Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chicken meatballs with Chiptole-Honey Sauce

I found another great recipe from Noble Pig blog ( for my 2nd recipe that I making for the couples wedding shower. I thought having a healthy meat option would be good for the party. I'm debating on getting some type of heating place/crock pot for the party so these stay warm. I haven't made chicken meatballs before, but they were really good!! They were a little mushy to work with, so forming balls was a bit of an adventure :) For the party I'll make smaller balls (he he he... sorry, I am SO immature) for the party and I'll double the sauce so they stay moist.

Chicken Meatballs with Chipotle-Honey Sauce
Adapted from Best Recipes

2 pounds ground chicken

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 can (4 ounce) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, divided

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Chipotle-Honey Sauce

3/4 cup honey

2 to 3 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 Tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine ground chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, adobo sauce and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and form chicken mixture into 48 meatballs. Place the meatballs on the baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.While the meatballs are chilling, make the sauce.In a food processor or blender combine honey, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chicken broth, tomato paste, lime juice, Dijon mustard and salt. Process until smooth. Set aside.Remove meatballs from the refrigerator and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Bake both trays in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes.Remove the trays from the oven and place meatballs in a baking dish. Add Chipotle-Honey Sauce and brush the meatballs until they are coated. Bake another 12-15 minutes until meatballs are heated through and glazed with sauce

Friday, February 26, 2010

Feta Dip

At the end of March I'll be making a few appetizers for a friends couples wedding shower so I have been trying out the dishes this week. I came across this recipe at a blog called Noble Pig. She regularly posts really tasty dishes that are simple to make and when I saw this dip I knew I wanted to try it. I've not really used the pepperchinies before in recipes so I was excited to incorporate them in a dish.

Overall this dip was solid, but lacked a bit of a wow factor, perhaps the lemon zest that I forgot to add would give the dip a boost. I thought about adding chopped up black olives but the husband (who isn't a fan of any type of olives) nixed that idea. Of course serving it with a chip or cracker that is flavored might also give it a little kick.

Feta Pepper Dip
Adapted from Cuisine at Home

8 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (used a garlic and herb feta)

8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup pepperoncini, sliced (I used a mounding 1/2 cup of pepperoncini)

1/4 cup green onion, sliced

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (damn, forgot to do this)

Black pepper to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil

Blend feta cheese, mayonnaise, and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl periodically. Fold in sliced, green onions, lemon zest and black pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and chill dip for at least one hour before serving. Drizzle dip with extra-virgin olive oil. Make sure to serve with a sturdy cracker or chip.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today I found Chi'lantro
I found out about the new food truck at Food is the New Forty's blog (if I had more skills, I would have been able to make that a hyper link). I have heard about the Korean BBQ trucks in LA, so I knew this was one food truck that I needed to try. Chi'lantro moves around the city every day, so you need to check their twitter account or website to find out where they are going to be each day. It also seems that they move between lunch and dinner areas. I found them today at 2nd and Congress in a parking lot but they had one little table to sit at (in hindsight it is very possible that the table was for Kebabalicious-- oops). I wish it was a little warmer... I think it was about 45 degrees while I was eating, which meant that I was shivering and shaking my tacos around :).
I decided on the pork taco and the beef taco (2 bucks each) and I added kimchi to the tacos. I haven't had kimchi before, and I was SO happy that I added it. Kimchi added a nice crunch and a slow burn to the tacos. The tacos were wrapped in two corn tortillas, and they worked hard to keep the filling contained. They were filled with Chi'lantro salsa, julienne lettuce in a Korean Chili Soy Vinaigrette, cilantro, onions, green onions, and roasted sesame seeds. The toppings made up 2/3s of the taco and the meat made up 1/3 of the taco. The tacos were truly yummy. They also offer a burger that I'll be back to try!

Chomp, chomp, chomp

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

s * n * o * w

in Austin!!!! Last night when the news was taunting us with the chance of snow, I got a little excited. I should know better than to get excited, because this is Texas and you just never know what the weather is going to be like until you wake up that day and look outside. However, kudos Mr. Weatherman.... you nailed it today!!! Around 10am I looked outside at work and saw the biggest wet drops of snow that I have seen! They were huge, and probably more slush than snow. But I didn't care damn it.... it's snowing in Austin!!! I squealed like a school girl and went outside to take some pictures. Unfortunately, snow/slush/sleet isn't always the easiest to get pictures of. We made a snowman at work and propped him up near the door, he was a hit with all of the people that walked by.

I went home for lunch to let Chewie out and to take a few photos at home with the snow. He has seen ice before, but not snow. He wasn't sure exactly what in the hell was wrong with the grass, but after a minute he was running around the back yard checking everything out.

Hard to see, but I was trying to get the squirell running between the trees with an acorn in his mouth. I was to far away to get a good picture of him.

Back yard

A view from my drivers side window

I had a grin all day long.... LOVED the snow day!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Tonight we decided to try out Musashino for dinner. We realized it had been far to long since we have had sushi. So it was decided... sushi for dinner! We were able to get a table in about 30 minutes when we walked up on a Friday night. It was a non-issue since we just sat at the bar and enjoyed a water (...ha! Just kidding, of course we had a couple of beers).

I wish I had taken a few minutes more to get a good picture, but I had two things going against me. 1) there was very low light 2) I could see Jim eyeballing the sushi, he was ready to eat and not exactly ready to wait while I positioned the sushi next to the candle light to get a good picture :).

We ordered the....

