30 December 2012

"final" new year's eve menu!

I think we've finalized our New Year's Eve menu, so I'm posting it here, mostly so that I can have a place for links to recipes and that people who are coming can see.

cured sausages
aged cheddar
baked brie en croute
third kind of cheese 

sourdough bread
black-eyed pea dip
sundried tomato dip
roasted garlic dip

California-type rolls
vegetable rolls
smoked salmon rolls
scallion pancakes with soy dipping sauce
mini "wedge" salads w/bacon, bleu cheese, mushroom, tomato, green goddess dressing
spiral-sliced ham

stuffed cookies
poppy seed cookies
Swedish heirloom cookies
chocolate chip
strawberry cornmeal pound cake

16 December 2012

Franklin Barbecue

I'm doing something I almost never do: post about a restaurant the day I visit it.  In most cases, it's days or weeks or months (ahem) after I visit, but this was really good and there is at least one cute baby picture involved, so that's motivation enough.

I'm not a huge fan of barbecue, but everyone else is, including Colby.  Two years ago, when it was Colby's birthday, we tried to go to the Franklin trailer, but I was about to fly out to Boston for a work trip the next day and we didn't have time to stand in line.  Colby's maybe only a little bit bitter about that still.  I found out from a friend this year that we could pre-order and pick up if we got our order in early and were willing to buy 5 lbs of meat.  Challenge accepted.

Colby sent an email 5 days before his birthday this year and the earliest availability they had was 11 days later, so this morning we picked up 3 lbs of brisket, 1 lb of pulled pork, and 1 lb of ribs along with a pint of beans.  It comes with three kinds of sauce, bread, and pickles+onions.  Let me preface this by saying that I don't really like barbecue.

We've been to Rudy's a lot, Sam's once (you know, pants meat), Iron Works, Bill Miller Barbecue, places in Lockhart and Elgin, the Salt Lick, and several other barbecue joints and trailers around Austin that I'm sure I'm forgetting.  They run the gamut from should-have-known-better to nationally renown.  From all of those places we've visited, these are my favorite things: Salt Lick's potato salad, getting the hell out of Bill Miller's, Rudy's ice.  Yes, Rudy's used to have crushed ice, which is the best ice and I enjoyed that more than any of the food.  Franklin Barbecue is hands down the best barbecue I've ever had.  This is nothing new.  Everyone thinks this, but let me just say, that as someone who just doesn't like barbecue that I thought this was good, great even.  And not "good for barbecue", just plain good.
beans - $4.50/pint

When I saw the order Colby put in, I questioned why he would get beans, but he said that the reviews said that the beans were excellent.  I no longer question these people.  The beans were magnificent, though it's probably a misnomer to call them beans.  There was a lot of meat in the beans, but I'm not complaining here.  Their hot sauce isn't incredibly hot and it's on the acidic side, but a splash of hot sauce on the beans?  Perfection.

ribs - $14/lb
I really really liked the ribs.  They were fall-off-the-bone good.

pulled pork - $13/lb
The pulled pork comes unsauced and is dry enough to warrant some.  The three sauces were the aforementioned hot sauce, a more traditional barbecue sauce that has espresso in it, and one that reminded me of the tamarind chutney that gets served with samosas at Indian restaurants.  I definitely liked the tamarind sauce with the pulled pork the most.

meatucopia - $16/lb
From all of my friends' exclamations, the brisket is the reason to come to Franklin Barbecue.  It was definitely delicious.  When we put the 3 lbs of brisket on the table to photograph, it looked like a cornucopia filled with meat.  A meatucopia, if you will.  And this bounty of meat lived up to the hype.
take in the meaty abundance
Kimchi was about to keel over with excitement
Kimchi, no surprise, wanted in on the action.  She got a few bites. :)
brisket - $16/lb

Eating this with the loaf of Mrs. Baird's bread is a mistake.  I made a sandwich with pickles and the espresso sauce and the bread brought the meal down, as the juxtaposition of carefully crafted meat with chemically-preserved white bread is strange.  Perhaps a loaf of homemade white bread would have been better.
baby's first barbecue - priceless

We also decided that this was probably the best opportunity to introduce Ramona to brisket.  She really liked it too, although now she's probably ruined forever, since no other barbecue that we get on the regular can really match this.

