Posts Tagged ‘recipes

Featured Austin Blogger :: Full and Content

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Believe us when we say that you’ll want to get to know Lisa from Full and Content.  As a true foodie, Lisa knows what it’s like to be the one at the table who only wants to talk (in detail) about what’s on the plate. With a true passion for good food, her blog is full of personal stories, beautiful pictures and recipes ranging from redneck sushi to Morrocan serpent cake (aka upper intestine cake– perfect for Halloween).

With a personal mission to eat a local, organic and humane diet, her recipes are the kind you can feel good about making. They are labeled vegetarian (V) and gluten free (GF) in a well organized recipe index, which makes her blog easy to navigate. All in all, we’re big fans of Full and Content.

Happy reading!

How did you discover your love of food and writing?

The love of writing has always been there. I wrote a series of novels at age eight (all highly derivative of the Black Stallion novels… little girls and horses, you know), then I destroyed them shortly afterwards out of a sense of being overly self-critical of my work. My aunt was one of the only people I showed them to. She was an artist and a teacher and understood how to deliver feedback constructively. While still being encouraging, she gave me some direction that ended up being hugely influential. She explained how even though I could see an image or a scene in my head—the readers could not—unless I created it for them. I’ve always focused on the descriptive aspect of writing, of visualizing and providing cues for the senses when appropriate. My style has evolved a lot since I was eight, obviously, and there have been many other influences, but that is still key. For me, it’s about communicating a story or idea and translating an experience in as visceral a way as possible—without cluttering the actual storyline. This ends up balancing my tendency towards analysis and keeps me from over-intellectualizing. Hopefully, both the visceral and intellectual pieces coexist in a complementary way. That’s the goal anyhow.

The childhood novel experience was also an early lesson about the creative process: that you can’t be paralyzed by any frustration felt over the outcome not aligning with your expectations. You just have to do it, then process what you would have done differently, and keep on truckin’.

So that said, the writing for the blog is still evolving, and recently I’ve really begun focusing more on the story-telling aspect rather than the food itself. I think I just finally gave myself permission to do this. You can see that in some my more recent posts, like “G’Morning Snow’s BBQ”,  “An Inside Look at Micklethwait Craft Meats“, and “Robert J. Lerma, Barbecue Photographer.” (It’s not intentionally reserved for barbecue posts, but I’ve been doing a lot of those recently.)

The whole idea of the blog is, “Life, as told through the story of food.” What we eat is a subtle but strong element in how we define both our selves and others, even if we aren’t doing it consciously. And as something that we structure our lives around, it’s the perfect avenue for capturing what goes on in our own personal world. It’s the framework for exploring other ideas, which are actually the more interesting and important elements of the story (in my opinion at least), and I try to keep that in perspective.

On a purely practical level, I’m pretty obsessed with food and obviously love eating, so it’s been a great outlet for me to blabber on about it as well as document what I’m doing in the kitchen for my kids. That’s an important goal for me as well. I wish so much that we’d captured some of my grandmother’s recipes/processes, even if she did cook by instinct and not by a set of instructions. I want to do that for my kids… regardless of whether or not they hate most of what I make right now. They’ll come around. Maybe.

Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?

Honestly, I really don’t think the process of blogging has altered my perspective on food or my cooking style. I just take a lot of photos of food now.

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?

I wouldn’t say there’s a single one, but peppers of all varieties and spice levels appear pretty regularly.

What is your best memory in the kitchen?

This is not necessarily my favorite memory, but it is my most powerful and it was very formative.

My dad’s mom died when I was eight-years-old. She had a set of emerald-green, Depression glassware, and my immediate family ended up with only one of them. I hated drinking milk as a kid, but I would drink it happily at her house… but only from one of those glasses. I’m not sure what it was about the glass that made me like the milk, but there was a very specific smell when you’d tilt back your head and cup that glass over the tip of your nose while the milk ran down your throat. After she died, I continued the habit and would only drink milk from that glass.

