Wednesday, October 31, 2012

32 dips in 28 days: a retrospective

Happy end of MoFo everyone!  I'm finishing up today with a retrospective of the dips I pulled off this month.  I didn't quite hit 31 dips in 31 days because I took 3 days off.  But actually, I did 32 dips anyway.  Here they are:

I started out with a sort of mish-mash-mezze:
1. Hummus, 2. Lebenah, 3. Muhammara, 4. Skordalia, 5. Baba ganoush, 6.  Tzatziki

Dips and dippers day 3
Check out this feast from days 3/4.

Then it was the Emperor's birthday so I made a mildly-mexi trio of dips for his party and then continued in that vein for one more day:
7.  Salsa, 8. Guacamole, 9. Creamy bean dip, 10.  Queso blanco dip

Mofo dinner 8
There's the queso blanco dinner.  Yum!

Then we had nice fall weather for a couple of days and I made some autumn-centric dips:
11.  Nutty Pumpkin Pie Dip, 12.  Pomegranate-lime-ginger applesauce, 13.  Cheezy beer dip, 14.  Pizza dip (okay, that's not autumn-centric!), 16.  Kabocha-shiitake dip

Nutty Pumpkin Pie dip
That pumpkin pie dip haunts my dreams.  Ugh, so good.

Threw in another sweetie on a lazy day - 17.  Chocolate-raspberry dessert dip

Then a quick jaunt over to asia for a few fusion dips:
18.  Peanut satay, 19.  Nuoc cham dip, 20.  Cilantro-coconut pesto

Whole lotta kebabs
I take back everything bad I've ever said about kebabs.

Things got crazy in my life around here so I stopped grouping and started just making whatever I could whenever I could!  Including:
21.  Carrot cake dip, 22.  Buffalo dip, 23.  Bleu dip, 24.  Chip Shop Curry Dip, 25.  Cheezy nacho dip, 26.  Creamy pumpkin caramel dip, 27.  Avocado pesto dip, 28.  Roasted eggplant & cashew dip, 29.  Several layer dip, 30.  Super Lazy Bean Dip, 31.  French Onion Dip, and 32.  Peanut Butter Mousse.

Avocado pesto dip
Mmmm.  Pesto.  Dip.  Avocadopestodip.

Some statistics:
Number of things I had never made before this MoFo: 18 (64%)
Number of dessert dips: 5 (%18)
Number of times I had ever considered making a sweet dip before this: 0
Number of times I now think about it daily: a billion
Number of days I posted:   29
Number of times I posted: 31 (including this post)
Number of MoFo-related regrets: 0

It's been fun!  High five to everyone who participated, and thanks so much to everyone who commented or even just lurked and read.  Seeya around!  Happy end-of-MoFo (and Halloween!) from these guys too:

Halloween boys

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    MoFo #28: Peanut Butter Mousse

    Okay, remember back when I did the chocolate mousse?  Well, I have something sad to admit about it: it wasn't very good.  When I tried it the next day, it was all weird and grainy.  I kept eating at it for most of the week, trying various things in it, and the texture was just so bad.  (I even let the Emperor have a taste and he was like, um, yuck.  He never turns down chocolate, so I knew it was really that bad.)

    I was bummed that what is reportedly the easiest vegan recipe ever didn't work out for me, so I decided to try again.  With peanut butter this time.

    Peanut butter mousse dip

    Vegan peanut butter mousse is even easier than chocolate mousse.  Literally all I did to make it was mix a box of silken tofu, 1/2c of peanut butter, 2 tsps of powdered sugar (for a hint of sweetness and to thicken it a little), 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 2 tbsps soy milk in the food processor for about 5 minutes.  The result is a smooth and creamy peanut butter whip that's quite good for dipping in.

    We had it for dinner, because it's just that kind of a night.  We dipped in an apple, a large pear, and a couple of these guys:

    Chunky apple muffins

    Some healthyish (whole grain, low sugar, low fat) chunky apple muffins!  Why is it that people can eat muffins for breakfast but when I say I'm having muffins for dinner, they all look at me like I've lost it?  Muffins for dinner = good.  Dipping chunks of apple muffin in peanut butter mousse = very very good.

    Still lots of mousse leftover.  Not sure what I'll do with it all... the recipe made a lot.  I don't think it'll freeze well.  Hmm.

