Pin it. Make it. Eat it.: Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Pin it. Make it. Eat it.: Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Sometimes you just want a cinnamon roll, but you don’t want it to take all day long to make. Insert this recipe from Crazy for Crust that I found on Pinterest: www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/03/quick-cinnamon-rolls-small-batch/.

In just 45 minutes you can have some yummy to your tummy cinnamon rolls. I love that it only serves six rolls—Just the amount to not get too carried away.

When I went to Texarkana for the week of July 4th, my mom and I were craving a sweet, so we ventured online for a quick recipe. This was the one I thought worked well with our timeframe and the amount we wanted to make. Not to mention a delicious cream cheese frosting recipe! The only thing we changed was adding raisins—you’ve got to add plump raisins!

Although my mom and I took the rolls out just a tad too early at first, we quickly put them back in for a few minutes and enjoyed this recipe so much! So quick, so easy and so delicious!

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Sailor Jerry Day at Moontower Saloon

Sailor Jerry Day at Moontower Saloon

Typically I try not to venture too far south of the river, but I found myself almost half a mile south of Slaughter Lane at Moontower Saloon for Sailor Jerry Day last week.

That said, this might be one of the coolest bars in Austin—not just because it has misters everywhere—but also because it’s got volleyball courts, washers, picnic tables, armadillo sculptures and several food trailers scattered about the outdoor area. The jams were good, both the outside stereo and the live band.

I should also mention dogs are allowed at this bar, so no excuse for you pet owners!

I felt a bit over- or under-dressed when I arrived, depending on how you look at it, being that I was dressed for work instead of as a pinup girl. I also felt just a tad naked, having no tats to my name. I could have fixed that at the event, as free tattoos were being given out, but I’m just not that committal. If I haven’t committed to a man, I don’t know how I’d be expected to commit to something that would be on my body forever. If I were to get a tattoo, I think the Sailor Jerry designs would be up for consideration. I love the simplicity of them.

Despite saying I was going to try the Old Ironside (which I’ve been experimenting with another type of spiced rum at home, but really need to try with Sailor Jerry, since it has a stronger taste to it), I ended up trying another drink altogether, Jerry and Ginger (It was $3 or $4 on special …). It has Sailor Jerry’s and ginger beer. I know I don’t like beer, but ginger beer is a whole ‘nother story! I like pretty much any drink with ginger beer, and this drink was no exception—very tasty! I like that Sailor Jerry’s rum has a bold taste, and it’s not a weak drink, either.

If you haven’t done so already, stop by Moontower Saloon sometime and while you’re at it, why not try the Jerry and Ginger?

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Moontower Saloon Celebrates Sailor Jerry Day in Austin June 12

This Thursday Moontower Saloon, 10212 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748, will be commemorating Sailor Jerry Day to celebrate Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, Father of the Old School Tattoo from 5 p.m. to midnight. Moontower Saloon will host a series of games — from raffles and social media contests to a cornhole tournament — to win free tattoos by tattoo artists Philip LaRocca and Ramsie Segura of Austin Tattoo Co.

“Sailor Jerry Day pays tribute to a truly under-appreciated American icon and independent spirit, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins. His influence is definitely seen throughout Austin’s culture, and his loyal followers will salute him and toast with the 92-proof bold and smooth-as-hell namesake rum on this special day,” said Austin-based Chase Hanna, Sailor Jerry Brand Ambassador for Texas.

Born January 14, 1911, Norman Collins was a hard living, tough Navy sea dog who set up a tattoo shop in Honolulu in the 1930’s. Over the next 40 years, he carved out a unique style that would change the face of tattooing forever.

Perfecting a deftly crafted, boldly lined style that blended American design and traditions with Asiatic coloring and sensibilities, the iconic “Sailor Jerry” tattoo has become one of the most recognizable icons of Americana, representing an authentic attitude and spirit of rebellion.

Collins also revolutionized the industry by advocating for regulated standards of sterilization and sanitation that are still met in modern day tattoo shops. Sailor Jerry Rum is a premium, old-school spiced rum, crafted in the traditional Navy way by William Grant & Sons. Sailor Jerry Rum, a 92 proof rum, is made from aged Caribbean Rum and blended with spices, including ginger, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.

For more information, visit www.sailorjerry.com or follow www.twitter.com/sailorjerry and www.facebook.com/SailorJerry.

The event is free for those 21 and up.

And, the Spooners favorite part: Sailor Jerry drink specials include signature Old Ironsides made with Sailor Jerry, pineapple juice and soda water; and frozen Sailor Jerry Piña Coladas.

