These are a Few of My Favorite Things - August 2017

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Hey y'all, I'm trying to get into the habit of doing these at LEAST monthly. If nothing else there's always an Austin Food Blogger Alliance Happy Hour to review, a handful of restaurants I spent too much money at to mention, and some random assortment of things I've bought I'd like to tell you about.

But first...

Decidedly NOT a Favorite Thing: Hurricane Harvey

Thank you, friends, for checking in. Austin was extremely lucky--aside from a few friends getting a bit of flooding in certain parts of town and all of us dealing with some excess traffic, we avoided the worst of it. This past weekend there was a gas hysteria that meant we were counting our MPGs a little closely and waiting in long lines to fill up... it was dumb. But we're trying our damnedest to help our friends in Houston!

-My favorite supermarket, HEB, has been doing amazing things to help with relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. I am so happy Texas has such a dedicated company that loves this state so much. We were actually out of bottled water at our local store because they sent their Austin supplies to those who needed it in affected areas. Read More here.

-The need to help is sometimes overwhelming--what can I do? What will ACTUALLY help and not hinder efforts? What can I do if I'm low on $$ and big on heart? I started to compile a list, but then I came across local Austin blogger Hipstercrite's list of ways to help and felt like it really couldn't be improved upon. Check it out if you want to lend a hand.

-THIS RECIPE from Full of Plants!! I saw this, made it, and wanted to eat the whole thing in a single sitting. I did make a few swaps, however: I used chicken instead of tempeh (making it decidedly NOT vegetarian/vegan), kelp noodles instead of traditional (cuts down on carbs/calories), and pickle juice instead of seaweed since it was the closest thing I could find to something briny. It was one of the best things ever to come out of my kitchen. Go, try this recipe, and thank me later. Want to get some delish kelp noodles? Buy them here: Sea Tangle Noodle Company Sea Tangle Kelp Noodle 12 Oz

-My Sourdough Starter is finally ready to start making delicious bread! I bought mine via Amazon from Cultures for Health and after two weeks of regular feeding it's finally ready. You can make your own from scratch, but I definitely recommend starting with cultures. I made some quick biscuits with the discards, and they turned out delish. Can't wait to do more with it! Buy it here: Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter, Organic non-GMO, Natural Yeast, Makes Sourdough Bread, Pizza, Pancakes, Includes 1 Packet Of Starter

-Chicon Happy Hour. As part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, I get to try one restaurant a month gratis for a food blogger happy hour. This month the location of the happy hour was at Chicon. They won points immediately by passing out complimentary cocktails, and this [Purple] People Eater was refreshingly amazing. They then gave us a sample of nibbles from their happy hour menu (pictured: Roasted Avocado, Smoked Trout Dip, and spicy Asian wings) and everything was perfect. Not to mention the decor was the gorgeous modern minimalism I've come to expect from new places in town. I'll definitely be back!

Still Austin - A few months back, I wrote an article for Paste about Austin's first whiskey distillery since prohibition AND IT'S FINALLY HERE! The Distillery is open and producing. Look at how pretty it is, have you ever seen clear whiskey before? Since the distillery is brand new, and brown whiskey needs time to age in a barrel, this is what they have for now. I'll be going to a media opening next week, but yesterday I found this adorable little box on my doorstep. Keep an eye out on my Facebook Live and Youtube for a live first-tasting of this New Make style whiskey.

I was pretty impressed with this Sour German Wheat beer I found at NXNW. It's PINK! Not only that, it's tasty. I'm no beer expert, and I do enjoy a good fruity, girly beer, but I think anyone who appreciates a good sour will be into this. They describe it as his unfiltered gose is hazy, tart and sour, but with the addition of 168 pounds of blackberry puree, it’s aperfectly refreshing summer brew." It's tart, not syrupy, and has a nice balance. Pair it with the excellent happy hour, and I'm a happy lady.

