Monday, May 16, 2016

In Search of Pupusas...

It was Match Day. Technically it was just a friendly. DC United versus C.D. Guadalajara at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Many, many moons ago... But I remember it like it was yesterday.

The stadium was packed full, so full that they had to add temporary bleachers to accommodate some more of the fans. We were seated in that section, or rather standed since no one sat the entire game. No, it wasn't in my head, the bleachers were actually moving, like ocean waves, from all of the people jumping up and down. Noise makers were not easily ignored. Crowds were cheering, mostly, "Chivas! Chivas!"

All of this I vividly remember, but what I truly remember most of all was that it was my first experience trying a pupusa.

For the occasion, they had brought in a local Salvadorian vendor that sold the stuffed corn tortillas. Despite my many travels, to Mexico and Central America, I had never had a pupusa before, but boy, oh boy, was I smitten! Order up, one stuffed with cheese (queso) and one stuffed with pork (chicharron) and they were delicious. Ever since, I have always been in search of finding these marvelous wonders.

So I was struck with only the most excitement when Whole Foods announced that it would be featuring pupusas on the menu of its local food truck test kitchen for the month of May and June.  The options include a slow-cooked beef, chicken mole, slow-cooked pork, smoked brisket, rajas, and a few other vegetarian dishes. The truck is also serving up complimentary-style sides such as street corn, fried plantains, and cinnamon sugar churros. Yum, yum, and even more yum!

* Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market *

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Daily Philosophy

Every morning I am greeted with this lovely message. It makes me think of my children, myself as a child, and reminds me to prioritize that which is truly important. Thank you, Philosophy.

"purity is natural. we come into this world with all the right instincts. we are innocent, and therefore perceive things as they should be, rather than how they are. our conscience is clear, our hands are clean, and the world at large is truly beautiful. it is at this time we feel most blessed. to begin feeling young again, we must begin with the most basic step of all; the daily ritual of cleansing."

Monday, May 2, 2016

C.O. Bigelow Lip Care

A lip conditioner and breath freshener all in one:

Mentha Lip Gloss for the Girls

Mentha Lip Balm for the Boys 

Courtesy of C.O. Bigelow

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bouillabaisse a.k.a. Fish Stew

The Spring always brings about the best of the fishing season so seafood is at its peak for the freshest catch of the year.  

Bouillabaisse, a fancy French word for Fish Stew

1/4 lb. Cod
1/4 lb. Haddock
1/4 lb. Shrimp, peeled
1/2 lb. Mussels
Fish Bones, skin, and Shrimp Shells
1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Large Shallot, chopped *
1 Small Leek, chopped *
4 cloves of garlic, chopped *
2 Vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped *
6 sprigs of Thyme
Fistful of Parsley, ~ 1/3 cup
3 Stems of Basil Leaves
Fennel Fronds, ~ 1/8 cup
1 Bay Leaf
6 cups water
1 9 oz package of fresh Fettuccine
Dutch Oven

* Don't worry about dicing the vegetables as they are only used to flavor the broth, so in this case, size doesn't matter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

'Nanners on Banana Pancakes

Don't forget to top your Banana Pancakes with none other than... bananas!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Skyline Drive

Some of the most beautiful views in "our country tis of thee" are along the Shenandoah National Park's Blue Ridge Mountains Parkway, also known as Skyline Drive.

It's a scenic ride to be enjoyed leisurely - and legally at 25 mph.

The Spring season, is one of my favorite times to take the drive with all of the trees so freshly full of green. It competes closely with the Fall when the leaves change to their oranges, and yellows, and reds.  

As the saying goes - A picture is worth a thousand words - so now I'll let the images of Skyline Drive speak for themselves:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Cinnamon Roll at Upper Crust

The Cinnamon Roll at Upper Crust Bakery has recently stolen my heart. I've indulged in the pastry more times than I'd like to admit in the past month.

It's just the right combination of butter and sugar and flakiness. Sweet, but not too sweet. Flavorful, filling, but not too full.

Inside it has that gooey goodness that is cooked but not at all over cooked. The long-time Austin bakery really has perfected their recipe, and definitely has me hooked, headed back for more and more...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Striped Caroline Flats

Thank you Tuckernuck for bringing these adorable Striped Caroline Flats by Southern Proper to my attention! 


Aren't they perfect for Spring/Summer?!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pink & Green Poncho

Some seem to be calling it a wrap while others seem to be calling it a poncho. While I believe it to be the latter, whatever you want to call it, these coveralls are hot right now. 

