For Christmas this year, I stayed in Austin. My parents came down to spend the holiday with me and my aunts & uncles.
Haley loves visitors!
Family brunch at Kerbey Lane Cafe. Everyone loved it!
My aunt & uncle at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar
Every arts & crafts fair should have a live band!
Shopping at the Domain
Dad & I taking a break from shopping to sit outside & enjoy a beer.
Love this new dish towel that my aunt Ann got me!
My Dad asked if we were going to have our breakfast date at Whole Foods to get coffee and a muffin like when they visited this summer. Yes yes! A new tradition!
Brunch at Magnolia Cafe
I made Christmas Eve spaghetti & meatballs!
New owl nightlight lamp from my parents! My owl obsession is going strong!
My cousin Kristy has had a great 2012….getting fit! I’m so
jealous proud of her!
My cousin-in-law makes a great turkey!
Mom & Ann
I made fudge for the first time!
Thanks again Mom & Dad for making the long drive down to spend Christmas with me. But next year…leave the flu at home.
On Saturday, I went with my Aunt Jill & Uncle Carl to Wurstfest!
Wurstfest is a 10 day festival in New Braunfels that celebrates German culture, food, drink and music. It’s held in Landa Park.
It was a great day to enjoy the weather and the Comal River.
But we were really there to eat and drink!! We did a lap around the festival grounds before deciding what to devour.
Naegelin’s Bakery is the oldest bakery in TX.
I couldn’t convince anyone to try the chocolate dipped pickles. Anyone ever had one???
Deep fried sauerkraut balls. You have to deep friend something-or-other when you’re at a festival! They were pretty good!
We each got the 5 kinds of sausage on a stick from New Braunfels Smokehouse. Oh sausage on a stick! SO GOOD!!!
So much beer, so little time
Official Wurstfest beer steins dating back to the 1960′s to current
We took a beer break to go up on the ferris wheel. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been on a ferris wheel in over 10 years!
After our carnival fun, we went under the tent to listen to music and…
..drink more beer!
We also shared some German chocolate pie. I’m not a fan of German chocolate cake, but this pie—yes!!! It’s like pecan pie filling, but no pecans, plus coconut. Yum yum yum yum!
I’m glad that I went to Wurstfest and will definitely go again!
So will my uncle.
Pumpkin Carving Party at Mary’s. I didn’t carve this pumpkin, but was so impressed by it!
On Saturday morning, I went to a clothing swap party. There was a lot more loot to go through than just in this picture.
In addition to some clothes, I also brought Mimomas & muffins!
The best part of a party from 10 am – 2 pm is that you can start with cinnamon rolls & then advance on to cheese straws and hummus!
Someone also brought kolaches! I’ve had sweet kolaches before, but this was my 1st savory kolache with cheese, peppers, and sausage. So good!!
In addition to the clothing swap, it was also a Stella & Dot party!
I got these jade earrings pictured and 2 necklaces. But at least my clothing swap items were free!
I got 2 tank tops, 2 shirts, and a cute black Express skirt that I love.
Saturday night Halloween party at Jessica’s. I was a black cat. Meow!
Eyeball apps!! Mozzarella and olives for the eyes drowning in marinara sauce for the blood.
Blinged out trophies for the costume contest winners.
This evening, I went over to my aunt & uncle’s for dinner for my cousin-in-law’s birthday. My aunt sure knows how to pour a generous glass of wine!!
Chili & corn bread muffins…perfect Sunday night fall food!
Strawberry cake with strawberry icing & strawberry ice cream, my fave!
Happy Birthday, Cary!
My thoughts exactly!
Aren’t 3 day weekends the BEST?!
And when your birthday falls during one?? SCORE!
Mom, I hope you have the best day!! Enjoy some cake and have fun with the grandkids!!
My generous aunt Ann recently gave me several of her cookbooks. It was a win-win situation. She wanted less clutter in her house. I wanted more clutter. Wait, no that’s not right. Ah well, it’s hard to resist free cookbooks!
She later asked me which cookbook I dove into first.
Uh…the cookie cookbook, OF COURSE!
Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
Recipe from Nestle’s Best-Ever Cookies cookbook
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan. Set pan aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set bowl aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in the bananas and egg. Gradually beat in your flour mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread batter into your prepared jelly-roll pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle cooled bars with powdered sugar.
These bars are not overly sweet. I enjoyed
three a bar for breakfast. Add a smear of peanut butter on top and a glass a milk…fast breakfast of champions.
I do have a complaint from my 3rd month living in Austin. No, it’s not the heat. I’m a Kansas girl, so I’m used to the heat.