  • Rainbow Roll- California roll with tuna, fresh salmon, shrimp, avocado and white fish on top
  • Texas Roadkill- jalapeno, habanero and orange smelt caviar on the outside, cucumber, avocado and tuna
  • Spicy Lobster Roll- chunk of lobster and avocado roll served with spicy hybrid sauce.
Our favorite's were the Spicy Lobster roll and the Texas Roadkill. The Rainbow Roll had a good fresh flavor, but it lacked flavor or perhaps spice. The Roadkill roll was good on it's own, but when you dipped it into the jalapeno/habanero sauce you could expect your mouth to instantly feel on fire- but in a good way :). And the Lobster roll was good on it's own, but it was taken to a different level when dipped in the sauce.

I am really looking forward to going back to Musashanio for sushi and to Chinatown for Chinese food (the restaurant that was above Mushashino).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday Funday

Last Sunday we all needed to get out of the house and our "funk" and go enjoy the nice weather. Jim, Chewie and I loaded up in the car and went to find lunch. Since we had Chewie with us, we knew it would be some type of trailer and I had heard such good things about Franklin BBQ so we headed over there. We found the trailer (behind Owl Tree Roasters on I-35 on the bottom) and easy parking on the street. Jim went to check out the menu while I kept Chewie with me at the table. He still gets rather excited when we go out, and doesn't really relax while we are out. We are working on training him to sit/lay and stay while we are eating and not try to jump up and say hi to everybody that walks by.

On to the food.... I ordered the brisket sandwich and Jim ordered the pulled pork with coleslaw. The brisket was delicate and had a great flavor, that wasn't super smoky. I ended up pulling most of the meat off of the bread so I could enjoy the meat without the bread as filler. There were 4 different choices of sauces that you could use. The most unique was the espresso bbq sauce... the sauce added a depth of flavor that I haven't experienced with BBQ before. I noticed the coffee flavor right away but then it finished with a slight smoky flavor. It was a strong sauce, so I used it sparingly. I also tried the other sauces, which were good but they didn't really stand out.

Jim loved his sandwich and after begging him, he finally gave me a bite. It was really good, but I still liked my brisket sandwich better :) . We will be back in the near future to try out their ribs, cause if they are anything like the brisket and pork, they will be fantastic.

After our sandwiches we headed over to Town Lake (I just can't get used to calling it Lady Bird Lake, sorry!) to let Chewie release some energy at the leash less area for dogs.

He is not a water dog,,, he has never gone in by himself, he always followed Taylor. I am curious to see what happens this summer! He was happy just to watch all of the dogs run around and play. We let him off of his leash, but he kind of went around and did his own thing.

Like a good boy, he always comes running when his mama calls him :)
Since it was such a nice day outside, we didn't want to end our outdoor time. We headed over to Cuatros (which is dog friendly) to get a couple of drinks and relax. This is Chewies first time at a bar but he did okay. The waitress brought over a bowl of water for him as well as some treats. After checking out the area he finally laid down and observed everything going on around him. I know after a few more times of going out and training him, he'll be the perfect companion for our day time outings.

Cuatros has happy hour specials all day on their drinks which I think is $1 off bottles, $2 domestic drafts, and $3 Well drinks.

Yes, we got nachos, don't judge just because we had BBQ sandwiches 1.5 hrs before :)
We are the type of people that want our nachos overflowing and messy. We don't want the dainty little chips that the restaurant prepared the nacho toppings on individually. We want the toppings sloshed on, and we want more toppings than chips. Cuatro's nachos were really good!! We did a good job of putting a dent into the nachos before the wicked cold front hit Austin. We had no idea that at around 3:30 on Sunday afternoon, Austins' weather would drop about 15 degrees in 5 minutes.... and I'm not even exaggerating, it got damn cold! Plus big black clouds blocked the sun, which made it even colder. Our patio time at Cuatros was cut short but we'll be back. They made sure Chewie was just as comfortable as we were.... I love dog friendly bars!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Austin Marathon

This morning was the Austin Marathon. We live along the race way so we like to head outside and cheer on the runners and take some pictures. Luckily this morning/afternoon was nice weather, so the runners had that going for them. Personally I don't believe that I will ever finish a marathon in my life time. I'm not a fan of running and I only do it for cardio to keep my ass in check.
I love taking pictures of the runners and what is funny, a lot of times you'll find at least one person smiling. But this guy... the guy in the orange shirt and black pants (behind the guy in the front of the photo in yellow)... took hamming it up for the camera while running to a new level :) I believe he is showing me some thigh. :) Nice!

I probably should have put on regular shoes and not just my house shoes :)

This little boy was so cute! He sat there with his hand out for runners to slap as they ran by.

WooooHoooo... he got a slap from a runner

There were a lot of people along the road ways with signs cheering on all of the runners

Mister Chewie checking out the runners going by :) I did have the scarf on before I got hot, so I decided that Chewie would look more distinguished with a scarf

This was the first people that I saw that had stuff on them for Valentines day. It was at this point that I looked at Jim and said Happy Valentines day... I had completely forgotten!! We aren't big Valentines day people... maybe get a card and go to dinner
(but NEVER on Valentines Day).

These two had a cute heart shaped message on their back. The guys said "Fuck Hills, Fuck V-Day" and the girls heart said "26.2 only with my boo"
Taking self photos with my large camera is hard since it is so large and heavy

Another great costume... Her shirt says "Hey Cupid Fetch Me a Beer". How in the hell can she run wearing that hat and heart shaped glasses.
And then the race just wouldn't be complete without an appearance from Cupid

While we were walking along our street, we stopped to introduce ourselves to our neighbors. We are pretty bad about stopping to talk to neighbors but we wave if we drive/run by. They were nice enough to give me a bloody mary while we talked. They seemed like nice people, and I am going to try to be a better neighbor and stop to say hi more often.