book club

Condo update: Kitchen needs

Condo update: Kitchen needs

I’m finally settling into my new condo. I’ve been in it about a month and have already begun baking and cooking again! Just this morning I woke up at 4 a.m. and baked cinnamon rolls for my monthly book club meeting (and then went back to bed for much-needed sleep!).

Now that most of my kitchen supplies have found a home, I’m evaluating what I don’t have. I already made a trip to Crate and Barrel to pick up some plain white bowls for cereal and soup, etc. (4 large, 2 small).

The list of things I’ve come up with that I’m missing in my kitchen (although I’m sure the list will grow) are:

  • wooden spoons
  • cookie sheets (Bought one, could use another)
  • serving spoons
  • turner spatula (for pancakes, etc)
  • colander
  • pie plates (There’s a cute one at Target for $12 I am thinking about)
  • trivets
  • bread basket
  • vase
  • food processor (There’s a nice turquoise Kitchen Aid at Target)
  • cookie jar
  • table cloth
  • pasta maker
  • ramekins
  • pizza pan

I’m trying to keep the list somewhat minimal since I only have so much space, but some things are necessary: like cookie sheets. How can I make people cookies without these?

If there’s something not on the list that you can’t live without in your kitchen, add it in the comments. I may or may not already have it. For instance, I already have the coveted kitchen aid mixer, a wine rack, plenty of bar glasses, and many mixing bowls passed down from my mother.

Also, if you know of a place I should check out to purchase any of the above, please let me know. I typically go to Crate and Barrel or Sur la Table, but am open to places with unique selections. I used to love the kitschy place on Anderson Lane, but am not sure where it moved to.

To new kitchen experiences!

 

 

Book Club Brunch

Book Club Brunch

In May, the monthly (ish) book club I’m a part of decided to add brunch to its menu. Personally, I thought it was a fabulous idea.

What is unique about our book club is that no one dictates what anyone reads. It’s a free for all. We all read whatever we feel like and then we get together and tell the others what we loved, hated, and everything in between, about the books we read since we saw everyone last. I think this format works well when you have a group of friends who like to read, but aren’t all obsessed with a genre (Twilight, romance, Sci-Fi, etc.). I’ve been a part of many book clubs with different measures of success and this one stresses me out the least, since I don’t have to go along with the pace of the other readers at all. Prior I would read the book really fast and then forget what it was about by the time we met again or I couldn’t finish it, so I felt guilty about going and just listening in on the conversation.

Books aside, the brunch aspect was great. We had quite a collection of foods, from bagels to quiche and fruit to crock pot French toast. Eric made us lattes, which was nice touch, and, of course, there were mimosas.

Baby Bea listened intently, as she realized just how intriguing book talk can be. I’m looking forward to meeting again soon as I’ve been pretty busy reading this month—everything from Fifty Shades of Grey (decidedly overrated) to My Life (so far) Without a Date (pretty amusing).

Cheers to readin’ and brunchin’!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whisler’s

If you enjoy drinking in candle-lit historical buildings, look no further than Whisler’s in East Austin. This cocktail bar features bartenders who really know their stuff: from the history of bitters to how to make old-fashioned cocktails. With three bars and a food trailer named Dumpling Happiness outside, there’s no reason you can’t stay here for the long haul. Depending on the weather, there’s nice ambiance inside and outside. The bar has plenty of tables, bar stools along the bar and seating on the patio.

1816 E. 6th St.
(512) 480-0781
Daily 4 p.m.–2 a.m.
www.whislersatx.com
Takes cash and cards

Drink suggestions: Noveau Western ($11) and Brown Derby ($9)

When you enter the front, you’ll find low-lit mood lighting consisting only of candles, except for the chandelier directly above the bar.

The bartenders, Justin (Lavenue) and Ben, are friendly and helpful, assisting with a drink based on your tastes. My preference is gin and slightly sweet, while Antonio prefers whiskey.

Justin suggests a house cocktail, the Noveau Western ($11), for me, which is what I had been eying to begin with. It includes gin, aperitif wine, unfiltered sake, cardamom (a favorite of mine) syrup and lime bitters garnished with a sprig of thyme and a slice of lime.

For Antonio, he suggests a Brown Derby ($9) from the classic menu, consisting of bourbon, grapefruit and honey syrup.

Both are just what the doctor ordered—playing to our individual tastes perfectly.

Antonio says his drink reminds him of his childhood when he’d go to the mall with his mom because she’d promise him an orange Julius. To him, this drink offered the same sort of refreshment.

We also tried the Naughty Literati punch, which was the special of the night because a book club had met there earlier in the evening (Lisa, take note! My book club is cool, but no Naughty Literati’s yet!). We also enjoyed this drink of raspberry liquor, sapphire Bombay, orgeat (a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar and rose water or orange flower water) and lemon bubbles, while learning about the history of punch, which you can hear for yourself in our podcast from Justin himself.

As for ambiance, friends and couples alike can sit at the bar or at a cozy table. There’s inside and outside seating, depending on your mood, and, of course, the always-changing Austin weather (except in the summer, when it’s just HOT).