It’s the dang crickets!!! No one forewarned me that crickets come out in vengeance in June! It’s been ri-di-cu-lous! Crickets everywhere! Outside….INSIDE my apartment….INSIDE at work. Supposedly, Austinites are just used to such grossness. I, however, have spent the last few weeks being creeped out and peering around corners wondering if yet another cricket will be in my bathroom. Eww!
Luckily (knock on wood), I’ve only seen about 2-3 crickets a day over the past few days. So, fingers crossed that I won’t have to battle them again for another year!
What Has Julie Been Up to Her 3rd Month in Austin!
1. My parents came to visit me!! It was so great to see them and show them around my new city.
2. Restaurants/Bars I’ve Been To:
The Broken Spoke
Blind Pig Pub
Amy’s Ice Cream
The Salt Lick
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery
Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe
3. New Experiences
Google Austin Mac & Cheese Tour — loved!
Took my parents down to San Antonio. It wasn’t new to me, but new to my Dad to check out the Alamo and the Riverwalk.
Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom!!!!
Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.
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!
One of my former bosses at work (hi Cherisse!) used to make tortilla pinwheels for every work food day.
And I would devour them every work food day. I’d also ask her every time…..how do you make these?
But I never followed through. Until I saw these on Julie’s blog! It was a blast from the past.
I IMMEDIATELY made them the next day for a family lunch. I brought them to my parents and put them in the refrigerator. My brother eye-spyed them and asked, “Are these okay to eat NOW or do we have to wait?”
I said, “Sure, go for it!” And brought them out for my brothers, nephews, and sister-in-law to munch on.
Cut to about 15 minutes later, I came back into the dining room and there were only THREE lonely pinwheels left.
I freaked out! ”You guys ate them all and our aunts and uncles aren’t even here yet!!! You have to eat these 3 pinwheels right now before they get here, so they don’t know about it! I can’t leave 3 pinwheels on the plate, that’s weird!”
They happily obliged and said that I should be happy that they loved them so much. And um….make a double batch next time.
Recipe adapted from Julie’s Eats and Treats
8 ounces light sour cream
8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
4 ounces can diced green chilies, drained (I added several more ounces.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
garlic powder, to taste
seasoned salt, to taste
5 10″ flour tortillas
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the tortillas. Mix well.
Divide your mixed filling onto your tortilla. Spread evenly. Roll up tortillas.
Roll each tortilla in plastic wrap to secure the shape. Place prepared tortillas into the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning (or several hours later), remove tortillas from plastic wrap. Cut into slices and serve.
Yields about 30-50 slices depending on the thickness of the slices. Just make a double batch; you won’t regret it!
Tuesday was my birthday!
It was a reason to eat cake.
Or cookies, if that’s your thing.
My parents offered to take me out to dinner on my birthday. My Dad asked where I wanted to go. I immediately said the Copper Oven Cafe.
I had dessert on my mind.
The Copper Oven Cafe & Bakery has been around for a number of years. My parents used to eat there quite a bit when my Mom worked near there. She said she likes to go there because the clientele is oldddddddddd. So it makes her feel young. :) So, I must have felt like a toddler there then. Which was nice, since I’m not pleased about turning 33.
The Copper Oven has a hometown, small cafe vibe. I’ve never had bad service there. Everyone is very friendly. For my entree, I went with the dinner special of Chicken Pot Pie served with a side salad and steamed veggies.
I had a Fattoush salad first, which I failed to photograph. It was really tasty. They cut their croutons up very small, which I hadn’t seen before but enjoyed.
My chicken pot pie was DELICIOUS. The crust was very flaky and a good filling. There was no crust bottom though which was a little disappointing. It was more like chicken soup with a flaky topper. I wasn’t a fan of the vegetables on the side. They were bland to me, but my Mom enjoyed them.
I thought it was a bit heavy to have a roll on the side with the crust. But, the roll ended up coming in handy to dunk in the pot pie filling.
And the real reason that I chose the Copper Oven Cafe for my birthday dinner…
I knew that I could try a little of three desserts.
My selection: Red Velvet Cupcake
Can you see the border on this cupcake liner???? It’s AWESOME!! You don’t have to dig into the cake to get the liner off. The owner said they are called skirted cupcake liners. But I’ve googled them & can’t find anywhere to buy them. Does anyone know????? The owner said he gets them from a restaurant supply store up in KC and they aren’t cheap though. I wonder if I could pay him to give me some. I’m obsessed with finding these liners!
My Dad’s selection: White Buttercream Cake
My Mom’s selection: Brownie
And yes, I made sure that none of us ordered the same thing. :) I actually like my Dad’s cake the BEST! I took a huge bite of frosting….with virtually no cake on the fork. That’s how I like it. :)
All 3 desserts were very good though! If you live in Wichita and need to take dessert somewhere and don’t want to make it….stop by and get some from the Copper Oven Cafe!