Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sublime for the Birthday Dude's Dinner

I made a reservation for Sublime restaurant after the Book of Mormon show. I went there once before and I just remembered my shepherd's pie being too salty. Other than that, I remembered the food being quite good. There aren't many vegan-friendly and fancy dinner options in FTL. I made the reservation for the dude's birthday dinner, so I wanted something fancy! He ordered the mushroom ravioli and I ordered the tofu "fish" tacos. For dessert, we split the chocolate cake with homemade coconut ice cream. We didn't even finish the cake because it was rich and we were full. He ordered a vodka-lemonade drink and I ordered a watermelon margarita since we took a cab to the restaurant. I did not tell the restaurant that it was his birthday, so there were no candles on the cake or a special song. He appreciated that. I know I get so embarrassed when the restaurant staff sings happy birthday, so I thought I'd spare him that experience! When we arrived, I made sure to mention that I was paying. He almost always pays when we go out to eat and has generally rejected my offers to pay or split the bill. I said I was paying and there was no discussion on the matter. We both enjoyed the meal and wished that there was a vegan fine dining establishment in Houston. He made a comment that we'd go there all the time if we had a vegan fine dining restaurant in Houston. I thought that was a sweet little remark. We ordered room service for breakfast before he caught his flight back. I had oatmeal, fruit, and hash browns and he ordered blueberry muffins. We enjoyed our breakfast on the balcony. I wish we could have stayed on the beach for another day or two. Don't worry, I asked the dude's permission before photographing our dinner since I didn't get photos the last time I ate at Sublime. Like an idiot, I forgot to ask the server to take our photo.
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Weekend for the Birthday Dude

I'm at 198 posts for the year, so I'm going for 200! I started off the holiday break celebrating the dude's birthday. He wanted to see Book of Mormon when it came to Houston, but he was overseas for work. When he came back, we looked at tickets on a sketchy third-party website. They were the medium tier for cost, but the website would not say if the two seats were together. We decided to pass. I kept regretting not just buying them. I offered to buy him a ticket to the show when it was in North Carolina, so he could go by himself while he was visiting family. He was going to Ohio during that time, so that wasn't going to work. Interestingly the show came to Ft. Lauderdale, a few hours from my mom's house, during December! We made the 22 hour road trip over 3 days. He used his reward points to book a room at a fancy Marriott hotel in FTL. We had a room with a view of the intercoastal booked, but our early check-in got us an upgrade to a beach view! It was gorgeous. We checked in, changed clothes, and sped over to the theater. We caught the afternoon show. We had seats in the lower orchestra section. We were maybe 10 rows from the stage on the left side, so we were able to see the actors' facial expressions. It was definitely an explicit show, but we laughed a lot. We were surprised by the sheer number of senior citizens present and we saw many of them boarding fancy buses for their communities after the show. Since we went to the 2 PM show, we had some free time between the end of the show and our dinner reservation. We sat on the balcony, chatting and watching the water. I got some gorgeous shots of the beach, so that's what I'll share. Like idiots, we never managed to get a photo of us!
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Potluck

The theme for last night's VSOP potluck was comfort foods! Everything was quite good. I brought sprinkled ginger cookies and chocolate chip cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance. I didn't get a photo of them, but they were tasty! There were several pasta dishes, but someone brought little sample packets of Parma to serve with them! I did manage to photograph the first plate! I got the pasta dishes, tofu "fish" square, chili and brown rice, sweet potato casserole, polenta with tomato sauce, salad and fruit, and my friend Janet's homemade cashew cheese. That cheese got sooo many compliments! I got a pretty big piece, so I split it with the dude. On my second plate, I got more of the chili and rice, a broccoli and rice casserole, a stew that was basically pot pie filling (yum), and the mac and yease (nutritional yeast cheese sauce).
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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Haven - Houston, TX

