.. can you blame me?
I’ve been an absentee.
I hope some of you are still with me.
Things have been B-U-S-Y.
I bought some Roku pottery!
Also, I’ve still been baking. Kyle’s still been eating. I’ve still been taking pictures of it all, just not posting it.
Coffee, almond cinnamon rolls adapted from the Peas and Thank You cookbook.
I’ll be back soon (I hope) with some more random photos of what’s been going on.
For now I leave you with some more shots of our European vacation. Hey: better late than never!
Waaaaay back in March (it feels SO long ago – we’re due for another vacay), when Kyle and I were visiting a friend studying at Oxford University, we visited a quaint little pub.
A vegetarian/vegan pub that our friend claimed has the best vegan burgers – and he isn’t even vegan! After the first taste of my vegan burger smothered in a chutney over a thick bed of fries, I had to agree. I was hooked!
The Gardeners’ Arms has old record covers lining the walls, a cozy fireplace, old tables with armchairs as well as bar stools and there’s a little outside brick area to have a beer – eclectic and awesome. People trickled in and out. I think there was even a couple on their first date the next table over. TGA was the type of place where I could see myself becoming a regular Friday night patron. That’s a hell of a commute, though.
Here are some more random photos from Oxford! =)
The tree in New College where they filmed the “ferret” scene from Harry Potter!
A candle for Uncle Jeff in Christ Church Chapel.
The Divinity School inside the Bodleian Library, the oldest library in the world. They also filmed all of the infirmary scenes from Harry Potter here.
Oh Oxford, how I miss thee. I hope to visit again someday!
Thursday (the 3rd) was my Grandma’s birthday! We celebrated on Saturday by gathering together at her place. Here’s just a sprinkling of her grandkids and great grandkids..
We gathered in a room just off the courtyard to take advantage of the beautiful fresh air. My cousins flew kites while I took photos..
We all gathered around and ate food my parents brought from home, including mom’s homemade tomatillo salsa and chips (my delicious nemesis). My contribution to the combination Cinco de Mayo/Birthday party celebration was homemade vegan tamales!
A combination of my tamale making skills learned from my cousin Norma, the recipe from Veganomicon and watching the “Taste of Peru” segment on Triple D (for the flavored masa idea), I came out with some slightly spicy, enchilada sauce flavored tamales!
There may be more soon. I have tamale husks wallpapering the walls..
Oh. And here’s a random shot from London! (I know it looks like a backdrop but I promise it’s real!)
For a late Valentine’s Day meal, Kyle took me to a restaurant I’ve been lusting after for almost a year.
I was so excited I couldn’t stand it! For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Diner, it is an all vegetarian/mostly vegan diner in Chicago. Everything on their menu can be made vegan. I think the only non vegan things they have are cheese and eggs, but they have the vegan equivalents.
For a Sunday, that fun little diner was PACKED! When we walked in, we gave the greeter our name and he directed us around back to their heated patio to wait. After about 15-20 minutes a waiter came to bring us inside. Instead of going around the front, he brought us in the back door and through the kitchen. Both Kyle and I love that we were brought through the kitchen – proof that they have absolutely nothing to hide from their customers!
After having a seat, our waiter (Brian) popped over to see what we wanted to drink. I explained it was our first time and we weren’t quite sure what we wanted yet. He was super nice, telling us to take our time and ask questions if we needed. For every table in the restaurant being packed with people I never once felt rushed.
On Brian’s recommendation, I went with the reuben and sweet potato fries..
umm.. heLLOOOOOOOOOO gorgeous..
Kyle went with the Dagwood and a side of sesame ginger kale salad
That kale salad was tasty!
On top of all that deliciousness we shared a vegan chocolate chip peanut butter cookie dough shake!
The Chicago Diner forever has my heart! I can’t wait to come back for another shake.. mmm..
I, of course, topped the meal off with some coffee!
Then we ran away from Sue..
P.S. – Kyle’s NOT flipping me off in that picture. I’m not sure what he’s pointing at, though..
This weekend Kyle and I traveled to Port Saint Joe, Florida for his very good friend’s wedding! I was enamored with the town. The groom and his parents have an amazing home right across from the ocean. It was the perfect setting for a wedding. Gorgeous
The hosts also made sure there were some sauteed veggies at the rehearsal and the reception, as well as some amazing asparagus! It was well appreciated after eating granola bars and peanut butter sammiches from my purse!
(Plus we stopped at Red Robin on the way to the airport to fill me up with some much needed protein! Go BOCA burgers!)
I hope I get to visit again soon!
Sharp windblown sand!
Kyle trying his baked oysters. He said he liked them.. the picture doesn’t prove it, though!
The walk down to the beach for the ceremony was amazing!
One of the many butterflies present at the ceremony!
The bride and groom with their immediate families.
Can you believe I was able to watch wild dolphins (not pictured sadly) feeding not once, but twice through this gorgeous water?!
The boys filling up their bags at the candy bar! I attacked the Starburst with a vengeance..
The night-time golf cart ride down the beach proved to be too exciting for Kyle.
