News

OhSpooner’s “Jump Little Cake, Jump!” children’s book is now available!

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!

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Thanksgiving is about a week away and everyone is likely thinking about what sorts of delicious delicacies they might share with friends and family. In case you’re at a loss for what to bring as your contribution, here are a few links to recipes that are sure to please a crowd:

If you’re not already following Joy the Baker, you should be! Not only does she provide wonderful recipes with easy instructions, but also fantastic photos of all the goodies she makes. Here is a recipe for creamy pumpkin pie bars.

Another one to follow are sisters who write A Beautiful Mess. Their blog is on fashion, design and food. Here is a recipe for mustard Brussels sprouts that looks amazing.

I’m not too familiar with Smitten Kitchen, but I love the blog name and this recipe looked yummy and healthy. If you’re looking for something a little different, try the butternut squash salad.

And I’d be amiss not to link to my Pinterest board, where I am keeping a list of all things pumpkin spice: Jump Little Cake, Jump! in honor of the children’s book some friends and I are publishing by the same name about a pumpkin spice cupcake. There are cupcake recipes, pumpkin smoothie recipes as well as photos of some of our favorite characters from the book. If you’re looking to entertain children this holiday, make sure to download a free song at bandcamp or pre-order a book for Christmas.

I’d love to hear what recipes you are trying out this Thanksgiving, so please include links in the comments section!

 

 

New vegetarian cookbook “Herbivoracious” leads to dining discovery

Last week, Antonio and I participated in Michael Natkin’s book tour stop in Austin for his new cookbook “Herbivoracious” under the same name as his blog. While we haven’t gotten a chance to cook with it yet (look for future blog posts on recipe adventures we have using this cookbook), we were impressed with the color photography, which Michael took himself.

The event took place at Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street and was catered by its new next door neighbor El Naranjo, who supplied us with wonderful food, including some “can’t stop eating it because it’s amazing guacamole.”  If you’ve heard of the just-opened-last-week-on-Rainey-Street El Naranjo it’s because it was formerly a food truck. The fine dining restaurant is open for dinner only for now and describes itself as traditional Mexican cuisine, but I think you, like us, will find it anything but typical of the Mexican fare you find around here. In fact, we thought it might have more of a South American background from its unique blends.

Sorry for the tangent on El Naranjo, but that just shows how impressed we were!

Anyway, Michael was a gracious host answering all of our crazy questions, such as “Who are you? Why a cookbook? Where are your from? Where are you going next?” All of the answers can be found at his blog http://herbivoracious.com.

We were excited to receive a courtesy copy of his cookbook with an inscription to the OhSpooners. If you are new to vegetarianism, just looking to cut back on meat or want some more vegetarian choices to add to your repertoire, this cookbook may strike your fancy. After the intro, Michael goes into detail on some of the ingredients and hand tools that are used a lot in the book and may not be familiar with readers, such as mirin, panko and a potato ricer.

The book, which includes 150 recipes, is broken down by appetizers/small dishes, soups, salads, 4 main courses, side dishes, desserts, breakfast and sauces, condiments and basic recipes.

The Spooners can’t wait to try it out and report back!

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop expanding

Line outside Sugar Mama's Bakeshop at its one-year anniversary in 2009.

A little birdie told me Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop is expanding … OK, I confess, it was Twitter.

Anyway, their website confirms they are expanding, which will include a small dining area to serve breakfast pastries and coffee.

If you’ve been to Sugar Mama’s, you’ll know it is tiny! But in a good way (unless you’re at the anniversary party, in which it’s super crowded). This will give customers an opportunity to take a moment and enjoy their sweets without having to rush out to allow others in.

They are losing the rootbeer and pina colada flavors, but adding a variety of vegan cupcakes. And if you’re attached to the flavors leaving the menu, they’ll still be available by the dozen if ordered 2 days in advance.

Bringing cupcakes to the masses!

“Jump Little Cake, Jump”

You may have noticed our posts have dropped off a bit this past month. Well, there’s a reason for that!

The Spooners have been on a mission to bring cupcakes to the masses!

Preston Spice, a cupcake is our friend, and we are telling a story about his journey in story form.

We have a Kickstarter (a crowdfunding website that allows people to help get the project funded and are rewarded different ‘party favors’ based on the amount they contribute) going on right now and we have about a month to raise $7,500. This money would allow us to print a first run of the book (1,000 copies), press CDs and get all the copyrights to go along with it.

If you love cupcakes, we want you to be involved!

How?

