Posts filed under ‘Everyday Austin’
We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year. We were able to sit back and not travel (I loathe traveling during this holiday) and I managed to whip up some tasty recipes thanks to the internet and the Food Network.
If you haven’t checked out Closet Cooking yet, you need to (his newest Thanksgiving leftover post is gravy). This guy makes amazing traditional and not-so-traditional recipes and takes incredible photos of them all. I was shown this recipe by a friend weeks ago and vowed that it would be a part of our Thanksgiving table this year. It got rave reviews.
As did the stuffed portabello mushroom caps that Ina from the Food Network showed me just two days before Turkey Day. My dad’s fav part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing, this year I said I’d take it on. He was skeptical and worried (to the point where he made a small dish of his tried and true stuffing recipe). Needless to say, his turned out dry and mine turned out FABULOUS. I dare say that it was the talk of the table :-)
Saturday Alex and I took my mom out for a birthday lunch to Mother’s Cafe & Garden in Hyde Park. A place I’d been meaning to try for the past few years. I knew it had to be pretty good since it was a meat lover that recommended this vegetarian only restaurant to me.
So Saturday I got my chance. My mom and Alex both enjoyed artichoke and mole enchiladas while I had their mushroom, black olive, and spinach quiche with a yummy limeade.
The ambience was great, quirky and peaceful and the food was quality. I’ll be back.
Across the street we spotted Antonelli’s Cheese Shop which we’d both read about in Austin Monthly and decided to check it out. It’s an adorable yet sophisticated shop with great owners that really know their product. The service was impeccable and we were able to sample whichever cheese, salami, chocolate, honey, etc. that we pleased. After many oohs and ahhs Alex and I decided on a sharp cheddar from England and raw Tupelo honey. The two paired great together and I knew it would be a hit at home with some rice crackers and vino.
On the way out we sampled some incredible chocolate made in the St. Louis area with only the highest quality of ingredients. I forget the brand, d’oh. Upon trying their milk chocolate variety I exclaimed to the owner:
“Was this made with goat’s milk?”
She responded with a puzzled look because it was made with cow’s milk…however, upon reading the ingredients was informed that goat milk powder was also added.
Schwing! Let’s just say that eyebrows were raised while she uttered, “You have an impeccable palette!”
It kind of felt awesome. I can’t say that palette is educated in the wine area but dammit I know my chocolate!
P.S. Alex never believes me when I say I can taste goat’s milk or cheese for that matter. Says it doesn’t taste any different to him than cow’s milk or cheese. Which I think is crazy talk…having him standing right there during my victory made it that much sweeter :-)
I dream of one day owning a craftsman bungalow with beautiful crown molding, original wood floors, and a stained glass window or two.
The above picture is the exact representation of the architectural/design elements that I’d totally adore in a sitting/living room. All that is missing of course is the stained glass.
I picture myself in said house with the perfect modern/contemporary furniture and home accessories. Let me tell you, the place looks great…in my head.
Homes like this in Austin will cost me an arm and a leg. Perhaps I’ll be ready for that sacrifice one day. I mean, just look at that nook of awesome!!!
A little late for this post but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share how great the La Roux show was that we saw on June 1st.
While standing for 4 hours straight almost killed me. I’m old, be nice. Once Elly Jackson hit the stage with her red faux hawk and 80s synthpop attitude I knew everything was going to be okay. Adrenaline is a great remedy for achey legs and humid concert venues.
And just like after any good concert I’ve been on a post concert high for the past two weeks. Can’t get enough of Tiger Lily…
Well thanks to the city I call home I do.
Towards the end of April we noticed random signs and poles in our beloved city being wrapped in fantastic knits. Confused? Yeah I was too at first, take a glance below to see what I mean…
Austin newcomer Magda Sayeg has been yarn bombing all over town lately and I absolutely love it. Of course whenever I come across the crafty masterpieces I never have a camera on me. So alas I’ve had to grab some pictures from online.
“Hmmm.” I thought and then something inside me just knew that they came from the same place. I love when my two worlds collide, that is my Austin world and my lovely Italian world :-)
My intuition proved right and after some light research realized they were indeed the work of Magda.
photo courtesy of Jessica Stewart, an expat photographer in Rome.
