I love trying new restaurants in my new city. I hate being the one to pick the restaurant! I’ll probably forever be playing the “I’m new to Austin. You pick!” card. Because hello, it’s true!
But a few weeks ago, my friend Carrie & I were planning our Wednesday lunch date and I picked! Go me!
How did I pick Satellite Bistro & Bar?
I got a coupon in the mail for it! Score.
Satellite Bistro is located down south in the Circle C area. It was an easy location to find, which is always a win as I’m learning my way around the city. They have a large outdoor seating area that is perfect for enjoying the spring weather. Inside, I really loved the fun, retro decor. The bright colors make it a great lunch spot with friends or family.
For lunch, I had the Shrimp Asian Noodle Salad. It’s noted on the menu as a house & guest favorite. The waitress immediately told us that it’s her favorite thing on the menu. I love it when the wait staff validates my food choices.
Shrimp Asian Noodle Salad:
Jumbo grilled shrimp atop chilled noodles tossed with mixed veggies, mango, avocado and ginger soy dressing topped with a crispy wonton (from Satellite’s menu).
This salad was DELICIOUS! The shrimp was well-seasoned with a kick of spice. I loved the combination of the creaminess of the avocado against the crunchiness of the veggies.
I would like to try other entrees at Satellite, but this salad was so good that I may just keep going with it! I even went back the next week with my aunt.
So if anyone is down near Circle C and wants to grab lunch, I’m your gal. :)
**April 28 Update: Voted into Foodbuzz’s Daily Top 9.**
I love behind the scenes/day in the life posts from bloggers. I’m so bad about planning and keeping on a consistent blog schedules.
I’ve read that some bloggers have went so far as to not have cable TV. They wanted to eliminate cable as a distraction from focusing on their blog.
I couldn’t do that. First of all, I’m too weak to give up cable. And second, not having cable would actually lessen my blog content.
If I didn’t have cable, I couldn’t tell you about my 2 new favorite shows! (See how I tied that together. I’m smooth.)
Have you watched BFF on NBC? It’s hilarious! The 1st two episodes especially…I was rolling!
Scandal is the newest show from Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes has finally broken out of the hospital realm (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). Scandal is well…scandalous, crimes, affairs, love, government, etc etc. I’d say if you like the drama of Grey’s plus the better story lines from The Good Wife….then Scandal may be for you.
You know what else may be for you? Meatballs!
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
For the meatballs:
1 & 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cups Old Fashioned oats
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons finely minced onion
1 & 1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
For cooking the meatballs:
1 cup flour
For the sauce:
1 cup Heinz ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
4-6 tablespoons minced onion
1 dash Tabasco
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all of the meatball ingredients. Roll into small-to-medium sized -balls and place them on a cookie sheet.
Place the cookie sheet in freezer for five minutes. The freezer helps with meatballs hold their shape.
After 5 minutes, remove the meatballs from freezer. Dredge the meatballs in unseasoned flour.
In a skillet, heat your canola oil. Add the floured meatballs to the oil. Cook until just browned. Place browned meatballs into a baking dish.
Combine all of the sauce ingredients.
Pour sauce over the meatballs.
Bake for 45 minutes.
The meatballs were great! It was a fun alternative to meatloaf. Try them for dinner yourself this week! You can even eat them in front of the TV while watching BFF!
When I moved last month, I decided to buy a memory foam mattress pad. Memory foam mattresses are all the rage, right? There seems to be a mattress store on every corner now!!
I’m not made of money though, so just went with the foam pad.
First of all, the dang thing was HEAVY. It was a bear to get it on top of my mattress. But okay, it was worth it, right? Blissful sleep, here I come!
Um, no. It was awful! I fell asleep fine, but would wake up 2 hours later SO HOT!
“Because the purpose of memory foam is to support you by conforming to your body, it uses heat from your body to provide that “molding” capability.”
I kept thinking that maybe I would adjust to it. But last week at 3 am, awake AGAIN….I had enough! I stripped off memory foam and dragged it to the hallway.
By then, I was mad and frustrated. The cure….chocolate + marshmallows + graham crackers.
Recipe from Per L’Amore Di Cibo
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups mini marshmallows
8 ounces chocolate
I love sandwiches.
You can pretty much call me Joey from Friends.
This sandwich is based off of my favorite sandwich from Il Vicino in Wichita.
Chicken & Pesto Panini
2 slices of crusty bread
slices of red onion
roasted red peppers
Load up your ingredients and toast your sandwich on your panini press or in a skillet.