    Oh yeah, pumpkins.  Did I mention we were up carving pumpkins until like, 8:30 last night?  For E, that's big-- he's generally falling over tired by about 7:30 now that he doesn't nap.  But he stayed up and worked on his pumpkin and was a bit crazy by the end but did well considering... here he is today examining his pumpkin:

    Grey and pumpkin 2012

    He was a little upset because, in his words, "my pumpkin looks crabby.  I don't want a crabby pumpkin.  I want a happy pumpkin."  Tell me about it buddy, we've all been there.  He stuck a bunch of My Little Pony stickers on one side of it and I think that's made it more acceptable to him, because he spent most of today handling the pumpkin and talking to it or about it.

    Here are the rest of our pumpkins:

    Pumpkin party

    J did the teeny tiny one.  I'm the ghosts on the pale pumpkin.  Turns out I have some sort of skin allergy to whatever kind of pumpkin this is... I was burning and red all over by the time I finished the thing, but I do like to finish what I've started.  It looks pretty nice with a candle in it.  The bumpy pumpkin is the Magician's... I keep meaning to draw a face on it for him and forgetting.  He's a baby, he doesn't mind.

    Oh, and the flowers there are from our garden!  We have a gigantic African marigold that started out as a tiny $1 transplant from a plant sale.  It's now about the same height as me (around 5 feet) and about as wide.  And covered in blossoms everywhere.  Unfortunately, it's been windy lately and the wind is really battering it-- these stems broke off so I brought them in and made the best of it.

    I have no good segue at all to this picture of the Magician:

    The food is taking forever to arrive

    And I've got nothing else to say!  Good night!

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    MoFo #27: French Onion Dip!

    Okay, this is going to be the worst MoFo post ever.  Hey, I can own it!

    Tonight we made French Onion Dip for dinner.  From a packet.  The picture is so gruesome that I'm not posting it.  Oh, here's a picture of the packet, in case you're in the market for such a thing:

    We mixed it up with 2c of Wildwood plain unsweetened yogurt, which is pretty much the tangiest and awesomest plain soy yogurt I've ever come across.  (For vanilla yogurt, I'm Whole Soy all the way, and for fruit yogurt, I pine for the Alpro that was around in 2009 or so... I've heard it's changed since then, not that I'd know in the US, but I eat that vintage of yogurt in my dreams.)  Perfectly passable, if ugly and unexciting.

    Part of why I'm posting so late tonight is that we carved pumpkins!  woo!  They actually turned out great and I'll probably post pictures tomorrow.

    Part is that I'm just tired.  Not tired of dip (never!), not tired of MoFo (never!  I can't believe how it's flown!), just plain tired.  I'm beginning to pine a little for mid-December, when things should slow down for a little bit.  Ah, December...

    Well, that's all for tonight.  Better post tomorrow.

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    MoFo #26: Super Lazy Bean Dip

    Today we had a big lunch out, so no one was really hungry at dinner time.  Aaah!  What to dip do?  Well, I banged out a quick dip that we'll actually have for snack tomorrow, this super lazy bean dip:

    Super lazy bean dip

    It's basically a can of fat-free refried beans + 3 cloves of garlic + 3/4c loosely packed cilantro + some salt + a hot pepper from a friend's garden.  I crushed everything but the beans in my mortar and pestle, then mixed the paste into the beans.  Et voila.

    Not fancy, but tasty, and I'm looking forward to snacking on it with some of the miscellaneous vegetables in the fridge.

    I failed at taking any still photographs of the children today, but here's a video of the Magician waving. (Please pardon the Emperor and I making squeaky baby voices in the background, M just started waving a few days ago and we're still all quite excited by it.)

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    MoFo #25: Several layer dip

    Quick post today!  The Magician did something he never does last night-- he woke up in the middle of the night and STAYED UP.  All he wanted to do was party from about 3 a.m. until, oh, 5.  Guess who he was partying with?  Yeah.  So I opted out of making dinner tonight and instead let Josh try his hand at a dip, and this is what he made:

    Josh's several layer dip

    Several layer dip.  Mmmm.  Layers.  There's a layer of refried beans, a layer of guac, and a layer of tomatillo salsa.  And olives on top.  Not just any olives!  Check these bad boys out:

    Josh vs plating

    They are chipotle stuffed olives.  SERIOUSLY.  I was skeptical that they'd work here, but they're perfect.  (And they look pretty cute in J's plating, which I had no hand in, guys.)  Smoky yummy good.