I adore the juxtaposition of old, monochromatic structures mixed with the bright colors and soft texture of the yarn.
Brilliant…keep an eye out for this gal in your hometown…
Yesterday our good friends invited us along to the Texas Hill Country Food and Wine Festival. We had a great time, talking, drinking, eating, and sloshing through mud.
One of the highlights for me was seeing Kat Edmonson perform for the second time just this spring. We were lucky enough to catch her one Monday evening at Ming Cafe for a free jazz show. She was sweet and dreamy as ever on stage yesterday. Check out the video for one of her songs, (also Alex’s new tumblr site that he just started last week). The content will mostly be music, but he throws in some design and art related content as well.
Alex and I pretended to be some of the cool kids yesterday and tried to soak up just a touch of SXSW. Of course it was beautiful and in the high 60s and 70s all week except for the day we decided to go downtown. We battled high 40s and low 50s all day and my denim jacket definitely wasn’t cut out for the job.
We started at Flackstock at the Convention Center and were totally overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful posters that we immediately wanted to adorn our walls. We finally decided on a poster by Hero Design Studio based out of Buffalo, NY. It’s a concert poster for The Decemberists and features a yellow sparrow and some lovely circular patterns that I swooned over.
Highlights from Flatstock were running into some good friends, meeting a fellow lover of all things owl (pictured above), and Alex getting hit on by a very confident man. Also if you have been wondering why your local mall and trendy boutiques are fresh out of skinny jeans, especially of the black variety, wonder no more. They were all walking the streets, bars, and lounges of downtown Austin. Those greedy hipsters what are the rest of us supposed to do now?
Later in the day we checked out the Garden Party at the French Legation and listened to a really great pair but were forced back inside thanks to the cold and sipped hot cocoa and feasted on empanadas and tres leches cake at Casa Colombia. Our favorite bipolar waitress was there and made the afternoon that much more entertaining.
After popping into Uncorked to listen to some quirky band we ended the night with sushi but not before buying a Mac Mini…stay tuned for more on that!
It’s snowing in Austin, and not just crap snow that falls for 5 minutes and melts when it hits the ground either. It looks like a winter wonderland outside of my (floor to ceiling) window. omg omg omg omg. I want to go home and frolic with my dog in the backyard. But she’s a priss and would probably hate it anyway.
We had two mini snowball fights outside with office mates. Photos courtesy of Kevin Nuut.
This past weekend was awesome. The Winter Games started (EUREKA!), we ate at Lambert’s (one of my top five fav restaurants in Austin), and I ate 3 chocolate covered strawberries, an $8 chocolate bar, and two gourmet cupcakes. You can’t go wrong with those combos…oh and it was Valentine’s Day, fun time had by all!
Lambert’s, an favorite among many Austinites, is located in the 2nd Street district and serves up Fancy BBQ. It’s located in what was once a general store back in the late 1800′s and boasts both charm and trendiness. I’ll skip to the chase and let you all know that they serve up what I think is the best mojito in Austin as well as the best mac ‘n’ cheese that either of us have ever been so lucky to devour. It was laced with goat cheese, cheddar, and other creamy delights with a perfect brown crust on top. Other things we treated ourselves to were fried oysters with cauliflower puree and green chili salsa, green chili cheese grits (my fav of the evening), Mexican rice stuffed quail on top of a cheese enchilada and topped with two quail eggs, and applewood smoked pork ribs. um yeah…..we retained a smidge of dignity by skipping dessert. I then lost all dignity again (but privately) when I consumed the $8 candy bar (purchased next door at Teuscher) on the way home…what?
The next day we rolled ourselves into Leaf to allow fresh spinach, strawberries, walnuts, and the like to absorb the gluttony from the previous evening. I ordered El Jefe while Alex got the BLT salad…bacon always knows best. The salads were solid but a bit pricey for a lunch item I thought.
