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Featured ATX Food Blogger: ATXFoodnews

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You always want to have friends that know where to go for the best food.

You know the ones, the people that you turn to when you’re looking for the best restaurant (or grocery store) in town. When you don’t have that friend, you turn to the internet.  If you’re looking for something other than Yelp, we recommend turning to some of the folks that love exploring our cities food-scape: Austin Food Bloggers.

A perfect example? Kay Marley-Dilworth from ATXFoodnews. Kay started this blog after spending several decades answering the common question, “Where should we eat?”

After launching ATXFoodnews on Twitter, she decided to expand to other social media platforms and this fantastic blog was born. Check it out and take our word for it, you’ll want to trust Kay’s recommendations. Happy eating!

How did you discover your love of food and writing? 

As a child, I would lose myself in books, whisked away with a story line to exotic locations, into fun mysteries and adventures with the characters.  My love of writing comes from wanting to tell stories that would in turn allow a reader to “live the moment”.  My love of food stems from a childhood of eating delicious homecooked meals.  My mother didn’t learn to cook until she married, and she was determined to teach my sister and I basic kitchen skills at an early age.  We played kitchen assistant for her and gradually earned more responsibility.  At the age of 9 I was a prep cook, browning meat and cooking vegetables for our family dinner.

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

Blogging has changed the way I view food in that meals are not just fuel for your body, but also an opportunity to appreciate the artistry of the cook or chef, and their vision for your plate.

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen?

Garlic is my most used ingredient, in many forms from fresh to roasted.  There will be no vampires in my casa!

What is your best memory in the kitchen?

One of my most vivid food memories wasn’t in the kitchen, but outdoors.  I ate my first raw oyster off its shell while standing in shallow water outside a fishing boat that was pulled up on a beach in Rockport. My father and uncles had harvested their oyster beds and were shucking while my sister and I played in the waves nearby. We were too young to be anything but curious, and so it was as a fearless 3 year old that I began my love affair with mollusks. Since that first briny bite, I’ve gone on to sample many types of wild game, ethnic dishes with unusual main ingredients and the more unusual organ meats.

What is the best thing about your kitchen?

The best thing about my kitchen is an agreement with my husband: I cook, he cleans!

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

Carne guisada with rice and beans is my favorite meal to prepare.  It’s my comfort food.

What does your dream kitchen look like?

My dream kitchen would include a red Viking range, plenty of cabinets/storage space, a walk in pantry, an island prep station with a small sink, and plenty of windows to let in natural light.  There would be a small table and chairs on one side, as everyone always gathers in the kitchen.  Might as well give them a comfortable place to sit!

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

Victoria Woodhull, Cesar Chavez and Cole Porter.

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

To me, sustainability is the process of providing nourishing food (preferably from a local source) while also protecting our ability to continue producing that food for future generations, with as gentle of an impact on our Earth as possible.

What three recipes would you share with our readers?

Steel Cut Oats with Fruit, Carne Guisada and Avocado Tomatillo Salsa. My current breakfast favorite is steel cut oatmeal.  It’s delicious, nutritious and you can add whatever you like to it in terms of sweetener, fruits, and other toppings.  It’s a great blank slate, easily tweaked to fit individual tastes.

Steel Cut Oats with Apple, Raisins & Cranberries

Carne Guisada

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Written by cscdavis

August 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Pint Night Featuring Lone Star Texas Bock

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We love that this weather still calls for outdoor events where the only addition needed is possibly putting on a sweater.

To celebrate, we’re starting to host featured brewer nights on a regular basis. We think it’s a great way to showcase the amazing things “brewing” (we love a good pun) down here in Austin.

Come out this Wednesday, November 7th from 7-9 p.m. and raise your glasses to Lone Star’s Texas Bock. This lager has a roasted, malty aroma with a mild caramel taste. And the best part about it (except for the beer, of course) is you get to take home a Lone Star pint glass (first come, first serve- we’ve got 50 glasses.) Good beer and free glassware? Yes, please.

