December 11, 2017

Kat's day

Kat enjoyed her birthday this year. The weather was near perfect. She chose a lunch at Rudy's,

rudy's brisket westlake texas 

a stroll through the Umlauf Sculpture garden,

umlauf austin winter 2017 

charles umlauf austin 

austin modhouse tree trimming party 

She and I trimmed the tree, we went Christmas Shopping and met my mom and the kids at Plucker's for dinner (kat loves chicken wings) and everybody had a lovely time. A person couldn't ask for a better birthday.  



Big Snow of 2017 Austin, TX

snow in austin west lake hills 78746

It started to snow and all of the sudden kids WANT their picture taken... who knew? 


snow in austin 2017 

snow in austin texas 


The younger boys made snowballs and had great fun with them. 

snow in austin texas 2017 


snowball fight austin texas tx 




Nobody thought the snow would stick, or amount to anything. But there it was... snow on the ground. And they cancelled school for the next day.

snow on the agave austin texas 

snowman austin 2017 

#2 son even made a tiny snowman.

with school canceled... we may have stayed up later, enjoying ourselves around the dinner table....


christopher moore artist new orleans louisiana 


yep, no way anybody could have taken their kids to school with all this beauty.



December 04, 2017

Fall Colors in the Texas Hill Country at Lost Maples Campground

december 2017 camping trip lost maples fall colors texas


texas fall colors lost maples camping 

The park rangers assured us that we missed most of the Fall colors this year, this was the most we've seen camping here. Sites are hard to secure during peak color season.  We were happy with the color we saw.



lost maples camping texas hill country fall 2017 


lost maples vanderpool texas hill country camp 



We typically do two hikes at Lost Maples, one before lunch, and one after. The boys led the way this year, and took us OVER the mountain at the end of the morning hike. That connected to the back of the trail we usually do in the afternoon. By the time we made it back to camp, we'd done it all. The views from the top were quite spectacular.  


lost maples texas  

mystic canyon  


The kids all had so much fun.  


vintage airstream camp lost maples texas hill country 

November 27, 2017

The Austin to do list, 24 hours of fun after turkey day.

My brother had to fly home soon, so we wasted no time knocking things off his favorites in Austin.

We started with craft Kolaches at Batch. It was another beautiful November day in Austin. 

cornhole at batch kolaches 

This wasn't really on my brother's list, but I've been wanting to try, and you know.... kolaches... good.


batch kolaches and cornhole austin  

matt's el rancho mexican martini and bob armstrong dip 

Matt's El Rancho supplied the Mexican Martini, Chips and Salsa and a large bowl of Bob Armstrong.


Just adults in the evening, went exploring downtown. W Hotel Living Room (above) and Garage (below).  

garage bar austin craft cocktails 

We had brunch at Takoba the next morning, and he flew home. The last item on his list, Micheladas! 

takoba micheladas austin 

Maybe next time, he can stay longer, or we need to cut a few items from the to-do list. It was a great holiday weekend, with a lot of indulgence (no surprises).  

Turkey Fry Day of 2017 with recipe/math

My brother flew in on Thanksgiving day.

He had 48 hours to complete all his Austin festivities, we got right to work.  

 cajun fried turkey 2017 austin

Heating the oil to 385...

dropping the bird 2017  

kill the flame and slowly drop the bird (must be patted dry and fully thawed, no hidden ice/moisture in the cavity).

fried turkey math recipe austin modhouse

Watch the temp, when it drops to 275, reignite the flame and maintain the temp between 275-280. 

Never fry a bird greater than 15 lbs. Fry for 3 minutes per pound, plus 15 minutes. The bird was injected with fat and spices the day before. Our turkey was 13 lbs, so we fried it for 54 minutes.  We used Siri to track the time.

About forty four minutes in, I noticed the bird was floating. I suggested removing it early, but Siri was confident we should stick with the plan.  We waited a bit longer..,

cajun fried turkey recipe 2017 

over fried turkey 2017 

It was good. But I think it was over fried. I wonder if my thermometer may be off. The best bird we've done here was over 17 lbs, Greater than the recipe math allows. Nobody complained that the turkey meat was not as moist as it should be.

I left these two in charge of the Turchetta.

turchetta fry  

I failed to mention it was already fully cooked in the sous vide. It just needed to fry until the exterior was golden brown. I got caught up with green beans, and the turchetta also cooked a bit more than it should have. Nobody complained.   


pumpkin cake 

Kat made several things for the table, including pumpkin cake, cranberry brioche star, and mushroom dressing balls from the takoyaki device.

takoyaki mushroom dressing balls 

harbison cheese board vermont

We may have gone a bit over the top on the cheese board. A lot of that ended up making top shelf mac and cheese a few nights later. Harbison mac/cheese, that's indulgent for sure.  


I uncorked a bottle of Turnbull Black Label Cab I found in the pantry and we feasted... 

thanksgiving 2017 austin modhouse 





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