« December 2013 | Main | February 2014 »

January 27, 2014

HONKTX! FunRaiser at Spider House Ballroom.

Honk! TX winter FUN!raiser at Spider House Ballroom: 

spider house austin

We stepped into the Spider House before the event.  I've been wanting to visit this place for more than a decade, I loved it!  We walked in to be greeted with Galaxie 500 playing on the house stereo!  Ceremony!  and they have a fantastic selection of draft beers. 

Then we stepped next door to the Spider House Ballroom....

spider house balroom austin

It's a fun place.  We approve.

domingo leija austin tx table tennis coach


yes ma'am brass band austin tx HONKTX

the Yes Ma'am Brass band played.

find the sith apprentice spiderhosue ballroom austin honktx honk

minor mishap marching band honk tx spider house honktx

The Minor Mishap Marching Band performed

honk tx funraiser spiderhouse austin 2014 minor mishap

minor mishap marching band spider house honk tx 2014

honk tx 2014 minor mishap marching band austin spiderhouse

We didn't stay to see the last two bands.  Kat did manage to rack a few more wins from the Silent Auction fund raiser for HONK! TX. 

sad stormtrooper spiderhouse austin


Another big FREEZE came to town.  This time it brought sleet and ice. 

austin ice storm of 2014 plants protected with dog food bags

I noticed kat had started hoarding old dog food bags.  Now, their true potential has been revealed.  She used the bags to assemble cold weather shelters for her precious citrus trees. 

Every couple years, they suffer a deep freeze and it really gets her down.  This year she planned ahead. custom fit tree shelters!  I hope we get a lime this year... 

#2 son was SO excited. This was the first time he’d seen snow or ice at home. He ran and got his iphone, went out and made this video all by himself, ran inside to share it with me.

The cold and sleet didn't stop us from getting the kids to Cotillion.

austin cotillion 2014

kids ballroom dance lessons austin cotillion 2014

The daughter won first prize in the Junior Assembly Dance contest.  I don't have pics as I've been taking #1 son and my Mother has been escorting the daughter, different dances/times.

Yes, I've got some food pics from this week:

FINO craft cocktails austin

We enjoyed a Happy Hour at FINO.  The drink on the left is a Spanish Bargain with God, Kat enjoyed a glass of Cava.  The kitchen sent us an amuse bouche, two spoons of Provencal soup.

pork belly and octopus fino austin

This small plate had some of Kat's favorite things, pork belly and octopus. 

Here's a tip for you, Check-In via Yelp app and you can get one free small plate.  Kat was happy to get the blistered shisito peppers using her check in.

Sullivan's Steakhouse:

sullivan's steakhouse austin

The dining room at Sullivan's is nice, and we got to sit near the kitchen. 

sullivan's steakhouse austin kitchen chef

I like to see the food in process. 

sullivan's steakhouse crab cake sullivans austin

I knew ahead of time what I wanted, the crab cake!  Although it didn't live up to the cake part, it was delicous.  It was more of a crab pile.  With no real bread or mayonaise, just lots of jumbo lump!  I'm OK with that.  This is served as an appetizer.

bone in beef tenderloin sullivan's steakhouse austin

We went in with the $39 Prix Fixe in mind, but we somehow changed lanes. We landed a $52 bone in beef tenderloin (no sides included at that price).  It was good, and at 10 oz (not counting the bone) it was big enough for us to share.  It was WELL seasoned and had a lovely crust on it.  They offered us a sauce to go along with it, the garlic gorgonzola butter was way TOO salty to use. 

So, we tried their "bone-in tenderloin" and it was good, but I think next time we'll stick with the $39 prix fixe.

January 20, 2014

Carnaval Brasileiro Pre-Party 2014 Speakeasy, SHAKE IT!

