Texas Beef Council Western Burger

Say Yee Haw to National Burger Month

Texas Beef Council Western Burger

Did you know that May is National Burger Month?! Well, it is. As a human living in Austin, Texas, I eat my fair share of beef, and my Austin born & raised fiance eats a TON of it. It’s safe to say that burgers are his #1 favorite food in the world. So I feel like I’m somewhat qualified, even if it’s through transference, to tell you about good beef and burgers. And yes, if you haven’t been to Texas and had our beef, it’s good. Really, really good. (May I recommend ALC if you’re ever in the neighborhood?)

The lovely people at the Texas Beef Council sent over their latest recipe for celebrating National Burger Month: the Western Burger. This burger keeps it simple… no crazy sauces or deep-fried mischief here, just solid beef with a slight twist… jalapeños right in the patty! Because Texans also like it spicy. Texas Beef Council says, “This Western Burgeris a perfect, guilt-free way to celebrate the month-long holiday and gives a nutritious spin on one of Texans’ summertime staples fit for any backyard gathering.” Works for me! So if you want this bad boy healthy, you can serve him in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, but follow your heart/stomach.

Texas Beef Council’s Western Burger

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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.

Guinness IPA

Guinness Makes an IPA! We Approve.

Guinness IPA

About a month ago, I received a very intriguing email from my friends at Guinness. They invited me to a beer dinner at the ultra-delicious Fixe here in Austin… a beer dinner featuring their brand new boozy offering, an IPA. Yes, an IPA from Guinness! And I promise this isn’t a joke, unlike our Guinness Crystal April Fools post of yore.

Obviously I accepted this beer dinner invite, and I’m happy to report that I was able to try lots (…and lots…) of the new Guinness IPA during that feast. Guinness IPA retains a bit of the hoppy nose and a tinge of that pleasantly bitter flavor you’d expect from an IPA, but also boasts the signature smoothness that Guinness is known and loved for – thanks to the nitro. Mmm, nitro.

But seriously, this beer is good for people who enjoy an IPA and also people who complain that they don’t like IPA. It’s an equal-opportunity beer that is almost dangerously easy to sip. Perfect for pairing with your fall cooking. And probably the only IPA I would ever call “creamy.” If you’re a total hop-head you might not be in love, but for everyone else, it’s a welcome addition to the Guinness line.

Right now, Guinness IPA is only availably in the USA, not Ireland (where Guinness is made, duh). So if you’re in the American beer market, you’re in luck! You might start seeing it in stores soon, keep your eyes peeled.

Oh, and one more pro tip courtesy of Fixe… turns out Guinness IPA pairs wonderfully with southern biscuits, steak, and seafood potpie. You learn something new every day.

Guinness IPA and Seafood Pie at Fixe

Guinness IPA and Steak at Fixe

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

The Hot Sauce Store to End All Hot Sauce Stores

I would like to invite you to Rustlin’ Rob’s in a little town called Fredericksburg, Texas…

Rustlin Rob's Condiment Store, Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg is mostly known for its wine (yes, there is a Texas wine country) and I personally consider it “the Las Vegas of the Texas wine world” since you’re allowed to walk around with open containers in the streets/stores. I even got mardi gras beads from one of the tasting lounges, and since I have a real garbage party girl streak, I was super into it.

The most surprising aspect of my carousal through Fredericksburg? Rustlin’ Rob’s, the wonderland of condiments and weird snacks, and unlimited free self-serve samples.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX sample jars

Beneath its glowing red chili lights (seriously, so many novelty chili lights) Rustlin’ Rob’s has quite seriously EVERY kind of jam, jelly, jerky, spread, dip, salsa, and um, quail egg (?) a girl could ask for. The best/worst part? IT’S ALL AVAILABLE TO SAMPLE. ALL OF IT. Every single product has a self-serve sample next to it. Now, I know you’re wondering why I called this the “best/worst” thing when clearly it’s the best thing. But after eating literally 30+ samples of specialty jelly slathered over cream cheese and Wheat Thins, you’ll know when your train turns the corner straight into Worstville.

Probably the most impressive section of RR’s is the hot sauce cave.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

I have never seen so much hot sauce in my damn life. For all of you who are forever chasing the dragon when it comes to the hottest hot sauce, Rustlin’ Robs is your heaven.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

It was the best of snacks, it was the worst of snacks. It was the heaven of snacks, it was the hell of snacks. Rustlin’ Rob’s contains multitudes. If you are ever in central Texas, I strongly urge you to stop by. And don’t eat lunch beforehand.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg Texas

Liberty Kitchen Austin Chef's Salad

Food Porn Champion: The Ultimate Meat Salad

Liberty Kitchen Austin Chef's Salad

Look at that. Would you call the above photo a salad or a giant pile of assorted meats and cheeses? Turns out, you’d be right either way.

This is the FeedTX Chef Salad (menu description: “chilled greens, cheeses, rotisserie meats, bay shrimp salad, hot smoked salmon, egg, avocado, tomato, cucumber”) at Liberty Kitchen, a popular Houston restaurant that recently opened another location in Austin. They feature all sorts of decadent meat and seafood dishes, and even a salad is not really a salad. I was disgustingly full after about half of this bad boy. I mean, “meats”… okay, there’s pork belly, turkey, chicken, bacon, and not to mention a giant hunk of smoked salmon AND shrimp salad. Talk about some protein.

School House Pub Cheese Board

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.

Dickel Cocktails

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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