artists lament from the townsend

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Artist’s Lament

artists lament from the townsend

Every Spring, Austin hosts the  Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest, a festival all about – you guessed it – comedy. This year, Moontower features comedians like Martin Short, David Cross, Leslie Jones, Maya Rudolph, Janeane Garofolo, and more… and it’s happening this very weekend! In honor of the event, Justin Elliott, the Director of Hospitality and Bar Program Creator at popular downtown cocktail bar The Townsend has created a special drink, only available Thursday (4/21) through Saturday (4/23). It’s called the Artist’s Lament ($8) and it’s available at the bar, which is hosting a number of Moontower shows.

This drink is only on the menu during Moontower, and The Townsend will be a popular spot during the festival for comedy shows and, of course, drinks. If you’re not in Austin for the fest this weekend, no worries! We got the secret recipe to make this complex and bitter cocktail at home.

What Justin says about this drink: “Loosely based on the classic ‘Artist’s Special’ I present – in honor of the miserable lot that we all know comedians to be – the ‘Artist’s Lament.’ Basically it has a lot of the tasting notes of an Artist’s Special but it’s way more bitter and it’s definitely smoking about a pack a day.”

Sounds good to us! Bottoms up to the weekend, let’s laugh and lament.

 

The Artist’s Lament

1 oz Dolin Vermouth Dry
1 oz Bigallet Amer China-China
.5 oz (1:1) Simple Syrup
.75 oz Lemon Juice
.25 oz Port Charlotte Islay Scotch Whisky

Swizzle together with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

Blenders and Bowls Pitaya Bowl

Photo of the Day: Neon Pink Pitaya Happiness

Blenders and Bowls Pitaya Bowl

Neon colors aren’t often found in natural foods, but get a load of this bowl! I’ve recently become enamored with pitaya (aka dragon fruit), the sweet, tropical cactus fruit with a bright pinky-red flesh. Its creamy pulp is becoming a popular addition to smoothies and bowls these days, and I encountered an especially tasty version at Blenders and Bowls here in Austin.

This is the funfetti bowl (so obviously I had to try it, since anything funfetti is heaven in my book). It has pitaya, pineapple, banana, vanilla protein powder and vanilla almond milk. Then it’s topped with hemp granola, banana, goji berries, bee pollen, local honey, & edible flowers. It was incredibly flavorful and full of texture – cold, creamy, chewy, crunchy. I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like funfetti cake, but still delicious (and, come on, way more nutritious). Literally one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever eaten. And let’s talk about how people are putting smoothies in bowls now… it doesn’t completely make sense to me, but it does make for more opportunities to create a gorgeous presentation.

Anyway, you guys, this is why I’ve given up on making smoothies at home. Kind of lazy of me, but let’s be real. When I can spend like $8 at a specialty cafe and get this glorious bowl, why would I try to source my own exotic superfoods and edible flowers to make this myself? Some things are better left to the pros, and I think this neon tropical bowl is one of them.

Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork - Skewers over Ramen Salad

Ultra-Easy Grilled Marinated Pork Skewers over Cold Ramen Salad

IMG_5648

In my world, grillin’ and chillin’ time is in full force. Austin is sunny and beautiful on a regular basis and the nights are getting longer and longer. No time like the present to fire up the ol’ BBQ!

Even though I love grilling on these nice warm evenings, I’m not a fan of marinating meat. I mean, yes, I am in theory, but let’s be real. I often forget until it’s too late and I’m already home from work and ready to start cooking. I don’t want to wait forever for my meat to marinate. Luckily I discovered Smithfield’s line of marinated fresh pork so my days of forgetting to marinate my meat ahead of time are over. They have tons of flavors available and once you bring them home from the store, you can head straight to the oven or grill.

I used some Smithfield marinated fresh pork to grill up some skewers at a dinner party with my friends last weekend and it couldn’t have been easier. It took us about five minutes to prep the skewers, six minutes to grill the skewers, and another five or ten minutes to throw together the salad (depending on if you buy pre-chopped ingredients or not). And the finished product was so good!

Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork - Skewers over Ramen Salad

I’m planning on making this over and over this spring/summer, and I suggest that you and your friends do the same.

Ultra-Easy Grilled Marinated Pork Skewers over Cold Ramen Salad

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Four Roses Bourbon Opening Day Cocktail

Cocktail O’ Clock: Knock it Outta the Park with the RBI Cocktail

Four Roses Bourbon Opening Day Cocktail
Happy Opening Day! Today we’re celebrating the start of baseball season with lots of bourbon. Wait, bourbon? Yes, bourbon. Think beyond the Kentucky Derby, because this versatile liquor is great for spring and summer sipping during any sporting event, including baseball.

