Wine and Swine

event_WineSwine_2013_topAnd another great event coming up…. Wine and Swine!! Get your tickets fast before they sell out.




Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo


Tatsu Aikawa, Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Chili Cheese Ramen

Josh Watkins, The Carillon

Whole Pig Roaster

Eric Lucas, Whole Foods Market®


Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki

Cubana Frita, Mojo Cubano, Chimbe Sauce

Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Pigs On a Blanket

John Bates, Noble Sandwich

All Things Piggy

Sarah McIntosh, Épicerie Café & Grocery

Korean Dog: Kimchi and Siracha Aioli.
German Dog: Kraut and Mustard.
Chili Dog: Venison Chili and Cheese

Kristine Kittrell, Mulberry

Pork & Vermouth, Charred Onion, Fennel, Grapefruit

Jesse Perez, Arcade Midtown Kitchen

Sal and Limon’ Pork Chile Verde with Pork Sausage Dirty Rice and Blistered Serrano Mayo

Mat Clouser, Swift’s Attic

Inside Out Pork Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Salsa

Jason Dady, Jason Dady Restaurants

“Pork and Beans” Belly Belly, and Shoulder with Fermented Black Beans, Rice Cake and Thai Inspirations

Larry Kocurek, Trace

Fire Roasted Pork Loin with Morcilla

Erica Beneke, Max’s Wine Dive

Grilled Cubano

Alma Alcocer-Thomas, El Alma Cafe Y Cantina

Conchinita Pibil

Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas, Olamaie

Deviled Ham Sandwich

Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue

South Carolina Style Whole Hog Sammies with Vinegar & Red Chile Flake Mop and Slaw

Erica Waksmunski, Congress

Brioche Beignet with Banana Pastry Cream and Assorted Candies

Janina O’Leary

“Hot Chocolate” Spiced Pot De Creme

Michelle Arcilla, Jeffreys

Deconstructed S’More

Anthony Sobotik & Chad Palmatier, Lick Ice Cream

Sweet Potato & Breakfast Bacon Ice Creams

Musical performance by:

Ghosts Along
the Brazos

Ghosts Along the Brazos


La Dolce Vita 2013

LDV_WebOne of my favorite foodie events of the year is coming up this week. They always sell out, so get your tickets fast if you want to meet me there. I will be volunteering as usual.

October 24, 2013

Laguna Gloria
3809 W. 35th Street

Event Time: 6-9pm

$150 General admission

$200 General admission + access to exclusive Cocktail Lounge (limited tickets available)


(Available Between 5:30-9:30 PM)

There will be no onsite parking for La Dolce Vita 2013.

Please park at the TXDot remote lot and use shuttle service.

La Dolce Vita Parking:
TxDot Lot: Camp Hubbard Campus
3500 Jackson Ave
Austin TX, 78731

All Inquiries:
La Dolce Vita

Spend an evening on the shores of Lake Austin benefiting The Contemporary Austin’s education programs at the Jones Center, Laguna Gloria and The Art School.  Sip and savor the best Texas has to offer at the 24th La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival.  Enjoy food and libations from more than 50 of Austin’s top restaurants and Texas wineries.

$200 ticket holders will enjoy access to an exclusive cocktail lounge curated by The Tipsy Texan, featuring an all-star cast of Austin mixologists.

Stay up to date with La Dolce Vita happenings and updates on Facebook (La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival) and Twitter (@LaDolceVitaATX), and join the conversation using the hashtag #ladolcevita2013.


Photography Camp


Photo by Melissa Skorpil

I cannot wait for next weekend! First of all, it is my bday! But even more exciting is this all day photography camp that the AFBA is putting on. It is open to non-members as well and for all skill levels, so get your tickets now before they sell out!!!


Are you tired of being rejected by FoodGawker? Do your Instagram pics leave commenters asking just what is that? Are all your family photos dark and blurry? You’re not alone. Join us for Photography Camp!

Two years ago AFBA offered its first photo class. This year, we’re upping the ante with an all-day event!

Our group of experts, chosen from the Austin food community, will share their knowledge on choosing the right gear, figuring out lighting, styling food, deciding on the best phone app, and more. Whether you’re using a DSLR or a camera phone, you’ll come away with plenty of tips and tricks to make your photos truly drool-worthy.