The first of two official Pre Parties for Carnaval Brasileiro with the Austin Samba School.

austin carnaval brasileiro preparty speakeasy 2014

samba party austin

austin samba school party 2014

We found the drums and dancers warming up back stage.  There was spontaneous shakin' goin on all over the place!

backstage party austin samba school speakeasy

dancing machine samba school carnaval preparty

samba dancers austin

smiling samba dancer austin

Yeah, these girls love to dance.  Then, they all lined up and filed out towards the stage. 

austin samba school 2014 speakeasy party

The tiny stage couldn't hold them all, they shuffled on/off in groups. The drums never stop, the dancers never stop.

austin samba

austin samba party 2014

samba dancer austin samba school 2014 preparty

I managed to jump in for a quick pic.  What else would you expect from me?

samba school dancers austin

samba dance party austin 2014

samba dance school austin

austin samba dance school party speakeasy

Then, Kat started Dancing! 

austin speakeasy dance party 2014

Follow the hat...

austin samba school dance party 2014 speakeasy

austin samba school hat dance speakeasy 2014

Even he seemed surprised when she threw it down for some impromptu hat dancing. 

austin samba school drummers

Then they all filed backstage again, we followed.  That is where the real party was!

austin carnaval brasileiro samba school pre party 2014

austin samba school carnaval brasileiro pre party speakeasy

backstage austin samba school pre party

Less organization, just drums everywhere and dancing all over the room.  That was fun!

speakeasy carnaval samba school austin

austin samba school dancer 2014

First Video below is when they all filed out to the stage.  Second is the party in the back room after the main event on stage. 

Cotillions, Happy Hours, and a Salmon Confit

Cotillion 2014: 

austin cotillion 2014

I hate being late.  but we made it on time!

Dance parties are best done with friends. 

austin junior assembly cotillion 2014

Happy Hours...

paul schuster austin 2014

Kat and I finally made it to Eddie V's Seafood for Happy Hour.  It's widely regarded as one of the best in town and the crowd there competing for a place to sit did reflect that. 

austin happy hour oysters eddie v's

Oysters are just $1 each. 

eddie V's best happy hour austin calamari

The calamari was really good and the portion HUGE.  Crabcake (in the back) was also HUGE but I didn't care for it.  It tasted too much like mayonaise to me. 

fried oysters eddie v's austin best happy hour

The Fried Oysters are also worth the trip to Eddie V.'s Happy Hour. 

kat dances to New Order january in texas 2014 70 degrees

The winter weather has a hint of summer.  Kat opened up the doors off the master bath and cranked up some New Order.  I caught her dancing while #2 son enjoyed a bath.

austin modhouse bathroom west lake hills eanes tx

Then we went downtown (only 5 miles from home) and did a bit of window shopping and enjoyed HH at TRACE.

happy hour austin TRACE W Hotel

Trace W Hotel Duke and Dutchess of Trace restaurant W Hotel

According to Yelp, Kat and I are the Duke and Dutchess of TRACE!  We like it there, so we'll take it.  I'm also banking Starwood points with each visit! 

empanadas with chimichurri sauce TRACE W Hotel Austin Happy Hour

We ordred one of everything off the HH menu, $5 per item.  These Empanadas with spicy chimichurri were really delicious. 

Empanada eater austin w hotel

kids at happy hour TRACE W Hotel austin

#1 son also had a bowl of their delicious chicken noodle soup, (not from the HH menu).

fresh made donuts with trio of dipping sauces

sealed the deal with some freshly made donuts and a trio of dipping sauces. 

salmon confit poached in oil sous vide

But, one of the best meals we had this week was at home.  I made a Salmon Confit.  That is just another way to say salmon that’s been salt cured, then poached in fat.  I did it in the sous vide at 50C for 30 minutes in olive oil, some herbs and also just a bit of bacon fat.  It was good and I'll be doing this again.

fifth grade science project eanes

big sigh of relief!  #1 son is done with his school science project that he worked on over the summer.  Summer in Texas is HOT.  TOO HOT for tomatoes to fruit (yes, a tomato is a fruit, NOT a vegetable).  BUT, if you really want to grow the best tasting tomatoes through the summer, you might have decent results with the Yellow Pear Tomato.  The best time to start them from seed is about now or soon. 

scorpions of austin texas

This was waiting for us by the front door when we returned from Happy Hour last night...  As frightening as this posture may appear, it was no match for the swift action of my boot. 

