About Tiffany Young

http://tiffanylynnyoung.com

A writer and photographer living in Austin, Tiffany Young is available for freelance and contract work involving blogging, writing, editing, copywriting, photography and graphic design. To see more about her work, visit http://tiffanylynnyoung.com.

Posts by Tiffany Young:

Looking Back at 2014

YearinReviewIn an attempt to see where we’re at with OhSpooning and what we’ve been up to this past year, I have categorized all our posts. Sometimes it’s hard to answer that seemingly easy question, “And what exactly do you blog about?” we get repeatedly asked at food blogging events and in general.

We typically go into a long drawn out monologue about how we mainly focus on cocktails. Or we do a quick murmur about how it’s a little bit of everything.

But, if we’re honest, we don’t really have a great explanation. So, here’s my attempt at grasping what we’ve written to see where we’ve been and what we want to focus on a little more this year. We’ll be taking a look to see what interested our readers most, so if you have any ideas about what you’d like to see more of, please leave a comment below. We’d love your feedback!

Note: Some are repeats because they fell into two categories.

Recipes

All About Cocktails and Drinks

Events

Cooking & Baking

Food Adventures

Reviews

Food News

Childhood Memories Series

The most surprising thing I found in all of this? That we posted so much! In 2013, we were struggling to get any posts up, but this year, we rocked it. We’re looking forward to bringing you more food adventures in 2015. Cheers!

Recipe: Crockpot Italian Chili for Cold Days and Nights

This recipe I came up with by mistake. I was planning on making plain old vegetarian chili, but after I got back from the store I realized I was missing the main ingredient: Chili powder. How did I not have chili powder? Have you seen my spice drawer??

spice drawer

Anyway, I did not want to go back out in the cold—it’s too cold in Austin right now. I know. I know. Us Southerners can’t take the cold. That’s why we live here!

So, I decided to take the recipe I had and use the seasoning I had on hand, which were mainly Italian spices and it turned out really well.

So, here you go: Crockpot Italian Chili for Cold Days and Nights

Crockpot Italian ChiliCrockpot Italian Chili for Cold Days and Nights

  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 packet of Grill Mates tomato, garlic and basil marinade (or make your own seasoning with  a mix of basil, oregano and garlic powder)
  • Salt to taste

Pasta (optional): Choose a pasta, such as angel hair, and cook according to directions just before serving chili.

Optional toppings:

  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream

Throw in all ingredients in a crockpot, except toppings, and mix well. Leave in for 3 hours to do its thing. Serve in bowl over pasta and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and grated cheese (if using). Serve with crackers, cornbread or your bread of choice.

Notes: You can saute the onions in garlic before adding if you want, but I found the onions turned out well without this extra step.

I ate the chili with and without the pasta and loved it both ways, so it just depends on whether you want it to feel like a spaghetti sauce or more of an nontraditional chili.

This recipe is sure to warm your spirits on a cold day and the smell in your home as go you about your chores is wonderful. Enjoy!

How to Keep Your Foodie Resolutions

NewYearsGoalsandResolutionsUs foodophiles love to add things like “cook more” and “bake more” to our list of things to do more of in the New Year. Or maybe you just want to try some new foods in 2015. Whatever your goals, they’re probably totally doable. The hard part is putting an action plan in place.

This is how to go about making your goals, resolutions, whatever you want to do, come true this year.

1. Make it specific. Do you want to go through the whole Joy the Baker Cookbook? Do you want to eat five new fruits? Do you want to visit every gastropub in Austin? The choice is yours, but you have to know exactly what you are wanting to do or it will be very difficult to accomplish your goal.

2. Now that you know what you want to do, figure out how to do it. Say you do want to make every recipe in a book. Count how many recipes are in the cookbook and divide by the numbers of months or the number of weeks to determine how many recipes you should make each week or month depending on whether you want a very strict plan or more of a guideline. You know yourself better than I do, so you’ll be able to figure out which is needed on your own (Trial and error helps).

3. Share your goal. This really helps with follow through. Maybe start a blog to show your progress and let friends follow along. Maybe start a Twitter account for your resolutions or goals.