My new boss takes the group out to lunch at the holidays. It sounds like they go to a new place every year. This year's lunch spot was Haven, a little farm-to-table restaurant tucked off a major roadway. I had no idea such a cute little place existed behind the chains closer to the road. I called in advance to discuss the appropriate menu selections for a vegan. The mushroom "risotto" is made with mushroom stock and not with any dairy. I asked multiple times because actual risotto is cooked with dairy products. Nope, just mushroom stock. The vegan sides include the roasted veggies without the sauce (ew, fish sauce on veggies?!) and a sweet potato side (didn't see this on the menu). The vegan dessert option is the fruit ambrosia without the lemon curd. I didn't order a side because I thought the entree would be bigger. I would have liked a bigger portion, but the flavors were good. The texture of the crispy kale was interesting.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013


On the Saturdays I have to work, I must go in very early to get a free parking space. Going to work at 6:30 AM sucks. This past Saturday I was able to leave around 9 AM, so I came home to make pancakes using the recipe in Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. I served my pancakes with clementines, So Delicious coconut yogurt, and homemade hot cocoa. I used Alton Brown's recipe but I used soy milk powder to make it vegan. The leftover pancakes were stored in the fridge overnight and tasted fine when I reheated them the next day. That's a good thing! I slept in on Sunday, so I enjoyed waking up to a delicious, homemade breakfast already prepared! ;)
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I will be posting intermittently for the rest of the year. December is always busy trying to wrap up experiments at work and travel home, but this year is extra busy because the dude is joining me on a road trip to see Book of Mormon in Florida. :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thai Cottage - Houston, TX

Did I mention that I really enjoyed the food at Thai Cottage? I went there on a date with the dude recently (posted here). When some friends invited me to see Free Birds, I suggested we grabbed dinner at Thai Cottage afterwards. The movie is an animated movie for kids about getting turkeys off the Thanksgiving table. (Spoiler: They suggested cheese pizza for the alternative, which made me laugh since a turkey would not eat cheese.) I ordered the tofu chili basil dish from the vegetable lover section. So good! My friends both enjoyed their dishes too, so I would highly recommend this little spot for a dinner and movie date night.
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Quick Chili

I soaked some black beans, black-eyed peas, and red beans and cooked them in the crockpot for chili. I used an onion, garlic, two green bell peppers, and half a bag of frozen okra as the veggies. I kept the seasonings simple with chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. I served this over rice for a weeknight meal that was hearty and healthy. Chili is a great clean-out-the-fridge meal, so just use what you've got. I put a big scoop of nutritional yeast on top for extra nutrition. Yum! Nooch!
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sweet Paris Creperie - Rice Village, Houston, TX

This adorable restaurant Sweet Paris Creperie is tucked in Rice Village, a ritzy little area. My friend and I met up for lunch there. They have one vegan savory crepe. I did ask about the crepe batter being vegan and they said yes. It was so good, but a little pricey ($12 for a bottle of apple juice and the crepe). My crepe had mushrooms, black beans, corn salsa, and chipotle sauce. I told the dude we should check this place out. It's a cute little date spot or for a day with a close friend. My friend and I talked for a while and then headed over to Starbucks to continue chatting. We gave our table to my friend that we joked about seeing in Starbucks because he's always there. Turns out that was his first time at the crepe place too!
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thai Cottage - Houston, TX

When the dude and I went on our last dinner/movie date night, we walked past the Thai Cottage and he remarked we should try it. He loves yellow curry, so he ordered that with tofu. I got the veggie curry with tofu. The food was delicious. We enjoyed the little restaurant and it was full of people. We went to see Gravity after dinner.
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Renaissance Festival

I went to Texas Ren Fest a couple weeks ago with some friends. Got to wear my costume that my mom mailed me for the event. Too bad the shirt is untucked and doesn't look very flattering in the photo of the group. I did get vegan falafel in the Greek area, but I didn't even snap a photo of it! I did get a photo of the amazing pineapple sorbet I bought mid-afternoon. We went to see Sound & Fury, Christophe the Insultor, belly dancers, and jousting. I thought jousting was sword-fighting, so it was a little sad to see the horses being used.
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fur-Free Friday

I joined the Houston Animal Rights Team for a demo in front of Neiman Marcus for Fur-Free Friday. Apparently, Neiman Marcus sells A LOT of fur, including a $23K mink vest. Ew. There is no reason to wear fur. Animals are skinned alive for their fur; because if you cut their throat, their blood would stain the fur. Lots of fur sold in the US is actually cat and dog fur from China. Double ew.
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