Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Boston, MA

Brrr! It was a cold walk along the Fish Pier in Boston. The pubs were great! I love good whiskey and good atmosphere and Boston had that in abundance. They looked at me funny when I asked if they had anything besides fish at the No Name Restaurant, but I did enjoy their french fries. There was a decent Mexican restaurant on the waterfront called Temazcal. It didn't get very good reviews on Yelp, but I liked it. I also enjoyed Salvatore's, an Italian restaurant opposite it. My collegue and I were talking about what it's like to travel as a vegetarian. I told her if I can find something on the menu, I'm usually so hungry I'll eat just about anything. That said, the veggie burger I had at the hotel bar was so disgusting I had them remove it from my bill. 'World's Best Veggie Burger,' it was not.

Day 2 - December 30

Yesterday proved to be a pretty easy day. But I suppose things usually are when you're all revved up and focusing on them. The hard part is when you're living your life focused on other things and it's far less convenient.

I started with a bowl of cereal with almond milk and a piece of toast. I like bread. I really can't imagine not having it; this was a rosemary bread that our local grocery makes. As toast it is out of this world. For lunch I ate the remainder of the mushroom gravy / grain bowl I made Sunday night. In between, my snacks were a banana and an apple. I got a 3 mile run in on the treadmill in the evening while the dog barked at me and made burriotos for Jenni and the boys. I was snacking on veggie chips while I cooked. I love veggie chips. When we were recording last March these were my go to snacks. You spend a lot of time doing nothing in a studio and you always find yourself killing time eating or doing other things to fill the time. We used to smoke a lot back in the old days. Veggie chips and fresh fruit, though maybe not as rock and roll, are a better choice for the 40 year old musican.

My burrito recipe is on the blog somewhere. But burritos are really easy to make vegetarian or vegan, just leave out the cheese. The key to a good burrito is taking time with your beans, also use good beans, black or otherwise; and cook them a long time. I rarely soak beans, but you certainly can. But I tend to use canned Bush's beans. I season mine well: onions and garlic, cilantro, onion power, garlic powder and salt. The remainder of the burritos are what happens to be around. These had chopped heirloom tomato, cilantro and avocado. I used a little Pace salsa too. No one gave us any jarred tomatoes this year, so no fresh salsa for us.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Day 1 - December 29

Alright clever trousers, we should've started on January 1st, but we didn't.

December 29 - Sat down with our cookbooks and cruised a number of blogs, including Pinterest to find some recipes. We used to always make our menu on Sunday, so it was time to start this habit again. I particularly liked Oh She Glows. We spent nearly $300 at Schnuck's getting fresh vegetables, vinegars and herbs and spices. I swam with the boys in the afternoon and made a rice bowl with quinoa, lentils and a mushroom gravy. Everyone loved it but Jack who ate popcorn instead.  

21 Day Vegan Challenge

I haven't used the blog in some time. With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the other social tools, there hasn't been a reason to use it. Jenni and I have been so busy with work and with the boys that there hasn't been much to post either. But since we last used the blog I completed chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer. How I ended up with cancer remains a mystery. We have no history of colon cancer in my family and I have been a very healthy adult, an atheltic vegetarian for 16 years. It was an unweclome surprise in June 2012, but we made it through it, as you do. This year has been largely about putting that behind us, living for today and focusing upon tomorrow. Our sons are growing up and getting involved in their own things and keeping us on the go: football, soccer, swimming, school, birthdays, parties, etc. And for some reason we added a puppy to the mix. So we have a furry companion that adds a healthy bit of chaos on top of everything else.  Over the summer we visited family in Sweden. A dream come true for them and for us. Two weeks in beautiful Scandinavia. This fall found me traveling to Washington DC, San Francisco and Boston here in the States. 2014 will probably find me on the road a bit more as well. Jenni starts her new job at the start of the year and I'll be assuming a new role for my company as well. Well, what can a hyper active modern family do, but start the year off taking more steps toward better health and well being.

