Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

Come winter time, Shepherd's Pie has become a real go-to for me and the hubby, whether in the comfort of our own home, or at the local pub.

Obviously, given its name, Shepherd's Pie began as a popular dish amongst the farming class of Shepherds and Peasants (no surprise given the farm fresh ingredients and ease of preparation).

The true shining star of the dish is the main ingredient - lamb.  While some recipes call for beef, I don't think you have tasted the true deliciousness that is Shepherd's Pie without the lamb.  It just gives it that perfect flavor.  And I like to up the ante even more, using Guinness instead of broth or stock.  It's delish.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crawfish Boil at Shoal Creek Saloon

'Tis the season!  Shoal Creek Saloon has brought back the crawfish boil. 

Order up a pound, or 3, or 5! Be sure to add your boiled potatoes and corn on the cob. And don't forget the hot sauce for dipping.

They say the crawfish season peaks in March and April, and runs from now until early June (if we're lucky).  Don't worry, Shoal Creek says they will be serving the crawfish boils for as long as they can find crawfish. So scoot on over and dig in!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quality Seafood

Where do you get your fresh seafood in Austin?  Ask any restaurant and you'll get the same answer without hesitation - Quality Seafood Market.

While Quality Seafood has been around forever, having just celebrated its 75th anniversary, they only started serving prepared food in the past 30 years, a very welcomed addition from the locals.

Also, within the past year, Quality Seafood underwent a face lift with a renovation and expansion.  Austinites give it a major two thumbs up.

Whether freshly shucked or fried-to-order, the oysters are perfectly fresh and delicious.

Give 'em fried oysters a little hot sauce, y'all.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Nestled perfectly on top of a hill in Charlottesville, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson knew what he was doing when he built Monticello.  The views are breath taking.

Thomas Jefferson was a pioneer of the ages, with fresh farm to table from his own front yard!  He really was ahead of the game, ahead of the times, and ahead of the trends.

And the house itself isn't so bad.  On the contrary, it's spectacular, especially considering the time period when it was built with the means (or lack thereof) of transporting the building blocks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

There's nothing wrong with a gift of chocolate, especially when it's Godiva.

It's not cliche, it's classic.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Eat your King Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday! ... or more popularly known as the French translation, Happy Mardi Gras!

A popular indulgence during Mardi Gras is the King Cake, a cinnamon bread roll with a creamy frosting inside and atop the cake.  It's quite tasty.

A little history...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Louis Vuitton, Beauty with Age

Most things in life just get better with age, and Louis Vuitton is no exception.

With its most notable signature leather Monogram canvas collection, LV just screams luxury.  It doesn't go out of style and only increases in value over time.  But how do you know your LV's age and value?  Well, look at your strap.

I added this LV to my collection about 2 years ago. The strap is a very light tan color, yet to be weathered.

The Speedy bag (or as I like to call it, the Doctor bag) has been in my possession for about 5 years.  Notice the strap is starting to get darker.

Whereas this LV was acquired over 15 years ago.  Look at the rich caramel color of the strap - gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bryce's Cafeteria

Now I know what you are thinking... a cafeteria?  Really?  But trust me on this one.  There's a reason that this month they are celebrating 82 years. And, if by the end of this post, you still aren't convinced, even the New York Times had to do a write-up on the marvel of this long-standing establishment.  It's delicious.

The fried chicken is done just right.  They must have a good old-fashioned brown bag shaking back there.

And there are the classic Ice Box pies.

All the food was really fresh and flavorful.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Peabody Hotel

In the wee hours of the 1930s a couple of guys were coming back from a day of hunting (and drinking), and thought it would be funny if they placed their live decoy ducks in the water fountain of their hotel.  I'm sure the booze had nothing to do with it.

Thankfully, the ducks were quite welcomed by the other guests of the hotel and thus began The Peabody Hotel's tradition of the march of the ducks.

To this day, at each of the three Peabody Hotel locations - Little Rock, Memphis, and Orlando -  each hotel hosts ducks in their lobby fountains twice a day.

While the Marriott has acquired The Peabody Hotel in Little Rock (and there is uncertainty as to continuing the tradition of the march of the ducks), both the Peabody in Memphis and the Peabody in Orlando remain under current ownership and the march of the ducks tradition will continue on!