She was the first person close to me that I lost. A couple of years later, I also lost my aunt (the one who had given me the writing advice). A short time after that, I started noticing that I was forgetting details about my grandmother, but when I drank milk from the glass I could feel the cool, silkiness of her droopy cheek as I “hugged her neck.” I could smell her White Shoulders perfume, and I could see the glisten that seemed to always be in her blue-blue-blue crystalline eyes. I could hear the distinctive crackle of her voice, and I started drinking the milk out of that glass not because I wanted milk, but so that I could remember her. Then one day I dropped it. And it broke into too many pieces to ever repair. And I just lost it right there in the kitchen, much to my family’s confusion. The whole “no use crying over spilled milk” expression took on a completely new meaning that day. I was terrified that I would never be able to remember her again as she was without that glass… and also that the same thing would happen with my aunt, that I would lose my memory of her details. And then it would happen with everyone else, one by one.

But that didn’t happen. Instead I learned the power of taste and smell to transport you back in time and open up your memory. All I have to do now is think of drinking milk from that glass, and I can see, smell, hear, and feel her. There are similar tricks with my aunt and with others I have lost since then. I just had to learn how to recognize the triggers and how to control them. And they are still with me through those senses. Food, taste, and smell are the engine of a time machine.

What is the best thing about your kitchen?

I don’t like having generic objects in my house. Almost everything has a connection to a person or an event or a place or I have assigned some kind of meaning to it, even the stuff form IKEA. My kitchen is filled with memories. I have an antique butcher block and several display items from my great-grandfather’s general store. I have all the mismatched serving dishes that my grandmother and my great aunts used for our holiday meals. The hand-spun ceramic pitcher that holds all my utensils beside the stove is one I made in college… lots of memories there I won’t into. College, you know. There is a collection of food-related artwork by family and friends on the wall, and things I’ve picked up on my travels. For starters.

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

Anything where I can stand there for an hour and zone out while drinking a glass of wine. It’s a very zen thing for me, and I don’t have a single favorite. I experiment a lot and like to try new things. Recipes shift based on what is in season and what I have on hand. But if I had to pick one I say Cold Peanut Noodles. Since I cook seasonally, by the end of each season I start anticipating all the produce that’s just over the horizon. As soon as cucumbers hit, there’s a cold peanut noodle frenzy. It’s one of the things I most look forward to each year. The recipe is insanely easy to adapt to personal preferences, and I can eat it for several meals a day for days on end before I get sick of it. Even my kids will eat it, kind of.

What does your dream kitchen look like?

More counter space. Robot dishwasher.

What 3 guests would you like to have at your dinner table?

Evel Knievel, Ernest Hemmingway, Teddy Roosevelt. No reason other than I think it would be pretty entertaining to see exactly how the room came to explode before the night was over.

What does the word “sustainable” mean to you when it comes to food?

Well, that’s complicated. It’s both one of the easiest and the most challenging areas where our personal habits and decisions can have an impact.

It’s easy because changing our habits on food consumption—both in terms of what we are eating and what sources we use for our food—has a ripple effect on so many environmental issues. Too many to even go into. And our food consumption happens three times a day, or more, for those of us who are lucky. That’s a lot more opportunity to make responsible choices than even basic consumer consumption, so the potential impact is pretty big.

It’s challenging because of all the complex issues of availability, access, cost, education, and the simple but powerful emotional sensation of eating. I’ve already talked about it enough here. Food is memory. It’s lifestyle. It’s how we see ourselves and how we judge others. It’s reward, and it’s punishment. It’s denial, and it’s power. That’s a lot of stuff to sort out. You’ve got to be pretty dedicated to change your habits in a way that will have impact. You’ve got to be educated about the complexities of the issues and keep the learning process open as new information becomes available. You’ve got to have access to responsible food sources or be the squeaky wheel in order to change the system so that you do. You’ve got to have an adventurous attitude towards eating. And that last item is one or the other. There are people in my family I won’t mention by name (but I will tell you they are my brother… sorry, Bro) who have existed in periods of their life eating only bulk, frozen, fried cheese sticks from Sam’s Club. It’s a wonder those people didn’t get scurvy during that period of their life. But people like what they like. That’s a broader category for some than others. And many people would like to make healthier choices, but the options just aren’t there or they are out of reach. The immediate obligations of everyday life take precedence over the long-term. Making “sustainable” choices is a luxury many just can’t enjoy.