Later we decided to follow suit from the previous day and dropped by Delish cupcake bakery. A good friend had been telling me that they were the best cupcakes in the city so we had to see for ourselves. I had TWO, remember TWO. First I had white chocolate cake with raspberry ganache and cream cheese frosting. SUBLIME. And I bought a black and white (chocolate cake and butter cream frosting) to go, it was also amazing and I loved the edible glitter that they lightly sprinkled on all of their rich delights. Alex’s was also great, he ordered the Mexican vanilla cake with Mexican vanilla frosting. SO GOOD. If you can, go here! I will now also dub it the best cupcakery in Austin :-)
I’ve been experiencing a lot of good things lately, mind you, these good things are small things…but they make me happy nonetheless.
First Good Thing: Austin in December.
I know that a lot of people like it being really cold and preferably snowy during the Holiday Season. I used to be that way, when I was a youngster whose parents are New Yorkers and would tell tales of the good ‘ole days of hot chocolate and snowmen on Christmas Day. Fast forward 18 years later and you’ve got an Austinite who truly appreciates the cloudless and temperate “winter” days that Austin provides during this time of year. We get Fall a little late down here and for the past three or so weeks there have been pockets of trees that look like fall time fireworks. Bright bursts of yellow and orange, I’m so glad that I still appreciate these types of things. I always drive a wee bit slower when passing these “firework trees” in residential areas.
Also I really enjoy the “outdoorsiness” that this seasonal weather brings along. Since it’s no longer hot as balls outside you see people flying kites in parks and eating at outdoor cafes whilst enjoying a bite of Tex Mex or a novel. LOVE IT.
Second Good Thing: Holiday Cheer.
Man oh man I am not ashamed in the least to admit that I freakin’ LOVE Christmas/Holiday time. I adore the tasteful Christmas songs (more of my favs farther down this post), the bustling retail areas, the decorations, and the eating…oh the eating. I can count on at least two or more sweet treats to be in our office kitchenette area daily. I also get more excited to watch my favorite Food Network shows because they’ll boast and PR the crap out of their favorite Holiday dishes…and for some reason, I’m more apt to try them when Giada de Laurentiis’s vein in her forehead bulges just that much more.
favorite Holiday tunes:
All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey (YUP!!!)
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Christmas Time Is Here
White Christmas – Frank Sinatra
The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Judy Garland
Please Come Home for Christmas – Southside Johnny Lyon
Carol of the Bells – Home Alone I Soundtrack
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
Third Good Thing: Camel Mid Calf Boots.
I was a good little girl this year and my Santa Baby let me open one of my presents early. I knew what they were, because I tasked him with finding me the perfect camel, mid calf, slouch boots. And he found them!!!! They’re perfect and I’ve worn then about 4 times in the past 6 days. Love is in the air.
Fourth Good Thing: Stephen Colbert.
My love affair with this late night mogul began recently. I KNOW. I SO wish I was introduced to his smart wit and obnoxious hilarity sooner. MUCH SOONER. The above image of him posing in the U.S. Speed Skating uniform made me so happy. In the words of my gal pal from the smallest state in the Union, “I wanted to hug the internet for providing me this joy.” NATION, for those of you not in the know, one of the main sponsors for the U.S. Speed Skating team just went out of business. So naturally, Stephen Colbert stepped in to sponsor the mal-funded sports team in time for the Vancouver Games in February 2010 (stoked is Eryn). So yes, I’ve mentioned how much I adore Stephen Colbert…and have I mentioned recently on this blog how much I adore the Olympics? And coincidentally speed skating is my favorite event of the Winter Games. It’s like the swimming of the north. Eryn = Happy
Fourth Good Thing. Saci is 4!
The beloved four-legged creature that resides in our home, sleeps on our furniture, eats our food, and sheds on our floors turned 4 today. This morning we let her out of her crate, she hopped into our bed, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to her. For breakfast (along with her kibble) we gave her a lean slice of turkey with no nitrates :-) And for a daytime activity she went to one of her favorite places…over the hills and through the woods to GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE we go. She loves going to my parent’s house, mainly because my mom treats her like a spoiled little child, they speak their own language, and they feed her table scraps. So that’s where she is now, probably just waking up from a mid day birthday nap next to my dad on their posturepedic mattress and comforters filled with down and marshmallows.
So in the words of Martha Stewart…It’s (all) a Good Thing.