Monday, August 27, 2012

Be There: Hill Country Galleria Concert Series Kicks Off September 1

The Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, ushers in the autumn with a series of free outdoor concerns, proving once again, the best things in life are free.
The Hill Country Galleria kicks off its Saturday Night Concert Series on September 1st. Music lovers are invited to enjoy FREE live music while experiencing new additions to the suburban shopping mall with the friendly-village feel.

All shows will be held in the Hill Country Galleria Outdoor Amphitheater behind City Hall on Main Street from 7:00pm to 9:00pm on Saturday nights. For comfort, guests are encouraged to arrive early and bring a blanket or chairs. Ample free parking is available a short block away.

Concert Lineup – Saturday nights from 7pm-9pm:
•       Saturday, September 1st: Aaron Navarro
•       Saturday, September 8th: Kolby Gray
•       Saturday, September 15th: The Vintage 15
•       Saturday, September 22nd: Clay McClinton
•       Saturday, September 29th: Susan Arbuckle
•       Saturday, October 6th: Cody Lawson
•       Saturday, October 13th: Wiretree
•       Saturday, October 20th: Loose Wheels
•       Saturday, October 27th: Carson Brock & The Effect

The series is sponsored by which is a nonprofit community radio station serving Dripping Springs and the Texas Hill Country. Each concert will be aired live on the KDRP airwaves, as well as streamed live on

For more information about the concert series or a complete schedule of events for the Galleria, contact Courtney Bunte at (512) 402-9135 or visit

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Be There: Arboretum Farmer's Market on Sundays

Fans of fresh, natural, organic, local, sustainable, artisan crafted edibles have a new destination on Sunday mornings - the Great Hills Open Air Farmer's Market, Crafts Fair and Art Show operates from 9AM until 1PM.

The Farmers Market is located at the entrance to the
Renaissance Austin Hotel and Bandera's Restaurant.

Food and fun. Yum yum.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Be There: Farm and Food Leadership Conference

Why is excitement building for the 6th Annual Farm and Ranch Leadership Conference to convene at the Bastrop Convention Center southeast of Austin, September 10 and 11?

The 6th Annual Farm and Food Leadership Conference brings home to Central Texas the impact and opportunities surrounding hot topics

“For too many years, agricultural and food policy in this country has been made by and for the large corporations,” explains Judith McGeary, FARFA executive director, who is also an attorney and sustainable farmer. “One of the reasons we founded FARFA was to address the threat these policies pose to the ability of family farmers to survive. This conference is an important part of empowering people, both farmers and consumers, to become advocates for local foods and family farms.”

This year’s conference keynote speaker Michael Olson, author of MetroFarm (Ben Franklin Book of the Year finalist) and executive producer and host of the syndicated Food Chain Radio talk show, will explain how individuals can “eat their way to economic and personal freedom” by taking the 2x2 Pledge.

Other speakers include Patty Lovera of Food and Water Watch covering the latest news on the Farm Bill, Howard Vlieger of Verity Farms speaking about the problems with genetically engineered foods, and sustainable farmers and chefs discussing what “local” means. The first day’s sessions cover issues such as animal welfare, seafood and our coastal waters, health freedom, and local food initiatives. The second day of the conference features in-depth workshops on activism and how individuals can be effective in impacting the policies that govern our agricultural and food systems.

FARFA’s involvement in training activists has yielded effective results in the past. During the last legislative session, about 80 people from all over Texas attended the Citizens Lobbying Day in Austin to talk with legislators about issues for local farms and local foods. In May 2010, twice the number of people attended legislative hearings on cottage foods and raw milk bills. Ultimately, the cottage foods bill passed the Texas Legislature as SB 81, while the raw milk bill gained significant support from 24 co-sponsoring legislators.