On top of all that magic, the Bee Creek Boys will be playing on our porch starting at 8 p.m. Come down and enjoy the beautiful Fall evening, listen to some local tunes AND drink beer out of your new pint glass. Wednesday evenings just got more awesome. Happy drinking!

Written by cscdavis

November 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Revisiting the Pacific Trash Vortex

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Are you familiar with the Pacific Trash Vortex (a.k.a. Great Pacific Garbage Patch)?  It’s hard to define, but could be described, as National Geographic says, a “free-floating ‘dump’ twice the size of Texas.” It lives (or lurks, rather) somewhere between California and Hawaii, and continuously collects garbage (mostly plastic) due to converging ocean currents.

The Pacific Trash Vortex isn’t a new discovery – scientists have been aware of its existence since the late 90s. Nevertheless it persists as a primary piece of evidence of world-wide issues with improper waste disposal.

“Perhaps 10 percent of the 260 million tons of plastic produced worldwide each year ends up in the sea–much of it in the swirling currents of the North Pacific Gyre and other ocean vortices,” National Geographic said.

Yikes. Learn more about the make-up of the vortex and what scientists have learned from this bastion of marine pollution by reading the full article here. So, who’s up for a little precycling?

(image: LAFD Dive)

30-Year Zero-Waste Initiative in Austin

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That’s right! The City of Austin’s begun a zero-waste initiative that, with proper implementation, will divert 95 percent of waste away from landfills by 2040. The initiative is a project of Austin Resource Recovery, formerly known as Solid Waste Services. “The new name is more in line with the Department’s mission toward zero waste,” says the Austin Resource Recovery home page. Bob Gedert, who is director of the program, further explains “With the advent of zero waste, material collected is now seen as a resource that is recovered for a second life, rather than a waste stream destined for a landfill.”

With this shift in thinking, comes the city’s plan which, according to this recent article in Community Impact, will aim to “reduce costs for those who produce less waste.” This means the city wants to reward those who divert the most waste from entering landfills, and will encourage folks to take advantage of improved recycling programs and composting carts (scheduled to become available in 2015). Yay!

Produce less waste, spend less money – it’s a win-win and we love it!

(image: Austin 360)

Written by jmalsky

December 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Recipe: Chicken Salad with Persimmon, Pecans, and Thyme

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Here’s an interesting (and timely) seasonal twist on a classic favorite: a chicken salad recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen that calls for persimmons and pecans. The beauty of this recipe: if you live in Central Texas, you can get all the “fixins” for this salad locally, because as y’all know, ’tis the season for persimmons and pecans! What’s more, it’s a great way to use leftover roast chicken or turkey!

(image: Wikimedia Commons: “Persimmons”)

Written by jmalsky

December 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm

An Ode to Texas Red Grapefruit!

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If you ask a Texan what color the inside of a grapefruit is, chances are they’ll say “red.” This may seem like an odd response to the rest of the country because most varieties of grapefruit have pink or white flesh. But here in Texas, about a hundred years ago, a genetic mutation caused our pink and white grapefruit crop to turn “ruby” red.

Texas grapefruit is a total rock star in the grapefruit world – it’s sweet, bold, and stands out in the crowd! Get a craving yet? Good timing, because it’s citrus season, so you won’t have any trouble finding these local gems at farmers’ markets and grocers you trust.

(image: sheknows.com)

Written by jmalsky

November 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Food for Thought

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Guest Post: Seasonal Allergies – Suffer No More!

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Amy Myers, MD:

Dr. Myers is the Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth. Her practice specializes in functional and nutritional medicine.

Amy Myers, MD

It’s estimated that 55 million Americans (that’s one in four people) suffer from allergies of some kind – seasonal, food, skin, and medication. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology states that as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children suffer from allergic rhinitis each year.

Austinites are no exception to these statistics. In fact, in 2004, Austin was named the number one fall allergy capital by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America – and continually ranks in the top five worst US cities for seasonal allergies overall.

