Wednesday, January 25, 2012

♥ Year of the Dragon!

Monday was the Chinese New Year, so a few friends and I decided to go out and celebrate. Since it is the Year of the Dragon, our year, we thought it would be apropriate to ring it in properly with Kung Pao and Saki.

Happy Year of the Dragon! The Year of the Dragon is one of the most revered years of the Chinese New Year calendar, and those born under the sign are regarded as innovative, passionate people who are colorful, confident and fearless.

Here is the astrological predictions for the Year of the Dragon in 2012:

Double your efforts in whatever you do - work, education and other projects. Your natural talent and abilities should stand out with great results. However, watch out for that temper! Keep it in check and do not spoil your good work.The person born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon can be quite a confronting person but if you can reach their "soft heart" they are worthwhile allies.

♥ Happy New Year

Monday, January 16, 2012

♥ The Fat Hen :: New Orleans, Louisianna

7457 St. Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118

On a recent trip to the funky city of New Orleans, I had the tasty opportunity to stop at a quaint little brunch spot, right near Tulane University. While the trip's original purpose was not of the culinary route, knowing me, I couldn't help but keep my eyes and stomach wide open to taste some unique and authentic NOLA cuisine.

We had the pleasure of staying with a friend in a beautiful area of town. The french colonial homes stood strong and vast, with exquisite old trimmings and beautiful iron fences. As we headed out on foot in search of some Cajun delicacies, we happened upon The Fat Hen, nestled within the rich culture and southern charm.

Despite the batch of homemade boiled crawfish and Cajun corn we gobbled down the previous night, our seafood cravings were not yet satiated. I was enamored as we entered the restaurant with their creative paintings on the wall. I knew if they took this much time on the decor then the food would have to be just as creative.

The breakfast special was just that! A giant, fluffy Belgian waffle covered by a decadent ham, apple wood bacon, and cheddar cheese omelet. Once the syrup was poured all over that bad boy it was over!

In front of my chompers was this delicious Cajun Crawfish Eggs Benedict, three poached eggs on top of spicy and extra crispy crawfish cakes, drizzled with Fat Hen's specialty hollandaise sauce.

The Fat Hen took the cake on some of the best southern cookin' I tasted on my trip to New Orleans and getting on the flight back to Austin, was a bittersweet moment. I absolutely love NOLA cuisine and wish we had more of it in Austin.
...Until next time Mr. Crawdaddy...

More to come on the rest of NOLA adventure! Stay posted!

♥ Ciao!

Friday, January 13, 2012

♥ Friday the 13th Jamz :: Foster the People Remix

Another week has come and gone and this one has been quite eventful. This weekend I am looking forward to spending time with my girl friends, crossing things off of my to-do list, and getting some yoga/running in.

Last weekend, I went with a group of friends on a party bus down to San Antonio for the Spurs vs. Nuggets game. Although the group was divided by loyalties for each team, the Spurs prevailed. Overall, I think we could agree that the party bus was the best part of the trip :)

The buses amenities included awesome color changing lights and a pretty epic speaker system. The girls maintained control of the iPOD and the ride home was filled with fun, upbeat, dance tunes.

Here's a song I was introduced to and now can not STOP listening to!

Foster The People - Houdini (RAC Mix)

Thanks again Whitney for organizing such a great trip!

♥ Enjoy,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

♥ Eastside Cafe :: Freshness!

2113 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
The Gramatik show at the Parish, blew my socks off (read blogpost HERE)! The show was completely sold out, and when I finally made my way through the front doors, I was smiling ear to ear. The night was filled with fantastic friends, groovy tunes, green rooms, and whisky sours.

Oh lord, did those whisky sours hurt my lil head the next morning.

A good and healthy brunch was in order.

Eastside Cafe is known for its freshness. Their motto is:
"We dont grow everything we serve, but we serve everything we grow."

And that is the truth because in their very own backyard is an extensive community garden, lush with fresh green succulents and chickens in the coop.

Although tempted by the fluffy belgian waffles or blueberry blintzes, I decided to order one of the specials.

Once The Blue Plate Special arrived at our table, the aromas were so delicious, that I think my eyes bugged out of my head like a looney tune. I couldnt wait to dig into the perfectly poached eggs atop a savory salmon and shrimp cake, and smothered in a tangy remoulade sauce. Crispy home fries and fresh strawberries came on the side. The combination was an excellent compliment to a slightly Creole spicyness from the salmon and shrimp cake. As we all know, poaching an egg is most definitely an art form, and the chefs at Eastside Cafe are Picasso; the egg was cooked to pure fulfillment! 

 delicious sweet potato mash
beef and goat cheese enchiladas
After gobbling up my brunch, I took a stroll through the gardens.

With the growing movement of sustaniable food and structures in Austin, Eastside Cafe is a model in which many restaurants should begin to follow.  There is nothing quite like seeing where the food on your plate is grown.  Not only does fresh organic food taste better, but it also carries a myriad of health benefits that have been stripped away from mass produced food. 

And if there is a small wait for a table, you can also browse their lovely gift shop where they sell adorable cooking accessories, locally made soaps and lotions, and you might even get samples of their delicious chocolate chip cookies! 

I highly suggest if your a fan of sustainable gardens and organic growing in urban environments to swing by Eastside Cafe and see how they have done it.  I know I can't wait to go for dinner. Fried Shrimp with Apricot Brown Butter Sauce or Artichoke Manicotti, YES PLEASE!

♥ Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

♥ Top 12 for 2012 :: Resolutions!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had an amazing New Year's Eve Celebration.

I made my way up to Dallas for the NYE weekend to spend time with family and friends, and just to get out of Austin for a bit!

Most importantly, I am looking forward to my goals and resolutions this year, so I decided to compile a list of my top 12. Some are my own, and some I found from others that I either thought were inspirational or just plain hilarious!

MY TOP TWELVE goals and resolutions are to:
1. Find inspiration! Spend more time around people who inspire me.
2. Do more traveling! Find ways to save a little extra to go see a foreign place or a family member who lives far away. Find more ways to add to my savings. Period.
3. Energy! Make more time for exercise and healthy eating. More running, yoga, cross fit! Pack a lunch for work. Try the Paleo diet one month.
4. Volunteer! At least once every other month.  I'm sure it will inspire me to volunteer even more!
5. Organization! De-clutter my work and home environment. Be more creative with design and DIY projects. Looking forward to getting my own apartment! :)
6. More reading! Less looking at screens. Turn the TV, laptop, and phone off and stick my nose in a book.
7. Wait 30 seconds before you look up a fact you can’t remember on your phone, and try to remember it using your brain. This is what the olden days were like.
8. Blogging, writing, documenting and especially more photography! <3 Can't wait to get the 4S!
9. Learn Photoshop! While I'm talking about learning, I'd like to also practice more Spanish and maybe learn Italian. Rosetta Stone anyone?
10. Take Action! Be assertive and go after what I want. Don't let insecurities hold me back.
11. Karma! Remember what goes around comes around. Live by the 'Golden Rule'
12. Be Present! I want to find more things to smile about every day and live in the moment. But not forget to Be Grateful and Thankful for the things I have. Write thank you notes!

What is your biggest goal or resolution for 2012?

♥ Happy New Year!