Will we ever go there "for real", with the lines?  Unlikely.  My barbecue apathy combined with my extreme aversion to waiting will prevent me from ever getting up at the crack of dawn to wait for hours for meat; however, I'm already looking into pre-ordering again.

10 December 2012

menu draft

New years eve is coming up and I'm trying to put together a menu.  Below are some random thoughts and links.  This is mostly a "for me" type of post, so feel free to ignore my scatterbrained cooking thoughts

california roll
veggie rolls (cucumber, avocado)
smoked salmon + cream cheese + capers + red onion roll
scallion pancakes with soy dipping sauce

clam chowder

sundried tomato
bacon jam
roasted garlic + salt + butter?  Is that really a dip?  It sounds good enough to be one.

mini wedge salads with green goddess dressing

spiral sliced ham. ugh, you guys suck.

This is lifted from Chris' blog.

  • Mini crab cakes
  • Baked colcannon balls with drawn butter
  • Quick fried scallops with a lemon/herb aioli
  • Assorted sausages and cheeses.
  • Mini stromboli segments.
  • Spinach parmesan wontons
  • Kabucha tempura
  • Fried asparagus, to share the aioli
  • Mixed green salad, apple cider/sriracha dressing
  • Shortbread, strawberries, and pepper balsamic whipped cream
  • Chocolate shells with assorted ices and sorbets.
Then for desserts, I'm thinking Momofuku Crack Pie, something with a cinnamon roll crust, and all sorts of cookies. 

08 December 2012


Whenever Ramona's napping, I feel like I should either be a) napping too or b) doing something productive.  I am not above option a, but her naps usually don't last that long.  I suppose I could use that time to do a quick load of laundry/dishes/something-else-you-do-in-loads, but sometimes, it's just much better to snuggle a sleeping baby.

I would have totally taken a picture, but hello, sleeping baby!

05 December 2012

A Very Colby Christmas

My crazy night/day schedule is still ongoing and it still sucks, but I figured I'd use some of this quiet time to write a post.  Colby doesn't really read my blog unless I tell him to.  Usually this happens around the time I make my annual birthday list.  If he did read my blog, it wouldn't matter if I posted this because the list at the end of this post is likely fictional.

Colby's birthday is 9 days before our anniversary and 15 days before Christmas, so it gets lost a lot.  Most years he gets a big birthiversarmas gift and this year is no exception.  We just dropped a lot of money on a new dishwasher.  It's pretty and it has a sanitize option, but most importantly, it's EIGHTY times quieter than our old dishwasher.  It's money well spent, but it also put a big dent in the Christmas gift budget.  So below is my list of what I'd totally get Colby for his birthiversarmas this year.

1. Boston terrier print - duh
2. Essential Pepin - Colby's favorite chef
3. Basketball hoop - because we just bought a basketball that Colby torments Kimchi with
4. The Greatest Hoodie - there was a Slate article about this. The tl;dr version is that it's expensive but made with better materials + techniques and made in the US.

03 December 2012

The unwilling insomniac

Right this moment, my house smells of garlic and onion and chicken and Ramona's sitting on the floor playing with a pile of toys.  It's quite lovely.  We had chicken and 40 cloves last week and I harvested the thighs and drumsticks from an organic roaster chicken to make it.  Since I knew I had time to kill, I decided to cook the rest of it in the slow cooker on a bed of onions, garlic, and carrots.  While this all sounds like a wonderful Sunday afternoon, it's not Sunday afternoon.  It's 4:48 AM on Monday morning and I started the chicken at about 3 AM with the knowledge that I would be awake at 8 AM to get it out and (likely) put it in the fridge.

