Monday, October 31, 2011

Cranberry Salad

With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, here is a wonderful cranberry salad recipe.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 ounce) package raspberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 2 cups hot water

Directions

  1. Combine the gelatin with hot water (don't let stand). Grind cranberries and orange (including rind) mix with sugar. Stir in nuts, celery and pineapple. Mix with prepared gelatin and chill.

Makes 6-8 servings.

49th Annual Hunters Bar-B-Que & Outdoor Exposition


Come out to Bandera and enjoy its 49th Annual Hunters Bar-B-Que & Outdoor Exposition. There will be a huge, live auction, music, cold drinks, children's activities and a whole lot more.

Brisket and sausage cooked on pit.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2011
Time: 5PM-10PM
Location: Mansfield Park, 2886 Hwy 16 North, Bandera, TX 78003

For more details, click here to visit their web site.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wild Game Dinner - Boerne, TX (November 5th)


The Chamber will host its much anticipated Wild Game Dinner Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the Kendall County Fairgrounds on Hwy. 46 in Boerne, TX, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and include food and drink.

Guests will enjoy food prepared by more than a dozen cook teams and will feature assorted wild game meats such as elk, white tail and axis deer, nilgai (antelope), alligator and Rocky Mountain oysters, beans, jambalaya, stew, chili with all the trimmings, and maybe even some gumbo.

Not into wild game? Traditional barbeque plates will also be available along with an assortment of beverages.

PLUS, your meal ticket enters you into a drawing for great door prizes. Simultaneously, the Chamber will be conducting both live and silent auctions with hundreds of great items for bid and door prize winners will be drawn all evening long. Many of the items available will be hunting related such as hunting trips, guns and knives. Tickets are available online at www.boerne.org

Pilot Knob Vineyard and Winery will host a FREE Halloween Event


Pilot Knob Vineyard and Winery will be hosting a FREE Halloween Event at their 6,400 square foot tasting room and event center from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, October 30th in Bertram, Texas just north of Liberty Hill, TX.

This fun event will include games, pumpkin carving, kite flying, cookies / cupcakes, and "goodie bags" for all the kiddos. Of course, there will be plenty of Pilot Knob Vineyard items available for the parents too while the kids play! This event is free to attend, with reservations required for head count purposes, and designed to be fun for all ages.

"We want to provide an environment where kids and their parents both can have a fun and safe Halloween experience," said Craig Pinkley, General Manager / Owner of Pilot Knob Vineyard. "We have tons of space and are really excited to share it."

Wine lovers attending the party can choose to try a tasting of each varietal, or enjoy wine by the glass or bottle. Other activities include small food pairings, outdoor games for children and adults, and opportunities to tour the vineyard.

The winery currently features five Texas varietals, two of which recently received gold, silver and bronze medals at not only The Lone Star International Wine Competition, but at The San Francisco International Wine Competition, "the largest, most influential international wine competition in America." Wines include Proprietor’s White, Viognier, Sweet Rose’, Franco-Rojo, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Those attending the event can RSVP by contacting Pilot Knob’s Tasting Room at 512-489-2999 or by e-mail at info@pilotknobvineyard.com. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. on 30th.

Pilot Knob Vineyard - 3125 CR 212, Bertram, Texas 78605 / 512-489-2999.

For more information about this and other wonderful events, click here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Texas Wine Maker Series Vintner Dinner - November 3rd



Join the Cotton Gin Village and Cabernet Grill on Thursday, November 3rd, for another great wine matching dinner. They will be hosting Grape Grower, Neal & Janice Newsom, of Newsom Vineyards in the Texas High Plains for a five course dinner with wine matched specificaly to the cuisine. Cost is $69.95 per person plus tax and 20% gratuity. Advance tickets are required. Call 830-990-5734 for tickets. Check out the menu and all the details by clicking here.

1st Farmers' Market Fall Festival



6701 Burnet Rd. Market, Austin,TX
October 29th – 1st FARMERS' MARKET FALL FESTIVAL - 9am to 2pm

The 1st Annual Fall Festival will be an exciting day for the market! Benefiting the Violet Crown Community Theater who will perform the musical “Little Red Rockn’ Hood”.
Lots of fun activities for kids and family such as Trick or treating at booths, Spooky Fun House for younger kids, Pumpkin Patch, costume contest for both kids and pets, moonwalk,live music With House of Rock, and local artists.

For more information, click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Texas Monthly Barbecue Festival 2011


Immerse your taste buds in pit-smoked nirvana from a roundup of BBQ joints named the best in Texas by TEXAS MONTHLY. Enjoy an afternoon of barbecue sampling, fun, great live music, and cold libations beside the picturesque shores of Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin.

Date: October 30, 2011
Time: 1-5PM
Location: City Terrace at the Long Center for Performing Arts. Austin, Texas

For more information, click here.

47th Annual Wild Game Festival in Hondo, Texas


The Hondo Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the 47th Annual Wild Game Festival on Oct. 28-29 at the City Park, located next to the Medina County Fairgrounds on FM 462.

The Festival is aiming to serve the large hunting community that flocks to this region each year to hunt for dove, deer and exotic animals. This outdoor event will include the 2nd Annul IBCA Bar-B-Que and Wild Game Cook-Off. The featured challenges include beef brisket, pork spare ribs, chicken, and a wild game category. The chance to earn $5,000 in cash prizes and trophies are available to all that enter before the contest starts on Friday. The first place winner in the Wild Game category will win a safari photo tour for up to five at the 777 Ranch.

For those who are not competing are welcomed to be a voluntary taste-tester, stop by the loaded catapult, and/or shop at booths while listening to music provided by local talents. Wade Smith, Chamber Director, wants the Festival to be a place where people can relax, visit and have a good time.

“We are promoting the event as ‘bring your lawn chairs in one hand and an ice chest in the other,” Smith said. “We want you to enjoy your experience here in Hondo.”