Speaking for myself, I do my best, and then I don’t. I have reorganized my finances and lifestyle gradually over time so that I allot more to food so I can buy the “good stuff.” I eat seasonal produce most of the time. I don’t buy factory meat, (though I don’t always ask at restaurants, and I assume if they aren’t touting it, that’s where it comes from). I barter and trade with people who grow or make their own food. I cook way more than the average person, and I preserve a lot of the basics for later. I blog partially because I realized what I was doing in my kitchen was influencing others. I eat a lot of vegetarian meals, and I promote Meatless Mondays and local producers and vendors. I’ve been using reusable bags since the mid-90s, which was very confusing for a lot of retail workers up until the recent past. I live in a place where I have been able to do all this, and I make just enough money to wiggle it around.

But… I won’t give up barbecue. I won’t. Not until I have to. In my world complete denial leads to a backlash, so I opt for moderation instead. We pick and choose. We all have our heroin. Personally, I try to balance it elsewhere. I’m sure there is tons of rationalizing that goes on for everyone. The point is to never be too self-satisfied and to keep examining our own habits and their impacts. And maybe only eat barbecue once a week.

Favorite Recipe to Date?

My Creamed Sweet Potato Greens with Bacon surprised me by how much I liked them. I’d had the greens in a salad but never cooked them before. I now crave these year-round, and all I can say is gigantic HOORAY that they are in season again!


What three recipes would you share with our readers?

My all-time most popular post is a collection of recipes and tips for how to use loquats. I got a little obsessed, and apparently there are a lot of people out there who are interested: Loquats, Here’s What You Do With Them.


My recipe for Broccoli-Beer-Cheese Soup is my next most popular one and also one of my own personal favorites. When broccoli season rolls around, this is the first thing I make. It’s easy, accessible, and completely decadent… don’t try to lighten this one. Just indulge.


Homemade Peaches and Cream Ice Cream, just like Mama used to make. For real. It’s her recipe.


Written by cscdavis

September 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

Daily Recipe:: Roasted Peach and Coconut Popsicles

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Yep, the triple digit weather is here. The good news is we have Barton Springs, fresh local melons, and the ability to escape to air conditioning.  August in Texas is sweaty, sticky and down right warm. The good news is that it’s Friday and we’re offering up a roasted peach and coconut popsicle recipe. If that isn’t enough to make you start drooling, we don’t know what will.

In just a few hours, you can hustle home, whip up a batch of these and dream of cooler days.

Happy eating!

Roasted Peach and Coconut Popsicles

From: Katie Did

  • 2 peaches
  • Squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (we know, it’s hot… but this is worth it, we promise). Slice peaches into wedges, sprinkle with lemon juice and a touch of sea salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 25 minutes until they are beginning to caramelize. Remove from oven and dice into smaller pieces.

Whisk together the coconut milk and vanilla extract. Pour the coconut milk into the popsicle molds to fill them about half way. Stick in the freezer and allow to set for 30 minutes.

Remove molds and drop in the peaches. Try and evenly distribute the peaches into the popsicles. They should be full of peaches. Top off the popsicles with the remaining coconut milk until just about all the way to the top. Stick a popsicle stick in each and freeze for another 2-3 hours. Once they’re frozen, remove them from the molds. You may have to run the base under warm water to remove them, depending on your mold.


Written by cscdavis

August 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

ATX Featured Food Blogger: Caramelized

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When you start digging into the vast world of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance you’ll come to a couple conclusions. First, there are so many folks in this town who are passionate about food. Secondly, a majority of them can take beautiful pictures of food. Thirdly, we have a lot of great writers in Austin.

All of these things checked out while we were reading through Cara’s blog, Caramelized. Not only does her blog have great recipes, she also takes the time to review restaurants both here in Austin and other spots around the world. We realize we’re giving you a weeks worth of blogs to follow, but believe us… they are all worth it.

Happy reading!

How did you discover your love of food and writing?

Food Network was my channel of choice for as long as I can remember. Rather than receiving Tiffany’s jewelry for my bat mitzvah over a decade ago, I the rabbi’s daughter, received a pastel yellow KitchenAid, cooking knives and sushi kits! More recently, both food and writing has become creative outlets during jam-packed days in the public relations world. Writing is a passion of mine, no matter the subject, but why not write about something I love? And that, my friends, is food. Everything food.

