Upcoming and recently passed events that are cool enough to mention.

Delicious Films: 5 Movies for Foodies

imageSorry folks! We’ve been a way a while, busy working on our The Tiny Bots kids music video Shake It Like a Cupcake  the past few months. Yep-that’s right! We’re also in a children’s music band. But now that that’s launched, I hope to bring you some more food news, and break into some healthy foods as well. Antonio is really focused on marketing for Garrison Brothers and his band Oh Antonio and His Imaginary Friends, so he’ll be on break for a while longer.

Enough housekeeping. Let’s talk food!

Some friends and I recently brought movie night back into our lives. Every few weeks we get together and someone different picks the movie and brings the food. This week is my week and, of course, I wanted to pick a foodie movie. Here’s the list of movies I considered. Ultimately I decided on Chocolat, but I’d love to hear from you on your favorite foodie movies for future consideration!

1) The Waitress This quirky movie is not the most uplifting but is real and pulls at your heartstrings. A waitress, played by Keri Russell, who is in a lousy marriage to an overbearing husband finds out she is pregnant. After she meets the local doctor and begins an affair with him, she finds the strength to carry out her pregnancy, but it’s not until after she gives birth that she realizes her strength is her own and has nothing to do with the men in her life.

Food: You’ll enjoy the pies she makes throughout the movie with names like I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby pie and I Hate My Husband Pie.

2) Chef Who doesn’t love a second chance story? This movie is set when a chef at a respected restaurant quits his job. He begins to flounder, not just in his profession, but also in his relationships. When he decides to quit it all and restore a food truck and go across country selling Cuban sandwiches, he may just find the adventure of a lifetime and the answers he’s been looking for for success.

Food: You’ll love a look into what it’s really like converting a trailer into a food truck and seeing knife skills and cooking up close.

3) The Hundred-Foot Journey An Indian family in France sets out to find a place to start an Indian restaurant. When they break down in a small town, how are they to know one of the country’s best restaurant is just across the street? But is competition always bad? It seems to be when the competition has loud music, colorful decorations and a string smell just steps from your classy, expensive well-known traditional restaurant in France.

Food: You’ll love the search for perfect mushrooms, the perfect omelette and the difference between French and Indian kitchens (and settings).

4) Babette’s Feast Imagine you’re a well known chef who ends up in a super pious town that hires you to cook the blandest food for them year after year. And then you decide to gift them with the one thing they do not want using all of your money, so that you’ll be stuck there. That’s basically the plot and it’s amazing.

Food: The preparation for this feast will blow your mind!

5) Chocolat Apparently, there are a lot of food haters. I’m starting to see a trend here. Vianne and her daughter arrive in a small French religious town and opens a chocolate shop. The churchgoers try to resist, but one by one Vianne entices the villagers into her shop to chat and try a chocolate. Things come to a head when the gypsies move onto the river nearby–will the church allow things to continue down this road?

Food: At the end, a lovely dinner for the elderly diabetic woman brings friend and foe together for a wonderful dinner party of the most delectable foods.

Sake to Me: The three types of sake and other things I learned from Sushi Zushi

 photo(1)        Editor’s Note: OhSpooning received free food and sake from Sushi Zushi.

The Austin Food Bloggers Alliance happy hour for February was at the downtown Austin location of Sushi Zushi this month. In addition to providing food, the friends at Sushi Zushi also gave a quick Saki 101 class to the attendees.

Sake 101


There are three different kinds of sake, according to Sushi Zushi: Daijingo, Ginjo and Junmai.

The difference between the three are the amount of rice that has been polished away. The three above are listed in order of most polished away to least polished. You should be able to tell how polished the glass based on how clear the sake is. We used a white sheet of paper held behind the glasses to see which had more and less. We also tried nigori (meaning cloudy), which is less expensive and has a lot of rice left in it—it tastes a bit like rice milk, except with alcohol. You can try sake much like you would try wine, from swirling the glass to smelling the sake with an open mouth—the same rules apply!

I enjoyed meeting Christine from Smoked Salt and Pepper and her friend in graduate school for journalism. Christine is new to AFBA and they were a lot of fun to sit with during the tasting.



When I first got to the happy hour, there were an overwhelming amount of people in the room and many were jumping at the food. Once we finished the sake tasting, the room had died down enough for us to try some of the many samplings that were offered. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single thing that was served, but I can say it was all delicious. Sushi Zushi is good at adding many flavors while still allowing for you to taste the fish. photo(4)They also have some great edamame appetizers with different sauces.