Here’s a recipe they’ve provided for us. We’ll let you know what we think and post pics once we’ve tried it!

Old Ironsides Recipe

  • 2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • 4 parts fresh pineapple juice
  • Soda water

Build in a rocks-filled highball glass.

Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Cheers!

AFBA’s Biggest Fundraiser The Big Chill Helps Meals on Wheels

The-Big-ChillHey! We just wanted to share with you one of the biggest events the Austin Food Blogger Alliance puts on. This year, we’ve changed the name from Cupcakes and Cocktails to The Big Chill, which will focus a bit more on the food side than in prior years where the cupcakes were the main focus.

Restaurants will be serving cold dishes to cool you off from the summer heat. As noted above, we’ll have yummy foods and drinks from some great chefs, such as No Va, Trace, Noble Sandwich Co. and many more.

I’m especially excited that this year’s event benefits Meals on Wheels and More, my nonprofit of choice. I already support them financially, but especially since my grandma died recently, I’ve been thinking about what a great service they are for the older community who may just want a visitor to pay them a visit and bring them a hot meal.

I hope you’ll come out June 26 and enjoy food and drinks and support Meals on Wheels! It’s gonna be a blast!

Purchase your ticket now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-big-chill-tickets-11149888617.

Easy Strawberry Pie

Easy Strawberry Pie

Here’s a quick idea for a pie if you need a dessert in a pinch. Take a pre-made pie crust (I used a graham cracker crust) and arrange sliced strawberries to cover the bottom of the crust. Whip up some pudding from a box (I used chocolate, but vanilla and other flavors would work, too) and pour over the strawberries while it’s still liquid. Put the pie in the fridge and serve once the pudding has firmed up.

You could also prepare the strawberries to make their sweetness come out by cutting them up, throwing them in a bowl with about 2 teaspoons of vanilla, about 1/4 cup of sugar and sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Stir and let sit for a few hours to let the strawberries soak in the vanilla and sugar and then proceed to the steps above. This is how I prepare my strawberries before serving them in strawberry shortcake.

Easy peasy!

NOVA Launches New Menu

NOVA Launches New Menu

OhSpooning recently got the chance to check out NOVA’s new menu, which is launching just in time for hot summer nights on its outdoor patio. I hadn’t had the chance to visit before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I would recommend NOVA for a date night or happy hour.

Located along Rainey Street, the restaurant has nice, big windows and a decent sized patio. I like that you could move around its space and get a completely different feel depending on where you’re at. Downstairs, a bar and bar tables stretch the length of the room, which is bright and sunny during the day. Upstairs is darker and more intimate with a see-through walkway along the area above the bar. The patio is light and airy and has the feel of a friend’s backyard with metal tables and chairs scattered along its pebbled path.

The chef is young and energetic and his excitement about the food spreads. We were given dishes to share throughout the evening. The night brought us NOVA’s double macaroni, risotto, flat bread pizza, veggie tacos and hummus. The restaurant makes its own ham in house, which I found out means it cures its own ham (I wondered where they hid the pigs…).

The chef takes chances, making every day food with a bit of a twist. The veggie tacos are unique in their use of asparagus and arugula and a yummy dressing, along with other tasty tidbits. The hummus was very unique, with the addition of coconut and ginger, making me feel like I was on the beaches of Hawaii instead of Austin, Texas.

For drinks, try the Tudor 77 for $12: Aviation gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon, cava rose and lavender bitters. Not too sweet, this drink has a delicate flavor that will go with a variety of foods.

Give NOVA a try and let us know your thoughts!

NOVA tudor 77

Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

This past weekend, I got a chance to hang out with my friend Grace for dinner and a movie. Grace has a projector in her living room and we’ve been talking about having a Shirley Temple movie night for a while. However, she had the BBC version of “Emma,” so being a proper Jane Austen fan, I jumped at the chance to check it out. I had heard it was better than the movie that came out several years ago and was curious if this were true (I didn’t like the movie, so I figured I was hopeful). I’m afraid I can’t give a final review on the BBC version yet, since we’re not through watching it—it’s a whopping 230 minutes long—since I started snoring at some point in the night, most likely induced by the yummy plum wine I had with dinner. But, I can say I’ve enjoyed every minute we’ve watched so far!

Grace was having a salmon craving, and since that is by far my favorite fish, I was pro that idea. She wanted a fish salad, so we took a tour of the Asian market off Braker Lane, which seems to have the freshest fish selection of any of the super markets around. They slice the fish off while you wait. We also picked up some limes, spinach, pineapple and plum wine.

