Austin Bakes for Bastrop!

Kind-hearted denizens of Austin and the internets, I beg of you a small inconvenience that may feed both your spiritual and gastronomical appetite. On Saturday, October 1, between the hours of 10AM and 2PM, a small band of bakers seeks your charitable attentions to benefit the victims of Bastrop’s wildfire.

Check the map and the website for more details:

http://austinbakes.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/austin-bakes-for-bastrop-update-a-blog-button/

Asians on the Rise in Austin

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/asian-population-surges-in-austin-1460337.html?viewAsSinglePage=true

I find the responses to the article more interesting than the article itself. To an extent, I agree that there is more of a natural acceptance of Asians in comparison to other minority races and that the writer could have dodged the racial implications more gracefully, but readers have to be aware that there was no intent to draw any conclusions about the good vs. bad to an Asian influx. The information is presented optimistically and to raise doubts and point fingers in other directions would not only have detracted from the article, but would have been irresponsible and beyond the journalistic scope of the piece.

Flash Diet Day 2-4

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Commentary:

  •  Breakfast is always eggs + veggie. Over easy is tastier than omelette, but I really wish I could have toast and soy sauce or ketchup with it. Alas, I am left with pepper and oregano.
  • I made a ground turkey sauté with onions, garlic, spinach and mushrooms + plenty of cumin and curry powder. It tasted like Indian tacos. Yum! I placed some in a ramekin and baked it in the oven with an egg on top for 15 min @ 300 degrees F. At Austin’s elevation, it apparently wasn’t enough time, so I baked it for another 5 min at 315. Sadly, it was overdone. Boo.
  • What you see salad-wise is generally a mix of the same thing:
    • Spinach
    • Sunflower Sprouts
    • Red Grapes
    • “Sunburst” yellow tomatoes
    • Almonds
  • TRIO = Austin Restaurant Week pick. I chose Salmon Ceviche (delicious, but not as awesome as the beef Carpaccio option, according to my dine-fellows), Flounder in Herb Broth (which is the dark monster in the pan that you see there) and I passed on the Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Raspberry/Pear business for dessert. (Secretly, I sampled the Crème Brûlée, which had a delectable layer of smooth chocolate, OMGaw DROOL). Mom loved the cheesecake, though. She plans on dragging the family to TRIO this weekend. Worth it!
  • Today, I had some leftover flounder. Isn’t it creepy how the teeth are still visible? I expect that maw to haunt my dreams. The fish is very light and flaky, but it tastes burnt and rather grass-like. The stench is hard to ignore. I also stir-fried some cabbage, onions, and julienned zucchini. I bought the julienne tool today and it has easily risen to one of my favorite kitchen utensils.
  • I am also soaking some white “great northern” and black beans for tomorrow. I thought the bowl looked particularly Yin-Yang chic, so I tried to snap a good shot.

On an unrelated note, my camera is aging rapidly. My sister laughed at its paltry 6 megapixel capabilities. Although I love the quality of DSLR photos, I don’t have the skills nor the $$$ to support such a purchase. I guess I’ll have to shop around or mooch the beefbeef’s camera.

Living as a Teetotaler in ATX

Teetotalism. Say it.
A bit unsavory on the tongue, isn’t it? Like some sort of teething toy or medieval torture device.

A teetotaler is a person who doesn’t drink alcohol. I am one such person living in one of the country’s best foodie cities: Austin, TX. The gastronomical permutations here are endless. If godly ambrosia ever existed in this mortal realm, it would reside in ATX.

But back to alcohol. Wouldn’t you consider it a half-life without this added factor? Am I not somehow crippled by the lack of spirits to accompany my food? Not at all.

Maybe it’s a result of my eating team; one of my dine-fellows must abstain from porcine products and alcohol as part of his religion. Another co-diner is scrupulously guarding his figure and my boyfriend simply doesn’t enjoy the fumy taste. I’ve tried a few drinks myself, but I’m mostly ambivalent about drinking. I’m a bit of a cheapskate as well, finding the extra dollars better spent on a side dish or dessert.

Dinner portions tend to run large ’round these parts. Only as you venture into the finer restaurants do the portions begin to shrink. But as the price increases, I’m less likely to spend recklessly on frivolous items. For cheaper meals, alcohol just doesn’t seem appropriate.

Maybe it’s also my distance from party culture. Sixth street’s entrance fees are beyond my means:

  • dress code: as a girl woefully ignorant of fashion and make-up, the effort to dress beyond my engineering garb seems foreign and sacrilegious
  • labyrinthine: traffic time and gas prices from Cedar Park suburbia already present a harrowing quest, much less the Sardine-like parking methods required to avoid a ticket downtown
  • creep-factor: despite recently graduating from UT, I feel too old to intrude upon the party scene of college kids… someone might strike up a conversation about my major and the moment I tell them I’ve graduated, the same thoughts are exchanged every time: diploma = wrinkles. pedophiles unwelcome here. back away slowly.

But I lead a thoroughly entertaining life. I am also well fed and surrounded by good company. The point is, I don’t need certain things, because I’m already at what I perceive to be the pinnacle of my joy. There’s no added value from anything else.

Tune in next time for my list of a perfect fooding weekend in Austin. Or some other time. Forthcoming.

(Flourish) À bientôt.