Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day on Lake Austin

We were lucky enough to hitch a ride on Mike and Charlies boat on Monday. We headed down to Lake Austin to enjoy the water and the sun. The weather was perfect,,, NO RAIN :o) I hadn't been on Lake Austin in a few years and Jim hasn't been on Lake Austin. It seemed to be a more relaxed day than we normally have on Lake Travis. I cant' wait to get back on the lake this summer!

View from the dock

This is kind of hard to see... that is Matt flying through the air. Matt and Charlie spent some time flying off of the swing (which you can't really see in the pictures) into the water. I didn't want to get wet, so I didn't' swing on it, but I'll be doing it next time!

view from the water... I'm VERY careful when I take my camera in the water but I love the pictures that are near the water
Sticker on one of the boats

Jim, Matt and Mike

Charlie and Mike

yummy jello shot

The hubby and I

Brian and Kayla

Kayla and I

String of boats that we were tied to in the cove

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Fun

After our brunch on Sunday we decided to stay downtown and do a little window shopping. Window shopping led to a wine bar, which led to meeting up with a friend, which lead to a nice patio at a local bar. You see where this is going. It was a beautiful day (after the rain ended) so we wanted to enjoy it as much as we could.

I joke that this is the Evil Building of downtown... at night it just seems like some villain lives in the top making plans to take over the world.

Lots of beautiful fluffy clouds swirled around the sky

This is a cool modern furniture store on 2nd that I wish I could afford.

We headed over to Cork and Co to enjoy their $5 per glass wine special. They were EMPTY. But we usually like it that way (as long as the bartenders are cool) because we end up chatting with the bartender and learn cool stuff. In this case the bartender, John, was pretty damn funny so we had a good time talking to him. We ended up getting some heavy "tasting" pours as well as had an intriguing conversation about movies. For those of you in Austin, Cork and Co will begin to serve brunch in a few weeks. They have lots of ideas that they want to bring to their menu. Apparently they had a change in management, and now they want to experiment.

Matt, me and Jimmy

Jim and Matt enjoying a "Deer and a Beer" special at Cedar Door. At this point... I was all about the water. Needed to refuel and make sure I got sober to drive home :o)
Can't decide if I like this picture or not....kind of feel that it is a smidge unique.. maybe if it was at a different angle, or I played more on the horizontal lines of the roof and the vertical lines from the shadows of the chairs. I just bored you to death, didn't I. Sorry.
Ominous sky over Austin

Sunday Brunch

Our Sunday plans changed (boating) when the weather decided to rain so we decided to head to brunch while trying to figure out what to do with our day. We attempted to go to Traverna but they had a 45 minute wait and we were to hungry to wait. We walked down to Cru and gave them a chance. They didn't have a large brunch menu, but there were some fancy upgrades to your typical breakfast foods. Jim ordered the Huevos Rancheros and I ordered a cheese pizza with a sunny side up egg in the middle. Jim thought his meal was just okay, and honestly it didn't look like much. My pizza was very good, but I wish it was more breakfasty. My fault for ordering it, but it intrigued me. The egg was a nice addition and the little salad on top also added a nice crunch. They also had $7 unlimited mimosas, so that was a good way to get my Vitamin C for the day :). We enjoyed our meal but there are a lot of places in Austin to eat brunch so I don't know how soon we'll make it back to Cru.

Jim attempting to drink his mimosa without using his hands.... we are a classy couple.

Right after our meal on the patio we had to rush inside due to rain. It started off with an innocent sprinkling but then it got worse. They weren't very busy so we sat on the couch inside, finished off our drinks while waiting for the rain to pass. I downloaded a pretty cool application to my Blackberry to track the weather. The picture below is what the radar looked like in Austin while we were waiting for the rain to pass!


I had last Saturday to myself, so went out to play with my new lens, do a little shopping and try out the South Austin Trailer park for lunch. I had a good day and accomplished a lot!

I found the most perfect shirt at a vintage shop on S. Congress. It was a pearly snap shirt with two Eagles on the front. The Eagles look VERY similar to the Philadelphia Eagles logo. I was way bummed when I saw that it was a small and wouldn't fit Jim. Since it is a vintage shop, they only had one. Booo!

I had a choice between burgers and tacos at the South Austin Trailer Park. It is literally a plot of land with a few food trailers and a knit knack shop with lots of benches with umbrellas to enjoy the food and atmosphere.

I decided to eat at Shuggies because I have had Torchys before and already love them. I couldn't really decide on one burger so I picked the sampler slider's which I thought was a good way to try a few things! One burger was the classic with cheese, one had Gouda cheese with BBQ sauce and the last burger had blue cheese and a horse radish sauce. All burgers came with onions, lettuce and tomato's. The burgers were cooked well and had tasty little buns and all had distinctive tastes. I thought the blue cheese and horseradish sauce burger was a little over the top since the two toppings are both strong flavors. If they cut it back a bit then I would have enjoyed it a lot more because I love me some blue cheese!! I wasn't super hungry so I didn't order the fries, but I'll be back to test those out! I did order the lemonade and really enjoyed it. To often I find lemonade fake tasting or way to tart so I don't order it often when we go out. Overall, it was a great experience!