Vendors have until Oct. 7 to register for the Christmas in God’s Country Package Deal which includes reserved booth space for both Wild Game Festival and Christmas in God’s Country for an additional fee. Christmas in God’s Country is an annual local event on Nov. 19 that will produce vendors ranging from handcrafted arts and crafts items to commercial items.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Edible Austin Benefeast: MOONSTRUCK

Edible Austin Benefeast:
MOONSTRUCK
Monday, December 5 @ S. Lamar


Every year Edible Austin brings tons of events highlighting local, fresh food in Central Texas during Eat Drink Local Week. These events help raise awareness and funds for two amazing local non-profits, Urban Roots and the Sustainable Food Center. The Alamo team is thrilled that we have been able to become a part of this tradition with the Edible Austin Benefeast prepared with lots of care and local ingredients by Alamo Executive Chef John Bullington. For this year’s Benefeast we're screening MOONSTRUCK, the romantic Italian-American classic starring Cher as a Brooklyn widow just weeks away from her second marriage. But when a cute young Nicholas Cage shows up -- who also happens to be her fiancée’s estranged brother -- it’s a recipe for trouble. 

Beer Dinner: THE MEANING OF LIFE


Beer Dinner
Monty Python's THE MEANING OF LIFE
Tuesday, November 15 @ Lake Creek


Stop questioning your own existence and let six of the funniest men EVER guide you through life’s most complex issues. Birth, fate, dreams, war, sex, speech, illness, death... Monty Python explains them all in the film while we explain to you the gourmet food and craft beer pairings placed in front of you.  Yes, chow down on a feast prepared to tie-in perfectly with an array of specialty brews as well as to match with the hilarious sketches and songs that send up religion, chimney babies, organ transplants and even talking goldfish.

Alamo Iron Chef: PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES


Alamo Iron Chef:
PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES
Wednesday, November 9th @ S. Lamar 


There have been many great Christmas films to come out of Hollywood, for sure, but there is only one Thanksgiving classic: the John Candy and Steve Martin-powered PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES. The late, great John Hughes directed this home-for-the-holidays travel comedy misadventure so it's not too surprising that it is an all around perfect movie, and of course it gave popular culture the line "Those aren't PILLOWS!!!" to quote for generations.

And against the backdrop of this perfect comfort movie centered around America's great comfort food holiday, Alamo Executive Chef John Bullington will square off against Chef Drew Curren of 24 Diner in an Iron Chef contest for ultimate comfort food supremacy! No matter how this battle royale turns out for the chefs, there's no doubt the audience will be the ultimate winner this night.

All proceeds from the Alamo Iron Chef will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Have You Thought about a Food Tour?


Sometimes, the best way to experience a city or culture is by taking a food tour. It is more of an adventure.

Ready To Nosh offers walking food tours in Austin, DC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco. These Culinary Tasting Adventures™ featuring some of the best Restaurants, Wine Bars and Food Trucks around. With sprinklings of culture, history, humor and food our "Culinary Adventure Specialists" will take you around the city for a memorable and belly-full experience.

For more information on this wonderful way to experience a city and taste was it has to offer, click here.
Your adventure awaits...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Traditional Texas Brisket Dry Rub

Here is a recipe for a traditional Texas dry rub for briskets.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Directions

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Work into the surface of the brisket, especially over the exposed meat. This rub may be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
 
Yields 1 1/2 cups of rub.
 
I use a plastic dredge shaker to apply the rub.

Freixenet Tastings & Tapas Truck Rolls Into Austin


Oct 28, 2011 - Oct 29, 2011
East 6th Street between Trinity and Neches

Stop by to visit the Freixenet Tastings & Tapas Truck where you can learn about the "black bottle bubbly," nibble on "tapas" and win fun, fabulous prizes! Follow the Freixenet Tastings & Tapas Truck via Twitter @FreixenetUSA or visit www.freixenetusa.com/cavatruck and on Facebook at facebook.com/freixenetusa

October 28th Location: East 6th Street between Trinity and Neches

October 29th Location: West 4th Street between Lavaca and Colorado

Austin Beer Week - October 22-30

Austin Beer Week

Enjoy the best beer in Austin, Texas, this week during the Austin Beer Week.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flippin' Burgers Now Open in Cedar Park, TX

Brothers, Rob and Mike Elling, opened Flippin' Burgers on September 24th.

The restaurant serves homemade fries, onion rings, hand-spun milkshakes and flat-griddle burgers.

What makes a burger from Flippin' Burgers so special? It is the special care they take with their meat. It is how they prepare it. The meat is marinated for 12–24 hours before grinding it in-house. This makes a tasty and juicy burger.

Location: 202 Walton Way, Ste. 202, Cedar Park, TX.
Open Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., (512) 528-5413

Monday, October 24, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes

One of my favorite side dishes is twice baked potatoes.

Here's a great recipe that is sure to please everyone.
Ingredients
  • 6 large Russet potatoes
  • 1/4 lb. grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chives, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • paprika, for sprinkling
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Scrub and wash potatoes very well using a vegetable brush. Dry with a paper towel and rub with olive oil; sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt.
  3. Bake potatoes in oven for about an hour, or until fork tender. Allow potatoes to cool until they can be handled but are still hot; about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a melon baller or a sharp spoon, cut an oblong hole in the top of the potato. (You may need a clean dish towel or mitts to handle the potatoes.) Try to preserve the cut out top. Using the spoon, scoop out as much of the potato pulp as you can, leaving the side walls intact.
  5. Return the shells to the hot oven for another 10 minutes to crisp. Meanwhile, mash the potato pulp using a potato masher, adding butter, salt and pepper, garlic, onion, cream, yogurt or sour cream, cheddar (save a little cheese for the top) and other seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the potato shells until heaping full and return them to the oven. Sprinkle tops with cheese and paprika.
  7. Bake in 425°F oven (on top rack) until tops are golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Yields 6 servings.

3rd Annual Taste of Southpark Meadows - October 29th


Bring the flock & sample some treats at The Taste of Southpark Meadows! 3rd annual event benefits Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. $5 wristbands offer up to 12 tastes & serve as your entry to win door prizes from partic Southpark stores. Takes place in The Grove across from Bed Bath & Beyond. Shake your tail feather to Corrina's Dreamland Jazz Ensemble starting at 6pm. Play Frankie the Flamingo's favorite games and win fun-ky prizes starting at 5pm.

