Last week Nick and I headed back to the land of corn for 4 days. Nick had a work training, and so I tagged along to catch up with Lil Sis and my bestie. It was so great to see everyone, and catch up with family and friends, but it felt SO WEIRD to be back. I’m not sure what it was. I guess that everything felt super familiar, and I knew how to get everywhere, but at the same time everything felt unfamiliar. Life in Iowa didn’t stop because we left, I suppose. We packed A LOT into our week, and so we came home exhausted, but it was the good kind of exhausted. But it sure was good to come home and see Olive again. We sure did miss that little goofball!
Speaking of Olive, she stays with a super awesome family that lives about 10 minutes from us. When we first moved here we were scheduled to go on our anniversary trip to Europe for 10 days and we (me) were in a panic to find someone to watch Olive. I am such a softie when it comes to her that I didn’t want to board her for that long (or ever). I want her to play all day with other dogs, and get some love and attention from humans as well. I happened upon DogVacay.com and found THE best family ever! Olive loves to go to their house and every night we get pictures of all of the fun she has during the day. She always makes herself right at home! ;)
One day I was out with my bestie and my “niece” and it was time for lunch. They opted for a non-vegan option, naturally, so I ran into Chipotle. I was hungry, but I also knew that I probably couldn’t eat an entire bowl and I hate wasting food! Our hotel didn’t have a fridge, so I knew I couldn’t bring any leftovers back. While waiting in line, I was reading the description of the kids meal, and so I thought to myself, “that sounds about right! That’s all I need.” So, I ordered a kids meal. The downside is that you only get 3 toppings, but that didn’t upset me too much. I’m sure you could order extras on the side, if desired. I chose 2 soft corn tortillas – you get a choice of 2 soft corn tortillas, 2 hard corn taco shells, or 2 small flour tortillas – with guacamole, pico de gallo, and pinto beans. You also get THE cutest bag of chips – and the perfect amount! – and a drink. And the kicker? It was only $5! Seriously the best. This will definitely be something I’ll grab again in the future when I just need a little something. This made me love Chipotle even more!
That same night we went to our favorite Iowa restaurant, the Trumpet Blossom Cafe. So, SO good. We met Lil Sis and her boyfriend there and had SO MUCH FUN. The food tasted extra delicious. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had it for months, or maybe because I was just really excited to be there, but either way, it was great. We had fries (obviously) and nachos to start, and then we all ordered different entrees. I had the flatbread pizza, and Nick opted for the Peanut Pasta. There were happy bellies all around. While we have tons of tasty vegan options here, the Trumpet Blossom will always hold a special place in my heart, and stomach, forever. Yum!
After dinner we all ventured over to a new natural food store that had opened up within the last few months. Have you ever heard of a Lucky’s Market? I had read about it before moving, but kind of forgot about it. I remembered when Nick and I stopped to play with puppies before dinner. I wanted to put this little girl in my purse and bring her home. Alas, we did not. But look at that face!!
Back to the market, that place was great! They had all kinds of great vegan and gluten free options that I can’t even find here in DC! We grabbed the Beyond Chicken Feisty Buffalo Poppers. I was able to keep them with Lil Sis to stay frozen, and I knew I could bake them at my bestie’s house the next day as we were going to her place for dinner. I baked them up as an appetizer, and the vegans and non-vegans alike (except for a certain 9 year old) thought they were great! They weren’t very spicy, and I didn’t really taste the buffalo flavor, but they had great texture and baked up in a flash! I would grab them again if given the chance, for sure.
The best score of the week, though was Hampton Creek’s Just Cookie Dough! Lil Sis had spotted it at Hy-Vee, and so we immediately went and bought some. That stuff is the bomb. It’s great out of the tub, although I prefer Eat Pastry’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip raw, but it’s amazing when it’s baked. WOWZA. I could have eaten a dozen cookies. Now if only they, too, would show up in my neck of the woods! We leave Iowa and they get all the good stuff I’d been looking for for months! If you have access to Just Cookie Dough, GET IT.
We had a great time being back, but it was so great to be home. We’ve had a pretty low-key week, and have spent a lot of time enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s a little steamy during the day, but it gets SO nice at night. We have a friend coming to visit this weekend, so we’re already planning all kind of fun things to do, and yummy things to eat! Happy Wednesday!