Food Porn Champion: A Drool-worthy Cheeseboard

School House Pub Cheese Board

If there’s anything I love in this life, it’s a cheese board. And this is an especially gorgeous one, the “National Map of Cheeses,” hailing from School House Pub in Austin, Texas. Fancy fromage, local fruit marmalade, Texas honey, whole grain mustard, and fresh herbs. What’s not to LOVE?! This shot even got picked up off my original Instagram and featured on a cheese board Instagram (lol what, yes, there really is such a thing) so apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this is one gorgeous piece of work.

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Cocktail O’ Clock: Smoked Scofflaw + Black Old Fashioned

Dickel Cocktails

Today’s Cocktail O’Clock is a 2-for-1 deal! Aren’t you lucky. I, however, am not. I was invited to a George Dickel whiskey tasting with barbeque extraordinaire Adam Perry Lang last month, BUT the day of, there was a huge Texas rainstorm and I wasn’t able to make it. BOO. The nice people at Dickel were kind enough to send me some photos and recipes that I missed out on, and I am kind enough to pass them on to you.

The Dickel team says: With grilling season upon us and tailgate season is fast approaching… the cocktail recipes below are a perfect pair with barbecue or any kind of protein during the summer.

Let’s make these right now. I have FOMO.

Smoked Scofflaw

1 oz. George Dickel Rye
.5 oz. dry vermouth
.75 oz. smoked lemon juice
.75 oz. grenadine

Shake together and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon.


Black Old Fashioned

1.3 oz. George Dickel No. 12
.5 oz. Amaro Averna
Black walnut bitters
Orange snap

Shake together and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

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Cocktail O’Clock: I Yam What I Yam

Whislers Sweet Potato Cocktail

We’re nearing the end of winter, but there are still more cozy cocktails to be sipped! Before the spring sun comes back, snuggle up to an inspired s’mores-ish cocktail, made with sweet potato (yes, sweet potato!) shrub. This recipe comes from Whisler’s, one of Austin’s favorite craft cocktail bars. (And one of my personal favorite places to grab a drink and some spicy Thai food!)

I Yam What I Yam

1.5 oz Butter-Infused Flor de Cana 7yr
.5 oz Milletti Amaro
1 oz Sweet Potato Shrub
2 dashes of Fee Bros Black Walnut bitters & 1 dash of Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters

Shake and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass.  Garnish with toasted marshmallow.

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Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette

Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette

Looking for a new way to prepare dinner? Try curing! Yeah, it takes a little bit of planning and patience (like, you need to plan to do this days in advance) but once you get your ingredients it’s just a super simple waiting game. Salmon and miso go so well together in this recipe from Finn & Porter. Paired with a fresh cucumber vinaigrette, this is a light, bright meal that will turn you into a curing convert.

Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette

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Food Porn Champion: Tacos for Breakfast

Port Aransas Shrimp Breakfast Taco

If you haven’t had a breakfast taco in your life, you (a) have never been to Texas, and (b) are doing yourself a huge disservice. And if you haven’t had a breakfast taco while hungover, you are doing yourself a HUUUUUGE disservice because breakfast tacos are some of the best hangover cures ever. This particular breakfast taco is from a teensy diner in Port Aransas, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It features fresh gulf shrimp, battered and deep-fried, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and shredded cabbage. Oh, and on the side? Hashbrowns. Why? WHY NOT.

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Back on the Health Train: Red Kale & Quinoa Salad

Red Kale Quinoa Salad

Well, it’s time… all of us who overate and overdrank during the holidays (probably everyone reading this, right?) now turns toward the new year with dreams of doing better. Eating better. Being better. And you know what that means… salad. Lots and lots of salad. Luckily, if anyone knows how to make salad not totally depressing, it’s me. And famed Texas chef David Bull, apparently.

This is a recipe I enjoyed in the finishers village after the Fit Foodie 5K in Austin in September 2014. I liked it so much I asked the event organizer if I could share the recipe with all of you. They graciously agreed, so now we can all make this kale salad together and try to wash away those blurry eggnog memories.

Red Kale & Quinoa Salad

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Ultimate Island Food: Lobster & Black Bean Spring Rolls

Lobster Black Bean Spring Rolls 1

Lobster Black Bean Spring Rolls 2

Irie’s Island Food in Port Aransas (part of the Texas Gulf Coast) is the BEST ON THE ISLAND. Hands down. Everything they make is absolutely delicious, vibrant, and as from-scratch as possible. It doesn’t hurt that they’re walking distance from the ocean (read: absurdly fresh seafood).

One of my favorite things I tried there? Lobster and black bean spring rolls. Might sound like a weird combination, but it WORKED. Flaky spring roll wrappers are stuffed with fresh lobster, lots of black beans, and jack cheese, then deep fried and served incredibly hot. These guys are gigantic, too – one spring roll is equivalent to about 2-3 you’d get in your average Chinese takeout order. And you get three per order, so basically the amount of nine spring rolls. You could feed 3-4 people here, but obviously Rob and I split the entire order. Irie’s spring rolls also come with an array of bright, flavorful, also from-scratch dipping sauces (Golden Dragon was my #1) and some fresh slaw.

Irie’s is only open morning to mid-afternoon, and they often run out of their most popular seafood items. Our solution? Although maybe not traditional breakfast fare, we wolfed down these lobster spring rolls as our breakfast appetizer. Best breakfast ever, I’d say.

If you don’t live near the Texas coast, you could easily duplicate these at home – the rolls, at least. Just get some spring roll skins and stuff them with your favorite seafood (obv lobster is the top choice), black beans, and melty cheese, then fry those babies up. The dipping sauces would be harder to copy… me, I’ll probably just start planning another island getaway to Irie’s soon. I seriously think about how good it was all the time. It’s creepy.

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