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Me So Hungry Food Truck

July 26, 2013
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Cucumber appetizer

Cucumber appetizer

2013-07-11 21.02.06 2013-07-11 21.09.46It’s hard to take pictures in the dark. Especially when all you have is your phone.  My son took me to this little food truck court on East Sixth Street for some yummy eats. I should take a picture of his food because he gets a sandwich of some kind. I just wanted the veg so this is what I found at Me So Hungry, an “Asian Fusion Food Truck”. I can’t remember if this was called cucumber carpaccio or  what but it was cucumber slices with a little sauce of some kind, a squirt of hot sauce and a sprig of cilantro. It was OK, not great. I think the price was 3 or 4 dollars.


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Fourth of July Hamburger Cook-Off

July 4, 2013
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For our Independence Day celebration, my first son and I decided to do a hamburger competition. So for days, I’ve been thinking about this. The best burger I ever ate was made in a little cafe in my hometown back in North Carolina. You could tell each beef patty was made by hand. In North Carolina, slaw is a favorite topping on everything from hot dogs to hamburgers to barbecue sandwiches and this little cafe burger was no exception. Although the meat and bun were hot, the sweet cole slaw topping was cool and creamy. I’ve talked to friends from home about that burger just to see if my memory has blown it out of proportion, and they say no, that was a world class hamburger. I wish I knew what made it so special.

So for my entry, I used 80/20 ground beef, seasoned with a generous amount of salt and pepper and added chopped jalapeno chiles and Worstershire sauce. I made 1/4 pound patties, trying not to squeeze it or handle it too much so it wouldn’t be tough and compact. To cook them, instead of using the grill, I used an iron skillet because I figured the burgers of my youth were cooked on a flat top. Then I spread a little butter on the inside of both halves of my sesame seed bun and browned them under the broiler. After three minutes, I flipped the burgers and immediately placed a slice of American Cheese on top. Two minutes later, I placed a big lid over the whole pan to melt the cheese thoroughly, about another two or three minutes. Lid off, take the meat out of the pan and allow to rest five minutes.

Now I am going to reveal a secret sauce that you must keep under wraps. I mix mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup together to spread on the bun. Shh! Don’t tell everyone or they’ll all be doing it. (Wink, Wink to Emeril) Then, place the patty on the bun, a few well seasoned slices of avocado and two very thin slices of tomato. Top it with the other half of the bun and press down to make it all stick together. I also put a slice of crispy bacon on it, I forgot to mention. I thought it was delicious! On the side, we had baked beans and a few potato chips.

My son wasn’t quite as happy with his burger but he had some technical problems like the meat didn’t cook completely and the sauce he used was intended for fish tacos. However, it was a fun time and we both learned something. I was satisfied that I came close to having the burger of my dreams.


Brick House Tavern and Tap

June 25, 2013
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Brick House Tavern and Tap

Pacific Salmon with Broccoli and Polenta Cakes at Brick House Tavern on Hwy. 183 North in Austin, next to Chuy’s.

 


Austin’s Pizza

June 24, 2013
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Veggies anyone?

Veggies anyone?


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Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad

June 24, 2013
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Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad

Cucumbers get a bad rap. A little sugar helps in the vinaigrette.


ANTONELLI’s Cheese Shop

May 9, 2013
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I had to go back to Antonelli’s. Ever since I finished off the last crumb of Baley Hazen blue cheese, I’ve been hungry for more. I’ve been reading about the French diet recently and I wanted to see how I felt if I followed it for a while. Out of 192 countries in the world, France is second to last, number 191, in amount of heart disease. Only Kiribati has a better rate, where ever that is. The United States is 135 and has a heart disease death rate of  80 out of every 100,000 deaths. France has 29 out of every 100,000 deaths attributable to heart disease and the average citizen eats 80 pounds of cheese a year! So, somewhere, there is a link between cheese and a healthy diet. I want to get to the bottom of this!