What I'm going to do over the next month is add information about the vegan challenge we've decided to do. We were vegan leading up to my diagnosis but went back to eating a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet afterwards. My diet during my cancer surgery and chemo was a mixed bag, spiked with supplements and as much fatty foods as I could eat to maintain my weight. This year we've found ourselves relying on too many on the go meals. I plan on documenting what we're eating, how we're exercising, and how it's going.

San Francisco, California

A view of the Bay Bridge from where I was working in October. I had a tough time finding vegetarian food in the port area, but I did get some decent dishes from the company I was working with. On day two there was a little tray that had a toothpick and a flag that said, "Vegetarian." A pleasant surprise.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Copenhagen canals.

I always find myself on canals with the old folks. I really don't know why. I get sea sick at the drop of a hat. This was pretty gentle though. This boat took us around some gentrified army barracks, past the Opera House and out to the Little Mermaid.

Red Rooves of Kopenhagen, Denmark

A view of Copenhagen from the top of the Round Tower.

Poppies, Skane, Sweden

Probably my favorite picture of the Skane countryside. My ancestors would've worked in fields of wheat just like this. When we were celebrating Midsomer with our relatives in Rydsgard we saw people gathering these red poppies to make flower arrangements to decorate the maypole.

Mossby Beach, Skane, Sweden

We took the boys down to Mossby Beach on the Baltic Sea just about every day. The water was cold and the sun incrediby hot, but the temperatures in June were a pleasant 75 degrees farenheit.

Skane farmhouse

We passed a lot of these farmhouses as we wound around the little two lane roads of Skane.

Abbekas, Sweden

Boats in the harbor at Abbekas, Skane, Sweden. While staying on a farm in Skane near Skivarp, I would jog through the fields and past the golf course to get to little Abbekas. There's a nice trail along the sea that runs all the way to Ystad.

Malmo, Sweden

The streets of Malmo, Sweden. This was the final destination of our Scandinavian summer trip. It was the final stop for my great-grandparents prior to coming to America. It's a port city so it has that feel to it. We walked through the squares in the old town, lots of foot traffic, with a very diverse population.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Malmohus, Malmo, Sweden

Malmohus is Malmo's medieval fortress. The castle, now a museum, has been been guarding the Oresund since the 15th century. We spent an afternoon walking through the art galleries and various exhibits with our boys. I found the modern art equally as scarey as the exhibits showing life in the castle when it served as a prison.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dozin' with the Dinos

Last month I took our boys (both eight) on an overnight trip to the Field Museum in Chicago. It was part of a program the museum sponsors titled Dozin' with the Dinos. The program allows groups and families with children ages 6-12 to explore the museum after hours. This was the first 'lock-in' type of activity we've done. We loved it. Our group as well as groups of Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups, and schools arrived in the early evening on Friday and departed at 9 AM the following morning. There were about 700 of us in all. We attended workshops in the atrium which featured disecting owl pellets to find skelletal remains, making a mummy, and getting up close and personal with tarantulas and snakes. We explored the Egyptian pyramid by flashlight (the boys and I explored the pyramid 6 times altogether.) We watched a movie on the Sue excavation, the giant T. Rex featured to the left (more interesting to me than them.) In the end we left no corner of the Field unexplored. The highlight for me were the dinosaurs, a favorite of mine as a kid. The highlight for the boys was staying up late and sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor of a museum. The pyramid was a close second. We bedded down in the "World of Mammals," but we didn't spend much time there. Every time I thought the boys were burned out and ready for bed we were off to look at something else,bioluminescent insects or Polynesian artifacts. We took a miss on story time at the Maori hut, but there was little we didn't see. I'd definately do it again. The staff was incredibly courteous and the parents and their kids were great.
Dinner and breakfast were provided. 

Tickets for the 2014 Season launch July 1, 2013. Please visit this webpage for a list of available dates.