"Why," you ask, "are you going to be awake at 8 AM if you're awake at 4:48 AM?"  Good question.

This all started with Ramona's 9 month well check.  When the pediatrician asked about her sleeping habits, she was surprised to hear about her late schedule (down at 3 AM up at noon) and then gave us a pamphlet about sleep phase disorders.  It turns out that I probably have delayed sleep phase syndrome and Ramona either has it too or is being subjected to mine.  I guess what happens is that for whatever reason, your circadian rhythms get out of whack and you just want to go to sleep later than most people in your time zone do.  I've been like this for as long as I can remember.  My family used to joke that I was "stuck" on Korean time, but I'm pretty sure that after 26 years here, I should have adjusted by now.

For the most part, it's not a big deal.  DSPS has been linked to ADHD (which I probably have), and clinical depression (which I don't).  It seems like the problem stems from not getting enough sleep since people with DSPS don't have a problem staying asleep, they have problems going to sleep at a societally indicated time.  In high school and college, I powered through and consumed a lot of caffeine.  I also relished the days in which I had no classes before noon.  In grad school, it was mostly more of the same, although I've always had to TA early classes.  Once I became pregnant, the caffeine stopped, but I did manage to sleep more because I was tired all. of. the. times.

And now I have a 9 month old who likes to go to bed at 3 AM, which is around the time her mama prefers.  I'm currently being paid as a graduate research assistant, which means that I can make my own hours.  While most people are getting to work , I'm in the middle of my night.  I usually end up working in the afternoons and late at night, saving the early evenings for Ramona and Colby.  There isn't this tired all the time problem because I do get enough sleep, it's just offset from everyone and my work output isn't suffering because I'm tired, it's suffering because I have a baby.  The one thing that is kind of hard, however, is Colby's schedule.  Colby usually goes to sleep around the same time as us, but he *does* have a job that requires him to be somewhere before the early afternoon (oppressive, I know!).  This means that he usually averages about 5 hours of sleep a night.  When the doctor mentioned DSPS and the "simple" way to fix it, he was super excited.

So.  After all this rambling, my birthday present to him is to try to fix our weirdo sleep schedule in time for the holidays.  While we could work on sleep hygiene and take melatonin and blah blah, we're currently trying to stay up an hour later each day until we get back around to a normal schedule.  While most people can't do this, this has been perfectly timed because it gives me extra time to work and Colby time to sleep.  Today, I'm supposed to go to bed around 8 AM, although I suspect it'll be a bit later.  By the weekend, we'll be going to bed at 2 PM, which sounds crazy, but I'm hoping that we can get back to some sort of normal schedule so that Colby isn't so sleep deprived.

02 December 2012

Thanksgiving Photos

sweet potato pie with cinnamon roll crust

apple pie

apple+cranberry sauce

bacon cheddar mashed potatoes


Kimchi's plate

the spread

action shot of the sweet potato pie

Kimchi trying to swipe Ramona's dinner

01 December 2012

Random Answer to Random Questions

Now that I am no longer shackled by the convention of the giant fail that was NaBloPoMo, I finally have something to post. The lovely Mica, who is also a Korean adoptee with a smushy-faced dog, nominated me to answer 7 questions about myself.

1. Do you wear make-up every day?
Not at all. Since college, I've worn make up 3 times - once for my wedding, once for Halloween (does that even count?) and once for my friend's wedding.

2. In your opinion, what is the best part of the holidays?
Winter. We go home for Christmas and get actual winter and I can do crazy things like wear sweaters and boots without dying of heat stroke. it's wonderful. I'm sure that I'm supposed to say something sentimental about Ramona, but um... Texas is really hot.

3. Which character are you most like from Winnie the Pooh?
I would say Eeyore because I'm kind of a huge pessimist, but I'd say now I'm more like Pooh. Breastfeeding means that I'm hungry all. of. the times. and that seems to parallel Pooh's hunny addiction.