    The whole thing was crazy good.  I'm not just saying that because all I ate the rest of the day was coffee and toast.  (Well, I don't think that's why.)  We had it with breakfast radishes, carrots, cauliflower, and tortilla chips.  Yummm.

    The Emperor loved it-- he ate the salsa AND the beans and either didn't notice or didn't care that the olives were pretty spicy.  That's thrilling to me.  Also thrilling:  he was just in a great mood today.  Here he is showing off the two tiny pigtails he had in his hair today (thanks, preschool):


    And here's his brother pulling his innocent sleeping baby act... uh huh, you're not fooling anyone guy!

    Sleeping squishily

    Til tomorrow!

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    MoFo #24: Roasted eggplant and cashew dip

    When life gives you a cold, misty day, a sinus headache, and crabby children, what do you do?  Well, you could just have a pity party... I'm sure it's very tempting... or you could get in the kitchen and roast some things.

    Like the 2 lbs of eggplants that I roasted this morning and then converted into this Roasted Eggplant & Cashew dip:

    Roasted eggplant and cashew dip

    Fact:  roasting things always improves the situation when it's cold outside.  You know what else always cheers me up?  Pounding things in my mortar and pestle.  That's how I prepared the herbs and garlic for this dip:

    Just crushing some stuff

    The dip is based on one in Deborah Madison's (non-vegan, though largely vegetarian and generally easily veganizable, if you just rip out the chapter on eggs & cheese, bleh) Local Flavors.  It's actually supposed to have pine nuts but when I went to get mine out of the (totally sealed) bag today, there were moths in it.  Moths.  In my pine nuts.  Is it not bad enough that pine nuts cost like $14/lb??  Moths.  Sigh.

    (Did I mention I'm having a day?)

    So I pulled out the closest thing I have in my cabinet right now, cashews.  And I toasted them in a pan and you know what... they're fine.  Most of the flavor in this dip really comes from the tons of fresh herbs.  I used cilantro, basil, and mint.  The latter two were from my landlords' garden-- they just gave me a HUGE bag of basil from their final harvest and I am working through it with delight.

    I had some of the dip with a piece of bread before it was time for me to head out the door, and J and the Emperor will have the rest tonight with crackers and veg.

    Speaking of the Emperor, here he is with the weirdest free thing I've ever seen on the curb in Santa Cruz:

    New!  Free!

    And here's the Magician doing something he hasn't been doing much of lately in the past few days:

    Crib nap

    I'm hoping to pop back in with a second post later tonight, but we'll see how I'm feeling when I actually get back home.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012


    This is just a post to say that I'll do two!  two!  two! MoFo posts tomorrow.  Today was a super hectic day-- hosting friends for lunch in the morning, going to the farmer's market, going to a work social thing with J and children, etc.  There was no time for dip.  (I know!  No time for dip!)  But we'll pick up again tomorrow.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    MoFo #23: Avocado pesto dip!

    Yo dawg, I heard you like green things.  So I put some green things in your green things:

    Avocado pesto dip

    By which I mean that I made avocado pesto dip.

    I've had the idea of making a pesto with avocado rather than oil for some time, because I'm kind of crazy about pesto and also kind of crazy about avocado.  MoFo finally got me to do it!  I googled around and noticed that most recipes call for using an avocado to replace both the nuts and the oil, and I decided to start that way and then added the nuts if it seemed like it needed it.  It didn't-- the texture was perfectly creamy and rich without being overboard with just one avocado.

    I started with this recipe for avocado pesto by Chef Chloe and tweaked a little to my liking.  Ton of basil-- about 3c loosely packed (enough to fill my dinky ol' food processor).  One avocado.  No pine nuts.  (There are just a few on top as garnish.)  3 cloves garlic, 1 lemon worth of juice, 1/4 tsp salt.  Puree.  Eat!

    Initially I put this out as a snack for the Emperor with just some whole wheat crackers.  He ate a cracker or two and then looked up at me and said, "Um, mom?  Can you put some vegetables out too please?"

    Seriously.  I almost died.  Then I put out some carrots and some broccoli and we ate a ton of dip together.  This was sooooo good.  I want to eat it again tomorrow.

    Well, I was in a hell of a rush this morning-- trying to have some fun with the kids, get a couple things done around the house AND simultaneously study for the two midterms I had today.  (Both of which were fine.  Not great, but fine.)  So I didn't get a picture of the Emperor.  But here's the Magician attempting to use his apple slice on his tiny pumpkin:

    Being a baby is like playing a text adventure

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    MoFo #22: Creamy pumpkin caramel dip!

