Dinner last night couldn’t have been better. I’ve only eaten at the Veggie Grill in Irvine three times and each time has been a most excellent experience. The counter help is always friendly and smiling and the place always looks spotless. Last night I got my free birthday entree’, just fill out a survey and it’s yours. I chose the Chipotle BBQ sandwich. Shredded veggie steak with barbeque sauce and chipotle ranch, carmelized onions, lettuce and tomato. All this loveliness is served on a soft wheat bun with a choice of sides. I selected my favorite sweetheart fries (sweet potato fries) which adds $2.25 to your bill but is well worth it. I’ve heard their steamin’ kale is killer too but I can never pass up a good sweet potato fry. The fries come with a little cup of chipotle ranch for dipping too. I also got my favorite iced tea…they have a good selection of lightly sweetened and unsweetened. I mixed a little of the peach with plain black for a refreshing beverage to accompany the chipotle spice. By the way, I read that chipotle flavor is on its way out. I don’t really care, I’ll still enjoy it, I don’t mind being hopelessly outdated. D. settled on the same thing as I had except he got the mac n’ cheese for his side. For a dedicated omnivore that he is he certainly seemed to enjoy his sandwich. Could have been that he was super hungry or it could have been that the food is just that dang good!
Iced tea and root beer…sorry no Coke served here but they do serve beer and wine if you’re in the mood.
The sides…sweetheart fries
mac n’ cheese
Is it totally pathetic to bake your own birthday cake, well in this case birthday cupcakes? No? I didn’t think so either. This way no one has to go to any trouble, I get to do something I love to do, and bonus…I get exactly the kind of cake I want. I went for a little Lime in ‘de Coconut (Lime Coconut) cupcake from VCTOTW. They didn’t rise up real high, I think next time I’ll make 11 instead of an even dozen and see if they fill the cups more. The batter was super delicious and the Lime Buttercream frosting is a dream, a little tangy a little sweet, just how I like it. I can’t taste them until after dinner at the Veggie Grill though. I’m using my free meal birthday coupon for dinner tonight, for some reason a meal tastes better when it’s free, doesn’t it? Nothing else special planned though. Two good surprises today, and even though they weren’t birthday related I’m pretending they are. I got my new cell phone for work (I always love new tech toys) and I was notified that my book reimbursement check was mailed. They had originally denied my last classes book reimbursement because supposedly I submitted my paperwork too late. After I told them to check again because it was funny that my class tuition was paid and all the paperwork was sent in on the same day, I guess they realized a mistake had been made and so “the checks in the mail”…Yahoo!
I love my microplane. I used to hate zesting now, with the right tool, love it! It was kind of like trying to build a house with a shoe and a toothbrush as your tools…gotta have the right tools! Sometimes it’s worth it to splurge on something of good quality if it’s going to make your life more fun!
Another fave…my vintage egg beater makes for some smooth batter
A bit of fluff…lime flavored fluff
Birthday cupcakes having some fun in the sun
After posting on the road from my Droid I forgot to post pictures from our jaunt to Silverton to see the Manic Mechanics (see http://wp.me/pHWI4-fC ). So here they are. Plus my food was utterly boring today so I have nothing to share.
Sammiccio, wondering what it is??? It’s any kind of delicious sandwich, eaten on a beautiful day, and usually enjoyed outside. And where, pray tell, do you get one of these delectable morsels ( yes, agreed it is a large morsel)?? Why at Panini’s of course. Slipped away from work for a nice lunch in the sunshine. I always get the #15 Hummus Panini which is a scrumptious layering of hummus (duh!), roasted red peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and creamy avocado (goat cheese optional if you swing that way). Kettle chips on the side and of course iced tea to wash it all down. BTW, “Sammiccio” –made up word, if you hadn’t figured that one out (thanks D.)!
Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel BLAH? No particular reason and you don’t feel sick or anything, just blah! Today was one of those days for me. After spending most of my day on conference calls (so what else is new?) I certainly wasn’t worn out from physical exertion…then A. stopped by and she too was having one of those days. So maybe it was the mother daughter connection thing, I was blah because she was blahher (hmmm, I think I just made up a new word). My attempts to cheer her up in turn cheered me up. I offered her one or two of the cats to take home with her so she would have a little bit of furry comfort in her empty apartment. Although she never really said no, I don’t think she said yes either, funny how that happens. Besides, I was just trying to give her back the two cats she so kindly left me when I was having a bad day!
Then it was on to dinner, which of course didn’t feel like being made. Hummus in the Vita Mix…tasted a little bland so I added some salt and garlic powder and then it tasted too salty, go figure. A salad of lettuce and tomatoes dressed with pesto thinned out with a bit of olive oil and vinegar, a pesto vinaigrette if you will. And the ubiquitous glass of iced tea served alongside the Kindle out doors. It seems I do drink iced tea outside, in spite of my claims otherwise.
Vita Mix full o’ Hummus
Because they’re ripened on the vine
A little pesto over the top
and last but not least hummus and pita chips
My gym is doing a new registration process that requires you to scan your index fingers into a machine, the prints are then tied to your phone number. When you go into the gym after you’ve registered you just enter your phone number and put your index finger on the scanner and it checks you in. This just seems a little intrusive to me and I felt kind of wierd doing it. We have become seriously linked to technology. I wonder if I could shut down and disconnect even for a week. No computer (except for work), no TV, no Smartphone…I could even cut the computer cord altogether if I tried this during a vacation. Get back to the simple things, sheesh I’d even have to give up my Kindle! Dinner was simple though just a salad and sandwich tonight. I made the pesto from VWAV which I’ve made before but it was a little salty this time, I think 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt is a little much and I don’t think I added that much the last time I made it. However, smeared on the squaw bread and topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella Daiya and then grilled on the panini press, the saltiness was tempered. I toasted the bread so it wouldn’t get all pesto soggy and it was very delish!
Look what I did…I zested the lemon before I squeezed it for the lemon juice in the pesto. I searched the Internet for recommendations on freezing the zest, some said yay, some said nay. Some said it lost flavor by freezing, some said the flavor got stronger by freezing. What the???? Can’t believe anything you read these days, so I’m just trying it out for myself to see what happens.
Vita Mix loaded and ready to rumble up some pesto
Smooth and rich as Bill Gates (and the color of his money).
Before I knew it Sunday was over and I’m getting ready for the work week ahead. Still folding laundry and have to make up the bed. We started the day at Jamba Juice and then on to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some berries for breakfast this week. This market is still small and I noticed the Awaken Herb and Spice lady wasn’t there today nor was the used book guy. Perhaps just due to summer vacation. Besides the berries I got a nice loaf of Squaw Bread from Ann’s Bakery in Port Hueneme. My plan is to make some pesto with my garden basil and then team it up with the plethora of tomatoes I have and make some grilled tomato/Daiya/pesto sandwiches on the panini press. Maybe tomorrow though, tonight I’m through eating.
Local Market – small but plentiful
Berries for breakfast…actually had some for lunch today with some coconut milk yogurt
Squaw Bread for weekday panini’s