Image courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer

They make for a perfect season to season transition piece. And for me right now, expecting a baby in less than a month, I think it is going to be the crucial piece to my wardrobe on a day to day basis. Mothers of newborns, you know what I mean... style and practicality, ingenious!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Day Trip to San Antonio, TX

San Antonio is a Texas city rich in history. Even myself having grown up in the northern Midwest always knew to Remember the Alamo.  But since those days, the continuous growth of population has changed the city dramatically. What used to be known only a century ago as a small town has now become a city has house over one million residents.

While remembering the past and embracing the future, the city of San Antonio has a lot to offer from heritage and museums to dining and cuisine. And thus begins our San Antonio foodie tour at The Guenther House. Located in the old home of the Pioneer Mills family, this museum and restaurant serves up some delicious brunches right next door to the still operating, still family owned flour mill, and is open for tours.

The Guenther House
205 East Guenther Street
San Antonio, Texas 78204

Next up on the list of a mix of old and new is The Granary. Serving up the Texan's dream of beer and bbq, The Granary is located in a converted house of the old Pearl Brewery Complex.  What was once the home of the original Texas Pearl beer now houses businesses, shops, restaurants, and a farmer's market. After feasting on some delicious brisket, sausage, ribs, or whatever 'cue might do it for you, stroll around and marvel at what used to be and what has become.

The Granary
602 Avenue A
San Antonio, Texas 78215

Water has always been an alluring majestic to migrators both north and south, and San Antonio holds the same. One of the most popular attractions in San Antonio, which brought about the many settlers and today brings many tourists, is the San Antonio River Walk. Walk up and down the river, or take a ride on one of the many boat tours, but don't forget to pop into many of the delicious eateries along the way serving up food and spirits galore, one of my favorite being Casa Rio. For classic Tex-Mex and a great ambiance, there is no better place to go.

Casa Rio
430 East Commerce Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Further inland is a restaurant that has been in operation since the 1930s, La Fonda on Main. Serving up Tex-Mex and more authentic interior Mexican cuisine, La Fonda never ceases to disappoint me, especially given the different various specials of the day, whether it be food, drink, or dessert.

La Fonda on Main
2415 North Main Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78212

Last but not least, on the northern edge of the city is a breakfast one mustn't go without. Whether it be an in-house original omelet, a can't-ever-go-wrong hash, waffles, French toast, or the namesake pancake, it's all served up warm and toasty at Magnolia Pancake Haus. Sure, they serve up lunch items too, but I'm a breakfast all day any day kind of gal...

Magnolia Pancake Haus
606 Embassy Oaks
San Antonio, Texas 78216

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Day Trip to Fredericksburg, TX

For many years one of the main attractions bringing visitors to the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg was a stroll along Main Street to pop in and out of the fabulous antique, artisan, and other specialty shops, and that is still the case to this day, 170 years after it was originally founded. What's more, many of the old, historic buildings have been preserved, so while the interiors may have changed over the years, the facades still maintain the original buildings and store-fronts. It's a timeless small-town Texas.

And speaking of time, celebrating over 40 years of family business is the wonderful cafe and gift shop known as The Peach Tree. It's a great stop for lunch, and to do a little shopping.

The Peach Tree
210 South Adams Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

One of my favorite times to visit Fredericksburg is during Christmastime when the Market Square on Main Street is overtaken by a 30-foot Christmas tree, 26-foot German Christmas pyramid, skating rink, and chop chop train. It's a tribute to the town's founding German heritage and a wondrous joy to marvel for all ages.

Despite becoming increasingly popular for it's new association as Texas wine country, Fredericksburg was initially founded by Germans, which meant for many years the drink of choice was beer. And that still remains true to this day with beer gardens a'plenty! The Auslander and Der Lindenbaum have fun, traditional decor, or there's Fredericksburg Brewing Company for a more modern atmosphere. Get a Corned Beef Reuben and a beer (or two or three...) at any of these fine establishments.

Fredericksburg Brewing Company
245 East Main Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

The Auslander Biergarten
323 East Main Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Der Lindenbaum
312 East Main Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Lastly, it may not be Fredericksburg proper, but 10 miles down the road is the music loving spot  of Luckenbach, made famous by Waylon Jennings. There isn't much to this quiet little community, just the remains of a retired post office and a general store turned gift shop, but there is a Feed Lot and saloon, so pop on over and grab a beer, just for fun.

Image courtesy of Luckenbach, Texas Inc
Luckenbach Feed Lot
412 Luckenbach Town Loop
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624