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That Takes the Cake Show is the Sweetest Event in Austin

That Takes the Cake Show is the Sweetest Event in Austin

This weekend, join the best of the best cake artists at Austin’s That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition (I know it’s a mouthful, but it is about cake!).

Technically, this year it’s being held in a new location in Round Rock.

I’m pretty excited to try Jack Allen’s Kitchen nearby, so if you read this—please don’t go there, I’ve heard it’s not that great ;).

We’ve done this before, so here are links from prior years if you’re interested in finding out what this whole cake show thing is all about:

http://ohspooning.com/2014/01/31/coming-soon-that-takes-the-cake-austin-cake-show/

http://ohspooning.com/2013/02/23/that-takes-the-cake-day-1/

http://ohspooning.com/2013/01/06/that-takes-the-cake-art-show-and-mom-takes-third/

http://ohspooning.com/2012/02/22/that-takes-the-cake-feb-25-26-2012/

http://ohspooning.com/2013/03/02/day-2-cake-show/

For more on this year’s event, visit http://thattakesthecake.org/index.php/main/.

I hope to see you there!

Texas On The Rocks This Weekend

This weekend, we have a number of great things happening in Austin.

One event that has really caught our eye is Texas On The Rocks.

Texas On The Rocks is the 1st annual Texas Distilled Spirits Association Event and claims to be largest Texas spirits tasting event ever! This event is a part of the American Craft Spirit Association Conference and should be a grand ole time!

Best part is, Texas On The Rocks benefits HAAM [Health Alliance For Austin Musicians] and Sun Radio! Now that makes the ticket price that much more palatable. You can grab your tickets here!

The event promises red dirt music, cowboy tricks, and specialty bars lead by some of the best mixologists around.

Plus our favorite bourbon, Garrison Brothers, is an event sponsor!

The party starts on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at Austin Music Hall – 208 Nueces Street, Austin, Texas 78701.

VIP Pre-Party Cocktail Throwdown
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Texas On The Rocks – Grand Spirit Tasting
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

VIP Post Party – Tito’s Taco Breakfast
10:30 pm- 12 am Midnight

Now to figure out of John Taffer from Bar Rescue will be around ’cause I gotta hug that guy!

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!

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!

Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

If you love cooking or eating, then the movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is for you.

Set in France, an Indian family embarks from London to France in search of tasty vegetables. Not knowing where they might settle in France, fate decides for them when their car crashes in a small town with wonderfully grown tomatoes and mushrooms. The family finds a restaurant for purchase, but it happens to be right across the street from a Michelin-starred restaurant.

The father, who has a bit of a stubborn side, does not listen to his children’s protests and purchases the restaurant. The French woman who owns the restaurant across the street tries to sabotage the new restaurant, but when someone goes beyond competition and tries to hurt the family out of bigotry, the woman shows a caring act that begins to thaw the two sides.

Meanwhile, one of the Indian sons has an unusual gift for cooking and is determined to impress the very particular French restaurant owner by perfecting French dishes, in addition to the cultural dishes he brings to France with him.

See the trailer here.

Cupcake Wars Audition!

In September, my mom got a call from a casting director of Cupcake Wars asking her to make an audition tape for Season 8. She was a little overwhelmed and kept saying “I’m not ready, I’m not ready!” But I told her, “Yes, you are!” So, I drove six hours to Texarkana to help her with her video and here it is. If she gets on the show, I will be her assistant. We are hoping to hear back from them any day now. I have been practicing my baking skills just in case, because if we get on we will have to make a lot of cupcakes really fast! Enjoy!

Cupcake Wars Audition

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Spooners would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s day!

We hope your lives are filled with love and adventure.

Today, we share with you the cookies my (Tiffany’s) mom made us for Valentine’s Day. She had to mail them, so there are a few cracks, but beautiful none-the-less. And tasty! Enjoy!

Review: Rosie’s Tamale House

Rosie's Tamale House is decorated for the holidays.

Heading toward Spicewood, Texas, on Hwy. 71 West for a meeting, I spotted Rosie’s Tamale House.

I’d heard it was a Bee Cave staple and I had a few minutes to spare, so I dropped in for a breakfast taco to go.
To go is right! In just a few minutes my order was ready and I was on my way.

The inside of the restaurant is decked out for Christmas with festive lights, a tree and other decorations, which seems appropriate since the building appears to be an old house turned dining area.

While you wait on your food, there’s a wide bench at the front to sit on, with photos reflecting Rosie’s past posted on the wall behind the bench.

I got a breakfast taco with potatoes, eggs and cheese on a flour tortilla. Two items of choice come on the taco for $2, but extra additions are just a quarter more. The tacos are wrapped in foil, which keeps the delicious cheese melted until you arrive at your destination.

