Posts Tagged ‘2013’


We saw some incredible amounts of rain last month, while this was welcome after the droughts of 2011, the damage was not.  

Folks all along the Onion Creek river system were washed out of homes and rescued from rooftops. The same thing happened in my previous home of Calgary earlier this year.   The rivers become seething live creatures, swallowing everything in their path.

It’s time to rebuild.  Renew.  Refresh.  But everyone needs your help.

Austin Bakes for Austin is here to lend a hand, or cookie, for the cause.  Bakers across town will fire up their ovens for a city-wide bake sale on November 30th.  Save some room after your Thanksgiving feasts for sweet treats, and maybe a few savory ones too.  Your purchase will help a neighbor.  What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving?


Let me tell you how I got involved with Austin Bakes.

It was Labor Day weekend, 2011, we were returning to Round Rock after spending time with the grandparents in Del Rio for my son’s birthday.  As we approached Austin travelling north on IH-35, I saw what looked at first to be a thunderstorm to the east. Then the horrifying scene became clear.  That was a wall of smoke from a huge fire.  I’d never seen anything like it, and my heart sunk.

I wanted to help Bastrop.  Especially after seeing the news coverage.  I cried for people I didn’t even know, would never meet, and would never know that I cared about them.  It was that human connection, some upper echelon of spirituality that zapped me in gear.  I found Kathryn and Austin Bakes.  We met for coffee and I was so excited to be able to do something with my hobby of baking that would help the people I cried for, and prayed for.  A simple act of love, all bundled up in a loaf of bread.  Is it really that simple?  Yes, it can be.  

I don’t think Kathryn, nor the other volunteers, knew how this event would grow.  

Then West, TX happened.  I was drowning in a pool of tears for the firefighters and first responders who lost their lives that day.  During that bake sale, a volunteer firefighter from West appeared at my location in the Round Rock Market.  Holding back tears I thanked him for his service, dedication, and offered condolences for his fallen brothers.  He wouldn’t take a cookie, and only left his thanks for us.  

We can’t fix everything, but we can try to help each other.  Please join me next Saturday, either as a volunteer or supporter, for Austin Bakes for Austin between 10am and 2pm.  I’ll bring the bread, you bring your friends.  


For locations, please visit http://austinbakes.com or make a donation today.  

All funds raised will go to the Austin Disaster Relief Network, to benefit survivors of the late October flooding
that ravaged homes in Austin and Pflugerville. Those who wish to make a gift in advance of the sale may do
so at Austin Bakes for Austin’s secure, online giving page.





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You’re thinking What the heck does Roller Derby have to do with food? Right?  Me.  That’s what!


I’ve joined the Round Rock Roller Derby League called the Rockin’ City Rollergirls and aspire to be hell on eight wheels.  You know, when I’m not playing with the kids, donating blood, or baking cookies in my undies.  But seriously, derby is a motivation to get my tired aging ass back in reasonable shape.   I want to be able to walk up stairs without huffing and puffing by the fourth stair.  I used to swim every day in college, my muscles have been left to waste away to mush.

Mom, don’t worry, I have safety gear and a mouth guard.  Hmm, that also reminds me… You know why derby is awesome?  There’s no one to tell me “no, you can’t”, like those volleyball teams did all those years ago.  If you want to skate, you skate.  If you quit, that’s you’re own fault!

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: winning two tickets to the Homecoming Brawl!  This is happening in Round Rock at Austin Sports Arena on Sept 22 at 11:30am.  Kids under 12 are free at the door!  Bonus, right?!?  All you have to do is leave a comment below, and if you’re into derby, tell me your favorite team and/or skater.  Be sure to use your real email address when leaving a comment so I can find you if you win!

Winner takes 2 free tickets, contest closes Sept 15th!



Related: Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan’s Paleo Cookbook!

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Need a quick no fuss lunch option under 10 bucks? If you’re in north Austin (ok, way NORTH) I’d suggest stopping at La Tapatia. It’s a tiny taqueria on the south bound frontage of Research Blvd (Hwy 183).

la tapatia drinks austin texas

Typical selection of sodas are available, as well as beer. The chips and salsa are nothing to write home about, probably not freshly prepared in-house, not that I’d expect it here.

la tapatia austin texas

There’s a jukebox that randomly wakes up to flood the cement-walled eatery with Latino folk music. A bit loud when you’re sitting right next to it, and startling if you’re not expecting it. Restroom was clean and well maintained but didn’t have a changing table, just a heads up if you tote along ninos.

torta de lengua la tapatia austin texas

Lunch for myself was less than $5 (not including tip). The lengua was very soft and sliced thin, very few clumps of pure fat, in fact I only found one. Needed a little salt, or I’m just craving salty tongue right now for some reason. Very filling lunch option for those with smaller appetites (and wallets).

La Tapatia is located at 13450 N Hwy 183 Austin, TX 78750

For more Mexican Restaurants click here! For more Austin Restaurants click here!

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Our fine city will host the next BlogHer Food conference June 7-8, 2013 at the Austin Hilton downtown. What better way to celebrate than with a special discount for readers? Use AFBA15 to get %15 off the ticket price.

Nine of the speakers are local food bloggers belonging to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance.  Their topics span the foodie universe from photography and video to the business aspects and working with brands.

I also randomly found one of the speakers in the blogosphere, Julie from The Little Kitchen.  Welcome Julie and BlogHer speakers to Austin!