1. Download a portion of the book and a song at http://noisetrade.com/jumplittlecake for FREE!

2. Sing along and dance to downloaded song.

3. Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JumpLittleCake

4. Pre-order a book at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1002202694/jump-little-cake-jump

5. Follow us on Twitter for silly posts, like “TGIF—Thank God I’m Frosted!” and “What does a cupcake wear to work? #cupcakeproblems

6. Give yourself a hug from us for helping out a little cake!

7. Tell a friend about this cupcake’s journey to courage!!

Mama Fu’s new creations


Just a quick note to let you know what’s going on today Thursday, Oct. 20 in Austin.

Mama Fu’s has brought in nine chefs who will be competing for the best dish. It’s going on from 1–4 p.m.

The best part? You don’t need to leave your desk to see the action. Updates across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will keep you in the loop on this culinary showdown.

So follow @mamafus or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=218175484916034 to find out who will win.

Rainforest Alliance

This is the symbol to look for if you want to help save the world!

I love a good cup of coffee. I can’t tell you which countries have which flavors, but I certainly would love to.

I’m going to be exploring some different beans and other coffee, for lack of a better word, stuff and I hope others will share their experiences with me, too.

I just finished a 16 oz. bag of Fara Coffee, signature roast. Made in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, and roasted in Austin, this bag is Rainforest Alliance Certified. Like many people, I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant (although it sounded good), so I looked it up.

The Rainforest Alliance certifies businesses that meet its standards, allowing the business to use its stamp of approval on its products—in this case, a coffee bag—but there are more than 100 crops that can be designated as Rainforest Alliance certified.

Part of the standards means being environmentally and socially friendly.

While the Rainforest  Alliance is concerned with sustainability, it’s not the same thing as being organic. Though farms could be both, the Rainforest Alliance allows some forms of agrochemicals.

The complete set of standards, developed by the Sustainable Agriculture Network, can be downloaded here or I’ve summarized its main points below.

Fara Coffee is roasted in Austin, TX.

Part 1 ensures the farm and its workers are behind the goals of sustainability and are organized about carrying its goals out.

Part 2 ensures the farms are working with its current ecosystem, so that it is not destroyed in the farms processes.

Part 3 ensures wildlife protection of the animals that may live on the farm or nearby and allow for them to roam free.

Part 4 lays out water conservation measures.

Part 5 ensures fair treatment and good working conditions for workers, including equal hiring opportunity, safe and clean housing for those who house farmers and a variety of other working and living conditions that must be met.

Part 6 continues the treat ment of workers and includes an occupational health and safety program and training.

Part 7 tells a farm how it should cooperate with the community it resides, including protecting and conserving natural resources and prioritizing hiring from the local community.

Part 8 specifies the types of pesticides a farm may use and how much to ensure harm isn’t done to the workers or wildlife.

Part 9 ensures forests are not cut down for growing crops.

Part 10 ensures the farm is clean and that waste is disposed of properly.

If you care about preserving rainforests, how workers are treated and other social and ecological matters, look for the stamp of approval next time you’re at the store.

Definition via Sustainable Agriculture Network

Agrochemical: A chemical substance used in agricultural production systems to
maintain soil fertility (compost or fertilizer), control weeds (herbicide), combat pests
(insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, rodenticides, etc.) or stimulate growth.

Pinterests of Interest


Pinterest is all the rage these days. (If you haven’t heard of it or need an invite to get started, leave your e-mail in the comments section and I’ll hook you up.)

I love getting ideas on new recipes and how to plate different items by sifting through the beautiful pics. Today I decided I’d browse some of the users for suggestions on who to follow for some of the best food ideas on the web.

Here’s my list:

Michelle DuPuis has a unique Frozen deliciousness board—showing a variety of frozen treats— as well as Well Poured, HAPPY meals and a wide variety of recipes divided by individual holidays.

Vanessa Lynch‘s Pinterest Foodapalooza board has many appetizers and bite-sized desserts for any occasion.

Sarah Crim‘s I <3 Food board has lots of colorful items and leans a bit toward Southern cooking/hospitality.

Erin Treadway‘s Recipe board has lots of fun treats for kids birthdays. Looking for owl cupcakes? Whooo isn’t? 😉

Krisa Burnaugh Bryant‘s Yum… Yum… Yum-o! board includes a little bit of everything. One of the best things I saw on her board was crescent roll s’mores. I need to try that!

Lindsey Pritchard-Peterson has a mostly gluten-free food board called How to get my man healthy … without him knowing.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Leave any other ‘to follow’ suggestions in the comments, and of course, feel free to follow me, Tiffany Young, on Pinterest.