Recent Articles & Recipes

Rio’s Brazilian Cafe

Everybody Get Happy!

Posted on Jun 20, 2011 | Comments Off

Rio’s Brazilian Cafe

  Years ago, at a potluck, my friend Shannon made something she called “Brazilian cheese puffs.” Though they looked like dinner rolls, the texture was chewier than a typical bread, and the flavor rich and cheesy. I ate many more of them than was probably wise. Turns out these are called pão de queijo, and what makes the texture so different and dense is that they’re made not with flour but with manioc starch. A great place to sample them in Austin is at Rio’s Brazilian Café. This little low-key place on an odd stretch of...

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Summer Drinks at the Hotel San Jose

Posted on Jun 13, 2011 | Comments Off

Summer Drinks at the Hotel San Jose

The pool-side bar at the Hotel San Jose is no secret. Yet it still feels hidden, quiet, slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of South Congress Avenue. They’ve also got two of the best drinks to quench your thirst this summer. First, there’s the tinto de verano,which means red summer wine. It’s a simple drink that’s super popular in Spain. It can be made with red wine and any of the following: orange soda, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda. At the San Jose they just combine red wine with tangerine soda, and voila, red...

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Spring Farmer’s Market Potluck

Pea and Radish Salad with Goat Cheese

Posted on Jun 9, 2011 | Comments Off

Spring Farmer’s Market Potluck

I love the farmer’s market, I really do. I also love sleeping in on Saturday mornings, which is when the farmer’s markets are usually held. So even though I love them, I haven’t been in quite some time. Maybe since, say, last summer? But then my friend Sarah decided to organize a farmer’s market-based potluck in early April, which gave me the occasion to revisit the Austin downtown farmer’s market, which as far as I can tell, is bigger and better than ever. The plan was for guests to visit the market, pick up some things that looked...

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Uchiko

A Sober Look at This New Hot Spot

Posted on Jun 9, 2011 | Comments Off

Uchiko

When I think about eating dinner at Austin’s famed Japanese restaurant Uchi, which is generally for a special occasion, I think about waiting at least an hour, if not two hours, for my table. No big deal. I usually get a little wooden box of sake, sit outside, and proceed to get tipsy while chatting with my friends. Sometimes the nice servers will come by with little treats—fried cauliflower or something, which always tastes SO good and SO salty that I must drink more sake in order to forget how hungry I am. The waiting and anticipation...

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Brownies for Book Club

Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Walnuts

Posted on Jun 9, 2011 | Comments Off

Brownies for Book Club

  About a year ago, I read a charming book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It takes place during World War II and tells the story of what happens to the residents of the British island Guernsey during the German occupation. The colorful characters on Guernsey gather clandestinely to talk about their favorite books and eat dessert, anything from Cherries Flambé to, yes, Potato Peel Pie. Their secret gatherings create a sense of community for those on the island, a sense of...

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On The Arrival of Spring

and a Lemon-Lime Posset

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 | Comments Off

On The Arrival of Spring

About two weeks ago, spring seemed to be in full bloom in Austin. On my block, the redbud trees sprouted their glorious pink flowers. At Town Lake white blossoms decorated tree after tree. I thought to myself, “I really need to get out my camera and capture the wonders of spring!” Did I do that? I did not. I did something else, probably something boring like going to the grocery store or the gym. On the last weekend of SXSW, when I finally decided to go out taking pictures, I found that the pink flowers of the redbuds in my neighborhood...

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Maui Gold Pineapple Upside Down Cake

with Dark Rum Sauce and Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Posted on Mar 1, 2011 | Comments Off

Maui Gold Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This is a picture of a piece of pineapple upside down cake. A very good piece of pineapple upside down cake, which I happened to eat at the chic tapas bar Bar Acuda on the island of Kauai, Hawaii during a vacation there in the summer of 2010. (It is worth noting that the tapas bar craze has clearly left no territory untouched, not even the wild and lush north shore of Kauai.) As you might imagine, all the servers at Bar Acuda were thin and blonde and gorgeous, probably from, like, surfing all day. As I watched them chatting with the...

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