Monday, July 27, 2009

Curiously Bubbly

I read about Coca-Cola launching a new drink..... Fizzy Milk.

Milk (skim)+ carbonation+ fruit flavor+ sugar= Hmmmmmmmm.

I'm not so sure. I imagine it would slightly resemble an Italian Cream soda and possibly not be too terrible??

Must try one.

I am a fan of the egg cream (milk+chocolate syrup+ seltzer) which isn't the most common drink to get around here.
Perhaps this Fizzy Milk could be a pleasant new drink to try- but I have a feeling it wont last.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

If I could Turn back Time.....

Go here for an entertaining waste of time.


An unfortunate chain of events....

I've been feeling crafty lately, and have been decoupaging the top and the drawer of a lil' plain white table for my new abode. (Yes, I found somewhere to live!! I will be moving in this Wednesday through Friday! Weee!)

Began decoupage project, stood up on knees to work and cut my knee with the EXACTO knife that had been lying on the ground.

Pain level: Tolerable
Blood loss: Minimal- a nice clean cut with blood running down my leg, but no more than you'd get from cutting yourself shaving or something.

Was trimming paper to put inside the drawer. Somehow managed to STAB the EXACTO the entire length of the blade in to my hand below my right thumb.

Pain level: 10+
Blood loss: fountain-like

As soon as I stabbed myself the blood began dripping all over the counter and down my hand. Stupidly, my first thought was to grab my camera and take a picture of my hand for blogging purposes. But as the blood dripped all over my kitchen counter, cabinets, and floor and the pain started radiating up my arm I decided against it.

Randy came over and patched me up. We decided not to waste money/time on a couple of stitches.

I took a painkiller and rested my hand all night. It hurt well in to Saturday so I had to call and cancel a house painting gig that I was supposed to do. Phooey.

Be careful- craftin' can be a dangerous work!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Say Candy!

Marny, Evie and I (and beer bucket) in the Phil's Icehouse photobooth

I worked a scrapbook table at a fancy schmancy wedding reception. This wedding reception spread across several rooms of the Four Seasons downtown, included a full brass band, catered sushi and sorbet shaped like real fruit, 2 full open bars, and much more. (They brought in brand new white carpet to create a "white room" with the 6+ tiered bride's cake)

At this reception I discovered two things that I MUST have at my future wedding shin-dig.

1) Self-serve candy table.
The table was decked out with a giant flower arrangement surrounded by beautiful crystal bowls and tubes of all sizes that were filled with candy in the wedding colors. Jelly bellys, licorice sticks, chocolate covered something-or-others, etc. etc. etc. All to be scooped out by the guests into a baggy to take home.

Trying out the booth

2) Photo booth/scrapbook table.
The photo booth man assisting everybody (he was actually just drinking and scooping candy out of the candy bar) estimated that it cost 800-900 per night. WELL worth it.
Basically every guest gets to take their picture in this photo booth and there are awesome hats, sunglasses, and headbands to wear. You even get to pick black and white or color. You are then given TWO strips of photos- one to take home with you and one to stick into a scrap book page.
My friend Marny and I really did stay busy all night helping the less-creative or less-sober folks create their pages. All the pages turned out fantastic and at the end of the night we had a huge stack of completed, personalized pages that simply had to be stuck in to a wedding scrapbook.
I think this is the way to go.
On top of that, the photo booth records all of the pictures that are taken all night, and the bride and groom get the disk at the end of the wedding night. So none of the guests can hide their pictures from ya. I guess that means Marny and my photo will be included in this happy couple's wedding memories forever.
Go find a photo booth and have some fun!

Marny and I trying to change costumes for each frame.....

Monday, July 6, 2009

In a Pickle

The Giant Jack Rabbit of Odessa

Every once in a while I find with much disappointment that even the food-lovin', culturally diverse, and eclectic city of Austin does not have something from my Homeland.....Odessa, Texas.
Beef Chile Relleno BREAKFAST BURRITOS and the lack of Rosa's Cafe (specifically their queso or fajita burritos) are two big ones that come to mind.

