dish, but clearly this dish is about knowing your audience.
Boil quinoa in lightly salted water, drain then put quinoa back in cooking pot and back on the stove (burner is off). Add dressing to warm quinoa and toss. Then add everything else. So simple and delicious.
This is also really good with cooked greens, roasted veggies, you name it. I take it to work most days and eat it with lettuce.
Erin left the rest of the this lovely lentil salad at our house since they headed to Dodd's for the fireworks. I ate the last of it yesterday in a wrap (well the kids helped) and it was so good! Lentils, carrots, onions, peas, peppers, but my favorite part was the golden raisins. Yum!
Channa Masala and rice because we had chickpeas and that is what he thinks to make when we have chickpeas. It was wonderful as usual. We can't have a holiday without cooking Indian.
Gita is famous in our house for her pies and she brought two peach and raspberry pies that were to die for, but I didn't get a picture. She had some difficulty with the crust she showed up with the pies after I took pictures. Just perfect with vegan vanilla ice cream on top!
After we all ate our fill and cleaned up, most of us walked over to the vacant lot next to Cynthia and Ernie's to watch a neighborhood fireworks show. We never see a need to go to the big show put on by the city because how can it be better than sitting on a blanket a block away. The mosquitoes didn't even bite me! Rob and I had a few minutes alone on the blanket watching the show before the kids cuddled in with us. So nice to not have to deal with crowds and just walk home with our tired little ones. All in all a very restful holiday!
*This will be a post to itself and the Ethiopian food we cooked.
Josie-isms for today:
Me, "What are you up to?" Josie, "Throwing a party with my dolls." Me, "Nice." Josie says dreamily, "The heart enjoys."
I know I've gone on and on about our awesome neighbors, but really we are so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing and diverse group of people. Josie doesn't play "house", she plays "neighborhood". She is always having me be a "neighbor/friend" when we play.
Josie has an unlimited amount of imaginary sisters, but the other day she cracked me up because she announced she now has twin sisters named Cilantro and Coriander. Filed under, "your daughter might be growing up to be a foodie if..."