 4. What holiday movie are you excited to see?
There aren't really any new holiday movies that I'm excited about, but my favorite movie that includes the holidays is definitely You've Got Mail, although if we're going for something that's only the Christmas season, I'd have to say it'd be Love Actually.

 5. How many pairs of jeans do you own?
A lot, but I don't wear most of them. I'd say that I have about 6 pairs in my regular rotation: 2 normal denim skinnies, 1 black denim skinny, 1 teal skinny, a stonewashed pair of flares and a dark denim pair of flares.

 6. What’s a gross fact about yourself?
I have pregnancy dreams after I eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables. If this doesn't make sense to you, then you've obviously never felt fetal kicks (which totally feel like gas).

7. What would you choose to eat as your “last meal”?
Oh. Man. Let's make this not from the same place and a progressive meal because this is supposed to be a food blog, damnit.

Mexican coke
Chateau Chantal chardonnay
unpasteurized apple cider from any number of cider mills in Michigan

Cold Appetizer/Hot appetizer/soup/salad:
Hummus + zataar spice + olive oil + pita from Steve's Backroom
fried potato knish from Zingerman's Delicatessen

cheddar cheese soup from Hudson's  (which was department store chain in Michigan)
Olga salad from Olga's Kitchen


Brussels sprouts from Uchiko
truffled grits from Dusty's Cellar
Picanha from Fogo de Chao

After dinner:
a cheese plate from Antonelli's Cheese Shop
bavarian cheesecake from Champs Rotisserie

So in theory, I'm supposed to make up 7 questions for 7 other people to answer, but I actually only know of one person who reads this consistently with a blog (who didn't already nominate me. *ahem*) So Chris, you get to answer these questions and everyone else can feel free to answer in the comment section. :) 1) What Adventure Time character is your favorite and why? 2) What's the perfect New Year's Eve dinner menu? 3) If you could go back in time and change your major, what would you change it to? 4) Who makes the best chili-cheese fries? 5) What's been your favorite book you've read this year? 6) What vacation spot would you want to visit in the U.S. in 2013? 7) cake or pie? recipe for your favorite.

22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful day.  Mine was filled with food and family and a little bit more food.  Now off to my post-turkey nap.

(I totally was going to post a picture of the most decadent pie I've ever made, but I've run out of space on picasaweb and I'm way too turkey-ed out to do anything about it right now).

18 November 2012

Thanksgiving menus

We're still working to finalize our Thanksgiving menu, but it's shaping up to look something like this:
roasted turkey
stuffing with pan sausage
bacon cheddar potatoes
green bean casserole
butternut squash biscuits
apple cranberry sauce
sweet potato pie
apple pie

An alternate reality menu was cobbled together too, and I think it would have been equally delicious:
turkey confit

roasted butternut squash

garlic + bacon brussels sprouts
potato leek soup
spicy cranberry sauce
sweet potato rolls
apple crumble
pumpkin cheesecake

13 November 2012

late lattes

that "brown" is part of a recipe I wrote down for chicken and 40 cloves
latte art gets lost in to-go cups
It's finally cold!  I am beyond excited, although I'm not sure that my Texas-born baby is such a huge fan.  In celebration of rational weather, I donned my new boots and a sweater today because I could.  I also decided that it was high time for me to have a proper pumpkin-spiced latte, so I headed over to Genuine Joe's to get the fall requisite.

As I got out of my car to head into the house, it occurred to me that we should look for a pumpkin to carve for Ramona's first Halloween.  And then I realized that we're 9 days out from Thanksgiving.  So thank you, Texas, for screwing with my head.  Pumpkin spiced lattes and boot weather should be something that happens in the beginning of October, not mid-November.  Grumble grumble.

