Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Elevation Burger Comes to Austin, Texas!

Elevation Burger opens with a healthier version of America’s favorite fast food staple
AUSTIN, TX (September, 2009)—In the past, fast-food has gotten a bad rap—the fast pace often comes with bad quality, unhealthy ingredients and harmful additives. Enter Elevation Burger, an East Coast implant making its way west as a new organic burger concept that is leading the movement in bringing quality back to fast-food. Originally conceived by Hans Hess in 2002 in Falls Church, VA, Elevation Burger is a fast casual burger concept that features organic, grass-fed and free-range beef and LEED-certified, sustainable construction.
Austin native, Danny Bone, brings Elevation Burger to Austin with the help of Fransmart, the same franchise whiz kids who launched Five Guys Burgers & Fries, also a Virginia-based restaurant. A major player in the East coast burger explosion in Austin, Elevation Burger goes above and beyond its competition with its eco-conscious efforts for the body and environment with a mission to offer “an elevated product and an elevated guest experience by setting a higher standard for health and our impact on the environment, both inside our restaurants and beyond.” Bone, whose history is rooted in the restaurant business (his family brought Dunkin’ Donuts to Austin 35 years ago), saw a gap in the burger market in his hometown and says, “I love Austin and love that the city embodies healthy, green living and am ecstatic that with Elevation Burger people can enjoy their childhood favorites without compromising their lifestyle.”
Featuring 3.2 oz hand-formed patties, the burgers at Elevation burger are made from 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range beef on a vegan roll with premium six-month aged cheddar. The tempting menu has familiar choices like the original Elevation Burger, a double meat, double cheese, burger ($5.99); The Vertigo Burger, which allows hungry patrons to build their own burger by stacking three to ten patties high and vegetarians will love the Veggie Burger #1, a vegetarian, fire-roasted patty ($3.59) and Veggie Burger # 2, a vegan version of the vegetarian burger ($3.59). If commitment is an issue, the Half the Guilt burger will suit with one beef patty and one vegetarian patty of your choice ($5.19). No Elevation Burger meal would be complete without their famous French fries perfected in their patented process of frying in heart-healthy olive oil ($2.49).

Elevation Burger patrons often find themselves rushing through their burger meal to get to the best part—dessert. To satisfy a sweet tooth, Elevation Burger whirls and stirs up delicious hand-scooped shakes from vanilla, chocolate or coffee ice cream with mix-ins like Oreo cookies, chocolate syrup, bananas, strawberries, black cherry, key lime, pineapple, guava, orange or mango.

Beyond the burger, Elevation Burger’s focus is its commitment to the environment. Elevation Burger one of the few restaurants in Austin to be LEED-certified by the United States Green Building Council, due to a painstaking and dedicated process of using environmentally sustainable, non-hazardous, architectural finishes and equipment to ensure that the building is environmentally sound from floor to ceiling. Beyond the construction Elevation Burger does more for the environment by donating the olive oil used for frying to be converted in bio-diesel. Elevation Burger also does the simplest of all the environmental causes by recycling in-store waste and using high post-consumer paper products.

Elevation Burger is located on 9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin, TX, 78705 and is open Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm. For more information or to place an online order, visit or call 512-608-4054.

Doing More Cooking while Unemployed

As many of you know, I have been unemployed for almost 10 months. During this time, I have been cooking more and more and enjoy doing it. I especially enjoy sharing my knowledge and thoughts with those you share my passion for cooking.

I have been cooking healthier and great tasting meals for the family. Needless to say, you just have to find the time to cook for your family.

Monday, September 28, 2009

$25 Gift Certificates for $2.00!

Take 80% off on every $25 Gift Cert. order. Use code CHEF and Pay $2 thru 9/30/09 at Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe for OLD BAY Shrimp Scampi


I am a big, big fan of Old Bay and this recipe is wonderful. I think you should give it a try.

Shared via AddThis

Recipe for a Hearty Beef and Mushroom Stew

Serve this filling stew on a chilly winter evening. For added convenience, see tip below for slow cooker preparation.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 leaf bay leaves
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons cold water
3/4 cup instant rice
1/4 cup dry red wine (optional)

1. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the meat. Brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining meat and the onion.

2. Return all meat to saucepan. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, 1/2 cup water, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender.

