Monday, March 30, 2009


My brother Tony lives in Connecticut. 
He is married to Karen.
Tony and Karen have two lovely children, Megan and Jack. 
Jack has a school project where he sends a colored paper character named "FlatJack" to different people so that FlatJack can travel away from Connecticut and bring back photos, brochures, and experiences. 

FlatJack went to Odessa, Texas with my mother. 

FlatJack went to San Antonio, Texas with my brother Ben. 

FlatJack finally came to me here in Austin Texas. 

FlatJack and I made a trip to the E.R. 

A trip to U.T. 

A trip to the capital. It was the first time (that I remember) going inside. Yay Jack!

And the history museum. 

We also went to Quacks, the Blanton Museum of Art, and various UT landmarks such as the Texas Natural Science Center, and the disgustingly massive football stadium. 

FlatJack is a well traveled Texan. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Waiting Time

Well. I've finally finished (hopefully completely) my giant medical clearance packet for the Peace Corps. I mailed it out an hour ago, and now I wait. 

Where in Asia will I be sent? 
Will my very slight scoliosis and heart murmur hold me back? 
Let's hope not!
I'm ready!!!

Fingers crossed. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Breaking down

Post sun....I have a very white back... And my pals have very dark arms. 

Secret Hipster shot #1

The past few days have been a blur. 

Wednesday AM:

Marny and I  got coffee and mustache cookies from Quacks. Ran various errands. 

Wednesday noon:

My baby, Jalapeno (Juh-lop-ino)

 The Marny and I rode our bikes downtown to Club de Ville and caught some free music. 
Walked to Mrs. Bea's on East 6th and caught more free music of the girl band variety. 
Were told about the music gym down the street giving out free beer and absinthe. Walked and got some. 

Jolly green American stuff
Rode bikes home and got our swimsuits. 
Biked to Marny's pal (who has a TV) and sat by his pool then watched LOST. Mmmmmm. 


Went with Marny, Evie, Nikki, Stacy, and Sam to San Marcos/Martindale to float in the river. 
It was an amazingly beautiful day. Never too hot. The water was never too cold. The river was so peaceful and we only saw an occasional kayaker. It was a good day and everything felt right. 

I plan to stay this white and wear these floaties all summer.

And then we got to our destination- the DAM- I freaked out and jumped out of my float, forgetting that my can with my car key was in the cupholder and sending it sinking to the bottom of the river. Awwwwwesome. Leave it up to the girl in the giant sunglasses and arm floaties to screw things up on a perfect day. 

Things worked out though- Evie had roadside service that came and popped my car open. Luckily, I just happened to have a spare key in my purse because Marny accidentally locked my keys in my car just the other day. 



I am trying to get caught up on life. Baking another loaf of soda bread that is looking fantastic, doing the laundry, and about to eat some more Irish stew. 

Life is good. 

Oh, and I watched a really quirky documentary last night, I like Killing Flies, about a man (who is now one of my heros) and his New York eatery where he has around 900 items on his menu.... One of my favorite things he makes- "Post Modern pancakes"...... He cooks pancakes, rips them in to pieces, adds them to more batter, and cooks new pancakes. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green Ribs

St. Patty's Day began at the doctor getting my ribs x-rayed. The pain has not gone away after 3 weeks of Tylenol treatment. 

Good news: no broken ribs
Good news: one Vicodin prescription
Bad news: not really sure what's wrong and I have to seriously rest my chest for at least 2 weeks.... no heavy breathing. no stretching. no yoga. no physical activity. 

But I CAN cook.... And I did, oh yes, I did.....

I followed the recipe almost exactly except I added a bag of tiny peas. I haven't eaten much of it yet but what I have tried so far is quite tasty. I want to make some garlic, cheesy mash potatoes to serve it with. 

I got to use my big ole pot!

One Loaf (flower shaped) Soda bread. (Thanks Austin Agrodolce)

This bread is dangerously good! I also broke in my new cast iron skillet with it. 
I had a guest show up in mid-bake so I forgot to check on it... It probably could have been baked a few minutes less but it is still moy excellente. 

Flower Power

I think I should have made my ball of dough flatter and maybe not cut in so deeply... I'm not sure why it flowered out, but I can tell ya it didn't affect the taste one bit. My pal Evelyn and I have already made quite a large dent in it. 

Now I have one happy stomach and amazing smelling apartment. 
Evelyn invited me to a movie night and I'm hoping to share my foods with her friends, seeing as I have WAAAAY too much for one person. 

Happy green beer drinking day!!

Squint..... There ARE green dot/freckles on our shoulders. :)
I realized I have not been wearing green all day. Does a green freckle tattoo count?
 (Marcie and I got "friendship" freckles over the Christmas break)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Friendly Support

Salmon of the Americas is having a contest...My Pal Gary has entered. 

Go Here

Vote on Him. 

(he's tired from cookin', yo.)

spring snooze

Once again, my gal pals and I had a very successful night of 80's dancing at Elysium
So successful, I slept until 6pm today... Only waking up to finish There Will be Blood and feed the cat. 

After waking up and realizing that I hadn't eaten since last night, I went with Cavason to Blue Star Cafeteria and had THE best meatloaf sammy of my life (Not that I've had a lot... but this was gooood) and some amazing fried oysters and chips. I've been here a couple of times and have never had a dissapointing experience. I did have the grilled cheese once because my pal Grant claimed it was the best ever. While it was a damn fine grilled cheese, I still maintain that my sister-in-law Karen's version is the best I've ever had. 