Has blogging changed the way your view food and cooking? If so, how?

Absolutely. In this muddled world of media, writers must work extra hard to tell a story. That is what communication relies on these days: capturing attention. A simple recipe cannot just list ingredients and steps, and a restaurant review cannot just list a menu and price point; they must provide vivid pictures, mouth-watering descriptions and a genuine opinion. While I, of course, focus on the food itself, I have realized that the key to successful blogging is selling that story and virtually swaying that reader to walk into her kitchen to whip up that recipe or call that restaurant for a dinner reservation next Saturday night. I spend much more time with my Canon camera that I would have ever imagined. I am constantly trying to “amp” up my descriptions and critiques to positively affect my blog readers.

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?

Garlic. Salt. Or garlic salt. It’s still mind-blowing to me that one sprinkle can elevate two avocados into the yummiest guacamole.

What is your best memory in the kitchen?

As the first child, babysitting siblings was never my cup of tea. My five-year-old sister was not easy to entertain; that is, until I create the game “cooking show.” One at a time, we would put on a cooking show for the other, pretending to be Rachael Ray or Giada and crafting sweet surprises for our parents. Batter-covered bowls and dirty pans flew left and right, but our young minds never seemed to notice. Our sous-check, my mother, handled the mess when she would arrive home. We are still grateful for her help in and out of the kitchen.

What is the best thing about your kitchen?

My kitchen is the central space in both my Memphis home and my Austin apartment for family and friends. It’s the constant. I’m a firm believer that food brings people together; so ensuring that the kitchen serves that communal purpose is a consistent goal of mine.

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

While not a full meal, I love a caprese salad or an easy caprese”, as I call it. There’s always that feeling of accomplishment when successfully preparing complicated dishes, but nothing beats the simplicity of local, fresh ingredients. I have recently been buying heirloom tomatoes from Memphis Farmers Market and pair them with mozzarella, sweet basil from my friend Gary’s garden, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. The colors are brilliant and the taste is always pleasing!

What does your dream kitchen look like?

Ah, the dream kitchen. Just as most little girls craft their one-day wedding – dress and all – I, as a little girl, began crafting my dream kitchen- KitchenAid and all. First, I envision abundant natural light with a herb garden sitting on the windowsill above a farm sink. I also would love a wood-beamed ceiling and a large island with cozy bar stools and suspended cookware. A farm table for family dinners is a must.

What 3 guests would you like to have at your dinner table?

Kate Middleton (maybe she’s bring Prince George?), Sheryl Sandberg, Martha Stewart

What does the word “sustainable” mean to you when it comes to food?

Hm… When I think of “sustainable,” I think of the source of an ingredient. It’s inspiring to craft and style dishes with the source of my produce in mind. Such a though process truly elevates the quality and taste of food, in my opinion.

Favorite Recipe to Date?

My mother’s chicken piccata. It’s adapted from Cooking Light Magazine and satisfies every dinner guest, even the picky ones! Plus, it’s a healthy dish with much room for flexibility and ingredient variety. I sometimes add shiitakes on top since we’re mushroom lovers in my family.


What three recipes would you share with our readers?

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad


Rainbow Trout with Sugar Snaps and White Asparagus


NY Style Cheesecake Cupcakes


Written by cscdavis

August 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Featured ATX Food Blog: Sweet Tidbits

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We’re always blown away by the creative way folks in this town write about food.  Mary, from Sweet Tidbits, is one of those people. Not only does she give us unique and delicious recipes, she interviews fascinating folks in Austin and takes beautiful photos of all of the above.

Her blog is definitely something worth checking out. Take a minute to get to know Mary and then head on over to Sweet Tidbits!

How did you discover your love of food and writing?

As a kid, I moved around a lot so I found myself alone at times. I used writing as an outlet to write poems, songs and just get my thoughts out on paper. Cooking was a big deal in my life, so I put the two together and started Sweet Tidbits

Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?