    Well guys, I don't need* to finish out the next 9 days of MoFo.  I made the ultimate dip today.  THE ULTIMATE DIP.

    Creamy pumpkin caramel dip.  Oooooh my goodness.

    Creamy caramel pumpkin dip

    What is there to say about this?  It's creamy, it has pumpkin, it has caramel, and it's surprisingly airy and light tasting.  We ate it with apple slices but it would have been just as good with pear, firm persimmon, 'nilla wafers, pieces of mulch almost anything.  Here is the recipe:

    Creamy pumpkin caramel dip
    makes a big bowl of dip, maybe 3c?

    1 can of pumpkin (or butternut squash), 16 oz not the mega can
    1 can coconut milk, divided
    1 tsp powdered ginger

    1/3c brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp nutmeg (or less if you're not super in love with nutmeg, but I am)
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp salt

    toasted walnuts (optional) for sprinkling on top

    1.  In large bowl, combine the can of pumpkin, half the can of coconut milk, and the ginger.  Stir 'til smooth.

    2.  Pour the second half can of coconut milk, the brown sugar, the vanilla, the nutmeg, the cinnamon, and the salt into a saucepan.  (I used a 3qt pan and had plenty of room.  As with any caramel sauce, you want to err on the too-large size for your pot.)  Whisk til smooth-ish.

    3.  Turn heat on medium and let caramel sauce sit until it begins boiling.  Once it is at a rapid boil, whisk every 2 or 3 minutes until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.

    4.  Taste caramel for seasoning.  (Note:  you can taste the pumpkin too, but it won't give you much info-- it tastes not supergreat on its own but will change a lot in the next section!)  Add a little more salt/spices/vanilla as necessary.

    5.  Swirl caramel sauce into the pumpkin mixture.  (I used a butter knife to carve a spiral channel in the pumpkin mixture and then poured the caramel into that.)


    Nothing else to say about this except:  please someone else make this and tell me if it's as good as I think it is, or if I'm just going crazy from too many dips, ha ha.

     I need to get back to studying for my midterms, so here are pictures of the Emperor in his rain gear:

    Leaf & key

    And the Magician and myself:

    Gigantic baby head

    And that's that!

    *don't need to, still going to!

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

    MoFo #21: Cheezy nacho dip

    Tonight was another of J's specialties, nacho cheezy dip.  He combines a recipe from the Uncheese Cookbook (not sure which one) with some vegan crumbles.  Hey, it's not fancy, but it is delicious and fast and occasionally it's exactly what you want.

    Nacho dip

    We had it with a bowl of cut vegetables (cherry tomatoes, broccoli, kohlrabi, carrots), tortilla chips, and some store-bought salsa.  Yumm.

    Dip/dippers 10/21

    (We only opened one of the salsas and are saving the other one for later.)

    Quick children pictures and then I fall over onto the couch and drool for another hour or two before bed... here's the Emperor eating a pb&j at the park:

    Thoughtful sandwich face

    And the Magician peering through a play structure at the same:


    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    MoFo #20: Chip Shop Curry Dip

    Today's dip actually has a story!

    Chip Shop Curry dip

    A million years ago, in early 2009, J and I celebrated our honeymoon (a year late) by going to the UK for 2 weeks.  We spent the second week in a self-catering cottage in the middle of nowhere in Wales, eating Alpro soya yogurt, "bacon" Cheezly sandwiches, and all the other weird vegan food we could find in the shops there.  We took a daytrip to Cardiff and found a lovely vegan Indian restaurant, and we took a daytrip to Swansea and I nearly died of starvation.  Nearly.

    Luckily, we found a chips vendor, selling fries.  In a paper cone.  With vegan-friendly curry.  Fries in a paper cone with curry on top!  This is basically my dream food, and also, I was so damn hungry. 

    I've meant to look it up literally for years, and I finally did it for MoFo.  Woohoo!  I didn't make fries in a paper cone to go with it, but I did make baked sweet potato fries.  And since I had the oven on anyway, roasted broccoli and tofu too:

    Dip and dippers 10/20

    Well-received by all. 

