Did you miss recap 1?
Long before I knew that I’d partake in SXSW festivities, I knew that I’d be going to the TECHmunch food blogger conference! It was my first food blogger conference. I was ready to soak up the info…and food!
Prior to the conference, we were invited to a wine tasting event presented by TECHmunch, Forkly, and Whole Foods. It was called Tango con Vinos Argentinos….wines from Argentina. I tried 2 Malbecs that I enjoyed and really liked chatting with Babette, the founder of Bakespace & TechMunch.
Churrasco style meats–get in my belly! Yum for the garlic pepper sausage.
My first swag bag!
TECHmunch Austin was held on Spring Forward Sunday. It was bright and early…too early! The first thing on my mind was COFFEE!!
Thank goodness for Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee!! This guy was SO nice and he got a lot of love from the food bloggers during the conference. We were in need of some caffeine! He said that he doesn’t add any creamer to his coffee since due to their brewing methods, it’s less acidic already. I usually drink my coffee black already, so I followed his suggestion. He was right on, very good!!
After I had a morning jolt, I got to know the folks that I was sitting by. Who was I sitting by? Two reps from Peanut Butter & Co! What luck!!! Why yes, I would like to become friendly with super nice & funny people that also work for a peanut butter company that I heart!
A mid-morning break to enjoy strawberry & mixed berry smoothies from Driscoll’s.
An afternoon cupcake break courtesy of KitchenAid.
There were many good speakers during TECHmunch.
Some of the highlights for me:
Natanya’s presentation on Finding Your Focus
My takeaways from her: work on your point of view. When you find your unique voice, your audience size may grow. What emotions do you want to convey in your blog? For me: laughter! Snarky, but fun!!
Serena’s presentation on Setting up an Editorial Calendar
I’d never considered an editorial calendar, but it would be a great planning, organizing tool for my blog. She suggests it to plan out posts. For example, for holidays, post about that holiday recipe about 2-3 weeks prior to the holiday. Then maybe a reminder post/link on the day of the holiday.
Stephanie’s presentation on SEO & Getting the Most Out of Your Content.
SEO still overwhelms me!! As a very part-time, sporadic blogger, I’m not ready to invest in learning SEO strategy, but still great info. She did suggest going to Google trends to get ideas for content as well. Since nowadays I enjoy blogging about pop culture more than recipes, this idea may be a great one for me! All of the Google trends now are March Madness related and I included a blurb about it in yesterday’s post.
Meghan’s presentation over Food Styling
Meghan’s presentation was my favorite! It was so fun learning insider tricks. As a food stylist, Meghan has many tools: Q-tips, makeup wedges to clean up spills…a water bottle to mist food…denture glue to hold food together! She wears white gloves to not get smudges on plates and uses tweezers to delicately reposition food.
She suggests keeping boxes of instant mashed potatoes on hand too! There may not be a whole lot of soup in that beautiful picture of soup you love! It may be filled with instant mashed potatoes on the bottom to add height and then carefully deconstructed soup added in to the bowl.
OH! And the best part of the day!!!! Guess what I won?!?!?
I had another music filled weekend!
1. It started out right with margaritas at Mary Helen’s!
After a good set from Alpha Rev, it was time for Ben Rector. I was an immediate fan of his after I learned of him from my friend, Sarah. Sarah is my music guru!
Here’s a small sample that I recorded during the show from his song, Hide Away.
3. On Saturday, I went to Rodeo Austin. It was my first rodeo! I’m a real Texan now. The most important thing on the agenda was…
Best washed down with 2 cans of Bud Light! You can’t drink craft beer at the rodeo, right?!
Am I too old to get involved in mutton bustin’?? Also, I’m sure I would have been terrified as a 5 year to try this!! The girl that won was adorable!
We were really there for the Gary Allan concert. I don’t listen to country much, but he was really good!!
4. I finally watched Rock of Ages today. I loved the music. I’m having to force myself not to buy all the songs on iTunes. My favorite 80′s rock song is Here I Go Again by Whitesnake!
What’s your favorite 80′s hair band song???
5. I have to give a shout out to my alma mater, Wichita State Shockers for upsetting Gonzaga last night! Woot! #marchmadness
I had the pleasure of attending several cookbook signings and author talks over the few months at BookPeople.
First up, I went to see Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen.
Deb was so adorable. It was packed at BookPeople too. People love their Smitten Kitchen! Deb was under the weather during the book signing, but she soldiered through and was so gracious and personable.
Next, I went to see Tyler Florence. I’m a big fan of The Great Food Truck Race, so was very excited to see Tyler.
Tyler was so dynamic during his book discussion. He was very engaging. You can certainly tell that he’s comfortable in a crowd. My Tyler Florence crush intensified after meeting him!
And finally, it was time for Rachael Ray!
Rachael did a Q&A at BookPeople with her husband, John Cusimano, joining as well. They have a great vibe together. They are a couple that you’d love to get together with and grab a beer.
Now for the giveaway! I’m giving away one cookbook to one lucky winner. Winner’s choice of whether they’d like to receive The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Fresh, or My Year in Meals.
To enter: leave a comment letting me know which cookbook you’d like to win.
For additional entries:
Follow Sugarfoot Eats on Twitter. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so.