I know I’ve been using goals and resolutions interchangeably, but here’s the difference:

Goals are something you want to accomplish and have a beginning and an end.

Resolutions are something you want to start doing or quit doing. More like a habit.

I think it’s great to have both.

Take a little time today to think about what you’d like to accomplish in 2015. To get you started, here are a few ideas:

  • Take a foodie trip.
  • Try an exotic dish you’ve never tried before.
  • Eat the required amount of fruits and veggies per day.
  • Stop eating milk, cheese, meat or grains.
  • Read 12 foodie books.
  • Watch the all-time top 10 foodie movies according to epicurious.

Happy New Year. I hope you all have the tastiest, sweetest, juiciest year ever!

 

Last-minute Greek Dip

photo-3Need a last minute appetizer for dinner? This dip takes no time to put together and easily goes with a fish, pasta or veggie heavy dinner.

Last-Minute Greek Dip

  • 8 oz. Greek Gods Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz. Organic Valley Feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1 tbsp. Greek seasoning (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • Parsley (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Garnish with parsley. Serve with Ritz crackers.

How to use leftover veggies

photo-1I like to try to use up all of my food as soon as possible. This can be hard when you’re cooking for one. Especially those recipes that uses a ton of veggies, because you never need them all!

The key, I’ve found, is to make one “main” dish once a week, with several smaller side dishes to fill in throughout the week. I know this won’t work for everyone, but it works pretty well for me.

I’ll use this week as an example:

On Monday night I made the best veggie curry pot pie. I mean delicious. But I had cauliflower left over as well as some carrots and onions.

With the cauliflower, I made a curry coconut side dish (above).

Mine looked nothing like theirs! No clue why. It tasted good, though, with a spicy kick. I like curry a lot, so this wasn’t too much curry in one week for me, but you could do a quick Pinterest search and find something totally different—like cauliflower mac-n-cheese. Yum!

Next up I’ll be making these spicy maple roasted carrots.

Then I’ll just have to figure out something to do with the onions and the extra pie crust. I’m thinking a berry pie for the crust and adding the onions to the leftover dressing I have in the freezer.

Basically, my advice is get creative and try to use everything in your fridge each week. Occasionally, I’ll have a Sunday night where I try to use up all my leftovers in a soup or casserole.

So many options, so few meals!

 

 

 

Holiday Madness: Pomegranate-cranberry sauce

Editor’s note: Sorry about posting this late. As you can see, this was written BEFORE Thanksgiving :).

The holiday potlucks are well under way, what with Thanksgiving only a few days away.

My work potluck is tomorrow and I said I’d bring the cranberry sauce.

I found a recipe for pomegranate cranberry sauce on Pinterest that looked yummy and since pomegranates are supposed to be chock full of antioxidants, I figured that was the way to go.

I’ve never opened a pomegranate, so I searched the interwebs for a how to. This one worked well.

The actual cooking/prep part only takes 15-20 minutes, but factor in 2 hours of cooling off.

It came out super scrumptious. If you enjoy your cranberry more tart than sweet, cut down the sugar by half. I happen to love sweet, so I kept the full two cups of sugar. I hope there is still some cranberry sauce left over for tomorrow’s potluck—it’s so good!

While you’re cooking the cranberries, make a drink with the leftovers:

Pomegranate Holiday Mimosa

  • ¾ c Pom Pomegranate juice
  • ¼ c champagne
  • Handful of cranberries

Mix in a pretty glass over ice and enjoy.

photo(21)

A Sunday Walk Through East Austin

A Sunday Walk Through East Austin

Recently, Cuvee coffee had an open invite for free coffee as part of the POP Austin International Art Show 2014. I invited my friend Grace along since we tend to hang out on Sunday mornings. After we stopped by for a can of coffee (yes, drinking coffee out of a can does feel a little weird) and checked out the Black & Blue Pop Mural, which you can see being made here, we decided to take a tour around the area to see the great sights of East Austin.

DSC_4086This is Grace.