    By the way, the Magician is 9 months old today.  Woohoo!  Here he is with his brother and his father this morning:

    So many men

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    MoFo #19: Buffalo & Bleu Dips

    Tonight J made dinner while I hung out with the children.  He made two dips we're very fond of but which are somewhat unappealing to the eye:  buffalo dip and bleu dip.

    Buffalo & bleu dips

    Personally, I like the two mixed together in what I think of as creamy buffalo dip.  Everyone else likes them separate.  I can compromise!  I made a little well on my plate where I mixed the two together and then proceeded to dip things.

    Dippers 10/19

    Like a ton of these vegetables... broccoli (the kind with the really thin stems!  the best for dipping!), carrots, celery, and kohlrabi.  

    Big dang plate of tofu

    And this huge plate of dry-fried tofu.  Mmm.

    The Emperor is fully back in the swing of crunchy foods, for which I am very relieved.  Here he is noshing on a carrot:

    Silly at dinner

    And his brother looking very startled while gnawing on his favorite thing, the silicon pastry brush:

    Delicious pastry brush

    Happy Friday!  I'm out!

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    MoFo #18: Carrot cake dip!

    After my successful pumpkin pie dip experiment earlier in MoFo, I started thinking a lot about sweeter, snackier dips.  Things my kid might get insanely excited about eating (due to dessert-iness) that I might also be insanely excited to serve him (due to healthy-ishness).  And the thing that kept floating to the top of my mental heap was carrot cake dip.  Behold:

    Carrot cake dip

    Toasty walnuts, gently boiled carrots, flaked coconut and golden raisins, flavored with a few homey spices and slightly sweetened with brown sugar.  Mmmmm.  On its own, it's almost savory, but paired with slices of apple and asian pear, it's desserty and decadent tasting.  The Emperor loved and I did too.  Here's the recipe:

    Carrot Cake Dip

    2/3c walnuts
    4 small carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks 
    1/4c unsweetened coconut flakes
    2 tbsps brown sugar, plus a tiny bit extra for sprinkling
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/4c non-dairy milk
    1/4c golden raisins (or more to taste)

    1.  Toast the walnuts over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until fragrant and somewhat darkened.
    2.  Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil and boil the carrots for 3-4 minutes, until just tender.
    3.  Drain the carrots and immediately put them in cold water (or pour cold water over) to stop them cooking.
    4.  Combine the toasted walnuts, cooked carrots, coconut flakes, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger in a food processor.  Pulse until everything is chopped up a bit.
    5.  Pour the non-dairy milk in and puree for a minute or two.  The resulting dip will have some body left, it's not supposed to be smooth.
    6.  Mix in the raisins by hand, then sprinkle the top with a tiny bit more brown sugar (~tsp) before serving.

    My pictures of the day are actually pictures from yesterday (aaaah!).  The Emperor and I had lunch at Little Shanghai, an asian restaurant in downtown Santa Cruz that has its vegan items well-labelled on the menu.  They had a bunch of vegan things in their lunch special yesterday so we ended up getting a 4 item plate (with brown rice, cabbage pickle and miso soup) to split between the two of us.  (A great deal at something like $8.)  He surprised me by eating literally some of everything, including:  most of the miso soup, most of the tempeh, all of the mushrooms, several bites of tofu, several bites of carrot, a ton of brown rice, all the broccoli (I got nary a broc!), a vegetable cho ball, and all but one of the green beans.  Here he is gloating over taking the last green bean:

    A stolen green bean tastes the sweetest

    He's lucky I love him marginally more than I love green beans.

    My Magician picture has nothing to do with food!  At some point yesterday, the Emperor decided to pull all his stuffed animals down and throw them, one by one, at his little brother.  They were both laughing hysterically the whole time so, you know, whatever.  Here's the Magician in the after math, swimming in animal friends:

    So many stuffed animals

    Phew, I'm tired just remembering all the fun we had yesterday... or maybe I'm just tired! 

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    MoFo #17: Cilantro-coconut pesto

    Tonight's dip is a bit of an experiment.  It's cilantro-coconut pesto:

    Coconut cilantro pesto

    Which I made by taking my favorite pesto recipe, replacing all the nuts with unsweetened (obvs!) shredded coconut, replacing the olive oil with peanut oil, replacing all the greens with cilantro, mint, and just a little basil.  Oh, and I put in a hot chile pepper I had around because, you know.  (That's where the nice red flecks come from!)  And I left out the nooch because that just seemed weird.

