SXSW: Rachael Ray Feedback 2014

How is it that I have never been to this event?  Maybe it has to do with the early start time and my former other half not doing mornings.

It was a lot of fun.  Next year we will get there earlier.  We only got in earlier than we should have, because I have a sweet friend.  We still would have gotten in but it would have taken longer.IMG_1450[1]

The drink lines were easy.  The food lines were a mess.  We may have not been at the end of the food line when we got in.  It was hard to tell.  But EVERYONE who got in, got food from what I could tell.  When we left at 3 pm, the line was still all of the way around the block.  OUCH!IMG_1447[1]

Music was behind on schedule but well organized.  Two outdoor stages.  When one stopped, the other started.  Well until Blondie.  I am not sure why they didn’t get on stage on time.  The music was good.  Bob didn’t play enough but he played my favorite song of his.  Rachael’s husband’s band, The Cringe was good, i’d never heard them.  He called her out from the stage and it was super sweet.  AWWW.  IMG_1420[1]

Here’s the scoop on the grub and the recipes that I think match with her descriptions from her signs and her talking about the food on Kimmel earlier this week :

Chow ChowIMG_1378[1] IMG_1379[1]

7 Hour Smoked Brisket
IMG_1384[1]IMG_1417[1]

Whisky WingsIMG_1382[1] IMG_1383[1]

All of mine were sans bread.  Guess what?  Bread makes a great serving vessel.  But so do fingers 😉

I will be making a couple of these things myself in the future!  Yummers as she would say!IMG_1375[1]

There was no dessert!  I wanted dessert.  Instead I had more grapefruit and vodka.

SXSW fails and wins

Fails

  • We were 5 people short of getting into Kimmel Live on Friday to see Lil Wayne and Willie Nelson
  • We were so tired from standing in line all day in the sun, that all 3 of us almost fell asleep at dinner
  • We didn’t get downtown for Rachael Ray early enough
  • It rained and rained and rained Saturday morning in line for Rachael’s Party
  • I dropped my drivers license on 9th street.  Thank goodness the dude yelled for me and I ran half a block back to get it.
  • I had a realization that some of my old crowd is just that.  I’ve been cut out I guess
  • The show I wanted to go to on Thursday was actually the day before

Wins

  • People watching is ALWAYS a win during SXSW
  • I did at least see Kimmel once and had a guaranteed seat and a good one at that
  • Parking.  We easily found parking both Friday and Saturday.  Shocking
  • We had a nice lunch at Hula Hut on Friday afternoon away from the downtown crowds.
  • My old intern DID get in line for Rachael Ray early enough and we were able to get in line with her
  • The RRFeedback food was delish.  Free food, booze, and music.  How can you go wrong?
  • Coffee before RR Feedback was a great idea.  Until there was no bathroom for 3 hours
  • $1 panchos from my running stash were lifesavers Saturday morning
  • Traffic wasn’t that bad when I’ve needed to come and go from downtown
  • My schedule was very different than it had been in years past and I was completely content.  I saw far less music but far more variety of talent and shows.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Started out with DIY pizzas at my house Friday night.  It was sister’s turn to host parents, but they weren’t home, so I entertained mom and dad for the evening 🙂  I was out of GF crust, so I made pizza GF pasta for myself.  Turned out fabulous!

Then the grand opening of the new Rogue store all Saturday morning.

Then mom’s choice.  Shopping.  And boy was it HOT.  And all of the places we went were open air, so hot and sunny with no AC.  BLECH!   And I wore jeans because my legs may have needed TLC.

Lunch at Fish City.  Sister and mom’s first time.  They loved it.  Very large and varied menu.  Something for everyone. 

They have one of the very best Mexican Shrimp cocktails.  Perfect with a salad on the side.  It’s spicy and SO good!

More shopping.  Somehow my sister and I bought stuff and mom bought almost nothing.  I had a Christmas gift card i’d not even attempted to spend at Ann Taylor, so I killed that sucker.

Mom wanted a steak dinner, so the 3 of us and our boys went to Texas Land and Cattle for dinner.  Another 1st for mom and sister.

They loved it.  Mom and I both got the signature sirloin which is smokey peppered goodness.  A little sad because mine had so much fat I had to cut off, mom’s had almost none.  That’s ok, because their sweet potatoes rock.

