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The Big Day (#2)

Funny how life events happen in clusters within social circles. I guess it’s a matter of statistics.  You get enough of a group of individuals together, they form a sampling of the population, relatively close in age and voila: you’re all pregnant at the same time!

Don’t panic.  It’s not that kind of “Big Day”.

This is about gettin’ hitched.  Again.  (But this time to Mr. Right!)

Picking a caterer for this party is turning into a big project.  I have spreadsheets, quotes, menus, and pintrest boards.  There’s too many options in Austin, not really a good problem to have if you’re in my boots.

Most wedding venues have a list of preferred vendors.  So I started there.  The first three caterers on my list are:

Royal Fig http://www.royalfig.com/

The Peached Tortilla http://www.thepeachedtortilla.com/catering/

Pink Avocado http://pinkavocadocatering.com/

Now it’s a matter of how many RSVPs will we get and how much extra cash can we stash towards dinner for our family and friends.  I don’t care about fancy flowers or having the finest china, I want to feed my people and wow them with local creations and talent.

So let’s see how this goes…. How do you pick a caterer in Austin?

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This year has moved my office to a busier location, which comes with a perk: lunch trucks!

Now that I’m amidst a collection of tall buildings, full of hungry workers, there’s a sustainable audience for a food truck to pull in (almost) every day.  I usually pack leftovers in an effort to keep within a frugal budget (saving for the Big Day #2 now!) but today I was without my zippy car and fresh out of frozen delectables.  Gibronis was still parked outside when I managed to decouple myself from my desk in search of food.

An interesting wood exterior and hand-painted design of a Spanish sugar skull adorned with various fruits and veggies greeted me.  Unlike most food trucks, you enter the rear via wood stairs and place your order at the window.  The walls inside are just as, if not more, exciting and colorful than the exterior!

I took the first item on the menu.  The Texitalican. With two sides and a pop, with tax it was just over $16.  It certainly had a good amount of pulled pork.  I had to disassemble the sandwich a bit to fit it in my mouth (huge roll!)  The extra stuff was enjoyed with a fork, along with the side salads.

Would I go back again? Maybe.  I would try something that isn’t a sandwich next time though.

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Star Wars in my coffee

starwarscoffeemate

How could I not try Star Wars coffee creamer?

Put a little Vader in your cup!

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Thank you to all the volunteers who baked all the wonderful goodies and stayed to help sell them!

We met many people today, including two sisters who held a lemonade stand to raise funds for Nepal.  This is one of the many reasons Austin is a great community to live in.

If you missed the bake sales around town, you can still help!  Check out the dance at Davis Elementary on Sunday, May 24th at 5pm.  Or buy a T-shirt from Stay Strong Nepal.  The bake sale’s online giving page will be available as well. Stay tuned to Austin Bakes (http://austinbakes.com) to find out how much was raised for Nepal relief.

IMG_6431 IMG_6428 IMG_6432 AustinBakesforNepal-B-800x800

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AustinBakesforNepal-B-800x800

Call for bakers, I will be at the Whole Foods Gateway Market if you want to volunteer with me: http://austinbakes.com/2015/05/11/calling-all-bakers/

Where the funds are going: http://austinbakes.com/2015/05/13/austin-bakes-for-nepal-where-the-money-goes/

spiced crackle cookies

Sharing is Caring… Please share this with your friends!  Anyone, anywhere can donate online here: http://austinbakes.com/2015/05/13/online-donations-are-now-open/

THANK YOU!

la Madeleine almond heart cookie

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It’s a mystery.

Our special spot, the place I fell for my deary, is inexplicably closed!

The only confirmation is the Yelp page noting Uncorked | CLOSED.

The couch in the foyer… Oh that couch….

The menu worked, the wines were interesting and plentiful.  What happened?

Sigh…

Now we are searching for another date night spot.  Any suggestions for wine bars in Austin?

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There’s one thing in the kitchen’s basic handbook that gives me panic attacks.

Pie crust.

Yeah, yeah.  Go ahead and laugh.  I’ll wait until you’re done.

Seriously, making pie crust was my culinary kryptonite.  If my life hinged on my ability to make an apple pie from scratch (without the assistance of a certain puffy little cartoon chef on a box of *gasp* pre-made pie dough) I would be slaughtered.  But, I think staring this challenge in the face has helped quell those fears.

This Thanksgiving I decided to make butter tarts, with a gluten-free tart shell.  Tell me where you can find tart shells that are gluten-free, tasty, and affordable in Austin?  My solution was Blackbird Bakery‘s pie and pastry blend.  The only hitch in my plan was having to prepare the crust for my tarts myself.

Karen Morgan, the genius that she is, took all the uncertainty out of pie crust made at home.  And it’s gluten-free to boot!  Bonus points for being non-GMO and tree nut free.

I used brown rice flour for dusting my pastry mat, which was coarser than the recommended glutinous rice flour (or sweet rice flour).  It did give a sable texture to the crust which was not rejected by anyone too busy to notice they were gluten-free because they were shoving a second helping in their mouths.

Mission complete!

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