Friday Round-up // Week 22

Well, that week was short and sweet, huh? I blinked, and before I knew it it was time for another round-up! On top of that, it’s the end of May, and we now officially move full steam ahead toward warmer weather and outdoor entertaining. I’ve got some fun recipes in store for the next few weeks, which I can’t wait to share with you.

 

Also in store for June, I’m excited to announce I’m one of Erin’s newest contributors over at My Thirty Spot, where I’ll be writing a monthly post on entertaining tips. I’m so looking forward to be working with Erin, and I’m thrilled to be included in the group of lovely fellow contributors. Watch for my first post coming out later in June!

 

Here are a few of my favorite links for the week…

 

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\\ Favorite go-to breakfast on the road…oatmeal with fresh blueberries from Starbucks //

 

 

I’ve been for the cocktails, but I’m super excited to check out the food at Hard Water on Saturday.

 

 

Don’t forget, this cool event is happening at the SFMOMA today!

 

 

If you’re interest in food photography, you should join our educational meetup on June 10th.

 

 

Did you know Think Garnish has the cutest food packing of all time? Well, now you know.

 

 

Visually stunning depiction of hot dogs that will make you smile.

 

 

Adding dinner in the sky to my foodie bucket list. Very cool.

 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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Austin Prepping // BlogHer Food

I’m so excited to be shipping off to Austin, Texas next week for my very first BlogHer Food Conference. I’ve been to quite a few blogging conferences in the past, like Alt Summit in Salt Lake City, Alt Summit in NYC, and the local FoodBuzz Conference here in San Francisco, but none of them have been quite as food-focused as what lies in store at BlogHer Food. It will be a gathering of “my people”…my geekie food people.

 

Food Bloggers, I have found, are a breed all of their own. We are intensely obsessed with chasing down the best bites, we are neurotic about documenting our food adventures, and we want nothing more to share the thrill of delicious with the world. I can’t wait to see what kind of interesting people I’ll encounter at the conference, and I can’t wait to absorb all the tips, tricks, and pointers that will be coming my way.

 

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As with any travel, be it a lengthy vacation or just a quick weekend getaway, the most important aspect to planning (of course) is strategizing where to eat! Even though I will be squired away inside hotel conference rooms most of the time, I will definitely need to sneak off for a few yummy eats.  For those who might also be attending the conference or those who may be paying a visit to Austin any time soon, I thought I would pass along some helpful links for Austin planning. (I’ll also be sure to pass along any favorites after the trip).

 

The 38 Essential Austin Restaurants

Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide

Where to find the Best BBQ Joints

Where to find the Best Brunch

25 Fun Things to do in Austin

For those in search of Great Cocktails

 

But really the most important question is…where, oh where, to eat BBQ while in Austin. From what I gather, there seem to be two contenders vying for top billing…The Salt Lick and Franklin BBQ. Both offer massive piles of BBQ’d meat, rustic no frills settings, and lines like you wouldn’t believe. I have a friend who even waited four hours once to try Franklin BBQ (crazy!). I had the chance to try Salt Lick on a previous trip to Austin, and it was the highlight of the trip…except for it pretty much killed any plans later in the day as we sunk into major food coma. I’ve been really wanting to try Franklin BBQ, and I’m so excited one of the conference outings is an excursion to Franklin (hopefully minus the lines? We shall see…)  What do you think?  Have you tried either of these? Favorite?

 

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PS…if you’re attending BlogHer Food, don’t forget to download the app!  Yeehaw!

 

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Grilled Artichoke with Mustard Aioli

When I was a kid, artichokes were always a huge treat for my sister and I. There was just something very special and grown-up about being in charge of dismantling our own food. We started from the outside, navigating our way through those scary prickly points, and worked our way to that jackpot in the middle…the artichoke heart! Then the real fun began. Spoons were fetched and we were allowed, all on our own, to scoop out that weird fuzziness within, wondering how in the heck these things were edible anyway?!

 

I still love artichokes just a much today as I did back then, and I still get a kick out of peeling them away, leaf by delectable leaf. I was reminded of this love at a recent dinner Osteria Marco in Denver, where the artichokes were served grilled with an amazing aioli dip. In the past, I tended to just boil my artichokes, but after having the grilled version I had to figure out how to replicate it at home. Here’s what I came up with…

 

 

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Grilled Artichoke with Mustard Aioli

 

You’ll need:

 

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper

 

To prepare:

 

  1. Bring a very large pot of water to boil on the stove.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, trim the artichokes — trip off the bottom of stem, leaving about an 1 to 1.5 inches of stem in place. Peel off the small tough leaves on the stem and at the base of the artichoke. Then use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer of the stem. Chop off the top quarter of the artichoke, and then use scissors to snip the pointy tips off the top of the leaves. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise. (Do not remove the internal fuzz yet).
  3. Once the water is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt to the water, and then place the artichokes in to boil until tender, about 20 minutes. You may need to place a plate on top to hold the artichokes under the water level. Test the artichokes by poking the stem with a knife. They’re done when the knife inserts easily.
  4. Remove the artichokes and place cut side down in a strainer to drain. Use a very large colander so that the artichokes are not crowded (otherwise, they will continue to cook in the steam). Allow to rest for about 15 minutes to release the steam and dry out the artichokes.
  5. Once the artichokes are cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out the softened fuzzy section above the heart, along with the tender purple leaves in the center.
  6. Pre-heat a BBQ or a large grill pan over medium-high heat. While heating, combine the butter and olive oil and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds until melted.
  7. Place the cooked artichokes in a large bowl. Drizzle the butter mixture over the artichokes and lightly toss, gently rubbing the butter into all of the grooves.  Generously season with salt and pepper.
  8. Once your grill is heated, grill the artichokes on all sides to reheat and add charred grill marks.  This should take about 10 minutes.
  9. While the artichokes are grilling, prepare the mustard aioli by combining the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  10. Serve the artichokes immediately with the aoili.

 

Makes 4 servings

 

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PS…did you know you can eat the stems? Often people chop them off, but please don’t make that mistake! They are edible and delicious.

 

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Memorial Day with Friends

Did you all have a lovely Memorial Day weekend? We  had a gorgeous weekend here, right up until yesterday when we were hit with cloudy skies and mist…but no worries! How could we dare to complain about such a thing, when we are blessed in so many other ways? On a weekend where we recognize those who have sacrificed for us and those who continue to sacrifice for us, a little mist is such a silly thing to complain about.

 

We spent the day in traditional fashion, BBQing with some friends. Our friends, Jenny and German, whipped up an amazing spread, including some insane bacon-wrapped jalapenos…I definitely need to snag that recipe and share with you asap!  Here are a just a few pics from the day…

 

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PS…enjoy the four-day work week!

 

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