Whether you’re downtown or in the Domain area, I’d recommend Sushi Zushi as a happy hour spot!


That Takes the Cake Show 2015: Where sugar meets art

That Takes the Cake Show 2015: Where sugar meets art

Another year of the That Takes the Cake Show in Austin has come and gone.

This year, they found a new location, Round Rock Sports Center. It was a fabulous space! Even though it did make eating in Austin a bit more difficult, it was a great place to have it (And gave us a reason to finally try Jack Allen’s Kitchen, not once, but thrice). The layout was much more open than it has been in the last few years and more like it was the first year we went at the Travis County Expo Center.

There were many cakes this year—and such good ones. One trend seems to be painting on canvas, which is a technique I would love to try. There were a couple upside down cakes, which I am not too crazy about, since they tend to lean. Also, several Rapunzel cakes were in one category. I didn’t notice as many realistic animal cakes this year as I’ve seen in the past, but the catfish cake was incredible.

I took a mini Lambeth method class that was supposed to be a beginner’s class, but turned out so, so hard. When my mom and I left, I almost wet my pants I was laughing so hard at how funny it was. The very nice teacher kept asking, do you love it yet? And all I could think was, heck no! I have no idea what is going on! Maybe after I learn some basic piping I’ll go back to the Lambeth method, but for now, it’s a bit over my head. My mom kept looking over at me asking me questions, like I had a clue. Ha. We had no clues. Looking back at our cakes, they don’t look THAT bad, but they weren’t great either (hers was better than mine).

Mom’s Entries
Chef Bren had two entries in advanced novelty multi-tier cakes. One was a forest scene with a little birdie on top and one was an undersea cake. The under sea cake won second place. Her birdie cake did not place, but at least this time the judges did not tell her her bird was too fat. She keeps telling everyone: Everyone tells me my birdie is fat, just like the doctor told me my baby was too fat (that would be me). She said they are hurting my feelings, but I say me and the birdie are both cute as we are!The next cake show is the North Texas Cake Show, so if you’re going to enter, you better get started! Meanwhile, enjoy the cakes below.

Texas On The Rocks

Serve It Up

Serve It Up

Hey Spooners!

This weekend was a great opportunity to get acquainted with Texas Distilleries.

Texas On The Rocks proved to be one of the best tasting events I have been to in some time. For one night, Austin Music Hall transformed into an emporium of handcrafted booze with names you have heard [Titos] and several names you may not have.

As Spooners, we get invited to events like this on a regular basis. Here are a few lessons we have learned over time

How to handle an Alcohol Tasting

  1. Alcohol tasting events are a marathon not a race. You don’t need to taste everything they give you in your cup.
  2. Ask for smaller pours. This allows you to taste more samples without over committing.
  3. Feel free to ask for another. If you have gone around every table, feel free to go back and ask for another pour at your favorite stops. The server will remember you asked for a short pour initially, and will get you another.
  4. Take water breaks.
  5. Eat well. Have a good dinner. This will help you go the distance.
  6. Don’t make a scene. Keep it classy and don’t be that drunk guy/gal at the event.
  7. Aspirin before bed. You would be surprised how much this helps.

If you follow these simple steps, you can ensure you get the most out of the price of admission.

As for the event itself, I think this was a great first step to getting Texas Distillers on the national map.

Texas On The Rocks 2015 Review

  1. Garrison Brothers is amazing – as always. But I am bias! And they don’t pay me to be.
  2. Moody June Gin is the next best thing since sliced bread! And they are working on a barrel aged gin. If you go to the Bone Spirit tasting room, you might be able to talk Joe into a tasting. Tell him Antonio sent you.
  3. Dulce Vida Spirits has an splendid family of Tequilas. With an Anejo finished in Garrison Bros barrel and an extra Anejo finished in Rombauer wine, I had a hard time walking away from this table. Side Note: I NEED to find their margarita recipe!
  4. Whoever did graphic work for Cat Mezcal and Cat Tequila labels, did a wonderful job! I just wish I was able to taste that sealed bottle of tequila. Hint. Hint.
  5. Craigslist Missed Connections. Dear Balcones FR.Oak Single Malt Whiskey, this is my open letter. I need to know more about you. Your simple taster was not enough. Can we get to know each other a little better? It was Valentine’s Day. Do you remember me? ‘Cause I remember you. Love, Antonio
  6. Distillers, don’t send a marketing rep to an event like this if they can’t answer questions about your craft, process and uniqueness. Bad move. I bet you as a Distiller have a beautiful story of struggle that goes along with each release. Now tag that to your marketing tasting notes. This is what makes your unique and memorable. The Lakarish Brothers from IronRoot Republic showed up to represent themselves with contagious excitement. The brothers talked about how they are so small their mom had to cover the bar at the still house while they represented themselves at Texas On The Rocks. Then they showed me of their mom shaking drinks. We laughed and I mentioned that if I owned a still house and my mom was bartending, it would be a train wreck [I love you mom]. These boys are building a story and brand to remember.

