Monday, December 10, 2012

Finally, some holiday weather

All over Austin today tags finally got ripped from sad sweaters on shelves. When we get any kind of cold snap here, everyone wears as many layers as they can stand. As if they wish they lived in Minnesota. But they live in the middle of Texas.

Here's a mini photo essay of twinkly lights, wine, holiday colors, and some precocious cars who are NOT allowed outside ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Books and baking

I was fortunate enough to see Deb Perelman speak at BookPeople here in Austin last Friday; she's the New York food blogger who turned a simple site ( into a cottage industry--and now a top-selling cookbook.  She's not your average blogger.  She can write with unforced wit and charm, for starters, and every recipe post is more a story and a slice of life than it is...well, a recipe.  Plus, bottom line, I respect that she's turned a small kitchen-based endeavor into a lucrative financial venture.  For as many bloggers that start out with exactly that goal is mind, few really ever succeed.  My best guess as to her success is that she's tapped into amateur chefs' need for a loose but guiding structure in their experimental cooking.  A friend, if you will.

All that to say, I also wanted to write this entry to support BookPeople Austin's efforts and encourage everyone here to keep supporting the BEST and really ONLY remaining large independent bookstore in our midst.  That (by my estimation) about 500 people showed up on a Friday evening to talk crepes, get a book signed, and wander around browsing in a bookstore tells me that 1) I live in the right town and 2) people still crave cultural gatherings, plus thank goodness we've got a place that prioritizes hosting them.

Here is my effort to make one of Perelman's most popular new recipes--maple bacon biscuits.  I baked up a storm for Game Day this past Saturday but forgot to document the cinnamon squares I also made, mostly because once they exited the oven we were digging into the gooey layers.

The biscuits turned out wonderfully, but hey Deb, here's a message from my bacon- (and overall, just breakfast-) obsessed boyfriend: they need more bacon.

So the Dawgs lost, but our house won because it was filled with bacon and sugar.  Also jalapenos, pictured below as well.  John's pepper patch has exploded.


Christmas in Tejas

The humidity is here to stay. I drink hot cocoa defiantly and relish in the ability to run in shorts in December.