Friday, July 15, 2011

A Busy Week for a Food Lover

Summer is generally the time you should be able to sit back, relax and not be so busy. As nice as that may sound, I look at it a bit differently. Summer is a great time to get out and do things and for me, many of those things are food-related! So for this post, I've decided to journal for one week about how I revolve around food, or more appropriately, how it revolves around me. If you've been following this blog for very long, you know that I'm not a restaurant critic or compensated to specifically endorse new foods or products and I usually stay home doing much of my "food exploring" in my own kitchen. Even with that, I occasionally get invited to cool food events going on around town, many of them put on by one of the many food-bloggers that call Austin home. As I have noted in past posts, food bloggers are some of the coolest, hippest people I know and I love that we all share an interest in learning and sharing our passion for food. Below are a week's worth of photos noting some of the cool places I went and fun things I did. Maybe after I finish this post I can then sit back, relax and re-read that book How did I get so Busy?. I'm jus' sayin'!

Took fruit from my backyard and the farmer's market and got to canning some items for my new favorite social treat - the Austin Food Swappers, which is put on by two lovely friends that write the blogs Hip Girls Guide to Home Making and Stetted.

I was getting ready for a meeting and wanted to bring a sweet treat. I have been working really hard at trying to make a recipe for a friend that is yeast and soy free. I took this yummy recipe and switched all the ingredients so that the dessert would be gluten free. it came out pretty good.

Was super excited when another food blogger friend invited me to a media event at the newly opened Hanks Garage. Not only were we treated to an off-the-hook tasting menu, but it also introduced me to some amazing beers I'd never had before. They say that to get a true opinion of a restaurant, you need to eat there at least three times. Well, lets just say I will have no problem going back two more times.

This was my one day to stay home and get some projects done around the house and to hang out with my amazing daughter (did I mention the hubs was on a business trip this week?). When we are home alone, my daughter and I usually eat light and pasta purses with fresh baby peas seemed like the perfect meal for this triple-digit Texas weather.

My sweet friend Kathryn asked me if I was interested in celebrating Bastille Day with her and some lovely local food purveyors at House Wine. I was glad to go visit House Wine because I will be back there in a few weeks for our AFBA Pie-Luck event which includes a pie contest. I am super excited about the event because it will be a benefit for SafePlace for woman. Besides, does anyone ever need an excuse to eat pie, especially if it's baked locally by the beautiful ladies of The Pie Society. Their pies, tarts and crimps were so delicious that I almost forgot about the hot weather outside. I also got to meet up with another local blogger who had helped me in the past on the "culinary handcuffs" project. Martha from Not That Martha has created a veggie burger that rivals any that I have had in the past. She now offers these burgers at Whole Foods and Wheatsville Co-op. No surprise that these burgers are called "Hot Dang" grain burgers as the name just about captures what was going on in my head when I bit into the little slider she offered. Feel free to purchase some and you can thank me later.

This day started off with me meeting two lovely lady friends from Buda for lunch at the Buda Drug Store where we stepped back in time and enjoyed a counter cafe lunch of chicken salad on wheat. The old fashioned soda fountain was a treat and the company was just as sweet as the Blue Bell ice cream we had for dessert. Later that evening we got invited to a truly unique birthday celebration. Our friend Addie invited us to celebrate her birthday at a trendy downtown park. I brought cookie bars for a dessert that I quickly made out of some ingredients in my pantry. I think I will call them my "Austin Mash-Up Bars". Here's the cool thing - instead of bringing gifts, we were asked to "pay it forward" by inviting another friend over for a nice dinner in the near future. My daughter had a blast and she decided she would "pay it forward" by taking a few of her friends out for ice cream. I still need to do my part to pay it forward - any takers for dinner ?

The hubs is coming home so a nice home cooked meal is on the menu. Before I pick him up at the airport, I need to head over to my local farmer's market to pick up some yummy pickled blueberries and tomato confit from Confituras. A loaf of crusty french bread and some grilled steaks with corn will bring this week of food to an end. Wait... whats that I hear? Oh, my daughter is getting ready to make homemade mint chip ice cream. I guess I spoke too soon...