But with every summer that rolls around, I am reminded of one other treat that I frequently crave and can't seem to get my hands on around here, Dill Pickle Snow Cones.

You heard me. PICKLE SNOW CONES!!!
If you know me at all this shouldn't surprise you one bit, seeing as I have 6 varieties of pickles in my refrigerator right now, including a huge jar of pickle okra from the farmer's market which will be gone in no time.

What might surprise most people is the combination of pickle juice and snow- something that in most people's minds is meant to be topped with disgusting sugary syrup (or chocolate with cream- my favorite).

Every stand in Odessa sells them along with my mother's favorite- snow cones drenched in fresh squeezed lemon (which she tops with salt).
For two summers I worked at Bahama Bucks, a really fantastic (though overpriced) shaved ice and drink stand that Austin is truly missing out on, and we had two varieties of pickle shaved ices.
One was a sugary artificial Dill pickle "flavor" that was strange and not too popular.
Another was the real dill :)....Pickle juice supplied by a nearby Sonic. We had worked out a deal with them and traded pickle juice for some of our blue coconut syrup. I had pickle shaved ices at my disposal for two summers, and didn't realize how much I loved and craved them until this summer heat wave decided to sit itself on to Austin.

I should stop and clarify now that I am using "snow cone" and "shaved ice" interchangeably, though they are two VERY different creations.
Snow cone: crunchier, chunkier, less moldable, soaks up syrup less
Shaved ice: filtered water, different shaver, snow-like consistency that is moldable and soaks up syrups like a charm. At Bahama Bucks we were required to make the cone on top at least half the size of the cup height. (we also had some that had ice cream in the bottom....Austin is SERIOUSLY missing out)

Finally out of frustration and the inability to fulfill my craving, I mixed up a jug of three varieties of pickle juices from my fridge and headed to Casey's New Orleans Snowballs.

My "vintage" pickle keeper with sandwich dills
I ordered a large cup or shaved ice and made my own pickle snow cone.
Total bliss.

After a conversation with the lady in Casey's, I learned that they did sell these treats at one time, but found it was too much trouble buying huge tubs of pickles with no use for the actual pickle.
What do the Odessa snow cone stands do to solve that problem?

"Pickle Surprises" A 32 oz or larger cup with an entire dill pickle shoved inside, covered in pickle snow cone.
So good.

I have this craving at least once a week now that the heat is blasting on us. I will have to consume my pickles at a much faster rate if I have any hope of continuing to supply juice for my homemade treats.

If anyone knows of a stand that sells these in Austin please tell me about it.
In the meantime, I just found these while searching frozen pickle treats...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh Say Can You Eat....

This heat is really getting to me. I don't want to drive, don't want to exercise, don't want to eat hot and heavy food, and most certainly don't want to exit my air-conditioned apartment.

The heat is even affecting my blogging (or at least I'll use it as an excuse), which has turned in to very much of a photographic outline-format.

So here you have it, my Austin Fourth of July in review...No parades, no fireworks. Just good company, good food, with some good music thrown in the mix.

11PM-2AM July 3rd:
Preperation of massive Blueberry Cheesecake. I am sad that I do not have a better photo of this beauty. It received rave reviews and turned out eggggceptional, especially for my first cheesecake.

AM July 4th:

Purchased kabob items, Dragon egg items, macaroni and cheese pizza, okra, and blackberries.

PM July 4th:


Veggie Kabobs.

Dragon Eggs.
(Local Jalepenos, farmstead basil garlic creamed cheese, shrimp from the gulf all wrapped in slighlty smoked bacon)

Shrimp, cherry tomato, and pineapple kabobs.

Cheesecake Eatin'.


Viewing of Tara's Marching Band on the pedestrian foot bridge at midnight. There was a 5-7 person bicycle dragon creation present as well, slowly weaving its way along the bridge and streets.
I love Austin.