The bride and groom with me, Kyle and his brother in front of the bonfire! How have I never been to a wedding with a bonfire before??
I love the garden by the guest house..
And the beach!
The whole “petting the bird in the picture” thing didn’t work out..
A few years ago for my birthday my mom took me to Lexington for a weekend. We got up at the crack of dawn to go down to Keeneland to watch morning exercises.
We also watched some polo at the Kentucky Horse Park. This was my first time watching polo. It was incredible!!
My mom even scheduled a semi-private tour of Claibourne Farms, where Secretariat was retired and laid to rest. The farm was absolutely beautiful. I wanted to live there..
Well on my way home from Virginia I stopped in Louisville. I trekked through the city a bit and sweat a LOT! Darn humidity and sun!!
I spotted Batman..
The next afternoon I stopped at the Third Avenue Cafe for lunch.
The decor was fun! They claim to have frequent Elvis sightings. I didn’t see Bubba, though. ;)
The vegan rueben I had was PHENOMENAL! I ate the entire thing and still wanted more!
After lunch I made my way to Churchill Downs, crossing it off my bucket list! I wasn’t able to see any morning workouts but to me there’s just something beautiful about an empty racetrack. You can feel all of the excitement and electricity that’s ever run through the stands. It wasn’t as much fun without mom, but maybe I’ll take HER for a weekend sometime soon.
The magical tunnel!
Lookit me being all artsy with my photography!
I stopped at 3 Sisters Cafe in Indianapolis for a light dinner. They were super friendly and had the cutest outdoor porch! It was a beautiful night to sit outside and enjoy..
A bowl of vegan chili with some rye bread! This stuff was rockin’!
I got home that night and collapsed. It was a long and exhilarating trip. My bed was happy to see me back!
That was a few months ago. Hard to believe it’s been that long already!
I have a recipe that needs to be shared with you all. I hope to have it up soon! I’ve made it 4 times already!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!
Once with fresh FIGS from Amy’s mom’s garden. I should also mention I ate 3 pints of fresh figs on my own. What can I say? I fell in love overnight.
We stopped for lunch at Amy and David’s favorite Indian restaurant. Yes in Virginia. It was FANTABULOUS!
Then the fun began. I think my favorite part was that I got to ride in the bed of a pickup truck for 2 hours. I don’t know why that’s so much fun..
I kinda felt sad for the giraffes.. they didn’t get to play with the rest of the animals.. =(
There were scary emus..
Baby ZEBRAS!!! TOO CUTE!
I got to pet this guy! I wanted to take him home but he didn’t fit in my car.
She’s actually reaching for the feed tub and not trying to get fresh.
Very hungry. (And I am mega-sunburnt..)
Walk the watusi (cattle that is).
Next stop: Louisville and Indianapolis!
(Shiny disco ball..)
Back in August I took a trip out to Virginia to see my old roommate from Arizona, Amy! She was the inspiration behind the veganized buttermilk biscuits! Please enjoy the photo montage!
Of course, the trip started with the terrifying windmills..
Then I got to Columbus, Ohio! I planned this leg of my trip so I could go to Dirty Franks and get a vegan hot dog!
I got a Bollywood vegan dog – topped with a mango chutney. It was tasty, but I actually preferred my homemade ones. The plan was to get a fried leek as well, but I decided to save my appetite.
Boy am I glad I did! I stopped at Pattycake Bakery…
and this beautiful hunk of chocolate was waiting for me…
Jennie was behind the counter and was super friendly, helping me pick out a cookie to bring to Amy and David as well! I’ve been craving that chocolate monster since I took my first bite. Oh – and did I mention it was the size of THREE cupcakes?? Oh yeah. Good thing they ship.. Plus I got a shirt to support them. They ship those, too!
Pretty scenic overlook.
Meet Amy’s horses!!
Johnny and Chester
Sammy and the antisocial goat that thinks he’s a horse..
Me too, me too!
Dumpy! No really, her name is Dumpy. She was found by the dumpster and she is as bold as they come!
BIIIIIIIIIIIG YAWN from mister Ian!
How about a shot of Vodka (the dog)?
It’s been a long time, my peeps!
I have internet! Sort of. Ok Kyle has internet. He moved in upstairs!
I kinda feel like I’m living in a Friends world. But I get more exercise running up the stairs instead of across the hall, so I get to eat more.
Hopefully I will work on getting a few recipes up really soon. In the meantime feel free to take a peek at what I’ve been up to the past few months!
We played with my niece..
We tooled around Chicago, stopping off at the Shedd Aquarium!
I packed us some homemade vegan burritos so we could save some money.
Afterwards we stopped at Soul Vegetarian East (DEEEEEEEEEEE-LISH!)
I made Mama Pea’s enchiladas..
Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon.. multiple times..
I had a birthday! Kyle bought me a papasan chair! We also discovered a new vegan-friendly restaurant in town – America’s Bistro!
We ate some Thai food..
I also travelled to Virginia and back..
But that, my friends, is another post!
Enjoy your humpday!!