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November 24, 2014

Sunday HH tradition, Trucluck's and Peche

We took the older two kids to Truluck's.  Happy Hour all night on Sunday, the food was pretty good! I love their oysters Rockefeller, #1 son loved the rare beef on toast.

Truluck's Austin Sunday Happy Hour 

We had a reminder lesson for my general rule regarding iDevices at the table. I issued this list of requirements when we dined at Chez Boulay this past summer. (it's a defining moment, like when Moses came out with the ten commandments written in stone)

Restaurants that take reservations, have cloth napkins, and pour the water from a bottle (not a pitcher) shall be defined as "Fancy Restaurants" and electronics should not be part of our dining experience.

Truluck's met every one of the fancy requirements. The iPad was not used at the table.

peche austin tiki night sunday happy hour 

Sunday night at Peche is happy hour all night AND it's TIKI night! a long list of exotic craft made cocktails for $5 each. Notice the umbrella!  

peche french onion soup happy hour austin 

French onion soup was the real reason we came (half off during HH). The older two kids both love it.     


peche french onion soup sunday happy hour $8 

The older two kids both love the stuff. Their fondness of FOS is also related to our summer trip to Quebec where they enjoyed the stuff in Montreal.

(pic below is from the summer in Montreal

nyk's bistro montreal french onion soup 

I was ordering a FOS for #1 son at Nyk's when the daughter chimed in that she'd like a whole one herself. They both finished it all.   

EAST (East Austin Studio Tour) 2014

Kat and I took the two older kids to roam the East side of Austin. It was a rare time that the daughter did not have homework and was happy to go visit various artist studios for EAST.

pump project austin east 2014 


#1 son was looking up the website for a light artist we visited.

we also stopped in to see Susannah Blanton and Cheryl Frinfrock 

pump project austin 

Kat sort of blends in with the mural....

i miss painting.... big medium east austin 

paul schuster artist and beer consumer 

I got inspired... 


Kat couldn't resist... 

custom made denim jeans and jackets traveller denim austin texas 

I tried on a heavy waxed denim jacket made here in Austin TX from Traveller Denim Co.

traveller denim co. handmade in austin texas 

We closed out our EAST Austin Tour with vintage machines at Revival Cycles

jaguar XKE 

ducati outside revival cycles austin cafe racer 

vintage motorcycle restoration and modification cafe racer austin  

revival cycles austin texas moto guzzi cafe racer 


Noodle & Co. Prize Certificate redemption

About a year ago, #2 son spun a wheel at a neighborhood holiday festival, won a whole meal at Noodle & Co. He had been asking when are we ever going to use it... so I finally called and made the reservation (as the certificate requires)

happy noodle boy at noodle & co westlake 

They gave us three apps, four main courses and three desserts. Drew took good care of us.

noodle & co west lake hills 

The stir fried Japanese noodles were my favorite, they were all pretty good.

noodle feast west lake hills texas 


He was happy. 

Royal Fig Catering Fall Fete and Can Drive

allan house austin event facility

Royal Fig Catering had their Fall Fete at the Allan House. (also a can drive for the food bank)

allan house austin 

royal fig catering buffet 

I think we counted eight or nine food buffet.... it was a lot, all delicious as I have come to expect from the Royal Fig people. 

allan house outdoor event venue austin 

great setting for a party... 

deep eddy betty vodka  

open bar... 

royal fig catering party austin 

and we put some hurt on the "Bottle Bash" game (throwing fake apples at plastic bottles). We may have damaged the fake fruits... we were a bit enthusiastic.  

bottle bash 

royal fig catering games bottle bash allan house  

royal fig catering austin smores buffet station 

S'Mores buffet station! 


Wimberley Project update, still in cleanup mode

blanco river wimberley low water crossing fall 2014 


It was a beautiful Fall morning to drive down to Wimberley. The Blanco river was showing all sorts of Autumn tones. 

wimberley texas fall colors blanco river 2014 


but this was no site seeing drive through the countryside... I was down to supervise another 30 yard haul of debris. 

wimberley blanco river rapids house removal 

the claw wimberley house deconstruction 

The pile is smaller, one more load should have it all gone. Will plan for that one in January. 