I have decided to avoid SXSW at all cost. The people already taking over the establishments I frequent are enough for me. The last thing I want to do is submit myself to a throng of downtown hipsters. Even if the film and music is divine and they are handing out freebees left and right. 
just....not....worth it...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bloated Goats

I have been to Parkside twice in the past week.

My restaurant night week isn't exactly going as planned.... I've only been to Parkside with my pal Peter. But the meal was deeelish. Thanks, Peter!

With both my Peter meal and my Mommy meal at Parkside, I had the chance to eat their goat cheese cheesecake with basil ice cream. The ice cream had pine nut brittle on top of it and there was some sort of strawberry sugar on the plate. 

I think this is quite possibly THE BEST dessert I have had IN MY LIFE. 

goat cheese + cheesecake= genius. 
And I'm not even a huge cheesecake fan. 

Basil  ice cream= now possibly my favorite ice cream flavour...ever.
It was so fresh. yum yum and yum.  It went so well with the cheesecake. yum. 
Did i mention yum? 
I also noticed that the second night I had it, the basil ice cream was significantly stronger in basil flavor..... I loved it even more. 
I hope they don't get rid of this dessert, as I would like to have it at least twice a day. 

I wonder how cilantro ice cream would be? mmmmmmm, cilantro!

Bony Moms

My mother came in to town to "take care of me" last weekend. 

I love my mommy. 
I took her to Parkside Friday night with Emmanuel where we ate a giant oyster platter, white pâté,  a hambooger, and I ordered the BONE MARROW!
something I had been dying to try the last two times dining there. 

We finished our meal off with the disgustingly good goat cheese cheesecake which gets a post of its own. 

The bones take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, and create a lot of attention from tables around you... People who stare in delight or wonder when they bring it piping hot out to the table... Alright, maybe the tables around me were just staring because I squealed with joy and held the bones up for a photo op after finishing my meal. 
The table to the left and right of us asked me how it was and said that they had always wanted to try it. Try it! I say....

So how was it? 
Ummmmm...... flavorful. (like bone, who would've thought?) Gelatinous. Unsightly. Unnerving if you can't get past the fact that you are scooping out blood-cell-maker-thangs....from a cow bone.
After eating it I told my mother, "It was good, but I would survive if I never ate it again in my life."

The next day my mom let me sleep in. I awoke to kolaches and coffee, a clean bathroom and kitchen, and a pot of soup cooking on my stove. She then took me shopping for "teacher clothes", out to Chez-Zee for dinner, and we finished off her visit watching Coraline in 3-D. (excellent movie, go see it!!)

Thank you mommy for the weekend!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's That time again!!!

Austin Restaurant Week!!!!!

Last time it was here I only got to visit 2 of the restaurants... That's going to change this time. 
I already have tentative plans to go to Paggi House and Imperia, but there are several more that I MUST go to... with or without you. 

This is such a great deal- you must go!!
My mommy might be coming in to town for the weekend to "take care of me", and if she does we will be sure to go to some of these places. 

Ahh yes, if only I didn't have class I would go tonight. 

Here is the list... And this is for a 3-course meal, yo. 
34th Street CafeMidtown$35
Austin Land & CattleDowntown$35
Blue Star CafeteriaMidtown$25 $ $35
Chez ZeeNorth$25 & $35
Cissi's Wine BarSouth$25
Cru DowntownDowntown$35
Cru at the DomainNorth$35
Daily GrillNorth$25
Driskill GrillDowntown$35
Fleming's Prime SteakhouseDowntown$35
Fleming's Prime SteakhouseNorth$35
Green PasturesSouth$25Menu 
ImperiaDowntown$35MenuReserve Online
J. Black's Feel Good LoungeDowntown$25Menu
Judges' Hill RestaurantCampus$25
Louie's 106Downtown$35
Manuel's DowntownDowntown$25 & $35
Manuel's Great HillsNorth$25 & $35
The Melting PotDowntown$25 & $35
The Melting PotNorth$25 & $35
Paggi HouseSouth$35
Perry's SteakhouseDowntown$35
Primizie OsteriaEast$35
Roaring ForkDowntown$35
SagraDowntown$25 & $35
Silver & StoneGeorgetown$35
Taste Select WinesDowntown$35 (D); $15(L)
Truluck's DowntownDowntown$35
Truluck's ArboretumNorth$35
The WoodlandSouth$25

Yummy Art Night!

My pal Kyle scored two tickets to Art Night Austin because he is a chef at Fete, a yummyful catering place. 
He shared a ticket with me, and I was happy schnappy!

Art Night is a chauffeured tour to several Austin galleries, each featuring catering from a local restaurant, wine from Twin Liquors, and beer from North by Northwest. I learned that pacing myself on the boos at an event like this was key- and had quite the time listening to the ummmm older people there get more and more drunk as the evening went on. 

He also got tickets to the after party at Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop....pretty awesome... with some really amazing scallops, more beer and wine, and disgusting Vodka Iced-tea cocktails.... Not for me. 
Scallops, definitely for me. Thank you Bess Bistro and The Belmont. 

My highlights from the food was braised ribs served over magical polenta from NoRTH.

Oh, and the art was fantastic too. 

Thanks to Kyle for what would have been a $100 buckeroo night.... I had a grand-ole time... even if the wine caused me to stay in bed most of the next day. :)

On a side note, my friend Matt is driving his Shadow motorbike across the country to San Diego....I made him a good luck charm bracelet...  Drive Safe, Kiddo!!