January 13, 2014

Spring Cleaning started early this year.

wimberley tire rope swing

With warm winter weather in town for the weekend, we ran down to Wimberley to clean up our cabin.  We'd sort of been avoiding the place (long story, don't ask).  The boys enjoyed some time on the tire swing while we mopped the floors and shoveled mud.  A record rainfall (17 inches) had caused a real mess.  It's all clean now.  We might start going down regularly again...  it's time to move forward. 

wimberley tire rope swing fun

napa valley red wines

I cleaned the screen room Sunday for dinner at home.  We enjoyed red wines from Napa ('08, '07 and '07).  Good Juice!

susan spicer's bayona garlic soup

I made Susan Spicer's garlic soup.  It's a great winter weather dish that is easy to make, but not so pretty.  I added a spoon of parsley herbed ricotta (green swirl in the middle of the gravy looking soup)

celery root au gratin celeriac

I also made celery root au gratin.  Only two weeks into the new year and I've used up all my Pecorino and Scharfe Maxx

screen room fireplace west lake hills modern

The evening was just cool enough for us to gather around the fire after eating. 

gordon freeman headcrab half-life 2 valve orange box

Then the headcrab showed up.  #GordonFreeman

Caessar salad from flour and vine austin

Kat and I also redeemed a "Amazon Local" deal.  We enjoyed a ridiculous amount of food on a prix fix meal at Flour and Vine.  Kat was really impressed by the enourmous Parmasean crisp taco shell that contained the caesar salad.  #1 son should come with us next time, he LOVES Caesar Salad.  The redfish main course was delicious.  I didn't really care for the wine, it was way overpriced for what it was. 

flour and vine redfish austin

My usual complaint with Prix Fix meals, the dessert course.  The waitress suggested the chocolate cake was "shareable".  I now understand that to imply it's way too big for one human to consume.  For us, we could barley eat half.  I broke my rule of no sweets (especially chocolate) in the evening and I was rewarded with insomnia. 

Wild Bill and the Lost Knobs, every Friday night at Flipnotics

I feel like a lame-ass for not making it to this show sooner.  It's close to home and it happens every Friday night 7-9PM. 

Wild Bill and the Lost Knobs


wild bill and the lost knobs flipnotics austin

the room is small and the sound was pretty good.  What more could you want from easy Friday night entertainment?

Flipnotics coffee happy hour wild bill and the lost knobs band austin


live music austin wild bill and the lost knobs

Wild Bill and the Lost Knobs is a good time, the show is part comedy and good music.  They even provided us with cake and green deviled eggs.  As if this wasn't enough, it's also Happy Hour.  I know, it defies all previous HH logic; Happy Hour is from 7-9PM at flips.  There is no cover and since this is a coffee shop, it's all ages. 

wild bill and the lost knobs austin band


There is a tip jar to show your support and appreciation for the musicians, they need to eat too.

January 05, 2014

Walking around Austin for some Chitlins Con Carne

I had this recording I'd made on my iphone.  #1 son was practicing for his guitar recital with his instructor, Tony Redman.  I thought the pracitce sounded better than the actual performance.  So I set the recording to some video, #1 son on lead guitar...


"I love you so much" austin jo's coffee soco 78704

Out with the old year (2013), In with the new (2014)

While we traditionally stay home and go to bed early each New Year's Eve, we strayed from that this year.... 

We had some friends that live near over for dinner, and we did consume some Champagne, oysters and...  and, we had a "Tiger On a Gold Leash".

Tigers on a gold leash

Tigers on a gold leash New Year's Eve


Tito's Vodka Tiger New Year's

dogs play with tiger


westlake tiger boys

new year's eve salt plate hotpot feast austin westlake

We had a fun variety of foods cooked in both the hot-pot and on the salt plate.

himalayan salt plate scallops and sea bass

rolf beeler cheese board

Selections of Rolf Beeler imported Alpine cheese also made the rounds. 

douchebag bathroom selfie

later that night, I noticed my NYr's Eve jacket matched the bathroom tile...

2014, the first day... it wasn't easy, but we'd already RSVP'd to two parties. 

Baird Blanton

We always enjoy Susannah and Baird's house. 

baird's odditorium

They have a nice collection of oddities interesting items.

man speaks to future self on new years day 

I had a conversation with the future me, or the past somebody for sure. 

vintage medical device

Many vintage medical devices and old baby doll heads complete the motif. 

The next party at Darla's: more Champange?  sure, let's do it again.

annual bubbles and hangover party

I heard the final dead bubble soldier count was 48 for this party.  2014 rolled in with a BANG!

cheers to a new year!