Today we used the classic Four Roses bourbon to create the RBI… no, not Run Batted In, the Raspberry Blackberry Infusion! We combined Four Roses with fresh berries to create a sweet, flavorful infused bourbon, then shook it with local honey and bitters and served it on the rocks for a refreshing libation perfect for drinking while watching your favorite team.

The Four Roses RBI Cocktail

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Ceviche Topped Beer at SXSW

Genius Idea: Ceviche-Topped Beer

I encountered all sorts of tasty treats at SXSW this year, but one of my favorite food moments was this:

Ceviche Topped Beer at SXSW

This is cans of Modelo on a block of ice, topped with fresh shrimp and fish ceviche and surrounded by oysters on the half shell. Have you ever seen something so beautiful?! I enjoyed this glorious seafood and booze buffet at Weather Up here in Austin, but you could easily recreate a display like this at home for your next dinner party or barbecue. Just make sure you keep that shellfish nice and cold!

Red Curry Coconut Pulled Pork

Coconut Curry Pulled Pork

Spring is in the air and flavorful, fruity recipes are on my mind! This time of year is always pretty busy for me, but spring of 2016 is proving to be especially crazy, mostly because I’m officially six months away from my wedding (yes, shockingly someone has stepped up to the plate to spend the rest of their life with me, who knew).

So I’m knee-deep in all sorts of wedding planning and bridal budgeting, while trying to juggle a day job, all my blogging projects, and SXSW, which completely takes over the city of Austin in both good ways (parties, events, and bands galore!) and bad ways (traffic, omg the traffic).

Basically, this leaves me with zero time to cook. The good news is, I have a slow cooker. And with a slow cooker, you cannot fail. Throw some ingredients in there, set it, forget it, come home from your job or event or meeting and you have a piping-hot meal waiting for you to devour. In this case, that meal is a mouth-watering, sumptuous pulled pork that you will be oh so happy to say aloha to after a long day.

Red Curry Coconut Pulled Pork

Of course, the ingredients you throw into that miracle slow cooker need to be good. And this recipe here is full of good stuff. We’re starting with a boneless netted fresh pork shoulder roast from Smithfield. This pork is the star of the show and it couldn’t be easier to prep. Literally go buy it at the store, take it home, cut it out of its net, and drop it in the crockpot. Done. No trimming, no chopping, no nothing. Love it!

Then you need some flavor to make your pork great. This is where the aforementioned fruit comes in. The pork shoulder is drenched in crushed pineapple and pineapple juice, plus a bunch of bright, island-y flair: ginger, soy, agave, sriracha, and curry paste come together to make a sweet-spicy-tangy sauce that is so perfect with this juicy, tender pulled pork. Oh, and you’re adding in some coconut milk at the very end for a little bit of creamy sweetness that takes this tropical pulled pork to the next level.

Even if springtime means “no time,” I promise this meal will come together in a snap and everyone will love it. Make sure to have plenty of sweet Hawaiian rolls and white rice on hand for serving!

Red Curry Coconut Pulled Pork

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Pokeworks Sushi Burrito

Wanted: The Sushi Burrito!

The ‘Sushi Burrito’ has hit NYC and it’s amazing.

Posted by INSIDER food on Friday, March 4, 2016

WHY do I live in Austin where almost nobody makes good poke, let alone a sushi burrito?! I want this damn sushi burrito that is taking NYC by storm… so bad! And, maybe a better question, WHY do I even want one of these damn sushi burritos so badly when I know fully well that it’s just one giant log of sushi cut in half instead of into rolls? I worked for a Japanese restaurant group for years, I’ve had more sushi in my life/body than most people I know, yet still, I WANT MORE. I want this giant sushi burrito in my mouth.

I wasn’t personally affected by the exclusivity of the cronut or the internet-wide fanfare over the ramen burger but this one is really hitting a chord with me and my stomach. I guess because sushi and burritos are two of my very favorite things to eat, my dumb self just can’t resist.

There’s plenty of sushi burrito chatter floating around the internet, but the above video from INSIDER Food is what really got me going. (Yes, even with its in-your-face flute jam.) Like I said, I totally realize there are very few burrito-esque qualities to this monstrous tube of deliciousness (no tortilla, no beans, just the rice and avocado aspect, which is also present in Japanese/Hawaiian food). I don’t care, though. I want to hit up Pokeworks and order this sushi burrito (or as they call it, “Pokiritto”) and order all the raw fish in the world. Preferably in burrito form.

If you’ve had the joy of experiencing a sushi burrito in your life, tell us about it! Worth the hype or totally overblown?

Pokeworks Sushi Burrito

(Image: Pokeworks Facebook)

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