As I've been growing my own channel (please subscribe?) I've been studying popular Youtubers to see how it's done. I haven't had cable in about 4 years, but binge-watching Youtube is pretty much my new channel surfing. Here are the ones I love most lately:
-Good Mythical Morning: A daily talk show by two best friends who have a habit of trying disgusting food and talking about it.
-EmmyMadeInJapan: An adorable mom talks us through unique recipes (like prison food and MREs!) and reviews with so much grace and humor.
-Redcow Entertainment (the creators of BoxMac): My friends, who I also wrote a Paste article about, have a Youtube show where they review boxed mac and cheese. But look beyond this popular series and see all the cool stuff they're up to--these guys are expert content creators.
-Sorel Fly - My husband's fishing channel! It's still new, but if you have any interest in fishing, specifically in the Austin area, check it out.

Stay tuned to my channel for more reviews and some upcoming recipes!
Let me know in the comments:Do you have any tips for growing your channel? 

-I just got married. In a modern wedding, you now get your photos digitally. After a lot of poking around, I decided on Shutterfly for my prints. And I am obsessed. For one, the prints were great! I've noticed local box stores have been lacking in their print quality, so I am so glad I went this route. Not only did I get all of my prints for free plus shipping using their app, but I made a gorgeous photo book and used a coupon to snag 40% off this unique keepsake. They ALWAYS have some sort of promotion going, so be sure to keep checking in if you have pictures you want to get printed.

-The Skimm is a pretty nonpartisan overview of what's going on in the world. It's an easy to read daily email. I like that it keeps me informed while not really pushing one agenda or another--though I'm sure there is probably some sort of left-ish tilt to it that I'm just not picking up--and covers a variety of issues. And, regardless of the content, it always ends up being not only an informative but fun read.

-Next on my list of local Austin places to try? Flyrite, to see if it'll measure up to a certain chain. Wu Chow, because somehow I still haven't been here and I love their other restaurant
-Anticipating opening of Fairground, a foodie paradise in downtown Austin.
-Upcoming campaigns: Torani syrups! I'll be making cold brew coffee (and possibly more?) in an upcoming post.


  1. Loved this post! I'm from Dallas, but now live in California, but I miss HEB. We used to shop there when I lived in Waco. Glad ya'll are safe from Harvey and I love the recipe you posted.

    1. Isn't HEB the absolute best? I keep finding new reasons to love it.

  2. Glad you are safe. This is a great list of some really great things!

  3. You have a great localized blog going on here. It's been a while since I visited Austin. On another point, I recently cut the cable cord and find a lot of value with Youtube videos with my own blogging ideas as well as hobbies. Are you finding much value with your own channel? Richard B

  4. Congrats on the wedding! Shutterfly sounds great! Also great that you are safe and sound after hurricane harvey!

  5. I have never seen pink beer before. I would love to give Sour German Wheat beer a try. That dress is so cute on you.

  6. Those are great favorites to have.

  7. Love your favs - especially the pink beer - and congrats on getting married! I'm currently wedding planning and am SO ready to be done.
    Cheers, Sarah Camille //

  8. I am so glad you were safe from the hurricane. How scary! I LOVE the sounds of the Purple People Eater.

  9. Great roundup of favs, I just posted something similar today as well. And great to hear your were spared from the mess of Harvey, how scary!

  10. I was watching clips from the devastation that Harvey left behind, so sad and glad you are safe. I am not a fan of beer but would be curious to try that pink one!

  11. Congratulations on your wedding! Glad you are safe! I always wanted to visit Austin. Gotta have the sour beer and smoked trout dip.

  12. I want to watch "Good Mythical Morning". You know I'm not going to eat anything that looks disgusting, so I will just enjoy watching someone else do it. LOL

  13. Love your fork graphic most of all as it's certainly memorable!

  14. This is a great list! I would love to try doing a sourdough starter sometime. I really want to find out how to make a Friendship Bread starter.

  15. This is a great list of loves! I love the pink drink, that looks so fun! Also, congratulations in getting married!

  16. The food look all tasty. Also, congratulation on your wedding!

  17. So many great things to love! Congrats on your wedding dear!

  18. Congratulations on your wedding! New adventures for you and that's awesome. Hope that everyone recovers fast after the hurricane.

  19. oh I love this post! and I'm so glad you guys were all good with the hurricane!


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