Saturday, September 28

8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


AOMA campus in South Austin, behind Westgate Shopping Center (map)


Tickets are on sale now! Purchase on Eventbrite.

Your ticket gets you hands-on training and photography best practices, a yummy box lunch provided by Pamela Jane’s New England Lobster Rolls (vegetarian and gluten-free options available), morning sips and snacks by Zhi Tea and  Better Bites Bakery, iced coffee by Chameleon Cold Brew, and happy hour snacks sponsored by Dinner Lab.


Food Photography 101 – Melissa Skorpil takes you through everything from how to plan a shoot to setting up lighting and using props.

Photo EditingMary Helen Leonard takes you through editing basics.

Don’t Fear the Manual Setting – Chris Perez will help you step outside your autofocus safety zone.

Rig ItRyan Schierling teaches you how to get the most out of your camera.

Phoning It InJane Ko will show that gorgeous photos can come from your phone, too.

All About the GearPeter Tsai discusses the best gear for your camera.

plus Breakout Shooting Sessions



Chameleon Cold Brew

Zhi Tea

Dinner Lab


Better Bites Bakery

Holland Photo

Citygram Magazine

Cupcakes and Cocktails 2013

CupcakesCocktails2013.DRAFT It is once again time for Cupcakes and Cocktails, the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance largest fund-raising project of the year. I have had the pleasure of working on all three of our big fundraisers. The first year was a pie social at the Alamo Drafthouse with a screening of the movie Waitress which went to benefit SafePlace Austin. Last year was the first Cupcakes and Cocktails at the AT&T Executive Center to benefit BakeAWish Austin.


This year on July 19, 2013 we have several fantastic bakeries whipping up cocktail themed cupcakes to serve at the event, tasty cocktails from Treaty Oak Distilling and T1 Tequila plus beer from Hops and Grain, and also passed appetizers furnished by our hosts at the Le Cordon Bleu Austin. Further sponsorship comes from Central Market and Google Local Austin. There will also be a silent auction featuring many local businesses like the Tipsy Texan’s new book , Casa Brasil’s fabulous Up and Down tour with South Austin Brewery, Tiff’s Treats, East Side Cafe, Tecolote Farms, and many more.

sugaplumpbluenotebakeryt1tequila hopsandgrain treatyoak centralmarket googlelocalaustinlecordonbleu


All of this hard work and generosity is going to benefit a charity that is very near and dear to my heart, the Arc of the Capital Area , a non-profit organization that provides services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They provide all kinds of services that you would not necessarily think of when it comes to dealing with clients with special needs like gang prevention counseling to those that are more susceptible to peer pressure or helping under-resourced families with the huge expense of obtaining guardianship of a client as they reach the age of 18.


The Arc was a huge part of my childhood with the assistance they gave my family with my older brother Charles. Being the sibling of someone with disabilities can be both a blessing and a curse. There is no doubt which child gets the most attention because they need it the most. That can be hard to understand as a child. But the rewards of having someone in your life that only knows how to love unconditionally teaches you so much more. The emotional and practical support the Arc offered my parents lightened the burden of the constant demands of a child with special needs.

Charles passed away last year on Thanksgiving day surrounded by family. He was the light of our lives. Despite recommendations of doctors at the time he was born, my parents were committed to raising him at home and not institutionalizing him. Because of the excellent care he received from my parents as well as the caregivers from programs like the Arc Charles lived to be 48 years old, decades past his life expectancy. It is in his name I ask my friends in the foodie community to come together on July 19 to raise funds to help other families.

Hope to see you there!

Eventbrite link

Bites and Bloggers and More Life Changes

logoI am so excitednervoussadhappystressed. As usual, I have a million things going on (don’t we all?) Thank God for good friends and fellow bloggers who are getting me through. First up on my plate, I have been asked to speak on a philanthropy panel at BlogHer ’13 Food here in Austin next weekend. I am so flattered. It should be an interesting panel. We have had several conference calls to get acquainted and all the panelists are coming from different perspectives. It is titled Your Brand+Your Cause and it is during the 10:15  breakouts on Saturday. If you happen to be attending and have a chance, come see if I can actually put a coherent thought together in front of an audience.