    I was hoping for something halfway between my favorite coconut-cilantro chutney and pesto, and this is pretty close to it.  We ate... most of it.

    For dippers, I made fresh spring rolls.  Here are the innards before I wrapped them up:


    Some tofu, marinated in soy sauce and then lightly sauteed;  then carrots, zucchini, and breakfast radish sliced into matchsticks.

    Here they are assembled:

    Mmm fresh spring roll

    Unfortunately, J was a bit late getting home so by the time they were assembled, it was like 7 p.m. and the natural light was gone.  Too bad!  They were pretty.  And pretty tasty.  Mmmm.

    I'm falling over tired and I still need to put an hour or two of work into some stuff for grad school so yeah... I'm going to call it a day for now!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    MoFo #16: Nuoc Cham dip!

    Today's dip is a super quickie that I picked out specially because I knew I'd be very busy this morning and wanted to be able to bang out a dip in 5-10 minutes.  The dip I picked out is nuoc cham:

    Nuoc Cham dip

    It's a Vietnamese dip that is actually a "dipping sauce"-- you can use it to dip in or you can use it as a sauce/salad dressing/condiment/whatever.  I'm pretty sure I've posted a version of it before for putting on noodles.

    Today I actually pulled out my mortar and pestle to make it, because I am so tired of using the food processor that this seemed easier, ha ha.  Even doing it by hand, it took all of five minutes.  I put in some dried red peppers, couple cloves of garlic, lime juice & pulp, some super strong soy sauce I have, water, and brown sugar.  Quite good, and with a bit of a kick.

    In the past I've put sriracha in it rather than dried peppers, and I think... amazingly... I like this one more.  Sriracha has so many other flavors going on in it that it can take over a fairly delicate dip like this.

    Nuoc Cham with gyoza

    The men will have it tonight with these vegetable gyoza from Trader Joe's.

    Speaking of the men:  the small ones and I were so busy this morning that I didn't get any new pictures of them.  Wild!  That never happens.  Instead, please enjoy two I found on my camera that I hadn't uploaded yet.

    Here's the Emperor enjoying his birthday present:

    In the dollhouse

    And here's the Magician at the pumpkin patch again:

    One more pumpkin patch picture

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    MoFo #15: Peanut Satay!

    Tonight we had a favorite food of mine that I almost never make at home, 'cuz it's such a treat to get it at a restaurant:  SATAY!

    Well, sort of.  I made the dip part of the satay-- a delicious, slightly spicy, creamy conconction of some of my favorite friends:  chunky peanut butter, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, hot peppers, soy sauce, and tamarind paste.  And of course, a little sriracha.

    Peanut satay dip

    What's life without a sriracha heart on this, a sriracha heart on that?  I reined in the overall spiciness of the sauce because I wanted everyone else in the house to eat it.  It was a big hit with the Emperor (despite the fact that he SAW me putting both hot peppers and sriracha into it, two things that generally lead to an instant no for him) and with the Magician, who just kept eating it off of my fingers.

    Oh, we loved it too.  In part because we had it with some shut-your-mouth! delicious kebabs.

    Whole lotta kebabs

    Dang son, that's a lot of kebabs.  They have:  tofu marinated in soy sauce, yellow and orange bell pepper, tiny heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, parsnip, and yellow carrots.  I brushed them with peanut oil and broiled on high for 10 minutes, turning once.  They were perfect.

    I was surprised how good of a kebab parsnip makes for!  PARSNIP!  I love parsnips but it's not a place I'd think to use it, especially not with an asian dip.  Consider me schooled.

    Also consider me:  unlucky!  My super-short duration cold, which I was so pleased about a day or two ago, has  morphed into a sinus infection.  NOOOOOOOOOOOO.  I used to get sinus infections all the time before I went to college, and I truly hate their unique form of discomfort.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was feeling like a treat this afternoon so the Emperor and I went out for coffee for the first time in some time:

    Coffee! Ha ha ha, not.

    Look at him!  Doesn't he look like a little person, just out on the town enjoying his latte?  He's not having a latte, of course-- just steamed soymilk.  Part of me can't believe that I paid money for my kid to have a cup of steamed milk... but some other part of me thinks it's nice that we got to treat ourselves to a shared hot drink on a lovely fall day.

    I don't have any segue to today's Magician picture, I just kinda love this shot and so I'm posting it:

    Couch cuddle

    Okay, time to go rest a bit.