November 17, 2014

The French and Italian staycation

We've already had our first freeze this year... it's cold!

Calzones! from an old family recipe! We paired Nebbiolo wines from both CA and Italy with delicious Calzones made by a friend. These calzones are different from those that seem to be a pizza folded in half. They definitely had more egg, very good stuff.

italian family calzone recipe 

another meal at home featured Spanish wines with Prime Rib.

searing the prime rib 

infrared sear burner sealed the deal on the Prime Rib. 

lp hand held infrared sear burner 

prime rib at home 

turnbull cabernet oakville -not screaming eagle 

OK, so we did sneak an Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon in with the beef feast, Turnbull is still our favorite.

Sunday, Fun-Day continued our almost jaunt across Europe. 

italian brunch at aroma austin 78704 

Brunch at ARoma Italian Kitchen and Bar

delta millworks sxsw east party 

I had managed to sleep in Sunday morning, 7:15 is sleeping in for me, Kat was already up and happy to show me that she'd just RSVP'd to a SXSW party that also incorporates some of the EAST (East Austin Studio Tour).

sxsw east party delta millworks 

I love Pearl Snap Beer, and free Pearl Snap is also good... They also had cocktails provided by Treaty Oak.  

sunday school dj east austin sxsw  

I was hoping for live music since it was a SXSW party, the DJ music was enjoyed.  

east austin studio tour splinter group sculpture 

and there was the obvious touring of studios and chatting about art techniques and materials.  

justine's brasserie french food east austin  

Justine's Brasserie! The really cold weather goes well with French food. But first we took a few fun pics as Justine has these whimsical features behind the restaurant just for such occasions. 

justine's pagoda austin 

I'm not sure how the pagoda fits into our European theme but I'm not one to get hung up on details. Just accept the pagoda outlined with rope lights.   

justine's brasserie mirror room  

I made a new friend, she was golden. Did she speak with a European tongue? I'm not telling.  

golden manequin love scene  

escargot at justines brasserie austin east side french food  

Escargot, some French wine and beer too.  I called the kids and asked if they wanted us to come get them to go out for French Onion soup or Pizza, they opted to stay home. We stopped at Peche and got more French Food to go. 

french 75 austin peche  

French 75 while we waited on he food. Peche has one of the best happy hours, all night on Sunday. 

peche austin craft cocktails and french food 

so that wraps up our weekend of European foods and drinks. It was all delicious. Thanks to all who participated.   


November 10, 2014

Wurst Fest 2014

schuster wurst fest

(BIG) #2 son was especially excited about Wurst Fest this year.

willkommen wurst fest new braunfels  

SPRECHEN SIE FUN? Central Texas was settled by a large community of German immigrants. They love to celebrate their sausage, their polka, and the beer too (Spaten is one of our favorites)

wurst fest strawberry kiddie ride new braunfels  

sausage and turkey leg new braunfels wurst fest  

Meats: sausages on a stick and smoked turkey leg... a lot of meat. Maybe too much meat... and we STILL didn't get the bratwursts we all wanted.

beer and polka hall wurst fest  

the big beer and food hall with live music stage. There were three stages and beer halls this year, this being the largest, not the rowdy polka bands.  

sausage on a stick spaten premium and turkey leg wurst fest  

ginger bread man wurst fest new braunfels german 

gingerbread man! 


chicken dance wurst fest new braunfels 

I even did the chicken dance. 

do I have too? 

YES, you have to... dance with your mother.  

german dancing and music at wurst fest new braunfels texas 


mother and daughter in their dirndl dresses wurst fest 

The girls looked so beautiful in their Dirndl dresses, honoring our German heritage. 

dirndle dress new braunfels wurst fest 

#2 son insisted I redo the mother daughter pic, he wanted to photo-bomb them. 

german beer hall wurst fest new braunfels 

wurst fest family portrait 2014 

until next year... this was the wurst. 

so long till next year... we learn a bit more each Wurst Fest. We WILL have a better plan next year, and you're all invited to join us. We'll get a table in big tent... with the rockin' polka bands. and nobody is going home in a bad mood. chicken dances for the whole family!