More importantly, if you are a blogger in Austin or visiting for the conference, the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance is throwing a heck of a kickoff party along with the Austin Food and Wine Alliance and Whole Foods on Thursday called Bites and Bloggers including a long list of Austin’s top female chefs. It’s FREE! Here are the deets:


Thursday, June 6
5:30-8:00 pm


Whole Foods Market Lamar
525 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas 78703

The Bloggers

All food bloggers are welcome to attend! Membership to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance is not necessary. Male and female food bloggers are welcome. Admission is free, but RSVP as soon as you can–this event will fill up fast!

The Chefs

Austin’s top female chefs will be preparing small bites for us to enjoy. They’ll also be on hand to chat with bloggers and talk shop.

Alma Alcocer-Thomas – El Alma Cafe

Erica Beneke – Max’s Wine Dive

Sonya Cote – The Homegrown RevivalHillside Farmacy and Eden East

Illiana de la Vega – El Naranjo

Jodi Elliott – Foreign & Domestic

Kristine Kittrell – Mulberry Austin

Jessica Maher – Lenoir

Sarah McIntosh – Epicerie

Rebecca Meeker – Jeffrey’s

Kendall Melton – Contigo

Janina O’Leary – Trace

Nicole Patel – Delysia Chocolatier

Rebecca Rather – The Pink Pig (Fredericksburg)

Laura Sawicki – La Condesa & Sway

Monica Sinclair – Congress

Callie Spear – Swift’s Attic

Nadine Thomas – W Hotel Austin


I am also in the middle of planning the AFBA fundraiser coming up July 19th Cupcakes and Cocktails and looking for a new job as my contract with Cooking Planit will be coming to an end soon. Ack!! More about these things soon. Join me at Bites and Bloggers. I need a little drinky poo or two.


Wrap Party for The ATX BBQ Quest on Sunday

Paul PetersenChef Instructor and BBQ Pitmaster Chef Paul Petersen of the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts to be Featured in “The ATX BBQ Quest” Short Film

Wrap Party for the Film to be Held in the School’s Garden with

Event Proceeds Benefiting the School’s Farm To Table® Student Scholarship Fund


AUSTIN, TX (May 2, 2013) – The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts located at 6020-B Dillard Circle in Austin, Texas, will host a wrap party on Sunday, May 19 from 6 – 9 p.m. for the Texas Food Crawlers and AUSTIN Foodstyle magazine’s  short film “The ATX BBQ Quest”.  Tickets to the event are available for purchase online at with proceeds benefiting the school’s Farm To Table® Student Scholarship Fund.


The short film, created by Texas Food Crawlers creator Hayden Walker and in partnership with AUSTIN Foodstyle magazine will take viewers on a journey that explores Austin BBQ hot spots Live Oak, StilesSwitch and La Barbeque as well as interview award-winning BBQ Pitmaster and Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts Chef Instructor, Paul Petersen.


“We are fortunate to have Chef Petersen from Season One of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters as an expert resource for this project. We look forward to sharing our experience with Austin and our YouTube short film viewers,” said Shawn Lively, publisher of the new AUSTIN Foodstyle magazine.


“We’re looking forward to hosting the ATX BBQ Quest wrap party in our garden.  I have barbeque in my blood and am honored to be a part of this exciting project.  Escoffier’s strong relationship with our local farmers allows me to handpick all of the meats and vegetables that go on our pit and gives us the ability to share a true Farm To Table® experience with others,” said Chef Instructor and BBQ Pitmaster, Chef Paul Petersen.

Event includes complete dinner created by Chef Paul Petersen along with small bites from StilesSwitch and La Barbeque, featured beverages from Honest Tea, Independence Brewery, Fall Creek Vineyards, Bone Spirits, Z Tequila, and Jameson Irish Whiskey, and live music by local musician Bob Apple. To purchase tickets, visit or contact Special Events Manager, Nancy Marr at


For more information regarding the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, visit, call 866-552-2433 or follow us on facebook at For more information regarding the school’s Culinary Adventures program, contact Special Events Manager, Nancy Marr at or call 512-451-5743.


Austin Bakes for West

austinbakesposter1So if you haven’t heard, it is time to circle the fundraising bake sale wagons. Austin Bakes who held the phenomenally successful bake sales raising money for tsunamis in Japan and wildfires in Bastrop is rolling out next weekend for our neighbors in West, Texas. Bakers, volunteers, and most of all, patrons are needed for May 4th, 2013. Eight convenient locations and goodies from the best in central Texas with all of the donations going to a good cause. I will update later in the week with the donations coming from epicuriosities and Cooking See ya’ll there!