11 November 2012

Poppy Seed Cookies

I decided to make the poppy seed cookies from the NPR story I linked to last post.  Since I didn't have a half cup of poppy seeds and since peanut oil that isn't super refined is kind of expensive, I decided to cut the recipe in thirds.  (Also, I didn't need 60 cookies because, hello waistline).  Below is my slightly modified version to account for standard measurement units.

1 c AP flour
3/4 t baking powder
2 T+2 t poppy seeds
1/4 t salt
1/3 c peanut oil
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract

in a medium-ish bowl, sift flour and then baking powder.  You probably won't get all the baking powder, but that's okay because 3/4 t > 2/3 t, which is what would be called for if it were perfectly scaled down from the original recipe.  Whisk in the poppy seeds and salt

In a large bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla extract, sugar, and peanut oil until well combined.  Stir in the flour mixture and chill for at least an hour.

Take chilled dough and form teaspoon-sized pieces into balls.  Pat into circles and bake for ~12 minutes at 350 F.

Allow to hang out on the baking sheet for a minute or two after removing from the oven and let cool. 

These were freaking fantastic.   I'd really like to play around with the recipe a bit to perhaps use brown sugar for a richer caramel flavor and something other than poppy seeds because I'm basically out now.

08 November 2012

Food-filled NPR linkstorm

There are so many reason for which I am glad that the election is over, but one of the biggest is that now I can listen to NPR without the heart palpitations.  My stress response to national politics is not new; during the debt ceiling fiasco last summer, I had a dream that John Boehner was some evil villain and had taken over a library I was in and he was planning on having everyone in there killed.  I blame it on the combination of overdosing on political commentary and crazy pregnancy hormones.  Due to my renewed appreciation for NPR, I've heard a whole bunch of food-related stories too good not to share.

You Can Thank a Whey Refinery for that Protein Smoothie
It's about making protein powder, but I thought that this was the most interesting part of the entire piece:
Lactoferrin is common in human breast milk, but there's not much in cow's milk. From the 1.6 million pounds of milk that go through this factory every day, the equipment in this room captures just 120 pounds of lactoferrin. "We're just stripping out the single molecule, collecting it, processing it, and drying it into a powder," Opper says.

J.R. Ewing and a Found Recipe for Poppy Seed Cookies
It includes a recipe for cookies that I'm definitely making soon and links to a the website of the Brass Sisters.  I'd never heard of them, but now I can't wait to get my hands on Heirloom Cooking and Heirloom Baking.

Sandwich Monday: The Angry Whopper
It's the Wait Wait... crew's take on Burger King's latest offering and a great quote from Peter Sagal:
I love that bacon is the food equivalent of lighting a candle in the bathroom.

04 November 2012

NaBloPoMo: I fail, but here's a recipe

Oh hey, day two and I already screwed up NaBloPoMo.  I'm not surprised, as I didn't have high aspirations for this, but I wanted to come here and use the blog as I originally intended.  At first, it was just an attempt to log what I'd been making as I taught myself how to cook.  We just had stir-fry and I'm getting closer to a stir-fry sauce that I can reliably make and really like.  Recipe and notes below:

1 T olive oil

1/2 large-ish lobe shallot, finely diced
6ish cloves garlic, crushed

2 t sambal
1.5 t honey
1 t powdered ginger

6 T soy sauce
5 T rice wine vinegar
kosher salt

Place a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Add in olive oil when hot and saute shallots with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent.  Add in garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add sambal + honey and stir all to incorporate.  Add in soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.

You can reduce the sauce to get it thicker, but I really like sauce-drenched rice, so I didn't really reduce it.  In the future, I may try it with fresh ginger (~1-2 T finely minced) and add that in with the shallot and perhaps a drizzle of sesame oil in at the end off heat.  This was highly adapted from a recipe that appeared in the Penzeys Spices catalog.

Ordinarily, I would wait until I've perfected this and have a highly photogenic meal in which to document.  That may happen, but Ramona actually grabbed the catalog, ripped a bunch of pages out, and drooled all over it.  Suffice it to say, I'm going to throw this out, but I wanted to document it because I wrote my crib notes on the catalog.

