Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Like a juice cleanse but with less self loathing.

Bowl 'O Green

Bowl 'O Green

Getting to the National Zoo early on a Sunday morning has its benefits...Fewer whining children, more on-street parking, and lots of animal activity.   This is the first time I have ever seen the giant pandas moving, let alone hanging out mere yards from the fence.  He drew quite a crowd of admirers as he dispatched two large bamboo branches in short order.  We also saw the red panda (Sophie's favorite) and a veritable herd of Asian short-clawed otters.  The animals seemed as happy as we humans did for the relatively spring-like temps.  It was warm enough out to enjoy some ice cream outside at Sugar Magnolia's post-zoo.  I wish I had gotten the Chocolate Sorbet like Sophie.  I still miss Lick ice cream, and if you get to Austin you had better try it.

It's a panda miracle!

It's a panda miracle!

Ian was not fast enough with the camera to catch another orangutan vomiting and then eating it.  I guess that's not only a dog thing.  This female orangutan was much more demure.  The keeper said they give them brushes from the Dollar Store, and she is particularly good at grooming.  Her male counterpart had some serious dreadlocks going on.  I guess hair care is a cross-species thing as well.

Dreaming of warmer climes....

Dreaming of warmer climes....

We kept ducking into the indoor exhibits--the small mammal house is always a favorite, to get out of the blustery wind.  I want to formally apologize to Sophie for telling her not to wear her boots.  I was wishing for a hat and mittens every time the sun was behind a cloud.  If you are needing some green or feeling like the last animal in this post, here is a recipe I modified slightly from the Dirt Candy Cookbook:

Spinach Soup

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped potato

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS grated ginger

4 TBS olive oil

1 cup cilantro

1 cup parsley

4 cups fresh spinach leaves

In a medium saucepan over medium heat sauté the onions/garlic/ginger in the olive oil until onion is translucent.  Add the potato and stir once or twice.  Add stock and bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes until potato is tender.  Remove from heat and chill in ice water bath until cold (30-45 min) or in fridge overnight.  Place in blender with spinach/cilantro and parsley.  Blend until smooth.  Push through a fine mesh strainer or Chinois.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Immediately prior to serving heat over med-lo heat until warmed through.  The soup will turn a brilliant emerald green as it heats.  I sautéed some onion/red pepper and kohlrabi in a little olive oil and tossed that into the soup.  This recipe makes 4 appetizer sized bowls of soup.

Too many cake doughnuts?

Too many cake doughnuts?

Will Run for Food

The Carrot and The Whip