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?


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

The abundance of Las Vegas buffets kicked off our holiday, but we were pleasantly surprised to find sushi at the Monte Carlo Resort.

I ordered Sake 3 and some sashimi.  The Sake 3 had salmon marinated in sake in the middle of the roll, fresh salmon on top, garnished with roe and basil.  The basil threw me off a bit, it’s not a typical herb for sushi in my limited experience.



Prices were not that much more than you would find in Austin, TX.  Expertly prepared sushi and hot Chinese dishes are available at Dragon Noodle, something the owner prides himself in offering his guests.

There are several seating options, low sofas, at the bar, tables and at the sushi bar.  Service was friendly and accommodating.  This experience was top notch and my favorite within the resort!

Dragon Noodle Las Vegas NV

Dragon Noodle Co. and Sushi Bar

3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Within Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

(702) 730-7965

For months I’ve been watching the construction just around the corner from my house.  This is part of the excitement of living in a popular growing city, I just hope we don’t get too popular.  I’d like to keep my commute under an hour into Austin.  But if I do get stuck in a sea of suburbanites, at least a good cup of java is going to be available en route to the ninth layer of congestion hell.

I don’t want to spoil it though!  Can you keep this a secret?

Dazzle Coffee is opening in Round Rock!

Dazzle Coffee Round Rock TX

I saw some activity at the site yesterday and poked around their Facebook page.  I’m waiting to confirm the grand opening date (it might be TODAY)!

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!


Texas Rio Star Grapefruit (1)

TexaSweet sent me six huge grapefruit to play with.  I had ideas whirling before the package landed on my doorstep.

The juice was so sweet and my kids devoured the first two grapefruits before I could do anything with them!  I managed to keep one to prepare a bright and refreshing mojito.

Like your traditional mojito, I muddled 3 or 4 fresh mint leaves with a teaspoon of sugar in the bottom of a glass.  I juiced half a grapefruit and added it to my glass.  Plenty of ice cubes and 2 oz. of rum, then ginger ale.  To make it fancy, if you were entertaining friends, save strips of the peel and the tip of the mint sprigs to garnish the drink.


Looking for a hip spot to sip on some Joe?  Try Austin Java!



Raspberry Mocha Frappe, while not hot, was perfectly satisfying on a warm Austin afternoon.  Little Miss enjoyed the heck out of a mango smoothie.







And guess who forgot to take a picture before devouring it?



I can tell you about it though!

I was in Whole Foods at Gateway during my lunch break yesterday and saw the bountiful array of seafood.  Whole Red Snapper plucked from the water and on grand display on ice in wood crates.  Smoked fish.  Fresh fillets.  So many choices!  I settled on half a pound of bay scallops and a pound of mussels.  These were to foundation of my pasta dish.

The thought of fresh made pasta crossed my mind.  I didn’t buy any semolina so it remained an idea for next time.

Once home from work, I fried bacon and an orange pepper.  Took those out of the pan and used the bacon fat to sear the scallops.  Took the scallops out after a couple of minutes and heated marinara sauce.  Cleaned mussels were tossed in the pan and covered, they steamed until popping open.  The bacon, pepper, and scallops joined the cooked mussels.  Of course there was a pot of spaghetti cooking in the background.

Toss some pasta with the sauced seafood and enjoy!

If I make this again I’ll try to snap a photo for you.