Food & Cocktails
There are too many awesomely cool industrial-chic bars on the east side of Austin. By “too many” I mean Can’t decide which to go to because they’re all so damn lovely.
The cocktails at ESSR are pitch-perfect (I had a Japanese whiskey with Strega and lemon… mmm) and the food, though I’ve never tried it, is pretty good too.
Check it out if you’re ever on East Sixth Street.
A weekend ago, we trekked to the hallowed grounds of Franklin BBQ—a divey Austin restaurant that has made every single “Best Of” list in every major food publication since the moment it opened two years ago.
To have the privilege of noshing on this spiritual barbecue, we had to wake super early on a Saturday morning and stand in line for 5 hours (which is totally cray, because I wouldn’t stand in line for more than an hour to meet dead Johnny Cash himself).
It was pretty much a big tailgating/drinking party all morning, and by the time you got to the front of line, it wouldn’t have mattered if they fed us Goodyear tires or melt-in-your-mouth brisket—whatever they gave us was bound to taste heavenly.
Objectively, this truly is mind-blowing barbecue…
And the Bourbon-Banana Pie was seriously tasty.
My all-time fave food truck threw an uber lovely supper party in a vintage rental warehouse…
Hearty, elegant food and all-you-can-drink libations set amidst glowing candles, weathered wood and whimsical, swoony furniture.
Plus, a souvenir shot as a parting gift…
A dreamy and delicious night.
I’m not a pizza lover, but this pizza made me grinny.
It’s a simple pie: Bacon marmalade, mozzarella, gorgonzola, topped with a pile of arugula, carried on a doughy-crispy sourdough crust.
The little rustic pizza den that made this pie (and also a pretty incredible banana cream pie) is our neighbor in the country. I think evening jogs with a quick pie pitstop are in our future…
Sometimes really neat things happen at work.
This was one of those times.
My work team and I masterminded a photo shoot for some new dishes and sauces our company chef created for clients. After painstakingly styling and capturing each dish, we got to devour every last (albeit cold) bite!
These are just the quick and dirty shots taken on my iPhone. The profesh ones are a thousand times better, of course.
I always thought it’d be bad-ass to work for a gourmet food magazine or in Bobby Flay’s test kitchen.
A couple times a year, I get my wish…
They’re not very sweet and, instead, nutty and butter, making them idyllic served with morning coffee or as a colorful companion to cheese, crudités and other apps.
I’m not sure which recipe (she said it was a quick, easy recipe she found in the newspaper), but here’s a recipe for Butter and Jam Thumbprints.
And the food! My holiday ambition is to eat oysters and caviar before year’s end. Preferably together, if I can find such an indulgence in Austin, Texas…
Trader Joe’s finally came to Austin, and it has dramatically, dreamily improved my life.
Like any Californian, TJ’s was a mainstay of my existence. How else does one entertain without the cheeses, tasty crackers and charcuterie so generously, affordably, offered by Trader’s? Saying goodbye to TJ’s was one of the hardest parts about moving to Texas two years ago.
But now TJ’s is back in my life, and I’m endless grateful to the powers that be for allowing us to reunite.
On a recent trip to this cheap, sexy store, I discovered a rich wild mushroom-tinged triple creme brie. You have to love the taste of mushrooms, obviously. It’s a winner…
My mom makes the best lumpia, which is a Filipino-style egg roll. Filipinos take pride in their lumpia, stuffing their rolls with their own combination of meat and veggies. These rolls of scrumptiousness are usually deep-fried, but my mama likes to make a batch of healthy, non-fried lumpia whenever she makes the fried version. They’re guiltless, just as delicious (if you don’t mind the absence of crunch), and are fun to munch on while you’re waiting for the fried ones to cook and cool.
Mom uses ground beef, garlic, onion, green beans, cabbage, and carrots in her recipe. Simply brown the meat and onions with garlic, throw the veggies in the pan too, and roll the mixture in razor-thin rice paper. Garnish with a leaf of lettuce and it’s ready to serve.
And here’s my growing lil’ chunk who in about a year can enjoy her lola’s lumpia…
Over the weekend, my BF made these amazing Martha Stewart Rosemary Butter Cookies for us (my best friend flew all the way from Cali to Texas to meet and bond with our new, pint-sized, much-loved addition!).
The cookies are savory, buttery and dusted with chunky specs of sugar, giving it a modest amount of sweetness.
And here’s Jassy Rae, who hit the four-week milestone this past weekend! She’s getting chunkier and more adorable (and slightly easier to care for!) by the day. As parents, we’re pretty excited we’ve been able to keep her alive, fed, burped, bathed, and thriving this past month. It’s a milestone for us too!
We love Jas’s long toes…
…And also the fantastic homemade starry-patchwork quilt given to Jas by our dear friends (thanks S+M!).
On a side note, not sure how photogs are able to snap those precious naked-baby-sleeping shots. Because as soon as I strip her down to her birthday suit, the wailing begins. They must have a heat lamp and/or Baby Zzzquil on hand to knock infants out.