She got a chocolate miracle cake and a peach bread pudding for dessert.

Verdict was that the bread pudding was really good, the cake was overrated.  I am not a big chocolate cake person, but I could tell I wouldn’t like that one especially.  Looked like a fancy grocery store chocolate cake with too-sweet icing.  The only person who liked the cake was sister’s other half, who ate most of it.  He’ll eat anything with icing on it though.

I doubt I would have eaten much, if any of either dessert if I could of.  But in the 15 minutes spent on dessert at the table, I felt VERY out of place. That doesn’t happen very often at all.  So strange.  We rarely order dessert out anyhow, but mom didn’t want a cake, she wanted whatever the restaurant had that looked good.

When I got home I went to HEB plus for some vanilla bean Nada Moo to make myself some dessert with strawberries, raw premium nuts, and dark chocolate.

This weekend was actually my Nada Moo anniversary, lol.  One year ago we did a race for Autism with a GF food fair for mom’s birthday.  Nada Moo was a vendor there.  It’s good stuff.  I wish more places carried it.

Great Saturday despite the heat.  Girl time with mom and sister and I got to see Dan for a few hours before he left for Canada early Sunday morning.

RR: Curried Turkey Burger Sliders

Curried Turkey Burger Sliders
Source:  Clean Eating, July 2011
Serves 6

1 egg white
1/3 cup grated apple
1/4 cup minced onion
3 T ground flaxseed
1 T curry powder
2 t ginger
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 t ground coriander
1 lb lean ground turkey or chicken
2 t lemon juice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup peeled and grated cucumber, drained
EVOO cooking spray
2-3 pieces naan bread, cut into 24 squares

In a large bowl, combine egg white, apple, onion, flaxseed, curry, ginger, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 t coriander.  Shape into 12 mini burger patties.

In small bowl, combine 1 t lemon juice, yogurt, cucumber, salt, pepper, and remaining coriander.

Heat non-stick grill, pan, or skill, on medium-high and cook patties, turning once (about 5 minutes).  Top patties with cucumber yogurt and sandwich between 2 squares of naan bread.

*  I served mine on toasted gluten-free bread, Dan’s on an onion bun.  I dressed with lettuce, tomato, and mango on mine, which is what was suggested.  The way I made them, for 4 large patties, they were 5 P+ each.  That does not include sauce or bread.  ( I didn’t make the sauce, since I can’t eat it).  I took a photo, they were gorgeous, but then I deleted it on accident 😦  Sadness.

It’ll go as a keeper for me, as I predicted, it was too different for Dan.  Needless to say, I had leftovers since Mr. Picky wasn’t wild about them. 

Friday’s lunch was one of the chopped curried turkey burgers over field greens with sunflower seeds, mango, papaya, and pineapple, green onions, with EVOO.  VERY tasty and summery.

Frio Fest 2011-The arrival

Food, fun, friends and the Frio River.

We had a whole car full of stuff.  It still blows my mind we had so much stuff for such a short trip.  And I think we took less than last year!

We got to Concan around 9:30 pm on Friday.  Dan opted to eat at Sonic in Hondo.  (I worked at Sonic in high school and I am not a fan anymore, I can’t even stand the smell).   I ate a Simply Bar and waited until we got to the main house where they had an insane amount of food leftover.  Grilled zucchini, 5 different grilled meats, sides, etc.  

We ended up in the same house as last year, the “Wineglass”.  We were the 2nd to last to arrive (almost everyone arrived Thursday night or Friday morning), luckily we didn’t have to take the loft, and got the big bedroom upstairs with 1 queen and 2 twins.  It had it’s own bathroom, which is why I picked it (since I can’t see, I don’t like having to stumble to far in the middle of the night).    I am very particular about traveling and my distance to the bathroom.  I have glasses I wear at night, but if I forget where I lay them down, I seriously cannot see anything.  Anything at all.  Yeah, I could pretty much write a whole blog entry about my eyes.

After we unloaded, Dan went back to the main house, I chose to go to sleep since it was after 11.  I think most of them partied until 3-4 am.  Since I was tired and I don’t really party, I figured I may as well try to get some rest since I haven’t slept well in the last couple of months and I take what I can get. Yes, I am old.