For more information about conference speakers and topics, registration, and volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit


Monday, August 20, 2012

Letting Salt Just Be Salt - Amagansett Sea Salt Co. by SkeeterNYC

Letting Salt Just Be Salt: Amagansett Sea Salt Co. from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Call me a sea-salt fanatic. I love cooking with finishing salts. Pink flake from Australia, coconut-lime from Bali, black lava salt, smoked Fleur de Sel from Camargue, each artisanal salt adds a new dimension to roasted meats, fish, vegetables, chocolate, ice cream - a texture, a burst of flavor and a delightful deliciousness that occurs when something new is born of an artful combining.

I'm not the only one.

Meet Steven and Natalie Judelson, a husband & wife team behind Amagansett Sea Salt Co. in Long Island, NY. Long-time sea-salt fanatics, they are New York State's only sea salt makers and one of only four artisan salt makers on the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Over the past ten years, Steven has slowly perfected his artisan sea- salt operation to the point where he and Natalie can share this passion with others.

Amagansett Sea Salt Co. offers 10 different sea salt blends available in various farmers markets out in the Hamptons or at specialty stores including Shelsky's Smoked Fish in New York City.

Video by Skeeter at food curated.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Special Offer from Hillside Farmacy Thanks Austinites


Special offer on Hillside Farmacy "Thank You" Sandwich through August.

Austin's Hillside Farmacy is the place to be for sandwich lovers according to the readers of the Austin American-Statesman.

The unique farm-to-table eatery and artisinal grocery - described as "a cross between an antique apothecary and a Parisian café" by the paper - emerged victorious in the "Best Sandwich" category of Austin360's "A-List" poll.

The East Side eatery boasts an interesting variety of sandwiches with a myriad of delectable ingredients. These include "The Forager" (roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, brie, truffle oil), "Cook's Sandwich" (sliced pate', bacon, mustard, pickles, arugula, goat cheese), "The Peewee" (braised pork belly, house slaw, pickled onions, 77 sauce) and the "Thank You" (roasted chicken, smoked mozzarella, strawberry kam, sprouts) among others.

What better way to say "thanks" to the fans who boosted it to the top of the A-list for "Best Sandwich" than with a sandwich?

Old fans and new ones alike can snag a "Thank You" sandwich at a reduced price through the end of August.

The Hillside Farmacy is located at 1209 East 11th Street

Zucchini Coconut Bread

I have a proportion problem. I buy more or less fabric than any sewing project actually requires. In the kitchen, I almost always have more ingredients than any recipe calls for. And everybody on earth has too much zucchini in the summer. My solution? What else can I make?

Zucchini Coconut Bread


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups shredded zucchini (squeezed and drained in a paper towel)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 heaping tablespoons honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature (I use the brand with the least sugar)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut oil, yogurt, egg, vanilla extract and honey.

4. When combined, whisk in sugar, then fold in shredded zucchini.

5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Add shredded coconut last.

6. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chef's Note: If you prefer to use evaporated cane sugar instead of honey, bake at 350 degrees.

~Adapted from Two Peas in Their Pod

Austin Food Bloggers: Baking a Difference

Hpnotiq Cocktail Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Buttercream and Pineapple


Austin Food Bloggers Alliance (AFBA) has announced the success of its most recent charitable activity. Aiming to raise funds for a local non-profit group called Bake-A-Wish, the food blogger alliance invited five local bakers to come up with cocktail-inspired cupcakes . Then it invited everybody to partake of cupcakes and cocktails with very satisfying results. Yum.
We raised over $4500 for Bake A Wish, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit which provides cakes and other baked goods to those in need here in Austin.

It was an incredible evening of cupcakes, cocktails, and a whole lot of fun – all for a great cause. Bake A Wish will be using the funds raised to support and broaden their mission to serve more of those in need in the Austin community. The money will be used to purchase baking supplies as well as partially fund technological improvements for the group’s cake request system. Madelyn Varella, director, and Karen Nichols, the founder and president of Bake A Wish, both see the funds raised as an investment in the future.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

France 2012

Is it possible that a year has elapsed since Bea's breathtaking photography of her French vacation set me afire for a similar holiday? Yep. And she's done it again.


If you haven't before, you really should pop on over to her blog. Her recipes are out of this world, but her photography is divine.