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JAK, as foodies affectionately call Jack Allen’s Kitchen, is always a good place to try something interesting without completely blowing your budget.  The kids menu has full size burgers, neither of my minions could finish their plates of cheeseburgers and fries.

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I tried the Prickly Pear Mojito and was so glad I did!  This is perfect for summer.  Fresh mint, tart lime, and the peculiar cactus fruit juice that gives a blush to the foundation.   A small splurge for myself that was refreshing and exciting.

Prickly Pear Mojito (Jack Allen's Kitchen, Round Rock)

For dinner I chose the Sloppy Jack, a beef short rib shredded like pulled pork and piled on a bun.  Messy and delicious!  If you like sweet BBQ sauces on your meat, this is highly recommended.  And yes, there is a large amount of onion rings on the short ribs, but trust me there is a good amount of meat under there!

Sloppy Jack

 

Trader Joe's coming soon... near me!

Trader Joe’s under construction at 9772 Great Hills Trail Austin, TX 78759

My Junior Derber

My Junior Derber

You know it’s quite the workout playing roller derby, and I’ve had to change the way I look at food.  This is especially interesting coming from a food blogger standpoint, where food was for playing with rather than fueling my body.  OK, maybe not just for playing, I do have minions to feed!  Cooking can get boring and monotonous, so picking up a new ingredient or trying a different product can spice things up in the kitchen.  Now that I’m at the rink 4 or 5 times a week between Junior Derby and league practices there’s not much leisure time in the kitchen.  It’s become a hamster wheel of get in, cook, stuff it in your face, get out.  I’m a slow eater and I get upset when rushed, perhaps this stems from growing up on the farm away from bustling city activity.  The cows won’t care if you’re 10 minutes late with that bale of hay and there’s no traffic jam getting it to them.  I digress… Look! It’s a burger!

Frozen Turkey Burgers

Frozen Turkey Burgers

Not all frozen foods are created equal.  I would much rather buy fresh ground organic turkey to make my own burgers but crunch time in the kitchen calls for the necessary evils of stocking the freezer with “ready to heat” food.  These frozen turkey burgers were a little spongy (albeit I didn’t read the label, so who knows what’s in it!)  but they worked fine after getting home after a mother of a derby practice and I needed protein.

Bacon Cheese Scones

Bacon Cheese Scones

Oh, yeah.  My friends on skates happen to share my love for bacon, I made some bacon cheddar scones as a snack at the first bout I helped NSO.  They were snapped up!  So I try my best to bake them for our home bouts now.

Mmm Bison

Mmm Bison!

We have a new Whole Foods in the Domain in north Austin, I found these little bison meat bars there.  It’s like a Thanksgiving meatloaf.  Kinda weird but they work well when I’m running late to practice.

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Cop & Donut (LOL)

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Amy’s Coffee Ice Cream after practice

Sometimes treats are in order.

The Gourdough’s chocolate bacon donut is interesting, if you love bacon and you love chocolate you must try this.  It’s especially good after a few beers while watching some random live band in east Austin.

Amy’s Ice Cream is dangerous, I tell ya!  But delicious, oh so freaking delicious.  The day they make Tiger ice cream is the day I will apply for a part-time position there, just to have access to the best ice cream in the universe (in my humble opinion).  For now, it’s about 2000 miles to get Tiger ice cream in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.  Boo.  Sad, sad derby girl!

Tiger Ice Cream

Tiger Ice Cream

 

 

Easter Fiesta

Tried some wine, the Moscato was quite sweet and peachy (as expected), the Unoaked chardonnay was crisp and not too dry, and the red was shy on tannin (which I like actually). Who doesn’t love a rooster on your bottle of wine, ha! I bought all of these at Sprouts on sale.

Each paired nicely with dishes I prepared. The Chardonnay with the herb roasted turkey breast. The red with the spiral honey ham. The Moscato with the apple cinnamon crisp (a la mode  ). 

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My friends were welcome to bring something as a side, they brought mac’n’cheese (David’s recipe, which rocks because he puts Cheezits on top… I still have to try to replicate it!), green bean casserole, and apple pie tarts.  We could have fed an army!

It’s not the same as my family gatherings back home in Alberta, with a dish of every sort and cousins to match.  But Mom was here at least and my best friends, Stephanie and David, were enough to have a great time.  I love sharing my kitchen.

Nites Out: P. Terry's (N. Austin)

Go try the Ruta Maya Organic Coffee Shake @P. Terry’s now!

This is a creamy coffee shake that I found less sweet than the chocolate shake, which is a good thing.  It has a nice robust coffee flavor, and it smells like coffee!  Perfect partner to a bacon cheeseburger.

Thanks P. Terry’s for the coupon so I could try out the new shake! 

 

Rock ‘Em & Sock ‘Em Spring Fling, Roller Derby in Round Rock this Sunday!

