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January 25, 2016

Kumquat Tart, by Kat (and a few other IPAs and eats)

The winter Kat likes to stay indoors and cook. When she does, it's an all day experience. I come by once an hour to gather up the dirty pots and pans, and clean up behind her tornado of tasty food makings. She'll carefully follow a recipe exactly. This often takes a substantial amount of time..

kat cooks

The real prize was the Kumquat Tart. She's enjoyed a successful fall and winter harvest from the garden this year. The bounty of tomato, leeks and kumquat has been impressive. We've still not had a hard freeze this winter, the home grown produce has been appreciated.

serious eats kumquat tart 

over the top mushroom quiche 

I'm still chipping away at the glut of leftover fancy cheeses from the holidays. This over the top mushroom quiche I made knocked that cheese pile down a bit.  

whole foods beer bar austin flagship store

If you don't live in Austin, you may have a different grocery shopping experience. Some of the best beer bars in town are located in the middle  of the grocery store. It's a real treat to run to the store to grab a few things. We gather the items from our shopping list, then take an IPA break. It's a good life.  

whole foods austin beer bar stache 


sake tasting 

Friends invited us over for a sake tasting and bibimbap meal.  

bibimbap stone bowls 

These heavy stone bowls are key to successful bibimbap. The only issue we discovered was that not all burners heated the same. Some didn't get hot enough to create the crunchy rice we crave.  

bibimbap crunchy rice stone bowl  

It was delicious either way.  


double yolk bibimbap 

Kat was blessed with a double yolk and a generous amount of crunchy rice. She shared her crunchy rice with me :-)

A nice selection of banchan (below). 


php battle of the ipa judge 

We helped judge a blind IPA tasting battle. The winner was: Boulevard: The Calling IPA 

searsucker happy hour ipa 

We met some friends to share the Searsucker all night Sunday HH. They denied us the use of the large sofas and coffee tables, the experience was not as great. I prefer the casual family style of the sofas. The food and IPA was still good and affordable.

January 18, 2016

Cotillion Season 2016

#1 son says this is his last season of participating. 

austin cotillion 2016 

#2 son was excited to start cotillion. He was happy to get dressed up and even wore some cologne.  

west lake hills deer eight point buck westlake 

I happened to look up while I was in the kitchen, this guy was staring right at me. He stood there watching me for a long time. He eventually grew tired of me, you will too.  

westlake deer 8 point austin 

He moved on... 


wimberley blanco river january 2016 

I made a trip down to Wimberley to clean up the lot and start shoveling the mud away from our cabin. They have begun the reconstruction of the Fischer Store Bridge. That is great news! 

chinatown westlake sushi austin 

We took a friend out for her birthday. They were extremely happy that we shared our sushi chef with them. Thanks again Jorge.  

sushi westlake austin chinatown jorge 


We also hosted some friends for Champagne and Seafood. We had Chilean Sea Bass, Scallops and LOBSTER claws!  

would you care for some champagne sir? piper 

Would you care for some Champagne sir?  

piper champagne tiny bubbles 

Tiny bubbles of Piper  

basket of lobster claws 

It was good.  



January 11, 2016

Single crab prison riot, Padre the Hermit

A whimsical post HH beach tourist shop visit in 2012 resulted in us bringing home a Hermit Crab. We named him Padre. We studied how to best care for it and provide the best crabitat we could. Kat enjoys supplying him with fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Padre is no longer shy and seldom hides. He's always there waiting for me in the morning, watching me move about the kitchen.

padre the hermit crab 

We did buy two friends for him. One had a real nasty attitude. He didn't last long with all that negativity. The other was friendly, but spent much of his time hiding in the sand, like a real hermit. He stayed with us a few years, then died in his hidey hole while molting.

Padre is a survivor crab.  

hermit crab portraiture by paul schuster 

A few times a year we replace all the sand in his crabitat. Kat takes her time carefully arranging his things in new and creative ways. He's always excited to be returned to fresh sand and the new arrangement. He scurries around the perimeter, trying to find a weakness to facilitate an escape.

crab prison riot scene angry crabitat 

He eventually admits defeat and throws a tantrum by turning over all his bowls of water. He'll climb up the statue made in the Daughter's likeness and topple it over. He dismantles the bridge made from my old orange iPhone case. He eventually settles down and gives me the eye.

At least the fresh fruit and salad still arrives daily. It's a crabby life.  