Today is my 1 month anniversary of living in Austin!
And I am lovingggggggg it so far!
It’s such a fun town and everyone has been so nice! I also wanted to say a big THANKS to my aunts & uncles for helping me unpack and get settled.
One night before I moved, I was talking to my Dad about how I didn’t feel like I had much of a social life in Wichita. And that I believed that things would be different for me in Austin. My Dad said something to the effect of, “You’re going to have to put yourself out there in Texas though. You can’t sit alone in your apartment and expect things to change.”
I really took that to heart and made a promise to myself to explore Austin!
So….and this is really for my own benefit to document it….and to prove to my Dad that I do listen to him every once in awhile….here’s a list of what I’ve done this past month!
What Has Julie Been Up to Her 1st Month in Austin!
1. Very Little Baking…oops, I’ll work on rectifying that one.
2. I was a responsible adult and got my Texas car tags & driver’s license…barely.
3. Restaurants I’ve Been To:
4. Bars I’ve Been To:
Mean Eyed Cat
Waterloo Ice House
Tacos & Tequila
Kung Fu Saloon
5. Shopping At:
Barton Creek Square Mall
Tyrone Wells @ Stubbs BBQ — I went to this concert by myself! It was way out of my comfort zone to do so, but I had a good time! Go me!! :)
7. New Experiences
Austin Food Challenge – this event was great! Everyone was very welcoming and can’t wait to go back this weekend with my new friend, Sylvia!
8. Blogger Meetups!
There are SO many food bloggers in Austin & San Antonio!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting:
I can’t wait to see what my 2nd month in Austin holds!
When I came to Austin in February to find an apartment, my aunt & uncle tried to take me to Torchy’s Tacos for lunch. There was literally no where to park! It was jam packed to brim. So we gave up and went somewhere else. But I made a mental note about Torchy’s.
So my aunts & uncles and I tried again recently and made sure to go right at 11 am.
Success!! Yummy yummy delicious success!!
As I often do when at a new restaurant, I ask someone who works there for suggestions.
She suggested the Green Chile Pork soft taco as it is their most popular. And I knew right away about my other selection….the Trailer Park soft taco!!!
Both tacos were very flavorful and I recommend them.
The Trailer Park taco though…..yes, you want to get it trashy!! Fried chicken, green chiles, pico, cheese, and QUESO! Hold the lettuce, get the queso.
That’s a no brainer!
Last weekend, I went to the Wat Buddhananachat of Austin, which is a Buddhist Temple. It was the Songkran festival, which is celebrating Thai New Year!
“This Thai Buddhist festival goes on for several days during the middle of April. People clean their houses and wash their clothes and enjoy sprinkling perfumed water on the monks, novices and other people for at least two or three days. They gather around the riverbank, carrying fishes in jars to put into the water, for April is so hot in Thailand that the ponds dry out and the fish would die if not rescued. People go to the beach or river bank with jars or buckets of water and splash each other.”
For me, I went to soak it all in and eat some new food!
I never did get to try this crepe-like food. The line was too long!
Green Papaya Salad…very tasty, but very spicy too!
Thai Iced Tea….strongly brewed + sweet condensed milk. Yum, but filling.
Dessert made from mung bean, coconut milk, eggs, flour, sugar….sort of like a bread pudding soaked in coconut syrup. An odd texture, but interesting flavor.
Sticky rice balls filled with pork.
“In northern Thailand, people may carry handfuls of sand to their neighborhood monastery in order to recompense the dirt that they have carried away on their feet during the rest of the year. The sand is then sculpted into piles and decorated with colorful flags.”
Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!
Be prepared for a lot of restaurant reviews now.
Austin has a ton-o-restaurants! And since they are all new to me, it becomes blog content.
My friend, Carrie, and I have become Wednesday lunch buddies. For our first Wednesday lunch, we went to the Hula Hut.
Hula Hut sits on Lake Austin. They have a huge patio overlooking the lake. You really have to sit outside! It was a cloudy day when we went, but still very peaceful.
Hula Hut would be a great place to meet up with friends on a hot summer Saturday or after work drinks. I can only assume it gets quite busy on the weekends.
Hula Hut serves Tex-Mex food with a Polynesian twist. Hence the tacos surrounded by beach decor. Just go with it.
Sit a spell. Enjoy the view. And daydream imagining that you were rich and could afford a house in the hills.
For lunch, I went with the Pork Tostadas. The pork was pretty good. I really enjoyed the crunch of the slaw and sweetness of the pineapple salsa.
