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:

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.

 

Second Annual Balvenie Rare Craft Collection

Tomorrow, the second annual Balvenie Rare Craft Collection, a gallery-style exhibition featuring original works from some of America’s finest craftspeople, is coming to Austin.

Curated by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and native Scotsman Dario Franchitti, who will make an appearance on the 16th between 5:30–6:30 p.m., each of the 20 pieces in The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection stands as an expression of craftsmanship. From a hand-woven, hand-dyed merino wool hat and ornate bagpipe to a shuffleboard table constructed from ex-Bourbon barrels and a Baxendale Harwood guitar, this collection represents rare crafts from every corner of America, including Texas represented by western wear maker M. L. Leddy’s that has been fitting presidents, royalty and rock stars for leather boots and saddles for the past four generations.

The event will be co-hosted by Texas native Jonathan Wingo, The Balvenie Brand Ambassador. Wingo was recognized in 2012 by Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in the Food and Wine category for his dedication to curating a collection of craft and obscure whiskies distilled from all over the world at a boutique liquor store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called The Whiskey Shop.

The Balvenie Rare Craft Collection is Sept. 16 & 17 from 5:30–9 p.m. at Brazos Hall, 204 E. 4th St.  The gallery-style exhibit is free to the public (21+) and includes complimentary tastings of the world’s most hand-crafted single malt Scotch whisky, The Balvenie and light hors d’oeuvre. RSVP is a must: www.thebalvenie.com/collection.

I’m planning on being there Wednesday, so I hope to see you there!

Chocolat: Means making a lot of chocolate!

Chocolat: Means making a lot of chocolate!

Having been reading “Chocolat”* for about a week now, I knew it was time to actually make some to eat while reading. You can only read about someone opening a chocolate shop for so long before you’re going to get a craving.

*Yes—Like the movie!

I happened to have a stash of chocolate flavored bark coating* (you know, for emergencies), so I decided to make a chocolate bark. I had pistachios and dried cranberries on hand, but you could use plenty of other things in this, such as peanuts, raisins, walnuts, seasonings, orange or lemon rind, crushed peppermint—get crazy!

*I definitely plan to use solid chocolate next time, but this is what I had on hand.

Chocolat Cranberry-Pistachio Bark

8 oz. chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dried cranberries1/4 cup dried pistachios
Kosher salt

Melt 8 ounces chocolate in a double boiler*. Add butter and melt to thin out the chocolate if needed (never water). Pour into a small baking dish, lightly coated with Pam and cover with parchment, cut to fit. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup whole or crushed pistachios and about 1/4 cup dried cranberries. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Cool in fridge or freezer until solid. Use the tip of a knife to pry the chocolate from the baking sheet and peel off parchment if it’s stuck. Break into pieces with your hands.

Takes about 15 minutes, plus about 30 minutes to harden.

Tips:

I used my finger to push the pistachios and cranberries into the chocolate a bit so it won’t fall off as much when you are breaking it apart. Use the biggest salt crystals you have on hand for the prettiest look (Which is why I didn’t use sea salt. My sea salt is fine instead of big.)

*I have never owned a double boiler, so the method I’ve always used is to place a pot inside a slightly larger pot. Add a couple inches of water to the bigger pan and bring to a light boil, place smaller pot inside. If the water tries to boil over the side just bring the smaller pot up until the water settles down and turn down the heat. Stir frequently. The double boiler (and self-made double boiler) keeps the chocolate from burning. You could melt in the microwave if you need to, but make sure to only melt for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time to avoid burning the chocolate.

Now it’s time to curl up with my book and chocolate!