Location: Southpark Meadows Shopping Center, Austin,TX
Time and Date: Saturday, Oct 29 5:00p to 7:00p

For more information, click here.

Beer Wine & Spirits, Haunted Mansion Ball! Benefitting The SFC!

Join us for a Haunted Ball in style in our grand ballroom!
Dress up, or don't - just come have fun for a great cause!

A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Sustainable Food Center! Local booze supporting local food!

We will be featuring local beer, wine, and spirits from Pecan Street Rum, Independence Brewing Company, Inwood Estates Wine, and more!!!

We will have food stations paired specifically with each drink, plenty of dancing, and costumes! There will be a special performance by "The Danceworks"!!!

$50 covers full admission, food, & drinks as long as you don't get too zombified!

All ages welcome - alcohol 21 and up only!

For Tickets call 512.495.1800!

Time: Sunday, October 30 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Judges' Hill Restaurant
                1900 Rio Grande
                Austin, TX

For more information, click here.

Austin Eats Food Tour

Enjoy Austin by visiting 6-8 eateries located throughout the city.

This is a great way to meet new people while experiencing the culinary landscape of Austin, TX.

Click here for more information about the upcoming tours.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooky Witches Fingers


This is a very simple cookie recipe that will give your guests a fright when they see them.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel
Directions
  1. Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the gel to ooze out around the tip of the cookie.
Notes
  • Use can use food coloring to change the color of the cookies.
Yields about 60 cookies               

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Crescent Hot Dogs

I was talking with a friend about stretching the food budget and she mentioned to me this wonderful idea about serving hot dogs. I had made crescent hot dogs before, but she told me that her children thought it was the greatest thing in the world.

Try out this favorite standby.

Ingredients
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 4 slices American cheese, each cut into 6 strips
  • 1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Slit hot dogs to within 1/2 inch of ends; insert 3 strips of cheese into each slit.
  2. Separate dough into triangles. Wrap dough triangle around each hot dog. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up.
  3. Bake 12-15 min or until golden brown.               
Notes
  • Create a dipping sauce to go along with the crescent hot dogs. Several that come to mind are honey mustard, a chipotle ketchup or a wasabi mayo.

Walburg German Restaurant Features Its Oktoberfest Buffet

This Saturday at the Walburg German Restaurant not only will you enjoy authentic and delicious German food but also be treated to some great music.

Starting at 7:00PM, you will be treated to the music of Brushy Creek Brass Band, Sieker Band and then the Walburg Boys.

As for the food, you will be treated some very delicious German food that will be served on their Oktoberfest Buffet. Seating is limited and you need to call to check for availability. The buffet opens at 5:30PM.

For all of the details, click here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lunch at My Favorite Chinese Restaurant, China Cafe


As part of my Friday tradition, I always have lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Do not ask me why it is a tradition. It just is.

One of my favorite places to eat is the China Cafe on Spicewood Springs Road. It is a wonderful little place to have a quiet lunch or dinner.

The wait staff is excellent and they do a great job making you feel at home. Hostesses greet you with a smile and offer your choice of tables. Around noon, it does get a little busy, but they are always ready with a big smile and a warm "hello". Each visit, for me, is just as special as the first.

The food is great. I always order the same dish from the menu, the House Spicy Combo. The lunch comes with soup and an egg roll. The portion sizes are perfect for lunch.

Since they are close by, I can drop by for lunch without having to fight a lot of traffic.

For their menu, location and hours, click here.

Grand Wine Tasting Experience - October 22nd - Austin, TX



Grand Wine Tasting Experience
Saturday, October 22, 2011
12:00 – 4:00 PM

Taste over 75 wines, listen to live music, enjoy Chef Erica Beneke’s gourmet comfort food and take advantage of the best retail wine pricing in the city. When you taste the wines you love, buy a case to take home!

For menu, ticket information and location, click here.

Coffee Storage Tips

When considering coffee storage, keep in mind the two main enemies of fresh coffee flavor – air and moisture. Your coffee storage solutions should prevent either from getting at your coffee beans.

1. Don’t store ground coffee. Buy your coffee as whole beans, and grind it when you’re ready to brew. If you do buy ground coffee for the convenience, store it at room temperature in an airtight container after it’s been opened. A ceramic canister with a vacuum seal is a good choice – but avoid clear glass. Sunlight and heat are not good for your coffee.

2. Store up to a one week supply of whole coffee beans in an airtight canister at room temperature. You can use those pretty ceramic canisters, but they’re really not necessary. Any canister that you can seal with an airtight seal is fine, including the can that you bought it in.

3. If you find yourself with more coffee than you’ll use in one week, you can store up to another week’s supply in the freezer – but you should take some precautions to keep the air and moisture away from it first. Here’s how to store coffee safely in your freezer:
- Put the beans in an airtight canister.
- Or – put the beans in a zippered plastic storage back. Whoosh out all the extra air, or use a straw to suck it out. Then wrap the bag in one or two layers of plastic wrap and finish up with a layer of aluminum foil.
- Either way, once you take the canister or package out of the freezer, don’t put it back in. Refreezing your coffee will only dehydrate it and hasten the flavor decay.

You may also use a vacuum sealer to store your coffee beans. I highly recommend it

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dinner in the Garden, a Benefit for SFC


Dinner in the Garden, a Benefit for SFC (sustainablefoodcenter.org)
In recognition of National Food Day (foodday.org)
A selection of Austin’s best chefs and farmers. Chefs will be paired up with the farmers they source from for each of their courses.

Tickets $125/person - BUY NOW

Sunday, October 23rd at 6:00pm
Under a tent in our students’ garden with live music

Craft cocktail: Sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka and created by Péché's, Justin Elliott

4 course seated dinner with wine pairings

Participating chefs and farmers include:

Appetizer: Chef Shawn Cirkiel from Parkside, with Johnson’s Backyard Garden
Salad: Chef Jason Dodge from Péché, with Springdale Farms
Main: Chef Josh Watkins from The Carillon, with Tecolote Farm
Dessert: Chef Janina O'Leary from Trace, with Simmons Family Farms

Sponsors include Marquee Event Group, Edible Austin, Slow Food Austin, LaLa’s Lemonade, Hahn Family Wines, King Estate Wineries, Maschio Cadoro Moscato and Tito's Handmade Vodka.

