Future dates occur on the last Tuesday of each month through November. (Cathy)
Tonight marks the first night of Trailer Food Tuesdays at the Long Center. 10 trailers from Austin (and potentially other parts of the country on future dates) will be parked on the city terrace in front of the Long Center offering a wide variety of food 5:00-9:00 p.m. Those participating in the event tonight include:
Future dates occur on the last Tuesday of each month through November. (Cathy)
We had breakfast at The Steeping Room the other morning and it was wonderful--as always. Gina had the Organic Oatmeal with Banana Brulèe, which essentially is oatmeal with bananas on top and a brulee coating. So good! Cathy had a the Mushroom Tarragon Omelet with fresh fruit and toast on the side--the perfect breakfast. This is one of the few locally owned restaurants in the Domain and the one we always gravitate toward when in the area. They offer lunch, dinner and tea service as well. We are very excited that The Steeping Room plans to open a new location on North Lamar close to Central Market in the fall. (Gina and Cathy)
The Ryoshuu cocktail at Uchiko is a mysterious drink. It contains elderflower liquor, bitters, blueberry and I imagine some kind of sparkling wine, but I can't be certain. The blueberry moves up and down in the drink by a magical force (I think it is called buoyancy due to the layers of the drink). It is a light, smooth, easy drinking cocktail that might require a visit to Uchiko to get the most precise mixture. Kanpai! Cathy)
I love piling into the car and heading out for a long, adventure-filled road trip. Believe it or not, I find the drive time to be relaxing. Earlier this month, my sister and I drove to the Florida Panhandle with our boys (she has 2, I have 3). We started in San Antonio and ended up in Okaloosa Island, Florida with a few detours along the way. We stopped in New Orleans for a visit to the French Quarter and, of course, we had to seek out the famous, bustling Cafe De Monde, the original French Market coffee stand established in the early 1880s. No matter how humid and warm it is outside, you can't go wrong with the hot beignets and cafe au laits. Once we got to Florida, we enjoyed lots of wonderful seafood. As it turns out, Cathy and her family went to the same region of Florida a week later, focusing their time in Rosemary Beach near Destin. See below for her picks along 30A. (Gina)
30A is a stretch of road that extends from Rosemary Beach into Destin, with small beach communities all along the way. We had two notable food experiences while visiting. One was highbrow; a classic, traditional restaurant in Seagrove. The other was a trailer in Seaside. Seagrove is located right next to where we stayed in Rosemary Beach. One evening we had dinner at Café Thirty A.
The most complicated thing about this salad might be gathering the ingredients. I found fresh fava beans at Central Market and I bet Whole Foods has them as well. The recipe comes from Chris Cosentino of Incanto Restaurant and Bar. This salad is light, fresh and unusual. I tweaked the dressing a bit by cutting back on the lemon to half; same with the vinegar. I used parmesan instead of the pecorino. I also skipped the ice bath and the beans were perfectly cooked. (Cathy)
2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (about 1 lb.)
2 cups strawberries cut in quarters
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Coarse ground black pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to boil, season with salt, blanch the shelled favas for about 1 minute then transfer to a seasoned ice bath so as not to over cook. Remove the skin and discard, place the favas in a mixing bowl, then set aside. Wash the strawberries, then remove the green tops, cut into quarters and add to the mixing bowl, Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add the arugula, then dress with a splash of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, toss to incorporate all the ingredients then put on a platter or plate. Using a peeler, peel curls of pecorino on top and serve. (Serves 4)
I had to show these lovely photos taken by a friend who attended the lunch last week at La Condesa with chef and author Marcus Samuelsson. Her favorite dish was the herring ceviche. Each course had a Scandinavian and/or Ethiopian influence in tribute to Samuelsson's background, with a twist of Mexican flavor since La Condesa chefs Rene Ortiz and Rick Lopez created the menu. My friend asked Samuelson what his idea of the perfect last meal would be and he said lamb tartare wrapped in gravlax and then roast chicken. He'd like to have the meal with some Ethiopian honey wine and then finish with some bourbon. (Cathy)
In 1905, the downtown building on the northeast corner of Congress and 3rd was the Swift’s Premium Food Co. Then in the 1980’s, Kyoto, one of Austin’s first Japanese restaurants, occupied the second story of that same building. Gone are the shoji screens, tatami mats and floor seating. Today, Swift's Attic, a new restaurant headed up by Mat Clouser, has been revamped and modernized, keeping a slightly vintage feel present. Clouser (formerly of Uchi, Kenichi and Jeffery’s) is joined in the kitchen by Zack Northcutt (formerly of Mulberry and Haddington’s) as sous chef and Callie Speer (formerly of Jeffrey’s, Mars and Parkside) as pastry chef. They have been described as a culinary “dream team” and the label is well earned.