DSC_4088This is me.

DSC_4082This is Cuvee.

DSC_4093This is a mural.

DSC_4092This says who made the mural.

If you didn’t know, the City of Austin has added bike rentals in a few spots downtown. We weren’t planning on going very far, so we didn’t try it out this time around, but it could be useful, especially during SXSW! Find bike locations.

DSC_4096

DSC_4097Next we stopped by the Pop International Show, but the cost, at $30, was a bit steep for a last-minute idea, so we took some pics of the entrance and moved along.

DSC_4099

DSC_4105

DSC_4101The Pop International Art Show was across the street from the Pine Street Station, which used to house the farmers market.  DSC_4107

 

 

DSC_4108It’s got cute murals on the side of the building.

Then we headed over to the HOPE Farmers Market at Plaza Saltillo to smell teas, listen to music and check out the wares.

And on the way back to my car, I couldn’t help but take pics of everything along the way. Like Grace pointing out to what made the plant below a boy… You can probably figure that one out yourself…

Thanks for going on this tour with me!

Tomato Sammiches

Tomato Sammiches

It’s a little bit late in the season for this post, but I took the photos in early summer and it got me craving one of my favoritest, easiest lunches.

Anyone else love tomato sandwiches?

All you need is the juiciest, freshest tomatoes you can find. Two slices of white bread smothered in mayo. Slice the tomatoes into thick pieces and lay on top of the smothered bread. Sprinkle salt and pepper and, if preferred, add a few fresh basil leaves. That’s it! Enjoy! So yummy and tasty and an easy way to use all those fresh tomatoes from your (or someone you know’s) garden.

tomatoes

No Bake Pastries

No Bake Pastries

I got this idea from a Rachel Ray magazine that focused on breakfast and it was so simple, I’m going to share it with you.

Directions:

Toast English muffins.

Use a cookie cutter to form a shape in one side of each muffin.

Coat the muffin without the cutout with cream cheese and a jam or jelly.

Top it with the cutout piece.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Drizzle with a syrup made of powdered sugar and water or lemon/lime juice.

Enjoy

Warning: Only make as many as you need as these do NOT refrigerate DSC_3946  well.

The Balvenie: A Rare Whisky Tasting

The Balvenie: A Rare Whisky Tasting

Setting it’s whisky apart from other tastings, the Balvenie (Bal-vaynee) created a unique event in cities across the U.S., bringing together rare pieces of craftsmanship to remind its guests of the craftsmanship offered in its whisky.

Items on display at Austin’s 2014 Rare Craft Collection were hand selected by Dario Franchitti, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. Housed in the Brazos Hall, these rare finds were made mostly of wood, complimenting the old dance hall feel of the place. Not jam-packed like many downtown soirees, there were clumps of people milling about.

At the tasting, I was shocked to see so many hands raised when ambassador Jonathan Wingo asked who all had done a tasting with the Balvenie before, and then again how many people had been to Scotland as well.

Clearly I was sitting among some serious whiskey drinkers.

We were given three tastes to start with, beginning with a 12-year-old single barrel, followed by a DoubleWood* aged 17 years and finally a PortWood**, aged 21 years.

The 12-year-old single barrel was much lighter in color than the others, as well as to a certain extent lighter in taste. It has a floral, sweet taste and smell to it. Drown in water—the alcohol content is a whopping 47%.

My personal favorite was the Portwood aged 17 years—the flavor overwhelmed the senses, leaving a nice aftertaste.

As a treat, the tasting ended with a whisky aged in a sherry cask. Each taster got to dip a metal flask, for lack of a better word, into a cask and draw out their own swig, much like people used to use for stealing whisky (Watch how it was done here).

We’ve taken you to Glenfiddich’s tasting before. The Balvenie, opened in 1892, is it’s sister distillery. Both were opened by William Grant, are housed in Dufftown, Scotland, and are still owned by the Grant family.

The event continues this evening. Details at https://us.thebalvenie.com/collection.

*DoubleWood means it was aged in two barrels.

**PortWood means it was aged in a port cask.