When I opened the taco, I was delighted to see a lot of cheesy goodness melted on the taco as well as the aluminum foil it was wrapped in. The potatoes were well-cooked—not in the crispy sense, but in the well-boiled sense. I typically like crispy potatoes, but somehow the soft ones worked in this stuffed breakfast taco.

I should have asked for salsa as it didn’t automatically come with any, but the results were still really good. I also ordered coffee, which came in a big styrofoam cup and a lid so I wouldn’t spill it on myself while driving (which happens more than I care to admit).

It’s definitely a spot I’d recommend and I hope to try their tamales someday—maybe on our next trip to El Paso we can order some for the road.

In September, there was a post on their Facebook page alluding to it possibly closing, so make sure and stop by while you can!

 

Rosie’s Tamale House
13436 HWY 71 W., Bee Cave, TX 78738
512-263-5245 • www.facebook.com/pages/Rosies-Tamale-House/110809575603130?sk=info

Random Act of Kindness – Foodie Style

 

ARC in Austin Texas, Robert, Sunny, Hank and Leslie

A couple of weeks ago, Tiffany sent me a blog of a girl named Robyn who celebrated her birthday by producing a random act of kindness for each year of life she was granted.

Each of our birthdays have already passed this year. But, we promised each other that we would embark on this journey next year. What is a better way to celebrate than to give people a random gift?

A few years back, singer-songwriter Denison Witmer gave away 30 songs for his 30th birthday. And for years I have been wanting to do this but I just get distracted.

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History has shown that no matter the culture, we celebrate with food. It happens in the Torah and the Bible and I am no stranger to this ancient concept. I am always pushing to celebrate by cooking a unique meal, going out to a nice restaurant or even trying a new happy hour.

It reminds me of my dear friend Brandon Jordan. He and I worked together at Macaroni Grill in Grapevine, Texas, when I was in college. Brandon had this great phrase for any and every occasion.

“We should celebrate the day!”

No matter what happened, good or bad, Brandon was up for celebrating with a drink. He would celebrate the fact that the day was over. He would celebrate the fact that he made great money that evening.

Over the past few weeks, I thought, I should do things for others more often. My life is more inwardly focused than I like to admit and I want others to celebrate life!

With that idea in mind, Tiffany and I began the long drive from Austin to El Paso. We sang songs and wrote children’s poems to pass the time.

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So much a little cup can do!

At a stop in Sonora, Texas, I asked Tiffany if she wanted a cup of coffee and before she could answer, a random lady at the coffee station said, “I would love a cup.”

I poured myself a cup and then raced to the register. I told the cashier that I wanted to pay for 3 cups of coffee and told the the cashier what the random lady was wearing.

Tiffany and I quickly got back into the car and were filled with joy. As strange as it may sound, I had all the better parts of anxiety as if I had committed a crime. But instead we had paid for a cup of coffee and, hopefully, brought a delightful surprise to a stranger.

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For weeks, we had been talking about how we wanted to see “The Muppets” movie as a family. We made our game plan and I offered to get popcorn for the family. As I stood in line, I heard a brother and sister behind me discussing their options. They quickly made a selection and continued to talk about their day.

When I got to the counter I placed the order for my family.

“I would also like a No. 2 for the people behind me.”

The cashier asked, “What would they like to drink?” I quickly told him that I was unsure and he could ask them. I paid for the items and walked away. As Tiffany and I were pouring far too much butter on our popcorn, the cashier hunted us down.

“They said they aren’t with you,” he muttered.

“I know. It’s OK. I wanted to pay for it.” I said as he stared at me in disbelief.

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I have been leading a bible study with the Austin Stone Community Church for some time. And the weather in Austin has been warmer than normal prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. However, this week, the nightly lows have been below 40 degrees. This has been hard on the homeless community. My good friend Leslie mentioned that selected gloves and beanies were $1 this week at Target, where she works. After a chain of emails, the group had modified plans to pass out hot chocolate, bananas, granola bars, little debbie snacks and crunch bars along with beanies and gloves.

Upon arriving we learned that the ARC holds around 200 people and had already been filled to capacity, leaving nearly 40 people outside. Our group focused our efforts on the individuals left outside. A few people got to call their families. Others shared their fruit and snacks.

I was blown away at how much joy is shared in a bottle of water, hot chocolate and an earnest conversation.

Here we were celebrating the day with complete strangers and I didn’t want to be anywhere else in that moment!

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I am not mentioning any of this to get a pat on the back. But I simply wanted to call others in the spooning community to action. Let’s put a smile on other people’s faces.

Let’s truly help make this world a better place 1 spooner at a time!