Follow Sugarfoot Eats on Pinterest. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so.
Follow Sugarfoot Eats on Instagram. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so.
Like Sugarfoot Eats on Facebook. Leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so.
So, you’ve got 5 possible entries to help you win! Contest ends Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm. Winner to be drawn on Friday, March 8, 2013.
***edited: Contest has ended. Congrats to the winner: Heather!
2. I’m attempting to find my New Year’s Resolution mojo. Much like a million other people, I desperately need to start eating better and working out more. So far, I’m eating better…still working on the latter.
Instead of working out yesterday, I got an hour massage. Ha! That’s still treating my body good though, right?!
I did buy some new sneakers though! I promise that I’ll break them in this week.
I also went to Whole Foods this week and dropped a pretty penny on groceries. My theory is that if I load up on fruits & veggies, etc AND spent more on them than usual….I will actually eat them.
And instead of having popcorn & a bottle of red wine (a la Olivia from Scandal), I had sugar free hot chocolate instead. Popcorn & hot chocolate is a yummy snack!
I’ve been searching for eons for new bedding. I finally found this quilt on Overstock.com and love it!! It’s an oversized queen, so it’s long enough to fully cover the sides of my beds. No more of the mess under my bed peaking through! Of course, my new quilt doesn’t match my curtains or artwork on the wall…so that just means a bedroom makeover in 2013!
I’m off to watch the Golden Globes now!!
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.
Ice cream at Lick.
My favorite fall breakfast: brown sugar & cinnamon oatmeal with pumpkin & peanut butter mixed in. Served in my spider web Halloween bowl.
There’s always time for wafflewichs on the weekends.
There’s always time for napping and puppy snuggling on the weekends too.
Finished reading The Soldier’s Wife this weekend. Review to come soon.
Dark nails in the fall are a necessity.
I got my 1st CSA Box today from Greenling.
Do you subscribe to a CSA (community supported agriculture) service?
Today was my 1st experience and so far so good! I received an email last week from my friend, Christy, with the opportunity to try a box for free. Free? Sign me up! I went online Sunday and got my box today! It was delivered around 2 pm with cold packs inside to keep my booty cool until I got home from work.
It was like Christmas! For once, I was excited to make dinner on a weeknight!
In my box:
Sweet potato greens
I like that Greenling lists the produce in order of shortest to longest shelf life. They also tell you which farms the items came from. They include some recipes in the box with more recipes on their website. They also have a picture identifying each item on the website. (I totally had to check to see what persimmons looked like!)
Tonight, I immediately went for the pears. I decided on a simple lettuce salad with sliced pears and pumpkin seeds.
I also see some zucchini bread & persimmons margaritas in my future!
This past weekend, I went to the Austin Craft Riot at the Palmer Events Center. It’s like a big Etsy store under one roof! Okay, it wasn’t that big, but it was free admission so no complaints!
Here’s the loot that I got.
Spot o’ Tea necklace from Poppy and Fern. It was just too adorable not to get! I told the vendor, “I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to this necklace, but it just makes me smile!”
Recipe Book Stand from Hammer It Out
It’s one of those things that I’ve wanted for a while, but never thought of when I was out & about. So handy!
I’m in love with these tea towel from Fisk & Fern. It was hard to only pick two. Funny that I went for coffee when I’m trying to wean myself off caffeine…
Triangle earrings made from vintage tins cans from Fat Cat Studio. These earrings are way cooler than I am.
Necklace (I’ve already won it and gotten compliments.) from SoCoDivka Designs. I had the hardest time deciding what necklace to get from here. It was all so great! Now I’m lusting over this owl necklace from her vintage site.
I’d heard great things about South Congress Cafe’s brunch when I first moved to Austin.
Brunch and I are BFF’s since I moved here too.
I was prepared for a wait when I arrived. Good location around fun shops + good food + Austinites in general are BFF’s with brunch = there’s a wait to be seated.
Luckily, I had a Bloody Mary to indulge in during the wait. It was tasty, but kind of pricy! If I recall correctly, it was $8….so I only ordered one.
My first impression of the brunch menu….”Wow, um…can you order any a la carte “normal” items?” No, you can’t. Just go with it & be adventurous. The second time I went to brunch at South Congress Cafe, one of my friends from book club had this deer in headlights look on her face! Be forewarned if you are taking out of town guests here that aren’t foodies.
Both times that I have been to South Congress Cafe, my waiter was fantastic. Great service!! I really wanted to try the Carrot Cake French Toast, but didn’t want it for my whole meal. The waiter said we could order just one piece to share…like an appetizer.
Brillant & tasty idea! I’ll be all over this come fall!
For my entree, I decided on the Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict with the Chipotle Hollandaise.
My food was a bit cold and the eggs were overcooked. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the chipotle Hollandaise. I should have stuck with the regular Eggs Benedict option.
Unpictured: my 2nd time at South Congress Cafe for brunch, I had the lemon and goat cheese pancakes with blueberry compote.
What?! Lemon & goat cheese pancakes??! Yes! They were really good!!! Even my deer-in-headlights friend liked them. :)
South Congress Cafe
1600 South Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Monday – Friday, 10 am to 10 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 9 am to 10 pm