This Sunday at 1:30pm the Rockin’ City Rollergirls are hosting their first home bout of the season.  Yours truly will be working the penalty box.  Bring the kids and some chairs to sit inside the rink for up close action!  

I’ve been training with these ladies since August, and lost a bunch of weight from my second pregnancy that just would not go away.  I avoid the gym like the plague, but knew I needed something to stay motivated.  This is it!  Derby is not just physical, it’s good for your mental well-being.  The friends I found through roller derby are all amazing, strong, charismatic, and funny women.  

So what are you waiting for?  Come out and see us this Sunday!

 

Austin Sports Arena, 3918 Gattis School Road, Round Rock, TX 78664

Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/575225 

 

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A tall Bloody Mary awaits at El Arroyo.

1624 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703

Known for catchy signs, which are commemorated in photographs along the interior walls, El Arroyo anchors the west end of the popular 6th Street downtown area.  It’s almost up against Mo-Pac (Loop 1), across 5th street from the Mean Eye Cat. 

I tried the Tacos El Pastor (pork with pineapple), they had very lean cubes of pork with a good about of achiote pepper flavor.  Not greasy at all.   My dinnermate had the tamales, which are a pain to make at home, and they were spiced in the right ways.  I’d say fairly authentic Mexican fare!

The “fish” is Tilapia, including the ceviche, which is not my favorite (maybe it’s a Southern thing, it’s certainly foreign to this Canuck!)  I wanted to try their ceviche but was not going to eat Tilapia.  If you like it, go ahead and try it.

El Arroyo can also entertain you with live music on select evenings (check the website).  I hear this is a great place for breakfast on the weekends.

 

Nites Out: Korea House (Austin, TX)

Kimchi, Tofu, and Bacon Stir Fry. Surprisingly tasty for the kimchi-inclined! It was enough for two people, or lunch and dinner for myself. They also have just Kimchi and Bacon if you don’t like tofu. The rice is on the side, not fried with the goodies.

Uncorked is a cozy converted house on the east side of downtown Austin hosting a globetrotters’ gauntlet of wines. Choose your glass by country or use the icons on the wine menu to find a pallet pleasing wine. I’m not a wine savvy person but I know I prefer sweet, fruity flavors if I’m enjoying a glass in good company. The staff are more than helpful and friendly, just ask if you don’t know what to try!

uncorked moscato midnitechef.com

My first choice was right up my alley.

uncorked moscato midnitechef.com

A sweet moscato with peachy floral notes. This went down very easily. The second glass was a rose and a little dry. From what I do understand about wine, start light and work to darker older vintages. Thanks to Jordan Winery for the class at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop!

rose

If you are looking for a special night with your sweetheart, Uncorked should be on your list.   Not just for Valentine’s Day (which is this FRIDAY), but any time you need to spend some time to converse over wine and nibbles.   The view of the high rises of downtown Austin is a splendid backdrop for your evening.

Uncorked is located at 900 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702

(512) 524-2809

uncorkedtastingroom.com

 

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The Village in North Austin (on Anderson Lane near Mo-Pac/Loop 1) has been slowly gaining interest and new businesses are moving in steadily filling in the few remaining gaps. The Goodnight is one of the newer kids on the block and is perfect for a date night with your sweetie, or meeting up with friends. A long plentiful bar centers the dinning area. Four billiard tables are flanked by two ping-pong tables in the rear. There are bowling lanes for the adventurous types! The staff are friendly and the food is diligently prepared, although it’s pub grub. Albeit, tasty pub food. The menu includes many fried items, salads, burgers and hot sandwiches, plus a few entrees of the beef/chicken/fish sort. For a light snack I recommend the Chef’s Board, featuring Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and local nibbles. Vegetarians have a few options but are all heavy on carbs. The Cheese Steak has moist meat on a soft roll.

What to order: For your date night I recommend the Farmer’s Market Pizza to share. It comes topped with roasted mushrooms, goat cheese and spicy arugula.

    Address: 2700 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78757
    Phone number: 512-459-5000
    Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday 11am-12am, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am
    Takes reservations: Yes
    WiFi: Yes
    Website: http://thegoodnightaustin.com
    Happy Hour: Monday through Friday – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm – $7 Pizzas, Megamugs of beer and select cocktails.
    Late Night Happy Hour: Friday and Saturday after midnight – $3 wells, $3 shots of Fireball Whiskey or Jameson Whiskey, $2 PBR or Lonestar cans.

But wait… THERE’S MORE!

Bowling
Monday through Saturday – $30 per lane per hour after 4:00 pm.
Friday and Saturday – $15 per lane per hour after midnight.
All other times, including all day Sunday are free to play.

Pool, Shuffleboard and Table Tennis
Thursday through Saturday – $4 per hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; $8 per hour from 7:00 pm to close.
All other times are free to play.