It’s helped me break down the cooking process in my head. On my blog, I try to showcase the entire process from beginning to end. I cut and put all the ingredients out on the cutting board, I wash my hands and take pictures. I consider the lighting, angles and colors. There’s a lot that goes into preparing a meal in the kitchen nowadays including food styling. It’s a whole production for me. I ask myself “Is this picture going to make any readers want to eat this?”

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?

Do I just have to pick one? Okay, lemons. I love lemons. I squeeze them on my fish, I make lemonade with them, and I use them in almost all my salads.

What is your best memory in the kitchen?

When I first cooked chicken. I washed it, put salt, pepper, butter and sour cream on it, stuffed a bunch of garlic all over and put an onion in the middle. It came out so good! Ever since then, I haven’t been able to marinate it any other way.

What is the best thing about your kitchen? 

My island! I keep it clean and organized so when I’m ready to cook I can lay al my stuff out and start. It’s my little organized space away from the rest of the kitchen.

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

Are you really going to make me choose?! I would have to say anything with pasta. I have a pasta bake that I make that everyone is always satisfied with. It’s not on the blog yet, but you’ll have to check back later to get the recipe!

What does your dream kitchen look like? 

I think a great meal could be made anywhere and you don’t need a dream kitchen to cook and share the love but my preference would be open, organized and lots of natural light.

Favorite recipe to date? 

My mozzarella, tomato and black olive pasta


What three recipes would you share with our readers?



Shrimp Scampi


Spice Feta and Pita Chip Salad


Written by cscdavis

August 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Featured ATX Food Blog: Green Door Hospitality

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We tried to write up our own description of Green Door Hospitality, yet another great ATX Food Blog, but their ‘about me’ sums it up perfectly. Read on, get to know them and you’ll want to throw a dinner party immediately.

Green Door Hospitality looks at the adventure that can be found within everyday entertaining.  In an age where so much of human interaction is virtual, there is a simple beauty in seeing and relating with people in the “real world”.  Green Door Hospitality is about making your guests feel special.

Throughout this blog, you will find a modern sensibility within “old fashion hosting”.  And you don’t have to break the bank to do it.  Entertaining is about finding your own style and comfort zone.  The most important part of entertaining is about how your guests feel at the end of the experience.

How did you discover your love of food and writing?

I have always loved to write.  Short stories, poems, essays… expressing myself through writing has always been part of my life.  So has cooking.  My mother is a wonderful cook and from early on I found myself at home in the kitchen.  And there is nothing better than preparing a meal for other people.  Entertaining through food shares so much of yourself and brings back the dying art of hospitality.

Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?

Through Green Door Hospitality I have discovered the joy of creating my own recipes.  I had dabbled with developing recipes in the past but blogging has really brought out the creative cook in me.

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?

A toss up between garlic and shallots.  Whenever I modify a recipe I find myself adding one of these ingredients.  They make everything better!

What is your best memory in the kitchen?

I don’t know if I can pinpoint just one memory.  My best memories in the kitchen always are connected with people.  Helping my mom cook a holiday dinner.  My husband and I spending the day cooking together.  Baking cookies (and drinking Bloody Marys) every Christmas with one of my good friends.

What is the best thing about your kitchen?

Our pantry.  It is a decent size for our home with plenty of room for all my preserving.

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

I would probably say Truffled Mac and Cheese.  Mac and Cheese is such a delicious comfort food.  But when you incorporate gorgonzola and truffle oil, it makes comfort food elegant!

What does your dream kitchen look like?

Wow.  I feel like I should include a link to my Pinterest board with all the images that I keep stored for someday building our dream kitchen!  In essence it would include the following:  two ovens, a large gas stove with plenty of room for each burner, a butcher block island for extra work space, a large pantry and root cellar, as well as a door leading directly out to our herb and vegetable garden.

What 3 guests would you like to have at your dinner table?

Alton Brown, David Sedaris, and Senator Wendy Davis

What does the word “sustainable” mean to you when it comes to food?

The less waste the better!  We compost everything we possibly can.  The compost then gets worked into our large vegetable garden.  We then can and preserve everything we grow, as well as make our own condiments, sauces, breads, etc.  When we buy something, the container either gets re-used or recycled.  Old bread becomes bread crumbs.  Bacon grease gets saved in the refrigerator and used for future recipes.

Favorite Recipe to Date?