On a busy Saturday night, our group of 6 was seated at a long, green elevated table with stools. Service was friendly and helpful. There was a steady flow of food that we all shared: house made spiced bar nuts, old world olives, octopus with leeks, grilled squid fries, grilled peaches, raw diver scallops, venison kabobs, quail, duck wings, foie gras with pork belly bahn minis, house tater tots and "swiftine" pulled pork. The favorite was a tie between the venison kabobs and the scallops—both dishes disappeared very quickly. Reservations are a must on the weekend for dinner. Lunch is served during the week and the bar is open until 1:00 on the weekend. (Cathy)
This is a great drink to try now that blackberries are plentiful in stores. You can even omit the gin for those who chose not to imbibe. This is taken from the July 2012 issue of Bon Appetit. Cheers! (Cathy)
1 6–ounce container blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups gin
1 cup fresh lime juice
8 sprigs Thai basil or sweet basil
Purée blackberries and sugar in a blender. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Strain purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher (there will be about 3/4 cup); discard seeds in sieve. Stir gin and lime juice into pitcher. Divide drink among ice-filled glasses; top with soda. Garnish each with a basil sprig.
After having the luxury of reading Town and Country's June/July issue front to back, I couldn’t stop thinking of the club sandwich that was featured in an article entitled The Club Rules. Many a time when a menu is extensive, I find myself just ordering a club sandwich knowing that there is little that can go wrong. The very next day after reading the article, I made my grocery list and headed to the store. In the article it stated that instead of turkey, James Beard insisted on chicken breast. Other ingredients in a typical club usually include lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayo and toast. The possibilities are endless though depending on what you want. I love avocado, so adding it to mine is a must. Every one of us enjoyed the club. It was sweet (bacon), savory (chicken) and creamy (avocado). One of my sons asked for a repeat the next day. That’s when you know it is good. (Gina)
The Club (my version)
Thin sliced english muffin bread, toasted (scratch made at HEB)
Boars Head oven roasted chicken breast sliced thick #2 (2 slices per club)
2 avocados sliced crosswise
1 butter head lettuce, thoroughly washed and dried.
Maple syrup bacon, thick sliced, center cut (cooked in oven until crisp)
2 vine ripe tomatoes sliced
Toast bread and lightly spread mayo on one side. Layer the lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and chicken. Lightly spread mayo on both sides of second slice of toast and repeat ingredients layer. End with third slice of toast. Lightly spread mayo on inside of toast. Cut in quarters. Insert toothpick or skewer through the quarters. (Gina)
I was intrigued by the name, not to mention the clever packaging, but this chocolate bar from Mast Bros. of Brooklyn, New York delivers. It really does taste like vanilla and smoke. It is described as smoked cacao from Papua New Guinea and bourbon vanilla bean from Madagascar, slowly stone-ground over the course of days and then aged. Who wouldn’t want a bite? There are other flavors to choose from as well. There is Le Red de Guaconejo. Or Maine Sea Salt which boasts being berry forward. The other that peaks my curiosity is Black Truffle. I would love to try a base of 74% cacao of various origins, roasted, cracked and winnowed before being stone-ground to a smooth texture, finished by blending with Oregon black truffles and sea salt from Maine. Last time I checked, this item is available locally at Spartan on S. Lamar, Central Market on N. Lamar or online here. (Cathy)
The love of food and how it can bring people together led to the creation of this blog. As a mother of two grown boys, who have left the nest and occasionally return, I noticed a common occurrence-- there is usually someone at home who is hungry.
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