3. Mix cornstarch and 4 teaspoons water in small bowl. Add to saucepan along with rice. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 4 minutes or until slightly thick and rice is tender. If desired, stir in wine and heat through. Discard bay leaf.

Slow Cooker Method: Omit oil. Mix beef, onion, broth, undrained tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, 1/2 cup water, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, pepper and bay leaf in slow cooker. Cover. Cook 7 to 8 hours on LOW or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on HIGH. Mix cornstarch and 4 teaspoons cold water. Stir into beef mixture along with rice. If using LOW setting, turn to HIGH. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer. If desired, stir in wine. Discard bay leaf.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recipe for Oven Roasted Red Potatoes

Last night, I cooked up a wonderful dinner that had no leftovers. I prepared sausage medallions with over roasted red potatoes and fried apple and pears as my sides.

Here is the recipe for the Oven Roasted Red Potatoes.


2 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Place potatoes in a casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add spices to coat potatoes. Stir potatoes around.
3. Place half of the Parmesan cheese on the potatoes and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Check potatoes, stir (add more olive oil if the potatoes are getting dry) and add remaining Parmesan cheese. Return to oven for 30 minutes or until they are roasted to the desired color and texture.

Let stand for 3 minutes and serve warm.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

$25 Gift Certificates for $3.00

Save 70% off w/every $25 Gift Cert. order. Use code TREAT and Pay$3 thru 9/27/09 at Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250

Cannoli Joe’s presents “Handcrafted Beer Tasting Tours”

Cannoli Joe’s—best described as a gourmet Italian feast with more than 100 classic Italian food specialties—is now hosting its “Handcrafted Beer Tasting Tour” every Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m., running through the end of year. Handcrafted beers are produced at an on-site brewery using “the highest quality ingredients.”

Each week an area microbrewery will provide free unlimited beer tastings of two or more featured beers, with a representative from the brewery to answer any questions. The beer tastings are free with the purchase of dinner (for $13.99/adult) from Cannoli Joe’s gourmet Italian Feast including Lasagna Bolognese, Chicken Cacciatore, Homemade Meatballs, Pork Loin, Sausage and Peppers, Chicken Marsala Pasta, Caesar Salad, Greek Salad, Bruschetta, Spinach Alfredo pizza, Lasagne Bolognese, Grilled Steak Marsala, Greek Salad, Sausage Cavatappi, Chicken Picatta, Mussels Fra Diavolo, Caponatina, Cannolis, Chocolate Macaroons, hand-dipped ice cream, and, of course, Cannolis!

On Thursday, October 1, Saint Arnold Brewing Company out of Houston, TX will feature their premium handcrafted ales: Saint Arnold Amber Ale and Oktoberfest, as well as their non-alcoholic Root Beer for kids.

Brewery representatives will pour:
Saint Arnold Amber Ale: “A well-balanced, full flavored, amber ale. It has a rich, malty body with a pleasant caramel character derived from a specialty Caravienne malt. A complex hop aroma, with a hint of floral and citrus comes from a combination of Cascades and Liberty hops. It has a rich, creamy head with a fine lace. The light fruitiness, characteristic of ales, is derived from a proprietary yeast strain.”
Oktoberfest: “A full-bodied, malty, slightly sweet beer celebrating the Autumn harvest. This rich beer has a round malt flavor and an above average alcohol content perfect for a cool fall evening.”
Non-alcoholic Root Beer: “Big, sweet, flavorful and old-fashioned! Saint Arnold Root Beer is made with Imperial Cane Sugar (absolutely no high fructose corn syrup), vanilla extract and lots of yummy (but secret) flavorings. The cane sugar gives it a sweetness that cannot be achieved through corn syrup. The flavors explode in your mouth. The only way to improve on their Root Beer is to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream!”

The night of the beer dinner tours and for the week following, Cannoli Joe’s will offer full bottles of the featured beers at $3 and Root Beer at $1.75. Cannoli Joe’s also serves Peroni and Birra Moretti Italian beers at all times.