Cookie Swap Plus Recipe for Grandma’s Cowboy Cookies


IMG_4979Despite the million other things we all have going on around the holidays, when I saw the call for a blogger cookie swap to raise money to fight kids cancer, I knew I wanted to participate. Julie at The Little Kitchen and Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil were the brave organizers of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. For a small registration fee of $4 (which all went to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer), each blogger receives 3 contacts Secret Santa style. You send a dozen cookies to each and in return, you receive a dozen cookies from 3 other bloggers. Neat, huh?

In addition, the good folks at OXO are matching the donations and sent each participant the super cute “be a good cookie spatula”. Half of the sales from the spatula are also being donated to CFKC

IMG_4992The cookies I received were so tasty!  Big thanks to DJ’s Sugar Shack for the Chocolate Cookies Stuffed with Salted Caramel , In Her Chucks for the Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies, and Pennies on a Platter for the Butterscotch Cornflake Cookies. All delicious!

I sent cookies to The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler, Chocolate and Carrots, and blogchickabowow. I included both my business cards, a Scooby Doo Christmas card, and still neglected to tell them what kind of cookies I was sending. Although I usually like a soft cookies, I had box of Crispy Rice cereal (yes, I spelled it right, it is the generic version) I wanted to use. I dug through my recipe box for my grandmother’s Cowboy Cookies and got to work.

IMG_4977Cowboy Cookies are a highly versatile version of a chocolate chip cookie, usually containing oats and chocolate chips but pretty much open to interpretation after that. The combination of oil and butter gives a crisp, shortbread texture and the crispy rice cereal adds an extra crunch that is hard to identify on first bite. So you must follow up with many more bites, just to be sure. I also added a cup of dried fruit that I had on hand that gave a nice chewy sweet kick to them as well. I am not a raisin fan but little bits of dried mango, pineapple, and cranberries go well in cookies as well as homemade granola. I used a smaller scoop for the cookies to make sure I had enough and boy, did I. This made almost 5 dozen 3 inch cookies. Quality control is very important. I had to taste a few before I boxed them up. Then decided I better send 1 1/2 dozen to each of my bloggers before I ate them all.


  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 1 cup Quick Oats
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Dried Fruit


Preheat oven to 350° and line sheet pans with parchment paper.

Combine butter and oil as well as you can and then blend in sugars until creamy and smooth.

Add egg, salt and vanilla to butter and sugar.

In separate bowl, combine flour, and baking powder. Then add oats and cereal to flour mixture.

Combine butter mixture with flour mixture to make a soft dough, then fold in chocolate chips and dried fruit.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoon onto parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.



Two more bonus links-  to the Round Up of all of the participating bloggers! Part one at Love and Oil and part 2 at The Little Kitchen. Just a few hundred more cookie recipes to drool over :-)

Share Our Strength Killed by Dessert


Share Our Strength.    Killed By Dessert Austin

November 5, 2012 

5:30 P.M. VIP Admission

6 P.M. General Admission and Reception

7 P.M. Guests are seated

Foreign & Domestic
306 E. 53rd Street
Austin, TX

Join the country’s top pastry chefs for an unforgettable evening of dessert to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Killed by Dessert is a collaboration of far-flung friends- a mere slice of a broad pastry chef community. Spontaneously conceived among the mumblings and rumblings of social media, our vision is to share personal reflections of ‘favorite things’- those things that please us, things that motivate and inspire us, and the processes that often remain hidden in the kitchen.


Lincoln CarsonCorporate Pastry Chef, The Mina Group, San Francisco

Bill CorbettExecutive Pastry Chef, The Absinthe Group, San Francisco  

Michael LaiskonisCreative Director, Institute of Culinary EducationNew York City

Francisco MigoyaProfessor of The Culinary Institute of America 

Christina TosiPastry Chef/OwnerMomofuku Milk Bar


Ned Elliott, Chef/Owner, Foreign & Domestic

Jodi ElliottPastry Chef/Owner, Foreign & Domestic 

Plinio SandalioPastry Chef, The Carillon

Philip SpeerExecutive Pastry Chef, Uchi Restaurants

All proceeds benefit benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

For General Information, tickets or sponsorship inquiries, please contact:
Emily Byram | | 202-478-6527

VIP Tickets for Killed by Dessert are currently sold out.