Ahh.  Such is the life of a cooking parent.

01 November 2012

NaBloPoMo: Again!

I'm sure I post this about six times a year, but I can't believe that it's already (fill in the blank).  In this case, it's November.  It doesn't feel like November outside and considering that we still have the decorations up from Ramona's six month birthday party (which happened in early September, by the way), it still seems like the end of summer.

However, it IS November and every November brings the official NaBloPoMo challenge.  I've been pretty light on the posting lately.  There are so many reasons, but it boils down to having a mobile baby and trying not to get kicked out of grad school.  Only one of these things is awesome.  I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to guess.  Regardless, I'm going to try this whole NaBloPoMo thing again.  No guarantees that I'll make it through the month, but I miss blogging and now seems as good of a time as ever to start again.

31 October 2012

Baby's first

Ramona and Kimchi wish all of you the very happiest of Halloweens.

21 October 2012

Baby Food Chronicles

I've been making lots of these lately:

Spinach + sweet potato
Ev.er.y.one. extols the virtues of making your own baby food and I totally agree.  We've been able to control what ingredients get put in Ramona's food and we get to do it for a lot less cost and waste than buying prepackaged baby food from the grocery store.

"Mama, solids are clearly more delicious when spread all over your face.  Duh!"
So far, she's eaten: sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, blueberries, avocado, banana, chicken, beef, apples, pears, beets, and a lot of other things that I'm probably forgetting.  You'll notice that she's not eating rice cereal and that's with purpose.  There's really no good reason to start a baby on rice cereal and with recent concerns about arsenic, it's something that we're glad we chose to skip.  At this point, she's eating two solid meals a day, but we're going to start giving her three: one pureed, one easy to mash chunks (think banana or avocado), and one with some meat to give her iron and zinc.

We've been using a variety of utensils to make her food, but lately we've been using a dim sum steamer basket and our mini food processor.  Awhile back, we broke our immersion blender, so Colby decided that it would be brilliant to get a commercial kitchen grade appliance.  I'm pretty sure that has more power than our weed whacker (which, admittedly, is not very powerful) and I basically have to stand on a stool to use it comfortably at the stove.   We'll use it if we're blending a lot of stuff at once, but for general purposes it's just not practical.

At first I thought that starting her on foods was going to be a very sad event because I'd no longer be her sole source of nutrition, but it's actually be really fun.  I can't imagine how awesome it is to try something as delicious as sweet potatoes for the first time ever, but I know that she's really enjoying herself.

Our dog, Kimchi, is also very happy that we've started Ramona on solids. ;)

05 October 2012

Grad things

I haven't posted about grad school in awhile.  Basically, it's hard.  I mean, it's not like crazy hard in and of itself, but it's really hard to try to figure out how to balance being the best parent I can be and being at least an adequate grad student.  I've recently discovered the What Should We Call Grad School tumblr and it's hilarious and totally true.  I've crafted a little story that may or may not be based on true events.


that constant feeling about grad school

when I realize all my other friends have jobs

two projects at the same time

every meeting with my PI

how I feel for choosing academia

why I don't socialize at socials

liberal arts

when someone asks me when I'm going to graduate

19 September 2012

Tuna and Bean Salad

Colby and I just started back up with a CSA.  This time we chose Johnson's Backyard Garden.  We decided to go with them because it allowed us to have a bit more control over the vegetables we get (no more yucky eggplant!) and, more importantly, everything is organic.  I know that there's been a study indicating that organic produce is not more nutritious than conventionally grown produce, but that's not really the point.  Ramona has started eating solid foods and everything she's had has been organic thus far and we plan on keeping that true for as long as possible.  In a lot of ways, she's been the impetus for getting the CSA.  Now we have fresh-seasonal-organic-sustainable-local vegetables to give her year round and we can also start to clean up our meals, so to speak, in order to set a good example for her.