On Thursday, October 8, Real Ale Brewery Company from Blanco, TX will feature:
Rio Blanco Pale Ale: “Deep golden and malty, with a spicy hop flavor and well balanced hop bitterness, Rio Blanco is a uniquely Texan interpretation of an English-style pale ale. Czech Saaz hops provide a crisp finish and delicate aroma.”
Full Moon Pale Ale: “Tawny red and full of malt and hops, Full Moon's unique flavor truly satisfies. The smooth sweetness of malted rye and barley is complemented by generous helpings of Willamette and Cascade hops, resulting in an assertive American amber ale.”
Brewhouse Brown Ale: “Caramel brown with a hint of chocolate, Brewhouse Brown melds four kinds of malt and American hops into a delicious dark ale. Rich and roasty, yet with a dry finish, it is the perfect companion for a hearty meal.”
Firemans #4 Blonde Ale: “This refreshing blonde ale strikes a perfect balance between the smoothness of the malt, the subtle fruitiness of our house ale yeast, and zesty citrus notes from Crystal hops. Firemans #4 is a great way to beat the heat.”

On Thursday, October 15, Independence Brewery Co. out of Austin will feature the following premium handcrafted ales:
Austin Amber: “A special blend of malted barley—lightly to darkly roasted—creates layers of toasty sweetness, balanced by the citrusy notes of Vanguard hops. Burnt orange with a laid back finish, this is the beer of Austin.”
Independence Pale Ale: “Bright, bold, and hoppy...Independence Pale Ale is a true Texas Pale Ale. Brewed with the finest two-row barley and Pacific Northwest hops, and then dry-hopped with generous quantities of Cascade and Saaz hops, Independence Pale Ale has a distinctive citrus aroma and clean, hoppy finish.”
Freestyle: “Crisp, light-bodied, and refreshing, Freestyle is brewed with the finest two-row pale malt and American white wheat, Freestyle has a crisp, dry flavor followed by a slightly sweet malt finish. It’s light and refreshing, like a pilsner brewed as an ale.”
Bootlegger Brown Ale: “Smooth, chocolatey and easy-drinking....brewed with the finest two-row barley and Belgian chocolate malt, Bootlegger has a distinctive, chocolatey flavor. Bootlegger is medium-bodied and filtered for a clean, laid-back finish.”

On Thursday, October 22, Independence Brewery Co. will be back with their premium handcrafted ales: Austin Amber, Independence Pale Ale, Freestyle and Bootlegger, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company will also return with Saint Arnold Amber Ale, Oktoberfest, and their non-alcoholic Root Beer.

On Thursday, October 29, Independence Brewery Co. will return with Austin Amber, Independence Pale Ale, Freestyle and Bootlegger.

"When we first decided to add these beer tours featuring craft brews from local brewers, I knew we had a hit on our hands, and the crowds have shown us we were absolutely right," says Bob Hauser, chef /owner of Cannoli Joe’s and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. "Our customers are keeping the brewery reps busy pouring samples all night to pair up with Cannoli Joe's fabulous Italian cuisine. Great full-flavored beers to go with great full-flavored Italian dishes."

Cannoli Joe’s is located at 4715 Hwy. 290 West in south Austin near the Berger Center on the eastbound frontage road, one third mile east of Brodie Lane.

Cannoli Joe’s is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekday lunch is $9.99. Monday through Thursday dinner is $13.99. Friday dinner is $15.99. Saturday brunch is $13.99 and Saturday dinner is $15.99. (Extra items are added to the list of offerings on nights and then more on weekend nights.) Sunday brunch is $13.99 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and then regular offerings from 3 to 9 p.m. for $15.99. Children three and under are free; those 12 years and under are half price.

For more information, contact (512) 892-4444 or, or visit the website at

Please note: Scheduled breweries are subject to change without notice.

Recipe for Easy Beef Steak Diane

Traditionally, Steak Diane was prepared tableside in the grandest dining rooms of Paris and Vienna. This stovetop version gives you equally grand results with surprisingly little effort.

2 boneless beef top loin steaks, cut 1-inch thick (about 1 1/4 lb.)
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound mushrooms, small; sliced
2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brandy, optional
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Wash hands. Combine lemon peel and pepper; press onto steaks. Wash hands.
2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Remove. Wipe skillet clean; coat with cooking spray.
3. Heat skillet over medium; add steaks and cook, turning occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness (internal temp 150°F to 160°F). Remove; keep warm.
4. Add brandy to skillet; cook and stir until browned bits in skillet are dissolved. Stir in half-and-half, lemon juice, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in mushroom mixture; heat through.