Anyone visiting Austin should check out the AFBA City Guide to find out where to eat while you’re here.

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Giveaway: Jade Monk Tea

jade monk tea giveaway 2013

I met the folks of Jade Monk Tea at TECHmunch this year.  They offered samples for a giveaway and I was excited to share this with you, lovely readers!

I tried the Lime Blossom cold tea.  It’s as light as a feathery lime petal as the name suggests.  Matcha is whole-leaf tea which allows you to enjoy the full potential of your beverage.  From Jade Monk’s website:

Regulating inflammation, in particular, has become a hot topic. Jade Monk® helps control the activation of proteins associated with the body’s inflammatory response-COX-2 and inflammatory cytokines-which appears to help thwart arteriosclerosis and other diseases.

Pretty nifty!

I have a variety pack to give away to one lucky reader.  How do you win your box of matchawesomeness?


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Austin Restaurant Week: Copper

I had no idea Copper existed until today. It’s Austin Cake Ball’s boutique cafe nestled next to the CPK in the Domain shopping center. The special for the week is a $17 three-course lunch consisting of an appetizer, lunch entrée, and a cake ball. A great way to try out the incredibly fresh flavors happening there.

I had the Truffled Deviled Eggs, Pancetta Salad, and Tiramisu cake ball. Not too filling, exciting flavor combinations, and a delicately sweet kahlua infused treat ended the meal on a high note.

I will be back, you should check them out!

2013 Copper Domain Austin - ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche

2013 Copper Domain Austin - german chocolate

German Chocolate Cake Ball

2013 Copper Domain Austin - tiramisu

Tiramisu Cake Ball

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My prayers and condolences go out to the Stern family today.

Allen, I didn’t know you very well personally, however your enthusiasm shone through everything you were involved with.  Your spirit was warm and welcoming.  I wish I had the opportunity to know you as a friend, someday I’ll see you on the other side.

I’m sure everyone in this room will be making a smoothie today in memory of Allen, this was taken at the AFBA Google+ class, which Allen attended with fellow Austin bloggers in February.

smoothie for allen stern 2013

Here is my smoothie for Allen.


  • 1 tablespoon Goji Powder
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 2/3 cup crushed ice

Blend until smooth.  Makes one tall smoothie.

Cheers, Allen.

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copyright 2013 heather santos

So excited to share with my dear readers about the community cookbook that the local food bloggers put together!  Right about now the press machines are getting primed to crank out hundreds of copies of our beautiful collaboration.

Addie Broyles is the mastermind behind this project.  There is something about a real book, a tangible chronicle that will become a foodie time capsule, which is lacking from the on-line food love affair we all share.  Addie had a vision and asked the other Austin food bloggers (dare I say writers?) to join her in this huge undertaking.  I loved the idea and jumped in, a bit over zealously too, Addie had to remind me she was only asking for two recipes in the first round.  I was madly entering anything I’d ever scribbled down in my kitchen notebook hoping one shred of it would end up in the book.

I still don’t know for sure what made the cut, but at least one recipe did.  Wouldn’t you like to find out what it was?  Don’t you want to see what a bunch of volunteers can pull together on short notice?  Well, I’ll give you that chance.  I’m giving away one copy of the book to one lucky reader.  The best part is that I’m willing to mail this cookbook anywhere! Hurry, contest closes April 30th!


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antonelli's cheese event space austin 2013

Arriving early yesterday to help pour wine gave me a chance to snap a couple of pictures before all of the guests arrived at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop.  The event space across the street is a remodeled turn of the century home, an intimate gathering for cheese and accoutrements.

jordan 2010 chardonnay and 2003 cab sauv

A selection of four wines were presented: (left to right) 2010 Chardonnay, 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon.

My favorite wine to drink on its own was the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, it was so mellow and fruity.  The best pairing was the 2010 Chardonnay with Pure Luck’s goat cheese and a lime marmalade.  Most of the food bloggers in attendance enjoyed the Red Hawk cheese with the youngest Cabernet Sauvignon.

jordan wine guests at antonelli's cheese 2013

Lisa Mattson (pictured left) walked us through each wine and described the area north of Healdsburg, CA where the winery is located.  Kendall Antonelli (pictured far right) guided us through the cheeses, her passion for artisanal fromage bubbled.

2013 antonelli's cheese pairing platte

I have to check out the shop next time there is a need for cheese (which is pretty often in my house!).  Pictured above (clockwise) Pure Luck goat cheese, Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, Ossau-Iraty, and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar.  The Red Hawk had a beautiful cream line under the rind, I could eat my weight of that cheese!

AFBA event 2013 Jordan Wine Antonelli's Cheese

Two of my fellow AFBA members, Elizabeth of  Local Savour and Stephanie of Steph Cooks, who hung out after the tasting.  Elizabeth, Brittanie (Three Diets One Dinner), and I enjoyed the rest of the evening at Dolce Vita as I needed some coffee after all that wine.

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Tracy Claros loves Sticky Toffee Pudding and draws on those flavor elements for her artisan English Puddings. Tracy shared three of her creations with attendees of TECHmunch in Austin, TX today.

stcky tofee toffee pudding


sticky toffee pudding squares

Tracy at The Sticky Toffee Pudding Co

Thanks Tracy for feeding us bloggers your treats!

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