This is difficult since I have different favorites for different meals, courses, and events.  But I would have to say at the moment it is my Bourbon-Seared Peaches with Fig Balsamic Vinegar.

What three recipes would you share with our readers?

Bourbon-Seared Peaches with Fig Balsamic Vinegar 

Truffled Mac and Cheese 

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms



Written by cscdavis

August 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Featured ATX Food Blogger:

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Jennifer Pierce (aka JP) from is someone you’ll want to be friends with. This is our personal opinion after reading her “about JP” section on her blog. It’s not everyday you read an about me that is filled with sass, humor and a dedication to health and wellness. JP seems like the kind of gal you want to go to happy hour with. Not only does she seem like the life of the party, her blog is full of helpful information, delicious-sounding recipes and beautiful pictures.

Yep, she seems like our kind of gal.

How did you discover your love of food and writing?

I have only recently really gotten into food and food writing. I started this blog just over a year ago as a place to chronicle the healthy recipes I was creating.  I definitely believe for my audience, a short and sweet post does the trick!

Has blogging changed the way you view food and cooking? If so, how?

I definitely view my cooking and eating in general as an opportunity to share with others about how to eat really well and still make healthy choices, even when eating out!

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?

I have been using coconut oil pretty relentlessly lately!  It has so many health benefits, and it has uses outside of the kitchen too.

What is your best memory in the kitchen?

A recent tradition that I started with my Aunt is baking pies for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin, apple, cherry, pecan…white flour, white sugar…everything in moderation!

What is the best thing about your kitchen?

My Vitamix, without a doubt!

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

I like simple meals, especially on week nights.  It is so easy to throw chicken, fresh zucchini, and carrots on the grill with a little garlic, pepper, and olive oil.

What does the word “sustainable” mean to you when it comes to food?

Responsibility throughout the entire consumption process…planting, growing, harvesting, transporting, selling, cooking, and eating!

Favorite Recipe to Date?

My favorite recipes lately are anything green smoothie related!

What three recipes would you like to share with our readers?

Raw, Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons

Gluten Free Coconut Macaroons

Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written by cscdavis

August 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

Wine & Dine Community Cooking Class

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Summer is the perfect time to focus on healthy, plant-based meals. With temperatures in the triple digits, sticking to a diet full of locally grown produce is a refreshing way to beat the heat and survive this Texas summer.

We’re lucky that there are so many healthy, active and knowledgable folks here in Austin. We’re even luckier to be teaming up with Traveling Recipes for our first Community Cooking Class. Traveling Recipes was created by Andi, a former teacher who left the public school system to work on changing the way our community eats. She believes in forming a relationship with your food, eating lots of vegetables, and getting creative in the kitchen.

Andi is a food coach, private chef, nutrition educator and food blogger. Andi’s workshops inspire improved eating habits, increase knowledge of nutrition and whole foods while enhancing overall wellness. Our community class will teach you how to cook easy and wholesome food while having a great time. We will be sourcing and highlighting produce from several of our beloved local farms. Not only will you cook amazing food, you’ll know exactly where it came from and celebrate in the fact that you’re supporting your local food system.

If you have a little one, feel free to bring them! The wonderful ladies from The Little Yoga House will be joining us for the evening, providing yoga and fun activities for your kids while you’re cooking. The cost for the yoga class is $20 per child, cash or check only. If you do plan on bringing your little one along, please send us an RSVP email at

If you like food, new friends and delicious beverages (we even have kombucha on tap!) join us on Saturday, July 20th from 6-8 pm for our first Wine & Dine Community Cooking Class.

Register here!

Daily Recipe :: Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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If you’ve ever grown zucchini, you know that sometimes this beautiful little vegetable can yield more squash than you know what to do with. If you find yourself in that boat, here’s a creative recipe that is vegan and can be served as the main course. With the addition of quinoa (a complete protein!), this boat of goodness will keep you full and satisfied.

Happy eating!