When we got back to her house, we split up duties. She got to pick basil out of the garden and cook the fish, while I was in charge of cooking the pineapple and making a salad dressing out of the limes, orange, basil, honey and olive oil.

It was a fairly quick dinner and turned out splendid! Not only did it taste really good, but it was a colorful salad that surely had lots of vitamins and minerals, too! When’s the last time you enjoyed dinner and a movie?

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Eating in Texarkana

Eating in Texarkana

Last month, I took a trip home to good ol’ Texarkana. As you can imagine, most of what we do in our family is talk about where we’re going to eat next. However, in Texarkana, there are few places to eat. Restaurants close there frequently as residents leave whatever restaurants are there for whatever the latest chain has opened. Even chains like Johnny Carino’s have closed, but the original restaurants especially have a hard time staying open.

On this particular trip, we didn’t have much of a plan, so for lunch my mom and I had a hard time to decide where to eat, but ultimately chose Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant. It’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in the area. Located in downtown Texarkana, it has a good atmosphere, great queso and good veggie fajitas. My mom and I shared the fish and the veggie fajitas and had plenty of leftovers, both of which comes with a bowl of soup.

Later, we got a bit hungry again and decided to make cheese and wine plates. Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate? Ours included dried apricots, grapes, crackers and cheese, alongside a glass of red wine.

And then there was Twisted Fork. Twisted Fork is a pretty modern “foodie” place in Texarkana, with specialties such as quail and waffles, shrimp and grits and seared duck breast. It’s a bit overpriced given the city. After all, it’s cocktails are priced the same as some of Austin’s best cocktail bars, even though everywhere else in Texarkana charges about half the price of drinks in Austin. But they do have Hendrick’s gin and you know how we feel about Hendrick’s! (You can listen to our podcast with Hendrick’s here.) However, the food was very tasty and the atmosphere was fun, using none other than twisted forks to decorate.

Mom and I shared a pizza—basically a margherita pizza, which they call ‘The Mean Green.’ Dad chose a burger with an egg on top. It looked delicious! They have a pastry chef on staff and next time I definitely want to give dessert a try (the lemon-honey panna cotta to be specific!) as well as sit on the bar side of the restaurant for a view of the kitchen—I think food tastes much better when you see it prepared!

So, if you happen to be going to Texarkana, these are my suggestions: Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant and Twisted Fork. If you happen to make the journey, let me know what you think! I’m also taking recommendations for my next visit. :)

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Brunch at Grace’s

Brunch at Grace’s

In case I haven’t already said it (too many times), I love brunch. Recently, my friends and I have begun enjoying the much cheaper version of brunch at home. Not only is it a more cost effective way to eat brunch, but no one is going to kick you out because there’s a two hour wait outside. Brunch at home allows you to catch up on your own time. I also enjoy watching other people’s cooking process.

Last week, I was invited to yoga with my friend, Grace, and her sister. Since it’s kind of a tradition that we go for brunch after, Grace invited me to her house to have brunch with her siblings (2 of them anyway).

I had never seen an omelet maker, but I really liked the simplicity of it. It doesn’t seem like you have to worry quite so much about flipping it just so to keep all the stuff inside.Of course, I never can decide if a kitchen tool that is specific to making a certain thing is worth it, since you have to find a place to store it and really a pan works just fine, but it did look awfully easy.

I also got a house and garden tour, getting to pull a baby carrot out of Grace’s just-now blossoming garden. Her backyard is just as cozy as can be. Since I’m looking for a house or condo, I’m paying close attention to what makes a home cozy, and Grace has that down completely. From her art studio to her garden, you feel completely at ease just hanging out. I can’t wait to have my only little space so I can reciprocate!

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Pin it. Make it. Eat it. — Spinach Rolls

Pin it. Make it. Eat it. — Spinach Rolls

The joke among people on Pinterest is that they pin lots of things, but never actually make any of the things they pin. However, I’m proud to say I take my obsessive pins to the next level by trying to make at least some of them happen.

Since most of my Pin experiments have turned out well, I plan on posting them here and then linking to the recipe so you can try it yourself.

For instance, these Miniature Spinach Parmesan Puffs helped me get rid of fresh spinach I had on hand and tasted delicious. I’d recommend them as an appetizer or for a potluck since they are so quick and easy to make and hold up well even after they come to room temperature.

If you’ve had great success with recipes you’ve pinned, be sure to share them with us! Happy pinning!

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