Today we got our first share and the first order of business was to make dinner.  We roasted the okra that we got with some spices and olive oil and it was amazing.  When you're eating crazy fresh food, it doesn't really need much to be fantastic.  We also had a highly adapted Tuscan bean and tuna salad with some JBG arugula.  In addition to trying to clean up our eating, we also need fast meals and nothing is faster than this salad.

seasoned, roasted okra

Bean and tuna salad

2 cans tuna in olive oil, drain one can and save the oil and use the oil from the other can with the tuna
2 cans cannellini (or other white) beans, drained
juice of one lemon (zest too, if you're not in a hurry)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely minced
2 T fresh dill, chopped
salt + pepper to taste

Okay, this is going to be the most complicated recipe ever:

mix everything together
season to taste

My favorite thing to do with the oil is to brush it on bread and toast it in the oven.  If I'm feeling particularly lazy, I just brush the oil on toast.  Either way, eating this with a slice of really tasty bread is highly advised.  I've also used that oil to make a vinaigrette (combine oil with some lemon juice, dill, salt, pepper, and dijon mustard in a jar; shake) to go over greens to eat with the salad.  This time I added a handful of arugula from the share in my bowl (Colby abstained) and it was GOOD.  But I think that arugula is the most delicious stuff ever, so that is something easily omitted if you don't love your taste buds.

16 September 2012

too late

Sometimes I take food pictures and write about them a long time after the meal.  Usually this isn't too big of a deal, but in this case, I waited too long.  This was taken in February.  It was some sort of mushroom tart from Bistrot Mirabelle, a French bistro restaurant in the Far West area.  It closed in June and was slated to reopen as some sort of American-style concept restaurant last week.  I don't know if it ever did or not.  It was a good meal and I hope that they do reopen.  Meanwhile, I'm still here, trying to make sure that Ramona doesn't get into too much trouble.

You can totally see the mischief in her eyes.

29 August 2012

He's probably right

Maple-bacon cupcake

My friend is moving out of country, so she basically had a free-for-all at her apartment.  We grabbed a bunch of stuff, including some cupcake tins.

Colby: Guess how many cupcakes we can make at once?
Me: Um.. 36, I think?
Colby: Too fucking many.

24 August 2012

Corner Bakery Cafe

When I was in the 7th grade, I went on a big class trip to Chicago.  This was a big deal because it was an overnight trip and we went by bus.  One of the places we stopped by was the Field Museum.  As embarrassed as I am to admit this, the only thing that i remember from the museum was what I ate for lunch.  I went to the Corner Bakery Cafe with my friend and we split a salad and a pre-made sandwich.  We picked out this particular sandwich because it had brie on it and, at the time, brie was a super fancy cheese that grown ups ate.  We ended up finishing the salad and were both full, so we wanted to return the sandwich because we hadn't touched it and then realized that we were never charged for it, so one of us quietly put it back in the refrigerated case.  

Fast forward 13 years (oh my gah how am I so OLD?), and I found out that a Corner Bakery was opening up super close to where my brother-in-law lives and where Colby works.  We kept meaning to stop in at some point and then I was contacted by the awesome people at CB to see if I wanted some vouchers to try the food there.  Yes, please.  We've been there several times and, between the two of us, have sampled a large part of the menu.  Here's what we got:

The Uptown Turkey Sandwich was really good.  It's basically a club with avocado.  I also really like their chips and Colby likes their pickles.  I know this because he always tries to steal mine.
Uptown Turkey Sandwich - $7.29
They have a lot of combo offerings, from soup and salad to salad and sandwiches, etc.  I got the chicken noodle soup and a half turkey pretzel sandwich.  The soup was unremarkable, but the sandwich was pretty good.
Signature Sandwich Corner Combo: Chicken Noodle Soup and Turkey Pretzel - $7.69
Another combination that they let you get is a whole lot of salad and some soup.  Here we got the broccoli cheddar soup, again not remarkable; the Mozzarella, Tomato, and Arugula Salad which tasted like a MTA salad... so very good; and the Southwest Avocado Wedge salad, which was great except that it had cilantro in it.  If you don't hate cilantro, and you're looking for a really good, refreshing salad, I'd go with this one.