I was most excited about the Skinny Ritas. Only 150 calories!!
Get a Skinny Ritas and then you won’t feel bad walking over to Mozart’s for dessert. :)
I would definitely recommend Hula Hut though! Go for the vibe, view, drinks, and energy. Enjoy!
Last week, I ventured out to get my Texas car tags and driver’s license. It’s not fun. No one wants to do it. But I have quite a bit of free time, so I decided to knock it off the to-do list.
The car tags part was easy breezy! I was in and out in less than 30 minutes. Although the lady said that Texas requires back and front tags. I looked at the front bumper of my Nissan Sentra. I swear there is not spot for a front tag!!! I looked at several other Nissan in my apartment parking lot and they didn’t have front tags either. So, I’m not worrying about it.
I ventured over to the driver’s license office on Lamar right after that. I was immediately told that I needed my birth certificate or passport. No problem…I just came on a whim, so left and came back the next day.
The next day there were approximately 1 billion more people at the DMV. Yikes! They made an announcement that the new South Austin DMV office had ZERO people waiting in line, so I left to go there. Since it’s a new office though, my GPS didn’t recognize the location. But, I wasn’t paying attention that my stupid dang Garmin picked a different address for me.
And me being new to town, just aimlessly followed my GPS…….to Round Rock!!! Um hi, Round Rock, TX and South Austin are polar opposites. Argh!
I finally made it to the South Austin DMV and got in right away.
Then came the dreaded eye test. (Insert ominous music here.) I had detached retinas and eye surgery on both my eyes in 5th grade. I just really can not see well out of my right eye.
I read the left section of numbers right away. And the middle section of numbers was fine too. But then when I had to read the right section of numbers….a total blur-fest. I was basically guessing….and blinking a million times to try to get a millisecond of clarity.
I finally got them all but one number. 3? 8? 6? I started to panic! Is she going to fail me? Will she take away my Kansas license too?
I was all flustered and sweaty by now. So of course, the lens was all foggy. I sheepishly asked her for a tissue to clean off the lens.
The DMV lady loudly sighed and said….It’s a 9!!!
Crisis averted. Texas driver’s license approved.
To celebrate, let’s have a breakfast panini.
Recipe from Everyday Food magazine, March 2012
1/4 cup Nutella
8 slices thick bread, such as brioche
3 bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 stick unsalted butter
* I just eyeballed it to make myself one sandwich for breakfast though.
Spread 1 tablespoon Nutella on 4 bread slices. Layer with bananas and top with remaining bread.
In a grill pan (I used my beloved Griddler), melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Cook 2 sandwiches until bread is toasted and Nutella is melted, about 3-5 minutes.
Repeat for remaining sandwiches.
My last day is living in Wichita, I finally had my 1st blogger meetup! I was thrilled when I found Veronica’s blog when living in Wichita. Although you have a common bond with food bloggers in other parts of the country, having one in own city is even more awesome!
Veronica and I met up for lunch the Copper Oven. It was so fun! We had a ton to talk about. I’m pretty sure the waitress started to think that we were never going to leave! I just had so many questions about her blog and just getting to know her better in general.
Left: Veronica; Right: Me
Veronica has such a good heart too! You can just tell that she’s a genuinely nice person. She was so thoughtful to get me a going away gift too! She gave me a cookbook, sheet cake pan, and her recipe for chocolate sheet cake.
She wrote a sweet note that said: ”You can’t go to TX without a fabulous TX sheet cake recipe & a pan to make it in! Enjoy them. I wish you much happiness on this new path & adventure.”
I made the cake yesterday and it is SO yum!!!
Texas Sheet Cake
Recipe very slightly adapted from Veronica’s Cornucopia
For the cake:
1 cup water
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
16 ounce box powered sugar, sifted (Don’t forget to sift the powdered sugar or you get lumpy frosting like I did!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
*I omitted pecans from the icing as a family member has a nut allergy.
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. With non-stick cooking spray, spray a 18″ x 12″ jelly roll/sheet cake pan. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the water, butter, oil, and cocoa. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Beat in the eggs, sour cream and cocoa mixture. Add the vanilla. Mix until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into your sheet cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the the center appears firm and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.
To make the icing:
In a medium saucepan, add the butter, cocoa, and milk. Stir and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the sifted powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
You can pour the warm icing on the warm cake and spread quickly.
Serve warm or cool.
* I serve mine with a scoop of ice cream.
** I also love to eat leftover chocolate cake in a bowl with milk poured on it. Sort of like cake cereal….anyone else do that??