Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Birthday Bests

When it's your birthday you should get all your favorites don't you think? I'm a big believer of this, which is why today I will dream about my favorites, enjoy as many of them as possible and try to make my birthday last all week.

Greek wine and flowers

Garden fresh tomatoes

Two scoops of ice cream on any dessert

Greek dips
And my favorite loves
How can you not love a birthday???

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Man, A Truck, A Taco

Down in our lovely little beach town there is one thing missing...anything that slightly resembles Mexican fare. Okay, well maybe there's some guacamole here and there but I want authentic. My partner-in-crime and I spent 2 years living around the block from a family-run Mexican joint with the best (and most authentic) Mexican I've had, and I miss it dearly.

And then I went to Austin and all bets were off. There's Mexican - it's authentic - and it's in food trucks. I think that sentence says it all. The fact that you can arrive late on a Thursday night, find all restaurants have stopped serving food and still be served fresh sea bass tacos on homemade corn tortillas is heaven. It's unpretentious, it's real and boy was it better than good.

At Pecos Tacos on West 6th Street you find an overly generous man who has created this little secret late night eatery. I tried one vegetarian with mushrooms and cheese and one sea bass. When we were told the fish was fresh I didn't exactly believe it, but boy was that the truth. And with only a couple of other added ingredients it was the perfect little late-night dinner.

Doesn't Jill look like a happy food-truck customer!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Birthday Time

Guess who's 1 year old today??? Food Beautiful!!!

It's been quite the year with lots of tasty treats, new food flavors and all of you to share it with. Below is a (not so good) picture of the birthday cake that started it all. I think chocolate and flowers are a great combo.

And now I throw out a request to all of you to help celebrate our first year - cupcakes, need I say more. I'm looking to throw away all the rules, change the game and create a different kind of cupcake. So throw out your ideas and I'll be testing some of the best in the next couple of weeks.
Oh and I'll probably need some taste testers for those of you who are local too! Keep those ideas coming and I'll let you know my progress along the way.

Happy 1 year Food Beautiful!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bread & Cheese

Oh simplicity - sometimes I forget how wonderful you are and pass over you for something more extravagant. But don't worry I learn my lesson and come running back. Bread, cheese, veggies - that's it, that's all I need.

There's something so comforting, so relaxing and even quite indulgent about fresh grilled veggies, rustic bread and simple Parmesan cheese. There are nights when I want something that feels special yet doesn't involve a trip to the grocery store or much prep time. That's when I turn to panini - using up all the old veggies in the kitchen, taking scraps of cheese and putting that baguette to use.

A couple of tips to the perfect veggie panini
  • Grill the veggies separately until they have a tender bite
  • Use a mix of colors - hey, it just looks prettier!
  • Toast the bread first to create extra crunch (no more soggy panini)
  • I love adding something unexpected like sundried tomatoes, capers or a non-sandwich herb (sage, cilantro, etc.)
  • Create your sandwich first, smush (yes technical term!) down with your hands and then either use a panini press, grill pan or a a skillet. The smushing helps the panini stay in tact. If using a grill pan or skillet place another skillet on top with a bag of flour and you'll get the same effect.
  • Cut the panini in half so you can see all the flavors and colors melded together
Panini, glass of wine and your partner-in-crime nights are the best.