World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest (October 22, 2011)

Be Cool…Cook Stew in October!!
42nd Annual World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest
Saturday, October 22nd!!!

It’s that time of year …drag out your cast iron pot, find your favorite recipe and get ready to make some Hopkins County Stew! We are looking forward to another fabulous Stew Contest and we want you to participate in it!
If you have never been a “Stew Cook” before, here is how it works. First of all, create a cooking team—up to 2 cooks and 2 helpers. Second, ask someone to sponsor your stew pot. They will pay $150 to sponsor you—we will give you $100 back so that you may purchase ingredients and the Chamber uses the other $50 to run the contest. Then, turn in your entry form with your sponsor’s check, pick your stew site and you are ready to get cookin’! Contestants are also encouraged to participate in the Campsite and Costume contest—just mark it on your entry form. 

Location: Sulphur Springs, Texas

For more information, click here.

Texas Mushroom Festival (Madisonville, TX - October 22, 2011)

The Texas Mushroom Festival turns 10 this year!
Come celebrate with us in Madisonville
The Mushroom Capital of Texas!


Come enjoy the fun at the Madisonville Mushroom Festival. There will cooking demonstrations, a car show and all sorts of events.

For more information on this event, click here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oktoberfest at North by Northwest (Austin, TX) - October 22-23, 2011


Oktoberfest at North by Northwest is an Austin tradition that is 10 years old! Every year we celebrate Oktoberfest with special German brews, classic German food, German music and plenty of fun for the whole family.

About Oktoberfest at NXNW

Oktoberfest at North by Northwest is an Austin tradition that is 10 years old and held right on NXNW grounds. This year's event takes place on October 22, 2011, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and October 23, 2011, from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

German Food

Head Chef George Powell cooks up a special German treat on Oktoberfest: we offer real German bratwurst, home-made saurkraut, fresh red-cabbage, pretzels and Bavarian cobblers.

German Beer

To complement your German meal, brewmaster Don Thompson and head brewer Kevin Roark make a special Oktoberfest brew.

German Music

What Oktoberfest would be complete without area music? This year North by Northwest welcomes Oma and the Oompahs, The Tubameisters, and Gary Trumet and the Sauerkrauts. Music schedule as follows:
Saturday, October 22
12:00-1:00 p.m. Oma & the Oompahs
1:00-2:00 p.m. The Tubameisters
2:00-3:00 p.m. Oma & the Oompahs
3:00-4:00 p.m. The Tubameisters
4:00-5:00 p.m. Oma & the Oompahs
5:00-6:00 p.m. The Tubameisters
6:30-11:00 p.m. Gary Trumet and the Sauerkrauts

Sunday, October 23
12:00-3:00 p.m. Oma & the Oompahs with The Tubameisters

3:30-7:00 p.m. Gary Trumet and the Sauerkrauts

Family Fun

There's something for everyone at Oktoberfest: dancing, local artists, a bratwurst-eating contest, a wiener dog costume contest and plenty of activities for the kids! An all-breed dog costume contest will be held at 2:30 p.m. and a Weiner dog costume contest at 3 p.m. for the four-legged friends on Sunday.

For more information, click here.

Easy Crock Pot Roast

One of the best meals you can serve for dinner is a pot roast.

Here is a very easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages brown gravy mix, dry
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages dried Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 (1 1/4 ounce) packages ranch dressing mix, dry
  • 1/2 cup water 

Directions

  1. Place beef roast in crock pot.
  2. Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.
  3. Pour the water around the roast.
  4. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Notes
  • You can subsitute 1/2 cup of red wine. It will add a great dimension to the flavor. Remember, always use a wine you would drink. Cooking wine is not recommended.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Island Oktoberfest - October 21 & 22, 2011


Celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday of OctoberLook for this year's event on October 21 & 22, 2011
Island Oktoberfest German
Kuchen (Cake) Bake off

Hurry! Entries must be received by October 20, 2011
Click here for more details and Entry Form

Galveston's Island Oktoberfest was first celebrated in 1981 by members of First Lutheran Church who traced their roots back to German immigrants of the mid 1800s. What started simply as a "fall activity for the congregation and their friends and neighbors in the courtyard in front of the Parish Hall" has grown and expanded into what is now Galveston Island's premier fall event attracting over 15,000 "friends and neighbors" for this fun two day event.

Featuring live and lively entertainment, great
German-style food and libations, fun children's activities (including train rides!), a variety of booths featuring handcrafted gifts, arts & crafts, a live auction, Cake Wheel, and tempting treats from the Sweets booths, you don't want to miss this yearly event. In addition to the traditional German Dinner, homemade cakes and sweets, festival goers can look forward to Helmut's Strudel and the recently added Donald Gangl's apple cake.

For more information, click here.

San Saba River Pecan Jam on October 22, 2011!


San Saba, Texas! The Pecan Capital of the World and the birthplace of the paper shell pecan.

Come celebrate our rich Texas heritage at The San Saba River Pecan Jam festival. Nestled under canopies of native pecan trees alongside the beautiful San Saba River, Pecan Jam, a Go Texan event, highlights Texas music, Texas wines, Texas foods and Texas products.

San Saba combines the best of small town Texas—a picturesque town square, an acclaimed 18-hole public golf course, an expansive public park system and friendly folks, making San Saba a perfect getaway. Long known to sportsmen, San Saba is the gateway to the Top of the Hill Country, offering panoramic vistas, vast areas of pecan orchards, historic buildings and New World vineyards. Construction is underway for the new San Saba Nature Park, linking San Saba as the northern entrance to the lower Colorado River Basin and Colorado River Trails system.