A very usual breakfast is a French baguette, thinly sliced, toasted and spread with some jam or honey. I purchased my baguette from the 43rd Street bakery there in Hyde Park close to Antonelli’s. My cheese monger, Kelly,  from my last visit, helped me find a few new things. I purchased a Tupelo honey from Savannah Bee Company in one of my favorite Southern towns. For jam, I was intrigued by a carrot jam from Confituras.net in Austin (Kelly let me taste it first). Since I’m nervous about the whole bread and jam for breakfast idea, I thought if I could throw in a vegetable at the same time, maybe I could go all morning without getting hungry. Keeping with the French tradition, I bought a red wine, described on the 205food.com website as

“The Clos Roche Blanche “Cuvée Pif” (Touraine, France) 2011 $17 [Very Good] is a very genial and well made natural wine.  Dark purple in color, the nose is full of chalky/stony notes, dried leaves, substantial black raspberry and mulberry fruit, dollops of mint and black pepper, and a slight whiff of fingernail polish.  Medium bodied, with average acidity, the wine is full in the mouth with tannin that is mainly hidden.  There is a bit of grit, however.  The flavors of chalky stones, ripe and round dark raspberry fruit, herbs, and dried leaves have good intensity and an appealing geniality.  The finish is very good, of a piece with the flavors, and slightly gritty.  This wine is a mixture of Cabernet Franc and Malbec. January 2013.

It sounded like it would go well with cheese and nuts. Speaking of nuts, Antonelli’s has a big glass dispenser full of Marcona Almonds, so I got some to go with the cheese.


Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

April 25, 2013
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Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

Bayley Hazen Blue - Half Wheel

Bayley Hazen Blue from Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT

As I sit here writing this, I can’t believe I am snacking on blue cheese with a fork. This chese is so different from anything I have had from the grocer, and I have had a lot of blue cheese over the past year. This one is Bayley Hazen Blue and the cheesemonger, Kelly at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop,  found it for me and let me taste it before buying. This cheese is from Jasper Hill Farms in Greensboro, Vermont and I want to move there. However, this won’t be necessary because Antonelli’s has it in their shop and I can get it anytime I want it. The Jasper Hill website describes Bayley Hazen as:

An anise spice character, creamy but firm texture, and a flavor profile reminiscent of coffee, chocolate and cured meats.

This is the most savory cheese I think I have ever eaten. Never would I have thought before yesterday that I would someday be snacking on blue cheese while watching TV, unaccompanied by anything else. Just the smallest piece on the tongue is so delicious.

Antonelli’s is in Hyde Park on Duval Street, across from Mother’s Cafe and Garden and adjacent to Hyde Park Bar and Grill. I stumbled upon it while walking to HPBG, did a head turn, and went inside for a fun tasting party. Kelly let me taste three honeys, three cheeses and some salame (having recently studied Italian, I am spelling it with an e at the end to indicate one; salami indicates more than one, I believe). I ended up buying two cheeses and 10 slices of salame.

Some of the cheeses come from as close as Blanco, Texas but many are from across the pond. In addition to cheeses and salami, like I said, they have wonderful honeys, wines, olives, marcona almonds, baguettes of bread and craft beers. There is a section of marmalades and jams, as well. All in all, it is a great experience to just drop in and treat your taste buds. Highly recommend!


Guero’s on South Congress Avenue

March 5, 2013
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Guero's on South Congress Avenue

Guero’s Salad with marinated chicken and cilantro vinaigrette. So cheap. $5.59 and all the chips and salsa you can eat. Plus, you get to spend time on South Congress Avenue shopping and petting the puppies. This salad does not come with sour cream. I ordered that on the side. Hey, I eat salad! I think I can have some sour cream once in a while!


Italian Food Galore

January 30, 2013
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Shopping

Shopping

www.2012triptosicily.wordpress.com 

I show pictures from my trip to Italy to people and they ask, “Did you do anything besides eat?” Well, yes, we did a bit of sight seeing and shopping and lots and lots of walking. Obesity is not a  problem people have there because they don’t have ‘drive-in’ everything. We are tied to our cars here because public transportation doesn’t meet our needs and we  don’t live near the center of everything. All shopping, banking and mailing is spread out where we have to drive our cars to get around. There, driving a car looks a little like a nightmare of either being stuck in traffic or first come, first served method of maneuvering around the streets. Typically, you have breakfast around 7 or 7:30, a leisurely lunch about 1-3 PM, and I mean it takes two hours to eat, then dinner is around 9 PM. All the businesses close mid-day for three hours for lunch and relaxation, then reopen at 4 until around 8. Really, not a bad way to live. The only problem is that Italians don’t stick to a schedule. If the sign on the door says the hours are 8:30-12:30, they might be open when you come at 8:30 or they might not. In fact, they might not open at all with no explanation!

Traffic on New Year's Day Night

Traffic on New Year’s Day Night


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My Antipasto

January 8, 2013
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My Antipasto

Griddle eggplant; roasted peppers and rosemary potatoes.


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