Fun Fun Fun Fest (saturday)

beautiful november day in austin texas ffff

A beautiful November day in Austin, TX for Fun Fun Fun 

fun fun fun fest austin tx 2014 ffff 

fun fun fun fest wresting ffff

started the day with some good professional ass-kickings 

barrel of twinkies at ffff 

and barrels of twinkies 

twinkie man at ffff austin hostess 

cafe bustelo austin ffff 

and some coffee 

king tuff at ffff 

King Tuff 

new pornographers ffff fun fun fun fest austin  

The New Pornographers 

a.c. newman neko case new pornographers austin ffff 2014 

neko case austin ffff 

Neko Case and A.C. Newman 

first aid kit fun fun fun fest austin  

First Aid Kit sounded great. 

first aid kit ffff austin 2014 

modest mouse ffff austin 2014 

Modest Mouse closed the orange stage. 

modest mouse ffff 2014 austin 

uncle billy's brewpub austin 

We walked over to Uncle Billy's before using a ride service to get us the rest of the way home.  


MCM Austin Monthly party at Nest Modern

Food and open bar in a Modernist furniture store... what could go wrong?

nest modern austin furniture 

Austin Monthly Magazine released their best new restaurants issue at NEST Modern 

nest modern furniture mcm austin 

austin monthly magazine dinner party nest  

plenty of food and drinks 

austin monthly magazine dinner party nest modern 

milo baughman austin nest modern

austin monthly nest modern party 

we succeeded in not spilling food or drink on all the nice furniture, and we managed to not buy a new sofa! but the day is coming...

November 03, 2014

COTA F1 FanFest 2014

a nice brunch at Porter Gastropub

brunch at porter ale house austin gastropub 


cota f1 fan fest austin


ford at cota f1 fanfest austin 

we found cars... and racing.

cota f1 fan fest austin starting grid race 

In the orange #1 car, #1 son raced. 

F1 Austin starting grid 

f1 rc racing fanfest austin  

heartless bastards fanfest ausin f1 

Heartless Bastards, just one of the many bands that provided free music for #COTAFANFEST 

heartless bastards austin f1  


Trick or Treat Halloween 2014

eat mor kow chik-fil-a spoof

The "EAT MOR KOW!!" is a Chik-Fil-A parody.

german for halloween 

spook house of lost creek texas 

still the spookiest house of Lost Creek 

cloak made by the daughter 

the daughter was well cloaked (she made it herself) 

Transfiguration Taste of Greece

the Greek Church just up the road from us hosts an annual party... we made a point to check it out this year.

austin greek church transfiguration 

greek orthodox church of the transfiguration austin 

austin reek orthodox church of the transfiguration 

transfiguration taste of greece 

taste of greece 2014 austin greek orthodox church of the transfiguration 

Greek dancing... 

greek festival austin texas 

austin taste of greece spanikopita transfiguration 

We enjoyed spanakopita, souvlaki and all the assorted Greek pastries.   (and maybe some Greek wines too)

Prickly Pear Syrup

This has me thinking about Thanksgiving...

prickly pear austin westlake 

Prickly Pears were washed and scrubbed to get rid of the pokey thorns. 

prickly pear flesh  

the flesh was removed 

prickly pear peeled 

pot pf prickly pear 

flesh and seeds were boiled with water and a bit of sugar. 

boiling the prickly pear syrup 

adjust sweetness to your liking, ours is just a little sweet.  

straining the prickly pear syrup 

first pass through the strainer, the chunks then go to the food mill.

prickly pear food mill 

the liquid from the mill is passed through cheese cloth. 

prickly pear strained through cheese cloth 

bring it all to a boil once more and bottle or can the syrup.  

prickly pear margarita 

prickly pear rio star margaritas:

1.5 ounce of Rio Star (Texas Red) Grapefruit and a bit of Lime Juice

.5 ounce orange liquer

1.5 ounce Tequila (100% Agave)

.5 ounce of prickly pear syrup (or to your taste)

shake or osterize with ice, and serve