View our event map and participating wineries, Go Texan vendors and sponsors. The Pecan Jam schedule of events provides activities and entertainment for all ages, including the retail San Saba pecan businesses under one roof, Enchanted Orchard for kids, non-stop Texas music, cooking seminars by Terry Thompson-Anderson, Kevin Wenzel of Wiseman Chocolate House, pecan equipment demonstrations, winemaker panels, Go Texan vendors and much more.

Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel headline the Texas Music Soundstage, with gates opening at 9:30 AM. No Coolers Please.
For more information including purchasing tickets, click here.

Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest on October 22!


The Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest will be in its 21st year in 2011. Held in downtown Fredericksburg, Texas, on Marktplatz (the 100 block of West Main Street). It is a full-course celebration of Texas food, wine, music, specialty booths, food court, and fun for all.

For more information about this event including ticket information, click here.

German-Texan Heritage Society Presents Oktoberfest 2011 in Austin, Texas on Saturday, October 22!

Join us on Saturday, October 22, from 12 noon until 6pm, for a real German Oktoberfest at the German Free School in Austin. Please join us for a fun afternoon and evening of delicious food, tasty German beer, great live music and lots of activities for children.
Enjoy some wonderful Germany delights.
  • German beers from Spaten and German wine
  • Sausage sandwiches from The Best Wurst
  • Goulash Soup and Schnitzel Bites from Ilsa’s Kitchen
  • Strudel from Nagelin’s Bakery of New Braunfels
  • Pretzels from Pfeifer’s Deli in Harker Heights
Genuine German Music from
  • 12 noon – 2 pm – THE SIEKERS
  • 2 – 4 pm – THE WALBURG BOYS
  • 4 – 6 pm – OTTO & STUMP
Location
507 E. 10th Street in downtown Austin, near Red River507 E. 10th Street in downtown Austin, near Red River.

For more information including purchasing tickets and pricing, click here.

Eating Right After Exercising

After exercising, it is only natural for your body to have an appetite in order to rebuild its energy reserves. However, it is important to eat the best foods that will help deal with the appetite and rebuild your body and its reserves.

Most important thing to remember is to hydrate after exercising. Your body needs water to function correctly. Also, the feeling of hungry may be just a need for water. Your body may be asking for water rather than food. After exercising, drink a large glass of water. In most cases, the need for food may go away. You should always hydrate before, during and after exercising to make sure that you keep your body in tiptop condition.

You should consider a light snack after exercising. The snack should be around 150-200 calories. This will help rebuild energy reserves. The snack should be contain protein to help rebuild and repair muscle and complex carbohydrates to rebuild the energy reserves.

Here are some ideas for after-exercising snacking.

1. Whole wheat toast with peanut butter
2. Apple with some string cheese
3. Greek yogurt with some high-fiber cereal

Monday, October 17, 2011

Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole

One of my favorite Thanksgiving sides is a green bean casserole.

Paula Deen, in this video, prepares this delicious classic dish.

Healthy at H-E-B Family Expo


H-E-B is proud to sponsor the 2011 Healthy at H-E-B Family Expo. Learn about healthy snack and cooking ideas for the whole family, get free samples of your favorite brands and take advantage of free health screenings. Kids will enjoy our H-E-Buddy Youth Zone and an appearance by H-E-Buddy himself. Spurs fans won't want to miss appearances by former Spur Bruce Bowen, the Spurs Coyote and the Silver Dancers. Plus, you have a chance at winning door prizes! Event is open to the public and admission is free.


Date: October 22, 2011
Location: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
200 E. Market St., San Antonio, TX 78205
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

For more information, click here.

Hungry for Some Fine Cajun/Creole Food? Try French Quarter Grille

I had lunch at the French Quarter Grille and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the Oyster Po' Boy for lunch. It was wonderful. It not only was filled with plump oysters perfectly fried but it also looked perfect on the plate.

That attention to detail and the quality of food gives it high marks in my book. Also, the executive chef and owner, Dave Gore, studied under the late renowned Chef Mike Amr from Baton Rouge for over 14 years.

Give them a try. I think you will be impressed.

Click here for their website.

French Quarter Grille
13000 N Ih 35
Ste 600

Austin, TX 78753
(512) 832-9090

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Niki's Pizza in Cedar Park, TX


When you consider a pizza, you need to get back to the basics. The foundation of any great pizza is the crust. If you are like me, you may enjoy the best of all worlds, a crust that is crunchy and chewy.

At Niki's Pizza, they have perfected the pizza. Niki Neziri, a native Italian, started Niki’s Pizza in 1981 by The University of Texas campus at Dobie Mall, selling New York–style pizza by the slice.

While I was a student at Texas, I spent a lot of money on pizzas. Niki's was always the best. The pizzas were not only great but also a great deal. For a college student short on funds, you could always depend on Niki's to provide a wonderful pizza for not a lot of money.

Niki lived in Italy for 25 years and that experience translated into the dough that is made fresh each day.

To give you an idea of the variety, here is the menu.

Appetizers and SaladsNiki’s Pizza offers a range of appetizers and salads to start off a meal.
Garlic bread ($2.50)
Focaccia bread ($3.95)
Fried mushrooms ($6.95)
Fried calamari ($6.95)
Caesar salad ($5.95), with chicken ($6.95)
Niki’s salad: lettuce, tomatoes, olives, turkey, ham, salami, red onions and mozzarella ($6.95)
Greek salad: with feta cheese and peperoncini ($6.95)
Chef salad: lettuce, tomatoes, turkey, salami, ham, onions, mozzarella and parchini peppers ($7.95)

Specialty pizzaThere are also a variety of specialty pizzas available in four sizes.
White wonder: spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and ricotta
Pesto: basil pesto sauce, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes
BBQ chicken: BBQ sauce, grilled chicken breast, red onions, garlic and cilantro
Hawaiian: ham and pinapple
Alfredo: chicken, alfredo sauce and parmesan cheese

The next time you are in Cedar Park, visit Niki's Pizza. You will be glad that you did.

Niki’s Pizza
508 N. Bell Blvd., Cedar Park
250-1188
www.nikispizzapasta.com
Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.;
Sun. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Sauteed Apples

One of my favorite side dishes to serve with pork is sauteed apples. They complete a meal and add an extra dimension to it.