This was a cute little shop, in a trailer, that was near the food trailers. They had all sorts of neat gift type items! They also had another little trailer that had sweets... I kept away from that trailer so I wouldn't be tempted :o)

Couldn't resist adding a Chewie picture..... isn't he adorable!

My car leaks when it rains... and I cover it with trash bags so it won't leak water into my car. Yeah, I think that places me in the "white trash" category. Damn. All because I don't want a car payment!!

Yummy leeks

I couldn't wait to use the leeks that I bought from the farmers market this weekend. I have made creamed leeks before, but I was looking for a recipe with more flavor, and I found it. This dish was so good. It was easy but it seems like a more complex dish! Although it was super tasty it isn't the best dish for those of you on diets.

Baked Leeks with Bacon

4 sm Or medium leeks; trimmed,
1 oz Bacon; cut into small dice
1 lg Egg
1/4 c Milk
1/4 c Chicken broth or low-sodium
Ground white pepper
1 oz Gruyere cheese ; grated, (I used Gouda.. not a fan of Gruyere but I think any cheese would work with this recipe. I also used about 3oz of cheese... just because I shredded that much and didn't want to waste it:o))
1 tb Dry bread crumbs
1 tb Minced fresh parsley

1. Trim leeks about 2 inches beyond point where leaves start to darken. Trim root end, keeping base intact.
2. Slit leek lengthwise upward through leaves, leaving base intact. By trimming only dark green parts of each half, more of leek can be saved.
3. Soak trimmed leeks in a sinkful of cold water to loosen excess dirt, then rinse leeks in cold running water, pulling apart layers with your fingers to expose any clinging dirt.
4.Arrange leeks in a single layer in a steamer basket or steamer insert. Carefully place basket over pot of vigorously boiling water-, cover and steam until tip of knife inserted in thickest part of leek meets no resistance, about 10 minutes for leeks I inch thick, about 12 minutes for leeks 1 1/4 inches thick.
5. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Fry bacon in small skillet over medium-high heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain fat and set bacon aside to cool.
6. Whisk egg, milk, chicken stock, and salt and pepper to taste in small bowl. Stir in Gruyere cheese.
7. Arrange leeks in a single layer in baking dish. Pour egg mixture over leeks, sprinkle with bacon bits and bread crumbs. Bake until top is browned and egg mixture is set, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Cooks Illustrated, Mar./Apr. 1995, Page 15. Credit: Mindy Schreil. Nationality: USA Course: vegetable Season:any Methods: steamed, baked Start to Finish 1 hour Preparation 10 minutes Attention 45 minutes Finishing a minute or less Converted from Mangia!, Cooks Illustrated 1993-1995 Cookbook Recipe by: Cooks Illustrated, Mar./Apr. 1995, Page 15 Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by "Hobbs, D B USO" on Mar 19, 1998

What do you do when you have really long Leek leaves that you can't use? Make a
hat! :o)

Not the best picture of our meal, but it was really good

I had 3 leek stalks from the farmers market and it barley made enough for Jim and I. So if you are going to use this recipe to feed more than 2 people than I would double it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pictures from this morning
I ventured out this morning to the Farmers Market and to walk around downtown a bit. My main goal was to get some veggies and to test out my new camera lens. I like my lens a lot and I can't wait to use it more!

At the capital I came across this car that had yarn all over it. It was amazing and very detailed.

Seriously, that's all yarn!

The owner came up while I was taking pictures so we chatted for a bit. I believe he told me that it took him years (I can't remember the exact number,,, bad brain). To keep the color bright and not grungy looking he has to take off the old yard and relay new yarn. Quite the hobby! He believes he is the only car in the world that is covered with yarn!

Today must be cool car day. I saw this car parked along a street in downtown Austin, so I stopped to take a few pictures. I love the horns on the front :o)

Austin Farmers Market- Downtown

It must be onion season, because there were a TON of onions available. Lots smelled and looked fantastic.

This mornings farmers market had quite a few vendors there today. My dumb ass only went with $6 cash, so I was limited on what I could buy. I'll be back next weekend with more cash!

I bought some spring onions, leeks and garlic chives. Yes, all in the onion family. I suppose I should have bought a better variety of goods, but these guys were calling out to me. I haven't worked with a spring onion or garlic chives before but I look forward to cooking with them. The buy I bought the garlic chives from said that they are great in scrambled eggs, but I think I'll use them then I roast some red potatoes. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My new toy!!

I have been waiting for this lens for MONTHS! This is a super wide lens and I cannot wait to put it on my camera and test it out. We receive reward points at work for various contests and performance. I have been saving my points for a YEAR for this freakin lens. Seriously. I did go with a 3rd party lens (Sigma) and not the Canon because I didn't have enough points. I have read a lot of reviews on the camera and for the most part it received really good reviews. I can return the lens if i don't like it, so I thought it was worth it. Stay tuned for pictures with the new lens.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Muddy Buddy Pictures

I found a few more pictures on Muddy Buddy's website of us doing the race. Unfortunately it is only two of us in the race, one at the finish line and one with everybody that we did the race with. Our numbers fell off in the mud pit, so I'm hoping that we can find at least a couple more pictures of us in the mud pit. It will just take a bit to rummage through the hundreds of photos that the Muddy Buddy photographers took! :o)