We know it’s been awhile since our last post, but like old friends, we missed you and we’re hoping that our getting back in touch will be a warm welcome. We’ve been having some discussion about where this blog is going and what we’d like to do with it. We think you’ll be seeing some new types of blog posts from us soon as we start narrowing our focus down to the things we truly love, instead of posting for the heck of it—because we feel like we have to. That didn’t make the change sound fun, but it will be. It will be FUN!
Moving on …
Southwestern Salad with Seared Scallops
As part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, OhSpooning was challenged this month to make a recipe out of its new “The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook.” My (Tiffany’s) pescetarian ways made choosing a recipe a little difficult as most of the recipes we were drawn to included chicken, pork, turkey, etc. We finally decided on the Southwestern Salad with Seared Scallops—can’t go wrong with scallops.
We walked out the door to get groceries and came back immediately after forgetting the ingredient list—nicely written on a notepad specifically for that purpose (Is anyone else obsessed with specific purpose notepads?).
At the store, we asked the checkout attendant a burning question: Does it count as one item in the 10 or less line if you have, say 4 limes that puts you over the 10 limit? He confirmed my suspicion that they’re not that anal retentive about the number of items, so long as you’re close (and not a pain in the rear!). Whew! One less thing to worry about.
Back at the house, we got to work … creating a cocktail. OK, OK. Antonio started working on the cocktails as I started chopping things. Although I know better, we did not read the instructions all the way through before beginning, so we waited about 5 minutes before realizing we should have put the corn in the oven to roast as soon as we got to the house, since it takes the longest of any of the recipe steps—20 minutes.
Otherwise, the recipe went smoothly. Just some prep work, throwing ingredients into a blender for an amazingly delicious dressing and cooking scallops.
The only thing we probably would have done differently the next time is gotten the bigger scallops and let them thaw completely before cooking so there wasn’t extra water we had to cook out. Oh – and used the red onion. Yep, there was still an uncut red onion left on the table after I cleaned the kitchen. Whoops. Nonetheless, this recipe is amazing and took us about 45 minutes to cook. This time could probably be cut down by cutting things in advance, preparing the dressing ahead and having grilled corn ready to go. The grilled corn was so yummy, though, so don’t leave it out! The bonus is, I still have dressing, tomatoes, grilled corn, red onion, cilantro, limes and lettuce … so tomorrow I’ll whip up a similar salad sans scallops for lunch!
For more yummy recipes, you can get your copy of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance cookbook here!
Accompanying this meal, we created a cocktail using leftover orange and lime juice and added grapefruit juice, gin and club soda for good measure, served over ice. Use the orange peel for garnish. Like all good drinks – amounts to taste! This drink is simple and perfect for summer time and was complimentary to the meal.
1 Part Gin
3 Parts Grapefruit juice
1 Part Club Soda
Squeeze 1/6 lime
1/6 of an Orange for Garnish
By Tiffany Young
OK, OK. It’s not officially SXSW yet, but that doesn’t mean the free food and drinks have not already begun. Thanks to the start of TechMunch and Whole Foods and Forkly hosting TANGO con VINOS ARGENTINOS at GSD&M, I’ve already had a few glasses of wine, some food and a swag bag of goodies.
First, I tried the Argento Bonarda, a red wine, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Its description is “earthy dark fruit and rustic red berry notes, hints of violet and toasted oak.” I enjoyed this with some empanadas and tapas topped with fried asparagus … yum. The weather in Austin was beautiful tonight, as I strolled along the courtyard saying hi to a few people I knew.
I hope the weather holds up, but the forecast is calling for rain the next few days.
My next glass was the Crios Torrontes, a sweet white wine. It was lovely as well, but I ended up eating some cheese alongside it and it may have been too sweet to pair with a strong cheese. There were several more wines I abstained from as well as a meat buffet that I heard was delicious.
Tomorrow I’m hoping to catch some more SXSW festivities during my lunch break. Wish me luck!
By Tiffany Young
Last weekend was the last day for Hope Farmers Market to be located at Pine Street Station. I was lucky enough to be there to see the announcement or I would have been disappointed when I showed up and no one was there.
My mom and her coworkers had come in for the cake show and wanted to visit the farmers market. They had missed the one downtown, so I brought them to Hope, forgetting that my Austin-eclectic taste might be a bit much for the Northeast Texans. (I’m from there, so I can say that!)
I’m not sure they were as impressed with the hippy-ness that I am, but they did have a great appreciation for Flour’s smart tarts that I introduced them to. The honey nutella smart tart is amazing. I’ve also had the pecan praline and loved it, too, despite not being a huge fan of pecans. My mom raved about the raspberry, saying “I didn’t even share on the ride home it was so good!”
All that to say — while Hope is no longer at Pecan Street Station, it has not closed, but relocated to Plaza Saltillo as of today, March 3! I didn’t get a chance to go check it out, but one of the vendors was telling me that it was originally made as a farmers market, was on the rail route and would no longer have to relocate during the SXSW craze.
By Tiffany Young
As promised, I took my Nikon to the Austin That Takes the Cake! show on day two. I love seeing the cakes up close and personal with my zoom lens and it’s much more reliable than my iphone for clear pics.
This year, we weren’t at the show as long as in year’s past. There was a lot of food to introduce my mom to: Hopdoddy’s and Elizabeth St. Café. Still there were numerous fine-looking cakes at the show! Here are some of my favorites!
It’s official! We are definitely being included in The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook being published in April. This means our Preston Spice Cupcakes with Cardamom Frosting will be in not just one book (Jump Little Cake, Jump!), but two!
If you are looking for a great, local, Austin recipe book complete with recipes from famous and average Joe food bloggers, the AFBA cookbook is a great choice. It has a beautiful cover, which will make it perfect for me to display alongside my other gorgeous cookbooks.
It’s one of the first community cookbooks compiled just by food bloggers and I’m excited we could take part!
Here’s the list of recipes, along with whose recipes will be included!
The cookbook is being pre-sold here.
Lots of families have traditions, and one of ours has become attending the That Takes the Cake! Art Show in Austin, Texas. This year’s contest is quickly approaching (Feb. 23-24) and I’ve been thinking a lot about my entry (which I hope I don’t back out on!). Our cake will be themed “Jump Little Cake, Jump!” to go along with our cupcake book of that name. It’s going to be fun! I have never entered a cake before (or really decorated one, so it will be interesting!).
Last year, my mom entered for the first time and won third place in the beginner’s division for her Princess and the Pea cake. I was so proud of her!
Bren Young’s princess and the pea entry won third place in the beginner’s division of That Takes the Cake art show in Austin, Texas in 2012.
Close up of Princess and the Pea bed
Princess and the Pea close up
A close up of the woodwork and pea for Bren Young’s Princess and the Pea cake entry.
If you’ve never been to the show, you should check it out. Entry fee is only $20 and gets you into the show for free. Otherwise, entry is $8 for a day pass or $14 for the weekend if you purchase online in advance. There are onsite competitions, demonstrations and of course lots of beautiful cakes to admire!
Jump Little Cake, Jump! children’s book
The OhSpooners, Tiffany & Antonio, wrote a children’s book with Lindsay O’Neal. It is now available at http://jumplittlecake.bandcamp.com/merch/jump-little-cake-jump-book-cd-physical. If you love cupcakes, fun and adventure, you’ll love this story about a nerdy cupcake’s journey through the kitchen. It comes with an audio book CD with character voices and songs. Order your book now!