Here is one of my favorite recipes and it is very easy to prepare.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 large tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
  1. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add apples. Cook, stirring constantly, until apples are almost tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in water; add to skillet. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve warm.               
Notes
  • Make sure you use tart apples. Granny Smiths are very crisp and tart. With the brown sugar and cinnamon added, it will take the edge off the tartness of the apples. Remember, this is not a dessert. It is a side dish.
Yields 4 cups.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Perfect Pepper and Cheese Omelet

In order to make the perfect omelet, you have to understand eggs and how to handle them.

In this video, you will not only learn how to make a pepper and cheese omelet but also learn how to handle eggs to make sure they stay fresh.

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

There are so many wonderful fall produce to chose from when making a meal. Here is a great one for Saturday morning breakfast which uses pumpkins.

Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 loaf Texas toast thick-sliced bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, the cloves, nutmeg, and white sugar together in a bowl; beat in the pumpkin until fully incorporated.
  3. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer in the prepared baking dish; pour the pumpkin mixture over the bread cubes, and gently toss to coat.
  4. Stir 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, flour, and butter together with a fork in a small bowl until the mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over the bread cubes.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top, 30 to 40 minutes.               
Yields 8 servings.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast

One of my favorite dishes is pork roast. It is a wonderful meal and is very hearty. In addition, you can have a great meal by cooking the pork roast in a slow cooker. If you have a busy schedule and still want to serve a great dinner, try this one.

Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Directions
  1. Arrange onion slices evenly over the bottom of the slow cooker, and then place the roast on top of the onion. In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.
Notes
Yields 8 servings.

Old-Time Beef Stew by Paula Deen

With the cooler weather coming, it always a good bet that the family would appreciated a hot meal. The best, I think, meal for a dinner that the family will certainly enjoy is beef stew.

In this video, Paula Deen prepares an old-time beef stew.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cheesy Sour Cream and Salsa Dip

This is a very unique and tasty dip. Give it a try. I think you will be very pleased with it. Serve it with chips or crackers.

Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, with liquid
  • 1/2 (1 ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Directions
  1. Mix together sour cream, canned tomatoes, dry ranch dressing mix, black olives, and shredded cheese. Chill for 2 hours before serving.               
Yields 2 cups.

Eating Outdoors Safely

If you are thinking about going out for a picnic, you need to also think about food safety. You certainly do not want to make people sick.

Here are a few tips to remember.

1. Cold food should be kept cold. You should keep your food at or below 40 degrees F. Use ice or cold packs to keep your food cold.

2. Keep your beverages separate from your cold food. Since people are more likely to get a cold beverage, beverage coolers are opened more frequently. If you store food in the beverage cooler, the food will not stay cold.

3.  Keep your coolers closed as much as possible. Cold foods will stay cooler longer.

4. Do not cross-contaminate your food. Keep meats separate from one another and also keep them separate from other foods. Cooking utensils should also be separated from other items.

5. Thoroughly clean and wash your fruits and vegetables. Since most people just grab fruits and vegetables raw, it is important to make sure you clean and wash them thoroughly before packing them in your cooler.

Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival (October 14-16, 2011)


2011
Cajun Catfish Festival
October 14th, 15th, and 16th

The Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival benefits the non-profit Friends of Conroe, Inc., who are working to enhance the quality of life in Conroe and Montgomery County through civic and cultural improvements.  The Friends contribute funds to other established nonprofit organizations, promote community projects and support the renovation of the downtown Conroe area.

Activities include Arts and crafts exhibitors from all over Texas and from other states near and far. Families can come out and spend the day in our Kid’s Area that includes children’s fun rides, Monster Mural, petting zoo, amusements, pony rides, and the Small Fry Stage where young dancers from several local dance and art schools perform. 

No need to bring your fishing poles, the Catfish is already on the grill!  But catfish is not the only food you’ll find at the Conroe Cajun Catfish  Festival, you’ll have plenty of items to choose from shrimp, gumbo, frog legs, alligator, boudin, sausage, chicken, red beans & rice, and much more.

Several notches above the basic community festival. The Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival annually draws 30,000 to 40,000people to hear it's stellar music line-up, browse through the many craft booths and exhibits and eat a variety of Cajun style food. A strong regional attraction, the featival is beginning to attract nation wide attention.

For ticket information, directions and events, click here.

Foodways Texas and Slow Food Austin to Host Bycatch Dinner November 13th at Wink Restaurant




In February of this year, food professionals Bryan Caswell of Reef, Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due Supper Club and P.J. Stoops of Louisiana Foods, participated in the Foodways Texas Annual Symposium to discuss the impact of current fishing practices in the Gulf of Mexico. Jenny Wang, a food writer in Houston, moderated the discussion. The name of the panel, “The Strangest Thing in the Nets: Bycatch, ‘Trashfish’ and Gulf Sustainability,” encapsulated the major issues threatening not only the Gulf of Mexico, but all major seas and oceans, and a solution to prevent the overfishing of the apex predator fish (grouper, snapper, tuna, salmon etc.) by diversifying fish demand to include what has traditionally been called Bycatch or Trashfish; Gulf sustainability being the ultimate goal.

In response to this panel, Slow Food Austin and Foodways Texas have come together to present a dinner exclusively featuring those very same Bycatch and Trashfish to show the community that not only are these fish edible, they taste good and they should be treated with the same amount of culinary respect as other fish.

For more on bycatch in the Gulf of Mexico see the excellent article, “Targeting the Total Catch,” by Foodways Texas member Kelly Yandell.

Please Join Foodways Texas and Slow Food Austin in discovering the bounty that the Gulf of Mexico has to offer. There will be a reception followed by a 4 course seated dinner with wine pairings at Wink Restaurant, Sunday, November 13th at 5pm featuring Chefs Jay Huang, Brandon Fuller of Wink, Matt Taylor of BC Tavern and Pastry Chef Jessica Armstrong of BC Tavern.

Bycatch Dinner
Sunday, November 13th
5pm Reception
6pm 4 Course Seated Dinner
$60 a person

A special thank you to our sponsors, Louisiana Foods, Wink Restaurant, and BC Tavern.
*A portion of the proceeds will benefit Slow Food Austin and Foodways Texas.

