Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Never Quit

On Sunday Jim and I hopped on our bikes and peddled around the neighborhood. We ended up biking around 8 miles. My legs are a bit wobbly after the ride but it is a good wobbly :)   We ride through a park that is more of area of land that is private property that everybody uses to jog, bike and walk their dogs. It is city owned property off of 45th street.  It is filled with a ton of beautiful wildflowers right now.  The picture below is a little dark, but it gives you an idea of what the area looks like.

We biked under the 24th street bridge in Pease Park when I saw this message...Never Quit. It is a fitting place for the message... Right in the middle of a jogging and biking trail. I have been running and exercising more recently.  I gained some much annoying weight around my middle this winter and it is time to get rid of it.  So when I'm out jogging and am feeling winded or if I'm feeling lazy one morning and dont want to go exercist I'll think about this message..... Never Quit

Spring storms

We had a huge storm roll by last night. I was certain we were going to get some rain. Unfortunately all we saw was some pretty clouds. The rain missed us completely :(

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Working Lunch

So the title is a wee bit misleading. Yes... I met up with a co-worker for lunch... No we weren't really working. We came up with a list of restaurants that we wanted to try and meet up for lunch once a week (some times freakin work gets in the way and we can't meet up). For this particular visit I knew it was going to be delicious... I have eaten at Peached Tortilla many times. But it was Jenny's first time and I knew she would love it.  I wanted to eat at this trailer because the food is alway solid and today did not disappoint. I ordered their special of Bacon Jam Brussels Sprouts and a Bahn Mi taco.  Jenny ordered a crispy fish taco, BBQ beef taco and the bacon jam fries. We hardly talked... To busy shoving food in our pie holes. :) The Bahn Mi taco was stuffed full of crispy veggies and pork belly. And those Brussels sprouts were so good... The bacon jam added on top was fantastic. Then again adding bacon jam to a piece of cardboard and it would taste delicious.
Chalk this up to a delicious working lunch!! :)

Sunday on the porch

We had beautiful weather this past Sunday.  Spring has been sticking around Austin a little longer than normal this year and I love it.  I do enjoy summer but I know how brutal triple digit temps with high humidity can be. And that weather will be around a lot longer than this beautiful spring weather. 

To enjoy this weather we made some Blackberry Mojitos. I'm convinced you can add any fruit in a Mojitos and it will be delicious.  We use the recipe below to make our Mojitos at the house. The recipe is very loose.... Meaning you can make adjustments based on how you like your drinks.  Want your drink stronger? Use more rum.  Want it less sweet? Use less simple syrup. 

1.5 oz white rum
1.25 oz simple syrup
2-3 lime wedges 
4-5 good sized mint leaves
Club soda
1oz sweet and sour

Squeeze your lime wedges in a glass(throw them in the glass once squeezing if you want) , add in the mint and the simple syrup and muddle. Add the rum and sweet and sour then pour into a shaker tin. Shake it a few times and our back into glass. Add some ice then top it off with the club soda. Stir and enjoy!!   If you want to add fruit, add it in when you muddle. 

As you can see in the picture below our patio table is now covered in plants. I decided to see if I could keep alive some veggies and herbs. I have beef steak tomatoes, jalapeƱos, another type of pepper that is mild(can't remember the name... Starts with a C), cilantro and mint. When I selected everything I didn't realize that I was practically growing a salsa garden :) Just need some onions.  I have kept everything alive for about a month now. I hope I can keep it alive to get at least a few batches of salsa to go with our Mojitos :)

Blackberry Mojito

Jimmy hiding in the potted plants

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Loving Spring

It is that time of the year when everything is blooming, the weather is still enjoyable, and allergies are insane. :) This weekend the dogs and I spent a lot of time outside soaking up the sun and the sweet smells of spring.
Below is a picture of Abbey in a huge stretch and one of Chewie during our walk.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yo mom.... Can I come outside?

Lunch in the hood

Today while running errands I had some hunger pains. I was going to head to a trailer park but I was pissy after dealing with downtown traffic. I forgot that the reggae festival was going on when I headed to the City Wide festival.
Anywho, I remembered there was a little cafe in the hood that I haven't been to yet. I'm not sure how long Daisies Cafe has been open but after eating there today I am disappointed I haven't been here yet.  I ordered the special of Green Chili Bacon Cheddar Croquettes and a side salad. The croquets were tiny in size but loaded with flavor. They were crunchy on the outside and soft inside. The primary flavor was bacon (yum) with a hint of cheddar. I didn't get much of the green chili flavor but that didn't make the croquette any less tasty. The salad had a light vinaigrette with mint.
Their breakfasts look damn good as does the rest of lunch menu. Cany wait to come back!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Back On My Feet- Austin

Recently I signed up to be a volunteer with Back On My Feet.  To explain what Back On My Feet is, here is an excerpt from their website:

"Back on My Feet partners with local facilities (emergency shelter, mission, halfway house, etc.) and holds orientation sessions to introduce the program to residents. To join, residents must have lived at the facility for at least 30 days. Residential Members joining the program complete a dedication contract, goals sheet and evaluation survey. Running teams consisting of Residential Members (those experiencing homelessness) and Non-Residential Members (community volunteers) are formed at each facility.