With fall approaching, if you’re like most Austinites, you’re looking for ways to prevent, reduce, and even eliminate your seasonal allergy symptoms. Here’s some perspective – I hope you’ll find it useful. When it comes to seasonal allergy symptoms, I take a three-part approach: an Elimination Diet, IgG Food Sensitivity testing, and a Comprehensive Stool Analysis looking for Candida and leaky gut.

All my patients go through an Elimination Diet no matter why they’re coming to see me, because food sensitivities can be the underlying cause of many chronic diseases. Seasonal allergies are no exception here – in fact, many environmental allergens cross-react with foods. Here’s an overview of the three approaches to seasonal allergy prevention:

Elimination Diet
First, start by eliminating all gluten (from foods containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale and oats), dairy products (milk, butter, yogurt, cheese), yeast (found in baked goods, bread, beer, wine, cheese, vinegar, and on the surfaces of many fruits), eggs, corn, peanuts, citrus fruits (except lemon), and nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant) for a minimum of two weeks. If symptoms improve, you can then gradually add one food back in at a time every three days, making sure to eat at least three servings a day for three days and taking note of any symptoms such as headache, sneezing, fatigue or rash that may arise. If you notice any negative symptoms, continue to remove this food for your diet for at least 3-6 months. If no symptoms arise, repeat the above steps with each of the remaining foods. If no improvement is noted after you’ve added back in all of the foods, then you may need to do a more comprehensive food elimination diet under the guidance of a trained professional. I would also recommend a specialized blood test for IgG food allergies and begin to think of leaky gut and/or Candida intestinal overgrowth as a contributing factor.

IgG Food Sensitivity Testing
The premise behind IgG Food Sensitivity Testing is that high circulating levels of IgG antibodies correlate with clinical food allergy signs and symptoms and these reactions can take 72 hours to develop and are called delayed sensitivities. The test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test which involves coating a 96-well plate with food antigens, adding a persons’ sera (component of blood) and looking for a classic antigen/antibody interaction. More traditional food allergy testing, such as those done by an allergist, are based on IgE or immediate reactions.

Generally speaking, food allergies cause quick physical reactions such as swelling, hives, itchiness, and difficulty breathing – if you have a true food allergy you likely already know about it. Food sensitivities, on the other hand, can develop over time, often because of a poor diet and a leaky gut. The consequences of improper food choices can manifest as delayed allergic reactions (food sensitivities) and cause weight gain, fatigue, sinus problems, acne, mood swings, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Because the reactions can take up to 72 hours to occur, they can be very difficult to recognize. Eating a diet low in these inflammatory foods reduces excess swelling and fluid accumulation in your tissues, which will assist with your body’s healing, detoxification processes and reduce seasonal allergies symptoms.

Comprehensive Stool Test
With the over usage of antibiotics for suspected sinusitis many people suffer from intestinal yeast or Candida overgrowth. Candida alone can worsen seasonal allergy symptoms, as well as cause intestinal damage leading to increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. Leaky gut then further increases one’s susceptibility to food sensitivities, which exacerbates the problem and worsens seasonal allergy symptoms.

Typical symptoms of Candida include itching, bloating or gas, eczema-like rash or diaper rash, intense sugar cravings, headache, brain fog, anxiety and even hyperactivity in children. Candida infections can be confirmed by either a blood or stool test.

If you or a family member is suffering from any of the above symptoms, it’s recommended that you get tested and begin a Candida free diet. With this approach you eliminate all sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, vinegar, fermented foods, mushrooms, cheese and peanuts from the diet for 3-6 months. For patients at Austin UltraHealth, I also prescribe an antifungal medication for 30 days to eradicate the intestinal yeast infection.

Conclusions
I’ve taken the above three-step approach with each of my patients suffering from seasonal allergies and then end result is always the same – complete resolution.

Questions?
To reach Dr. Myers, call her office at +1 512 383 5343, or contact her via her website.

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