You can purchase your tickets by clicking the icon below.


5th Annual Austin Chocolate Festival


Calling all chocolate lovers, chocoholics, and connoisseurs: The 5th Annual Austin Chocolate Festival will be held October 15th and 16th at the Norris Conference Center in Austin, TX. The main goals of the festival are to promote and support Walk MS, small local food businesses, and the pursuit of gourmet foods. Over $5,000 has been raised to benefit the noble efforts of the Susan G. Komen organization. Fat Turkey Chocolate owners, Steven and Jennifer Flood, hope to help raise $3,000 for Walk MS at the 2011 Austin Texas Chocolate Festival and increase awareness of MS in the community.

Participants in this event will include a wide variety of local chocolatiers and chocolate artisans including but not limited to: restaurants, bakeries, chocolatiers, patisseries, authors, and catering companies. Visitors to the festival will be able to samples products provided by the participating vendors and take home samples. Guests will also be able to to purchase their favorite chocolates from participating vendors. During the festival there will be competitions for the vendors consisting of several categories such as Best Truffle, and Best Brownies. The competition results will be based upon votes made by the public and a panel of professionals.

Fat Turkey Chocolate is a local Austin, TX chocolate company dedicated to using only the highest quality chocolates and ingredients available. In business since 2005, Fat Turkey Chocolate owners continue to create innovative and original chocolate confections with great finesse and attention to detail. Most of their products contain no added sugar or preservatives and many are made with local whole food ingredients and organic products. Please visit http://fatturkeychocolate.com for more information.

Jennifer and Steven of Fat Turkey Chocolate have hosted and organized the Austin Chocolate Festival for the past 4 years with great success thanks to support of local businesses and the community. They have worked very hard in the past to promote Breast Cancer awareness and local independent small food businesses. This year’s event is well on its way and set to be the best yet.

For additional information on the 5th Annual Austin Chocolate Festival, please contact Jennifer or Steven Flood or visit the Chocolate Festival website at: http://austinchocolatefestival.com.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

219West Closing Fourth St. Location This Weekend, Moving to New Location on West Sixth


219West Closing Fourth Street Location This Weekend,
 Moving to New Location on West Sixth Street:
New Space to Include Front Dining Patio and Expansive Rooftop Deck

After nine years as a fixture in Austin’s popular Warehouse District, 219West – the cozy yet sophisticated bar and restaurant that has long been a go-to happy hour spot for downtown professionals, foodies and politicos alike – is moving to West Sixth Street. Dedicated 219West patrons will have the opportunity to say goodbye to the beloved Fourth Street restaurant and bar this week, as the Warehouse District location closes its doors for good after regular Saturday night service from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Oct. 15. 219West’s new home at 612 W. Sixth St., opening in mid-November, formerly housed Union Park and is nearly double the size of its current space, providing more wining-and-dining options along Austin’s most illustrious thoroughfare.  
 
 219West’s new 8,600-square-foot location has been entirely gutted and refurbished, enabling owner Marty Munden to update the restaurant’s classic aesthetics while bringing in many of the familiar characteristics Austin patrons have come to know and love throughout the years. All three of 219West’s bars from the Fourth Street location are being uprooted and moved to the new restaurant, as are the signature curved rail and the plush banquettes. A new patio has been erected along the front side of the building, allowing for outdoor dining space and people watching along Sixth Street. Inside, guests will find a similar welcoming atmosphere as the Fourth Street location, with a large dining room anchoring the downstairs space. More intimate dining rooms offer the perfect spot for private parties and special gatherings. The addition of a massive rooftop deck provides the ideal happy hour locale for sipping martinis and taking in one of the best views of Austin’s skyline.
 
219West’s six award-winning menus, featuring a variety of tapas and fresh entrees, cocktails, beer, rare liqueurs and wine, will remain staples at the new location. The restaurant is committed to serving only the highest quality ingredients and dishes made in-house from scratch. Nothing is pre-made or frozen at 219West, and the restaurant’s chefs insist on butchering their own meats, pressing their own burgers and preparing all vegetables daily. Sauces and salsas include freshly roasted tomatoes, and fried dishes are battered to order. Every item at 219West is prepared with care and precision, ensuring that each customer is presented with a refined and undeniably gratifying dish.  
 
 In addition to enjoying selections from the restaurant’s abundant menu, guests can celebrate the new 219West location by raising a toast with a signature 219Tini cocktail. A combination of cucumber vodka, fresh lime juice, a splash each of sour mix and 7UP or soda, and a dash of simple syrup, the 219Tini is a refreshing complement to any 219West dish, or the perfect cooling cocktail sipper. 
 
“We change our menu twice a year, and we’ll continue to do that at the new place, adding in some new dishes and specials along the way,” Munden says. “The whole idea with 219West is that we provide something special for every taste. Diversity is very important to us, so we will continue to provide that balance between what’s familiar and comfortable, and what’s new and more exotic.”

Located at 612 W. Sixth St., the new 219West bar and restaurant is scheduled to open in mid-November. The restaurant will be open for dinner and cocktail service Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The award-winning happy hour will be offered weekdays from 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information about 219West and the new West Sixth Street location, please call (512) 474-2194, or visit www.219West.com.

Making Beef Wontons

If you are like me, you enjoy a tasty wonton.

This recipe is absolutely wonderful and very tasty. Beef wontons are very easy to make if you follow the tips given in this video. For some, the filling and folding part is difficult. It is very easy. The closeup of the folding is great to help you make the perfect wonton.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Silk Road – An Asian Epicurean Journey


Silk Road – An Asian Epicurean Journey
October 15, 2011 - 7pm-10pm
Mexican American Cultural Center
600 River Street Austin, Texas 78701

Journey down the Silk Road, from China to the Middle East, and experience exquisite Asian cuisine paired with unique wines and spirits.

This unique culinary experience includes seven food and wine pairings from local Asian restaurants, a tea bar sponsored by Zhi Teas, and a silent auction. Sommeliers, Rachel Wilson and Claudia Alarcon, will be your guides to this fun evening covering each food region and wine pairing.