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats

From: Low Fat Vegan Chef



  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Zucchini Boats

  • 4 medium zucchini, washed
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/2 leek, diced
  • 1 handful of greens (arugula, beet greens, etc.)
  • 1/2- 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp dried cherries
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Soak the quinoa in a bowl of cool water for 15 minutes. Fill a large 6 quart/litre pot with water and bring to a boil. While waiting for pot to boil, drain quinoa, add vegetable broth 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper to a small pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F / 191 C and add zucchinis whole to the large pot of water and boil for 15 minutes until tender. Set aside on racks to cool. Slice zucchinis in half and scoop out the middle seeds, leaving enough flesh to hold the zucchini together. Chop the flesh and set aside. (You can use or discard the seeds if you wish. I discard most of them in favor of the other diced vegetables I’m using)

Meanwhile in a large skillet or wok add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and heat over medium high heat. When hot, add onions carrots and thyme. Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes and then add the leek, some of the zucchini pulp, balsamic vinegar and garlic. Continue cooking until tender. Add more broth if needed to prevent sticking. Toss in toasted pine nuts, cherries, and quinoa and season with salt and pepper as desired.

If desired sprinkle some balsamic vinegar and/or salt lightly on the inside of the zucchini boats. Stuff the zucchini with filling mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tender.

Serve warm.


Written by cscdavis

June 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Daily Recipe :: Swedish Pancakes

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We apologize for falling off the daily recipe bandwagon. We have a lot of great events in the works, which keeps us busy. Join us tomorrow from 4-7 pm for our Frios Mio Party with Third Coast Coffee. This amazing local coffee roaster has been with us since the beginning, and they worked with us to keg their awesome cold brew coffee.

They’ll be here giving out FREE cold brew (yep, all you have to do is show up) and cake! We’ll also have live music from the Paul Glasse Trio.

You know what goes really well with cold brew coffee and the weekend? Pancakes. And while traditional pancakes serve their purpose, we were intrigued by these Swedish pancakes. This style of pancake is baked in the oven, which creates a crunchy outer crust and a soft and creamy inside.

Happy eating!


Written by cscdavis

May 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Daily Recipe :: Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange Frosting

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We feel like celebrating. It’s almost Mother’s Day (make sure you call your mom!) and we have fantastic events planned this weekend. It looks like this rainy weather might stick around for awhile, so it’s the perfect evening to make a cake. Carrots are still going strong in central Texas, and not only are they perfect for snacking they also make a mean baked good.

This recipe goes one step beyond simple carrot cake with the addition of orange frosting. While a good carrot cake should be able to stand on its own, it’s always nice when you pair it with the perfect frosting. We still have some local citrus, which will be out of season soon, so grab it while you can.

We enjoyed that the author made it slightly healthier by adding goat cheese to the frosting, which is easier to digest than cow’s milk and adds a bit more tang. She also added less sugar and used olive oil instead of butter, which makes for a cake that you feel a little less guilty about eating, right?

Who are we kidding, guilt and delicious (real) food shouldn’t go together.

Happy eating!

Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange Frosting

From: The Kitchn


  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • Whole walnuts, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line both with a round of parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the olive oil, buttermilk, sugars, eggs, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With a spoon, fold in the grated carrots and walnuts.

Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully invert them out of the pans, peel off the parchment, and set them right side up to cool completely on the rack.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. With an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency.

To frost the cake, first spread a small dab of icing on the cake plate. Cut narrow strips of parchment or paper and place them in a grid on the cake plate, leaving the center open. They should be close enough together that the cake layer sits on top of the paper with no part of the diameter exposed directly to the plate.

Using a serrated bread knife, carefully carve off the domed top of one of the layers as evenly as possible. Center this first layer on the plate. Using an offset spatula, apply a “crumb coat”: a thin layer of frosting meant to keep the crumbs down. (Refrigerate the layer at this point if the crumbs are coming up.)

Stir the frosting and place about 1/3 of it over the bottom cake layer. Spread the frosting with the spatula until even and smooth. Make sure that the frosting is thicker around the edges.

Place the second layer on top and apply a crumb coat. Refrigerate. Place about half of the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake, working the frosting around the edges. Spread the remaining frosting across the top of the cake, dipping the spatula in warm water and wiping it off between strokes to keep it warm and clean for a smoother finish.

Remove the strips one at a time, pulling it out in a straight line, parallel to the floor. Garnish the cake with walnuts, herbs, flowers and/or birthday candles.

Written by cscdavis

May 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm


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