Serving Suggestion: Carve steaks. Serve with sauce, steamed asparagus and buttered red potatoes. Refrigerate leftovers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Recipe for a Hearty Beef Stew

With today being the last day of summer, many of us are starting to pulling together some of our favorite fall and winter recipes.

For me, a hearty beef stew certainly provides a great family meal. The other great thing is that you can use your slow cooker.

1 1/2 lb. beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. medium potato, cut into cubes (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 medium carrots, sliced (about 2 cups)
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/4 cups beef broth (regular, 50% Less Sodium or Certified Organic)
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas

Sprinkle the beef with black pepper and coat it with 2 tablespoons of the flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until it's well browned, stirring often.

Place the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic into a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with the beef. Add 3 cups of the broth, Worcestershire, thyme and bay leaf.

Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 11 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender. Remove the bay leaf.

Mix the remaining flour and broth. Stir the flour mixture and the peas into the cooker. Turn the heat to HIGH. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens.

*Or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eddie V's Introduces New Cocktails

Sammi Park at Eddie V's sent me an email the other day and told me about some new cocktails added to their menu.

They have just added 10 new cocktails that incorporates ingredients that aren't found in your every day cocktail such as cucumber, thyme and violet syrup! Sammi was very excited about these new cocktails and wanted to let everyone know about these exciting additions and personally invites you all to come in and give them a try.

Along with the new cocktails they will be rotating a few seasonal selections and as always Eddie V's has a fabulous Happy Hour which is the perfect time to sample these cocktails!

So, join Sammi at Eddie V's and have one of those wonderful cocktails. The one pictured at the top is called the Bluebonnet Tea. Doesn't it look refreshing?

You can visit them at 2 wonderful locations:
EV 5th Street
301 East 5th Street
Austin, TX 78701
512.472.1860 P
512.477.9794 F
Open daily at 4:30pm

EV Arboretum
9400 B Arboretum Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759
512.342.2642 P
512.342.2645 F
Open daily at 4:30pm

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recipe: Fabulous Fast Shrimp

If you like shrimp and want to serve something quick and easy, this is the dish for you.

1 tbsp. butter OR margarine
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 lb. fresh large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)
1/2 cup water
Generous dash ground red pepper
Hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

1. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Add celery, green pepper and green onions and cook until tender. Add shrimp and cook 3 to 5 min. or until shrimp are done.
2. Add soup, water and red pepper and heat through. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with paprika.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with a Caesar salad. For dessert serve sliced bananas drizzled with chocolate sauce.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

I think you will really enjoy this recipe.


8 fresh salmon fillets, 3/4-inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
4 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange peel
Orange slices for garnish

Place the salmon in an 11 x 8-inch (2-quart) shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with black pepper and drizzle with oil. Bake at 350°F. for 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Stir the cornstarch, stock, vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice and orange peel in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat to a boil. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.

Place the salmon on a serving platter and serve with the sauce. Garnish with the orange slices.

Campbell's Kitchen Tip: When grating citrus fruits you'll want to avoid rubbing too deeply into the peel. There's a white layer between the outer peel and the flesh, called the pith, which can be bitter.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a brown and wild rice blend and steamed cut green beans. For dessert serve vanilla ice cream with almond cookies.

Serves 8.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The King of Coffee - Food

The King of Coffee - Food & Drink -

According to The National Coffee Association, 54% of American adults, roughly 150 million people, drink 3.3 cups of coffee every day. To whom do they owe a debt of gratitude for their daily drink?

I can tell you that I love coffee. My wife will often ask me, "How can you drink a hot cup of coffee with the outside temperation above 100?" I could drink coffee even if the temperature was a 125 degrees.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Grilled Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus

Grilled Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus

2 pounds asparagus spears
14-16 slices of proscuitto
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil black pepper

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Trim ends off of asparagus. Cut proscuitto slices in half.
Place half of one slice onto each asparagus spear. Add minced garlic to olive oil and brush each spear with oil.
Season with black pepper and place onto grill and cook for 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and serve.


After a little over a week, is back up and we are getting ready for another Fall season of tailgating and fun recipes.

I would like to thank the technical staff at Namesecure ( for resolving the technical issues. It was a difficult one, but they rose to the challenge and got things moving. THANKS!