You will not only be helping to support a great cause, but you will also be enjoying the tastes of Asia.

Vegetarian options are available. Must be 21 or over to participate.

All proceeds benefit SAHELI for Asian Families, which provides critical services to domestic violence, sexual assault and trafficking survivors.

For more information, you can visit their website by clicking here.

Flavored Brownies

Would you like a change of pace with your brownies? How about flavored brownies? You can use a regular store-bought mix and turn it into a epicure's delight.

Flavored Brownies begin with a brownie mix.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 brownie mix with ingredients directed on box
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 5 tablespoons with either any of your favorite liqueurs or coffee flavors

Preparation:

Make batter according to mix directions. Stir in chocolate syrup and liqueur/coffee flavor. Bake according to box directions.

Pan searing scallops

One of my favorite chefs, Ming Tsai, who hosts of the public television series Simply Ming gives tips on pan searing scallops.

I enjoy seafood. Chef Tsai does a great job in showing you how to prepare and enjoy scallops. Since they can be delicate, you need to make sure to handle them careful. Over the years, I have broken several during cooking.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pigs in a Blanket

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Party Pigs in a Blanket. These are wonderful for an appetizer, a party, or just a snack anytime!

Ingredients:

8 oz. refrigerated package crescent dinner rolls
24 small canned Vienna sausages
Dipping mustard

Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each into 3 triangles. Place sausages over wide end of triangle, and roll up. (Reshape dough a little, if necessary.) Place on ungreased cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately with dipping mustard. These are quick and easy to make--inexpensive, too! You will enjoy these with friends at a sports party! --Betty :)

Hot Apple Cider

As I was walking through the fruit section of the grocery store, I noticed more and more apples. Yes, it is that wonderful season of fall and the delicious apples.

One of my favorite items to serve is hot apple cider. Here is a quick and easy recipe for you. I am sure you will like it.
Ingredients
3 parts apple juice*
1 part water
1 cinnamon stick
ginger, thin slice (optional)
lemon zest, several thin slices (optional)
several whole cloves – too many makes it bitter (optional)
Directions
1. Pour juice and water into a tall pot with a lid and turn on heat to high. You can see that a lot of the ingredients are entirely optional.
2. Prepare spices and add to pot.  I put everything but the cinnamon stick in a tea infuser. Otherwise, you have to strain the cider or pick out small chunks one by one.
3. When pot reaches a boil, turn to the lowest setting. Let simmer about 15 minutes. Add thin slices of lemon for decoration if desired.
4. Remove infuser. Ladle into mugs and enjoy.

*When picking out apple juice, read the label and try to get juice without added sugar – often called “apple cider” instead of “apple juice” by some companies. Unfiltered juice (which looks a little foggy) is my favorite when I can find it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mighty Fine Burgers in Cedar Park

When I had my first burger and fries at the Mighty Fine Burgers at their Arborwalk location, I was hooked. You couldn't ask for a better burger. The hamburger meat is freshly ground each day and hand pressed. Since they have a glass window and an open kitchen, you can watch everything. They have nothing to hide and I greatly appreciate the ability to watch the process. The fries are crinkled-cut and cut fresh daily.

I think you will enjoy the burger and fries. The shakes are hand-dipped and taste like a shake you would get in a diner from long ago. You can also order great chili dogs. You can't ask for more.

Click here to visit their website and check out their menu.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Roast Chicken

With the fall and winter months slowly approaching, a hot meal is especially appreciated. One of my personal favorites is a roast chicken. It is a wonderful meal and the whole family enjoys it.

Learn how to prepare and roast a chicken.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Preparing and Cooking Squash

I enjoy eating squash. But, preparing and cooking squash can cause some minor problems. Sometimes, you may overcook it and turn it into a mashed up mess.

In this video from "Taste of Home", you will learn how to prepare and cook a variety of winter squashes including butternut squash, acorn squash and spaghetti squash.

Craig O's Pizza & Pastaria has been serving homestyle Italian cooking since 2003 is opening up a new location in Round Rock near the intersection of 45 and Greenlawn. They will also be opening up a location in Westlake shortly.

You can check them out on the web by clicking here.

Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

Rula shows us how to make devilishly delicious and fun ghost cupcakes. I think you will enjoy making and eating them. The kids will love them.

Ghost Cakes

Here is an easy and fun way to dress up little cakes for Halloween.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

19th ANNUAL JOHNSON CITY PIG ROAST

Johnson City Pig Roast
October 7-9, 2011

The Pig Roast is a motorcycle run put on by the Hill Country Toy Run Association held the 2nd weekend of October in Johnson City, Texas to benefit underprivileged children, primarily the Cherokee Home for Children. Detailed information about the invite including cost to attend is located on their website. Click here for those details.

The event includes a poker run, bike show, barbecue and live music and is located at the Blanco County Fairgrounds.

For more information, visit the Johnson City Pig Roast at www.jcpigroast.org or call 830/868-7693 or 512/556-5579.

23rd Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off

Chili Masters, get your cooking teams ready!

On November 13th, the 23rd Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-Off will be underway. Contestants from all over Texas will be coming to Round Rock to compete in the annual best tastin' heart-healthiest chili cook off EVER.

Teams can create any kind of vegan chili imaginable for the contest and pushing the limits is encouraged. It's truly a No Holds Barred Vegan Chili Cook Off.

Have a recipe for the world's best Habanero chili? Perhaps a secret family recipe that's been handed down generations? Maybe you have one for a delicious Green mango chili? And what about a Fifteen-bean chili? Does your chili have an amusing kick, a nice smooth flavor, a good balance of spices and peppers? Or spicy and tasty with an impressive and aggressive tang?

This contest is for you! You're only limited by your imagination. So start concocting that masterpiece..........now.

If, however, you're more of a casual chili observer, your fee paid wristband gets you a bowl, a spoon and more chili than you can shake a ladle at. We'll have libations on hand to quench your thirst or put out any mouth-related, chili-instigated fires.

For more information on entering, rules (what few there are) and cash prizes, visit the official cook off website www.veggiechilicookoff.