Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Old Stomping Grounds

I was born and raised in Northern California y’all.
Sacramento to be exact.

Stayed here until I was 20 years old, where I moved to AZ to switch colleges three more times before finally finishing in six years. Yikes.

Welcome to my stomping grounds. I’m here on a very, very last minute trip to see my bestest childhood friend graduate from UC Davis with her Master’s.

Well, I actually missed the graduation, but I’m here for the party and that’s what counts.

Right?

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I flew out of Austin yesterday with some stormy looking skies.

Elizabeth found my ticket on Priceline, so I had an interesting route to get here.
Austin to Minneapolis, to Sacramento.

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I was really impressed with Minneapolis y’all! It’s funny too, because Elizabeth always came to MN every summer to visit her grandmother, just like I came to Texas every summer to see MY grandma.

The airport was almost better than Austin! I’ve been trying to stick to this Paleo thing, which is REALLY hard when you’re traveling!

Who has time to travel with hard boiled eggs and chicken breasts in their carry-on?

NOT I!!

In Minneapolis, though, I was able to find a Quinoa candy bar (I know!! NOT Paleo, but I wanted to try it), all natural beef jerky, and a “mojitea” (mint tea with lime and sugar).

Pretty dang good if I do say so myself!

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This morning we went to take Elizabeth’s niece to gymnastics.
Um, I certainly have never been to a gymnastics studio since I was like, 4.
They have these awesome bouncy floors, a trampoline, and a pit full of foam blocks to jump in!

Why has no one told me this?
I swear I’m thirty.

Anyhow, stopped to get a good Peet’s coffee.
I had a coconut iced latte.

Boom, y’all. That’s all. Definitely don’t have that in small town Texas.

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Look at this awesome house I want! Being that it’s California, it probably costs $350,000.
I could probably get the same house in Texas for a third of that cost.
But I just love it.

When you come to Sac, check out East Sac and the “Fab 40’s” (a neighborhood between 41st St and 49th). You’ll get what I mean.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, clean houses.

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After climbing out of the foam pit (and I’ll save you any embarrassing descriptions of what that looked like), we headed downtown for lunch. We stopped at La Bou for my favorite sandwich.

La Bou is in the old Posey’s building. An old smokey joint for all the Good Ol’ Boy legislators to sit and shoot the breeze. Gorgeous sign, eh?

Oh my goodness, y’all, that Minnesota stuff is rubbing off.

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Here’s lunch. My happy place, yo.
La Bou makes two things really well. Actually like 8 things, but two are my favorite.
Thai Chicken Soup, and Creamy Dill Dressing.
Ok, their baguettes are to die for too, but now I’ve lost count.

My drool worthy, hunger inducing, lip smacking, finger licking meal consists of:
(Wow, CA really is coming back to me, I’ve left my “g”s on every one of those descriptors! GASP!)
Thai Chicken Soup
Turkey Sandwich on fresh Baguette with butter leaf lettuce and Vine Ripe Tomato!!!
With a side of…. drumroll please…
CREAMY DILL DRESSING!

Butter my biscuit and call me honey.
Happy girl right here.

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But Elizabeth wasn’t done there. She surprised me by taking me to Ginger Elizabeth’s… chocolatier extradonaire, right here in ol’ Sac Town.

The building next door was remodeling, and they decided to decorate the brown window coverings with foodie quotes.

I just LOVE that, don’t you?

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Here are the goods y’all!

Beautifully flavored chocolates, sampled a dark chocolate lavender caramel… and the macarons.
Ohhh those macarons.

And the piece de resistance.

A Parisian Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich.

We had pistachio, and salted caramel.

My life is complete.

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Here is Elizabeth’s Aunt Paty, who flew in from MINNESOOTA eating her macaron sandwich.

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PS – Last cool thing. Marshmallow Batons.
Oh Ms. Ginger, you’ve really outdone yourself.
You can freeze these babies, and then just cut off what you need.
Marshmallow at your service, y’all!

I’m off for the evening.
My brother and sister in law is coming up tonight from the bay area, I get to see my cutie patootie little nephews….

Then tomorrow is the big PAR-TAY for Elizabeth!!
YAY for friends with Master’s!

And yet, we’re both unemployed.
Oh, the irony.
Keep your fingers crossed y’all.

– Peace, Love, and Travels Y’all!

Friday, June 14, 2013

BlogHer Food Recap! {Part 2}

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Saturday morninnnnnggggg.

Lauren and I have the same dress!! #unplannedtwinday

We just love each other so much so we were all “We’re gonna rock this!”

It was pretty funny.

Well, we thought it was funny.

That’s funny, right?

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Then we went to breakfast. Look at all these beautiful ladies.

We ate the Old Pecan St. Cafe, and the strawberry crepes were to die for.

The roomies were Sheila of Eat2Gather, Liz of The Lemon Bowl, and you know Lauren, Megan and Laurie already.

I LOVE THESE LADIES!

Seriously, we all got along go great. I would easily be friends with all them in real life.
You know, if we weren’t already invisible internet friends.

So much fun. I could go on and on.

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THEN I GOT A PICTURE WITH NANABREAD! A real live, in person, recent picture!!

Ain’t she a beauty?

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Lunch was hosted by Doughmesstic at a mansion near Lake Austin.

Faaan-cyyyy.

Chef Ben Ford has partnered with Dole and treated us with great treats.

Pork Sliders, Spring Rolls, mini pineapple cakes, all delicious, and we were spoiled!

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Then began the after party at Stubb’s BBQ, hosted by The Pioneer Woman, Simply Recipes, and Steamy Kitchen!

