Tag Archives: summer

Cool It Down in Austin TX

Yesterday I was wandering around thinking about who has the best snow cones in town. When I went to research this very important subject on my magical computing device I found a bunch of maps to frozen treats in our wonderful but hot city and noticed they all contained places that choose not to serve vegan items. So I thought I would make a vegan google map of my favorite spots. It’s what I do. If I missed one of your favorite spots let me know in the comments and I will add it to the google map.

There are a LOT of other snow cone places and ice cream men (why are they all men? Someone needs to blog about THAT) circle my neighborhood at most hours of the day so I didn’t add everything, just everything noteworthy.

image by Lomo-Cam

Now if someone would just open a bar with alcoholic snow cones and a swim up bar then I’ll be in heaven.

Suck it February OR Summer is almost here….

Right? Please!!!!!!!!!! I am so cold! Recent cooking has been a disaster. I have been eating a lot of Thundercloud (the bread is vegan now!) and Chinese takeout. I made soup that wasn’t very exciting.  Soup is usually my favorite thing and I have been making it since I was a kid. You can’t mess up soup, or so they say.  This winter has been slowly killing me. As I have surely moaned about in the past my house has little to no heat in the main room so when it is cold there is nothing to do but get in a pile with a bunch of beagles and hope for winter to end.

I thought I would take a journey to a time I can’t hardly even remember… summertime

Remember tomatoes when they are just ripe and pick them off the plant? They are still warm from being out in the sun and you pop them in your mouth and think about the perfection of life.

This tofu scramble was one of the best I ever made because the yellow tomatoes were perfectly fresh. What a difference a good tomato makes.

I made the pico to go alongside Panuchos last Cinco de Mayo. Remember eating outside and actually want to spend time outside and not just passing through it on the way from one destination to the next. I love eating outside when it is so hot that you can’t deal with even warming up a burner. These panuchos were stuffed with beans, fried and topped with marinated limes and chorizo.

Remember grilling and eating corn on the cob outside. 

I miss going to the farmer’s market and just picking out whatever looks good and making simple food like this pasta that used the beets and the greens. Sure the farmer’s market is open during the winter but how am I supposed to leave my house in a time like this? How do you people in Vermont do it? Over the weekend I went to a few bars because I had to get out to see foot patrol. We were on a mission to find a warm bar. Then I kept asking the bartenders if they had any hot drinks, like a hot toddy or something. 2 different bartenders told me that they would give me hot tap water! That is how lost people are in Austin when it comes to “warm-ups” we are all about the “cool downs” it broke into the 70s briefly last week and my friend and I ran off to Opal Divine’s happy hour to drink margaritas. I was so sure winter was over. I thought I would soon be enjoying michelada’s instead of eating dinner.

And Batido’s with brunchRemember waking up in the morning and it already being really bright out and you have more eggplants and okra than you know what to do withand spending the weekend at the swimmin’ hole

What do you miss the most about summer?

Summertime

Lazy Smurf’s photo guide to enjoying summer:

First find a hammockIf a hammock can not be found a sleeping bag in a sunny spot will workThen find someone to grill for you, even if he uses too much lighter fluid, do not start an argument

Instead enjoy a fruity cocktail

Find some nostalgic songs about summer to listen too

and remember when you used to spend all summer hangin’ out

If you go somewhere remember in summer that flip flops are the only acceptable alternative to bare feetIf you are by the ocean you can go surfingIf you don’t you can still rock out to the beach boys

You can ride your bike

And find somewhere that you can go swimmingMaybe you will find a magical place that has a  swim up bar AND hammocks so much the better Finally, eat lots of good food outside

We got these little corn holders for Christmas and finally got to bust them out for Memorial Day! I was so excited, the grilled corn was really good, I soaked it first in water for 10 minutes, rubbed it with olive oil, and sealed it back in it’s husk before grilling. I also roasted the asparagus on the grill and made BLT burgers out of seitan with bacon bits and an avocado filling from Just the Food. They were really easy to make and very flavorful!

But DON’T let your dogs enjoy the leftover corn cobs

Even though it was really cute at the time they threw them up the next day. Ew.

And finally, take after Dinger and find a cool spot for a nice nap

Grilled Vegan Pizza

Memorial Day starts the official summer season for me even though it has been unofficially summer since I saw my the first firefly on the same day as I got my first red tomato. Memorial Day makes it official because when I was growing up that was the weekend that the water park opened up and I loved the water park. Wait, I still love the water park I just never get to go here in Texas because it is an hour away. This summer it is going to happen! In my summer enthusiasm I decided to grill some pizzas. Unfortunately I ran headlong into the project without doing any research and though my pizzas were good, I have a lot to learn! I made the dough recipe from Vegan Lunch Box and maybe I overworked the dough because it came out really hard. I decided to make mini pizzas so that I could experiment with the technique. The first one I tried was peaches and olives with some sage and some chives on top.It was a great combination but I should have grilled the crust on both sides before putting on the toppings because the bottom got over-grilled (I think another word for that is burned).

The next one I grilled on both sides first before topping but I should have done it for a shorter time or maybe the grill was too hot because this one got a little crispy as well. Plus, tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and mushrooms was a great combo but would have been so much better with a tofu riccota base.The last one was maybe the best (I liked the peach a lot, but it was burned). The grill wasn’t as hot when I put it on so it didn’t get as hard. The topping were Zucchini, Tomato, Olives, Mushrooms, and Garlic. So here is what I have learned, oil the crust and grill it on both sides before you put the toppings on. Have all the toppings ready to go before you start otherwise you can’t keep on eye on the grill, use lots of toppings in general, and most importantly; add lots of olives and everything will be yummy regardless of what happens.

Oh, and have beagles around to eat any excess crust.