One option for growth is in the food department. Although, Titos hosted a VIP breakfast taco after party with Maudies catering [which was a nice tough], I feel like this would have been a splendid opportunity to showcase the Austin food scene. I would love to see Pink Avacado have a table, along with Paul Qui, the chef from Clarks and the Peach Tortilla team. This would be a great next step to pushing the event to more heavily Texas branded.

Overall, this was a great inaugural evening and I already anticipate next year!

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 or follow and

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.


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

AFBA Happy Hour: Trace

AFBA Happy Hour: Trace

Tonight the OhSpooners got the chance to try Trace‘s happy hour* as part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance monthly pow-wow. Trace is an upscale dining establishment located within the W hotel in downtown Austin. The weather was great, the cocktails were spicy and the food was delicious. I especially enjoyed the cheesecake with grapefruit on top (not pictured), although everything was excellent.

Our friend, Emily Teachout, promotes the restaurant, so we were especially excited to check it out. She did not let us down. The staff was very helpful and you really can’t beat the view—perfect for people watching. The prices for happy hour, I’m quite surprised to say, are very reasonable. Crab cake for $7? Yes, please! I’ll definitely have to go back.

Crafted cocktails are $7 during happy hour.
We recommend:

Deep Eddy vodka, jalapeno, lemon juice, cucumber water

Until we meet again!

*Food  and drinks were courtesy of Trace.

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Kate Payne’s “Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen” is Out

Kate Payne’s “Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen” is Out

By Tiffany Young

Despite the fact that I’m not entirely a do-it-yourselfer, I still love reading about other people who garden, live on farms and enjoy making their own “stuff,” for lack of a better word.

I mean, I bake. I cook. I make DIY body scrubs … that sort of thing. But growing veggies and raising chickens I leave to the experts. It’s not that I’m not interested, I just know my lack of follow through at this point.

One of the blogs I follow such as this is the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking. Kaye Payne just came out with her own book, “Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen,” which I aim to get just as soon as I buy a house or condo, which, hopefully, is real soon. The Spooners had the opportunity to go to a cookbook event last week at Springdale Farm, in which Payne explained how to ferment veggies. I’m not sure the Spooners are at that point where we’re planning on fermenting (not to mention I’m not a huge fan of vinegar), but the cocktail bitters were definitely intriguing. Perhaps we’ll stick to drinks!

If you get the chance, Kate has several events coming up before she goes on tour here in Austin, so check out her new book.

Also, if you get the chance to go to Springdale Farm, you should totally go! It is serene and the ducks following each other, (No wonder there’s the saying, “Get your ducks in a row.”) are adorable.

NTCC Culinary Arts: Friends & Family Spring 2014

NTCC Culinary Arts: Friends & Family Spring 2014

By Tiffany Young

I always mention my mom Chef Bren Young in my posts. She is a culinary arts instructor at Northeast Texas Community College in Pittsburg, Texas.

Last week, I finally got to see her at work and in action! She invited me to the school’s Friends and Family Night, where the students show off what they learned and then the ones graduating or getting their certificates get recognized in front of everyone.

Mom wanted to make sure I saw the behind the scenes, so she asked me to come a couple hours early. I’ll say the students must have been trained well, since there wasn’t a ton of running around left to the very end. Everything went off without a hitch and the desserts and food all tasted great!

My favorite things were the risotto balls and white chocolate bread pudding. However, the churros and the tiramisu were also great!

The sliders looked delicious, but unfortunately I don’t eat them. I felt really bad telling the students no to anything without meat since they don’t all know I’m pescetarian.

It’s inspiring to see my mom at a job that she loves, knowing that she went back for her culinary degree well into her 50s, when most people give up on trying new things, especially new careers. I know that the students respect her and they’re lucky to have such a great instructor. Her coworkers Chef Kat and Chef Reeves seem great to work with and I know they make a great team!

If you ever get the chance to go to one of their buffets, do! Or if you know of anyone in the Northeast Texas area interested in culinary arts, send them to They’ll learn a lot and have a great chance at an even greater career!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

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