Cookie Swap

Now this sounds like fun!

Hey fellow food blogger & cookie lover! Get ready for the

The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.

This year we are even more excited to be partnering with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. By participating in this cookie swap you are not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause.


  1. STEP1

    SIGN UP. Fill out the sign-up form to participate. Be sure you meet the basic requirements for participation (listed below). Our sign-up system utilizes a double-opt in process. You MUST click the link in your email to confirm your subscription. If you don’t receive a link, check your spam folder or sign up again.

  2. STEP2

    DONATE. Once you confirm your subscription, you will be instructed to make a $4.00 tax-deductible donation directly to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. You MUST complete this payment to participate in the swap (Why do we require this?). 100% of this donation goes directly to CFKC.

  3. STEP3

    MATCH. We will send you the names and addresses of three other food bloggers. These are your “matches,” the people to whom you will be sending cookies! It’s important you keep these matches a secret until they receive your cookies.

  4. STEP4

    BAKE & SHIP. Now comes the fun part! Whip up a batch of delicious cookies and ship one dozen to each of your three matches by the shipment deadline. Don’t forget to photograph your cookies for your post before you send them off! :)

  5. STEP5

    POST. Post your cookie recipe on your blog and submit the post along with an image (if you have one). We will then collect and compile all participants’ posts and publish them in one huge roundup!


Please pay close attention to the official swap timeline, and be sure you will be able to meet these deadlines before signing up to participate.

  1. NOV5


    signups will be accepted from October 15 through November 5 at 12 midnight EST.

  2. NOV12


    please email us if you do not receive your matches via email by this date.

  3. DEC5


    please be sure your cookies are in the mail on or before this date.

  4. DEC12


    please post your recipe ON this date, and then submit the link to us.


YOU MUST HAVE AN ACTIVE FOOD BLOG. In order to participate in this swap you must have an active food blog (Why?). This year, we will be checking participants to make sure they do indeed meet the requirements. An active food blog is defined as:

  • Has been posting for at least 2 months (started on or before August 15, 2012).
  • Has posted at least once in the last 6 months.
  • Subject matter is primarily (at least 51%) focused on food.
  • An actual blog (blogger, wordpress, typepad etc), not a facebook page.

YOU MUST BE ABLE TO MEET THE DEADLINES. Before signing up to participate, be sure you are able to meet the above specified deadlines.

YOUR COOKIE RECIPE MUST BE NEW-TO-YOU, meaning, not one you have posted previously on your blog. It does NOT have to be an original recipe, however please give proper credit when posting someone else’s recipe.

NON-US FOOD BLOGGERS ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE, however we must have at least 4 bloggers from any one country. You will only be matched with bloggers from your own country (to avoid outrageous shipping charges and customs issues). Please contact us if you’d like to get your country on the list.

FOOD ALLERGIES OR DIETARY RESTRICTIONS? No worries, you are still welcome to participate! There’s a question on the sign up form, just answer accordingly. We will do our best to match you with other bloggers with similar restrictions.

FOLLOW THROUGH. Please do not sign up if you do not plan on following through. This swap is supposed to be fun, and that depends on everyone sending their cookies as promised. While we’ve taken steps to verify participants, we have no way of ensuring or confirming that everyone indeed sends their cookies. Your word is all we have to go on, and we are optimistic that that is good enough. Please don’t betray that trust. (Thank you much!)


RARING TO GO? By continuing to the sign up form you acknowledge that you have read this entire page (phew!), meet the minimum blogger requirements for participation, and agree to uphold your commitment to this cookie swap. Note that if it turns out you do not meet the requirements or drop out prior to the sign-up deadline, donations are NOT refundable.


WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE that OXO® will match our donation toCOOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 dollars! By participating in this cookie swap you are not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause.

ALL U.S. PARTICIPANTS who sign up for the cookie swap and complete their donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer will receive a free “Be a Good Cookie” Cookie Spatula, courtesy of OXO®. Your spatula will be sent to the mailing address you enter upon sign up (U.S. residents only, limit one per household). Allow 2-3 weeks for arrival.

*100% of all donations will go directly to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a recognized 501(c)3 public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey.

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