The Trio: Southwest Avocado Wedge Salad, Mozzarella, Tomato and Arugula Salad, Broccoli Cheddar Soup - $7.99
 It's chicken and pesto, which is one of my favorite combinations.  Very well executed!
Chicken Pesto Sandwich - $7.49
It's the Turkey Pretzel sandwich again -it's that good!  Also, no soup.  This also comes with ham, which we haven't tried.
Turkey Pretzel Sandwich - $6.99

This chicken pomodori panini is probably my favorite sandwich of the bunch.  There's nothing better than a good panini and between the cheese and the chicken and the tomatoes, it made for a really tasty, filling dinner.
Chicken Pomodori Panini - $7.59
And who could forget dessert?  I honestly would come here specifically to get the sugar cookies.  I'm not a huge sweets person, but these are really quite excellent and maybe my favorite thing that I've had here.
Chocolate Chip and Sugar Cookies
In essence, this place is great for lunch if you're in the Arboretum area of Austin or for a light dinner.  We've been there several times now and it's already becoming one of our regular spots in Austin.

P.S.  If you happened to grab a turkey and brie sandwich from the Corner Bakery in the Field Museum on a Spring day in 1999, please know that we never opened the sandwich and that it was perfectly fine that you ate it.

Disclaimer: I received vouchers that covered the cost of part of these meals, but the opinions are all my own.

17 August 2012

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

And by somewhere, I mean here.  It's 5 AM.  And I'm up because I'm a mama and a grad student, but can't really actively be both at once.  It's not okay to be this sleep deprived and stressed out, but this margarita?  Totally makes it less not okay.

06 August 2012

Mackinaw Brewing Company

Continuing on our Michigan vacation, we made it up to Traverse City with the in laws for a couple days of beaches, wineries, and great food.  The first stop we made was the Mackinaw Brewing Company, a local restaurant in the downtown area near the waterfront.

Traverse City is the cherry capital of the world, so I obviously needed to try the cherry lager.  It was really tasty.  I also started feeling buzzed after drinking about half of it.  Before I got pregnant, I was a lightweight, but after being off the sauce for almost a year, my tolerance is completely and totally gone.

I really miss freshwater fish when I'm in Texas, so I make it a point to eat as much of it as I can while I'm home.  We started with the smoked whitefish dip, which was served with toasts and tortilla chips.  It was really good and was delicately smokey.

Smoked Whitefish Bake - $7.99
Next came the entrees: a reuben for Colby and a whitefish sandwich for me.  I'd say that I won lunch that day, not because Colby's reuben wasn't good, but because HELLO whitefish.

Reuben - $8.99

Whitefish Sandwich - $8.59

Everyone really liked their meals, including Ramona, who decided that she wanted to nurse while we were waiting for our food.  (Don't worry, I fed her before I started drinking).

happy baby - priceless

25 July 2012

MSU Dairy Store

We returned from our great journey to the land of our youth a couple days ago, so the next several posts are probably going to be laden with pictures of food from Michigan.  We made a trip to the MSU Dairy Store in Anthony Hall when we were in East Lansing.  Anthony Hall is conveniently located next to the Biomedical and Physical Sciences building, which is where the physics and astronomy department is housed.  I used to frequent this location a lot while in undergrad and we wanted to let Ramona experience the, um, long lines since she's not on solids yet. ;)

Baby's first trip to the Dairy Store!

Something to look at while we wait

still waiting

green tea ice cream

Hoosier Strawberry milk shake (because it's really hard to eat ice cream with a spoon and not drop a baby)