Here I am with Flavia’s Flavors! Another TX local. I LOVE finally getting to meet all my friends!!

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Then Laurie and I snapped a pic with Jaden of Steamy Kitchen. She is so nice, and really funny!

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Jeanne with Jaden and Ree! We’re so excited!

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The whole gang! Awwww. Love these people.

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All the roomies from the condo. MAN it was hawt, and we were sweaty!

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We stopped at Hoboken Pie afterwards for a post pizza party.

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And as any good Texan knows…. The road goes on forever, but the party never ends….

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Sunday we all said our goodbyes, and I headed off to Ikea for one more blogging function…. we’ll see what comes of this! I met a great bunch of home and DIY bloggers.

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Next stop was HOME to begin the three hour nap and unpacking!

Sigh, this blogger was TIRED.

~ Peace, Love, and New Friendships Y’all!

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

BlogHer Food Recap! {Part 1}

NOW ANNOUNCING!!! MY BLOG HER FOOD RECAP!!!

*SO* much fun y’all!!

Emphasis on SO

And FUN

And y’all.

Just kidding.

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On Thursday, we all checked in, said our hellos, began our squealing and jumping, then rushed off to our welome parties.
NanaBread and I went to Whole Foods for their Bites and Bloggers, where we met Rebecca Rather y’all!

She’s a big deal here in Texas. Ms. Rather owns Rather Sweet in Fredericksburg and now has opened the Oink! restaurant.

My mom and I both have her cookbook The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe (affiliate link), and our favorites are her Hello Dolly! bars, and Mile High Meringue.

The dessert she featured was a wildflower honey panna cotta with prickly pear sorbet!!!
HOW CUTE IS THAT?

And how even cuter is that, that Jeanne’s nails matched!

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Friday we woke up bright and early as 5 girls began the process of getting showered, dressed, and made up in 2 bathrooms.

Good thing we’re all so naturally good looking. *cough*

Up top thats Lauren of Grier Mountain, Laurie of Simply Scratch, and Megan of Country Cleaver.

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Being the “local” since Blog Her Food was held in Austin this year, there was *some* pressure for me to take them to a super awesome lunch place.

The humor lies in the fact that I know Austin about as well as I know the cat in my back alley.
I see it, and feel bad when it’s hungry, but visit it every once in awhile.

Yeah, I’ll work on my analogies.

Anyways. Took them to Walton’s Fancy and Staple! Owned by Ms. Sandra Bullock! SO GOOD!
Check out those chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes.

And yes, we all stood on our chairs to get our overhead lunch shot.
HELLO, we are food bloggers in town for a convention!

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Then on break… uh.. ok, we cheated and skipped out on one session, we went to explore South Congress, or SoCo.

Stopped into the famous Allen’s boots, and I built my wish list for my next three pairs of must haves.

Dear Santa….. 

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Next stop was Uncommon Objects. Funnest flea market thrift store around.

With a little creep factor too.

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And noowwwww for the MOST humorous part of the day!!!!

I was SO EXCITED TO BE A TOUR GUIDE Y’ALL!! LIKE, I’M A TOTAL NATURAL!!!!

AND IT WAS THE BIGGEST EPIC FAIL OF THE YEAR!!!

Let me begin….
Once upon a time, there was a famous bridge, we’ll call it the Ann Richards (45th governor of Texas) bridge – otherwise known as Congress Ave Bridge. And under this bridge lived 1.5 MILLIONNN Mexican free tailed bats that reside here from May until November. Well – these bats are so exciting, so spectacular, so social, that people flock from miles around to watch the bats awake at dusk and fly off into the sunset as they eat millions and millions of Mexican free tailed insects.

I’m going to change the name of my tour from Bats & Brats to No Bats & Brats. Catch my drift?

(insert sarcasm)

We arrive at the bridge, all 17 of us, oh and by the way, Marlboro Man almost came on the tour – there’s a little fun fact for ya’.

We arrive at 7:30 and I tell the group they have 45 minutes to be back for dusk to see the spectacle. They can go grab a cocktail. Like the Four Seasons and their “Batini” – it’s good.

Everyone arrives back at 8:15. Dusk arrives at 8:30.
No bats.

“It’s ok y’all, it’s been a little cool, we’ll just give them more time.”
8:50… no bats
“Well, you know, we can’t control the bats? Maybe their tired from their little bat party?”
9:15… no bats
“Uhhhh…. really have no words. Who’s ready for a hot dog?”

I have no idea what happened to the bats. I’ve never heard of them JUST SLEEPING IN.

Who do they think they are?

Don’t they need to EAT?

A person just CAN’T do something fun!

At this point I’m like “Hey, it’s cool, stuff happens, I can’t control nature. They can come back tomorrow to see the bats.”
So the 7 of us left head to Frank for some gourmet hot dogs.

I’m already getting all worked up telling the story, so long story short Mumford & Sons came to Frank before us, took the whole upstairs, leaving no room for BLOG HER FOOD!!!

WHO TURNS AWAY FOODIES WITH A RESERVATION????

UGH!!!!

ANYWAYS, trying to laugh the whole thing off (and crying on the inside), the four of us – Kelly Bogard of Texas Farm Bureau, Lee and Winter Redd of Redd Party  (yes, that’s their name. Coolest people EVER.) and I made our way to Cedar Door for dinner where we enjoyed some GREAT pomme frittes and white wings.

I hope Mumford & Sons liked their franks. Hmmph.

:)

Stay tuned til tomorrow for Part Deaux.

~ Peace, Love, and Bats Y’all