January 04, 2016

Christmas In Dallas

christmas rv weatherford

Warming by the FP in Grandpa’s new RV home.  

christmas akita 

The weather was still warm. 


We had the banquet hall to ourselves.  


Beautiful weather for Christmas Eve. 

christmas turkey fry 

We had to fry that turkey. But also.... 

christmas spatchcock turkey 

We also did a spatchcock turkey this Christmas. 

spatchcock vs fried turkey 

The fried turkey turned out great. The spatchcocked bird was nearly as good. I'd say it was 90% as good but far less effort and expense.  

star wars christmas 

The Star Wars Christmas continued... 

gamer girl got a gamer computer 

The gamer girl was happy to receive a gaming computer. Her old box was lagging and didn't support the graphics for her hobby/study. She studies digital graphics, animation and game design at school. It's a tool mostly.... 

ron swanson christmas give me all the eggs and bacon 

Although we've finished the Parks and Recreation series, he talks about those characters daily.  

star wars christmas 

Star Wars Christmas action by the light of the full moon.  

light saber at night under the full moon 


christmas tree klyde warren park

We moved on to our usual hotel downtown Dallas and did our usual Christmas activities, Perot Museum, DMA, Northpark Center, Klyde Warren park 

klyde warren park christmas dallas 


dma platner chair  

tornado in dallas from aloft hotel

Oh, just a tornado passing our hotel. It moved on and we picked up where we left off.  

meddlesome moth dallas

Meddlesome Moth with friends.  

parliment dallas craft cocktail

Parliament, State and Allen.... it was all good fun.  


The elusive Yellow Rose by Lone Pints, what's the fuss about?

You might've seen me mention this Yellow Rose beer I've been chasing. It's become sought after by IPA and APA lovers. Kat normally dislikes IPA and other hoppy beers, but this is a different beast. While it is heavily hopped, and has a high IBU rating, it has grapefruit and floral features that balance everything out. We'd found that Kat does like some IPA/APA from our trips to Vermont, where we often find magic in the beers.

I think the Mosaic hops are part of the magic formula. Kat recently found she also likes Founder's Mosaic IPA even more than Yellow Rose. 

I've picked up a few bottles here and there. They are hard to come by. It's literally about knowing who to ask, and being in the right place at the right time. When I do find it, it's usually locked up in the back, store staff often hoard it for themselves when they can get it.

Finally, a World Class beer in our area! Check the rating on Beer Advocate.  

This is bad timing since we are cutting back on beer consumption, and also giving up land animals in favor of a pescatarian diet. But rules are made to be broken... 

more images of us enjoying Yellow Rose, click away if this sort of thing offends you....  


yellow rose apa ipa lone pints texas 

We chased down some Yellow Rose on tap while my brother was here.

yellow rose at banger's austin 

yellow rose beer 

best enjoyed with friends...  found it on tap at our local craft beer emporium, PHP

yellow rose at pinthouse pizza 

New Years Eve/Day

We hosted a small gathering of family and friends for New Year's eve. Kat took the opportunity to have us fry one last turkey this holiday season.

fried whole turkey 

I think this third bird turned out best of all.

giant bone in ribeye 

For the steak lovers, I had this giant bone-in rib-eye in the sous vide for four hours and finished it in the pan and crusted the top with the torch. Similar treatment was applied to four tenderloin steaks provided by David (THANKS!)

giant bone in ribeye 

That rib eye was about the size of my head.  


The daughter looked fabulous, as usual. Even did her nails to match her scarf.  

My brother made sure we had fireworks for the kids to enjoy... 

fireworks and flip flops 

Flip-flops and fireworks, excellent! 



Obligatory bubbles from France.  


kids pad thai at sway 

SPICY food for lunch at SWAY on New Years Day. 

sway austin fine dining thai food spicy 


Had a great time with friends in the neighborhood for more Bubbles.  

seared scallops  

We had scallops that were supposed to be for New Years eve, but turned out to be unnecessary. They were enjoyed New Years day dinner.

Then, my brother flew away. He was here just over two days. He had a few requests to round out a quick trip to ATX... 

micheladas at takoba austin  

Micheladas at Takoba... 

mexican martini matt's el rancho austin 

Chips and salsa with a Mexican Martini (Matt's Knockout) to wash it down at Matt's el Rancho, then we dropped him at the airport.