By the way, the Wineglass is currently for sale if you want to buy it Wineglass for Sale  I would love to have a home out there, but not one that cost more than our main house, lol!

Smokin’

My first attempt at bbq brisket by myself.   I bought a small lean brisket at HEB on Sunday.  Rubbed it on Sunday morning, cooked it Monday afternoon. You want it to have some fat on top.  You can trim it off after it cooks (I trim mine off, leave on Dan’s).   This photo is actually fat side down, because it made for a nicer photo (you cook it fat side up).

Someone started begging.  I don’t blame her, it smelled amazing!  She never begs unless it’s smoked turkey at Thanksgiving or smoked chicken.  I’ve decided it’s the smokey flavor she must be after.

Missy was nowhere to be seen, which was for the best.  She can’t have people food.

I let her have some, because it was tasty and she doesn’t get people food often at all.  She liked it 🙂

I  made two different plates, because Dan has been on a corn kick and I only had 1 ear left.  So I had salad, he had corn.

I should have waited until he was ready to eat to slice his.  I forget how fast brisket dries out.  It was still tasty, although next time, I may knock 30 minutes off of the cooking time for a little less “doneness”.

It was 6P+ for 4 ounces. With a side of Terrys Texas Pinto Beans.  That is by far my favorite bean recipe ever.  I’ve been using that recipe since 4th of July weekend 2009 (and it’s only 2P+ per serving!).  Not pictured is another favorite that was part of dinner, which is Stubbs BBQ sauce.  Spicy is my favorite, but the others are really good too…and Gluten Free!

Recipe Review: Pineapple-Chicken Kabobs with Quinoa

Pineapple-Chicken Kabobs with Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (I used toasted almonds instead)
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey (not a honey fan, used a little sweetener instead)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used breasts)
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used canned)
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
16 cherry tomatoes
8 (12-inch) metal or wooden skewers
Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear, then drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside off the heat for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest and salt.

Prepare a grill for medium heat grilling. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, lemon juice and pepper. Thread chicken, pineapple, pepper and tomatoes onto skewers. Remove 1 tablespoon honey-mustard mixture and brush skewers with it. Grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Arrange skewers on a platter over quinoa and serve with remaining honey mustard on the side for dipping.

Serves 4.  Very easy, tasty and points friendly.  The way I made it, was 8P+ a serving.  Next time I think i’d also add red onions.

SOURCE:  Whole Foods

Per serving: 340 calories (70 from fat), 7g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 95mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 37g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 16g sugar), 27g protein

Sweaty Saturday

GETTING THERE….

Drove North to grab the sister, to drive south to see the parents for belated Father’s Day.  We arrived around 6:15 pm.  I told my parents to please eat without us, because they like to eat at 5:30.  They refused, so we ended up at Coras.  They have the best nachos ever.  I watched my family devour the nachos, I miss cheese 😦  They don’t have a huge menu, but I was a happy girl.  Their grilled chicken was actually very good, tasty salsa, baked potato, salad bar (pickled okra, YUM!). 

SATURDAY

Because my room was being remodeled, I had to sleep with sister in her room. My parent’s room is being done too, so they were both in the 2 living areas on the couches. 

RUN

Did not sleep at all.  I don’t really get hot, in fact, I am always cold.  I was SO hot, they keep their house too warm.  I ended up just getting up and starting my run.  I had a hard time finding my groove for the first part, but it actually turned into a decent run.  About halfway through, I decided to try a new route which I knew would be challenging.  Proud of myself, decent pace, even with lack of sleep and high humidity. 

LIFE

Painted my old room with my parents.   My parents are remodeling with the hopes of putting the house on the market.  They really need to downsize, they should have done it years ago.

The original color was pink, yes pink.  Picked out in 1984 by my 2 year old sister.  Mom said we had to have the same color.  I am still bitter, I wanted lavender.  The walls, trim, and carpet are all pink/rose.  BARF. 

The new color is a taupe.  It needs another coat.  Did I mention my room is HUGE?  Yeah, I had a pretty rocking room as a child.  The whole 2nd story of their house is 1 bathroom, 2 giant children’s bedrooms, and an even bigger playroom. 