All teams run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30 a.m., with longer, optional runs on Saturdays for those training for half marathons, full marathons or more. Members attend monthly social events and local races. Attendance, mileage and attitude are tracked on every run. After 30 days in the program, each Residential Member who maintains 90% attendance at the morning runs moves to Back on My Feet’s “Next Steps” phase.

In the Next Steps phase of the program, Residential Members meet with BoMF Program staff to assess their current situation and develop a road map for an independent lifestyle. Members have access to educational and job training opportunities, and through dedication to the program, can apply for financial aid to help them move toward employment and more permanent housing. Members can use Back on My Feet’s financial aid to address barriers to self-sufficiency including outstanding fines, tools for a job, transportation, education, certifications and security deposits. On average, nearly 75 percent of Members are in the Next Steps phase of the program – a true testament to the efficacy and sustainability of the program"

I will be running once a week with the group. The first walk/run was the inaugural run where we had over 100 people that all ran together. Then my 2nd run with them was the start of the individual runs. It was during the 2nd walk I met Milton. We walked together for the entire mile and talked along the way.  He is a gentleman who lost work and was unable to find a job for an extended period of time and it led to him being homeless.

The Non-Residential Members (the volunteers) walk Monday, Wednesday and/or Fridays (you can choose to walk on any day, but they ask that it is consistant).  I find it is a simple thing to do to help give a person somebody to talk to or be there to support while they get their life in order!

Our inaugural run on Jan 28th- I believe there were over 100 people at this run. 


Once we were done with our 1 mile run, the finishers created a tunnel for the rest of the runners to go through. It was fun to run through a crowd full of people clapping and yelling for you :)

After the run I volunteered at the Back on Your Feet fundraising breakfast.  I helped direct traffic :)

I was lucky enough to get a spot at a table at the breakfast and listen to the presenters. 

I wrote this post back in early Feb but never published it. I am still walking once a week with the group and enjoying seeing every one and hearing about their weekly accomplishments. Getting up at 4:50am to meet up with the group is tough but nothing compared to what the residents are going through.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

East Side King

A few weeks ago we ate at East Side King. ESK is owned by Paul Qui, who won Top Chef last year.  I have been eating at his trailer at The Liberty (bar on East 6th) for a few years so I knew ESK at The Grakle would have great food! Unfortunately the picture is bad quality, but I didn't realize that my camera battery was dead. So I had to use my phone in a dark area.... boo.  

We ordered 3 items to share... the pork ribs, chicken wings and a pork rice bowl.  

The pork ribs had a tare fish caramel glaze and were so tender the meat fell off of the bone. The glaze was slightly sweet and was loaded with flavor.  I would totally order these again!!

The Thai- style grilled chicken wings were good but they were super charred. I had to lose the skin since I'm not a fan of super charred. However... the meat was so tender.  

The last item, the pork rice bowl, was our favorite.  It isn't on the menu right now, so I can't look to see exactly what it was called.  It was a mix of pork, kim-chee, spicy sauce and rice.  Seriously good. Jim and I were fighting on who was going to get the last bite. 

Walking in the Greenbelt

A few Sundays ago I took the dogs out to the greenbelt to enjoy the sunny weather.  I love getting out there as much as I can and letting the dogs enjoy running around and sniffing ever single freaking blade of grass :)   This time we walked on the trail along 360 (I believe it is Bull Creek) and the creeks were full of water.  Thankfully the dogs only dipped their toes in and didn't fully get in the water. (I forgot a towel).

Found this huge leaf along the trail. The picture doesn't do the size justice.

Pretty sure Chewie is thinking..."Mom.... let's go. Quit making me stop to take pictures"

The orange/reddish leaves really gave the canopy a splash of color

Love that little tongue!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!

We started off our new year very lazy and it was perfect. We stayed in our PJs all day. The one area where I was productive was cooking. I made a frittata for breakfast and then a big spread for dinner. I found a recipe for turkey which was basted with a mixture of Maderia wine, cranberries, honey, onions and mustard that I couldn't wait to try. The mixture gave the turkey a beautiful color with a nice flavoring. Will have to keep that recipe for the next time!!

Creating the basting liquid for the turkey

Since we were home all day, I had plenty of time to snuggle with the pets and take pictures of them! :)


Abbey (using an app on my cell phone to create the hearts)