My sister had not cleaned out her old room (mine was done years ago).  So she did that.  We took a whole truckload of stuff to Goodwill in San Antonio after that (I wanted to ensure the stuff actually left the house and didn’t get thrown in a garage sale).  Mom has another load to take to the women’s shelter of linens, toys, and children’s clothing.   I know getting rid of stuff was upsetting to my mom and sister, but the clutter and unnecessary items really needed to go. 

FOOD

That evening, we put my dad’s new grill to use….and some calamine, because I literally got ants in my pants 😦

BBQ’d sirloin steaks, mesquite chicken breasts, and garlic peppercorn pork tenderloin.  Served with multi-grain Central Market baguette (for them), grilled corn, and 10 pounds of grilled vegetables fresh from dad’s garden (zucchini, yellow squash, red and yellow onions, and eggplant).  Meant to try grilling okra too (which was suggested by my WW leader, but I forgot).

Apologies for the crummy photo, it was over 100 degrees and I took any shade I could get.  Strawberry shortcake for dessert for them.  I had strawberries and cantaloupe from dad’s garden.

Did I mention it was also my parent’s 34th wedding anniversary?  I actually stumbled across a huge box of their wedding napkins that morning, so we used those for dinner 🙂  I suggested they use them every year on their anniversary.

They had enough leftovers for Sunday for sure.  Plus I’d taken the leftover chicken and put together Guenther House’s Champagne Chicken Enchiladas for them to cook up on Monday or Tuesday when contractors are coming to work on parts of the house that they will not be doing themselves.

That was the theme of the weekend, trying to help the parents and make this remodel/downsize/sale easier on them 🙂

Easy Pinto Beans

Found this recipe on Allrecipes a few years ago.  It’s easy, cheap, and versatile.   Recipe is easily halved, as I did this week.  In the past i’ve used these for:  side for BBQ, potluck dish, nachos, taco salad, smushed into refried beans, breakfast tacos, “Chipotle style taco bowls”, etc.

Taco salad for Tuesday night’s dinner…I decided on spinach for something different.  Tomato, sauteed onions and peppers, mushrooms, beans, tortilla chips, and Nacho Mom’s fire roasted queso.

Terry’s Texas Pinto Beans

1 pound dry pinto beans
1 (29 ounce) can reduced sodium broth
1 large onion chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup green salsa (red works fine too)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
water, if needed

Place the pinto beans in a large pot, and pour in the  broth. Stir in onion, jalapeno, garlic, salsa, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking 2 hours, stirring often, until beans are tender. Add water as needed to keep the beans moist.

Makes 8 servings for a full batch.  3 WW P+ per 1/2 cup serving.

Brought to you by the letter “F”

“this morning’s long run is brought to you by the numbers 72 and 84, and the letter F. 72 degrees, 84% humidity, and…well…you can figure out the F. And it is only the end of April. It is going to be a LONG summer.”

I love Megan.  That was her quote after her run yesterday, which was last  long run before her taper for Pittsburgh.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  I didn’t run with her, but my weather was just the same.

RUN

AK invited me to join her coached run at 5 am in Round Rock to “test drive” the group.  I whined about getting up at 4 am, but then again, that’s not that much earlier than I usually get up on weekdays.

The run was hot and humid.  Small group, but nice people.  I liked the coach, we had a lot in common.  Two of them did 22 miles, one did 16.  I didn’t really have a plan on how many I wanted to do, so I did 12 and rode in the coaches’ support truck the rest of the time. 

I really liked the experience, but I just can’t justify paying to run with a group.  It was nice company, nice encouragement, nice to always have fuel and water around.  Maybe i’ll change my mind later on. 

LIFE

Hit up Sprouts market before I came home.  Then mowed the yard, cleaned the house, and did a few other projects.  I think I finally slowed down around 8 pm.  It was a non-stop day, but nice.

We both did take a break to watch Friday Night lights before I fell asleep.

FOOD

Dinner was all about grilling.  I wanted to eat outside, but our patio is 100% sun in the evenings and it was steamy 😦

Grilled chicken (2 different seasonings), kabobs, sweet potatoes, onions, and a mass amount of zucchini (that’s the only way Dan will eat it).

I’m glad we have leftovers, but I wish there was more!